Friday, June 13, 2014

A beautiful wedding... and thoughts on finding balance

A couple weeks ago we dragged our tired new parent butts up to Madison, Wisconsin, for a wedding. It wasn't just any wedding, though. We were going to celebrate a couple that we've become good friends with, who have been dating since before Joe and I knew each other! (Joe and I met almost 13 years ago.) Jess and Natan are a great couple, and we were so excited to join in the celebration of their marriage!

The wedding was held outside of Madison, and it was beautiful! Such a lush setting, in the midst of so much green and lovely rolling hills. The bride was radiant, the groom dapper, and spirits were high. The food was delicious, too! So many of our good friends were in attendance, ready to toast the newly married couple. Overall, it was the type of wedding that is incredibly enjoyable.

This was the first Jewish wedding I've been to.
It was beautiful, and especially touching since the Rabbi
was also a good friend of the bride and groom!

The flowers were lovely... but the bride was more beautiful than they were.
Too bad I sucked at taking pictures this night!

Elise got her own personalized glass, and
Joe decided to use it to drink his beer :)
As you might notice in the last picture, Elise looks totally spaced out. It was hot and reeeealy humid at the reception, and pretty buggy too. She didn't do well with the heat, and was acting really lethargic. Quite stressful for the new parents! And that's where "finding balance" comes into play. Before we had Elise, I always said that I'd just take the baby along with me, and that life wouldn't need to change that much. Ah, the things naive first time parents say! It turns out things like naps, loud environments, and extreme temperatures affect little babies more than I was initially expecting. Duh! This wedding was a good reality check for us. While we wouldn't have missed it, it was not the same experience as it would have been a year ago. Or even a year from now. We spent a decent chunk of the reception in a random air conditioned cabin, nursing, changing, and cooling down the baby. I couldn't drink much, and we ended up probably being the first to leave. You better bet we stopped for some booze on the way home... mommy needed a glass of wine once baby went to sleep!

This is where Joe and I work to find that balance. We do NOT want to be the type of parents who give up on socializing. We want to get out of the house with the baby, but we have to find reasonable ways to do that. Obviously, with a situation like a wedding, we just have to make the most of it. I'm still so glad we went, but I'm a little sad we didn't get to enjoy the day more. But for more day to day outings and events, we'll just keep figuring out how it works for us. We ended up skipping a street festival a few weekends ago because it was too loud and crowded, but we went down the street and has snacks and a drink at a restaurant we really like. That was good... rather than admit defeat and go home, we went to plan B, which worked for baby and parents. We've brought her to a couple cookouts and get togethers with friends, and just have to accept that we'll be the first to leave. But we're there! And I do think the concept of balancing will get a little easier in a few months, as Elise gets into a predictable routing and also grows a little less fragile. Not to mention numerous friends are currently pregnant, so they'll be relating to this scenario soon enough! Someone once told me, "your life doesn't END when you have kids, it just changes." How true that is! We love our new life, and this precious little baby. And as we work to find this balance, who's interested in getting together for more baby friendly gatherings? :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Letters to my Baby: Month Two

(I swore I published this last week... but here it is in my drafts folder! Second try is a charm?)

Hi Baby Girl, 
I can't believe we're already to two months! Time is flying, and your dad and I are enjoying every minute of it. You have changed a ton in the last month. You've filled out a little... not quite to 'chubby baby status', but you're not as scrawny as you started life. And you now have the cutest chubby cheeks! They're so squeezable!

In the last month you've started smiling and making noises intentionally. We love it! It feels like you've been smiling at us for ages, but really it's only been for the last few weeks. You've gotten so much more alert, too. The sleepy brand new baby has changed into one who watches what's happening around her. You know our voices, too, and get really happy when daddy comes home from work at night.

Between your long body and your bulky cloth diapers, you're already wearing size 3-6 month clothing. I can't believe we've already packed away some of your clothes from the first month! We're eager to hear your official measurements at your 2 month doctor visit later this week. You seem like a pretty big baby, especially when it comes to length. Not too surprising, since you have tall parents! You'll also have your two month vaccination shots at this visit. Mom is not looking forward to that, but knows how important these shots are.

Another first you experienced this month was your first overnight trip. We drove to Minnesota for Aunt Colleen's graduation, and you did a great job on the trip. You stayed in two different hotels, and visited two new states. It's never easy to travel with a seven week old baby, but you did great! And doing a road trip was nice, so we could just cram every item we wanted into the car. Next up, we'll try a road trip to St Louis, and before the end of the summer we hope to get you on an airplane!

And now, how about far too many cute pictures from your second month of life? And this is with me showing some restraint...

We love you sweet Elise!

Grandma and Grandpa H came to visit.
This is the only picture from the weekend :(

Early in the month, you still seemed pretty tiny.
This is a weekend jam session with your daddy,
when he plays his guitar for you.

We had to document the first bottle!
You're still exclusively breastfed, but we're doing some breast
milk bottles to prepare for when mom goes back to work. 

We love weekend snuggles in our bed!

Who can resist a sleeping baby?

Breakfast in bed on my first Mother's Day.

We didn't plan much for Mother's Day, since Elise is still small and unpredictable.
We took a nice walk to the Square, got frozen yogurt, and relaxed in the park.
It was perfect!

I'm trying to do this "baby wearing" thing,
to be more productive around the house.

Dad got home early from a work trip, so we took advantage
and had some patio beers at Rockwells!

Elise is her Dad's daughter, and hates the sun.
We rigged up some fancy shade for her, so we could enjoy a warm weekend!

Baby girl loves being read to. It kills me!!