i'm not chelsea.

collector of thoughts, images, and cats

seven months.

“hey guys, let me just ruin your chalkboard art. immediately. what were you thinking letting a baby near a chalkboard and having it come out unscathed.” – words of forest. seven months and speaking complete sentences. (just kidding). also props to papa for the monthly chalkboard art! we are now on the other side of the year and closer to the big O N E. if i had any advice for anyone, because having a 7mo makes me qualified in handing out parenting advice, i would say that the first six months suck (aside from the tiny cute baby snuggles and helplessness) – or they suck in a way that yanks you away from your old life dramatically. and then one day you get it back piece by piece because your baby isn’t a baby anymore. and that’s bittersweet to the max.

personality // i swear, the transition between month six and seven has been the biggest. he’s a new person and i’m in love with the person he’s becoming. he truly is the sweetest, funniest, and most darling little pain in the ass. and i mean that in an endearing way because he’s my child and his stinker qualities are adorable. like how he turns away when people try to kiss him and then turns back and smiles. like he knows what he’s doing and thinks it’s cute. or how his eyebrows glare at people in the “wtf are you doing” kinda way. i also love, naturally, that this month he’s been a momma’s boy. our bond is very special and growing! i know someday he will be a daddy’s boy and love playing and being rough and “boy things” with his papa, so i love this time. he babbles and laughs and it’s such a joy. he loves being outside and loves watching people and not so much being near people but observing them. forest loves his kitties, loves bright colors and musical things, the books with the pop up puppets, and beards. he loves men with beards. he also likes my mom and his aunt deb and uncle tony. they’re the only people besides mom and dad who he lets hold him!

stuff & things // so. many. stuff&things this month. he’s sitting so well and rolling so well and *just* barely pushing the limits to try to crawl soon. he’s food motivated and boob motivated. we are starting Baby Led Weaning with him after a week or so of purées to get an idea of what kinds of food he likes. He. LOVES. all. food. thank god our child isn’t picky. he’s eaten everything from mangoes to corn to curry quinoa and especially loves pork. i haven’t introduced any allergens yet because i’m afraid to (even though arnold and i don’t have allergies) and the gagging thing is making me nervous. you know, mom stuff. but to those of you asking – food before one is just for fun, so he will be breastfeeding until then and probably later. so there! he doesn’t have another checkup until 9 months but i think he’s getting lanky and longer and growing faster than he was before! i can, pending on the brand, fit him comfortably into 9mo clothes. BIGGEST THING. we quit the damned ball cold turkey. when we went to MN for our anniversary, we didn’t bring the ball and just transitioned out of it. things went really well (all things except the car ride in which he screamed the whole time). He now is also better at car rides. See? new baby. He can also sit in his high chair activity chair while i drink my coffee and clean the home and do things! and everyone is happy. i mean. what is this?

parents // we are for real in the swing of things and definitely getting used to our schedule! it’s hard. and annoying. but not having forest in daycare is great. i will take the pay cut and loss of material items any day to get to spend more time with Forest. a little glimpse into our schedule. Arnold works M-F at his 8-5 big boy job and then I work Sunday 2-12a, Monday 7-12a, Tuesday 7-12a and an occasional Thursday night if i’m feeling up to it. that means we get maybe two week nights together and Saturday. i miss my time with arnold so much. so much. we have always done everything together and spent all of our spare time together and to limit it for Forest is hard in the sense that I miss my Arnold time. We also do not let Forest stay with anyone and that’s our personal choice – we just feel that the point of having kids is to take responsibility for them. there will be plenty of time for dates in the future and we are making this work and are SO PROUD that we have done this without much help. as mentioned above, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary by going up to MN for the weekend. We have actually been together for about 7 years and i have to clarify because we waited so long to get married ;)

okay there’s SO MUCH i could say so i should start updating more!!



our six month photo shoot was… fun (hahah) – little bear did not really feel up for us in his face with a camera. but he’s cute either way. i’m having too much fun with these and can’t wait to sob over them when he’s a year old. enjoy 🖤

six months.

you know, all those cliches about time and love and life are true when you have a child. time goes way too fast, you love like you never knew you could, and life really takes on a new meaning. it’s amazing how even through all of the negative emotions, the smallest glimpse of happiness can make it go away – for example, a crying fussy baby for hours smiles at you for a brief second and your frustration is gone. it’s all worth it then.

six months is nothing in the grand scheme of life, but when you watch your child go from this helpless little newborn to a sitting, babbling, smiling & laughing little person – it can really take your breath away. my little boy is more independent. he still needs me and wants me 24/7, but he is turning into his own voice and learning how to express his needs and wants. that’s the coolest thing ever.

personality // while i see him change daily, it’s also kinda amazing to see that a lot of things about Forest have stayed the same. I definitely think that parents have a huge impact on personality and little things like that, but now having a child, I just see that there are quirks that he’s born with and just is. He still requires work for his laughs, his one-sided lip curl smile is the best thing (that one makes me laugh the most but his cheeky smile that squints his eyes is my most favorite), and his brow expressions are what makes him him. I love how he stares at everyone so intently and loves a good serious conversation. little things like that make me believe that he will be a kind and mature soul. While a lot of people say he looks like me, i think he gets his personality and mannerisms from his daddy. I love that Forest is this beautiful perfect mix of us.

stuff & things // our little guy grew over night. he’s now 16# and 9oz. 26.25in. long and a 17in. head. still in the 40th percentile but growing eight on track. i actually thought that he got a lot bigger than the stats showed (because he’s in his 6mo clothes and acting like those won’t fit much more i’m guessing), but he looks much longer and more like a BIG BOY. it’s funny because i thought that back then and am constantly being reminded that I will always be in awe with the growth and change. This month he is sitting up mostly on his own, grabbing things with more accuracy, and sleeping through the night a little bit better. As I type this, he’s napping in my arms. Within the past week he has been rolling and flipping all over the place, even scooting more than normal – we think crawling will be happening sooner than we thought and IDK how i feel about it! he has also been introduced to (small tastes) of avocado, strawberry, sweet potato, banana, and mangos. LOVES strawberries and isn’t sure about the rest yet.

parents // we are finally in the swing of what will probably be our routine for a while. both of us are in our new jobs and the time we get to spend together is little, but it’s worth it not having to put him in daycare. i have to keep telling myself that! we have a little anniversary trip planned for next weekend that i’m super excited about. it’s nowhere special, just an excuse to get away and spend some time as a family. we both miss colorado tremendously. like achingly. i didn’t think it would be this bad, but it is what it is!

five months.

i just recently went back and re-read all of my blog updates for Forest and let me tell you… i am so thankful that we have kept this record to memorialize as much of his growth as possible. it's hard to keep track of everything, but it's been a wonderful refresher to my heart.

personality // little bear's personality has been developing so fast lately & every day he shows us a little bit more of who he is. like i've said before, he's pensive BUT he enjoys being around people. mostly people watching when we go out (like the grocery store or farmer's market) but gets overwhelmed when he's the center of attention. being around family or large groups of friends will bring out the fuss in him, so we try to keep the hang outs down to one-on-one time. i think the secret to get on his good side is to be chill AF (so basically he's like a cat. if you act too into him, it's a turn off) or have boobs that feed him (that's just me so sorry). he doesn't much like to be touched by other people and has a really judgy look. i find that look adorable. hopefully his RBF keeps annoying people away. he also knows exactly what he wants – stubborn and not afraid to voice his opinion ;) he has been giggling periodically. the BOOP sound and fart sounds are the funniest and he LOVES watching videos of himself and also his mirror reflection.

stuff & things // between last month and now has felt like the LONGEST month. maybe it's because we moved across the country (errrr midwest) again, but i just feel like a lot has happened this past month. he is STILL wearing his 3mo clothes and i'm probably going to just start transitioning into his 6mo stuff because i feel that we had a good run with the others. forest loves music, super hot and super cold weather – none of that lame & comfortable 73° shit. he sits up like 79% confidently and can roll but never feels like it. we are getting ready to crawl by kicking off things with the feet! he loves new things all the time and would rather play 24/7 than sleep. one of his favorite things is watching mom and dad talk and then chiming in with his own opinion.

parents // mom & dad both got new jobs, a new home, and just a lot of new new new. i'm personally one of those people who lives for change. i love it. i love new challenges and making every day different. as far as baby things go, i had a minor bit of hair loss – nothing crazy, just a little bit of extra hair in the brush. THANK. GOD. i have a ton of hair but i was really worried about that happening. knock on wood that i'm in the clear. i started to lose a ton more weight so i am *almost* back to my pre-baby goal!! i was hoping i would be there already but when you gain 75#… you need time. tomorrow Arnold will be going back to Colorado for the last time to finish getting our stuff and we will be moving into our new place here! i'm so excited. finally the next chapter of our life is starting! hopefully next month has even better updates!


weeelllllllp. we are back in Iowa. me anyway. Arnold won't be back until TOMORROW. seriously it's been the longest week ever. Can i brag about how absolutely lucky we are to have a husband/daddy who will be in a home alone just so he can finish off his job professionally and also finish packing and cleaning our apartment so we don't have to? I just imagine that would be so hard. He's 10 hours from his family and we miss him so much. 

Last Thursday night at 9pm, Arnold & Forest & cats & I packed up as much as we could fit in the car and hauled butt back to Iowa. Arnold had just finished a long work shift and i had been tending to Forest all day so we were tired. We decided to leave at night because normally, Forest sleeps and we thought it would be worth a shot to see if it helped. OMG. Thank you to whoever sent us good vibes because IT DID. He fussed for about the first hour, but managed to sleep the whole time. We made two stops for feeding and gas and he passed out. Kit Kat, on the other hand – screamed and howled the whole time. We made it into Iowa at 830a and I could have died happy. 

This transition has not been easy. There are a lot of things that make relocation hard. We are staying with my parents until we get an apartment locked down – I don't anticipate that taking more than a few weeks, but i'm thankful that they're letting us crash during this time. The cats and baby and us are adapting and working very hard to go back to as much of a "normal" routine as possible. 

A lot of people have wondered why we moved to Des Moines and not the Quad Cities. We have friends and family in both towns and it's just not fair to say we made that decision for the people and to be upset about our decision isn't right. Yes I'm from here, but that doesn't mean I own Arnold and we are here because of that. Des Moines, first of all, has Microsoft. Arnold works at microsoft and got a transfer. Arnolds career is important to Arnold and to me as I fully support him in chasing his goals to grow and move up. Des Moines has more opportunities. He's actually interviewing with a few other places and willing to work his ass off so Forest can have us around and not have to go to daycare or be in anyone else's care.  I got a part time job at a vet clinic because of a friend (Yes, i was going to be a full time SAHM but I just can't NOT do something and the vet clinic is super flexible and lets me work a few night shifts). We happen to like Des Moines a lot better because THERE ARE MORE THINGS TO DO HERE. Like I said before, we follow opportunities. If Portland calls or new york calls – we follow. 

I'm so nervous and I'm stressed out wondering how things will be during this time. Once we get moved into our place and get into a routine, I think things will be better. It's hard not to worry about little things, especially your home and bills (okay i guess those are big things) when you have a baby. Part of me feels guilty because we don't have a house – Arnold and I haven't changed our names legally to "match" – and that we aren't following the "American dream." Like… it's embarrassing to stay with my parents. I feel guilty and like I did something wrong. But it's okay. We could have been doing this same thing even if we were waiting on our house. There's just a lot of silent pressure that makes you feel bad because if you're not established in your careers and life. I hope Forest knows how much we love him and how hard we are willing to work (and how we sacrifice so much time with each other) so he can be safe and with us. 

I also stupidly find me comparing myself to other moms. a lot. and of course i feel inadequate. I don't have a house, we don't have a lot of money, I don't have a career or own a business, haven't made much of a difference in the world – i'm just a simple wife and a mom who lives each day enough to be good and do good and provide happiness to my husband and baby. I don't even have adventures in colorado anymore but it really doesn't matter. i spent a lot of energy living my life for other people and giving a lot of my time to them, but i feel the best i can do is devote my time to my little family. they deserve it. I love when Arnold can come home to a clean house and food and a happy baby. I never thought that this would be me – I always imagined myself in a big city, maybe alone, focused on my job and career. I realize you can have both, but whatever. Here we are – in Iowa. Focusing on US – I'm not sorry if anyone thinks that's selfish. Everyone should definitely spend a little bit more time worrying about themselves. 

Now for the food… I mean good about Iowa. We can't wait to eat all the yummy food we missed. Colorado doesn't have Pancheros or Casey's pizza or zombie burger or amazing BBQ – that's what we missed about it here. LaMie baked goods, the cheese shop.. HyVee cheese and wine selection. Y U M M M Y. scratch cupcakes. THE MEXICAN AND INDIAN RESTAURANTS- you can't beat those. Errrrmmmm this is why I'm still not super skinny again. The Iowa State Fair – how Iowa are we to be looking forward to that. The college campus where we fell more in love and attended together, the place where Arnold proposed to me, the simple state parks – Iowa is okay. It's home and it's special.