david and i have had a going list of baby names for years. whenever we heard a cool name we would pull out our phones and add it to the list. and for the most part, we agreed on names. not knowing the gender meant we needed to have a girl name and boy name ready. the girl name was easy for us. the boy name, not so much. for about 5 months we were totally set on a boy name. then one day, we hated it. we were back to square one. by 8 months we had it down to two boy names. ari and ezra. david was in love with ezra (and still is) but i could never really get into it. i really liked ari and david liked it well enough so ari it was.

we were also armed with a middle name for either a boy or a girl. both were family names. ari's middle name is in honor of his great, great, great, great grandpa ephraim hanks. grandpa hanks is a very important person in our family's heritage as a mormon pioneer. 

i get two responses when i tell people ari's name. people either love it or are totally confused by it. ari is a jewish name. in hebrew it means lion. so naturally people are very familiar with the name ari back east. when i tell non east coasters, i sometimes get a strange look. mostly from old people that make me repeat it and spell it for them. 



1. bugaboo bee: i love our stroller. i love how easily it folds down and pops up.  it was easy to maneuver through small san francisco restaurants and shops. it's pretty light weight which is important when we had to haul up two flights of stairs. i love that the handle adjusts for my six foot tall dad and brothers. oh and it's pretty. after all the debating i'm so glad we went with the bee. i love it. they also just came out with a newer version that looks awesome.

2. 4moms mamaroo bouncer: david and i had seen this bad boy all over the place. it's the best looking swing out there but comes with a hefty price tag. when we were in utah my mom decided she wanted one and ari loved it. so we obviously had to buy one. it doesn't matter how much it costs if it buys you some quiet time and can put your baby to sleep at 4am.

3. swaddle me: the first night home from the hospital we learned that a normal swaddle wasn't going to cut it. it didn't matter how tight we wrapped him, ari found a way to get himself out of it. these things are awesome. they're like little straight jackets. we swaddle ari in a light blanket then stick him in one of these.

4. rock n' play: we were gifted this when ari was about six weeks old. i didn't think we would use but it turns out i was wrong. when we were traveling we used it in a hotel and at a cabin. at home it has given us two handed dinners and served as an occasional nap spot.

5. desitin: i originally got the trendy butt paste but nothing beats good old desitin. it works like a charm and kicks a diaper rash fast.

6. sound machine: i have no idea if this actually makes a difference to ari at this point but i like knowing we don't have to worry about being loud because the sound machine will drown any noise out. in the first few weeks, i felt like a better mom knowing i was making him a comfy womb like world.

7. brest friend: this thing is super ugly. like kind of hideous. but man it really is my friend. it makes breast feeding a million times easier. i actually hate feeding him without it. i rely on it so much that i hauled it through three different states and back.

8. solly baby: love this carrier. its super soft and light weight. other carriers make me so hot and sweaty. it makes traveling a breeze. i want one in every color.





things are about to get real honest up in here.

so i really didn't like being pregnant. like the thought of being pregnant again is very overwhelming. i hear there are women out there that actually say "i love being pregnant." i have personally never met one of these women, but if you are reading this and you love being pregnant please enlighten me on how that is possible.

i had a lot of anxiety while i was pregnant. anxiety that something would go wrong. anxiety that i would lose the baby. i don't know if that's because i've had a miscarriage or because i'm naturally pessimistic. probably both. i cried worrying about the tiny human growing inside of me. i didn't like not knowing that he was always alright. if i could just hear his heart beating 24/7 my problem would be solved.

i was pretty scared of the recovery process. i was fully expecting the worse. between the internet and people sharing words of wisdom i knew it could be pretty bad. the one i got the most was, "you know you're going to be really constipated after you give birth, right?" the recovery was not terrible, but i know that i got lucky (read had a small baby). i cannot imagine birthing a ten pound baby.

for the first two weeks it's like every time you sit down you have to act is if you're about to sit on a glass table. you go slow, put your butt down at the perfect angle and never fully relax. in the thick of this, i thought how in the world am i ever going to have sex again. this is never going to feel normal. after two weeks i was good to go in the sitting department. phase two of the pain came in the form of walking. going on walks, which was physically and mentally necessary, was so hard. it felt like someone was kicking me repeatedly between the legs. everything just ached. i didn't know it was possible to feel so sore down there. in the moments of pain i had to remind myself that people have more than one baby. it has to get better. and it did.

the pads provided a nice blast to the past. it's like being afraid of tampons the first time you get your period and sporting a pad instead. pads are the worst. they make the fact that you're bleeding ten times worse. and there is enough blood to film a horror movie the first few days. i have never had such loving thoughts about tampons.

i had no idea that you get cramps when you nurse for the first few days. every time ari latched on my uterus would would contract. i guess you're already in pain so why not bring on really bad cramps.

nobody told me about postpartum edema. i guess it doesn't happen to everyone because this is not something my mom filled me in on. between the fluids you receive during labor and the uterus expelling fluid you've got a lot of fluid in your body. and where does that fluid go? your feet. one of the doctors on call told me, "you'll see your ankles in about a week. oh, and it will get worse before it gets better." she wasn't lying. by the time we left the hospital i couldn't fit in my sneakers. a day later i couldn't fit in my flip flops. they looked like they were going to pop. no, explode. i had never considered feet to be a skinny body part until i saw how huge mine got.

and then there's the crying. anytime i felt an emotion i cried. happy or sad. i cried tears of confusion, frustration, happiness and love. i couldn't even have half the conversations i attempted to have because i would just start to cry and i couldn't get any words out.

the first few weeks with a new baby were intense. i experienced an entirely new physical and emotional state. i don't know how people heal with a new baby and other children to look after. i guess that's what grandma and grandpa are for.



at the beginning of august we got to spend a week in island park, idaho with the kershaw family. a lot has changed in the five years since our last visit. the weather wasn't on our side and it rained the majority of the time we were there. the few moments we did get outside were perfect. it's really
beautiful up there. 
four generations of kershaw men



so i found this newborn swim diaper for $6 while i was in utah so i obviously had to buy it. it barely fit him but he looked like a little stud in it. he wasn't quite sure about the whole swimming thing. the heater needed to be turned up a bit higher and there were a ton of people in there. we can't wait to hang out in grandma and grandpa's pool next summer.