Something tells me that every time one of these posts comes around, I’m going to be wondering how in the actual heck another month has passed…. and it will be that way for the rest of my days, because time is flying. The months are blurring together but we hit some big milestones in the last one and these blogs are selfishly created so that I stay on top of editing photos of our babe and remembering the little things.
One thing that I’ve been doing, is writing little letters to Conley. I actually started doing this on the day I found out I was pregnant. Reading through those letters makes me pretty emotional just because I was so nervous my entire pregnancy (something loss does to you) and so it’s wild to read through the rollercoaster leading up to her and to know that sometime she will have those letters of what it was like to get to her. I try to just type up a little page every week or two so I don’t remember all those little “firsts.”
When you’re in the thick of it, you feel like you’ll never forget those little moments, but now, looking at the last three months, I can see how it all kind of blurs together and you can’t really remember those specific times. So, between these blog posts and those letters, I feel like I’m covering my bases well and will have some fun things to pass on to baby girl when she’s a bit older.
Hawaii with Conley
I think we were both kind of surprised at how smooth it was being in Hawaii with our girl. We were prepared for a rude awakening but in reality, we were able to just kind of bring her along with us wherever we went. If you’re curious how we got enough stuff there for a month, I did a whole post about traveling with a baby where I outline ALL the things. She went to our three favorite beaches, came to the gym, went on long walks, sat by the pool at The Andaz, and made it through longer dinners at our fave restaurants. The top photos in this post were captured during a rainy night by our sweet friend, Asia, of Indigo Child!
We are SUPER lucky, because she’s a pretty content little baby and she can sleep basically anywhere, so we didn’t have much of a schedule but just stayed on top of feedings and made sure she had a good mix of being awake with us without missing her naps. Overall, we survived without any meltdowns and for us, that was a big boost of confidence that we could still enjoy doing our favorite things and bring her along — at least for now. (I know, I know, it won’t always be this easy, but let us just bask in the fact that we did it! Alright?)
My favorite day of our trip
When we’re in Hawaii, we split time between our two condo units so we can do updates, deep clean, and make sure everything is great for our guests, so while it’s a vacation to be there, we also end up working quite a bit on our units! We always have a few big Target hauls for linens and have a handyman visit or two for upgrades and so we love to book a few days at our favorite resort, The Andaz. We travel pretty simply and love being at our condos, but spending time at The Andaz serves as a staycation and a forced break! This time, we booked 3 nights at the end of our trip and we were both looking forward to it!
On our last full day, I booked a facial at the spa and after an amazing breakfast, I got to disconnect for a few hours and treat myself. It was the first time in the entire month that I was away from Conley for more than an hour and so it felt both weird but luxurious (and the spa there is HEAVEN!) After my treatment, I spent time in the steam room and jacuzzi and then met up with Drew and Conley!
The resort gave us a cabana to camp out under and we spent the day snuggled in the shade and fell asleep mid-feed and we snuggled. We watched the sunset by the ocean while Conley nursed and I got all teary just at everything… life, our daughter, Hawaii. Blame it on hormones or the fact that I felt exceptionally blessed (and still do!) That night we had our FAVORITE meal of our trip at Ka’ana Kitchen (Chef Jon is INSANE amazing!) It was honestly the perfect day, probably one of the best days of my life.
Home Sweet Minnesota
After 33 days on the island, we packed up to make the journey home! We intentionally planned to break our travel up so that we could spend the night in LA versus flying through the night and all being sleep deprived so we flew Maui to LA and spent the night near the airport! This is something we plan on doing, just because it ensures we can all get good sleep and breaks up the long travel days! Conley did awesome on the flight and slept through most of it (everyone is warning us that she won’t do that soon, but hey, it’s great right now!)
The next day we flew to Chicago and then to Duluth where my mom picked us up from the airport at 11PM! She was so excited to see the baby (and us too… sort of!) and it was the perfect welcome home. We stayed up until 2AM because jetlag and sipped wine and marveled at how much Coco had grown in a month. I mean, she spent almost half of her life on the island! The next day my dad swung by and barely hugged me before scooping up a sleepy Conley and it did feel good to be back home… did I mention that we have snowdrifts that are 4 feet high? Yeah, thank God for family or we’d be booking a flight right back to Hawaii.
It felt SO good to see our pups who stayed home while someone watched them and the house and we caught up on puppy snuggles and settled back into our space! Talk about a weather shock going from 80 and beaches to 0 and snowbanks… but hey, the dichotomy makes us appreciate both worlds.
What we are loving
I am always paying attention to the things we’re using and loving so I can share them with you! So I wanted to round up a few staples that I haven’t mentioned here! I hope these roundups are helpful!
- Our non-diaper, diaper bag: I have been using this Live Fashionable leather backpack and it’s been so handy. I have nothing against traditional diaper bags, just haven’t found one that I love and since Drew and I often are handing things off, this one is masculine enough for him to use. We just have a little clutch with diapers and wipes and then I can also fit things like my computer in. It was also used as my personal bag for travel, so I love it’s versatility.
- This white noise machine: Okay, this is something we use every day! Whether we stick it in her car seat when we are out and about or use it for naptime, I love that you don’t have to have it plugged in, it’s super tiny and easy to bring along, and truly, Drew and I have gotten used to it for sleeping so we kind of love it, too.
- DailyHarvest smoothie cups: These have been a Godsend and I couldn’t get them in Hawaii so coming home, I made sure a shipment was there when we got to our doorstep. All you do is add a liquid and blend and they’ve been my go-to breakfast since having her. Most of the ingredients are organic and it’s whole, real food, no filler or additives. If you want to try them, just use “jennak” and you’ll get 3 free smoothies. I’m sipping one as I type this out… I’ve got all my friends hooked, they are SO good.
Milestones of the Month
Oh man, I’m trying to separate last month from this month! Conley officially weighs 11lbs and is 22 inches long, so clearly the sunshine helped our girl grow! She’s filling out her 0-3 month clothes pretty well and we’re laughing at how the things she used to be swimming in are now getting a little tight. She loves to talk now and when I sing to her, she’ll coo back. It’s hilarious when she discovers her hands and she can stare at them for minutes on end, just in awe. Dad loves holding her in front of the mirrors and I’m still shocked that Mr. OCD himself isn’t upset with the smudges on the mirrors because they are simply reminders of our little girl discovering herself.
She’s been sleeping longer stretches, usually between 6-8 hours each night which has been such a blessing and she handled the timezone change like a champ! She seems to like the dogs and they will give her kisses and then get freaked out by her little noises. Conley’s been putting herself to sleep more which has been awesome and she still eats like a champ and freaks out when she finishes eating. Her hair still has a reddish hue that we aren’t sure where it came from and her eyes are round and blue!
This week was my first official week back to work and dang, does it feel so good. I struggled on maternity leave with the desire of wanting to work and feeling like that desire made me a bad mom and so to be able to devote even a few hours to work without feeling guilty has been a huge blessing. We’re still trying to figure out the best schedule for our fam so my hope is to just work part-time and work about 4 hours a day total so that I can still feed her but escape and focus as well. We’re kind of handing her off between Drew and I and then devoting the evenings to family time. My mom is also going to come over twice a week and give us a few hours to run errands, go on a date, or get work done, so, for the time being, we don’t need a nanny or childcare.
My body is feeling really great and I’ve been craving more gentle exercise over CrossFit, so I’m just listening to my body. I did a lot of long walks in Hawaii and am hoping to join a yoga studio here to do some hot yoga a few times a week. I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight which feels encouraging and while my body is definitely different and more motherly, I feel really proud of it and feel good in my skin (even the loose skin!) I am excited to get back to a routine with work and exercise and just settle back into our Minnesota life as a family of three.
All in all, it’s been an amazing three months and I can’t believe maternity “leave” is over and the juggling act has officially begun but there is so much to be thankful for and I constantly think about our journey to this point and the years I prayed for this reality and so I am taking each day and each moment and celebrating in the joy! I am so thankful I’ve gotten the opportunity to become a mom and for those of you yearning and praying, I am thinking of you because those feelings are still right there within me.
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