world breastfeeding week

When i was pregnant with Poppy i decided early on i was going to breastfeed. I knew the benefits of breastfeeding far surpassed that of formula feeding and i wanted to provide the best for my baby. i researched & read as much as i could about it, i attended a breastfeeding class, i talked to my girlfriends who successfully nursed their babies, & i picked out my pump provided by my health insurance - (thanks affordable health care act!). I was committed to the fact that i was going to be a breastfeeding mama.

And i am one. Poppy has been breastfeeding for over nine months now, & that makes me so proud. Proud of myself & proud at how well she has thrived off my milk alone. I'm proud that she is perfectly healthy and has always been in the upper percentile for height & weight, proud that she continues to hit all her developmental milestones early, proud that she has (knock on wood) never been sick - despite being exposed to a sick mama, dada & nana multiple times. I'm proud of baby boo & so proud of my determined/stubborn self for not giving up.

Breastfeeding has been an incredibly wonderful and equally challenging experience. The human body continues to amaze me with what it is capable of. I think back to the first few weeks postpartum and remember crying my eyes out while she nursed, curling my toes in tremendous, excuriating pain. It was terrible, but i was determined. Sometimes, my sweet husband would come in the room and quietly suggest that maybe we try an alternative for feeding Poppy, and i would lash out at him for suggesting an "alternative" which really meant formula. Didn't he know i had basically likened formula to poison in my head!? How could he suggest that for our girl?? Ha. Those were dark days, but I swear it got so much better. Sure, I'm a working mom who at times felt like a milk machine with the constant pumping, and sure i have spent countless hours stressing over how many ounces of milk are in the fridge/freezer BUT i continue to be so glad that i stuck it out. She nurses at night/morning and happily takes bottles of my milk through out the day.

In those first weeks i didn't know if i would make it to my original goal of 6 months exclusively breast fed. But we got our routine down... it became so natural, and easy. And now? Well now, i feel like an advocate for it.

There is so much negativity surrounding breastfeeding in our country. People have actually responded with "ew" when they learn i breastfeed. When i was pregnant and people would ask me if i was going to breastfeed or formula feed i would always honestly say my goal was to breastfeed. The responses varied, but typically, & often ,it would go one of two ways - I would either be commended for it, or more frequently, i was questioned why & told i wouldn't be able to do it. How's that for support? Why is it ingrained in us that nursing is near impossible even though most women can do it? Why is formula often considered the first option when nature and science tell us it's greatly inferior? Why is it when you advocate breastfeeding mothers who formula feed often become irate because they believe you are suggesting they are bad mothers?

When you breastfeed you are giving your baby the best possible start in life: physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Science supports this. It has been a wonderful journey for us thus far & in honor of world breastfeeding week i felt inclined to share my own experience. I'm not comfortable enough to post a brelfie (see: breastfeeding selfie) but i do stand behind the #normalizebreastfeeding movement.

nine months in vs nine months out

it's hard to fathom that nine months ago i was nearing the end of my pregnancy & about to meet a tiny little baby that would make our hearts explode. Somehow... she has been here nine whole months- making us laugh, challenging us & bringing more fulfillment than i ever thought possible.
she gives me these sweet soft smiles & i melt.  I swear, this babygirl is everything good in the universe.

Poppy knows how to clap her hands (on request too!) & it's basically my favorite thing ever. I am legitimately beaming with pride every time she does it.  We sing "Clappa Hannies, Clappa Hannies" and she gets so excited clappin' those hands!  Also, she gets bonus cuteness points for knowing "clappa hannies" instead of "clap your hands".  All cred for that goes to her Scottish Nana.

She likes books, blocks, drumming on everything (!!) and in case you were wondering... crawling is so last month, ma - she is so fast especially chasing Doogle (side note: how am i going to keep up with her when she's walking/running?)  She is so strong, pulling up & "cruising" along all the furniture. Girl can move!

It's bittersweet watching her grow. Sure, i love seeing all the new wonderful things she does, listening to new sounds she makes, melting when i hear "mama" but also, a part of me just wishes she could stay small forever.

love you Poppy Quinn.

brand new / modest mouse

Another brand new show in the books. Is post show depression a real thing? I swear every time i see BN i am left bummin the days that follow once it's over. This is partially likely because 1. they are my favorite band. and 2. i always buy tickets to their shows super early (this time in January) & spend months thinking / getting hyped about it. Then they play their last song and I'm left gratefully standing in awe, before the sadness rushes over me that it's over... 'til next time.

This was my first time seeing them in Tampa, and also my first time seeing Modest Mouse - who i gotta say - were incredible live. Side note: I had no idea they had so many musicians, at one point they had nine people on stage! What up Arcade Fire? ha anyway, back to Brand New...

We were back in the pit (last May in St. Auggie i opted for seats since i was carrying Poppy inside my belly to her first BN show... how responsible of me, i know.) Theres nothing better than being in the pit for Brand New.  I will say i though, the crowd was the tamest i've ever seen at one of their shows. Maybe thats better since I'm closing in on thirty-one (gasp!) no longer crowd surfing or looking to leave shows covered in bruises.  Geez, i sound so old. But seriously, this did allow for ample dance space. ha. They slayed.  Jesse had me hanging on every word as per us & vin was blowing me away on the guitar.  I didn't get a photo at the end of their set of their screens displaying the upside down cross BRAND NEW 2000 - 2018, but it was there & maybe i'll steal one off the internet & post it here later? i love photos of them live even though I've only taken a handful myself at all the BN shows I've been to.  I like to be present & i can't fucking stand the people with their phones up for the entirety of the show. SO annoying.... but, i'd by lying if i said i didn't cherish one quick amazing shot i got at house of blues a few years ago. Here's one from Saturday -

Oh and while I'm fan girling out over here -- for the record, Jesse has already stated they aren't breaking up, just that they won't be touring forever (can you blame them?) & i personally see the 2000 - 2018 as their way of staying eighteen forever. the setlist was killer. No, they did not play IAAN, despite it being listed. Nor did they play Sealed to Me, which i was so hoping for (i even desperately tweeted a request to them. ha.) They were amazing, but it did feel a little rushed, probably because they were opening that night. They didn't even do an encore, and i was left so confused because I've never seen that. i blame the crowd for that. (insert all the emo Erin tears here.) There was so much magic though - I'm pretty positive that was their live debut of 1996 - which was killer to see. I love that the last 3 times i have seen them they have added those Fight Off Your Demons leaked demos into their live sets. and Noro. ahh they played Noro - when we arrived at our hotel across the street i could hear them playing it for sound check & i was stoked, i knew we were in for a good set.

We were for sure.  It was really nice to get out to a show, smoke copious amounts of cloves, drink, listen to live music & socialize.  My hopes of running into Andrea (Jesse's ridiculously rad wife) were crushed but i did get to have a real date with my hubs and hang with friends i hadn't seen in forever. and met a really awesome girl as well. Not too shabs.

This was my first night away from Poppy.  I cried leaving her with my mom before we drove down and i missed her so much after the show in our hotel - it just felt so unnatural to be away from her.  What i thought would be incredible uninterrupted sleep was the opposite.  Apparently I'm now programmed to wake every 2 hours in a panic about my baby.  Cool huh?  I was elated to get my hands on her for kisses the next day.

ok thats it. Please let the new album come out soon.

flower field glimpse

Jake surprised me with a photo shoot in a gorgeous flower field as a Mothers Day gift. Here are just a few of the photos by Emma & Me Photography...

I will cherish these memories captured forever <3

cheers mamas

My first Mother's Day was filled with some of my favorite things: mimosas, waffles, baby giggles, fresh flowers, sweet cards, fondue, succulents, a house cleaning husband(!), my wonderful weenie dogs, & of course, time with my family.

Six months ago I held my tiny baby girl for the first time and fell harder in love than I ever thought possible. My adoration for her has only grown with each passing day - watching her grow & seeing her little personality develop has brought me so much happiness. She is hands down the best surprise I've ever received. She is my greatest accomplishment & i feel so insanely lucky that she is mine.

My journey into motherhood has given me a newfound appreciation & gratitude for my mother. I would not be the person I am today without her unconditional love, support, acceptance & guidance. I'm one of those people lucky enough to call my mama my best friend. I talk to her every day, shes my sounding board, advice giver, & always good for a laugh. She's the type my mom who gives you lessons like a mother & listens like a friend. I look at Poppy now & know that it's with those same loving eyes my mother looked at me. I hope one day when shes my age she feels the same way about me as i do her nana.

Wishing every mother in the interwebs a Happy Mother's Day.... and thinking of those who lost a mother, have a toxic relationship with their mother, or are struggling to become a mother.

PS This is Poppy giving me my Mother's Day card...

Basically the cutest thing ever.

melodic mondaze

On Friday, Weezer dropped their latest album, Weezer (White Album) & my ears were pleasantly surprised.  No sugar coating - Rivers & the fellas have put out some less than copacetic albums in the past,  but i'm really feeling this one.  I listened to it on a loop for the better part of my morning.  My immediate favs are King of the World, Jacked Up, & California Kids.

Rivers is killing the lyrical game again - this one is so remincient of older Weez, to me - Pinkerton & the Blue album & I'm stoked on it. I just might have to pick this one up on vinyl to add to our collection.

but first, COFFEE

This is what most mornings look like for us.  I demand my coffee (because i desire to function like an alert human being) & the Poppy seed muffin demands her milk first.  She wins: every. single. time.  I must admit, i love my mornings with her.  I typically wake up in a haze just in time to find her bright little eyes adjusting until the moment she spots me.  We lock eyes & I am promptly given the sweetest little good morning smile that turns me to mush on a daily basis.

I'm pretty slow motion in the a.m. so i take my time to waken by snuggling with Poppy, listening to music, embracing a hot mug, & chatting with the mister before we start our day.  I'm the epitome of 'not a morning person' so all of these things really help start the tone for my day.

inside our home // Poppy Q's Nursery Reveal

Designing Poppy's room was definitely a highlight of my pregnancy. I spent three solid months trying to decide what to do with an accent wall. Not even kidding. Indecision much?? I treated her room as if i were curating a modern baby oasis. It had to be stylish, bright, modern with mid-century touches & above all: stimulating to mommy & baby.

I'm thrilled with how it came out:

I love this print. My best friend Jess got it from a local artist in Denver & sent it my way during a time when i was moderately freaking out about being pregnant. it's perfect.

this crib / toddler bed is everything. PQ's crib was the first thing i fell in love with when i realized this was actually, really happening - we made a baby & it (she) was going to get her own room. i was all kinds of indecisive about what colors, fabrics, wallpaper etc i wanted to use but i knew this was the absolute best looking crib i'd laid eyes on - & our babe had to have it. My parents are incredible & my mom bought it for us almost immediately after i showed it to her. She also gets mad props for being the sounding board for all my design dillemas along the way, shopping with me, finding the perfect curtains & helping paint!

A mid-century dresser was on the must have list in my mind. i hunted & hunted for THE perfect one to rehab. I finally came across this one at a used furniture store. It was looking pretty tragic on the outside at the time, but it still had all the good bones of a sixties wooden dresser. We snagged it, loaded it up & i am so grateful & proud of my baby daddy aka hubs for breathing life into it once more - sanding & stripping, priming, painting, waxing, cleaning & turning it into a two tone beauty!

I've always loved hot air balloons. Jake proposed right after a sunrise balloon ride, forever making them incredibly special in my heart. I naturally fell pretty hard for this dreamy mobile.

Button & Doogle have been super anxious though out the entire pregnancy to meet their tiny human friend. They really love being in her room, because she has basically the best rug for sunning in afternoon light.

bonus points from this light: it looks awesome at night when the light casts stars all over her walls:

So there it is. I hope you love your room as much i do Poppy Quinn!

cuteness overload.

It took four months but i finally got some cute (ok, ridiculously adorable) photos of Poppy with Button & Doogle. These three completely melt me. Heart eyes for days...

absolutely positive

One year ago today I was pacing in my kitchen in a complete panic because a stick told me I was pregnant... & by a stick i mean three.

I was convinced those faint positive lines on the EPT were purely accidental. Turns out they (& the digi clear blue) were spot on. A baby - the size of a poppy seed - was growing inside of me. I can barely wrap my head around how much has changed & how much i've grown (figuratively & literally) in the past 365 days. I was absolutely terrified to learn I was pregnant... i mean weak in the knees, tears streaming terrified. I wasn't mentally prepared for the life i was already sustaining. I was going to be a mom? Responsible for an entire human being - what?! I'm a believer in everything happens for a reason - turns out it was perfect timing, because like Lennon said - life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. That baby, that tiny poppy seed, who turned out to be my poppy seed muffin hss brought so much love into our lives, into our universe & more happiness than i ever thought possible. It's amazing how we grow, adapt & change our view on things. I wasn't sure i wanted to be a mom & now i can't imagine not having this absolutely perfect little baby girl in my arms every day.

Today i had the best day reflecting on the past year. I snuggled Poppy & thought about those fears that seem so distant now, I looked at photos of my bump & remembered how crazy & wonderful it felt to have her inside of me. I thought about how elated i was to see her & hold her for the first time. What an intense journey it has been, a roller coaster of every emotion. I'm so lucky to have experienced that, & to feel this love.

Dear 2015 Erin,
Stop crying. Pregnancy isn't so bad. You'll miss the whiskey, but you'll get over it. Then you will give birth, & your heart will explode. You're going to love being a mom.

little valentine

poppy quinn
Happy Valentines from my girl with all the arm rolls. Gah! Basically i think they are the cutest thing ever. Also, i love honest diapers... & the XOXO package that came this month has definitely been my favorite print. I had to get a pic of her in them.  
We're lounged out at the house on this chilly Florida day before brunch & heading up to the park for a stroll with our girl.  Muffin & i presented Daddy with his first ever Poppy Q + Mama original artwork: 
 baby footprint valentines art diy
not sure how i managed to get an eleventh toe print on there.... i swear she only has ten toes! I didnt even notice it until Jake laughed & pointed it out to me. Oh well, i still think it's insanely adorable.
Tonight we will have our usual delicious valentines fondue for dinner + dessert & i am so ready for it.