Year One Realities: 20 Personal Learnings


We have less than a week to go until Rylan’s first birthday. I find myself almost daily looking back on our first photos as a family. The speed at which babies change in year one is nothing short of remarkable. His budding personality and infectious smile, especially his little smirk and what I call “mom eyes,” are what motivate me even on the toughest days.

Year one is messy. Messy in the literal sense (So. Many. Diapers.) and messy emotionally. You go from only taking care of yourself to giving 150 percent of yourself to this little being, wanting to give even more if that is humanly possible. Exhaustion is real. As is questioning–everything. My return to working full time out of the home was tougher than I prepared for mentally. I still struggle, especially on Mondays after a fun weekend, with leaving him five days a week.

Year one is also truly rewarding. Who knew the pride that comes with watching your baby find its hands? Rolling over? Forget about it. My iPhone is full of videos from that day. Below are some more of my personal year one realities. I’d love to hear about yours as well.

  1. Worrying. About everything. All the time.
  2. Cringe-worthy Google searches.
  3. Humorous and tear-stained text message sessions with other moms. At 2 a.m.
  4. Sleep. There is never enough.
  5. Friendships changed in wonderful and difficult ways.
  6. Complete reliance on your partner, falling in love over and over again.
  7. More disagreements with your partner than ever before. See #4 lack of sleep observation.
  8. So much judgement, from yourself and others (other moms being the harshest sometimes).
  9. An Amazon Prime addiction.
  10. A dresser drawer of t-shirts and sweats where dry clean only tops used to live.
  11. A hot shower behind a locked bathroom door = divine escape.
  12. Quiet nights and weekends at home as a family are deeply fulfilling…realizing it is ok to miss out on things.
  13. Cutting a little too loose when you do stay out past 8 p.m. I’m in dry clean only clothes people!
  14. Feeling overwhelmed with pride for the littlest achievements. My baby clapped today!
  15. Running out of space for all of the pictures and videos on your phone.
  16. Wondering what the heck you did with all your free time before baby.
  17. Gaining an entirely new perspective on life’s blessings…and regaining it over and over again when you see a single mom, or a sick child or a family desperately wanting a child.
  18. Patience.
  19. Humility.
  20. Love. Gut wrenching, tear evoking, soul changing love.

Rylan, we’re in utter awe of how fast this year has gone. I want you to reach for every star in the sky and promise to help you in every way we can. But my heart also drops a little that our first year with you is nearly complete. You were and still are the most incredible baby. We love you tremendously and can’t wait to embrace the next year with you.

The 5:30 a.m. Wake Time

I have a bone to pick.

Where are the books or websites dedicated to helping dual-working (outside the home) households navigate the schedule and transition hurdles associated with having a little one in daycare full time? Do they exist?

I can’t readjust Rylan’s entire day when he decides wake time is at 5 a.m. His teachers are accommodating to a point, but his room has a schedule too and they are working very hard to keep the babies on somewhat of a similar routine. Similarly, I would need to leave work early every day in order to make his bedtime any earlier than 7:30 p.m. to see if that helps solve our current 5 a.m. – 5:30 a.m. wake time occurrences.



On Monday – Friday, by the time we race into the house around 6 p.m. or 6:15 p.m. depending on traffic, I run around like a crazy person to throw down something nutritious on his highchair tray for dinner. This sprint is followed by bath and if I am lucky, a few moments of cuddles and playtime before Rylan begins whining and rubbing his eyes in exhaustion.

Why is he exhausted? Well, Rylan is much too curious to nap for longer than 40 – 50 minute stretches on his daycare days. And yes, I feel we have tried everything. Letters to his teachers about it being okay to let him CIO at the 45-minute mark. Moving him to the furthest, back corner crib to mitigate noise and distractions. Bottle before nap. Bottle after nap. Bottle after nap and milk in his sippy cup. New sleep sacks. If we’re lucky Rylan gets two 50 minute naps during the day there.

But there isn’t a chapter in any of our books on how to deal with that. In fact, in one I read recently it talked about adjusting naps and bedtime and then said, “this is very difficult for babies in daycare.” Period. Nothing else. No real-life examples or words of advice. Seriously?

Yes, yes…I am 100% aware that kids don’t actually follow the baby books word for word, but they were sure helpful in the beginning. I miss being able to reference things like sleep phases and eating issues.

Or maybe I am reading the wrong books entirely? The Honest Toddler has a helpful post on how to decipher toddler mornings. Rylan isn’t a toddler quite yet, but this “schedule” from The Honest Toddler is also informative.

Mike and I have decisions to make. Consider the 5 a.m. hour wake time “fun” a phase and attend to him upon waking? Try CIO, which breaks my heart and makes me stress about leaving him in there when he could be hungry or dirty? Take a chill pill on all of it and toast to the next phase of impending toddler-hood?

There is one solution I wholeheartedly embrace, thank goodness. Coffee. Lot and lots of coffee. Normally my answer would be wine but I’m too sleepy for that.

Happy sleeping!

Rylan is 11 Months

IMG_8439Eleven months (last week). Counting down to one. I’m simply amazed by how fast the most life changing, thrilling, exhausting and humbling year has gone.

Rylan is still one of the happiest babies around. His smile and belly laugh is infectious. He loves his mama and dada but warms up to strangers within minutes. If Rylan could choose his own adventure each day, it would consist of being outside as much as possible, eating meat and blueberries, watching ceiling fans, opening kitchen cupboards and dancing to music…any kind of music. The kid loves to bounce and clap.


This has also been one of the most challenging months yet. Rylan is beginning to test limits and has a very predictable reaction when things do not go his way. He has taken to folding over while crying to hide his head in his hands. And when it comes to the car seat and diaper changes, he contorts into a full body arch to protest. Sometimes we can’t help but laugh because he is upset over such a silly thing. But other times I get nervous about the toddler road ahead. Behind Rylan’s sweetest smiles, I fear, is a stubborn streak that will surely test us in ways we can’t predict.


However, until then, I am holding onto every cuddle and every nursing session for dear life. I cannot get enough of how he waves his arms and crawls to me at warp speed at daycare pickup. My heart melts at the way he curves his arms through mine when I am holding him, pulling himself that much closer to me. I adore watching him stare in awe at his older cousins. Their bond is already strong and he is going to follow them around like an unshakable shadow in the next year.

Mom’s 11 Month Favorites:

  • Holding his little hands while we “walk” around and around the house together
  • The fact that he is still up for nursing at least twice a day, and the look that only I get when we hang out and cuddle and play after nursing and before bedtime
  • Hearing from his teachers just how social he has become. He is the class “tour guide” during stroller rides, pointing out every tree, building and other sights along the way
  • Asking him, “where is the owl or where is the light,” and seeing him think then point to the correct object
  • His easy going nature when we are away. My mom watched him for three nights in mid-June and he was his happy and flexible self


Dad’s 11 Month Favorites:

  • His extremely inquisitive personality. I love answering his point and “bah” questions with an explanation of what he is seeing. It is especially neat to watch him learn how to recognize, with repetition, the things that he is pointing at…especially ceiling fans and lights
  • Seeing him go from crawling, to standing, and walking with support, along with his growing interest in figuring out how to walk on his own
  • Watching him begin to mimic mom and dad, and the excitement on his face when he figures it out
  • The HUGE smile on his face after being away from us
  • How his smile and giggle makes us smile and laugh right back, no matter how challenging the day

Little bud, we love you so darn much! Can’t wait for what the next few weeks have in store.

Beginning of the End: Breastfeeding


Rylan turned 11 months yesterday (pictures & blog post soon). The day marked the beginning of the end of my pumping and nursing journey.

It is a much more emotional realization than I ever anticipated. I set out to try and make it six months. I assumed my return to working full-time outside the home, five days a week, would leave me dry and worn out by the six month mark. Reality? Quite the opposite.

Following my five and a half month nursing post, I received an overwhelming amount of encouragement and personal advice for how to keep going–if that is what I wanted.

I am grateful that my body cooperated with what my heart decided was best for Rylan and me. The ‘me’ is a very important part of this journey. Nursing before and after work has slowed me down. I can’t do dishes or pack us up for the next day. I can’t get online to work and ask Mike to give a bottle. Rylan and I sit alone in a quiet room and for those minutes, however long, it’s just us. And I am helping him grow and stay healthy. I feel grounded. I re-gain perspective.

Pumping twice daily at work hasn’t been easy but it is what I needed to do to maintain supply and store (i.e., hoard) milk. My coworkers have been extremely respectful of my “Personal: Block” calendar holds. And even though I work on my laptop through every pumping session, I am able to steal a few quiet moments to think about Rylan, our family and all that I simply love (or on some days, dread) about motherhood.

My body gave me the gift of a strong milk supply and I felt – and still do – like it was a sign. A sign that Rylan and I needed to be connected in this way. Breastfeeding and pumping ends in heartbreak for so many moms who want nothing more than to make it to one year, if not longer. I have tremendous respect for any decision a mother makes, because we’re judged for all of them regardless. “You’re still pumping? That is nuts.” “You went straight to formula? Hm.” We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. Thank goodness our little bundles love us unconditionally, regardless.

I am hopeful that with enough Mother’s Milk tea, fennel essential oil and Fenugreek I can continue to nurse twice daily until his first birthday. However, if my supply continues to drop at the rate it is going we have enough milk stored to carry Rylan for several (we think) months past the big first birthday milestone. There is no denying my milk hoarding mentality when you look in our garage freezer.

I owe a HUGE thank you to my blog readers who have reached out via Facebook, text, email and more. Your encouragement and wisdom-sharing is why I am here at 6:15 a.m., pumping and blogging before I go to the gym. Morning gym days mean a 5:45 a.m. pump so Mike can give a fresh bottle. Thank you all so very much.

My breastfeeding journey is wrapping up…but the fun is just beginning around here! The countdown to one is on…

Review: Soybu Yoga Wear

Disclosure: I was generously given a Soybu yoga top and pants to test in my everyday fitness classes. All opinions and observations are my own. 


My body has changed. Despite what people see or what the scale says, my body has changed since having a baby. Most notably, none of my old workout clothes fit quite like I need them to in the chest or stomach areas. I need more support and more “holding in” than before.

That said, my old clothes fit so I have had a really difficult time justifying new activewear purchases. I own quite a bit of Lululemon but following last year’s PR debacle I have not wanted to purchase any more of their products. So, imagine my thrill when a very dear friend joined Soybu as a local PR consultant here in Denver. Before she even began talking to them I had observed what looked like a fantastic Mile High Mamas event at Soybu’s new flagship Denver store and loved all of the photos I saw being posted by local moms I admire on social media. All different body types yet everyone was smiling and posting about how good the clothes fit–how they felt beautiful, strong and supported.

When my friend asked if I’d be interested in trying an outfit I leaped at the offer. I do not do a lot of traditional yoga, so I told her the clothes would be put to the test in kettle bells, sculpt, cycle and more.

On my doorstep, just in time for a Saturday morning kettle bell + barre class, was a pair of the Killer Caboose Crop (um, yes please) and Goddess Tank. At $59 and $44 respectively, both pieces are extremely durable  and versatile investments without breaking the bank. The top has removable pads and is ruched in all the right places, especially for us mamas. I am still nursing and like to add a little extra support for classes with a lot of intense movement. I wore one of my lighter sports bras for added support and it was an extremely comfortable layering fit. The pants lived up to the name and gave my struggling booty a noticeable lift. And finally, for once since having Rylan, I felt like they sat properly on my new waist and stomach–a huge boost of confidence.

But how would they perform?

To be fair, the gym I frequent can be pretty hot in the summer. Add on hundreds of kettle bell swings and plank jack tabatas and it’s a sauna. The top did not breathe quite as much as I needed it to but in other classes that has not been an issue whatsoever. Now I wear wear the top and pants separately depending on the class, saving the tank for classes where I know there is A/C or a slower, yoga-focused pace. The pants are good for just about everything and I have no fears of mistakenly showing off my backside when doing a forward fold or leaning back into race mode on the bike. That’s key!

I love that the company is passionate about making women feel beautiful. Shape and size don’t matter. It’s about feeling strong–strong for you. For me I feel strong in all different ways. I feel strong at the gym, at work and when I am sitting quietly nursing my son. From my brief experiences with Soybu so far, they are a brand that wants to help me embrace all of this.

I am eyeing the Lotus Capri and Kelly Tank next. And the Utopia collection that is being teased as “Coming Soon” on the website currently looks really cute! Are you new to Soybu or have you been wearing it for years? What do you love on the website?


Rylan is 10 Months


Ten months old as of Saturday. Double digits. Officially within the window where it is okay to talk to other parents, especially first-time moms, about first birthday party plans.

What. Is. Happening.

Each day Rylan is becoming more of a little boy. He wants to stand on everything and can no longer be easily corralled with bouncers and jumping apparatuses.  No kitchen drawer is safe and baby toys are boring compared to bathroom waste baskets, dog beds and wobbly tables. And Ry has the bumps to prove it in his 10 month photos. Look closely at where his poor little forehead met the stainless steel fridge head on. Let’s hope he develops better depth perception than his mama.


If Rylan could plan his perfect day I think it would consist of being outside as much as possible. Stroller rides, sandbox time, slides, swings, water–anything to stay outdoors. I know this early preference will bode well later in toddler-hood when he is schlepped along for hikes and camping trips on a regular basis.

Ironically, if Rylan could plan his own meals I think meat would be a part of every sitting. Perhaps that is from not getting any chicken or red meat in utero. He loves fish too, thankfully, but can down meatloaf, meatballs and sausage at record speed. Other favorites include any type of fruit, especially blueberries and watermelon, noodles, yogurt and cheese. We did introduce peanut butter with no reactions, but it isn’t a favorite yet. Purees have also become a thing of the past, though I am still making fruit purees to stir into his oatmeal and plain yogurt since I refuse to buy the pre-flavored baby varieties.


This month Rylan will enjoy another weekend with Grandma Judy (my mom) when Mike and I take a 10 year college reunion trip to Lake Tahoe. While Grandma gets up early and plans outings to music class, the zoo and park, I am dreaming of sleeping in, reading fashion magazines by the lake and drinking mimosas.

And speaking of mimosas, I guess I’ll have to plan for a bit of the infamous “pump and dump” routine on our trip. Ry is 10 months and still going strong on breast milk. I nurse morning and night during the week and typically all day (four feeds) on the weekend. I am pumping three times per day (morning and twice at work) and taking Fenugreek to help my supply, which dipped pretty dramatically last month. If I am good about water, Fenugreek and Mother’s Milk tea during the day at work I am pumping 7 – 10 oz daily in addition to nursing, sometimes more. That is a HUGE decrease from just two months ago so I am extremely grateful that we have a good amount stored.

My new goal is to nurse until Rylan turns one and then mix what we have left in storage with whole milk. I am determined to get to a year, which makes trips like Tahoe stressful but I know it will be great for all of us.


Mom’s 10 month favorites:

  • The silly, milk-drunk grin he gives me before bedtime
  • When he squeals after a nap or in the morning when we open the door to his room
  • His growing fascination with everything Kona does and how he stays totally calm even when Kona is barking loudly near us
  • Saying “shake shake” and then having Rylan shake his head side to side, which causes his whole body to sway back and forth
  • The moment he clapped on his own and the huge grin that crossed his face
  • The way he holds onto my arm when I am carrying him…so content and trusting
  • His opinions. New-found opinions don’t make it easy to change diapers or tighten the car seat, but he’s developing and I am so intrigued by what he does and doesn’t tolerate these days


Dad’s 10 month favorites:

  • Watching him begin to mimic our gestures and actions
  • Seeing his big smile whenever he sees mom or dad, especially when I pick him up after a long work trip away from the family
  • Getting to watch him interact with his classmates and see who he is becoming “friends” with
  • Watching him learn to pull himself out and slowly progress to standing on his own–and the surprise in his eyes when he realized what he has done


Rylan, we love you so darn much. I remind myself every day just how lucky we are that you picked us to be your “ma ma ma ma” and “da da daaa da da.”

A Thought on Motherhood


Earlier this week I was driving Rylan to daycare. Mike had been traveling, Rylan had been up every night coughing and I was simply wiped. In fact, later that day I tried to wipe what I thought was ink from my face only to realize it was the circles under my eyes. Sexy.

During our drive I was in a total zone. I was thinking about all of the things I wish we were doing now for Rylan, rather than focusing on all that we are doing with the limited time we have together as a family.

Sign him up for swim lessons. Find a Saturday music or movement class to meet, hopefully, other moms who work outside the home and some kids in our neighborhood. Read more. Say “screw the mess” and recreate one of the many art projects he completes at daycare on our front porch on a nice day. Go the the library for a story time.

But then I had this little personal epiphany. It made me smile and dissipated the lump I still get on my throat during many morning daycare drives.

I may have become a mom in an instant, but it’s going to take a lifetime of trial and error to become the mom I envision myself being.

I say “instant” because even though pregnancy is nine long months, I didn’t feel like a mom yet. I still got to sleep as much as I wanted. Go to the gym based on my schedule alone. Take trips without guilt and only keep cereal and milk in the house if life was too hectic for a grocery store run. Pregnancy chips away a little at your selfishness but not completely.

It was, however, an instant between the last push in the delivery room and the moment Rylan was put on my chest. Seemingly within an hour or two, all the nurses and doctors who hovered over me during labor were on to the next family and there I was–a mom. A clueless and terrified mom holding this tiny little boy. A clueless and terrified mom with a lot of hopes and dreams of what motherhood would look like.

Some have come true. Some have not yet.

As moms we tend to dwell on the “have not” when there is so much to celebrate on the other end of the spectrum. However, I am actually okay with the regularly questioning of myself. Asking myself, what we can be doing better? While exhausting it means we’re really in it–living parenthood every day. I care so damn much about making Rylan a well-rounded little guy.

This post is not intended for people to tell me that I am a good mom. I am not looking for empathy or cheerleading of any kind.

I simply feel the need to reach out and connect with the other mamas out there who feel the same way–that motherhood is an instantaneous shift, yet it takes every hour of every day to figure out what the hell you are doing!

I am thankful every day for my network of support–spoken and unspoken. And wine. I am very grateful for wine.

Healthy Make-Ahead Recipes

Meal Prep Sunday

No matter how busy we get I refuse to get totally derailed from eating healthy. In fact, finding a way to get real food on the table is more critical than ever while we shape Rylan’s eating habits and expectations for the type of food he will get at home most days.

Weekend meal prep is my best shot for avoiding takeout temptations. I still haven’t found the time to make large batches of freezer meals but I have found a few new recipes that yield a fair amount of leftovers to carry us into the week for lunches and dinner.

Links I suggest all busy households pin and try:

  • Vanilla chia seed pudding. A delicious, crazy-fast and protein-packed breakfast that you can prepare at night and eat for at least two – three days following. I have been topping mine with organic strawberries and blueberries.
  • Kale pesto (nut free). I read on a mom blog somewhere that pesto is something all families should keep in the fridge. Tossing it with pasta is a fast weeknight fallback. Until Rylan has been exposed to all nuts I searched for a nut-free version and am surprised by how good this one tastes. Since we are not vegan I did add some parmesan cheese–highly recommended.
  • Chickpea, avocado and feta salad. This is dummy-proof. To make it even heartier as a standalone dinner I mixed in about a cup of Trader Joes Harvest Grains mix. Rylan devoured this.
  • Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili. This is now a staple in our house. I make it at least twice a month and freeze extras for mid-week meals when we’re running low on energy and motivation. I omit the chipotle peppers since I am breastfeeding and want to keep it on the milder side.

Overnight slow cooker oatmeal is a forever-staple and I always make sure to keep frozen veggie burgers and fish on hand to bare with a basic salad. Morning green smoothies have gone on a hiatus but I am hoping to make another round of smoothie packs now that the weather is warming up. I am obsessed with the daily recipes shared by Simple Green Smoothies on Instagram.

We’re keeping Rylan gluten free, per our pediatrician, until one year and that will influence a lot of my cooking until then. Some freezer-friendly recipes I was able to test this last weekend include:

  • Mini Frittatas (for Rylan, but good for any busy household. I made ours in a mini muffin pan)
  • Paleo pumpkin muffins (for Rylan, though I realized the almond flour might not have been the best choice so even though he reacted fine, we can’t bring them to daycare. Again, I used the mini muffin pan)
  • Salmon cakes (I used gluten free bread crumbs. Warning – do not overcook or these bad boys totally end up like hockey pucks)
  • Crock pot vegetarian stuffed peppers (I can’t for the life of me find the recipe I followed! But if you Google “slow cooker stuffer peppers) there are endless varieties. I used brown rice, frozen corn, black beans, shredded cheese, cumin and chili powder. They baked perfectly in about 3 hours on high)

What weekend meal prep saves your sanity during the week?


Lessons Learned at 9 Months

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I’m in denial about Rylan’s next big milestones. Having his first birthday. Walking. Weaning. Emotionally I am not ready for a single one.

Since we made his 12 month doctor’s appointment, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the past nine months. The high’s, low’s and inevitable lessons learned along the way.

For all of my mom friends out there, whether your kids are nine days old or going on 19, I know you join me in the constant internal questioning routine. What should I have done differently? Where can we improve?

If and when we expand our family again, there are many things I will try to do exactly the same (even though every baby is wildly different…I get it). On Becoming Baby Wise continues to be the best method for our family. With a few modifications in the early weeks, I am committed to the philosophy.

I am proud that Rylan is so adaptable and independent, traits we focused on from the start. I am proud to still be breast feeding and pumping but have no regrets that we also began fortifying his bottles early on to help with weight gain. I am proud that I pushed to start with food other than rice cereal and vividly remember his first timid bites of organic avocado at age four months. His food journey has been incredibly fun since that day. I am proud that I have been away from Rylan multiple times, trusting his days and nights to either Mike or grandparents.

I am proud of us.

However, I do look back on the past nine months with many “I wish I’d known” feelings too.

I wish I’d known…

  • To block out the doctors, nurses and all the noise when Rylan was first born to really REALLY hear, take in and catalog in my brain that first cry. The memory is such a blur.
  • To take more naps instead of giving in to the laundry piles and urge to shower. Being clean is great, but sleep deprivation is no joke.
  • To hold onto Rylan longer rather than feeling like I needed to get him down in a crib for a nap or bedtime. I was obsessed with “the schedule” and I missed opportunities to simply let him lay on my chest, enjoying the miracle of our tiny bundle.
  • To not obsess over one bad feed, but instead focus on the entire day or heck, just the week overall. Everyone told me that but as a new mom I simply could not process the advice. Each bad feed gave me knots of worry about his weight gain.
  • To put vanity aside and take more day-in-the-life pictures WITH Rylan during maternity leave especially. This one absolutely kills me. I get a lump in my throat typing out this “wish.” We have countless photos of Rylan but not enough of us as a family in survival mode–bags under our eyes, wild sleepless hair, stained clothes and all.
  • To start a house cleaner savings fund BEFORE the baby is born. In hindsight I wish I would have hidden money away from every paycheck the moment we found out Sprout was on the way. We have a cleaner we use every three to four weeks, but I would be a more relaxed person if we could afford her biweekly (and in a fantasy world, every Friday).

I have a few friends who are expecting so I hope these reflections are helpful. If you only take one to heart, make it the one about pictures. Take dozens of you and that little nugget from day one. They don’t have to go in a frame or on Facebook. But trust me, you can never get the early days back.

Moms, what do you wish you’d known the first time around?

Rylan is 9 Months


We blinked. I swear that is all we did and here I am typing up Rylan’s 9 month post. I don’t get it.

The past month has brought so many firsts. Rylan is officially on the move and man is he fast. As Grandpa Steve says, he crawls with purpose. Our house is now sporting three baby gates and gone are the days of setting him down in front of my mirror while I finish getting ready for work. I thank my lucky stars that he still loves his doorway jumpy seat. It’s a godsend when I am cooking or running around in the morning before daycare drop off.


Speaking of daycare, Rylan is thriving. He is all smiles at drop off and pickup. He has favorite toys along with favorite baby friends. He absolutely loves to be outside and gravitates toward anything musical. He eats well and we are told practices very good patience/table manners if he is done eating before others. Daycare has also made him extremely adaptable. He continues to let anyone hold him and had no trouble staying with my parents for three days while Mike and I took our first big trip away–to Chicago. I was a wreck leading up to it but in the end, Rylan had an incredible weekend and was all smiles upon our return.

At night and on the weekends we are trying to mimic everything Rylan is focused on at daycare. That includes a lot of questions like, “Rylan, what does a cow say” and “Rylan, no thank you,” when he is doing something that we don’t want to encourage. We sing, have dance parties and spend our hours with him on the floor taking every toy out of bins before putting everything back–and then repeating the process yet again. The kid LOVES bins.


On the eating front, Rylan loves finger foods. Feeding him purees has turned somewhat into a battle because he so badly wants to feed himself. We are still making most purees from scratch aside from meat. As a non-meat eater I cannot bring myself to puree chicken. Gag. When we need to rely on packaged foods I am a huge fan of Earth’s Best and Plum Organics. Ella’s Kitchen is awesome too but very expensive. There isn’t much that Rylan cannot or will not eat these days. Quinoa, lentils, kiwi, eggs, avocado, watermelon, tuna, salmon…the list goes on. Our pediatrician encouraged us to avoid wheat until 12 months but said to go ahead and even try nut butters now. Eeek!


I do want to be clear that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows around here either. Mike and I continued to be extremely busy and there are nights when Rylan goes down that I am disappointed with how un-present we were during our brief time with him before bed. Everyone told me that being a working mom is tough but no one explained how draining a dual-career household can be–we’re exhausted. My heart sinks on Sunday nights. I still cry on some Monday mornings when I don’t have time to cuddle or play. I’ve slipped tremendously on working out because I hate to miss a morning or evening with him.

I’ve been harping on both of us to hide our phones and 100% disconnect whenever possible. The same goes on weekends. We have a long way to go but I am noticing a bit of improvement.

Well, I am rambling. If you’re still reading, here are our 9 month highlights.

Mom’s favorites:

  • Watching him crawl and the excitement on his face when he reaches his destination
  • The way he holds onto me a little tighter if we’re in an unfamiliar place
  • Seeing him interact with the other kids in his daycare room and the beaming smiles he gives his teachers
  • Having him sit in a regular high chair at restaurants and watching him look around in awe. The little dude is SO nosey!
  • The way he has handled teething like a total champ
  • Our quiet, one-on-one time when he is nursing. I can’t believe I contemplated proactively giving this up a few months ago

Dad’s favorites:

  • Watching him figure out how to crawl and pull himself up to standing
  • Taking him to the park and listening to him belly laugh going down the slide
  • How much he enjoys and gets excited about all new experiences
  • Seeing him socialize with friends at school and recognize the babies and teachers he loves


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