One!

Whew! It’s been a busy few weeks. I finally have a moment to sit and breathe. So much has been going on in our lives… slowly but surely I’ll get around to documenting it all. For starters I have to kick off with the most special birthday celebration for my tiny lady, ever!

I can’t believe she’s ONE ‘HOLE’ YEAR!

When I was pregnant with Maryn I had visions of a very low key super simple first birthday party for her. I really wanted it to be a party for our friends to come celebrate with us for a year of parenthood. As Maryn came into the world, and the year flew by, plans evolved… the party became bigger and bigger. We feel so blessed to have the most incredible crew surrounding us, loving us, encouraging and supporting us. We were shocked at how many people came to love on our girl (and us). It was one heck of a celebration!!! Here are a few pictures of the party set up. Enjoy!

Gift table, “Donut Dough” favors, and he fixings for “Donut Seed” necklaces!
Backdrop with repurposed gold fringe from my 30th birthday!
The kiddo play area was a big hit!

My mom made the most gorgeous pearl, pink, and gold garland for Maryn. It’s stunning and will get hung up every year on her birthday.

Sidewalk chalk and bubbles for the kiddos
I had been dreaming of these balloon cascades for over a year. It turned out perfect!!!! I am so excited about this!

Mimosas for mama

Maryn and mama. Happy birthday my beauty queen

Party girl!!

Sweet little pearl in her party outfit

Her cake eating outfit made by me!

EBF

As world breastfeeding week comes to a close I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on the last (3 days shy) year breastfeeding my little.

I’m not really shy about my love of the baby on the boob. Breastfeeding is amazing. I’m so in awe of what God designed our bodies to do. If you’re offended by that, you should stop reading now.

I knew when I was pregnant that I would do EVERYTHING in my power to nurse Maryn. In my mind, it wasn’t an option not to. I’m so glad that our BF journey was pretty smooth with a few hiccups along the way. I’d love to share some of my lessons learned along the way.

Hands down the best decision I made in my BF journey was pumping before delivery. I did this as a recommendation from my midwife to induce labor and in turn was rewarded with nipples of steel (not labor). That’s right, when Maryn arrived I had no chapping, chaffing, cracking, blistering, or bleeding. We quite literally hit the ground running. When we were in the hospital I was so grateful to have colostrum stored up from hours of “priming” as I called it. Michael ran home to get it from the freezer to feed to the tiny human. The medical staff was amazed and I kinda felt like super mom for that small moment in time. I’ll never forget when Maryn was released from NICU and I was finally able to nurse her for the first time the nurse asked me how many other kids I have. When I told her Maryn was my first she didn’t believe me. It was funny and sweet all at the same time. She assumed based on my comfort level nursing that Maryn wasn’t my first. There is zero doubt in my mind my level of comfort (physically and mentally) was because of pumping. Best advice I was ever given!

Nursing did have a few challenges. While my body was very well prepared, Maryn had to learn. I also had to be patient with her as she fell off of her latch a few times and we had to find a comfortable position for both of us. She’s a quick learner and has always loved the boob so she got the hang of it pretty quick.

I also struggled with dips in my supply and keeping up with the demand of a 9lb (at birth) rapidly growing little one. I went back to work WAY too early and had to pump every 2 hours which is not even the slightest bit enjoyable. It was really challenging, but not an option to me. I kinda didn’t care who gave me side eyes as I marched my happy ass to my private room to empty my ta-tas. Some days I came home with 18 oz and a feather in my cap, other days I came home with a measly 6 oz hung my head and cried as I dipped into my (very small) freezer supply.

While pumping itself was challenging I am grateful that I had (two) jobs that were flexible enough that I could maintain my supply to exclusively give Maryn mama milk up until now. She eats food too… but no formula or cows milk. I’m so proud of the sacrifices we’ve made to make that happen for our little one. My husbands sacrifice of scrubbing, sanitizing, and prepping ALL of Maryns bottles and my pumping parts every day can’t go unmentioned.

I’ve been using my pump for well over a year now and I’m finally happy to say that he is (for the most part) retired!!!! I’m proud to say that Maryn will continue to nurse until one (or both) of us decide time is up. I have no end goal as of now… we take it day by day!

As I think back on the last year I’m so grateful for the women in my life that set a great example for me. My mom played an integral role in my breastfeeding journey. She encouraged me and supported me throughout the last year. She also set a great example for me from a young age because I was exclusively breast fed! She’s a super mom and nursed me the entire time she was pregnant with my brother. Incredible!! I’m also grateful for the LC I worked closely with through some challenges. Maryn had some scary allergies from 7 weeks to about 5 months that caused her to poop blood. I’ll share more about this another time. But the LC I worked with guided me throughout that journey. I’m also grateful for the awesome medical team that helped us exclusively BF Maryn throughout her allergy spell. It’s incredible the amount of support these medical professionals supplied. I’m in awe!

I’ve had quite a few funny moments breastfeeding and pumping. Many of which I’ve already shared her (the pumping without bottles attached, the waitress that told me I had nice boobs) and a few other hilarious moments like the look truck drivers give me when they pass me on the highway, or the time a friend (male) didn’t realize I was nursing and totally embarrassed himself. I’m so glad this has been a positive experience. So many things with motherhoood are stressful, and scary, and full of unexpected challenges. While it’s been LOTS of sacrifice, LOTS of long exhausting sleepless nights, and a handful of exhausted breakdowns… this is one of my most proud accomplishments.

Happy world breastfeeding week! Wear that feather proud fellow mama, you’re superwoman!

July 25

Last year, I spent 9.5 months counting down the days until July 25. I have vivid memories of watching the countdown chain dwindle and marking huge milestones such as 100 days left, the last month, 2 weeks out, and the last final week. It was one of the biggest countdowns of my life. I was so excited and eagerly anticipating the arrival our our little “Squig” as we called her before she made her debut earth-side! I was filled with so many thoughts and feelings. Many of which I’ve been dying to get out of my head and on some “paper”.

This time last year was the first day of a series of strange events. Some of which I’ve shared as part of her birth story. Others, I haven’t. “Due dates mean nothing”, a phrase I said over and over to anyone that asked when I was having the baby. July 25, 2017 was a warm Tuesday here in the PNW. I was working, like normal, and dealt with the MANY annoying comments as they came often times with nothing more than a shrug. “When are you going to have that baby?” “You’re STILL working?” “Here let me lift that for you.. you’re going to pop any minute!!” The shrug acted as a less threatening way of reacting. What I really wanted to do was scream. I was so frustrated with the lack of understanding, but I also was terrified of communicating how I really felt. Terrified of peoples responses, but mostly terrified of my own feelings.

During my pregnancy I had high hopes of having an intervention free (unmedicated) birth. Ultimately, we opted to deliver in a hospital (after much debate) under the care of a midwife over a home birth or birthing center like I would have preferred. I probably let outside forces influence my head space but eventually decided delivering at the hospital was the best decision for us. I’m a hippie at heart!

I didn’t share much about my pregnancy over here. Mostly because I was nervous to put such vulnerable feelings on the Internet. Now I’m regretting not documenting more because I missed out on documenting a lot of beautiful moments.

I had a great relationship with my midwife during pregnancy. I was very honest with her, because she was very brutally honest with me. Sometimes it was a little annoying how honest she was. She would say things to me like, “your baby is going to be late. Very late.” I often walked out of appointments asking Michael if he believed her. She started saying this around 20 weeks. How on earth could she possibly know that? I thought it was hocus pocus, but moreover I was terrified. My hopes of having an intervention free birth we’re unraveling before my eyes and I was still 20 weeks away from delivery. There are two things I did not want most a cesarean and an induction. I was willing to do anything in my power (including firing my midwife… which definitely crossed my mind a few times) to ensure these things did not happen! Disclaimer internet trolls: I realize there’s a time and place for both medical procedures! I’ve read a lot about practices in modern medicine regarding such interventions… and I didn’t want to be one of those horrifying statistics. Personal choice, I wanted my body to do what it’s SUPPOSED to do. Anything less would have left me very disappointed. I chose to advocate for my body and my baby! So let me continue..

Weeks leading up to delivery I did all of the things to induce labor. I was taking evening primrose oil (a shit load), eating dates (a shit load), walking, squatting, pumping, sexing multiple times a day for weeks…. I was hell bent on not being induced. I’m guilty as the come to falling victim of the old wives tales… pineapple, spicy food.. etc! I did it ALL. With one exception, castor oil. I’m not stupid! There, I said it! I literally did every single other method… none of which worked. Instead of countering down to July 25 I started dreading the countdown to August 5. The last day my midwife would let me go before she would induce me. Praise God! I had 2 weeks to get my shit together as I rapidly Googled how to induce labor perched up on a yoga ball with my boobs hooked up to a breast pump. I spent hours a day like this. Looking back, I don’t for a second regret pumping. It didn’t necessarily induce labor but it sure made a tremendous difference in our breastfeeding journey. I can’t wait to share more about that!

So leading up to this day a year ago, I was happy, comfortable, content, and really excited! I did get swollen a number of times, and at the end of a long work day (I stood on my feet all day) I was pretty tired. But for the most part I really did love being pregnant.

There were a few things I’ve never shared. A few weeks before my due date I went in for a routine appointment. I had always measured small during check ups but this one was the measurement that caused a major scare. My belly was measuring 2 weeks delayed and my midwife was concerned because my placenta was showing signs of age. It was terrifying to think that something could be wrong with the baby. Her concern was that baby was not growing. They sent me for an “emergency” ultrasound at the hospital to get a better picture of the placenta and to measure the baby. I had an issue with ultrasound (and prenatal massages… lame right?) that they made me feel like I was going to pass out. It was something about laying in certain a position that cut off blood flow to my brain. It happened every time I got an ultrasound, but this one was extreme. I was incredibly anxious, worried, and concerned… and on top of my emotional state my physical state was being threatened too. The ultrasound technician was very patient with me. I was embarrassed. I felt so sick. I still can’t believe I didn’t fully pass out (I might have).

We eventually got the results of the ultrasound after very nervously waiting… to find out that not only was the baby growing… she was estimated to weigh OVER 8 LBS! Holy. Cow. I refused to believe this was true. (Spoiler alert: she was 9lbs on the dot when she was born!).

Anyway, I say all of this because a year ago right around my due date I remember people commenting how small I was. How they were shocked I was as far along I was and that they couldn’t believe I was so “little”. Note: I don’t think I’m little. They were referencing my (what felt to me as giant) belly. This happened all the time. I know there is zero malice or ill intent in those comments. In fact, people probably thought they were complimenting me. It seems like a compliment. However as we waited for results confirming the health of my baby, these comments felt like salt in the wound. Like stabs straight to the heart. It was all because I was worried about the health of the baby and that reminded me of the possibility that she was not healthy. (Spoiler alert number 2: she’s definitely healthy!)

Anyway, we go through a lot as women approaching our due dates. There are a lot of feelings of excitement and nervousness.. and anticipation! Oh the anticipation! Michael and I celebrated my due date by preparing some of her clothes, tidying up her room, eating dessert dates and pineapple and bouncing on a yoga ball while hooked up to a pump!

A year ago I was so excited about the phase of life we were entering. It’s funny, when you’re about to have a baby people tell you “you’ll never know love like this!” Or “it’s so crazy how much you’ll love that person”. Looking back, I think I did know! I had been carrying her for 9 (+++) months and I knew her! I knew I loved her from the very beginning. A lot is different , and yet… nothing at all has changed.

Maryn, I’m glad the countdown to your birthday is one I can enjoy tequila with! I love you baby girl, the countdown is on!

Summer Love

I couldn’t let June come to an end without sharing a bit about our exciting month! I turned 32, we celebrated Mr Makings 1st Father’s Day, and also celebrated some pretty exciting changes that are headed our way soon. More on that later. Until then enjoy some of our June recaps!

May came to a close quickly. Mom has spent a ton of time recently helping us with the crazy schedules we’re juggling. We got some time after the end of a yucky work day to head out to the swings. It’s a family favorite! Fun fact: Mr Making proposed while we were at a park with swings.

We went to a Mariners game to support a family friend that has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. She threw out the first pitch! We love baseball but we love our friends more!

We’ve been reading lots of books about camping so we can convince dad to take us camping for a weekend.

The most fun was for our Father’s Day celebration! We went to the Washington Brewers Festival for the 3rd year in a row. Last year I was pregnant and enjoyed root beer. This year was a different story! We also went out to a pizza lunch and little miss ate her weight in meatballs!

My birthday was a good time this year. I had to work (boo) but after work I got exactly what I wanted…quality time with my family! We enjoyed time oh side and a seafood feast!

Here’s to an exciting summer ahead!

Mama

My first Mother’s Day is in the books and it was a prefect one at that! When Mr. Making asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day I replied, “a nap!” Easy enough right? Not only did I get a nap but I got a perfectly lovely day with my sweet family. It was spectacular to say the least. I think we have a new Mother’s Day tradition in the making. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

30

My husbands 30th birthday and our 10 year (dating) anniversary happened on the exact same day! Yes that means we stared seeing each other when he was 19!!!! Holy cow.

I really love birthdays and I think 30 is one for the books. I set out with an original plan of surprising him with a trip to San Francisco to see the Giants and Dodgers play. While the “surprise” element got derailed by, well, let’s just say “life”, we still made it to San Francisco. We’ve traveled quite a bit with Miss Pickles over the past 9 months so we knew what to expect. Traveling with a 9 month old is quite a bit different than traveling as a married couple sans babies, but it is just as fun!

We started out bright and early on Saturday which was Mr. Makings actual birthday. We headed straight for the airport and set on our way. Miss P got so many compliments on her giraffe onesie. It blows my mind that people call her a boy even when she’s wearing a pink and gold glittery onesie and a headband… I digress.

Onboard our flight Miss Pickles watched her very first Disney movie picked out by Mr. Making of course, the Lion King (followed by Toy Story… because well, 9 month old attention spans)! She was much more interested in using the buttons than actually watching the movie. No problem there! Furthermore, our little traveler was quite excited to interact with anyone that would pay attention to her.

When we landed we headed straight for BART and hopped on the first train into the city. When we got off we loaded up with a caffeine fix and set out for our hotel. I begged the hotel to let us check in early. I sweetened the pot by showing my adorable (yet very tired) baby to the front desk lady. I explained that we had a long day of celebrating ahead and we ALL needed a nap! She graciously allowed us into our room AND waived the fees! New parent score!!!

Miss P and I got to nap in prep for our adventures ahead. After a few weeks of training at my new job I REALLY needed the rest. I felt like I hadn’t slept more than about 20 minutes at a time in over a week. To say I was exhausted was an understatement. I can always judge my level of exhaustion by the amount of satisfaction I get with a small power nap. Like mama like baby!

Then it was time for the big game! It was Miss Pickles first time to the ball park (outside of my belly). This was a day I’ve looked forward since before she was born! The pictures speak for themselves.

We didn’t spend much time at our seats. Instead we walked around, grabbed food and beers, and kept Pickles entertained. I realized when we left, I couldn’t even tell you who pitched (aside from Pablo Sandoval in the 9th because THAT was cool) or even what the score was (other than the Giants got their ass whooped) at any point throughout the game or after we left. This is a totally different experience.

After Miss P went down for the night I took birthday boy to a really nice dinner with a killer bottle of wine and way too much food. Special memories!

We had a great time all around! Enjoy the rest of the pictures!

Book Lover

I’ve always been a book lover. I remember getting my very first library card back in 1991. Going to the library was always a highlight of our summer vacations. I thought it was so cool that I could get as MANY books as I wanted!!! Amelia Bedelia, Berenstain Bears, Baby Sitters Club Little Sister Series, and Arthur we’re top picks every time. I can remember going to the library to check out audio books (back in my day we called them “books on tape”) before long car rides or family road trips. I can remember the smallest details of our local library, where my favorite books were located, the children’s check out desk, and the smell… oh the smell!!!! I remember taking walks through the rose garden (and running away from bees) after we checked out books and if we were lucky walking down to the park to read under the big oak trees and play on the swings. When I got a bit older I remember riding my bike down to the library and doing homework in the “grown up” section. Such fond memories!

Anyway, when we moved to the PNW it was top priority to get a library card. I high tailed my butt over to our gorgeous public library and signed up. I began checking out books written by Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants and plowing though every title by Jon Acuff and Shauna Niequist. I’m a woman of many interests.. haha!

Shortly thereafter my check out log consisted of parenting books. My favorite, to this day, being Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman.

When I went on extended maternity leave my NUMBER ONE task on my to-do list was taking Miss Pickles to the library for the very first time. We had a blast, to say the least.

I can’t wait for Miss P to get her very first library card someday in the future.

Easter 2018

I felt like a real jack-hole of a mom around Christmas. Only slightly though, because Christmas is not about picture perfect staged Instagram photos of stocking stuffed gift giving for goodness sake.

I really did feel like a jack-hole, not just because I wasn’t able to sword fight with other mamas on instagram #santacame, but TRULY because I imagined my daughter asking me in 5 years, “mama what did Santa bring me my first Christmas?”

A plane ticket to LA and a few airport cocktails, honey. Of course!

Why would she ask me this? Because she’s my daughter, obviously! I’m confident I’ve been hell bent on keeping up traditions since I could first say the word “tradition”. And if I had to bet, likely before. I am my mothers daughter, and if I know anything about genetics it is THAT tiny apple did not fall far from THIS tree…

I’m screwed.

So I decided to salvage my future reputation and got this little chick an Easter basket filled with her favorite things in hopes of the conversation being diverted all-together. Pouch, biscuits, poofs, a new book, a toy remote (which is, come to find out, a failed attempt at keeping her paws off the real one), a new special jacket, and a really cute outfit from Gymboree. Perfection! I kept it simple and to the point!

Maryns first Easter Basket

I’ll give my most dedicated effort to raising my children to be appreciate of the gifts they receive hoping they don’t grow up to be mini-hoarders with shitty little attitudes. I’ll do my best to avoid the gluttonous consumerist mindset filled with the crazy lies of Pinterest mom-offs and Hallmark holidays. I desperately want my kids to know why we celebrate Easter (and Christmas) and find value in keeping gift giving, house decorating, and over the top Instagram worthy Pinterest-mom offs humble. I will likely make heart shaped pancakes on Valentine’s Day, you know, for tradition! And for perspective sake “gift giving” is my identified Love Language… so when I say keep it humble…let’s meet in the middle here, mmmk? Call me a buzz kill, I draw the line at filling the toilet with green dye “leprechaun pee” on St. Patrick’s Day.

You smell like beef and cheese

Also, I swear if there was not an “Easter Bunny” dressed up at church (ugh nightmares make that TWO “Easter Bunnies” dressed up at church) I would have never taken this picture. Weeks leading up to Easter I told Michael I couldn’t to do this whole sitting on the Easter Bunny’s lap thing. We agreed it wasn’t our style. Then in an effort to totally creep me out do something festive and fun, our Church dressed up some Junior high kids to take pictures with families after the service. Anyway, it was a really cute setting and I wanted the picture. What was I to do, kick out the pre-pubescent tiny human under that faux fir costume calling himself the “Easter Bunny” so I could use the backdrop? #byeEasterBunny. Dream crushing, likely. Chances are, I’m already referred to in church governing meetings as the woman with the newborn who peeled out of the parking lot after 10:00 am service. I need to learn to keep a low profile. I opted in keeping my cool with the “bunny”. It was Resurrection Sunday after all. Jesus is ALIVE, Amen?

Pickle-Bunny-Foo-Foo

5 weeks

I swore I wouldn’t be the mom that counts weeks long past 6, or responds to, “how old is the little one?” with the answer of, “47 months”. YUCK. So annoying. Haha…yet here I am… proud of each day that went into these 33 weeks!

Counting weeks happened organically. Each day we survived felt like a badge of honor and the weeks felt like climbing Mt. Everest! I started documenting our journey with a weekly photo with loves and loathes hand lettered over those images. Here we are 33 weeks later we have a lot of hilarious hand lettered pictures to look back on. I’m thrilled to have these weekly memories documented. This is becoming Micro Montgoms baby book!

This week has been so good for our souls. Lots has been happening in the Montgomery house over the last few weeks. Some exciting stuff, some scary stuff, and lots of “new” stuff.

This week started with me taking the remaining portion of my maternity leave that I didn’t take after I gave birth. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this time! We kicked it off with a family 5k and a hard AF workout in the gym. Rejuvenating my soul feels oh so refreshing.

Maternity leave feels freeing. I’ve needed this time so badly. I’m looking forward to projects, daydreaming, journaling, churching, hanging with friends, and enjoying slow mornings, long naps, lots of coffee and heavy lifting at the gym.

So far, We’ve been taking care of odds and ends around the house and spending time together. My girlfriend Jill (check out her blog) brought her handsome little Bub over for a lunch date and much needed mama hang time. The only thing missing was margaritas. Next time! Mr and I went out for mid afternoon beers and a slow stroll through the supermarket. We had some friends over for dinner and drinks and adult conversation…and felt like normal humans while both of our girls slept upstairs. We’ve been enjoying good laughs… and that feels like such a treat. 5 weeks of slowing down, remembering what matters, and spending quality time with the ones we love. Time is already going too fast!

Over the past few weeks we’ve been getting adventurous with our Baby Led Weaning. She’s had quite a few goodies including kale, avocado, apples, and gelato. Whoops! The pediatrician recommended we give her peanut butter right around 6 months. She is a bit older than 6 months but so grateful for no reactions. All of these new foods make for changes in pooping patterns and some significant changes in smell. Woof!

Speaking of, my first morning on maternity leave 2.0 I woke up to Mr. coughing from the baby’s room. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening as I was still half asleep. The coughing progressed and the bath tub turned on. I could hear gagging noises and I just couldn’t help myself. I was laughing so hard. Finally I decided to be a good wife and go lend a hand for reinforcements. I walked in to Mr holding naked baby bum side forward under a running faucet in the tub. I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks. He explained to me that it was all the way up to her neck. Yep, sounds about right! He’s not just being dramatic, that shit STINKS! It doesn’t make me gag, but let me tell you, it’s NOT just normal human poop. If you’re wondering… YES! We’re still cloth diapering!

In other news the CrossFit Open is done. This wasn’t my best year… and I can understand why. I had a baby 7 months ago, and since then making it to the gym 2x a week should be considered a major victory. It’s always fun to see the community come together to cheer each other on. I’m inspired to work on getting core strength back, PRing my squat clean, and practicing muscle ups and hand stand push-ups. Here’s to a few weeks of shoulder rest and rehab… ouch! We found out Miss Pickles does NOT enjoy her fathers CrossFit rage.

2034

Primetime Olympic coverage is a huge deal in the Montgomery house. It takes us back to the first summer Michael and I dated. We had just returned from a month long trip to Uganda and moved in to “The Mods” (little mobile houses on campus across the walkway from each other). We hooked the TV up to a pair of bunny ears and watched what we deemed as “Prime Time Olympic Coverage” for 2 weeks straight. It was August of 2008 before our roommates moved in so we would lay on a blanket on the living room floor (hey we didn’t have furniture) and I swear we watched it around the clock… or, well at our private Christian University we had curfew.. so until 10:00pm when I had to kick him out. We’ve looked forward to the Olympics every 2 years since Beijing. This year we were so stoked for Miss Pickles first Prime Time Olympic Coverage that we had to celebrate with a special uni. We realize she won’t remember watching it with us but boy is it fun to instill the love for the games in her heart from a young age.

A few days ago my mom flew in to help with childcare. We love having her in town because she helps a ton, but she also brings gifts like Pickles Olympics uni and a new quilt just to name a few. For a few weeks months now we’ve been cracking up at the way Pickles puts her arms back when we hold her. Since Christmas we have said it almost looks like she is trying to be a super hero flying through the air. We never really could pinpoint what it was that she was doing but we always got a good laugh out of her signature move. When the olympics started my mom said, “A SKI JUMPER! That’s what she is! A SKI JUMPER!” Yes, that’s the exact move. She looks just like a ski jumper! We all had a good laugh and joked that maybe one day she would be in the Olympics for ski jumping…all because of this goofy move she does with her arms.

See exhibit A:

This morning I was working from home and locked myself in our bedroom so I could focus. Between calls I ran downstairs to grab some breakfast and refill my coffee. I turned the corner to see Mom and Pickles watching the TV. Mom was cracking up.

“Did you hear? The girl that won the Olympic Gold for Ski Jumping…. her name is MAREN!!! Spelled with an E. But, Maren!”

I seriously thought she was messing with me.

Google it.

Maren Lundby Olympic Gold Medalist.

So, 2034… we’re coming for you!