It’s been a sad week as Matt lost his Grandma Martha on Monday.
I met Grandma Martha exactly 2 years ago this week in Katy, Texas where we stayed with her in her home and I took this photo of her and the late Edwin Schoener. I had the pleasure of spending that one and only week with her and Poppy Ed.
Although I didn’t know her very well, I liked her right away. I never felt like I had to prove myself, which is rare with meeting new in-law family. She kept a PRISTINE home and liked things orderly. She was blunt, honest and actually really funny. I will never forget flipping through her huge family photo albums that were meticulously arranged in chronological order. She told me stories that made me fall even more in love with my husband, referring to baby Matt as “Mattso Fatso”- and that the only person who would ever call him by “Matthew” was himself; which is what I always say. She truly made me feel like I “fit in.”
I was 6 weeks pregnant with Benson, and it was a secret that she was the first to know.
Since leaving Texas, I would write every now and then and send photos of the baby. But never had the pleasure of going back to Katy and introducing her to Benson. Grandma Martha, we will miss you more than you know. I am so thankful that I had a chance to spend a wonderful week with you and Poppy and I hope you get to reunite in Heaven. We love you so much!
Your first baby only turns one once. With how busy I have been with work, prioritizing a party for a baby who doesn’t know any different seems like the last thing I should be doing. When all is said and done, I am so glad I did. This was a celebration of so many things: sharing a year with the tiny human we created, a year of growth- physically for Benson, a year of breastfeeding (holy crap!), and most of all- our year anniversary of becoming a family.
We spent the afternoon with our closest family and friends with a yummy baked potato bar, ping pong in the garage, and roasting s’mores in the fire pits.
We call Benson “Bear” or more like “Beeeeeeeahhhhrrrr”- but he answers to it, and so it was only fitting that it be the theme of his party. Since the kid won’t keep anything on his own head for more than a millisecond, I decided that bear ear headbands would be the perfect guest favor so we would all be bears for Benson (suuuuuper easy- hot glue, head bands, and cut out felt), and the bees and honey just followed suit. I think it turned out cute. The next day we went out to do a photoshoot with the leftover balloons and Benson’s teddy that he loves.
At this point he was standing like a big boy but not totally 100% comfortable. Since then- he has been walking up a storm and getting more and more confident. It is so sweet. Our boy is so BIG.
The “cake smash” was too funny. We don’t usually give Benson a lot of sugar, so a whole cupcake was a little out of my comfort zone. Since this kid loooooooves food and the little tastes of chocolate we have given him, I thought for sure it would be a smash disaster…. but this kid is NOT a fan of being messy, so he kept picking up the cupcake to hand to Matt and I TO FEED TO HIM! Yes, the crown is fitting for our little prince. Oh brother!
I seriously cannot believe I stuck to something for an ENTIRE year! It was sort of a big commitment, but I am seriously so glad that I stuck to it. Especially when I am trying to remember back to “oh, when did he get that tooth?” or “how old was he when he started sitting up?” It’s funny how quickly you can forget…so it is so great having the photos to refer back to.
My tiny bear, growing so fast…
Benson Ross was born on November 30, 2014. Although I was happy before, I had no idea that my love could grow to such a caliber. I loved this tiny little being more than I thought was possible, but it also expanded my love for my husband, my family, even our home. I named this blog “Us kind of love” because of the special relationship that I have with my husband. Although things are definitely difficult sometimes (as is every marriage, I assume) I feel like I lucked out with Matt…we really have something special, and I really think that the decisions I made in my life were because I was supposed to meet him. He is the sweetest, weirdest, funniest guy, and I think he was made for me. And after seeing this quirky little weird baby we created…I am pretty sure I’m right.The “us” love that has always been me and Matt, was now an “us” of 3…an even better “us.” We are a couple of weirdos…and our love is the kind only understood by “us.”
Now that we are celebrating a year of welcoming our tiny guy, I am also celebrating the time of when “us” grew by one more. xoxo
Oh, and the reason you haven’t ever seen these photos before is because being a mom is hard-ass-work. There are about a zillion more posts that maybe one day I will get around to…
Because sometimes you have to take a break from your insane Holiday workload and upload your baby’s face to a cat-twerking elf body.
I still can’t believe I didn’t blog this. It is one of those things that I am SO glad I did- taking a photo of myself at 38 weeks when I was totally miserable. It is so fun to have and such a cool thing to be able to put in Benson’s baby book! I love it.
(again….a month and a half late! I will get caught up- still have a baby shower I need to post too….yikes!)
For Benson’s nursery- I wanted something that was bright and airy, but still colorful and fun. We chose an “Idaho” theme with the woodsy details yes still really modern. The colors are: aqua, burnt orange, peach, cream, gold, black and white. I started with the peach on the walls. Everyone thought I was crazy painting a boy’s room “pink” but I wanted it to feel soft and warm, and I am so glad that I stuck to my gut because I think it really has a lot to do with the overall feeling, yet it is super subtle with all the other details. I just wanted a place that felt happy and cozy- and I feel like it is. We can spend all day rolling around on the SUPER SOFT rug and cuddling in the rocker and reading or nursing. I spent a lot of time in here when I was pregnant, and Benson loves his room!
I know every mom probably says this, but I truly feel like I am time traveling. I used to be such a “doer” and now, if it comes to something personal- I am totally a “get-around-to-it-er!” I have so many things that I have put time and effort into and then I never actually document it, or things that I document but never actually post. My nursery is something I never even documented and I am kicking myself for not snapping pics when it was in pristine form! Now it is a definitely “lived in” and “loved” space, which maybe makes it better is some ways? But the crib is lowered, so you can’t see the bedskirt that looked so cute before- and there is an ugly mesh bumper on the side. I am sticking to: “lived in & loved” and better documented after 9 months (and actually posted at 10.5!) than not at all. So…here we go!
I am trying to remember all of the places I got things- but sorry for the ones I forget:
Bookshelf, Crib, Dresser, Changing table: Ikea
Log Pillow, Blue Bird Pillow, Crib Sheet & Changing Pad Cover: Land of Nod
Knit Fox & Bird Dolls: Blabla Kids (Paperie + Pen)
Cream Fringe Rug & Orange Poof: Overstock.com
Fox Print: Gingiber (Paperie + Pen)
Newco Aqua Glider Chair: I searched the internet for this guy since I was in love and it was discontinued. Finally found a place where they had one left in stock…sorry I can’t remember the name.
Side Table & Lamp: TJ Maxx
Random Glass Details (clock, bird cup, porcelain feather, milk jar) & Plush Fox in Suiting: Anthropologie
Chalkboard Garland: Urban Outfitters
Eat you up & World is lucky Prints: Lindsay Letters
Bear Print: Missmalagata on Society 6
Wood Camp Arrow: VintageKrew on Etsy
Wood Alphabet: graphicspaceswood on Etsy
Wood Idaho: Random Idaho Market
Wood Acorns: Random little store in Sun Valley Idaho
Curtains & Wood rod ends: Ikea
It’s been a really hard past couple of weeks for me. My mom who had been helping me with the baby during the day has started back up teaching for the fall. Now I am left to figure out what to do with this squirmy, drooling, teething little old man who has an unhealthy obsession with his mama while also needing to be bringing in half the bacon.
Women’s Equality Day…yay working moms!
Now debating what my options are- who is left to suffer? Is it my job as a mother, my job as a business owner, or am I ultimately the one who is suffering? Currently, I am doing my best to keep up with the first two- and now I *AM* the one who is suffering. I am not taking care of myself because I have business and a baby to take care of. Every second I am with my son, I am guilty that I am not working- and when I am working, I feel guilty for not giving 100% attention to my son, now if I take time for exercise or ‘me time’- who’s time am I taking for that?
After a long talk with the husband in bed about my struggles and fears about putting our first and only in ‘duh duh duuuhhh—daycare’ (all I can think about is a swarm of peanut-butter faced toddlers bullying my sweet angel, I know- I’m crazy). He will never know how I really feel no matter how well I try to explain it. “Like, imagine you are doing your current job in 8 hour shifts- then all of the sudden someone says, ‘you need to do the same work, but I want you to do it in 12x twenty minute increments while someone is yelling.'” That’s the best I can explain it. Oh, but then on top of that- you need to add breastfeeding and GUILT.
Being a working mother is SO HARD.
I now look at how many working mothers there are (oh my, and SINGLE WORKING MOTHERS- like my Mama) who are so amazing. After seeing all of these “Women’s Equality Day” posts on Facebook tonight, for some reason I felt the need to spew some of my own word vomit in recognition of so many incredible women are out there making their mark. Even though we have been fighting to get women to an ‘equal’ status, they deserve SO MUCH MORE than that.
In my struggle, I really celebrate all of the strong working mothers who are role models for me in these times of weakness.
Our baby boy is born. I am in so much aww and wonder when I look at him every day- the past 2.5 weeks have already gone by so quickly, and I find myself grasping onto every single moment… My tiny, sweet, new baby is getting bigger and has more personality every day. I am so overwhelmed by the love that I feel for him and my husband. Our new little family means more to me than I ever would have been able to imagine! My boys…my everything. It is so hard to be a mother, and I am so humbled by how truly wonderful it is.
I have been hesitating to write this post, partially because my birth story is still upsetting to me, but mostly because I am trying to savor every second that Benson and I have together, and taking time away from him to be on my computer feels like such a waste. I thought I would love to be all open and honest about my birth story- especially since I was so honest about how much I “loooooooved” being pregnant, but I still don’t feel up to it. But I do have some photos that are close to my heart (thank you Frannie), and they remind me of what an incredible husband I have. Going through this painful labor reiterates the best choice I have made in my whole life- marrying my husband. I am so incredibly lucky to have such an incredible partner and I can’t believe that my body (MY BODY!!) actually grew this beautiful little love of mine….wow.
Welcoming Benson Ross Schoener: born 11.30.14 at 3:12 am, 8 lbs, 20.5 inches, and perfect.
I feel like everyday for the past couple weeks, I wake up and think- “I should really write a blog post today” but then it follows with a “ughhhhhhhhhh I feel sooooo awful and I have so much more important things to get done before baby boy gets here!” Well today is the day that I am going to put my foot down, because at 38 weeks- we are getting awfully close to having our worlds rocked, and I feel like I am on a cruel roller coaster of time travel. Some weeks seem to last centuries and others fly by- but the truth is, this little boy could decide to come ANY time (although my doctor loves to tell me how 1st babies like to come a week late…which is really mean to say, true or not!).
Okay so here we go: I can’t even remember where I left off with my sad excuse for blogging this pregnancy. Let me start off by telling you that I am realizing that my body was not made for pregnancy. I know I know, it technically “WAS”- but honestly, I have had probably every possible pregnancy punishment you could possibly have while maintaining what would be called a “normal” pregnancy. I am so thankful and lucky to be healthy and for our baby boy to be healthy (thank God!) even if it means that I have hated my life for at least 75% of this 9 month journey. Each symptom outweighs the next, and I have to ask myself “Was this worse than that…? yes and no. Would I rather not be able to walk due to debilitating back pain, or would I rather aspirate on my own stomach acid in the middle of the night because of severe acid reflux? Would I rather have nausea or a cold that is now going on 4 weeks? Who doesn’t like lung compression that leaves them gasping and panicking for air on a daily basis? How ’bout swelling that leaves you wrestling any of the pairs of shoes you already bought a size bigger, and then taking them off at the end of the day to reveal shoe-shaped indentations that resemble play-dough? My newest adventure is a blanket of sore, purple stretchmarks that cover 90% of the skin the entire length of my stomach (and a belly-ring scar that has expanded like the words on a Happy Birthday balloon)—I am beginning to think that this baby boy is going to bypass the whole “vaginal delivery” thing and burst out of the skin on my stomach like the Kool-Aid Man! But, in all fairness- I really do take him for a trendsetter, although it may result in my immediate death.
Speaking of death. I know, “stoppit” right? But seriously, when I am going through my insane thoughts of childbirth, I think: “what if I don’t make it?” So morbid, but it does happen. I am thinking- “hopefully Matt was listening during all of our childcare classes”, and “what is Frannie going to do about the wedding show? and will my clients ever get their wedding album, hopefully they remind her?” Then I go back to wanting this baby to stay in, although I am nervous that the longer he stays- the more likely for the Kool Aid Man scenario mentioned above.
I thought babies were supposed to have less vigorous movement as they are more confined in the womb—my baby says: “bullshit, I’ll make room!” as he extends what could only be described as the body part of a small man straight out…and I feel like I am ripping from the inside out as I scream into what has to be his butt (he is head down at this point) to leave me alone! I am over it. I asked for this.
NOW that I have talked pretty much anyone out of ever trying “pregnancy”–let me give you the silver lining:
No matter how awful I am feeling, when I feel my little guy (when he isn’t hurting me) wiggling in my belly, I am SO obsessed with him. I have no idea what he looks like, or if he will be a “good baby,” but he is the best parts of me and the one person that I chose to love most in this world- and I honestly can’t think of anything better than that. When I am getting down about my wrecked body, or panicking about how I can’t sleep of breathe- I remember that it is all for him, and I am SOOO lucky to have the most amazing husband who loves me more because of it. I know there aren’t many who are as lucky as I.