Sunday, September 30, 2012
I go back to work tomorrow....
How do I feel? I feel somewhat fine, only a little bit miserable, and mostly exhausted about it. The exhaustion probably comes from running around trying to make sure everything is ready to go for the busy morning tomorrow, and trying to remember everything (so many things!) The misery comes from thinking about leaving her at the daycare. But yes, I'm also totally fine. It will be fine.
Regardless, I'm pretty sure I will be looking at this picture a million times during the work day tomorrow.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
i really love leah duncan's drawings/designs, especially her recent fall collection that you should check out here. she has prints, calendars, tea towels, scarves, and pillows. i pretty much love every single thing. here are some of my favorites:
Friday, September 28, 2012
you know, like beyonce's "to the left, to the left"....?... yeah. sing it.
disclaimer: this post is a lot of boob talk.
at one point last week, i was feeling confident about going back to work. well, in a kind of "i can do it" bravado that is totally necessary for one to move on in life without being a whiner, but now that it's down to the last few days, i'm feeling very much in the thereisnowayiwillsurvivewiththisamountofsleep mode, and i can feel myself about to launch myself into the kind of stress that is an anticipatory stress, you know, the kind where the anxiety escalates into hysterics.
here's the deal: i want to keep breastfeeding while i work and i want to feed my baby breastmilk for as long as possible. in theory it sounds like a great idea, but in practice it means breast pumps, pumping at work, bottle feeding, and being a master of the schedule.
AHH the pump. i have this pump that is called "pump in style" and it makes me feel a little bit angry looking at it because it is in the form of this sleek looking black purse, which is all well and fine but it's so heavy and has tubes coming out of it and thinking about lugging that thing to work every single day and then locking myself in a room at work to have that machine pump me everyday is making me feel exhausted just by thinking about it.
by the way, i feel like this is the kind of thing where i should wait a few months to write about, so that it can be a victory post rather than a post where i espouse all my fears. but it's going to be the latter becuase i am trying to organize and then kick all these anxieties in the butt. so.
when i was pregnant with sloane, i knew that i wanted to breastfeed. the benefits of doing so were extremely convincing. but i couldn't wrap my mind around it. first, the idea that my body, which i imagine to only be made up of things like water, blood, muscle, and tissue, was somehow going to make and produce a milk-like substance? werid. and then i was going to have a baby suck on my breast to obtain that milk? even werider. it all seemed so...animalistic. which probably goes to show that we live in a society that makes boobs so sexualized and taboo that sometimes we feel awkward about our own boobs. but to my relief, once the baby was here and she needed to be fed, putting her to my breast seemed to be the MOST NATURAL THING ever. it's fascinating to me how it works that way. my brain just kicked into the nursing baby gear, which barely remembers how strange i thought it would be to do this. don't get me wrong, it was not easy. the first couple of weeks was a little bit dreadful and mostly hilarious. i was lucky that sloane latched quickly (maybe due to a natural birth?) but my body went a little overboard in producing milk and it felt like i was leaking everywhere and getting engorged (this is when your breasts feel like they might explode). i felt ridiculous. but after those few weeks, and with the help of a nursing bra and nursing pads, things normalized and i got to a place where i felt like i had a handle on it - the first time i nursed in the car oh so easily and casually because we we weren't going to get back home in time, i felt like a rockstar. it's not a feeling that i had even known to imagine before, but when i'm nursing (thanks, endorphins), i get this overwhelming sense of love and purpose. it's such a fantastic feeling to know that i can provide for my baby in this way, that she needs me, and i do love having that time to bond with her. it's sweet.
WHICH IS WHY it is hard to try to get her to take the bottle when she obviously hates it so. this baby has been a good baby and will only cry when she is really super hungry, which she does now with great fervor when we are trying to administer the bottle. so when she's like that, i just want to give up and nurse her - hey! i have a boob and you already like it- but i know that we have to keep working with her to teach her about the ways of the bottle becuase that's going to be her source of food when i'm at work. it's been a rough past couple of weeks becuase of that. the natural thing and my instinct is to just put her to the breast when baby is hungry, but now instead i have to struggle with her to take milk from a bottle and then connect to a machine to pump. it's frustrating, but since i can't work from home and work may have a problem with me bringing the baby to work, it must be done.
so i grit my teeth and march on. i've been trying to bottle feed her about twice a day, and each time it's a whole production. it's different every time but it goes something like this - a half an hour of her playing with the bottle with her lips and tongue, 10-15 minutes of crying because she wants the breast instead, falling asleep for a little bit becuase she has worn herself out, and then more crying when she wakes up and realizes i want her to take the bottle. all of this results in her having consumed little to no milk. giving her the bottle also means that i have to pump in order to keep my milk production up (which has decreased drastically, and this is another source of concern), which means my entire day is nursing, trying to bottle feed, pumping, aaaaaand repeat. to top it off, because she's not getting enough at the bottle feeding times, her feeding schedule is all messed up. the last two paragraph sof me describing this was to inform, but mostly to vent. so thanks for listening.
i have this incredibly awesome and slightly annoying gift of being able to think and feel doomsday talk for miles, but at the same time, i can have the most positive outlook on it. and sometimes i try to avoid the positive outlook becuase i'm like, just let me whine already! but really, i'm grateful for the positivity because too much anxiety and stress can be a time waster and obviously, i'd like to spend my time elsewhere.
so yes, i'm dreading the next couple of weeks of transition. yes, i wish that i had a flexible enough job that allowed me to work from home or allowed me to take my baby with me to work. and yes, a maid or a personal assistant would also be nice.
but the reality is, i feel so lucky to have this baby. i feel so blessed to have a good baby who doesn't cry too much and really, is very reasonable. i am thankful to have a good husband and i am thankful to have a job that will allow us to help pay the bills and such. i am also pretty darn lucky to have so much resources at hand (thanks, Google), as well as conversations with a couple of working moms who have done it and survived. it probably will be difficult, and don't mind me if i use the blog to further vent in the future, but i know i CAN do this. mostly because, i MUST. but also because, i CAN. i believe (even when i don't) that God would not give/bless/assign me with more than i can handle, and i just need to remember that as i go forth.
another deep breath.
God, some requests please: can you please help sloane take to the bottle?
and just as importantly, for my sanity, could you make sure i get sufficient sleep, especially during the weeknights?
and please help me to be good at all of this.
thank you, amen. the end.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
my sister pointed out that it's been almost a week since i posted, which i didn't even realize, that's how fast time is flying by.! i'll more than make it up with this post though, which will also have a lot of instagram photos. excited? this is a post about how long walks are the best thing for a slightly cabin-fevered body and how i made the best of some really beautiful afternoons.
on saturday, me, baby sloane and her carriage - because yes her stroller is now a formidable entity in our lives - went out to carytown to check out some shops and walk it out. we went first to the new fresh market that opened and it was kind of glorious in there. everything was shiny and new and everyone was super friendly, i was like, what is this place?!
i had all these lovely interactions with other shoppers there - i was trying some free samples of coffee and there was this other lady who was there as well, and we looked at each other and realized we both had the same stroller and carseat combo and it made me feel kind of eery, kind of the same feeling that i had when i looked out the window one day and saw this girl walking her dog and her baby in a stroller around the neighborhood and i had this feeling of, 'we are the same person!' anyways, we started chatting it up and talked about our babies and she shared some nuggets of wisdom that she's been learning about getting her son to sleep and i thought, how nice to commiserate with a stranger about this! another girl, God bless her soul, asked about sloane and then remarked that i looked quite well for a recent mother and i wanted to take her home with me. that's how nice it is sometimes to have strangers be encouraging and sympathetic to your plight. you feel fondly to your human race and i'll cherish those moments cause they don't come to often.
all the employees there were in terrific moods and i kid you not, it felt like i was at a party at a friend's house. probably also because they had free samples of coffee, wine, ice cream, salmon and other such goodies, i did several laps around that grocery store just looking at all the shiny things and feeling happy for everyone. i got some giant honeycrisp apples recommended to me by the apple stocker person, who was all, 'HAVE you tried the honeycrisps?? they are sooo good.. do it!' and they were. i also discovered these vegetable chips that they have in bins that you can scoop up and they are really delicious. i've already been back once already just to get some more of these.
then with a pep in my step, i proceeded to walk throughout the rest of carytown to explore and people watch. especially on days like these, and especially now with a stroller, i wish even more that i lived in a place like nyc - a walking city where people watching, sidewalks and shops abound. i would be an extremely happy gal and i would walk/talk/instagramphoto the heck out of such a place. my sister was in town this weekend and we did another walk through carytown; here some photos from both trips:
i love sleepy chub babies..especially when they're mine!
ashby: i'm so into the decor of this place.
i want that piano!
ashby is one of many consignment stores in carytown and they donate their profits to various organizations around town.
such great details
i love the look of these white jars. i'm thinking about trying to make these myself with some white spray paint...
...then comes a baby in a baby carriage...
hoorah for fall weather and long walks!
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
the autumn wind blew through town this weekend and visited our house. i woke up on saturday morning to swaying trees and rustling leaves and decided that i must open all the windows to let whatever was happening outside to the indoors. it was GLORIOUS. the air was crisp, the wind was fresh and everything was all a rustle. especially after two years of living in places where we couldn't open the windows, it felt luxurious to have the wind whipping throughout all the rooms of the house. it felt like everything in the house was getting a wind bath, including my skin. those are my new favorite things right now, open windows and the autumn wind.
there was a saturday morning meeting of the minds for shower planning and catching up via skype with some lovely ladies,
sloane, rusty, and i spent the rest of the afternoon outside to drink in more of the fresh air and keep ken company as he did some yard work.
porch time with these lovelies = blissful
our favorite lawnmower
the dreaded crabgrass
she got herself a fistful of hair...she's grabbing!
the little dragon will scorch you with her jet black eyes
Thanks for visiting us autumn wind, come back soon, anytime.
Friday, September 14, 2012
I was at Target the other day and feel like I should share that they have their fall stuff trickling in and so much of it is super cute. Most notably, there were these ponchos that I kind of fell in love with because I love the idea of ponchos - I automatically picture some rustic scene where I am coming out of a woodsy cabin or walking onto a beach at dawn where it is just chilly enough to throw on a blanket with buttons on it. Also, I get nostalgic for that crisp, fresh air smell and then I'm craving a campfire, real bad. I especially liked this particular poncho because it was a southwestern print with a flair - neon! and triangles! I'm into it. I didn't end up getting it though because I couldn't justify even an extremely really reasonably-priced poncho seeing as I will probably not wear this enough. The poncho-wearing thing is a delicate balance of appropriate place/body type/length/style/use - a poncho can go horribly wrong, I've seen it happen. I'd limit my poncho-wearing mostly to sitting by the campfire type activities but my camping days will be put on a brief hiatus while Sloane does a little more growing up...maybe next year. And yes, that is Sloane in a carseat/stroller with me in the dressing room at Target. See? I'm still getting my Target shopping on, but now with baby in tow.
Sloane liked the poncho. too.
You know how I told you that I'm into Siggi's yogurt? Well I'm trying their orange & ginger right now one and it actually has little pieces of ginger something all up in it. Super fancy. I can't decide if I like this flava. To be determined.
And let's give it up for Friday! Even though I'm on maternity leave, I'm just as happy that it is Friday because 1) I'm happy for all ya'lls working folk, especially those of you that have had tough weeks, and 2) the plans for this weekend are plentiful and most of them involve spending time with friends.
And now let me do one of those posts that have a bunch of links in it because I have goodies to share.
1. I need to lead with this because I can't stop thinking about these cookies. Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies?? Are you serious?!
2. I'm all about dewy make-up and make-up how-tos. I also dig make-up reviews.
3. I love this site so much. It makes my heart swell for RVA. See if your city has one!
4. Did I already tell you how excited I am about fall? Also, I am extremely excited about apple picking.This homemade apple crisp recipe is stoking the fire. Which reminds me, I need to get me a mandolin.
5. My eyeballs are soaking in all the details of this house renovation/design. Gawd, the details!
6. Another pretty Southwestern print.
7. How stellar are these planet lollipops.
8. I love this mobile, so hard.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
currently addicted to: siggi's yogurt (14 grams of protein!), the idea of being able to fit into my pre-pregnancy shorts, this week's fall-like weather, looking through old photos, internet shopping for the perfect autumn back-to-work shoe, and kissing sloane's chub cheeks.
confession: i am counting done the days until i have to go back to work with a little bit of dread. i know and have been telling myself that it will all be fine once i start and get into the swing of things, but i've never had to work with a baby before and the logistics of it all is what makes me a wee anxious. how do working moms get up in the morning, nurse, pump, take the baby to daycare, do a full work day, pump during a work day, battle traffic to go pick up baby from daycare, get home, nurse some more, make dinner, clean, do dishes, laundry, prepare and pack lunch, and spend time with husband and baby? and also get enough sleep, look good, and stay sane? how?? i don't know, but I'm about to figure it out. i know i can do it because first of all, tons of women do it, and secondly, i've been surprising myself a lot these past few months - i gave birth to a baby and am now taking care of one - and at least i'm getting to do it in gradual stages, right? it truly is a mixed bag, this becoming a mother thing. methinks that each new mother should get a welcome-to-motherhood kit which includes a bag of fairydust.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Summer is ending and I'm not happy about that, especially how it's already starting to get darker sooner in the evenings, buut I am really excited about fall. In the spirit of that kind of usual end-of-summer nostalgia and giddy excitement for fall, here's the playlist I've been listening to:
1. Lights - Ellie Goulding
2. American Blood - Passion Pit
3. Carried Away - Passion Pit
4. Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It - Stars
5. Thinking About You - Frank Ocean
6. Curtain - Flock of Dimes
7. Don't Think Twice - Bob Dylan
8. Can't Go Back Now - The Weepies
Friday, September 7, 2012
I must have looked through Fleur and Dot's lookbook for their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection about twenty times because, can you blame me?, these outfits are adorable. Little vintage-inspired pieces for girls? I'm in. Not to mention these outfits are styled pretty much perfectly. Check out the entire lookbook here.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Sloane at one month on a deliciously colorful and soft blanket made by my friend's sweet mom
It has been much harder than I thought it would be write up the story of my labor and birth. It is clear in my mind, but it is as if the right kind of words do not exist to describe that whole experience. I’m working on it!
I remember the first few days after it all, I kept thinking, WOW, I did it. I also remember being in a lot of pain- it hurt to pee, I was freaked out about going number two for the first time, and everything just felt really sensitive. I remember during the first couple of weeks how I kind of felt like I was in shambles, physically. Along with engorged breasts and realizing I still wasn’t going to fit into most of my normal clothes, I wasn’t sure if I quite felt like myself. Actually, I did feel like myself, but just an older and slower version. I really did move slower. I think the most difficult part, besides trying to get used to the different (and lack of) sleep schedule, was still feeling like I was captive to my body. I fully understood then what it meant when doctors and midwives would refer to this time after birth as the “fourth trimester”. And there of course, was the baby. The sweet baby who I loved dearly but didn’t’ quite know, yet. In the beginning, the baby doesn’t do much else except sleep and eat and doesn't quite yet have a personality, and sometimes it felt like I was taking care of a living, breathing doll. After a few weeks though, I started to get to know her. What all her different coos, whines, and cries mean, how to hold her, and I was starting to memorize her facial expressions from staring at her for so long. Sometime during the third week, I realized I felt like a mom, and I was falling crazy head over heels in love with this tiny creature who was now meeting and holding my gaze. Sometime between that third and fourth week, I realized that I felt ok. Physically, I felt much better, the bathroom wasn’t as much of an issue anymore, and I had gotten the hang of breastfeeding. Most importantly though, I started to feel that surreal elated joy of having this baby girl in my life. I knew about that joy in my head, but it was as if the experience of labor, the tiredness, and the different pace of life didn’t really let me fully feel it until that third week. Nowadays my heart is full to the brim when I think of her and I feel so blessed/lucky/grateful.
I love the people in my life
I think my transition from no-baby to new-baby was relatively smooth. And I think a huge part of making that happen was the people in my life. I need to make this note of how incredible it was to have all the support that we had from friends and family, to remind myself that even while having a baby is a personal thing, it is also the most amazing community thing. Having friends send congratulatory messages, bring by food and gifts, and having people be genuinely happy for us has been such an encouraging and humbling experience. Also having family stay with us for the first few weeks was a God-send and it did my heart so so good to see S. with her grandparents, aunts, and great-grandparent. It was also deliciously sweet to spend those 'awakening' moments with Ken, first in the hospital and then when we came home.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I KNOW, right? Chickpeas?!
Ken saw these and thought they were regular ol' chocolate chip cookies and when I told him what they were made of, he said, "Why would you do such a thing??!"
Which may be what you're thinking, too...but hear me out. These are actually really good. Not just tasty, but good in the sense that if you are like me and are unable to stop eating warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven, knowing the cookies are sans flour and full of chickpeas instead makes you feel a little better.
The important thing about these is that you need to eat them hot. Even if you save them for the next day, make sure you microwave them for about 10 seconds before eating. The heat on these and the melted chocolate keep the cookie tasting like a true chocolate chip cookie; when cold, the chickpea flavor and texture is much more evident. When hot, it's a soft, gooey, chocolatey goodness that will satisfy your hankerings. You can still taste the chickpea slightly, but it's a nutty flavor that totally works with the chocolate. Try it!
Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe from Createlive)
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup of almond butter
- 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (i used 80% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate chips)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mash the chickpeas in a food processor, and combine it with all ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Mix together and make sure there are no whole chickpeas.
3. Add the chocolate chips.
4. Scoop balls of the mixture onto greased cookie sheet. I just used my hands to form the balls and then flattened them into a cookie shape.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.