surviving baby’s first night away

this weekend livi spent her first night away from us and, I have to say, it was unexpectedly hard. for me, not for dave. he slept like a baby.

i didn’t have a single inkling of anxiety about livi staying the night with her grandparents. in fact, i was a little giddy. because livi nursed for a year, we were never apart for more than 5 hours and that only happened a handful of times. she basically turned 1, started walking, said tata to nursing (see what I did there??) and then decided she was big enough to sleep away. *sigh

tips for surviving baby's first night away // the modern locket
the evening started out wonderfully relaxed with a Scream marathon and pinning to my heart’s content. sure i missed her, but it was nighttime & she’d be in bed anyway, right? but, when i got in bed, it hit me. livi was sooooo far away. (all of 10 minutes) i couldn’t hear her sound machine over the baby monitor, and i didn’t get to sneak in and check on her like i have every single day dice she was born. i melted. quickly. even my body seemed to know that she was gone. every 30 minutes it jerked me awake to listen for my baby that wasn’t there. it was then, in the wee hours, that i began praying for the women i know whose arms are currently perpetually empty either from loss or a not-yet-fulfilled desire to have a little one. i counted myself lucky to know that livi was just a short 10 minute drive away, soundly tucked in & greatly loved.

there’s a certain amount of Stockholm syndrome that sets in during those first few months of cocooning to survive the sleeplessness. the sweet bundle of mess holds you captive (almost literally) and pretty soon you can’t even think of what life was like before they came along. the physical cord has been cut, but those heart strings grow stronger every day.

hopefully any babies we have after livi won’t catch me quite so off guard during these milestones. i put together a five tips that might help you survive the first night away better than i did!

1: make sure you have white noise to replace the sound of the monitor. i love the app Ambiance and the sound Rolling Thunder in the Rain category.

2: leave your baby with someone you trust who already knows his/her schedule and routines well. livi stayed with dave’s parents who watch her often and she’s really comfortable with them. this gave me the most peace of mind!

3: give yourself plenty of time to prepare emotionally and mentally and, if you think your overnight sitter might need it, a list of any info you think is vital to success and safety.

4: if you have the means, get away for the whole night at a hotel or go out on a special date! i feel like if i’d done this i would’ve had a better chance at sleeping. all night i fought the urge to wedge myself in livi’s crib!

5: change up your own bedtime routine. maybe pamper yourself with a facial steam & a mask. I love the Clear Improvement charcoal mask from Origins. or have a beer & a bath with a good book that’s not about parenting! (a mistake I made!!)

when did you first leave your sweet baby with someone else? what was your reaction?

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Pecans (a trader joe’s hack)

since livi’s first birthday party is tomorrow, I’m going to make this a quick & easy recipe post. being elbow deep in birthday crafting and cupcake making didn’t lend itself to having a whole bunch of time, but i can tell you that these sweet & spicy roasted pecans are SO worth the 20 min it takes to make them…. ok, well worth the 5 min of hands on time it takes. 😉

I fell head over heels hard for the sweet & spicy pecans at Trader Joe’s. they are good on so many things, but at $3.99 per 5oz pop it was starting to seem like it might not be worth it with the amount I was buying. (gulp.) that’s just far too much money on (essentially) decorative nuts! plus, i feel better knowing exactly what’s going into my food. tj’s has a decent reputation for good ingredients, but their sweet & spicy nuts are made with canola oil – something i’m trying to stay away from if i can help it. i figured it was time to make them myself. they couldn’t be that hard to emulate, right? I was sooooo right. and these are even better. i mean, as long as you’re into food that has a buttery, toasty yumminess that puts its store-bought friend to shame.

The Modern Locket // Sweet & Spicy Pecans (a trader joes hack)

sweet & spicy pecans

preheat oven to 325

in a small mixing bowl, combine:
2T white granulated sugar
2T brown sugar
1/2t cayenne pepper
1/4t fresh ground black pepper
1/4t sea salt

on the stove top, toss on medium/low heat:
8oz raw pecan halves (ironically, tj’s has the best price i’ve found for these)
2 Tbsp of butter
(just until butter is melted & pecans are warmed)

toss the pecans in the sweet & spicy mix. give it a good mix-around. then, spread the pecans on a lined baking sheet & bake for 15 minutes. halfway through the baking time, stir the pecans & get a waft of the toasty goodness.

store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 6-8 weeks to top your salads, baked potatoes, and even put in your chicken salad in place of almonds. so many uses!

i dare you to resist the temptation to burn your tongue on one straight out of the oven.

this is how we do…

starting a blog scares the crap outta me. there’s a lot going on up in my crazy head.

great! thanks for stopping by! hope to see you again!

i’m really good at not being awkward. (note: this is sarcasm. i really wish we actually used punctuation to denote this. that would make my life a lot easier.)

when dave & i had our little love bug, dave gave me an amazing hand-painted, vintage locket by Verabel + Fox as a push gift.

THE MODERN LOCKET // Vintage, handpainted locket by Verabel + Fox on Etsy

i read about push gifts on some baby website that tells you all the terrible things you’re doing that will make your kids grow up to be serial killers and possess an inability to pick our their own clothes, but i thought it sounded like a really neat idea. i said something to dave to the same effect and he filed it away in his “husbandly efforts” mind-file. i imagined that, after the sweatless euphoria of giving life (because “birth” is gross) to a precious bundle of joy that nurses perfectly the first time, my dear husband would hand me a perfectly wrapped box. i would open it, gasp and someone would take a perfectly timed photo. it didn’t exactly happen that way. everything was crazy nuts and dave forgot the present he got for me, which was ok because i didn’t even know he’d gotten it. when we finally made it home from the hospital, he gave it to me a couple days later while i was in a sleep deprived stupor made worse by the fact that livi wouldn’t nurse and i ugly cried like slimer was trapped in my nasal cavities and escaping to his freedom. aside from my wedding ring, it is my most prized possession. all at once it represents the past, the present and the future. it means home.

i guess that’s what i want this blog to encompass…home and all the things that word means. i’ll most likely talk about life, things i’m thinking about and maybe post some DIY’s and recipes. you know, just stuff that’s rambling around in my head. hopefully you’ll find it useful and/or encouraging.