First Father’s Day (Ryan Takes Over the Blog)

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My (Not So) Perfect Father’s Day Post:

I have to admit that when Katie asked me to write a short blog post about my first Father’s Day, I googled things such as: “First Father’s Day Quotes” and “Father’s Day Poems,” in hopes of finding something heartwarming, touching, and inspiring for that “Perfect Father’s Day Post.”

As I scanned the results page, looking for that perfect arrangement of words and/or phrases, I quickly realized that my desire for that perfect post was truly just devoid of emotion, relying on other people’s thoughts and experiences to convey my own. So as it is now Father’s Day eve and Katie is sitting on the couch, waiting for me to be finished so we can binge watch more of Season 4 of Orange is the New Black, I am going to keep it simple.

These past 9 months since Wyatt’s birth have been a roller coaster of emotions and I have a new appreciation for the phrase “they grow up so fast.” I swear every day that goes by Wyatt’s eyes get a little bluer, his hair gets a little longer, and he introduces you to a new skill that he has learned, such as locking you out of the bathroom. Even though he is growing up so fast – I swear tomorrow morning he will wake up and start having actual conversations with me – I still cherish every single moment.

These past 9 months have also brought our family many changes and challenges. Some days are good and some are not so good. Still, nothing beats that feeling I get when I walk through the front door after work, make eye contact with Wyatt, and hear the resulting shriek of laughter and see the look of joy on Wyatt’s face. That takes away any challenges that day might have brought. That helps you get up in the morning. That makes it all worthwhile. So this Father’s Day, I pledge to continue to cherish those little moments with Wyatt.

Lastly, I would like to end this post with somewhat of a quote. Don’t worry, this isn’t anything that I discovered through my google search. It is actually a quote that I saw in my Judge’s chambers the other day that partially came back to me while I was writing. Although I do not fully remember the quote, I do know that it contained the idea that in the end, you won’t be measured by your wealth or the amount, size, and value of your possessions. What you will be measured by is a time that your actions helped a child. I hope that my actions and choices continue to help and guide Wyatt through this great big world. I will always be there for you Mr. Man.

What’s Going On?

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I think it’s easy to say that I’ve made a fast transition into a full mommy blogger. Sorry for all you childless readers – but this is my life now. As it’s been awhile since I posted on anything not completely about Wyatt I thought I’d drop in and give a little life update.

The Big Stuff:

  • I quit my job! It was time for a change and I was missing Wyatt terribly during the day. If you follow me on Instagram you saw my announcement last week. I have started a new part-time work from home job. Happiness and family time is much more important to me than money. So, after much thought, I decided it best to leave my job and pursue this new opportunity. I started working last week for the PA Philharmonic, a regional orchestra whose main mission is education. Music education is very close to my heart and I feel energized working for a company I believe in. No job is perfect, and I know there will be some challenges, but I’m so excited about this new chapter of my life and how much more time it will allow me to spend with Wyatt. 
  • Ryan’s current position as a Law Clerk ends at the end of the summer so he has been job searching as well. We are in the state of limbo again – waiting to see where he will get a job. We truly hope it will be here in Lancaster and that it will be a long time position. It’s time to build some roots. 
  • Today, my dad is having major surgery. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I’m on standby with my mom and Pop-Pop in the hospital and are all rooting for him. 

The Little Stuff:

  • I finally started running again. I’m up to one mile at a time with out wanting to pass out….that’s far away from the 4-5 miles I used to be able to do, but it’s a start!
  • I got a Fit Bit Zip for my birthday and I”m obsessed with counting my steps! You can often find me walking in place or dancing like a fool in front of Wyatt to get my extra steps. 
  • I’m also started reading again. Other mamas – how do you read with a newborn? I was lucky to squeeze in a page or two. I think I’ve read three books since Wyatt was born. “Bringing up Bebe” “The Nightingale” and “The Martian”. I’m currently reading “Secrets of a Charmed Life”. Once again, it’s a far cry from the one book every week or two, but it’s a start!
  • We’ve been catching up on the Oscar movies (something else I’m very far behind on) Lately we’ve watched The Martian, Spotlight, Brooklyn, and The Big Short. 
  • Those are just two examples how I feel like we are settling into a routine. It feel like we’ve finally got a few things figured out. Wyatt is sleeping a little bit more allowing us to stay up together at night more and do things like watch movies and read books. 
  • As much as we are in a routine, things are always changing! We feel like we are on the edge of our seats waiting to see where Ryan will find a job and where we may be living in the near future. I have major house fever (kind of like baby fever, but with wanting to buy a house!)

That’s basically what’s going on! It’s been a busy/stressful early Spring of transitions. We are ready for whatever comes next! What is new with you?

Birthday and Easter Celebrations

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We had a fabulous holiday weekend! On Saturday, my Birthday, we attended an Easter party at my Pop-Pop’s retirement community. There we met the Easter bunny and got free portraits taken with real live bunnies borrowed from an Amish farm. I had no idea we were going to get such professional photos taken and was blown away by the results. I love my little Wyatt with the bunny, I’m going to be a proud mama here, isn’t he the cutest???

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Later that day we celebrated my birthday at my parent’s house. Wyatt was very interested in the candles! It was a perfect low key celebration. 

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Sunday morning, the Easter bunny was a little late getting things going. (I hear he was also celebrating a birthday with cosmos like me the night before). But I was very happy to present Wyatt’s first Easter basket. We filled it with books, a Jellycat piggy, a fun ball, a rattle chick, and tons of plastic Easter eggs.

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Wyatt was extremely intrigued and couldn’t wait to dig in!

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Timbbbbber!!!

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He liked the Easter eggs the best. We spent the rest of the morning dumping out the eggs over and over again. 

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Next we headed over to my parent’s house where Wyatt was presented with another basket of Easter goodies! Our little guy isn’t spoiled one little bit!

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We then drove down to Philly for Easter with Ryan’s family. Wyatt made quite the entrance as he had an accident all over his fancy Easter outfit. So after a quick and very messy change, we enjoyed more Easter goodies, including this Mickey Doll that sings The Hot Dog song. Wyatt is in love. Mommy will soon lose her mind! 

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It was great to get all the MacDonald kiddos in one place to celebrate! 

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How did you celebrate Easter?

 

 

Thankful

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The most magical time of the year has started. It’s a season full of promise, hope, and miracles. 

Last night, as I stood in the chilly air waiting for Maggie to do her thing, I gazed up at the bright full moon filling up the sky.

I paused and remembered how last year at this time I would end my nights exactly like this. Right before going to be each evening I’d step outside with Maggie and stare up at the moon and make a hopeful wish  to the universe that we would soon get pregnant. I wished with all my heart and said a soft sad prayer month after month, closing the gap between the stars and I.

And now here we are one year later with a beautiful and healthy baby boy. I am so thankful.

I’m so thankful for my family, my friends, and the gift of getting to enjoy each day. If nothing else, I love how this time of years makes me pause and step back and realize how this world is full of miracles. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall Catch Up

How is it already November? I loved seeing everyone’s Halloween costumes this weekend. We had fun with our little pumpkin. 

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As I’ve been mostly MIA I thought I’d give a little update on to how life currently is. 

We’ve had a busy and eventful Fall. Here are the big things we’ve been up to:

  • Loving life with Wyatt. It should be no surprise that my life now revolves around my little man. I’m trying to soak up as much time as I can before I go back to work. (more on that below) 

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  • Life with a newborn is everything I imagined and nothing like I imagined. Some days time goes by so fast and other days seem to last an eternity. I feel like I have so much time and but then really have no time to do anything. I’m now driving again, not driving for 7 weeks was very hard. It’s a huge mood lifter to be able to get out of the house on my own or take walks with Wyatt. He’s such a good baby though, save for a general “witching hour” between 5-7 pm. I love all the cuddles.   image2 (1)
  • Celebrating the fact that Ryan passed the bar! We got the great news on October 9 and have been celebrating ever since. I was not surprised that he passed, but relieved that the stress of waiting to find out is over. He’s now busy applying for jobs after his clerkship, we hope to stay in the Lancaster area, so fingers crossed! ryanbar
  • Celebrating my Pop-Pop’s 90th Birthday! We had a huge party (89 guests! Can you believe a 90-year-old has that many friends?) for him on October 11. Fun was had by all and it was an honor to celebrate him and his love filled life with so many family and friends. P1000899
  • Spending a lot of time with  family. I love that Wyatt (and I) has such a strong supportive family. It really does take a village.  eandv

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  • Going out on our first date since the baby. In typical new mom fashion, I got tipsy after one cocktail and we talked about the baby the whole night. image5 (1)
  • Learning to survive on little sleep. It’s still the hardest part of life with a newborn for me. The other day I almost went to the grocery store with my yoga pants inside out. Oops. 
  • Accepting bad news and transitioning roles: Last week I learned that roles at my work have been reorganized and my current workload and hours have been cut in half. I am still going back to work in two weeks, but only part-time. This was very hard news to accept. Sadly we need my income so this hits us pretty hard. It will be a struggle but we can handle it together. On the positive side I will have more time with Wyatt, which is huge. This news amongst Ryan passing the bar and loving his job feels almost like two steps forward one step back. As one friend told me, Wyatt will benefit from extra time with me and will never know that we have less money. I do believe things happen for a reason. We have Wyatt and everyone is healthy. This baby smile keeps me going!

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First Days Of Life

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Wyatt turns one month next week, I can’t believe it! I’ve been so busy soaking in his newborn days and also learning how to adjust to motherhood that I haven’t been able to document via this blog as much as I like. He has been changing so much so quickly that I wanted to capture it all. So here is a glimpse at Wyatt’s first few days in our world and our stay at the hospital. 

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He was born on Monday September 7 (you can read is birth story here) and we left the hospital on Friday September 11.

Those first few days are a blur of emotions! We felt an overwhelming sense of love, to the point where it was almost hard to comprehend that this sweet baby boy was inside of me just the day before and now was part of our world for the rest of our lives.

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We had plenty of visitors every day. This is the first grandchild for both my family and Ryan’s family, so the excitement is a little over the top! 

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Recovery for me was a little rough, but honestly much better than I was anticipating. Holding Wyatt made it all worth it. 

What I want to remember: (and yes these are melodramatic, but I believe this will be the most emotional moment of my life, so here we go)

  • Ryan being an awesome husband and father. I fell in love with him in a brand new way. I couldn’t get out of bed to attend to Wyatt’s cries or to change him and Ryan was on top of it and loved doing it. I could stare at him holding Wyatt all day.   wyattweek1.15
  • Every night Ryan and I would play music and sing to Wyatt. It was the sweetest thing. And then I’d cry. Remembering Ryan sing “Sweet Baby James” to Wyatt will always tug on my heart strings.
  • The faces of our parents when they entered our room and met Wyatt for the first time right after his birth.
  • How complete the world felt with Wyatt sleeping on my chest. image1 (2)
  • The feeling of extreme exhaustion and extreme love but how looking at his face changed everything. 
  • How soft his skin is.
  • How he calms down instantly when we do skin to skin. wyattweek1.17

I cannot say enough amazing things about our experience at Women’s and Babies Hospital in Lancaster. The nurses were all fantastic and provided us with such good care and attention. Being new parents we were anxious and clueless regarding newborn care but each day the nurses took time to teach us something new. 

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While I was slowly recovering from surgery (and could barely get out of bed on my own) they assisted with skin to skin contact, breastfeeding, diaper changes, and middle of the night feedings and fears. A lactation consultant visited every day and nurses assisted with almost every feeding. It was immensely helpful and encouraged me to keep trying when breastfeeding got tough. Now, Wyatt is a pro!

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We felt right at home in our large private suite and dined on excellent food (did not taste anything like typical hospital food) The crab cakes and peanut butter pie were my favorite dining options. 

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It was so great to have 5 whole days to just recover and be with the baby with no outside distractions. We took that time to really take in the whole experience and study all the bits and pieces of our new son. 

Our stay was so wonderful that it made me anxious to leave and go home where we’d be left to survive with Wyatt on our own. It almost felt like we were returning home after a vacation, which is NOT a feeling I was expecting postpartum. 

Nothing can replace those very first days with Wyatt. Each day brought new feelings of love. Yet, we were very excited to bring Wyatt home on that Friday and really begin our life together as a family.

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A Little Life Update

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We’re back from vacation and ready to live out the rest of this summer and this pregnancy. (5 more weeks to go!)

It’s been awhile since I gave an update on what is going on (other than pregnancy updates). So I thought I’d pop in quick to fill you in.

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  • Ryan started a new job yesterday. Yes, the Monday after we returned from vacation. He is proud to be a law clerk for a family law judge in Wilmington, DE. This is a great one year opportunity and so far he likes everything about it.
  • We are NOT moving. I feel like a crazy person when I tell people this because at first we were going to move last year, and then we were going to move this summer before the baby, and then changed our minds and decided to move in the Fall after the baby arrived. Well, now we’re just not going to move at all. Ryan will have an hour and ten minute commute to Wilmington but we both decided that staying in our current house is what is best for our family. It felt silly (and expensive) to move away from family support and my job for less than a year. We are both relieved with this decision. I was so stressed about packing and moving with a newborn and I do like our home and neighborhood. 
  • So since we are not moving, I’ve dived head first into setting up a permanent nursery for Baby Mac. I now understand why they say it’s best to do this in your second trimester, because I have zero energy to get anything done. His room (our former office) currently looks like Babies R Us exploded in it. I’m tackling it bit by bit and have loved picking every little detail out. I can’t wait until it’s complete, hopefully after this weekend. The baby’s room is going to be the nicest room in our whole house!
  • Now that I know we are staying here, I get very excited picturing the moments we will share with Baby Mac in this home. I can’t wait for snuggles on our couch and bed, for long walks on our numerous walking paths, and sunny afternoons outside with Maggie.
  • It’s been a very busy and fun summer but I have made very little plans for the rest of the month. I’m looking forward to simply sleeping and resting (while I still have the chance to). I have high hopes of getting the house super organized, preparing some freezer meals, and cleaning, but taking care of myself will come first.IMG_0782.JPG
  • I have fivish more weeks until the baby is due and it is seriously scary. I feel like there is still so much to do. I have someone who will be covering my job during my maternity leave, which is a huge relief. I’m currently worrying too much about my boss and my job and how it will get done while I’m gone and how hard it will be to go back. I truly hope those anxieties lessen once the baby arrives.

And that’s basically our life in a nutshell right now! How are you spending your August?