Happy Half Birthday Baby!

6 months

Today is exactly half a year since Luna has entered the world. Half. A. Year. How have 6 months gone by already? There’s just no way. The last month has been crazy! Luna has changed so much and is basically an adult now. We went from having an adorable little immobile blob that cooed and smiled, to a mobile little girl that spills things and actually knows who we are. We are having so much playing with her and watching her play…and keeping her from killing herself every 5 minutes.

The pets couldn't keep away from the photo session. (That's Lola BTW, we are pet-sitting her this week.)

The pets couldn’t keep away from the photo session. (That’s Lola BTW, we are pet-sitting her this week.)

Luna sits now. We can even walk away from her without worrying about her immediately collapsing onto her face. Of course, she now prefers to sit. She must sit to hear a story, play with a toy, eat and chew on things. The tricky part is reaching for something to the side…gets her every time.

big smile

Luna has two new sounds now, “ma” and “ba”. When she’s excited she repeatedly says “ma, ma, ma, ma” which sounds A LOT like “mama” if you ask me, not if you ask Husband though. I try to reinforce “mama” by running to her and pointing to myself when she gets on a “ma” roll. That’s right baby! “Mama”! That’s me!

That's one good book

That’s one good book

The funniest thing is that Luna can scoot. She can scoot on her belly in a circle and scoot backwards (never forwards), but her most efficient means of moving is by scooting on her back. She lies on her back bends her knees and pushes into a bridge pose, then straightens her legs and moves back. It’s impressive how fast she can move across the room like this.

on back

This month has also been the month of becoming a “mama’s girl”. She wants me ALL the time. She reaches for me, cries for me, notices when I’m not in the room and only lets me put her to bed. It’s sometimes frustrating that Husband can’t calm her lately (give the Mama a break!). I feel bad that she wants me. However, I feel pretty darn good too. Who’s your favorite, baby? That’s right, Mama! Besides, I know his time will come. I have to soak up these moments now, before she’s 13 and hates me.

belly

She’s not 13 yet though, she’s only 6 months and she loves me, playing peekaboo, listening to us read, sticking her tongue out, pulling everything off the table and sticking everything in her mouth. I mean, really, your Dad’s dirty socks? That can’t taste good.

So advanced

So advanced

Happy Half Birthday baby girl!

Cheers!

Baby’s First Road Trip, Solid Food and Skinny Dip

We just returned from Luna’s first summer vacation, also her first annual family trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It could not have been a better trip and I honestly do not even know where to begin when it comes to sharing some of our adventures. Since much of the trip seemed to center around our little nugget, I guess I’ll begin with her. Little Miss Luna had a ridiculous amount of “firsts” over the last week.

It all began with her first very long road trip. Our trip to Hilton Head typically takes 8 hours. We knew driving with an infant would definitely add some time to our trip so we decided to leave at 4am, hoping that she would sleep the majority of the trip. Most of the trip was through torrential rain, but even with the storms and the baby it only took us 10 hours. Luna was a trooper. The first pit-stop was at Chick-Fil-A where they were insanely busy. Husband was asleep in the car so I took Luna in to feed by myself. It was super clean and efficient (surprising for being so busy) and all the workers were so-so friendly. As I left (in the pouring rain) a young cashier ran out after me and walked me all the way to the car (parked in an overflow lot) with an umbrella over me and Luna. It was really nice and unexpected. Good job Chick-Fil-A staff.

Then, we stopped at McDonald’s….also clean and nice. Right as Luna finished eating, a little girl and her Mom came over to us and her Mom informed us that her 6-year-old has been learning to clean out her room and give some of her things away. She told us that she really wants to give her happy meal toy to our baby because she doesn’t need it, but our baby might. Of course, we happily accepted it and let her know that Luna would be thrilled to have it. What a sweet family! The whole ride down was pleasant (minus the rain).

first road trip

Playing with her new toy.

Our first day in Hilton Head, Luna tried solid food (cereal) for the first time! I don’t know if she liked it or even grasped how to eat it, but she really enjoyed chewing on her new bamboo spoon and playing with her hand-painted one-of-a-kind bowl.

first solids

 

One of the cutest “firsts” was Luna’s first time to play in sand! She loved the sand! She dug, examined and tried her best to eat it, which we mostly kept her from doing.

first sand

Riding our bikes to Rita’s Italian Ice in Coligny Plaza at least a few times a week is a Hilton Head tradition that has been around for what must be ever. Luna slept through her first Rita’s experience, but that didn’t keep me from taking a photo!

first ritas

The biggest most exciting moment was Luna’s very first dip in the ocean. The whole family came down and we all walked to the water together with cameras in hand. Unfortunately, Luna did not love the ocean water. The waves were a little scary for her. However, she did get to enjoy it later in the week when the water was much calmer.

first ocean

Luna got to spend A LOT of quality time with twenty something family members, but it was her very first time to meet two of her Great Grandparents who came from Pittsburgh to spend the week with her. They couldn’t get enough of our sweet baby!

first greatgparents

Because the ocean wasn’t a hit with Luna, we spent lots of time in the pool. Luna played in her floatie for the first time and got to spend some time on the boogie board. She loves the water and figured out how to sit in her floatie, kick her legs and move through the water.

first boogie

The scariest “first”, for me anyways, was Luna’s first bike ride. We rented a carriage to attach to the back of a bike. She’s actually too small to sit in it alone, but we could attach her car seat. I only trusted myself to pull her. It was an added workout, but worth the peace of mind. We rode ALL over. She lasted through an 11 mile bike ride one day and never even whined.

first bike

She also got her very own private pool. Fancy.

first babypool

And what trip to the beach is complete with a naked dip in the ocean? Does it get any better?

first skinnydip

 

That’s a lot of adventure for a little baby, and there’s so much more!

Happy Monday everyone, we are glad to be back!

Cheers!

Ready for the beach? (Winner!)

Yay! Another giveaway has come and gone and now I finally get to randomly select one of you to win this super pretty and fun coverup from Lozasun!

giveaway

The winner is….

Anessa

I LOVE this piece! Gorgeous! I would wear it to the beach or to my sister in laws house when we bring the kids swimming over there! Perfect to throw on so your not just in your suit! Super cute!

Congrats Anessa! I hope you love it as much as I do! Just email me (positivelypanicked@gmail.com) your mailing address and I’ll have it shipped to you ASAP. BTW, I’m at the beach now and am definitely enjoying my own Lozasun coverup!

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Thank you so very much to Cindy from Lozasun for offering this giveaway. Everyone be sure to check out her Etsy shop.

Cheers!

Vacation Mode

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Well, I meant to get a whole week of blogs in order before going on vacation, but I didn’t. Woops. We are officially on vacation for a week and I will try to update you on our latest adventures and positively panicked life, but I won’t be back to a regular schedule until next week. If you miss me, you can always check Facebook and Instagram for some adorable beach baby pictures!

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So far, Luna has gotten to see her Grandparents (my parents) whom she has not seen in 4 months, her great grandparents whom she has never met and a million other people who love and adore her. There are 20 something people here this week so Luna is getting A LOT of attention. It’s wonderful, Husband and I basically have to do nothing. Talk about a vacation.

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In one day Luna has been in the ocean, gone on a bike ride, tried solid food, played in her new pool floatie and floated on a boogie board. I can’t even imagine what the rest of the week has in store.

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She insisted on "feeding" herself. Chewing on the spoon was definitely the best part.

She insisted on “feeding” herself. Chewing on the spoon was definitely the best part.

Stay tuned for tips on beach travel with a baby, adventures in road tripping, new reviews and giveaways, postpartum updates and heck of a lot of adorable beach baby photos!

Napping on PawPaw on the balcony with a view of the beach, can life get any better?

Napping on PawPaw on the balcony with a view of the beach, can life get any better?

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Cheers!

All By Myself

Tonight is Wednesday night, which for me means, Hilarie’s Night of Fun. Wednesday night is Poker Night for my Husband. I used to get a little sad when he’d grab his bag of quarters and head out the door leaving me to fend for myself until the late late hours of the night. Overtime, though I learned the value of a night to myself. I learned to love my time alone, just me and no one to bother me, interrupt my thoughts, ask for something, change the channel or make tons of noise. (Of course, Luna’s here now, but she goes to sleep early so it’s the same as being home alone.)

left alone

Being alone is the best. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with people, I love my friends and having get-togethers and parties, but no one is quite as entertaining as myself. I used to be afraid of being alone, especially with my own thoughts (scary!), but now I know that I need this time in order to relax, reflect and re-charge. If you haven’t taken some time to just be with yourself, do yourself a favor and take a break from everyone else. It’s important to quit listening to others and listen to yourself for a change. What makes you happy? What do you need? What brings a little peace into your life?

I have other time alone too. There’s often time in the very early morning hours when I’m the only one awake. I LOVE when I get to drink coffee when it’s quiet and the sun is just coming up. It’s so peaceful, like that moment is just for me. However, most of the mornings alone and nap times alone are spent working…either working on the blog, working in the house or working with someone else. Wednesday nights are reserved for only things I want to do. These are the nights I relish. I never make plans with other people on Wednesday nights. Nope, I already have very important plans to be alone and do nothing that involves getting ready or leaving the house.

smart smart lady that Audrey

smart smart lady that Audrey

So, what do I do on these sacred nights? Only the most sophisticated of things, of course… I catch up on Pretty Little Liars (it’s a day late, but this way I don’t have to hear Husband’s snarky comments about the ridiculous story lines), paint my toe nails, eat Husband’s snacks, shop on Zulily, take a long hot bath (usually while watching PLL) and RELAX. It’s glorious.

Find some time for yourself this week. Do whatever you need to chill out and feel  peacefulness. For real.

Cheers!

 

My Post-Traumatic Postpartum Life

wounds

Luna is about 5 1/2 months old now and it’s already hard to imagine life without her. What did I use to talk about? What does a full night of sleep feel like? Where did all the time go? It’s crazy how life can change so much, yet feel so complete and normal at the same time. I think it’s clear that I am really enjoying my life with Luna and everything she brings to the table. She has been perfect. I, on the other hand, have not fully healed. I’m almost 6 months postpartum, and I still feel like a stranger in my body.

Luna’s birth was not exactly ideal, the long road home was certainly no fun and now, the recovery, is much slower than I imagined. My physical body is good. Sure, I’ve got a few stretch marks and my belly button may be forever misshapen, but that’s nothing. I love my body and I’m proud of its abilities and strengths. It’s kind of amazing. It’s my mind and health that are still on the mend.

it's all about perspective

it’s all about perspective

Thanks to medication, my blood pressure is under control, but hopefully it will even out without meds soon…only time will tell. It sucks to be on medication and have to deal with ongoing doctor appointments, blood pressure monitoring, side effects, etc, but I know it could be worse. I am truly grateful to be where I am today and I can handle this challenge I’ve been given. It’s a lot more challenging than my new body, but I like challenges. They define us, right? Or, I guess the way we respond defines us, and I’m hoping to create a strong definition for myself. The biggest challenge, the one I don’t handle so well is the post-traumatic stress.

The first few weeks after Luna’s arrival were the toughest. Once, I stopped blacking out, gained some strength and realized I’d survive I began living life again. The worst was behind me, but I didn’t realize the tough road that lay ahead. I still have nightmares. I will dream that someone is taking my vitals in the middle of the night, I’m having heart attacks or something is keeping me from being with Luna and I wake up in a hot sweat and tears. Sometimes just getting to sleep is a struggle, which is odd considering it’s what I want most during the day. My mind races, as does my pulse and I get lost in “what if’s” that leave me wide awake and searching for anything to distract me from my negative thoughts.

Little things take me back. A hospital scene on a TV drama, a friend’s Facebook picture, the song that played during Luna’s birth or just passing my doctor’s office can send me right back to that dark hospital room. The flashbacks are as real and scary as the nightmares. They bring tears to my eyes and a lot of anxiety. I hate them. I hate that the memories of Luna’s birth bring so much anxiety and fear. I hate that our birth experience was so traumatic. I hate it for all of us.

It all feels so fresh. I get headaches from the tension I hold all day. I feel alone often, and when I forget how grateful I am I’ll let bitterness sneak in and make me question, “why me?” Why do I have to take so long to heal? Why can’t I pop out kids and hit the ground running like so many other women? Why do I have to deal with the not-fun-at-all side effects of blood pressure medicine at the age of 29? It’s dangerous to think this way.

It get’s a little easier at time goes on and I’m learning to talk about it more, which helps. I’m lucky and it could be worse, a lot worse, but that fact doesn’t take away the very real fears and anxieties I felt in that hospital. It doesn’t stop an anxiety attack when I lie in bed at night and flashback to the hospital bed where I thought I would never leave. It’s very real and if you have ever suffered from anxiety or panic attacks don’t feel guilty for your very real struggles. The more I heal the more I know it’s okay to cry, to let it all out and to break sometimes. It’s then that we see all the different pieces that make us whole. It takes time to put those pieces back together, but when you understand each piece and how it fits into the other, you understand what makes you whole and what makes you strong.

That’s where I am now. 5 1/2 months in and I’m putting myself back together again. Everyday I feel a little more whole and a lot stronger. I don’t know if or when these flashbacks and nightmares will end, but I’m facing them one day at a time. I hope you do the same.

Cheers

Surviving a Theme Park with a Baby

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Well, there went another weekend in a blink of an eye! Our weekend was busy busy busy, but in the best way. Saturday we took Luna on a brand new adventure. We brought her to her very first theme park, and no, it wasn’t a Disney park (unfortunately). Luna, us and 4 other friends drove to Santa Claus, Indiana for one of our favorite summer day trips to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari. I try not to be one of “those Moms” who packs every single belonging whenever they leave the house with their baby, but when you are taking a 3 hour road trip and planning to spend an entire day in a loud, hot theme park you go prepared!

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BTW, I got a little crazy with my PicsArt app while feeding Luna so I’ll just apologize now for the over-edited photos.

So, what must a family with a baby bring on trip such as this? Glad you asked! You need snacks, not for the baby, but for you, your Husband and everyone else in the car. It’s likely that you rushed out of the door after trying to get 10 extra minutes of sleep, and changing out of your spit-up stained shirt, your Husband always forgets to eat breakfast and you’ll want something delicious to win over the people who have to sit in a car with a crying baby. Also, bring coffee, but that’s a given, right? The theme park only serves junk, which you will certainly eat, but it will make everyone feel better to have some fruit and granola bars to snack on between burgers and pizza. (If you’re going to Holiday World they have unlimited free drinks and sunscreen for everyone: score!)

Luna and her favorite friend Bella!

Luna and her favorite friend Bella!

Next, you need entertainment. Ipad, Nook, phones and car chargers for big people. Teething toys, stuffed animals and something shiny for the little one. Oh and be ready to sing lullabies and play peek-a-boo in front of many other grown-ups.

The always entertaining diving show. It never gets old, cheesy yes, but not old.

The always entertaining diving show. It never gets old, cheesy yes, but not old.

Bring the big stroller. Forget that dinky umbrella stroller. Sure, it folds up nice and small, but does it hold your coffee, diaper bag, beach towels, toys, snacks and dry clothes? No. The big stroller can carry every one’s bags and lie flat for baby to nap in while under a huge shade conveniently attached to the stroller.

Worn out baby napping in her huge stroller.

Worn out baby napping in her huge stroller.

Do not expect to ride every ride. In fact, don’t expect to ride any rides. Husband offered to watch Luna the entire day, as did everyone else, but between breastfeeding and just wanting to spend time with her, I was on “Luna duty” most of the day. Not that I mind. I love my time with Luna. We played in the kiddie area, lounged in the beach chairs, went for walks, people watched and napped in the shade. I still got to ride a few rides, and I honestly enjoyed the day as much as everyone else. She’s pretty darn entertaining.

This is technically a "kids' ride", but it's awesome.

This is technically a “kids’ ride”, but it’s awesome.

watching our friends take off on one of the famous wooden coasters

watching our friends take off on one of the famous wooden coasters

Relax. I really think our mood rubs off on our children. With any baby, especially, a teething baby, it is impossible to plan for everything or know what kind of day they will have. Luna happened to be a super happy easy baby the entire trip to Holiday World. She smiled at everyone, the heat didn’t bother her, she napped and never whined. It was awesome. However, today’s the opposite. It doesn’t really matter how old your kids are, or even if any kids attend the theme park with you, someone is likely to get grumpy. Just go with the flow. Buy a caramel apple at Mrs. Claus’s shop and enjoy the day.

Every baby needs a turkey hat

Every baby needs a turkey hat

Cheers!