Tag Archives: baby

One Year Later

I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a burden that with the change of the season from summer to fall that my baby also turns a year older. Today, in came the Santa Ana winds (for those of you not in Southern California- Santa Anas are very strong, hot, dry winds typically in the beginning of fall) and out went my first year as a mom. You can read all about my birth story here. I have so much to say, yet so little ability to express it today. Ugh, so many emotions! Moms, I know you know what I mean. Since I’m a little tongue-tied about how I feel today, one year later, here’s what I would tell myself a year ago if I knew the words to say.

Go with your gut, it won’t steer you wrong.

Sleepless nights will be nothing but a fleeting memory one day.

There is joy to be found in every single stage, even the difficult ones.

Wherever she falls asleep in your arms, stay there and rock her- everything else can wait.

Be grateful, even when it’s tough. She’s perfect.

Kiss her cheeks a million times.

Remember that toothless smile.

Reach out to others, they’re dying to help.

Read to her, sing to her, talk to her- everything wonderful she becomes is because of you.

Be kind to yourself, especially in the beginning.

Remember what those little eyelashes look like every night when she closes her eyes to sleep.

Hold those tiny hands.

Every memory will be special to you one day.

Give, give and give more even when you think you have nothing left to give.

And most importantly, if you’re trying your hardest there’s no such thing as messing up. You’re doing an amazing job.

We celebrated Leighton’s birthday on October 8th with family and friends at Underwood Family Farms. We had some of her favorite foods: mommy’s bolognese with gluten free penne, strawberries and melon and cucumber salad. There was feed for the animals and kids had access to all of activities that the farm normally offers like baby goat feeding, and train and tractor rides plus there was a harvest festival and heirloom pumpkin picking. We had picnic-themed decor and our favorite red velvet cake from Susie Cakes (same as our wedding cake). All around it was a perfect day!

Last year on my due date, October 2nd we went to Underwood as kind of an unbirthday celebration for the baby. Walking around seeing all of the families with babies and children and talking about what it would be like to bring the baby here the following October. I took the photo on the top that day and yesterday we went back to the passion fruit arches on the farm to take a photo one year later. 

Leighton’s First Birthday at Underwood Family Farms

xo, rootedinmoss

Faraway Hills

I often get asked how I stay in shape or how I have so much energy. My husband calls it Crazy Mom Energy, thanks babe. So I thought I’d share a little bit about my eating habits, workout routine and most importantly how I keep a positive mentality.

Eating: This is a very “to each their own” topic. I don’t have any food allergies and I don’t follow any particular diet. I do make all (most) of our meals at home. I don’t count calories or macros. I eat real food. I like to make meals that are comprised of the least amount of ingredients possible per dish. Think, brussels sprouts (one ingredient), burrito (who knows what’s going into that). We do eat carbs like brown rice or white rice and whole wheat tortillas because I am not in the business of deprivation or starvation. I cook the majority of our meals to be about 80% plant based. Lately, I have been testing out non-dairy options like almond milk yogurt (I love Kite Hill) and grain-free options like making my own grain-free granola and it has done wonders for my digestive system. There are so many amazing real food companies out there now that have great chips and snacks made with very few and REAL FOOD ingredients. Also, I have pretty much cut sweets like cakes, cookies and pastries out of my diet. I absolutely do not refuse myself a treat if I’m offered one but I will tell you the honest truth, I don’t miss it. When you wake up full of energy you will thank yourself for that self-control. Which brings me to my next topic…

Exercise: There is no shortcut. Period. You have to get all of the excuses out of your system. I’ll be missing out on so much while I’m at the gym… It takes 20 mins to get there and 20 mins to get home and I have to be there for an hour and then shower!?!… I don’t want to mess up my hair…Ok, done? Your best self is waiting on the other side of those excuses. Now I won’t say that it’s so easy for me but I truly do enjoy exercising because I’ve been on the other side of those excuses for years.

They say it takes a village to raise a baby but it also takes a village to raise up and encourage a new mama. I am so grateful to my sister, my husband’s mom and brother-in-law who will drive out of their way to push Leighton around in the stroller for 40 minutes while I’m at my Pilates class. Most importantly, to my husband and my mom. If I get the idea in my head that I want to be active they either join in or work it out to help me make it happen. Having a supportive spouse is key. Investing in each other’s health is the best investment you can make for your children.

I used to hate schedules and group exercise. Since having a baby, I have tried to let go of self-manifested mental barriers. Now, I like schedules and group exercise- trust me those weren’t easy for me to give in to. I do Pilates MegaFormer classes three times a week at Pilates Plus Porter Ranch. It’s the absolute best full body workout. According to my Apple Watch, I typically burn about 350 active calories in 40 minutes. I don’t really know what that means in the scheme of things because I don’t count calories but I use that as sort of a model for my workouts and when I’m around 350 active calories I know I’m on track. Once or twice a week, I walk on the treadmill for about 30 minutes followed by high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is perfect for mamas with small babies because you can hit your cardiovascular goals as well as strength goals in a short period of time while baby is napping. I usually spend no longer than 20 minutes on HIIT with no breaks because I know my nap clock is running. Google HIIT for inspo, or you can always message me for specific moves I like.

Postpartum, as well as during my pregnancy, when I thought laying around sounded way better than being active I would weigh my options and tell myself, “You’re better for it.” I totally may have ripped that off from Nike but it’s true! You are BETTER FOR IT. You will never leave a workout thinking that you would have been better off organizing your spice cabinet. Like I said, my husband always remarks about my “mom energy”, well isn’t that an oxymoron? He is right though. Being forced to push myself through to seek out energy that just wouldn’t be there otherwise has caused me to be in a better place physically and mentally than before I had the baby. Which brings me to my next topic…

Positive Mentality: I have a six month old. I work five days a week, three in my office in Santa Monica and two from home. I have a give-or-take hour commute on both ends of my day. Truthfully, driving in traffic is more exhausting than taking care of a teething baby. But I use that time to catch up with friends and family on the phone, jot down blog and project ideas and drink my coffee! It was my “me time” even before I had the baby. You have to look at each part of your day as a way to get closer to your happiness and health goals.

We recently baptized Leighton (pics coming this week!) and before the baptism my husband and I had some lovely meetings with Father David at our parish. The conversations didn’t set out to be about any particular topic but they flowed so beautifully as though he knew exactly what our hearts needed to hear. While Father was sharing a story about a friend of his, he said a quote that has stuck with me ever since our last meeting that I wanted to share. He said, “Faraway hills always seem green until you get up close and see they’re filled with weeds.” That may sound a bit pessimistic but it was actually what inspired me to write this post. It had me thinking about body image and social media. Instagram and Pinterest can be great sources of inspiration for workouts and health goals but it can also create a terrible spiral of body comparing and shaming. Even worse, body comparing to photos that may be edited, cropped and filtered to not represent a real body goal at all. I am a real person. I am a mom and a wife. I don’t have a professional photographer following me around every day or a personal trainer keeping me on my fitness goals. I wake up everyday with a goal to say “Yes I can” to as much as possible and lay my head down at night proud of what I did and letting go of what I didn’t and committed to always being a work in progress. If I can do it, so can you. 🙂

On the days I’m not participating in group or gym exercise I love to be outdoors getting in my 10,000 steps and taking in nature. Last weekend, we took the baby to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve to check out the wildflower bloom occurring in the desert right now. We had rain the night before. As is typical with Southern California: after the rain, comes the wind. There were sustained 40 mph winds with 50+ mph gusts. Needless to say, the poppies closed up protecting themselves from the wind and cold- gotta love nature. But nonetheless, we had a nice day walking around.

Be kind to yourself and your journey.

xo, rootedinmoss

When The Days Are Long

I’m sitting here, sipping on some kombucha, listening to the rain. My life has changed in a lot of ways but I’ll be the first to say I haven’t forgotten what it was like before I had a baby. Quiet moments definitely have more importance than they ever have. Have you ever tried putting pen to paper with Twinkle Twinkle playing on loop in the background? No? Well, you’re probably not a mom then. 🙂 As I sit here enjoying my quiet moment, which was short lived as she’s currently sitting in my lap, I’ve been trying to sum up the update about motherhood that I’ve been asked about… Something that has definitely fascinated me about being a mom is that my already full and eventful life has been able to stretch and expand to accommodate another person, who is completely dependent on me, without being able to clone myself or find the missing 25th hour of the day. It’s quite amazing and I like to think I do it with a smile. What has most fondly been added to my newly expanded life are the little loves I give and receive on a daily basis. My new activities include: cheek kissing, chunky book reading, soft arm scratching, paci locating, jammie changing, silly song singing, tear drying, tiny hand holding and lovey giving. But for all that I give I get way more in return. She falls asleep in my arms every night no matter who or what wants my attention. After she falls asleep, sometimes I hold her for an hour. Because I know that when the days are long, the years are inevitably oh so short and that’s something I never want to forget.

Succulent Easter Basket

I love finding new ways to temporarily bring succulents indoors as part of my holiday decor. Before the baby, I didn’t really decorate the house for Easter. This year we’re decked out with carrot garland, baby chicks and bunnies on the mantle and this Easter basket filled with succulents! The baby loves doing tummy time these days so we hung out together in her room while I put the basket together and this is how I did it. Every good project starts with an even better trip to the greenhouse. What I used:

  • Basket- I had one in my craft closet but I also like these here and here.
  • Succulents- The dimensions of the opening of my basket were approximately 12 in x 8 in. For that size basket I used about 30 small (2 in. pot) succulents in a variety of pastel colors. See photos below for size in relation to my hand.
  • Wet foam- I used this one here. I bought two of the “half balls” which are each 8 inches in diameter. This foam adds great structure while easy to cut and manipulate and if you desire to keep your project in tact longer than a week or so you can add water right to the foam.
  • Floral wire- I used 22 gauge and 24 gauge wire depending strength and size of the succulent stem. I used the thicker wire to keep larger succulents in place and the thinner wire to bend and manipulate the positioning of the plant.
  • Scissors
  • Butter knife to cut the foam

First, I stripped the succulents of all of their soil. I set the soil aside to use in the garden at another time. I like to pull some of the long roots off and expose the stem as much as possible. I started by cutting one of the half balls in half and wedging the two pieces to fit the majority of the empty space in the basket. There may be a more concise way of cutting and fitting the wet foam into projects but I have yet to discover it. All of the wet foam will be covered when the project is finished so I don’t worry about making the base look presentable, as seen below. And there it is. Not gorgeous but completely functional. I cut the second half ball and wedged pieces where there were gaps. I used the butter knife to shave down areas to create height in the middle and lower, sloping sides. This will give the effect that the basket is brimming with Easter eggs.I started with a larger succulents to be the focal point in the middle of the basket. I pre-cut about a two inch pieces of floral wire to be ready when I need them. Then inserted one piece of wire per succulent into the stem leaving about one inch of the wire exposed. If you are using large succulents, 4 inch or larger, you may need more than one piece of wire for stability. Then place the wire into the wet foam. The wet foam is easily manipulated as it has a sort of crumbly texture. If the succulent isn’t sitting exactly how I want it to I just apply a little pressure into the foam and wiggle it into place. From the first succulent, I worked out alternating colors and textures with attention to placing smaller succulents around the edges. For filler in this basket I used Sedum dasyphyllum. This variety comes in beautiful rainbow varieties from green to purple to pink all in one 4 inch pot. I broke off tiny pieces and used the 22 gauge wire to place them into vacant areas. There’s the finished product! It took me about 30 minutes to complete with Leighton playing next to me. The basket will stay in the house until Easter. Then I think I’m going to plant some of the succulents into the current flower bed redo (post to come once completed) and use some to fill in vacant spots in a few pots. Happy Spring! Lots of fun stuff coming up for rootedinmoss! Stay in touch by subscribing to the blog or following along on Instagram @rootedinmoss. All images from the blog are now enabled for pinning, follow rootedinmoss on Pinterest for inspiration for your DIYs and to see what inspires me!

xo, rootedinmoss

Forever Changed: A Rooted In Moss Birth Story

The morning of October 7th, my date to be induced at 40 weeks and 5 days, I woke up feeling like I was headed to the airport to make a flight in which I had no idea where it was destined to land. Nervous, curious, excited, scared… We ate a light breakfast, said bye to the puppies and headed to the hospital. My doctor, Samantha Stein (best doctor ever!), recommended that since I was still only 2 centimeters dilated that we induce by taking Cytotec orally which would provide me with the freedom to walk around, use the restroom and eat, unlike an induction with Pitocin which is administered by IV. My husband and I spent October 7th taking walks around the hospital campus in my own clothes (not a hospital gown), having much needed alone time and I had my “food bachelorette party” wherein I ate a deep dish pizza by myself with a fork and knife, chicken and vegetables with a mint lemonade, a lot of fruit, birthday cake and red velvet cake from my favorite bakery, and several blueberry muffins from Starbucks. It was really fun to indulge. After 24 hours and 4 doses of Cytotec, there wasn’t much progress beyond 2 centimeters. As much as I thought I wanted to show up at the hospital and have the baby several hours later, I really needed that 24 hours. Up to this point in my life, I had never had an IV, never spent the night in a hospital, I had never even sat on a hospital bed before! The experience of the slow induction allowed me to calm my nerves and become a witness to this process amongst the greatest nursing staff, giving me the ability to really be in the moment.

On October 8th, around hour 28 of my stay I got my first dose of Pitocin. Up to now, I had been feeling contractions but they were still somewhat irregular. At this point, the topic of an epidural was presented to me. My plan going into this was that I didn’t have a plan but I knew I wanted to feel the “pain” that everyone describes for myself as long as I could take it, maybe all the way through delivery. With the IV in, I was now committed to the hospital bed with my husband by my side. I have to say, I was never so excited to watch the Dodgers in postseason baseball. It was a welcomed distraction to my nerves and the unknown…I really looked forward to the game that day although I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what the outcome of the game was. After I began Pitocin I had regular contractions about two minutes apart. I was told that they wouldn’t get any closer together but they would intensify. The contractions definitely intensified around hour 33. I wouldn’t use the word pain for contractions but it was definitely an intense discomfort, for me in my hips and legs. My doctor had described it as period cramping times 100 and I would say that’s a good description. The worst part of contractions are not knowing when the wave of discomfort will be over. When my night nurse came on she asked me if I wanted an epidural and I began to cry. I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t any identifiable emotion, it’s just a big deal and crying felt right. She non-judgmentally asked me why I was considering not getting an epidural and I didn’t really have an answer. She kindly reminded me that there wasn’t a “Wall of Martyrs” that my picture would be on where others could come to visit and give me recognition. She and I connected right then and there! She was so right, what was I trying to prove? So at hour 38, and somewhere between 5 and 6 centimeters dilated I decided to get the epidural. This was a major decision for me, remember the whole I had never sat in a hospital bed thing?? Well I surely had never had a needle in my back! However, being in the midst of intense discomfort every two minutes will make you make brave decisions. The epidural is really not that bad. The build up to getting the epidural, calling the anesthesiologist, explaining the process, making your husband leave the room, prepping your back is all way more dramatic than actually getting it. I was definitely not completely numb from the epidural but I’m happy I got it when I did because I was able to relax and rest.  A few hours later, I called the nurse and told her I was feeling a little different and she told me it was time to push!

Throughout my hospital stay, the nurses had asked me what I would want during delivery to make myself more comfortable. All I requested was that the room had low lighting and calm voices and my requests were kindly granted. The doctor came in and explained to me what it really means to push. My amazing nurse, Michala, whom I feel I had bonded with told me not to by shy or wimpy about it. I’m always up for a good challenge! I closed my eyes each time and I pushed four times over the course of about twenty minutes. After the fourth push I opened my eyes and she entered the world into a completely calm and quiet room, she wasn’t even crying! The entire delivery was so quiet and calm, I couldn’t have planned it more perfectly! When they laid her on me she made little squeaking noises and rubbed her hand back and forth on my face, it was so, so precious. After 45 hours, at 4:55 a.m. on Sunday, October 9th Leighton Everly Moss was born 7 pounds, 4.25 ounces, 20.5 inches with a lot of little dark blond hair. During my pregnancy I kept thinking that I just wanted to get the delivery over with and behind me but I actually find myself wishing I wasn’t getting further and further away from that moment. The delivery itself was hands down the best experience of my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat…seriously! The only time I have cried since giving birth was thinking back at how wonderful the whole experience was. Much of that I attribute to the amazing labor and delivery doctors, nurses and midwives at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills. The level of care we received exceeded anything I could have possibly hoped for. They made me feel proud of every choice I made and milestone I made it through during my delivery. Steve and I left the hospital feeling cared for and encouraged to begin our new adventure with our baby. As I write this, I am 28 days postpartum. I have been kind to myself during my recovery and I have spent the last month relaxing and reflecting from my bedroom. Between feedings and snuggles I have laid on my bed and enjoyed the view of the outdoors from my big bedroom window knowing that the seasons are changing out there without feeling them for myself. I definitely have not been outdoors as much as I normally would during my favorite time of year. I have been watching day after day the sun setting a little earlier each night. A sentimental heart like mine never wishes for a moment to pass by too quickly. Undoubtedly, when autumn returns next year, I will feel the familiarities of the season again. The cool, dry air of late October, the autumn winds of early November and everything else that I love about this time of year. But for now, my heart is indoors, patient and still, as I am happily separated from what has always been familiar in my world. Enjoying that my season of life is forever changed.My Leighton girl is one month old today! Thank you to everyone for their sweet and encouraging comments throughout my pregnancy and since my delivery. We read all of them and appreciate everyone who takes the time to reach out.

xo, rootedinmoss