This last month was one filled with sunshine, long walks, lots of baby smiles, and family time! Maternity leave is flying by — in fact, this is when I’m supposed to be getting back to work, and there’s a piece of me that’s ready to run back full blast but I’m definitely yearning for a more slow ease back into it all! I feel like my brain starts to turn on more in this third month postpartum, and the itch to work again starts to show up. This past month was a special one, filled with lots of family time and Arizona sunshine… Trust me when I say, we’ve soaked it ALL in. My parents and all three grandparents flew down to Arizona to spend some time with us, and they are staying just a few miles from our place so we’ve gotten precious family time and have made a lot of memories with them!
Quinn has been so responsive when we talk to her! This is the month with all the smiles and coos that make you weak in the knees. Quinnie has the sweetest little spirit. She’s content just chilling on her own but the moment you lock eyes with her and engage with her, she comes alive with this twinkle in her eye. She’s the most easy-going babe and so watching her take in her surroundings has been so fun!
She’s also been sleeping better, and I feel like we flip/flop with a good night of sleep followed with a not-so-great one. It’s wild how you learn to operate on little sleep, but for the most part, she’s pretty easy to get back down. I definitely have slept sitting up more this month, resting while I feed her. We’re also thinking about scooting her out of our bedroom to see if we all get better sleep. She’s a little grunter and so a lot of times, I’ll lay in bed listening to her or wake up to her little noises. I love having her close but I also love sleep!
Quinn also took her first bottle this month (so nuts how kids are so different, Coco was taking the bottle her first week of life!). That little girl loves nursing so much which means I haven’t had any semblance of a break from her since she was born — though I’m not complaining! When my parents came down to Arizona, we were so pumped because we knew my mom would be determined to get her to take a bottle and over the last month she’s gotten a bit better (though there’s still room for improvement!). The blessing in this is that we’ve been able to do two date nights while my parents watched the girls, and man, it’s been amazing to have a little time to be husband and wife and not just mom and dad! Having parents nearby is the biggest blessing, and watching my parents and grandparents nurture and enjoy our girls has been insanely live-giving!
We also did my first solo mom/baby flight and trip when we went to Napa for a quick work trip! I got to hang out with Brendon Burchard, Jamie Kern Lima, and Lisa Bilyeu and plan out my book launch! When the opportunity came up, I had to take it and it was a whirlwind 48 hours, but I honestly felt so empowered being able to do the two things I love the most, motherhood and work! And honestly, it felt fitting since I was pregnant with Quinn for most of the book writing process, and I even edited the final pieces with her on my chest as a newborn! She’s such an amazing babe and my friends were so welcoming of all the roles I had to play, so it was a beautiful reminder of both of my missions in life.
- Nursing Bras: Okay, I’ve been on the hunt for the best nursing bra and it’s been a legit hunt! I’ve been trying different bras this past month and have found that I like certain things about each one. I got one from Knix and I love that it’s leakproof (love not needing pads!), I got one from Bodily and it’s satin and it works for nursing and pumping. I also have a Kindred Bravely everything bra that does the same, and I also got one from Skims! (Can you tell I’m literally on the hunt?) My favorite everyday bra would be the Knix or Storq bras and my fave pumping bras would be the Kindred Bravely or Bodily!
- Carriers: Quinn does super well in baby carriers and you all know how much I love my Solly wrap! I’ve also been using our Sakura Bloom carrier that’s felt a little more substantial and that’s been a winner too! I love the Sakura Bloom because you can literally use it for years (as a backpack carrier with toddlers!) and the denim fabric is super cute!
- This Swing: Full disclosure, we bought this thing at a second-hand shop and we had never had one before with Coco! Since we were only here for two months, we didn’t want to buy a ton of baby stuff and so we hit up a second-hand shop in town and found a bassinet that was still new in the box and this swing that has honestly been a lifesaver (we want to bring it back to Minnesota with us!). This swing is used on a daily basis and truly isn’t an eye-sore (and even if it was, I wouldn’t care!). It’s awesome when we don’t have hands to hold her and she loves being in it!
- Baby Balm: Our skin usually gets dry in the winter but even more so in Arizona. I swear we’ve been slathering this stuff everywhere! On scraped up knees, dry feet, baby acne — it’s so healing and nourishing, safe for all of us, and it lives on our nightstands. Pro tip: I also use this Baby Balm it as lip balm and eye cream before bed! This is kind of like Windex in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where you can put it on anything and everything and I swear it works. Use JK10 to save 10% on it!
I’ve been feeling really good and excited to get back to work! One of my biggest goals this year is to just feel vibrant and to really keep my health at the forefront of everything. I’ve taken this time to focus on my health and rest as much as I can sneak in. I tracked my metabolic health for 30 days using a continuous glucose monitor and then hired a dietitian to help review my results with me. It’s been amazing just seeing how my postpartum body is responding to foods and exercise. This timing for me is so important to create new habits so that when I get busy with work and my book launch, I have the habits already established.
I’ve also been doing some blood work and lab testing just to get a baseline, and it’s something I’ve done nearly annually with our fertility journey and something I want to continue just to keep a pulse on my body and to gain an understanding on how to best support it through the fourth trimester! We’ve been doing a ton of walking since the weather here is so wonderful and thankfully Quinn loves being in the stroller or a carrier, so it’s been a win/win!
Beyond my health, I’ve really just tried to keep my pace slow. I’ve been feeling the urge to get back to work, and with a team member out on maternity leave (earlier than anticipated), I felt pulled to step back into the work zone. It’s been something I’m consciously trying to slow down since my brain seems to run a million miles a minute, and sometimes anticipating the work is worse than the act of doing the work. I’ve been trying to work just an hour or two of focused work a day, and then whenever the girls are napping at the same time (which honestly doesn’t happen often), I’ll crack open my laptop and tackle some emails or connect with my team on Slack! I’m so thankful for my incredible team for keeping things moving while I’ve been out — they are incredible humans who fully support my leave and rest!
Drew and I have definitely been tag-teaming with the girls, and I am just so thankful to have such a supportive teammate with someone who is so engaged in parenthood! We thank God every single day for the chance for all of us to be home and focused on our babies, and I’m just truly in awe that we get to do life like this. I have so much respect for all the different parenting scenarios out there and I truly do realize how fortunate we are to be in the situation we’re in! We’ve been trying to do a mix of all of us together as a family as well as Drew taking Coco on fun adventures like to the zoo or the aquarium to give me a little break and some time to rest with Quinn! Coco loves that one-on-one time with her daddy, and they have so much fun together!
On top of those things, I’ve been soaking in and savoring what feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity having my parents and grandparents just a few miles away! Getting to see my girls with them and the different generations engaging makes me teary-eyed, and while we all live relatively (no pun intended) close in Minnesota, being off of work and freed up to enjoy the sunshine with them has been incredible. From hot tubbing to dinners out and birthdays celebrated together, it’s been incredibly precious!
Life with Two:
The other day I was in our Suburban that we’re renting while in Arizona and I turned around to back up and just had this moment. There were two car seats, two sweet girls, a double stroller… and it all just hit me. I feel like that’s been happening a lot where it just hits me: I’m a mom, I have two kids, I am so damn lucky. Life is moving a mile a minute and the juggle is definitely real but it’s the simplest moments like that where I’m just like… wow.
I can already see how two kids will be harder than managing one, especially when I get back to work, but it’s been such a blessing having Drew home with me (something so many mamas do not experience), and so I feel like we tag-team a ton and trade girls whenever Quinn isn’t eating. Drew has done a lot of fun daddy/daughter dates to the zoo, the aquarium, and the park, and they send me videos and pictures! I’ve been trying to do super intentional time with Coco since Quinn is with me so much, and so whenever I can sneak in those little moments with her, it’s so special. Every morning I wake her up and every night I put her to sleep, and we get that connection time that is so precious and fleeting. She’s getting so big, I can barely fit her in my arms!
Coco is an exceptional big sister. I am honestly awestruck by how good she is. She loves Quinn and is always concerned about her or wondering what she needs, and she truly is patient and a great helper. I can tell that they are going to have such a special bond! I also wildly recommend a three-year gap (if you’re curious!) between kids. Coco is an awesome age for her independence and her understanding! She will always sing, “Hi, little Quinnie! Hi, little Quinnie!” It’s hilarious how Coco imitates what we do and say, and her three-year-old attitude is definitely keeping us on our toes, but dang, she’s a sweetie who is so so smart! I feel so blessed and we’ll see how we settle into a new groove when we get home and back to work!