Getting back to the “real world”

All smiles on Monday morning for her first day

We survived our first week of daycare! I almost can’t believe how quickly my maternity leave flew by and how our little Heidi will be 3 months old in a few days.

Dropping her off on Monday was difficult but I kept my tears away until after I left the school. I know she’s in good hands but I was more upset about not seeing her happy face all day long. The great thing is that everyday I picked her up she saw me and smiled, which pretty much made my heart explode over and over again. Thank God she missed me.. or maybe just missed the boob, but whatever, that’s me too lol!

I was lucky to have a trial transition this week instead of having to jump back into a full-time work day. I’m sort of in this limbo period between jobs as my current company moves our office to Miami and my new gig gets ramped up. So I put in a few hours a day at the new place to help get us used to an early morning routine and figure out how much time it takes to get us both ready and packed to get out the door. My new office is only about 20 minutes from the daycare in evening traffic so I’m really glad the commute is much closer; it helps with my worry about being on the other side of town from my girl.

Of course being in a new environment has its challenges but overall Heidi is adjusting very well. She doesn’t sleep as much while she’s at school so the evenings this week have been extra sleepy. She woke up for a dream feed 3/5 nights which I wasn’t used to but she went back down easily so I could still get some rest before the alarm went off. 

It was nice to have some more structure to our days this week and for me to feel more like me again with work. Don’t get me wrong, I loved maternity leave and the lazy days and no-limit flexibility but I like working and I’m looking forward to having something for myself again. I’m sure I’ll have days of extreme mom guilt because I’ll miss the small things throughout the day but we’ll find our right balance and Heidi will still be a happy girl, make friends and learn her independence. And I’ll have a reason to get up and make myself presentable to society and contribute to growing a business. 

This will be our new norm soon. I’m mournful and excited for the next step in motherhood. I don’t have a newborn on my hands anymore.

First St. Paddy’s Day


Two Months New

Well, this is two days late because we’ve had a fussy week and we were also just living life.

Heidi wrapped up her eight week developmental leap with her first round of vaccinations. 😦 She’s been hungrier the last week and crying more without much reason. Sometimes so loud and pitiful that my insides literally hurt and on one occasion I even cried with her. It’s been a little challenging as we’d gotten used to an always happy, smiling baby but as they say, “this too shall pass”. We know she’s growing and she just needs us there for comfort and support. Being a baby is hard sometimes! 

This month I learned being a mom sometimes means feeding your baby in the backseat of your car in a parking lot on more than one occasion or while standing in a one stall bathroom. I also learned that babies need sunscreen for their sweet, fair skin. 

The first month of her life we were getting to know her and learn her and it was a whirlwind. This second month I feel like we’re finally settling into being parents and getting the hang of things. I’ve noticed changes in her more now than in her first month.

Heidi is holding her head up and looking around like a champ. She’s cooing and smiling every day. She’s gripping things and becoming a little more fluid in her movement. She shows that she recognizes mommy and daddy; her smile could melt the coldest heart, I swear.

I retired her newborn clothes the other night. *tear* She’s still thin enough to fit them but too long! She’s taking after her auntie Sof. 

Heidi also learned to breastfeed without a nipple shield (maybe TMI for some but it’s my blog and I want to document important things!). There was no transition; it was like something just clicked in her brain and she was able to latch without one. A huge step in our breastfeeding journey and one thing that I hope helps us get to the one year mark. I’ve also just started pumping to prepare for going back to the real world — it’s intriguing and cumbersome, to say the least.

I’ve met several other moms in our neighborhood this past month which has been great! We’ve done Friday play dates and weekday walks at the park. We’re going to get together with the dads in a few weeks at a brewery and also have a mommy’s night out. I’m so glad to connect with other moms nearby and for Heidi to have some friends to play with as she grows. 

I’m going to be soaking up every last day of my maternity leave before I go back to work in two and a half weeks. I’ve truly enjoyed being home and snuggling with Heidi these last two months. It’s been so special in building our bond outside of the womb. 

It’s crazy that she’s such a huge part of my life now and I’ve gotten so used to being with her that any short period I’m away from her I feel like I’m missing something. I know the time will come when I will beg for five minutes solo but for now I’m cherishing my mini sidekick.

Heidi’s One Month Recap

I took a nap when we got home from dinner tonight and Chris woke me up (since I apparently ignored my alarm) so I could put Heidi to bed. After he changed her I did my usual routine of feeding her and swaddling her then I laid her in her rock and play to go to sleep. 

Typically she is half asleep after her last feed so when I lay her down she’s quick to fade. She was awake when I laid her down tonight but not fussy. So I got up to wash some bottles and such, brush my teeth and get ready for bed. 

Maybe 10 min later when I was done I went to Heidi’s room to check on her, figuring she fell asleep because there hadn’t been a peep. I turn on my cell phone to shine over her to make sure she’s asleep but instead she’s smiling up at me wide eyed with her little hand propped under her chin. My heart practically melted on the floor!

I scooped that angel up immediately and sat in the recliner and rocked her to sleep while I talked to and prayed over her. 

That was one of those moments you just know you need to cherish because it won’t last forever. I welled up with tears as I thought. She won’t always be such a good girl. She won’t always be so tiny. She won’t always want to be held. So I took advantage and am locking this memory up in my heart. I love that girl to pieces.

Mommy and daddy’s first date!

This month Heidi’s height is almost 22″ and her weight is about 9.5 lbs. She’s still wearing newborn clothes and 0-3 sizes are a little big on her. I don’t mind because I’m glad we’re getting some wear out of things and to be completely honest, momma isn’t ready to let go of newborn status!

Her sleeping patterns are still pretty regular, about 4-5 times a day and she’s mostly sleeping 6-8 hour stretches at night now. She’s been sleeping through the night for the most part since day 2 home and can sleep through noise like a champ! She is becoming more alert and awake as the weeks pass.

Her feeding schedule is every 3-4 hours except at night when she goes longer. I love watching her eat, she’s always so focused and her milk drunk faces still make me giggle.

Some sounds and motions she makes are a little bit of cooing and stretching her arms out or kicking her legs. We’ve been doing tummy time daily the last week or so and she’s getting good at pushing up and holding her head up or turning it from side to side.

She likes when daddy talks to her and gives her kisses. She also loves going for walks in the stroller. She dislikes being wiped down and changed into new clothes.

Being a sweet girl at my one month check up

Her favorite toy is her little jungle kick and play piano mat and the singing owl bar on her car seat. She loves the peaceful piano playlist on Spotify. 

Vision Boarding 2017

The start to this new year was unlike any past years but that doesn’t mean I’m not setting goals and laying out a vision for what I want 2017 to look like. I’ve never been good at sticking to resolutions but vision boarding was definitely something I could get on board with (see what I did there? Hah!). 

My gal pals and I started a tradition last year to kick off the New Year with a vision board party. What better way to set goals than to have your close friends around to share with and keep you accountable in the months to come? 

My 2016 vision board

While I did check off several of the things I laid out on last year’s vision board, being pregnant for the better part of 2016 altered things a bit. But that’s the beauty of this project — it’s there for you to visualize what you want to achieve but it’s not set in stone. It’s meant to keep your list at the top of your mind and motivate you to accomplish things.

Gal pals, wine, laughter and crafting!

To get started on your own vision board all you need is a list of goals, an idea about how you want to visualize them and the supplies you need to make it happen. I personally love collaging but some of my girlfriends like to use push pins and a bulletin board. Check out my friend Mel’s video on vision boarding

This year I decided instead of making a poster to display in my bedroom I wanted to create my vision board in my monthly planner. This way it’s almost always around for me to flip open to when I need to refocus.

I selected a patterned page from a magazine to serve as the background of my board and got to work cutting out words that represent the things I want to focus on in 2017. Before I knew it, my vision board had come together and positive vibes were flowing! 

Here’s a rundown of my 2017 vision:

Mom – Front and center on the page and in my life for the first time is my new role as a mommy. And as such, much of this year will revolve around that. This includes learning to parent alongside my husband, spending quality time together creating memories and establishing traditions for our little family.

You – While I do have a new title as mom, I also don’t want to lose sight of who I am. This is really important to me! This includes healing and being healthy in mind, body and soul. One of my goals is to get back to running and complete at least two 5Ks this year. Also, my job is changing and I am determined to grow professionally through that.

Blogger – Last year I was accepted into the Houston Food Blogger Collective but again, being pregnant got in the way of me really diving into that opportunity. I love exploring local food & drink and I want to get back to date nights and making that a regular thing so I can blog about it. 

Books – This ties in several things. I asked for an Audible subscription for Christmas because I knew I’d spend a lot of “down time” breastfeeding and pumping and I figured it would be a good time to engage my mind. I always liked reading but I typically find myself too occupied or sleepy to read and I want to change that. Additionally, at church this past Sunday our pastor introduced 4 books that we will be reading as a congregation throughout the year. I am really excited that my personal goals are being supported through church! “Books” also serves as a reminder to me to spend more time in scripture this year.

Serve with love – Another double meaning, so to speak. I want to find somewhere to volunteer my time this year as well as regularly open our home to friends and family for home cooked meals and great conversations.

Travel – The one consistent thing I strive for from year to year. Traveling really nurtures my free spirit. I love how it challenges me and teaches me new things. I love the way it makes time seem different and my heart feel excited. It’s important to experience new places as often as I can and I want to continue to share that with Chris and introduce Heidi to adventure outside of Houston.

Cup of Tea – This serves to remind me of the importance of friendships. My girlfriends and I make it a point to get together at least once a month to catch up and enjoy each other’s company, whether over tea, brunch, crafting or a weekend getaway. Relationships are the core of our existence and I want to nurture the ones that I have.

So that’s vision boarding in a nutshell. What’s on your agenda for 2017?

Heidi’s Birth Story

Let me start by saying that every birth story is special, despite if it turned out the way you wanted or expected or not. Our bodies are truly amazing and to bring another human into the world is a true feat. While Heidi’s birth didn’t go the way I had envisioned, she’s here and she’s healthy and I’m healing quickly so I’m choosing to see it positively.

I wanted to document Heidi’s birth before the details fade more than they already have in her first three weeks on this earth. I won’t make it graphic but it is a birth story so here we go…

I had an OBGYN appointment and ultrasound scheduled for the 22nd of December, a few days after my due date to make sure everything was still ok with my amniotic fluid levels and placenta. I knew there was a possibility of having to be induced that day but everything had been so great for my entire pregnancy up until that point so even though in the back of my mind I knew there was a chance I sort of dismissed it. Well, less than two minutes into the ultrasound the tech informed us she was going to send us to the hospital that day to be checked in for an induction. I immediately started crying. I wanted my baby girl to come when she was ready, wanted my body to naturally go into labor, wanted to labor in the comfort of our home with my husband. Not to mention I wasn’t mentally prepared that day. I’m supposed to have a few more days at least, I thought to myself. 

My last bump pic.

The next thing I knew we were headed home to pick up our bags, meeting with my doctor and getting admitted. The first few hours we were in a tiny room where nurses were monitoring me while we waited for a labor and delivery room to free up (apparently late December is a pretty busy time of year for births). 
It was about 2pm when we got checked in and I was so hungry. We had a late breakfast and had planned on grabbing lunch after my appointment but I was instructed that I couldn’t eat because of the induction. Well, at about 5pm we were still in the small room and somehow it was decided I wouldn’t be induced until midnight so I was cleared to eat. At that point my mom was headed up to the hospital and I requested Chick-Fil-A for my “last meal”. 

Shortly afterward we were moved into a nice big L&D room and the next few hours were spent killing time chatting and watching TV. 

Watching Big Bang Theory for comfort.

At midnight our nurse started me on pitocin to get things going. I was about 3cm dilated to start. I labored for about 4 hours until I was 5cm. The contractions were coming about every 4-5 minutes and while they were pretty uncomfortable they weren’t unbearable but it was almost 4am by that point and I was so tired. I decided I didn’t think I could go however many more hours with increasing pain and no sleep and be able to push when the time came so I asked for the epidural. 

Let me tell you, while the pain subsides after the epidural, getting it placed hurt like eff. It seemed like it only worked on one side at first so the anesthesiologist had to adjust it, working between my 3 minute apart contractions. 

After that I was more relaxed and was able to get about 2-3 hours of sleep. When I woke up we realized my water had broken. There was a window of time that was fuzzy to me, I suppose as a result of being exhausted and on meds. 

Next thing I knew it was about noon and I was 9.5cm. I somehow developed a fever so I was being monitored more closely as it was time to start pushing. I felt every urge to push as the contractions were coming and I was pushing like hell with all my determination. Baby girl was in posterior position, meaning her head was down but facing up, so the doctor was in there trying to flip her to be face down. She was able to rotate her but after two hours of pushing it was evident that this little one was just not going to fit. I wanted to refuse that it wasn’t going to happen naturally but my mom and Chris saw where she was getting stuck and both told me that the doctor was right. The doctor had been super encouraging and patient with me but at that point she was suggesting that I go in for a c-section for the safety of me and the baby and before more happened down there so I wouldn’t be nursing two wounds. 

They let our parents come in one at a time to kiss me before going into the operating room. I was balling. Again, not how I wanted things to go but I was praying and trying my darnedest to be flexible and reassure myself it would be well worth it the moment she arrived. 

The OR was so cold and Chris was escorted to another room to get scrubs on while they prepped me. I could hear everyone bustling about and I felt so alone and helpless laying there knowing I was about to be cut open. The nurse tending to me was so sweet, she put a heated blanket across my chest and asked what kind of music I wanted to listen to and the doctor told her we liked upbeat music because we had been listening to a playlist with artists like Major Lazer and George Ezra while I was pushing. 

Soon after, Chris was in the room with me and I instantly felt secure again. I could feel tugging and pressure and could hear and smell everything and just like that I heard Heidi’s little cry for a few short seconds. SHE’S HERE!! Praise Jesus!! Our sweet baby girl was finally here after the most challenging 24 hours of my life. 

First look at our precious daughter!

But again, I was in for disappointment. They whisked her away to clean her up and get her measurements and such. But because of my fever earlier, my placental infection and our different blood types she needed to go to the NICU for antibiotics. I didn’t get the chance to take advantage of the “golden hour” or stare at the little thing I had just worked so hard to bring into the world. Again, a crying mess. I guess I should have mentioned that I’m a pretty sensitive person as is, in addition to all the extra hormones that were pumping through me at that point. 

Heidi Lynn Anderson born at 2:55pm on 12-23-16. 7lbs 15oz and 19 3/4″.

Chris was able to go with her to NICU and stay with her while they stitched me up. Afterward I was taken to the post partum unit to rest and wait. And wait. And wait. I was able to see family but Heidi wouldn’t be brought up to our room until about 5 or 6 hours later. It felt like forever and I was hurting and feeling sad. 

Once I had her in my arms I never wanted to let go! She was so pathetic looking with all the monitor cords hanging from her and her little IV splint. But what a strong little human at the same time.

Finally going to get to hold her!

The next three days in the hospital were some of the hardest I’ve ever experienced. I was so swollen and could hardly move because of my incision. I never could give myself enough credit that I had just had a major surgery done. Getting in and out of bed was a chore. We so take for granted being able to do simple things like going to the bathroom. We also had some challenges with breastfeeding and latching to start as she had been given formula in the NICU and I was pumping to supplement with colostrum. 

I am eternally grateful for the care that the nurses provided to me, emotionally just as much as physically (because I was a crying mess several times). I could also never thank Chris enough for being so supportive and helpful and for seeing past the unattractive things he had to see as my body began to mend and learn how to provide for our new baby. 

Getting some quality time with daddy.

Child birth is a process and while it’s definitely a thrill it also comes with its challenges and things you just have to experience to understand. We had educated ourselves before the actual labor and delivery but even then no one tells you all the details. You could probably never be completely prepared for this sort of thing. But then again, sometimes ignorance is bliss! 

Showering and putting on my own clothes after more than 72 hours felt amazing!

I was glad I didn’t have a birth plan that I was married to. I had a vision for what I wanted but ultimately I knew I wasn’t in control, just like I wasn’t really in control throughout pregnancy. I’ve learned time and again that God has a way of working things out and our story is no less special than the next so there’s no reason to beat myself up over something that wasn’t fully in my hands. 

Feelings about the first week with Heidi

The past week has been an absolute whirlwind. I’ve gone from being impatiently pregnant and trying to do things to induce labor naturally, to being medically induced and requiring a c-section, to being at home on maternity leave with the cutest little human I’ve ever laid eyes on. 

I’ll save Heidi’s birth story for another post but I wanted to get out some feelings about the first few days home with her.
We were discharged from the hospital the afternoon of the 26th. We stopped at the store and Chris ran in to grab my prescriptions and some snacks while I sat in the back seat staring at our soundly sleeping new daughter. We were on our own from that point forward. 

Our house was so clean and tidy before her arrival. Now our kitchen looks like a convenience store with all the breastfeeding snacks. Her bedroom isn’t perfect and tidy anymore from Christmas gifts and laundry laying on the floor. Our bathroom looks like a hospital. And there is stuff just laying around the house because I don’t have the energy or motivation to do much more than feed and stare at Heidi. And nap of course. Honestly, the “mess” is not ideal but it’s just not priority either.

I don’t want Heidi to be a week old, it went too quickly. I want her to stay this tiny forever. I think about her getting bigger and me not remembering every little detail about this stage and it makes me so sad. I think about how perfect and amazing God is. He specifically created our bodies to recreate. This gorgeous little babe with intent eyes, her daddy’s nose, a picture-perfect mouth, 10 tiny shaped fingers and toes and the softest skin was formed inside me from nothing even remotely human looking. It’s hard for me to believe she was like this in my belly. He is a miracle worker! She is a miracle and she was made just for us.

I want to remember her squeaks as she settles down, the way she lays her little hand on my chest and looks at me while I feed her, the little smirk she makes as she’s falling asleep with a full tummy, the way she follows her dad’s voice from across the room, how she sleeps with her hands up around her face, the way she snoozes in her car seat without a peep, her little legs stretching as far as they’ll go with dimples around her knees as she poops, the smell of her soft skin and how she fits so snuggly in my arms.

Everyone always said you’ll never know a love like a mother until you are one. Ain’t that the truth. I’ve never loved anything more than I love my little girl. (Even my dog. And if you know me, you know how much I love Nessie.) Her hint of a smile melts my heart, her milk-drunk face makes me chuckle and the sound of her squealing cry makes me well up with tears. 

I’ve also never loved my husband more. For giving me the greatest gift. For giving me the utmost care while I’ve needed it. For meeting our daughter’s needs without being asked. For continuing to be my equal partner and best friend.
I knew maternity leave would be a nice break from my typical come and go but I never imagined how special it would truly be. Spending time with my little family of three, there’s just nothing that beats it. 

This last week of 2016 I am full. My heart is overflowing with the joy of being a new mommy and entering a new year that will undoubtedly be the start of the greatest adventure I’ll ever experience in my life. 

Heidi Lynn Anderson, you are my sunshine. 

Well Overdue Pregnancy Update

I’ve been meaning to blog for weeks and just haven’t put the effort in to do it.

We are less than a week away from Heidi’s due date! Sometimes I sit and think about how quickly this time has come since we found out we were expecting in April. If it’s gone by this quickly when she’s still in my belly it makes me a little sad to think how fast she will grow and change once she’s here. I’m going to try and savor every little moment of my maternity leave because I know time is fleeting and before I know it I’ll be back at work facing new challenges. 

My emotions are so mixed as we await out daughter’s arrival. Every day I wake up wondering if today will be the day she chooses as her birth day. I get sad/scared/nervous about a tiny human being added to the equation. Sad because the era of just “Sam & Chris” is coming to a close. Scared for a list of reasons but mostly because I’m going to be a new mommy and despite all the info that’s out there to read and advice people give, it’s still a huge change and change can have a scary side. Nervous for delivery and about learning to take care of a baby. 

But I also have excitement/joy/love. Excitement for the next chapter in my life with my husband and starting a family together. Joy for the blessing I’ve been given and the thought of seeing her and touching her for the very first time. And love, for Chris, for our growing baby and for the Lord.

There is much more depth to it all but overall I am grateful for an easy pregnancy and for the love and support we’ve been showered with from the start and will, I’m sure, continue to experience after she arrives. 

I am still feeling pretty good though my feet are swollen by the end of the day, I feel a little achey from time to time and good sleep has become even more difficult. 

Each person in our family has chosen the day they think she will born so now it’s just a waiting game for bragging rights!


Heidi’s nursery was something I didn’t exactly have a clear vision for but I knew I wanted it to be a cozy and special space for our little girl. I wasn’t ever set on a theme but I’m actually pretty proud of how it all came together to be a sweet little abode. It’s not ritzy or professional but Chris and I put effort into small details and every part of the room was intentional and assembled with love throughout the last 9 months. I love that we built this space together from an ugly guest/storage room to a colorful and joyful room!

I cannot wait to lay her in her crib, rock and read to her in the chair and play with her on the floor!