Why I let my little girl sleep in bed with me.

Before there were fancy noise machines and before there were electric gliders, women sung sweet lullabies to their babes and rocked them softly to sleep in their arms. There were no alternatives. I'm pretty positive that today's common conveniences have allowed me the luxury of sleep which may or may not have been possible were it not for such advances in technology so I won't poo poo it all too much. I do wonder at times, however, whether I'm missing out on some of the more precious moments were I to do it the old fashioned way.

It has dawned on me recently that in my over-eagerness to ensure that my little one will nap in her crib and fall asleep on her own (which I've read is of upmost importance at this age), that I might somehow be missing something critical. It's only a matter of time before this cute wriggly baby of mine figures out how to lift her tiny body off the ground and start crawling away from me.

It's always so easy to look back at a period in one's life and reminisce fondly, isn't it? "Oh, remember when baby girl was such a little thing! Oh, how I miss those days." I can already hear myself saying it a year from now. Truth is, it takes effort to be intentionally present and enjoy it all some days, especially if baby girl won't nap, there's a laundry list of to-do's and dinner hasn't yet been prepared for my husband who's about to walk in the door any minute now. If I'm honest, there are days when I view her as the distraction. It's those days that I'm attempting to function like I did pre-baby and it's an undeniably flawed way of thinking. The whole reason I'm even home to begin with is so that I can spend time with this beautiful daughter of mine.

I want to make sure I'm soaking in every last morsel that I can while it still lasts. Babyhood is much shorter than toddlerhood after all. So if life calls for a nap in the middle of the day while the toilets remain unscrubbed, spaghetti is served for dinner yet again and we don't leave the apartment all day, than so be it. Yesterday when my little girl had an upset tummy, instead of just plopping her in the swing with some white noise, I decided to lay with her in bed and pat her back softly until she fell asleep in my arms. We laid that way for three hours, her and I, cuddled together. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Those moments will be the memories I cherish in a few years when she's running around on the playground, not how clean my apartment was or the meals I served for dinner. That time together, with not a care in the world, is where my heart belongs.


Newborn photos & Minted birth announcements.

After our little petunia was born, I was beyond excited to create birth announcements and knew from the beginning that I wanted to use Minted.com. Their designs are so precious that it made choosing just one quite exhausting!

But first, we had to get our little 8 day old babe in front of the camera. And that's where lovely Alicia from Alicia B Photography came into play. And let me tell you, Evelyn Rose really made her WORK. I have a new appreciation for all of those teeny tiny sleeping baby photos. Our little girl proved quite fussy and refused to keep her peepers closed. After very long moments of Alicia slowly and lightly trying to move her into positions, she'd startle awake and start wailing, forcing the start of the process all over again. Putting her on her back in baskets? Oh, forget about it! Out of about five cute baskets, we got her to stay put in one. Our little sweet pea, to this day, is very particular and needs at least a day to adjust to new surroundings. I guess certain personality traits don't always fade.

Out of all the adorable photos which Alicia took, only one could come out the true winner for our birth announcements. This was by far my favorite:

ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photos
I loved the way the announcements turned out and made sure to keep one as a keepsake for Evelyn Rose's baby book. Excuse the quality. Clearly not that of a professional photographer...
ROSYRILLI.COM Birth announcements
And here are the others. How funny to see just how much her eyes and face have changed since those early days.
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photos
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photosThose little sucked in, pursed lips! 
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photosROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photos
And that little itty bitty body!
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photos
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photosThat frown. Oh, that frown.
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photos
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photos 
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photos
And that lazy smile :)
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photosThose piglets!
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photos
ROSYRILLI.COM Newborn photosOh my gosh. I just love her, scrunchy face and all.

And now, one from yesterday below. Quite a difference, eh? So exciting to see what changes the future holds!
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months.

Warmly,

A few tidbits from the first few months with Evelyn Rose.

Sorry for this weird spacing. I don't have the energy or time (mostly time) to figure out what's going on with this odd little bit on my blog. This here post is going to be the mother of all blog posts. Hah! Pun intended :p See, it's getting rather tiresome trying to go back and forth between the past and the present so I'm just going to fast forward here a bit. Below are some things I wrote about months ago but still haven't quite gotten the time to share.. until now.

Originally written 3/5/15. MY EVERYDAY AT 3 MONTHS.

We're in a state of transition. Homeless, never again to return to our house in Ohio where Evelyn Rose was first brought home from the hospital or where I spent months decorating her nursery. Not quite yet moved into a new residence in New Jersey. Hopping from one grandparents' home to the other. Evelyn Rose is officially two months old today. Two months feels a bit closer to two years at times but I think it may just be the drastic contrast in my life pre- and post-baby. It feels like entire lifetimes ago that I was pregnant. Speaking of pregnancy, I flipped through some photographs from me and my pregnant days and it's incredible how fast the memory fades. Was I really that pregnant? Was my belly really that big?

I sometimes feel as though my heart is only big enough for Evelyn Rose. I was so engrossed, my heart so heavy with longing for a family, that now I sometimes wonder whether I'll ever want a second child. Life feels so complete with her in our everyday. I can't imagine a time when she won't be enough. Will that itch for another baby ever come creeping in again? Maybe it's also the fact that my body's still healing from the birth or that the newborn phase can be difficult and I'm just so in it right now. Maybe she'll grow out of our late night feedings, the cute random smiles or her ability to take wonder at the world from her spot in the swing. Maybe then I'll find myself longing yet again to feel life growing from within. For now though, Evelyn Rose is my everything.

Her twinkling smiles. Her bath time in the sink. The way she'll fall asleep in my arms. Her bottom lip quiver. The frantic head bobs as she tries to take in the world around her. Those coos. That belly and those chubby big toes. The way she needs me in a way that no one else can satisfy. She is my everything, everyday.

ROSYRILLI.COM Two months recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM Two months recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM Two months recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM Two months recap.


Originally written 2/10/15. FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.

OH EM GEE. I just got our little miss to fall asleep ON HER OWN, without a paci, in her bouncer/glider!!! This is the most victorious moment EVER. Oh the ridiculous things that mamma bears get excited about.. but seriously, if you only knew how my little teddy bear hates being put down in anything (boppy, play mat, bassinet etc.) even now at 5 weeks, you'd more fully comprehend how momentous this moment really is for my freedom.

Ps. The magic trick? Put that swing on full speed with some white noise. I was previously mistaken in my assumption that our little delicate flower wouldn't want to feel like she was in a race car. Ha!

Originally written 2/5/15. ONE MONTH RECAP.

Tears. Did you know that when babies are first born, their cries are tearless? I know. Such an odd thing that I never even noticed had it not been a friend who mentioned it. Baby girl is starting to shed tears now when she cries and is it cruel to admit that I think it's the cutest thing ever? Who can resist that pouty little mouth and those big watery eyes!

It's sort of insanely beautiful how much has changed from that first day we brought her home. The changes in her behavior have been so slight from day to day that I almost wouldn't notice them, except that I do because each day somehow gets that much easier. I remember when she was just a wee little thing (okay, she still is) and would immediately cry and scream if she was laid on her back or even titled backwards. We slept for an entire week together on my family room couch (don't start.. I know this is the absolute worst thing to do with a newborn), just her and I and the twinkling lights from our Christmas tree that I didn't have the heart to take down. Now baby girl sleeps in her bassinett besides our bed most of the evening with no issues and has even let me (gasp!) lay her on her play mat without wailing up a storm. We've gotten in the groove of things, late night feedings in the dim light of her nursery, diaper changes that don't involve crying, small butterfly smiles that I catch every so often. How she gazes at the top of your head and will follow you with her eyes if you move. Those little strong fists that she gets going up and down in her moments of frustration and the quiet sighs she makes when she's content. That little round belly that I just can't get enough of and her long hair that seems to be getting lighter by the day.

Being a new mommy is hard in a way that is difficult to explain if you've never gone through it yourself and rewarding in a way that you could never even imagine.

ROSYRILLI.COM First month recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM First month recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM First month recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM First month recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM First month recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM First month recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM First month recap.
ROSYRILLI.COM First month recap.

Originally written 1/28/15. THREE WEEKS.

I caved. I caved last night and gave my adorable, fussy little girl a pacifier. It was pure heaven. Poor little thing has a bit of an irritable tummy (I can literally hear those gas bubbles gurgling) so a lot of times she's fussy if her belly's bothering her. The pacifier seemed to...well, pacify her. It was pure heaven and allowed this mama an extra hour (or two!) of sleep.

With that being said, I feel like a fully functioning adult today. I've had my moments over the past three weeks but they've been mostly short lived. It makes me kind of sad. I so badly want to soak in every moment of this experience. I picked up one of baby girl's diapers today, newborn size, and had a flashback to trying to conceive. Oh, how I'd pick up those tiny diapers and long so badly for a baby. Nowadays, I grab those same diapers without even acknowledging their size, my focus instead being on changing Evelyn as quickly as possible and with as little tears (ok, she doesn't actually shed tears yet.. I know, weird!) as possible.

I'm scared that in this whole life altering adjustment, that I'm missing it. There are so many hurdles in the beginning -getting your body back to normal, trying to find time to feed yourself, figuring out how to sooth a crying baby at 4am - that it's sometimes easy to miss the good stuff. I had such high expectations. I had a pinterest board full of cute photos I wanted to take. I had cute headbands I wanted to dress her in. I had visions of what this would be like and yet, she's already 3 weeks old and I still haven't found the energy or time to do them!

I think this might just be parenthood though. There's nothing perfect about it. There's just trying the best that you can and enjoying the process as much as possible.

So, they may not seem like a lot, but here are our accomplishments of the day: Our very first walk in the stroller. Hubs is away for a job interview so baby girl and I went it alone. It's so gorgeous and sunny that I couldn't resist that vitamin D. It was a short lived walk due to the cold temperatures but it felt great to get outside. We followed it up by going on our first errand together. Seems like no big deal but after weeks of anxiety inducing hormones surging through my body, it felt great to do something so normal and without the nervous worrying that seems to have hovered over me for the first two weeks.

And up next...some newborn photos. Stay tuned!



This past weekend: a reflection on my first Mother's Day.

I know what you're thinking. Why hasn't she posted anything about Mother's Day yet?!

There are a few reasons really that I haven't mentioned it until now. Let me start by saying that it's not for lack of appreciating the weekend. Evelyn Rose finally met my maternal grandmother, which was long overdue. I visited my childhood home to spend the weekend with my immediate family, sans any husbands or boyfriends, the five of us (plus one, if we're counting my newest addition) which hasn't happened in I-don't-even-remember how long. I had an amazing few days filled with family backyard garden party luncheons, making my first cake from scratch (a delicious three layers of lemon and blueberry with cream cheese frosting), lovely flowers sent from my NJ family and catching up with a childhood friend. All in all, everything went extraordinary. What I didn't do? Feel pressure to stop said activities so that I could blog about every moment of what I was experiencing. I also couldn't quite bring myself to mimic all of the other mamas out there who chose to post endearing love letters to their offspring. Mother's Day in the past (and present still, sadly, for many) stung my heart and was an all too painful reminder of my inability to accomplish what I so desperately wanted: a family. Those time worn emotions from years of infertility don't just disappear forever when you finally achieve your dreams of motherhood. I think I'll always carry with me a lurking sensitivity to the pain of others out there still trying to accomplish what I too so desperately wanted at one point.

With all of that being said, I will also admit that Miss Evelyn Rose has had an exhausting week. Late nights and fussy days don't readily make a mama bear who has the time or energy to sort through and edit photos for other's enjoyment. Nevertheless, I will leave you with a small handful here that I didn't share elsewhere.

ROSYRILLI.COM First Mother's Day
ROSYRILLI.COM First Mother's Day
ROSYRILLI.COM First Mother's Day
ROSYRILLI.COM First Mother's Day
ROSYRILLI.COM First Mother's Day

Warmly,

My darling 4 month old.

Dearest friends and family,

I promised to dedicate and fill this space with photographs of sweet Miss Evelyn Rose and today I plan to deliver! In honor of her four month birthday, a mini photo shoot took place in the early light of this morning. Here, I shall share with you, too, those darling little cheeks...both the grumpy and the smiley!

ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
If there was a thought bubble above this next photo, it would most definitely read, "Are YOU talking to ME?!?"
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
And a few more because, well... I just couldn't help myself :)
My drooly baby:
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old
ROSYRILLI.COM Evelyn Rose at 4 months old

Warmly,

What to do when your 3 month old has a mullet.

Baby bath time in our home is almost always followed by some sink sitting time with the blow dryer for our little one. That hair! I never in a million years imagined my child would have such great lengths, especially given that my own hair grows at such a snail's pace. I'm pretty much inept at hair styles. Never was I one for braids, fancy updo's or anything of the sort so this is all unfamiliar territory to me.

On lazy afternoons, much like today, when I've proclaimed it a Stay-In-Our-PJ's kind of day, we both go au-naturale with our manes. She'll be four months old shortly though and I'm slowly accepting that with those long locks, I've got to seriously step up my hair game. We started out slow, with blow dryer + side swooped bow clip, however, I quickly realized that although long, her hair isn't quite thick enough to hold a bow on its own. Next came the ever-popular one small tuft of hair, standing up tall, with tiny hair elastics and a bow. Since then, we've experimented with the pigtails.

I think I may have just found our winner. Not only do the double duo adequately hide the mullet, but it also gives her the illusion of bangs since her hair's short in the front and long in the back. It's a win win! 

Stay-In-Our-PJ's day, seen below:
ROSYRILLI.COM Stay in Pjs day
ROSYRILLI.COM Stay in Pjs day
Some more shots of our messy hair day photos, which I'm required to share, because c'mon... do baby smiles get any cuter!? Also, seen here: The Mullet, in all of its glory.
ROSYRILLI.COM Mullets and baby pigtails.
ROSYRILLI.COM Mullets and baby pigtails.
ROSYRILLI.COM Mullets and baby pigtails.
ROSYRILLI.COM Mullets and baby pigtails.
Next up, may I introduce our first attempt at pigtails! 
ROSYRILLI.COM Mullets and baby pigtails.
ROSYRILLI.COM Mullets and baby pigtails.
ROSYRILLI.COM Mullets and baby pigtails.

Ps. No, that is not a nose piercing on my daughter. She somehow manages to nick her tiny face even after I've trimmed those fingernails of hers!

Warmly,