Eight weeks with this girl, and we're officially getting smiles when we talk in our babiest of baby voices. Yesterday we ran out of disposable diapers in her size (thankful that we haven't had to buy a single diaper yet) and started into our cloth diapers (which we bought when we were pregnant with Christian). I feel like there's a small learning curve, but so far so good. My birthday is a couple of weeks away, and I'm looking forward to a date night with Matthew. I think we're going to leave Charlotte for the first time that weekend, so I've been saving up milk (and preparing mentally, which I think is harder than finding time to pump). Today, Charlotte rolled from her tummy to her back on her Grandma Pearson's bed (twice). I love watching her grow.

My friend Hannah has a course for people with DSLR cameras, and I was excited to take it and learn a little bit about using my camera on manual. It's tricky, but I think more rewarding when you get the picture you're hoping to capture on manual.

My phone died this week, and I spent five days without it. Since we don't have internet access or a television at home, I felt a little cut off from the outside world. That sounds like a negative, but I made it through most of the first Anne of Green Gables book (which is as clever as the Anne you've seen on screen) and enjoyed the slow pace of being technology free.

The pounds have dropped off more slowly this week, but I'm still working steadily on plan. If you start doing Trim, Healthy Mamas, let me know which recipes you're loving. The food is great, and I love the Facebook community of ladies posting about their victories and answering each other's questions. I'm wearing a pair of jeans today that I haven't worn since pre-Christian (first pregnancy), so that feels like a major non-scale victory. Eleven pounds officially down in three weeks. I've made it as far down as fourteen pounds gone, but I like to stick to the number I'm always below.

Another community I'm thankful to be a part of is Wild+Free, which Matt got me a membership to for Christmas. It's a group of homeschool families who mostly follow Charlotte Mason's homeschool methods. I've always been the kind to be looking toward the next stage of life, and Charlotte Mason's ideals are my preferred homeschool foundation, so I'm compiling the ideas that strike a cord specific to what I'm hoping to give our children through their schooling.

If I sound busy, I don't feel it. Busy with arms full of a beautiful daughter and tired from lack of sleep, but not frazzled or ruffled. Thankful. I hope I sound thankful.



She took a nice long break from giving us a good night's sleep, and then (for the past two nights!!) decided to only wake up once a night again. Days with her are easy and full of snuggles, and if the nights stay easy, we'll be on our way to being well-rested soon.

Last week, I took Maura and Charlotte out together all by myself for the first time. We went to a thrift store I'd missed visiting, and, at first, everything went swimmingly. We shopped with no break-downs, selfishness, or crying, and, as we headed to the check-out line, I'll admit to feeling quite accomplished. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be much of a story if we had climbed into our warm car and headed home. No, as we gathered our bags together and started to push the cart back, I felt my pockets for my car keys and came up wanting. We plopped our selves down on the (probably very dirty) floor by the door and removed tags from our goodies as we watched the snow fall. We still didn't have any meltdowns, and Charlotte slept like a champ, but my husband having to rescue us on our first outing definitely knocked my accomplishment down a couple of rungs.

I've lost eight pounds since I started focusing on eating well two weeks ago. The cookbook for Trim, Healthy Mamas has been super helpful, and I'm excited to continue this journey.

Have you made any resolutions that you're sticking to so far this year? How about ever taken a baby and a toddler out and not locked your keys in your car? Both are accomplishments.


200.2 pounds

Last night Charlotte slept from 11:00-4:30 and then didn't get up again until I woke her up (at 7:45) to get ready for the day. Praise God for a good night's sleep. Probably it was a fluke and won't happen again, but it felt amazing.

It's that time of year again, a brand new year, when people make promises they end up breaking, but are willing to try really hard at something for a couple of months. Last year at this time I had also just had a baby (stillborn), so I was just getting back into good habits (walking 3 miles a morning and trying to eat well). This time I don't have the same freedom to walk at 6:00 in the morning (don't want baby girl freezing. plus, did I mention the general lack of sleep, last night excluded?), but I'm committed to a new (to me) way of eating.

The plan is called Trim Healthy Mama, and that's the end goal. I'd like to be a trim, healthy mama for that beautiful baby girl. The basics are these:

  • You eat every two to three hours (every three hours if you're not breastfeeding).
  • Every time you eat you have to have protein, no exceptions (meat, cheese, or egg.)
  • If you're having carbs, you don't have fat, and if you're having fat, you don't have carbs.
  • You never have: potatoes, milk, sugar, white flour, white rice or honey.
It's been really simple to follow, and I know exactly when I step off plan. As long as I'm good about packing snacks (OIKOS triple zero yogurt or fruit for me) so I can eat often, the rest just comes down to pairing things well at meal times. 

I'll keep you updated as I go. It helps me to have this public platform for accountability. My (long term) goal is to get to 130 pounds, but my first goal is 170 pounds by May 11th (my brother's graduation from college). I started at 200.2 and was 196.9 at the end of the first week. Progress is progress.


Charlotte Pear: week four

Her one month birthday was spent back at our favorite Beach House with my family. I mastered feeding with a nursing cover on (so I didn't have to spend hours in the other room) which is a tricky art, and Charlotte spent all of her time in the arms of someone who loves her. Having a new baby is tiring, but so beautiful. There's a tiny person who can't do things for herself yet, and she needs to be cared for. Matt and I have been irritable and exhausted, but so unmeasurably happy. She's brightness and joy; such a gift.

I'm back to work this week, and Charlotte's making it easy by sleeping through most of it. We're starting to get the hang of this stage, while still tired, but not ready to leave behind the tiny fingers and toes in exchange for a solid night's sleep. No, sir. I wouldn't exchange the tininess for anything.


Charlotte Pear: week three

We spent week three back at home, sleeping in our own beds. We haven't spent much time at home alone, which has made the transition easier. Both of our families live nearby, and they've been quick to sneak in baby snuggles when they can, while Matt works long days making up for time taken off around the holidays. The days are mostly a blur, with the clearest victories, the three hour stretches of sleep in the late darkness. She did have a doctor's appointment, where, of course, her weight was their main concern. In the week and a half since we had seen the doctor, Charlotte gained a pound and a half on breastmilk. I'm thankful, you see, for a baby that grows. During week three, Charlotte outgrew some of her newborn pajamas, and though I want to see her reach every stage, I already miss the idea that she'll never again be as tiny as she is today.

We ended the week by climbing back into our honda with everything that fit her still (and a couple of bigger things) and driving back toward the Outer Banks for our annual New Year's Pearson family vacation. By the end of week four, Charlotte will have spent as much time in the beach house as she's spent anywhere else. She's a little adventurer.


Charlotte Pear: week two

Week two was less dramatic than week one. There were no doctor's visits. There was just Charlotte, Matt, and I growing as a family and falling ungracefully into our new roles. Charlotte nurses like a pro, but prefers nursing to sleeping at night, and man, oh man, do I miss the friendship that "sleeping" and I once had. I'm not going through parenting alone, though. Matt gets up with me and changes her diaper before re-swaddling her. When I'm emotional, he's quick to hold my hand and listen. There's been a bunch of apologizing already, as I've been shorter fused and unlovely. We had some rough nights, but we learned about each other, and we're a better family for it.

On Charlotte's second week, we packed up everything that fit her and headed down to the Outer Banks for Christmas with the Nowaks. You can blame my aforementioned lack of sleeping for the absence of pictures. We celebrated Christmas on the third story of a beach house, in front of a white Christmas tree. We sang Christmas carols, and Charlotte heard Luke 2's version of the story of our Savior's birth for the first time. Every time she has a first it strikes me as brand new, like somehow I'm experiencing it again for the first time. She had other firsts on this trip. First time traveling for two hours. First time meeting four of her aunts and uncles. First time going to the beach. First time being carried through the woods. First time receiving dozens of presents.

At the end of week two we headed back home to Norfolk and celebrated Christmas again with the Pearsons, meeting two new great (grand) aunts and uncles and receiving dozens more gifts while soundly sleeping.

Charlotte likes swaddles, car rides, her daddy's singing voice, and her mommy's milk. We'll pretend she also generally like her mommy, but, let's be honest, I'm mostly a food source at this stage.


Charlotte Pear: week one

You're beautiful, baby.

At four days old, we visited her doctor, and she had lost a full pound (down to six pounds fifteen ounces). My milk hadn't come in, and the doctor was worried that she had lost too much, even though I thought she was nursing like a pro. The doctor wanted me to supplement with formula and come in two days later for another weight check to see if we needed to take more extreme measures. To be honest, I've never been more emotional (hormonal) than I was those first couple of days. I felt like the doctor said, "You're not good at being a mom. You don't have what your baby needs to survive." I cried in front of her. That's SO not my personality. 

On the way home from the doctor, logic overwhelmed hormones. Is it better to breastfeed if you can? Yes. BUT, if the worst thing going on in my life is that our beautiful daughter needs supplemental formula, our life is perfect. That night, my milk came in. Charlotte gained four ounces in less than forty-eight hours without the formula. We're thankful for our healthy, beautiful girl.

There's been all sorts of other emotions too. Staring. Long-time sitting. Smiling, just watching her mouth twitch or her fingers squeeze. Checking to make sure she's breathing. Snuggles. Gushing. Gratitude.

I'm also thankful to have these pictures of our baby at one week. She's already different from the baby in these pictures, and I love having these moments frozen.