hey out there.....
I haven't written anything for awhile because things got really busy and I just felt like I didn't have anything to say. When I started this I posted lots of pictures with well thought out posts and sort of thought I always had to keep that up. I'm realizing now that I can just mention little things that are going on. I have a lot of things I want to work on in 2017 and want to use this as kind of a record to see how I'm doing. So here goes
- become more organized: this has always been something I know I need to work on but has become MUCH more apparent to me since staying home with Declan. I really hate all the time I spend looking for things and it's stressing me out so much since home is now where I spend 90% of my life! I have started small with some things from the container store with my mother in laws help and am working on purging as much as possible. I am a minimalist at heart that has manifested into a semi hoarder 😬.
We are starting a kitchen/living room renovation and I really want to start out on the right foot!
Nurture my relationships : I think this one doesn't really need a description but I want to enjoy, savor, appreciate the amazing husband, son, family and friends that I have been given!
Find a church: we have been looking for somewhere to make our spiritual home since we got married and haven't had much success finding a place we really clicked with. I'm hoping by 2018 we can belong somewhere.
Other happenings: I've been brewing kombucha for a little over 2 months now and loving it. Drinking it every day has made me feel more energetic, lighter, and motivated. I just upped my batch to 2 gallons At a time so I'll post some pictures of how that's going with some bottling recipes.
Little Dec man has been sick since his 1st birthday party which is a struggle for me. Not being able to help him out is really heartbreaking. The doctor says he is all clear in the ears and lungs department though and that he is just building immunity.
I joined the essential oil club thanks to my step-sister and am loving diffusing them. I'm not too sure about what they all do but am liking frankincense and lavender a lot. I'd love to find something that helps with attention span!
We have been doing a farm share through Wild Fox Farm in Barto that has been great! It really helps us cook every night and incorporate unique, healthy veggies into each meal!
I have been trying to get back to a daily practice practice and have been loving following the Journey Junkie on YouTube. She has a yoga body bootcamp I highly recommend! It's not too tough but you definitely feel it the next day!
we went out in the city this last weekend thanks to my awesome dad and step-mom and ate at the best restaurant I think I've ever been to: Double Knot. We did the 10 course tasting menu and it blew our minds! Such a cool vibe too. Everyone should check it out.
My sister in law and I started taking our littles to swim class and declan is a natural!! He LOVES the pool - definitely going to be continuing this!
alright that is all world, going to go get my little boogie man 😛 if anyone has any advice for me on churches, organization, essential oils or whatever else it'd be much appreciated ! Hope anyone reading has an awesome day 😊😊
If I've learned anything about myself over the course of my 28 years of life is that things or "phases" come and go from my life. As of gotten older, especially this past year, I've actually felt totally ok with it. There are some months where I crave an hour of yoga every day. I want to push my body and it feels so great to gain strength and flexibility. I feel zen, I want to watch the leaves in the wind and count my breath. Some times I want to write. I have all these thoughts that just need to be out my head. Then there will be a month where I don't want to move my body. I don't want to feel zen. Things don't click like they should in that department and I'm learning that for me, that's ok. I've been through enough seasons to know that I will want to work out again. Green smoothies will gain their appeal again and I will find myself counting my breath cross legged by a candle once again.
This last month has been hard for me. I weaned my son and found it one of the most emotional things I have ever gone through. To me, nursing was the best thing I have done with my life. I loved it. I loved him snuggled up to me and knowing that I was providing him nourishment. But I was noticing signs that he wasn't the healthiest that a little nugget could be. He got hives a lot, vomited more and more often and had perpetual bags under his eyes that didn't go away even with lots of sleep. We went to the allergist and found he has several allergies that could be causing all of these symptoms. We were instructed to get an epi-pen and given our instructions on foods to avoid and what to do in case of a severe reaction. I felt like a truck hit me. I had done everything I was supposed to do, I ate those foods through pregnancy, introduced them on time, how had this happened? I made the decision to stop nursing that day. I knew that I wasn't up for another strict elimination diet ( I was on one for months in the spring) and that it would take weeks for the foods to leave my body anyways. Declan was always really good about taking a bottle and had stopped being as soothed by nursing as he used to. I felt it was a natural time to stop for him.
There are lots of pretty charts and things on Pinterest for how to wean your body but I didn't find much help on your emotional state. I was sad to say the least. There was more than one night spent sobbing and hugging my husband on the couch. It was like an era had ended and I would never have it back. In a tearful phone call with my mother in law she informed me that there would be lots of moments like this in motherhood. Lots of endings. She told me that it's ok to mourn them. I'm not sure if it actually does get easier though. I think that's just the curse of motherhood. Your emotions regarding your children just sit so close to the surface that they are little too easily accessible. (Bonus: the ability to cry on cue?) Ironically, one of my best friends was learning to nurse her newborn during this time. It took me back to all the tears, pain and late nights. On this other side of the journey it doesn't seem quite so epic but when your in it, it seems an impossible task.
I will always look back on the months spent nursing my son as some of the best months of my life, probably always with tears in my eyes. And I'm totally fine with that. As he gets closer to walking and I see a new chapter of our lives about to start I can feel myself coming out of my little sad hole I've made. I've been feeling fab urge to write, to pull out my mat, to bake and cook again. I even got a little part time job! I'm glad that I took some time though to process, to mourn, and now to embrace a season of my life that I will never forget. ❤️❤️
This last weekend Declan spent his first night out.
I recently have been doing a lot of reading on the importance of marriage and the influence that it has on the first year of a child's life. While pregnant I read Babywise and though i didn't follow it (at all) the first chapter really resonated with me. He explains that making your spouse a priority instead of your child actually gives your child a deep sense of security and safety. I just finished Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina and was surprised that the first chapter was also on marriage. My favorite quote was his response to husbands that ask how to get their children into Harvard, "go home and love your wife." I say all this just to show the mindset I had going into this experience. I feel like there can be some judgement on parents that want some time to themselves but it turns out that it is actually beneficial.
I puttered around most of the day that Declan was going to sleep out, weighing my decision. The guilt set in a couple times and i thought about changing my mind but I knew that no matter how long I waited it was going to be hard. It was also hard when he slept in his room the first night, or the first night I let him cry. I know it will be hard when I go to wean him, or any of the other many experiences that we will go through together.
I decided to go forward with it and Declan went to my mom's around 4:30 Saturday. Things could not have gone better. He ate well and slept well for her! He went from 7 - 11 and then till 6:45 am! Much better than he does for me!
Josh and I also had a great night. We went out early and checked out Bethlehem Brewworks which was really cool and then had dinner at our new favorite place, the Trapp Door Gastropub in Emmaus. We got home around 9:15 and figured the best thing to do in a baby free home was get some much needed rest! Going to bed early and knowing that noone was there to wake me up in the middle of the night felt so amazing until about 3 am. I woke up in a panic that Declan wasn't there and debated for about 45 minutes driving down to my moms to get him. I did text her at one point, which she didn't respond to. Probably because of it being 3:15 and all!
There was a moment, right before I fell back asleep that I snuggled closer to Josh, poked him a little, and whispered "babe." His eyes darted open, scanned my face and opened both arms. He closed his eyes and held me there as we both drifted back off. He knew exactly what I was upset about and exactly what I needed in that moment without me having to say anything. I was so glad for our night out if it was just for this one tiny little fleeting embrace between us.
In the morning we woke up slow and had a nice breakfast. I practiced some yoga in the yard while Josh worked on our patio. My mom called to say that Declan had woken up from a morning nap and I went down to get him. I was so so happy to see my little nugget and he was so happy to see me! I felt refreshed from our little parenting vacation and ready to get back into mom land. I am so grateful that Declan has grandparents that love him so much and want to spend time with him.
In other news:
I am currently doing a yoga challenge on Instagram that has really helped me keep up with a daily practice and I am loving it.
Declan has started moving so much and it is more overwhelming than I thought!
We had a great 3 day weekend with friends and family and our patio is finally complete :)
Photo Dump from the weekend:
This last Monday I drove down to see my grandparents in Delaware with Declan. We had a great visit and it felt so nice to walk around Rehoboth Beach. I always went there when I was growing up since my grandparents always had a place about 20 minutes away. It's really exciting to daydream about the future. I picture Declan riding rides and playing games at Funland. I want to experience everything with him! I want to see him try his first salt water taffy and boardwalk fries. I want to take him on the Haunted House ride and watch him drive the bumper cars. I've heard people say that life doesn't really begin until you have kids and I know exactly what they mean now. Everything has new excitement. Those stupid little boats that go around in a circle? No longer a dumb little ride but a speedboat whizzing around a big ocean! I took Declan on the Merry-Go-Round and it was so beautiful to watch his face. When we started moving and when the horse started going up and down he was in such awe, then excitement, then fear, then back to excitement. How amazing it has to be to see all of this for the first time!
On a sadder note, my grandparents are getting older, as grandparents do. It is a tough thing to think about that my parents are the grandparents now, and mine are the great-grandparents. Since having Declan I especially treasure each time I get to see them and the moments they share with my son will be ones that I will never forget.
On the way home we took a little detour to Broadkill Beach. I had always seen the sign when I would drive down route 1 and decided that I would finally just go ahead and stop. We went down a windy back road and popped out right at the entrance to the very secluded beach. I guess it's dog friendly because most people had dogs there too. Kota hates the water but it'd still be fun to see her watch the waves! I highly recommend checking this out if you are in the area. It is right past Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. There was hardly any one there; such a contrast from the Rehoboth Boardwalk! It reminded me a little of Ocracoke Island, one of my favorite places ever. Every year they have a Flip Em' walk in May at Broadkill to help the horseshoe crab population. I would love to check this out next year!
As much as I wish that Josh could come with us on each adventure, there is something incredibly empowering about traveling alone with your child as a mother. I highly recommend it to any moms that are able. At first it can be intimidating and it does make things more complicated but it really builds confidence in me as a caretaker for my son. There were a lot of worries I had when we first started taking little road trips by ourselves: "what if he gets hungry?" "what if we have to stop somewhere?" "what if theres a problem with the car?" Well, most of the things you worry about won't go wrong, it's usually something entirely different that you never thought of! And you will figure it out. I promise. You and your little will be ok. Don't have expectations or timelines, embrace detours and remember that you only get this time with them once.
This Monday Declan turned 8 months old. He is (finally) starting to have a reliable nap schedule and is sleeping longer stretches at night. We have pretty much transferred him to his crib and he usually stays there till about 5 am. He is still breastfed and we are working on introducing more finger foods. His eating habits really deserve their own post though. He changes what he likes meal to meal which can get frustrating at times but I am trying to keep introducing new things!
Our little guy is constantly on the move!! He just started to crawl with his stomach off the floor this week. He can pull himself up to standing and is starting to be more reliable with getting back down. He loves to point at everything and tries to feed his food to you if you let him! He hasn't said any full words yet but has started to says his m's and g's. His babbling has also started to sound more like words and he will talk to his reflection in the sliding glass door.
Declan so far has 5 teeth and is working on the 6th. He chews on everything and is drooling all the time. We tried the amber teething necklace but I didn't find it super effective. Before naps and at night I usually give him a Hylands chamomilla tablet. They are different then the teething tablets which have some controversy I guess because of the belladonna. I find the chamomile tablets are helpful in settling him down when his teeth are obviously bothering him. These are the ones we use:
Declan continues to love every dog he comes in contact with but Kota is his BFF for sure. He lights up every time she comes in the room and they are really starting to play with each other! Kota will bring a toy for Dec, wait for him to reach for it, then quick pull it a few inches away. He thinks it is hilarious! I'm so thankful that they get along so well and I'm sure they have many more adventures to come.
I highly recommend the teething necklace in some of these pictures. It was such a lifesaver for us on the plane and has grown to be Dec's favorite toy. We actually lost them the second day in Italy and I ordered them as soon as we landed back in the U.S. They are also great to wear while nursing for distracted babies like mine! Here's a link for them:
I've learned a lot in the last eight months. Nothing is more apparent though than how fast these little people change. In the blink of an eye they are on to the next thing. It's exciting but also a little bittersweet. Something he does all the time today he might never do again. It really does fly by as surreal as that seems in the moments when he won't nap or its 3 am and he's climbing all over pulling my hair. I feel so blessed that I get to spend my days with him. Now I'm off to finish the dishes during the quiet of nap time.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD
A little back story....
I had always been really afraid of giving birth. I can remember asking my stepsister when I was a teenager if she thought about how painful it would be every day that she was pregnant. When she responded that she didn't think about it like that, I assumed she was lying.
As my pregnancy started to come to a close, I was shocked to find I didn't feel afraid at all. I felt excited. I think God does that for us. As we get closer to actually pushing a baby out of us, he takes away a lot of the fear for us. Which is insane. There had been so much build up, and pregnancy was such a long process that I was so so ready to get this show on the road!
Despite my best attempts to live a holistic, organic life I never felt particularly drawn to a natural birth or midwife setting. I went into this anticipating an epidural and didn't really have any plans other than that. I highly applaud anyone who has the intention of a natural birth. However, that is not my story.
I had pretty bad back pain most of my pregnancy, which intensified in the weeks leading up to labor. I also started getting lightning pains in my cervix when I would walk anywhere. Some days, when I would walk my dog Kota down the street, I would feel as if Declan was falling out. Little did I know how far from the truth that was!
Just to add to the normal stress of not knowing when a baby is coming, I was due on Christmas Eve.
Three weeks out, I was checked by the doctor, and I was dilated 1 cm. Two weeks out, I was at 2 cms. The doctor offered a "membrane stripping" which was supposed to start labor within 24 hours. Since I was already dilated and somewhat effaced he said it would probably be effective. By this point I was starting to really feel that Declan had just run out of room. I felt like he was bruising me from the inside and was just so ready to have him out and get to meet him. I had the stripping done Thursday the 17th, one week before Declan was due. I don't think I would really recommend this to anyone, it hurts!! Nothing compared to labor, but still, no point in unnecessary pain during this time!
I had contractions off and on through the next 2 days, but they never got really regular until Saturday afternoon. We were at Costco, wandering around (The Saturday before Christmas at Costco was not the best plan.), and my contractions started to be about 3 minutes apart.
We called the doctor and came home so I could shower, and then we went to the hospital. (Side note: Whenever I would read birth stories, they always said they showered before the hospital. I thought this was so weird and strange, but it was the only thing I wanted to do. Very odd!!) Anyway, we got to the hospital, got all hooked up in triage, and my doctor came in. It was the same man who had done the membrane stripping, which was nice. He checked me and said my contractions weren't "effective" enough. I was offered to stay and wander around or go home. We went home, picked up a pizza and waited.
I continued to have contractions all through Sunday, but they still were not incredibly painful or consistent enough to go back. I kept hearing my doctors voice in my mind, "when it's real, you'll know."
During this whole time we were seeing family and celebrating Christmas. There are actually some pictures of me opening presents while having contractions! I would not recommend that anyone have a baby due on Christmas Eve. Poor planning on the Kulps end! But alas, thats what we were doing and I think we tried to make the best of it.
Monday morning (December 21st) Josh got up to go to work. I had stopped working the Thursday before, so I got up, made him breakfast, and was planning on laying back down when I started leaking a little bit. (Graphic! I told you.) I told Josh, and we both decided that he would go to work and we would wait and see if it kept up. This was around 6:30 a.m. I cleaned and walked around for awhile (Nesting, I guess.), and the fluid kept coming but very inconsistently.
I had been to the doctor on Black Friday for leaking and after the hospital incident on Saturday night, I really didn't want to be turned away again. Contractions were off and on, but nothing too painful. I waited till about 11 a.m. to call the doctor. As I was on the phone with them, I felt a gush! She gave me a noon appointment to come in.
After I hung up the phone, I went to the bathroom, and while sitting there felt another gush and a very strong contraction. I had been planning to drive myself (Ha!) but called Josh after that to come get me. I still wasn't sure this was it but the contractions were getting stronger and stronger.
We got to my ob-gyn which was across from the hospital around 12 noon and though I hadn't leaked much more I was definitely having regular, strong contractions. We got checked in, and the nurse practitioner told me that I was 3 cms, 70% effaced and my water had definitely broken. This was it! We were having a baby! She called over to the hospital to get us pre checked in and off we went.
We arrived at the hospital and went right into a birthing room, skipping triage this time, which I was really thankful for. My contractions were strong, but I remember thinking to myself, "I can do this, this isn't that bad."
I was offered an epidural right away by my nurse. She explained that it would take about an hour once it was ordered to complete the IV fluids and get the anesthesiologist in. Despite my initial plan to wait until I was further along, I ordered the epidural right away. Apparently, they are easier to administer before you are in excruciating pain. The worst part of this whole epidural process was my IV. It took 2 nurses and 3 attempts, leaving me with a black and blue forearm. Once the fluid was started and the epidural ordered, a resident came in to do an ultrasound. She said I was only 2 and a half cms and there was fluid in front of his head. I guess my water sac had just punctured? I'm not really sure of the whole anatomy of baby waters.
In the ultrasound, she confirmed that Declan was head down but that his head was turned the wrong way- "sunny side up." That explained most of my back pain. They also told me that he was around 7 1/2 pounds.
Around this time, my mom and mother-in-law arrived. They were asked to leave, though, for the actual epidural. My anesthetist was great, and it was a fast, not terrible experience. Nothing like how I had imagined in my mind. As soon as that took effect, they told me they were going to start pitocin and break the rest of my water.
I'm not sure what I expected an epidural to feel like, but I was INCREDIBLY numb from the hips down. You could've amputated my leg, and I probably wouldn't of known! I felt a little giggly and pretty sleepy. The doctor came in to break my water, and I remember her saying this is going to be an impressive amount of fluid and then coming at me with a large crochet hook. I didn't even care. The next few hours were fine. I napped on and off and chatted with Josh, my mom and Karen, my mother-in-law. The doctors were impressed with my contractions and eventually turned off the pitocin entirely. Around 8 pm, after my new nurse Kelly arrived, things started to change. I could feel my back pain again, it hard started breaking through. I was checked again and was 7-8 cms.
Now, I don't know if this was the drugs or hormones or what, but I felt so afraid suddenly. Afraid of pushing, of meeting my son, of being a mom, all of it. I was allowed to hit the button for my epidural every 15 minutes and I took advantage of that from about 8-10 p.m. The longer time went on though, the medicine stopped keeping up with my pain. I wanted to move on my side but couldn't. I had thought contractions would feel like intense period cramps, which I felt prepared for. I was not prepared for feeling like someone had a hammer on my spine.
During this time I was given a catheter, twice actually. Oddly enough this had been one of the things I was most afraid of when thinking of labor. I just want to say to anyone out there reading this that the catheter is NOTHING. Do not be afraid of it, do not even give it another thought.
I don't exactly remember when the shaking started, but around 11 p.m. they came in to check and said I was 10 cms, but Declan wasn't all the way down yet. They wanted me to labor down, which is when they sit you all the way up to help baby come down further naturally. This terrified me!
Suddenly, I just felt that I could not do this. I was way in over my head, and I was not really sure I wanted a baby! I told Josh that I didn't think I could be a mom, and he jokingly reminded me it was a little too late for that. I don't know why, but I hadn't really thought about pushing and how scary it seemed. I just didn't think I could do it (not a very good mindset to have).
After they sat me up in bed, the pain was pretty unbearable. I hadn't hit the button in awhile since I wanted to prepare for pushing. I remember just wanting to walk around, it was so horrible to be in this upright position. I started shaking uncontrollably. I'm not sure if convulsing is the right word, but that's how it felt.
My husband was so amazing during this time and just kept feeding me ice chips, which actually really helped!
After about 45 minutes to an hour of this laboring down, they told me it was time to push. My doctor was so amazing and sat with me on the bed. Declan's head was turned and it was pushing against my spine when I pushed, causing more pain and making my pushes ineffective. For probably an hour (Time really has no meaning in labor.), my doctor sat with her hands in me attempting to turn his head and encouraging me to push. I was having the hardest time. One push would be good, one would be bad. I felt like I was giving 120% , and he wasn't getting any closer. Dr Peters decided to cut my epidural in half to try and help me push more effectively. We continued for another hour with lots of encouragement from my nurse, Josh, and the doctor. Still, Declan was not coming.
They could see his head crown sometimes but then suck right back in. The decision was made that my epidural be turned off. About 15 to 20 minutes later, I felt like a freight train hit me. The pain is indescribable! Again, this is just my experience. It was hard for me to distinguish contractions because the back pain was just so intense. The shaking had gotten so bad too, and I just could not find any position that would soothe me. I started vomiting around here and was screaming that I would never do this again! My doctor, nurse and Josh were still encouraging me to push and would all count with me and breathe with me. I think Josh almost passed out at one point because he was breathing how I was! This continued on for another hour, and despite them all telling me he was close I just couldn't really connect with my pushing. I'm not sure if it was because I couldn't really feel contractions or because his head position or because of my epidural, but I felt stuck. After vomiting some more and the most intense feeling of a train crashing into my tailbone, I gave up. I told them I couldn't do it anymore and they needed to get the baby out. I remember my doctor telling me that I could tear pretty badly with forceps, but I didn't care. The anesthesiologist came back in and gave me back my epidural (Happy Days!), and the room started to prepare.
Two things: the epidural was not nearly as effective as my first one because of the level of my pain, and the room was a terrifying scene. Had I been of normal mind, I would've been stressed out by the NICU team that had assembled: my doctor and the 2 residents by her side and the 3 nurses at my bedside. I can't even count how many were in that tiny room.
We had planned for Declan to be put on top of me immediately and Josh to cut the cord but was informed that wouldn't happen. I remember feeling very dizzy and like I was going to pass out and someone putting oxygen on my face.
I laid back and heard my doctor tell Josh to hold my shoulders. She let me know she was going to cut me a bit, but I was just staring at the lights, in another world. She told me to give a big push, and I felt my whole body being yanked down the table. I could tell Josh's grip on my shoulders was getting tighter as I felt the yanking again followed by a huge whoosh. Relief. He was out!
It was 3:48 am on Tuesday, December 22nd.
Following birth, I immediately was frantic to see him, but the NICU team had swept him away to their little incubator. I was asking all the nurses if he was ok and how big he was. I remember thinking they would tell me about APGAR scores, but no one ever did.
It seemed an eternity before they finally weighed him and gave me his stats. All I could hear around the room was, "He's a big boy! Oh my!"
Josh ran over to my bedside and told me excitedly that he has his hands. Finally, they announced his weight.
Declan was 9 lbs, 9 ozs and 21 1/2" long with a head in the 100th percentile. Dr Peters told me that she thought his head would just keep coming and coming and that it explained why I had such a horrible time with pushing him out. The doctor and resident took what seemed to be such a long time stitching me up but it could've been just a few minutes. After Declan was all checked out (which seemed an eternity) he was placed on my chest. He was perfect!
I had a really hard time the days following Declan's birth. Breastfeeding was painful. He had some minor complications due to a forceps delivery and required some additional monitoring. I was recovering from tearing, an episiotomy and being an all around train wreck in the private area. I was so grateful for the amazing team at the hospital that supported me and for my doctor's ability to avoid a c-section. I had heard from a lot of people that the doctor comes in "just to catch the baby" and my experience was the farthest from that. She had sat with me for hours encouraging me, trying to turn Declan's head and helping to guide him further down.
My husband was also the most amazing partner I could have asked for. He was constantly giving me encouragement and he definitely was much more involved than he could have imagined!
Maybe one day I will post about those first few days and how hard they were, but that's a whole other story.
I used to think a lot about our next child and what I could do differently to make it a less traumatic experience, but as Declan grows and the pain has resided I feel it doesn't even matter. This was our path, something we went through together. My little large headed baby, my husband and I ❤️
This last Monday I went on an overnight trip with my Dad, Declan and Kota. We stayed at Blue Rocks Campground which is near Hawk Mountain. It was my first time in his RV and I can't believe how nice it was!
Declan has just started to pull himself up on things which made the trip a bit more precarious than normal but it was still a great time. I have gotten pretty good at packing for a baby but am still amazed at the amount of clothes that they can go through. Especially with him crawling around now I need to remember to always bring more than I think I need, and then some. The pack and play was great to have because we could bring it inside and outside easily. My son is not trusted outdoors. In just 24 hours I can't count the amount of times that I pulled leaves, grass and rocks out of his hands and sometimes his mouth!
We had such a good time with my Dad. I can't even remember the last time that he and I did anything solo, probably over 13 years ago! It was nice to catch up over dinner and the fire. With just a small grill my dad made an awesome dinner of chicken thighs, eggplant and peppers.
Though hiking was kind of a bust due to the heat and gnat situation we got to check out the awesome boulder field and test out my new baby pack. I also was just handed down a pretty amazing little baby raft which Declan seemed tentatively excited about.
After just one night I can definitely see the appeal of an RV life. I am so excited for my dad and Nicole that they get to go on crazy adventures together! I can't wait to join in again, this time with Josh and Nicole!
**I would definitely recommend Blue Rocks Campground for tenting as well. By the boulder field there were some HUGE, very private sites that looked really cool. Hopefully by the fall the gnat situation will remedy itself. The campground has trailheads connected for the Pulpit Rock and Pinnacle trails. You can check it out here: www.bluerockscampground.com
Today was a great day. We were coming off of a great date night at Trapp Door Gastropub. It had amazing food, great beer and a very cool vibe. Declan also went down easy for my mom! Huge bonus. Josh had a softball game this morning and after he got back we just puttered around. I made some baby food and we just enjoyed our time together. Around noon we loaded up and ventured into the unbearable heat to pick up his mom and cousin and visit Lansdale. We stopped by Boardroom Spirits for the first time and checked out a dog adoption drive with my dad and stepmom. Despite the overwhelming cuteness of a certain Corgi mix, we left without a new pet. After Boardroom we went to Round Guys Brewery for lunch. It was delicious! Last time I was there they didn't really have food so it was such a nice surprise!
For dinner we headed over Karen's and had such a nice night with family.
Sometimes I can get so caught up in the day to day of raising a baby that it's hard to just stop and appreciate a day like today. Yes it was crazy hot and yes my son was cranky at moments but to just sit around with nowhere to go with the people you love is such an awesome blessing.
Huge bonus of the evening: Declan climbed a step all by himself! Totally insane.
UPDATE: right after making this post about our perfect, amazing day, Declan woke up and took 3 HOURS to go back to sleep. It was like when we first brought him home and it was really tough! Just thought I'd keep it honest and humble over here ...
In baby world, Declan has started actually eating food. For the last 2 months I would try to feed him 3 times a day and 3 times a day he would completely ignore me while trying to eat the spoon, tray or his feet. With the exception of Baby Mum-Mums (which I highly recommend) he was uninterested in anything other than milk. Then something happened. This last weekend he started opening his mouth when I'd put the spoon near him! He has started eating like a champ out of nowhere and is easily finishing each portion I have for him. With my renewed excitement about this I have made him food again. So far he is loving green bean apple puree, carrot parsley puree and a sweet potato lentil curry puree! My little foodie! This morning I gave him some little bits of egg and some tasty kale veggie burgers. He has moved on from Mum-mums to Puffs. We are loving the Happy Baby Puffs with Kale and Spinach. I'm really excited about this new revelation and can't wait to make some other puree concoctions for him. Any recommendations are welcome!
If this summer had a theme it would be travel. If it had a tagline under that it would be anxiety! In my sons short life he has slept in over 13 places and been away (in total) for over a month of his life. We have packed, unpacked, repacked, repeat. Most of these trips I knew about well before I even had a bump and so they were always present in my mind. I spent a lot of nights laying awake after I would put him back down thinking about a hundred different scenarios of how things could go wrong. Most centered on him falling. Falling off of boats, balconies and cliffs specifically. At moments I found this all consuming. I talked to my doctor and his pediatrician and at one point was taking a homeopathic anxiety medicine. As our vacations got underway I decided that I would not let this get the best of me. I was determined to enjoy myself no matter how much I was freaking out on the inside. Though I definitely had my moments (a cable car in Santorini, Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach) I found myself on the last night of our vacation on a crowded water bus in Venice. The bus was probably 200 people over its max limit and I had just been waiting on a floating dock with boats whizzing by, holding my baby. This was like the moments I had dreamt about and I felt fine. It was ok. Circumstances will always be beyond my control. If you just do the best you can, keep facing your fears and trust that God has a plan, it will be ok. Maybe not the way you think it will be ok but it will be ok. I say most of this point out that behind every beautiful picture we are all going through something. Maybe if we were all just a little more honest about our feelings, anxieties and thoughts the world would be a little kinder. Just some Wednesday morning thoughts. I hope everyone has a great day and conquers something, no matter how small. I'll leave you with some gorgeous pictures from breathtaking places :)