FRIDAY Q&A: MOVING BACK TO MY HOMETOWN, A BREASTFEEDING TIP THAT WORKED FOR ME, TEDDY’S CURRENT FAVORITE BOOKS, AND MORE

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week. We had the most glorious spring-like weather here and it was so nice to bring Teddy to the beach and the playground without a hundred layers on. I’m having trouble falling and staying asleep these days (33.5 weeks pregnant!) and I’ve been trying to squeeze in naps where I can, but the sunshine definitely helped me power through this week. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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1. Is it strange being back in your hometown? I’d love to move back to Fairfield County myself one day!

It feels very comforting to me! I really never thought I would be back in Darien as an adult but living in San Francisco, New York, and Dallas in my twenties definitely made me long for the familiarities of home and having family all around. But I absolutely needed to spend most of that decade elsewhere in order to appreciate what I was coming back to! It’s fun to see what’s changed in town but still have so many old stomping grounds to show Will and share with Teddy and his future siblings someday.

2. What do you wish you could tell yourself before trying to conceive for the first time? I’m starting to consider!

So exciting! I don’t think there’s such a thing as being completely ready for such a major life change and I’d tell myself to embrace all the emotions that come with trying and that first positive test. It’s okay (and totally normal I think!) to be completely overjoyed and completely overwhelmed at the same time and I’d give yourself as much grace as you can while you navigate the first part of this new chapter. 

3. Any tips on breastfeeding? So impressed with how long you nursed Teddy!

Thanks! I benefited tremendously from the flexibility of working from home as Teddy’s sole daytime caregiver in his first twelve months and I’m certain I would have had a much harder go if I’d been juggling a commute, trying to pump in an office during the day, etc., so I wouldn’t want anyone battling those obstacles to compare their journey to mine! My breastfeeding journey wasn’t fun in the beginning but for whatever reason I was determined to stick it out and it really became second nature a few months in. I guess the only tip I have that saved us in the months before Teddy was sleeping through the night was to pump for 15-20 minutes while my husband gave Teddy a bottle of the previous night’s milk and got him back to bed for his first wake-up of the night (usually around 1 or 2 a.m.). (I used this pump but I’m thinking of trying this one with baby #2!) Will happens to function much more highly on less sleep than I do, so for us it meant that I got to go back to bed as soon as possible and Will got totally uninterrupted bonding time with Teddy during the one feed of the day/night I wasn’t breastfeeding. I never built up a huge supply of pumped milk (kudos to moms who do!) but pumping every night in place of that one breastfeeding session somehow made a huge difference for me. I wrote more about breastfeeding here and here if you’re interested!

4. Would you be willing to share Teddy’s favorite books at the moment? Thank you!

For sure! Our go-tos right now are A is for AwesomeCorduroy, If You Give a Dog a Donut, Parker Looks Up, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave, and Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind (the last two are my all-time favorites!). This Poke A Dot book also holds his attention for a surprising amount of time!

5. My wedding florist is advising against hydrangeas. Did your bouquet wilt at all?

So I shared this story in this post about getting ready for our wedding, but my plan up until the morning of was actually to carry a bouquet of garden roses and have my bridesmaids carry hydrangeas. When the flowers were delivered, the roses were really closed up and looked nothing like the full and lush bouquet I’d been envisioning, so we rolled with the punches and grabbed a bouquet of hydrangeas off our coffee table that we’d had out for our welcome party the night before. So to answer your question, the fresh hydrangeas that my bridesmaids carried and that we had on the tables at our reception held up beautifully, but my makeshift coffee-table-arrangement-turned-last-minute-bouquet definitely didn’t look as good a few hours after being taken out of water. I imagine it depends a lot on when and where you’re getting married and how confident your florist is in the quality of their supplier’s particular flowers, so I would trust them to know what’s best and see what alternatives they recommend!

6. Is your Nanit set up over the short side of the crib? Does it work well that way? We wanted our Nanit that way but the camera angle didn’t seem ideal — would love any tips!

Yes, we’ve never had a problem with it! You can see where it’s positioned in our nursery here. We have the floor stand version so maybe if you’re trying to use the wall mount it wouldn’t work quite as well? It’s not a direct overhead shot but we can still see everything he’s doing and get all the same analytics with the camera positioned at a slight angle. 

7. Would you ever consider doing a meet-up for local readers? (Obviously once it’s safe!)

I would love that! I’ve hosted a few local events (usually with a retailer in the area) and always love getting the chance to visit in person!

8. Will Teddy have a separate bedroom on Nantucket this summer?

I’m not sure yet! I mentioned this in last week’s post but we’re lucky to be able to be pretty last minute as a family about booking trips out there so it will depend how many siblings, friends, etc. are visiting at the same time as we are. We’re all very much of the mindset that it’s “the more, the merrier” out there so we always find a way to squeeze everyone in!

9. Shelf styling advice?

Save photos of bookshelves you love (the save feature on Instagram is amazing for this) and try to identify what you love about each! Is it color coding, a mix of horizontal and vertical spines, layering in objects like ginger jars and picture frames? It’s not something I’ve ever gotten down to a science — it’s usually something I have to play with and revisit a few times before I land on a look I’m happy with. Sharing a few past shelves I’ve styled above!

10. What’s on your needlepoint wishlist?

Ooh I love this question! Most of all I need to create a system for organizing threads etc. (anyone have any recommendations?) but I have my eye on a few canvases here, here, here, and here.

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  1. Check out @Shihstitches on instagram for needlepoint organization ideas. With that, I’ll say I find her stash a little overwhelming and I am sort of mind blown at how much she has collected as a new needlepointer (which I also am!)….I wouldn’t necessarily need ALL her storage tips because I don’t keep a huge stash. But, some of the ideas she has thrown out along the way have been helpful!

  2. I can’t post a photo, but I’ve used chocolate boxes that have clear fronts (once I’d eaten them all!) and arrange by colour. The boxes have gold or chocolate coloured sides, kind of like the threads are the screen and the trim the bezel.

  3. I use acrylic storage organizers with a lid from The Container Store to organize my threads! The ones I have are divided into six rectangular sections of two and they’re the PERFECT size for holding bulkier threads like Silk & Ivory. I can’t find the exact match for the ones I have, but this is the closest version: https://www.containerstore.com/category/acrylic?productId=11001062

    I organize each box by color, but I’m sure you’ll find the system that works for you! I know some people organize their stash based on size/brand/type of thread.

    1. I have two seperate ring clips (one for 18 count, one for 13 count) and then clear bags on the ring clips for the different threads which I organize by color. Love the clear plastic boxes (mentioned above) for organizing my smocking threads though!

      1. I do the same but just organize by color. Honestly had not thought about separating by mesh size. Though sometimes I just increase the number of strands for bigger holes (on those that are stranded). And I keep those rings in a drawer below my needlepoint canvas stash. Sshhhh…