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2: My firstborn son will be TWO in just two days. He’s so much fun right now but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my little baby. He’s still very much a baby in many ways, but those baby-like things are quickly disappearing. For example, one day he was a paci-obsessed baby and the next day, when it broke, that was it. No more paci. And suddenly I’M the one saying we should get him a new one, because I already miss what he looked like with it in his mouth.

8: The hubs and I celebrated 8 years of marriage last week. We didn’t get each other cards, but I surprised him with a new PC and he surprised me with bronze earrings (bronze being the traditional 8 year gift and the PC running Windows 8) .

12: My 12 weeks of maternity leave are just about up. I’ve loved having this time with all of my boys and I’m going to miss them something fierce during the day, but I’m excited to take on new professional challenges too. Just trying to savor these last few days. And with BOTH of our families in town this week, it won’t be restful or relaxing, but definitively a lot of fun.

32: I turned 32 yesterday. Two of my grandpa’s favorite things were horse racing and Cardinals baseball, so it’s no coincidence that I spent the afternoon at the race track and the evening at Busch Stadium. From beginning to end, it was an awesome birthday. (Photos on Instagram: @missliz27)

It started with donuts and coffee, which is always the best way to start any day. Then our family of 4 and my parents piled into our car to head to the race track. The first race I bet on, I won. (Lucky number 7.) I won two more out of the 8 races, so not too shabby. D loved watching the horses and would clap for them as they went by. Once we returned home, we only had about and hour before it was time for the hubs and I to head to the game. It was a big one too. Cards v. Yankees and Derek Jeter’s last season before retirement. I paid extra to get the all inclusive seats and it was so worth it. The Cards won 6-0, which was just awesome. After the game, we checked out the new Ballpark Village before my boobs told us it was time to go home. (The woes of breast feeding.) And the boys even took it easy on my parents while we were at the game so hopefully they’ll be willing to babysit again sometime.

So that’s what’s new with me. How about you?

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When it’s the end of nap time, but I manage to squeeze in a shower without the baby waking up.

good

What I imagine my husband is thinking when he sees me wearing the same nursing tanks and PJ pants day after day after day.

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But when I attempt to put on real clothes, this happens:

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When I finally take a shower and the baby spits up in my hair 15 minutes later.

no

 

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I’m sure by now just about everyone has seen this viral video from American Greetings about the “world’s toughest job.” If you haven’t, click here.

It’s been all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds for two days. Yet for every post I see praising its message, I see another criticizing it. And I think it’s worth noting that every person that’s had something negative to say about it, is also a mom. What’s the argument? That being a mom isn’t a “job”, in the literal sense. It’s also not that tough. Nor is the “job description” all that accurate. And dads have it hard too but there’s no mention of them. And maybe it’s also a bit cheesy. And mean to trick people. And…I lost count of all the criticisms. (Even if I agree with most of them.)

As someone who shared it on my own Facebook page, here’s what I think. I think American Greetings came up with a clever Mother’s Day ad. Most likely, they wanted to capitalize on the “Thank You, Mom” theme that P&G made popular during the summer and winter olympics. And to that I say, “well done.” Will they sell more cards as a result? That has yet to be seen.

But back to the argument at hand. Do I think being a mom is the world’s toughest job? Hardly. I’m not risking my life day in and day out. It’s also not a literal “job”, as others have pointed out. (Point taken.) But is it the toughest aspect of my life? So far, yes. And I personally think it’s sort of nice when anyone – a person or a company eager to drive sales – takes a moment to appreciate everything I do. Because heaven knows it’s going to be YEARS before my own children will appreciate it. And when they do, I’ll be lucky to get a hand-scribbled piece of paper and a dandelion picked from the yard. And I’ll love it. I mean, no one becomes a mom expecting to be told “hey, thanks for gestating me, and birthing me, and feeding me (even in the middle of the night), and generally keeping me alive for the last X years.” But…it would be nice, right? So if a company wants to make an ad telling everyone to appreciate their mother and hey, maybe get her an American Greetings card for Mother’s Day while you’re at it, well then I say go right ahead. And I’ll be sure to back you up when you come out with your Father’s Day ad next month, which will inevitably characterize dads as being “superheros” to their kids, and then people will get all up in arms about dads not being literal superheros. Because it’s the Internet.

 

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22 Month Update

Weight: Wild guess here, but probably 27 or 28lbs. I feel like he’s bulked up a little bit this month.

Sleep: AWFUL. I felt like we were doing so well with minimal middle-of-the-night wakeups, but ever since Sam was born, we’ve had maybe ONE night where he slept all the way through in his own crib. Most of the time, he wakes up between midnight and 2am and screams his head off until we bring him to bed with us. At first, the hubs slept in our bed, which is next to D’s nursery so he could go in and grab him when he woke up. Meanwhile, I’ve been staying in the downstairs guestroom with the pack ‘n play. But then, D fell out of our bed early one morning and that put an end to him sleeping in our bed with just one parent. Pillows as a barrier apparently doesn’t work. So! We’re trying to figure out how to get him to sleep in his own crib ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE NIGHT without a ton of crying-it-out, since I do not have the patience for an hour of crying right now.

As for naps, those are pretty consistently 1-3 hours each afternoon, but I sense a change coming soon.

Foods: Super picky. Loves fruit, bread, and sweets. But typical toddler favorites like mac & cheese? Hates it. Occasionally we can get him to eat chicken nuggets, and he seems to enjoy pizza and pizza rolls, but man, feeding a toddler is complicated business.

Developments: Nothing ground-breakingly new, which is a little odd because I felt like we were seeing huge changes month after month. But lately, he seems to be stuck on the same small group of words. He loves to dance and run around the kitchen and read books. He’s getting better at working certain apps on the iPad.

Firsts This Month: He became a big brother!

Likes: We had one nice day this month (ONE) so we took him to the park for the first time since, oh, October. And man, he loved it. Cried so hard when we made him get off the swing. We’ve been able to take him to the park a couple of times since (and my parents took him one day when they were in town to see the new baby) and being outdoors is clearly this kid’s favorite thing in the world.

Favorite Songs: Still Pharell’s Come On Get Happy and oddly enough, Summertime in the LBC by Warren G.

Favorite Toys: Much to my dismay, he’s obsessed with this green, John Deere tractor with eyes. It’s very Cars-like, and when you push down on its top, the wheels propel it forward. The problem is, he’s not strong enough to push down the button so he requests, no, DEMANDS, that we do it for him – over and over again. This is only annoying when I’m trying to do something, like nurse the baby, which is what I’m doing about 60% of the time. He’s nearly conked his brother in the head several times every day.

Dislikes: Typical toddler stuff. Being told no or not doing whatever it is he wants to do.

What I’m Thankful For: Finally being on maternity leave and getting to soak up the cuteness of my two little dudes, all day every day. (And in the middle of the night.) It’s exhausting, but it’s also wonderful.

What I’m Looking Forward To: BOTH of my boys, sleeping through the night, in their own beds. Have a feeling it’s going to be awhile.

How Mommy’s Doing: Recovering. My c-section recovery was a little worse this time around, so I’m just now able to pick D up out of his crib and high chair. I can’t carry him for prolonged periods yet, but we’re surviving. I really hated not being able to hold him these last few weeks. Also, I’m very thankful that I haven’t experienced any PPD. I didn’t with D either, but I know every pregnancy, birth, and recovery is different so I didn’t want to assume I was in the clear. I’ve had my emotional moments, but they’ve mostly been the super sappy “I can’t believe how much I love these two little people” kind of moments. Can’t complain about that.

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Nusery Photos

Just realized I never shared pics of Sam’s nursery. So I’ll cut to the chase and post a couple of pics. It’s not quite final, as I still have something I want to hang over the changing table, but it’s close.

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Meet Sam

There’s something strangely symbolic about having a baby as spring arrives. New life surrounded by new life.

My original c-section was scheduled for March 20, the first day of spring, but given various complications, my c-section was moved up to March 13. Which means this baby is already a week old!

I’m still working on his birth story post, but in a nutshell, this c-section experience was WAY different than my first one in almost every possible way. Some good, some bad. The best news is that S didn’t have to go to NICU. We had only one low blood sugar reading, but after a feeding, things stabilized and we no longer had to test his sugars after the first day. Hallelujah! All those appointments and pills and dieting and testing and insulin shots and finger pricking actually worked! And because of that, I can now say it was all so very worth it.

Having him here and part of our family has been nothing short of amazing. Having already gone through the newborn stage before, I appreciate these early days so much more. I have a hard time putting him down, even though my entire body aches. He’s so much smaller than D was and I both love it and hate it. Love it because we can actually use newborn size clothes and diapers and it’s all just so freakin’ cute. Hate it because he’s SO TINY and fragile and I worry about how much he’s eating, if it’s enough, and how to fatten him up faster.

Speaking of D, everyone’s been asking me what he thinks of the new baby. The fact of the matter is, he doesn’t think much at all of him, except when he cries. When he cries, D will run to him to check things out. If the hubs is changing the baby’s diaper and he’s crying, D will hug my husband’s leg. But unless this baby is making his presence known, D really doesn’t pay much attention to him. And it took almost an entire week before D finally stole one of S’s pacis. I consider that a pretty good run.

I’ll try to get the birth post up in the next few days, while it’s still fairly fresh in my mind.

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It’s been a few weeks since I had to make some major diet changes to help manage my gestational diabetes and I think I’m FINALLY starting to get the hang of it.

While gestational diabetes only affects a small percentage of pregnant women, I’m sure I can speak for most expectant ladies when I say that many of us want to have the healthiest pregnancy possible while also minimizing the weight gain we’ll need to lose once the baby is born. So I wanted to share this low-carb recipe that has become a fast favorite in my household that anyone wanting to watch their carbs can appreciate. This is also a great recipe for #MeatlessMondays, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

I’m a huge fan of pasta. Ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, you name it. If it’s noodles, cheese, and a delicious sauce – red, white, I’m not picky – I’ll devour it. Now that I have gestational diabetes, pasta is off the table, quite literally. Sure, there are lower-carb versions, but the serving sizes allowed to still stay within my recommended limits are just SO SMALL. It’s not worth it. Instead, I turn to my beloved spaghetti squash to help me get my pasta fix.

Here’s what I do:

First, prepare the squash. There are a few different ways you can do this, which you’re free to Google, but here’s how I do it:

Preheat the oven to 375.  Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. (I’m a weakling so if the hubs is around, I have him do the cutting.) Rub a little olive oil over the insides and place the cut sides face down on a baking sheet. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the flesh of the squash is easily pierced with a fork. Once it’s done, scoop out the squash with a fork or large spoon (it’ll look like a little like spaghetti), season with garlic salt and pepper and set aside.

Don’t turn off the oven. You’ll use it again in a minute.

In another bowl, I mix together a 1:1 ratio of ricotta cheese and cottage cheese. I don’t really measure it, but I eyeball about half a container of each so that in about a week I can use the rest of both containers for another batch or a different recipe.

In a baking dish, I put half the squash on the bottom, cover with half the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture, pour a thin layer of spaghetti sauce, sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella, and repeat – squash, ricotta/cottage cheese, sauce, mozzarella. And then I top it all off with some parmesan. Yes, I realize that’s a lot of dairy/cheese, but if you use mostly low-fat products and keep the layers thin, it’s not bad.

Pop the baking dish back in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and almost turning brown. If your dish is really deep, better to cover it with aluminum foil and let it bake for closer to 25 minutes to make sure the middle gets nice and warm to melt the cheese.

The result:

lasagna

It’s so good you won’t even miss real pasta noodles.

Just as a recap, here’s your ingredient list:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 container Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 container cottage cheese
  • 1 pkg mozzarella (I use about 1/2-3/4 of the entire package)
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Parmesan
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

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