Posts in "Questions and Answers"
Questions (and Answers) v.17
Questions (and Answers) | Freckled Italian

How did you name Sophie?

I've been holding on to the name Sophie for years--I always loved it and thought it would be such a lovely name for a little girl. Her middle name is Ray, same as Rob's. I love that it's unique but also a little classic at the same time! There were a few other names we had in mind and waited pretty much until her birthday to pick one--we kept going back and forth and never really settled on one (we always just referred to her as "Baby" before she was born). Then one day, maybe 3 or 4 weeks before she was born, Rob said "I think I like Sophie" and it just stuck. It was a sweet few weeks of calling her by her name before she actually arrived, and it just felt right.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I'm turning 30 this year which means in 5 years I'll be 35! Holy cow. In 5 years I would love to be back on the east coast (sorry California friends and family!), still writing, taking care of my kid(s), and hopefully still teaching barre here and there! I'm loving life right now and can't imagine it any other way, but I do think living closer to family and friends in a home and neighborhood that we love is my number one dream/goal for now.

How has your anxiety been since Sophie was born?

Funny you should ask--the other day I was bragging (to myself) about how awesome I've been feeling when it comes to anxiety, but then this week it came out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks. I think overall, having a baby has made me a little less anxious because you can really only worry about so many things, and it's kind of taught me to prioritize my fears a little bit. But life happens and I still see myself getting irrational about certain things and that's always frustrating--to watch it happen and recognize it but still not be able to talk yourself out of it. 

How did you and Rob decide how to handle visitors after Sophie was born since you live far away from immediate family?

Such a good question and I would love to hear other people's answers to this one too (even if you live in the same city as your family)! We knew we wanted a little bit of time on our own once Sophie arrived, so we didn't try to plan my mom's flight around our due date or anything. She was due November 21 (and ended up being born that day), so my mom booked a flight for December 1. If I went super late maybe my mom would have been there for the birth, but I kind of always felt like she was going to be right on time or even early, so we felt good about having some time at home to figure stuff out on our own before we got any help.

I just really didn't want my first experience of taking care of a baby to be with an extra set of hands, if that makes sense--that way we were able to look forward to visitors but still know we could handle things on our own when they left. After that we tried to space people out so we didn't feel like we were entertaining or constantly having people stay with us, so my brother came a few weeks later for the holidays, then Rob's parents in January, then some friends and my dad in February and March. We always had about a week in between visitors and it was really great.

That's all for now! If you have more questions for me, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email and I'll be sure to include it in my next Q+A post.

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Questions (and Answers) v.16
Questions (and Answers) | Freckled Italian

Has it really been over a year since I've done one of these posts? I've been saving up some reader questions to answer, so today I'm going to do just that.

What do you miss most when you're not blogging?

I definitely haven't been blogging as much as I used to (or even as much as I hoped to after Sophie got here), and I think the thing I miss the most during this time off is just sitting down to write--it doesn't have to be a full essay, even just a quick list of things I believe right now or answering questions like this one. Instagram has been great for filling that desire to share, since it can be done a lot faster and without having to sit down at a computer.

Since you identify as an introvert, how do you maintain a healthy relationship with social media?

I love this question--people are often surprised when I tell them I'm an introvert, but it couldn't be more true. I think social media and blogging has been great for me because it allows me to put myself out there in ways I otherwise wouldn't--like there's a shield between me and the world that allows me to share with more confidence. I'm almost embarrassed when people I actually know in real life read my blog. Sometimes it feels easier to write for strangers.

As far as a healthy relationship with social media goes, I try really hard to be aware of how much I need the gratification from likes and comments and all that. I'd be lying if I said I didn't refresh Instagram too many times throughout the day, hoping for that acceptance. It can be exhausting. Taking a step back every now and then and reminding myself that I don't have to share every detail has been a good thing for me, even if it's easier said than done.

What are some things you wish you'd known before about birth or the first few weeks at home with a baby? Any advice for other first-time moms?

Surprisingly enough, Rob and I didn't take any birth classes, and I tried to actually limit my reading about labor and delivery. I felt really strongly that whatever was meant to happen would happen, and that my body was going to do what it needed to do. It helped to have my aunt as our doula, because I kind of went in blind. I knew what to expect on a very basic level, but I got too anxious when I tried to hammer out the details. 

I still barely know anything about being a mom, so I guess my advice for others is to keep your expectations low and just roll with it. You probably won't sleep very much at first and that's just how it is. But you'll figure it out a little more each day.

(I've gotten lots of requests for more motherhood posts: my breastfeeding experience, birth story, etc. and I'm working on them! Thank you all so much for your interest and questions.)

How is Ender adjusting to the baby, and what did you do to prep him for the transition?

He's doing really well! Ender is a sweet but pretty anxious, high-energy dog, so we were a little worried about him with Sophie, but he really seems to like her and want to be near her as much as he can. We started going to a private trainer every week a few months before our due date and worked on obedience and agility training, which interestingly enough helped Ender trust us more as his leaders.

We also stopped letting him on the furniture the whole month before Sophie got here, and we originally intended to keep it that way but changed our minds when we came home from the hospital. The trainer wants all his clients to keep their dogs off the bed and couch, but to us it felt more important to remind Ender that he's still part of the family even though we have a baby.

He sleeps in his crate because she's in a bassinet on our bed and I don't feel comfortable letting him be out and about if we're asleep and she's available to him (he loves licking her and it freaks me out). We never leave him unattended with her and if I have to go to the bathroom or throw some laundry in I put her in her crib, which is currently in the living room and high enough that he can't get to her (although he usually ends up staying on the couch or will lie down on the ground next to the crib).

I take him on a walk every day and try to run with him a few times a week. He's so much more well behaved when he gets enough exercise, so that's a big priority for us.

We'll see how he does as she gets more mobile and starts making more noises--she babbles a lot now and he was freaked out at first but is getting much more used to it. Poor pup--babies change so fast that sometimes it feels like he's getting used to a new thing every day! But he's doing great and I'm so proud of him.

Thank you all for your questions--I love answering them! If you have more, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email and I'll include them in a future post! You can also DM me on Instagram.

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Questions (and Answers) v.15
Questions (and Answers) | Freckled Italian

What's your advice for making a move as easy as possible? 

Gosh, you'd think I have a good answer to this question after so many moves! My best advice, which unfortunately I don't ever take, is to unpack at once. Get things in their places, break down the boxes, and get organized. On the flip side, I would say take your time packing and plan for it. 

I'm currently having trouble because we unpacked a lot in one sprint but then took a break and now I can't seem to get back to it. I always manage to hide a few boxes in a closet somewhere and forget about them. "Finish unpacking" will probably be on my to-do list for another three or four months. 

What's been the biggest adjustment since getting married?

Rob and I have been married for two and a half years now, can you believe it? We were together for five years before our wedding day, so at the time I didn't think getting married would change things too much. I think the biggest adjustment over the past few years has been truly working as a team through everything we do. Finances and big life decisions like are we ready for a dog? or should we move across the country for this job opportunity? mean so much more to me now because we have to make sure it makes sense for what we want in our future as a family. It's a lot of work sometimes and it takes practice, but it's a pretty incredible thing to have a partner to really share your life with. 

Do you have a goal when it comes to publishing a certain number of blog posts?

My goal has always been to post five days a week, Monday through Friday, and for a long time I was doing that. The past year and a half has been a rough one for me though, and I'm just now starting to get back into the swing of things. Having a sick parent, traveling a lot, moving, writing a book, and then moving again will do that to your routine, I guess.

Sometimes I only post 2-4 times a week, but I'd rather give you one post that I think it worth reading than 5 that I just threw together, so I'm constantly trying to find that balance.

What are five of your favorite things right now?

Mango La Croix, listening to Ophelia by the Lumineers on repeat, taking Ender to the dog park to play with other pups, this candle, this bronzing powder. (Last two are affiliate links.)

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Your turn! Tell me your unpacking advice, marriage transitions, and some of your favorite things right now. I'd also love to hear any questions you might have for future Q+A posts, so leave me a comment or send me an email!

 

Photo by Oguz Uygur.

 

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