Tag Archives: blog

In on the action

Roland wants to be in on all the action now. For the most part this is a good thing because his sisters usually want him in on it as well, and I love seeing them all together. Sometimes they will … Continue reading

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A happy haze: The birth of David

It was October in Denver, Colorado. The weather was mild and sunny. I was about five days away from my delivery date, and I came in to work as usual. Around mid-morning, I was sitting at my desk when I … Continue reading

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Being baby happy

Baby happy is the best kind of happy. Here are some basics I’ve learned from my littles over the years. Simplicity Babies have very few expectations. After a full tummy, a clean diaper, and a nap, everything else is icing. … Continue reading

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Taste test

I love food. I love eating it and cooking it, and I wish I were better at growing it. I want food and cooking together to be an important part of our family life, so I’m usually excited to initiate … Continue reading

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Baby talks

When I was expecting Deacon, I thought about what it would mean to start over with another baby. Back to diapers, bottles, interrupted sleep, endless spit-up covered laundry. … But, in my mind, the most frustrating part of starting anew … Continue reading

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Week 37: All clear!

It’s official. We made it! The start of Week 37 was the start of the time that our birthing center and midwives allow babies to be born there, rather than being sent to the hospital. This deadline has been the … Continue reading

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The great clothes

It’s officially fall, although we’re still waiting for it to feel like it here in the south. We’re still wearing flip-flops and short sleeves, but there are days when a sweater feels nice in the early morning. My oldest daughter … Continue reading

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Flip, flop: The birth Rhetten Scott

Saturday at 2 a.m., I was awakened by a sudden feeling that something was not right. Baby No. 7, and it felt so different. I swung my feet over until they slid off the bed and pulled myself into a … Continue reading

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My rock: The birth of Kyla

On August 15, 2016, I went in for a normal check up. I was 30 weeks pregnant at the time. I had a sonogram done first, and then, we went into the room to check my blood pressure. The nurse … Continue reading

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Boss baby

Ever since Roland was born, Winnie has mostly viewed him as a cute baby brother rather than as a competitor to whom she is losing time on my lap. She was three days shy of 2 years old when we … Continue reading

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The fast lane: The birth of Magnus

One month ago our lives changed forever when Mike and I welcomed our sweet baby boy, Magnus Michael, into the world. These last few weeks have seen lots of ups and downs (and we haven’t seen a whole lot of sleep), but whenever I … Continue reading

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A spark of joy in a dark place

This post is about loss. Please be warned if death is triggering for you. It’s been a rough year. It’s been a rougher week. We joke that Roland is the only good of 2017, and I believe it now more … Continue reading

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Toes for toys

I adore the stage when babies find their feet. It signifies the time in between the hard work of the blurry newborn phase and the vigilance of the mobility phase. It’s the sweet spot of babyhood where they are durable … Continue reading

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Our family, 9 years later

My husband and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary this week. The number seemed pretty remarkable to me until I found out my grandparents had just celebrated their 68th anniversary and realized that we have a ways to go to … Continue reading

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Better together: The birth of Koen James

Those who attended the birth of my first born would tell you it was unforgettable in the worst of ways. Two years ago, I was riding passenger on the way to the hospital to be induced. My husband and I discussed during our drive how delighted we were for our lives to change to a family of three to avoid the anxiety we felt. After … Continue reading

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Call it destiny: The birth of Julian

It was a Tuesday. I was scheduled to work up until our second son made his appearance. My husband, a firefighter, was also supposed to be at the station that day, yet for some reason, we had both decided last … Continue reading

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Red lines

The other day while getting out of the shower, I was confronted with another new change to my pregnant body … my very first stretch mark. With my first baby, I somehow was able to bypass these lines signaling a … Continue reading

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Week 31: Boundaries

Have you thought about who you want around you while you’re having your baby, or when you come home with your new family member? That’s been the topic of conversation in the Payne household this week. If you’ve been reading … Continue reading

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Night night chitchat

As the third kid, Roland doesn’t get the sort of a attention that he probably should. Of course he is cared for, and in those caregiving moments I try to give him my full attention, but there’s always a lot … Continue reading

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Along for the ride

Baby Deke is my whole world. Charlotte, Finn, Graham and Shawn are also my whole world. My world is crowded. So while Deacon receives love and attention from many sources, he doesn’t get my undivided attention as much as I … Continue reading

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Week 30: Mommy shaming

Oh my goodness, week 30! This week I experienced my first dose of mommy shaming. Honestly, I’m surprised it took this long. Let me give you a little background: I have done Bikram Yoga for the last eight years. It’s … Continue reading

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Working out those postpartum body blues

I’m not usually one to be antsy to get back into an exercise routine after having a baby. I live for the excuse to not have to put on sneakers in an effort to exert more physical energy than I … Continue reading

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On the menu

Before Bellamy was born, I had many conversations with my husband on bad habits we needed to kick before she arrived, many centering around diet. We were healthy-ish, but we knew her two little eyes would watch our every move … Continue reading

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Hygienetics defined

Who remembers the movie Orange County from 2002? It’s one of the movies my husband and I quote the most, next to Talladega Nights and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. There’s a scene where John Lithgow sits down on the … Continue reading

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Week 29: The Bradley Method: Day one

Hip, hip, hooray! We made it to the week that our birthing classes started! We had our first class on Sunday, and we will continue to have them every Sunday for 2 1/2 hours for 8 weeks. To be honest, … Continue reading

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Week 38: Can we just get labor over with?

If anyone else is at the same point I am … I’m 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant, 4-5 centimeters dilated and beyond ready to get the process of labor over and done with. As a first-time mom, what some describe … Continue reading

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Road tripping

There are so many unpredictable variables that can either make or break a road trip with kids. After the summer we have had, I was more than a little nervous to embark on a lengthy road trip with three kids … Continue reading

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Breaking bad habits

“Welcome back to the world!”, my OB said to me at my 6-week checkup on Monday. It’s good to be back—running errands, reconnecting with friends, leaving the house more often, putting on makeup … And, it’s good to be back … Continue reading

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Week 28: The dreaded glucose test

I did it. I survived. Barely. Two weeks ago, my midwife brought up the glucose test. You know the one. The fasting/sugar binge/sugar crash/let’s make sure your body is processing sugar the way it’s supposed to-test. She gave me the … Continue reading

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Week 37: 26 going on 37

This week started out as any other normal, hot, super pregnant week … but, it was also my birthday week, 26 … how ya’ doin’?! James is finishing up the final piece of furniture for Penny’s room (dresser/changing table), and … Continue reading

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Our ultimate gift: The birth of Daniel

Four days past my due date, December 19, 2016, my husband Anthony and I headed out for yet another appointment with my OBGYN—one I was sure I wouldn’t have to keep considering I was dilated to 3 centimeters at my … Continue reading

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Keeping him close

I’ve always enjoyed wearing my babies. I like the feeling of having them close to me but having my hands free to do other things. My babies have always seemed to enjoy this closeness as well, and each of them … Continue reading

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Home remedy: The birth of Fanon

Towards the end of the summer, I dreamt of being at the beach in the clearest water with little minnows swimming all around me. I was adamant that I wasn’t pregnant, despite everyone’s knowing—side eyes. And although I wasn’t pregnant at … Continue reading

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A gut feeling: The birth of Clarence

On the night of August 22, 2016, I started having contractions 5-7 minutes apart. I told my husband to pack up because I was ready to have the baby! My in-laws stayed home to be with our toddler. While my … Continue reading

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Scar of honor: The birth of Savannah

I had my first contraction just three short hours after ringing in 2017. I was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant, and I was READY for my girl to make her entrance. Momma is always about 15 minutes late, so … Continue reading

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Choose the mess

At one point in my life—probably when I didn’t know myself well—I would have said I was “type A.” My mom, being truly type A, set a pretty rigid standard of a well-kept home. She sort of wrote the book … Continue reading

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No close-ups, please

When I delivered my baby girl in 2007, my mom took a look at her and proclaimed, “She looks just like Ken.” Awesome. Every new mother wants to hear that her precious daughter looks like her 60-something father-in-law. When a … Continue reading

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2017 1st Annual Chicago Baby Show

We have some exciting news to share with our readers! We—the team here at P&N—are so excited for the 1st Annual Chicago Baby Show, happening August 26-27 at Navy Pier in the Windy City. No other event provides a better experience … Continue reading

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Week 27: Happy 3rd! (Almost?)

I pointed this out at the end of last week’s post, but here’s a refresher. Depending on what measurement calendar you look at, either week 27 or week 28 marks the beginning of your third trimester. I choose to think … Continue reading

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Week 36: Butt swabs and maternity photos

I must say, week 36 has been quite the whirlwind of exciting things! From adding the finishing touches to Penelope’s room to having our maternity photo session, it’s becoming more and more real that we’ll be meeting her so soon! … Continue reading

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Positive deposit

Being in my late 20s, I have lots and lots of conversations about resources, specifically, finances. My husband and I have learned—through trial and error(s)—to be good stewards of what we are given. Our definition of “good steward” continues to … Continue reading

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My kids suck … thumbs, pacifiers and fingers

The need to suck is great with my kids. It has meant that they are efficient nursers, but it has also meant that unless I want them attached to me all day every day, they would need something to suck … Continue reading

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The feed

I am a true believer in the benefits of breastfeeding—I’ve interviewed experts and written articles on this topic—so it is with some shame that I confess … I am a formula feeder. With each baby, I have tried breastfeeding only … Continue reading

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Week 26: Pregnancy brain

Remember that time, one measly week ago, where I wrote all about the heat during my 26th week? You guys—the heat fried my brain! Last week was week 25, and this week is week 26!Lesson learned. Do not travel to … Continue reading

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Week 35: Nursery hustle

We’ve had 35 weeks now to work on Miss Penelope’s room—do you think we’ve taken advantage of that time? Nope! Of course, we have pretty much waited until the last minute. Cue the anxiety attacks, and stock up on the … Continue reading

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Not a bad way to get my attention

We’ve had a lot going on this summer, and Roland is such an easy baby that it is too easy to let him blend into the background of daily life. He is now 3 months old, and all I can … Continue reading

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In a vacuum

It is my belief that a mother is made not during pregnancy, labor or even delivery, but in the first weeks home with her newborn. These weeks rewrite her identity and redefine her priorities. This phase of intense bonding—call it … Continue reading

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Week 25: Holy hot!

You guys. It’s hot outside. Have you noticed?  I don’t think I’ve mentioned the temperature yet. It’s hot outside. No really … it’s scorching.We had a busy week visiting my in-laws out in the Permian Basin in Texas. (Friday Night … Continue reading

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Week 34 : Why it doesn’t suck to be pregnant during summer

On a frosty morning in early December, I found out I was pregnant. With snow flurries starting to fall and Christmas music full blast on my car radio, the last thing on my mind was how I would be 7, … Continue reading

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Grandma to the rescue

My husband has been sick now for over two weeks, and he’s been hospitalized for eight-going-on who knows how many days. Staph infection is not something to take lightly though, and I trust that the doctors are doing their best … Continue reading

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