Thursday, November 12, 2015


Charlotte and I took our first Mommy-Lotti trip, to North Carolina. I spent the entire week prior packing during nap times so that I felt as prepared as possible for two 9-hour days of travel and a week away from home (also to satisfy some freakish compulsion to be organized and in control of things that intimidate me).

If Delta didn't think an overstuffed diaper bag, bulging *CK hobo and a baby carrier (fit for Everest should we chose to climb it someday) were appropriate for the allotted carry-on allowance, well...they had another thing coming.  *Become a mom and kiss wearing your favorite purses goodbye, unless you can stuff some blankets and bottles in them and take them on a flight. Booya.

The first leg, to Minneapolis, went better than expected. The subtle motion of the plane taking off was enough to rock my little pook to sleep for almost the entire flight. Her awake time was spent snacking on puffs (best baby time waster ever) and being entertained by whatever tricks were pulled out of my totally normal sized bags.
I specified that was the first leg right?

5am Happy Girl

Almost to our layover, still happy.  She's got plans for me.
The second was quite another story.  I can only describe my state as sweaty, frustrated, on edge and perhaps a little frantic. All of course because Charlotte's state was...psychotic.  Yes, even the best and cutest of babies become complete mental cases from time to time.  She chose the 4 hour flight to be that time.

The gal in our row seemed nice enough.  I questioned the positioning of her cell phone (why is it some girls chose to prop it in their cleavage? For another time I suppose...) Her patience was much appreciated, but not as necessary as that of the flight attendants. They were forced to share their tiny flight attendant area with me and my screaming child. Because of the standard air bus layout, this meant we also shared the HUGE corridor between the bathrooms with all passengers behind row 15. FanFRIGENtastic. Even the buckle-your-safety-belt sign didn't deter me from the stake I had claimed.  If anyone, including Frowny Magee in the last row thought it would somehow be better for me to return to my seat with said screaming baby, they were just as nuts as Charlotte.

We finally touched down and what do you know, Lotti chilled out and the clearly annoyed passengers  around us realized she happens to be the most charming little girl in the whole wide world.  I mean that dimple and those big 'ol eyes- good luck holding a grudge against my kid.

Nothing cheered me up quicker (lowered my blood pressure is more like it) than the sight of my very best friend and her two kiddos holding a sign that read "Welcome to Charlotte Charlotte!" Ah, we had arrived.

In addition to non-stop gabbing (dishing, get the picture) it was the BEST to be around my bud that I can talk to about all things baby and non-baby related. It can be tough to get a word in edgewise in a group of women (ok, group of moms particularly- no offense, it's just that we have so much to SHARE-one of my reasons for blogging-helloooooo?) I think Steph and I really give each other the respect we deserve.

Just a few of the simple tidbits I took away from our trip:
1. Preparations and Intentions only go so far and sometimes you just have to be the lady with the screaming baby. It's God's way of humbling us.
2. No matter how much trouble I am having with patience for the teething and growing 11-month old,  if someone else shows signs of such, well...Mama Bear has been poked and that's not advisable.
3. Putting a bunch of food on your baby's tray and letting her feed herself may be messy but boy is it fun.
4. When people visit your house, you should absolutely have a Welcome Basket in their room. Mostly because it's the best thing ever.
5. Pumpkin candles burning in the kitchen are amazing. duh.
6. Putting cute clothes on in the morning IS an option, even though you're a stay-at-home mom
7. Not everyone's baby poops in the bathtub.
8. Not everyone's new non-California city is as small as Boise. Whaaaat?
9. Traveling will never be the same again. Being away from the father of my child (my one and only boo) is tougher than ever before.
10. I am so blessed and thankful for my besties. We represent more than a few states now (not officially, although I wouldn't count it out #whydoIlovepolitics), and even still, when we are together it's like we're still roomies/dormmates #collegespeakfroma31yearold

I've been working slowly on this post since we got up today at 5:38am.
There's more to come on our travels back home...Second leg troubles us again and this time with an overbearing helper.

Happy Thursday and Go Tar Heels.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It only took a YEAR

Last night I had my first, yes FIRST, night out with just girls!  I really hate saying "girlfriends" because I shouldn't need to specify since I'm probably not hanging out with a bunch of dudes. Since I'm not cliche when it comes to calling every female-non-relative in my world a "girlfriend" I have to make up for it elsewhere...I called last night's event a "Moms' Night Out."  That's right.  I planned it and called it a MOMS' NIGHT OUT. What have I become? Answer: A mom...who likes Happy Hour every now and then for cryin' outloud

We moved to Idaho on October 6, 2014 and to be clear, it did NOT take me this long to make friends. It did however take approximately a year to get them all in one restaurant without husbands and children present. Apparently not everyone is of the camp that there are times when men and kids should be left at home. To you I say, Welcome.

I was actually a bit nervous.  And that's completely ridiculous in my opinion (of course it's my opinion, it's my blog).  For most of my adult life I've taken great pride in finding it easy to be social, workin' a room, things like this. Most of my besties (really? no "girlfriends" but "besties" are okay?) would agree that I tend to be the planner of the crew, making sure everyone is together, no one is left out etc. Not much makes me uncomfortable and I feel completely in my element when I'm around a ton of people.

Welp, Idaho has done something to me.  I was trying to figure out whether this new (and awkward) deal stemmed from having a baby, being over 30...?  Nope.  It's being in a completely new place and having to start from scratch making friends; *gals if you will.
*If you're a gal, you know it. Think "bestie" but on a deeper level. Only the real lucky ones have a bunch of GALS!

Here's what I've decided:
This is just a different time of life. I won't be staying up all night talking to these new friends, or spending days at a time with them OR living with them, getting drunk and stupid with them, going through bad breakups with them...things have CHANGED! My gals will be my gals forever and making more gals is just not really in the cards.  I am embracing the newbie friends, but with a reasonable and healthy expectation. No pressure!

Leading up to the evening, which I've established will be a monthly occurrence and everyone is excited about the prospect, I kept going back and forth on whether I should bring a dessert for everyone to the restaurant (nerd alert) or perhaps make them all a little something...maybe a card with a bible verse on it?  I mean, they're all members at our church, they probably like that kinda thing.

Then I decided that I don't like making stuff and unless it was someone's birthday, I probably wouldn't bring dessert to a dinner out with friends.  And that's what this was- dinner out with friends.

So... I dunno...maybe just be a normal human being and stop trying so damn hard!
Ok fine.

I didn't bring dessert or any weird little cards. I mean, I was literally playing with the idea of using my laminator.  What is wrong with me? And the night turned out great.

I even taught some new friends what a Moscow Mule was.  ONLY the coolest drink that comes in a copper mug! DER. They think I'm the wildest woman they've ever met.  I also have the reputation of having a really clean house- what more could I ask for?

So the journey continues...balancing my family, new friends, gals, and trying to feel like myself while doing it all- instead of that weird girl who brought a bundt cake to a sushi restaurant.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Bed, Bath, Bikes and Booze

All I want is a King bed and a big bathtub.

These were my non-negotiables as the hub and I discussed the specs for our recent Anniversary celebration.

Not only did my wish for a bed and a bath come true, but bikes and booze were on the scene too. I feel like a degenerate saying booze (instead of something nicer like "cocktails") but there's kind of an alliteration thing going on here so...

We are creatures of habit and usually go to a fancy steakhouse on our anniversary.  It's always a chance to dress nice, have a long and quiet dinner (except for romantic talk of the previous year's adventures and what the future holds- huh?!).  Of course dropping some dough on a nice meal without feeling guilty is always appealing too. We then continue the evening by staying somewhere for the night.  Last year was especially memorable since it was our last summer in San Diego and I was pregnant with our now 7-month old baby.

This year things are just so different.

Literally all I wanted was a King bed (I would be sleeping through the entire night- hello?!) and that big 'ol tub that would be a welcome change from my usual bathing-with-the-baby routine. What can I say I'm a multi-tasker? Those two amenities paired with couple time (only fogies saying "couple time")...does it get any better?

Yes, it does.  When you add in BIKES and BOOZE my friends! We decided a casual evening, blowing off a little steam (another fogey saying), would be more appropriate than a formal dinner setting. From *Anniversary Inn, we walked into downtown Boise to the nearest rental rack. Thanks @BoiseGreenBike ! I hadn't ridden in a while and whadoya know it was just like riding a bike ;)
*I could go on for days about staying in The Presidential Suite at Anniversary Inn, where we may or may not have called each other Ronald and Nancy for 24 hours. That's not weird.

Central Downtown
So we basically bar hopped all night. Riding around a downtown that is small enough to ride completely around is pretty great. If you've prematurely judged Boise, ID I think you should take a step back, gather yourself and reconsider how COOL it really is. Being cool is super important. 

Since I had so much fun, after thanking my thoughtful husband/best friend in the whole world (aww now that's cute isn't it?) I decided I'd give a shout out to the various Idahoan spots we patronized:

1st stop: Bardenay. Sure they're known for their housemade whiskey, but I say GET a margarita whenever you don't have a baby with you. 

2nd stop: Chandlers Boise We hit the Lounge, not the Dining Room...I told you it was a casual night, just a couple of kids on the town.  The lounge act, brews and filet sliders were ridiculous.

3rd stop: The Matador I've never had a spicier Marg in my life! Mamacita! In case you're wondering, that was my second marg of the night, with a beer in between...a beer sandwich if you will. 

4th stop: Pie Hole When you've been drinking, you eventually need to eat something substantial, like a slice from Pie Hole..alongside a PBR (Hipster right?)

5th and final stop: Space Bar. Pinball and canned Sapporo. YES.  I'm pretty sure we'll be transforming our front room into a Game room 'cause....playing games is a great way to spend your time.  And who hangs out in their "sitting room" anyway?  No one that wants to have fun.

In Conclusion: I love my husband and I love Boise.

The End.

Now go hop on a bike and get crunk.
(said the white mom)

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Bachelorette-Who's Left

Here is my quick and dirty on the remaining Bachelor contestants (and a few other poor schmucks)...

Shawn: Ryan Gosling + Matthew Maconahay
Shawn is still hanging in there but I'm thinkin' he blew it with his overzealousness about being "the one" and his deep seeded hatred for Nick. If you ask me, and you obviously did, Kaitlyn is over it but doesn't want to send him home.  Wouldn't it be the BEST if in real life we called dumping people "sending them home?"  She told Shawn about her premature naughty night specifically because she wants him to break up with her.  Then she doesn't have to! You feel me?
Eager Beaver

Nick: The guy you should stay away from
We all know his kind. He wants what he can't have...and seriously wears skinny jeans and man sweaters all. the. time. It's just too much. A glimpse into Nick's head- "This chick is cool (and totally puts out) buuuuut if she doesn't chose me, here's hopin' for the next Bachelor pick!"  You wish.

Ben is where it's at, for Kaitlyn that is. I'm a happily married woman DUH. Shawn and Nick will "split the vote" so to speak and Ben will win, which in this case means get married (what world do we live in?) This is at least what I hope will happen.  It's seemingly likely however that Sweater Jones actually will win, since Kait has become sort of an idiot. I don't get much from Ben and perhaps that's ABC's stab at a plot twist. There could be more going on between he and Kait. Who's to say? I have just enough time to watch the show (illegally downloaded without commercials) and blog about it twice.  There's just no room in my life to speculate beyond what Chris Harrison gives me.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner?

I'm gonna need to throw a little something out there about Jared, Joe and Cupcake Obviously they're gone now, but I think some kudos are in order. 

I think you look like Seneca Crane from the Hunger Games. The way you left was really, really sweet.  I like you a lot more now...that you've been sent home.

You're hilarious and I'm sorry Kaitlyn doesn't find you more attractive.

I was rooting for you for a WHILE.  Your teeth and hair are phenomenal. I still don't really get the cupcake ride up. I thought arriving in toothpaste or a toothbrush would have made a little more sense and therefore a better joke.  Anyway, you made my night when you completely lost it with crying and self-talk.  "Get it together Chris.  I didn't think you'd cry!" (it went something like that)  Oh man...too good. PS I hope they rescued you from that mountaintop.

Monday night,
What is in store????!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Oh Come on Kaitlyn!

So up until this week I had respect for Kaitlyn.  She was straight forward, appropriately confrontational, confident and fun. I was even willing to look past the double bird elbow tats and constant reminder that she likes to rap. Well, I lost half of that well deserved respect the week she let Old-News-Nick  join the perspective husbands team- or as ABC calls them, The Cast.
This tool shows up aaaaaand....POOF! Typical stupid girl appears within minutes! It was almost magical.

Here's what's happening Kait...I'm writing to her directly because I'm sure no one else on the internet is doing that right now.
Some hipster you were once "talking to" (code for he used texting you as a cure for boredom) is now back on the scene after ya'll mysteriously "lost touch." The simple fact is this: you are getting a LOT of attention from a bunch of other dudes ON A NATIONAL TELEVISION SHOW THAT CHRIS HARRISON HOSTS and Nick has once again become curious.  Or maybe not even curious (curiosity can be a good thing) he's probably just well...bored...again! Did I mention his life is boring? I mean really, who has the time to, as they say, "put life on hold," not once but TWICE to go galavanting (in skinny jeans) around ABC? Are you seriously getting yourself involved in this douschebaggary? You have like ten other options!  All of which would like to get to know you better, not just sleep with you. Which brings me to my next point...

Really?  You slept with HIM?!  The other half of the respect is now no longer existent. Girl, don't you know how this works?  Sleeping with people is what the "Fantasy Suite" is "stay as a couple"...does this not sound familiar? It's literally the entire purpose of that episode. You can't start throwing it around on week seven. What's the matter with you?!  You're not Bachelor Ben and you just can't get away with this. I can't even WAIT to see how these other guys (that you constantly refer to as "such a great group of guys") respond when they get a load of this!

You blew it.  Big time.

Even if you end up with Touchy Magee in the end, this is not a recipe for success because guess what?  He just unlocked every ounce of mystery (and power- what?! Don't kid yourself) that you once had.  You're toast.

Until next time...I'd like to analyze each remaining contestant.

I just can't even help myself.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What a hip post

With millennials home for summer, I've become hyper aware of the various lists that hit the internet scene daily...I think I've heard "Buzz Feed" referencecd at least 3-5 times in the last two weeks. Let's face it, I'm not cool at all so knowing what's going on is probably a step in the right direction.  Or shall I say knowing what's "hip." (No one says "hip" without "ster" at the end of it anymore, what a shame...that everyone is a Hipster...not the sudden halt in using the word "hip," just so we're clear)

My little six month old princess is keeping me busy these days, babies sleep less as the months go on, did you know that?  I didn't. And so...writing has become quite a commodity. This is a real tragedy when my morning caffeine rush has blog ideas flying like mad in this head of mine.  If only I could get them all down, what a substantial difference I could make in the world!

So today, in honor of this generation's A.D.D kids and my lack of time, I give you a list.

A list of things that I can no longer live without, now that I'm....30?  A mom? Lame?

Costco. Damn I love Costco.
25 minute work out videos. Sure I'm supposed to do them 6 days of the week. Uh, we work toward 3.  Weekends are just not an option (no one works out while they BBQ, camp and shoot guns- because that's what we do on weekends #Idaho) and well, sometimes 25 more minutes of getting the house in ship shape is just more appealing during nap time. OCD.
K'Tan.  What's a K'Tan you ask?  Only the best baby soother/cuddler/traveling item ever made. Charlotte and I enjoy a little K'Tan time down by the river.  Don't worry we don't live in a van.
Aero Press. Look it up.  Then go to Bed Bath and Beyond and enjoy it. Note:  I really should get some advertisers on this blog.  Isn't that what legit bloggers do?  I mean, I could promote the hell out of anything related to baby stuff, coffee and dry shampoo.
Lululemon. I hate myself for writing this. I tend to mock whatever the latest ridiculously popular trend is (see hating on Hipsters opener above).  But I gotta say, after years of Lululemon workout gear being all the rage and lovingly referred to as "Lulu's" (barf), I have conformed and become that fricken mom that wears their designer workout pants every day.  I'm so sorry. But it is the way things have to be. I mean, $95 spandex is super reasonable.
Boise Milk. If I had a blog devoted to life as an Idahoan (there's only so much time in a  day) I would probably reference Boise Milk as much as 20 year olds reference Buzz Feed. Then I would get them to advertise on my blog. What? We discovered that Boise Milk is the best milk in the whole world. While we are not Organic-Only shoppers (just like time, there is a limit on how much money can be devoted to produce and dairy) we do dig organic milk in a major way. Best part: Boise Milk gets delivered to our doorstep Thursday mornings in glass jugs.  Yup.  That's livin'.
Gardening. I've never felt more accomplished than the moment I saw my spinach, romaine, squash, roses, petunias and California poppies bloom.  Didn't you deliver a child recently?  Yes I did.

Okay most cool lists of insignificant things are 10 items long.  Mine is 7.  Can't be too "in."  Plus Charlotte is getting up any minute and Mama needs a shower.

Happy Tuesday and may the silly things you can't live without give you joy today.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I'll never...Part III: What's that Baby doing in my Bedroom?

I am a very "black and white" person...mostly white (okay sometimes red).  I realize at 30, and through some early 20's counseling that this kind of thinking often doesn't work. In the past it was a method of self-protection, now its purpose is to create a nice platform for me to be opinionated.

Before Charlotte came, I had many black and white ideas about caring for her. I disclaimed most of them with something like, "But I'll just go with the flow, see how it goes..."


The reality is parents have NO CHOICE but to go with the flow, unless they want to spend a lot of their time being frustrated. I say all this to preempt sharing about my baby that sleeps in my room.

Having Charlotte occupy her expensive (and not to mention coordinated-with-our-bedding) bassinet for hmmm 4-6 weeks, then move smoothly into her beautifully thought out crib was just a lovely idea. Almost as good as breastfeeding and keeping her away from the pre-3-month binky! Obviously I would "go with the flow" but we all knew that baby would be sleeping in her nursery as soon as possible.  Because well...I like sleep and I'd obviously have a super "independent" newborn.  Especially since she's a girl.  Girls should be independent (it's just that black and white).

We just hit 4 months- that's 16 weeks, a little longer than 4-6 wouldn't ya say?  And we're not even close to kicking her out. That's literally how I would I was kicking her out. Luckily (or strategically) she's not in our bed, just merely sharing the room. She hated her basinet from Day 1 (Note to self: Sell that puppy on Craigslist). I actually don't know anyone that doesn't share that narrative regarding bassinets.  So why on earth do we all buy them?  Or get other people to buy them for us by putting them on our lofty list of items that we want aka The Registry?

Charlotte prefers to slumber next to our bed in the good 'ol Rock & Play- a piece of baby gear I've referenced before, lovingly gifted to us by her Mimi and Auntie. My rather accommodating child hits the R & P around 7pm and doesn't make a peep until 5 or 6am, then goes back to sleep after some grub until around 8/8:30 (bragging). Having her in our bedroom works for us.  Perhaps if she were a snoring baby I might be inclined to get her out sooner.

Since we have a trip coming up (CALI BABY!) I'll be postponing "crib training" until the time is right. Everything has a name- "Crib Training..." why would I just say "Putting her in the crib..." #thebabyindustry.  My husband hates hipster verbiage even more than I do (now that's a soulmate).  If I conform to this phenomenon now and then and say things like "Meal Prep" he quickly pipes in "you mean preparing our meals?" Thank the Lord my man keeps me in check! My next post is about my most recent conformity- having nothing to do with baby stuff by the way.

And so with a baby who is sustained by FORMULA (and now a little rice cereal- cutest thing ever), a BINKY and a bed that lives in MY goes on.  Everyone is happy and healthy.  Imagine that!

Charlotte beginning her total surrender to the Rock & Play at 3 weeks old.
Of course Binky makes an appearance here as well

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I'll never...Part II: That Damn Binky

Since I was clearly going to breastfeed my child (only weirdos have problems breastfeeding), we were never planning to visit Binky Town, USA.  Maybe after three months of age, when we were past:

1. Confusing her #nippleconfusionhuh?
2. Making her lazy #thoselazyinfants

Then Day 8 of Charlotte's life was here.  Not only was she all up on the formula, but I was super into any pacifying I could get my hands on. And so we packed our judgy bags and hit the BINK.

We hit it hard.

I can't tell you how many moms see pictures of my kid with bink-in-mouth and say "I wish (insert cool kid's name) would have taken the binky!" Apparently regardless of the extensive literature against pacifiers these days, most moms would prefer to risk the terrifying ill effects of the binky and make their kid happy again.  I say "again" because literally seconds ago he/she was in fact happy.  Then the wind blew, they got pissed and you had to decide:  Baby wrath or Binky Town?

Lotti is outgrowing her bink a bit on her own at this point since she has discovered her thumb, and entire fist that is much more satisfying to stick in her mouth.

Of course there is much to learn out there (who has the time to write all these books???) about the thumb vs. pacifier.
You can't take away their thumb.
They don't need you to soothe (by giving them the bink) if they use their thumb
Dentists say....
and on and on.

Again, I leave you with my ongoing lesson and sentiment:

Note:  Real hashtags were not used in this's merely a way to make fun of our social media and world at large.

Same day:
To Bink or not to Bink?
Charlotte's biggest dilemma 

Coming Soon
Part III: What's that Baby doing in my Bedroom?

Monday, March 16, 2015

I'll never... PART I

I don't know about you but I really enjoying knowing everything.  Obviously I. Know. Everything.
Especially about babies, even before I had a baby...and now that I have one- watch out.

Like every other mom,  I could talk all day long about being a mom and my kids (*don't forget they range from 3.5 months to almost 20).  We've got lots to say.  Sometimes we even emulate a bunch of hens clucking, it's impressive. What I want to share most recently are three things I KNEW I would never do as a mom. For the sake of this three part post we'll stick to things I'd never do with the baby- my journey with female teenagers is flawless...or would just take too long to write out
*Obviously I started having babies at 11 years old. PSYCH.  It's a much better story than that. 

I figure I'll start with the biggie.  It's mostly "big" because everyone else thinks it is...

Don't be confused.  I never KNEW I wouldN'T breastfeed.  On the contrary, I knew I wouldn't bottle feed. Funny thing, just like everything else in life, you can't CONTROL whether or not you have to bottle feed (for me, because I couldn't breastfeed) Zing.

I thought we were doing great in the hospital after Charlotte was born.  It felt so right and she seemed to be pretty into it too. I cherish those early weeks of feeding her this way, especially since now she is very connected to my chest and loves falling asleep there- can ya blame a kid?  Those make for a pretty cozy pillow.  God knew what he was doing with that Eve gal.

While I did try to breastfeed for almost a month, we were forced to supplement with formula on day 4 of Lotti's life. Another situation that proves the rule: Follow your instincts.  Sweet girl was born on a Friday and by Monday morning I knew something was wrong. She was not getting what she needed out of me, no matter how much I wanted to provide that sustenance for her. If I wasn't producing and giving her the only food she could consume, how was I any different than someone that wasn't her mother? Note:  I also thought I'd NEVER think such irrational things. I mean, dramatic much?

After three weeks of 30 minute pumping seshes (so miserable) only to get drops of breastmilk, and making my poor baby so frustrated that she was doing so great at feeding but reaping nothing- we went 100% formula.  In all honestly, she was getting100% all along, I was just giving her the mere drops I could on top of it...literally on top- I would pour my pathetic amount of milk from the pump bottle on top of her already assembled formula bottle.

I had talked (and cried to) a feeding consultant, I had done everything I could- including drinking a few beers, a very medically proven way to stimulate production and feel better about life.  And it just wasn't in the cards for us.

My expert advise for new mothers in my predicament (remember, I DO know it all):
1. Talk to your husband about it often.  He will listen and be much more logical about the whole thing than you are. He doesn't want to see you or his newborn struggling so hard.
2. Stop worrying about what other people think.  No one is really judging you.  And if they are...they probably need to get some sort of hobby. I was going to write "screw 'em" but I decided to be nice...then I wrote it I'm not really that nice I guess.
3.  Enjoy every minute of feeding your sweet baby their bottle.  Charlotte and I LOVE bottle time.  Her daddy loves it too.  Our eyes never leave each other and I am so satisfied knowing she is thriving and super into her "bubba." Watching your baby lose weight because she's not getting enough to eat (from said breast) is just NOT cool.
4. Use this as an opportunity to practice being okay with doing what works for you, not what you thought or KNEW you'd do.

Upcoming Part II: That Damn Binky.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

5 Day Slim Down stolen version

If this is confusing it's because you haven't read my last post.  Take a few moments...

So as promised I'm posting more detail on Tone it Up's Five Day Slim Down that I'm attempting this week. Even though I've been walking daily and doing things like lunges blah blah blah, getting in shape after having a baby is just not happening quick enough.  I thought I'd try something a little dramatic for a jump start of sorts.

Below is the plan (Perhaps a variation of it- finding things on random blogs can be like playing telephone). Keep in mind that I've added the times that I do everything so that you get an idea of the schedule, obviously the intervals are more important than the actual time shown. I took the awake hours of my day (not including 2am and 5am feedings) and divided by the amount of "meals." You're smart, I'm sure you could've guessed that.

8am Bombshell Spell- see last post for recipe.
Yesterday (Monday) was my first day and I sorta wanted to barf a little as I'm not accustomed to drinking apple cider vinegar- ew.  Today was much more tolerable and the fact that it's just over 1/2 cup of liquid definitely helps. It's not the first thing I want in the morning but it's not terrible and knowing that I get coffee just an hour later (my own addition to this plan) makes everything doable.

8:30am AM Workout
30 minutes of Cardio. I have been doing HIIT or Full Body workouts on TIU's site, since 1) it's freezing outside and 2) While my husband is awesome and will take our kid in the morning, I feel more comfortable working out at home just in case they need me! Today I actually had a legit sweat going.  Maybe I tried harder or something.  It was quite satisfying.

9am Breakfast- Protein and fruit.
I don't know exactly how much of each so I've been doing 1 piece or serving of fruit and 2 eggs. I'm a little weird about texture, so the popular protein packed Greek yogurt isn't my thing, although you'll find this as an example of a good breakfast on just about every diet including this one.

Coffee is super important to me.  For this week, I won't add milk to it- that's as far as I'm willing to go.

11am Snack-1 piece of fruit
Monday I had a banana and today I packed an apple. I figure fruit on the go should be hard so that it doesn't get smashed. Now that's thinkin.

Charlotte was in her seat and on the table because we were just about to leave for our walk.  This isn't part of the "plan" but we like walking every day anyway.  Plus it's been a good way for Mommy to make friends. That's what groups of stay-at-home moms do- they walk.

12pm Healthy Drink that's not water
This plan has you drinking non-water drinks or juice all the time. Again, I don't know the portion (probably important) so to play it safe I use a small 6oz glass.  Monday I had Diet Cran Pomegranate juice mixed with some sparkling water and today since I wasn't at home (I was actually on a farm- my life is weird) I had just the juice packed in a Nalgene bottle, in our diaper bag.

1pm Lunch- Wrap with greens and protein
I was so hungry I didn't take a picture- yesterday or today.  Yesterday I had turkey, avocado and romaine on two small whole wheat wraps.  Today I used last night's left over lean pork and put that in a wrap.  I heart Protein.

3pm Healthy Drink
Light Grapefruit juice. Today and yesterday...No one specified "Light" juices but I couldn't imagine drinking a bunch of full sugar juice being a good idea.  Doesn't the Ruby Red look delightful?

5pm Smoothie or Juice
Our Vitamix still scares me so I have yet to make smoothies.  Yesterday I had some OJ and pineapple mixed, and today I will try the Coconut "drink" that I bought.  I imagine this was just the less expensive version of "Coconut water." I mean really, a tiny bottle for $4.99- I just don't think so.  We'll see what everyone is raving about...I probably won't like it ;)

5:30pm PM Workout
I like a Strength and Toning video for the day OR if something is feeling like it needs special help, video for that.  For example, yesterday I did an arm/back video and some abs. Today I have a 35 minute Kettle Bell video in store.  Hopefully little baby is asleep, otherwise I'll be taking lots of breaks. Unfortunately??? All this workout has to be is "something that gets your heart rate up" for 30 minutes.

7pm Dinner- Protein and 2 cups of veggies, healthy fat and sometimes wheat stuff. 
Last night I had pork tenderloin that I had crock potted all day, a little avocado and asparagus.  Tonight I'll make asparagus again, some chicken and have just one cup of brown rice. I think the actual plan uses a lot of the TIU recipes but they all seem to have this combo going on.  Truthfully I don't do most of the cooking in my house, so when I do (like this week since my needs are so specific!) we keep it simple.

I put the pork in the crockpot and poured some marinara and spicy salsa over the top.  Done.

9pm Dessert- 1 piece of fruit
...and a little cinnamon.  I took a picture of this combo this morning instead of last night. It was a beautiful presentation but I was too anxious to get back to my husband and my battle of epic proportions.  Yea, we're playing Axis and Allies this week.  #Nerdalert
What a sweet treat after tucking in that baby...and you can see our set up in the background.  Looks like the German troops have a real upper hand...until tonight.

Well I only have 30 minutes until my 3:00 Healthy Drink, so I'm off to throw in a load of laundry and clean up the kitchen.  Exciting!

Peace & Love.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tone it it forward

While my sister was visiting us in Idaho (by the way, please visit us in Idaho) we discussed fitness and dieting per our usual obligatory slew of topics.  She turned me onto Tone it Up. As always, I'm behind on anything that is cool.  I'm sure Tone it Up is old news, but still all the rage. 

I have been doing their free videos that work on any and all body parts and their HIIT's, High Intensity interval Trainings.  All amazing.  The best part, my baby is willing to sit in her *Rock and Play and watch me for up to 12 minutes. The "Rock and Play" is the only way my child will sleep outside of our bed. It's a miracle worker and the best piece of baby gear we own. 

Tomorrow I'm starting Tone It Up's 5 Day Slim Down.  This is not a free product like the videos...getting this information is part of the $150 Nutrition plan that I will not be purchasing. Instead, I scoured the internet and found bits and pieces of the plan, put them together on a piece of lined paper on my fridge and hit the grocery store for lots of produce and juices, including Coconut "drink" which I normally would be 100% against.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Since I found getting stolen information so helpful, I'm going to go ahead and spend the next 5 minutes before Charlotte's bedtime paying it forward and sharing it with you.  "Pay it Forward" is another cool thing (or at least was in 2010) that I would normally steer away from (not actually doing, but saying) but we're short on time and I'm trying to blog and bounce a 9 week old in her Infintino all at the same time. Note:  The Infintino is $18 on Amazon and basically a front-backpack that is Dad friendly and not the $200 Ergo.

This isn't a fitness or mom blog per say, but there are sprinklings throughout.

The Bombshell Spell Recipe:
This is the first thing you ingest each morning on the Slim Down.  I just made it and will throw it down the hatch tomorrow before my AM workout.

1/2 Cup Pineapple juice
1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TSP Honey
Splash of Lime Juice

Shown: The Ingredients and our "Catch All" which  is great for OCD people that can't handle keys, sunglasses and mail on countertops.  My husband asked me if I went to Machu Picchu when I brought it home.

This is what's on the other side of that counter- Butter and Wine.  What can I say?

I'll be posting more on this plan as the week goes on, including what the plan actually is beyond the elixir shown above.

Nighty Night!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I mentioned in my last post that I had plans to write about delivering my Charlotte. I have thought about this a lot to be certain that I'm not putting down all the details for the wrong reasons.  It's like every girl on The Bachelor,  "I'm here for the right reasons." Apparently there are wrong reasons- none of us are here for any of those. I love that all the girls say they wouldn't be there for any other guy...just Chris (or whatever dude is the Bach that season)  Ummmm, I'm preeeeeetty sure you would be. For another post...

I want to put my experience down "on paper" for a couple reasons: 1. I think what I went through (call it my "Birth story" if you want- I won't stop you) is an example of having to put expectations and "Birth plans" (ugh) aside and work with what you've got.  2. If you are having similar issues or the same potential roadblocks that I had, perhaps you'll be encouraged and able to relate to a real person- that would be me. and 3rd. I'm not sure, I'll start writing and we'll see what deep life lesson we end up with.

It's really easy to "decide" everything related to having a baby. You decide to get pregnant, decide on seeing a certain doctor and delivering at a certain hospital, you decide what interventions you will and won't use and how the whole thing will go down.  Well, deciding all those things is just fine.  But guess what?  You're not in charge. And once baby is born, you're still not in charge. I have never met a human under 8 pounds with so much authority.  

My husband and I decided we'd start trying to have a baby in late 2014. I come from pretty fertile stock, just ask any of my 49 cousins. Even with that, we were surprised and elated when I got pregnant the very first month. Soon after...we were shocked and devastated when I had an early miscarriage. Our faith gave us hope that our first baby was meant to be in heaven before we even met and that the next time would be seen to fruition. I'm very fortunate to have gotten pregnant again just three months later. Last Christmas we were mourning such a loss, and this Christmas we held a three week old, perfect baby girl. Our decisions didn't matter and we couldn't have planed how things went. While this part of the process isn't typically part of one's "birth story," it's an important piece of my process in learning how to let go of my expectations and plans...and work with what the moment has to offer.

During my pregnancy with Lotti I blogged about nausea, the common symptoms I had (during the appropriate and expected trimesters by the way) and how all was pretty textbook, even my almost-daily bloody noses.  Our baby was going to be delivered in San Diego by a sophisticated doctor that I loved and trusted...and all was well. Then, we were led to move out of California *We ended up in Idaho- and yes there are potatoes here. Although it wasn't our plan and decision initially, at 7 months pregnant, we packed it up and moved to the Gem state.  New everything included a new doctor and new hospital...and soon, a new plan.  By the way, how was a state other than super cool California going to know about all the natural, hippie stuff I wanted for my birth?

About two weeks after moving I was itchier than all get out. Yes- itchy. Something told me to call my nurse. Always listen to your intuition! I had Cholostasis of Pregnancy otherwise known as "Itchy moms." Managing this odd liver/genetically related diagnosis includes delivering early and therefore being induced. Again, not my plan. On the bright side, having baby girl arrive earlier in the month (it was December) meant less interference with Christmas. So there was that.

Now we get to the good stuff. I should preface this by saying that if you have a weak stomach (and are male- the combo could be deadly) or just have no interest in having-babies-talk... You may want to STOP reading here. 

After finding out about the Cholostasis, my doctor gave me weekly ultrasounds to make sure baby was still chillin- but not chillin too much. My girl always passed her baby tests; doing flips in there, fetal breathing and even showing off with occasional hiccups. Dr also began examining me (gals you know what "examining" means when you're at an OBGYN's office).  If by some miracle I was dilating early, inducing wouldn't have been quite as much of an ordeal. How amazing it would have been to go into labor spontaneously before 40 weeks. This didn't happen so much. 

With our doctor, we made a plan to insert (yup, I just said "insert") a balloon catheter inside me in hopes that it would cause me to dilate.  I needed to have Charlotte as close to 38 weeks as possible to ensure she would be born healthy and alive. Yes, ALIVE. The catheter had a small balloon and once inside was filled with fluid to help make things expand (somehow writing "expand" is so much worse than writing "insert.") To keep our minds off my balloon filled cervix, my husband, father who made the trip out to ID, and I decided to go to a brewery and grab some dinner. Normal things. After a pulled pork sandwich, warm bath and rest by our fireplace, I actually was able to get comfortable enough to sleep through the night in preparation for the big day. If I went in the next morning and was dilated enough (whatever that means), delivering without Potocin (the synthetic wannabe of the hormone Oxotocin that makes you labor) was a slim but potential option. I would likely have to be put on that B and if you've looked into "natural childbirth methods" this is not exactly in line, nor does it make it easy to forgo pain medication based on what a B it really is, lemme tell ya. I checked in at 7am and was on Potocin by 8:30. Not even my night's unexpected rest, very green morning smoothie and shampooed hair were enough to get me and my cervix where we needed to be. For those of you that have experienced induction, I went from a level 2 of Potocin to an 18 over the course of 20 hours. Super fun. 

Although I have no sense of time when it comes to my entire labor and delivery (except that it was really long) I believe it was around noon that I was examined again and wasn't any further than a "3," where I began that morning, having had the help of the good 'ol balloon.  In other words we weren't really progressing. Being an idealist I had assured Carol, my first nurse that morning, that I would have the baby by the end of her shift- 3pm that day. Riiiiight. The 12:00 check was concluded with my doctor manually breaking my water. I didn't quite grasp that he was about to do this and may have yelled, "Hey what are you doing in there?!" The manual water breaking hurt. And so it began...

Nurse #2, taking over for Carol, made it clear that once the doc broke the water (strike 2 for a "natural" childbirth plan- dammit) things would really get started. I believe her exact quote was "You think you were killin' those contractions, but now they're going to get real." They got real. That hag Potocin had me contracting every two minutes. Ouch. 

With the constant help and support of my husband, I got into many, many different positions to attempt handling the pain sans pain intervention. I got in a bathtub twice (the second time without a thought about covering any big pregnant body parts. Modesty=gone). I bounced on an exercise ball, leaned over the bed with the ball under my arms, leaned on John (physically and emotionally) and even sat on the toilet.  The whole things is super sexy. Even if you don't think you'll ever have children, my advice- Marry someone that you could do it in front of.

Nobody tells you that once your water is broken you tend to gush lots of different things from that point on.  Weird, this is never included in the movies' depiction of birth.  And there's really just no better verb I can find- gush describes it most accurately.

If you didn't stop reading when I warned you, perhaps you stop now?

Since gushing commenced, moving around in diaper sized pads was now a part of the whole thing. My "Birthing Nature's Way" classmates would commend my various positions chosen over lying on my back in a hospital bed. And don't be fooled- lying on your back is the most painful of them all! Why do they do that in movies? Probably because naked bathtub scenes are only allowed in certain types of film...and those films don't likely include chid births anyway. The problem with being all over the place (position- wise) is that the machines that monitor contractions absolutely suck at monitoring (their sole job) when you are moving about the room. So, why not insert (again with the inserting) an internal monitor? So, then we did that. At least with the internal monitor, I was getting some cred for the contractions I was experiencing! Without it showing on the machine, everyone observing from afar assumed I wasn't progressing and there was a need for more Potocin. Eek. Only my husband who didn't take his eyes off mine, knew every time I was enduring the pain. Guess whether or not doing things "naturally" typically includes internal monitors. Nope.

Midwives and those alike recommend eating and drinking throughout labor to keep up your strength and energy (and attitude I would add). Some things you can't decide- like whether or not you can eat at the hospital. I wasn't allowed to have food as there was a chance I could need a C-section (also not part of the plan). Having broken the water, we were now watching the clock. In case you didn't know, I didn't, infection becomes a fear if you don't deliver within a certain amount of time after your water breaks. Sweet Carol did hook up some broth and a grape flavored popsicle at one point- I got to decide on the flavor. Bonus. Not a bonus: I was still super hungry. Having a baby is a lot of work, this is why they call it labor.

*There is a lot of in between "stuff" that should go here...for the sake of your time and ability to enjoy this post, I'm leaving a few minor details out. Only John and I will ever really be able to visualize this scene- Bless his heart...and lucky you.

Up until this point, aside from my refusing an epidural, you can see that nothing aligned with my natural plans and we had absolutely no choice but to go with the flow.  My "lazy cervix" (what Doc called it in regards to my lack of dilating, rude) and Charlotte were totally in charge.

The most important tip, if you will, that I learned from my birthing class and reading (remember I left my job two months early, lots of time to obsess) was to listen to your body throughout the entire process. This, I could decide to do. Our final nurse of the night (until 4:22am when Lotti arrived) was amazing and respectful of my wishes.  But, she still had orders to follow. Doctor (who you see 3-5 times for 3-5 minutes during your entire labor btw) had ruled against checking my progress, cervix-wise, too often.  Again, with the infection get "up there" too often with that broken water going on, you could have some trouble on your hands.  I'm no doctor or nurse, but I am 100% sure that I endured contractions and was "not allowed" to push for longer than necessary (at least an hour OR two, depending on how frisky I feel when I tell the story).  I didn't know that the pushing part would be so glorious (that's not sarcasm oddly enough) but I still wanted to push with everything in me *pun intended. A contraction would come on top of the last and I would clinch my fists and push for a moment then say aloud, "NO!  I can't push!"and somehow stop myself.  I'm a rule follower, what can I say?  Okay, I'm actually not a rule follower, but John was a great partner and would remind me I "couldn't" push yet.  There's a reason "couldn't" is in quotations- because I COULD! I had the most overwhelming urge to push, there was no doubt in my mind.  This is where protocol and the patient potentially conflict.

Eventually, sweet Nurse Megan believed my expert opinion that I was fully dilated and gave me an exam to find that we were in fact very ready to push.

Upon hearing this, my entire demeanor changed.  I could have thrown a party in that delivery room.  I was so, so relieved that we were nearing the end and that everything my body told me it wanted to do, was finally being TOLD it could.

Pushing was absolutely, positively amazing. For me, it didn't hurt. It felt like the most natural thing in the world.  All I wanted the 18.5 hours prior, was to do what I was being able to do in that moment. Having full feeling in my entire body, I knew exactly when, and how long and hard to push. Again with the positions (I get bored easily) I tried 3 different things during my hour and a half pushing party. All worked great for me and none included lying on my back. *I sincerely hope I haven't given you too much of a visual.

After hours of fasting and brutal labor, my sweet husband (with Nurse's permission) gave me sips of iced tea and bites of a chocolate chip cookie in between pushes. Our wonderful hospital staff brought him this snack hours before- it was now my snack. With John at my head (trust me, this is where you'll want him) I was being fed sweets and caffeine, and pushing like it was my job- a job that I loved.

Doctor returned to do the final deed and Charlotte Grace was on the scene.  A healthy (2 week early) 6 pound 10 ouncer. How blessed we were...and how absolutely HIGH I felt. Not a single complication within her little body, and dark wavy hair for days.

Its been over 6 weeks and I still lie in bed and run through the experience over and over in my mind. I am thankful my body could do what it needed to do and for the incredible experience I had delivering my precious girl.

Now...I'm tired...but over the moon for this sweet baby.
Somehow she even thrills me at 3am.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Surviving the holidays and the flu

As of December 5th we have a BABY. I'd love to make my first post with said baby (Charlotte Grace, the most precious baby in the whole entire world) be my...ready for it..."Birth Story" but I'm not going to. And let me just say, I'm really against (or maybe intrigued with?) everything becoming a "thing" these days- including how one has their baby. It's not just telling people about how the delivery of your baby went. It's your "Birth Story" and is a "thing" that must be both inspirational and horrid at the same time. Good thing mine totally is, but that's for another day...and that post won't be titled "My Birth Story," I promise.

Today I have to instead write about having the flu, in the midst of the holidays, with a newborn.

I completely understand NOW how entire blogs are devoted to having children, running a household blah blah blah. There's kind of a lot to it.  Until 3 months ago I had never owned a home, and until 3 weeks ago never owned a baby. Today both need to be taken care of and I have the fricken FLU.  I'm not the first in this house to have this God forsaken virus as my husband had a miserable version of it (strand I guess I should say) and is still getting over it.  Luckily he got well enough to function just as it hit me for real.  Last night while he camped out in the nursery with the babe (he's just so good) I was able to have my second 13-hour night's sleep alone in our bedroom. We've become pretty good at the whole quarantine thing. Confession: A week ago I fantasized super hard about getting to sleep through an entire night. Doing it because of NyQuil and not being able to comfort my baby when I hear her cries = The Worst. So not worth the sleep.  Whodathought.

What I would normally be doing today (or even days ago) would be taking down every *green and red thing in my house, cleaning up all post flu germs by washing that blanket on the ottoman that all the kleenex were thrown on etc, and planning what the New Year would hold- things like Mom2Mom group on Tuesday mornings, workout plans and what needs to be organized in 2015. To most, waiting to do the things listed above wouldn't be that big of a deal, but I happen to be completely crazy.  How do I cope you ask?
*Some battles aren't worth fighting.  Husband and big kids love the traditional red and green, colored lights on the Christmas tree thing. Fighting for white lights and a silver/gold motif that would be more suitable for family room decor is only worth so much energy.

I can't handle the baby with whatever ailment is going through my body but I can, after thorough hand washing, wash her bottles (yes my baby is both breastfed and bottle fed, don't judge #mommywarsisa"thing").  I can keep cleaning up after my other family members (big kids are home for Winter Break) and slowly take Christmas crap into the front room that we use for storage e.g. glittery votives here and there, useless Santa tea towels, things of that nature. I have gotten in a few essential loads of laundry and unloads of the dishwasher when hopped up on the DayQuil.  These things help the household as a whole, as well as my sanity.  Feeling productive is a cure-all for this nutty blonde.

I couldn't be more THANKFUL for my husband (who gets the "BEST" award in two categories now) and our big girls- they're actually extremely tiny but happen to be 18 and 19 years old which equals "big" in my book. Everyone has jumped in to help and been flexible with plans since the flu hit our house. I mean, how many times is Mommo (that's me) really allowed to postpone making that pumpkin pie? It was going to be a Christmas Eve, Christmas and then New Year's treat...and the can of condensed milk still sits in the pantry. We're all doing what we can.

Being sick now is so much worse than it would have been just a month ago. But...this too shall pass.  Onto the next year- hopefully one of health, wealth and prosperity!

P.S. Is my baby super cute or what?