Eleven Months of Conley Kate

Jenna Kutcher 

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November 15, 2019


I’m in denial that the next post I will write is her one year post — cue: the tears. But don’t worry, I’ll pull myself together enough to share an update of this past month. It’s been a busy one (but haven’t they all?), and since every single post of hers has essentially the same intro — me in disbelief at how fast time goes, me talking about all the changes — let’s just get on to the good stuff, shall we? I’ll do my best to save the sappy for next month’s post!

Highlights of This Month:

One of the best parts of this last month was settling into life at the lake house! If you missed it, we bought a place up the north shore to spend our weekends, escape to, and enjoy the slower pace of lake life. We had been looking at property up there since January and went up multiple times to check out different options, but when the place we ended up buying hit the market, I sent Drew the listing and was in love. It’s a beautiful log home nestled on 20 acres with crazy views of Lake Superior. We have a little guest house for visitors, a sauna, and space to roam.

It’s a slice of heaven and one that I hope is woven into our legacy for the rest of our lives. When I walked in for the first time, I envisioned raising Coco up there and having it be this special, sacred place for our family and loved ones. We’ve already spent 3 weekends up there and find ourselves biding our time to stay as long as we possibly can. Our vision is to split our time between Duluth + the shore when we’re in Minnesota, so we’re really excited to make a lot of memories in that space.

Conley climbed her first steps there and has since found so much joy in scaling stairs (with us behind her, of course) every single day. Operation “childproof our lives” is in full effect as we crawl and climb and pull on all the things like Coco does. She is getting around at rapid speed these days, crawling wicked fast, standing and waving, and has even stood up and held it for a few seconds before she topples. I am thinking she’ll be walking soon, which is both exciting and terrifying (mostly exciting though!).

Sleep has also been a huge win this past month! Our growing girl found a rhythm and sleeps for a solid 12 hours every night, and it’s been such a blessing for us! We also found a sleep schedule (thanks to Taking Cara Babies) that works for all of us. It’s felt really good to have a predictable schedule, and I never thought I’d be one of “those moms” who plans her life around her baby’s sleep, but it’s just better for all of us when she’s rested and we stick to our plan.

Right now she takes two naps a day, each about an hour-and-a-half long, and then she sleeps from 7PM – 7AM! We’ve really enjoyed our evening time as a couple after she goes to sleep and have finally made a dent in our DVR recordings of all the shows we used to watch (we’re only 10 episodes behind on “This is Us!”). But seriously, who has time for TV these days?

Eating is one of Conley’s favorite hobbies and man, can that girl eat. It’s been so fun to watch her enjoy, explore, and seek out food. We haven’t done anything super formal when it comes to food, so it’s a mix of her just eating what we’re eating and making her some of her faves like scrambled eggs or banana pancakes.

She loves food so much, and I think her recent weigh in at the doctor confirmed that. She had a bit of a spike in her charts, oops. We’re also still exclusively nursing, so between that and the food, Coco packed on a few points and jumped in the charts, which was funny for a girl who’s been on the smaller side. Safe to say that she loves food like her mama.

Personality is just growing every day. I swear every day it seems like she’s more of a toddler. This girl loves attention, which is so evident whenever we leave the house. She will stare at people until they engage with her, and she made 100 new friends on the plane rides this month. Thank goodness the people behind us each flight loved babies! It seems like she’s understanding things, and I feel like she “gets” what we are saying to her. It’s the most fun watching her take in new things.

Not only does she think she’s hilarious (she is!), but it’s been insane to just see the growth day by day as she starts to learn how things work and move. We try to explain things to her little mind like how mama makes her latte or how a door works — even if she doesn’t understand, she is engaged. Overall, her sweet little disposition is still right there, and watching her personality peek through tells me we’ve got an outgoing comic on our hands.

Travel was another theme this month. I mean, at this stage of the game, Conley has more frequent flier miles than most adults. She came along for my first-ever team retreat in Scottsdale and then flew to New York City for the first time for a shoot with Aerie (she even got to model with mama which is so special since they documented my entire pregnancy!).

My mom came on the trips with us and helped make traveling with a mobile child so much easier. It was such a blessing for my team to get to meet her, and she did great on the flights again — though I will say, traveling with a newborn was by far the easiest stage! Things are getting interesting now!

Our Favorites:

Ergo Baby: I was laughing because I was showing my mom pictures of our trips, and we were scrolling on the plane trying to pass time and she said, “Whoa, what would you guys do without that carrier?” I mean, we use it every single day without fail and it’s exceptionally handy when traveling and navigating airports or hiking through the woods at the lake house. I don’t know what we’ll do when Coco grows out of it.

This swing: We got a million questions on this swing when I shared it on our Instagram Stories. I’ll be honest and say that Coco didn’t love it at first, but we put her in it a few times and then she got obsessed. It’s also wildly handy to keep her busy for a few minutes without having to chase her (real talk!). We’re probably going to put a hook up in her nursery at the lake house and let it be there. I just loved this one because it’s both beautiful and fun!

Sweatsuit: I’ve shared before how we use a company called Upchoose for Conley’s clothing (essentially it’s a Rent the Runway for babies where you send back the clothes they outgrow and get new or gently used sets of organic cotton baby clothes already sourced for you!), but I still purchase a few nice pieces that we love and will hold on to. Drew is obsessed with this little ski sweatsuit. If he dresses her, she’s definitely going to be wearing this. It’s from one of our favorite baby shops!

All Natural Baby Oil: This has been a staple in our world because, with the dropping temps and the airline travel, all of our skin is needing some extra moisture. Conley also got her first cold, so we were doing more steamy showers than normal to help clear her congestion but it also had a drying effect on her skin, so this all-natural baby oil was perfect to keep her moisturized and bonus: it smells like heaven.

The Nose Frida: Uh, I am eating my words here. I swore I would never, ever use this disgusting invention, but alas, motherhood has made me a liar, and this snot-sucking device is the most satisfying way to clear boogies. We were in Arizona when she woke up with her first cold (how we made it almost a year with zero sickness is beyond me) and I ordered one to be delivered to the hotel (thank you, Amazon!). It’s now one of my favorite past times and trust all the mom’s that say it’s a must-have before you judge me.

How This Month Felt:

Can I just keep it real and say this was one of the harder months of motherhood? I mean, with all the incredible changes like eating and being on the move with a mobile baby, it felt like I was a brand-new mom… because really, Conley is a whole new little human.

From chasing her around the house to thinking through food for her to try and enjoy, we were definitely busier than months past. This month to me felt like I was coming out of the fog of having a little baby and settling into a new reality which left me feeling stretched more than I have in past months. It was like this mix of hustle on the business front because the ideas keep flowing and the team keeps growing while also trying to navigate working from home and being present for my little lady.

Let me preface these struggles with acknowledging that I am so dang privileged to get to work from home with my whole family present, but I also feel like it’s fair to say that while that arrangement is heavenly, it also presents challenges that are hard to complain about but real. It’s hard to type a well-thought-out email while chasing a kiddo climbing on all the things or dream up a giant business plan while nursing in a dark nursery.

I felt torn a lot this month because I love spending time with Conley, whether it’s making her the perfect scrambled eggs or putting her down for every single nap, but I’ve been realizing that I’ve got to set some boundaries and ask for more help when I’m in the thick of big projects that require my full attention.

This month has just reminded me that I’ll never have it all together, and that it will likely always be a juggle. While I spent a lot of time dreaming of next year, I’m realizing that this first year of winging it has been incredible, and I’m ready for more structure and separation so that I can be all-in on something instead of half in my biz, half being a mama.

Body Talk:

One thing that surprised me about this month was the emotions that accompanied the thoughts of weaning from nursing her. My goal was always to nurse her for a full year, and I was so hopeful that it would work for us and thankful when it did. As we near that milestone, I find myself teetering between excitement to have my body back to being my own and sadness that the season of connecting in that way might be closing. I have no immediate plans to wean, and I plan to continue to nurse her for as long as she’s interested, but in reality, our lives will really change when we decide it’s time to stop!

It’s wild to me to think that I’ve managed to fully nurse her while running this business, and I’m really proud of that. But I’m also excited to be able to have the freedom to work for more than a few hours uninterrupted. I also feel like it’s easy to make nursing a scapegoat, leaving more responsibility on me to help put her down for naps or to bed, so it’ll be a big shift for us when I’m no longer needed in that way. Regardless of what the next few months look like, I didn’t anticipate the emotions tied to breastfeeding and I’ve definitely been cherishing our time in a different way.

I also have felt this desire to feel like an athlete again — many thanks to my Peloton! That thing has been a game changer for me and has helped me to get moving my body more. I love having it in our house and I try to jump on 3 or 4 times per week to get in a good sweat session! It’s been a great way to burn off stress and to move more and it’s helped me feel stronger which I love. I mean, that thing is built for competitive people like me, so let’s be honest, it’s been a good challenge and a fun way to move more after days spent behind a screen!

This Month Can Be Summed Up By:

Our baby isn’t a baby anymore… But seriously, as we edge to the year mark, I just feel like I blinked and she became a little girl. This month just affirmed that the baby stage is coming to a close soon and that we’ll have a toddler on our hands. And while I’m so excited to keep watching her grow, the nostalgia is fierce and the disbelief is oh-so present. I might already be crying thinking about this next post… Better go before I get tears on my keys.


Check out old monthly round-ups here:

Month 01Month 02Month 03Month 04 | Month 05 | Month 06 | Month 07 | Month 08 | Month 09  | Month 10 

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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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