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March 25, 2018

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Baby's First Birthday | Party

Thank you to our family and friends for the love and support they surrounded us with this weekend!

We had such a great time celebrating Rosie's first birthday and are incredibly grateful for all the helping hands that made it possible.

(A special thank you to my in-laws for hosting our party and working so hard with us to make it wonderful for everyone!)


We hope you enjoy this quick video with more details from Roselyn's birthday party:


Baby's First Birthday | Cake Smash

I've been simultaneously agonizing and awaiting this moment for months now – and the time has finally come. Roselyn just turned one!

Since I found out that we were expecting a baby, family, friends, neighbors and strangers have been telling me that "babies don't keep" and to "hold onto her as long and as tight as you can." Well, now that one year has officially passed us by, I can tell you friends: it's all true.


We've been asked a few times about how we've been feeling since the big day this week, and in truth, it's a multitude of emotions – something we're quickly learning is synonymous with fatherhood and motherhood. We are so excited to have a toddler and are looking forward to what this upcoming year will bring, but also truly miss the moments when we could kiss or rock our sweet daughter to sleep.

Parenting isn't for the faint of heart, but we're also learning to celebrate the big and little moments too – which is why we chose to commemorate Rosie's first birthday with a cake smash in the desert. We had so much fun working with our friend Valerie, of Valerie Bolitho Photography, again and watching Roselyn enjoy her first taste of cake!









Baby's Outfit: Pippen Lane
Caitlin's Outfit: Le Kate
Ryan's Outfit: Chaps

October 6, 2017

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This Is the Time to Remember


"This is the time to remember, 'cause it will not last forever. These are the days to hold on to, but we won't, although we'll want to."

As we enter autumn, I'm reminded of how quickly Roselyn is growing and how time is passing by.

Rosie is officially 6-months-old now, and although I've been taking photos of her each day, we have hardly captured any pictures of the three of us together since she joined our family. That is why we were so happy to reconnect with our friend Valerie, of Valerie Bolitho Photography, for family portraits this month!

Valerie helped us document both our engagement and wedding photos, so it was very special to have her shoot our family of three, now that we're back home in Phoenix again.













We had such an incredible time shooting this season of our lives at the Desert Botanical Garden and are looking forward to doing it again soon.

We've learned that you can never take enough photos of this time with your babe – Roselyn is growing so fast and it's beginning to feel like if we blink, we'll miss it.

Thank you to our friend Valerie for continuing to document these milestones in our lives!

Baby Outfit: Baby Gap
Caitlin's Outfit: PinkBlush
Ryan's Outfit: Chaps

July 26, 2017

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How to Roadtrip with a Baby


If you know anything about our family, you know that we love family time and we love road trips!

Ryan and I have been road tripping together across the U.S. since 2012 and have seen over 35 states thus far, but we found ourselves asking if we could continue to travel this way in 2017 now that we have a baby.



The answer? Yes we can!

With a little more planning and preparation, we found that we can still have a successful roadtrip... and you can too! Read our top tips on:

 How to Roadtrip with a Baby


1. Confront Your Fear

Just like anything else, it's important to first confront your fear of a roadtrip with a baby. Knowing that your baby will cry or have a blowout or spit-up as soon as you depart (in our experience) helped us plan and prepare for our travels more efficiently. We found that going into the roadtrip with this mindset was critical to it's success.

2. Make Frequent Stops

It is essential that you make frequent stops throughout your roadtrip, for you and baby! Our daughter lets us drive three or four hours while she naps, then, when she wakes, we stop for a half hour or so to feed, have a diaper change and play together. The stops help us all regroup so we can continue the roadtrip satisfied.

3. Purchase New Toys

There is nothing more effective or entertaining than new toys for a baby on a roadtrip. Our daughter's top three favorite toys to play with while traveling are:

Lovies
Fanfan the Fawn
Rattles

4. Ride in the Backseat

Although blankets, mirrors and new toys are beloved by babes on road trips, nothing can replace the sight of Dad or Mom! Riding in the backseat next to your rear-facing baby ensures that you can comfort him or her and make any necessary adjustments on the road without sacrificing travel time.

5. Travel During Naptime or Nighttime

Every baby is different and his or her needs are unique, but we found that traveling during naptime or nighttime makes for an easier roadtrip for everyone. Our daughter sleeps well first thing in the morning and again at night, so we try to drive as far as we can in the early morning hours then plan to make frequent stops or rest during the day so we can recuperate by nighttime.

Although road tripping with a baby requires more planning and preparation, try not to let your fear undermine your travels!

Be sure to use these tips to ensure a successful roadtrip for all.

Bon voyage!

Carseat: Britax
Pacifier: Natursutten
Pacifier Clip: Matimati Baby

April 30, 2017

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New Life with a Newborn

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." ― Agatha Christie


No matter how much you've planned, prepped or researched having a baby, I now know that nothing can prepare you for motherhood or your new life loving your newborn.

Our days and lives are admittedly more challenging now – between functioning on little sleep, living and working in three hour windows and searching for time to stay on top of Roselyn's cognitive and physical development.

That being said, however, I wouldn't trade this new role for anything – the joy, love and strength that comes from being her mother is truly what continues to drive me each day.

New Life with a Newborn


There are also a few strategies and qualities that we've employed to make our new life with a newborn simpler that we'd like to share:

Community:

Motherhood isn't easy. Thankfully, when you have a community of family and friends that you can discuss parenthood with, get support from and rely on, life becomes less complicated.

Shoutout to my community who answers calls and texts in the middle of the night, and doesn't mind talking about Roselyn's feeding and napping strategies at length!

Endurance:

The days are long, but the years are short. Parenthood is all-consuming right now, but we know that our days will get easier and that we'll miss having these moments with our daughter after they've passed, so we're enjoying making memories with her and are continuing to move forward.

Flexibility:

Staying flexible is a must!

We learned in our first week home with Roselyn that our days would no longer be as organized as they were or go as planned, and staying flexible has made everyone's lives easier.

Humility:

Going through birth and pregnancy was humbling, and motherhood has been no exception. Our daughter has completely changed how we view our happiness and success now, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Nourishment:

In addition to caring for a baby, it's important to remember to nourish yourself as well.

I came down with a sickness in the first three weeks of Roselyn's life after not focusing enough on my own health, and it was difficult to care for her and mend myself at the same time. Remember that caring for yourself also benefits your baby!

New Life with a Newborn Products


In addition, there are also products that can make your life with a newborn easier – namely the ones made for feeding and sleeping. We have had great success using:

Feeding:

Mama & Little nursing and teething necklaces, which currently aid the development of Roselyn's vision by allowing her to follow the necklace back and forth evenly and focus on patterns. We'll continue using the necklaces for nursing and teething in the coming months when she becomes more active!

Sleeping:

The Philips Avent Soothie pacifier, which comforts Roselyn when she's experiencing IUGR symptoms, and Swaddle Designs muslin swaddles, which she uses every night to rest and not startle herself while sleeping.

What other strategies or products have you found helpful in your new life with a newborn? We'd love to hear your stories or tips in the comments below, or on my Facebook or Instagram.

March 31, 2017

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Our Birth Story

Our birth was nothing like I expected it to be – but it was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life – so I wanted to document it here and share it with you today, while it's still fresh in my mind.


Our journey began with infertility, but thankfully, after a year of medication and treatment, we found out that we were expecting and due in the spring of 2017. The next thing we knew, after what felt like both a minute and a lifetime had passed, spring had arrived and we were approaching labor.

We had a high risk pregnancy due to several diagnoses – including intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) – that had me on bed rest, in addition to daily appointments and check-ins during our last trimester. We knew this would affect our labor, but had no idea how March 22-23 would unfold.

Our Birth Story


On March 15 – a week before our delivery – I had gone into prodromal labor, which meant that I would experience contractions every evening that would come three to five minutes apart and last for eight hours or more, just to stop suddenly and then repeat again the next evening.

Our doctors informed us that this meant we could go into active labor at any point during the experience, but without any further developments, we were going to have to continue laboring each night until we progressed far enough to go to the hospital.

March 22:

10 a.m. Prodromal labor painfully persisted every night for a week and left me emotionally and physically exhausted each time, so Ryan and I went into our doctor's appointment hoping for another sign that we would be admitted to the hospital soon.

12 p.m. Our doctor's appointment confirmed that the prodromal labor we experienced had helped me progress far enough to head to the hospital that day – which we were initially happy about. Unfortunately, tests also showed that I had become increasingly preeclamptic that week, so I would need to be induced immediately upon arrival.

3 p.m. We grabbed our hospital bags, had one last meal together and drove to the hospital – in disbelief that our time had finally come, and that we would have our baby within the next 24 hours. We arrived at the hospital and I was immediately admitted to begin treatment in the form of magnesium for preeclampsia and pitocin to induce labor.

5 p.m. We were not responding to the initial treatment levels of either medicine, so my sweet nurse Sam apologetically explained that they'd be pushing me up to a higher dose of each throughout the evening, and that I'd likely start having reactions to the medicine soon.

7 p.m. - 11 p.m. I began experiencing the side effects of magnesium – which I believe was the worst part of our labor – and I was still not responding to treatment as quickly as we had hoped, so it was determined that our doctor would need to manually break my water to speed up our timeline.

March 23:

12 a.m. Our doctor gave me the go ahead to request an epidural before he manually broke our water, and thankfully, the anesthesiologist was able to immediately accommodate our request. We had some difficulty getting it set because I was still actively contracting and getting ill from the magnesium – but we were successful, and I was able to receive the epidural and have my water broken soon thereafter.

2 a.m. - 8 a.m. The contractions began to increase with the help of another dose of pitocin after my water broke, and since I had already received my epidural and wasn't in pain, Ryan and I were able to have a few hours of sleep while waiting for me to progress further.

9 a.m. We woke up when our doctor came to check our progress once more, and he asked if I had begun to feel the urge to push, because we were "ready to go at a 10." Our doctor then stated that he was beginning to feel the baby move further down at this point, and I replied that I was noticing some increasing discomfort and pressure, so we both agreed that now was indeed the time to "do this."

9:30 a.m. Our doctor felt that I would need some additional medical assistance before he allowed me to begin to push, due to the side effects I was experiencing from the magnesium. The medicine had made it difficult for me to breathe, given me blurred vision, drowsiness and weakness among other symptoms – so I was soon put on oxygen to help me through labor.

10 a.m. With the oxygen, I was now feeling strong enough to begin pushing through my contractions. We had our doctor and nurses, high-risk and NICU teams, and several resident doctors all assemble in our delivery room – but at that point, I didn't care how many people were in the room with us, I just wanted to have our daughter here healthy and safe at last.

11:01 a.m. One hour of pushing brought Roselyn to us, and I recall hearing her cry and Ryan gasp simultaneously. I remember being so relieved to hear her cry because I understood that it was a sign of her health despite our early delivery and IUGR diagnosis. The next thing that I remember is Ryan telling me she has a full head of hair and that she's perfect – to which I cried, laughed and replied "so that's what all the heartburn was for."

Ryan then cut the cord and followed Roselyn over to the NICU team's table where she was evaluated and it was determined that she was, indeed, in perfect health.

Our doctor then assisted me in birthing the placenta, and informed us in that moment that our IUGR complications were most likely due to a placental abruption – which made me feel slightly better that we could attribute the diagnosis to something, but mostly just ready to see our mighty, tiny girl who had persisted through it all.

So, after she was cleared by NICU, I was able to soak up time with Roselyn on my chest and Ryan by my side. Roselyn listened and looked up at us with her beautiful, dark eyes as I spoke to her and told her how she was a miracle. Time stopped as she looked between us and as we looked at each other – in disbelief that we could create something so perfect.

We were officially a family of three, and there are no words to describe the overwhelming sense of joy and love that moment held. Ryan was officially a Dad and I a Mom, and our perfect daughter was happy, healthy and here with us.

March 29, 2017

in

Introducing Baby Burm

After months of anticipation, Ryan and I are happy to introduce the newest addition to our family: Roselyn [ROSE-uh-lyn] Josephine Burm.


Rosie was born early on March 23, 2017, at 4 lbs. 14 oz. and 18.5" long – and is mighty like Dad and miniature like Mom. We are head over heels in love with her!

Thank you all for following along with our journey to parenthood, and be sure to stay tuned for our birth story – coming as soon as I find time to stop indulging in her newborn scent and staring into her beautiful, miniature face.




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