Clothes for Lil’ Critters

BABYCLOTHES-FOREST

I. Die.

Long before pregnancy I regularly kept (and still do) a Baby board on Pinterest, and would always find the teensiest cutest little clothes. Usually prohibitively expensive, especially for a baby who DGAF what they’re wearing, but still the cutest. When I started curating my our baby registry, I ended up loading it with some high ticket clothing items, until slowly coming to realize: nobody wants to spend this much money on my baby’s clothes… I don’t even know if I do. 

Lolz.

But it’s difficult to move on, even when you find that affordable outlets like Old Navy are stacked with cute little onesies and pajamas. Especially when stores like Rylee & Cru come out with their F/W line and every tiny little item of clothing makes you go awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Some women out there really do make these types of clothing the go-to. They exist on instagram, but I’m not sure if they exist anywhere IRL. Designer baby moccasins? C’mon, man (side note: they’re on my registry, but I won’t be hurt if you decide to pass on them). As I began to put together this moodboard, I realized that what I was doing was really just projecting what I’d want for myself, and it happened to be mostly some sort of theme of forest. That makes sense, because our nursery theme is a kinda minimalist-neutral-woodsy-whimsical one. You know, one of those?

I’m trying not to be too precious about what my kid is gonna wear, but dammit it’s so hard sometimes.

  1. Bear Knit Beanie — Gap
  2. Tree Print Jumpsuit — Rylee & Cru
  3. Newborn Moccasins — Freshly Picked
  4. Deer LongJohn — Rylee & Cru
  5. Mountain Bodysuit — Old Navy ($5 right now! Hot diggity!)
  6. Forest Fleece Sweatshirt — Kid & Kind
  7. Arlo Suit — Cotton On (OMG PLS)
  8. GRAN Muslin Swaddle — Fine Little Day
  9. Night Owl Tee — Rylee & Cru
  10. Rabbit Hoodie — Oeuf
  11. Line Sweatpants — Tiny Cottons
  12. Heart Bear Romper — Huxbaby

Somebody save me.

Kitchen Envy

KitchenEnvyAs I’ve spent more time in the kitchen lately (my rightful place as a woman tbh [jk jk jk!]) understandably my mind wanders towards way to make it better. But, since this is likely not our permanent house, as in 6-8 years we’ll be outta here, we (mostly Alan, lol) feel that it’s simply not worth it to pour a bunch of money into renovating a room that is largely only defective in its looks. So, instead I just spend all day pinning beautiful white kitchens that pop up (I think Pinterest’s new algorithm is partly to blame). All I want is white tile, exposed wood shelving, all new cabinetry and updated appliances and a marble countertop. Is that soooooo much to ask????

[For a blogger who’s got it going on in the home department (and the everything else department, she’s got my dream job basically!), Kate Arends of Wit + Delight has such a beautiful home I want to scream]

5a73f8b3a0c1e3d661a3905bd7fb985aef072508

Game changer: IKEA just introduced this herringbone pattern wood countertop. 😍

b7740b5fdf78cd9552a53fc8a9c489b4c04ab99fa0d0c680bb559cd296b077e8f5734f9c9582c1ec21979b7a640c579412e5cec9902c1a32d068a3def01b3888701c8f9f1357ee6b84bbcbf90a2246bc0883af5ddf0902b910103f4a9395536d

*All pins are from my HOME board, which you can follow!

Mom Enough?

CWC2016-67

Long before I was pregnant, or even had a regular job, I still knew that when I had kids, I would be a working mom. I am a feminist, and while I know that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to work when you have kids, it’s been a motivation for me to be my own person; I don’t want to be solely defined by being a mother. I want to show my kids that there is value in working, and that both mom and dad have an equal role in providing for the household. Plus studies show that mothers who work are generally happier, as they have social interactions outside the home, and aren’t totally bogged down by the stress of raising children full time.

The decks are stacked against women no matter what. Mothers who work, on average, make less than women without children. And we already know women make less than men.  Truly a damned-if-you-do scenario.

This past winter, I had what felt like a pretty solid job, with a solid income, and it lined up perfectly with our plan to start our family. I was 4 months pregnant when they told me at work that the company was putting full time contract workers on a “6 month hiatus” which seemed like fancy speak for “you won’t have a job anymore.” My last day was the day before we left for New Zealand, and since we returned, I’ve had an odd summer of being unemployed but not quite on the job hunt, but in the back of my mind I thought that I would somehow find a job soon and I’d need to negotiate some sort of maternity leave and we’d need to find daycare ASAP.

Daycare, it turns out, is really expensive, and for a good one, the wait list is long. One we were really impressed with had a waiting list for infants up to 12 months out. How do you even plan for that, realistically? Even if we did find care available around February or March of next year, when my “maternity leave” would be over, I don’t even have a job to go back to, and the prospect of job hunting is already stressful enough without a tiny baby in tow. If we got into a daycare and I didn’t have a job, would we just lose our spot for good?

***

On the way home from the daycare center that had the organic meals and cloth diapers and Spanish immersion and 12 month waitlist, I came to a difficult conclusion and said to Alan “What if I just stayed at home with the baby for the first year?” And just like that, I’d become a Stay-At-Home-Mom.

I’m not of the mind that one way is better than the other. Whatever is best for the mom and the dad and the baby is what’s best for them. I always thought that working would be the best for us. After all, it meant better vacations! Cool designer clothes and toys for baby! Regular massage appointments for myself! But now, the choice has been taken away from me, and I’m coming to terms with not being a Working Mom.

And why does it bother me so much? I like working, and doing design, and being creative, but I also enjoy waking up and not showering; just getting on with my day. I like spending time in my home office. I like doing errands, and cleaning the house, and cooking dinner. I’m so excited about getting to spend the precious first year with my baby so closely. So why does it feel like such a defeat?

I feel like the problem is America itself. There is a toxic work culture here. 40, 50, 60 hour work weeks, deadlines, overtime, no family leave, poor health care… It seems like our worth in this country is determined by how we make money. And I’ve fallen into that trap time and time again. It seems like so many kickass women are doing the career and kid thing and being totally awesome and empowered by it. The flip side to that is that doing anything less feels to me that I’m just not measuring up to the modern women in this country if I’m not trying to “have it all.”

Then, I look at the Nordic countries, and I’m filled with envy and longing, because they put the family first. In the Nordic countries, it’s a virtue to have kids and take care of them, and it’s also a virtue to work, but it’s not an obsession. Take a look at the list of the best countries for mothers. Joanna Goddard’s series on motherhood around the world has great insight from women in some of these countries as well: Norway, Sweden, Iceland.

I’d love to hear from mothers who put their career aside for an indefinite amount of time to raise babies. Was it difficult, or the easiest decision ever? Did you go back into the workforce or call it quits for good?

Week in the North

CWC2016-2When you photograph a certain place so many times, it begins to feel more of a task and less of a creative outlet. Just a day before embarking on our annual cabin trip this year, I realized I hadn’t thought about what camera gear I would pack. Last year I definitely over prepared by bringing 4 lenses and a slew of other accoutrements. This year I hastily stuffed my 70D, 24-70 2.8 lens already affixed, into my bag, made sure the 128GB card was clean, and just for grins, threw in my macro lens and a few filters. I packed the tripod too, in case I wanted to get into some night time photography, but pregnancy has me out these days at about 10:30.

Suffice to say, it was a very quiet week on the photography front. CWC2016-1CWC2016-3And that’s totally fiiiine. Anything I would’ve tried to do this year would’ve just been trying to recreate my photoset from last year’s trip, which in my mind, really told the story of what our cabin trips are like well. I have nothing new to say about the cabin this year. It was insanely quiet. In our cabin, one daughter had just had a baby, and another was on the verge. Not a lot of wild swimming or runs or volleyball. Just straight chillin. I assume next year with a 10 month baby in tow I will have a new story to tell and/or not have any time to take pictures.CWC2016-9CWC2016-10CWC2016-11CWC2016-12CWC2016-13CWC2016-14CWC2016-28CWC2016-29CWC2016-30CWC2016-37CWC2016-38CWC2016-39CWC2016-40CWC2016-44CWC2016-45CWC2016-46For my cabin read this year I have delved back into the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Man. Reading these things with knowledge of what’s to come… It’s so frustrating. Ned Stark is SO STUPID you guys amirite?CWC2016-47I kept envisioning a cool bump photo of myself in my swimsuit with my lady prominently featured but I had yet to show anyone how to take a picture with my camera, so I took one myself. My suit is from ASOS maternity. Also: Rocking the top knot these days! CWC2016-48CWC2016-49Little Hattie is a little older and a little more delightfulCWC2016-50CWC2016-52CWC2016-53SUMMER EVENINGS, right?CWC2016-56We also had a new little niece this year, seen here being cradled by Uncle Alan. Thanks for the infant prep, sis!CWC2016-58CWC2016-64On the last day Alan and I took a walk and I got him to take some pictures of me. He had the hat turned around and everything, and his composition is not bad. Just have to teach him about aperture now! I find it difficult to pose and smile for pictures, as I think I have a super goofy smile when I’m forcing it. So he told me some jokes to get me going. You know, like you might a child. CWC2016-66Since getting tattoos and becoming pregnant, even though I’m not at my ideal weight, I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin, and this summer especially I have been loving just showing off my arms and belly and legs with no hesitation. Early on, my midwife said “birth will be easy for you, because you’re tall!” I don’t know if that’s actually true, but it did give me a new lens to look at my body through, which I’ve always had a rough relationship with. I was like, hell yeah, I’m tall, I’m solidly built. I will birth the hell out of this baby and it will RULE. It’s so, so cheesy, but I’ve really embraced womanhood and body positivity with this little (super kicky) baby inside me.CWC2016-67I now feel a little better about handing the camera to Alan more often especially once the baby is born because I am poorly represented in my own photography and this blog. CWC2016-72For this one I handed the camera to my sister! And of all the shots she took I like this one of us being goofs. CWC2016-73CWC2016-77CWC2016-78CWC2016-80And the sun sets on another year at our beloved cabin. It really feels like it went too fast, and yet I’m still filled with a sense of renewed energy, like most years when the summer winds down. Must be all that Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living I read Up North. I get home and I’m ready to hit the ground running. Why, just today, I had a doctor appointment (which was very good BTW), went to the bank and the post office, and IKEA. I got a whole to-do list for the coming months, until baby arrives. Vacation as reset is always so positive.

🌞

North Bound

cwc2015-48It’s that time of year again. We are embarking on a trip to the beloved cabin. Because of my, er, “condition”, I’ll be laying low this year. Hoping to get some good sleep, good reading in, having lots of snacks, and just smelling that fresh air off the lake as much as I can. Have a great week! ☀️😎✌🏻

%d bloggers like this: