A year with Hugo

365 days and a few hours ago I became a mother. It has changed my life more than I really could have expected. I know that sounds cliché but it’s really so true!  I knew I would love my child, I knew I would have a much different daily life than when it was just me to take care of, but I never expected my heart to feel as full as it does, to love a tiny human so much I could just burst.

Hugo is such a joyful, happy, friendly boy. He loves meeting new people, has zero stranger danger, and will cuddle up on my lap and let me read to him book after book. I cherish this.

I also cherish the moments when he falls to sleep in my arms, and I close my eyes and try to make a clear memory of how small he still is, even though he is so much bigger than he used to be.. I just love holding him tight, brushing his hair out of his eyes and kissing his sweet rosy cheeks. 

They aren’t kidding when they said “long days- short years.” I remember so many times when I counted the minutes until Andy came home so he could help out, sometimes because Hugo would be having a super cranky teething/ ear ache day, or sometimes because I just craved an adult conversation so badly. But a whole year? Didn’t I just have him? Didn’t I just type out my birth story, and take our first outing, and watch him smile for the first time?

Even though I look back on those moments sentimentally, I love each day more and more. Does the fun ever end? I mean right now Hugo is learning to walk and it is the most exciting thing ever. It was also exciting when he rolled, crawled, etc. Each day brings something new and adorable.

I haven’t been good at blogging about motherhood, mostly because I don’t feel I can accurately put into words this life changing experience, but I did make a few bits of advice I wish I had given myself a year ago…

1Stop what you are doing and just cuddle that baby

Trust me- it goes by SO fast. Everything else can wait: laundry, dishes, emails. Just hold your little one, look into their eyes, admire their rolls and dimples and soft skin. Close your eyes and just smell them. They don’t keep, trust me…

2Nod and Smile

Everyone has advice to give: on how you feed, dress, diaper, and soothe your baby. Take it with a grain of salt, nod, smile, and do what you know is best. I really believe in Mother’s instincts being right always. I usually have a strong conviction one way or the other about my big parenting choices, and I’m happy to say my gut hasn’t strayed me yet!

3Remove all expectations

“My baby should be sleeping x amount of hours straight by x age!” “If my baby doesn’t eat x, y and z they will grow up to be a picky eater!” “So and so’s baby does this- so mine should too!”

Trust me- the moment I let everything go and just went with it, I was such a happy Mama. Expectations are just the worst. Every baby is different. Every baby reaches development stages and their own pace and you really just need to shut out the voices and trust that your baby is just perfect. For a long time I was really stressed about Hugo’s sleep, both napping and at night. It wasn’t that his waking even bothered me that much, I just had this idea that he was supposed  to be following certain patterns that other babies do.

A few months ago Andy & I let that go. We just go about our day/evening and when he wakes he wakes. I’m not in a huge rush for him to stop needing me to help him fall asleep. It’s such a short phase of both his life and mine, I know that someday I will miss rocking and nursing my chubby little one to sleep so I really cherish it. In fact a huge part of me really loves that he needs me, again I know the day when he doesn’t will come painfully soon.

4- Remind yourself what a good job you’re doing

I truly believe most Mamas are doing everything they can for their baby. With a heart full of love and a desire to raise the best child you can- every day we all sacrifice so much. It’s so easy to feel guilty about things…sometimes I find myself bashing myself for not getting Hugo outside enough, or feeling lazy and not taking him around the city to enough museums or classes. In those moments I try to make a mental list of what I’m really proud of myself for like a year of breastfeeding (and going strong!) and baby wearing. We all have our proud Mama moments right?

Another thing I’m proud of is the super healthy and yummy smash cake I made for Hugo’s 1st Birthday Party over the weekend. Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow! :)


  1. Stephie would tell you that I’m obsessed with Hugo, and it’s true. I think that he is just about the most precious baby I’ve seen in a long time. I love his little old man face. I think he reminds me of pictures of my brother at that age. Anyway, all you have said is true. I will say that even though I cherish the pictures (and take lots, because you won’t remember exactly how he looked without them in 20+ years), what I really cherish is the videos that I took. I’m pretty much the only one that would want to watch her walking around making race car noises, or singing by the hour, but I’m ok with that. As she’s getting ready to get married, I’m getting sentimental about how quickly the past 26 years went. The best is yet to come…I adored it when she was able to carry on a conversation with me (ok, she was chatty at an early age, just like now–and like me), and she would help me in the kitchen before we would snuggle together to read a book. Those first few years flashed before me. So, enjoy your precious baby and happy birthday, Hugo!!

    1. Thank you so very much <3 I love Stephie- I can imagine being her Mama was as exciting when she was a little baby as it is now helping to plan her wedding! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      1. Thank you. That means a lot to me. I’ll even forgive her for growing up too fast if she will give me a grand baby. Maybe not immediately, but some day. And it better be as cute as Hugo. ;)

  2. Happy birthday Hugo!!! Oh man the learning to walk adventure is so fun and scary. Andy is still getting the hang of it and I fear for his cute face every time he stumbles. I love your smile and nod advice. Sooooo true. Also, right before Andy walked I was telling my mom how I was worried he was behind all these other kids who were younger and already walking. It is so hard to remember not to compare.

    1. It really is hard…I’m constantly wondering if he’s doing things at the “right” time…it’s hard to remember that every keep hits those milestones at their own pace but one isn’t more right than the other :)

  3. I love this! This world of being a mommy blogger yet alone just one of those things is tough! My little one just turned 6 months and were just reflecting on becoming parents and still food blogging, working and getting sleep here and there, we wouldn’t change a thing! Thank you for sharing your personal family moments and beautiful recipes. Cheers to another great year for mommy and Hugo!

  4. I can’t believe a whole year has passed. Happy birthday to Hugo – he is adorable. And many years from now when you become a grandmother, it will be even better!!

  5. As a mama-to-be I absolutely love the tips you give. I feel so ready to meet our baby boy and love him with all of my heart but at the same time I feel completely unprepared :) It has been a joy to see Hugo grow over the past year…just from the pictures I can feel his happiness radiating!

    1. Taylor having a baby boy is better than I ever could have imagined. It’s just the sweetest thing ever. I am so excited for you!

  6. Love love love this post. I follow you on instagram as well, I absolutely love seeing your little guy growing up. My son Matthew is only 6 days older than Hugo, so it’s so fun to watch them ‘grow up together’ haha. I completely agree with your post on this first year; it has gone by so fast. I am definitely cherishing every moment. Thanks again, can’t wait to see more!

  7. Love love love this post! Children are THE finest things in life! Have fun with many more exciting and changing years ahead. They get big soooooo fast!

  8. You’re a gem, Audra. Congratulations! You’re doing a great job, it’s clear in the contentment that both you and Hugo exude. Great advice you’ve given, too, I’m passing #4 on to my sister, since she can be really hard on herself (even though she is doing a GREAT job with her two boys).

    We’re excited to start our own family – not quite this minute, but soon – so I’m keeping these things in mind. Especially as family members start imparting their babyrearing wisdom on me already… yikes :)

    1. Thank you so much sweet lady. I have no doubt that when the time comes for you to be a Mama you will attack it with such grace and wisdom. I can’t wait for that day! :)

  9. What a sweet and well-written post, Audra. I so admire you and the way you approach motherhood — and I agree with you on so many levels! Especially with following the gut — it knows. :) Happy birthday to your little man! xoxo

  10. Such a perfect post for a fabulous momma and perfect little boy!! I cannot believe Hugo is one already…I swear he was just born!

  11. Thanks for sharing this amazing post and your adorable little Hugo’s images. He is super cute. I literally want to bite that little cheeks. I’ve been thinking a lot about family and marriage lately. And i have to admit that i’m more than just little scared. But seeing you do such a great job give me a lot of courage. I’m truly thankful for that. You’re wonderful Audra!

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