Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jack's First Birthday

Today is Jack’s 1st birthday! Although we celebrated this past Monday with family and friends (he was due on Memorial Day last year so I think it will be fun to celebrate his birthday on that holiday Monday when we can), today is a day I can really reflect on what a blessing that little man is. When I picked him up this morning (he slept in until almost 7am like the angel baby that he is) all I was thinking about is how much he’s grown in the past year. He is such a big, healthy boy, and has always been so easy going and joyful.

I love to think about the moment that he was born – after 18 hours of labor, my midwife said in a stern voice, “Kelly, I need you to push this baby out RIGHT NOW!” Although she didn’t tell me that she was concerned because the cord was wrapped around his neck (until later), I knew that something was wrong and it was time for me to get my sweet boy into this world safely. And just like that, he was born! And in my arms! And if you haven’t heard this before…he then promptly peed all over my face. I’m not joking…after 10 months of pregnancy (hard work) and 18 hours of labor (VERY HARD WORK)….my sweet baby boy thanked me by peeing on my face. I was so overwhelmed that he was in my arms (and that he had a full head of dark curly hair like I dreamed of) that I barely cared.

And now he is a big one year old boy! Crawling all over, walking with help, getting into everything around the house with his cute, chubby baby hands, and making us love him even more with each passing moment. One of his latest tricks is feeding our dog Blake at least half of his breakfast. He is so fair! Literally, one bite for Jack, one bite for Blake. When I try to explain that we don’t need to share our food with the dog he looks at me with this face that says, “Why are you saying no Mama? Look how much we both like this!” Another thing he loves to do is open the kitchen cabinets and either a) pull pots, pans, platters and bowls OUT of the cabinets or b) shove toys IN the cabinets (he finds them again later and oh my goodness you should see his face light up!) We really need to install those childproof latches at some point but I can just imagine how disappointed he will be when he tries with all his might to open them again and they stay firmly shut. He is a really strong and persistent little boy which always surprises me because of his easy-going, sweet temperament. I think it's the Irish in him that comes out when he really sets his mind to something!

Jack is such a blessing in our lives and I can’t wait for him to meet our next little blessing, his brother or sister due this December. Being a mom has been such an amazing experience for me and I feel blessed that I got started at the ripe old age of 24. I am so grateful for the challenges and rewards that I have experienced in the past year. And I know that we have so much to look forward to in the coming decades as our family continues to grow!

Here's a comparison of Jack on day 1, and at age 1! 
And my sweet boy in my arms on his birthday. I love how he is holding onto his mama's scarf. What a sweet boy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Vulnerability and crab sandwiches...not a bad combination

Last night, laying in bed, after a long (but great) family day, my husband and I were discussing how tough it is for me to be pregnant. I thank God daily for the joy and love that I have in my heart for this sweet growing baby…because this sweet growing baby makes me feel like DIRT 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And no, in case you are already solving my problem for me (thanks for trying!), my morning (correction: all day) sickness will probably not go away at the end of the first trimester, because it certainly did not with Jack. (I’m not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic. If it does go away in a week or two, I will be the happiest pregnant woman in the world! Until then…I’m not holding my breath & counting the days.) 

Anyway, I am grateful for the joy and love that I already have when I think about this little life growing inside me, because it helps me get through the constant nausea and fatigue. In addition to the love and joy, food really helps. For the past two weeks, crab specifically is the food that helps. No, no, don’t judge me, and start thinking (or worse, saying!) things like “Pregnant women should be careful about their mercury intake! Fish should be limited to one 4 oz. serving a week!” Etc. etc. etc. I discovered today, after enjoying a delicious crab sandwich at lunch (think loads of crab, avocado, swiss cheese and cream cheese, BACON, on sourdough bread) that crab is chock full of folic acid, B6 (which supposedly helps with morning sickness…yeah…okay….sure) and Omega-3. Wahooo! I need all of those things because don't forget, I am growing a baby. Okay, so back to the purpose of this post, which is that although my heart is full of joy and love, my body feels like dirt while I am pregnant and it is rather discouraging. 

But last night my husband told me that he loves me even more when I am pregnant because I LET HIM TAKE CARE OF ME. (Yup, he really is amazing and oh so sweet and supportive and I am pretty sure I am one of the luckiest women on the planet). He mentioned that I am more vulnerable when I am pregnant and that he appreciates it because I allow him to be a servant, and, that as my husband, he wants to take care of me and to love me by serving me. Seriously. So here I am feeling like dirt, realizing that all the times in the past 6  weeks when I have been laying on the floor (trying not to vomit), or rolling down the window while he’s driving (does fresh air help you not vomit? I always think so), or asking him to bring me ice waters and wheat thins and more watermelon (definitely helps you NOT vomit!) he has been happy to help me. Happy to take care of me. Happy to love me in my vulnerable (also crazy) pregnant state. And that is just an amazing feeling that makes my heart even more full of joy and love (and that will definitely help me survive the unknown number of weeks of nausea ahead of me).  

Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead definitely understands the necessity of vulnerability in our life (at home, in business, in relationships). Maybe in the coming weeks as I lie on the couch, growing larger each day (believe me, I definitely jump on the “I’m eating for two!!!” bandwagon) I’ll read her entire book and see if it helps me embrace the vulnerability that I ordinarily avoid at all costs. Until I read it, I think I’ll contemplate this quote that I love (and see what I can accomplish in the meantime): “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.” (Brené Brown) How do you feel about vulnerability? Let me guess. You don't like it either. Bren
é definitely figured that one out during her decades of research, concluding, "the difficult thing is that vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I'm willing to show you. In you, it's courage and daring. In me, it's weakness." 

But today (or tomorrow, or the next day) consider giving vulnerability a shot. Dare greatly as you do something, and see what you accomplish, create, experience, or innovate. And then let me know how it goes for you! Remember, that according to Brené, I will see it as courage and daring, not weakness, regardless of the result. 

Friday, May 17, 2013


Well here it goes! I've been reading quite a few blogs lately and am finding them so valuable. It's a wonderful thing that we can share our thoughts, ideas, learnings, and emotions so quickly, with people we know well, and others we don't know at all. This morning I woke up and made my son french toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon and enjoyed breakfast with him. (He enjoyed everything but the bacon...apparently I have a vegetarian baby lately as he decided that instead of eating his bacon bits, he would throw them over the high chair into our dog's waiting mouth, laughing the entire time.) I love bacon (and eat it literally 4 mornings a week, even when I'm not pregnant) and I am also the one to bring it home. My husband works part-time, and I could not survive even one day without his support (emotional, physical, mental, and financial) but I'm proud of the hard work that I do to bring home the bacon and provide a great life for us. He is there by my side every step of the way, and we love the life we are building as we grow in love for one another, and as we literally grow  with the addition of a second child. We feel very blessed but there are also those days when we are just trying to figure it all out! And on those days, he's laughing, I'm crying, and then he's making me chocolate chip cookies. :)

I plan to blog about my life as Bacon Mama (I think it's a pretty great title, but then again, remember how much I love bacon, and how much I LOVE being a mama). If you love bacon, or babies, and/or trying to be the best at what you do, this is a blog you'll enjoy! 

I'm learning to live on a budget, cook in a crock pot (don't worry, I rarely use bacon for dinner. I shoot for healthy and nutrious meals! Oh what a learning experience this will be!), balance my time between my career and my family, and get enough sleep so that I can survive the next day (I have the world's most wonderful child, who sleeps 12 hours every night, so don't feel too sorry for me...most of the time my lack of sleep stems from the fact that I am doing too much because I tend to forget that I am Bacon Mama, not Superwoman.) Although I love design & fashion, I probably won't blog too much about those topics, because as I mentioned, I'm learning to live on a budget, and I don't have the creative juices or energy to making something out of nothing. Maybe someday I will!

That's all for today, so here's to the weekend! I would close this first blog post with "Cheers!" because I ordinarily love wine, beer, and cocktails of any kind, and it's the weekend so we should all be enjoying the glass of our choice after a hard week of work, but since I'm pregnant and not even allowed to have three sips of red wine with dinner (according to my loving & diligent husband,) alcohol is not my favorite topic lately. :)