Two Babies

Paityn’s eyes light up when she excitedly observes she and Hudson are laying together in bed or are both in my exhausted arms. “Two babies!”

The transition to having “two babies” was a rough one the first month. Struggle bus galore. Paityn seemed to be concerned that we would leave one night just like all of the visitor’s did after Hudson was born. She started needing reassurance anytime we’d be in the car driving that she was coming too.

“Dadda, coming? Momma, coming? Paityn, coming? Baby, coming?”
“Yes Paityn,” we’d tell her, “you’ll always come with us.”

For weeks Landon laid next to her crib holding her hand through the slots, soothing her hurting and worried heart till she fell asleep. Breastfeeding Hudson often made her jealous. I offered every time she tried to push Huddie off that she could go next, Hudson just had to go first. She took me up on the offer once, and bit me within 5 seconds. Turns out a good latch isn’t forever.

Let’s also not forget the pink eye that kept sweeping through our house that month.

And then something magical happened at the 4 week mark. We got our sweet Paityn back. Sighs of relief happened. I was never concerned that we’d ruined her life. But it was hard to see her not herself.

But everything went back to normal; minus my huge pregnant belly and with a chubby little newborn in our lives now.

The girls started sleeping in till 11am some mornings. Paityn took up nursing her doll while I nursed Hudson, or started using the free time to get into a little mischief. We fell into a routine. I learned the habits that made our days go smoothly, and joyfully even most days. Suddenly our texts to Landon were cheerful updates, the sweatpants and unwashed hair days were fewer and further between, and that peaceful motherhood confidence set back in.

I will clarify, it’s strongest when both girls are sleeping. ;)

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Favorite Baby Products

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The field of baby products is constantly changing, as are my favorite products. But I’m of the mindset that this phase of being a mother to a little one is short, so I’m all for trying-all-the-things!

With Paityn I used babyli.st as our baby registry instead of a large box store because of the ease of adding products from any online store, including Easy. With Hudson I used it as a way to stay organized for personal use, and to share with you guys what my favorite things are if you were shopping as well. This is not sponsored in any way, I really just love this site.

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I’ve added the link to my menu and hope that we can talk baby products + this can be a place where you can ask questions about anything you see listed as my favorite. I love the fluid nature of the page — prices are constantly update, I can rearrange/organize, and change notes if they’re confusing or need clarification.

Of course at the end of the day, many of the products are just nice things to have to make motherhood sweet. All you really truly need for a baby is a place for it to sleep, your body to feed and cuddle, a way to contain and dispose of waste, and a proper carseat. And love.

 



 

Nursing in Public

“But truly, women are amazing. Think about it this way: a woman can grow a baby inside her body. Then a woman can deliver the baby through her body. Then, by some miracle, a woman can feed a baby with her body. When you compare that to the male’s contribution to life, it’s kind of embarrassing, really.” ― Jim GaffiganDad Is Fat

I didn’t set out to be someone who had strong feelings and opinions about nursing. It happened gradually over the past few years.

The wheels started turning during my first few months with Paityn. I remember lamenting to my mom the need to use a cover while nursing my child, wishing that it could be no biggie to nurse freely wherever whenever.

And then I began to learn that it is. Or that it should be.

There are still situations now where I draw the line and need a cover. The list usually includes being with people who aren’t complete strangers, church services (as backwards as that sounds when you think about it) or situations where I can’t relax.

If we’re being completely honest I cover for my comfort. It’s difficult to let milk physically flow while being stressed out trying to maintain eye contact with someone, all the while wondering if the extra skin they’re seeing while I nurse coverless measures up to their standard of beauty.

IMG_0721IMG_0731 Why am I not concerned about the rest of the people in any given room? Because I know they’re going to be ok.

I believe that by nursing in public I share the message that my breast’s primary function, their intended purpose according to my Faith’s doctrine, is to nourish this child of mine.

Yes they are an erogenous zone. But so is the mouth, neck and earlobe. And you’re not going to judge me for showing those three. Yes the world has sexualized the breast.

But that is the world. And I believe in a better reality.

So I nurse.

And sometimes you guys, breastfeeding becomes a beautiful moment and I want to bottle up all of those emotions and take all the photos of their milk drunk faces. And other times it’s a routine moment because my daughter is hungry, and she needs to eat.

I nurse because the World Health Organization repeats over and over again that it is what our babies need. Every single one of them. In every single country.

My Faith recommends nursing for at least 12 months, and the World Health Organization urges to stick with it for 2 years and beyond. I set a goal that I knew I could do this time: of 18 months.

I stopped early last time, convinced that my melon sized chest would surely shrink down the way the rest of my body had. I had beauty ideals for myself that breastfeeding wasn’t meeting.

But nursing isn’t about physical beauty. So I’ve learned to be comfortable in this body. And if this is the cup size that my body knows to grow into to feed our daughters, then so be it.

I will be comfortable in this body.

I will be comfortable nursing my child when she needs to eat. I will learn to continue to accept that it won’t always be at an ideal time, but that I can relax wherever I am, and allow the milk to flow. Because she needs that from me.

IMG_0718So if I’m out to dinner, I won’t hide in a bathroom stall. If I’m attending church services I won’t hide in a side room missing special ordinances and messages. If you choose to step out to nurse — whether for your comfort or your child’s specific needs — I support you, and am so grateful for any building that provides a space for mothers. But I’m staying in the pew, trying to act nonchalant with Hudson under the cover trusting that it’ll get easier.

If I’m attending an event I won’t fearfully pump ahead of time to avoid having to nurse when she gets hungry. But I may ask you or Landon to sit close next to me to help me relax and remind me that it’s ok, and to talk with me.

I’m human, and I need to learn to trust the setting before being vulnerable.

I’ll nourish this child, and you nourish your child. We’re raising the next generation.

And I’d like for this to be a world where the focus on the body is spiritual. That my girls know their bodies are made by the ultimate Creator. And that we’ve had enough sexualization of the female body from past generations. We’re ready for a new reality.



This post is a collaboration with Cover Me Ponchos. Instead of telling you about the cute evening that we had taking these photos I wanted to share thoughts that have been on my heart the past week. I hope you don’t mind. Mint Poncho c/o Cover Me Ponchos.

This guy.

Is steady making progress growing his hair out
Finds a trail marathon to be a beautiful way to spend Saturday morning (3rd in his age group this past weekend!)
and fancies the idea of a romantic vacation together in Patagonia or Banff over any tropical island.

Can talk plans for a little home together to my heart’s content,
and will take “the long way” on our way to water our garden each night to scope out sweet homes in the area.

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Somehow happily cooks dinner on the nightly. I’d probably go crazy y’all.
Watches our babes at the track while I slowly run a handful of laps
and is always down for a chocolate run at 9pm.

Two babies and a wedding anniversary in a few short days.
How has it only been 4 years??
How do I love him so much more now?

Life is good with this guy around.

The Sling Diaries | Celebration

Celebration. I’m not the life of the party by any means. If you know me in real life you know that I am fun loving and bubbly, but reserved and cautious. If I’m going to tell you a story about celebration I’d most likely be most comfortable sitting cross-legged on the floor somewhere casual, telling you about my heart and just how full it is.

I value peaceful happiness more than almost anything and find a full and blissful heart a reason to celebrate. Sakura-Bloom-Celebration-31

As I laid Hudson down next to me after a short 2am nursing session the other night, I took a second to look over my little family before turning off the lamp. Paityn, passed out with her arms spread out across a good portion of our full-sized bed, caught my eyes first. Despite the lack of room that I now had to sleep on, I felt a surge of love for her that I hadn’t felt before. There’s something about those post nursing sessions in the middle of the night that cast a lovely glow on everything in the room. I survey all her features — the curve of her neck, her sweet relaxed shoulders, the way the shadows fall on her eyelids, and how even in the near dark her lips are clearly pigmented. I make a mental note to help support her so much that I can help her act as sweet during the day as she looked in that moment. I look over finally to Landon, thinking about all of his help that night alone. I send a cheesy text then quietly lay down, hoping the notification sound doesn’t wake him up and that he’ll see it when he wakes to run in a few short hours.

As the week went on, thinking back to those few minutes at 2am, I realized it wasn’t just that magical hour that had a lovely glow to it. When I think about other portions of our life they look just as lovely through my eyes.

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I’m fortunate to not have the mindset or fear that can set in when one realizes just how good life  — that surely a setback must be around the corner. Rather I know how bleak things can be, and have been for us at times. I seek to celebrate when things are good. We just passed the two year anniversary of when our relationship turned a beautiful leaf for us as a couple and for our little family of three. — I think back to that phase of life and the unwavering hope and trust that I had in our future. Through lots of tears at the time I knew and trusted the promise that there were good things up ahead for us. That life would return to normal, a new and improved normal! But I had no idea what to picture.

And then here were are. Back in the state of Utah that quite literally make my heart flutter. With two sweet daughters. Landon working for an outdoor company that he loves. Family nearby and friends to play with at the park during the day. Adventures almost every night. Laughter and the sound of us cheering on our toddler when she poops on the toilet or picks up a new word. Taking too many photos and getting attached to them all. Shared dinner at a dining room table that Landon cooks nightly. I’m not sure how my 2013 self would feel about that one though. I’m sure I would’ve hoped I’d have gotten it together by now. ;)

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More than anything if I could go back and show that worried wife and new mom one thing, I wish I could somehow show her just how full my heart is now. I picture holding out my hands with a literal heart in my them; healthy, beating and so alive.  I know that I would cry as I earnestly shared about how good life would be in just two short years. That I know her pain, oh how I know it. But I know of an even better joy now, and that I’m absolutely soaking it up and enjoying every moment of it.

Just as much as my heart relaxed when Landon and I started dating every time that he’d refer to a future event he wanted to do together, signifying that our feelings were mutual, my heart has been able to relax knowing that this happiness has a future.

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Now, If you’re going though a rough patch I hope you’ll trust me as I hold out my hands to you too, sharing that I promise there is goodness up ahead. That there will be more to celebrate than you can even imagine. I hope that you feel buoyed up from time to time when you hear it from me. And if you’re in a similar joyful phase of life I hope that you’re taking the time to celebrate the good, without reservation.



I am so honored to be a part of the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries for the 6th Volume. This is my first entry and I will have the chance to share on a few different topics over the next 5 months. I hope that you’ll enjoy following along as I share the stories that are uniquely ours. You can follow along with other sweet mamas here. This sling is C/O Sakura Bloom + is their classic linen in Cedar. Top: Cotton On Pants: Gap Sandals: BC Footwear

Summer Evening Park Dates

My poor daughter asks to go outside or on a walk more times during the day than I can count. She never begs or whines, it’s always the simple question, “owside?” And then she listens to my list of things we have to do first, “real quick.”

More times than not my well intentioned answer is, “yeah! just let me just take a shower first.”  An hour later, my hair finally done and a little makeup on my face, little sister’s now hungry, Paityn begins to lose patience quickly which makes me look at the clock and realize that if she doesn’t get a nap right then she won’t get one all day. Our adventures outside get put on hold again and again.
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Today was that kind of day exactly. Except instead of falling asleep for a nap Paityn sang and talked out loud from her crib while I did my hair. And then after an hour or so she called for me, and I came running to find her hands and shirt covered in poop. *deep sigh.*

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So tonight was our second chance.

Landon came home armed with chocolate for his stressed out wife. We picked up the house, got both girls dressed in clean clothes — Paityn having since been scrubbed down for her second bath for the day.

We grabbed the soccer ball, a few books to read, and Ellie the elephant. I threw on my new dress from Sonnet James and some saltwater sandals making a mental note to check to see if they’re still ok to wear this year.

The second we rounded the corner in the stroller she were begging for me to take her sandals off and let her down. She ran freely for a few minutes. Then taking my hand we attempted to sneak up and get close to a few Robins. Realizing dandelions were easier to play with than birds she switched her attention, her eyes lighting up every time she found a new wishflower.

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Life has gotten busy with two babies, but I feel bad about all of the time outside that we’re missing because I let life get in the way. I’m resolving to stick to my goal of a habit this next week to shower first thing in the morning; so that the first time Paityn asks to go “owside” I can finally respond, “yes! go grab you shoes!” And on days that I haven’t made it in yet, I’m resolving to be ok with going to the park with a giant pineapple of hair on top of my head. Showers can wait.

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Stokke Crusi + sibling seat || Sonnet James Florence Dress || Solly Baby Wrap in Orchid

The First Two Weeks

The time flew by quickly as time often does during a transition phase of life. One second we were packing up our things in the hospital and putting Hudson in her car seat to go home, the next minute both of our moms had come to visit and then returned to their homes again.

I’m a big believer in getting out of the house once a day — so starting with that first official night home from the hospital we ventured out for dinner with Avery and Trever along to help. We caught up over nachos at Costa Vida on how Paityn did spending the night with them, learning that she woke up multiple times crying for the baby (having seen Hudson the day before when they came to visit us in the hospital.) We got our turn the next few nights as she did the same — waking up just whimpering for the baby.

Pink eye had (of course) decided to land in both of her eyes the day we brought Hudson home so Landon would curl up with Paityn helping her fall asleep safely away from the little one.

By then my sweet mom had flown in from Alaska and was able to help with the 24 hour quarantine phase, and we got right back to little outings every day. The mall one day to grab a nursing friendly dress, grocery shopping and or the park another day. Landon was back to work a week after Hudson was born, but those six days together meant so much to me and our relationship. I can’t tell you how much my love for him grew in that short amount of time.

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One of my favorite nights with him was the night that Utah got hit with a random/freak windstorm. Without any real plans for the evening — my mom spending the night with her sisters, we packed the girls in the car and went for a drive. I hope I’ll be able to remember those sweet emotions forever. The simple but strong love in the air as we turned on some music and drove North and then up the canyon. Nothing to talk about we joked and laughed and held hands and watched the clouds close in on us, the sky becoming rusty colored and dark. Then up the canyon we went, the clouds parting revealing peaks of brighter sky and the ground showing off some of winter’s snow. I accidentally also fell even more in love with Utah that night and vowed to never leave.

At some point we headed off to Pizzeria Limone to share a pizza and diet coke as the storm intensified in wind and rain. Paityn was the happiest camper, having finally gotten her first nap for the day on the drive. Again we ate and laughed, and I nursed Hudson for the first time in public. We got kind smiles from strangers in the restaurant who were sitting out the storm, the kind of smiles that somehow reassure every decision that led up to where you are now.

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There were a few days in these first two weeks that weren’t quite as romantic and lovely. Paityn’s struggle to fall asleep without Landon near by kept up long after the pink eye was gone. I saw a jealous side of her for the first time during a random nursing session, and then saw it again and again. It’s hard when I just have one lap but two babies that want to (or one that needs to) be on it. Speaking of we can’t forget the days of counting down from ten and closing my eyes tightly every time Hudson would latch on, and wondering if that dang Lansinoh was even doing anything. But looking back if my biggest pain postpartum has really nothing to do with being postpartum or from labor, then that’s probably something to celebrate. After a day or two of ibuprofen after coming home from the hospital I was really feeling great. Huzzah!IMG_0824

Now that this pregnancy has come to an end, I feel surprised at how complete our family feels now and how uninterested I feel towards the idea of pregnancy again. Which is totally ok! I have a sweet little daughter to get to know and fall in love with, and a two-year old who suddenly seems years older to me. Big sister looks good on her.

xx