Full-Time Butterflies

I have always been someone who put their career first. My life wasn’t all about my job, and I felt I had a good work/life balance, but at the end of the day, my career was what mattered.

Even when I was 10 months pregnant I was wondering how I would fill my time on Maternity Leave, and if I would be itching to get back to work….cue sarcastic laughter…..Yep! Little did I know I would spend every waking second taking care of the love of my life, my first born son, and dreading the inevitable day my Maternity Leave would end.  I miss this little bird when he’s in his swing, and can’t imagine being 11.2 miles away for nine hours a day.


My thoughts seem to follow the same mourning process over and over. When I think about going back to work and putting Miles in daycare full-time, I’m angry, then sad, then accepting. The process keeps reeling in my brain like a rerun of Full House, seen for the seventh time.

First, I’m angry.  Why can’t we be a family who can afford to have one income?  Why are U.S. Companies so stingy with their maternity leave? Why can’t I just drop my career, move into a small apartment with my husband, son, and two dogs, and eat Campbell’s Soup?

Then, I’m sad.  I’m sad the little guy will be growing up so quickly infront of someone else’s eyes.  I picture him crying and needing me, and my never knowing he was in distress.  I picture someone else watching all of his “firsts”, and not mentioning it.  It all brings tears to my eyes.

After a few tears I come back to reality, and accept that this is our life.  I cannot give up what I have worked so hard for, for the last 8 years, and I will be a great mom when I am with Miles.

One day last week, I decided to tell my boss how I was feeling.  We had a quick phone conversation and she gave me the reassurance I needed to know that my schedule will be flexible and I can make this work.  I even got approval to work Friday’s from home with Miles.  Plus, the little bit of work talk brought me back into my professional self.

I also went into the daycare with Miles to check it out again.  I hadn’t been there since I was six months pregnant.  We sat on the floor with his teachers and the other kids in his class.  I was delighted to see Miles was smiling and cooing with the other babies.  I had no idea he would get so much out of the experience.

Now I am feeling much better about the circumstances, and am not excited, but not dreading the first day as much as I was last week.  September 8 marks the first day of my stay at home mom status changing for a while, and I know we can make it work!

miles sitting in boppymilesdaddyact


Preschool, Potty Training, and Big Girl Beds…OH MY!

Syd is a full blown toddler; she’s crazy, funny, intuitive, smart, and super inquisitive! She loves “Frozen,” stickers, her dog, and playing with her sister!

It’s hard for me to believe that three years ago we were dying to meet her and now she is a potty-training preschooler who is ready for a big girl bed! Where did the time go? As excited as I am about having only one child in diapers, I’m also a little sad that my first baby is now some-what of a “big-kid.” It’s weird that she has friends besides her sister and it’s even stranger that I trust her to sleep in a bed…by herself, without railings…

1st Day of Preschool!

1st Day of Preschool!

Preschool was our first step into toddler-ville. Syd is my momma’s girl, so drop-offs are usually tear-filled and hurried, but pick-ups are always filled with smiles and excitement to inform me of every little detail from her day. Preschool is also a great stepping stone for kids like Syd who need a little encouragement when it comes to things like potty-training.

We started our potty-training journey last fall…yes, you read that right, last fall! Syd showed a lot of interest and seemed like she was ready. We went out and bought a potty, some bribery snacks and big girl underwear, but when we got the potty home, Syd wouldn’t even sit on it. It sat in our bathroom, unused, until two weeks ago! That’s when she decided she was ready and she hasn’t turned back! I’m happy to report that she is half-way to being potty-trained. Letting Syd decide when she was ready was the best thing I could do for both of us; she knows when she needs to go, she’s excited to receive the applause when she does go, and likes being a “big girl.” I strongly suggest using M&M’s as a reward, it’s crazy what kids will do for them!

As for the big girl bed; a few weeks ago when we were on vacation, I let Syd sleep in a big girl bed and she loved it! I don’t want to overwhelm her with all the recent changes so I’m waiting a few more weeks before we switch her bed but we are starting to prep her for the big move! She has picked out her bedding (with my approval) and we talk about how she needs to behave in her new bed. She is excited to say the least and I think she will do great!

Before I know it, she’ll be getting her driver’s license and going on her first date…not sure I’m ready for this growing up thing!

Beach essentials for babies and toddlers!

Summer vacation here we come!!! Next week the girls and I will be heading to the shore for some much needed fun in the sun; unfortunately it is the busy time in my husband’s line of work so he will not be able to join us but I will be joined by my parents and siblings! Traveling with kids and toddlers is not easy but if you go in prepared it makes things much more relaxed and fun! I have two beach trips with the girls under my belt so this year I feel confident that the items I pack will come in handy! Here’s what I will be packing this year!


1) A baby pool-the past two years these have been lifesavers! It does not have to be anything fancy or big. We usually purchase one the first day and use it all week. It’s great for on the beach; we fill it with water, and toys and the girls are occupied for hours! They are can play and people watch and I can work on my tan, it’s a win-win! Just make sure to keep applying sun screen!!

2) Baby Powder-my girls love to play in the sand so baby powder comes in very handy. Pour a small amount on to their arms and legs and lightly brush them off. The sand comes right off!

3) Our little red wagon-I love this thing! It’s great for hauling your babies to the beach but once you get there, you take the babies out, put your stuff in and find your beach spot, hands free!

4) Baby gates-we have stayed at the same beach house the past two years so I know exactly where I will placing baby gates this year.

5) Extra flat sheets-without fail I am always 1 or 2 flat sheets short. There are a number of things I use them for when we travel. I always put one out at our beach spot, this gives the girls plenty of sand-less room to play; I use them as back-up in case the pack-n-play sheet needs to be changed and they are great to use as laundry bags when it’s time to head home!

Now if only someone could unpack and do the after-vacation-laundry for me! What are your essential vacation items for babies and toddlers?

Treat Yo Self! The Final Weeks of Pregnancy

lance and i valentinesSomething I have truly struggled with is enjoying my pregnancy.  I feel guilty when someone asks how I am feeling and I am honest with them….and it’s not so great.  I know that not every woman has the opportunity to carry a child, so I feel an obligation to tell everyone that everything is peachy, when it’s not.  I felt terrible my first trimester, great my second, and am feeling terrible again in my third.  If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s to treat myself, and do it often!

Here are some of the things I do to make sure I am taking it easy!

1. I get monthly pre-natal massages.  The first 2 trimesters these were just fun, but now I can’t wait for my next appointment and get them every other weekend!  Why: At 35 weeks, my feet, hands and wrists are sore and swollen, and my lower and upper back are incredibly sore.  A massage gives me a break (even for an hour) of all my aches.

2. Get off your feet as often as possible. I am most comfortable in a recliner at this point, so I make it a point to sit down and eat a snack and drink water for about an hour every 2 hours no matter what!  If you’re out and about, sit on a bench for 10 minutes or go to a restaurant for a little while.  You owe it to yourself and your baby.

3. Let your loved ones help you.  I am done trying to be wonder woman, and often times after an 8 hour work day, I don’t have energy to make dinner.  I come home, get in my jammies, and let Lance cook dinner.  I get up and help him if he needs it, but he’s happier and I am happier if I am relaxed.

4. Say “no” to guests and entertaining. No one should expect you to make a 4-course meal or take them out on the town at this point, so don’t feel like you can’t say no to people when there’s a lapse in judgment.  Instead, offer to have them over after the baby has arrived, or ask them if you can meet them at your favorite meeting spot for dinner.  They may think they’re doing you a favor by coming to you without realizing that it may add stress to your day.

5. If you’re entertaining, take it easy.  My friends stopped over last night and wanted to bring me shower gifts, so we offered to grill the meat and they each brought a side.   It was no extra work for me and everyone could contribute.

6. Learn to let some things go.  I have learned that I need to let some things go.  My dogs smell like dogs because they need baths, my counter-tops aren’t clean and organized, and my clothing isn’t put away.  While I catch up on these things every once on a while, I can’t make them part of my weekly routines anymore.  That’s okay!

My All-Star Themed Baby Shower!

My baby shower was in Bedford, PA, this weekend.  My family is from Eastern PA, Lance’s is from Central PA, and our friends are from Western PA, so what better place to have it then in Bedford!  My mother-in-law and best friends worked very hard to make the day special, and all I had to do was register and make sure I got to the party on time.  It was fabulous!

The shower started at 12:30 with buffet style sandwiches, pasta salad, fruits and vegetables and the decorations were amazing.  After 3 generations of Waltman men who loved and played baseball, the theme couldn’t have been more fitting for our soon-to-come baby boy.

There weren’t too many games, just some guess how many with sunflower seeds, and bubble gum, and a game where you froze these little plastic babies in ice cubes.  Everyone got one in their water glass and when your cube melted, you had to yell, “My water broke!” and then you got a prize.

see the little baby in the ice cube?

see the little baby in the ice cube?

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see the little baby in the ice cube?

see the little baby in the ice cube?


All in all it was the perfect day with my favorite people.  Thank you so much to those who made it possible!!

DIY: Felt ball mobile

Around the holidays, I noticed that several of my favorite bloggers incorporated felt balls into their seasonal decor.  I loved the whimsical feel and started looking for ways to include them in my nursery design.  (You may have even noticed the mobile I included in the nursery mood board I created a few months ago.)  The Etsy versions are super cute, but didn’t really fit into my budget so I decided to try to make my own.  It was a quick and easy project (30-45 minutes MAX) and I’m really happy with the results.


DIY felt mobile materials


  • 1 pack embroidery yarn (white) (cost: $.40)
  • 1 pack embroidery needles  (cost: $1.50)
  • 2 packages of felt yarn balls ( I ordered mine here.) (cost: $9.50)
  • 1 pack of heart charms (plastic beads could also be used) (cost: $ 1.50)
  • Plastic white mobile ( I ordered this one– make sure you order the extended version!) (cost: $12.99)
    • Total cost: $25.89


  • Open the packs of felt balls and determine the pattern you want to create for your mobile.  I decided to use a wide variety of colors to add a pop of color and interest to the room.  The middle two stings also contain one extra felt ball.


    Determine a pattern for the yarn balls.

  • Cut the embroidery yarn to the desired length and tie on the metal heart charm.  This will serve as the weight at the bottom and straighten out the yarn.
Metal charm

Add the metal charm to the bottom of the embroidery yarn.

Metal charm

  • On the other end of the yarn, use the embroidery needle to sting on the yarn balls.

Sting on the yarn balls.

  • When I added the large felt ball to the top of the embroidery yarn, I noticed that it started to slip.  As a quick fix, I tied a small knot for the large felt ball to rest on.  (See the picture below…)



  • Line up the completed string to ensure the yarn balls are evenly spaced.

Completed strings

  • Attach the completed strings to your mobile and enjoy! 🙂
completed mobile

DIY- felt mobile

The Final Countdown

This baby train is moving towards the station with only two shorts weeks left.  Where have the past 9 months gone?!?! With Baby M getting ready to arrive any day, I decided to put together a list of all the little things that I prepared before the big day.

Untitled copy

1. Pack your hospital bag-  There certainly isn’t shortage of lists to use when trying to decide what to pack in your hospital bag.  This one was my personal favorite, but I also asked for suggestions from experienced moms who have already perfected the art of packing a complete hospital bag.

2. Charge your camera-  This one is almost too easy….but make sure your camera is charged.  Oh, and don’t forget to empty those memory cards!  Chances are you’ll be taking a lot of pictures to document the few days you spend in the hospital.

3. Create a birth plan-  This one was actually recommended to us by our OBGYN and during the childbirth class we took a few weeks ago.  The hospital where I plan to deliver Baby M provided us with a 1-page form, but more detailed documents can be found online.

4. Finalize plans for pet(s)-  When the time comes for us to go to the hospital, we wanted the dogs to go somewhere where they felt safe and comfortable.  To some, this may mean taking your dogs to a “doogie daycare”, but for us, our dogs love to spend time at my parents’ house.  We lovingly refer to it as a “dog-cation.”   Endless treats, a huge backyard, and uninterrupted naps – can life get any better?

5. Stock the freezer- I’ve spent the past few weeks preparing several freezer meals that can be easily reheated when we return from the hospital.  My three favorites can be found here, here, and here.

6. Wash baby clothing/prep the nursery-  I’m not going to sit here and claim that everything is 100% done in the nursery, but I feel pretty darn good about the progress we’ve made.  Yes, the curtains still need to be ironed, and yes, we still don’t have closet doors, but I feel a sense of ease knowing that the crib is ready, the changing table is stocked, and baby bottles are washed and ready to use.

7. Finalize your work plans-  This one was a HUGE undertaking for me.  I spent countless hours typing page after page of substitute plans for my upcoming absence.  I just wanted to make sure everything is absolutely perfect for my kiddos while I’m away on maternity leave.

8. Rest, relax, and recharge— or try too!  To be honest, this has been the hardest thing for me to accomplish on this list.  But, little by little, I’m working to find the time to give my body the rest it needs (prenatal messages, manicures/pedicures, extra naps…check, check, check!)  After all, when the baby arrives, I have a feeling I’ll be wishing for a few extra minutes of peace and quiet on the couch or lounging in bed!

“Mommy Club” members – do you have any suggestions and/or ideas of things to do within the last few weeks of your pregnancy?

Pink Baby Shower…Part 2

In continuing the theme of my baby shower and last week’s post on how we prepared, today I’m going to walk you step-by-step around the room to see how it all came together.

When the shower guests entered the large room, we had two tables set-up as the guest book area.  I stumbled across two old crib mattress springs a few weeks before the shower, and we used clothes pins to display some of our old baby clothing and pictures from when we were little.  Also displayed were the gender reveal pictures Ken and I had taken in late November.

Crib springs

Ken's baby clothing

Ken’s baby clothing

At the end of the table were paper onesies in a variety of colors: pink, light pink, and teal.  We asked each guest to leave a short note on one of the paper onesies and use a push-pin to hang them in the two shadow boxes that were open on the table.  (Fun fact- these shadow boxes were hung in Ken’s room all throughout his childhood.  He used them to display the awards he received from sports and music achievements.  I sprayed them with a coat of white spray paint to give them a fresh, new feel.)  After the shower, we hung them in the nursery above the changing table.  I have a feeling I’ll need the encouraging words when I’m tending to late night diaper changes.


Baby clothing at the guestbook station.

The center of the room was filled with round tables where people could enjoy their lunch.  Each place setting had two games, a nursery rhyme game and a baby poll.  As people found a seat, they were able to fill out the games and chat with the other people at their table.

Baby shower games

Baby shower games

The center of each table held one of the diaper cakes that we made in the weeks prior to the shower.  We added the tissue paper flower and some votive candles to make the table feel more complete.

Diaper cake

Diaper cake centerpieces

One corner of the room held a long table for gifts and on the opposite side of the room was a paint-your-own onesie station.  We purchased onesies in a variety of sizes and pre-washed them so they were ready to wear after the baby shower.  A clothesline in the back corner of the room was an inviting way to welcome guests to this station.


The table was set with a variety of stencils, fabric paint and markers.  Guests had total freedom to write or decorate the onesie they selected.  We had some pretty interesting designs included one from my brother. 🙂  (suggestion- I wish we would have asked guests to write their name or initials on sleeve of the onesie they created.  It would be nice to know which guested created each onesie.)

Onesie station

Paint your own onesie station

The back of the room held all of the food.  The menu consisted of a bruschetta, a vegetable tray with spinach dip, crab dip, a greens salad, penne with pink vodka sauce, and homemade meatball.  Yum!



The hot chocolate bar and dessert station was located off to the side.  I’ve craved chocolate covered donuts my ENTIRE pregnancy so having a donut cake seemed like the best option.  Mini brownies, chocolate mint squares, and raspberry oatmeal bars were also available to guest.


It was such a fun day!  A special thanks to everyone who made the day so memorable!

an Ode to our Old friend

We are just days from Katie Midgett’s very first baby shower. It is major life events like this that make for times of reminders and reflection.  This week the girls of 5&Whine wish to dedicate our posts to our dear friend.  We want not one day to celebrate- but an entire week of showering Katie and Baby with love that is 15 plus years in the making:


I have always felt that Katie has carried the torch for our group of friends in different ways. I remember giving a small toast at her bridal shower, and acknowledging Katie as the wise one, and one who will always be there to advise the rest of us through big life changes. See Katie has often times conquered many feats ‘first’. First bride, First puppy adopter, First home owner, First to tackle major home renos, and more I am sure I am not remembering. Although she is not the first mother in our small circle, she of course will still be yet another voice to guide the rest of us through an unknown process or journey. Thinking back on all of those ‘first’ brings me all the way back to – – get ready for this 1997! I can not believe how long I have known these ladies!

Katie is my golden ticket. I always look up to her and I am grateful for her friendship. With out Katie I would have never gotten to know this beautiful group of girls I call my best friends. We met in 6th grade- we are nearing our 20 year mark as friends! Her father was my teacher at the time. I would say I – my character, my decision making- was a little rough around the edges at this time. My family was not well off and it was the year my father passed. The combination of financial stress and emotional distress was hard for me as I was trying to fit in at school. Katie saw me as a friend, and Katie’s entire family treated me like one of their own. I would go over for dinner often. We would play (I have no idea what we would do to be honest) in kitties living room. Her parents would give me guidance on smart moves for college, etc. It was a warm home and escape from the sadness that draped my families’ house in hard times. It was a taste of life I had not known. All awhile with a friend to giggle with each day in school and out (Katie is a hoot – she’s incredibly funny, but has a demeanor that makes most of what she says feel unexpected).

As years went on we traveled as a pack, the five of us. To panera bread lunch dates, park city shopping mall, and into college parties where we have seen each other at our most foolish moments. Oh the pictures we wish we could un-take. The boyfriends we saw each other through. The outfits we critiqued for each other in order to be the cool girls. It really makes me smile as I write and imagine.

I am so lucky to have met Katie when I did. She has always been years beyond her age. She is a successful woman. She is one of those people who seem to be able to get it all done in a flawless fashion. Taking on motherhood will be so natural for her, and all of us have said so for years.  Time and states have been put between since the days of middle school, but our friendship has never disconnected.


So today my post is for Katie. Here is to you mama… the bold and beautiful, ever so capable, role model for women! Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for accepting me for being the exact opposite! Thank you for the snippets of advice laced along the years. With out our early connection, I do not believe I would know the life I do now. I love you and your growing family so dearly and always will. I can not wait to meet Baby girl M and see every bit of beautiful women in her as I do in you.

Adoption Day!

Happy Adoption day to me!

Today, 28 years ago I came to the good old U.S.A.  I was only four months old when I came to the U.S. and I’ve been grateful to live a full life surrounded by family and friends.

My parents decided to adopt me from Seoul, South Korea. I arrived exactly four months after I was born. The process was a year long waiting period where they only got 1 photo and a few notes on how I was doing and when to expect me!

I couldn’t imagine life any other way. I am so fortunate to have an amazing support system that allowed me to lead an amazing life. So today I say “happy adoption day to me!”


Pic of me and E I was about one in this photo!