Life of a {Student} Mom

I can’t believe my last post was in APRIL! Actually…who am I kidding I can totally believe it. I feels as though life has been like a tornado swirling around me and just taking me along for the ride. Parker is getting bigger and more mobile, which means I am getting busier. And then I threw in nursing school. It seems that whenever I blink, I experience another life transition.

Not so reassuring for miss I-hate-change and everything-must-be-perfect.

First let me say how impressed I am with my program, my cohort, and my professors. I have been to so many schools and completed so many programs (undergrad, study abroad, grad school) and this has got to be my favorite so far. I finally love every bit of material I am studying (yes, even the respiratory system) and feel like I am where I am meant to be. Everyone is so collaborative, friendly, and equally as terrified as I am. It really works for us ūüôā

It was difficult to leave Parker at daycare the first day, but (confession!) it was not that hard. It felt freeing and so wonderful to be intellectually stimulated and have the ability to have adult conversations. I feel like I am dropping him off everyday so I can accomplish something really great, and fulfill my other purpose in life.

Don’t get me wrong, being a mother is so important to me. But I feel that being in school and coming home after a full day of being passionate about something and learning hands-on skills makes me a better mom.

And you guys…nursing school is hard.¬†It is so mentally taxing and there is so much to learn. Just when you feel like you finally have your head above water you are hit with a challenging test or material that seems like a foreign language. Or a lecture about how you BETTER NOT MESS THIS UP BECAUSE PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE IN YOUR HANDS!!! I feel so guilty when I am not studying, no matter what day it is or what time it is. And then I feel guilty that I am not spending more time with Parker. The word balance comes to mind, and it is honestly the most dangerous word because really, do we ever achieve this perfect “life balance” everyone is always talking about? You have the perfect career but you’re not married yet or you have a baby but you still haven’t found your dream job or you met the right person but you can’t seem to get on the baby train. It’s exhausting!

I was so scared before I started school. Scared that I would not cut it, would not be good enough or smart enough, or strong enough to handle the expectations and still be there for my husband and my baby. There is a reason it took me 10 years to get to this point. But somehow I managed to pack all of my self-doubt into a little (large?) suitcase and ship it off somewhere, because there is just no more room or time for it anymore. That is the great thing about nursing school. It forces you to get over whatever fear or emotional breakdown you are having because there is always another test to study for or chapter to read or 17537368136th practice question to complete. So you drink some coffee, put on your yoga pants, and handle it because girl, you do not have any other choice.

So try to enjoy the unbalanced. And I will try to write more posts!

xx,

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On Imperfection

My sweet blog has been so neglected! Along with our two dogs, Parker’s baby book, and my car, which desperately needs a good cleaning after all of the snow that has fallen over the past few weeks.

As a mom of an almost 5 month old, I am learning that “having it all” is not exactly what you think it is, and it definitely has nothing to do with perfection and wonderfully¬†crossed T’s and dotted I’s.

I struggle with this on a daily basis, as I have been curating my perfectionistic tendencies since I was a little girl cutting barbie’s hair because it never looked just right, or offering to organize my schoolmates desks in elementary school because they were just too messy.

But when you have a baby, a life that was normally so black and white becomes so grey. You will leave the house with just one diaper in the diaper bag. Laundry will be washed but perhaps not folded for a week (!), and your tiny human will get his first cold the week your husband goes out of town.

I am learning to embrace this imperfection and lack of control, especially as I approach my first day of nursing school, and Parker’s first day of infant care. I am feeling all the feels right now. Sad that he is growing and changing so quickly everyday. Worried that he is going to be sick all the time when he starts to be exposed to all the daycare germs. Guilty that I chose to go back to school for myself, and that because of this choice he has to be held and soothed and fed by someone other than me for so many hours of the day. Nervous that if we decide to give P a sibling there will be an age gap so I can pursue my dream of having a career. So scared that it will be too hard, too challenging to be a mom and a student¬†at the same time.

And I am also excited. So looking forward to spending my days with peers learning hands-on patient care skills, thrilled that I am answering a true calling, and curious what I am going to do with it when I am finished. Like I said, all the feels.

I think this journey is going to be all about self-compassion. Moms (and Dads) have to be forgiving and understand that it is impossible to do everything and be everything. Raising a child is an all encompassing job, one that can take every drop of physical and emotional energy that you have on some days, but that is OK because you are giving it to your child. And some days studying or a work project will get more of that energy and that is OK too. I think the key to surviving and thriving during this time is to take life one day at a time, as corny as it sounds. What are your tips and tricks for balancing it all?

XO,

 

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#momlife

I can’t believe I finally have time to sit down and write this post as my sweet babe is snoozing next to me (on his boppy lounger, of course!}

I cannot tell you how much I have loved spending time with Parker the last few weeks. Two to three months is the BEST age, as baby starts really interacting with you, and Parker has full conversations with us, babbling on and on for as long as 15 minutes! One night while we were eating dinner Ben was telling me a story and Parker started to babble so loudly we had to stop, realizing there was indeed a THIRD person in this conversation.

Ben and I are huge talkers (and were when we were little) so I am not surprised we have a chatterbox on our hands, but it is a whole different story when you actually hear it.

Our days have been filled with walks with friends, dates with Bubbie and Zayda, special visits to Daddy’s work for lunch, pushing chloe off our lounger and out of our face (this takes up about half the day haha) and of course, a few meltdowns when we are overtired or the bottle it just taking WAY TOO LONG to warm up. We are learning all about being patient over here!

I am still exclusively pumping, and at Parker’s two-month check up the pediatrician advised that we start to feed him 4 ounces every three hours because he is slightly going down in his weight percentile. I was unable to keep up with him at this point, so we had to do about 3 ounces of formula one night. I am surprised I didn’t cry when Ben gave him this bottle. But guess what? He lived! And also…my supply went up the next day and we have not used it since! We love our comotomo bottles, as they have a slow flow and are very easy for Parker to latch on to.

Ben joked that my boobs got FOMO. Ha. Funny husband.

We ordered an organic¬†goats milk formula that we think will be easier on Prince Parker’s tummy just in case my supply dips, but so far he is back to being an exclusively breastfed baby. I do nurse him once a day, which is what¬†I can handle pain-wise, and we really enjoy this time.

I am getting really good at identifying a feeding cue vs. a tired cue, and we have learned that Parker will sleep pretty much anywhere as long as he has his Paci and a beanie to cover his eyes. We just ordered this one which seems to be the safest and softest so I will let you know how that goes. He LOVES his Mam pacifiers, and will not take a soothie or a Wubanub.

Parker is still sleeping in his Rock n’ Play, which is one of my favorite baby items. Seriously, you all need to get this. It is elevated for reflux, lightweight, takes up barely any room, and only costs about 30-40 dollars. I wish we had this thing at the beginning! He has napped in his crib a few times which we are so excited about, and has been sleeping for 7-8 hour stretches at night, and still loves his Halo sleep sack/swaddle.

We have been going for a lot of walks in our new Jogger stroller, which feels like and SUV compared to our Uppababy Cruz, and I absolutely love it! I swore I would never be that mom who has more than one stroller, and yet, here we are…

I also got some exciting news…an email letting me know I got an interview for Denver School of Nursing! I am very nervous and excited about this, and hope all goes well. Realizing I may actually be going back to school in a few months really puts things into perspective, and I am trying to take in this special time I have with just Parker.

I am hoping to write a few more posts on pumping and more baby favorites.

XO,

 

 

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Introducing…

Meet my beautiful son, Parker Morgan Rosen! He was born on Friday, November 27th at 7:31pm and weighed in at 7 lbs. 1 oz.

Yes…this introduction is a bit late, but I guess that is what happens when you have a newborn!¬†Parker is now almost two months old.

I was very lucky during labor, and things went really smoothly. Contractions were super painful, but once I got my epidural (AMAZING), it was smooth sailing from there. I actually napped through 4-8.5 cm of dilation before my water broke on its own (I literally thought I peed myself). #awkward.

So this post is definitely not all rainbows and butterflies, and I think honesty is so important when it comes to sharing my new journey as a mom. If you are expecting a gushing post about my perfect baby and how every moment of my life is a mixture of sweet snuggles and perfect bliss, then you are in the wrong place. There are definitely some sweet snuggles and pockets of bliss (just bliss, nothing is perfect), but it is speckled with all of the emotions and exhaustion that comes along with being a first time parent.

After Parker was born, I was in complete shock. I did not really experience that wave of cloud 9 bliss that some moms feel immediately. All I could think about was “doctor whyyyy do you keep pushing on my stomach!!??” and “whyyy am I feeling you stitching me up??”. And then the intense nausea hit and I thought, “how am I going to do this?”

We have had so many ups and downs in the last 7 weeks, including a posterior tongue tie that has been causing a horribly painful latch that we are still trying to figure out. This is a more complicated tongue tie that would require surgery and has 50% success rate with breastfeeding afterwards so we are not going that route. The bad latch has been causing something called vasospasm (so fun, read more about that here), and I have been pretty miserable. I am now almost exclusively pumping until I can heal and we will go from there. Breastfeeding has definitely been the hardest part of this journey, as being in chronic pain makes a huge transition like this that much harder. There is also SO much guilt associated with not breastfeeding or using formula, and I am constantly working on being OK with whatever comes even if it does not match up with my original plan. We have not used formula yet, but I am not opposed to it if it will help Parker. His health is my main priority.

Did I mention that my little friend doesn’t sleep during the day unless he is in his car seat? We have been working on this so I can do things like shower or eat lunch, and he is doing so much better. Night sleeping is also going well, and he slept through the night for the first time last night. But as soon as I am writing this things will probably change!

My guy has started to imitate us and loves to stick out his tongue, coo, suck on his hand and fingers, and smiles all day long. He LOVES to eat, and has the most beautiful eyes. He is a mini version of my husband, and I love watching them together. I am hoping I will have time to write a few posts on some items that have saved our lives during this time (like our fabulous swing and rock n’play) as well as a post on what I have learned so far about breastfeeding. In the meantime, I am trying to take in this time because he is growing up so quickly!

XO!

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Hiccups and Heartburn: The Third Trimester

Well, this is the final stretch! The 3rd trimester has gone by both very slowly (during each day) and incredibly fast. I feel like the weeks are just speeding by, which is great, because I am getting very anxious to meet my little boy. I have finished my pre-requisite classes and applications, so I have now entered boredom mode. And boredom mode mixed with nesting mode is not a good thing! I literally want to clean and organize everything, and we are all prepped for baby. The nursery is stocked, stroller and carseat put together, bags packed, and now we wait.

This is the hard part, especially when you just have no idea when your are going to go into labor. I did an acupuncture session last week and I highly recommend it during this time because it really relieves a lot of the swelling and general feelings of discomfort. Plus, it is supposed to kickstart labor so we will see.

Thank G-d for my friends and family (esp. my Mom-in-Law) who take me out to lunch and coffee and shopping, because I have a serious case of cabin fever.

  1. How big is the baby? Last time I checked it was a winter melon. What exactly is a winter melon anyways? I feel particularly huge, and keep bumping into things. I can no longer wear my rings because my hands are SO swollen!!
  2. Ultrasounds? The only ultrasound we got this trimester was to see his position at 36 weeks. He is head down, which is great!!
  3. Food aversions? Sometimes chicken and red meat. I have been a lot pickier this trimester. It is all about cheese, carbs, and sweets. Had a period of some reflux/heartburn but it has gone away since.
  4. Symptoms? So SORE. Back-aches, sore ribs, and really bad pelvic pain! It has gotten better in these later weeks, but was so bad at the beginning of the 3rd trimester. The rib pain was the worst, and would only dissipate if I lay on my left side.
  5. Exercise? Ha. Due to the pain and fatigue I have been feeling this has not really happened except for a long walk here and there. I am just so uncomfortable and everytime I move too much I get shooting pains in my pelvis so it is not really happening right now.
  6. Currently wearing?¬†My favorite Gap tank tops and sweat pants ūüôā If I am going out I will wear my gap leggings or maternity jeans with a T-shirt and sweater over. I have also been loving these jeans. Thankfully most of my cute fall sweaters fit the bump, I just have to wear a longer maternity tee under them because they are shorter with the belly.
  7. Currently Reading? I have actually been listening to podcasts instead of reading because it helps me to fall asleep easier. I love The Lively Show.
  8. Favorite Products?¬† I love using Witch Hazel to clean my face, and this one smells yummy and keeps me feeling refreshed. I have been taking a lot of baths to ease my back and rib pain, and these salts smell delicious and don’t dry out my skin. The weather here is so dry, and this body lotion is my go-to for soft skin. Lastly, this support belt has been a lifesaver for my poor back and stomach muscles. I highly recommend it.

We can’t wait to meet you little man!

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Maternity Photos

I am so excited to share highlights of our maternity photo session with you guys. Our photographer Brittany of Brittany M Photography was absolutely amazing, and made us feel so comfortable and at ease. I HIGHLY recommend her for any professional photographs you need taken in the Colorado area.

We settled on Washington Park as our session location, and we picked the perfect fall day.

I have to tell you that this pregnancy has been a lesson for me in appreciating my body and the work it has put into growing this baby. I am pretty insecure about how petite I am, and was very nervous pre-pregnancy that I would just look huge as soon as I started showing. This made me really nervous to take professional photos, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t.

Brittany captured perfectly how happy Ben and I are, and how amazing it is to be just weeks away from meeting your first child. These photos are definitely a reflection of how much more comfortable I am with my changing body. I have been learning over the last few months to be more positive and forgiving of myself.

I am obsessed with these mugs that we got from my brother-in-law’s girlfriend, and they were the perfect prop for the session (and baby’s first pair of Polo tennies of course!)

Ben is going to be the best Dad. I can’t wait to see him hold the baby.

I can’t believe we are just four weeks away from meeting our little man!

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Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower

A few weeks ago I had the most amazing Twinkle Twinkle themed baby shower, and I couldn’t wait to post about it and show you how beautifully it turned out. It was hosted by my two sisters-in-law and my brother-in-law’s girlfriend, and they did not leave out a single detail. The shower was held at Crepes & Crepes, a quaint rustic french restaurant in the heart of Cherry Creek that serves both sweet and savory crepes, as well as the most delicious coffee drinks topped with chantilly cream. It was truly a slice of heaven!!

From the gold mylar balloons to the twinkly straws and personalized napkins, this was an absolute dream come true for a mommy-to-be like me who just LOVES anything sparkly, white, and gold.

The favors were just too cute. “Ready to Pop” popcorn bags¬†and ¬†little baby-themed cake pops. Note the gold ribbons and beautiful gold foil labels. Watch out Martha Stewart!

My mother-in-law and mom. So glad that my mom and my brother’s girlfriend came out for the shower. My dad and brother were here too, and it was really special spending the weekend with them.

Alex, my brother’s girlfriend,¬†is seriously my soul sister. It was amazing being able to share this weekend with her. We can talk for hours and love all the same things. I wish she lived here!!!!

The gorgeous hosts who I like to call the baby shower glam squad. I seriously have the most wonderful family here.

I am never going to forget this special day, and all of the friends and family that joined in celebrating Baby Rosen’s impending arrival. He is already so spoiled and loved. I cannot wait for everyone to meet him! Thank you Molly, Abby, & Bre. I love you more than words!

 

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5 Weeks To Go!

I cannot believe that we only have 5 weeks today until our due date! This past month has been a little harder than I thought it would be, and I feel really proud each time I make it to the beginning of a new week in this last trimester.

Ya’ll, growing a baby is harrrrddddd.

I have been going through cycles of having really good days where I feel so productive and full of energy, then a few where I am dead tired but can’t sleep, and feel so sore everywhere that I don’t want to get off the couch. Think rib pain that wraps around from the front to the back, shooting pelvic pains down my bladder, lower backaches, shoulder pain, and ohhhhh those braxton hicks! I think I had 6 yesterday.

All of this, of course, is totally normal according to my doctor, who is so understanding and does his best to try and make me not worry.

We have had three very busy weekends in a row, filled with a parenting/child birth class we are taking, my baby shower, family visiting, and maternity photographs. We had a lot of fun, but are beyond excited to completely hermit this weekend. No work, no social events, basically not leaving the house except for a trip to Right Start check out some strollers.

Can I tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing all the little trick-or-treaters in their costumes while we watch The Haunted Mansion and I scarf down chocolate? And we dress Chloe like a minion and Choco like a pirate for own entertainment? {insert credit to husband Ben here.

Speaking of exorbitant chocolate consumption, I have also been feeling really gross and well, HUGE, lately. I miss exercising and eating healthy, but I have been so nauseous and exhausted that it just isn’t happening. I decided ¬†that I was going to try and plan out my lunches and dinners better so I could try to stay away from the white carbs and chocolate. I made some quinoa, salmon, and veggies ahead of time so when they nausea inducing lunch hour comes along I don’t have to think about what I am going to eat. It really has helped. I am also taking more regular walks¬†which makes a world of difference. My head clears, my muscles loosen up, and the crunchy leaves and bright orange trees are too beautiful right now.

We had a marathon 7 hour childbirth class complete with hospital tour on Sunday, and although it¬†was so helpful, it was¬†significantly overwhelming and I needed about three solid days to take it all in. That coupled with trying to complete a Microbiology and Psychology course in the next two weeks has really left my brain a little too full ūüôā

On a positive note, our nursery is COMPLETE except for a little gold wall decal we need to put up. Huge relief for this Type-A mommy to be! We now have diapers, wipes, onesies, and burp cloths, so now all we have to do is keep him alive the first night ūüôā (such a horrible joke but I think its funny how all the fancy things you want to do with your new baby gets thrown out the window when you actually bring him home).

Anyways, thanks for reading my long, complain-y post. Stay tuned for more video blogs, and posts on my shower, maternity photos, and more!

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Fall Decor

Since I am in major nesting mode, I was super excited to start making our home cozy and decorated for fall. I decided to do a little more white and gold this year (shocker), but still used a bit of the classic autumnal reds and oranges.

The autumn wreath yankee candle is my favorite fall/winter scent. Every year I buy it in the biggest size and it lasts us through January.

I found some cute stuff from the dollar section at target, including these wooden BOO pieces. I found the print for free online.

One of my favorite new additions this year was the little acorns in the hurricanes. I just think they are so cute!

This is the centerpiece on our dining room table right now. Simple and  bright.

This is the last fall that we will have our cute red door. We have decided to paint our door and shutters black, as it is more reflective of our style and gives the house a neutral look. I got the tiny pumpkins from Trader Joes, and they already have little bite marks in them (probably from the bunnies that roam our neighborhood).

Now all we need is for the eighty degree weather to get a little cooler so this preggo can stop sweating and start eating soup. Amen.

 

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Confessions of a 3rd Trimester Preggo {& fun links}

I have been so calm this entire pregnancy, until I hit about 30 weeks. I have spent the majority of the last seven months focusing on school, completing my pre-requisite classes before baby graces us with his presence, and enjoying a busy summer filled with travel and family events.

But somewhere between the never-ending 90 degree weather and the first autumn leaves falling to the ground, I started to go a little crazy.

Firstly, I am super uncomfortable. I am up at 4am every night, either because I am starving or just sore and need to walk around or sit. During the day my ribs hurt on one side, and I feel so much pressure on my lower belly that I go to the bathroom a million times a day and half the time I don’t event have to pee.

I find myself obsessing over really small details like the perfect white wall frames to go in the nursery, what color moccasins to order baby, or whether we will ever finish our carefully curated to-do list that seems to never end {because this perfectionist keeps on curating}. Pinterest is a fickle friend, always there for me during my nighttime visits for a bowl of cereal, while at the same time showing me how unprepared I am. Have I cooked and frozen 150 meals for when baby comes? Is my hospital bag packed? Do I know the signs of preterm labor? Am I ready for the horrors of postpartum care?

Although I have always been a worrier and a perfectionist, I am beginning to realize that the root of my obsessive behavior is that I know that this is the last time when I am really going to have full control of my life. Up until I go into labor, I can still determine what happens on a day to day basis. I can check things off my to-do list, interview pediatricians, and try to feel as prepared as possible for this huge life change that is about to happen. But the truth is, I am TERRIFIED. So scared. I do not feel that anything is really going to prepare me for my first contractions, the pinch (or jab??) of an epidural, or endless nights with no sleep. I often wonder how I am going to get through it, and then I switch to worrying about stocking the nursery just so I have some physical task that I know I can concur.

It’s hard when everyone around you really wants to help and give their advice, but the last thing you want to hear is “well sleep now because you won’t be for the next 18 years!” or “get ready for breastfeeding because it is going to hurt and you’ll be cracked and bleeding before you know it!”. Gee thanks. I would love to sleep thank you very much, but a certain someone is kicking me in the ribs and I can barely turn over because my belly is so big. And yes, thank you for reminding me that not only am I mentally preparing for the pain of pushing a tiny babe out of my hoo-ha or :::gasp::: having to get a c-section, but there is a ton of other pain beyond that. YOU HAVE BEEN SO HELPFUL.

I am trying to block everyone out at this point, and have conversations with Ben about not just my fears, but things I am excited about as well. He helps me to remember that there is so much joy and so much to look forward to. We have been waiting months to meet our little man, and cannot wait to see what he looks like and what kind of person he will become. I think my advice to any fellow preggo would be to give in to the crazy if it makes you feel better, but be kind to yourself and turn off your mind for awhile. Go for a walk, watch netflix, have coffee with a supportive friend. These last few months can feel like forever, but they will also go by in a flash.

Some fun links to make your ponder even more:

  1. Thoughts on the Fear of Being Judged {a fear we all have at some point}
  2. 14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden {480 days of maternity leave!!!}
  3. Why You’re Not Failing as a Mother¬†{because you’re not!}
  4. Monkey Baby  (for a really good laugh)
  5. Lemon Vanilla Krispie Treats (because krispie treats)

 

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