9 months of fun

These past nine (and a half) months with Graham have been a joy. Learning how to be a parent – and a mama especially – isn’t easy, but man is it fun. We’ve figured out how to function on varied amounts of sleep, learned what really makes Graham laugh (making the “horsey” (aka clicking) noise, blowing raspberries on his belly and knocking over towers of blocks) and steeled ourselves to changing the nasty diapers. We’ve made it through several colds, fevers and flying alone with a baby multiple times. (Note to other parents – fly alone with them before 5 months if you want it to be relatively easy. After that – it’s much harder!)

I’m fortunate to still be nursing, and can honestly say I don’t mind the inevitable 5:00 am wake up call when he’s hungry for breakfast. It’s so sweet and peaceful to rock him in his darkened nursery while he eats, his little hand caressing my cheek or more often, pulling my hair. He is a chow hound with solid food – so far the only thing he’s refused were the freshly roasted vegetables I painstakingly cut up for him.  Typical, right?! But seriously, he (and Dolly) routinely clears his plate.

After several weeks of adorably scooting around on his belly like a penguin, Graham finally figured out how to crawl and now putters all over the house, routinely stopping to pull up and investigate the couch, tv remote, dining room chair, or give the dishwasher a kiss. He’s a lover of all, even kitchen appliances.

He’s the maddest when I pick up the dog’s water bowl, close the toilet lid and/or don’t let him look in the open refrigerator. The kitchen is full of joys that are just beyond his reach.

In a nod to his mama’s southern roots, he’s spent the majority of the summer with bare feet. Socks inevitably get kicked off and shoes seemed silly when he can’t walk. However, now that the weather is turning colder, we’ve debuted the shoes and he’s not really noticed the difference. A shoe does make a nice distraction when changing his diaper, however.

Speaking of diapers, I often find myself coming up with lots of (impractical) ideas for ways to make our lives easier. For example, I think there should be a chute that runs from the baby’s bedroom to the outside trash can – like the drive up window at the bank. You could just throw the stinky diapers in the chute and it would go straight to the trash. No more stinky diaper pails to constantly empty!

Another idea I’ve had is to make a baby shower game out of changing the diaper of a baby who can roll over. It’s not easy. This might be the hardest part of my days sometimes (I’m serious.)

We introduced bubbles in his bath a few weeks ago, and man – bath time game changer! He loves those frothy bubbles so much. Now we just need to figure out how to keep him from standing up in the tub. Telling him to “stay seated” doesn’t seem to work just yet.

Amidst all the wonderful moments we’ve had so far with parenting, there have certainly been hard ones too. Perhaps the hardest to date was last week when Karl and I both got the stomach flu at exactly. the. same. time. It was as terrible as it sounds. Two adults taking turns running to the bathroom while trying to give a baby dinner. It was bad. Really bad. Luckily, Graham stayed healthy, didn’t whine that night and actually went to be easily and early.

I could keep this post going indefinitely, but I’ll stop here for now. I can’t believe Graham will be one in December. As parents often say, “the days are long but the years are short.”

Ending the Guilt

My vision for blogging has changed and evolved in different ways for the past 8 years. I started a blog when the idea was still kind of new (at least to me!) as an outlet to document things I found interesting and random very non-earthshattering musings. Then it became a place to showcase creative projects and a landing page for my passions – sewing, decor, floral, handmade and colorful. All along, I’ve wrestled with the notion of what this space “should” be as I’ve compared myself and this space to all the other beautiful sites and creative talents in the blogosphere.

Up until last week, I was considering backing up my old posts for posterity and shutting this blog down. I don’t write much or frequently, I still work full at my day job, my sewing hobby brings in a few extra dollars a month, but not much, and I spend my free time playing with my family & friends, cleaning the house,  and in all honesty – laying on the couch with a Netflix marathon in the background or sitting on the floor folding laundry.  Blogging isn’t a priority and I doubt anyone is even reading this (except maybe my mom! Hi Mom!)

But you know what? I’m officially saying “so what.” I’ll write on this space if/when I feel compelled to do so or when I have something fun to share. I’m done feeling guilty about having a side hustle that I don’t really hustle that much on. I’ll hustle when and how I want to. And that’s ok.

And now I feel compelled to post a few thoughts about the past 9 months with Graham, so I’m going to write that post. And then we’ll see what happens from there.

Graham’s Nursery

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I suppose I should start by introducing you to Graham Oliver! He arrived early in the morning on Dec. 13 and we’ve been in love ever since. The past few months have been filled with quiet days, sleepless nights, lots of snuggles, more than a few tears, endless smiles and sweet adventures along the way. I can’t wait to see what the next weeks, months and years bring with this amazing boy.

I knew early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to have a colorful nursery – everything else in my house is bright and cheery, so it only made sense to make a baby room be the same! If we’d had a girl, I would have probably gone with a navy and pink color scheme, but sticking to primary colors was perfect for a little boy. I started by buying a roll of Orla Kiely wallpaper and the design sort of fell into place from there. We used leftover navy paint (it’s the same color as our master bedroom) and re-purposed the dresser, bookshelf and lamps from other rooms.

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I made a few things myself – the changing pad cover, crib skirt and a few of the art elements. The pom pom mobile was purchased from Etsy and the striped curtains are from Overstock. The dresser/changing table was purchased second hand for $40 and Karl refinished it beautifully. I added a few colorful knobs and it’s a great workhorse piece – it gets lots of use!

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One of our favorite features of the room is the dutch door! We wanted a good way to keep our pup Dolly out of the room at times, but didn’t want to have to shut the door or mess with a gate. The dutch door option was the perfect solution. Karl and our friend Greg found an old door, worked their woodworking magic and turned it into a perfect fit for the nursery.

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Graham has his toy bin well stocked with lots of soft and cuddly Jellycat stuffed animals – and has lots of fun little outfits for the spring, including some awesome yellow rain boots (too bad he can’t jump in puddles just yet!)

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Karl also made the wooden display shelves above the rocking chair – they hold a few precious items like his ultrasound picture, and a few of his first baby gifts. The wooden moon says “Love you to the moon and back.” The little “Bless your heart” canvas under the second shelf is a nod to my southern roots! The glider is from Babies R Us – we love the chair, but it was a process to get it before Graham arrived.

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And finally, here’s the floor! We just covered our well-worn hardwoods with a neutral rug from Ikea. It’s not very soft, so once Graham is crawling and playing more in his room, we’ll need to figure something else out! The two diaper pails are for cloth and disposable – we’ve been doing a combo to try and save a little bit from the landfills. (Oh, and that little peek of blue under the dresser is from a hand weight…back in the days when I had time to exercise!)

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We’ve been enjoying this fun new space in our home – it’s little but sweet, just like Graham!

About A Midwestern Belle

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Southern girl loving life in the Midwest. Meeting and event planner, handmade creator and crafter, lover of interior design and fresh blooms. Wife to a cute male nurse, puppy mama and constantly inspired.

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