I had to stop and think about what’s really new since my last life lately updateYour tips on dealing with migraines (Advil, magnesium!) have been serving me well thus far (fingers tightly crossed, I’m terrified to jinx it) and it makes me happy to think someone else might find a helpful tidbit or two reading your comments! I often hesitate to share more personal ramblings for fear of coming across as negative or unappreciative of all I have, but it’s also really cool to see that so many of you can relate to the “real” things as well as the pretty stuff I typically share day-to-day. In any event, here’s a little bit of life life lately…

first day of preschool outfit trvl design gingham backpack

polo shirt  //  shorts  //  boat shoes

gingham backpack (also have and love these pouches in the same material!)  //  water bottle

  1. Visits with Grandy. It’s been a true blessing to have Grandy so close to us as I can drop in most afternoons for a visit. Without getting into details, it’s been incredibly hard to see someone so strong feel so unlike herself. Grandy is my last living grandparent at 94 and I don’t know what to say besides it’s just really hard for all of us to imagine our lives without her. The silver lining of this time is that we’ve had so many family members able to come see her now that she’s in Connecticut. I’m trying to soak up all our time with her, show her what I’m needlepointing (this canvas, still), and take plenty of pictures of her with Teddy and Peter, but I’d love to know if there’s anything you wish you could have asked your grandparents while they were still with you as this time with her is so precious.
  2. Teddy’s first week of school. Rounding out my recent emotional rollercoaster was Teddy’s first week of school, which went pretty well all things considered. Drop-offs have been a little rocky (for both of us, tbh) but he’s so excited when I go to pick him up, answers “yes” or “si” to all my questions about whether he had fun and made friends, and looks happy in all the pictures his teachers have shared, so I think it’s going pretty well. But it still pulls at my heartstrings to see this piece-of-my-heart-outside-my-body carrying this backpack-roughly-the-size-of-his-body walking into a totally new environment. I’m sure it will get easier over the course of the school year… and then it will be time to repeat the first day (week? month?) jitters again next fall and every fall after that. 😝
  3. Peter is teething. Like crazy. He wants his fists in his mouth at all times and it hurts my heart to see him in discomfort. Teddy loved this teething toy but Peter can’t quite hold it in place on his own yet. I’ve been trying to get him interested in a cold washcloth, but anything else that’s worked well for your little ones?
  4. What’s on your fall bucket list? We’re approaching what’s probably my second favorite season in New England (summer loyal forever and ever) and I want to make the most of it!
  5. I’m getting close to photographing a few more “finished” spaces in our home. Stay tuned for Will’s home office, my parents’ loft space, and my parents’ bathroom in the next month or so! I’ve previously shared our kitchen, our mudroom/laundry room, our living room, our powder room, the nursery, Teddy’s new room, our hall bathroom, our backyard, and all the before and afters from our first 18 months here.
  6. Teddy and I are on a major waffle kick. I found these frozen protein waffles at Whole Foods and now his first word every morning is “waffle!” We eat them with peanut butter and it’s a 10/10 way to start the day.
  7. I’m 99.9% sure I broke the pinkie finger on my left hand. And it’s definitely the finger I would want to break if I had to break one, but it turns out I still have to use it quite a bit? Like typing and breastfeeding and clipping babies into carseats. Let me also mention that I broke it in the stupidest way possible, which was going to fetch Teddy grapes from the fridge and having Will’s enormously heavy smoothie container somehow leap out of the fridge and land on top of my hand mid-air? It’s just one of those weeks…
  8. Which brings me to: what’s bringing you joy this week? Let’s end on a positive note. I think we’re overdue for another Feel Good Friday on my Instagram stories, so I’m going to try to make that happen this week. Until then, I’d love to hear one thing that’s putting a smile on your face lately if you care to share!

34 thoughts on “LIFE LATELY

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  1. If your Grandy did something really special during her lifetime, ask her about it in detail. I was lucky enough to have a long conversation with my grandfather about working at Bell Labs, which I didn’t realize until after he passed was a very cool and unique thing. He basically built the modern telephone! It is now making me wish I had talked to my grandmother on my other side more about her work with the Telephone Pioneers (a volunteer group of telephone operators, we are apparently a telephone family?). It was something I knew she was very involved in but I never got the details. Think of what you know about Grandy, but maybe would love to know more details, the conversation will flow naturally! So lucky to have such precious time with her!

  2. I wish I would have asked my late grandmother more about her family and stories of her young life. And perhaps have recorded them for posterity? Now I catch myself wondering about her family and life, and my mom (her daughter) doesn’t remember everything. Also, to make sure you have a family tree of her family recorded as far back as she can remember, if you don’t have one already!

    Also, teething babies when they are so tiny is rough. There isn’t much I found helpful for my youngest son who sprouted 8 teeth by 6 months old, other than a lot of cuddles! 🥰 And we also found that when he was lying down, he seemed like he was in more pain, so we did lots of naps together in the glider or a wrap so he could be upright but still rest.

  3. Hi! Regarding visits with Grandy! We gave my grandfather a blank leather bound notebook/journal and we asked him to write out his stories! ALL of his stories, every one he could remember. We honestly learned so much about him from the notebook that no one had ever heard before. I don’t know if Grandy is still able to write, if not maybe during your visits you could ask her to tell you a story a day and you could be her scribe and you could work your way through her life! My grandpa had Parkinson’s so the writing wasn’t always extremely clear but it is decipherable and I am so grateful to have a book of his stories in his hand.

  4. nds like my week too! All I can say is after the kids are grown and life looks like it’s quiet it isn’t! It’s all about how we choose to deal with the next drama. We have children to love enjoy and raise them to go forth and be productive adults. Every stage has it’s next steps. Teddy is going allow him to flourish you can’t hold him close for ever. You will be fine by the time college gets here 2nd and 3rd yrs the tears are over, I promise.
    As for what I would ask my grandparents family history and stories write things down…..
    our bucket list is very practical things that matter the most little trips enjoying the moments at hand.
    record their days with pics and diary notes about the boys like waffles for brekkie.
    at 56 with a 20 yr old college girl life is really great despite the ongoing hurdles…. look at what really matters and make the most of it every day.

  5. I second the comments about saving voicemails and videos with your sweet Grandy. We lost my aunt in 2013 (who was like a second mother) and she wrote beautiful notes and cards. My sister worked with an Etsy shop and had my aunt’s handwriting turned into engraving on bracelets and gave them to my mom and me (on her wedding day — such a thoughtful bride/gift — cue the waterworks).

  6. Thank you for this post… it reminded me of the wonderful days when I had littles and my Grandma was still with us. It was a busy time complete with new school experiences, new babies, busy schedules and moments with four generations that I knew were epic and I wanted time to stand still. My Grandma miraculously lived to be 100. It was a very hard time her last five years as she had a stroke which left her paralyzed at 95. I absolutely loved going to see her and treasured every minute spent together. I know you are doing the same. Taking photos and videos together and having conversations about her life and yours are wonderful things to do. I sometimes just held her hand and hugged her as we sat to soak in the time together. The tears flowed freely most visits at some point. Thank you again for sharing, it is a really special time and emotional to go through. Praying for you all!❤️

  7. My grandmother made it to 99 years old. I think if you make it that far you should automatically get to 100. 🙂 We videoed her talking about her life as we asked her questions. Like her childhood trips to school were in a horse and buggy! Then we made DVD copies for everyone to have.

    That first day of school is always tough but I hate to tell you that it pales in comparison to untethering from them when you leave them at college for the first time. Hardest day of my life. But we survived and she graduated from college and we never have to do that again!

  8. New to DD and I really enjoy all your different posts! I’m so sorry about your grandmother. Mine was also the strongest person I’ve known and her decline was horrible. I would recommend asking for advice on marriage and parenting. My Gram was very quotable on these topics and I treasure her wisdom. One thing we found was that music brought her a lot of pleasure and engagement near the end of her life, even when she wasn’t able to connect with people in the same way. There is a lot of evidence to support the therapeutic effects of music, especially if you can find things she was listening to when she was young. I’m finding joy this week in snuggles with my sweet pooch. Sending best wishes to you and your human and canine loved ones.

  9. Concerning your grandmother. Take a picture of her holding your hand. It’s a keepsake my friends have always cherished when I suggested it. If you can record her voice in conversation. I have my MIL’s and it is very special too.

  10. I too had 2 babies when my last grandparent passed. My daughter was 6months old & my son 2.5 years old. I wish I had a picture of them with her. I wish I had a picture of her on her wedding days – I had two grandpas as she was widowed twice. I wish I would have asked her: what she thought was a good invention during her lifetime, what got her through tough times, did she feel adventurous moving from NY to CA in 1942? Did she have any favorite songs or musicians she liked, etc. My parents passed a few years later & again I wish I had more pictures of them with the grandkids & pictures of my mom’s wedding day. I mention the wedding days because I wish I had those on my walls or even get them more recently to share with my daughter who recently got engaged. Just my two cents. Oh and for teething- try frozen banana slices or blueberries. That’s what my two enjoyed- messy but it helped. Completely looking forward to seeing your parents home area. Have a great week! And hang in there, you’re doing great!

  11. I’m thinking of you Mackenzie. I lost both my dad’s parents last year and I have a lot of regrets about not documenting their stories well. If your able to, hit record on a video camera and just chat. I also have saved voicemails from all my grandparents and hearing their voice is such a blessing. I miss hearing their voices. My grandfather’s endless Fall River factoids, or my Nana reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in her Scottish accent and my Grandma’s voice when she’s telling a story. Thank you for sharing a very vulnerable time and keeping it real. When you’re ready, a post on how to capture your family stories, recipes , etc would be lovely.

  12. aww..thank you for putting yourself out there….I love fall, too…and your kids might be a little young, but put the Great Jack O Lantern Blaze at Van Cordlandt Manor on your future list.. it’s probably 30 minutes from you and incredible..and not at all scary..all outdoors, over 7,000 carved and lit pumpkins..super cool! Clyde’s Cider Mill in Mystic is also a neat spot…I write a family travel blog and there are so many great fall spots for families…

  13. I love these posts!! They are so much fun to read. I have a little boy who is 17 months so it’s always fun to read the day to day notes! I would love a future post or paragraph on how you chose the school that you did for Teddy.

  14. Thinking of you and your Grandy, Mackenzie! I am in the same boat with my grandmother – I know she is nearing her final days (though the unknowns are hard) and she is not up to much (often not even up for talking on the phone these days) and it is so, so hard. Thank you for sharing the struggles here, as sometimes these experiences can feel isolating even though they are so universal. I am so glad she is in Connecticut and you are able to see her so often. My granny started writing her life story when she first went into hospice and although she was only able to write a few pages before she lost her muscle tone, I am so, so grateful we have it to look back on. I know the interview you posted here with your Grandy will be a treasured family memory, too! I don’t have any answers as this is the first grandparent I have lost as an adult, I have been effusive with my love and praise for her every time we speak and that helps me know that she knows how much she means to me. Thinking of you and your family!

    On a positive note, I am planning my Nantucket wedding for next year right now (getting married at the Siasconset Union Chapel) and just want to thank you for all of the resources you have shared here from your wedding. They are invaluable!

    Take 2 Advil when you think you are getting a headache
    MSG in Chinese food is something to avoid. Read labels and avoid prepared foods
    Hydrolized vegetable protein also is MSG
    Wine is a trigger especially red wine.
    Sharp Cheddar Cheese, overly ripe avocado, nitrates in prepared meats,
    Some people have issues with chocolate
    Keep the same sleep schedule. A little hard with little ones.
    Speak with your doctor

  16. Interesting to note that you mentioned Advil (Ibuprofen) for migraines…I wasn’t sure if you could take while nursing but evidently so…I get an aura before the headache and I find that if I take 3 Ibuprofen the minute I sense the aura my headache is greatly reduced.
    Regarding your precious grandmother (mine lived to age 99) the thing that upsets me the most is that I didn’t ask her about family history. I am somewhat into ancestry and have some dead ends that she could have helped so much. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things especially spending time with her. If you don’t have a picture of her with all of her offspring right down to Peter all together that might be a treasure.

  17. I’m sorry to hear your grandmother has faced so many challenges. I recommend asking her about some of the tough subjects – the conversations can actually be so informative and provide such a window into what it was like to grow up in her day. Things like “what were you thinking during the Civil Rights Movement” and “is there anything that you and your parents seriously disagreed about” and “what was the mood like among your friends when the U.S. entered WWII” can be SO fascinating. I also recommend recording some of the conversations! I wish I could remember my grandparents’ voices better. Best of luck.

    1. I just remembered one other thing – ask your grandma what she remembers her own grandma telling her about her own life. It blows my mind that you can get a personal window into the 1800s that way!!

  18. I asked my grandparents, the kids great grandparents, their stories, It has been quite some time, so technology has changed but I used my laptop to transcribe and had them made into a booklet that we had made for all the family. We also purchased one of those grandparent question books and asked them questions which we wrote the answers for them when they were no longer able. For our children we purchased a record a book and recorded them reading a story. Not my idea, but my grandfather wrote a letter to each of his great grandkids for them to open on their 18th birthday. We cherish all these things.

  19. Re: Grandparents, I highly recommend just taking pictures, videos, and recordings of your time together talking! For me, it’s so nice to have lots of memories of just their voices and their smiles and it really doesn’t matter what we were saying or doing. Sending you and your family lots of love!

    On a positive note, my fiancé and I are in the midst of doing cake tastings for our wedding next July! I’m shocked by how hard it is to find one that we love (especially because we both have a huge sweet tooth), but getting to spend a few more weeks eating cake isn’t the worst thing in the world!

  20. I love these updates! Please compile the questions for grandparents into a post!! I need to do something like this for my grandma. She visited a couple months ago and did I write down stories she told me? no..bad move on my part.

  21. Oh no!! So sorry to hear about your finger!!

    In re: Grandy, the best thing I asked my grandma to do when I was expecting my son was write about her life for him. She wrote twenty beautiful pages about growing up, being a mother, then being my grandma–sharing things I’d never known before! (Frank Sinatra played at her high school prom! Her grandparents owned a candy shop in Park Slope!) I am so grateful to have this, especially as she died just as covid started (not from covid, thankfully.) Grateful to be able to cherish these words with my son.

  22. One thing my grandmother did was write out a cookbook with her favorite recipes for me. She had done the same thing for my mother and aunt when they got married, and when I was in my mid-20’s I begged her to make me one, since I had no idea when I would get married. She did and I am so glad, as she passed right before I got engaged. Not sure whether Grandy is up for writing, but even a recipe or two might be nice if she is able. I love looking through mine and seeing my Nana’s handwriting.

    It’s so hard to watch grandparents fail – I was blessed to have one set until my 30’s, but the end was really tough, despite knowing they had lived full, happy lives. Thinking of you and your family.

    1. I’m going to second what Meg said, before my last living grandparent passed, she wasn’t quite up to writing anything herself but I went to visits with pen and paper and wrote everything down. I’m so glad that I can pass those recipes down.

      Also, for the last grandparent, make sure you get all of the family names of relatives they can remember and stories that you don’t know the answers to. It was only in the last month or so of my grandmother being alive that I even though to ask how she met my grandfather and I’m very very glad I have that information.

  23. Best thing I did with my grandpa was set my cellphone on the table and hit record on voice notes, and just record our conversations when I’d visit him, usually while we were eating breakfast/lunch. Sometimes I’d ask him about specific things, and other times it was nice to just talk and be able to listen back to random chats <3 sending love.

  24. For teething: mesh feeder filled with frozen fruit was the best for my babe! Peaches and strawberries were a huge, albeit messy, but :).

  25. I really wish I could have had my Grandparents ( I was only close to one set) write down some important life moments. My Grandma left her small hometown in Canada when she was 17 and moved to Seattle, but I don’t know much more than that. It would be really nice to have more details of her milestone moments to reflect on as I get older and hit similar points in life.

  26. Not sure if this would be your thing but you could have Grandy write letters to your boys. For big moments. Or a few birthday cards for down the line. Or record her telling family stories. There is a Christmas book you can buy and she can record herself telling the story. Or books that have questions that the person answers….about themselves and their history.

  27. Sorry to hear about your grandmother. I’m glad you can be near her. My grandma died before I had children, which is so sad because she loved babies. There’s not a lot of life advice I would have needed from her that I didn’t have already. I probably would have encouraged her to talk more about herself. Or gossip more about relatives I don’t remember as well as she did. I love a good story.

    Speaking of stories, reading has been a joy. I’ve always loved reading, but it feels like a special treat now that it’s so hard to carve out personal time. Every night I try to read a little while I use my breast pump. I’m in the middle of “The Overstory” by Richard Powers. It’s one of those life-changing books. Totally transforms the way I see the world.

  28. Wine and cheese with girlfriends tonight…and it’s finally cooled off enough to truly enjoy the whole evening in our backyard!

  29. For the teething question, I would recommend Hyland’s teething tablets. They dissolve instantly so there is no choking risk and they are homeopathic, so no drugs are in them. They will either work for you brilliantly or be a dud. They worked brilliantly for my son but not for my daughters.

    1. I had my grandmother read a shared favorite book from my childhood, then sent the recording along with scans of each page in a video along to all of my cousins. I love looking back on that video and hearing her commentary “oh I really do love this book,” “we had a pear tree just like that when I was young” etc. It’s also great for all the family’s kiddos during story time, just like a personalized book on tape.