January 26, 2014

Taking A Blogging Break...

Oh Me, Oh My will be quiet for a bit. I've decided to take a little break from blogging. I'm trying to clear out some mental clutter this year, cut down on the to-do lists that constantly consume my mind and be more present with my family. I want to be intentional about my time in 2014. I want to be gentle with myself and focus on my health. I want to simplify physically and mentally. I want down time - where I actually do nothing. And I want to love on my husband, my baby and my cats - without distraction. I hope 2014 is a year of relaxation and rejuvenation for you, as well.

xoxo,
Charisse

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013
Wren loved helping me decorate the tree. I think she was amazed at the box of toys (ornaments) I brought out. "Where have these been all my life, mom???" After I put the lights around her neck, she WOULD NOT let me take them off.
Christmas 2013
I made a new felt garland for our tree this year, and I absolutely adore it. I think I'll make a new garland every year so we have something new to string around our little tree.
Christmas 2013
Baking and decorating homemade sugar cookies to leave out for Santa has become a tradition with Rowan. I think she likes the decorating (aka - eating a gallon of icing off her fingers) part the best.
Christmas 2013
Our Christmas card this year was from Shutterfly. I took a bunch of our Instagram photos from the year, made them black and white and turned them into a collage.
Christmas 2013
Rowan made the cookies AND wrote Santa a note - so cute.
Christmas 2013
I was able to get together with some momma friends during my trip. We all knew each other when we were young and in college, and now we all have babies around the same age. So much fun.
Christmas 2013
I also got to meet a friend from Instagram at the end of our trip! I started following Brianne on Instagram when we were both pregnant, and we ended up having our babies on the same day. It was so fun to meet her and Eden at their house in Houston.
Christmas 2013
My parents gave Jon and Andy matching pajama jeans and sneaker socks for Christmas. They had to put them on immediately, of course!
Christmas 2013
Andy and Brianne twinned it up on Christmas day in their buffalo plaid.
Christmas 2013
These guys are trouble when you get them together, and they know it.
Christmas 2013
No visit is long enough with my sister, Brianne. We were finally able to see her new house and spend the night there before we flew home. She is the best hostess there ever was, and we had the best time. We definitely wished we lived closer to those two.
Christmas 2013
I'm about a month late in getting these Christmas photos up - but better late than never is currently my life's motto - so forgive me. We had a great Christmas this year, packed full of family and friends we don't see nearly enough.

January 15, 2014

Downtown Richmond

Downtown Richmond Downtown Richmond Downtown Richmond
Downtown Richmond is kind of dreamy, right?

Wren Winter: 1 year old

Wren Winter: 12 months Wren Winter: 12 months Wren Winter: 12 months Wren Winter: 12 months Wren Winter: 12 months Wren Winter: 12 months
Well, little Wren - you are 1 year old now! This update is way late, but I wanted to post it to complete your year of updates. :) Your last month before your first birthday was a big one - you snacked on Whiskey's ears a lot (hilarious!), you celebrated your first Halloween (as a scary witch!), played outside in the cold, did some sightseeing in DC, got your third tooth, and - most importantly - you learned to walk!

You took your first steps one weekend morning a week before your birthday. It was just me and you and I squeeeaaaled with excitement. After that you started taking one or two steps here or there, but on your first birthday, you really took off and walked from me on one side of the living room to your dad on the other side. We both cheered so loud! Since then, you have not stopped walking. Your little legs are getting quite the workout!

Your first birthday celebration was so much fun. I was like a kid the night before Christmas. I couldn't wait for you to wake up and open your birthday presents. It was just the three of us - you, me and your dad. We opened presents and played with them in the morning. Then you took your nap, and I baked your cake. When you woke up, we put you in your highchair and brought the cake over. You were not impressed at first and held your arms up, telling us you wanted out. We decided to break it open so you could see what it was like on the inside, and that got you a little more excited. Your cake was carrot cake with cream cheese icing (me and your dad's favorite). Once it was open and you could see all the crumbly cake, you dug in and seemed to really like it, although your bites were always dainty - pinched between your two fingers like a little lady.

When we felt like you had eaten enough icing for one day, we picked you up and took you upstairs to the bathtub. You sucked the icing off your hands the whole way up the stairs! I think it's safe to say you had a great first birthday, and we had a great time celebrating with you.

All in all, your first year was amazing. We learned so much about babies, so much about you and so much about ourselves. I will always look back on your first year with so much love. Your dad and I love you more than words can say, and we can't wait for all of your years to come.

Happy 1st birthday, Wren! May all your days be happy ones!

December 4, 2013

On packing up bottles...

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I fed Wren her last bedtime bottle two nights ago - and I have been an emotional mess ever since! There haven't been too many things that have upset me about all of the growing she's done during her first year until now. Sure, when she started eating solid food, I thought aww, she's getting so big - and then laughed when she tried avocado. When we packed up her baby swing, I thought awww, this is kind of sad - and then rejoiced at the extra space in our apartment. But this bottle thing is staying with me for some reason. Yesterday, I washed and packed all of her bottles up in plastic bags to put in storage, but there they sit - on the kitchen counter - and I can't for the life of me let them go. I just can't believe that part is already over!

For one year, three times a day (more when she was tiny), I would gather her little body into my arms, settle in cozy on the couch and feed her a bottle. It was our thing - our routine - breakfast, lunch and dinner - and now it's over. We phased her bottles out over the course of a month - taking away the breakfast bottle first, then the lunch bottle, and then the bedtime bottle. The night before her last bedtime bottle, I cried. The night of her last bedtime bottle, I cried. And now, two days later, I'm still crying. I can't stop thinking that it's already a memory - not something that happens, but something that used to happen. Two days in and already it's 'remember when we used to hold her every night and give her a bottle before bed?'

There is so much of her that is still a baby, but so much of her that has moved on to toddlerhood already. She's independent, constantly moving, excited to try new things. I know she's ready to be done with bottles. She drinks milk from her sippy cup like a pro. It's me that's not ready. It's me that suddenly realizes that when people say it goes fast - they mean really fast. I can't help but think about all the other things in her life she'll be ready for that I won't - the first day of school, driving, dating, college! I can't.

When I think about saying goodbye to the bottles, I immediately start going through the memories I've stored up of those quiet, close moments. Do I have enough in my memory bank to last me forever?? Because of the way my guilt-ridden mom brain works, the first memories that jump into my head are the ones where I feel I fell short - the times when I spent a whole feeding scrolling through Instagram or zoning out to a TV show or the worst - feeling annoyed that I had to stop what I was doing to feed her. When these memories come to mind, I panic - feeling like I wasted all of that time that I can't get back. But then I push past those negative thoughts - give myself a break - and that's when I get to the good ones - because there are so many good ones, like the times I laid my head next to hers while she ate and smelled her little baby hair. The times I squished her fat baby thighs like clay and made her giggle. The times I traced my finger up and down her nose until it tickled and she swatted me away. The times she kicked and kicked her little legs against my hand. The times she fell asleep halfway through a bottle, and I stayed so still and soaked it in - or closed my eyes and drifted off with her. I do have a lot of memories to take with me - and for that I am so thankful.

I don't really have any grand thoughts about any of this - I kind of just wanted to share my feelings because sometimes writing about things makes me feel better. I feel like all of this has reminded me - again - to slow down and soak it all in - to not take a moment for granted. And it's also reminded me how freaking hard it is to be a mother. I would happily snuggle her up and feed her a bottle every night until she graduates from high school, but I can't. I would happily lock her inside her room for the next twenty years to keep her safe from all the bad that's in the world, but I can't. Instead, I breathe deep, I push my worries and sadness and fears aside, and I give her what she needs to grow and thrive and be all that she is meant to be. And then I ball my eyes out in the shower. ;)

I made the personal choice not to breastfeed Wren. Knowing how hard it has been for me to say goodbye to bottles, I can only imagine how much harder it is to wean a baby from nursing. My heart goes out to all mommas - breastfeeding and bottle feeding - in these bittersweet moments.

November 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Wren!


All footage captured by Jon. Music by Of Monsters And Men. Full birth story here

Happy first birthday, sweet Wren. The day you were born, our lives changed forever. The past year has been so much fun. I'm so happy you are ours and we are yours.