I love being near the Outer Banks. It’s nothing for me to just get up on a day and drive down there for a few hours. During my maternity leave, I actually loaded Caleb up in the car and drove down there, picked up some Duck Donuts and came back home. It was a wonderful trip and a good way to spend a morning.

Caleb’s first taste of cantaloupe – he loved it!

Every summer for about 18 years now, my grandparents go down to the Outer Banks for about a week and stay in a condo inviting the rest of the family to come. I usually try to get down there. In the past few years though, I’ve only managed to go down for the day. The condo is located right near the ocean and when I was younger, it felt safe for me to be able to come and go as I pleased pretty much.

Two of Caleb’s favorite toys – a cup and a spoon!

The latest tropical storm lurked about 150 miles south off the coast of North Carolina this weekend, making it overcast, WINDY, and cool. The temperatures lurked in the low 80’s near about all weekend, giving us a nice break from the previous weeks. We couldn’t go on the beach because of how hard the sand was being blown everywhere but that’s okay – we still had fun!

Bonding time with the grandson!

My mom had picked Caleb up a float for the pool so we went to the indoor pool for about 15-20 minutes and let Caleb float around. He’s been in the water before and enjoys it. His little legs were kicking as hard as they could. I think that I have a little water baby on my hands and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Caleb was wore out from floating around, so I put him down for a brief nap before he resumed crawling around on the carpet. Crawling is something that he just started doing that weekend and he was so proud to show his skills off. He has even been working on pulling himself up a little bit. Now that he is mobile… we have our hands full!

After his nap, my mom, Caleb and I went down to Rock-A-Bye Baby OBX and picked up some really cute goodies. I can’t wait to get back and shop some more! I’m working on a YouTube video right now that’ll feature some of the goodies that I purchased from the shop as well as some clips of Caleb swimming.

I took Monday off of work so that Caleb and I could relax a little bit. Since it was a much warmer day, I took him outside and allowed him to just go to town with a bowl of apple puree. I think he had fun!

Dear Caleb,

Yesterday you had your 4 month shots. I can’t believe that I have only been your mom for 4 months. It feels like a lifetime already. You make it so easy to be a mom, to be your mom. I cuddled with you most of the afternoon while you slept because I knew you needed it. I knew that you needed the warmth and safety of mom’s arms. Yes, I had to take leave without pay from work but it was worth it. You’re only going to be this small once.

You slept all day and into the evening. Even though I knew that I should wake you, I let you sleep. I knew that your little body needed the rest, even if it meant that we would be up all night. Sure enough, at midnight, you woke, ready to start your day. It made for a long day at work only having 3 hours of sleep, but how could I be upset at you? All you wanted to do was “talk” to me last night, to play with your toy, to share your happiness. Every time I looked over, your brown eyes looked right back at me. You would smile, a smile that filled my heart with joy. I know that you don’t understand the concept of love yet but you know that I am your person, your protector, your provider. I am your world.

But it won’t always be like this. As you grow bigger, as your world grows bigger, you won’t look at me the same. Sure, I’ll always be your mom and you’ll always love me, but things will change. Someone else will come into your life and I want that for you… one day… That’s why I had no problem staying home with you yesterday. I know our time together is short.

I’ve already watched you grow so much since you were born – cooing, reaching for things, holding your head up, interacting with others, TEETHING – it has been so amazing. I can’t wait to see where this journey continues to take us.

With love,

Mom

I love going to the farmer’s market and the Edenton Farmer’s Market is one of my all-time favorite markets. I love the variety that is offered and the market seems to really have a bond with the rest of the community. Even better, they just opened up in a snazzy new permanent location this year. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while now so Robb and I bundled up Caleb and made the drive over to Edenton.

I always set myself a spending limit for the farmer’s market. If I don’t, then I usually end up going way past my spending budget for the month. $40 seems to be the magical number for me since we grow a lot of our own food. I view the farmer’s market mainly as a way to supplement what we grow and as a venue to find some super awesome items. So here is what I got for my Farmer’s Market $40:

As of Monday morning, all we have left from our haul is two rabbit ears, some honey goat cheese, the microgreens, and the ground lamb. There is nothing like cooking with fresh, local vegetables.

After showing Caleb off at the farmer’s market, we decided to walk a few blocks downtown. I wish that it had been a few degrees warmer but it wasn’t bad if you stayed out of the wind. Robb had carried Caleb around the market but I slipped him into his carrier for our longer walk. Our Lil Bean is growing so fast that he will really tire out your arms! One of the things that I like most about babywearing (besides the bonding time) is that on a chilly day, it helps to keep Caleb nice and toasty.

Like every other time when we go to Edenton, I made Robb go into the Cupola House garden to take some photos of me. If the weather had been a bit nicer, I would have made him go to a few other spots but I decided that could way for another day. Maybe when Caleb is slightly bigger and we will be able to take him down to the playground and I can swing with him.

We went into Salty Kisses Boutique to check out their sale and found an absolutely adorable monster hat for Caleb when he gets a bit bigger.

For lunch, we ate at the recently opened Governor’s Pub. Robb had a burger while I had a turkey Reuben (aka, the “Rachel”).

We were all tuckered out by then so we piled in the car and headed back home.

I love our little day trips and can’t wait to take Caleb on some more adventures! Though I think that he might have been a little less than impressed with the day…

It’s Caleb’s first Easter this year! Even though I know that he’ll not really have any idea what is going on, I still wanted to do a little Easter basket for him. We are also planning to take him to see the Easter Bunny next weekend as long as the weather is decent. So one of the hardest things for me was finding items for his Easter basket. My mom always did such a great job of putting together baskets that were actually useful instead of having junk in them that we just tossed. Sometimes I would get items for the beach or items to use in the garden but she always made sure to get me something sweet!

When creating an Easter basket, especially for that first Easter, I think it is important to go with more practical items. Keeping that in mind, here are some of the items that will be in my little one’s basket this year.

 

Philips Avent BPA Free Soothie Pacifier – Caleb has already gotten to the point where he doesn’t seem to need a pacifier but when he uses one, these are his favorite. Since he seems to be starting to teeth, I think they help him out a little bit. Plus, they are made of silicone and are super easy to sterilize by just tossing them in the dishwasher.

 

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes – I picked this little board book up a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. I try to read to Caleb almost everyday so getting him another book was a no-brainer for me. The artwork in this particular book is great and I love how it using small, basic words to talk about the changing of the season.

 

Wilderness Romper from Finn and Ark – Isn’t this romper adorable? It looks like the perfect thing for Caleb for wear during the summer so I got it in a 6-9 month size. This Etsy shop (based out of Canada) is full of great products in a variety of styles. I’ve been eyeballing her nursing hoodies as well. Even though Caleb has plenty of clothes, he doesn’t have anything similar to this so I thought a little outfit would be the perfect addition.

 

Wooden Name Puzzle from FromJennifer – Jennifer’s Etsy shop is full of beautifully crafted wooden items and I have been wanting this wooden puzzle since I found out that I was pregnant. I know that Caleb won’t be able to actually do the puzzle for a while but the letters (I went with maple) are perfect for teething.

 

Coconut Cream Easter Egg – Okay. I’m not going to lie. This one is really for me but what is an Easter basket without a little something sweet in there? I love, love, love the handmade coconut cream Easter eggs that are sold this time of year (and the peanut butter ones as well). I don’t think there has been an Easter yet that I haven’t either been given one or picked up one for myself. Robb, Caleb, and I are headed to the farmer’s market tomorrow and the word on the street is that there will be some eggs at the market!

I went back to work today. It’s weird, it feels like I had never left to begin with. Those 3 months that I had with Lil Bean absolutely flew by and I’m grateful for the time that I had to spend with him, though it is a little bittersweet to not be snuggling with him right now. I certainly enjoyed the lazy days I spent with him.

This was a super lazy day – pajamas and bathrobes all day!

Even though Caleb is having to go to daycare, I don’t worry because I know that he is going to a nurturing environment.

Here are some tips to help make the transition easier on the mom’s behalf when you return to work.

  • Find the right daycare. Robb and I toured two daycare facilities in our area. The first was a more modern daycare – everything was electronic and they put a lot of emphasis on education (teaching the babies sign language starting at 6 months – which is something that I plan on doing). We both fell in love with that daycare and almost canceled our appointment with the second daycare. Wanting to have something to compare the first one to, we went and toured the second daycare. It was the day before my c-section and I already wasn’t feeling my best. This daycare didn’t have the bells and whistles. They still communicated by sending a note home and they didn’t even take debit cards! But after we left, we knew that was the daycare for us. Sure, it was dated but it felt right. We both felt that taking our little one to that daycare was the equivalent of taking him to grandma’s house. It had that same comforting vibe that we wanted Caleb to have at this age. Fun fact: We found out that one of the caregivers is actually my granddad’s cousin!
  • Enjoy the quiet time. The time is takes for me to get from the daycare to my place of work is about 10 minutes. It’s nice to have that time all to myself. I can blast the radio, roll the windows down, or simply use that time to reflect on my life. Think of it as free time. Time that you don’t have to feel guilty about taking for yourself.
  • Ease into it. I took Caleb to daycare half a day on Monday and Tuesday before returning to work on today. That allowed me to run some errands with a little bit of me time thrown in. But more importantly, it allowed Caleb to start to recognize some of the daycare staff and gave me the confidence to know that he would be okay. Those 4 hours flew by. If you have the opportunity, try to take your child for part of the day before you go back to work full-time.
  • Get to know the staff. The staff at the daycare we chose are wonderful. They are so friendly and will talk your ear off if you let them. I’ve been hugged so many times by them. The staff have been there for over 20 years and love what they do. They understand how hard it can be to leave your baby and really make the effort to get to know the parents. To me, that speaks volumes. We aren’t just another payment to them, we are family.
  • Have a plan. Sure, there is always going to be upsets to your plan – a diaper blowout, alarm didn’t go off, etc., but try to have somewhat of an idea on how your morning is going to go. If your partner is home in the mornings, what can he do to help (i.e. Robb lets out the dogs and gets Caleb dressed for daycare while I dress for work)? What can you do in the evenings to help your mornings? I try to pick out my clothes the night before and ready Caleb’s bottles. What are you going to do for supper? I’ve really been working hard on get some sort of a meal plan in place and relying on my crock pot/pressure cooker.

The work day certainly seems to fly by though when I know I have my little one waiting for me!

Caleb’s first day of daycare – as well as his 3 month birthday!


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