Friday, December 21, 2012

365 days of Autumn


One Year.


We did it! We kept this little nugget safe and sound for a whole year - I dropped her (she tumbled off my lap) for the first time when she was a year + 1 day - weird how that seriously feels like an achievement for me...

Autumn Olivia is a funny baby. She love to laugh and has a fantastic chortle that comes out of nowhere and lasts as long as she feels the desire. She claps, nods and shakes her head, points, bobs, bounces, stomps, and scowls like nobodies business.

She loves to eat - I almost said "she loves food" but anyone who's spent time with her knows she'll eat anything and everything. She's bubbly and once she's comfortable she's REALLY comfortable. It doesn't take too long for her to warm up to people, which I love. She also chatters nonstop and the volumes she reaches are surprising. Her yummy food noises last the duration of her meal. She appreciates vocally which I appreciate myself. Those baby ravioli didn't warm themselves up in the microwave for 12 seconds...

It's been the fastest, most wonderful and sleepless year of our lives. She's the most precious thing in the world to us and we love her more than anything.

(I'm a little worried about what the terrible 2's will be like since she's already pretty mischievousness!)

Christmas love

This time last year I was lying in bed recuperating from birthing our beautiful baby girl. Since a little before the birth that took place in our home, on our incredibly uncomfortable, navy blue Ikea couch I've thought a lot about Mary. The journey she made whilst heavy with child. Being far from home and no doubt feeling very out of place.

Our Christmas tree had a few gifts under it although none were purchased by us. We spent the day (the week, the month!) watching our newborn and feeling incredibly peaceful. Christmas changed last year.

Our tree this year has less under it than last year and yet we've never felt Christmas more.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Now.

It's true, I can't help but dream about the future and my idea of what it's going to be like to be settled down, living somewhere that doesn't have white walls. A garden with flowers - being able to afford to buy seeds for flowers and paint for walls! Oh my! It looks so nice.

I'm so glad I have this little nugget to keep me in the now where I enjoy the shrieks and squeals, giggles, teeth that appear overnight, fluff-off-the-carpet eating little baby.

Rosy cheeks.
Chubby feet.
Fuzzy head.
Waving hula hands.


My charming little baby.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

One whole year.

We had our family picture taken earlier this month by Wendy of Blue Lily. She's a kindred spirit and I love her to bits. She first took our picture last March in San Francisco right before we somehow (?) ended up pregnant - I'm not blaming them, I'm *just* saying that it was the only thing we did differently that month ;)

One year later we were able to have her take our picture again, this time as a family of three, and Autumn is the squishy one in the pic instead of  me!
Photos by Blue Lily



Excuse me whilst I go make sure I'm not pregnant again...

You can see my weight loss blog here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Chicken legged baby.

I'm getting to that stage where I can think about having another baby someday. My nether regions are feeling better. My routine has settled. I feel like I've got the hang of this! Mostly, when I see pictures of Autumn all tiny and floppy my heart breaks a little because that tiny baby is one sturdy chunk now and time has gone SO fast, but I also get pretty excited since I've kept her in one piece this whole time. It's weird to miss that tiny little creature that was always puking on me and keeping me up ALL night... those were seriously hard days, and even harder nights. The emotions are like a warm front and a cold front clashing.

I'm so excited to see her learn new things every day and to be introduced to little specks of her character but I do also really miss that little squeaky, chicken legged, pink, eyelashless human that I was terrified "they'd" take away from me because she wouldn't eat, that we didn't bath for a full week because we were too scared to... I miss that sleepy little being a lot even though she was only about for a few months.

I never imagined motherhood feeling like this. Nor did I understand what it was to love unconditionally or so fiercely until Autumn.


Someday... maybe... yeah... Oh how we love her!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The wisdom of strangers.


In March of 2010 I took a trip home to Scotland on my own for 7 weeks. The whole experience was something I'll treasure forever - being the 5th of 6 kids having time alone with my parents like that was something I never experienced before. But that's beside the point...

I had a window seat next to an Indian woman, on the plane. We made a little small talk on our journeys to our homes. She had been in the US visiting her son who is a doctor in Seattle. She told me how she visits twice a year on her own and how proud she is of her only child. She asked me if I had a husband and told me how her husband is successful in Delhi and a little about the history of her country and the similarities between Scottish history and Indian history. Ok, I made small talk and she talked big.

She noticed I didn't eat during the flight and gave me some dried prunes she had brought with her. Then she asked if I had any children.

"No," I said. The usual feeling of embarrassment and shame followed as I expected her to pity me like most did. It was routine by then.

"Do you want children?"

"We do."

"Can I give you some advice?" she asked as she looked me up and down.

"Yes." Everyone has advice. Everyone is a critic, I thought. Everyone has some sort of judgement to vocalise.

"You need to lose weight and eat more fiber if you want to have children."

Plain and simple. Painless. The exchange has stayed with me and I kept it to myself for a long time kind of treasuring it and mulling it over. The way she looked at me and judged how to deliver the tip. Blunt. Seriously blunt. And I'd never heard that one before!

I wish I could show her, although I'm sure she knows she was right but I did it.

Indian lady on the plane, I did it.

Thank you.


Do you know the benefits of losing 5-10% of your body weight in regards to fertility? It's astounding.
Read a short article about it here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer, nostalgia and such.

Summer. 6 weeks of often rain with a little sunshine if we were lucky. How we used to live for those few weeks! I remember the last week of school before summer holidays being so exciting. We'd run out of school work and so the teacher would have us clean out our trays, take our projects and pictures off the walls, run little errands around school. We'd have longer breaks because there was less to do.

The last day of school would come. A half day. The whole morning was like one long sigh; no more homework! No more stress! No more teachers! Then we'd go home and would have nothing to do...

BUT, those bored-days aren't what I remember thinking back about summer. The first few weeks of summer for a good handful of years were spent picking strawberries in the field near my home. We'd go as a family and work from early in the morning to late afternoon to save up for our summer holiday. It was hard work. Hard, horrible work. I actually hated it more than pretty much anything. Kneeling all day in soggy, dirty driels (the rows strawberries are planted in), leaning over dusty strawberry plants and judging the fruit before sorting them into their classes. Thinking back I remember not working very hard but just hating it. My mum and dad would work all day long without any complaining. That's what parents do. Then we'd walk home and my mum would make dinner for us. The skin on her hands cracked and stained and there she'd be making us dinner... It's only when you look back that you recognise these things.

One summer I remember coming home from school knowing we wouldn't be going anywhere that year due to finances less existent than usual but my mum and dad had managed to buy us a few summer games to keep us entertained. Croquet and tether ball are the two I remember specifically. That was also the year my dad made us a pool by tying a huge blue tarp to the corners of the fence...

In recent summers with Stuart we've roadtripped to new places and made a point of getting out to see things instead of spending too much money on parks or amusements. We're probably in a very similar financial situation that my parents were in those strawberry picking years. Capitola, The Redwoods, Seattle, Salt Lake - so much to see and we're so easily entertained!

I love imagining what memories we'll make with Autumn. What will she remember most?

I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Infertility: Part 1

It's no secret that we waited a long time to have Autumn, or to be given Autumn. After 6 1/2 years of being married I'd given up hope of having a baby and had come to terms with the idea of Stuart and I being together forever, just the two of us. I stopped focusing on "replenishing the earth" and got on with my life - weight loss and education took the front seat whilst I adjusted to shrugging off my monthly disappointment. It was easier to carry on without the pangs of hopelessness than I expected. I wondered why I didn't do it sooner and I was surprised how I didn't feel guilty getting on with my life and not hoping for the gift I thought womanhood owed me.

Womanhood. In my darkest hours I wondered what the point was. Why was I a woman when my body wouldn't function womanly. Why was I cursed with a monthly reminder that I was broken? Would I always have to suffer physically and mentally for nothing? What was the point? Mother Nature was a jerk.

There was no earthly reason why we were still childless 7 years later. We did what we were meant to do when we were supposed to, and when we wanted to. I could only imagine what a positive pregnancy test looked like. Watching friends have their first, second, third, fourth, and a couple of fifth kids became unbearable pretty early on. Heart breaking. My mum always said that I would have babies which broke my heart even more. Not only was I waiting but other people were too.

We were done. Fine, whatever, Heavenly Father. Our 7 year anniversary came and our hearts started to heal. It was a fresh start. Plans of projects, traveling places; a future just the two of us. Then 3 months later I was sick. Sick, exhausted, emotional. Pregnancy never crossed my mind. I'd stopped making an effort in that department months ago. The stress of school had filled the space left by the stress of not getting what I wanted. I couldn't remember being so stressed before. I started sleeping all day. I only ate shredded wheat, I had no taste for anything anymore. I'd cry when Stuart left for school so sad to be alone and cry when he got back because I was so happy. All of this seemed normal behaviour for a stressed-beyond-belief person.

Stuart suggested I take a pregnancy test. I said I could wait a month to let Mother Nature do her own. Stuart reminded me Mother Nature hadn't showed up for a while.

I took a test.

Mother Nature was a jerk, I didn't change my mind about that but she was also a control freak.

She let me be pregnant on her terms.

Photo by Blue Lily

Realness.

I felt a little pathetic as I explained to Stuart why I stopped reading some of my once favourite blogs. I kept up on these lives religiously, dedicating time every morning to catch up with my "friends". It took a while before I noticed I'd be uncharacteristically gloomy after reading some of these colourful and splendid journals filled with clean hardwood floors, frame and plate adorned walls, weekend trips to sunny places. Slender bodies clad in expensive, "modest" swim suits. Handsome husband's in bowties and glasses, hats. Babies and puppies adoring red lipped mothers, always smiling. Blessed lives. Why wouldn't they always be smiling? Traveling, eating out, accessorising, taking pictures with cameras that use instant film, cupcakes, vintage furniture, bands I never heard of. Props, bi-annual family portraits, heirloom engagement rings.

There I sat in a house far away from my family, overweight, uneducated and alone all day. Struggling to make ends meet, stranded, childless. Helpless and sitting on an uncomfy couch, dealing with chronic back pain and the inability to sleep for longer than 45 minutes at a time. I had a husband going to a school he hated, memorising things he disagreed with in order to pass exams that drained our bank account, dreading graduating and having to live being in a profession he felt would prevent him progressing in life, and worst of all being associated with radicals. The other side of the coin was to drop out and disappoint family and be left with an incredible amount of debt with nothing to show for it. Sleepless nights, anxiety, fear, depression.

I had to stop. Deep fascination with these lives was not enough for me to be able to relate to these people. It was easy to think of them as my friends when they really weren't. At the end of reading and witnessing these dream lives I was left empty and slightly sick. I'd question why I wasn't living these lives. Why was life not working out for us when we were working so hard and struggling so incredibly?

Comparison IS the thief of joy.

It doesn't even matter! Those lives are not mine. We all have different experiences, the potential to do different wonderful things, the ability to touch lives in different ways. Here's to facing forward and making the most of what we have, whether we have a lot of things or not.




Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wanderlust.

One of the main things I have in common with my dad is the fascination for new places. New places and seeing in general. I grew up with my head stuck in atlases and an old copy of The Automobile Association book of British Towns; a thick dictionary type book that was kept under the stairs in the white bookcase by the church library, it is filled with information and photos of every town on the British Isles. I could sit for hours flipping through my reference books, skimming the glossary, studying the old photographs. Memorising place names, page numbers, the contents of each square on the map. Lists and lists of places, routes, points of interest tucked between the pages. History. Stories. People. Complete, uncontrollable consumption of my being. 

I'm always consumed with Wanderlust. I have lists of places and things I want to see filed in my mind like a catalogue of postcards I'm yet to buy. I lie in bed and prompt pleasant dreams by imagining these places only to find myself overwhelmed and basically itching to get out and go, and see. Who needs sleep?! Wanderlust turns into some kind of wicked Wanderenvy. Friends post pictures of where they are and I NEED to be there. I need to see that. I need that blue sky, white sand, green grass, snowy mountain, fluffy clouds, cold wind, fresh air. I need to see and feel all that for myself.

My absolute best memories involve some kind of wandering. The summer we went to Bath, England. The summer Stuart and I decided to go on a spontaneous trip down the Oregon coast with his sister Megan. The time Stuart took me to see Paul Bunyan and I screamed I was so excited. The day we went on a tour of as many temples in Utah that we could before getting tired. Trips to zoos, beaches, bridges, piers, parks, ghost towns, vista points, monuments, farmers markets, museums, cemeteries. Every single place is plotted on a map in my mind. They become a part of my spirit, fueling my need to wander. Unquenchable.

It's exciting for me to think about where we're going to end up. Exciting because hopefully it means we find a place we love more than the rest and we're willing and ready to put down roots. It seems unlikely to happen any time soon. Until then we'll continue wandering.

And dreaming.




Friday, August 3, 2012

The little blog that would.

Life has changed so much over the last 3 years alone that looking back on my blog posts I can hardly recognise who wrote them. That is why they're gone and everything looks different. I feel different - I've grown, look different - I've shrunk, I am different. It seems appropriate to strip the walls and put up a fresh coat of paint, rearrange the furniture a bit.

It was either that or abandon ship for good. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

6 months

I haven't taken Autumn's 6 month pictures yet but can't let today (her first, half birthday) pass without a mention of who she's becoming.

  • She's mastered sitting alone which means she's entertaining herself a lot more. 
  • She's trying to roll over but isn't quite there but tummy time is getting a little more fun for her, so soon!
  • She's discovered her toes and will have them in her mouth by the end of the week if she has anything to do with it. 
  • She seems to be recognising her name when we say it. 
  • She's still happy and smiley and easily excited.
  • Carrots and sweet potatoes are her favourite.
  • She slept in her crib last night for the first time and woke up twice - once at 2am to eat and again at 4am where she settled herself back to sleep which doesn't happen often at all!
  • She growls, giggles, screeches, screams, laughs, chuckled and has the funniest, sweetest little yawning sound.
  • She's growing like a weed and doesn't have much in the way of clothes the fit her anymore - Granny will be here in 9 days to stock the wardrobe!
  • She's tickley all over - ribs, neck, armpits, thighs, buns, feet.
We're in love with her. She gets more and more fun with every day, somehow. 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

5 months

My cheeky Autumn baby turned 5 months old this last week. I think 5 months has changed her from my little baby to a big baby. She's a lump. A lump of squishy shrieks, slobber, and happy. She's grabby, her head is fuzzier, her squeals are louder and sharper, her chubby ankles are always crossed, and she likes to stroke things.
She's sitting up for longer periods of time and is still very social - we love staying with Stuart's aunt and uncle right now because their house is always bustling with people and Autumn loves watching everyone and hearing all the Hi-Autumn's and seeing how excited they make her. I also love feeling that she's "our baby", as in everyone's baby - everyone loves her and are happy to claim her as theirs. She's so sweet.
I still think she's the funniest baby on the planet. She's a happy little thing with a smile for pretty much everybody. I love watching her react to faces and voices. Seeing her recognise people is like watching a little miracle - her little brain is working, her eyes are working, she's remembering and associating... I love that. It's amazing.


Yesterday she mastered swallowing food properly and guzzled some baby oatmeal mixed with peaches right when I was ready to give up on feeding her - ending with MORE in the bowl than I started with was getting a bit ridiculous but she got it and I think it's the start of some serious feedings for her!


I'll probably be crying about all this stuff (and the extras) next month because she'll be half way to a year old and time is going too quickly for me. I'm just glad her 2 little teeth that poked through for a day went away back in and I get a little more time with these gums...

Yep, we're still smitten.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Home Sweet Ogden

We never planned on living in Utah ever. Stuart has always had a strong opinion not really based on anything particular when it's come to that opinion but it goes like this "people in Utah are the worst drivers!", "Utah is too dry!", "Utah mormon's are so weird." It goes on and on...

Last night we found a listing on KSL for a great looking little home. Stuart emailed the landlord and we heard back pretty quickly that the contract for the place had just been signed. Lame. It's fun looking at and for places but it gets to be enough at some point and I was done not finding what we were looking for. I went online late last night miffed and found a completely new listing for a duplex unit... a pretty perfect looking duplex unit in South Ogden. Stuart emailed promptly, we heard back and this morning we went to see the property.

We move in on Wednesday and it feels perfect!

Firsts: food

Autumn normally sleeps from 11:30pm until around 8am - really nothing to shake a stick at but the last few nights she's been going to sleep later and waking up at 4am for a quick feed. Horrible. So we decided it's time to give her a little something extra - rice cereal. We didn't expect her to be so hungry until another month so we had to go buy her a high chair and a bowl and spoon.

It went well. Tomorrow we'll try it a little thicker. She liked it fine although I don't know how much of it she actually swallowed...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Shoshone Falls

Shoshone Falls is somewhere I've seen pictures of and had it on my bucket list. It was a surprise to be passing it on our trip down here and so we took the opportunity to stop and stretch our little leggies there. Stuart wasn't sure the $3 parking would be worth it. Let's just say he'd have happily paid $5! What a treat for the eyes that was. We added some squished pennies to Autumn's collection too. Bonus.





Twin Falls, Idaho.

We ironed out the financial aid mess that was stopping us from making our move down here on Tuesday and packed up to leave Washington on Thursday evening. Stuart drove through the night whilst the baby slept which was really a perfect idea and if we need to go anywhere far away any time soon (let's hope not) that's how we'll travel. We stopped in Meridian, Idaho at about 7am and went to our hotel to clean up and get a few hours of sleep. Check out was at noon so it was a luxury stop and a bit of a life saver.

We left Meridian and started our final stretch to Saratoga Springs, Utah making a couple of little scenic stops along the way. It's music to my ears when Stuart says "do you want to stop?" when we're driving through a place. It makes me absolutely giddy! Of course I want to stop! Seeing is my fave!


Twin Falls, Idaho was such a treat. The valley just appears out of nowhere, and the bridge? Magnificent!
Thanks for stopping for me, Stu :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Starting afresh.

I've had a lot of time to think, whether not I've been fully focused or aware of it at the time is another story. I have been thinking though and that's partly why this blog was sitting in time out for so long. I was punishing it because it was depressing me. Then I realised by not recording and sharing my normal, awkward, poor life I'm not being honest, and lying is bad.

First, I've unsubscribed from blogs that distract me. Bloggers who are too much for me to handle; too sunny lives that don't seem real and discourage me from living because I'll never shop at Anthropologie etc. I'm removing discouraging distractions.

Next, I'm making goals -
  • starting my own business, creating and selling art prints and soon tshirts. I'm doing it and trying to be affordable. Recognising that I don't have walls covered in artwork because I can't justify spending money on things like that at this stage of my life. I don't want naked walls so I'm making stuff I like and hoping other people like it too, enough to buy them.
  • I have projects, goals, projects, and goals! I'll be posting these on my website too.
  • losing weight. I'm 1lb away from losing a full 50lbs and feel pretty great! I think I'll lose 20 more and be done.
  • taking pictures. I'm going to start again AND I'm going to print them too. Huge goal! I'm going to try and share some on facebook and some on here instead of posting everything on facebook. I don't want to be boring. I'm also working on finding balance.
I'm not like other people so why should not being like other people discourage me so much from sharing what I am? Do any other bloggers have this complex?

So, hi there. I'm Laura. Sometimes I wear the same tshirt for 2 days in a row. I have a new love for yoghurt that's verging on an addiction, no joke.Yoghurt used to make me gag for the first 26 years of my life then a month before having Autumn I ate one and I've had one a day for the last 5 months. Tillamook is my favourite yoghurt brand, and yes, I spell yoghurt with an "h". Also, I only own 2 pairs of jeans, which is double what I used to have. I wear them til they're worn clean out and then Stuart forces me to buy a new pair because I would just keep wearing them. That's me.




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake...

I realise I never shared why and how we ended up leaving California.

Back in October Stuart started feeling like the Chiropractic school he was attending wasn't working for him - too much philosophy and not enough science, conspiracy theories being taught as fact (you mean you didn't know the chalky trails planes leave in the sky are actually chemicals that the government are crop dusting us with?), tuition going up but there was nothing to show for it, narrow minded classmates soaking up the insanity, the anti-medicine mindset, the list is endless... Stuart's just a sensible guy who likes to work with his hands and has a love of technology. Chiropractic is on the anti-technology side of things which means not much room to progress. These are things learned at his school, not all schools are like this. In fact if he transferred schools he would have to start over because his credits from Life West are worthless to other Chiropractic schools - you can transfer in but not out. That says something.

In short he was really unhappy. I couldn't argue with that and his happiness is the most important thing.

We're in an insane amount of debt, less than if he'd finished his degree (silver lining) and starting over. He's getting a degree in his first major back at BYU-I that he switched from. We learned a lot in California and looking back we definitely were there for a reason, just not the reason we planned on. It was a difficult and rewarding 2 1/2 years.


Next stop Ogden, Utah!

1, 2, 3, 4, 4 1/2...

Time! What the heck? Time is going too fast! Autumn is almost 5 months old and I am in denial! Here's what I'm denying:

She is officially double her birth weight and some more.
She sleeps from 11:30pm to 8:30am most nights.
She has a voice and lungs and together she's reaching decibels and pitches I didn't know existed.
She found her feet and catches a magical glance of her hands.
She's attached to a little stuffed giraffe called Peter and loves her squeaky Sophie giraffe.
She hates being in her carseat but likes being carried about in the Moby Wrap by her Dada.
She smiles almost all the time.
She's social and doesn't mind being held by other people.
She attracts a people at the mall - strangers come up to us to see her, they say how cute she is in passing.
She has chubby, tasty legs and her cheeks are delicious.
She will most likely giggle when having her nappy changed.
She growls like a baby bear.
She's learning to self soothe by sooking her little thumb - she still doesn't take a pacifier.


This child has a huge personality. She's a little ray of sunshine and is just so sweet. We laugh every day with her and are so excited to be moving and settling down in Utah for the next few years. She's our favourite.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

12 weeks.

I feel like I've just caught my breathe after a 3 month whirlwind. I didn't have trouble adjusting to having a baby but I've had trouble being Laura-with-a-baby. I just found myself now I think. I hope I'm here to stay for a while!

Autumn is a gem. She makes funny noises, she smiles and drools, she sleeps a few hours at night, she laughs in her sleep but not when she's awake. We can't wait for her to laugh when she's awake. Goodness knows we're trying our hardest, being our silliest to make that happen. We love her. She won't take a binky, looks gorgeous in yellow, growls and is kicking all the time, loves to fall asleep to rain sounds, hates lying down and tries really hard to sit up. I can't get enough of her.

I was very worried about post partum depression mostly because although we've been in California for a couple of years it's still quite unfamiliar to me and I don't know many people here. Turns out that if you know only a couple of people and they're the right people, you're golden. They're golden. Golden treasures and I love them.

Having a new baby is pretty exhausting with the physical recovery - goodness did that take a long time! My right leg is still pretty sore from the double shot of pitocin - really sore means it's getting better instead of the numbness I had for 10 weeks. Pitocin leg, painful privates, chapped bits and then trouble with birth certificates, and social security cards, going broke waiting for paperwork to file a tax return, deciding to drop out of Chiropractic school, planning to move to Utah to start over and trying to find somewhere to live, packing, having babies medical coverage cancelled unexpectedly... I could go on. The good news is that I have a comfy couch to sit on during all of this and a husband who does all the cooking and some cleaning, and grocery shopping and everything.

I like the idea of moving on and starting over whilst we're still at the start of this life chapter. I want to show Autumn the world, which means I need to see some of it myself too. We're excited to be closer to family again. A little noise and company is very welcome in our lives and we're looking forward to sharing her with them. Plus it's going to be so nice to have friends nearby again! Thank goodness for Rexburg and the friendships we made than, and whilst we're at it, thank goodness for facebook and the ability it's given us to keep in touch with those friends!

I've not struggled more than I can handle. Honestly, my lack of emotions had me worried for a while because the thought of post partum depression makes me so anxious. What if I have it but I don't notice? What if it's in me and eating me up from the inside out and I don't know it? It's not in my genes so I don't have to worry about it, says my mum. Plus, it's easy for me to say "life is wonderful", and I mean it too.




Saturday, February 25, 2012

2 months: Baby love.

The last 10 weeks have gone quickly  although some day have felt like they'd last a lot longer than they ought to. Autumn's a pretty easy baby with quite the funny little character. She's still a mover and shaker even when she's feeding she's kicking and squirming about. When she's sleeping she's the same; legs and arms everywhere.  it makes it easy to imagine her riding a bike, skateboarding, flamenco dancing, holding onto a pole whilst being blown away by the wind etc. She's like a jack in the box and regularly gives me a fright with her erratic and spontaneous jumping and flinching. She's packed with personality! Along with that she's a treat to look at. We can't understand how we got such a pretty little baby!

As well as being pretty and energetic she makes some pretty great noises. All in all she keeps us entertained on all levels.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Someday, oh my!

Sometimes amidst my constant sleepiness due to taking care of Chirpy-Pants I get this overwhelming feeling of excitement and thoughts about the future flood my mind.

Someday I'll be throwing a birthday party for the munchkin
Someday we'll take her on a picnic and she'll love it
Someday Stuart will teach her to ride a bike
Someday we'll take her to the sea and she'll feel at home
Someday we'll bake together
Someday she'll sing the songs I sing to her, that my mum sang to me
Someday she'll have hair
Someday I'll get to sleep through the night...

Someday is so exciting to me - today is pretty great too :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Autumn: 6 weeks


1. After a couple of weeks of sudden reflux Autumn's stomach has settled down and she's no longer doing her milky fountain act. Thank goodness. That means I can nom on her face without fear of being barfed on - although there's nothing like milky burp-up to warm up cold hands.

2. She's starting to smile and it drives us wild. We're addicted to her and the smiles are like crack to us. We need more and will do anything to get some! A couple of times it's seemed like she's tried to laugh too - can't wait for that!

3. On the flip-side, she's also started to frown properly and has the most heartbreaking and adorable little cry. The pout, the frown, the cry and the real tears slay us.

4. At the start of the week I packed away her newborn clothes after trying to stuff her into a newborn onesie and failing. She's still a little small for 0-3 month outfits but far too big for newborn clothes and looked like a little sausage in them with the poppers straining... Adorable!

5. Stuart and I had spoken about not being those insane, delusional parents who think their wrinkly little baby is the most gorgeous thing on the planet since "all babies look like little old men". We spoke about it and made a deal to be honest with each other if our baby took a while to grow into something adorable. We are those parents. She is the prettiest little thing we've ever seen and there's no convincing us otherwise! We love that giant noggin!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oh mother, where art thou?

On Wednesday the 28th of December my mum turned up on my doorstep dressed as a Christmas tree. I suspected she was going to show up. In fact I was so confident about it that that was the first day I even got dressed (and showered) after having the baby. Lindsay delivered her to me and we went on to have a really great 2 weeks. We were able to get out of the house almost every day, ate a lot of tasty food, talked and laughed a lot, took a lot of pictures, snuggled with a baby a lot, bought a new couch set...

January 30th: Hayward Japanese Gardens
It meant the world to me to have her here. She had it planned and tickets bought since November not knowing when the baby would even be born. It was a stroke of luck that Autumn was 2 weeks early, giving us all plenty of time to spend relaxed with each other instead of in labour etc.

Oakland Temple
I'm not a terribly needy person - not openly anyway and so I was prepared to soldier on and deal with anything that came my way baby-wise but had really wanted my mum to be here. I was scared of post partum depression and not being able to spot it if it was happening. The chances of it happening would be less with my mum about and what do you know, no depression here! When I told her about my fear she said, "don't worry about that, it's not in your genes."

Crissy Field
I'd get up in the morning and the blinds and curtains would all be open, the dishes would be done and she'd be looking for more to do. I'd set up skype for her, I'd feed the baby, she'd settle the baby and send me back to sleep. I'd be happy to keep her here forever!


Autumn was all about Granny too and I think she became quite attached to the nickname granny gave her - Pandora. She loved her singing, bath time, the comfy lap and chin nibbles. She helped us get into a good daily routine and was happy to answer my motherhood questions and lend a hand at any moment. Autumn can turn a little feral through the night. My mum would often appear in our bedroom doorway offering to take the baby and try to settle her so I could get some rest before the next feed. I didn't always take her up on the offer but I certainly appreciated her 2am visits and her magic touch when I would hand the baby over.


The 2 weeks went by too quickly but I wasn't terribly sad to send her home to my lonely dad. They'll both be back in the summer and we'll get to have a new set of adventures and a chance to make some more memories.

I'm looking forward to that :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

27 weeks | 4 weeks


Right after you give birth...

1. Your lungs feel weird, like punctured balloons. They have space inside your body but they take a little while to adjust until you can actually take deep breaths again.

2. When your stomach rumbles the sound is amplified because there's a lot of empty space for it to bounce about until your organs all settle back in their rightful locations.

3. Heartburn stops in an instant after months of torment.

4. Cravings are no more.

5. The time you used to spend doing tiny wee's is spent staring at the little wonder that you just birthed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Autumn: 3 weeks: Things to remember

1. Autumn is the same outside as she was inside as The Ninja but with sound effects. She takes ages to stretch when she wakes up; arms, legs, back, face, feet, hands over and over, stretching, yawning, twisting. I think she'll be tall.

 2. Sound effects: She knows all her animal sounds already. She can screach like an eagle - a single screach for attention. She growls like a bear when she's got bubbles which is often in her sleep as well as when she's awake. She snorts like a piglet and screams like a banshee every so often. She sometimes sounds like she's laughing which is usually followed by a sound that doesn't come from her face, if you know what I mean... She also hic-ups like me - loud and irritating - and sneezes like her dad and great grandpa. On top of those noises she does a pretty good puppy impression - her tongue is always sticking out.

 3. She hardly fed for the first 4 days of her life and dropped from 7lbs 9oz to 6lbs 15oz by day 3. At 2 weeks old after learning how to get her to open her mouth she was up to 7lbs 11oz. She's almost out of newborn sizes.

 4. My mum showed up as a surprise on December 28th when Autumn was 10 days old. We've been out almost every day on a short jaunt which I've really appreciated. I worried about becoming a hermit after the baby was born and I also worried about being too nervous to let her ride in the back of the car by herself. I'm happy to say she's survived back there in her carseat without me beside her. I've really loved having my mum here. She's been helpful but has also let me learn and not taken away my independence with the baby. I've learned a lot from her and been comfortable with her teaching techniques - she knows me :)

 5. Comfort: yesterday was the first day I've felt a little more comfortable sitting after birthing my big noggin'd baby. On top of that, on Saturday my mum bought us a new 3 piece livingroom suite. I'm not to mention how uncomfortable money makes me. I'm to accept the gift and allow others to receive blessings without making things awkward... I'm looking forward to sitting comfortably on Wednesday. Thanks mum and dad :)