Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year!

  
Her onesie says “Baby of the Year 2018” 😉
 
2017 wasn’t a stellar year in a lot of ways for a lot of people, I know, but it was admittedly a pretty great year for our little family. Penelope pretty much cancels out all of the rest of the crazy, hehe. And I can’t wait to see how she continues to change & grow. Each day it feels like Penny advances more and more, so it’s crazy to even fathom what she’ll be like at this time next year!

My resolutions include continuing being the best mom I can be, navigating my new status as a working mom, focusing on leading a balanced life, and reprioritizing my health.

Here’s to another year of love, laughter, and life!

Penny: Four Months Old

Penelope is four months old!

She continues to delight and awe us everyday, even with us going through the dreaded four-month sleep regression & conquering Leap 4 (leaps refer to the developmental stages that your baby is making, from the book/app The Wonder Weeks). In just the past few days, she’s started really being interested in toys and teethers — grasping them with intention and being able to get them in her mouth, and she grows more alert and interested in the world around her each day.

Our little fox is 16 pounds, 8 ounces (still 90th percentile for weight, hehe), and I *think* she’s about 25 inches long (74th percentile), although we have our four month peds appointment this week, so they’ll be able to measure my squirmy baby a little more accurately methinks.

Before this weird sleep-regression period, she was down to just one wakeup per night pretty much — I’d put her down around 8, she’d sleep 5 – 6 hours, I’d feed her around 2, and then she’d sleep again until 7 or 8 AM. Right now, every night is kind of a gamble — two nights ago she slept for 7.5 hours straight, followed by like 4 hours (and napped super long during the day!), but then last night she woke up every 2 – 3 hours. ::shrug::

 

Four months is definitely proving to be a bit of an adjustment period for both of us — I think there’s a big hormonal shift for moms around four months postpartum, which is causing my emotions to go a bit haywire again right now, and causing some other weird stuff to be happening to me physically. Luckily, I do seem to be avoiding the big postpartum hair loss issue that a lot of new moms get plagued with (so far, at least), but my hair is still changing (breaking a lot more easily), and I’m just basically a hot mess emotionally at at least one point every day.

Obviously, it’s all worth it in spades, and her smiley little face helps a lot. But… I’m still looking forward to hopefully things getting a bit more normalized again here soon. *crosses fingers*

Here’s to the next month… and the next year! Hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year’s celebration tonight!

My New Mom Skincare Routine

Today is my first official day back at work! I have a lot of mixed emotions about it, of course, but I’m taking things one step — and one email response — at a time. Fear not, though, as much as I’m able to, I’m going to try to keep my blogging up (it might even be a little easier to do so once I get back into the swing of things, who knows?), and if nothing else, you can bet your sweet bippy there will still be plenty of Penny photoshoots to fill your Instagram. I know you were probably v. concerned about this. 😉

 
Anyway, while I’m busy digging myself out of my overflowing inbox today, I figured I’d go ahead and post about what my skincare routine looks like these days — y’know, now that I’ve had a child and am thus suddenly aging both swiftly and severely. I mean, darn it all if she isn’t cute as a button, but the bags that I’m hauling around under my eyes these days are definitely less cute.

 
Hmm, I miss my rainbow hair.
I use a mix of high end and drugstore products, meaning some of the prices of these products may give you a bit of sticker shock. However, I believe that skincare is incredibly important, and with time for self-care at an all-time low, I want to make sure I’m doing as much for my skin with as little effort as I can manage.

I have a daily routine of cleansing, moisturizing, and using eye cream morning and night, and everything else outside of that is really just a bonus for when I have time/am feeling like giving my skin a little extra love.

DAILY

It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser ($$) – I use this to wash my face in the mornings and before bed. It’s very lightweight and gentle, and leaves my skin feeling clean but not tight & dry the way many cleansers do.

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes ($) – These are handy dandy makeup removing wipes that take care of my eye makeup with ease.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream ($$) – This is my daytime moisturizer. It’s very hydrating while feeling very light and it has a fantsastic light rosy scent.

It Cosmetics Secret Sauce ($$$) – I use this moisturizer at night – it’s thicker & heavier that helps keep the moisture locked in but doesn’t leave me greasy. It is quite pricey though, so I recommend going to Sephora to try it out before ordering (they usually will provide free samples if you ask, and you can also buy this in a travel size if you can’t stomach the pricetag at first.) I also like their Confidence in a Cream for winter, which is slightly cheaper and even heavier.

Tarte Cosmetics Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment ($$) – This has become one of my holy grail products! I use it both morning and night — in the AM it helps brighten up my undereye area, and at night it provides an extra boost of moisture before bed.

WEEKLY/SPORADICALLY

Olay Daily Facial Cleanser Cloths ($) – I use these cleansing cloths to exfoliate and cleanse once a week or so. They foam up nicely and have a different texture on each side so you can get a nice gentle scrub going.

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips ($) – I mean, these are really more for fun than anything else, but I love popping these suckers on every once in a while and then inspecting what comes out. Also, let it be noted that Sean is a very tolerant man.

Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask ($$$) – Another pricey option, but I’ve tried a LOT of masks and this is by far my favorite. I love the way my skin feels and looks after a treatment with this puppy. It smooths, moisturizes, and brightens my skin — and as a bonus, this mask is the most beautiful color!

LA Pure 24K Gold Eye Treatment Mask ($) – These eye masks are a steal on Amazon, considering you can easily pay $6 to $12 (or more!) for ONE mask like this at Sephora. Keep them in the fridge for extra relief if you’ve had an especially stressful or emotional day, heh,

TonyMoly I’m Real Sheet Masks ($) – I love me a good sheet mask, and really enjoy the TonyMoly ones in particular. They give my skin an extra boost of moisture (can you tell I’m all about the moisturizing products? Haha), and help with cooling and calming my skin (redness is a big issue of mine.)

And there you have it! I’ll end with this: if you’re going to do just one thing for your skin, pleasepleasePLEASE let it be moisturizing both morning and night! It doesn’t matter if you use a pricey lotion or a cheap one, just make sure you’re using one — your skin will thank you… and you’ll thank yourself down the road, too.

Winter is Here!

It’s official, winter is definitely here! It’s been pretty mild weather-wise up in the DC area until this past weekend, when we (and most of the Southeast) got our first snow of the season — and Penny got her first snow EVER!

I took Penny outside briefly to show off the white stuff to her, and she showed that she truly is my snow-lovin’ daughter by sticking out her tongue the entire time. I like to think she was trying to catch snowflakes. 🙂

After all, snow is a big part of our family history — Sean and I got married in a blizzard! So she definitely comes by it honestly. I love snow!

 
Alas, it’s already all melted away. Maybe it’ll snow again in time for Christmas? I’ll hold out hope!

In other news, I’m soaking up my last couple of days of maternity leave with my little dumpling — I officially start back at Yelp on Wednesday. To get myself back in the work mentality, Penny, Sean & I crashed the last Yelp Northern VA Elite Event of the year (prior to going out on leave, I planned an event for each month I’d be out, and my awesome coworkers executed for me.)

 
Penny was the star of the show, and seeing so many members of the Yelp Elite Squad as well as a bunch of my Yelp coworkers definitely helped get me excited to go back! It’s still slightly bittersweet, since I won’t be able to dedicate 100% of my time to my happy little nugget, but I fully recognize how seriously lucky I am to have a job where I both work from home and have a lot of flexibility, as well as a super supportive family that is helping to take care of Penny.

Plus, with me going back right before the holidays, I’m hoping that things will be a little bit slower so that I have time to dig through my inbox, get caught up, and ramp up at a nice pace just in time to kick off the new year right!

We’re definitely already deep in the holiday spirit in these parts. I was already a serious Christmas lover, but the fact that Penny is here this year makes everything even more special!

 
My sister, brother-in-law, and their kiddos are coming up to do Christmas here this year, so we’re starting to get my parents’ house nice and festive. Sean and I went over the other day to help set up the Christmas tree, which really makes things feel official! We didn’t get a tree for our own house (well, we have a super tiny tabletop one) because honestly I don’t even know where we’d put it with all the new baby crap we have, hahaha. So I’m going to be counting on getting all of my holiday cheer from the ‘rents house this year, hehe.

 
We’ll be decorating it later this week while we also celebrate my brother’s birthday… and after which we’ll be going to see The Last Jedi and I’m SOSOSOSOSO excited. My parents have been on retainer to babysit during this movie since I found out I was pregnant, lolololol.

Here’s to winter and the holidays and the absolute best time of the year! I think that tonight will call for cocoa and Christmas movies — I’ve already watched The Holiday twice (my fave!), and have been whittling away at Netflix’s catalogue of Hallmark/Lifetime/ABC Family made-for-TV holiday films, but I’ve got an itch to take in my first (of many) annual viewing of Elf! Gotta introduce Penny to Buddy the Elf!