Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What a Treat!


I grew up in a small town in southeast Texas. When I went to college, I moved almost three hours away to Central Texas, where I met my now-husband when we were in college at Baylor University. And then, after we married, we moved to North Texas. {I feel like that Johnny Cash song, "I've Been Everywhere."} All of that to say, I don't live in the same town - or even area of Texas - as my parents. And Texas is huge! It takes us four hours to get to my parents, and we're still in the same state. 

It was really sad before I had a baby, but now that Walker is here, it breaks my heart that he can't grow up in the same town as my parents, his grandparents. I grew up about five minutes away from one set of grandparents, and I have fond memories of Sunday lunch with them, spending the night at their house quite often, and having them in my day-to-day life. 

And while it makes me sad that Walker won't physically see my parents, his "Foxy" and "Papa," every day, it's helpful that there are companies like Treat who can make it easier for them to virtually see him and feel like they are involved and included in his daily life via adorable, personalized cards. I'm so glad I stumbled upon Treat and don't know if I'll ever go back to sending regular ol' $.99 grocery store cards again!

Treat, an arm of Shutterfly, is a greeting card company that helps people connect in meaningful and useful ways. The site allows you to create virtual, personalized greeting cards - with photos or without - that you can physically mail or send a digital email to your recipient. 

If you're anything like me, you love personal cards. Why do I love them? Because I can hang them on the side of my fridge and look at them every morning while I'm getting my coffee. I loathe buying "regular" cards, because what is the first thing someone does with them once they open it and skim over the message? Toss it! And then you have to mail them. And again, if you're anything like me, you always have one less stamp than you need, have to make a special trip to the post office to buy a booklet of stamps for just one stamp {ugh}, and then mail it. I'm the worst about forgetting the card on my desk at work, too, and mailing it late with a note on the back of the envelope saying, "Sorry!!!" But with Treat? They'll mail it for you! I love that. It's one less thing this busy working mom has to remember to do. 

As I mentioned yesterday, our sweet Walker is {already} six months old! While I love my monthly blog posts to help announce his monthly "accomplishments," it's also fun to send a little card with the latest monthly picture of Walker to my parents. I mean, how precious is this card to share with them about his half-year birthday? {Yes, we celebrate that!} 


I also sent this card to my dad, who has his pilot's license and flies his plane on the regular: 

Front


Back


So thank you, Treat, for making it not only fun and easy to send cards to people, but for also making it a great way to connect with family. 

Cards c/o Treat

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Walker is SIX Months Old!


Walker, you are half a year old and we can't believe it! What a fast six months this has been! I'm begging time to slow down. 



-FEEDING-
You love to eat and are such a great eater! In the last month, you have started solid foods and have taken to them like a pro. I'm making all of your food, and I've really enjoyed the process. You really enjoy sweet potatoes {especially when I mix them with quinoa}, bananas, mangoes and pears. You're aren't a huge fan of green beans, but you'll eat them when they're mixed together with a sweet fruit. You say "Mmm!" when you really like something, and we think that's precious. 

You are still taking 8 ounces of Similac Sensitive formula four times a day. Your eating schedule is as follows:

6 a.m.-ish: bottle; 9 a.m.: oatmeal; 10 a.m.: bottle; 1 p.m.: fruit and vegetable; 2 p.m.: bottle; 5 p.m.: fruit and vegetable; 6 p.m.: bottle. 

You are still battling with reflux, bless your heart. The pediatrician is telling us it will subside between 6-9 months, and we can only pray it does! You take 1.6 mL of baby Zantac twice a day. 


-SLEEPING-
You are still sleeping through the night, hallelujah! We are huge proponents of BabyWise, and for this reason! You go down between 7-7:30 p.m. and sleep until about 6-7 a.m. You still aren't a big napper; you consistently take little 30-minute cat naps during the day, but if it means you sleep at night, we'll take it! 

You only like to be rocked for your naps, but not at night. You've also started - before you go to sleep at night - putting your hands on my face, nose, chin or grabbing my necklace to "soothe" yourself to sleep. I think it's so funny, but I never want to laugh for fear of waking you out of your sleepy mode. When you are really tired, you will make a long "Ughhhhhh" noise and we laugh every time! 

Your day care teachers have finally gotten you to sleep in your crib at school, which I know they're happy about! Before that, you would pass out in the bouncer or swing. Now if we could only start that at home...


-STATISTICS-
You had your six-month check-up {and dreaded shots} on Friday. You weigh 17 pounds, 14 ounces (60th percentile) and are 27 inches long (71st percentile). Your head size is 17 3/4 inches (93rd percentile). You did so well at your appointment! You squealed during your first shot (Pentacel - a combo shot) and reached out for me, and whined during the second one (Prevnar). I sang "You Are My Sunshine" over and over to you and fed you immediately after, and you did great! 


-DEVELOPMENT/MILESTONES/FIRSTS-
Everyone told me that the four- to six-month age range was the most fun, and they were right! 

The biggest thing you've done this month is sit up on your own! While you're sitting, you like to play with toys in front of you, especially your activity triangle and shape sorter farm.  You have also consistently rolled from back to belly and belly to back. There's no stopping you now! {You also have started sleeping on your tummy, which does freak me out at times!} When you're on your tummy, you are pushing up with your arms, so you look like you're doing the upward dog yoga move. 

You are babbling up a storm! We've started reading to you every night, and you really love that. You're starting to get a little bit of "stranger danger" and will only willingly go to people you don't know if you notice I'm still in the room or you can hear me. You have developed a very strong attachment to me, and others are noticing! You're a mama's boy and I love it! 

Everything is also going in your mouth…everything! We can see those bottom two teeth starting to come through - as well as one of your lateral incisors - so the drool is ever-present. You have also started noticing our cat, Oliver, and reach out toward him and try to pet him…which is more like a soft hit. He doesn't mind it much, though, because any attention to that cat is attention, whether it's good or bad! If you're playing on the floor, he will curl up a few inches away from you to be where you are. You have started shaking your head "no," rolling over constantly, sitting in your high chair on the regular for meal time, and making lots of vowel sounds. I'm still working on "Mama!"

Your firsts for the month included: your first cold; your first swimming lesson; your first Independence Day; your first birthday party {for your cousin Brayden}; your first solid food, other than oatmeal and rice cereal; your first sip of water; and your first trip to the grocery store! 


-CLOTHES-
You wear six months clothes and we moved you up to Size 3 Pampers Swaddlers a couple of weeks ago. There are a few brands in which the six months clothes are getting too tight {namely Ralph Lauren and Carter's}, but other brands in which they are too big {Baby Gap} .  I wish all baby clothes fit the same! 

We had to pack away your 3-6 months clothes and sleep sacks earlier this month, as well as a lot of your more little baby items, like your Boppy Lounger, bouncer and activity gym


-BEHAVIOR/DEMEANOR-
You are so, so sweet. Everyone comments on what a good snuggler you are, and it's true! You also love for us to make you laugh, and you've started to find things that you know make us laugh and you do them on repeat. 

You will definitely tell us if and when you don't like something by throwing a little fit and arching your back. Oh, man, the "Terrible Twos" should be fun! 

You love to "talk" and blow raspberries, and you also chew on your tongue as part of teething. It's weirdly hilarious! You also recognize your name. 

You still love the bath, and will "talk" up a storm, laugh and smile the biggest when you're in there. You also love when we sing to you, play "peek-a-boo!" with you, and looking at yourself in the mirror. You really like to jump around in your jumperoo, but don't like it for longer than about five-10 minutes at a time. 

You're not a fan of sleeping on your back anymore; getting your diaper or clothes changed; having your nose wiped and/or the Nosefrida; or when you feel like we're not giving you enough attention. 


-NICKNAMES-
Walky, Walk, Buddy, Baby, Jaybird {because I call you "Naked Jaybird" when I'm undressing you for your bath}, Boo Boo, Buddy, Little Man


Walker, my sweet boy,

You are such a loving, precious little boy. We love you so much it hurts sometimes and we hope you are able to experience that same love with your own children one day. We are already experiencing that "mama bear" protectiveness with you, and I now completely understand when people say, "Mess with me all you want, but don't you dare mess with my children." We want you to always know that you are a special, handsome, smart, sweet little boy and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. 

You have grown and changed so much in six short months! And while six months have flown by for us, it's amazing to see everything you've learned - and will continue to learn. You are so funny and joyful. You look just like your Daddy and I love seeing so much of him in you physically - and it's fun to see various facial expressions and attributes of both of us that you have. 

We pray that you will always stay this loving and sweet. We also pray for your future spouse and hope that she knows how much we love her (and pray for her) already. As always, we pray for your safety, protection, purity and punishment. 

We love you more than life itself, Walker. It is a joy and privilege to be your parents, and we thank God every day for blessing our lives with you.

Love,
Mommy and Daddy 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekending


Happy Monday! I'm in an all day, three-day conference this week {yawn} and it's my last week of four-day weeks {boo}. I'm soaking it all up! 


-FRIDAY-
Walker had his six-month pediatrician appointment {and shots, boo!}. My mother-in-law waited at our house while I took Walker to the doctor because our new appliances were being delivered - hallelujah! 

Brandon came home from his six-day long business trip, and we were all very happy to see him! Walker had no idea what to think. 


-SATURDAY-
We were all up and at 'em at 6 a.m., so we started work on our house! The first thing we did in preparation for our bathroom renovation was to paint the cabinets. 

You can't really tell from my crappy iPhone picture, but our cabinets are an ugly, dull gray. Our countertops - complete with shell sinks! - are a faux marble, as is the skirt on our bathtub and "separating" piece between our tub and shower. {Those are all being replaced with white carrara marble in two weeks!} 


This is during...


...and after! I know it doesn't look like that big of a difference on camera, but I can assure you it does in person! I can't wait to see what it will look like with white carrara marble, undermount sinks and the mirror framed! 

{Over the weekend, I also purchased new white towels and bathmats, as well as a new vanity stool. Brandon also cleaned the grout in both our master bath and guest bath.} 


During all the commotion, Walker was so amazing and just went along for the ride! He has even taken to trying to feed himself these days. Ha! ;) 


Our new built-in microwave and oven were finally installed, and we love them! Our microwave and oven were original to our house {which was built in 1994}, and it was HIGH time they were replaced. We replaced all other appliances when we moved in {fridge, dishwasher and range}, but hadn't gotten around to these yet. I'm loving that all my appliances match now! 

-SUNDAY-
We did our usual Sunday routine, and then came home to finish doing our house stuff! I made Walker a ton of pureés, including: mangoes, carrots, peas, peaches, green beans, apples and pears. Whew! It was a labor of love, that's for sure. 

Brandon mowed the yard, cleaned out the garage and we did laundry and picked up around the house. 

It was a pretty crazy busy weekend and we are pretty tired, but are so excited that a big chunk of things are finished in our house. In two weeks, we'll have new countertops, sinks and a seamless shower! I can't wait! 

Have a great week, y'all! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!


Happy Friday, y'all! I'm linking up with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm today.


-ONE-
After my post on Wednesday, I went to Target and purchased a cheaper concealer {L'Oréal Visible Lift Blur Concealer} and a concealer brush. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never tried a concealer brush before, and after using it yesterday, I don't think I'll ever go back! I was actually really impressed with the concealer, too. Perhaps I don't have to splurge $32 on Make Up Forever's brand


-TWO-
I found this guide on Pinterest and, as a journalism major {who uses AP Style on the regular}, I felt like I had to share. When people don't know the difference between "you're" and "your," I get a little rage-y. #majorpetpeeve


-THREE-
Walker has been rolling over from back to belly for about a week or two, but I was finally able to capture it on camera on Tuesday evening! There is no stopping this child; anytime he is placed on his back, he rolls over in a matter of seconds. I've had to start changing him on the floor now because he has gotten thisclose to rolling off the changing table - with me standing right there changing his diaper! It's become a daily battle to keep him on his back for two minutes each morning when he's having his diaper changed and getting clothes on for the day. Whew! We affectionately call him "Roly Poly." 

Please excuse my ridiculous "mom voice."


-FOUR-
Our new built-in oven and microwave are being delivered today and installed tomorrow! Once they are installed, I'll post a before and after picture. You know you're an adult when you're giddily excited about: A) New kitchen appliances and B) The fact that every appliance in your kitchen will match…finally. Can't wait!


-FIVE-
Brandon comes home today! He has been traveling for business - hitting up five states in five and a half days - so I know he's just as excited to be home as Walker and I are for him to get home! Other than our appliances being installed today, we have absolutely nothing planned for this weekend and I am thrilled! 

I hope y'all have great weekends! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beauty Items I Want to Try


I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to Sephora. Even if I don't necessarily need something, I always find myself putting something new to try in my basket {or virtual basket}! 

And, as an aside, I'm obsessed with Jessie James Decker {and her eyebrows}. Like, major girl crush. She posted a make-up tutorial the other day, and I want to try a lot of things she talked about. 

So, without any further aideu, here are a few beauty items I want to try. Have y'all tried any of these? 




one // two

three // four 

five // six

-ONE-
Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick {in Noble}

-TWO-
GHD Air Professional Performance Hair Dryer

-THREE-
MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer {in Light Beige 3} 

-FOUR-
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick {in Bronze}

-FIVE-
Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation {in 10 Watts}

-SIX-
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation {in Porcelain}

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pinterest Recipes We've Loved Lately


Brandon and I love to eat and enjoy trying new recipes. While I do keep a lot of recipes in constant rotation, we do like to switch it up a bit. 

When either one of us cooks, we ask the other when we're finished eating: "Make again?" Which, in our married language, means: "You better tell me the truth about liking it a lot. Because if you say, 'Make again,' I will truly make it again and you'll have to choke it down again." Ha! 

Here are a few of our recent Pinterest raves:



Poppy Seed Chicken via The Girl Who Ate Everything


Chicken Caesar Burgers via Iowa Girl Eats




Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas via Kevin & Amanda


Swiss Stuffing Chicken via Kelly's Korner


Have you tried any of these recipes before? If so, what did you think? {And seriously, what did we do before Pinterest?!}

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekending


It's Monday {again!}. That came so fast! I'm linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston & Meghan at Champagne and Suburbs today. 


-FRIDAY-
I had off work and Brandon had a half day, so we spent the day hanging out around the house and getting a few things done for our upcoming bathroom remodel and kitchen update. 

Walker's new thing is to put both of his hands on your face when you're talking to him and he just "studies" you and laughs. It's adorable! He is such a clone of my husband {who is such a clone of his dad}, so he's probably looking at him and thinking, "Hmmm, you look really familiar!" 


Walker {and his double chins} made his first-ever trip to the grocery store with me on Friday afternoon. I've avoided taking him for this long because it's a pretty big hassle to go with him, load and unload the groceries, etc., but I thought I'd attempt it this weekend. He did so well! He was just wide-eyed looking and enjoying looking around at everything. 

And apparently the chip aisle was hilarious. ;) 


My parents and siblings were driving through Dallas/Fort Worth to go on a vacation, so they visited us for the evening, had supper with us and stayed the night! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed loving on the little man. 

Brandon made The Pioneer Woman's spaghetti with homemade meatballs and sauce, and it was so good! Love that Brandon knows how to - and loves to - cook. 


My mom fed Walker his sweet potatoes/quinoa mixture {which he loves!}...


…and his Aunt Maggie finished it up, along with his mangoes! 

This is his new "funny" face: squishing his eyes as tight as possible, scrunching his nose and puckering his lips. He knows we think it's funny, so he does it over and over {and over} again. My sister would do it back to him and we were all dying laughing at him mimicking her! 


We had a great time visiting with my family, and Walker loved all the attention he received {of course}! 

His Uncle Parker makes a pretty good snuggle buddy. 


-SATURDAY-
After my family left, we just lounged around the house for a good while. Then, we decided to have lunch at Taco Diner, just the three of us, and it didn't disappoint! After lunch, Brandon said to me, "Hey, why don't you go get a pedicure while I watch Walker?" Of course I jumped at that chance! Hey, if you insist…! It was nice to enjoy a little relaxation and "me" time for an hour. 


And, here's the not-so-glamorous side of being a mom: spit up. As I was playing "airplane" with Walker, he decided to take that time to spit up on my head. Yeah, that was really interesting!!! {Gag.} Reflux is no joke! 

Of course when I yelled for Brandon to bring me a burp cloth so I could wipe it off {and go shower}, he was laughing so hard he was crying and said, "Wait wait wait. I have to take a picture of this first!" Of course! 


-SUNDAY-
We went over to my in-law's to visit with my mother-in-law's best friend, who is still at my in-law's for her annual two-week vacation. Walker played and was definitely a show-off for Mrs. Joyce: rolling over from back to belly and belly to back; sitting up; and "talking" up a storm! 

I got a ton of things done around the house Sunday afternoon and evening, and I guess Walker was still in weekend mode, because when I turned on his monitor last night to check on him, he was just hanging out in his bed. {Sigh.} 

Side note: Aren't their eyes on baby monitors so creepy!? 


I hope y'all have a great week! I saw something on Instagram this morning that has really stuck with me: "It's a great day to have a great day." I'm trying to recite that to myself…especially because it's Monday!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!


Happy Friday, y'all! I'm linking up with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm for their "Oh Hey Friday!" link-up. 


-ONE-
My parents are coming to Dallas today! We are all so excited to see them, especially since we haven't seen them since Easter - and that is far too long. Since Brandon has been on his cooking adventure these days, my mom requested he cook a meal tonight to show off his skills. My family is so big {oh, hi, six people plus us and Walker!}, Brandon decided to make The Pioneer Woman's Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Balls. I hope it tastes as good as Ree's, because y'all know I love me some food. :)


-TWO-
I love when blog friends become real-life friends. Gentel and I have followed each other's blogs for a good while now, and we have taken our blog friendship to the next level {ha!} and have started texting each other. I love it! Check out her blog and look at her sweet new little girl, Gracie. 

-THREE-
We are still in our bathroom and kitchen makeover process, and I can't wait to show y'all the final product. They're starting our bathroom in the next few weeks - and we'll be using our tiny guest bathroom for a good month or so - but I can't wait to see it all come together! We've found so much inspiration in these two photos below {both via Pinterest} and can't wait to see our vision become a reality. Bye, bye, early 90's bathroom: ugly brass shower, faux marble countertops and shell sinks! I won't miss you.



-FOUR-
Please ignore my terrible, horrible voice, but I had to get on video how Walker always starts laughing {and kicking his feet} when I start singing. You know it's so bad when even my baby cracks up at me! His three favorite songs are "You Are My Sunshine," "Mister Sun," and "Hakuna Matata." {And yes, I realize I don't even know all the words to "Hakuna Matata." Ha!}


-FIVE-
And speaking of Walker, I ventured out and made him some quinoa on Sunday {along with mangoes, pears and more sweet potatoes - his favorite}, but I haven't fed it to him yet, although he's six months old and has been eating solid food for a good month and a half now! I'm interested to see how he's going to take it this weekend, since our green bean adventure was a bust - but he likes them now. I'm excited for him to get some really good protein from quinoa. 

{PS: Have you read my post on homemade baby food yet?!} 






Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baby Cough and Cold Essentials


Walker has had a pretty nasty cold this week {aren't summer colds the worst?!}, so I thought I'd share some of our essentials for combatting the dreaded baby cold. Baby colds are so different from adult colds in many reasons, but the biggest - to me - was that you can't just give a baby a decongestant {until they're two} and call it a day. There were many times this week I wished that I could give Walker a Claritin to dry his poor little nose up, but alas, that's not happening, of course! 

So, here's what has really helped us, as recommended by our pediatrician: 


one // two


five // six

-ONE-
The NoseFrida is by far the most disgusting -slash- coolest invention ever. I registered for it when I was pregnant, as every Mommy blog out there recommended it. Of course I had absolutely no idea how to use it, but on the registry it went. Now? I. am. obsessed. Brandon, however, can't stand the sight of me "Frida-ing" (as we say in our house) Walker. 

You have this little plastic syringe-looking tube with a soft tube attached. You put one end in the baby's nose and the other in your mouth and literally suck the snot out. But before you gag like my husband, I have to tell you that there's a little lid on the end of the syringe-looking part that has a filter to ensure you never get the snot in your mouth. Gross, yes. Effective? Absolutely. 

I like this a lot better than the blue nasal bulb syringes they give you in the hospital because of the size and the fact that you can clean it. Have you seen the inside of a nasal bulb syringe? Ew, no thanks. 

I will say that Walker hates when we do this to him, but immediately laughs afterward. I think he's just weirded out by the suctioning noise! The NoseFrida {or any suctioning device} helps because babies - obviously - don't know how to blow their nose and we have to do it for them. 

-TWO-
We love the Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier! Unlike normal humidifiers, the steam comes out cool as opposed to hot, so it's safer for babies. The humidifiers increase the air moisture to help them with their colds, coughs, etc. 

-THREE-
Walker has very sensitive skin and isn't a fan of us trying to wipe his nose. Because of his sensitive skin, I hate using regular Kleenex on his nose. I found these Boogie Wipes at the grocery store and thought I'd try them out. They have saline in them, so it helps dissolve his boogers {sorry for using that word, yuck!} and get them out of his nose. 

-FOUR-
Our pediatrician recommended rubbing Vicks Babyrub on the bottom of Walker's feet at night. I thought it was a little out there, but I've done it and can say it is helping! Of course, I Googled it and found this forum on Baby Center and apparently other people do it, too! {There are some mixed reviews on the method.} 

After his bath, I just rubbed a thin layer on the bottom of his feet, slipped him into some footie pajamas and put him to bed. He never seemed bothered by it at all. I also rubbed a little bit under his nose, as well. 

-FIVE-
I am not on the full "oil train" yet, but I have heard wonders about using eucalyptus oil for coughs and colds. I put a couple drops in the humidifier I referenced above, and it really seemed to help open Walker's sinus up. So much so, that there was a lot of snot on his sheets the next morning. {Sorry I keep using words like "boogers" and "snot." It's gross, I know.} Brandon has been feeling pretty sick-y, too, so he actually poured a few drops in the bottom of a hot shower and let the smell open him up. (I used this brand of eucalyptus oil because that's what my local Kroger had on hand.) 

-SIX-
Again, Walker hates when you put anything up/in his nose, so he's not a fan of saline spray, but the Boogie Mist Sterile Saline Nasal Spray really works for us. Personally, I like the spraying mechanism {a spray nozzle} a lot better than the typical saline dropper bottle that you shove up their nose and squirt because it's quicker, easier and doesn't make a noise like the other bottles. The saline spray helps moisturize and clear baby's nasal passages, and we've noticed that it has helped Walker. 

*Something else we did that seemed to help was have one of us get in a hot shower {enough to produce steam, but not putting the water on either of us - the shower head was pointed in the opposite direction} and hold Walker. We would just stand there and sway him, sing to him, talk to him, etc. while the steam helped open him up. We would keep all doors to the bathroom shut and let the mirrors fog up with steam - it was pretty steamy in there! After a few minutes, the person who wasn't in the shower with him would take him out and give him his evening bath. 


Dealing with a sick baby is no fun, but I hope this helps you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What I Took for Granted Before Having a Baby



I've covered some of this before, but I felt like I needed to do this post after this weekend. It was hilariously sad: I meant to go to the grocery store on Thursday night. That didn't happen, so then it turned into Friday. Then Saturday. And then finally Sunday. 

Brandon and I couldn't help but laugh when we realized how easily we could just pick up and do things before Walker was born. Not that he figuratively weighs us down in the least;  it was just so much easier before baby to run to the store whenever we wanted to. Now, we plan outings around feeding times and nap times. My, how life has changed! 

Anyway, Brandon {and my friend Liz} and I were talking and came up with a list of things we took for granted before we had a baby: 

Sleep. 
When I was pregnant, people would say to me: "Sleep now! When the baby gets here, you won't sleep at all." I would roll my eyes at them after they walked away, but y'all. I just want to track those people down and say, "YOU ARE RIGHT! I'm sorry!" Walker sleeps through the night now {from about 7 p.m.-6 a.m.}, but man, 6 a.m. comes early - especially because I wake up at 5 a.m. during the weeks to get dressed before he wakes up. Brandon and I were laughing a couple of weeks ago that all we want for our anniversary is sleep. I said, "Babe, we don't even have to go anywhere. Maybe we can just have your mom watch him for two nights and we just stay here and sleep in?" I know this precious time is fleeting, but man, sleeping in until 9 a.m. sounds heavenly. {Although I do get a lot more done on the weekends waking up around 6 or 7 a.m.!} 

"Running" anywhere.
Before Walker was born, we would "run" places. As in, "Hey, I'm going to run to the grocery store. I forgot bread." Or, "I'm going to run to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription." Now, there is no more "running" anywhere: it's a process. Get Walker's diaper changed; make sure we have enough diapers in the diaper bag; load him and all of our stuff in the car seat and car; get where we're going; unload him and the stroller; put him in the stroller; do our shopping; unload groceries in the car; unload Walker out of stroller and into car; collapse stroller and fit in car; drive home; unload Walker…you get the picture. 

This also goes with spontaneity. We used to say things like, "Hey, you want to go to ______ this weekend?" It's not so easy now with the 5,000 things we have to pack, take, travel with, etc. Not that we're lazy in the least; it's just much easier to be in the place that has all of Walker's (and our) stuff. 

Eating a hot meal. Together. At a table. 
I completely took for granted being able to come home from work, change clothes and immediately begin cooking dinner. Now? Ummm, we're lucky if we eat dinner before Walker goes to bed. And if we don't? We are usually eating on the floor next to Walker while he plays on his playmat, or we take turns eating while the other holds him. One day we'll eat as a family together at our table. But until then, our cat, Oliver, is really enjoying the crumbs. 

Taking my time getting ready. 
I will admit that I miss the days of taking my time getting ready in the mornings. You know, those days where you could exfoliate your face, shave your legs, pluck any stray eyebrow hairs, perhaps even leisurely apply your mascara? Yeah, I don't have those days right now. 

Instead, I roll out of bed in the morning and quickly shower, apply make-up while sipping a lukewarm cup of coffee {that I never finish}, and fix my hair…all quickly so I can ensure I'm dressed by the time Walker wakes up. It's a challenge!

Buying things for myself. And only myself. 
I will just say to this: I went to Gap yesterday to check out their summer sale, and I came out $75 poorer and the only person who got anything was Walker. Yeah. 

But seriously, it's not that I don't want to buy things for myself. It's just so much more fun to buy things for Walker! My priorities have definitely shifted. 

Taking non-kid-friendly vacations. 
Liz and I were talking about how our vacations have very much changed since having children. We were having a long conversation about taking our kids to Great Wolf Lodge one day and how fun that would be. Four years ago, I was worried about how many drinks I'd be drinking at our all-inclusive resort. Again, priorities! 

Only worrying about myself. 
I used to only worry about myself. And then when I got married, I worried about Brandon and me. Now? I worry all the time about my sweet Walker. Will he be safe? What kind of world is this I'm bringing him up in? He has a cold; is he okay? Of course, I realize the old adage, "Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere," is quite true. But, it's hard to not worry and I definitely took only focusing on myself for granted before Walker came. 

…but all of this to say, having a baby completely shifts your life - for the better. You no longer worry about petty things, because you know they don't matter in the grand scheme of life. And yes, while I loved sleeping in, having more than a couple glasses of wine at times and eating a hot meal whilst having adult conversation, I wouldn't trade my life now for anything.