Thursday, January 17, 2013

One year with Nat

Last week our little lady turned one year old. I was thrilled. I know this may make me an atypical mom, but I can't mourn the loss of babyhood. We have had a great year with a great baby, but I am so excited for everything to come.

When Nat was two months old I mentioned how I'd be taking monthly photos of her (as all moms of babies are known to do). I kept her baby blanket and her hair bow consistent, but I dressed her in a favorite outfit from that month/clothing size. For her low-key cupcakes party we threw Sunday, I strung all her monthly photos like a clothesline (original idea again, I know) as one of our few decorations.

Here's a close-up for Nat's monthly photos:

One month old

Two months old

Three months old

Four months old

Five months old

Six months old

Seven months old

Eight months old

Nine months old

Ten months old

Eleven months old

Twelve months old (not taken in time for the party!)

As you can probably relate (or imagine), the monthly photos have become more and more difficult to take. For example, Natalie would rather do this than sit still:

Thankfully, though, she is agreeable enough to let me get a few good, smiling shots.

Now that our child is one year old I can see just how monumentally she has changed in one short year. I look at her and think who is this little person...
who says "good dog" incessantly.
who points at everything, especially her birds on her nursery wall.
who has 10 teeth! Her first-year molars came in one week before her first birthday.
who gives her stuffed animals (and occasionally her parents) kisses.
who brings us books and demands to be read to multiple times a day.
who can not only climb onto her toy box but also (safely) off of it as well.
who initiates games of peek-a-boo.
whose first shoes are in the mail because she took her first steps Monday, two days after her first birthday.
who says "yum, yum" in imitation of me encouraging her to eat.
who dances along to all the music coming out of her many toys.

We're at a really good place right now. In retrospect, the six-month mark really was the roughest patch of her first year. Once she could sit up unassisted life got a lot better. The spit up ended around the ten-month mark. I actually remember the last time she spit up because I was wearing oddly nice clothes for a random afternoon and I thought to myself, "Of course you're spitting up on me because I'm dressed nicely." Thankfully, that was the last time we would face that problem. Finishing breast feeding was also a highly liberating experience, so liberating, in fact, that I celebrated with a girls' weekend in New York sans baby and pump.

The little bit of bad is outweighed by a whole lot of good. Indeed, it has been a very good year.

Friday, January 4, 2013

That's clutch

After nearly a year of use our Skip Hop diaper bag has held up well. (Have you noticed that I start every new year writing about a bag? Oh well.) I don't take the bag with me every time I leave the house with Natalie because sometimes it just feels so big and we're not going to be gone very long. The bag is great because of its many compartments, which, when I originally put it on our registry and gratefully received it from a good friend, seemed like they would be helpful way for organizing my keys, phone, wallet, and sunglasses. Over time, though, I would be in a rush to leave the house without Natalie, so I'd grab my phone and wallet but forget my keys and sunglasses, yadda yadda.

Over the summer, tired of running in and out of the house, up and down the stairs, I decided this system was no longer working. The diaper bag is great and gets lots of use, but shoving all my possessions into various pockets was making me less organized. I decided using a clutch purse that I could easily pull in and out of the diaper bag would be the best option.

The search for the perfect clutch began, and it took me a couple months to find it. The winner was this Cole Haan brown leather clutch in a basket-weave pattern that I found at DSW. It's a little more narrow than the width of the diaper bag, so it easily fits inside, but it's still wide enough to carry my essentials. It also fits easily in the basket underneath our relatively small umbrella stroller.

The best part of this is that I never leave anything I need at home anymore. The worst part? By its nature a clutch doesn't have a handle or strap. But, what matters most to me is its size, so I went in knowing I'd be sacrificing a handle.

If you're looking for a way to make your diaper-bag life mesh with your baby-free life, I'd recommend the clutch route.