BEAR IN MIND

The "Bear in Mind" blog project is meant to be my outlet to put thoughts of all aspects of my life into a digital form.

 

You'll find a wide array of content here as I write whatever is on my mind from my family, to different passion points, to how I go about my career in the world of digital advertising, and more!

 

All thoughts are my own. :)

It's my last week on mat leave and then I'm back at work, and Kaylee will be in daycare. I'm definitely nervous about the transition for both of us, but I'm also excited to start jumping back into a routine again even though it'll be a new one.


As a last hoorah, I've been trying to keep my last week busy (if weather permits!) So, I invited my mom out to explore a new nearby city that's between the both of us. We have always passed through Grapevine, but never really stop to see what's going on. One of my favorite things to do is actually discover new places through Google Maps app. I've become somewhat of an avid user and bookmark lots of places, parks, restaurants and categorize them like crazy. So, with Grapevine I simply started browsing around on the map and came up with an itinerary that ended up being a great day.


Here's how it went:


1. Kicked off the day by picking up breakfast at Eatzi's. They have a great spread of hot off the grill food. We picked up a customized omelet, a burrito, and a cup of oatmeal. They also have a great coffee menu where we got our caffeine needs.


2. Headed to the Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park to have a picnic. My mom absolutely loves flowers and plants. She was so surprised to see this little beautiful oasis. We found a park bench we liked and settled down with all our food. It was right across from a small pond and lush plant vegetation. We simply caught up and took in the calmness of the scenery. Of course, we did have to walk through the entire park to take in every inch of it where my mom decided to take a photo of every flower we walked by.




3. Next up, I found a little farm that was right across the street from the Botanical Garden. It's called Nash Farm. This is one of Grapevine's historical landmarks and basically provides education to how this farm worked back in its prime. It consisted of the main farmhouse, with several other parts that you can walk through like the barn, places where they keep animals like chickens, turkeys, and sheep, plus fields for harvests. In my opinion, this would be another good place to visit with a friend and have a cup of coffee with a change in view. It's free to walk around the entire property.



4. Then, we headed out to Downtown Historic Grapevine. We parked near the Vintage Railroad which has a train that actually runs down the Cotton Belt, but we'll save that for another time. You can walk down this downtown street visiting dozens of boutiques and wineries. There's also a nice spot to pick up some gelato on a hot day. Interspersed in between these shops are more historic landmarks.





5. Finally, we ended our day with a nice refreshing glass of wine. I originally wanted to go to the Cross Timbers Winery, but unfortunately, it was closed at the time. So, on the fly, I found another winery that was in Coppell at a place called The Sound. Now, we didn't really know what we were getting into, but The Sound is a relatively new area that has about 5-6 restaurants right on the edge of a lake. It's not that pretty since it's just now developing, but it definitely will be in the near future. We got our glass of Riesling wine at the Landon Winery and sat on their outdoor patio. The Sound does seem to host live music concerts on their property, so it'll be on my list to come back to enjoy.


We started our day around 8:30 am and made it back home by 4. Although it didn't seem like a fully packed schedule, it did keep us busy. Plus, Kaylee who's now 3 months old enjoyed the entire trip so you could say this is baby approved!

We've had to be a bit more creative given the Coronavirus pandemic situation on what activities we can do to keep ourselves busy. The other thing you have to think about is this Texas weather. It can be scorching outside which makes it super unbearable for myself (others could probably deal with it more whereas I love being at a cool 70 - 80 degrees environment all day, every day).


So, this last weekend my best friend came up with a great idea - an indoor picnic! We probably would have loved this 10x more if we could have hiked somewhere outside, picked a spot, and enjoyed each other's company, but you got to make do with what you got. Anyways, my friend came over to my house in the early afternoon where we decided to plan out our menu. We took into consideration that it was the 4th of July and maybe we could do some color-coordinated red, white, and blue food. We debated out which entrees and desserts would best fit our indoor picnic vibes, listed out the ingredients, and decided to head off to the grocery store.


We ended up deciding to go with vegan + beef dumplings and a side cucumber salad for the main, with white chocolate covered strawberries and strawberry whipped cream sandwiches for desserts. After we got back to my place with all the ingredients, we hustled on all the dishes. Our favorite part was folding up the dumplings. I set up the living room so we had a blanket to sit on and an open space to enjoy. We poured some wine and cheers to it all. Here's how it turned out.



Ain't that a sweet spread? With how crazy it is in our current world, it was nice to spend some time with a great friend and put together something fun and creative with food. It's not easy anymore to "hang out" in some ways, not just because of having a baby that must have a lot of attention, but because we're so limited on what we can do. Now, these personal experiences are also good memories. Couldn't do it without this lady by my side.




Let's start off that it really has been quite an adjustment to motherhood. It has not been easy, and obviously never what you expect until you're actually experiencing it but it comes with some amazing rewards. I have a newfound extreme admiration for all mothers. Of course, it has always been there but now being a mother myself and going through all this first hand has enlightened me even further.


So how is Kaylee? Well, she's doing pretty great! She's gained lots of weight from her measly 5 lbs she began at. We have a 2-month appointment next week so I'm excited to see how much she's grown and make sure all is well (also it'll be time for some of her first shots. wish me luck!).


Kaylee at 1 Month Old

She's currently 7 weeks old and although she's easy to breastfeed (thank goodness!), she also has some very bad gas and colic. I never knew babies make as much noise as they do at night. Kaylee has become what I call a grunting gremlin. When she is put to bed, she often grunts and thrusts her arms and legs everywhere pretty much all night for the last 3 weeks. We have some peaceful silent periods, but dang can this girl make a ton of noise! What's surprising is she doesn't seem to be in pain and is typically asleep through all of this. We have used everything to help her alleviate from daily tummy massages and bicycle kicks with her legs to giving her gripe water or gas relief drops, to using the Frida Windi - we've done it all. If you have any recommendations, we are open to it!! :) Ken has been taking the brunt of all my sleep-deprived frustrations so we're in some dire need of more solutions.


Other than that, Kaylee is fairly happy! She continues to sleep on a routine schedule (not really lol) and is fairly energetic during her wake periods. We do the same old tummy time and keep her entertained with all the bouncing and swinging. Also, I've recently gone on a splurge at a consignment sale and got some more toys for her. We've been trying those out to get her further engaged and figuring out what she likes/dislikes.


As for my maternity leave, I'm super grateful to have this time to bond with Kaylee. It was relatively easy to adjust to which surprises me as I love to be a person who is kept very busy with work projects. I enjoyed being able to completely focus on Kaylee and remove any focus from work completely. However, I'm slowly starting to get stir crazy as mat leave goes on. With it being a pandemic and all, there's not a lot of events going on and there's an absolute need to continue to social distance. This makes it hard to keep my days filled with things to do, I'm not one to stay at home all the time. Since I'm already a little halfway through the leave, I'm starting to figure out more projects for myself from home to relationships to my own personal development. It's a hustle but I welcome it.


What I've come to find out is motherhood is work and exhausting at times, but I've already seen how damn worth it all it's been.