December 20, 2013

Yes, Zachary, there IS a Santa Claus

I'm going to make this as simple as I can.

Growing up, the magic of Santa was part of what made Christmas so special to me.  Because of my parents, I also knew that we were celebrating the birth of Jesus and what that meant for humanity and what that meant for us.  Even as children, "Jesus was sent to love us and take away our sins," was easy enough to understand.  For us, Jesus was serious.  Santa was magical.

I'm 32 years old and only just now beginning to scrape the tip of the iceberg about the different kind of magic that comes with knowing and having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I cannot possibly expect my baby boy to understand that.  We will read the story to him of what we believe to be the true reason we celebrate Christmas every year, and reinforce those values year-round.

But there will also be magic.  There will be awe and wonder.  There will be stories of selflessness and giving because we love, not because we are good. 

There will be Santa.

If my child learns that Santa is not real (either from us, in a gentle way, or from some jerk kid who ruins it for him long before I'm ready to let that part of his innocence be taken away) and then begins to question everything he is told, I see that as a good thing.

I want him to ask questions. I want him to understand why he believes what he does and why we act the way we do based on those beliefs.

If he asks why Santa doesn't come to those who are in lower economic stations, we will hopefully say things like "Baby, we helped Santa those years, when we were selfless and mindful of others and gave to those we could help."

But the magic and awe and wonder I already see in his eyes...whether it's because he can't believe he has these things called feet attached to his legs or because the lights and sparkles of our tree are just too beautiful for him to comprehend...I want to see that for many years.

Then, as he grows older and begins to question things and discover the love that Jesus has for him on a more mature level, and how we can see and emulate Jesus all around us, I look so very forward to seeing a new light in his eyes each time a new realization creates a spark that wasn't there before.

There are so many allegories of faith and love and the supernatural and magical in the belief in Santa and the relationship with Christ, and those parallels can be seen in one of my very favorite pieces of writing: the famous editorial, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" (emphasis mine):

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

I support 100% the choice of other parents and families to not implement the tradition of Santa Claus into their holiday traditions.  However, for my husband and me, this was not even a discussion.  We both remember the magic and the joy, and we cannot wait to experience it on the other side of the coin now as parents.

Z, may you always know the magic of the holiday season, whether it's because of the anticipation of Santa Claus or because of the wonderful heaviness of the knowledge of Christ -- God's ultimate gift to us -- that will bring you to your knees in wonder and gratitude.

December 19, 2013

Ice Days!

I've mentioned it a couple of times, but in the past couple of weeks, our little area of North Texas got hit with some pretty nasty weather!  Not only was the 4-5 inches of solid ice dangerous, but we are notoriously ill-equipped to deal with it (or drive on it) once it's here.  (One would think we'd have learned something from the 2011 Ice/Snowpocalypse when the Super Bowl was in Dallas, and yet...)

Luckily, we were prepared.  I had already gone to the grocery store and stocked up on the necessities (you know, stuff for making cookies, baby formula, beer milk, etc.), and we just prepared for a few days of forced togetherness.

Now, having traded off a stomach virus and knowing that something was up with Z (turns out it was two very mean teeth coming in at the same time), we knew it could get a little crazy in the house after too long. 

But we found things to do. I set up our pre-lit Christmas tree, and Z was enthralled:

Then we got it all decorated:

We baked some delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and my little helper seemed to enjoy being in the kitchen with me:

We took naps (well, one of us did):

And my husband introduced Z to one of our favorite old cartoons, Ferdinand the Bull:

(look at him grabbing Michael's thumb! I am dying from the cuteness...)

We did venture out once the ice started melting on the roads so that we could take Z to visit Santa.  He was all smiles...until we walked away:

poor guy :( and poor Santa!

Back at home, we managed to get some much happier pics of the babies for our annual Christmas card!

So, while we were all very ready for all that nasty ice to melt so we could get back to our regular, daily routine, it was really nice to have my very favorite people (and my favorite dog!) in the house all together, cozy and warm and safe for a few days!  Staying in PJs all day, napping at leisure, baking, and togetherness.  A nice precursor to our first Christmas as a slightly larger family!

December 18, 2013

Outfit of the Day

I haven't done one of these in a LONG time!  For one thing, I just ran out of ideas after a while and started wearing some of the same things over and over. 

Also, I had a teething baby that started waking up in the middle of the night several nights in a row (I know, I'll cry you a river.  But when you aren't used to it for months, it's a bit of an adjustment) for feedings and cuddles.  In the mornings, I was lucky if I had on two matching shoes.

Also also, we were iced in for about 5 days in a row.  I wore...the same pajamas all 5 days.  Yup. 

So here's a mix of some of my favorite outfits from the past few weeks when I remembered and/or felt cute enough to take a photo:

.......I think I need more bright colors in my wardrobe.  Especially my fall/winter wardrobe. 

Top Left: Shirt from Stitch Fix, blazer from my closet (probably thrifted), pendant necklace from Plato's Closet, jeans from....Kohl's, maybe?

Top Right: Scarf from Target, jumper is Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker, shirt and leggings...I've had forever.  You can't see it but I'm wearing my black TOMs in both the top pics.

Bottom Left and Middle: Faux Leather peplum top is Jennifer Lopez for Kohl's. Black slacks have been seen on the blog several times!  Necklace is from a local boutique, gift from my best friend.

Bottom Right: Dress is from Plato's Closet, leggings I've had forever, leopard print belt is from my mom's closet!

I've most definitely slacked off recently in my clothing choices lately...worn more jeans and long-sleeved shirts with TOMs more often than I'd like to admit.  But November and December can be quite hectic! 

Here's to some possibility for brave new fashion choices (and brighter colors) in 2014!!

December 16, 2013

Z at Five Months

This may be the latest monthly update yet!  We didn't take these photos until two weeks after his 5-month birthday!  Same old time, etc., with a bit of "Icemageddon" and "stomach virus" thrown in there. 

I cannot believe this little boy is 5 months old! He is changing SO much....look at ONE month vs. FIVE months:

Pause for a few tears...*sniff, sniff*

He is allllll over the place now that he knows how to roll back and forth from back to tummy and tummy to back!  Now we have to keep an eye on him constantly...he's across the room in a matter of seconds!

He is such a happy baby and so generous with his smiles! 

In the last couple of months, Z has spent  much more time with his cousins and family!  He also loves his exersaucer that he's borrowing from his cousin D:

Aunt Jo came to visit for Thanksgiving, and it was love at first sight!  We even got Aunt Jo babywearing for a few minutes!

He LOVES bath time now!  Remember when he would look so upset and tortured? Not anymore!  He loves to kick his feet and splash around! 

He and Carmen are developing a whole new relationship. Now that he's mobile, Carmen is a bit more skittish of him because she gets spooked when he suddenly rolls up behind her and reaches for her!  But, she's also running up towards him with her rope tuggy, begging him to play!  She doesn't quite understand him yet, but he adores her.  We can't wait to see how their relationship changes as Z gets older!

He is still eating like a champ, and we'll start trying purees and solids with the beginning of the new year!  So many firsts still to come!

Happy Holidays to you all!

December 9, 2013

Stitch Fix #2

Don't know if you've all been paying attention to the news and weather reports lately, but most of North Texas, where I live, has been essentially SHUT. DOWN. the last few days because of an ice storm.  Normally, I think that Texans overreact and/or are ill-prepared to handle winter weather, but this one really was no joke.  Overnight we had 4-5 inches of solid ice on the ground, making travel very dangerous, if not impossible. 

Also, my house has been trading a stomach bug back and forth since Thanksgiving (we're all on the mend now!) and the Little One has been teething.  So please forgive the fact that I look like a WRECK in these photos!  But let me say that Jaime, my stylist, NAILED this fix!  She really listened to what I said in my feedback last time, and I loved every single thing she sent me. 

If you're saying WAIT WAIT SLOW DOWN, WHAT THE HECK IS A STITCH FIX?? then let me point you to my post about my first fix, in which I explain how it works!

Onto the fix!

Click here to get started!

I specifically asked Jaime to send me something that would be perfect for holiday parties in this fix.  She took my request and sent something perfect that would also work for the office!

The Paltrow Stretch Lace Hi-Lo Peplum Top -- $98. This emerald green, lace top would be PERFECT with jeans, heels, and a blazer with a sparkly brooch or statement earrings.

I didn't take a picture of the back, but it also featured an exposed, gold zipper, which I thought was a nice touch of glitz and a fun surprise.  Unfortunately, this top was both a little out of my price range and a little too snug around my midsection, which is still fairly lumpy after having Z.  I knew I'd be self-conscious in it.  But the quality was lovely and the color PERFECT for me. 

Mavi Denim Jacket -- $98

Guys...I LOVED this jacket.  A good denim jacket is SO hard to find!

I loved the cut, and it was a perfect dark wash. It was soft and stretchy and would look fantastic dressed up or down.  Unfortunately, we ran into another size+price issue.  The price actually isn't terrible, to me, when you consider how much people spend for a good pair of jeans.  This denim jacket would last forever, and would have been worth the investment.  But, despite the sleeve length and where it hit my torso being perfect, it was just a little tight in the arms and would not button across my chest.  Sigh.  Back it goes...

The Nickelle Striped Long-Sleeved Shirt -- $48

When I pulled this shirt out of the box, I LOVED the style, but I was hesitant about horizontal stripes...

But I love this shirt so much!! I think that tiny bit of diagonal stripe on the pocket offsets the horizontal stripes perfectly, and I love how the boat neckline and the navy & white stripes give it a nautical look.  This would be so fun with a pop of color in another item...yellow, red, etc.  KEEPING this shirt!  The price is perfect for me.

Benian Mini Chain Detail Crossbody Bag -- $58

I nearly purrrrred with delight when I pulled out this bag!  It says "off-white" in the description but I'd call it peach, actually.

It is made of SUCH soft leather, and I love the style and the chain detail! There was a smaller pouch of the same material inside, as well as a longer shoulder strap.  Guys, this was so tempting!! But I had a budget since it's near the holidays, and I wanted another item from my fix instead.  Also, I do love my Dooney & Bourke purse, and I'm not one to have multiple handbags.  But this price is a steal for the quality of this bag!!  Sending it back.  With a tear in my eye.

Albertson Chambray Henley Blouse -- $68

When I saw on the packing slip that I had another chambray item (after the disappointing shirt dress from my last fix), I was cautiously excited.  I love chambray, and it's really big this fall.  I see it all the time on campus, with leggings and boots and those cozy-looking, tall boot socks and scarves!

I knew as soon as I put this shirt on that I was keeping it!  It's so soft and I love the way it fits! I love the asymmetrical hem (it's slightly longer in the back), and the rolled sleeves with the button closure to keep them up.  My stylist clearly paid attention to my disappointment that the last chambray item didn't work for me, and was Jaime-on-the-spot to find me another one!  KEEPING.

I know the prices seem high, but let me remind you that you get a 25% discount if you buy all 5 items, AND your $20 stylist fee goes towards your total.  If you have credits from people clicking on your referral links, it takes the price down even further!

Here's how this fix would have worked out for me:

Total: $370 - $20 stylist fee - $37 credit - $87.50 for the discount = $225.50.  Just over $200 for 5 items of such high quality is a great deal, in my opinion. 

I actually got another referral credit while I was trying these on, so by the time I decided on my two items, plus my referral credits, plus my $20 stylist fee, I am only out of pocket $34 for this fix!  Cannot beat that!

I'm extremely happy with this fix! I can't wait to schedule another one after the new year! 

Interested?  Please click on my referral link to get started!

November 27, 2013

Mom Hacks -- Postpartum Mom Gift Basket

Recently, I went to a good friend's baby shower.  (Okay, by "recently," I mean it was almost two months ago, but still...)  I love shopping for baby items, but one thing I felt really compelled to do for her shower was to give her something.  So many gifts are given for baby, from adorable outfits to diapers to nursery necessities, but Mom-to-be doesn't get many things for herself. 

I started thinking to myself, "What did I need/appreciate the most after Z was born? What totally saved my ass when I was exhausted and recovering and adjusting to life as a newborn?"

The answer?


There are tons of "recipes" for padsicles online and on Pinterest, but I sort of modified the procedure for myself ("ingredients" further down in this post), and I ended up being so grateful that I'd made them ahead of time,while I was still pregnant!  The coldness of the pad mixed with the aloe and the witch hazel was soothing and healing, and the lavender essential oil helped me to feel more calm and, sorry to be gross, but, fresh on those yucky postpartum days. 

I also remember being glad that I had packed my own toiletries for the hospital, and that I had a set of fuzzy socks to wear in those cold rooms.  I threw in a few other items just for Mom, and before too long I had the perfect Postpartum Mom Gift Basket!

(click on picture for a larger image)

1) Always overnight pads with wings
2) Dermaplast spray
3) Spray bottle
4) Witch Hazel (organic and natural foods stores sometimes sell the scented kind! lavender, rose, etc.)
5) Aloe vera gel
6) Aura Cacia lavender essential oil
7) Tucks medicated wipes
8) Fuzzy, aloe-infused socks
9) Wipes (unscented, could be used for mom or for baby!)
10) Travel toiletries for the hospital (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, loofah, lotion, hand sanitizer, extra strength Tylenol, etc.)
11) Boppy brand Nursing cover
12) Breastfeeding book (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding published by La Leche League International)
13) A journal -- for recording feedings, diapers, thoughts, memories, etc.
14) My pair of Belly Buds as a loaner
15) A card just for Mama
16) An extra frozen hospital pad, just in case she likes those better!

I have it on good authority from my friend that the padsicles were "the most wonderful gift anyone has ever given [her]," so I definitely recommend putting the necessary items into any Postpartum Mom Gift Basket you make for an expectant mother!

How to Make Padsicles 
  • Unfold an overnight pad, but leave it stuck to the wrapper.  Peel back the wings.
  • Spray a good amount of Witch Hazel onto the pad with a spray bottle
  • Spread a thin layer of aloe vera gel onto the pad (I used the back of a spoon)
  • Add a few drops of lavender essential oil (or any essential oil of your choice). A little goes a long way!  Here are some benefits of using lavender oil. 
  • Carefully fold the wings back down and replace adhesive paper.
  • Fold pad back together in its wrapping
  • Store all padsicles in a clearly labeled Ziploc freezer bag in your freezer

What did you love/appreciate the most when you were first home with your baby? What was your favorite gift at your baby shower?

November 25, 2013

Loneliness through Visibility

I've been feeling pretty lonely lately.  Is it because the majority of my time is spent with an infant? A beautiful, growing, entertaining but yet nonverbal infant? 

Is it because the holidays are rapidly approaching and, with them, sharp and unexpected pangs of simultaneous sadness and joy at the vivid memories that the voices of Andy Williams and Nat King Cole can suddenly resurrect?

Is it because I'm lacking in constant and consistent interaction with God and His word? 

It's probably a healthy mixture of all of those things, but one thing that keeps shoving itself to the front of my mind when I am aware of my loneliness is the fact that I'm too visible on social media but feel invisible in "real life."  Over 500 friends/connections, a myriad likes and comments and chat messages, but an overall sense of isolation and a growing desire for connection with real humans.

As I told my husband the other day when, yet again, I'd gotten my feelings hurt by seeing photos of gatherings of friends with whom I used to spend time, "I'm huge on Facebook. Everyone likes and comments on my stuff; they just don't wanna hang out with me."

I laughed, because I realized just how ludicrous that statement sounded: "I'm huge on Facebook."  For one thing, it's a bit arrogant. I don't mean to say that I mean anything to anyone outside of my friends/connections.  For's a bit sad.  What do all those likes and comments even mean other than a perfunctory "click" to like a photo of my son?

I find myself defending my Facebook activity a lot -- perhaps too often.  Maybe that's kind of telling, now that I think about it.  If I have to defend it all the time, perhaps it's time to step away from it for a while. 

It does serve a purpose, in that I've really made an honest effort to read between the lines and find ways to love others.  A status asking for prayer reminds me, quite simply, to pray. And once I pray for that person in his or her situation, a lovely chain reaction is started that reminds me to pray for others, and then I'm reminded of how thankful I am and I thank God for the humanity that amazes and destroys me every day. 

But too often, I feel sad and selfish instead.  I see pictures of parties and get-togethers and I think about how it would've been nice to have been invited, even if my new lifestyle as a mom would cause me to decline more often than not.  I get frustrated at the battling posts: breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, vaccinators vs. anti-vaccinators, Republican vs. Democrat, etc. 

Having a position of leadership on a few pages will keep me from deactivating completely, but perhaps that is a big lesson in self-control that I can learn over the holidays.  It will create a need for me to take ownership of my own activities and personal time spent on Facebook, but still sharpen my skills of diplomacy and marketing for the pages on which I'm an admin/creator. 

I'll admit something: I'm afraid to step back completely for fear that I won't be remembered at all.  If I'm not on Facebook and therefore forced into people's minds and daily social media activities, how will they remember me at all?  Or will they? 

Will a break from things make me feel better? Or worse? 

I don't know the answers.  But I do know that I need to take a step back.  Check only once a day, if that.  Take my husband's lead and just keep Facebook on the far outer edges of my life and, instead, take pictures with a real camera, use my phone to call or text someone to see how they're doing, get in my car and drive over for a visit and some shared snuggles with Z, and enjoy every moment of my own life, instead of viewing everyone else's life through their Instagram filters.

(Even now, I am thinking "Should I post a link to this blog post on Facebook?)

I know that we live in a world where social media is part of our lives...but I toe the line all too often of making it too much a part of my life.  Making it my daily life.  I think I've finally gotten hold of the desire to be validated and liked...right now it's just about the quality of my interactions.  And Facebook is falling short of my needs and expectations.  A few good friends and quality face-to-face time seems to be what I'd prefer these days. 

Wish me luck.  I'm not really going anywhere...but I am going to try my best to take a real step back from everything. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We do have so much for which to be thankful!

November 20, 2013

Mom Hacks -- Two Bottles Only

(But which two am I talking about?? hahaha)
Wanna hear something that will probably blow your mind if you're a mom?

I only have two bottles for feeding my son.

Yep.  Two.  Dos. Deux. Zwei. 

Why, you ask?  Well, really it's a lot simpler than having a whole bunch of bottles.  And if there's anything my life could use more of, it is simplicity.  Especially with a baby in the house and a mom (me) who tends to overthink and overanalyze everything. 

Here's the thing: we live in a very old house with no dishwasher and very little storage space.  If we had a dishwasher, this would be a different blog post entirely. I'd have exactly the amount of bottles that Z takes in a day, plus a few to spare, and I could just put them all into the dishwasher after he went to bed and voila! Clean bottles for the next day!

However, if I had that many bottles now and had a sink full of them at the end of every night, I would cry and cry and cry at the thought of handwashing them all.

With only two bottles, we wash as we go.  There's always a clean bottle ready and usually only one to wash at a time.  At the worst, we wash two.  When we're really on top of our game, both bottles are clean and pre-filled with water for His Highness's next two feedings.

Honestly?  It's the easiest thing in the world. 

Sometimes we moms feel like we have to have backups of everything (and I do...I have a gifted Dr. Brown's bottle, washed and ready in the baby cabinet), and this can lead to an overflow of too much stuff

This saves me precious counter space and precious time with my husband after the baby goes to bed.  Instead of spending time leaning over the sink washing a million bottles/parts/nipples, I get us each our own bottle and we sit down together to relax.

As Martha would say, "It's a good thing."

November 18, 2013

Outfits of the Day

Last week's/today's outfits!  (Obviously, anyone who can count and knows the number of days in a week knows that there is an outfit or two missing...but sometimes I can't find time to go and awkwardly take a selfie in the break room bathroom.) (Or I just really dressed like crap that day.)

Left to Right:

Cardigan: Old Navy party cardi.  Thrifted.

Tank: Old Navy (there's a really pretty floral embellishment on the side, covered by the cardigan)

Pants and shoes: same as seen here.

Black and Grey top: Old Navy (sensing an Old Navy trend...)

Skirt: Stitch Fix.  Worn with same tights and shoes as seen here.

Leopard print dress: Phillip Lim for Target.

Purple long-sleeved shirt: Old Navy. 

Scarf and necklace: Gifted and Thrifted

Jeans: MATERNITY SKINNY JEANS, YO.  No shame here!


As the weather goes up and down here in North Texas, it gets really difficult to dress appropriately. Mornings require a heavy coat that leaves you sweating when you leave at 5pm.  I'm anxious for the weather to even out a bit. 

November 15, 2013

Before I Die

One of the many, many reasons I love my little city so much is because there is art and creativity all around me.  I work at a university known for it's music program and its diversity, and I see elements and evidence of that every day I come to work. 

Today, as I went out in search of lunch, I noticed two giant boards with chalk writing on them.  Naturally, I went over to take a look.

I spoke to the young man, Robert Trusko, who organized having the boards on campus, and he told me that he's currently working on what seems to be a beautiful, multimedia performance that will integrate the words written on these boards as lyrics set to music.  He was inspired by the original installation by Candy Chang (read about how it all began here).

Having done some very similar artistic endeavors before involving performance and visual art, naturally I was intrigued and impressed by his vision....and also his kindness and enthusiasm when answering questions about the project.

After having Z and suffering from postpartum anxiety that included my own fear of death and leaving this Earth too soon, I felt so drawn to the words written on these boards.  Some made me laugh ("be a NINJA!") and others brought tears to my eyes ("learn to love myself"). 

I don't want to go on and on and wax philosophical about this, but I'd love to encourage you to think about what you would have written in the blank.  Feel free to share.  And, if you happen to be around on the evening of the 23rd, check out the performance. 

Here is the Kickstarter page.

Here is some information about the event.

And here is one of the MANY thoughts I could have written on the board:

"teach my son to love Jesus and all people & to be KIND"

Good luck, Robert! I love this idea so much.


November 13, 2013

Mind and Body Update

We're just going to go ahead and skip the "body" part of this because it's embarrassing to admit month after month that I'm not doing ANYTHING exercise-wise.  I find myself fighting a lot of long-time instincts to hurry up and get back to a certain size/weight, so I'm trying instead to just sloowwwww down and rejoice in the fact that I'm wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes, and that there is no rush.  I'm only 4.5 months postpartum, and I am not a celebrity.  There is no rush or expectation for me to look a certain way.

Eventually I'd like to get back into an exercise routine so I can not get so winded when I'm taking the stairs, but there's no hurry.  Because there are much more important things to talk about and focus on right now: the fact that I'm happy and feeling so confident!

You read that correctly: CONFIDENT.

Man, God has really been working on me in the last month and I just feel...freer. (That word looks really stupid ...MORE FREE. FREEDOM.  That's what I feel.)

I mentioned in an early blog post (that I'm too tired and lazy to go find for linking purposes) (probably about breastfeeding) how disappointed I was to not meet many of the expectations I set for myself while pregnant...mostly related to attachment parenting.  Breastfeeding didn't work out for me...I was too selfish about keeping my multiple blankets to try co-sleeping...and I was really awkward about babywearing for several months. But Michael and I both really wanted to try, so we started with the easy-to-use Baby K'Tan wrap:

Tiny 3-week old Z in the Baby K'Tan wrap
It can be very intimidating to start babywearing, and there is a whole other language associated with it: Woven. Ring sling. Mei Tai. Rebozo. Tails. Rails. Rucksack. Double hammock. Reinforced ruck. Tibetan tie. Nubs and slubs. Sleepy dust. FWCC.  Semi FWCC. Tied at shoulder.  Tied under bum.  Soft structured carriers. Crotch danglers. Wrap conversions. AND SO ON.

The babywearing community, just like any very passionate sect of the parenting community, can get really intense and judgmental, which can make it even more intimidating to start.  You'll see eye rolls and scoffs and snarky comments about "crotch danglers" and women who clutch their pearls at the thought of pushing their baby in a stroller. (I have a stroller. It's awesome.)

But the community can also be really really awesome! For example, I'm a part of a Moms group online that includes several babywearers.  As I got to know these women individually, I also saw that the babywearing community can be not only incredibly helpful, supportive, but also generous.  A couple of these awesome mamas loaned me some wraps to try other than my K'Tan, including a Ring Sling and a couple of woven wraps in different sizes (a Didymos Mermaid Indio and a Natibaby Notes), and those were super intimidating at first.

But with the help of YouTube, text/Facebook messages between the lenders and myself, and some awesome feedback from babywearing groups online, I'm getting much more confident!

Natibaby Notes, size 4. FWCC tied under bum.
In the ring sling at the pediatrician's office.

I've worn Z while vacuuming...

...and even experienced some of that elusive "sleepy dust!"

Didymos Mermaid Indio, size 6. FWCC.

As I got more confident in the role of Mommy, I got much more confident babywearing. The two are definitely linked.  There were times with those borrowed wraps that I just wanted to call it a day and give up.  But when it did work and I wasn't all sweaty and dealing with a thoroughly pissed off baby once was an incredible feeling!

Now I'm trying new carries when I can, and even getting brave and trying back carries:

Didymos Mermaid Indio, Ruck tied in front

I'm officially converted.  I love wearing Z, and I love experiencing the "babywearing high" that I've heard my mom friends talk about.  When I'm grocery shopping and wearing him in front, I talk to him the whole time. I ask him what kind of cereal I should get.  I tell him about how my day was.  I know it seems silly, but it's so amazing and natural to have him so close to me all the time when I'm wearing him!  He's close enough for me to kiss his head, and when he gets tired or overstimulated, he can just nestle down and go to sleep.

I feel confident and in control and close to my son all at the same time. Because I'm hands-free when I'm wearing him, I can actually get stuff done around the house (see above: vacuuming with baby). And he seems to really love it.  He fusses while I'm getting him wrapped up, but once he's secure, he looks around in wonder at the world around him and he's comfortable.

It's a glorious feeling.