I’ve been looking for a good print to hang over the crib, something that suits the UP-inspired (note: NOT UP-themed) nursery. This modern red balloon print fits the bill perfectly, and it was extremely reasonably priced, even before a nice little discount code.
via brika, take 25% off this weekend with code ENJOY25
Over the last few weeks, Baby has established a fairly consistent pattern of movement:
- Start kicking me in the crotch 15 minutes before my alarm goes off.
- Go back to sleep once I’m up making my morning smoothie and coffee.
- Get royally pissed off when I have my morning cup of coffee and browse the internet because my iPad is resting on its butt. Kick wildly at iPad until I move it.
- Go back to sleep for shower and commute time.
- Wake up and happy dance when we eat our yogurt and berries at the office.
- Go back to sleep.
- Wake up and happy dance when we eat our mid-morning snack. Lose shit if the mid-morning snack is cherries.
- Repeat cycle of sleeping and post-eating dancing for rest of day.
- Sleep during after-dinner couch time.
- Wake up and perform at least three tap dance routines once I crawl in bed for the night.
Monday night the baby was fairly quiet. No ruckus at bedtime. Yesterday morning nothing. Nada. I poked at the little foot that has resided under my belly button for a couple of weeks now. Squished my belly. Ate an entire desk drawer’s worth of snacks. Chugged an icy Dr. Pepper. Laid on my side. Baby hadn’t moved or made a peep for the eight hours I had been awake.
When a pound and a half of cherries failed to garner any reaction, I really started to worry. Part of me felt like I was just being crazy, but I couldn’t shake that nagging “what-if” feeling in the back of my mind.
I called my doctor, and she was similarly concerned about the sudden lack of movement. She recommended that I come in for a “non-stress test,” which is quite possibly the most ironic name ever for a test designed to see if your baby is in distress.
Once in the exam room, I propped myself up on one elbow so they could hook me up to the fetal monitor. As soon as I did, my stomach shook wildly, a little limb protruded, and this kid began to turn somersaults visible from the outside.
The nurse just started laughing. She was so sweet and assured me that this happened all the time, and that she would rather see me come in once a week and have it be nothing than to blow it off and have it be something serious.
I spent the next 20 minutes with the monitor belt around my waist (let’s use the term “waist” incredibly loosely, ok?) while my child, who for the last nine hours had been completely unresponsive, showed off for the nurse. As I watched its heart rate rapidly accelerate and then decrease (a good thing), I felt embarrassed, really neurotic, kind of silly and overwhelmingly relieved. All is well. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we embarrass each other in public.
Do you plan on scaling back from work once the baby is born? Do you feel like your boss is supportive? What are you doing for childcare? Just asking because I may be in the same boat soon enough.
The pregnant anons are out in full force today!
These are complicated questions with no easy answers. Being a mom sounds hard, and doing that job on top of my current job sometimes seems impossible.
I don’t necessarily plan on scaling back, per se, but I do fully intend to restructure my time. This is going to mean some serious discipline when it comes to time management - not always my strong suit. I’ll need to prioritize my team stuff for during the workdays so I can start leaving earlier, and spend evenings finishing solo tasks after the baby goes down. Work on the train instead of staring off into space. Take some time on the weekends to knock several smaller tasks off my to-do list. That kind of thing.
Is my boss supportive? In general, yes. I’ve known him for about 10 years, and I’ve worked directly for him for almost 8, so we have a great working relationship and I feel like I can be candid with him. We’ve talked a lot about what will happen when I come back to work, and he is working with some of the other higher ups to get some things in place to make it easier for me to work more flexibly and productively. That said, he certainly hasn’t been taking it easy on me during my pregnancy. He relies on me for a ton, has really high expectations, and I think he is still in denial that I’ll be taking a hiatus. I joke with him that he is going through the stages of grief and that if he’s going to be stuck in denial, he’ll never get to the anger stage where he can openly be an asshole to me.
As for childcare, we have a spot secured at a great place about two blocks from M’s office. We are still looking at possibly going the nanny route, at least for the first year, but that is still to be determined.
I have no illusions that going back to work is going to be easy, but so far I’ve found that having honest, frank discussions with the boss about expectations (on both sides) has made things go a lot more smoothly.
Also, if I can get on the Marissa Mayer conference call manicure plan, that would be super.
Hey! Only asking as anon bc I just found out I am pregnant! Any books or websites you found useful but not overwhelming? There is so much out there and a lot of it is terrifying!
Congrats! How exciting!
Unsolicited advice for the earliest weeks? Stay the hell off the internet, you will only worry about every. single. thing. Take care of yourself. Sleep a lot - the first trimester fatigue does not fuck around. Don’t worry about whether people can tell you are pregnant (your little bitty bloat that you think is enormous and obvious is not even noticeable to other people). Wear all your fitted regular clothes. Get really good at fake drinking. Eat a giant turkey sandwich or sushi before your first doctor’s appointment and they tell you that you shouldn’t (my doc is really liberal with that stuff, but many aren’t). Invest in a maternity pillow (I love my snoogle) before you actually need it.
As for your question, I found most books and websites to not be very helpful (looking at you, What To Expect While You’re Expecting). Websites are good for getting information on a specific question, but not much else. Although, I will say that if you want to feel better about yourself, particularly if you’re feeling a bit crazy from the hormones, perusing the Babycenter boards are a good self esteem booster and highly entertaining.
The books I’ve found to be useful are:
Expecting Better. Along the turkey sandwich/sushi lines, this book breaks down the relative risk factors for all those pregnancy “rules” you hear so much about, and the author encourages moms-to-be to weigh those risk factors against the potential consequences and their personal needs. For example, the risk of listeria from lunch meat is actually really low (the last significant outbreaks were from cantaloupe, peaches and hummus, but you don’t hear of doctors telling you not to eat fruit), but the consequences can be really bad. She just provides the information, and leaves it to you to decide for yourself, without the sanctimommy judgment.
Baby 411. Newborns For Dummies. If you’re a first time mom (and I’m guessing you are since you want to read books), this provides a really good overview of how babies work.
Baby Bargains. The authors rate every piece of equipment ever invented for babies - an all-inclusive Consumer Reports type thing. The amount of shit babies need is crazy, and the amount of options in each category is even crazier. It was nice to have the research for everything in one book for registering.
Mayo Guide To Pregnancy. Clinical, but moderately useful. Nothing you can’t look up online, but a friend gave this book to me.
Happiest Baby On The Block. M read this first, and described the technique as “So, you wrap the baby up super tight, grab it by its head, shake it and shush as loud as you can in its face.” The actual technique is a tamer version that will NOT get Child Protective Services called on you, but the gist is what he described. Friends have sworn by it. Apparently, there is also a video on You Tube that you can watch if you don’t want to read/buy the book.
Hope that helps! All my best for a healthy & happy 40 weeks!
Well, the 2nd trimester flew by, and all of a sudden here we are…3rd trimester…the home stretch.
It’s finally starting to hit me that in less than three months (80 days, to be exact), we are going to be parents. I’ve had a very easy pregnancy physically, I didn’t feel regular movements until just a few weeks ago, and after everything we went through, I think I was also very emotionally guarded. For much of my pregnancy, the baby has felt more like a concept, something that is going to happen eventually at some time in the future, that room we are decorating is just for fun, the tiny clothes hung for a tiny visitor who may or may not pop in, the bi-monthly doctor visits just more of the same. Just in the last couple of weeks has the baby become active, the kicks palpable, the bump truly bumpish, the penguin-like walk established, the bladder squishing and pelvic aching real. I finally feel pregnant, and this baby finally feels like ours.
Things like getting stuck at the office until 9:30 on a Friday have been the source of much anxiety and some sleepless nights. I find myself wondering how the hell I am going to do this. Is it possible to have a career, one that is most definitely not a 9-5 gig, AND be a good mom? I’d like to think so, but I worry. Am I going to have enough time with my kid? Enough meaningful time? How are we going to keep up with work obligations and the house and mundane life tasks like lawn care and dry cleaning pickup? I mean, my husband is just one person and he’s got his own career. We are already squeezing every minute out of every day. How do people make this work without an army of people run their personal life? Marissa Mayer I am not. It’s easy to talk about shit like leaning in when you have a personal manicurist to come do your nails while you’re on a conference call.
The more research I do on the birth and postpartum processes I do, the more terrified I become.
Names. That’s a lot of pressure. I don’t want to set this kid up for a life of failure or mocking or a horrible nickname. I mean, it’s not like we can change our mind later if it doesn’t seem to work out.
On a less anxiety-ridden note, some of the clothes we have gotten are so teeny tiny that I can’t even believe a person will fit in them. It’s kind of the cutest.
The other day I pushed a protruding baby foot back down into my belly, causing the peanut to roll over and kick me as hard as it could. It was simultaneously the coolest and creepiest thing ever.
80 days to go. In between the fears and anxieties and feeling like someone is pulling me apart like a wishbone, I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that two will soon be three, at how loved this kid will be, at who he/she will be, at how much I am looking forward to finally meeting him/her.
“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”—Make the Ordinary Come Alive, William Martin (via monkeychow)
Lately, I am starving ALL.THE.DAMN.TIME. If I’m going to eat like 10 times a day, I want to make sure I am not going bonkers and also that I am eating a good balance of things for the kiddo. I’ve found a lot of good stuff on Skinnytaste for exactly that.
Unlike certain healthy cooking publications (looking at YOU, Cooking Light), Skinnytaste steers away from most “light” ingredients, focuses on fresh rather than convenience foods, and actually uses realistic portion sizes. Seriously, a recipe I made from Cooking Light recently claimed one pound of steak was enough to feed 8 as a main course. Um, ok. Who eats 2 oz. of meat?
Anyway, here are three things I’ve made recently that warrant mention:
Oatmeal-blueberry muffins. More like little coffee cakes, these definitely do not taste like they are made with next to no fat and just a little flour. These make a perfect first breakfast (yes, first breakfast) as I’m heading out the door.
Triple berry crisp. Delicious, and goes to show you don’t need a ton of butter to get a good crunchy topping. I actually think there is a little too much sugar/agave called for in the fruit and would cut back. The serving size is huge, the nutritional counts leave plenty of room for a scoop of ice cream.
Tomato-zucchini frittata. I made this last night after I bought two dozen eggs at Costco and realized I already had a full dozen. Added broccoli, spinach and a little feta because I had it. Quick, easy, and a leftover wedge between two slices of whole grain toast made a really good brown bag lunch today.
ASHEVILLE, NC — Derek Loy has been living the hipster lifestyle for the past two years, but after his bank account began to dwindle, he reverted back to mainstream customs. “I tried my best,” said…
“Do I miss hanging out at a brewery, drinking with a scarf on and talking about Radiohead tattoos? Actually, no. No I don’t. I’m finally free to go to a Buffalo Wild Wings and watch sports on Sunday, while drinking a giant Budweiser.”
Dying at this article because it SO fits my neighborhood hipster try-hards in their skinny pants and their beards drinking $12 craft cocktails and overpriced ironically shitty canned beer.
Skinnytaste slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches. I mean, obviously this is going to be better with pork shoulder instead of tenderloin but for a healthy and easy option it was a big hit. I added half a cup of water to the crockpot as there was no fat on the tenderloins and I was worried about coming home to a burned mess. It came out great. Topped with Lillie’s Q hot and smoky sauce and a slaw of cabbage, greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar. This made a ton - enough for dinner, lunch on Friday and two quart-sized bags of pulled meat for the freezer.
Homemade ‘za with some Nduja I picked up at the farmers’ market, red onion and fresh mozz. Delish. If you ever come across Nduja (apparently pronounced enn-doo-ya and not noo-ja like I thought), pick some up and make yourself a pizza!
The best laid plans, man. I tried last week, really, I did. And I made it to Wednesday! But after a particularly horrible no-good, very bad Thursday, the rest of the week ended in delivery and cheese boards.
Here’s what my intentions are this week:
Last night: Costco frozen spinach and cheese ravioli (the best, please never stop making them) with marinara.
Friday: Homemade ‘za with some Nduja I picked up at the farmers’ market, red onion and fresh mozz.
Last week’s reviews:
Pasta with jarred sauce (Roundy’s brand organic is VERY good and actually reasonably priced considering it is omgorganic) with extra sauteed veggies (this time, zucchini, spinach, onion and shrooms) is always something I love, even if not particularly exciting.
The house favorite black bean tacos and grilled corn. Best tacos ever. Forever and always. Amen.
Thank you to the kind sir at Art of Pizza who brings our weekly ‘za without a side of judgment.
You know it’s been a good one when your food groups consist of cheese boards, steak tacos and birthday cake.
This week at work was pretty stressful, but a pretty frank talk with my boss on Friday really helped to take some of the weight off. So did the arrival of our new patio furniture, on which I had two ounces of Cotes du Rhone in the sun and it was glorious. GLORIOUS.
We spent a lot of time with our people this weekend. Friday night was a cheese plate crawl with my friend E and her boyfriend (Prasino, Winchester, Rootstock and a stop by Tastee Freez for an Oreo sundae on the way home). Saturday was work catch up, home improvement, and a BBQ at our friends L and S’ house in celebration of a friend visiting from South Africa (steak tacos round 1). Sunday was more work catch up, a World Cup party disguised as a 1st birthday party and steak tacos round 2.
Speaking of World Cup, I haven’t really gotten much into it, but I have to say, it’s really fun to watch an odd game with people who REALLY care. Our friends are from Central and South America, and they have lots of family in Costa Rica - all ten of them at the party had on matching CR shirts. We spent the game cheering for Los Ticos, learning new swear words in Spanish from his diminutive mother, having Skype celebrations with their family in CR, and hurriedly opening presents and cutting cake during halftime.
It was a great weekend. As we start the final countdown to baby (16 weeks and some odd days, wut?), it was also a good reminder to get out more!
(I originally posted this last night, but took it down because I was really incensed and didn’t want my point to get lost. Still holds true this morning, with some edits.).
I’ve known women whose ass looked better in a bikini 7 months pregnant with zero physical activity than mine did at the peak of marathon training. Who ate perfectly and gained 60 pounds anyway. Who ate like a trucker and gained less than 20. Who had preeclampsia. Who was put on total bed rest several weeks before delivery. Who was forced to stop all exercise because of placenta issues. Who was eating foot-long grilled cheese sandwiches in pre-pregnancy jeans weeks postpartum. Who took months to get back into pre-pregnancy jeans. Who never did.
Someone else’s weight gain/loss (or lack thereof) and the reasons behind it aren’t always apparent, and they really aren’t anyone else’s business.
I’ll be completely honest: seeing the number on that scale creep up faster than I expected and into uncharted territory has been really, really hard for me.
But I’m eating really well, but not depriving myself of treats. Drinking lots of water. Making exercise a priority. Getting good sleep. I feel really good. Great, even.
Still, that number is higher than I’d like it to be. But given how I feel, is that really an issue? Or is it just my insecurity because we’ve been programmed to think that gaining more than 25-30 pounds is not OK?
My doctor had the best reassurance:
You’re growing a human. Your body is going to do what it needs to do to support that. You do your part by putting in the best fuel possible and taking care of yourself, but don’t obsess over a number or indulging a potato chip craving. Go by how you feel.
So I am. I’m doing my part and I’m letting my body do the rest. I’ve waited a really, really long time for this kid, and if I come out on the other side with a few extra stubborn pounds and a perfect, healthy baby, who cares?
I think it’s really sad that some women can’t cut themselves or other women some slack in the pregnancy and postpartum weight department. There is already so much daily pressure to be thin and pretty in our society, it shouldn’t be so while you are caring for a passenger. A pregnant and postpartum body is supporting an entire other life, which is a pretty beautiful and amazing (and for sure, unglamorous at times) thing.
I’m by no means advocating using the “eating for two” excuse to justify not taking proper care of yourself or to go on a 40 week junk food binge. But if you hold the opinion that someone who gains more than the “recommended” 25-30 pounds or fails to lose it like immediately is a fat, lazy asshole, well, that kind of makes YOU an asshole.
So last week I didn’t do anything I planned because work really stressed me out and it was far better for my sanity to just come home to pizza delivery or meet friends for delicious patio tacos. Back at it this week.
Monday: pasta and sauce with ground beef, mushrooms, onions and spinach (to use up half a jar of sauce and some odd veggies)
Tuesday: M at basketball, some good intention of making myself a full and actual healthy dinner, perhaps a salad of some sort, abandoned in favor of cheese and crackers and ice cream. (Honesty.)
Friday: Either crockpot pulled pork sandwiches if I get my shit together, or a homemade pizza (because the baby will not be denied).
Monday: pasta salad with grilled chicken, fresh mozz and veggies, tossed with the leftover carrot top pesto from this recipe: Roasted carrots with carrot top pesto. This was a good way to use up some stuff and make a superfast dinner, and it made plenty for lunches for the rest of the week.
Rest of the week: A joke. Pizza. Tacos. Repeat. Delicious.
So my cheapo $30 Revlon hairdryer that I’ve had for 10+ years finally croaked this morning.
I know the technology has improved since I last purchased a dryer, so talk to me about yours. Do the spensy ones really dry your hair faster/are they worth the price? I’m not opposed to spending more than $30 on a new one, but it better be magical and go the distance.
I know there are several other Tumblr moms-to-be out there, so I thought I would share these great Athleta linen shorts that are cute and growing belly friendly. They are short but not too short and cut slightly wider in the leg opening for a more flattering fit.
These would also be awesome for the non-pregnant set, as the soft waistband rolls down to a cute drawstring and would be perfectly non-constricting if you were to, oh, I don’t know, see how many burgers you could eat at Roscoe Village Burger Fest or sit on a patio drinking beers in 90 degree heat and high humidity without having your waistband digging into your stomach. Not that I have big plans for these shorts next summer or anything.
I ordered a size up from my normal size. The only caution is that the white is totally see through, so go with one of the darker colors.
While eaters on Southport are getting their own location of one of Chicago’s most renowned pizzerias, they’re also losing a 12-year restaurant staple. Owner Jimmy Madla is shuttering his…
This was one of my very favorite places in my old neighborhood, and they make my single hands-down favorite summer cocktail EVER, the Uva Caribe - a delicious concoction of light rum, pineapple, club soda, muddled grapes and lime. The ideal patio pounder on a hot day, we would frequently stop in for “brunch” aka 3 Uvas on the patio before 1 pm.
The Uva Caribe is so beloved by my group of friends that I have already had two email discussions regarding this loss as of 8:30 this morning.
I’m super bummed that I won’t get to enjoy one last real “brunch” before they close, so everyone in Chicago head there immediately and have two (or eight) and pour a little out for your homie.
(The dinner menu is also really delish, so it’s not only about the booze!)
I made this version of the good old banana pudding with Nilla wafers for Father’s Day dessert. It was super good, and making your own vanilla pudding is only slightly more difficult than making it from a box. The meringue topping in place of whipped cream really took it over the top.
[I may have let mine go a tad too long. But not bad for a first try, right?]
I really enjoyed getting back in the kitchen last week. Planning out dinner and prepping some things ahead of time keeps us on track and allows M to start putting dinner together if I get a late start home or hit the gym. Here’s what’s cooking this week:
Monday: pasta salad with grilled chicken, fresh mozz and veggies, tossed with the leftover carrot top pesto from last week (see below).
Wednesday: scallops with snap peas from this month’s Cooking Light (if it’s good I’ll find and link the recipe next week)
Thursday: grilled pork chops and the return of a favorite - the tomato stack with avocado and corn.
Grilled portobello mushroom caps. I used the portobello burger marinade from Skinnytaste to marinate the mushroom caps, which was awesome. Next time I will probably do slightly less vinegar and more rosemary.
Grilled fish with tzatziki. G’s tzatziki recipe is the move.
London Broil. One of my always favorites, the leftover steak is great for tacos, salads, quesadillas, etc.
Roasted carrots with carrot top pesto. The pesto was really good and only slightly earthy, which was a surprise to me. This is a pretty genius way to make a large volume of pesto without raiding an entire basil plant.
Congrats on the baby! I know you said you didn't find out but do you have any feeling if it's a boy or a girl?
I had no strong feelings one way or the other until about a day after the anatomy scan. Now I am certain it’s a boy. I base this off of my highly scientific analysis of old wives tales except the one that involves mixing your pee with Drano because that is just fucking nuts. I’m carrying lower, my skin isn’t broken out, I had zero morning sickness, I am clumsy as all hell, I sleep on my left side, M isn’t gaining weight, that goofy wedding ring on a string test swung boy, I have cold feet and dry hands, and I’ve been craving salty/sour. Also, the Chinese gender prediction chart says so.
The one thing that seemed to suggest girl was the heart rate, but after this morning’s emergency heartbeat check as a result of an electrical mishap (see above, clumsy) even that now points to boy.
I’m now so convinced that it’s a boy that I’ve been referring to it as “him” and will probably fall off my hospital bed if he turns out to be a she.
I used to think “nesting” was a myth, but it’s no joke. I am in full-on CLEAN AND ORGANIZE AND DECORATE AND REDO EVERYTHING mode. Throw it away. Throw it ALL AWAY.
My nesting has also come with a bit of ADD. As soon as I check off one box in one room, I immediately think of 15 other things I want to do in every room but the one we are working on. No sooner than M got someone lined up to install the hardwood in the baby’s room, I was on to the next thing. Nursery furniture who? Fireplace reno what? No, we MUST DECORATE THE BABY’S BATHROOM.
I had been drawing a blank on what to do with the bathroom - the shower tile (taupe) and granite (mottled dark brown) and cabinets (cherry) weren’t really working with most of the kids’ oriented stuff that was cute but not TOO cute.
Inspiration struck last night when I was in our neighbors’ powder room and I noticed their accent wall, which they had painted this really great shade of a not-too-dark forest green. It immediately reminded me of some adorable woodland creature prints my friend Michele pinned as to a nursery board for her little guy.
I ordered this shower curtain this morning for, as M is now calling it, the “what does the fox say” bathroom. A dark green accent wall, a fresh coat of a neutral on the remaining walls, a few new hand towels from Target (love the Threshold bath stuff!) and maybe a cute print or two for the wall, and I’ll be on to the next.
They are few. But it IS nice that people at the gym give a visibly pregnant lady thumbs ups and “hey good for yous” even if you’re totally phoning in 30 minutes on the elliptical and the only reason you even stopped at the gym was to change into pants with a stretchy waistband before you commute home to eat ice cream.