After a whirlwind 5 days...
I'm Thankful -
For my husband. My rock. My best friend. My BETTER half. My everything. This husband of mine is truly one of a kind and I am so incredibly blessed.
For my son. The love I have for this little guy is amazing. Every single day I look at him and wonder how I got so lucky. He truly is amazing and I'm so LUCKY and grateful to be his mama. He is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me.
For both mine and Matt's families. We are truly blessed.
For my health.
For memories. Call me a sap but pictures and memories mean more to me than anything lately.
For my job. Even though I don't enjoy it an wish I didn't have to work, at the end of the day I am thankful for it. It gives me the ability to provide for my family in many different ways.
For traditions - new and old, like running a 10k on Thanksgiving morning. I wasn't able to do it last year since I had just given birth, so this year I'm especially thankful (even if my time wasn't the best.) It's so much more than just running. There's no better way to start Thanksgiving Day.
For all the things that often get taken for granted - like water, food, hot showers, clothes, shoes, a roof over our heads, etc. I try not to take them for granted on a daily basis. But on Thanksgiving I make sure I take a step back and really appreciate and take notice of these things. Not everyone has them. And I am GRATEFUL for them.
For the little things - like wine...and cinnamon roll pecan pie. And Amazon Prime. :)
2 months ago we lost Matt's grandpa. And yesterday, his Nani went to be with him. They loved each other through and through. They were both amazing people. And though they will be forever missed, they are now together - forever.
It's no secret I love to work out. Running is my fave - again, no surprise there (I'm sure ya'll are sick of hearing me talk about running.) But I know besides running I have to hit the weights, do other forms of cardio, and try to be the healthiest I can be. I've learned to love Pilates. And on non-running days, I can totally get in 'the zone' on the elliptical. And free weights - I've actually gotten very comfortable with using them and I actually look forward to my strength days.
So, some of you may wonder what a typical (this doesn't always work out this way...ESPECIALLY with a baby) week work out wise looks like to me. So, I thought I'd share my routine with ya'll...
Monday - abs, few body weight exercises (like squats, lunges, push-ups, etc), run 2-3 miles
Tuesday - abs, more intense strength session with weights, run 2-3 miles
Wednesday - run 2-3 miles, abs, stretching (in the summer when it stays lighter later, I usually go for a 6 mile run outside.)
Thursday - cardio for 30-45 minutes, free weights
Friday - rest day
Saturday - longish run (anywhere between 6 and 9 miles)
Sunday - Pilates class
Now some weeks I don't get to work out 6 times a week. Last week, for instance, I only worked out 4 days. But making the time to work out is important to my husband and I. We make it a priority. We support each other. We just do it. But we also have a baby and we both work. And have a house to keep up. And have family obligations. And everything else that comes up in life. So to make it all work, it means my husband wakes up at 4:45am to work out. And I work out at night once Camden is fast asleep. Is this ideal? Absolutely not. But it's what we have to do in order to fit everything in. We make it work because we want to.
Are we crazy?! Maybe a little bit ;-)
Relax! Relax! No, I'm not pregnant (I had ya there for a second, didn't I?!?!) So even though I'm not pregnant I did want to share some thoughts on baby #2.
Even though Camden just turned a year old we get asked all the time about baby #2. Matt and I also talk about baby #2 quite often. And neither of us have an answer for if/when baby #2 will come.
Some days I'm all about having another baby. I, of course, miss having a little tiny newborn around. I mean, how could I not miss it all? Camden was such an incredibly easy baby from day one. Everything with him was easy (and still is today.) But then I think...could we get lucky a second time and have another easy baby? Probably not. And honestly, that scares the crap out of Matt and I. Not to mention, would I love a second baby as much as I love Camden? (I know the answer is yes - but I still question it.) And how would we afford another daycare payment? (we couldn't right now to be honest.) But even with all these questions - how could we not have another baby? We want Camden to have a sibling. I actually want to experience pregnancy again. Wouldn't it be selfish of us if we didn't try for another child?
So right now, I don't have a clear answer on when or if there will be another little Chi running around. I don't know what the future holds. I may not be able to get pregnant. We may choose to not even try for another. Or we may decide tomorrow to start trying. I just don't know. So basically, I have no answers. And instead of trying to find answers, we're focusing on taking life one day at a time and soaking up Camden as much as we can and just enjoying our cute, perfect, little family of 3.
I haven't done an update on Camden in a little while so I figured this would be a fun way to do that. Enjoy!
Making: lots and lots of noise all the time - seriously this kid is never quiet (unless he's around new people.) He repeats everything - says a lot of things in full sentences and in general just makes a lot of noise!! He also sings a lot and it's just about the cutest thing ever <3
Drinking: just milk and water. We don't do juice or any other beverages in our house.
Reading: as many books as he can. His favorites are any Sandra Boynton book (especially Snuggle Puppy right now), any Sesame Street book, and Good Night, Good Night Construction Site. He pretty much loves any book and quite honestly his favorite changes quite often.
Wanting: to be able to watch as much Elmo as he wants (but that ain't happenin' - sorry bud ha-ha)
Playing: with water (give the kid a hose and he's the happiest kid alive!) and with all his stuffed animals. Seriously, this kid LOVES his stuffed animals and has SO many of them.
Enjoying: daycare. He really loves going and playing with his friends (even if he does bite them and pull their hair - oy!)
Liking: to be naked. Even if we just take his shirt off he yells 'I naked now' and gets SO excited ha-ha It's so funny!
Loving: his mama something fierce. I can't say it enough - he's such a mama's boy and I LOVE it <3 He also loves going to the local children's museum, the zoo, taking a bath, going on donut 'dates' with mom and/or dad, and reading books.
Watching: short Elmo videos on YouTube when mama and dada allow it :) His favorites right now are the Elmo brushing your teeth one and Adam Sandler's Song about Elmo.
Wearing: whatever he helps pick out. We find getting dressed (either in pj's or regular clothes) is a lot less of a struggle if he gets to help pick out what he wears. I thought this was a thing only girls went through...apparently not!! As far as size goes - for pj's and shirts he is in mostly 18 months. For shorts he's in 12 months but can wear some 18 month ones.
Knowing: how to count to 10 (and to 20 with some help) and a lot of his ABC's.
Eating: not a whole lot most days. He still loves black olives, the banana/egg pancakes I make him, and raspberries. He's really been into smoothies lately, too. Oh, and applesauce. He looooves, looooves applesauce.
Getting: so incredibly big - and independent - and stubborn. And smart. So, so smart. I've said it from day one. He is so, so smart and doesn't miss a thing these days. He amazes us DAILY!!
Disliking: not getting his way. But what toddler does like that?! He can throw a temper tantrum like no other let me tell ya. He knows what he wants and he wants it NOW! :-p
Giggling: all the time at mommy and daddy. He thinks it's so funny when we tickle him, or chase him, or throw him in the air. He loves to tease us and is always so proud of himself when he 'gets' us ;-)
He is such a joy every day (even on his bad days!) Every day Matt and I say to each other how lucky we are and how amazing he is. He's so fun to be around. He keeps us on our toes and quite honestly he's the best thing that has ever happened to us. We know we're biased but he's quite the handsome little dude as well. Everywhere we go someone stops us and tells us how cute he is and that he should model so it's not just us :) Overall, we think he's perfect!!
That's where I'm at this week.
...I'm sick. But there are no sick days when you're a mom.
...Camden has decided he doesn't want to sleep through the night. The past three nights have been rough...and not at all restful.
...work is INSANE. My staff are great...but they can drive me crazy. Everything is fast-paced, stressful, and overwhelming. I work at least 46+ hours a week - EVERY week. It's a very challenging, draining job. And there's A LOT going on at my workplace. It's just BUSY.
...I'm cranky and plain ol' exhausted.
...and lots of other things are going on too....because well - life :/
I know these are small things. But right now, all compounded together, it feels pretty overwhelming. I feel like I'm unraveling at the seams. I feel like I'm losing control. I feel like I'm failing.
...But then I realize...there isn't time for that. There isn't time to feel sorry for myself. There isn't time to dwell on all these things. So I'm in survival mode. Doing what needs to be done just to get through each day. You don't think - you just DO. You just keep moving and plugging along because the world doesn't stop for you when you need a break.
You just keep going.
And you survive.
I don't even know where to begin right now. I can't wrap my head around the fact that you are 1. Yes, that's right - 1!! How is that even possible?! I just don't know - it baffles your daddy and I. On that same note, I can't believe this is my last monthly update. Now that you are a big boy I'll do updates every 6 months. I'm really going to miss these monthly ones though!!
You are such an incredibly easy, fun, sweet, smart little boy. Seriously. I know I'm biased and all but EVERYONE says that about you. We are so proud to be your parents. You have such a laid back, yet fun personality. You really 'get' things now. It's just so amazing to see what a little person you are these days rather than just a baby. You grow leaps and bounds every day and we love watching you grow.
Though this year hasn't always been easy, your daddy and I count our blessings. You truly are amazing and so easy - it makes us scared to have another one because you're just THAT good and easy ;-) But we are so incredibly thankful you're such an easy baby!!
You are thriving at daycare and that eases the pain of us both being working parents. Though it's not the most ideal situation, we're so happy you are somewhere you love going to and have fun playing with your friends. We certainly enjoy every second we have with you and love being a family of 3. Our time together is never taken for granted!
We all thought you'd be an early walker but here we are....you're 1 and still not walking. Are you going to be stubborn like your mama and want to do things on your own time at your own pace?!?!? That's OK, though. We're really in no hurry for you to walk. Walking is a game changer - one we're not quite ready for yet ha-ha
Sometimes I forget how 'old' you are. You're basically the size of a 6 to 9 month old so sometimes you catch me off guard doing things I feel like you shouldn't be doing yet. But then I remember - though you are small - you are strong and developing quickly and are quick to learn things! My little smarty pants <3
Anyways, thank you for being you. These last 12 months being your mommy have been the best. Your daddy and I love you more and more each day. Keep doing what you're doing, Camden Matthew.
Mommy & Daddy
WEIGHT - We don't go for his 1 year appointment until the 20th. At the end of October he was about 17lbs 9oz soooooooo I'd guess he's probably right around the 18lb mark.
LENGTH - about 28"-29" - I'll update after his 1yr appointment.
CLOTHES - He's mostly in 6 or 6-9 month clothes. He has a few 3 or 3-6 things that still fit him (like some button down shirts.)
SLEEP - Sleeps from about 6:40pm until 6:15am. He naps for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon (boy do I miss his 2 hour long naps!)
DISLIKES - getting his diaper changed, not being able to see me (he's very clingy with me and is a total mama's boy!), getting his nose wiped, having drops put in his eyes
LIKES - books, getting chased around the house, stuffed animals, being with his mama <3, nursing, making animal noises, and playing with his friends at daycare.
EATING - still eats like a champ! His favorite foods are watermelon, Gerber lil' crunchies (like these), eggs, tomatoes, olives, applesauce, and greek yogurt. I always said I'd stop nursing once he turned 1 but I have since changed my mind. I'm going to continue nursing for as long as he wants to (within reason of course.) We will still introduce milk to him once we go to the doctor (I'd like to do organic unsweetened almond milk instead of whole milk but we need to discuss this with his pediatrician first.)
MILESTONES - I don't even know where to begin...I hesitate on this section because I know I'll forget something!! His communication skills and what he understands is off the wall! He says mama, dada, yeah, nana. He still signs for things like milk, all finished, etc. He blows kisses. He loves finding things in all his books (Where's the baby? Where are the bananas? Where's the monkey?) He can make the sounds of a cow, monkey, elephant, lion, snake (Ssssss), and rabbit (sniff sniff). It just astounds me how much he gets and understands - he's such a little person now. It's amazing to see, it really truly is. He also has 7 teeth now - 4 on the bottom and 3 on top. He's still not walking but I suspect that to change any day now. He's our little monkey and is climbing all over the place. He knows a bunch of body parts and even tries doing things like putting his own socks and shoes on!! He has learned how to go down stairs correctly (backwards, of course) and it's so adorable to watch!! Quite honestly, he's growing up way too fast <3
OTHER - Well this month brought a lot of sickness to the little man. First he had croup. Then he got a bad cold, which settled in his eyes resulting in a double eye infection (but not pink eye!) Even though he's been sick, he has still been so happy and still sleeping like a champ. We only had one night where he was up for about 30 minutes or so (he just wanted to be held and rocked but daddy finally got him to fall in a deep enough sleep so he could be put down without waking.)
MOMMY - It's been about 5 months since I've done a postpartum update so I figured I'd chime in here real quick. I have finally shed the last few pounds I had of baby weight (and then some - though not on purpose. Guess that's what happens when you get sick!) I feel great running and have been trying to get outside to run as much as possible. And I've found my groove in the gym. I have absolutely no pelvic pain which is awesome. As I mentioned above, I'm still nursing and pumping so 'the girls' are still lookin' good (boy I'll really miss this part once I stop breastfeeding! ha-ha) My belly button is weird - like it's a little stretched out/saggy. Is this normal or is this just me? Not a big fan of that but oh well. I'd say I've got most of my abs back, though I also have a little mommy pooch. I was also lucky enough to not get any stretch marks. Overall, physically I feel pretty decent (besides being exhausted all the time...but that sort of comes with the territory of being a parent, huh?!?!) My diet hasn't been the best - I definitely need to get better at this. I just can't seem to say no to candy...and chocolate. So this is an area I definitely need to focus on and be more aware of what I'm putting in my body.
So yeah, that's where I am a year later - could be better...could be worse...but ALWAYS a work in progress!!!
*I stole this idea from Allison - check out her blog here!*
To my little boy,
This first year of being your mama has been nothing short of amazing. I want every moment with you to last forever. I want every second we spend together to be forever etched in my brain. I never want to forget a single thing. In fact, I wish time would just slow down.
With all that being said, you amaze me every single day. You bring me so much love and happiness - more so than I could have ever imagined. Being your mama is my most favorite thing ever. You are amazing and I love you so very much, my sweet boy.
So in celebration of your 1st birthday here are just a few things I love about you...
The way you scowl when you’re so focused and trying to figure out how something works.
How adorable you are when you get frustrated.
How excited you get when you see a tower and get to knock it down.
The little gap between your two front teeth.
How excited you get when you sign for ‘more’ or ‘milk.’
How happy you are to help out with things (like cleaning up toys, putting your binky in your crib, etc).
How you try to put your own socks and shoes on.
When we ask you where our nose is and you have to ‘honk’ both mama and dada’s nose.
Your obsession with books.
Your cowlick and comb over.
Your obsession with opening and shutting doors/drawers/etc.
How your face lights up whenever you see me or your dada.
The way you play with my hair when you’re nursing.
The feel of your sweet little arms around my neck when you're snuggled close.
How serious you can be.
How you know you need an adult with you before you can climb the stairs and wait patiently before going upstairs.
How you absolutely love to be chased and laugh so hard!!
The way you smell after a bath.
How much you LOVE animals.
The way your eyes light up when you see olives or tomatoes on your highchair tray.
Your little buddha belly.
How sweet and loving you are.
The sounds you make for an elephant, lion, monkey, cow, snake, and rabbit!
Your open mouth kisses.
The way you snuggle right into my neck.
The way you look when you sleep with your little butt up in the air and arms tucked underneath you.
Speaking of your butt – how cute your little bum is!
How you scrunch up your nose and squint your eyes – your classic goofy face!
How incredibly smart you are.
How you love to suck on a washcloth while in the tub.
The way you throw your head back and arch your back when you throw a temper tantrum.
How stinkin’ adorable you look when you crawl so fast!!!
The way you get so excited and shovel food into your mouth like a mad man!
And soooo much more.
Basically, I love every.little.thing about you.
Thank you for making me a mama.
Though, you grow each day you’ll always be my baby. As I say to you EVERY night...
“I’ll love you forever…I’ll like for you always
...As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
Happy 1st Birthday my sweet Camden Matthew!!
At the end of October we had some family pictures done and we finally got them back from the photographer! I'm so excited to finally be able to share these with you! Get ready for a picture overload...
I very rarely buy myself clothes. But lately I've been trying to add a few pieces here and there. My wardrobe is pretty bare these days - I feel like I'm always wearing the same things over and over. So I've really been trying to buy myself some new clothes when I can. It's no secret that fall is my favorite time of year, so of course fall clothes are right up my alley...skinny jeans, boots, sweaters, scarves - yes please!! When buying new clothes I try to only buy multi-functional pieces. Ideally, I need to be able to dress it up for work or keep it casual for the weekends. So here are a few of my favorite Fall inspired outfits that I absolutely love (all from my fashion board on Pinterest - that you can check out here.)
(side note - I've had this post written for weeks...until now, I've been too afraid to publish it due to people judging us/backlash we may receive/people thinking differently of us. But then I realized - maybe some of these tips will help a new mom or dad and so I figured I may as well put on my big girl pants and actually post it today!!!.)
In today's society there is a lot of controversy over a lot of key issues when it comes to parenting. I'm not a very vocal person. I don't like being the center of attention. And I most certainly don't like confrontation. However, I do have opinions on certain things (that I usually just keep to myself.) And in some cases, these opinions go against the grain of what is 'right' when it comes to babies. And that's OK. My baby is perfect. In fact, he's probably one of the most well-adjusted, easy-going, sweetest babies I've ever known. And I think a lot of this has to do with all the parenting things we've done 'wrong'...and yet, were so very right for us and our baby. I'm not saying these are THE 'right' things to do - I think you need to do what is best for you and your family. In my opinion, the only RIGHT thing when it comes to parenting is putting your child first, loving the heck out of him/her, and making sure he/she is happy, healthy, and growing!! Judge me if you want...but here are the things I've done 'wrong' *so far*...
1. I had my breastfed baby on a schedule from the very first day we were home.
Yup that's right - he was on an eating schedule. For the first week of his life I fed him every 3 hours. At 2 weeks old I went to every 4 hours. Does that mean if he got hungry 2 hours before his next scheduled feed I didn't feed him? OF COURSE NOT (what kind of mother do you think I am?!?!) But you're darn right I still fed him at the next scheduled time to keep him on track. Camden has thrived on this schedule. I know it's not for everyone or every baby, but it worked for us and continues to work for us.
2. I also got him on a routine very early on (by the time he was 3 weeks old we were on a very regular eat, play, sleep routine.)
I knew when he was hungry. I knew when he was tired. I knew when it was time to play. And he knew it all too. It's amazing how quickly babies pick up on things and how they thrive on consistency and routine. I think that most people don't realize that babies are learning so much in the early months that consistency and routine are sort of a 'stress relief' for babies. It sort of gives them a break from everything else they are seeing, learning, and soaking up. I truly believe routine and consistency is a huge source of comfort for babies. If there's one thing I believe in the most it'd be a routine.
3. I sleep trained (I use that term loosely as a lot of this just came naturally to Camden.)
I put him in his crib the very first night he was home. He has gone to sleep on his own from the very beginning. He has had a set nap schedule. He goes to bed early (as in he is asleep between 6:30-6:45 every night.) He has had a bedtime/nap routine since day one. I don't go pick him up the second I see he's awake (I can't tell you how many times he has put himself back to sleep or will just lay in his crib hanging out and resting.) He was sleeping a 7-8 hour stretch at about 3 weeks old - every night - and was sleeping 11+ straight hours around 7 or 8 weeks old! This kid is a FANTASTIC sleeper. And yes, I'll brag all day long about this - we put a lot of time and effort into this.
4. Once I went back to work I didn't get much when I pumped. And therefore, I had to supplement with formula. I have zero guilt about this. I also have no guilt when I choose to just give him formula when we're out and about because it's easier (Not to mention I'm not one to just whip my boob out in public.) I also have no qualms that I buy the generic brand of formula versus the way more expensive brand name one (the ingredients are the same so why pay more?!)
5. I didn't start baby cereal until he was 6 months old. Nor did I start with rice cereal (we chose oat cereal instead.)
We eased our way into the whole food journey, giving him time to adjust and giving his digestive system additional time to mature more. But once we got into it, there was no holding us back. He eats olives. He eats spinach and kale. He loves tomatoes. He digs greek yogurt. He inhales squash of all kinds. The kid can EAT!!!! We held off on dairy for quite a while but he's been eating that regularly since he was about 10 months old. Every day I keep my fingers crossed that he'll continue to love all these healthy foods. BUT with all that being said, everything I buy or make for him isn't 100% organic. There are a few things we buy that are organic but most of it isn't. Unfortunately, I just don't have the funds available to provide him 100% organic foods all the time.
6. Camden doesn't watch TV.
And we have no plans to let him any time soon. I know eventually we'll have to introduce the TV to him (I most certainly don't want him being the weird kid) but for now TV is a no-no.
7. I'm a working mom (with a very stressful, demanding, fast-paced job).
We're not able to afford for me (or Matt) to stay home. Does that make me a bad mom? Does that mean I love my son less than a mom that stays home? Does this mean someone else is raising my son? Absolutely not!! You know all those things stay at home parents do? Yeah I do all that stuff too. My child is not neglected because I work. I'm not "ruining" him by not staying at home with him. No one else is raising him. Do I wish things were differently? Of course. But they aren't, so I have to deal with the cards we've been dealt.
So with all this being said - do I think I'm the greatest parent that has ever lived? Oh hell NO. Am I saying these are the 'right' ways? NOPE.
No matter what you do, you're going to be wrong in the eyes of someone else. Do your research, figure out how you want to raise/parent your child, & always keep in mind your baby's personality and likes/dislikes. No matter what you do - no matter how you go about things - so long as you love your child fiercely you can do no wrong...no matter what anyone else thinks <3
This year was Camden's 1st Halloween!! Now believe it or not I am not a fan of Halloween (except for the massive amounts of candy!) I don't like being scared. I don't like dressing up. I don't like when people are all dressed up and I don't know who they are. Even as a kid, I didn't like going trick or treating. But I have a baby now. And I want Camden to experience everything that Halloween has to offer. I want him to enjoy Halloween and have FUN. I want to participate and I want to be there with him as he experiences all these holidays. So this year, I got into the Halloween spirit. I decorated the house. Camden had 2 costumes. Heck I even dressed up. Who am I?!? :)
We started the weekend off right with a Halloween party at his daycare on Friday. She went ALL out - it was so cute (but, of course, I didn't take a single picture!) She took the kids trick or treating at the town hall, then they had story time at the library, and then we headed to her house for goodies. She is seriously the Pinterest queen and went all out on the cutest Halloween goodies. It was so cute!
Saturday was such a busy day!! After his morning nap, we went to Camden's old babysitter's to visit. We miss her terribly but we're so glad she's still in our lives. After that, we headed to my in-law's for lunch and to play with his Mimi for a bit. We then continued onto my parents' house. While down there, Matt and I were able to scoot out to visit some friends and their baby (aka Camden's future wife!) After dinner, we headed to the fire department where my brother-in-law is Chief at. It was certainly a busy but fun, memorable day!!
Hey ~ I'm Renée...just your ordinary, 30-something Accountant, new mommy, wife, runner, foodie, & Pinterest addict! Welcome to my newest adventure...stay awhile...look around...and keep comin' back!