Monday, October 14, 2013


I am going back to work tomorrow after an unbelievable 14 weeks of maternity leave.  As I rocked Remy to sleep last night, she reached her little hand up to mine and grabbed my thumb. I totally lost it. Tears rained down my cheeks in a confused display of both sadness & happiness.  This is not because I don't love my job ... it's because I DO love being a mom.  
Our little snuggle baby
If someone offered me another 14 weeks in exchange for starting all over again -  sleepless nights spent watching a monitor, hazy days spent glued to a couch while feeding, changes in the way my clothes fit, showers that end before shampoo is rinsed out of my hair, cold late-night dinners eaten with one hand - YES. My answer would be YES. In a heartbeat.  Here are 3 reasons why: 
  • I am a great mom.  In a blog written before Remy's arrival, I questioned whether I would be a good mother. I've since found myself apologizing to Remy because she's a bit of a guinea pig. Sometimes her head gets stuck when I take her shirt off or she gets soap in her eyes while she's taking a bath.   She often naps in her carseat so I can run errands.  I missed seeing the first time she rolled-over without my help. I've walked around with spit-up on my shoulder for God knows how long until I finally noticed.  I don't have her on a perfect "schedule." There are days when I forget to read her a book.   BUT, I am a great mom and I am reminded of this every single time she smiles and laughs at me.  I'm far, far from perfect - but Remy knows exactly how much I love her. And I believe that's really all that matters. 
Remy's first time swimming (she loved it)! 
  • Remy is a great daughter. A few weeks ago, my mom held Remy up to a mirror, looked at her and repeatedly asked her to "say boo!" Remy eventually formed her lips in a puckered "boo" shape and very slowly let the noise escape - as if she was trying to blow a bubble! She did it over and over and over again, just having so much fun imitating the word.  Today when we ask Remy to "say boo" she says it with a very loud assurance - "BOO!"  So, she's officially ready for Halloween :)   She has also found her hands and loves to put them in her mouth. If Jonny looks at her and pretends to suck on his thumb, she'll mimic him and do the same.  She gives us big smiles when we fan a blanket up and down in front her her face while saying "peek-a-boo!" And she loves to drop toys off the little tray on her booster seat because she knows we'll pick them up for her. We're enamored with her every move and completely wrapped around her finger. 

  • I now understand "time flies."    Many people advised me to enjoy my time off because babies grow so fast. They were right.  It seems like yesterday I was holding a 7lb sweet pea who could curl up on the inside of my elbow. Today I'm juggling our pork chop between my arms every few minutes because she's grown so sweetly chubby.  My greatest hope upon returning to work is that I will relish those few precious hours before bedtime on weekdays. The dishes can wait.  Life is so busy and if I don't take the time to stop, I'll miss the opportunity to absorb moments (big & small) of Remy's brave new world.   

Remy's first trip to Chicago ("bean baby")

I keep telling myself that if I wasn't a little bit sad about returning to work, that might mean that I didn't enjoy the past 14 weeks. Despite how quickly the time passed, I am so fortunate and thankful for the time we had together. Remy was born in July and we've had the most beautiful summer/fall. We went for a walk together almost everyday and occasionally, we'd walk to a nearby restaurant for an afternoon "ladies who lunch" date. I loved those quiet afternoons and having people stop at our table to oooh-and-ahhh over how much she looks like a little Cabbage Patch doll.  After lunch we'd go home and I would tell her that we were just going to snuggle the rest of the day. Despite my best intentions, the truth is that Remy eventually became bored of the snuggles. She'd refuse to look at me or she'd huff and puff with total distaste for however I was trying to entertain her at the moment.  When this happened, I would lay her down on her jungle playmat or at the little piano she can play with her tootsie-toes and she'd entertain herself for a super long time.  I used to feel bad about this --- how could my daughter not want to play with me? Doesn't she love me? Are her teen years kicking in already? No, you dork. She just needs some space. And sometimes, so does mama.  
I plan on going back to work with a renewed sense of confidence. Wisdom. Independence. Balance. With a greater appreciation for ALL women who play the life changing role of a mother. Because whether we work inside or outside the home, we're all working. And each of us would gladly work our asses off climbing to the top of the coldest, highest, most rugged mountain if it meant we could make our kids happy.   That's all I could ever ask for our little Remy girl: happiness. From the looks of things, we're off to a pretty good start.  

Friday, September 13, 2013


Remy is now 2 months old - weighing in at a whopping 11 lbs. and measuring 22.75" long. 

Everything has changed since I have become a mother, mostly in coming to understand that love has an infinite ability to grow.  

We are born with the capacity to love and to be loved. We first learn love from our parents. That love soon expands to other relationships: siblings, grandparents, extended family, friends, pets. Fast forward to the day that you commit to sharing your life with your best friend ... and even more forward to the moment you open your minds and arms to a child.  I now think about the potential for Remy to be joined by a brother or sister. And cousins. For the day that she might come home and tell us that she's going to marry her best friend. She may one day have a baby and then we will become grandparents, passing down the lessons we are learning from our parents (which they learned from their parents). And so on ... and so it beautifully goes. 

Remy has changed me in physical ways too. My legs, covered in bruises the size of Remy's feet. Little markings of her bouncing up and down on my lap all day long. Though tiny, she is strong in both muscle and will.

My shoulders, hunched more on the left than the right. A symbol of the nook I have created for Remy's head between my chin & collarbone. I have cried very peaceful tears a few times in this snuggled-up moment, so very relaxed in the comfort of our embrace. 

My mind, a magnet that radiates invisible electricity between us. I often wake only to hear her first noises of the day a few minutes later, a combination of mother's intuition and excitement to see my daughter's first enormous, gummy grin of the day. 

My heart, so full of strength and of pride.  When I first became pregnant and started writing this blog, I captured my hope that at each doctor's appointment, we would hear Remy's heart beat proudly & strongly; a declaration of her fearless intent to join us in this world.  Now, it's my heart that beats proudly & strongly with every repetitious coo. With every push up she does on the floor. With every giggle so carefree and surprising that it makes you realize just how big love really is. 

Friday, August 9, 2013



I've always loved to cook and doing so usually means following some sort of a structured recipe. Do you want to know what I've learned since becoming a mom? There is no recipe. Sure, there are books and blogs and magazines. Many of which I purchased prior to Remy's arrival, a few of which I read, and most of which I've now retired to my dust-collecting pile.  There are people who gave valuable "there's no handbook for parenting" advice before Remy arrived, which I stored it in the back of my mind, but never fully understood. And now, here I am. Writing about the lack of a "parenting recipe" and raising my hand in admission that I often wish there was one. But since there's not, I've boiled our "recipe" down to some short words about how we are raising Remy: 

#1)  We love her. Every stinking little inch of her. We love holding her hand and we love her strong-willed personality. We love watching her change each day. We love that she's made our family of two a family of three. We love that she's starting to smile and to discover her hands. We love watching her eyes open wide and then temporarily cross when she sees contrasting colors.  We love her all day long. No matter what recipe you choose to follow, love is always the most important ingredient. 
#2) We will do anything to soothe her. Some say swaddle. Some say carrier. Some say pack-and-play. Some say pacifier. We say, ALL of all of those things - at the same time! When all else fails, we take her for a walk without time-of-day or weather restrictions. Midnight walks in the rain included. 
#3) We let her sleep. And when she sleeps, we don't wake her up. Even when she naps for 4 hours, a quiet emptiness fills the house, and Mom feels super tempted to awaken her beautiful little girl so she has someone to play with ... we let her sleep. 
 #4) We nickname her: 

  • Snorker - because she snorts when she disapproves of something. 
  • Bunny - because she sleeps in a bunny rocker. 
  • RemStar -  because she is (obviously) awesome and has a great ear for music. 
  • Sugarplum - because there's nothing sweeter in this world. 
  • Miss Mouth - because she eats. all. the. time.  One of her trademark moves is to put a tiny-fingered fist over her mouth and to shake her head like a wild woman. 

And she's always dressed in a way that warrants such nicknames - our pink little diva: 

#5) We whistle.  This is one of our favorite Remy-faces. 
#6) We make bathtime the most exciting 7 minutes of our whole day.  If there was a world record for how many times one could "oooohhhh" and "ahhhhhhh"  in 7 minutes, we'd win.  This type of exasperated excitement also applies to changing diapers, a time during which we make such an overjoyed fuss that you'd think Remy was taking her first steps.
#7) We remind her that while she's the mini-Queen of Hotel Pritchard, there were two Princes here before her. Sometimes, they need just as much love and attention.  
#8) We sing her funny songs about absolutely, ridiculously nothing ... because those are the songs she loves best! And when even the wackiest songs don't entertain her, we call the Grandmas (KiKi and Grammy) for reinforcement! 

#9) We go boating. The family that boats together, stays together. And as we learned last weekend, the baby that goes for a boat ride is a sleepy, cozy baby. 
#10) We trust our instincts.  Right after Remy was born in the hospital, a nurse handed her to Jonny. He looked at her for about five seconds, started rocking her, and said "it's amazing how natural this feels when it's your own baby."   Truer words have never been spoken, and we remind ourselves of that moment almost everyday.  We are blessed with a miraculous daughter who is purely and simply, ours.  This delicious recipe has filled our home with the smells of questioning and discovery. Sleepiness and hunger. Innocence and trust. Curiosity and wonder. Grace and perfection. Life will never be the same. Or more complete. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013


... I drafted this blog post in the very early hours of July 8th (needed something to distract me from the contractions), which happened to be the day we welcomed our beautiful Remy Catherine into the world!   Although it's no longer necessary to post/share, I wanted to do so because I love having the memory of how we spent our last week as a family of two! 

Every once in an uncommon while, I run late.  And most of the time, I embrace this little piece of me. You see, dear friends, I am what they call "a poker."  For those that don't recognize the term, let me elaborate. I'll get out of the shower and feel completely paralyzed about blow-drying my hair until I have first started a load of laundry, checked my email (a 3rd time), poured another cup of coffee, scratched the dogs' ears, waited to hear the weather forecast on the news, etc.  Being the very patient and smart husband that he is, Jonny tells me he knows "not to rush a good thing" and trusts that I will make it out the door - even if that means our day starts 10 minutes behind schedule. 
C'mon little baby ---- mama's about to pop and papa's getting antsy! 
It appears Baby P follows his mama's footsteps in this way, because he or she is presently a day late. But we fear not. And we stress not. And this is because we know the little lady or gentleman is just poking around - doing the little last minute things that he/she needs to feel fully prepared for an entrance to this world.  And also, because we know better than to rush a good thing.  But a little encouragement never hurts, so I spent our entire due-date (July 7th) cleaning the blinds in our house; squatting up & down. Trying to encourage Little One to hurry his/her little bootie up! 
Just keep moving ... keep moving ... keep moving! 
There has been a rain cloud perpetually stuck over the Midwest for the past week, which resulted in lots of indoor time. But the clouds briefly opened up for us on July 4th and we had a nice little afternoon/evening with our neighbors.  In true 'Merica fashion, we grilled out and set off some fireworks, or "rocketships" as our 4 year-old friend (Colt) called them. 
Run, run, run away! 
Colt & Ila's first "sparklers" :) They LOVED them! 
One afternoon we were so sick of the rain we decided to just embrace it and head to an outdoor Vintage Marketplace. We strolled the various booths, umbrella-free and unfazed by the raindrops that rolled through our hair and down our cheeks.  Jonny almost purchased a vintage Trombone, but a young boy was also really enthusiastic about it ... so Jonny quietly walked away.  I've always known that Jonny will be a remarkable father, but it never gets old to witness little moments like that.  
Anyone wanna buy a robot?
And speaking of fathers ... Jonny's dad came to visit us yesterday! He and Jonny built some awesome new cabinets for our kitchen, which are going to replace these icky shelves that came with the house when we bought it a few years ago.  New cabinets mean that we can install a new microwave over our stove, that my cookbooks can be displayed, and that Baby P will have a proper cabinet for lots of cute little dishes, cups, bowls, etc.  We both stood in front of the microwave for 5 minutes last night; pushing all the buttons with widely-amused eyes, reading instructions on how to set the clock, and basking in the glow of 2013 technology.   You know, just parents-to-be, poking around.  
New cabinet and microwave --- this extra space is going to be awesome! 

Monday, July 1, 2013


Everyone told us that our baby would eventually reach the size of a mini watermelon. 
Well friends, “eventually” has become “reality.” And it shows.
One week to go! ... will there be another chalkboard picture? 
Conley keeps waiting & waiting in the nursery. 
This past Friday night was date-night!  We hopped in the car and Jonny jokingly started playing music from the 1940’s on Sirius. We started talking about what it must have been like to be a famous music artist in the 1940’s and eventually started having the conversation in our best 1940’s dialect. I was “Babs,” a glamorous songstress who loved the spotlight.  Jonny was “Harold,” my manager and husband.  I share this only because the stories we created for our characters made us laugh and laugh and LAUGH --- it’s a memory I never want to forget.
Some date nights are just perfect. This was one of them. 
Jonny planned a date at an organic farm called Trader’s Point Creamery, which hosts “Dinner on the Deck” every Friday during the summer.  The event features a farmers market, live music, and a locally-curated meal.   We were seated outside under a big tree, enjoyed the sun’s rays shining on our faces, soaked in the beautiful view of Indiana’s green grass, listened to relaxing music, and feasted on the most delicious dinner.  If I become a cow in another life, I want to live at Trader’s Point Creamery.  

Honey Balsamic Salmon, Rice, Spinach, & Bean Salads
Blueberry Pie w/ farm-made ice cream

Handsome Husband of Mine

Saturday night we attended the wedding of our friends Meghan & Brandon, who we actually helped to introduce at a Halloween party two years ago. It was a beautiful day to celebrate such a dynamic couple and they had really fun details at their reception (milk & cookie bar anyone??)!

Our last doctor’s appointment was another great one – baby’s heartrate is 144 beats/minute and everything is right-on-track. We have our next appointment this Friday, unless Baby decides to come sooner.  We’re waiting on pins-and-needles to find out if we are having a son or a daughter!

I continue to stay busy and keep my mind occupied. Too much down-time means too much time to focus on “WHEN IS THIS BABY GOING TO ARRIVE??”  And on that note, I’m off to get a pedicure J

Friday, June 28, 2013


I am making a playlist of songs to bring with us to the hospital, just in case we need a little distraction, some calm, or a boost of energy.  Below are a few that I have on the list so far.  

Anyone have other suggestions of other songs to add?  

·         “Love On Top”– Beyonce

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


We’re only 11 days away from Little One’s ETA! 
Week 38 - only two weeks to go! 
We had a fantastic time with Jonny’s family last weekend!  Sean was in town after six months working overseas, which was so fun because we had not seen him since revealing the news over Christmas that he was going to be an Uncle.  Sean’s visit also provided the perfect opportunity to ask him if he would be Little One’s Godfather - he loves kiddos and we know he is going to do an awesome job!  We also celebrated Deb’s birthday and Father’s Day with Stan. It was beautiful to witness Stan & Deb’s obvious happiness that exuded from having both of their boys together under one roof --- “all the chicks in the nest.”  Baby P will soon experience the blessings of having such fun grandparents and uncles! 
Sean, Deb, and JP sampling Indy microbrews at Brew-Ha-Ha on Mass Ave. 
This week kicked-off my maternity leave and I didn’t realize just how much I needed this refreshing time until it actually started. I went to a friend’s pool for a few hours on Monday, which reminded me of my childhood definition of “summer.”  Movements in the water felt weightless and effortless and free.  It took so much pressure off my hips and when I left the pool, all I could think about was that I want a pool in our backyard!  Does Target sell kiddie-pools for adults?   
Poolside Relaxing! 
I have been washing all of Baby’s clothes, bedding, and blankies and have started reading a few books that have (admittedly) been collecting dust since we first learned of our pregnancy. One of these books is called Great With Child and was recommended by my friend Chandra – an educator, dedicated wife, exceptional mother to a cutie-patootie named Lincoln, and an entrepreneur (check out her simplification + organization business here)!  While lounging poolside, a certain paragraph in Great With Child stuck out to me: 
Relating to this paragraph
This book (and our beautiful friends & family), continue to reinforce that everything I am experiencing is normal.  The exhaustion. The splatter of emotions.  The nesting. It’s all part of the path that leads to a new life – a life of “pixie prints that no one else can make.”