Thursday, April 30, 2015

Travel // Spending Time in Seattle

Earlier this month, we took a little trip to Seattle and today I thought I'd share some highlights!



Even though it's only three hour drive from Portland, I had only been to Seattle once before...so this trip was very overdue! The reason we went is because Cameron had a work training in the Seattle area, and so Henry and I ended up tagging along. I was able to explore the city during the day, and it worked out perfectly that one of my best friends from high school was in town for work. We got to hang out quite a bit which was awesome, and then I also had the chance to see a few other friends that live in the city while I was there as well. It was a fun few days; here are some photos, if you'd like to see...


Henry did really well on the trip and slept in the pack & play provided by the hotel while we were away from home. I think he may have been experiencing a little of the dreaded 4 month sleep regression because he woke up a little earlier/more frequently than normal. However, I almost felt it was easier to deal with it because we were off our usual schedule anyway since we were out of town. I thought that 'Mommy's Alarm Clock' shirt was very fitting though :)


 My first day out and about I ended up just having Henry in the Ergo 360 all day and he did great in there! We ended up stopping at Nordstrom every day because their lovely bathroom lounges are the best nursing spot. I also couldn't resist imagining what it would look like if I chopped my hair...I think it would be cute, but no imminent plans for that yet! The other days I did bring my stroller with me, and that worked great too, plus it was nice to have a way to schlep our stuff around while out and about.




I did have a chance to try Top Pot Doughnuts...and I was very impressed! Although I love Blue Star Donuts and Pip's Original here in Portland, those are both very different styles. The donuts at Top Pot were much heavier and more cake like, which I actually prefer. If you're a donut lover, definitely put this place on your list of places to visit in Seattle!


The weather on my first day in the city was a little rainy but not too bad. My friend Katie had an awesome view from her hotel room though and it was the perfect place to watch the rain :)


Since Seattle is so close to Portland, I wasn't too set on trying to pack in seeing too many of the tourist sites this trip because I know we'll be coming back again in the future. I just wanted to get a better feel for the city and see as much as possible with a 4 month old baby in tow! We ended up lucking out and had gorgeous sunny weather which was perfect for walking around -- it was a little chilly in the mornings though, but (as you'll see) Henry was prepared for the elements :)

 

We didn't end up going up in the Space Needle this time as I figured we'd save that for another trip when Henry is a little bit older. I did end up going to the Chihuly Glass Museum though, but I decided I'm going to put those pictures in a separate post because I took a bunch. There are a couple other museums right near the Space Needle so it's definitely an area of town with quite a bit to do. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is near there as well, and so I ended up going to meet a friend who works there for coffee. There is a free visitors center that you can check out as well, and I thought it was really interesting and worth stopping in if you're in the area. (I know a few people left some negative comments regarding the Gates Foundation on my Instagram and yes, I get that people may not agree with every single issue they support. However, the way I see it is they are private individuals not politicians, and they are choosing to give away large sums of money to try and make positive changes in our world. Even if you don't agree with all of their views, I feel that their commitment to philanthropy is really admirable and at the very least, I feel like the exhibits in the visitors center are thought provoking and really make you appreciate just how good we have things here in the US.)


 I received a few recommendations to try Macrina Bakery and I'm so glad I did! It's a really cute spot and this chocolate almond cake was divine! As far as other restaurants we tried, I'll be 100% honest and say that living in Portland has completely spoiled me and definitely raised my standards when it comes to food. I felt like a lot of the food we had in Seattle was just more normal, if that makes sense? It wasn't bad by any means, but here in Portland chefs are so fanatical about their food and restaurants list where they source all their ingredients, and I just didn't see that level of obsessive detail in Seattle with the meals that we had. One place that did impress me though was Molly Moon's ice cream, it was excellent! I'd definitely suggest trying that for sure while you're in Seattle.




I feel like you can't go to Seattle and not go to Pike Place Market; it's so iconic and definitely worth checking out. They have tons of fresh flowers for sale, and although I was a little bit early to catch my favorite flower (peonies), I was able to see all the beautiful spring tulips! There are so many different varieties, apparently there is even a type of tulip called a peony tulip? They were all beautiful though and I couldn't resist taking 1723894 pictures...



One day, my friend Katie and I ended up walking all the way up to Queen Anne/Kerry Park from downtown. It was definitely a hike (especially with the stroller) but it was so so worth it. This part of town has incredible views and so many gorgeous homes! Definitely worth checking out.


Cam met up with us after his training just in time to see the sunset :)

Overall, I really enjoyed Seattle! It definitely feels like a much bigger city than Portland and it seemed like people were more dressed up and it's not quite as hipster. There are a ton of different neighborhoods, and I know that we barely scratched the surface this time. I am looking forward to going back again and getting to know it even better in the future!

(For additional photos/details on places we went, check out my Instagram! @inthepinkandgreen)


Friday, April 24, 2015

Henry // Our Day at 4.5 Months

Happy Friday everyone! I don't know about anyone else, but this week is flew by for me! We got back from last week's trip to Seattle & Vancouver super late on Sunday night, and it seems like it takes a little longer now that we have a baby for things to get back to normal after being out of town. And now this weekend, we have friends visiting from out of town so I'm excited to show them Portland!

I have a running list on my phone of posts that I'd like to share here on the blog, but just haven't had the time to sit down and write them yet. I think it's super annoying when bloggers are constantly apologizing about not having time to blog and so I'm not going to sit here and do that. Henry is my first priority, whereas this blog is something extra that's supposed to be fun, not something that I should feel guilty about. At the same time though, I do really enjoy writing and sharing things with you guys here and so it can be frustrating not having as much time for it as I'd like! So I really appreciate you bearing with me while posting is a little less frequent :)

One topic I've been meaning to talk about for awhile now is what our day to day schedule looks like at this point in time. I really enjoy reading these posts from other bloggers, new moms especially, because I think it's fun to see how other people structure their days. I actually wrote a similar post a few years ago and it's kind of funny to see how different things were back then! (Also, I kind of want to cry a little bit about how much better shape I was in...) Right now, I'm a full-time stay at home mom and I'm still exclusively breastfeeding; both of these things afford us a lot of flexibility from day to day where I don't have to be super rigid with our schedule, and I'm so thankful for that! Plus, Henry is still little and he's not a robot, he's baby whose needs change from day to day. My first priority is going off of what he seems to need; some days he wants to nurse longer/shorter or nap more/less and I just try to go with the flow, and so far, that's working really, really well for us. I know that how we structure our days will likely change a bit as he gets older, but here's a general idea of what our days look like during the week right now...


6-6:30am
Henry is my alarm clock these days and I wake up to him fussing in his bassinet when he's ready to eat! The time he wakes up does vary some from day to day; sometimes, it's closer to 5am and other days it's closer to 7am, but typically it's right around 6am. (The time he wakes up for that first feeding has a bit of a domino effect on how the timing of the rest of our day will go) Once he wakes up, I reach over to get him out of his bassinet, which is right next to our bed, and nurse him sitting up in bed while trying not to fall back asleep myself...and not gonna lie, occasionally I do nod off a little :) But for the most part, I manage to stay awake by scrolling through pictures on my phone/checking Instagram/FB/email and I usually nurse him for about 30 minutes or so.


6:30-8am
After Henry nurses in the morning, I usually lay him back down in his bassinet. He usually starts falling asleep at the end of feeding, and then wakes up once I lay him back in the bassinet. He tends to babble to himself for awhile, but will usually fall back asleep eventually and will snooze for another hour or two sometimes. I'm trying to work on getting up at this time to get my day started after I put him back down instead of just going back to sleep myself because I'm realizing that this is really prime time to get things done that I should be taking advantage of. I've gotten into somewhat of a routine where I pump once a day, and after that first morning feeding is usually when I'll do it as it seems to be the most worthwhile time where I'm able to yield the most milk. (I try to pump once a day because I always like to make sure I have a few bottles of pumped milk in the fridge for times when I do need to leave the house without Henry, and if I don't end up using them then I just freeze them to have for backup) After I pump, sometimes I'll head out to a morning workout class while Cam and the baby are still snoozing, and I feel super productive when I can make this happen! And then other mornings, if I'm really tired, I'll just get back in bed...or sometimes I'll just skip pumping and fall back asleep :)


8-10am
If I go to a morning workout class, I try to get home and jump in the shower before the baby wakes back up and Cam has to leave for work. If I sleep in later, I'm usually out of bed by 8am and either Cam or I will make breakfast, let the dog out, and he'll head out for work. (Luckily he doesn't have to leave for work super early because we're both more night owls vs. morning people) At some point, Henry wakes back up and so I'll change him and Cam and I love just enjoying his sweet little personality in the morning because he's usually so happy! Once Cam leaves, I'll put him in his swing or his pack and play while I finish getting ready...and by that I mean brushing my teeth and changing into yoga pants :) We don't give Henry a bath every day at this point per our pediatrician's recommendation and I personally don't like giving him a bath at night because I feel like it wakes him back up. So if it's a day when he needs a bath, this is usually when I'll do it. If we're going to be heading out somewhere that morning, I'll pack up his diaper bag and get ready to go and then usually nurse him again right before we leave the house, so somewhere between 9:30am-10am. 

10am-12pm
There are a few different workout classes I attend throughout the week where you can bring your baby to class with you, and usually they're offered mid-morning. I love doing stuff like this because it's a great way to get a workout, it forces us to get out of the house in the morning, and it's fun to connect with other moms. Depending on the class, sometimes Henry will take a nap during it and other times he'll stay awake but fall asleep on the way home. If we're not taking a class, then usually at this time I'm at home playing with Henry so reading books, FaceTiming with my parents, doing tummy time, and just enjoying my sweet boy. If we're home, I'll try to put him down for a nap sometime before noon however, he does tend to nap better if we're out and about and he's in his car seat or stroller.


12pm-2:30pm
Usually Henry is napping somewhere around this time, and so if we're still out and about after taking a class, this is a good time to run errands like Target, the grocery store, or grabbing lunch while he's sleeping. If we're home, this is the time I catch up on email, eat lunch, do laundry, possibly throw something in the crock pot, and get things done around the house. Some days he'll take a really long nap and other days he'll only sleep for 45 minutes or so. Whenever he wakes up during this time is when I change him and feed him for a third time, so it really all depends on how he's feeling.

2:30-5:30pm
After his midday feeding, typically we'll have some more play time at home for a bit. He's such a happy boy that I end up spending quite a bit of time just sitting there talking to him and trying to make him laugh once we're done nursing. Sometimes we'll have a playdate or plans to get together with friends in the afternoon, but most days this is when I try to get out for a walk. I usually try to time it so that he's ready for a nap once I put him in the stroller and he'll often fall asleep not long after I start walking. Once he's passed out, I try to walk as much as I can because I enjoy it and it seems like it helps him stay asleep longer. At some point though he'll wake up and when he does I'll change him and feed him again :)


5:30-7:30pm
Cam gets home from work, we catch up on the day, and I usually start dinner if there's not already leftovers or something in the crockpot. Cam either plays with Henry or he plays in his exersaucer for a bit while Cam does stuff around the house/yard. Depending on how Henry's afternoon feedings spaced out with his naps, sometimes I'll need to throw another nursing session in here at some point.


7:30pm-9:30pm
We usually eat dinner fairly late (between 7:30pm-8:30pm) but if we happen to get done earlier, we'll try to go for a walk. Cam gets to spend with Henry and we just enjoy hanging out as a family, while also getting the kitchen cleaned up. Our goal is right now is to get Henry down no later than 9:30 (and sometimes we do put him down earlier) but we don't do any super intense bedtime routine. We really just try to have some simple cues that let him know it's getting time for sleep - we lower the lights, one of us will change his diaper, then we put him in a sleep sack, and then start that last nursing session no later than 9pm. I'll nurse him, he usually falls sleep near the end, and then I'll take him upstairs and lay him the bassinet in our room. Sometimes he'll fuss for a little bit, but usually he falls asleep relatively quickly.

9:30pm-11:30pm
This is my time with Cam and it always seems like this part of the day flies by! Sometimes we'll do various stuff that needs to get done around the house, but usually we just relax on the couch and watch a show. This is also when I try to catch up on email if I can and it's when I'll try to work on the blog. But it seems like I often don't have ample time to actually write a post/upload pictures/etc. and so blogging doesn't always happen :) I'm guilty of staying up much later than I should after Henry goes to bed - sometimes it's because Cam and I will fall asleep on the couch and won't actually get up to get in bed until late, but other times I'm wide awake and it's just hard for me to force myself to go to bed and so I'll stay up too late on the computer. Usually at this point though I'm too tired to actually finish a blog post, so this is usually when I'll catch up on other people's blogs :) And some days I go to sleep later than 11:30pm which is completely dumb, but I feel like I'm wired to be a night owl and it's hard to break myself of that. 

So there you have it! Henry is sleeping straight through from 9:30pm-6am most nights (and then will usually go back down after that first nursing session until 8:30-9am or so) and it's awsome to have that long stretch. For that reason, I don't get too hung up on his naps at this point. Instead I just try to make sure I'm nursing him about 5-6 times per day, so 3-4 hours between feedings, and then I try to look for cues that he's getting tired when putting him down for a nap. Every day is a little bit different depending on what's on the calendar too - doctor's appointments, play dates, errands to run, etc. and then traveling tends to throw this schedule off a little as well. I also know that lots of little chunks of time here and there throughout the day end up going to waste because I'm on my phone and that's something I'm trying to work on...it's hard though! And honestly, sometimes time just flies by during the day and not a lot gets done because I'm just busy smooching this sweet face...


But can you blame me? :)

I hope you enjoyed this look into what our days are like, I am definitely loving being able to spend so much time with Henry. He is such a happy baby and he brings Cam and I so much joy :) I just want to freeze time because this stage is so adorable. Getting to stay home with him is such a gift and every day just seems to get better and better!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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