Wednesday, March 11, 2020

2019


I've been thinking about writing this post for a few weeks now and I'm finally having a quiet moment to get to it (I wrote the bulk of this at 10 pm on New Year's Eve and now I'm publishing it like three months later hahhahaha).

While I was in the hospital before being induced with Piper, Chris and I were watching "Nailed It!" on Netflix (a ridiculous yet entertaining show). There was a woman competing on it who talked about how in her line of work she constantly would have to adapt and overcome in order to succeed and that was going to be her approach to winning the competition. I thought a lot about that phrase, "adapt and overcome" and decided it would be a fitting mantra for the upcoming 2019 year. I knew 2019 was going to be difficult and filled with constant adjustments, but I also knew it would be wonderful.

Babies change SO MUCH that first year and are extremely demanding, Piper was no exception. There were many times when I thought we had found a good schedule and rhythm only for something to change and then we'd spend weeks trying to find the new normal. She was relatively easy the first six months, but required a lot of naps and didn't like to be separated from me (she has never taken a bottle so I've always had to stay relatively close by). January-May, my cousin was able to come over several times a week and help me with the kids. She was such a blessing for me and helped tremendously as I balanced my new role as a mom of two. She was able to keep an eye on Henrik and keep him entertained while I fed Piper and got her down for naps and was an extra set of hands while I tried to do dinner prep, laundry, and other tasks. She had her first baby at the end of May but we still get to spend time together with our kids, which is great. She played a huge role in helping me maintain my sanity those first few months with Piper. My hormones were a mess and having someone around during the day a couple times a week was great. It was hard to make it over to my mom's house with both kids so being able to stay home and have my cousin come here was amazing.

Henrik was a bit rough with her in the beginning (she took a few bonks to the head/slaps to the face) but he generally knew to be gentle with her and outgrew the more physical stage quickly. I was shocked at how well he (overall) adjusted to having her here.

Piper slept great until we transitioned her into her crib, unswaddled. Shortly thereafter, she started teething. Then hit a sleep regression. Then got sick. Again and again and again. September-December was very difficult for Chris and I because of how tired we were all the time. We were both extremely sleep-deprived thanks to Piper and frustrated because we couldn't seem to make any progress with her. Finally shortly after she turned one, we hit our breaking point (Piper started demanding that I stand and rock her for 45 minutes before each nap and bedtime) so we did a gentle sleep-training method with her that ultimately taught her to fall asleep on her own and sleep through the night within two weeks. We are extremely grateful that she is sleeping so much better now and we are all much happier and healthier because of it. I'm not nearly as stressed or anxious as I used to be when Chris left town for work because bedtime is much easier to do by myself and I don't have to worry about waking up multiple times through the night with Piper.

It has been such a joy watching Henrik go from young toddler to more of a "kid". His vocabulary has expanded a ton this past year and he talks constantly. Him being able to communicate better with us has made a big difference. He's hilarious and imaginative and a fabulous big brother. He loves to play and help with any sort of project or task. As any parent of a toddler will tell you, there are moments where he makes me want to scream and pull my hair out. But usually those moments are just that. Moments. They pass quickly and then he does something sweet and adorable and I forget I was ever frustrated. Everything he does is a normal part of his development and I can usually tolerate it if I remember that. He has very high-highs and low-lows, but he can generally get over his sadnesses pretty quickly.

Chris's work has been crazy. He started off the year still working his full-time job in addition to working on the start-up he's been part of for the last four years. His demands with the start-up grew exponentially and as they saw more success and raised more money, we decided it was time for him to leave his day job and commit to the start-up full-time. It was a bittersweet decision, but the right one. Having Chris only work one job instead of two has been a huge blessing.

In the fall, Chris had to travel for work a TON. Almost every week for two months. It was really hard on all of us, but worth it. Thankfully, my parents were mostly around to help with the kids and when they couldn't be there, we relied heavily on several friends to help me with the kids. I couldn't have done it without them.

My anxiety still tends to affect me in some capacity most days, but I'm re-learning how to cope and find healthy ways to de-stress and focus on other things. If I let it, my anxiety becomes all-consuming and affects my parenting and time with Chris and the kids. I'm not as focused and tend to worry about small things too much. But Chris continues to be incredibly supportive and helps me talk through the hard moments and watches the kids most weekday nights so I can go to the gym. I've learned that exercise helps me a TON (both physically and mentally) so we have made it a priority to try and get me there as often as we can.

I've also tried this last year to really step back from blogging and social media business commitments and use it as more of a fun hobby (that isn't as stressful). Photos, editing, writing, etc. take a ton of time and effort, too much for me to handle now with the kids. My goal is to try and simplify our lives as much as we can so I can focus on enjoying these years with Henrik and Piper while still having a bit of an outlet; hence I haven't posted on the blog in just over a year hahah. I still continue to post once or twice a week on Instagram and do the occasional collaboration, but as just about any "influencerrr" will tell you, the Instagram algorithms are constantly changing and extremely frustrating so I try to just post when I feel like it and like what I have to share rather than pressuring myself into posting everyday.

I do have some cool collaborations and projects coming up that you'll see here and on my social media, which I'm excited about! For now, I have a bit more time in the evenings and on weekends than I did a few months ago so I feel better about having a few projects that I'm genuinely eager to share with all of you. Stay tuned!

As always, thank you for the love and support! Many of you ask about my blogging and it's nice to hear that at least a few people are still interested haha. I know this post wasn't terribly fascinating, but it seemed like a good time to update you all on our life and past year.

Above all, I'm so grateful for this life I'm living. My kids are Chris and I's world and Chris continues to astound me in his various roles. I love him more everyday and am so blessed to grow and learn with him. He's so supportive and has given me the best gift I can think of, which is to be home with our children.










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