Archive for the ‘All About Me’ Category

Goodbye 2013

Time for the annual recap post!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I watched my tiny baby grow into a full-blown toddler, right before my eyes. I threw a first birthday party. I took a baby on a plane – not once, but TWICE – AND took him out of the country for our first trip to Costa Rica.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Kind of. My resolutions from last year included losing weight, taking a family vacation, taking more photos, and throwing a kick-ass first birthday party for my little man. I lost some weight, but never made it back to my pre-baby weight goal. Then I got pregnant again. Everything else? Nailed it.

As for 2014, my plans is this: Have a healthy baby. Recover from my c-section. Work really hard to lose the weight. Save money. And enjoy life to the fullest.

I don’t need to have the most organized house. I don’t need to “eat clean” or “go Paleo” or “workout every day”. I don’t need to read 10 books, or travel to 5 different cities, or come up with a cleaning schedule, or go to church every Sunday. I don’t need to make a long list of detailed to-dos that may or may not contribute to my overall happiness and most likely won’t get accomplished anyway. I just need to take care of myself, my family, and enjoy each day of 2014 the best I can. And really hope that no one close to me dies this year. That would be great.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes!! One of my best friends gave birth to the cutest little boy with the biggest blue eyes you’ve ever seen in your life. She now has two boys, pretty close in age, and I dream of the day all of our boys are big enough to take on a trip together. It’s going to be complete chaos with 4 little boys running around, and I can’t wait!!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Once again, I have to check the yes box here. My wonderful mother-in-law passed away in July after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. Losing my grandpa in 2012 was incredibly hard for me. But that was just me (and my side of the family, of course). Losing my MIL has not only been hard on me, but hardest on my husband, and when I think about my kids never getting to know how awesome their Grammy was, it just breaks my heart.

5. What countries did you visit?

Costa Rica!!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Last year I wrote: A promotion at work, a new SUV, and a smaller pants size.

My promotion finally came over the summer, and as of last night, we’re in the process of buying a new-to-us SUV that I am in love with! So all that’s left is a smaller pants size.

Then I’d like to add another healthy baby to the list and a slightly bigger bank account. (Hey, might as well throw it out there.)

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 20 – My first speaking engagement (at Type-A Parent Advanced in Philly). D and the hubs came with me so it was also D’s first plane ride and we made a mini-vacation out of it. He was a great little traveler.

May 12 – My first official Mother’s Day!

Week of May 30 – D’s first birthday parties. Yes, plural. We had one in STL for family and friends, and one at my SIL’s house in Ohio for hubby’s side of the family.

June 7 – My cousin’s wedding in Nashville. It was our first time there so we had a great time exploring the city.

July 2 – My grandma’s birthday dinner. We buried my grandpa on her birthday in 2012 so it was nice to do something happy this year since 2012’s birthday was ruined. (This was also around the time we officially started “trying” for baby #2.)

July 17 – Found out our little family would be growing!

July 26 – The day my MIL passed away. I was working at BlogHer in Chicago, and the hubs and D were exploring the city when he got the call. We never had the chance to tell her we were expecting again.

Oct 12 – A friend’s wedding in Colorado. We took my FIL with us for his first-ever flight and first time seeing the Rocky Mountains.

Dec. 14 – 22 – Costa Rican vacation

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I was pretty happy about my promotion but if I can be schmoopy for a minute, I’d have to say I’m most proud of how the hubs and I have grown as parents AND as a couple. He’s the best dad in the world, and he thinks I’m a really great mom, and those are the biggest compliments either one of us could ever receive, so I’m glad we honestly feel that way about each other. Parenthood has brought us closer together. Not to say that we don’t have our fights, but for something as challenging as raising and caring for another tiny human being, we each think the other person is doing a pretty fantastic job and admire each other for it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Budgeting. Our finances changed significantly since late 2012 and yet we spent most of 2013 oblivious to those changes. Now reality has hit us and we’re finally cutting back on our spending habits.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Just a nasty cold that stuck around for about 2 weeks in early December. The hubs had his wisdom teeth removed earlier in the year, but he recovered quickly. And I had a couple of moles removed for preventative purposes, but it was an in-office procedure that didn’t require much.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I’m hoping it’s our new-to-us SUV that we bought last night.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Traveling. Philly, Chicago, Nashville, Colorado, Costa Rica and several trips to visit my husband’s family.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Getting pregnant again and D’s first birthday parties

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

What Does the Fox Say and Gangnam Style

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier. If for no other reason than I stopped pumping around January/February and finally felt like I got my body back. Wrecked as it was, it was all mine again.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter. But that’s only because I’m 7 months pregnant, so cut me some slack!
– richer or poorer? Definitely poorer.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

More exercise; more nice things for others.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Spend less money; waste less time – be it on social media, the Internet, watching crappy TV or movies, etc.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

At my FIL’s house with my two SIL’s and our 7 nieces and nephews. After presents we ate brunch. That night my SIL watched D while the hubs and I and my FIL went to see Anchorman 2.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

The Blacklist

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Let’s see… I didn’t read a ton of books this year but I did enjoy Gone Girl and The Cuckoo’s Calling.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I’m so bad with music right now. The only time I’ve really had the radio playing was when there was non-stop Christmas music on.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I think we’ve seen maybe 4 movies at the theater this year. Identity Thief, Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games 2, and Anchorman 2. I’d say The Hunger Games was the best one out of all of those. Doesn’t look like I’ll have many opinions on the Oscars this year.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31. It was Memorial Day. I went to the cemetery to visit my grandpa and had dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Just like last year when I said not losing my grandpa would’ve made it the best year ever, not losing my MIL would’ve made this one 1,000 times better. It’s the only really bad thing that happened this year.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Comfortable, simple, solids. (Exactly what I said last year.)

26. What kept you sane?

My husband will always get top billing here, but my two best friends and my small group of “mommy friends” were also a huge help. There’s something to be said for finding friends in a similar stage of life. They get what you’re going through because they’ve either been there recently or are in the throes of it with you, right now. They know what a big deal it is when your kid hits a big milestone, and they know how sucky it is when your kid is teething, or sick, or just won’t go back to sleep in his own bed at 2am.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Never, ever, take your health for granted.

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My little guy is about to turn 18 months old pretty soon, so I’d like to think I’m somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to the whole parenting babies thing. Of course, that is until baby #2 comes along in a few months and totally turns our worlds upside down. But let’s ignore that for just a moment and let me tell you some of the things I’ve come to believe in, as a parent.

I believe…in sleeping.

Co-sleep, let them cry it out, recruit friends and family to come hold the baby while you take a nap…I believe in doing whatever you need to do to get your sleep. As long as you’re confident your baby is safe, then the second most important thing is that you’re getting some shut eye.

I believe…in feeding your baby.

Breast milk or formula does not matter to me. (D was given both.) As long as your baby is growing and thriving and getting the nourishment he/she needs, it doesn’t matter if it came from a boob or a bottle. I’ve watched too many women go absolutely bonkers trying to breastfeed their child, to the point of their baby actually losing weight and going hungry.  That is ridiculous. I’d rather give my baby liquified Cheetos than let him go hungry. But that’s just me.

I believe…you can’t spoil a newborn.

If you want to spend your entire maternity leave holding and rocking your baby, then do it. Everything else in life can wait. Some of my older relatives would see me holding my baby and tell me, “You’re going to spoil him, holding him all the time!” I did not care, or listen. However, please refer to #1 above about believing in sleeping. This required me putting him down on occasion.

I believe…in a nice, hot shower. 

Those early weeks, when days and nights are all the same and your body is a wreck between childbirth and leaky boobs, it’s easy to let things like personal hygiene slide. But the first day I managed to take a shower, shave my legs, and put on real clothes, I felt a million times better. Makeup didn’t come until much later, but it’s amazing what a shower and some real clothes will do for one’s mentality.

I believe…in just being a mom.

During my first pregnancy, I made a long list of to-dos for my maternity leave. What was I thinking?!?! Did I honestly think I was going to be sitting around with nothing to do? I had plans to organize the office, keep up with D’s baby book, blog probably every day, sort through photos and make photobooks, and keep the house spotless. HA!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! None of that happened. And anytime I thought about all the things I “should” be doing, or I stood looking at the piles of dishes and laundry that never managed to go away, I would feel like I was failing somehow. I spent those first two months just barely surviving. If I showered, it was a good day. If I had clean breast pump parts before it was time to pump again, I was a rockstar. If I managed to get more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep, things were really going my way that day. Those things sound crazy to anyone who has never had a baby, and looking back, it sounds sort of crazy now. But I quickly learned that taking care of myself and my baby was enough. It was more than enough. I was learning to be a mom, in the most basic sense of the word, and that was more important than anything else I could’ve been doing.

I believe…in asking for help.

You know the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? It’s true. Even most single moms I know have a pretty good support group of friends or family they can turn to in a pinch. I consider it both a blessing and a curse that most members of our families live out of state. So most of the time, it was just the two of us – my husband and me – figuring out this parenting thing on our own. We thought we were prepared. We took classes, we read books, but sometimes questions came up. It’s been 30 years since my mom spent any amount of time with a newborn so I didn’t really consider her a great resource on the topic. But I had an incredible network of friends and coworkers that I could turn to when I really needed answers. Not to mention I had a great OB and fantastic pediatrician I could call at anytime. Fortunately, I didn’t have to, but it was nice to know they were there. And for the first time that I can remember, when a friend asked if she could bring me anything on her way to visit us and our new baby, I took her up on it and asked her to bring me a snack so I wouldn’t have to make lunch.

I believe…in making friends with other moms.

This is a sensitive one for me. Having felt like I’d been dumped by other friends once they became parents and I stayed happily child-free, I tried really hard not to alienate my non-parent friends once I became a mom. But this didn’t mean I couldn’t make new friends with other moms. And it doesn’t matter how many friends you have; those first few weeks can be pretty isolating when you’re up feeding a baby at 2am and your non-parent friends are sleeping soundly. But do you know who else is up during the wee hours of the morning? Other new moms. For the entire first year and beyond, I found most of my support from my fellow moms on the Internet. Women I started building friendships with while we were all pregnant together, which suddenly became much stronger as we each entered the world of parenthood. It was a bit like the blind leading the blind at first, but it was comforting to know at least one other person was probably up with a baby. And if no one was at that exact moment, it wasn’t more than 15 minutes before SOMEONE was. And so we’d chat. We’d answer each other’s questions, ask questions of our own, or just banter back and forth about how much we all miss sleep. I firmly believe in trying to maintain friendship with non-parent friends, but I also believe it’s just as important to develop friendships with other moms. Only they know and understand what you’re really going through.

I believe…in eating.

One of the first things every pregnant woman hopes and expects to do before their maternity leave is over, is find a way to lose the baby weight and get their pre-baby body back. Unless you’re filthy rich with access to a personal chef, personal trainer, and a round-the-clock nanny, this will not happen. At least not that quickly. And remember what I said about those first 2 months being completely about survival? Yeah. The most exercise I did during my maternity leave was take a walk around the block while pushing the stroller. Even that didn’t happen until about week 10. Not to mention that when you’re only sleeping a couple of hours at a time, mealtimes are completely out of whack. I’d eat breakfast at noon, lunch at 4:30, dinner at 10. And the next day, breakfast at 7, lunch at 1, and dinner at 9. It was never consistent so it was almost impossible to plan ahead. And I couldn’t cut my calories too drastically because I was still breastfeeding (and, let’s be honest, my appetite while breastfeeding was out of control). I don’t believe in crazy diets, diet pills, or starvation as a means to lose weight, especially while breastfeeding. It wasn’t until I went back to work that I was able to get back into a routine and start planning out healthier meal options and get my portions back under control. Still, I was never quite able to fit in regular exercise outside of evening and weekend walks at the park with the baby in the stroller, but it was still better than nothing. Am I happy with my body? Of course not. I wasn’t happy with it before I got pregnant. But a lot of that unhappiness post-baby was because I led myself to believe I’d be able to drop the baby weight the moment my doc gave me exercise clearance. I had no idea how long it would take me to feel like I had regained control of my body, which was about 8 or 9 months post-baby. A couple months after that, I started running again, only to find out two weeks late that I was pregnant. Oops! I’d like to think I’m better prepared as far as what to expect this time around, but I’m not going to stress out about it and instead, learn to cut myself some slack that first year.


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Feeling Behind

Happy Obamacare Day!! Oh…wait…um…never mind.

Happy October! I can’t believe it’s October already. Only three months left in the year. We have a lot going on this month – Finding out the baby’s gender, taking D to get evaluated by a physical therapist (more on that in his monthly update post coming up), our (mostly) annual Halloween party, a trip to Colorado for a friend’s wedding, potential family photo shoot for Xmas cards, and trick-or-treating on Halloween. It’s about to get crazy folks, and I’m both excited and exhausted already.

Speaking of exhausted, I didn’t end up posting a Five on Friday last week because we had a little celebratory birthday dinner for the hubs on Thursday night and then I had to rush through work on Friday before heading out of town for my step-dad’s 60th birthday party on Saturday. We got to my parents’ house around 9pm their time and let’s just say there was still much work to be done. We ended up cleaning until 11:30 and then I spent most of Saturday morning decorating while my parents ran errands, getting last minute things from the grocery store and the party supplies place. I was exhausted before the party even started! The biggest surprise though wasn’t even for my step-dad. Since my husband’s birthday was just two days before, his entire family drove the 4.5 hours to my parents’ house to surprise him. So basically 10 extra people, in addition to the almost 20 that were already coming to the party.  It was crazy and fun and I’m glad my parents are finally putting their lives back together after the disastrous last year and a half they’ve had, essentially tearing down parts of their house and living out of garbage bags. (Neither of these are exaggerations.) My only complaint is that I wish my husband was one of those people whose reactions to something surprising is just priceless. Instead, he just gets this very confused look on his face and just says, “Huh. Ok.” No big “OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!” No tears of joy. Just, “Huh.”  Totally unsatisfying for someone like me who lives for the reaction. 

Even though we got home at a decent hour Sunday night (8:30pm) I still feel like I’m recovering. Of course this means that work has picked up at the office a bit and I’m starting to get that general feeling of just being…behind. Like I can’t quite catch up and as someone who thinks our society glorifies being “too busy” and prides herself on being fairly decent at time management, this is not something I’m very comfortable with. So I’m hoping to take some time this week to get caught up on things. Organize my email and my desktop. Clean out my feed reader. Download the pics from my good camera. Swap out the clothes in my closet and dig out those old maternity clothes. Go grocery shopping and start bringing my lunch again instead of paying almost $10 a day for lunch. All little things but in my sheltered world, those little things add up to big things, like an overall sense of calm and accomplishment.

So I’m starting off this month feeling a little bit behind, but that’s sort of what I love about a new month and the motivation it gives me to get my shit back together and refocus on the fun things in life. Get ready, October. I’m comin’ at ya. 

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This time of year is just crazy. May has always been my favorite month because it’s my birth month but now it’s also my anniversary month, Mother’s Day month, and my baby’s birth month.

(My poor husband. Our poor credit card.)

On Monday, Memorial Day, I turned 31. My parents were on day 5 of their stay with us, which is already 2 days longer than preferred, but it was nice to have family in town to celebrate. It was also the day after baby D’s first birthday party and we had plenty of cake leftover so there was little fanfare in the way of cake or decorations. Instead, we decided to take a drive down to Jefferson Barracks and visit my grandpa’s grave. (What? You don’t think visiting a cemetery is a fun way to celebrate your birthday?) Ok so it wasn’t exactly fun, but it was Memorial Day after all and my parents had not visited since the headstone arrived last fall, so we went. Then we finished the afternoon with some mall shopping (hello Memorial Day sales) and after a late lunch at Max and Erma’s, we had a late dinner at Longhorn. Basically, a very typical weekend for us, but I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of my birthday.

Still, there’s something about the 1 in 31 that makes me really feel that I’m firmly in my 30s. And while most people lament getting older, I have to say that I’m feeling much more…comfortable in who I am now that I’m in my thirties.

My twenties was a mix of establishing myself and figuring out not only who I am but who I wanted to be. And then accepting who I am when the two didn’t match up. Now that I’ve fought those internal battles, I have so much more inner peace and confidence. I may not always like everything about myself, but I accept it. And that’s a huge accomplishment for me.

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1. Baby D is in a mama phase right now and I’m LOVING it! Yesterday he would only give me kisses. None for daddy. And if I left his sight, even when daddy was holding him, he’d whine. Only for a moment, but enough to let me know that he missed me.

2. My no-sugar diet is going well. So well that I forgot I was on it and almost bought cinnamon rolls at the grocery store last night, since they were on sale for $1 a can. Fortunately, the hubs was there to kindly remind me that I couldn’t have them. Then I kicked him in the shins.

3. The weather is getting nicer, which definitely puts me in a better mood. It’s supposed to be quite lovely out this weekend, so I have very exciting plans to do some spring cleaning around the house. (Did you sense my sarcasm?)  Surprisingly, this was the husband’s idea, so even though I’d rather take a leisurely stroll around the lake and picnic in the park, I’m going to take advantage of his motivation and have him help me get our house back in shape.

4. The only downside to this nice weather? Allergies. Typically, March is when I spend about two weeks fighting a sinus infection. I’m not sure how I managed to escape the entire month without one, but that probably just means it’s coming in April instead. Here’s hoping it doesn’t show up later this month when I have a business trip to Philly.

5. Speaking of my upcoming business trip, the hubs and baby are coming with me this time and if the weather cooperates, we’ll cross off another baseball stadium from our list. Best of all? The Cardinals are playing in Philly that weekend! Go Cards! I love baseball season.

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Think about where you live right now. The house or apartment. The street. The city. The state. Is it where you thought you’d be at this point in your life? Is it where you want to be next year? Five years from now? How about 20?

We bought our home a month before we got married in 2006. In just a couple of weeks, we will celebrate our 7 year anniversary of living in this house. SEVEN. YEARS.

I thought we’d be here five, max.

I’ve talked about how we tried to move to Charlotte a couple of years ago, perhaps only vaguely. It was so horrible that neither of us want to move to Charlotte ever again. Not because we hate Charlotte; it’s a lovely place. We just don’t want to go through that heartbreak again.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I think we should try again. Maybe not Charlotte, no. But somewhere. Somewhere closer to my husband’s family. (Though not TOO close, considering they live in the unhealthiest and saddest city in the country.) Someplace where the housing market isn’t quite as screwed up as it is in St. Louis. Where we can get a nice home in a nice school district that isn’t five times the price of our current home.

But is that all it takes? Being closer to family in a semi-decent job and housing market? Shouldn’t we be dreaming a little…bigger?

Last Sunday the hubs and I (and the baby) drove back from my grandma’s 91st birthday party. A 2.5 hour drive. I brought up moving and threw out terms like “five year plan.” Then I said, “How about San Diego?” and soon we were down a rabbit hole of hypotheticals. The hubs started surfing realtor.com, pointing out this home or that. We talked about the pros and cons, making a verbal list of each. Wouldn’t it be great to live near the beach? In a warmer climate? But could we stand being so far away from family. In order to live in paradise, we’d have to leave everyone behind and spend whatever vacation time we had visiting them. Several flights a year. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

After we got home, we did our bedtime routine and climbed into bed. The hubs got out the iPad to continue exploring this California dream, but for me, something just didn’t feel right and I no longer felt like daydreaming.

Making a pros and cons list only helps with the criteria are of equal importance. But when you’re comparing being within driving distance of LegoLand or your entire family, it’s hard to give the former top billing.

And with that, he put away the iPad.

I’ve never been very good with staying content for very long, so it goes against my nature to admit that things are pretty comfortable right now and that maybe we should just continue to let fate run its course for awhile. So what if that means staying in our house for another 2, 3, 4 years. So what if that means staying in St. Louis for another 2, 10, or 20 years. Life is pretty good right now, and St. Louis truly is a great place to raise a family. I know this. But it’s just so hard to look at someone else’s grass and not think to myself “Is it greener over there?” Especially if that grass is in California, because with average temps in the mid 70s year round, it’s definitely greener.

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See the Morning Edition here.

8:40 am – 5:20pm : WORK. This basically entails me emailing back and forth with a bunch of people all day long, sitting on conference calls, and working in Excel documents. At least, that day it did. My lunch plans were rescheduled due to friend’s sick baby, so I enjoyed an apple with peanut butter at my desk because I was too lazy to go outside and walk down the street to Panera.

5:20 pm: Get in my car and drive home. This is my “transition” time. When I start pushing work thoughts out of my brain and start thinking about what to do for dinner, what errands I need to run, what shows are on TV, etc. There’s no telling what will cross my mind, but as long as it’s not entirely work-related, I’m able to walk through the door and focus completely on my family.  I could probably dedicate an entire post to how I compartmentalize my life like that, but I won’t. Anyway, I call my mom during the drive home. Nothing important really, and within just a few minutes, there’s some static interference and she says I should just call her tomorrow since she’s out shopping.

6:00 pm: Arrive home. Put down my stuff and go looking for the baby. He’s in his jumperoo and the hubs is putting something away upstairs. I pick up the baby, ask about the hubby’s day, and remember that I have a $10 off coupon for Old Navy that I need to use by the 6th so I suggest we all head out. Hubs is now looking at something online so I have to repeat this a few times and ask if he wants to go, or if I should just go alone with the baby.

6:10 pm: Hubs finally agrees to go with me. I get the baby dressed, since he was only in a onesie, and grab a shirt for the hubs and toss it at him. Apparently this shirt is not suitable so he goes to get another one.

6:25 pm: Load up the car with the kiddo and diaper bag and off we go. Hubs decides we should drive out to a different Old Navy location that’s near a car dealership he wants to check out.

6:45 pm: Drive by the area where he thinks there’s an Old Navy. There isn’t one. Make our way over to the car dealership and it’s closed. Not open late on Tuesdays. Drive to the Old Navy closest to us – the one I was originally planning to go to.

7:05 pm: Arrive at the other mall and walk through Cabela’s. Hubs loves their candied nuts so we stop in the general store and get some candied pecans before walking to Old Navy.

7:15 pm – 7:40 pm: Try on jeans, find two pairs that I like and buy them. Spot a BPA free travel bowl with separate liquid container in the checkout area and decide I must have it for any time I want to take cereal with milk to work for breakfast. Pay less than $35 for everything and feel pretty good. Head home.

8:00 pm: Get home and fix the baby’s nighttime bottle. For some reason he eats at a snail’s pace and only takes 6 of his usual 8 ounces. The Michigan vs Ohio State Basketball game is on so the hubs is on edge. He fixes dinner (jambalaya) while pacing back and forth from the stove to the TV.

8:25 pm: Decide to give baby a bath. He just had a bath the night before, but the hubs said he was a messy eater today so he could probably use one. No hair washing though.

8:45 pm: Bath time is over. Lotion him up. He hates this part, so I sing Old MacDonald to him and he smiles. Put on his jammies, read both his bedtime books – Boy of Mine and Goodnight Moon – turn on his giraffe sound machine, his three night lights, and give him his puppy paci. One more pat on the tummy to say “Night night baby. Mommy loves you.”

9 pm: Lights out for baby.

9:02 pm: Dinner time. We watch the new episode of New Girl while we chow down. Then we check the score of the game before watching an episode of Raising Hope. After that, we turn the game back on to see they’ve gone into overtime. Watch the game while hanging onto the edge of our seats. Michigan wins by 2 points! Hooray!! Watch another episode of Raising Hope.

10:35 pm: I declare bedtime and head upstairs to do a little reading – Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life. It’s super old, but someone at work left it in the breakroom, along with a bunch of other books that were free for the taking, so I nabbed it.

11:00 pm: Lights out for me. Hubs is in his office doing something. I’m out in a matter of minutes but I hear the hubs come in, probably around 11:15, and he knocks a remote on the floor which wakes the baby up so I tell the hubs he has to deal with it since he woke him up. I’m cranky when I’m tired. Apparently the baby is too.

2:00 am: Baby cries. This is unusual, so we think he’s teething. Takes the hubs about 5 minutes to get him back to sleep.

3:00 am: Baby cries. Again, unusual. Hubs changes him which just pisses him off. I go in and rock him back to sleep. It takes about 10 minutes total and I can tell he’s hurting. Definitely teething.

7:00 am: Alarm goes off. Start the day again.

Riveting, isn’t it?


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It’s been awhile since I’ve done “A Day in the Life” post. Actually, have I ever done one of these? I can’t remember. When you’ve been blogging in the same place since 2008, it’s hard to remember anything anymore.

Anywho, I always enjoy reading posts where the person breaks down their average day. Seems boring and mundane to most, but I guess I’m just nosy like that. So I’m going to be incredibly detailed and break down an average day for you over a couple of posts. No need to thank me, though I will gladly accept chocolates of any variety should you feel so inclined.

A Day in the Life – Morning Edition

6:07 am: Baby yells. I wait a few seconds to see if he puts himself back to sleep or if the yelling turns to crying. The yelling gets louder, so I go in there to calm him before he works himself up. He’s probably wet. We’ve been having diaper leaking issues overnight lately, so I feel around him and he’s a little damp, but not soaking wet anywhere, so I’m not sure if that’s the issue or something else. I pick him up and change him. More crying. Root around in the dresser for a new outfit and put it on him while he continues to cry. Pick him up and move to the rocker. No more crying, but now he’s wide awake and trying to focus on the things in his room by nightlight.

6:15 am: Finally he lays his head down on my shoulder. I rock him for about 30 more seconds and put him back in his crib and give him his paci. He’s still awake, but the rocking and cuddles seem to have calmed him enough and he lets me walk out of the room and go back to bed without a fight.

7:05 am: Alarm goes off. I snooze it for 10 more minutes.

7:15 am: Alarm goes off again. Ok, I really need to get up. Quietly, I make my way to the shower and gently close the bathroom door.

7:30 am: Get out of the shower, brush my teeth, and walk back to the bedroom to apply face lotion and deodorant. Baby wakes up and starts yelling, but not in a crying way. In a “I’m awake and I want you to hear me and come get me” kind of way. So I go get him and bring him back into the bedroom, propping him up on my pillow and tucking him in the sheets. Within a minute or two, the hubs rolls over and puts his arm around him. This is part morning snuggle time and part safety reasons to keep baby from rolling off the bed.

7:40 am: I start putting on my makeup while baby watches me intently. I start thinking about what to wear and go through a series of thoughts about what’s clean, what’s comfortable, what’s the temperature/weather going to be, and who I have to see at work today. All of these factor into the day’s outfit.

7:45 am: Time to blowdry my hair. I usually leave the baby with the hubs in the bedroom, but the last couple of days, his exersaucer has been upstairs so I plop the baby in there and bring him near the bathroom so I can stare at him while I blowdry. He’s entertained by the blowdryer and my brushing action, and I’m entertained by his being entertained. That’s what I call a win-win.

8:00 am: Get dressed and accessorize with necklace and earrings. Hubs gets up and heads downstairs to make coffee, make the baby’s bottle, start my car and take out the trash. He turns on Rhianna’s We Found Love so the baby and I dance around for a few minutes.

8:07 am: Hand the baby to the hubs, give kisses and wave bye-bye, and they go down to the first floor for breakfast. I’m out of clean travel mugs so I quickly wash one and pour a cup of coffee. Add a dash of creamer, grab a granola bar and a mini-BabyBel cheese as a snack and head out the door. Usually I bring my lunch, but I have lunch plans with a friend today so I skip it.

8:10 am: Drive to work. During my drive, I listen to the radio and a song comes on that reminds me of my grandpa. I blink back tears so I don’t show up to work with puffy eyes and streaks down my face. (side note: A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about grandpa and feeling incredibly guilty for not visiting his grave since the fall. At that moment, I heard this song for the first time, and the lyrics said, “Momma asked me this morning if I’ve been by your grave; But that flag and stone ain’t where I feel you anyway.” Suddenly the guilt lifted, as if he was telling me it’s okay.)

8:30 am: Pull into my parking garage at the office. It takes me a few minutes to get from my garage to my desk, but I’m only about 5 minutes late so I consider that a good day.

8:35 am: Chat with a coworker in the elevator. Inhale my granola bar as I wait for my computer to boot up.

8:40 am: Start diving into my inbox and responding to emails from those early bird East Coast coworkers. Continue emailing, checking blogs, and jumping on calls until lunch time.

TO BE CONTINUED… (I know. How could I possibly leave you with such a cliffhanger? I apologize.)



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As much as I hate winter and the post-holiday lull, I tend to get a little excited about starting a new year. A fresh start. It’s a cleansing feeling, even though I’m still holed up in my house, hiding under a blanket until some time in April. For the last couple of years, I’ve been a little bah-humbug about New Years. Probably because I usually fail at whatever resolutions I set for myself.

But this year will be different!! ::fist in the air::

My main resolution? Lose weight.

How’s that for different?

Ok, so it’s not different at all. But you know what? Everyone else is coming up with unique resolutions or non-resolutions in an effort to be different, so maybe losing weight is actually the most different resolution right now. It’s so popular that it’s not popular anymore and therefore, I win. Or something like that.

Anyway, I don’t really care. I NEED to lose weight. For one, I don’t want to buy any more new clothes. I have lots of perfectly good clothes that I haven’t worn in almost 2 years. At this rate, my main reason for needing to replace my clothes will be because they’re out-of-style. Not that I’ve really ever been “in style” to begin with. Secondly, I want to be healthy. Now that I’m 30, it’s only a matter of time before I start feeling the creaks and cracks of experienced adulthood. I’m already one geriatric step away from wearing orthopedic shoes. No doubt this extra weight I’m hauling around isn’t doing any favors for my impending arthritis.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that nothing takes away your feeling of invincibility like becoming a parent. My baby is a daily reminder that I need to take care of myself so that I’m around long enough to take care of him. And with any luck, meet my grandkids.

So I rejoined Weight Watchers and so far, so good. Granted, it’s only been a couple of days, but I’m not going to be too hard on myself. No crazy restrictions like no caffeine or carbs. No “I’m going to work out 5 days a week” mandates or anything like that. Just sensible food tracking with a goal to lose weight. I also picked up a Yoga DVD so that I can try to incorporate some fitness too. If I do it 5 days a week? Fantastic! Only 2? That’s good too. Something is better than nothing and nothing is what I’ve been doing since I found out I was pregnant back in 2011.

So weight loss is my #1 goal for 2012. If I can lose weight the healthy way on Weight Watchers, then I should be able to hit my goal (losing 2 lbs a week) by baby D’s first birthday.

Now I do have a few other goals in mind, but they’re more just for fun. For example, I’d like to do more Pinterest-inspired projects. I haven’t spent a ton of time on there in recent months, but I have a nice collection of boards and pins, just sitting there looking pretty. I’d like to actually do something with them – try new recipes, make a crafty project, try some of the tips & tricks. If I could do one Pinterest-inspired thing a month, that would be great.

I’d also like to take more photos. I take tons of weekly and monthly photos of baby D – most of which I don’t end up posting here. But I’d like to do some sort of 365 photo-a-day challenge that I could later turn into a collage or book. Babies change so much during these early months/years, that even though I find myself taking tons of photos and a few videos here and there, it still doesn’t seem like I’m capturing it all. Still, I need to make sure I don’t go overboard to where I have to force myself to put down the phone/camera.

Next, I’d like to take an awesome vacation with my little family. A lot of folks would choose to leave their baby behind with a grandparent or aunt/uncle, but we don’t really want to do that. We’re a tad obsessed with him and would rather have him with us wherever we go. Now where to go? We’d love to do a beach destination, but the logistics of getting there are enough to make me give up on that dream. Hopefully we figure something out.

Suggestions for baby-friendly destinations or tips for traveling with a baby? We’ve done 9+ hour car rides, but have yet to attempt a plane ride.

Lastly, I’d like to plan a kick-ass first birthday party for baby D. His birthday isn’t for another almost 5 months, but my inlaws have already asked us about it. They really want us to have it at their house, which, as you all know, is a VERY long drive for us. But, we’ve already done it 3 times now since he’s been born so we sort of know what we’re doing. And part of me feels like that may be the best option. If we host it in STL, my inlaws might come – if my MIL is doing alright – but I doubt any of hubby’s siblings or nieces/nephews would make the trip. It’s just hard to make an argument for 14 people to come to St. Louis, when the three of us could get in the car and go there instead. And it’s about the same distance for my parents either way, so it doesn’t matter much to them. Decisions, decisions. In the meantime, I’ll peruse all the super awesome birthday party themes over on Pinterest. My personal faves so far:


Baseball themed? It will be during baseball season…


Beach themed? We are beach fanatics, after all…


Or little man themed? But with different colors.

(Photo sources on my Pinterest page.)

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Goodbye 2012

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

I finished incubating and expelling a human being from my body. I had major abdominal surgery, in the form of an unplanned c-section that contributed to my first overnight hospital stay. I spent a good part of the year tied to a breast pump, which was an accomplishment all by itself because making and extracting milk from your boobs is not as easy as human history would lead you to believe (or even possible, if you’re a dude). I bathed a baby for the first time – and many, many times after that. I also picked someone else’s boogers (my baby’s).

To put it simply, I became a mom.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My resolution last year was to just “do more.” But the problem with making such broad declarations is that it’s nearly impossible to measure your success. I’d like to think I accomplished this goal, but if I did, it was only circumstantial because preparing and caring for a newborn baby doesn’t allow you to relax. Between the baby classes, the nursery decorating, the baby showers, the actual birth, and the sleepless days and nights to follow, you have no choice but to do more. So yes, I guess I did keep my resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Can’t get much closer than ME.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Sadly, this streak has been broken. One of my three favorite people in the entire world, my grandpa, passed away at the end of June. Just four short weeks after baby D was born. I’m so glad they were able to meet, however briefly, but I’m sad that he’s not here to watch him grow into a tiny little person.

5. What countries did you visit?

None. Though I did take trips to Ft. Lauderdale and Chicago (and two work trips to Dallas and Austin that I don’t really count).

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

Last year I wrote: A healthy baby, a promotion at work, a work-from-home husband, a new SUV.

I’m still lacking that promotion at work (though I did get a decent raise) and a new SUV. I’m hopeful that both will happen this year. I’d also like to see a smaller pants size.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 27 – My 30th birthday.

May 30 – The day baby D FINALLY made his way into the world.

June 27 – The day my grandpa passed away.

Aug. 1 – The day my husband resigned from his corporate job and became a work-from-home dad.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Stepping into motherhood with greater ease than I anticipated. And actually ENJOYING it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I wish I would’ve tried harder at nursing. I did WAY more work than necessary by pumping for every feeding. It got the job done, and my baby had breastmilk 90% of the time, but I didn’t realize how much harder it would be to pump vs nurse. Newsflash: MUCH harder.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Recovering from the c-section was harder than I thought it would be. This is a big reason why I gave up nursing so easily. I just didn’t have the patience to force it when I could barely walk or move my midsection. Other than that, no illness or injury.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Something baby-related, I’m sure. I can’t remember when I bought my DSLR, but that definitely goes on the list.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Same as last year: Mortgage, cell phone bills, gas, eating out.

And add to it: baby things and a couple of car repairs.

13. What did you get really excited about?

My baby showers, finishing the nursery, having the baby, and then all of those first milestones – first smile, first laugh, first Halloween, first Thanksgiving, first time sitting up, first Christmas, sleeping through the night, etc.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Also, Some Nights by FUN and Payphone by Maroon 5. Oh and Gagnam Style and Call Me Maybe, of course.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Both, if that’s possible. I’ve felt extreme happiness and sadness this year, but overall, I would say I’m happier. I just really miss my grandpa.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter. But hopefully by this time next year, my answer will be different.
– richer or poorer? I can’t honestly remember what my bank account looked like at this time last year. Probably about the same.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exercise, eating healthy, and perhaps spend more time with my grandpa. Had I known he’d be diagnosed with terminal cancer just a few months into the year, I would’ve spent every free moment with him.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Less eating foods that are terrible for me and less wasted time on social media

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Like this.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

New Girl, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, and Revenge

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Admittedly, I haven’t done a ton of reading this year. I read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by  blogger Jenny Lawson on the iPad while on maternity leave. Perfect for those middle of the night pumping and feeding sessions. I attempted to read Fifty Shades of Gray, but after one chapter I lost interest and haven’t tried again. Most of the time, I spend my free time reading pointless stuff on social media, keeping up on my favorite blogs, reading What to Expect – the First Year, or US Weekly.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I used to pride myself on keeping up with good music, always on the hunt for a new favorite song. For the last couple of years, I’ve downloaded maybe a dozen songs total. The husband is the DJ of the house now, which isn’t saying much. Basically, I don’t have any favorite music. I listened to the radio a lot over the holidays, but that was just so I could hear my classic favorites. The rest of the time? Well, let’s just say it’s not uncommon for me to spend my 25 min. commute in complete silence some days. And I haven’t streamed music at the office since probably before the baby was born. I’m just that boring, I suppose.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

 The last movie we saw before the baby was born was The Avengers. Since? Well, we saw Lincoln over Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t rank either of those very high. I’d have to say The Hunger Games.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned the big 3-0. And since my due date was one day before my birthday, we didn’t make any real plans. My husband gave me a gorgeous Tiffany necklace, we got some new patio furniture, and my parents took us out to eat at my favorite restaurant where I ate the most delicious seafood risotto of my life.

You can read the blog post about it here.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If my grandpa hadn’t died, then this year would’ve been the best year ever. So much joy, but overshadowed by one really big loss.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Comfortable, simple, solids.

26. What kept you sane?

My husband wins the award here again this year. And when I thought I might crack over losing my grandpa, my baby kept me sane, as did my cousin Krissy. And though my mom has struggled since, she definitely held it together when grandpa was dying, and did her best to care for him while awaiting a new grandbaby. It was a trying year for my family, but I think together, we helped keep each other sane.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Bad things will always happen, but you shouldn’t live your life in fear of them. Surround yourself with the people and things that make you happy, be kind to others, and let the rest go.

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