oh hey.

oh hey everyone.

yep still here.  still breathing although that last post doesn't make it seem like it.



this is such an interesting stage to be at in my life because i feel like i've been going at it so long.  but then i take stock of my inventory and i realize, jim and i are really at the beginning still.  our third (!) anniversary is in december and while i can't believe it's been that long, it really is still the first chapter.  and that realization helps.  to know that it's okay if we don't have everything i want, it's ok if we are short on money and don't own a home yet.  it's okay to know that there will be new additions added and new hard times and good times to come.

fall has always been my favorite season, i think most mid westerners will agree, there is nothing like the perfect fall day.  this year i have been trying to ruminate on why i personally love fall so much as it goes beyond pumpkin spice lattes (yes i worked it in) and cable knit cardigans.  as someone who thrives on being busy and even at times unhealthily thrives on stress, there is something soothing about watching your world prepare for rest.  to know that even the trees take time to let go of their leaves and stay quiet.  rest has never been something i'm good at, i'm much better at "well, i feel like i am at a really good place, let's add one more thing" so to see nature so completely fall into a resting state, i can't help but feel it does my soul good.

take note soul, the point of life is to enjoy it.  i am constantly relearning that lesson everyday.  with cold toes and warm coffee in the morning with my little one, with a beer at lunch just because i can, holding hands with my husband, and yes with pumpkin spice lattes.

heart, welcome fall, welcome the rest that this winter will provide.



money money monayyyyyyy

when i quit my job, 11/30/12, my husband and i didn't really have plan.  we knew it was important to us for me to not work and stay home and we knew that he alone didn't make enough money.  fortunately, he receives a big bonus in december and that along with our income return kept us going for... well a while.

and now we are here, 9/22/13, and i have insomnia and have had insomnia on/off for weeks.  because we are so so so short on cash.  and instead of just focusing on paying the bills in front of me i am stressing out about credit card debt and trying to buy a house and just getting my freakin car paid off already and "why weren't we smarter for the two years before we had a kid?!:!"  it is so so so hard.  today jim told me that i act like i am at a morgue when we spend money.  and honestly, it's probably true.  i feel like i am suffocating.  like there is an elephant on my chest and it is just all piling up at once.  and i feel like i am in this tunnel and i just can't see the light even though i know it is there, in december, when he gets his next bonus.

and so i am sitting here not sleeping, being stressed about not sleeping because hello i am babysitting every day this week and who knows if my child will nap at the other persons house and who knows what i will accomplish and how much screaming it will be and hello you have a toddler now not a baby who actually demands your full attention ALL THE TIME because she is constantly trying to climb the stairs, open cupboards, PUT DOG TOYS IN HER MOUTH, REACH IN THE TOILET WHILE YOU TRY TO PUT ON MASCARA.  and it's just a lot ya'll.  i feel like panicking but there is no where to go and oh my god that makes it sound so depressing.  because i love being a stay at home mom and i love my family.  but i just want this money thing under control and i don't know what the answer is.

i know we can make it two months, in my head i know this.  i know we will be fine, but physicallly i don't know what is going on.  i just can't get it to compute.  this stage in life is so hard and overwhelming and wonderful.  i know it doesn't get simpler, i don't need it simpler i just need it a little easier.  i need my mind to shut down and rest.

all summer, the baby was waking up multiple times at night, usually 5-8, and during this time, i have never know exhaustion like i did then.  it was terrible, looking back on it i have no idea how i survived.  and yet this is so much worse, this sensation where you can feel your mind starting to race at 9, knowing that it isn't going to shut down and power off.  knowing that you will be awake and alone.  knowing that you are facing another week.

i was hoping writing would help, maybe it will.  i guess you don't know unless you try.

a letter to my daughter.

dear a,

time is a fickle friend.  never trust it.  as you grow it will seem as if the time passes slowly, your years marked by half and quarter birthdays, each day you will wake up with the sunshine in your hair and the possibility of the entire day in front of you.  you will wish it away, wanting to be older so you can stay up later, go out with your friends, start to drive, go to college, and then you hopefully will one day have children and time becomes an enemy robbing you of your days, the minutes and hours ticking by faster than you can count.

wasn't it just yesterday you were still curled up in my belly?  kicking me and making all sort of alien movements from the outside?  wasn't it just yesterday i met you for the first time.  your little fists curled into tight balls, your blue eyes closed against the harsh hospital lights.

tonight i held you and you feel asleep in my arms for the first time without being nursed to sleep.  you laid you head right on my heart and i sang you song after song until you fell asleep.  i think we both knew it was something the other person needed.  my lullabies ran out after skidamarink and you are my sunshine so i eventually was singing the lines i know from patience, we didn't start the fire and ain't no mountain high enough.  your lanky legs were splaid out over my legs, your stomach warm against my stomach.  your breathe gentle on my chest.  we've known each other for eleven months darling girl and i would be lying if i said my heart didn't ache for the moments that have passed.  your newborn gummy smiles, your first giggles and how proud you were when you learned to sit up.

you call me and daddy by name now, although it is funny you say "mom" and "dad" more than momma or dada.  i want so badly to freeze you as you are right now, beautiful and perfect, so proud and mischevious but starting to be such a good listener.  we are on the cusp of toddlerhood and as the nights tick by and make my sleeping baby a little older it is hard not to be sad.  but baby, i hope you know how excited i am for our future together.  to know that we will share so many more years together.  i promise to always always always be there for you.  i won't ever leave you or stop loving you.  you are my joy and my heart, one of my biggest reasons for waking up in the morning and certainly the reason i have a smile on my face when i do.

i love you baby, for all of time and beyond,
xoxoxxxxx
your mom.

the purpose of working out

for years i have struggled, with my weight, my body image, eating habits, even i would say this extends to my inner peace i have felt.  i have seesawed from one extreme to another (no you don't have to balloon up and down like oprah to seesaw, thirty pounds can do it).

my eating habits have straightened themselves out for the most part.  i am happy with how i eat, feel that i eat well and can definitely tell a difference when i choose to put in crap.  but my work outs are another story.  i am so extreme in them only "counting" a workout if it am doing the hardest level on a videotape or going for a 3+ mile run.  i don't mentally count walking the dogs, chasing my daughter, house cleaning, chasing a toddler, etc.  unless i get a check mark from someone saying "good job you worked out" i haven't let it mentally benefit me instead i let the stress of "missing" a work out eat away at me for the day.

the thing with this schedule though, is that i am almost constantly injured.  i am having trouble with my hips, knees, and back right now and i know that if i keep this up eventually i won't be able to go through the pain.  and the thing is i like running, enough to protect it from my own selfishness.  i don't want to have it give it up because i was killing myself on a damn jillian michaels dvd.

so anyways the purpose of this long stream of consciousness is that i want to change what working out means for me.  to go from feeling the burn to feeling peace.  still completing one long run a week (6+ miles) i want to take the other days to practice yoga, work on my flexibility, and free my hips and back from the pain i have been in.  to all working out to become a source of healing in my life instead of pain.  to not allow my body image and self to be defined by six pack abs and to allow myself a little grace.

healthy treats and good eats

it seems that i am continuously revamping my eating habits.  always trying to be healthier and cut out more processed food.  during my pregnancy though, i developed quite the sweet tooth and and have since been trying to cut out that darn craving for sugar.  that being said, recently i have redoubled my efforts as i now have a little one that is not only interested in food and what mommy's eating but will also be eating everything that we eat very very soon.  i am definitely inspired to continuously step up y eating and focus on eating whole foods.  that being said, i am still going to be making my killer cakes on the weekends!

here is what i have been enjoying recently

avocado and egg over hard.  a little bit of salt and hot sauce and this is a delicious lunch high in protein and the good for you fat!!!


coconut milk and chia seeds (thank you danielle at sometimes sweet for this recipe via instagram! i have loved it!)

take one can of coconut milk and mix with 1/4 cup chia seeds for every cup of milk, refrigerate for two hours and top with berries and a little agave nectar/honey if desired!  it comes out the consistency of a rich custard and was so satisfying.

beets - i have busted out my juicer again and am hard at work making a juice first thing in the morning.  i started juicing beets this morning and was pleasantly surprised not only by how pretty they made my juice look but also their pleasant and subtle flavor!
so those have been my go to recently.  anyone have any healthy secrets or favorite foods to share?  i love how easy the above "recipes" or flavor combinations are, that's one of the great things about whole foods - the flavor is there you don't need to add much!
ya'll.  tomorrow is our very very first road trip as a family!  i am so excited to be visiting family out of town and introduce our precious baby to her extended family.  words cannot even describe.  i have been like a kid before christmas this whole week.  there is something about getting together with kin that makes my heart feel so whole.  so hopefully i will have pictures to share!

in other news, we finally broke down and sleep trained.  tuesday night i listened to my baby girl cry for 67 heartbreaking minutes.  it was terrible, we couldn't eat, barely talked, it ruined my whole night.  but you guys... after that she is sleeping through the night and taking her naps on a consistent basis!!!  i am so happy that she is FINALLY getting the rest she needs after months of night wakings/no consistent naps.  i know it's been two days but it was literally like a miracle overnight!  last night we went from 6pm to 6am!!!  i am just happy she is getting the rest she needs for her development.

so peace out till after the weekend.  hopefully you will see more of me on here now that i am not constantly holding a baby!  hallelujah!!!

firsts.

part of the reason having a baby is so fun is because of the firsts.  first time saying "mama" first time taking a step, first time to disneyland (OHEMGEE CANNOT WAIT)

but there's also the first illness, the first time being teased, the first heartbreak.

my poor little is sick, for the first time, and while i feel lucky we went nine months without any illness... it doesn't make this one any easier.  my vivacious and active baby has turned into a limp little ragdoll.  and there is nothing i can do besides almost constant nursing and cuddles and advil every six hours.  last night we slept on the couch together since it's cooler downstairs, her little inferno of a body curled into mine.  and while i would do anything to take her illness for her, this has almost been a trip down memory lane to that tiny newborn who i did nothing for but constant nursing and cuddles.  here's hoping we will be back up and running by the weekend.



in an unrelated note, this has been lacking some pics recently so... here you go!



we are heading into double digits next month! yikes!!!


her uncle calls this her "mad scientist" face, it happens all.the.time. and i LOVE it.


someone (me!) turned 26 the other day.  baby was less than impressed with the singing and candles.

welcoming in 26.

**disclaimer, my laptop is back up and running!! hallelujah ptl!  i apologize for my conspicuous absence on the blog while that was going on, but it was nice to be unplugged for a while and not having a computer definitely does that.



dear jim and little a,

yesterday i turned 26.  and you made me feel like the luckiest woman alive.  baby girl, i will write to you first, you lit up my heart yesterday and i thought it might burst with happiness.  your daddy got up with you when you woke up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 and when i came rolling down at 8, you were nothing but smiles.  we shared a breakfast together in which you were your usual smiling, happy, babbling self and then we napped together on the couch.  your body, which is becoming less tiny by the day, curled into mine, your deep even breaths setting a tone for my day and giving my heart peace.  when you woke up, we took the dogs for a (HOT!) trail walk and a little over halfway you decided you were done with the stroller and wanted to be in your carrier.  you clung to my shirt like a little monkey and nestled into me, once again just settling peace into my heart.  we got home and i fed you lunch, which you devoured (shredded carrots, grapes, and puffs) and you curled up on me for your second nap.  that leo woke you up when dada came home with his and mama's lunch but you remained all smiles and although daddy threatens to get rid of leo for all the trouble he causes, i know we will always be a family.

after lunch, i wanted to take you swimming, daddy and i were a little nervous, we weren't sure if you would like it and were convinced we would pay just to stay there for 20 minutes and have to come home.  baby girl, you surprised me in ways i didn't even know were possible.  the first 20 minutes you clung to me and snuggled in, overwhelmed by the kids and loud noises but all of the sudden you broke out of your shell and came to life!  you were blowing raspberries at the lifeguards, smiling at the other kids, and babbling away to daddy and i.  you kept "swimming" back and forth from dad to i.  you little legs kicking away and your arms making tiny paddling motions.  my little fish is definitely not afraid of the water.  i know you lit our hearts up with your pure joy in swimming.  watching you enjoy your time with us was the best gift i could have ever been given.

you fell asleep on the way home but it was only a cat nap, i felt for sure you would nap once we got home but you were raring to go!  so go we did, for ice cream and you enjoyed your tiny baby cone of vanilla and even got a few bites of cone in before daddy called it quits.  both of us had ice cream all over us as you felt the best way to enjoy it was by digging in with your fists.  daddy and i stopped at the grocery store with you on the way home and picked you up fresh fruit and you had your first taste of watermelon when we got home.  you love your fruit little girl.  a bath to clean up and some snuggles and you drifted off to sleep.

baby girl, it is hard to describe what my first birthday was like being a mom, but the only word that really describes it is perfect.  i hope you know what you mean to me and how much a part of me you are (after all you lived in my belly!), you are my miracle and my perfect gift.  i love you so much my sweet baby girl, thank you for my birthday.

to my husband, my handsome husband, who totally fooled me and gave me the best surprise by getting the day off work when originally i didn't think you would be able to, you are my heart.  none of the above would be possible without you.  my birthday comes so close to the day we met, which in my heart i feel was a sort of renaissance in my life.  it is such a sobering reminder of how unhappy i was the day i turned 23 and i never thought in 3 years that i could be this happy and this fulfilled.  i love you more than you will ever know, but i hope i show you at least part of it in our years together.  i enjoyed the most perfect day with you and love you more than you know.

all my love, xoxoxx,
bria

oh july! july!

And just like that another month of summer begins...

I have been neglectful of this place recently.. but I think I needed tye break.   Plus my laptop is broken (wah wah) so I am currently typing this on a tablet (yuck) and will have a severe lack of pictures.

But I am thankful for July... it feels like a fresh slate.  For a long time in my oife I could never really describe myself as happy and I can now and it feels good.  The cloud over my head has dissipated, I don't constantly fear the future.  It is refreshing to take my happiness at face value instead of constantly searching for what was going to go wrong

Saturday I had a mini break down w the hubby which althouhh doesnt seem to fit in w the theme of happiness... does.  You guys.... I was just so exhausted, which sounds so trivial right? But I was just left feeling empty.  But after I cried and admitted how tired I was, I felt so much lighter, even though my amount of sleep remained the same.  Sharing burdens really does help, amen?

I have also taken some time off running after a knee injury had me hobbling last week and I really think I needed it.  Running eight miles isn't worth it if I end up just being a bitch all day because I am so tired.

I am looking forwwrd to sharing photos and more thoughts once that computer is up and runningbut for now I am resting and taking in summer and enjoying my beautiful family,

Welcome back july, it's nife to see you again.

the truth.

"you can't handle the truth"

confession, i have never seen a few good men.  i am planning on watching this along with other movies i deem "must see" that were either just before my time or i never got around to watching (ie. the godfather among others) soon.

ahh the truth, the truth is my baby is in full blown sleep regression and i am now getting up 5+ times a night leading to very tearful mornings (me not her)

the truth is i no longer believe in any sleep training miracles and am not letting her "cry it out" much to the chagrin of some of the moms i know...

the truth is that sometimes, i just don't feel like writing.  not getting sleep and trying to train for my half is leaving me ex-hausted.  at seven pm when i normally go for my run, my sneakers feel like they have lead in them.  my eyelids are already heavy and what i really want to do is curl up on the couch with chips and cookies and watch seinfeld till i go upstairs.  the truth is, is that even without a outside of the home job, i still have weeks where i'm not pulled together, where parenting makes me feel at a loss, where we have more meals out of our microwave than i am proud of. 

but other than tears and unhealthy meals.  i have had bright spots.  i need to get better about including more pictures of the happenings around here, which means i need to get better at taking them.... but here we go

currently

eating: grilled food and lots of it on the weekends, burgers, brats, grilled veggies, steak, it's all coming my way and we don't have to turn on the oven AND my husband does the majority of the cooking, win win win!

planning: for my bestie to get in her 15 hours!!! OHEMGEE.  since she went southern over two years ago, our get togethers are few and far in between.  but (hopefully that will be changing) always always appreciated.  she hasn't seen baby since december so the changes will be remarkable and of course i am looking forward to her company

also i am planning for fathers day!!!!!!!!!!!  as you all remember, i love birthdays and any surprise days!  i am working out a full blown menu for fathers day and am using this to jump start my meal planning next week (holla i am pulling it together!) so far i am waiting on the husband to decide what he wants for dessert but i will be sure to take pictures (check!) and share what we have planned.  i will also share the video i made for him.

loving: my new tattoo!  i went on monday and finally got my inner arm tattoo done.  i love having a reminder of my mom so close to my heart

feeling: like a bad ass because my favorite tattoo artist remembered me and i haven't had her do a tattoo in 2+ years.  again, as someone who moonlights in pink cardigans by day, having a tattoo artist think i am legit is an honor i do not take lightly. also i feel way more bad ass that with my 10 tattoo i am finally confident enough to start having my ink show.

reading: i have been a book whore recently.  i raced through love the one you're with and heart of the matter by emily giffin and am now reading delirium by lauren oliver.  i like(d) all three but preferred love the one you're with over heart of the matter.

and just because i can't help it.
bad-ass.

give me that banana mom.
 
 


carry on warrior, my thoughts

recently i finished carry on warrior by glennon melton.  i am enjoying getting back into reading and thought it would be fun to start some book posts, if for no other reason than to remember what i thought about them and truths i may have come across.

let me start by saying, i wanted to like to this book, really really wanted to.  i haven't been a follower of glennon's blog but downloaded the free sample on my kindle after seeing her/the book pop up quite a bit recently and was intrigued.  and it starts off pretty good.  although not my exact brand of philosophy, i found myself identifying in part and enjoying her stories.

on amazon there is review after review about how uplifting this book is... and that is where, for me, things kinda fell apart.  she tells story after story about how frustrated/exasperated/AT THE END OF HER ROPE she is with her kids and instead of my inner monologue identifying along and being like "so true glennon, motherhood is hard!  what funny moments that let me identify with you!" i found myself wondering "does CPS know about this family? does this woman even love her kids?"*  in turn, instead of being uplifted... i was actually becoming more and more depressed.  feeling as though i was looking uncomfortably in on a "broken" family that i would just prefer not to know about.  

the other big sticking point for me was, as the book went on, i could almost feel the author's defenses rising as she answers questions/speaks to naysayers that have emailed/commented.  as someone who is preaching LOVE LOVE LOVE, the attacks against the naysayers are very thinly disguised in this love language.  and here's the thing, it is natural to raise your hackles when attacked... to bristle when a mean comment about how we look/are raising our family/food we are eating/words we are writing WHATEVER comes our way.  the whole book of carry on warrior though, seems to be speaking against this natural human reaction, but in the same breath, the author CAN'T HELP BUT DO IT, IN THE BOOK!  this left me feeling very disjointed, and it left the book feeling immediately inauthentic.

in summation, this book for me was like showing up a little late to the gold rush.  there are some good nuggets but you are sifting through a LOT of sand to find them.

*i am sure she does love her children, this is merely how i felt reading the book

little things

(1) i forgot how good graceland is.  love love love that album.

(2) "She and I have shared the same body. There is a part of her mind that is a part of mine. But when she was born she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore." Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club 

hearbreakingly perfect. i am dying to read this book and wondering if i can make it to my next library trip.  even within that, my favorite line is "sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since" that line brings tears to my eyes.  motherhood is such a gift, one that is best not held too tightly for fear of damaging the gift.

(3) i have decided on a new tattoo!!  still waiting on inspiration to strike with my daughters (tattoo in memory of her, not getting my 7 month old tattooed)

(4) long weekend and boy do we need it around here.  long week for my hardworking hubby.  cannot wait to relax with him and function as a unit- go team!!

little moments to remember, little prayers to say, little moments to remember that are in my day to day.


fantasy vs. reality

as previously mentioned in this post, i have been entering the HGTV smart home giveaway... every day.  this takes me approximately two minutes to complete every day, which has translated into about 1.5 hours when it is all said and done.

1.5 hours is a lot of time to day dream about winning.

the house is located in florida and i have this secret fantasy in my head where we win and move to florida (someplace the husband and i have NEVER wanted to live) but moving is all in this master plan and we end up LOVING it.  also florida is a hot spot for bloggers, so i end up becoming bff's with

kelle from bloom


and glennon from momastery


(i think they need a blonde friend, don't you?)

and then because we have to move to florida and get new jobs (well the husband does, my job remains taking care of the baby - i would get a book deal (awesome!) and we would never have to worry about money again and also we would get to swim WHENEVER WE WANT! (a huge deal for a native ohioan).

what's really sad about this is that i keep seeing signs that i am going to win.  i feel like i am playing the lottery with my last dollar.

while creating this made up universe in my head, i have also been working on "staying present" "staying focused"

clearly, i need to remain working on it... but until that HGTV winner is announced... well you never know, it could be me!

mastectomy

last tuesday, angelina jolie announced in a new york times op-ed feature that she has undergone a preventative double mastectomy because she carries a brca gene.

my mom was diagnosed with (advanced stage 3 or 4) breast cancer at 32, when i was 1.  she beat it and lived for seven more years before dying at 39, when i was 8.  my mom's death has (obviously) had a lifelong influence on me.  in many ways, i am only now understanding and overcoming the immense grief as i experience it anew as a mother.  parenthood changes everything, even things you thought you processed long ago.  as i am watching my daughter grow, it brings to the surface how much i really and truly miss my mom.

when you are little, you look at your parents as superhuman.  being able to overcome anything.  i remember repeatedly asking my mom to marry me when i was young because i couldn't imagine ever loving someone as much as i loved her.  you then enter the teenage years, think your parents know nothing, and then eventually come full circle where you are able to appreciate your parents as an adults and friends.  for me this cycle halted, cut short as a child, watching someone i thought was superhuman succumb to death.  that instilled a fear in me that i have never been able to truly cope with.  the pain of never knowing my mother as an adult is something that never leaves you completely.

medically, what her diagnosis means for me is that i go to check ups every 6 months, have yearly MRI's and mammograms, diagnostic ultrasounds of anything "suspicious", have already undergone a lumpectomy at 24 (benign), and have already had two specialists recommend prophylactic surgery.

at this stage of my life, i have begun genetic counseling and testing.  but the genes that we know about only account for 10% of cancer... 90% is still left unanswered.  i will go through this process and receive either positives or negatives... but i will still not know if it means anything because my mom didn't have any genetic testing done.  it's almost as if the best i can hope for is a positive because then i know.  no positive hit could mean i do have a gene that isn't detected yet, my mom didn't have a gene it was random, or my mom had a gene and i didn't get it.

there has been and still is a lot of fear in me in regards to breast cancer.  and in regards to life and death and loss.  my mind constantly swirls around loss, ruining precious moments that should be mine for enjoyment.  my daughter in the sunshine, my husband whispering "i love you" too often these moments are immediately followed by an arresting fear.

fear is given a bad rap in our culture "don't make decisions based out of fear."  but having my past that i do, i disagree with this.  fear is a NATURAL emotion and one that should not be ignored or explained away.  although we can do our best to overcome fears, this can be done in a multitude of ways.  for example, with the birth of my first child, i knew from the beginning i wanted a c-section.  my anxiety level about birth and the birth process plus the chance of emergency c-section (40%) weighed so heavily on my mind that for me there was no option but to schedule it.  my doctor fortunately understood my decision, and i received nothing but support from him or my husband.  this decision was based on fear, but there is no doubt that for me it was the right one.  i overcame my fear of childbirth but i did it in a highly unconventional way and one that many woman may not agree with.

prophylactic surgery, at this stage, for me would be based on fear.  fear of not watching my daughter grow up, fear of her experiencing the same, overwhelming heartbreak that i have, fear of leaving my husband...  but i don't think that these motivations are wrong.  and for the women that have chosen the surgery, if it was based on fear - that's ok! we stand behind you 100% for whatever reason it was made.  for right now, i am not 100% sure what i will choose (providing i don't get a "hit" during genetic testing, then my mind is made up and i would proceed with prophylactic surgery at the earliest possible time).  a preventative double mastectomy is not a walk in the park and it will forever change me.  but so would cancer.

sometimes fear is overcome by embracing extreme action.  "conquering" can mean something different to every person alive.  for now, i will walk all avenues available to me, counseling for my mental health and my specialists for my physical health.  i choose to leave no stone un-turned because my daughter depends on me.  i walk this road of conquering fear for her.



for now a "thank you" to the women who have to make these decisions and the specialists and doctor's out there that are helping us.  my doctor's are literally AMAZING and to have their support in addition to my family is almost to much to handle.  

this post is dedicated to my daughter and to my mom, who is missed every day.  

bleh

the weather here in ohio has been extreme lately.  we had 30s on monday and it is hitting 80 today. and for some reason the weather seems to reflect my mood swings (lucky hubby!).  

this past weekend was my first official mother's day as my little was still a bean last year.  and while i was eternally thankful all day for being a mom and definitely filled with joy over my family... i was also exhausted.  my m-i-l came into town for the weekend and thus cleaning, hosting, and cooking was my go-to over the weekend.  and it was a lovely time and very appreciated by all and the company was enjoyed... but it wasn't exactly relaxing.  throw in the fact that little is cutting her top teeth (OHEMGEE WHERE IS TIME GOING!) and she notoriously awakens ALL the time for night feedings during teething has left me going into this week exhausted, frantic, and a little emotional.

a lot of me recently has found myself wishing we lived in a different time.  some of my favorite books growing up were little house on the prairie  

part of me still wishes we lived in that time.  it sucks that my family spends 40+ hours a week being separated.  so much of me wishes my husband could just stay home.  although i love being a SAHM so much of me is missing that it is almost hard to fully engage myself with her.  my fuse is shorter and it shows.  on the weekends, when the whole family is together - the unit functions totally different.  it's literally almost like we are missing our engine while he is at work.  

on top of that you throw in the state of the world and i just can't say i am thrilled with raising a child in this time.  of course, there is no alternative - besides getting super rich and buying an island somewhere.  but one can't disengage completely and so we are left muddling through, doing the best with the resources at hand.  but i think there will always be a part of me that wishes for a simpler time.

in other news, i stopped especially to buy whole fat plain yogurt for my little today and of course had to spend an inordinate amount of time comparing brands and containers, finally decided, paid for it, got all the way home and realized i grabbed french vanilla.  mothereklfjkfsljlk.  niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

just because.



Happy Mother's Day to Everyone.  

and to my little bean, thank you for choosing me as your mom, i love you to the moon and back.

xoxox,
your momma

chutzpah

i will do almost anything to avoid confrontation.  with others, i will lie, pay more for an item.  to avoid it within myself, well there's drinking for that.

it is almost a disease, avoiding confrontation.  in my mind/heart, etc it feels like if i can avoid the confrontation and just get over whatever is bothering me, everything will be okay again.  i do it with everyone but the person it impacts the most is my spouse and eventually it will impact my kids.  i am so sensitive and have such a difficult time dealing with other's anger or not even anger, just unpleasant emotions, that i will do almost anything to avoid it.


the hubby and i are watching seinfeld from the beginning and this clip really struck me.  besides being hilarious (which it is) what struck me is that elaine has some chutzpah.  i couldn't help but be a little jealous when i watched this.  in fact, most of the characters on seinfeld are confrontational when the situation arises for it, even nice guy jerry.  and as i've been watching this show, i can't help but think "why can't i have a simple confrontation without having a panic attack?" why if someone else is in the wrong, am i more than willing to make up for their mistake?

i am a people pleaser, i know this, but what i am just starting to realize is how deep this goes and how dangerous it can be to a relationship.  my poor husband has to literally DAHRAG things out of me in order to for us to discuss them and sometimes i won't even do it then.

this post is going to have an abbreviated ending because as of right now... i don't have the answer.  i don't have this secret ingredient that i can say "well i used to be scared to confront but now i can!" so far... it's something i've realized and on my list of things to tackle.

half written.

i have a lot of half written posts.  writing down my life and what has been happening lately (it's been a lot).  but i can't say i have any real interest in finishing them...

as previously mentioned, my husband and i got married pretty quickly, as in less than five months.  and during those five months you would have thought i was waiting five years "ohmygosh i am soreadytobemarried already!!!" now i look back on that time and i wish i would have enjoyed it.  our somewhat crazy nights out (we were in the process of toning it down as we settled into coupledom), my cruise with my best friend that has ended up being my last friend vacation for a while, our lazy saturday afternoons coupled with nights out to dinner.

sometimes it's easy to look back and think "oh we were so in love then" because of course we were.  and it's probably safe to say, i didn't experience quite the same level of frustration with him that i do at times now.  but the truth of the matter is, it was just simpler then.  life was more simple, no kid, separate bank accounts, buying a house and moving was not on our mind.  but "more simple" doesn't mean "more in love" and something needs to be said for the love that endures the complications of life.  that's why love has to grow, you cannot love your husband now as much as you did on your wedding day.  it's safe to say that if you do, your marriage is in trouble, because it has to grow.  just to keep up with the changes you experience, your family experiences.  love has to develop to encompass the struggles and the joys that life brings.  it's safe to say our life was more simple then, but the depth of joy that i experienced at that time is no where near what i have experienced now, especially as i have added motherhood to the mix.

part of me is wanting to get bogged down in the stress we are facing now.  health, finances, it's all there, waiting for me to dwell in it.  but i am doing my best to force myself to remember that our life is only going to get more complicated.  my daughter's problems will turn into things i can't solve just by rocking her, we'll have even more complicated finances as we add a mortgage into the mix, we'll face aging parents, hopefully we'll add another baby into the mix.  there will only be more threads woven in, more ends that will need tied up, so heart treasure this time.  these simple days that you spend in your rental with the baby that you love so dearly.  treasure the simple love that you have for your husband, knowing in ten years, it will be completely transformed into something even deeper.  know that the trials and stress will not go away but as you endure them, they will eventually allow you to experience deep, deep joy as you develop.

"in three words i can sum up everything i've learned about life 'it goes on'" Robert Frost.

time stops for no man, be grateful little heart for right now.

random

(1) i have been diligently entering the smart home sweepstakes from HGTV, i told my husband "i have a really good feeling about this, i think we are going to win!" we probably aren't... i am pretty unlucky in these things.  but how cool would it be?  check out the house here.

(2) the sunshine helps so much, seriously so so so much.  now i just need to think of age appropriate activities to do outside.  any help on this one moms?  she is six, going on seven months.  also moms any advice for a lightweight travel stroller?  she needs to be able to sit upright in it as she doesn't love her current one because of not being able to sit upright and honestly i don't love it either, it was part of a travel system and is very bulky and takes up a lot of my trunk

(3) we got little's big girl car seat, just waiting to install it!  i can't believe it.  we went with the ever popular britax marathon.  so so so pumped.

(4) finances have been on my mind a lot recently.  i handle the budget, but in my heart i am a spender.  also real talk here, sometimes it's hard not to be envious of all the things other mommy bloggers have.  seriously, how old am i and how stupid do i sound saying that?  but it's true.  i am reigning it in slowly but surely.  defining guidelines have helped with that, so i actually know how much i can spend in each category.  i am also re-evaluating my priorities and reminding myself that stuff eventually is just empty and how much more important it is for me to be home with my family.  how sad that i have to even work on this, but i do.  it is so hard not to constantly want want want.  oh little heart, learn contentment.

(5) running has been going so well recently.  i did 5.7 miles on sunday without blinking (ok i might've blinked but it went pretty well).  i am so thankful to have a husband that doesn't bat an eye when the first thing out of my mouth once that baby is sleeping is "i'm going for a run."

(6) i have been a little lonely recently.  in the past couple of years my two closest friends have moved out of town and i had a kid which kinda puts a damper on nights out (not that i mind).  it makes you realize how much i value good girlfriends and how long it can take to build those relationships.  it also makes me thankful for my husband and serves as a reminder to not let our friendship die out to being "room mates"

(7) i have been in a cooking rut recently, ugh.  any recommendations?  we have been eating a lot of deli sandwiches, lol.  but seriously a deli sammy can be so so so good, especially if you haven't had one in a while.

boston

every mile my feet pounded out last night was in memory of you.  for the miles that won't be run in the future, for the heartbreak that resounded on what should have been a day full of excitement.  i am praying for you, for your families, and for hope.  every mile i run forward will have your memories etched in it.


got my wind.

in 2010 i completed my first and only half marathon so far.

it's hard to believe it's been 3 years.  last year i had signed up and paid for what would have been my second one... i made this decision about 5 days before that pregnancy test popped up positive.  i know some people do it but this girl was not about to run a half 8 months pregnant.  so that race went by the wayside.

ever since i found out i was pregnant.  i knew i would need to complete another half post-baby.  i think mostly just to prove to myself i can do it.  that i haven't "lost it" as a mom.  and i finally made up my mind that this is going to be my goal and that i will accomplish it.

to complete (1) half marathon by the time my little turns 1.

since the weather has finally broken here, i've laced up my shoes a couple of times and gone out for "training" (so b.a. am i right?!).  aaaaaaand... it was rough.  since i've been doing my awesome awful video tapes i wasn't going in blind, but my wind was gone.  i was panting like a dog 1 mile in, getting stitches in my side, wondering if i was dying, just overall doing the opposite of killing it.  i pretty much looked ridiculous each and every time i went out and would come back home and remark "my wind is gone my wind is gone!"

i am happy to announce, i am back baby.  i went out yesterday and pounded out for an hour like it was nothing, i could have kept going! it was such a relief to just be outside, the rhythmic steps, the fresh air, the music pounding, knowing that i am a runner, knowing that this is where i find some of my most peaceful moments, knowing that i am strong enough to set hard goals that take work and accomplish them.  there are so many moments where i feel so incomplete, that i'm not doing enough, i lose my patient/temper, i don't communicate, i fail.

i refuse to let that be my focus though, i refuse to let my shortcomings define me.  so that's my goal, 1 half marathon completed by the time little is 1.  i have just under six months to accomplish it and every time i run i imagine myself crossing the finish line and giving her what will most likely be a very sweaty kiss.

one of those weeks.

i had a post in my head, about how happy i am to get to friday, how sleep training sucks, how i couldn't get myself together this week.  but, i thought about it and i just don't want to remember that stuff this week.

when i re-read this down the line, i want to remember that my six month old gave me lots of kisses and smiles this week, that my husband loves me, and that the whole family was healthy.  (rabbit trail: i take my families health for granted SO SO SO SO SO SO SO often, it kills me actually if/when i stop and think about it, be grateful little heart, your preemie is home and doing well with you!)



snapshots from my friday, top left - homemade fettucine alfredo with pan fried chicken and spinach tonight.
bottom left - my husband bought a shower chair... it arrived in a box labeled "guardian" because we are 90 apparently... a shower CHAIR.  let's just let that sink in.  worst thing about it... where does the monstrosity go when i don't want it in the shower?!?!
center - sleeping baby, door shut during naptime
right - my indulgence at the grocery store today.  having tonight for dessert, soooooo pumped.

happy friday friends.

i know it's late on the getgo.

i have been processing a lot lately... without writing, which is odd for me.  mostly while nursing, running, or laying in bed at night.  i have started the rather arduous process of sifting through and processing my childhood memories as an adult.  i guess having a child has brought them to the forefront of my mind.  it's not really the easiest thing for me to do, some is painful, sometimes even more painful from this point of view.

but in any case, it leaves me a little high and dry in the writing field.  and in the spirit of transparency, i did start this blog with the knowledge that i eventually want it to grow and build it into a way to earn an income.  however, as i have spent more and more time on blogs, there seems to be a lot of "fluff." which is fine, but it's not what i want mine to be.  i want to write because i have something edifying to share, not because i have to post 7daysaweekohmygoshhere'smyweekendrecap.  again, in all areas of my life, i want to stay true to myself and my blog is a natural extension of that.

so at any rate, currently we have been (1) loving the weather, i mean loving loving loving it, thankyouptl! (2) hating 6 month shots :(  (3) enjoying time together as a family (4) realizing my scoliosis is having an impact on my running and that my days in runners shoes are numbered (5) trying my very very best to remain thankful at all times.

also quick update on my weekend, remember when i said i was attempting this cake?  okay, well i was so nervous to make it because i put an inordinate amount of pressure on myself to succeed at everything the very first time i do it ever and you guys, birthdays are a big deal.  but you all, it turned out soooooooooooo good.



(action shot!  hubby getting ready to blow out his candles!)

and when i say so good, i mean it is the best damn cake i have ever eaten.  seriously, please do yourself a favor and try it.  if i could mail you all a cake i would because no one should die without eating this.  the ONLY thing i changed in following the recipe was that i sweetened the icing "to taste" using the confectioners sugar, and only used about 2.5 cups in total.  everything else i followed to a "t."

so with that, happy tuesday!  and here's to cake for breakfast!

6 month postpartum update

ya'll.  it's time.  six months postpartum, and without further ado, here are the pics.  also please enjoy the awkward shots of my bedroom.



overall, i am pretty pleased.  since i already recapped my workout routines in this post, i am just going to give you the low down on what my experience was getting back into shape after birth and some things i forgot to mention.  

one) i really did my best not to stress about it at first.  trust me, the time to think about building muscle is not when you have postpartum blues, little to no sleep, and are recovering whether from birth or surgery.  those first couple of weeks, just focus on your little one and letting your body heal.  the weight comes off naturally especially if you breastfeed (which i HIGHLY recommend if at all possible).  just go in the with the expectation that even though you are not pregnant, you will still look 5 months pregnant for a little while, that's ok- it's natural.  what took nine months to build will not bounce back one day after giving birth.  and despite what our media tells us, getting back to your pre-baby jeans should not be your number one goal after birth.  bond with your baby, let yourself rest and recover and do your best not to stress (trust me, you'll have plenty of other stuff to worry about!!!)

two) a lot of people keep up their regular exercise routines during pregnancy and attribute that to their weight loss.  ya'll --- i did not keep up my fitness routine.  i went from running/working out semi-hardcore to just walking.  i didn't have any special medical complications that prevented me from exercising... other than the fact that oh yeah i was growing a human being.  pregnancy is not the time to stress about workouts.  however, i found that walking helped me just keep my moods somewhat level (although my husband may disagree) it got me outside and helped me stay a little more positive.  but i was not, i repeat not one of those girls running/lifting weights during pregnancy and that's ok.  

three) yes your body comes back, no not everything is the same.  for me, everything is mostly back to the way it was except there are a couple parts with a little cotton stuffing.  my lower abdominals and oddly enough my side/back ribs carry a little extra lovin.  time will tell to see if i completely lose this but in the mean time, i'm not worried.  i was for a while and then i thought to myself, eff it.  i look good, i feel good, i carried a freaking baby, let's rock this while i got it.  because trust me in 10 years - you'll probably wish for this body again.  

four) i am still 10 lbs off or so from what my pre-baby weight was, and that's ok.  i am working out consistently, i have muscle tone and i am still nursing exclusively.  i am letting it rest for now, of course i hope that with a regular running routine, i can one day reach that number again... but for now, i am letting it go.  be realistic and realize that even if you don't reach what your original goal was, you aren't failing.

five) listen to your husband/partner for support and compliments after birth.  you guys, giving birth no matter which way you do it... is not glamorous.  in fact, i would venture to say, it is probably one of the least glamorous things you will ever do in your life.  it's amazing and somewhat cool and you get a baby, so definitely worth it.  but it can leave you feeling a little deflated self-esteem wise.  i definitely felt that and i loved it/identified when giuliana rancic talked about the "momjo" in her show or basically just not losing that sexy post-baby.  again, it does come back.  you probably aren't going to feel terribly sexy three weeks out but give it some time.  once you feel comfortable leaving the baby, get yourself together, put on some makeup and go out with your husband, even if it's just for an hour or two.  j and i went out for the first time on our anniversary when little was about two months old.  just doing that was such a big step and helped me feel a little bit back to my old self.  you can still rock it with a baby, see below for proof.  love that gwen.


six) you guys, final piece of advice - try not to let it be your focus.  you get a baby.  a beautiful, precious human being that lived inside of you for nine months and now is out in the world.  if someone told me i had to hack off my nose in order to get her, i would do it gladly.  

the sun is up

guys, it may still be cold, but we have had consistently sunny days the past couple in ohio, NO complaints here.

nothing big is happening here, easing back into our routine.  april is a month of dr's appointments and follow ups (YUCK!) so the rest of the month will be heating up.  BUT i am gearing up for this weekend, it is the hubby's birthday SATURDAY and my little ones HALF BIRTHDAY SUNDAY!  i LOVE birthdays, especially other people's birthdays.  i LOVE LOVE LOVE planning things and making them special.  i am so excited about the tradition of celebrating my kids half birthdays because i can remember what a big deal it was to me when i was little "i'm 5 and A HALF!"

5 things i am doing for my husbands birthday

(1) making his cake!  wish me luck, i am making this banana cake and am VERY excited about it
(2) putting up a birthday banner
(3) wrapping his presents in kraft paper
(4) surprising him with krispy kremes in the morning
(5) and i have a big surprise planned with a poem i wrote about it that i will share later :)

5 things i love about each day

(1) my child's laugh, getting to stay at home means i am there for every smile, every laugh, and to comfort every tear, i forget this too often and need to remind my selfish heart to be t-ha-n-k-f-u-l
(2) my cup of coffee in the morning
(3) working out!
(4) naps on the couch with a 14 lb sweaty weight on my chest, itdoesn'tgetanybetter than a baby breathing on you
(5) my husband coming home and getting to relax with him at the end of his workday

alsoooooooo, with hitting six months, i thought i would do a post-partum update for you all and do a post on my body six months after giving birth pictures included!! (lucky you! :) so stay tuned that will be coming later this week.  :)

and so it goes.

happy easter everyone.  although everyone's blogs will be filled with a recap of time spent with family, at church, etc.  our easter went a little differently.




how's that for drama eh?  yes, i officially took my first child to the emergency room for the first time, although i am confident it won't be the last.  and yes everything is fine.  my poor baby was in absolute HYSTERICS today and she refused to nurse/eat and i just knew something was wrong.  in six months of being her mom, i have never seen her like she was today.  our dx?  constipation and gas.  poor baby seems to have her mom's digestive system...  good luck baby is all i have to say.  so we were sent home with a "script" for pear juice.

of course when we get to the ER though, she was smiling and cooing.  "oh what a happy baby" was the phrase heard constantly.  and she seems to be fine now.

of course i was in hysterics too for most of the day.  but at the end of the day, we have a healthy baby and that remains the easter blessing i am most thankful for.  here's to a good week and a productive one for my little one's digestive system!

balance: throwback and currently



throwback, hubby and i the second night we ever hung out.  don't we look like a couple?  ya we weren't.  but kinda were, since let's be honest, from the day we met to the day we married exactly 4 months and 24 days transpired.  so the relationship was pretty much on fast forward from the day we met.

and to counteract that throwback.  here's what we are up to currently

feeling: better today!  i was down in the dumps yesterday and it sucks because i realize i am and i want to enjoy each day since they are so brief but i just couldn't pull myself out of my funk yesterday.  i am feeling a little more joyful today and gearing up for easter weekend!

imagining: of moving out of ohio.  i know a lot of people plan on moving and never do, at least here.  but you all, i cannot be born, live, and die in ohio.  i just can't.  i wish it was happening sooner rather than later, but i will keep dreaming, planning and SAVING for it.

listening: to my husband's advice and my own instinct.  at least trying to.  you guys first time parenting is not for the faint of heart.  there are so many experts and books and advice and schedules.  and everyone is convinced their way is the only way.  but you all, take it with a grain of salt.  every time that i listen to my own heart in the way i parent i feel good about myself, even if it goes against the "experts" advice.  every time i listen to a book over my gut, i end up feeling guilty and like i did her a disservice, because normally it just delays the time until i do it my way.  and my husband's advice? "eff em" - those people that give you dirty looks cause you gave your kid candy at 10 am?  eff em.  the person who scowls at you in the dr's office because your kid is crying cause it's past their nap time?  eff em.  you matter, your family matters and that's it - run with it ladies, you are rocking it!  

moving: i am still moving to my exercise videos! and am quite proud of the way things are shaping up, but i got to be honest, i am ready to be outside and moving, please come soon spring!!!

thanks ot and et and harvesting kale :) for the link up.


first six months favorites

hard to believe the little is getting ready to be six months old.  it's crazy how much she has changed and how interested she is in adult things already, namely my coffee cup and my water tumbler.  literally obsessed.  today i swear i turned my head for half a second while holding her and when i turned back she was chewing on my straw.  i am so excited for what the next six months are getting ready to bring us and of course celebrating her half birthday in a little less than two weeks.

the changes occurring in the first two years for a baby are remarkable and with so much on the market and them outgrowing thing so quickly, it is hard to know what to invest in.  here is my version of some "must haves" that include items i have found to be either just indispensable those first couple months or very multipurpose.  noticeably absent are high chairs, car seats, changing tables, etc.  those things are necessities and everyone has different preferences and styles.  so without further ado..


1. fisher price rock and play sleeper: this was recommended to me by another mom who had it recommended to her by another mom and so on.  i was so overwhelmed by all the bassinet and co-sleeper options but i knew i definitely wanted to keep her in my room the first couple months.  but the bassinets are PRICEY and i didn't feel completely comfortable having her in bed with me.
this thing is awesome for the following reasons:

  • lightweight and folds up easily, you can hold the baby in one hand and the sleeper in the other which makes it awesome transporting from upstairs to downstairs (very portable!)
  • approved for night time sleep! 
  • it has a slight incline making it awesome for gerd/colic sufferers
  • cheap this thing clocks in at around $50
  • small it fit right next to my bed easier soothing
  • it ROCKS hence the name, which equals easier soothing.  


notice my emphasis on soothing!  little a started out in this from night one and rocked it till about 3 months when we transitioned her to a crib.

2. halo sleep sack: this is a bit of a common item but i registered for a couple different swaddlers and liked this one the best for the following reasons (the other ones remain unworn and packed away).  little A had to sleep with her arms out (she keep her balled up fists right next to her cheeks and has since the womb) since the startle reflex didn't wake her up or disturb her sleep we used this swaddle which allowed for a tight wrapping around her midsection but let her arms be free.  we have stuck with the halo brand as she has gotten older and she is now using their sleep sacks.  also no blankets to get bunched by the face and obstruct breathing!

3. nordic carrier: i wanted to include this because i think it has features a lot of other carriers on the market lack.  this carrier has the infant position for when they are very small and literally grows with them all the way up.  i know a lot of people purchase the k'taan or moby for small infants and then the ergo baby or bjorn for when they are older.  everyone i know who has purchased this LOVES it, it's affordable and it literally does grow with the child, eliminating the need for two carriers!

4. indestructibles: i LOVE these books.  i got them as a set from steals.com and i am planning on buying more.  here is their excerpt and basically all the reasons why i love them "Built for the way babies read, Indestructibles are printed on an amazing paperlike material that can’t be ripped, torn, or punctured. Indestructibles are 100 percent safe and nontoxic, and if they get too funky, just throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher. They’re made for baby to hold, grab, chew, pull, and bend, and are designed to create an even more special bond between reader and baby. Printed without words, the parent gets to make up the story, or just cuddle with baby while they explore together"
also one more point I would add, the pictures are beautiful and contain very subtle variations in color across the page, perfect for babies developing vision!

5. tiny love play mat: although i love our play mat, this is just more of a recommendation of "get a play mat."  we started laying A on her back at about six weeks and we have definitely gotten our use out of it.  she used to just lay there and look at the figures, then she started batting at them, and now we just use it as a multipurpose mat: hang teethers from it, use it for tummy time, etc, etc.  it is also very easy to transport so i usually take it with us when we travel.

6. bjorn bibs: we started solids recently and since it is cold here, feeding the baby naked isn't an option yet.  these bibs rock- they catch all the food and are SO easy to wipe clean (since we stained all her bibs in basically a day).  one caveat i will say, they take a little getting used to, i put it on her at every meal but usually about halfway through she has had ENOUGH of it and i take it off.  i am hoping as she gets older and we continue to use it she will get used to it.  i imagine we will use these for a long time.


7. gerber 3 pack sleepers: at six months of age, my child still lives in pajamas half the time, i 

figure hey i am in leggings, she should be comfy too!  these are cheap so you don't have to worry if they get stained and even the snap ones are easy to get back together in the middle of the night.  they do run small though, so keep that in mind when buying sizes.  pajamas are an absolute necessity those first couple months especially.  so always have more than you think you will need.  (also just a recommendation clothes wise, outfits are cute but skip anything with layers those first couple months, your infant is TINY, layers looks so ridiculous on a newborn because there isn't anywhere for the fabric to go, it just bunches)

8. boppy pillow: i bought this for breast feeding and it definitely helped those first couple weeks but i didn't get much use out of it after that.  i had packed it away when my friend suggested to pull it back out now that little A is learning to sit on her own.  since i had just been holding her while she sat and played, this was a turning point!  that little cushion goes around her hips and gives her a balance for either side.  i can now face her and we can place the toys between us.  i am loving the boppy again.


9. IQ baby knock knock blocks: these were a christmas gift and i love them.  there are so many different sensory experiences for baby, including crinkling, different fabric textures, rattles, the list goes on and on.  currently baby loves having her dad and i build towers for her to knock down and chewing on them.  as she gets older i imagine she will enjoy building her own towers and we have used them for a while though as she liked staring at the black and white patterns when she was younger.


10.  soothe and glow seahorse: when she was younger, A would be knocked out by the time we put her in her bed, but probably around 4 months, she would be half awake or in a twilight sleep when we would put her in her crib for bedtime after nursing.  this is a lifesaver.  she will literally start to fuss as i lay her down, i push on that little seahorses tummy and she is MESMERIZED and asleep by the time it goes off.  i put hers on the edge of the crib along the slats so she just turns her head and stares at it.  




whew, ok that was long.  how about you?  what were your favorites for the first six months?  and other mommas out there, any recommendations for the next six months? (especially TEETHING recommendations!!) 

it's friday friday friday

quick story.  i have been on antibiotics for the past almost two weeks (hallelujah i'll be done tomorrow) since i did end up having mastitis.  and that means 3 pills every 6 hours.  since i am up at least once a night anyway, i normally just pop them when i wake up and lay my little head back down.  even though my bottle of medicine explicitly states "do not lie down for 10 minutes after taking medication" and for 12 days i was fine.

except last night, when i woke up and could literally feel my esophagus all the way down my body because hello i had swallowed battery acid.  turns out the reflux from my medicine came up and burned me, literally.  i spent the next hour sitting up guzzling water, hot tea, and chomping saltines while my poor husband suffered from heartburn and the sound of me chewing next to him.  then of course a half hour after i fell back asleep, A woke up to eat.

suffice it to say, you guys... when will i learn to follow directions??!!?

but nevermind, it's friday.  and i thought i would share this recipe i came up with yesterday except try not to hate me but i don't have any pictures.  i just think it is so weird time consuming to take pictures of my food.  but it is delicious and we are having leftovers on pasta tonight.

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I threw mine in frozen)
1 green pepper
1/2 of an onion
handful of jalapenos to taste
1 jar of rotel undrained
1 cup of water
1 1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (i got my recipe for homemade here)
3 ounces or so cream cheese

basically throw that junk in there and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  my chicken was frozen so it cooked for around 7 hours.  serve over rice or in flour tortillas (we had ours on brown rice).  i also think this would be excellent over pasta... which we are having tonight!

happy weekend, here's to something other than 10 degree weather!


catch up

teething baby and a husband at home has meant lots of family time, not many naps, and not much screen time.  so here is a catch up,

(one) i sold my first etsy order!  hallelujah ptl, doing my happy dance.  i wrote about failure here and although i am still approximately 19003249083429083 orders away from making money, it still feels nice.  in celebration, i am offering a coupon code 10% off any order 10 dollars or more, just use coupon code neworder upon check out!

(two) yes there is still snow on the ground where i live, yes i am bitter about this.  we are below 20 degrees here people.

(three) baby socks are for the birds, enough said.

(four) i think A is having nightmares.  about 45 minutes after we put her to bed we heard panicked crying and when we went into her room she was crying TEARS and looked extremely frightened.  now when she normally is just crying in her crib because she wants to get up there are NO tears.  i really hope she doesn't suffer from night terrors in the future.  it was a terrible feeling.  i nursed her and j read a story and she was right back to sleep for the night, but i felt terrible.

(five) i have sampled two new bakeries this week which has left me a little disappointed actually.  also my sweet tooth is currently out of control.

(six) i added bloglovin since google reader is adios muchachos!  now all you lovies who desperately have wanted to follow me can..! :)

and i am going to link up with ot and et and harvesting kale :) :) :) here's hoping spring will come soon!

cleaning - my house!  i got some MUCH needed cleaning in today and it does a soul good.

planning - for my husband's birthday and A's half birthday!  we have decided to celebrate half birthdays with all of our kid(s) and i LOVE LOVE LOVE birthdays.  surprises await!

planting - nothing, i am lame, there is snow on the ground.  i did buy tulips to cheer myself up though.

skipping - i have been skipping cooking recently and it hasn't felt good.  we have ordered too much take out and been eating too many chips.  i got back in the game today with a crock pot recipe and am hoping that this gets my out of my slump.  sometimes you just don't have ideas and even the simplest of recipes seems too complicated to execute.

wearing - my winter jacket.  again.  still.  ridiculous.

it's friday.

ya'll it's here.
the weekend, the blessed blessed weekend.

high five for friday:

1.  i am going to ulta this weekend.  i realized today that i haven't recently ever cleaned out my makeup bag.  ga-ross.  i still had eye shadow from high school in there.  on my wish list: a stick under eye concealer, some neutral eye shadows, a "fresh" daytime look that can be pulled together FAST as in, my baby is still occupied by her hands by the time i am finishing my mascara fast.  prior to this, i realized, yes i had become one of those moms that... wasn't keeping up on it.  come on bria pull it together.  time for spring cleaning to continue in all areas and a fresh look and maybe a new perfume!

2.  my family is together!  how sappy is this, but you guys, there is nothing like seeing a daddy interact with his daughter.  i can spend all day trying to make little a laugh and nothing, dad comes home takes one look at her and she cracks up like it's going out of style.  their love is comforting to me and i bask in it whenever possible.

3.  i did p90x yoga today... come on not the whole thing, it's an hr and a half.  but you guys i LOVED it. it definitely rivaled some of the best classes i have taken and i would love to get the chance to do the whole thing.  i plan on doing the other half of it sometime this weekend.

4.  chewkie's (nickname!) other bottom tooth has sprung through!  stop growing up so fast little girl!

5.  dog park opens this weekend, yes yes yes for time off the leash, running, being tired out, not being up in our business 24/7/365




 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg

currently


ya'll it's almost spring.  the reason i say almost and not "it's here" is because we currently have snow on the ground.  yes snow, and we had white out conditions yesterday.  of course today it's sunny and beautiful and the snow will probably all melt.... not that i'm complaining.  but it's a good day.

this little beauty cut her first tooth, and you guys... i am going to miss that gummy smile.  i let her know that if she wants to stop growing teeth and just stay gummy i would love her forever anyway.  also the tooth is SHARP, i am talking velociraptor sharp (sp on that dinosaur name??)  also the other day my aunt's asked me if she was teething yet and i said "i have no idea, i thought she was teething at 3 and a half months." seriously, first time parent for the win.  for some reason teething was something i was obsessed with... oooh her nap schedule was off today, she must be teething, oooh she wanted to nurse more often today, teething!  oooh she cried at bedtime... you guessed it teething! 
then the event actually happens and i am blind to it. 





and to celebrate i thought i would do a link up post.  they are fun and i like to document what the haps is currently.  i link up with ot and et and harvesting kale, thanks for sponsoring this!

watching: husband and i have started watching house of cards on netflix.  i really like kevin spacey and i think the show is good.  also it is taking us a long time to get through it because it is drama drama drama/talking talking talking so we can usually only watching one epi at a time.

craving: summer and sunshine.  i thrive in the heat.  100 degree days?  that's cool.  throw it my way.  it's coming though, i can feel it!

looking: halfheartedly for a place to live.  our lease is up somewhat soon (pretty soon) and we have no idea what we are going to do.  denial denial denial!

loving: i am always loving my family so i will also say i am loving the maxi skirt i got from groop dealz soooooooo comfy and i think i look instantly pulled together and it takes me less time to get dressed, win win win!

planning: some trips!  some to see family and some to see friends.  and by planning i mean i think about them, and being away from ohio and wishing they were here.

failure

you all, confession, i am s-c-a-r-e-d to fail, not just at big stuff, but small things too.  in fact, i have a dangerous tendency to not try at things i could fail at.  if i don't feel that i am capable of doing it perfectly the very first time, sometimes i will sit out or half ass an activity just so i can tell myself i didn't try.  it's the only child ohmygosh if i don't do everything right and one person critisizes me the world will end syndrome.

see i used to work outside of the home.  at a job i h-a-t-e-d.  i am talking come home in tears/fits hated. it was a company that didn't value it's employees and a stressful job.  but i was secure, i was good at it, i could quantify my value with my paycheck, and i wasn't failing.  when baby a came along, my husband kept telling me "we have bank money, take this time to figure out what you WANT to do, don't do something just to do it" and you all... i just didn't get it.  i played around with the idea of waiting tables (but as my husband says my spacial intelligence pretty much amounts to "i'm on earth"... yes i am that clumsy) and working nights would take me away when A could possibly need me most.  and working during the day just isn't an option for our family based on what we want.

during the holiday season, i started making headbands for my little one and my aunt suggested selling them.  so she hooked me up and i have accessories in one of her friends shop and i opened my own etsy shop... in january... and you all i have yet to sell one measly little hair band.  and it is scaring the shit out of me.  i am worried i won't make the money back i invested, won't be able to do something that i enjoy to make money.

but you all... as i sit here typing this... no joke - i am realizing how silly it is.  i didn't invest thousands, i can easily pick up a part time job if i have to. and i still have time... to edit my listings, promote my business.  and even if after this year, it never really takes off and i have sold two items, i can tell myself that i tried and that i tried hard.

i am a girl that follows the rules and it is so hard to push me out of my comfort zone.  my husband made fun of me because he let me try my hand at playing grand theft auto one day and no joke, i stopped at the red lights... he said "the cops don't even pull you over for that in this game."  but you all, life is short, way too short to sit at a job you hate for 40+ hours a week, way to short to spend time with someone who isn't good for you, and way too short to sit out and not try.  i am realizing this and i am trying.

outfit

remember when i said i ordered the jeggings in sky blue here?  apparently i didn't.  i ordered mint green... 25 and my memory is already failing.  anywaysssssssssssss.  here is an outfit i cooked up.  the sweater i have on is wrinkly from being at the bottom of my drawers...  awesome.  you all i am a little embarrassed to even put this up because let's be honest, i will not be a model ever or a fashion blogger (hello awkward poses and i did NOT do my hair) but i think this is a cute outfit and it is super comfortable for running around in.


i like the mint with the neutrals.  and the pop of blue is actually a teething necklace for my little one.  overall it says spring but i am still mostly covered up since it's actually still just in the 40's here.

sweater: gap years and years ago, i actually need to get a nice sweater to replace this as this one has seen it's last days.  it has been SO versatile though, lightly striped so it is interesting, cashmere blend so it is lightweight but heavy enough to be warm

t-shirt: victorias secret old

jeggings: ebay

shoes: toms



in other news, my little is 5 months old!  i have no idea how that happened.  

i've hesitated sharing pictures of her because of privacy concerns (one reason i deleted my facebook) and i will be watermarking every.single.one of hers because hello, she didn't asked to be put up on the internet.  but sometimes i want to share and she is a HUGE part of my life.  plus she is so dang cute... look at those CHEEKS ya'll.

in other news, it's friday, i've already completed my workout for the day and again, it's friday!  we are low keying it this weekend (is that shocking? it shouldn't be... we've been low keying it since pregnancy...) but i still love having the whole family together.  

and you guys... quick confession... i LOVE honey boo boo