I am very pleased to introduce you all to Jennifer Putnam. I met Jennifer through a colleague of mine and as an added benefit, moved into our great neighborhood in Matthews. She’s one amazing working mama – tackling married life with a toddler, all while expecting baby number two! Let’s get to know Jennifer and how she gets it all done!
Smarty Mom: Jennifer Putnam
Name: Jennifer Putnam
Married to: Aaron Putnam for 7 years
Children: Landon, 2 years and baby brother due late Jan 2015!
Years in Charlotte: 6
Originally from: Twin Lakes, Wisconsin
Occupation: Marketing Assistant/Graphic Designer/CrossFit coach
Share your pregnancy story/tell us what it’s like being pregnant the second time around!
Like a number of other women I know, we had some trouble getting pregnant. Our journey pales in comparison to so many others, but it took us a year and a bit of help the first time, so 6 months seems like a victory this time! This time around, I’d say pregnancy is a bit more tiring since I can’t just prop my feet up after a long day, but it’s going by so much faster since life moves in warp-speed with a toddler!
What advice do you have to help get your first child ready for baby number two?
So far Landon seems to really enjoy the idea of being a big brother. We’re hoping that won’t change when the reality of sharing everyone’s attention sets in. We’ve found that using his friends who have siblings as examples has been helping him grasp the idea of what it means to be a big brother. Landon is a big helper and loves being involved in just about everything, so we’re emphasizing how much he will be able to help when little brother arrives.
What must-have newborn items are you dusting off or looking forward to using again?
Soon I will be giving my Medela Pump in Style (is it really possible to “pump in style”??) breast pump a nice tune-up and getting her ready to go. After having some breastfeeding troubles the first time around, I am looking forward to seeing how it goes this time. Several visits to a lactation consultant and lots of reading left me feeling like an expert so I am hoping that leads to good things! Thankfully, most health insurance companies are covering breast pumps now and I will be able to order another identical pump to take to work or wherever else I need it!
If this little guy is anything like his big brother, he will love swinging and taking naps in our Fisher Price Snug-a-bunny swing. I’m also looking forward to going through all the cute teeny-tiny little outfits and, of course, picking up a few new ones!
What’s your biggest piece of advice for a first-time mama?
Living life in 2.5-3 hour segments will be an adjustment, but the newborn stage passes in the blink of an eye so try your best to savor the little milestones you and your baby achieve. Also, getting out of the house at least once a day (even just for a walk around the neighborhood) helped me reenergize and get back to feeling a bit more normal.
The cliché “sleep while baby sleeps” really helped me with our first son in the first few weeks. The house may not be as tidy as it used to be for a while, but you will maintain a little more of your sanity if you can rest a little, no matter what time of day!
What’s your ideal date night?
We’d start with a great dinner either at home or out at one of our favorite restaurants. My husband is a fabulous cook, so sometimes it’s preferable to make a trip to the grocery store and create something tasty at home. Then when the little guy is winding down for the night and he’s hanging out with his nana, we head out to a local wine bar and choose a bottle to share as we sit outside and talk.
What’s your favorite spot in Charlotte?
I really enjoy strolling around downtown Matthews on a Saturday morning. We like to browse the farmer’s market for some goodies, grab a coffee and a crepe at Royal Café and Creperie, stop in Renfrow’s Hardware to see the chickens and, if we’re lucky, we’ll see a train go by (our son is in love with trains).
Something most people don’t know about you?
I used to be pretty strong and enjoyed lifting weights (I still do, but I don’t consistently strive for personal records like I used to). In my heyday, I could deadlift 270 pounds.
I also could crush most people at a race in Mario Kart. I may have a little bit of a competitive spirit!
Favorite Smarty phone app?
Does the Weather Channel app count? I probably check the weather forecast more than most. I like to be prepared.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
At the grocery store every other day buying tons of food to feed two growing boys! In all seriousness, I don’t really know. 10 years is a long time. I’d love to be in a fulfilling career, loving what I do every day.
I could not live without ….
My family. They are my pride and joy and a constant source of happiness.