I JUST NEEDED TO WRITE....

November 10, 2016

It's been two days since the election and it's safe to say I have never been as affected by any public event in my entire life. I'm having a really, really hard time wrapping my head around it and yesterday I spent most of the day in a fog fighting tears. Not because I so desperately wanted Hillary Clinton or another candidate to win, but because our country chose a man who's moral character makes me sick to my stomach. I will say that again - I am okay with the fact that Hillary lost, but I am not okay with who we voted in. A man who proudly ran his campaign on racism, sexism and greed among many other nasty traits. How is this a man we can teach our children to respect? How do we say to our children work hard, be kind and generous. Be fair and righteous and treat your neighbors and fellow Americans equally? How do we teach them these things when the leader of our country is proud to be unkind, racist and sexist? How?

I have two daughters and the man we chose to run our country has been involved in numerous sexual assault cases and publicly belittles women. I am supposed to be proud and hopeful in raising them in this country? They are being raised alongside boys who are now being taught that sexual assault is okay and that you can grab and rape women and still be president of the united states. I'm terrified for them. I'm terrified for my black friends and neighbors who are already seeing and feeling blatant racism. I'm incredibly saddened for the immigrant families in our own city who are frantically leaving the country for fear of being deported and tearing their families apart. This is all happening RIGHT NOW and it's real and it hasn't even been two full days.

I'm sad and confused that so many people I know voted for Trump and many solely because of his public stance on abortion (which he only recently decided was his stance.) One issue of so many to consider when electing the president of our country. Do you not see that he is in fact anything but pro-life? He is a man who does not care about the lives of the people in our country today, right now. I care deeply about the unborn but my personal view when choosing who will run our country surrounds ALL the issues collectively. I cannot vote based on one issue, even though I do care about it deeply, because look at what we have now. This man and I'm scared. I think we are way beyond the point of arguing over who the better candidate was because that part is done, but where do we go from here? How do we ensure the safety of our black, hispanic, LGTBQ friends and of our girls? How do we unite when so many of us feel completely shattered and sick to our stomachs? How do I stand in unity with someone who's morals I now question? These are real questions and I'm trying so hard to find the light through all of this.

I would love to bring people together to discuss our differences so we can better understand each other. Maybe that's how we unite? I want to hear you, I'm just having a hard time right now.

LOOSE PARTS PLAY

October 28, 2016

I'm not sure where I have been, but I've just come to learn the term "loose parts" in reference to early education and play and I've become obsessed with the idea behind it. I stumbled upon the term over on Instagram through some inspiring Montessori, Waldorf and Mama accounts I love and have been having so much fun gathering as many loose parts as I can find around the house and in nature to put in trays and baskets for my girl to explore. I love that by offering her random objects she's forced to use her imagination in a brand new way. Traditionally with Montessori and how I set our playroom up, materials are set out and intended to be completed in a certain fashion. What I love about this is the child's ability to be independent and how it encourages a sense of accomplishment and confidence by being able to work to completion. There is a lot of space and opportunity in Montessori for creativity and art but not typically in this way - where materials are just offered to them and it's up to them to create. 

From around our house and in our yard we were able to put several trays and baskets together including, cubes, circular disks, leaves, rocks, sticks, and beads. We started saving the tops to all of our squeezies and our toilet paper and paper towel rolls as well. I also deconstructed some of our Montessori materials that Ru doesn't use much right now to create a tray of spindles, tablets, and counters, but again it will be totally up to her to decide what to do with them- earlier she created a robot with them and right now she is cooking her leaves, rocks and sticks in her play kitchen. She also discovered that if she places the wooden cubes in an interesting design, she can create a maze and uses the beads to navigate it. So cool! I can't wait to see where this new type of play takes her and her imagination! 

HALLOWEEN, THEN AND NOW

October 27, 2016

I've never been a big fan of Halloween - I suppose I enjoyed it as a child, dressing up and trick or treating around my neighborhood with friends, but I wasn't one of the kids who got so in to my costume and counted down all year long for it. Then in high school and college when friends were so excited for costume parties, I was a dud. I appeased friends and joined in on coordinating costumes (and usually had a ton of fun) but I still needed motivation to do so. But now, being a mom, it's like all those years of feeling pretty lackluster about the holiday has caught up to me and I'm making up for lost excitement. I freaking LOVE Halloween - helping my daughter choose what she wants to be, decorating our home, getting in the fall and halloween spirit - it's all just too much fun. Children have an incredible way of making us relive (or discover) childhood fun and what a gift that is. To not only see the world through their eyes, but to experience it too. 

On our hands this year we've got a lion and a polar bear and goodness sakes is it cute. HAPPY HALLOWEEEN to all! What are your littles being? Also, do you dress up with them? I think family costumes are my new favorite thing!

MOTHERHOOD, RIGHT NOW

October 12, 2016


Good grief is motherhood a doozy of a time. I mean is there anything on earth as amazing and terrible at the exact same time? Right now, motherhood for me looks like this:

One of my girls wakes up between 6:30 and 7 which means they both wake up between 6:30 and 7 which means we all wake up between 6:30 and 7.

Downstairs for breakfast, coffee, and usually a show or two while we ease into the day. I also usually reheat my coffee 87 times between the hours of 7 am 10 am.

Then up Wren and I go so I can get her down for her first nap. On the two mornings Ru has preschool we quickly change clothes, pack lunches and Wren takes her nap when we get home from drop off.

While Wreny naps, Ru and I usually play in the playroom together, do an art project or play something in the yard. We've been going through an incredibly frustrating few months where she will not do anything at home alone or in another room if me or Nick are not with her. It is extremely exhausting and we're trying to work with her on ways to make independent play fun and exciting. (I'm open to suggestions.)

When Wren wakes up I like to try to get out for errands or a walk or to the playground. Then lunch and usually another nap for Wren. Ru usually watches another show while I try to get her down for her afternoon nap. (It is the only thing she'll do alone and has been my saving grace during this season of mamahood.)

The hours of 3pm-6pm last 100 years and we are purely just trying to survive during this time frame. Somewhere in there I do usually get dinner cooked but the whole process is generally a shit show.

Bedtime starts between 6:30 and 7 for Wren and 7:30 for Ru so after dinner if we can sneak in a quick family walk we do and then the majority of our evening is spent trying to get children to sleep. Ru usually has no trouble at all (Thank the Heavens above) but Wren is possibly the world's worst baby sleeper and we've just accepted this fact and are trying to move on. I'm ready for her to be 3. (Kidding. Sort of.)

Then, maybe around 8 or 8:30 If i can keep my eyeballs open Nick and I might watch a show or have a drink on the couch together and chat. But usually I take a bath and go to bed because motherhood. I'll be up in an hour when Wren wakes up for the first of about 5 times throughout the night. (If there's important husband/wife info that needs discussing, I'll just email him tomorrow.) In the midst of my day of mothering, i'm also trying to finish unpacking and organizing our home and run a business. I'd be cool with a year long vacation if someone offered.

For real though, motherhood right now is hard. And good. But mostly hard. The most amazing thing is that I love their freaking guts and would take these days over anything else in the world. Ahhhh, motherhood.

HOME SWEET HOME

October 11, 2016

Welp, here we are, a little over a week in and gosh does it feel good to be getting settled, knowing we aren't going anywhere for a long, long while. It has been so strange, this past year, wanting to be settled in our rental but knowing that come fall we would be moving into our 'forever home.' It was was such an odd thing. But now! Now, we're here unpacking boxes and putting our favorite things in their places and it. feels. good. When we were planning what new furniture, textiles and decor we would be needing to complete the space, we knew we wanted a really large, bold, beautiful rug for our main living area. We searched for what seemed like forever and finally landed on this beauty from ECARPETGALLERY (We looked on their sit nearly every day for 6 months or so) and we couldn't be happier with it. (It's the hand-knotted Royal Heriz Dark Copper Wool Rug, FYI :) If you are looking for the perfect rug but are at a loss for where to start, the rug blog from ecarpetgallery is a good place to get some inspo. I was talking to a friend recently who has been on the hunt for over a year - buying a large rug is a big decision so I totally get that. We wanted something that would work well with our couch and end chair that we wouldn't get sick of looking at day in and day out because of how our home is laid out. The living room, entry, kitchen area is all one big room and of course where we spend the majority of our time. This decision was a big one for us. 

On another note, I'm excited to start talking more about city living with kids and hear from other's who are right in the thick of city life with kids. I feel like there is so much to learn and navigate as a mother raising kids surrounded by so much good and bad. What do I tell my daughter about the man who just walked down our street not wearing any shoes? Or why those folks were shouting on the corner? Or why she can't touch anything on the ground in that little city park on the corner? I'm kind of like, what in the world are we doing here? But I'm also like, how amazing is this!? Let's walk to the playground! Ice cream shop! Donut shop! Library! To see daddy at work! There is so much good and i'm only just beginning to learn how to navigate it all. So far I've been as honest as I can be but am keeping in mind that she is only 3 and I do need to protect her heart from anything that might feel scary to her. She knows that some people are homeless and we talk about how that would make us feel and if there is anything we could do to help. It's so hard to know what to be open and honest about with her (and eventually our baby) while also wanting to maintain her sweet innocence and naiveness.  I'd love input from others in a similar living situation!

and P.S. As a bonus for you all in honor of our new home, ecarpetgallery is offering you 20% off your first purchase with the coupon code ECGBLOGOURCITYHOUSE . WhooHoo! Happy rug shopping!

WE ARE HERE!

October 3, 2016


It's been a whirlwind of a weekend but we are here, in our home and we cannot think of a place we would rather be. I'm sitting at my kitchen island typing this and I just keep thinking, I've never had a kitchen island! It's amazing! And so surreal. The rooms of our home are coming together just as we had envisioned them and I can't wait to show you the whole place when it's done. If you have been following this journey of ours from the beginning, thanks so much for sticking around and for all the supportive words you have offered. It's hard to believe now that we started working on this dream of ours 2 years ago. We prayed, planned, got scared, got excited, felt stressed but landed here. Home. Right where we belong. More to come.

GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL

September 23, 2016


It's Friday afternoon, one babe is upstairs tucked soundly in her crib and the other is tucked snug on the couch with a movie. I've got a cup of hot coffee by my side and am feeling so inspired by a few idea's I've got brewing, plus our move which is happening in 7 days!! It is a chaotic mess in our current house which often makes my brain feel like a chaotic mess but right now, in this moment, I am just soaking it all in. How lucky are we to have two healthy children. The freedom to dream big idea's. The means to have built a new home. I just feel so grateful. In 7 days we leave this rental house - the home we welcomed our second daughter into, and move to the city to live this dream out of ours that we have been working towards for the past two years. It seems surreal. I just keep thinking, in 2 weeks time we will be completely settled into our new home (eeeeeek!) I absolutely cannot wait to get settled and show you all some photo's of our space furnished and finished. Until then, we will be packing the rest of this house up. We are so ready.

A SWEET NEW BABE

September 12, 2016

About a month ago one of my best friends in the world gave birth to her first child- a perfect little guy called Robby. He is the sweetest and it is always so crazy to me how quickly you forget about those fresh baby grunts, coos', leggie jerks and that sweet sweet smell. My nearly 8 month old seems like a toddler compared to a new, tiny babe. Anyways, here are a couple of my favorite shots I took for them. It makes my heart so happy seeing another one of my closest friends as a mama. Nothing better than mothering along side your best girls. Also, Robby's nursery is perfection. White washed wood floors, a ton of natural light and the perfect accents of modern colors and framed artwork. Love you guys!

3 WEEKS TO GO

September 2, 2016

I can't believe our year of 'in between' is coming to and end. When we set out on this journey of transitioning from semi urban life to fully immersed downtown living over two years ago, we hoped for this time but it just seemed so far away. Two and a half years ago when we talked about wanting to live in the city, we would go back and forth and weigh all the pro's and cons. After a lot (a lot!) of discussion between ourselves and with friends, we decided to jump in and go for it. To be fair, it was mostly me who was on the fence about moving our family downtown (it's always been Nick's dream) but I decided to support Nick's dream and just commit to the experience and process. Also, how cool would it be to live in a home that was designed by Nick!? Isn't that any young architects dream? Once I made the decision it was so easy to get totally on board and have a ton of fun dreaming of what our life in the city would look like. Now, 2 plus years later, our house is nearly finished, there are boxes all over our rental, we have another human in our family and life just couldn't be sweeter. This little rental house has been nothing but wonderful for us while we finished the designing and building of our home and it honestly will be bittersweet to leave it but oh my goodness, the excitement of actually living in OUR home, the home we have dreamed of is overwhelming. Aside from being in a space that we have designed to be totally our own and decorate exactly as we want, we are also so excited to be able to walk everywhere (everywhere!) Parks, restaurants, coffee shops, work, friends houses, theaters, bars, all of it - we just cannot wait! We also have a driveway and our own backyard which is rare for downtown living and I'm just so grateful we were able to find a lot that allowed for us to have those spaces. For now I'm enjoying these last 3 weeks in our rental as much as I can amidst the boxes. It's been sweet but we're ready for this next chapter. Bring it on y'all. 

// Here are some construction photo's if you're interested. (If you follow me on IG you've already seen these.) Can't wait to share all the finished spaces here soon!

OFF SHE GOES

August 30, 2016

In exactly one week, my first baby will be starting Montessori preschool, two mornings a week. I cannot believe the time has come for my baby to go to school! Like seriously, 3.5 years has gone by already since that first time I held her tiny 5lbs body in my arms and said, 'Hi honey. I'm your mama. I love you so much.' Huh!? The thing is, I could not be more excited for her. She is so ready and SO excited to go - to make new friends, to explore her amazing classroom and to have teachers. She thinks she is a big shot and you know what? She is. She has grown from happy little baby to happy little 'big' girl and while she is not always the easiest thing now (hello threenager) she is pure joy.

The other really incredible thing for this mama is that she is starting her school career in the same exact classroom I taught in 3 years ago. Being the parent instead of teacher is so surreal and seeing her work in the same environment I prepared for all my little students years ago does my heart good. She has the most amazing teachers who I know will love her so well and nurture her little heart and mind. Knowing and loving her teachers makes this transition for me so much easier too. I love everything about her school and feel so good about how well it aligns with our family vision. We have the option to keep her there all the way through high school part time or full time and homeschool the rest. It is such a unique educational program and the fact that she can go to school AND be homeschooled makes me happier than you know. All the things that are good about school, she can experience still and all the things that are good about homeschool, she will experience too.

We are off today for her one on one work time with her teachers and then next week we start this new routine. I think it is going to be so good and I cannot wait to see my baby spread her little wings and fly. I'm so proud of you, Ru.

SLEEP TRAINING

August 17, 2016

If you remember my last post, you know I was in the trenches of no sleep, at my whits end, running purely on fumes and coffee. It was HARD and I knew I needed to change something about our routine because no one was thriving and we were all tired and cranky. After reading a handful of books and every blog post I could find on sleep training I was feeling especially defeated. I didn't align well with any of the methods and needed to do something that would start working in a few days time. I just could not go on much longer the way we were living. I had tried Cry It Out half heartedly in the past but was not consistent because I just didn't feel like it was right for us. I couldn't do it no matter how hard I tried, but I knew Wren needed to learn to sleep some place other than my arms for more than 30 minutes and I wasn't sure how to go about that without having her cry. After talking to my husband about some options - should we hire a sleep consultant? which method will work for our high need baby? yada yada yada. We decided to take what we read and sort of make up our own method that felt right to us and that we hoped would be effective. So here's the run down on our routine now. Also, before I go into it let me just say, IT IS WORKING! We are on the 11th day and I never thought we would get here. Starting out on day one felt beyond daunting. I almost didn't even want to try because I could not see the light at the end but here we are, not perfect, but a world of difference and SO much happier.

I basically call this a very gentle cry it out method where after our sleep routine, I lay her down awake and leave, BUT then as soon as she starts to cry I go to her, pat her bum, shush or sing and stay with her the entire time until she falls asleep. This way she knows I am there (the idea of her feeling like she has been abandoned was the reason I could not get behind true extinction CIO.) The first day she screamed (screamed!) for an hour and a half every single time I put her down which was 4 times that day (3 day naps and bedtime.) I cried every time with her. It was just so hard not to pick her up but I knew if I picked her up she would think her crying would always lead to me picking her up and I so badly needed her to know she was safe in her own bed. It was also extremely time consuming but again, we so needed this. On the second day, the crying (again with me there with her) lasted maybe 30 minutes each time. Little by little it just kept getting better and better. Here we are on day 11 and she is able to put her self to sleep with no crying, in her own bed, in about 10 minutes for her morning and afternoon nap. IT IS LIFE CHANGING and so freaking awesome. I never, in a million years thought we'd get here. (PRAISE HANDS.)

 Bedtime is still somewhat hard because it is when she is most tired and my baby does not do well overtired. So she is still crying when we put her down for the night for about 25 minutes. We'll get there though. Now, through the night is a bit different because we all need to get sleep then. Here's what we do:

Bedtime: 6:30 (Usually asleep around 7)
The sleep routine is the same for day and night sleep and it's pretty typical:
Close door
Lights out
Sound machine on
Nurse
Say I love you, close your eyes, it's time for sleep
Lay her down and walk out
If she wakes before 10, I do not nurse her or pick her up but continue with the patting and shushing until she falls back asleep. Then after that if she wakes, I do get her and nurse. Sometimes I put her back in her bed, (which I should note is in our room, right next to my side of the bed) sometimes I don't, but I NEVER let her stay attached to the nipple anymore. If I can feel that she is just pacifying I unlatch her and roll over so she can go to sleep without me. She has been sleeping 3-4 hour stretches through the night, which sounds terrible but 11 days ago she was only sleeping 40 minute stretches so I am extremely pleased with this progress.

I know there are so many different methods and ways to help a baby sleep better. This is what we decided to do and I think no matter what, the most important thing is to be 100% committed and 100% consistent. They need to know the routine to get comfortable with it and inconsistency will confuse and regress the entire process, and I think this is also why it is so important for you to use a method that feels right to you.

So, if you are a sleep deprived mama reading this, struggling to get through your days, I hear you. It is hard and feels impossible. Im here to say though that it can be better. You are strong and determined and patient and one heck of a mama. You can do anything you set your heart to. (Thank you to my husband for saying these exact words to me 11 days ago.)

THIS SEASON OF MOTHERHOOD

August 3, 2016


If you follow me over on Instagram (@ourcityhouse) you know it's been a tough 6 months for me adjusting to life with two babes. When I had Ruthie 3 1/2 years ago I remember feeling somewhat guilty when talking with other new moms about how easy I eased into motherhood. Ru was an easy babe, I had no one else to care for except her and I was just on cloud 9 being a mother. While I'm still pretty much on cloud 9 over being a mama, my sweet little Wren is a much different baby. I had a lot of expectations of what she would be like as a second child. Laid back, easy going, super easy. What choice would I have? I'd be so busy with a 3 year old she would just have to be! I thought. Her very first night of life earthside she demanded to be in my arms to sleep. You know those plastic bassinets they want your baby to sleep in in the hospital? She was not having any of it. Literally the second you laid her down in there she cried. It's actually quiet reassuring to me knowing I haven't trained her to sleep so poorly. She just is the way she is and always has been. But let me tell you, to have a baby who sleeps terribly and another child to care for is HARD. The hardest thing I've ever done. Right now she takes around 4 naps a day because they are all only about 30 minutes long and wakes up usually between 4 and 8 times each night. (We've tried all the sleep training methods. Nothing works) And I. AM. TIRED. I have been carrying a lot of guilt about how much time Ru is forced to spend playing by herself or watching TV so I can keep trying to get the baby down for naps. I know this will all be over soon because really, where does the time go? But you know when you're in the trenches and you can't imagine ever climbing out? That is where I'm at right now. Getting out of the house helps and so after Wren takes a morning nap (which is the easiest one to get her down for, but still will only last maybe 40 minutes) I usually load them up and we go to the park or run errands or whatever. Just something to get us out. The rest of the day is a crap shoot whether or not Wreny will nap and she usually just ends up overtired because I cannot spend every hour trying to get her to sleep. Another thing I feel so guilty about.

I know I will miss her gummy kisses and soft, sweet cheeks and her huge smile every time we make eye contact and her baby laugh and coo's, (because my gosh, she is so damn sweet) BUT, I really am ready for us all to get out of this season - to be able to go out with my girlfriends (because what do you know, she refuses a bottle) and to be able to sleep more than an hour or two at a time. One day, right?

So here's to the other mama's struggling to survive. Just like me, I know you love your babies so damn much it hurts, but I also know you'd love a break. I'm here with you. We're doing it. And we should be proud.

HOUSE PROGRESS

July 21, 2016

Back of the house

Side of house, standing in driveway. Showing entry windows and pine wood wrap.

It's been a while since I've posted a proper update on our house. A LOT has been happening and the progress of the house is just blowing my mind. I'm so so excited for drywall to go up (this next week!) to start being able to show some interior progress as well. Here's the rundown of where we're at:
-Siding is up. Still needs to be painted (a very dark grey)
-Brick work will begin very, very soon. Most of the front facade is brick (also a dark grey.) It's been tricky trying to get a good front photo since there are always cars parked on the street and we have a very large, beautiful tree right in front of the house. 
-Interior- electric, plumbing, hvac - all run. 
-entire interior framed and ready for drywall.
-windows and sky lights are all installed.
-light fixtures ordered for entire home.
-appliances ordered.
-super close to finalizing and ordering kitchen cabinets and countertops.
-hardwood flooring ordered.

I'm sure i'm forgetting some other things that have been checked off the list. The whole process has been really fun and really overwhelming. I cannot say enough how thankful I am that Nick knows what the heck he is doing and has a calm, relaxed personality. Can't imagine working through a project of this scale with anyone else. Our contractor says we are on time and the house should be completed sometime in September! That is SO soon and we cannot wait to be home. I'll update again on the interior!

OUR CITY HOUSE / KITCHEN INSPIRATION

May 16, 2016

image source 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
We are so excited to finally be at a place in our build where we are picking our finishes. Almost two years in the making and now we're here! We broke ground at the end of April and even though we are in the 'boring' parts of the build (foundation, concrete forms, etc.) it has been so fun going down to watch them work.

The kitchen has been the most fun to design and the above images each have elements in them that ours will also have. Being the heart of the home we really wanted this space to feel warm, unique and functional. Originally we wanted to go with the all white and wood look, but the more we thought about it, the more we decided to do something a bit more unique. So, as of now we are going with a white textured quartz countertop for both the counter and island, slate appliances and slate colored lower cabinets, a light grey ceramic tile from counter to ceiling and reclaimed wood open shelving. I don't care if open shelving is a trend - I love it so. Our layout is very similar to the top image, I love the wood and cabinet hardware in the second, the tile is perfect in the third and the cabinet color in the bottom is just right. Now to get it all sourced and ordered! Stay tuned!

MONTESSORI AT HOME // PRACTICAL LIFE

March 23, 2016

We've been in full on Montessori mode over here and my 3 year old daughter couldn't be loving it more. It's been a while since my last Montessori post and as we get closer to her starting part time preschool in the fall and us starting part time homeschool at the same time, I wanted to start sharing some of the every day things we do around here. Her favorite activities are practical life work. She loves taking care of our house the way she has seen me do. Anything with water especially is a hit. Mopping and watering the house plants are what you see here. Both are super simple to 'set up' and are wonderful in teaching self control, honing large and fine motor skills and heck, they help you out too! She was taught to spray into the soil- 5 sprays each plant. Hearing her count as she sprays is so great and I love that it teaches her how to properly take care of the plants, not just go crazy with water in the house. 

The mop you see is from the Melissa and Doug cleaning set and the spray bottle, we picked up at target. 

OUR CITY HOUSE

February 25, 2016

About a year ago I started a new Instagram account with the handle, @OURCITYHOUSE. We had quietly been working on a dream of ours to design and build our own home in the middle of the city and I knew I wanted a place to not only document my passion for motherhood but the process of building a unique home from the ground up. The best thing about the project is that Nick, my husband, is the architect and developer so we have been able to go at our own pace, making every decision along the way. It's been both exciting and exhausting and now we are so ready to break ground and see this project come to life some place other than the computer screen (The photos are of the back and front of our lot.) We have one more step ahead of us before we can do so though. The neighborhood we are building in is historic and so we need to have our exterior design approved by a board to make sure the aesthetic is in line with the neighborhood. Nick has been working on that presentation every waking moment for the past several weeks. Fingers crossed we break ground mid-late March!

I'm really excited to use my blog as a place to document this journey. Design choices, interior aesthetic, the building process, budget, moving our family to the city- the whole shabang. Hopefully we can help answer questions about design and building if you are interested or in a similar position. Stay tuned!



VICTOR ATHLETICS

February 22, 2016

It is really no secret that I am a jeans and t-shirt girl through and through. Running errands, grabbing coffee with friends, a night out (I just tuck it in and throw a pair of clogs on) - It's my uniform day in and day out. In the same category, a good pair of sweat pants that looks good in public is key to someone who swears by the jeans and tee uniform. That's where Victor comes in. A couple friends of ours started the brand not too long ago after seeing success from their denim co. Noble. Now, Nick and I are obsessed with Victor. Sweats, Tee's and sweatshirts, we own almost everything they make and I cannot tell you enough how these basic pieces, incredibly well made here in the US are game changers for someone who likes to dress casually. I'm so comfy every day (because let's admit, as a mom that is kind of top priority) but I think I still look good in these well fitting basics. The women's jogger is something new they put out and gosh, I love them so much! This style pant is so popular right now with the tapered, cropped ankle and I couldn't love the trend  more. 

As a fun sidenote - The Victor storefront here in Cincinnati is directly next door to where we are building our new home. This could be lethal to our bank account, but mostly I'm so excited for good friends and a really great business to be next to us :) 

WREN KYLE

January 28, 2016

Our sweet little Wren has been with us for just seven days and already i've wondered how we lived without her for so long. I spent the past nine months struggling, like really struggling, with how I would love another little girl as I do my first and then she was placed in my arms and the fear and anxiety I felt the entire pregnancy melted away. It was like I could breathe again - one giant inhale of sweet, sweet, baby love.

Wreny came to us through a planned c-section. It was a super hard decision for me to make (which I wrote about HERE) but in the end I'm glad I chose it, mostly because her and I are both healthy and home and that was all I ever wanted. Very early on the morning of January 21 nick and I woke knowing it was the day we would be becoming parents to two children. I was so nervous, scared and anxious. Nervous for the actual c-section, anxious for how my Ru would handle this huge change, did she sleep well at her grandparents, when would I get to hold both my babies, am I going to feel that connection right away with this one?

When we arrived at the hospital we checked in (so calmly) and waited in a waiting room until they were ready to take me back. Talk about a nerve wracking thirty minutes. Once I was back in pre-op I was hooked up to an IV and the baby was monitored while I was prepped. A little over an hour or so later they were ready to take me back. I was so anxious about the epidural. Remembering my experience with the epidural for Ruthie's birth had me on edge - I was in the midst of hard contractions and it was just plain painful. I was wheeled back and we got right to it. My nurse was amazing and held my hands and told me I was doing so good while they injected the epidural. Isn't it funny how we need to be nurtured and treated like children in times like these? Her words and touch really helped me through the pain and fear.  It hurt but I did it and I'm proud that I was able to do it with a little bit of courage. A few minutes later I was completely numb and ready to go. My doctor came in and said something like, here we go! Which put a big smile on my face. Nick came in and it was game on. After only a few more minutes my doctor said okay, she's coming! I felt some big pressure (but no pain) and then heard that sweet cry and saw that sweet face. Gah, it was over! She was here! They weighed her and wrapped her up and put her in Nick's arms. He put her to my face so  we could touch and so I could smooch those little lips and nose for the very first time. Once they were finished with me, just a few minutes later, I had her in my arms. My little 6 lbs 2 oz Wreny girl. I had tears streaming down my cheeks - just so happy it was over and so happy I felt so much love for her already. The very definition of the word relieved. When I got back to recovery I nursed her right away and she stayed on for a solid 45 minutes. My little nursing champion.

It was very uneventful (thankfully) and we spent the next 48 hours in the hospital snuggled up. Ru came to see her baby sister just a couple hours after she was born and it was pure bliss for this mama. Today my Wren is 1 week old and our house has been filled with so much love I can hardly stand it. I have two girls now. I'm just in awe.

THE DAY BEFORE WE BECOME FOUR

January 20, 2016

I woke up in my little girl's bed as I usually do these days to a sweet little kiss on my cheek followed by a too enthusiastic for it still being dark outside, "Mama! It's wake up time! I'm gonna go see if Daddy's awake!" It's the normal around here - Me sleeping in my daughters bed with her about halfway through the night until morning. Today when I woke though something was sweeter and a bit heavier at the same time - is this the last time I'll do this? Tomorrow at this exact time i'll have another little soul to nourish and care for. She'll be in my arms and my heart will grow in a way I'm not yet able to understand. I'm a mess of emotion and it's that kind of emotion where you can't even put words to it. Excited, sad, scared, anxious, overwhelmed, consuming, grateful. 

So today I am loving the little girl I've had all to myself for nearly three years like you wouldn't believe. The streets, sidewalks and yards are covered in a beautiful layer of snow and my girl is beyond excited to get out there to 'make footprints and run around.' We'll do just that, sweet girl. Probably followed by some hot cocoa, a warm bath together and some snuggles on the couch. 

Tomorrow we become four.

 

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