Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sneaky Peek

At this current moment I can't think of anything more annoying than a noise waking up my sleeping baby before naptime is over.   So you want to be able to peek in on your little sleeper, or maybe even go in and out of the room without that durned door sound waking them up...

You could keep it classy ^^ and wad up a towel or blanket and leave it on the floor between the door and the door jam (which was my solution for five and a half months)...

Or you could head over to Plaid Platypus Gifts on etsy and get yourself some of these "Sneaky Peeks" and use coupon code "JULIE2015" for 20% off your entire order.

When Emily from the shop contacted me to see if I'd like to try one out to review on the blog and I saw what it was, I think my exact words were what are you a genius?   

Anyway, it works, and they're super cute.  Even my husband who isn't into "crafty things" was like hey this thing is really nifty, wish I had thought of it.

I like supporting small shops, especially moms making things for other moms.  Buy for yourselves or get some for baby shower gift baskets.  Don't forget the discount code.

You're welcome!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Julie cooks

The term 'salt to taste' has always been funny to me. As though you are going to taste the food while you are making it, even if it's something you shouldn't be putting in your mouth before it's cooked. Or in this case, when it's water you are boiling. I'm not going to taste the boiling water to see how much salt I want to put in before I add the dry pasta.

I digress. Today I cooked.

I actually chopped up a bunch of vegetables, even used one of my Pampered Chef items that I purchased last year because I just had to have it for all the cooking I was going to be doing… 

Browned some meat. 

VoilĂ , spaghetti sauce.  

Also survived the grocery store with two kids, which is always challenging. And got the dogs groomed.

Even though my house still looks like it did when I wrote my last post, I am calling today a win.

Bon appetit. 

But I still don't like to cook. 

In other food news, started this one on solids. By which, I mean I chopped up some oats and mixed them with breastmilk so she could spit it all over herself and clutch the spoon for dear life. 

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When you feel like all you do is manage messes and bodily functions all day...

that's because, some days, it is.

does this make you feel better about the status of your own living room?

It comes with the job.

One morning I woke myself up a little early because I wanted to pump [substance 1 - breastmilk] because I needed to beef up my frozen stash a little bit, only to find that one of our dogs had vomited [substance 2 - dog vomit] all over our dining area rug.  The time it took to thoroughly clean that up disabled me from pumping before Josie woke up, so I went ahead and nursed her and naturally she spit up [substance 3 - spit up] all over the sheets that we had changed the night before just as the toddler was stirring on her video monitor.  So instead of taking off the sheets, I just wiped the spit with a baby cloth and then went down to the big girl's room to find that -- shocker -- Penny had pooped her bed [substance 4 - toddler poo] and her sheets and jammies needed to be washed on the sanitary cycle.  She needed a bath [substance 5 - bathwater].  All before breakfast.

Later that day, before nap time, Penny was playing in the sink unsupervised while brushing her teeth [substance 6 - water all over the counter] because Mommy was changing baby sister's diaper on the floor in her room [substance 7 - baby excrement] and was so preoccupied that she had a pee accident all over herself [substance 8 - toddler pee] so needed another bath.   Then somehow she made herself laugh so hard she started choking a little bit and then barfed in the tub she was in [substance 9 - bath water with floating barf].  Empty tub.  Clean Tub.  Fill tub for another bath.  That's three baths for one kid within five hours.  Later that afternoon, I was with Josie on my bed, nursing her with desperate hope that she would fall back asleep and take a decent nap so I could deal with the aftermath from the day's previous incidents, but my plans were foiled by my own allergies and twelve consecutive sneezes that not only woke her but also caused me to pee my own pants [substance 10].  Because, not enough kegels to hold it in for twelve sneezes.  Baby smiled at me in the mirror as I changed my unders, cursing the allergens in the air, then spit up all over herself again.

Regular mommy substances not mentioned in this anecdote: blood, boogers, tears, drool, scabs, spilled drinks, accidentally-spilled food, purposefully-spilled food, play dough, washable ink, permanent ink, sand from the playground, and stickers.  Yes, I said stickers... they could be your worst enemy if someone gives your two-year-old an open pack without you knowing it.

Not all days are so extreme, but add the clutter of toys and clothes and mail and the grownups' stuff, and you're got a full days' work just trying to keep it all from overcoming your household.  Every mom, stay-at-home or work-outside-the-house, feels the struggle of juggling messes.  Regular laundry and dishes and diapers alone can be are a full time gig when you have multiple little kids in the house, add a couple diaper blowouts and stepping barefoot on a lego to the mix, and it might just send you over the edge during the wrong time of the month.

I love me some motherhood, but I never realized there would be so much poop and pee and barf and STUFF everywhere.  And I only have two.


It's not going to be like this forever.

God only gives us what we can handle.  Look at your beautiful children.  Some day, if you raise them such, they'll wipe their own butts and wash their own dishes and pick up their own toys.  Then some day later, they'll be living out of your house.  Gone.

Breathe.  Thank you God for the messes in my house, please help me to remember the preciousness of this stage, and lean in to the struggles that come with it.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Postpartum hair loss got me good this time around and the hormones have also really changed the texture of my hair, making it more difficult to brush and more likely to stick to things when it falls out [is that even a thing?].  Since I don't have much time for maintenance or special products, I've decided to chop off a few inches.

As soon as I made the decision, I couldn't WAIT to just do it and get it over with, and now the day has finally come.

I don't particularly like myself with shorter hair but I'm hopeful that taking up the length will help what little hair I have left thrive on my ever unkempt scalp.

If you don't see me share an "after" picture on Instagram later today, you can assume I'm crying my regrets over a big bowl of non-dairy sherbet.

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Of course I'm hungry. Always so very hungry.

"Breastfeeding helped me loose the baby weight."

I've read it, and I've heard it said, and I call bunk. 

This may be true for some of you magical breastfeeding unicorns, but my experience is that the urge to eat -- all the time eat -- is way more intense during breastfeeding than it ever was during pregnancy.  Pretty logical actually, your body is sustaining another human being's life, and that human being is bigger and busier when she's out of the womb...

I'm gonna go ahead and guess that breastfeeding does NOT make most women lose weight.  In fact, how many of you have actually gained weight while breastfeeding?   I'm not there yet, but I know it happens, and I think that's ok.  Breastfeeding > Squeezing back into my favorite jeans.

I've never met a long-haul breastfeeder (we'll define "long-haul" as nursing longer than one year without supplementing with formula) who got all skinny again quickly after baby was born.  In fact, I'm pretty sure every single new mom I've ever met who was preoccupied with weight loss during the first few months, ended up having milk supply issues and quitting breastfeeding sooner than she wanted to. 

That's not to say that everyone who quits nursing does it because they are preoccupied with weight loss.  Or that every new mom who thinks about weight loss will have to quit nursing.   And [while I'm disclaiming,] I'm certainly not saying that everyone has to breastfeed their babies.  If formula's your gig, your baby and my baby can still be friends, and I promise I won't be jeally of your unlimited dairy and alcohol consumption if you won't be jeally of my big nursing boobs.

What I am saying is that it's totally normal to have an intense appetite when you're body is producing breastmilk as the sole source of nutrition for your child.

Making milk is hard work.

Hungry is your body's way of saying "I hafta eat so I can do my job!"

And for me it's like clockwork, I have to eat something around every feeding. Sometimes I get hungry in the middle of the night. Like shaky hungry. Even hangry. Like the kind where if you don't eat something right now you might forget your own name or pass out or chew somebody's head off or burst into tears if the waitress doesn't bring some friggin bread to the table when she hasn't even taken your order yet and you were ready to eat dinner about an hour ago and both your daughters are crying and why do we even go to restaurants with our two kids ever. 

So, yes, I'm hungry. Yes, I would love a snack, or if you don't mind I'm just going to rudely eat this granola bar / apple / my toddler's raisins that I keep in my purse since I just nursed my baby and I thought we'd be home by now.  Yes, I did just eat three hours ago.

And yes, it's a big deal if I go too long without eating something.  Ask my husband about every unreasonable/irrational argument I've tried to have with him. Aside from pride and stubbornness, you can pretty much trace it all back to breastfeeding hunger.  Oh how many times conflict could have been avoided in our house if I would have just said the words "I need to eat something" before anything else came out of my mouth.

My consciously positive body image right now is fueled by the fact that breastfeeding is important to me and I know my body is working hard to make sustenance for my little nursling.

So I eat something and I don't diet.  Because I'm hungry.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Josie Lu: Five Months Old


99th percentile for height, 59th for weight..... ahem.... 4th for head size.  She's got thigh rolls, armpit rolls, wrist rolls, and almost-kankles.  The blonde fuzz is getting longer, and she's also got about fifteen random really really long hairs all over her scalp.  Her fat smooth cheeks are so kissable and she has the most curious and inquisitive smile.  

Behavior and Skillz:  

She's teething like crazy.  Rolling over like crazy (started rolling over at 3.5 months). Grabbing things like crazy.  Josie prefers 'tummy time' to being on her back, and pushes up to where her arms are completely straight, and oh, she can scoot.  One time I even saw her lift up her butt and knees off the ground and caterpillar herself by pushing off with her toes to travel about a foot. Planking.

She is obsessed with electronics.  She's spitting and sticking out her tongue and giggling.  Not so much with the ooohs and ahhhhs anymore but more with the squealing and screeching and high-pitched singing.  She pulled a whole caraf of orange juice onto herself at brunch the other day.  She grabbed a whole taco off of Dan's plate last week.  She's fascinated with whatever big sister is doing.  She leans and lunges her body with intense strength toward anything she wants.  I would not be surprised if she started crawling in the next couple of weeks.  She really is a very content and agreeable baby, and I'm not just saying that because I have a fiesty toddler to compare her to.   I mean this kid skipped the crying when she got her 4-month immunization shots at the doctor.... who does that?  Some of her nicknames are "Josie Lu the Hoody Hoo" and "Baby Dosie" (Penny) and "Baby Goo."  And sometimes she's just "Sweet One."  


With teething has come chomping, youch.  She's nursing only once or twice in the middle of the night now, and about every 3 hours during the day. She nurses best when she's tired because then she's not quite as distractable then.  She still spits up almost every feeding, which is really wearing on me -- sooooo much laundry.  She still doesn't like it if I eat a lot of eggs or drink cow's milk (although other more-processed dairy products such as cheese and yogurt don't bother her in small amounts.)  We are getting close to introducing her to solids because she is extremely interested in big-people food.  


What can I say, she likes to snuggle.  We've started to [sort of] lazily [inconsistently] transition her from our bed to the pack-n-play in our room, as we both sleep a lot better when she's not with us in bed; but she sleeps a lot better and longer if she's in bed with us.  It's kind of a catch 22.   And this time around, moreso than last time, I kind of love co-sleeping.  I don't sleep well when we co-sleep, but I don't sleep well period, soooooo.  But I digress.

I can pretty much count on her to take two long naps throughout the day, one in the morning about 2 hours after she wakes up, and one in the afternoon, which I can sometimes finagle to be at the same time as big sister's nap.    If she's slept long enough, she wakes up incredibly happy and singing.

Her Mama:

On a personal note, I'm dealing with some of the typical 4-month-ish post-partum stuff... namely hair loss (clumps, I tell you!) and realizing that I don't really have an excuse anymore to not try to shed the baby weight.  I wrestle with this a bit but please don't read this as an opportunity to bombard me with your favorite bodywraps or clean-eating meal-plans or diets or supplements or shakes or herbs or.... you get the idea.  I don't want to play Candy Crush Saga either.  I feel like I am [sort of] adjusting a little better now to having two children and [attempting] managing all that life throws at me these days.  I'm certainly feeling less helpless than I did two months ago, so any mama out there reading this who has a three-month-old and a toddler... take note... it gets better.

Back to Josie.  Ummmm I love her.

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