Six Months

I have pages of notes from the last six months, but I can’t seem to find the time to get them posted. So instead of continuing to let them pile up, I’m just going to start here. Maybe I’ll catch up some day.

Thought 1

Pretty sure she peed on the carpet this morning at 2:30 am (during her 2nd poopy diaper change) and I just covered it up with a blanket and pretended I didn’t see it.

Thought 2

Her pooping is out of control (four times in 12 hours). It’s been like this all week…like, I’ve never, ever seen this much poop. On her. On me. On everything. I’m blaming it on teething. That has to be it, right?

Thought 3

I’ve created a monster. In my attempt to be a cool, go-with-the-flow parent, I failed to establish a nap routine. As a first-time mom, I think this has been the hardest thing to figure out because I’m not with her every day. BUT, I have tried very hard to establish a bedtime routine, and that hasn’t done shit. (Yes, you guessed it, she’s still not sleeping through the night).

Thought 4

I’m so tired. For the first time in six months I’m actually feeling exhausted, and a little hopeless. I’m not sure I’ll ever see eight hours of sleep again.

Thought 5

EJ is three days shy of sixth months and weighing in at 13.2 lbs and 24.25″. She’s going to be in her 3-6 month clothes until March. I guess we’ll be rocking sweater dresses in May (since her 6-12 month stash is all winter clothes).

Thought 6

There are nursing pads all over the house—in the washer, on the nightstand, stuck to my foot—and I’m so over it.

Thought 7

Pampers diapers are so expensive… but they might be worth it, if it means I don’t have to spend every morning scrubbing poop out of her pajamas.

Thought 8

Mom guilt is real. I still don’t like watching her leave for daycare in the morning.

Thought 9

I’m super sorry if I’ve become the smelly kid. Sometimes I can’t even remember the last time I showered.

Thought 10

I know I’m biased, but she’s so cute I can hardly stand it.

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Thought 11

I’m drowning in puke-covered laundry. Part of me thinks I should double my wardrobe (so I don’t have to worry about it). The other part of me thinks I should cut it in half (and force myself to do it more often).

 

Labor might actually be the easy part.

I am so, so behind. I may, or may not, have a four months worth of thoughts, notes, and musings in Wunderlist. I’m sure I’ll get to them some day…

I’ll start with Part 1:

Sunday morning (my due date) started out like any other day. Except for that fact that it was my due date…and Jay was desperate to get the baby out. Funny, right? Not like he was carrying around an extra 25 pounds. Don’t get me wrong, I was ready to be done with the whole pregnancy thing—I wanted my body back. My tailbone was out of place, I had swelling in places I didn’t know was possible, and my feet smelled as bad as my sister’s (hormones are whack). I wanted a glass of wine, sushi, over easy eggs, raw cookie dough, smoked salmon, brie, cold pasteurized juice, a medium rare steak, and maybe even a Jimmy John’s sandwich full of nitrates, just because. Oh, and I really, really wanted to lay flat on my back and stretch. I know, you’re thinking that one should be lower priority, but stretching just isn’t the same when you are pregnant. All that to say: I’m not the I-love-being-pregnant-so-much type.

We decided to try walking the baby out and did the four mile loop around the lake. Surprisingly, I went the entire walk without a bathroom break. Forty weeks pregnant and I get my PR (woot woot). It’s the little things.

That afternoon I had a feeling something might happen, but a girl has a lot of feelings during pregnancy, so I just assumed my body was reminding me I was forty weeks pregnant. Taunting me, actually. I mean, it had basically tortured me for the last ten months, why stop now? Ok, that was dramatic, but for real…So what else does one do when she doesn’t know what’s happening in her body? Google it, of course. And according to Google, I was having contractions, but they didn’t feel like what the doctors kept telling me they would feel like, so I was utterly confused.

Meanwhile, I had put Jay and Carlee in charge of dinner. If I was going to the hospital that night I WAS GOING TO EAT dinner because you aren’t allowed to eat when you are in labor. Isn’t that nuts? Labor is like a running a marathon. You can’t do that shit on fake apple juice and popsicles. I felt like I needed something of substance and that substance came in the form of catfish linguine. No, not my normal meal of choice, but I had ordered a free week of Blue Apron and we had to use the supplies before they went bad—I hate wasting food. PS I’m telling you this because it’s important to the story, not because you actually care about what I ate for dinner. Anyway, catfish, noodles, capers, pecorino cheese… get the picture? Good.

Fast forward a few hours and my contractions are 3.5 minutes apart and I’ve tried “walking it out,” bouncing on the exercise ball while watching Sisters (I thought a good laugh might help—it did not), and sitting in the bath tub (twice). By ten o’clock I was ready to call it quits on the whole natural labor thing. I wanted drugs…like, now. The fifteen minute car ride was terrible, but waiting on the nurse to officially admit me was torture. Once I was in the room I had to decide which drug I wanted. I had planned on laughing gas, but they didn’t offer it to me. I didn’t know anything about Stadol, but I could only use that until 8 cm. I was worried about the epidural dragging out the labor, but everyone said to do it anyway. This was the one time I wished I had created a birth plan. It’s hard to have sound judgment when all you want to do is vomit.

Vomit. Yes, this is where dinner comes back into play. I decided to do a two-course meal with my drugs—Stadol was the appetizer to my epidural—and while I was waiting for the Stadol I became violently ill during one of my contractions. Luckily, Jay had the puke bag ready. Unfortunately, it came out of my nose and my mouth. Catfish. Capers. Pecorino cheese. NOSE and mouth. It wasn’t that good going down. It was down right awful coming back up.  That actually takes the cake for the worst thing that happened to me at the hospital. (I know, it sounds nuts if you haven’t had baby, but epidurals are magic.)

To be continued…

Sweet dreams (hopefully they aren’t filled with catfish). xo

 

 

I’m so behind, but it’s still kind of funny.

The week before EJ was born:

This is so weird.

This is my usual, and unfortunate, response to life-altering events; things that are so surreal I can’t actually figure out how to wrap my brain around them and respond in an adult manner. I just utter these profound words. Like when Jay proposed, instead of saying, “Yes! I love you SO much!,” I said,”This is so weird.” No, I will never, EVER live that down. [To be fair, there is a bit more to the story, but we will save that for another time.]

And here I am again saying, “This is so weird.” This tiny human is going to want out any day now, and instead of thinking about how amazing all of this is, I just keep thinking about my knees being up to my chin and my vagina hanging out for the world to see, and all the other gross stuff that goes with birthing a child. Oh, and the fact that I’M BIRTHING A CHILD. There is something living inside of me. That’s weird, right?

Tying my shoes is the hardest part of my workout, but I refuse to let someone tie them for me. I am not a child. I’m just squashing the child inside of me. And that’s uncomfortable, for both parties, I assume.

As I’m prepping for this life altering event, I’ve made sure to take care of the really important things: haircut + color, pedicure, sugaring. I’m not sure how much of the next few weeks (months, years) I’ll be able to control, so I thought some grooming would at least make me feel better. That way, when I can’t shower more than once every few days, my greasy hair won’t have any grey streaks and my toes will look nice.

Are you wondering about sugaring, or did you just skip over that part? Let me explain. My hair stylist is also an expert in hair removal. She was quite adamant that once I was pregnant I needed to let her assist me in that area as well…

The “sugar” goo is made of lemon, sugar and water, and is supposed to be better for your skin. I thought this meant it was also less painful than waxing. That was a very incorrect assumption. It has to be stretched across your skin and it’s much sticker than wax. Like, really sticky. So needless to say, the first time was a bit of a surprise.

It was also a surprise that when I left things were still sticking together…

To be fair, the second time was better. In part, because I knew what to expect, but mostly because Beth was done in <5 min. I also knew how to get the sugar off this time. Thank, God.

However, the third time… oh, the third time… that was brutal. I had a newbie and she was, let’s say, thorough. I expected 5 minutes and it lasted 20+. Numerous times I  considered just rolling off the table and calling it good enough, but I figured the whole experience was good prep for labor. I just kept telling myself this pain would pale in comparison.

 

 

Girly Grunderpants

Yesssss. I can finally make nursery purchases… And buy those cute metallic moccasins I spotted at Baby Gap… And those headbands with little bitty bows. All the important stuff, ya know?

I have a different post detailing my second trimester and our gender “reveal,” but I thought I would share my nursery plans first. (Again, the important stuff.)

Before we even found out the gender I had created a boy and a girl inspiration board. Putting a room together is one of my favorite things—I may have missed my calling—and I couldn’t wait until December to start.

Baby boy would have gotten a room like this: modern + woodsy + organic, with a fairly neutral color palette. While I love so many colors and styles, this is where my head went when I thought about having a little boy. I was also thinking Jay would appreciate the paper mache deer head. Turns out paper mache, or any form of deer art, is not a compromise for the real thing…

Boy

Now, when I sat down to create baby girl’s nursery, I didn’t intend to make it so… girly. I never thought I would actually use pink—how cliche, right?—but there is just something so perfect about blush that I couldn’t help myself.

Girl

While I have had a lot of luck with my initial design, I have run into a few snags along the way:

1) I’m not sure I’ll have space for any table lamps. I had two picked out and I kind of loved this one. Must find another place in the house…

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2) The fabric I found (which was perfect) is not recommended for children’s bedding. I’ve spent hours scouring the internet for a replacement. I almost gave up and created my own, until I came across this gem from Spoonflower. Thank you, fabric Gods. BTW, did you notice how good this fabric looks with the lamp above? I’m having a hard time letting go.

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3) The door knob curtain tie backs are not going to work. They just don’t make sense with curtain rings (which I had to use because my curtains were just a tad bit short and the next size up was too long). I’m a little sad about this because they were also adorable.

4) The frame/print situation has caused some serious decision paralysis. The first grouping I put together included a print I bought back in the spring, but when I went to place my frame order I realized it wouldn’t fit in any of the size options. Once I decided to give up on using that print in the gold frames, the 8×10 frame size was sold out. I could only find gold gallery frames at one other site, and of course, that site had to give me two size options: 8×10 or 11×14. Rather than just picking one, I decided it would be wise to figure out which prints I really wanted (and what size they all came in). Here were some of my options:

Precious, but not the right vibe.

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As much I love the floral print, I had my heart set on a floral crib sheet. I couldn’t do double time.Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 1.46.51 PM.png

Meh…the gold didn’t fit.

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In the end, I picked these three because I want this baby girl to be fierce in her beliefs, sweet in her demeanor, and to own whoever she is. #StrongFemale

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The downside: they all come in 8×10 and 11X14. So much for helping me make my decision…

 

 

Oh, Baby

IMG_1617First Trimester

When you are newly pregnant and someone asks, “What’s new?” it takes everything in your power not to blurt out, “I’M PREGNANT! I’M PREGNANT! I’M PREGNANT!”

It’s really the only news you have.

About anything.

Ever.

For example, an average conversation goes like this:

Anyone that doesn’t know you’re pregnant: “How are you?”

What you’re thinking: Barely functional. Nauseous. Gassy. Like, really gassy… I burp like a dude.

What you say: “Great. You?” (Mostly because it takes too much energy to say more.)

What you’re thinking: I can’t really focus on you right now because I’m trying to stand upright and not think about vomiting…or the fire rolling up my chest. The heartburn’s a b****.

Anyone that doesn’t know you are pregnant: “Blah…blah…blah…What did you do last weekend?”

What you say: “Pretty low key weekend—did a lot of lounging.”

What you’re thinking: I didn’t change out of my pajamas. Getting to and from the couch was a big enough challenge for the weekend. Who needs to do dishes or vacuum? 

On the upside, I finally started watching Mad Men. Verdict’s still out.

I’m trying really hard not to give in to pregnancy cravings. I will not use this as an excuse to eat poorly… but damn, I WANT A BAGEL.

I’ve eaten more bread (sprouted, don’t worry) and crackers (a box of Nut Thins every three days) in the last few months than I have in the last year. Paleo is not an option in the first trimester. But let’s be honest, Paleo really isn’t ever going to be an option for me. Jay would throw a fit.

It’s ironic that the first trimester is so critical to pregnancy yet most women eat so poorly—it’s pure survival mode. I ate what I could stomach when I could handle it and had to forget anything green for awhile. Seriously, I haven’t seen a vegetable in weeks. Hopefully my prenatal vitamin is working and I didn’t completely ruin my unborn child’s life (already). You know, my vitamin is actually green… #CountIT

While I have some beef with pregnancy, I decided I wasn’t going to complain (as much) this time around. I’m not superstitious, but I’d rather not jinx it. I was reading through my notes from the spring and came across this:

I don’t give in to pizza very often, especially on Thursday nights, and especially not Casey’s pizza; but Jay wanted to eat pizza and watch basketball and I was having a weak moment after a 12+ hour day of work on Wednesday. And you know what? It tasted good, really good.

…but baby did not like Casey’s pizza.

I spent a good portion of my night on the the bathroom floor having flashbacks of my stint with food poisoning after a bad decision with an LAX Starbucks Caesar salad. I hit a new low that night—and not because I was laying on the floor (which has been very much neglected since this whole pregnancy thing happened)—at one point, I thought about not getting up from the floor. My stomach felt like it was in a vice grip and I was just so damn tired. What was the point of getting up? I needed a shower anyway.

Don’t worry (were you worried?), I didn’t actually decide to poop my pants on the bathroom floor.

Week 9

First ultrasound down—moving baby + heartbeat = good news. However, I was little surprised when I walked into the room and realized what kind of ultrasound I was in for… ah, the joys of pregnancy.

Week 13

Second ultrasound down. We were both so nervous, but again, we saw the baby move and we heard the heartbeat. I am so thankful.

PS I need to get better at peeing in a cup.

Week 14

What happen to feeling better after the first trimester? Am I going to be one of the unlucky ones that feels like this the entire time? I’m starting to panic.

Week 17

I’ve felt a lot of weird things over the last four months, but I didn’t recognize this… I think I feel you moving, baby. It’s like a faint pop or twitch. And if Thursday night was any indication of your behavior, we are in for some long , crazy nights.

Week 18

Whew. No Cystic Fibrosis. No Trisomy 13. No Down Syndrome.

Week 19

For most of my life, I’ve barely filled a B cup. And I’m totally ok with it. I really, really don’t want anything more. Unfortunately, my chest has seen more expansion than my stomach and it’s time to say goodbye to my 34 B’s.

But bra shopping is the worst. Really.

Not wanting to spend a lot of money, I started at the sale rack. A nice lady suggested some 36 C’s and I begrudgingly headed towards the fitting room. YOU GUYS, I put on two bras that resembled the kind I used to see the old (70+) women in the pool locker room putting on after water aerobics. It was NOT ok.

 

The Whole Life Challenge

Thank God the Whole Life Challenge ended before Thanksgiving…er, Christmas (I’m a little behind). Thursday would have been miserable; me and my pile of turkey eyeing everyone else and their starches and pies. I’m not kidding; not a single item on that table was compliant (besides the avocado deviled eggs I made that nobody else ate). It’s not that I was overly interested in the green bean casserole and mashed potatoes, but I would have been downright hangry if I hadn’t been able to eat anything besides meat.

Now let me back up a few months, I decided to participate in the Whole Life Challenge with my coworkers. I don’t do diets, but I had been wanting to cut out white sugar and this seemed like a good way to keep me accountable. I was also curious — I wanted to gauge my current eating habits against a Paleo-inspired diet. Would it make me feel amazing? Would my skin start glowing, instead of just sparkling (get the vampire reference)? Would I have more energy? Would I lose weight? Cutting out white potatoes, white sugar and cheese seemed doable. Cutting out milk and honey sounded miserable. There’s nothing better than a bowl of banana-peanut butter oatmeal covered in whole milk. And if I couldn’t have honey, how on earth was I going to satisfy my sweet tooth (because you know I have one ugly monster of a sweet tooth)? No dark chocolate, no Stoneyfield After Dark Chocolate frozen yogurt, no PB&Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams… damn you, sugar.

Now all of those things are what I consider “better-for-you” treats. There is a butt load of research on the benefits of dark chocolate. Would I like to protect my skin against the sun? Improve brain function? Lower my risk of cardiovascular disease? Yes, please. I can eat the entire container of Stoneyfeld frozen yogurt for 400 calories. YES, I SAID 400 CALORIES. I don’t, but the point is that I could and I’d still feel better about myself than when I indulge in a Scratch cupcake. And this treat, my friends, tastes like a Fudgesicle from Schwan’s. Mmm…childhood… Anyone out there know what I’m talking about? Lastly, Dark Chocolate Dreams is a-mazing on bananas, toast, a spoon — it could probably even make celery taste good. Because let’s be honest, even with a heaping amount of peanut butter and raisins, it’s still stringy and chewy and pretty much completely unsatisfying.

After my chocolate-white sugar-white potato-soybean-milk-cottage cheese-artificial flavor-preservative abstinence I lost a whopping ZERO pounds. Yes, you read that right, not a single pound was shed in eight weeks (I was suppose to lose 7 lbs and 6% body fat). To be fair, I had my cheat moments, but they were mostly for things like milk and peanut butter banana toast (link to my fave); things I should not have to feel guilty about. So all of this to come back to where I started: Enjoy things in moderation, steer clear from long ingredient lists, fuel your body with what it needs, eat as “whole” as possible and indulge when necessary. Because your weight is just a number and the formulas are not one size fits all.

… and when someone tells you to lose 6% of your body fat, tell them you like the way your jeans fit (if you’re nice).

On a good note, the WLC did motivate me to try some of the 842 recipes I have pinned. Some of them needed some small tweaks — like swapping white sugar for coconut sugar — but most are WLC compliant. To find more recipes that I have tested and approved, visit my Pinterest board.

Peanut Butter Cookies // Swap white sugar for coconut sugar and you’re golden. These were a LIFESAVER.

Guacamole Deviled Eggs (or Grunder family fail) from I Wash You Dry

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Vanilla Poppyseed Cake Doughnuts from the Urban Poser. They look too good to be true, right? They are actually very easy to make — don’t be intimidated!

stacked doughnuts 2

 

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes from My Whole Food Life // The first time we made these we were really confused. They are nothing like a cupcake — they’re mushy — so don’t be alarmed when you pull them out of the oven. I never bothered to make the frosting because they were so good mixed in plain greek yogurt with a few slices of banana on top. I also heard they are basically the bomb.com when frozen.

 Sweet Potato Cornbread from Leite Culinaria // Two things: 1) I tried baking the cornbread in muffin tins and they turned out dry. It really does taste better in cast iron skillet. 2) It works best to puree the sweet potato and butter in a small blender before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients.

Sweet and Spicy Sausage Stuffed Peppers from Fast Paleo // This sausage mix is fantastic and can be eaten with over easy eggs in the morning or plain.

Taco Pie from Paleo Newbie

Southwestern Grilled Sweet Potato Salad from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Pumpkin Quinoa Breakfast Casserole from Cooking Quinoa // It’s weird that you don’t cook the quinoa, but you get over it once you taste it.

 

Greetings from the Cabin

I’m in the middle of nowhere, in a deer-themed cabin, with minimal internet access and zero cell service. Yes, I said deer-themed, the one next door is moose-themed. The artwork is atrocious, unlike this West Elm print, which I actually find charming. And despite the ill-placed, crooked art, I think the deer curtains and John Deere green blinds take the cake. No, wait, I forgot about the musty smelling deer shower curtain. That wins. However, I could probably look past all of this if our bed didn’t feel so similar to the carpet-covered cement floors. Our memory foam has made us bed snobs. Even Jay said he would rather sleep on the shady looking couch.

On the upside, there aren’t any bed bugs.