Friday, July 29, 2011

{no foot too small}

**Happy Friday, friends!**

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

our little cowboy

A few years ago, after I read the book All the Pretty Horses, 
I knew what I wanted to name our son, should we ever have one.
I love Cormac McCarthy's writing style.  Being a literature nerd I had always thought I would name my children after characters in novels I enjoyed, or authors that really spoke to me.

This novel does in so many ways.  It is a story about two men and a young boy escaping across Mexico on horseback.  I am moved by McCarthy's masculine, yet romantic, writing style.  I loved ATPH because of it's male bonding, adventure, heartache, and truth.  I am also a huge fan of westerns, both books and movies.  I love the raw grittiness, as well as the wide opens spaces they are set in.

While I doubt our little Cormac will actually grow up to be a cowboy, I do hope for him an adventurous spirit and honesty.  I hope he enjoys the outdoors.  I hope he falls in love and fights for that love if need be.

Though he might not grow up to be a cowboy...we did get him a horse.  
Well, a rocking horse.
{purchased from Pottery Barn Kids.. thanks Mr. & Mrs. Natarajan!!}
 ...and a cowboy hat.
What he does with them is completely up to him!
For now I get to take bazillions of pictures that I can 
torture him with any good mother would. 
"A goodlookin horse is like a goodlookin woman, he said. They're always more trouble than what they're worth. What a man needs is just one that will get the job done."
{Cormac McCarthy}
"He said that those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but that it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength." 
{Cormac McCarthy}

"You have my whole heart.  You always did."
{Cormac McCarthy}

Friday, July 22, 2011

mama confessions: the first week

I have survived week one with a newborn!
So considering that before this I had never babysat an infant or even changed a diaper, I am pretty proud of myself!

Confession:I have to laugh at myself for thinking in any way, shape or form that I was "ready" to have a baby.  At the right point in life? Yes.  With the right partner?  Oh definitely yes.  {Hubby has been amazing!}
But "ready" to "have" a baby?
Not quite.
If you've never had a baby before, you won't really know what hit you when they finally arrive.  You can read all the manuals on pregnancy and delivery and babies.  You can see the words and learn the definitions such terms as "episiotomy" and "meconium" and "colostrum" and "uterine contractions" think naively: "I have educated myself for this experience - bring it on!"

Again, I laugh, because this was me: anxiously and happily waiting for the birthing experience.  But there are things you blissfully ignore when reading about labor and your new baby:  

1. Your carefully drafted birth plan can fly out the window faster than you can say: "I need the epidural!"
2. When your "milk comes in" {not at all like your "ship coming in"} you may randomly leak/projectile squirt everywhere no matter how often you feed your darling babe.  Invest in lots and LOTS of nursing pads.
3. Even if you don't have a C-Section, there is still significant recovery time.  You will hurt places you don't want to hurt, you will not be able to walk far, and the most lovely part is that for several days you will have to change your own "diapers" {which takes longer than changing your baby's.} 
4. Coming home from the hospital with your new baby can be terrifying.  (I hugged my dog as soon as I came in the door and wept at his wet kisses and familiarity.  A new mama has a LOT of hormones going on.)
5. The first few will not sleep.  Pretty much at all.

But you know what?
Even if I had known/acknowledged all these things...I wouldn't go back and change it for the world.  

Cormac has been a dream baby.  He is quiet and sweet and basically sleeps most of the day.  He rarely cries and is easy to comfort when he does - change him, feed him, or hold him.  It is amazing to look at him and see his ever-changing facial expressions, how strong his arms and legs are already, and enjoy those rare moments in the day when his eyes are open and gazing around.  The nights have been challenging as he is up more then and I'm not good at napping during the day; however, he is slowly sleeping more hours at a time at night.  Mama and Daddy have just had to sleep on his nursery floor the past few nights.  Small price to pay for some sleep, right?  
Did I mention he sleeps a lot during the day?

Despite all his sleeping...I am still exhausted!

Much love from this tired new mama,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

{baby is here!}

It's hard to even believe...
Baby Boy is born!
Please welcome...the lively...the sweet...the wrinkly...
Cormac Landon Ford
July 13th, 4:44pm
7 lbs 13 oz. 
21.5 inches long.

There is the name, finally revealed to all of you who have told me how annoying I was for keeping it a secret nearly the entire pregnancy.  Now you can sleep peacefully. :)
Baby's name was inspired by one of my favorite male authors, Cormac McCarthy, who wrote All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and No Country for Old Men. All very masculine, raw, and beautifully written works of fiction.
{more about this in another post}

We chose Landon because it is multi-syllabic, adorable, and just so happens to have lovely vowel symmetry with the "Cormac."  We were this close to choosing "London" instead (after Jack London, another favorite male author) but decided one baby can only be so literary.
Darling Lil' Mac has been a long time coming, and we are grateful for every moment we have had with him so far.
The labor was, well, "natural..."
for the first 10 hours. 
I avoided medication, which was the original plan.
We used the "birthing ball," 
walked around a lot
I leaned on Paul for support during contractions.
All was going well.
I maintained calm/controlled with no screaming, etc.
even though I was in terribly immense pain.

However, we learned that no matter what your birth plan...
plans change.

At 7am, after 4 hours of strong, close contractions,
only about a minute apart,
 I got stuck at 8 cm. 
The contractions slowed down.
I was completely exhausted, 
having not slept in more than 24 hours.

So I caved and asked begged for the epidural.
{It was like I'd gone to heaven.  Not gonna lie.}
Me after the epidural -- finally relief!
Thank goodness I did because even with the epidural 
I was stuck at 8cm for another 3 hours, 
and didn't have Mac for another 6.

So labor, in general, was long and tough.
Felt like my body was splitting apart.
Felt like I might have been dying
But then...
after the epidural, some much needed rest,
and 2 hours of pushing...
He was born!
Felt like my world was beginning
Felt like life was a million times better
Felt like we were a
real family.
Daddy, Mama and Cormac.
Tomorrow we go home, to a world unknown.
A new life with Baby Mac.
Who is has been so amazingly sweet so far.
Who has many adventures ahead.

The first few days home 
will be adventures in themselves, I am sure.

L O V E, 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

favorite things: turquoise

My favorite color is, without any doubt, turquoise.  
It always has been.
I would love to have the all the rooms in my house painted various shades of turquoise.
Alas, turquoise is not exactly neutral.  In fact, it is gorgeously girlie!  
So I will stick to subtle accents.
For dear hubby's sake.
Turquoise tends to make anything look more amazing.
The following images were found
and only make me love the color more...

Source: via Tish on Pinterest

Source: via Becky on Pinterest

I could get away with lots of lovely turquoise in the nursery:
I simply had to promise Hubby that the next bedroom I designed for Baby Boy 
would be all sports...or trucks...or something extremely boyish!
Check out the entire nursery {HERE}. 
Also, in our outdoor space I have slowly been adding various 
turquoise accents, such as the market umbrella, throw pillows
and several DIY painted terra cotta planters:
Latest additions?
These ceramic citronella pots from Pier1:

Also, I finally found a use for this turquoise glass vase I found at a 
garage sale ages ago.  I just filled it with river rocks and 
added a bamboo stalk for a 
simple, zen centerpiece:

Do you adore turquoise, too?
I would love to know how you
infuse this color into your decor
whether subtly
or boldly!
{And if you have entire walls painted turquoise, then YES, 
I am very jealous.}

Saturday, July 9, 2011

baby bump alert: taking his sweet time

Alright already...I am ready.
They say you are never fully ready for your first baby - but I assure you at 40 weeks a pregnant woman is ready.  All I do right now is walk around -- the mall, the neighborhood, the yard, anywhere.  We have tried all of the safe measures to "gently coax" baby along, but to no avail.  He, unlike me, is not ready quite yet.   He still moves around a lot.  His head is still in the down position.  
Baby is apparently going to take his {sweet time.} 

He may choose to be on time - coming July 12th, his "official" due date.
Or perhaps he will be fashionably late - a couple days after he is due. 
Or *gasp* he might be really late, a week or two, forcing us to induce his little baby butt out.
  * praying this is not the case...or an indication of his future punctuality *
This is definitely God's way of teaching me and Hubby patience, which I am sure we will need a lot of in the next 18+ years!
{These pictures are technically taken at 39 weeks, as you can tell by my prop above. But you get the idea.} 

weight gained: 35 pounds
dilated: 3 cm
cravings: Coke Icees...mixed with cherry 
tummy get in the way of: everything!
animal I feel like: hippopotamus

This is my final baby bump alert...
The next "baby post" will be introducing  'lil Baby C into the world!
Praying for a healthy baby
and safe, natural delivery!
We are ready for what God gives us.
{So very ready.}

Thursday, July 7, 2011

{a blogger looks at 30}

Today I turned thirty.
Surprisingly I am unfazed by this formerly tragic-sounding age.
Maybe it is because I am on the verge of delivering my first baby, and to be honest, nothing else seems that important.
Maybe it is because I don't feel "thirty" {whatever that feels like?}
Or maybe it is because when
 I look back on my twenties, I think both of how exciting they were...
and what an absolute rollercoaster of changes
they brought.

This is me at 20.  
{so young!}
I lived in St. Paul, MN.  I had just met and started dating my future Hubby.
I had no idea where my life was headed in the next ten years!
21 and 22 were spent working full-time while going to school, and the typically college stuff: dating, partying, traveling, drama, adventures, heartache, mistakes, and a lot of FUN!
At 23, after various breakups and a lot of trying to make it work long-distance, 
Hubby and I got engaged!
Then we got un-engaged...we still had some growing up to do!
At 24 I graduated from college with a degree in English.
{As with many things in my twenties, it took me a while to decide on my major.}
After graduating I moved to the same state as {future}Hubby and we dated again, on-and-off, for a while...finally not long-distance!
At 25 we got engaged again 
{this time I asked him!}
This time, at 26, we ended up married.
best. day. ever.

From 26-27 I was a newlywed, stumbling my way through the beauty and difficulty that is marriage {I still am!}  I realized how much I love creating a home and learning to cook...and even baking a little!
At 28 I became the proud pet parent of 
this guy:
At 29 I started blogging...
{which brings me JOY!}
...and I got pregnant!
Honestly, twenty-nine has been the best year ever.
And here I am now at 30. 
Baby bump and all.

 There are definitely more lines on my face.  More pounds on my frame.  More memories  written on my heart - both good and bad.  I am certainly less naive, and a little more skeptical than at 20...but also more at peace, and much happier with who I am.

Mostly,  I am simply thankful God guided me through the tumultuous twenties safely!
As for my thirties?
Bring it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

musings of an 'almost mother'

Here I sit in my last few days of pregnancy.  
These have by far been the hardest, because I am so full of anticipation!  I sit and think that any moment I could go into labor.  Sometimes I am scared it will happen that very day.  But most mornings I wake up disappointed that it didn't happen that night.  

I've been focusing so much on the "firsts" in my life for the past nine months...first pregnancy...first ultrasound...first baby movements...but in the past few days I had a sudden bout of focusing on the "lasts," such as:
The last date hubby and I will have without needing a sitter.
The last Sunday I will have completely to myself.
Our last days as "you and me" 
soon to be 
you and me and baby make three!
{four if you count the pup}

Hubby seemed rather unfazed by the dramatic fact that our lives are about to change forever.  He just looked at me stated matter-of-factly, "Didn't we decide this nine months ago?"
I, however, burst into tears over it, blubbering:
"But, but...I didn't think it would go by so fast!"

Truly the fastest nine months of my life.
As well as the slowest last days
of pregnancy.

I'm trying to focus more on enjoying these final days,
before baby and
before I turn thirty!

One way to pass the time?
I painted these clay pots 
turquoise and chalkboard black
to go on our patio,
and planted blue bellflowers, daisies and sunflowers.

Pretty soon flowers {oh, a husband, and a dog} won't be the only things I'm growing and caring for!

Happy 4th of July...
Enjoy every moment!