I’ve been crying a lot lately… “happy tears” as we all refer to them as. The littlest thing catches me off guard and I slowly have to gather myself. Sometimes, I think I’m too awake to life — the miracle of it, the mess of it, all of it. The other day, Coco colored on this egg ornament (yes, in June!) and gave it to me and she was just so proud of her work and so excited to give it to me and that dang egg literally brought me to tears. From the first hair cut to the last day of school for Coco, this last month held a lot of space to reflect and evolve.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that we had to pack away the 3-6 month clothes for Quinnie and pull out all of Coco’s hand-me-downs for this next chunk of time. It feels like a painful reminder that as we grow out of the clothes, we’re done with them, we’ll never have another little baby in those sizes and it makes me sad (though not sad enough to add another to our crew!) Each time we dig in the totes for the next batch of clothes, we get to relive the memories of Coco wearing certain outfits in certain places. It’s like a time capsule but in a way that pokes me: “Jenna, stay awake to this, this is happening, and it’s happening fast.”
Pressing the gas pedal:
This month has been unique in that work has definitely picked up as we get close to the release date of my book! I’ve been busier but also have felt like it’s been balanced — even in the crazy. I’ve been jam-packing my schedule but loading it for while Coco is at school, so I’ve been keeping an intentional pace and while I’m busier than I’ve been in years, I still find pockets of peace and rest and a lot of time to be a mama. Busy for me right now looks like jam-packing in interviews with short pee and pump breaks and then coming home to the chaos!
When people have been asking how I am (really) the answer is: I’m stretched thin, only because I love everything so much. I love parenting, I love my work, I love my book, and I’m only stretched trying to do it all right now. I realize that four years ago when I was pregnant with Coco, I really hit the brakes hard and while my business was still busy, I was home and with my family and doing things at a “non-urgent” pace! It was amazing and I don’t regret that for a moment but now I am so on fire for this book, I’m excited, energized, and aligned and so it’s different for me to feel so ambitious and excited! While I sometimes question if now is the right time to hit the gas, I know that I’m doing so with an actual finish line in sight and with rest scheduled on the calendar to pull me back to balance!
Our Can’t Live Without List:
This little walker: We had a similar one for Coco that’s up at the lake house and so we got this one for Quinn on Amazon and the girl loves it. She loves being upright and cruises around, I also love the colors and toys on it to entertain her! This has been a lifesaver!
This customizable high chair and accessories: This sweet small business reached out right at the right time and we snagged their products! We LOVE that they take an easy Ikea chair and make it not only custom and cute but easy to clean. Their accessories are adorable, well made, and can match your home easily!
These silicone baby feeders: We still have these from Coco (funny enough, Coco now wants to use them again, too!) but they are perfect for letting baby safely try food. We put berries, breakfast sausage, eggs, all kinds of things in here to let her taste them and they are super easy to clean!
This carrier: I have probably 30 different baby carriers (most sent to us!) and if I had to only choose one, it would always be this one. We’re still using the one from Coco and I swear we used it daily until she was over two. It’s one both Drew and I can wear, better for your back, and easy to use!
This baby oil: Oh, that sweet, perfect, blemish-free baby skin! The other day someone was teasing that they needed Quinn’s skincare routine and Drew laughed because he just slathers this on her after her showers and that’s it. I use it for myself, I love that it’s safe for mama and baby, and it’s the best baby oil I’ve tried.
We were a-running:
One of the highlights of this month just happened! It was Grandma’s Marathon weekend in Duluth (which usually means if you’re not running, you’re avoiding the city because it gets busy!) But we embraced the busyness this year and had an amazing weekend with family. Drew signed up for the half marathon and with his entry got a bib for the 5k, I decided to snag that bib and run it even though I haven’t run more than two times in the last three years! I survived and did alright (35 minutes!) and had a blast and then the next day Drew ran the half marathon. We got to camp out at my brother’s office which was on the race course and hang with the family. We had someone in every race from the kid races to the full marathon and it ended up being an incredible weekend! I got teary seeing my girls cheering me on and laughed when I crossed the finish line and ten minutes later was nursing Quinnie!
Three-nager in session:
I’d be remiss to not at least acknowledge and document what is the beautiful storm of having an independent, hilarious, driven little 3.5-year-old. I feel like we came out of the year of two relatively unscathed. We high-fived each other, celebrated our survival, and then… we were hit with a ton of bricks. Three has been an interesting dance. There are moments so sweet you want to cry happy tears, moments of straight-up pride where your heart may burst out of your chest, moments of “wow, I grew and raised this independent little creature,” followed by…. well, moments of looking at each other like, “what is this animal and who let her in to the house?”
I’m kidding, but also not kidding because our patience sure can be tested. I’m super cautious about what and how I share about this piece of the parenting experience because I sure as heck would never want someone sharing my own emotional meltdowns on the internet and so to protect Coco’s privacy, I try to share all of the wonderful moments (and honestly, we’re sitting at about a 90/10 split on the good to the bad!) But there are definitely challenging moments and days where we both end up apologizing or we have to tag team out way out of the frustration.
I also have to acknowledge so many of the BIG things that happen as you get older! Coco had her first dentist appointment and first haircut all in the same week! This was a big one, so with all the change, it’s easy to see how there are a lot of feels happening!
Emotional Father’s Day:
Speaking of feels, this Father’s Day hit me differently. We’re starting to prepare our home to be listed for sale as our build is underway, and I was sorting through a box with paperwork when I found a stack of old cards, letters, and things I had saved. I ended up stumbling upon a time warp from our years of loss, unearthing the old ultrasounds, the cards that accompanied flowers, notes of sympathy, hand written letters of that season and it hit me. It feels like yesterday and another lifetime all at the same time and that, coupled with the fact that Drew read Chapter 9 in my book called “Vision Fulfilled” where it shares a lot about my journey navigating that loss and holding tight to this vision of a little baby girl and pancakes and a Persian rug, well, it had me all up in my feels (also, my period is back, dang it!)
I pretty much cried my way through Father’s Day just balancing the grief from those hard years with the joy of our reality and knowing how many people are sitting in the darkness right now, not sure if they will ever see the light. I was an emotional, grateful mess. After family snuggles in bed, I snuck a hug that turned into a long hug and tear fest and Coco took our picture of that moment. I’m giving a three-year-old a lot of credit right now, but it’s almost like she could sense that it was a moment worth remembering. She was so worth the wait, but I wouldn’t wish that wait upon anyone.
I swear, this kid. I tell people, “She’s the easiest baby.” But truly, this little one is a dream. Drew and I laugh when we ask one another how she was because we usually respond, “Perfect.” She’s content as can be, goes with the flow, loves a schedule but remains flexible… she’s just a little ball of joy! She’s also been sleeping through the night which has been such a dream come true. After coming out of a month of massive sleep transitions for both girls, getting sleep again and not fearing that we’ll have multiple wake-up calls has been a blessing in this busy season. I wish everyone could have a baby with her joy because she is next-level chill, easy-going, and happy!
A few of my favorite things about Quinn:
- Waking her up! She’s still sleeping in her bassinet which we conveniently have in our master closet (no windows, quiet, and close proximity. Full transparency is we’re waiting for Coco to transition out of her crib!) but when Q wakes up it’s this sweet little gummy smile that I adore.
- Watching Coco interact with her when she thinks we’re not watching. From fetching toys Quinn has thrown on the floor to whispering, “I love you to the moon and back and always and forever” before closing the door for nap time, Coco has the sweetest little interactions and it melts me.
- Seeing her expressions as she tries food! We haven’t tried too much food yet but the food she has tried is adorable. The first day we gave her raspberries and I looked over and she was licking her high chair tray. We cracked up so hard! She gets so curious and then disgusted and then obsessed.
- Looking back in the car and seeing her just staring at Coco! Anytime Coco talks, Quinn grins. I swear, it’s just this instant reaction to her sister and when we’re in the car, Quinn just stares at her the entire time, it’s so sweet.
- Watching her explore. We got her a walker and it had a little jump pad on it but it was obvious she wanted to put her weight on her feet. When we removed the jump pad, sister started cruising around. She gets stuck in the corners (much like our Roomba) but loves being upright. I definitely think we’ll have an early walker on our hands.
This next one will be a BIG one. We’re days away from my book launching out into the world, a trip to New York City (Drew’s first time!) and the reality of living through a big book release, something I’ve anticipated for two years since I started writing. I am eager, excited, anxious, but grounded and energetic. I feel so aligned and enlightened — I can’t wait to share an update in next month’s recap. Your mom is an author, girls!
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