Monday, September 1, 2014

5 things I wish I would have done when I was pregnant


I am to the point in Raffa's life where I feel extra sentimental about his days passed. Everyone said those days would come, but I disliked the newborn stage so much, I thought that I would never miss my baby being a newborn (even as sweet, cute, and wonderful he was as an infant). However, I see newborns and infants, and now I do indeed miss my baby (side note: this does not mean I want another baby).

Missing my newborn baby has two side effects. First, it makes me all the more determined to be mindful of every moment I have with Raffa now, because time is fleeting, and certainly I will look back upon these days and miss them terribly too. And, second, it makes me reminisce about the past. That brought me to a place where I was remembering being pregnant and a few things I wish I would have known back then.

#1 Don't spend so much time preparing.
I felt {self-imposed} pressure to prepare - to make lists of what I would need for my baby and organize those things once purchased. In the end, once Raffa was born, I needed very little of all that stuff and would have rather purchased what I needed as I went along to prevent buying things I didn't need.

That begs mentioning that in the beginning, all I would have needed was tons of diapers, a tall stack of clean, folded onesies, a couple swaddle blankets, two dozen burp cloths, comfortable clothes (for me), a sling, wrap, or Bjorn, my breast pump, and Raffa's bassinet. All the rest was peripheral and I didn't need it - I really could have just purchased all the rest of that stuff as it was needed.

#2 Don't read baby books or listen to advice.
This goes hand in hand with #1, not only would I buy less stuff to prepare but I would tune out any advice and not read baby books. I actually didn't read any books and I am so glad I did not. Nothing, and I truly believe nothing, can prepare you for being a mom. You can read every book from cover to cover, but until you meet your baby who is a one-of-a-kind, no-book-can-possibly-know individual, you will not know or be able to know what he or she needs. No book can predict what will be best for your baby, because just like every other human on this planet, each baby is completely unique. Those books are mostly pushing some very specific philosophy on taking care of a baby that they say is best, when in reality there is no right or wrong way. There is only what works best for you and your baby, and that is a personal journey you take with your baby to find out what that best is.

Furthermore, I know moms who are just more stressed out because of expectations that these books set that then their babies eating, sleeping, pooping, peeing, napping habits don't live up to. They think these books know their babies and feel like they fell short or failed. Not true at all.

People will offer well intentioned advice. Some people will offer stories or anecdotes meant to scare you. Neither are helpful for the same reasons mentioned above. Smile, nod, and ignore.


#3 Take a babymoon.
I would spend more time with my husband, enjoying him and my dog before our little bomb was dropped. And, we should have gone on a babymoon. We took a day trip to the Florida Keys, but that was more like, "well, we better go see the Keys once while we live in southern Florida because now we are leaving." We should have taking a fancy-schmancy-ish vacation. I know people who have done it and it's genius. And, who doesn't love a vacation?


#4 Take more photos of my pregnant self.
I have a few photos of myself pregnant, mostly thanks to social media (here and here and here and here, for example). But for almost ten months of my life I have surprisingly fewer photos of myself than one might expect, especially photos that show all of me - what I looked like when I was pregnant. Like everyday. You see I was a funny little pregnant lady running in just shorts and a sports bra in the Miami humidity, and I would love to have a photo of that to one day show {or torture} Raffa with.


#5 Enjoy being pregnant.
This may sound impossible to some pregnant women, but I am speaking for me here. I had an easy, lovely, healthy, risk/scare-free pregnancy. I am not naive enough to think that this is the case for everyone, but since it was for me I should have spent time relishing that period of my life since that will be the only I will be pregnant.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

35/52


a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014

photo taken august 24, 2014 // Arvada, Colorado

Raffa is quite independent. Ever since he started really playing with toys, he has been rather content to independently play with them without me there to entertain him. Obviously, I love engaging him, but it is a beautiful thing to watch him entertain himself. Now, we see him started to pretend with the beginnings of make believe; like last week when he was using his plastic bowl and spoon toys to "mix" something up and eat it. 

Along with his independent play comes another kind of independence; the kind that makes it such that he will head off at the park leaving me wondering, if I didn't chase after him would he come back? Even look back?

I suppose this is a great big world with lots of exploring, and for Raffa the desire to explore and play sometimes trumps worrying about checking in with mama. Or perhaps, as I would love to hope, it's more a confidence and he he knows I am always nearby if he needs me, so there is no need to constantly seek out mama.

Read about The 52 Project and why I am participating here.

See all photos in this series here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

logo design // union jack freebies



Another logo for the sweepstakes sites I design logos for ... this one is a no-brainer as to which country it is for!

And this project was a super quick and easy one; we went from five concepts to the final logo in one round of drafts!

Obviously all the concepts worked off of a very strong theme of the British flag, or in the case of the lower left, the iconic Underground logo.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

colomo house in marfa


Last week I shared an Instagram photo of the Colomo House, a vacation rental in Marfa, Texas. The Colomo House is a Marfa landmark and was once the Colomo Handy Store and Texaco Service Station. The home is a whopping 4,000 square feet of open concept, loft-like space which is described as "Far West Texas Comfort and High-Design". It was renovated and designed by New York City contemporary artist and Texas native, Michael Phelan.


The Colomo House is available to rent on vrbo.com which is where I was able to explore it further. See more of the house on vrbo.com. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

zoo day

Last weekend we went to the zoo with some good friends of ours who were babysitting a toddler for a friend. Raffa had only been to the zoo once before, when he was about three months old, so it goes without saying that he enjoyed more this time because he was actually aware of the animals this time. Granted, riding around in his blue car and getting some freedom to walk around (and play some drums) were equally a part of the allure of the zoo for Raffa, but he did enjoy some of the animals, too. Namely the bears were of interest to him; some of the birds were too. The gorillas, elephants, and giraffes are all nice and big (and easy to see), unlike some lizard we saw that blended in with the log it was on.

Typically I would warn against going to the zoo on a Saturday, and it was really crowded when we went. But, our respite came from the not-too-hot weather, some nice cloud cover, and even some light sprinkling of rain.

John had never been to the Denver Zoo, no have John and I ever been to a zoo together, so it was really fun excursion in that sense too. It was so much fun to go with our friends, too. They are some of our closest friends, and their enthusiasm (willingness?) to do "family" excursions and still (appear to) have fun is one of the reasons we love them so much. Soon enough they will have a family of their own (they are working on it) and then we can have some true family double dates!

what I am wearing:
tee // Ascot + Hart Perfect V Neck (sold out) or similar here and here
shorts // One Teaspoon Bandits in Fox Black
shoes // Vans Classic Slip On Checkerboard

Sunday, August 24, 2014

34/52

a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014

photo taken august 21, 2014 // Durango, Colorado

While we were Durango, we took Raffa to Purg (or Durango Mountain Resort, rather). He explored the base of the mountain. He walked in the grass, walked in the mud, walked in some mulch, walked near the chair lift, admired some flowers, sat on a quad, and climbed up and down some stairs. We are back in Denver now and I can't speak for Raffa, but John and I miss it already. I am so thankful we have gotten to visit as often as we have, and that we are getting to share those visits with Raffa. We love showing him all of our favorite places there.

Read about The 52 Project and why I am participating here.

See all photos in this series here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

toy storage

I saw this photo on Chris Rann's instagram and thought it looked like a pretty cool space. But what caught my eye the most was the toy storage. I love how there are colorful wooden toys housed in some open shelving, showcasing them rather than hiding them away. I thought it was a great idea as a way to organize toys. Unfortunately, so many toys these days are big, bright, ugly, and plastic. But for the beautiful wooden toys, this is the way to "store" them.

Look for more about the house this space is in next Wednesday ... it's a vacation rental in Marfa, Texas.

We are headed back to Denver today. We had a great time in Durango and being there for over a week really allowed us to get settled. I got a lot of work done, too ... in case you didn't hear, last weekend I launched my redesigned REMEMBER the day website. In honor of the occasion I am offering 25% off with the coupon code NEWSITE25. Head over to my newly redesigned website, check it out, and let me know what you think.

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