Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Things have been pretty quiet around these parts as of late, but new posts are coming your way soon, friends... Until then, Violet and I will be celebrating her first Halloween with our Las Vegas loved ones. (Photo coverage to come.)
Happy, happy Halloween!

{Photo by Crecia Page Photography}

Our First Adventure.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Well, hello! It's been a little while since I've popped online to check in with just a small town girl and the blogging community as a whole. And, let me tell you, I've missed it. Life these days is busier than I've ever known. However, there are some experiences that just have to make it on the blog, no matter how late they actually make their appearance. This is one of them.

On July 5th, 2012, this mama packed the largest bag the airlines will allow, a diaper bag, a pump, a baby bjorn, a car seat, a stroller, my baby's shot record and birth certificate (although the airline never ended up asking for it after several calls to confirm what exactly I needed) and, of course, my sweet baby cargo and headed to the airport for a two week trip to Washington. Now I have to tell you, I'm not sure I've ever been as nervous as I was to fly with my six week old. I was as scared of a screaming infant on a two plus hour flight as I was trying to maneuver said infant and all of our things through the airport alone. Jenner was able to help us while we checked our bags and made it to security, but watching him walk away and standing there with Violet and all. our. stuff. was terrifying. Luckily, you can never underestimate the power of a new baby and the kindness of strangers. And although I had worked myself up into an almost anxiety attack over the thought of trying to nurse on the plane, my sweet baby girl slept through the entire flight. Sure, she woke up as I was walking off the plane in Seattle and started screaming and, yes, the airline broke our stroller and, yes, I was sweating and near tears myself by the time we were reunited with my sister Debby, but you know what? We did it.


And we were greeted at my sister Monica's by two of the most excited new cousins you could ever imagine. Those two sweet boys were instantly in love with Violet and spent the rest of the trip fawning all over her. One of my favorite moments was when my four year old nephew, Jude, saw Violet for the first time. I overheard him whispering to himself, "Adorable, adorable." (Which was only made cuter by that fact that he pronounces the world a-dowe-able.) And my sweet eight year old redheaded nephew, Max, told me later in the week, "Auntie, I just didn't expect her to be so cute." Neither did I, little man. Neither did I.
One of the great joys of my life is my relationship with my nephews and watching them with my own daughter just fills my heart with overwhelming happiness.

This trip brought long walks with my family and friends and beautiful afternoons at the lake. I was so happy to escape the Vegas summer heat and sit outside on my sister's deck with some of the people I love most. Introducing my new little girl to a few of my closest friends (including her Uncle Danny) made for some of my most treasured memories and, perhaps, favorite days on this planet.

Walking up and down my favorite tree lined streets in the city I used to call home was exactly what this new mama needed.  

Although I loved all of my trip, my favorite moments at home in Washington had to be sitting on my sister's deck drinking a Corona (Jenner, the beer snob, is shuddering at this sentence, I'm sure) with my family. In fact, the first evening I was there, I found myself enjoying my first beer in close to eleven months and laughing so hard with my sisters and nephews while my brother-in-law (and, perhaps, world's best uncle) was holding Violet. The sun was setting over the lake and I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to hold this memory in my heart forever because it just might have been one of my most perfect, happy moments.

More than anything, I loved sharing the people and the places I love so much with my baby girl. This was our first adventure together and every night of those two weeks felt like a special slumber party just for us. Even on the days I miss home the most, and there have been many since becoming a new mom, I am so blessed to have a place I can come to that makes me feel instantly at peace and people that make me feel so loved. A big thank you to my sweet family. Violet and I will see you in three weeks on our next big adventure!

Dear Violet.
{Month Two}

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dear Violet,

I don't know how we got here so quickly, sweet girl. It feels like just yesterday I was waiting to meet you and now here we are. With your wide blue eyes and your round, perfect tummy, you are so much bigger than you were when we first met, when your tininess took me by such surprise.

Looking back at your first month, I see now how terrified I was. Terrified by how much I loved this new, little person who needed me so entirely. From the lack of sleep to the constant, frantic middle of the night web searches, those days flew by in a blur of chaos and love. In your second month, I learned to trust my instincts as your mama, slow down and relax into days where the only thing accomplished was snuggling you in the rocking chair, gazing at your beautiful face. (I also learned, much to your dad's delight, I'm sure, how to take a shower when I was home alone with you. This is a big deal in new mama-land, my dear.)

During your second month, we went on the first of many adventures together. We spent two weeks in Washington, one in Seattle at your Auntie Monica's and one in your mama's hometown with Gram. Although I was scared to death to fly with my almost six week old, you were an angel throughout the flight and everyone commented on what a good baby you were. Sitting on that plane, holding you close to me, I beamed with pride for both of us, knowing this was just the beginning of a lifetime of travels and fun. When I was a little girl, my favorite thing in the world was traveling with my family and I was so happy to start sharing this love with you, my little companion. I hope that someday, when you are grown, you will be as excited to see me as I was that day to see my own mother. And our time in Washington was so special. From meeting your adoring cousins, to your Uncles, Michael and Danny, to going to the beach for the first time, to taking long walks every day, your two weeks in the Pacific Northwest were filled with good times and people who just couldn't get enough of you.

In your last letter, I wrote that you smiled at me at the end of your first month. Those smiles kept coming throughout your second month and, I promise, each was as special to me as the first and filled my heart with such happiness. I know that someday soon, I will come to expect your smiles, but for now, they leave me  overwhelmed with delight, wonder and, more than anything else,  love.

I don't know what I did to deserve you, Violet, but the privilege of being your mother is my greatest joy.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

Love, Mama

{photo taken by the lovely Kimberly}

When Bloggers Become Mothers.
{Is there anything else to write about?}

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In the last eight weeks, I've blogged three times. In the month of July, I blogged once. I suppose this is natural when one becomes a new mother, but I find myself wishing I had the energy, time and even desire to open up my laptop and write the way I once did. However, let's be honest here for a minute... I don't have a lot to write about, or talk about for that matter, other than the experience of new mamahood and my sweet baby girl, Violet. 

These days, life is pretty much baby coos and trying to implement sleep schedules and what stain remover will erase poo and why does she hate her car seat and my goodness she's pretty and does my dog feel neglected and how will I ever leave her at daycare next month and trying to fit in a date night and love. Lots and lots of love.

More than anything else, time is now spent shifting and reorganizing my days to fit a love so large there is very little room leftover. And perhaps that's the challenge in itself, to squeeze out any extra space. Space for your relationships, space for a fulfilling career, space just for the things that make you, well, you, even when that you feels almost unrecognizable post little new person. And sometimes the things that make you who you are feel ridiculous in your new life as a mother, but man, sometimes we need to feel like our ridiculous selves for just a fleeting moment.

So, instead of spending one more moment of my Wednesday morning wondering if it will take longer to make it look as though I've taken a shower or actually just take one, I've decided to list some of the things I've been thinking about in these last few weeks that do not include my new addition. And, yes, they are all ridiculous. Here goes...

- Scientology. Yes, you read that right and, yes, it really all started with the Katie and Tom divorce. After news of the TomKat split made the rounds, I found myself researching Scientology articles during every late night Violet feeding. Before long, I was forwarding articles to my best friend (who states I now have a Ph.D. in Scientology), watching documentaries with my sister, sharing conspiracy theories with my brother-in-law and reporting on all my findings to my mom. I find it fascinating and altogether terrifying. Next time you see me, let's talk about it. Seriously. Oh, and if this blog post mysteriously disappears, well, let's just say the church frowns upon criticism.

- This book. Sure, it might take me the rest of my life to finish, but this is one great book and I love every moment I get to steal away and read it.

- ABC Family. I know, it's weird. (Well, perhaps not any more weird than admitting I spend at least 60% of my very limited free time preparing for a research paper on Scientology I'll never write. Oh, but I could, Tom Cruise. I could.) Between Pretty Little Liars and my newest guilty pleasure, Beverly Hills Nannies, I heart my ABC Family iPhone app.

- Hollywood gossip. When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be Mary Hart from Entertainment Tonight. Sometimes I guess I still do. This is clear when I call the best friend to fill her in on the latest breaking news from the Jackson family feud to the Twilight breakup. What can I say? I like to stay informed.

- This album. When I'm driving, I'm dancing to these songs. When I'm at my desk at work, I'm dancing to these songs. When I'm putting on my makeup for the three days a week I'm now at said work, I'm dancing to these songs. Enough said.

So, there you have it. Even though my whole world has been turned upside down and transformed by Violet and my love for her, underneath the lullabies and the burp cloths and the late nights, I'm still me. Ridiculous, silly, pop culture loving, Scientology fearing me.

Dear Violet.
{Month One}

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dear Violet,

Before I became your mother, I thought about the kind of mom I someday hoped to be. For example, I wanted to take you on road trips, just the two of us, the way your grandmother once did with me. Trips where we would talk for hours on the open road about life and ideas. I wanted to have movie nights every Friday where we ignore our weekday rules and eat too much candy and laugh late into the night. I also wanted to write you a letter every month of your early years.

So, here I am, writing you the first of what will become many letters. Road trips and movie nights will come, but for now, I give you my words, knowing that words can never capture the depth of love, adoration and awe I feel for you, my baby girl.

This first month has been unlike any other I have ever known. Several nights after first bringing you home, I rocked you and wept. I cried in the dark, clutching you to my chest, because the enormity of my love for you was so overwhelming. In that beautiful, terrifying moment, I knew I would never be the woman I was before you came into the world, before loving you forever transformed my heart. And, Violet, I am so humbled by, and grateful for, the experience of being your mama.

You have been my angel baby this first month, little girl. While I was busy finding my footing as a new mother and trying to cope with the exhaustion of the first few weeks, I was enamored with your calming, sweet presence. On the day before your one month birthday, you looked up at me and for the briefest of seconds, you flashed me a smile. Not an I-just-passed-gas smile or a drunk-on-milk smile, a real smile at your mom. I thought my heart might burst with love in that perfect moment on that lovely afternoon.

You are my heart, Violet. Your dad, your furry brother Samson and I are all so lucky to have you.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

Love, Mama


{photos taken at ten days by photographer Crecia Page}

The first few weeks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So, here we are already. One month in. Without a doubt, it's been both the longest and shortest month of my life. And, man, let me tell you, it is crazy... During every other life changing (that phrase doesn't even begin to cut it) transition a person goes through, it's difficult to realize - in the moment - that it's happening. Only later, upon reflection, do we recognize the ways in which we were becoming new versions of ourselves. However, during this first month of motherhood, with every passing moment, I've felt myself become someone I wasn't thirty days ago. It's like nothing I've ever experienced.

In most every way, it's harder than they tell you it will be. So much harder. But it's so much better... It's inconceivably beautiful and exhausting and all consuming. On a difficult day, it will bring you to your knees, and on a good day, it will take your breath away and fill you with a love you have never known. And there are so many, many good days.

So much more to come...

Introducing... Violet.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the night of May 27th 2012, at 10:55 pm, after three days in the hospital anticipating her arrival, Violet Bailey Costello came into the world... and the world hasn't been the same since.

Instantly, all we can see is you, Violet. We love you so much.

Dear Baby.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I know I haven't met you yet, but I know you.

From the night I found out you were inside me, to the first time I felt you kick, to the moment your dad and I found out you were a little girl, to anxiously waiting to see your face for the first time - I have loved you through it all.

My wish for you is that you come into this world that first day and walk around in it every day after knowing how loved you are. Whoever you turn out to be is perfect and I am so honored that I get to be your mother.

Thank you for choosing me, little one.

I will love you always and forever,

Nearing the End:
Bed Rest & Bathroom Baby Bump Photos.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

As I near the end of my pregnancy, I can't help but look back on my earlier pregnancy pictures. You know the ones. The ones that capture the moment you pass a (sometimes random) bathroom mirror, pull out your iPhone and think to yourself, "Oh, there you are, baby." And those small moments, often in the public library's restroom, transform you, little by little, into a mother.

{The first time I wore maternity jeans and noticed my baby bump.}

On Monday, we had a little scare that sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound and a fetal stress test. The results indicated that, although baby girl is fine, my fluids - yes, I said it - are lower than what the doctor would like to see. So, I was sent home on strict orders of bed rest and drinking a GALLON of water a day. I go in and see if I've replenished my fluids tomorrow. If not, I'll likely be induced (not my favorite option, by far) by tomorrow evening. My sister already has her flight scheduled for tomorrow (which we'll change if the doc thinks I can wait a few more days), my bag is packed and, friends, this just got really, really real.

Stay tuned... Lots of love, Kathleen

Following in the footsteps of my mother.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dear Mama,

It's hard to believe that sometime in the next three weeks, I will become a mom. I can only hope that I will be as good a mother to my daughter as you were - and are - to me. I love you with all my heart, but even more than that, perhaps, I like you as much as I could ever like anyone. Thank you for being my strongest supporter, my biggest fan and my best friend. I can't wait to see you in the next few weeks and introduce you to your granddaughter.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Following in your footsteps always,

Scenes from a (Vegas) baby shower.
{Part Two.}

Friday, May 4, 2012

A few Sundays ago, I had my second baby shower here in Las Vegas. My dear friend Lindsey generously hosted the soiree in her lovely home and my friends at work took on the task of first convincing me to allow baby shower games (something I had vehemently sworn off to anyone who would listen) and then pulling them all together. (With gift bags for the winners, no less.) This time around, I got to have more of a hand in decorating and even though I'm having a little girl, Lindsey was sweet enough to just grin and bear it when I naysayed the color pink over and over again. I was also lucky to have my family in town the week of the shower and was able to introduce them to my friends, coworkers and even the members of my Vegas family they hadn't previously met. (Introducing my mom to both Jenner's mom, Diana, and my little boy pup, Sammy, were highlights of the week.)

A big thank you to everyone who joined us on that beautiful Sunday - including Autumn Vegas and our good friend Ana who brought food and the most adorable cupcakes! - and made me feel so, ahem, showered with love and sunshine. And to Lindsey, I can't thank you enough for always coming through for me and making me feel so much love in Las Vegas.