Tag Archives: baby

Today: Currently | November, 2015.

The mild weather made this month feel more like April than November, so we got plenty of adventures in.  And I sort of forgot to have my snow tires put on.  Whatever, man.  

I assumed (along with everyone else, I think) that we’d be a family of five by now (counting Clark, obvi… I do not have a secret human child somewhere)… but unless he makes his grand entrance before midnight, we’ll be welcoming a December baby.  All this anticipation is making the days crawl, despite the month having flown.  

And like any month, there were ups and downs — but one of the most wonderful moments had to have been meeting our niece who was born two weeks ago.  She is just perfect.

Currently November 2015 Boston

Speaking of perfect, the weather and view (minus the seagull) could not have been better on a recent stroll along the Harborwalk.

Currently | November, 2015

Reading

  • My copy of the Get Messy x UNHCR charity magazine arrived this weekend.  I am so grateful to have been a part of this collaboration, which supports relief efforts for Syrian refugees, and love seeing everyone else’s art work in print.  You can order a copy here (all proceeds are donated to UNCHR).
  • Still working through: Big Magic and Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?
  • Reading with Grace: But Not the Hippopotamus 
  • Mostly just looking at the pictures: Vogue, December 2015

Listening to

  • Adele’s 25 (along with the rest of the planet) on repeat.  I’m not ashamed to say, I am obsessed.
  • Christmas music
  • Clark snoring
  • The Undisclosed Podcast

Making

  • An attempt to finish my Christmas shopping in the next day or two.  We’ve done a really fun Secret Santa with my siblings and significant others the last three years and I highly recommend DrawNames.com if you’re organizing a similar swap.
  • Comfort food: Onion tartlets, mashed potatoes, tomato soup, cucumber salad, quesadillas with sharp cheddar and gala apples
  • A top secret Christmas card muhahaha (I hope everyone finds it even a 1/100 as funny as I do)
  • Progress in my sketchbooks and art journals (you can see some recent work on Instagram or here and here)

Enjoying

  • The Christmas decorations I put up (…before Thanksgiving… couldn’t help myself)
  • A fresh bouquet of flowers 
  • Our current routine (while it lasts)

Feeling

  • That Coach Belichick would be my ideal spokesperson right now.  When asked how he felt when he saw Rob Gronkowski get injured during last night’s game, he snapped, “How do you think I feel?”  Exactly.  Except I don’t think I get away with being quite so sassy.  So instead, I’ll just say… okay, fine, impatient, a little cankle-y, hopeful, hungry and tired.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Deleting 900 million Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails
  • 20 ways to be creative when you don’t feel inspired via CoSchedule
  • Trying to keep up with Dishwasher and Laundry Hamper Zero (it’s like Inbox Zero… kind of… but way less cool to bring up in public)

Today: The pre-baby to-do list.

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for BellaGravida. I received a complimentary subscription and promotional item to thank me for my participation.

That post title has two too many hyphens.  And I am too pregnant lazy to come up with something better.  My apologies.  As I shared earlier, I’ve been feeling a bit scattered lately.  Some days it feels like I will be pregnant for another 8 months.  Some days it feels like our baby boy will be here tomorrow.  And, this being the second time around, there are things that I feel like we have a good handle on.  But I worry about having a false sense of security… like there are things I am completely forgetting about.

Kick up your heels and make a list!

While it’s not exactly go time, there are a few things I probably should get done, not only so our little guy comes home to a stash of tiny diapers and plenty of burp cloths, but so I can quiet my brain a bit and enjoy this last trimester (and Grace’s last weeks as our one and only) as much as possible.  Making a list seemed like a good start.

The pre-baby to-do list (a work in progress…)

  • Go through Grace’s old clothes and pull out, re-wash and put away anything that is neither extra hot pink nor extra ruffly.  (At the very least, I think there are a few sets of gender neutral pajamas in there.)  The rest will go back to storage for a future niece or friend. 
  • Buy and wash any wardrobe basics and other staples we are missing 
  • Move co-sleeper to our room (this will be a last minute thing)
  • Order double stroller (with car seat adapter) and second Pack ‘N Play
  • Install infant car seat base in my car (again, probably a last minute thing)
  • Buy a box of size 1 diapers (and potentially a small package of NB — Grace was in newborn diapers for about a month, but who knows…) and extra wipes
  • Reorganize Grace’s closet (she’ll be sharing with her brother)
  • Stock up on family basics (toiletries, paper goods, Grace’s diapers and pull-ups)
  • Make all midwife/doctor’s appointments between now and our due date
  • Holiday shopping
  • Schedule flu shots for Grace and me
  • Get Clark’s yearly check-up and vaccines squared away
  • Make a plan for Clark to board with one of his pals while we’re at the hospital
  • Make a grocery delivery list for easy ordering during the first few weeks we’re home
  • Stash a few freezer meals
  • Clean out pantry, closets and cabinets (not really baby-related, but clutter is making me mental)
  • Get a handle on my third trimester wardrobe (because it’s neither warm enough or socially acceptable to continue wearing maternity bathing suits and sundresses)
  • Pack a hospital bag for me and Nick, and a Party with Grandma and Grandpa! bag for Grace
  • Get a pedicure (wishful thinking)

I’m sure I’ll think of 70 more items to add, but this is a start.  And it feels good to start checking off items.  I’m getting a bit of help with the wardrobe issue thanks to Influence Central and the chance to try out BellaGravida, a new service that provides a virtual revolving closet to pregnant and nursing women.

I consigned nearly all of my maternity clothes after Grace was born (most were office attire… and I was sick to death of them), and sadly, beach season is over… so this opportunity comes at the perfect time.  I’ve found it nearly impossible to find affordable, well made, non-ugly maternity clothes this time around.  I’ve been hesitant to buy anything beyond a few pairs of maternity leggings and long tanks, which are kind of amazing even when you’re not pregnant (trust me).  

I am hoping BellaGravida (which means “beautifully pregnant” in Italian) will help fill in the gaps in my maternity wardrobe and take the stress out of finding something to wear for the upcoming weddings and parties on our calendar this month.  

A few highlights of the newly-launched service:

  • Flat, monthly fee (subscriptions begin at $39/month)
  • No return deadlines
  • Unlimited exchanges
  • Laundry service included
  • Dozens of maternity designers and brands available

I’m looking forward to sharing my experience with BellaGravida with you in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, I’ve got a list to tackle.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • I should probably be paying attention to the weather (what’s that I hear about a hurricane?)
  • Great read: Stop Googling.  Let’s talk.  from The New York Times
  • Halloween costume planning for Clark and Grace muhahahaha

What’s missing from my list (besides “take 900 naps”)? 

 

Today: Happy Weekend.

This was a short, fast week.  We’re easing into a fall-ish routine… which means fun things like a new bootcamp session, apple picking, gymnastics class for Grace, morning walks at Castle Island and (dare I admit my excitement?) a new season of Scandal.  

Summer slipping away also means less fun things like fewer trips to the beach.   And wearing pants. Not interested.

In addition to wearing pants, it also dawned on me that I should probably start being responsible in other ways.  Like, say… by getting ready for this baby boy of ours to arrive.  My current mission is to get rid of as much excess as humanly possible.  As you can see above, I started with our bookshelves.  We’ve got 60-70 books to donate, and I’m slowly (that’s sort of my only speed these days) making my way through every drawer, cabinet and closet in the condo.  

What can I say?  The glamour of life abounds.  (And I sort of hope you’re doing something less functional and more fun.)

Happy Weekend, friends.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your fun or functional fall to-do list?

Today: The happiest news.

We’ve kept the happiest news under wraps (and oversized teeshirts) for long enough…

I am thrilled to share that Grace will be a big sister this December.  Nick and I are over the moon.  Grace doesn’t really know what’s going on (but she appreciates the balloons).  And Clark, welp… he’s taking a nap.

This wonderful life just keeps getting better.

Oh and yes… those blue balloons mean we’re having a boy! Yayayayayay.

Also On Tap for Today:

What happy news do you have to share?

Today: One year of Grace.

Technically, it’s been a year and five days, but hey.  

Grace turned one last week.  And what a fast, happy, wonderful, challenging, beautiful year it has been.  I snuck into her room at 12:16 last Thursday (she was sound asleep, a rare occurrence) just to see her and watch her and think about that first time we met her at that very same time, on that very same night.

Happy Birthday, Grace!

Yes, that barrette is for real.

 

Becoming and being a mother has been overwhelming in the best possible way.  It has made me tougher and it has made me softer.  It has made me infinitely more in love with the Universe, and it has made me infinitely more worried about things I never paid attention to before.  Like electrical outlets.  And the measles (don’t get me started).  Being Grace’s mother has made me so proud of myself, but it has also put my ego firmly in check.  

Being a parent has made me appreciate my own parents in a way I wish I could have before.  Because I would have been a more grateful, more delightful, better behaved (maybe) child.  I am hopeful that whole “better late than never” thing applies here.  My parents are just the best.  

I used to wonder why people called their children 13-month-olds and 17-month-olds and whatever.  Mostly, I have no idea how people keep track (so math challenged).  But when I think about how much Grace changes each day, let alone each week or month, I kind of get it.  When you’re nearly 33, you really shouldn’t give your age in months.  Because whether you just turned 32, or you almost 33, you’re pretty much the same person developmentally.  In my case: still bad at small talk, still pretty great at color coding, still hate most pants and cooked vegetables, still love checking the mail and taking naps on my yoga mat.

Our 1 year old/12 month old, on the other hand, has become such a person since being the born.   All the changes are both amazing and a tiny bit bittersweet.  

She started talking a few months ago and seems to know new words every few days.  Right now the b-words (not the b-word,  not ever I hope) are her favorites: bath, bubbles, books, baby, and bye.  We’ve practiced some baby sign language (this book has been a great resource) — Grace has mastered the signs for more, eat, milk, all done, and book.  

She has 3 teeth (and 4 on the way), 900% more hair than even two months ago and the teeniest, cutest feet that fit in precisely zero pairs of shoes.  The only thing more confusing than women’s jeans sizing is baby’s shoe sizing.

Grace is starting to let go of our hands and the furniture when standing up, but hasn’t started walking yet.  She likes to dance, climb, crawl, and sneak her way over to the printer and cable box.  She can point to people when we say their names, turn pages in her books, nod when she says “yes,” and wag her finger when someone says “no” (I still don’t know where she learned this — it’s both hilarious and kind of strange). 

She is obsessed with Clark and recently started feeding and kissing and hugging him… and trying to take naps on top of him.  He likes the first three, and tolerates the fourth. 

Grace loves to eat.  She likes being fed, and really enjoys feeding herself.  She has mastered drinking water through a straw, and will soon stop taking a bottle at daycare. I am still breastfeeding her in the morning, evenings, at 2 AM or 3 AM or 4 AM (or whenever Grace feels like it) and on the weekends, but I’ve stopped pumping at work (hallelujah).  I never imagined we’d make it this long (and it hasn’t been easy), but I am grateful.    

We chose to name our baby Grace because we loved the name, but she really is such a grace in our lives.  What a year it has been.

Oh and P.S.: If you’re in the early part of the first year of parenting (or really any time, but especially in the beginning), be gentle and kind with yourself.  You are doing a great job. 

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s changed for your this year?  How many months old are you (just kidding… unless you know…)?

 

Today: My first Labor Day.

We’re heading into Labor Day Weekend, so why not talk about having a baby?  (I couldn’t resist.)  I know the holiday is technically a tribute to the American workforce (and feels mostly like a symbolic end to summer), but it’s nearly impossible for me to hear Labor and not think of… labor.

It’s been nearly seven months since we welcomed Grace.  I’ve come this close to sharing about her entry into the world several times now, but always stopped short of clicking publish. (Can I just say, the expression “birth story” creeps me out?  It reminds me of that TLC show that one of my college roommates always watched.  Terrifying.)

My labor and delivery were rather uneventful (which was sort of the goal), but ultimately, I think that’s why I want to share it with you.  I can’t tell you how many horror stories I heard while pregnant.  So-and-so was in labor for 89 hours.  My friend’s cousin’s yoga instructor’s neighbor delivered a 16 lb. baby.  That woman that I sometimes see at the dog park, her sister had a really great birth plan… and it went completely to hell.  My uncle’s third cousin’s dog groomer got a flat tire on the way to the hospital and delivered her triplets in the back of a Subaru.  (It’s always a Subaru.) Sound familiar?

At one of my postpartum check-ups with my midwife, I told her that I felt sort of awkward when people asked about our experience with childbirth — that I felt a bit guilty (and yes — grateful, most of all) that things went so well.  She told me that people need to hear the good stories too.  And I think that’s true.  Remember when I talked about fear being unproductive?  Those horror stories produce a lot of fear.  I hopeful that hearing a good story about childbirth will have the opposite effect.

So, with that longwinded intro aside, here’s one of the good stories.

Oh, important note: I’m not going to talk about body parts, really, or like measurements or anything that might make you (or me) faint.  That’s just not my style.  And I’m 103% certain I’m wrong about at least a few times and timing and hours, so please don’t check my math.  And I’m sure you understand my desire to maintain at least a bit of mystery privacy, especially when it comes to my family.  

My first Labor Day and welcoming Grace

About two weeks before Grace was born, I was sitting in my office with our auditor (which is one of the 45,000 places I didn’t want to be when I went into labor… and yes, I had spent 9 months fine tuning that list) when I started getting sharp pains in my lower back.  They were bad enough that I couldn’t stay seated, but when I stood up, they sort of got worse.  It’s a life goal of mine to not to be shady (especially in the presence of an auditor), but I had to keep coming up with excuses to duck out and attempt to walk waddle it off.

Grace at 1 month

After a couple of hours of coming and going, the pain subsided.  I figured I was dehydrated.  Or maybe my maternity pantyhose was too tight.  Grace wasn’t due for over a month, and I assumed what I was feeling was normal for late pregnancy.  Truth be told (with the exception of dragon-level heartburn), I felt really good during my second and third trimesters.  (The first trimester was sort of a blur of morning all-day sickness, sleeping for 20 hours at a time, subsiding on a diet of crackers and lemonade, and feeling extremely frumpy.)

The next day, though, I just felt off.  The back pain had returned (it turns out these were actually contractions and not random back pain… evidence that I did not read any childbirth pamphlets), my feet were swollen, and my appetite was gone.  I stupidly waited all day to call the doctor, and instead Googled things.  If I can impart any wisdom to future parents (or just, people in general) it is this: When it comes to pregnancy or childbirth or labor or really anything medical or important or not related to cute dog photos, don’t Google it.  Just don’t.

I spent the following day hooked up to a fetal monitor, drinking gallons and gallons of water, calmly reading US Weekly one minute and freaking out about the big work event I had coming up the next.  If Grace arrived today, what would my colleagues need to know? What was left to be done?  What imaginary scenarios could I cook up and then create solutions for?  Again, the contractions subsided and I was sent home with strict orders to relax. (Bhahahahaaha)

The work event went off without a hitch the following Thursday.  I wore sequins.  I wore heels.  I did not go into labor.  I did eat 5 desserts.  For the next few days, it was business as usual.  I still had a feeling Grace might come early, though, so each night before heading home, I cleaned up my desk and laid out detailed “just in case” instructions (which I would then promptly recycle the following day, only to begin again).

On Monday night, I woke up in the middle of the night with a start, and sat bolt upright.  I vividly remember this moment in particular, because for the previous month or so, sitting up was nothing short of a workout.  I must have gone back to sleep, because the next time I looked at the clock it was 5 A.M… and my water had broke. (Is that grammatically correct? I have no clue.  But I am sticking to my own rule of no Googling body part things.)

I have never seen Nick bound out of bed so quickly.  In the span of three minutes, he was somehow dressed, his teeth were brushed and his contacts were in, and he was assembling our co-sleeper/mini crib.  Meanwhile, I followed our midwife’s instructions and called the office’s after hours number.  They told me to call back at eight. Um… what?  Knowing me (and I do, quite well), I am still surprised at how calm I remained.  I took a shower.  I blew out my unruly curls.  I painted my nails (yes, really).  I ate a snack.  I un-packed and re-packed our hospital bag (which is good, because we didn’t exactly ace it the first time around).

By 8:30, I was back on the fetal monitor at our doctor’s office, but not before riding an elevator with a bunch of gentlemen in sharp suits headed to work, while my water continued to break.  There’s nothing quite like the sensation of actively peeing your pants (that’s kind of what it feels like) in public.  I wasn’t sure what the protocol for being in labor in a rush hour elevator in the Financial District was.  Should I press the alarm button and make an announcement?  Instead I tried to be cool (wholly impossible), but continued to look at Nick like, Oh my word, I am sort of peeing.  And he continued to look at me like, This is the greatest day ever.  And it was.

We checked into the hospital around 10:30 and when the attending midwife asked if we had a name picked out for our daughter, I cried as Nick answered, Grace.  Saying her name, one we had kept secret for so long, made her pending arrival feel more real than any contraction (or awkward elevator ride) could.  Saying her name made everything feel so holy and sacred and good.

Once we knew for certain (I mean, I knew that at 5 AM, but it helps to have the hospital bracelet to prove it), we called our parents and siblings and let them know that we were at the hospital, that we were all doing well, and that Grace would likely be born today.

Our birth plan was pretty much this:

  • We will be open minded
  • We will trust our our midwife, doctor and nurses to help us make the best decisions

In other words: We didn’t really have a birth plan.  I wanted to labor without medication, but um… I had never been in labor before, so I didn’t want to rule anything out.  We spent the next six hours managing my painful (real talk: they were painful, but I survived… obviously) back contractions by taking short walks around the labor floor, getting checked by the midwife and nurses, and sitting and standing and leaning and bending and bouncing.  We never broke out the deck of cards we packed, nor the crossword puzzle book.

At the nurses’ encouragement, I gave the shower a try.  I had heard that many women find showering during labor to be really comforting.  Meanwhile, I spent about three minutes in there before throwing in (and asking for) the towel.  It was sort of the opposite of comforting for me.

All I could think was:

  • Great, now my hair is frizzy again
  • The shower curtain is touching me
  • Why is this shower so small?
  • And why is there so much plastic furniture in here?
  • Everyone can see my bum

By now, I was uncomfortable enough that I was having trouble relaxing between contractions.  Our labor was progressing, but it could still be hours before Grace was born, so we talked with our midwife about options.  An anesthesiologist joined us to answer any questions we might have about an epidural, which we decided was the right choice for us.

As with all things labor and delivery related, I’m not sure how accurately I can describe what getting an epidural feels like, or how it feels after.  I could still feel everything (including my limbs), but the pain was much less intense and I was able to relax between contractions.  I hadn’t eaten more than a few crackers (I was nauseous much of the day), so as soon as the nurses told me I couldn’t eat after getting the epidural, I basically wanted to eat everything in sight.  I started getting restless, but going for a walk was no longer an option, so we watched a little TV.  I could barely contain my jealousy (nor my lack of sensitivity, apparently) as a Biggest Loser contestant devoured an entire pizza in his “before” footage.  TV was a bad idea.

Grace at 2 weeks

At some point (and this one is entirely on me — Nick now has a firm “no voluntary studies” policy), I agreed to participate in a study about epidurals (how they are administered, and if that affects their, well, effectiveness).  At some regular interval, a doctor would come into the room and ask me about pain and nausea and then (this is the absolute truth) poke me with one of those little cocktail swords (not something that looked like a little cocktail sword, an actual little cocktail sword) to determine where I did or did not have feeling.  Being in labor is surreal on its own, but this sword thing?  It was really bizarre.  The nurses (and my husband) kept reminding me that I could opt out of the study at any time.  Meanwhile, I had developed a strong craving for maraschino cherries.

Nick went to grab some coffee and as 11 o’clock approached, I wondered if Grace would, indeed, be born today.    I talked to my parents and siblings (and was denied my requests for an entire pan of baked ziti and two bags of cool ranch Doritos) and focused on the affirmation that seemed so silly a few days before, but that helped me so much during those last few hours: Grace will come at the perfect time.

I repeated this over and over in my head and soon enough, I felt like that perfect time was upon us.  A new midwife had just come on shift (I feel like I could write a whole book about how wonderful these women are) and she and the nurses started preparing for Grace’s delivery.  She got sort of close to my face and said, “You have carried this baby inside of you for nine months.  Are you ready to bring her out?  Are you ready to get started?”  Part of me was like, Um… I don’t think I could stop this if I tried and the other parts was like, Yes! I want her here so badly!  In my emotional memory (which is likely not fully accurate), Jock Jams started playing and Nick and the midwife high-fived.

Nick and Grace

Remember when I told you that a blizzard prevented us from completing our childbirth class?  This is where that missed information would have been helpful.  One nurse asked if I remembered my breathing.  I had no clue what she was talking about (it turns out, you kind of just… well, breathe).  We were similarly surprised to find out just how active a role Nick would be playing in Grace’s delivery.  I guess we sort of imagined he’d gently stroke my perfectly coifed hair and tell me I was amazing, but instead he was holding one of my legs and coaching me through the pushing (and telling me I was amazing).  Another surprise (sorry, this is kind of unpleasant, but I am feeling like it might help to know this): some people throw up, like a lot, when they’re delivering.  Apparently I am one of those people.  Also, I somehow managed to get a (clean and very much empty) bed pan stuck inside my hospital gown.  So there’s that.

Everything felt so charged and intense during the delivery.  I remember melting into the hospital bed between pushes, and asking Nick to cover my face with a cold cloth.  I have never prayed like I prayed that night.  I felt weak and exhausted, and at the same time, stronger and more powerful than ever.  It was nothing like the movies (and I mean that in the best possible way).  There was no yelling or screaming (though I did kind of involuntarily roar at one point), no real dramatics.

It was very fleeting, but I did have a quick rush of panic that I might not be able to do it.  That I was too tired.  Or too weak. I thought (this is so, so ridiculous… but also so, so funny to me), Maybe I can skip this next contraction and rest a little.  Nick saw right through that one and encouraged me to be a normal person keep going.  Our midwife calmly whispered, “Don’t be afraid.”  Just then, the miniature sword wielding doctor entered the room for our next round of the study, and Nick (politely) told him to hit the road.  For a million reasons, I am so grateful for my husband.

I am sure the nurses and midwife were talking to me, but at this point I kept my eyes on Nick and watched his posture change as the energy in the room intensified.  I hadn’t noticed that a baby nurse had come in, and that the midwife and nurses had put on masks.  “She’s coming so soon,” he said.  “She’s really coming.”  It was 12:16 A.M. on Wednesday.

Grace (and her adorable nose) at 6 hours, Elizabeth in need of a flat iron

I used to think that if I had a baby, I’d want him or her “cleaned off” before holding them.  I thought I’d be squeamish about all the, you know, stuff.  I thought I’d want everything to be neat.  In reality, I couldn’t get my hands on her fast enough.  I reached for her and Nick, desperate to have our little family together for the first time.  I kept saying “I love her so much” over and over, and then turned to Nick with the biggest smile of my life (he just reminded me of this – I wanted him to read this whole thing before I sent it out into the Universe) and exclaimed, “I would do this a million times!”  So… there’s your proof that happy, pain-killing hormones are real.  Or, that I am delusional.

Once Grace was on my chest, and I could see her tiny nose and eyes and fingers and cheeks, I cried for the millionth time since first knowing I was pregnant with her.  I felt like my heart was outside of my body.  I couldn’t see anyone else, I couldn’t hear anyone else, I couldn’t think about anyone or anything else.  I had no idea my love for her would feel like that.  And still, when I think that love can’t get any bigger, it somehow grows.

Grace at 6.5 months

Just this week Grace started putting both her hands up and reaching for me.  I can’t help but think, every time, about that night when I first reached for her.  That night is my favorite story.

It’s the story I tell myself when I miss her during the day, or when feel discouraged about my “body after baby” (whatever that means), or when people ask if she’s sleeping through the night, or when I have to pump in an airport bathroom while traveling for work (the glamour of life abounds), or when I find spit-up on the back of my dress halfway through Mass, or when there is not enough time to do it all or be it all.

Because that story and how it ends and what it gave us, that is it all.

Also On Tap for Today:

How are you spending your Labor Day Weekend?

Today: The Weekend According to Instagram XXVIII

We made a quick trip to Maine this weekend to see Nick’s parents, and made it back to the city in time for our niece’s birthday party.  By the time Sunday evening rolled around, I was ready to face plant into bed… but forced myself to do laundry first.  You know, so I would have something to wear come Monday morning.

Oh, and before we dig into my own Instagram feed, I came across something worth sharing this morning: Brendon and Danielle are hosting a fantastic yoga challenge (starting today) that focuses on modifications.  I love that there is room for everyone to practice in yoga, and this challenge reflects that.

Okay.  Let’s look at pictures of my trunk.  And the harbor.  And my dog.

The Weekend According to Instagram XXVIII

Follow me on Instagram: @ElizabethEv

  1. This is what “packing light” looks like these days.  After visiting my parents on the Cape over the 4th, we had a pretty good sense of what was necessary and what we could leave home.  I am not sure why I packed 100 diapers for a 36 hour trip, but hey. In addition to the obvious (ye olde Pack ‘N Play), we have a couple baby items that have been great for travel: this Skip Hop outdoor blanket which folds up beautifully and easily wipes clean (bonus points for for detachable insulated bag – we used this for Grace’s rash guard and swim diaper last weekend) and the Puj Flyte infant bath, which also folds up (sensing a theme?) and fits in most sinks.  I was afraid Grace had outgrown the Flyte (we used it for her first few baths at home), but it actually works even better now that she’s, welp… sturdier.
  2. I will never tire of this view. Dusk in Boothbay Harbor is just incredible.  I remember one of my art history professors in college talking about how the light in Maine is magic.  I thought he was high.  Now I think he was just telling the truth (also, he could have been high).
  3. Other magical things in Maine: This aptly named “Little House” nestled just along the harbor.  When I’m old I want to live in a little house (specifically: a tiny house).
  4. I’ve been sharing pages from my sketchbook lately on Instagram.  I’ve always loved to draw, but I’m finding it especially productive as a way to quiet my brain a bit at the end of the day.  I’m the first to admit that I’m tightly wound and the last few months?  On another level.  I’ve been breaking out some paper, a pen and a set of watercolors most nights after Grace goes to sleep (and, inevitably, before she wakes up again).  There were a few Audubon field guides at the cottage (plus, like… real birds outside…), hence the, um... birdoodles.
  5. An old, old wooden ship.
  6. Clark loves heading North.  He also loves pretending to play guard dog behind decorative screen doors.
  7. How I close out the weekend: brewing a pitcher of peppermint tea to sip cold throughout the week.  Super refreshing.  The Yogi Tea quotes help.
  8. New animal obsession: hedgehogs.  I picked up this set of notecards at Target (no surprise there).  More hedgehog cuteness: Biddy the Hedgehog’s Instagram account.  He fits in the palm of your hand, he visits National Parks, he is magnificent.
  9. Aaaaaaand a tiny OOTD: Grace’s party dress for her cousin’s birthday.  Wouldn’t be a party without a bow.

Hope you had a lovely weekend, too.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Today: The Weekend According to Instagram XXVI

It’s been a hundred years several months since I shared a Weekend According to Instagram update. Mostly because I was trying to learn Roman numerals and figure out what came after XXV.  Just kidding.  Or am I?

Regardless, we really packed quite a bit of fun into the past two days.  I wish every day was a summer weekend day.  Except, like, Christmas.  Obviously.

The Weekend According to Instagram XXVI

  1. After Nick got home from CrossFit and I finished a little yoga on the deck and a walk with my lovely friend Alyson, we headed down to my parents’ house for some pool time.  Grace is still too young to wear sunblock (though our pediatrician did say we could test a tiny patch on her arm, she emphasized that our best bet is keeping her out of the sun altogether), so we broke out her ridiculous sun hat and rash guard for quick dip.  She seemed a bit shocked at first and was clearly holding on for deal life, but I have a feeling we’ve got a water baby on our hands.
  2. We spent lots of time outside this weekend, including a little Sunday evening stroll around the neighborhood with the Frenchie.  Earlier in the day, Grace and I met up with our mom/baby friends and JP and then picked up Nick for our baptism prep class and some lunch in the Back Bay.
  3. There is more Black Mass filming being done in our neighborhood this week.  On one hand, it’s rather exciting to have Johnny Depp walking around, but on the other, it was a pretty unnerving to see signs about forced busing at the old Southie High last night.  Sure, the fresh paint on the street is part of a movie set, but the busing crisis was a real and critical time in the city and neighborhood’s history, one with powerful and lasting effects.
  4. On a lighter (only 100 calories and not the least bit depressing) note: I am going to eat 600 Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars this summer.  2 down, 598 to go.  I received a coupon for a free box a few weeks ago and highly recommend the sea salt caramel flavor (we’re already onto our second box), best enjoyed with your feet up on the deck.  Oh, and save your popsicle sticks.  I’ve got an easy DIY project coming up later this week.
  5. Nick and I had our first date night (5 months in the making!) since becoming parents.  Mom on the loose!  We were able to get last minute tickets to Amaluna and my sister and brother-in-law generously offered to babysit.  It was really nice to get out for a bit, especially knowing Grace (and Clark) were in such good hands.  The pictures my sister took of Zach and Grace together basically melted my heart.  Uncle Z is the coolest.
  6. We were home before dark (and I nearly fell asleep during intermission — I need to step up my game if I want to convince Nick to go on a second post-baby date anytime soon), just in time to catch this beautiful sunset over the city.

I already want this summer to last forever.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • After watching Tiny, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of moving into a tiny house… maybe, like… in 20 years
  • If you have a lot of free time on your hands before the 4th, make these and impress your friends.
  • 10 easy DIYs for the 4th via Buzzfeed (Red, white and blue jorts for everyone!)

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Today: Bet on Better with me.

Shocking news: Grace will be five months old this weekend.  She celebrated early with 6 consecutive hours of sleep last night.  Meanwhile, I got up every 6 minutes to check on her, starring in disbelief as the baby who rarely slept more than 3 hours in a row continued to sleep soundly in her crib.  Is this what the next 20 years will be like?  Me peeking around corners, tiptoeing in the darkness, and spying on my own child to ensure everything’s okay?  I should probably invest in a periscope.  Or maybe some Spy-Tech (coolest 80’s toys, hands down).

Now that Grace’s schedule is starting to level off, I’ve got some catching up to do.

I don’t know why, but I had this ridiculous idea that once I went back to work (12 weeks after Grace was born), I would be sleeping through the night, eating something other than a handful of Fritos and an entire quart of raspberries for dinner (i.e. my sixteenth one-handed meal of the day), working out regularly at the gym, and oh, I don’t know, fitting into non-stretchy pants.  Needless to say: not happening.  Not yet.  Or at least, not all in the same day.

The combination of sheer exhaustion and a desire to spend every second (that I am not working, or like, showering) with our little family has made working out… challenging.  Throw in the broken toe (which is nearly healed, and almost looks like a regular toe again), and you’ve got a recipe for disaster the perfect excuse.  I eat reasonably well and have fit in daily walks and some great spinning and yoga classes over the past few months, but I feel like it’s time to really make a commitment to my health and wellness.  Life is not going to get less busy.  As the months pass, it may not be any easier to eat thoughtful meals, or sleep longer than a few hours in a row, or balance work and family time.  It may not get easier, but judging by how our lives continue to change, especially recently, it will get better and better.  

In an effort to stay accountable and motivated, and to build community around making the best possible choices for ourselves and those we love, I am hosting my first DietBet.  I’ve named it “Bet On Better” because, for me, it’s not simply about losing a few pounds (though I do look forward to fitting into real pants).  It’s about making better choices for myself across the board, choices that will help me honor my commitment to a healthy, happy, and well-lived life.

If you’re new to DietBet, you can read my full run-down here, but essentially each 4-week game includes an initial bet (in this case, $35) which goes into the pot.  Participants who successfully (and safely, please!) lose 4% of their weight during the game split the pot.  You also have the option to donate your winnings to charity, which I find to be great motivation.  I have participated in games before, and really enjoyed the community fostered among players.  As a host, I will be providing a little extra motivation, support, and helpful resources throughout the 4 weeks.  The game begins on July 8th.  I hope you will join me and consider bringing a few friends along (this is definitely one of those the more, the bigger pot merrier cases)!

Click here to join (or learn more about) the Bet On Better DietBet!

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your best source of motivation when it comes to making better choices?