We Had A Baby!

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Well, my baby is now 2 months old and he’s snoozing in the carseat on the floor next to me (I’ve learned it’s not worth it to disrupt an infant’s sleep to move him) so it seems as good a time as any to update the ol’ blog.

I probably don’t have enough time to share a full birth story (#infantschedule) so stay tuned for a future post! The condensed version of the past 8 weeks:

After a discussion with my midwife, Alex and I made the decision to move forward with inducing labor on Friday, 1/11, a few days before my actual due date.

38 Weeks Pregnant // lynnepetre.com

The first meds we tried, Cervidil, didn’t kickstart my body as we hoped so on Saturday morning, we started Pitocin and by Saturday afternoon, we met our son!

Family Photo - Hospital // lynnepetre.com

We stayed in the hospital for two nights and came home on a Monday afternoon. After a couple of days at home, we went BACK to the hospital because of some (er, a lot) of unexpected bleeding and we stayed overnight – in the same postpartum recovery room with the same nurses working as a few days prior which was nice it felt familiar but because of the sleep deprivation, also felt like maybe it was a dream and we’d never really left. (side note: If we were analyzing this story in a high school english class, you’d probably tell me this ‘groundhog day’ feeling would be strong foreshadowing for early days of maternity leave. You would be right.)

After being discharged again, we celebrated the peanut’s 1 week birthday and then welcomed family visitors for the next 4 weeks.

Visitors - First Month // lynnepetre.com

We’ve now had a few weeks with no visitors and have started to get into a little groove; it feels like we might be getting the hang of things a bit. And, truthfully, it helps that our baby has also been a LOT less fussy in recent days, too.

Lynne Birthday Dinner // lynnepetre.com

Maternity leave has been a strange transition – I went from being very busy at work, commuting downtown, seeing lots of people, having a routine, to spending my days mostly solo with an infant and very little free time. Sometimes, it does feel very redundant in what we do but at the same time, this baby is different every single day so it’s also new and fun. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything but it definitely has taken lots of adjusting, patience and resilience.

I am officially halfway through my leave and am excited about the next 2 months with this little guy; I feel like I’ve mostly got my head above water and am getting some life-giving air again. (That’s a little dramatic because we were fortunate enough to have several weeks of visitors and help but regardless, it’s still a major transition that makes it sometimes hard to breathe fully.) We have also recently figured out how to wear the Tula baby carrier which is opening so many new activities to us. Case in point, we went hiking earlier this week! So the next 2 months will be fun. 🙂

Hiking at North Table Mtn, 2 Months Old // lynnepetre.com

Things I Wish ‘Early Pregnant Me’ Did (or: Notes for A Future Pregnant Me)

Pregnancy Must Haves // lynnepetre.com

Coming into this pregnancy, I was pretty clueless about what to expect over the course of these last 8.5 months. I did no pre-reading, no research and had very few close friends who had walked the pregnant walk before me so I was really flying blind.

And when I started to realize all the *stuff* that goes along with pregnancy and babies, I became somewhat indignant about needing to (seemingly) spend gobs of money on specific maternity clothes/things and refused to give into (what I perceived to be) the ‘traditional’ maternity mentality for as long as possible.

However, now, at 38 weeks pregnant, there are some things that I’ve bought recently out of necessity that I wish I would have invested in much earlier on for my own comfort. There are also some things I wish I would have done much sooner in my pregnancy. So this post is a note to Future Me, should we try for another kiddo, to have a more enjoyable experience – and, maybe it can help Future You, too, if you’re newly expecting or hoping to be expecting.

  1. Invest in maternity jeans that fit well and make you feel great. I did not do this and really wish I would have. I squeezed into my non-pregnancy jeans for as long as possible, using a Bellaband and the rubber band extender trick and when my belly (and booty) got too big for those pants, I hunted for maternity jeans at Goodwill. The thought of spending $60-100+ on a pair of jeans that would only be used for a few months seemed outrageous! But now… I know better. The maternity jeans I found at Goodwill fit, but don’t look or make me feel great (but, hey, they cost less than $10 total). Since I’m able to wear jeans to work, I should have invested in 1-2 pairs of maternity jeans that I really felt great in – I would have been physically more comfortable (vs. squeezing into pants that don’t really fit) and would have felt much better about myself.
  2. Same goes for exercise clothes. And PSA: Old Navy has some really affordable activewear options that look cute and fit great.
  3. Exercise – but specifically, keep up with strength training as long as possible! The first half of this pregnancy was constant nausea and puking so exercising regularly (or at all) was really difficult; I often opted out of my 1x a week Orangetheory class in favor of a nap on the couch. While I’m glad I listened to my body, I also wish I would have mustered up some energy early on to keep up with a semi-regular routine that included strength because after the nausea faded, my back and hips started to hurt in ways that I think could have been alleviated if my quads, hamstrings, IT band and back were stronger as my belly grew. I’ve kept as active as possible but once that belly starts to get bigger, it’s harder to stay limber and strong in the same ways.
  4. If possible, swim for exercise. I am not a swimmer. I know how to swim but I am terrible at it. But I tell you what, getting into a lap pool to swim laps is 1) a full body workout and 2) weightless and amazing. I didn’t start swimming until about 30 weeks and will definitely do so much sooner next time (though, I’m not sure I’ll stop, post-pregnancy!). In the same vein as #1, I recommend investing in a larger swimsuit as you feel the old one getting too small. I waited as long as possible which was uncomfortable (<– understatement) for everyone involved.
  5. Prenatal massage (or a prenatal chiropractor) is WORTH IT. My friend, Nancy, gifted me a certificate for a prenatal massage early in my pregnancy and I held off cashing in until just a few weeks ago. HOLY. COW. It changed my world. My hips and back have been sore/tight/painful since about week 25ish and no amount of at-home stretching or prenatal yoga had seemed to help. When I asked my midwife what to do about it, she suggested seeing a chiro who specializes in prenatal techniques, specifically the Webster Method. Of course, I changed jobs soon after and did not prioritize this. But during my prenatal massage, some of the chiro techniques were used and I walked out of the massage feeling like a new woman. I was pain free for multiple days! So next time, I’m either going to the chiro regularly or booking regular prenatal massages, starting on/around 20 weeks. (Also, being able to lay on my stomach…HEAVEN).

2019 One Little Word: Embrace

2019 One Little Word: Embrace

Here we are, the last day of 2018. Most of this year has been preoccupied with figuring out job stuff and figuring out baby stuff. We ‘officially’ found out we were pregnant on Mother’s Day (I had a strong suspicion the week prior, though); before that, I recapped here. What a weird year with unexpected turns that landed us here today. And seems to always be the case, my 2018 word, Intentional, helped guide me through this past year in ways I couldn’t have expected 365 days ago.

As I’ve been thinking about 2019, I’ve settled on Embrace as my word, my mantra. I have very little idea about what’s to come next year but I know I want to embrace all of it. The unknowns and knowns. The friends and family offering help. The ‘what the hell are we supposed to do now?’ feelings. The sleepless nights and crying baby. The returning to work. The struggle and beauty of finding a (momentary) new normal. The wonder of watching our kid learn about the world around him.

While I don’t know what it will look like, I’m certain 2019 will be a year of intense learning, living and loving and my goal is to embrace it ALL. (Including this not-so-patiently waiting for a baby part. Embrace it, Lynne!) 

Intentional Updates: New Jobs! (#OLW2018)

Job Change Bus Ride // lynnepetre.com

As if gearing up for a new family addition wasn’t enough, Alex and I both intentionally changed jobs this fall, within 6 weeks of each other.

While we both targeted our new companies intentionally, I’d say that my timing was much more intentional than his. For me, after 4+ years at Ibotta, I was seeking change, a new challenge. My role and team had shifted in my last few months at the company and while it was an interesting change, it wasn’t the direction I wanted to take my career.

As I was weighing my options, I knew that if I were to change jobs while pregnant, I’d need to be extremely intentional about my next step since I wasn’t sure what to expect from a benefits – and more importantly, maternity leave – perspective. I carefully considered my options throughout the process and decided that starting a new role at 30 weeks pregnant would mean I should expect nothing from a paid maternity leave benefit. This is to say, I would 100% take a maternity leave but that it would be unpaid time off since I would only be at a company for a handful of weeks before the baby. This helped me really focus my search to companies whose mission and work I was really excited about – I didn’t want to take unpaid leave for just any old company and role!

In early November, I walked into my first day at the top company on my short list and into a role that is a great fit for me. My team is customer-focused, newer in it’s product//team lifecycle and staffed with smart, interesting people. It’s a new industry so there’s a ton to learn and a lot of opportunity to do impactful work – both within the company and for our customers. And as icing on the cupcake, I have full access to their (very generous) parental leave policy and have felt so supported as an employee and soon-to-be mom; I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure this is real life! I couldn’t have predicted things would work as they did but man, am I ever grateful they did.

And for Alex, his change was more serendipitous timing but he was similarly extremely targeted in his search/company consideration set. He wasn’t actively looking to change companies but when this new company posted a very similar role to his own, he couldn’t not put his name in the hat – the ‘quality of life’ considerations/benefits were too great to not try. Needless to say, he was offered and accepted the role and started in mid-December; his team functions as a startup within a larger company so there’s a ton of opportunity for him to make significant impact, too. This change is great for our family in a whole host of ways but what I’m enjoying most right now is the fact that we now commute into downtown together on the bus and work mere blocks away so can meet up for lunch or happy hour after work. After years of his 45+ minute commute each way, it’s so nice to have more of my husband back!

As we’ve been reflecting on the year the past several weeks, we couldn’t have anticipated the wealth of change that this year held for us – hilariously, this time last year, we had vowed that 2018 would be the year of ‘settling in’ and ‘less change, less chaos’. Instead, we piled on the big life changes but truly, couldn’t be happier about how it’s all worked out, mere days before 2019 and the imminent arrival of our baby. It feels like this is how it was meant to be and we’re both so excited about the future.

So, dare I say it…here’s to less change in 2019! 🙂

Intentional Updates: We’re Pregnant! (#OLW2018)

Baby Petre! // lynnepetre.com

As a follow up to the previous intentional updates, I can’t not acknowledge probably the biggest news of the year for our little family: I’m pregnant!

I’m now solidly in my 3rd trimester with this baby due mid-January; overall, still feeling good and very excited to meet our kid in a few (short) months.

I picked ‘intentional’ this year partly because we knew this was the year we wanted to start trying to grow our family; our life had calmed down somewhat. We were/are finally living in the same place, at the same time, with no impending significant life changes on the horizon; we live in a house and neighborhood we love, are gainfully employed and just felt *ready*.

And now, we’re here, mere weeks away from meeting our baby which is exciting, and crazy, and amazing, and exhausting, all at the same time. As I type, this little peanut I’m growing is kicking like crazy and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to or get tired of this weird and incredible sensation…even at 2:30a in the morning which seems to be a preferred time to get some exercise. This week, I head back to Cincinnati for a shower our families are throwing us and I’m excited to spend an afternoon with so many women I love in one place who are all gathering to support and celebrate our growing family.

We (obviously) really have no idea what’s in store for us but have been doing our homework, taking birth classes and generally preparing as much as it makes sense to (I hear little infants like to run their own show in the first weeks/months). But overall, we’re feeling really *good* about this impending life change, ready and excited to adjust our lives to bring a new one into it and to figure it all out as a family of 3.

Until then, we’re enjoying these last weeks/months as a party of 2. 🙂

Intentional Updates (#OLW2018)

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Earlier this year, I set my word for 2018 as INTENTIONAL for a whole host of reasons. After spending the past couple of years just trying to keep my head on straight, I wanted to be more deliberate in how I approached life this year. My focus has been using my time, words and money more intentionally and, like words I’ve selected in past years, it’s been exactly the right word at the right time.

TIME

This year, I gave myself the gift of slowing down. I’ve pared down my extracurricular activities and prioritized the things that bring joy and value to my life. Less time running around, more quality time with family, friends and myself. More time exercising, more time sleeping.

I also quit Facebook this spring which I haven’t regretted for one second. Like most of us, I was spending most of my Facebook time scrolling mindlessly which brought very little value to my life so I downloaded all of my data and deactivated my account. In my post-Facebook days, I have realized that I found out about a lot of events/things to do via Facebook and without it, I know a lot less about what’s happening but right now, I’m okay with that. It means I have to work a little harder to find the cool things to do and I have to be more proactive (ahem, *intentional*) in reaching out directly to friends to coordinate activities.

WORDS

At the outset, I had meant this to mean reaching out to friends and family more regularly and to be more thoughtful about the words I say to myself and others. While certainly unforeseen at the beginning of the year, I found this reminder very helpful during some challenging situations mid-year in which delicate/thoughtful wording and conversations were key. I’ve been working to strike a balance between audience, content and emotion so that I’m communicating the right thing to the right folks at the right time.

MONEY

My primary objective here is to spend my discretionary money more intentionally. Instead of shopping for brand new clothes, could I instead shop for new-to-me clothes at the thrift store, Poshmark or Ebay? And while I’ve bought some brand new things, I’m proud that my of my clothes this year have been upcycled from someone/somewhere else. It also meant really asking myself, do I need that (THING) or do I just want it? Most of the time, I just want it and taking the time to really consider it has helped me see this.

Throughout the year, this goal has grown in scope to include also bringing in money more intentionally. Alex and I have a monthly ‘inventory check in’ (borrowed from THIS podcast episode) and during this, we talk about our short and long term financial goals. Most of our friends know that Alex has an impressive side hustle that inspired me to see what small things I can do to bring in some extra cash to help accelerate progress towards our goals. Through watching dogs on Rover.com and selling clothes/shoes on eBay and Poshmark, I’m bringing in minimum of $150+ extra a month for minimal effort. Not bad!

The other area of intentional focus for me this year has been reducing my environmental impact where possible. I’ve invested in reusable utensils and a metal straw that I keep in my purse to avoid plastic flatware and single-use straws as much as possible. I’ve replaced tin foil on our baking sheets with silicone baking mats, paper coffee filters with a cloth filter, disposable cotton face wipes for reusable cloth face wipes and I try to refill through bulk bin purchases where possible (thank you, Zero Market!). These tiny changes we’ve made have reduced the waste in our house as well as money we spend on single-use items. We’re so far from perfect but I believe these small efforts do make a big impact, holistically (especially if we all made similarly small changes!)

I’ve appreciated the perspective and mindset this word has given me this year and am looking forward to closing out the year with continued deliberate action.

Mid-Year Check In

Sunset // lynnepetre.com

Hi, hello, howdy. It’s been a minute! As we approach mid-year reviews at work, I thought it was appropriate to do the same in my non-work life.

So what’s been going over here in PetreLand in 2017? Let’s see…

…I cut a bunch of hair off for my birthday. New ‘do for 32!

Birthday haircut // lynnepetre.com

…we took a French vacation for the second year in a row (and celebrated Alex’s birthday while we were there).

Paris trip 2018 // lynnepetre.com

…spent some time outdoors with a little brother who isn’t so little anymore.

Hiking with Q // lynnepetre.com

…celebrated my youngest sister’s high school graduation (WHAT?!)

Graduation 2018 // lynnepetre.com

…and totaled my mom’s car immediately after the ceremony, short hours before our family hosted a massive graduation party at my mom’s house (sorry, Mom!). Thankfully, no injuries!

Car Accident // lynnepetre.com

…I sang and danced with my long-distance bestie and Taylor Swift over Memorial Day weekend.

Taylor Swift at Mile High // lynnepetre.com

…we broke out our tent for the first time this season for some good ol’ fashioned car camping.

Car camping // lynnepetre.com

And that brings us about up to speed! I’m really bad at snapping photos these days but, whatever. Ya only get one life and I’d rather live mine mostly away from my phone screen.

Overall, the first half of this year has felt really GOOD. Settled. For the first time in a long time – years! – it feels great to be in lock-step with my husband, aligned on our goals, sharing a schedule and a home. I’m excited about this summer season in life – we have plans for family to visit us, for us to visit family, to spend weekends in the mountains, to slow down and savor the moment as much as possible.

I hope your mid-year review turns up several happy memories as you reflect back and start looking ahead to the next several months of 2018.

2018 One Little Word: Intentional

olw2018

Several years ago, I started selecting a word for the year to use a a guide for the upcoming days and months ahead. In the early days, it was a reminder to have PERSPECTIVE through wedding planning (shoutout to 2012!); followed by: CREATE, FOCUS, LIGHT, RESILIENCE and INSPIRED.

Last year’s word, INSPIRED, was the right choice for how I felt, though, I wasn’t in the right headspace to be able to act on it as I expected last January. I’ve belabored the point here – and I swear I’ll move on! – but I was just trying to keep my head above water! 2017 was the year of flailing through the water, half tread/half breast stroke, trying desperately to get to the wall to get a grip and catch my breath. I wanted ‘inspired’ to keep me looking up, to remind me to actually swim and not just tread, through the tumultuous political climate and the cascading transitions in my personal life; and it did but in a less splashy way.

Europe Vacation // lynnepetre.com

It’s been moments of inspiration, instead. In the back half of the year, and specifically the last several months, I’ve prioritized reading books that excite me, listening to meaningful podcasts. I worked with a stylist to help up my fashion sense and I’ve started exercising regularly again. I’m even taking the time to cook which…is not a thing I’ve ever really enjoyed or have been good at (these things are related, I think). INSPIRED is alive in well, even if it means smaller gestures than I planned.

This year, in the *right* headspace, my word is INTENTIONAL. I want to be more deliberate in a few key components of my life like:

How I spend my TIME: At a high-level, prioritizing the people and things that bring me joy and further my growth as a human vs. cramming another activity or event into a day/week/month just to do it. Also choosing to take care of myself. Basically, Kondo-ing my agenda.

The WORDS I use: To be more thoughtful about how I interact with family, friends and co-workers. This means taking more time for reflection, too. I also hate (HATE!) texting but realize it’s a necessary evil and I need to get better about timely responses (i.e. use those cellular words more often).

The MONEY I spend: Primarily, I mean this to be less ‘luxury/nice to have’ spending (e.g.: spending $4 on a kombucha that I love but is not necessary) and more consideration of how/where I’m spending my money. Asking, ‘do I *really* need That Thing? Or would I rather save those dollars for a downpayment?’

Overall, I’m starting 2018 in a far more optimistic and energized mindset that I’ve felt in a few years. I’m excited about the year ahead (even if our president is tweeting casually about nuclear war) and where this little, impactful word will take me.

Weekend Drives in Colorado

The past few weeks have been pretty perfect, weather wise, in Colorado. Crisp mornings with warm afternoons; the quintessential fall, if you ask me.

A few weekends ago, Alex and I headed west to Golden Gate Canyon on a Sunday, the day before the first October snow, to catch our last glimpses of alpine leaves. Unfortunately, most had already fallen on the trail we hiked but the drive in/out was stunning.

Then, when Alex’s parents visited last weekend, we gave them the full Colorado tour, driving from Denver to Buena Vista to Leadville Copper and back home on I-70. I didn’t think to record snippets till after I had delicious BV diner food in my belly so this is a taste of the back half of our drive.

I recorded these on my phone so they’re nothing to write home about but in thinking about inspiration and finding beauty and light in the world, I’m posting here to preserve the memories.

Hope you’re enjoying a lovely fall wherever this post finds you, too!

Currently (May/June 2017)

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And just like that, another several weeks have flown by. How is it July?!

Hands down, May was hectic chaos. Alex came back from Europe and spent a week with me in Denver. I spent a week house/dog sitting for a friend. I spent a week in Pittsburgh for MBA graduation festivities and the long awaited ceremony. Alex and I spent a day in Cincinnati before flying back to Denver and move into our apartment. Two days later, our friends from BSchool arrived for Memorial Day weekend.

I wouldn’t trade the experiences we had but it sure did wear me out.

Hilariously, in May, Alex and I outlined our summer weekends and planned to keep these free to spend time hanging out with each other. These past two years were high-stress and low-free-time so we both were really excited to just BE together again.

But, as it goes, the universe had other plans and we did a bad job protecting our free time. We traveled to Cincinnati for a long weekend to support a friend who’s mom passed away. I started (assistant) teaching a backpacking class with Colorado Mountain Club. We watched pups. Alex went to South Carolina for a bachelor party while I did an overnight backpacking trip with my class. And on the last day of June, part of my family arrived for a 4th of July family vacation.

I’m trying really hard to take better care of myself as these past two months have not felt emotionally or physically great. What was supposed to be a low key summer with few commitments quickly ballooned into the exact opposite and after so many years of running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I can’t keep doing it. I need to protect my time, I need to protect my mental and physical health. I need to make time to exercise and pack my lunch and *eat breakfast*. I need to say no to commitments. If I want things to be different, if I want to feel different, I have to act different and make better choices for me.

The rest of July and August are just as packed as May and June but I’m working hard to take a step back, slow down and take care of myself.

Step one: keep hydrated during this hot, dry week!