Three Months with Madelyn James

You’re growing up so fast little girl. Three months in and most days we feel like we’ve finally found our groove. We love Madelyn… we also just really really like her. She’s the cutest little person that we get to hang out with all day, our little side-kick, and we just love being a family of three (plus Sadie!)

The best part of our month was hands down getting to spend a week in Tennessee with friends and family. While most of our immediate family met Madelyn soon after she was born in Minnesota, we were able to see so many of our extended family and friends while we visited our favorite place in the world, Tennessee! Madelyn met three great grandparents: Gigi Skidmore who will turn 100 this year (so cool that she was born in 1921 and MJ was born in 2021 —100 years difference!), my grandfather who is 90, and my grandmother who turned 87 on the day Madelyn met her (we were there to celebrate her birthday which was so very special!). Aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that are as close as family… everyone loved meeting our girl!

TRAVELING WITH A BABY

Getting anywhere from Duluth Minnesota isn’t easy and usually takes three flights. We are so grateful we found an itinerary that got us to Tennessee with just one stop in Chicago and flights that were just a little over 1 hour each. Phew! I nursed Madelyn as we took off and then she fell asleep for the rest of the flight. I wore her in the Solly Baby Wrap (I got the neutral stripe and love it!) on the flights, which worked out really well and saved my bicep from holding her for an hour! Once we were off the flights we picked up our stroller & car seat gateside. Having both made getting from gate to gate super easy!

We are so grateful we invested in the UppaBaby Vista V2 Stroller & Travel System (the Stella colorscheme is gorgeous!) I highly recommend this system if you’re traveling a lot. They even have travel bags and will replace their products if damaged. We were concerned about bringing Madelyn’s car seat, as the airport isn’t the most gentle with luggage ;), but the travel bags eased our minds. At the airport we took her stroller and carseat all the way to the gate. From there they were tagged for special handling and loaded planeside.

Madelyn rocked her first plane rides. She even received her wings, which was so cute and meaningful to her daddy given that he is a pilot and aerospace engineer. Clearly we are an aviation loving family!

MEMORIES & MILESTONES

We officially have a girl on the move, she’s rolling over that is :). This month Madelyn started rolling from her back to her side quite a bit, especially while playing under her play gym. For a couple weeks she would get stuck on her shoulder preventing her from completely rolling over but this little determined girl didn’t give up and has now officially rolled herself over to her stomach. Making it so mama has to keep a watchful eye while she plays. I’m so glad this little one is so strong, I see a gymnast in our future!

She’s also grabbing (and holding) onto things now. It’s so cute! She holds onto her toys while playing under her play gym, and it’s fun that she can actually squeeze the ones that make crinkle noises now. Oh, and the happy squeals! So cute. No giggles yet, but we are anxiously anticipating the first one! She’ll hold a teether now and I imagine holding onto a lovey will soon follow.

My favorite thing right now is getting MJ out of bed in the morning. She grins from ear to ear and it seriously just fills my whole body with joy. She is such a blessing. She has the cutest gummy smile that will just warm your heart and I love watching her curl up her tiny little body to stretch and throw her hands up over her head. She’s seriously the cutest!

BACK TO WORK

This month as I’ve gotten back to work I’m reminded how truly blessed we are to work for ourselves. I’ve received so many precious emails from women who are figuring out the juggle of running a business while also having littles at home, as well as emails from women who went back to work outside the home soon after their babies were born. I’m so grateful Kyle and I have the opportunity to be at home together raising MJ and running a business.

Going back to work has been expectedly challenging as far as time management … but somewhat unexpectedly joyful! I’m working on updating the curriculum to my signature course, The Blueprint Model, and while it’s been so much work, I have a renewed passion and new perspective for the work I do. Being a mom has given me even more passion for what I do knowing that we get to help others be home with their littles while also supporting their families financially.

I am so grateful that we own our own business. I believe entrepreneurship provides freedom of time and freedom of money like no other career can. And I recognize how insanely fortunate we are to be able to support our family with our business income. I am so so so beyond grateful that I get to help other people do the same.

CHILDCARE

Right now we do not have outside childcare. We are tag-teaming MJ care. For now I am working Tuesdays and Thursdays and Kyle is working Monday, Wednesday, Friday. We are just now getting into this groove but I think it’s going to be a good system until we figure out childcare. I will say, I can already see how having dedicated work days is really important. I am able to be fully present at work on Tuesdays and Thursdays and fully present with Madelyn when I’m not “working”.

This separation/boundary has been really helpful for me. Before we came up with this system I was trying to squeeze in work whenever I could. With the two so intermingled I found myself worrying about the work that needed to get done when I was with Madelyn and feeling guilty that I should be spending time with Madelyn while I was at work. For me, having those set boundaries for work days/ MJ days frees me to feel fully present in both roles.

I know for those of you who have a spouse working outside the home this system isn’t an option. We are in the process of finding outside childcare and I plan to talk more about that once I’ve found a system that works and can share about our process + cost of paying for help.

A friend shared a quote with me (I do not know the original author) that said, “A woman who works outside the home has her heart stretched. A woman who works inside the home has her sanity stretched.” Nailed it. It’s hard to leave Madelyn and go to work (even though my work is just down stairs and I still see her throughout the day), I have to remind myself why I do what I do, and that I am doing this work for our family (and for other men and women who also would love to be their own boss). What a beautiful legacy this business is for our family and I want to make Madelyn proud in the work we do for others.

I also truly know that work is good for me. I like getting to focus and do my best work, and I believe it does make me a more present, joyful mama. When I’m with Madelyn, I get to be fully with her.

Ps. if you’re a working mama, we’d love to hear from you! Tell us what has worked for you or if you have any questions you’d love for me to answer as we figure out our own work/life balance. We actively monitor blog comments, or you can email us hello@shannaskidmore.com

ABOUT MADELYN

Madelyn has gorgeous, soft, porcelain skin and the most kissable rosy cheeks. Her eyes seem to be changing from that newborn navy blue to actual blue which makes me believe maybe just maybe she’ll keep my blue eye color (yay!). Thank goodness she was blessed with her daddy’s long eyelashes, which I secretly prayed about! She is most often described as “so alert” as well as “such a doll!.” She absolutely looks more and more like her daddy everyday. It’s still up for debate whether she will have dark hair or blonde hair.

She is squealing happy squeals a little more and smiling like crazy. She has such a gentle, loving spirit and is really patient (except when she’s hungry lol). She loves either holding her hands (like she’s praying) or chewing on her hands (safe to say she loves her hands)! She has officially outgrown her newborn jammies and has also pretty much outgrown her 3 month jammies as well. She can still wear a lot of 0-3 month clothing, but anything that has enclosed feet she needs 3-6 months (the girl is tiny but tall!). ps. These have been our favorite jammies. They are pricey but MJ has been able to wear them the longest due to the stretchy fabric so in the end cost-per-wear is actually cheaper (I totally just went there lol ??‍♀️ occupational hazard!).

She is a very happy, content, joyful baby. She loves music and loves when I sing to her. I even think sometimes she is singing along. Our favorite song right now : Ellie Holcomb “Mine”. She has super strong ab muscles and is trying to sit up on her own now. She is now putting her arm around my neck when I hold her at my shoulder which just truly makes me melt. She talks a lot in the morning and is making so many new sounds. She smiles at familiar faces and studies new people. She’s her own little person and I just love that so much.

SLEEP

We are feeding her around 8:30 pm now and she wakes up anytime between 6:30-7:30 am. A solid 9+ hours at night. The sun isn’t setting in Duluth until around 9:30 and rising at 4:30 ? —so that does sometimes disrupt her sleep. Note to self: add black out curtains to the buy list! She is an incredible sleeper, not always so great at napping. She takes a nap after she eats and sleeps anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. If she sleeps longer than an hour long nap we are lucky. She just really loves to be awake. She doesn’t want to miss any of the action. She loves her swing and her play gym and is starting to notice Sadie.

She is really interested in the world around her so she can pretty much entertain herself for good little stretches while I do dishes or throw a load of laundry in the wash. She will also just hang out in her bouncer seat (cannot recommend this one enough, we have the khaki color!) while I cook dinner and we have long conversations about how to not overcook pasta and the right amount of sugar to put in sweet tea.

Now that she is officially rolling over we are trying to figure out swaddling and sleeping. Madelyn loves to be swaddled and doesn’t sleep well without being swaddled. Her arms tend to wake her up as she waves them around like a traffic cop! At home she sleeps in the SNOO bassinet in our room, which was a huge investment for us (I’ll do a post reviewing the SNOO for any of you who are interested in it). We actually don’t use the movement of the SNOO anymore, but are thankful that she can remain swaddled at night since the SNOO has a built in system to prevent rolling.

While we were in Tennessee though she slept in a travel crib (we love this one because it’s easy to assemble, folds up small so travels well, and sits directly on the floor so it doesn’t have a hard center post in the middle of the bed). I was a nervous nelly every night about swaddling her though without the SNOO’s velcro system to keep her from rolling. She did better than expected but definitely still needs the swaddle to help her sleep. I’ve been reading a lot about weaning her off the swaddle so I suspect we will start trying that this next month (during nap time).

BREASTFEEDING

I’ve officially stopped pumping. Traveling just made keeping up with pumping so challenging and my supply never did increase. So, I let that go. It feels good to be done. I honestly don’t know how I would maintain the same nurse, bottle, pump routine while also working. I still nurse MJ before she takes a bottle. Sometimes she only nurses for 1 min per side, sometimes 5 mins per side… but I’ll keep nursing her until there’s nothing left. I enjoy that time so much. She is now up to 4-5 ounces of formula, 5xs a day. God has done a good work on my heart and has given me so much peace about breastfeeding.  While breastfeeding didn’t go as planned, that’s life. I am just so grateful for a happy, healthy baby. That’s what matters most!

GOALS FOR MONTH 4

  • Establish a new morning routine (I’d like to be getting up at 5:30 on weekdays to eat breakfast, shower & QT before MJ wakes up)
  • Be super productive during work hours (limit distraction) in order to prep the new Blueprint Model 2.0 curriculum (eek!) and pre-schedule everything for August open enrollment.
  • Start a running/walking schedule! Decide if I should go back to the gym or workout from home.

MONTH THREE TAKEAWAY

I thank the Lord for our sweet Madelyn. This “4th trimester” can easily be described as the most magical and challenging time of my life. I find myself studying Madelyn’s face, trying to memorize every twinkle of her eyes, the sweet curves of her mouth, her cute little chin and gummy smile, and her absolutely precious kissable cheeks.

I don’t want to miss any moments … but I also don’t want to miss any moments by worrying that I’m going to miss any moments. Lol, does that make any sense?

So my takeaway is this: enjoy each moment, take lots of pictures, and don’t worry about time passing. It will pass. And that’s ok.

 

Click Here for more Madelyn Updates

 

 

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