August 31, 2012

fifteen weeks


written August 30th

On Monday I had my monthly check-up, and everything went pretty well.  My blood pressure is great, low actually (she didn't tell me what it was, but I think I saw the nurse write down 98 over something).  That would explain why I still get dizzy and feel like I'm going to black out if I stand up too fast.  She had a little party because I "finally gained weight!!"  I didn't know it was an issue last appointment (which I'm sure it wasn't) but she sure acted like I won the lottery because according to their scale I was up 3 pounds.  Whatever, I'll continue to go off my scale, and as long as the doc stays happy I'll be happy.  As I mentioned this week, she also gave me a prescription to help with my headaches, and even though they don't take them away completely in the evenings, I CAN FUNCTION.  Chris asked me how I was feeling last night, and I said alright, I did still have a headache, but it wasn't that bad.  He said I looked a lot better.  Which is good.  So yay for meds.  And I got to schedule the 'big' ultrasound.  It is on the 21st, and we are planning a gender reveal party for the 23rd (Christopher and I will find out there right along with our guests) so just over three weeks until we know boy or girl!!

how far along:  15 weeks (compare to 15 weeks with Ryann)

size of babyaccording to the bump a naval orange, about 4 inches long and weighing 2.5 ounces.  It's funny, but since not that long ago the baby was merely a fraction of an inch, 4 inches sounds huge.  Baby's body proportions are nearing normal, and all of the joints and limbs can now move.

weight gain:  1 pound.  But it is fluctuating like mad.  If I had written this yesterday I would have had to say I was up nearly a pound from last week, but this morning the scale showed me being down half a pound from last week.  I really REALLY should only weigh myself once a week, but by Wednesday I get curious to see what I'm going to have to write down.

maternity clothes:  Nope, but I did pull on a pair of shorts I thought fit before running out the door to get Ryann, and I ended up having to leave them unbuttoned because they were uncomfortable.  Come on fall, I want to wear my elastic pants!

symptoms: In just the last couple of days everything is starting to get much better.  I still have headaches (managed by the meds), I still get a little bloated, I sometimes have the nasty taste in my mouth, but the first tri symptoms finally seem to be fading away.  And so far no new symptoms have crept up.  I'll take a couple weeks of feeling as normal as I can, thankyouverymuch.  Of course I didn't write it down, but I think it was the same with Ryann.  I was waiting for that magic relief of symptoms at 13 weeks, and it didn't come.  But by 16 weeks it was a whole different ballgame.  Maybe by next weekend I'll be feeling much much better.  Until my stomach gets gigantic and my back turns into a pile of spasms  Oh wait.  Be optimistic.  Ok...

exercise: I felt like it was going to be a slacker week, but I did get in five days of exercise, so not too bad at all.  A 1 mile walk, a 2.5 mile run, a 3.5 mile run, a 5.5 mile run, a 7.25 mile run and run in with Jillian and Level One of the 30 Day shred.

cravings/aversions: Junk junk junk.  Not candy, for some reason candy doesn't do it for me.  But I want onion rings, fried chicken, french fries and cake, doughnuts, cookies... I promise I'm not eating all that crap.  I just really really want to.  What I am eating that I can't get enough of, is G.H. Cretors popped corn, the Chicago Mix.  Christopher randomly picked it up at the store and I made myself sick two nights in a row eating it.  I just couldn't stop.  SO GOOD.  Oh, and as always, bring on the soup.

movement:  nope

sleep: Surprisingly this week was pretty good in the sleep department.  One night was a bit of a mess, but that might be because I went to sleep before 9pm.  So I had to wake up to pee a couple times.  But overall I'll take it.

gender:  It is about time to start reading too much into the old wives tales isn't it?  I need to find a list.  Baby's heart rate at the appointment on Monday was in the 150's, and has been for a while.  What is that, girl?  I can't decide if I crave salty or sweet things, I'd say more salty than sweet, and that means boy I believe.  Nonetheless I'm still pretty convinced (or I've convinced myself anyway) that it is a boy.  Ryann waivers a little bit, for the most part, if you ask if there is a boy or a girl in mommy's tummy she says girl.  Maybe I'll have to stick a poll on the blog somewhere...

looking forward to:  Our gender reveal party!  I can't wait to know.  Maybe I should try and plan it, and um, invite some people to it.  Seeing as it is only three weeks away...

worries:  Last night it was again, the exit strategy.  Rather, I'm worried I'm going to go to 40+ weeks and have a big baby and not have a super easy recovery like I did with Ryann and have to worry about that + a newborn + taking care of a toddler.  I really tend to stress about stuff that is completely irrelevant to the current moment.  Fail.

what's different this time:  I think the belly is a bit bigger, but I also know the rest of my body is smaller, so that might have something to do with it.  And again, just not really having as much time to sit down and think about this pregnancy and this baby.  It comes up a lot, but it is not constantly on my mind.

milestones:  I feel like 15 weeks sounds a lot more pregnant than 14.  So I'll just say making it to 15 weeks + a good check up.  That's all I've got.

best moment this week:  Scheduling the ultrasound.  Also, I'm not sure if this is a best or not, but Ryann regularly pats my belly and says "You've gotta big bell-ay," in this really funny voice.  It was especially great when we took a family trip to the grocery store on Monday, and she was doing it repeatedly while a guy loading the groceries in our cart.  Awkward much?  I'm sure he though we were a bunch of weirdos.

August 30, 2012

embrace the camera

So this little toddler of mine?  She is a crazy nut.  One minute she is so nicely coloring by herself, telling me that the sky is blue and elephant starts with an E and other random captain obvious facts (which really means she is just learning and turning those little brain wheels, but you know, obvious facts for myself).  The next minute she is bouncing off the walls climbing on this or that and trying to get under my skin as much as possible.

Independent play isn't her strong point.  Ryann always wants one of us there with her.  Relatively engaged with her.  You can't just be in the room minding you own business while she goes about her stuff.  Nope you need to be sitting next to her, playing right along too.  And man she is demanding sometimes.  "Let's do this.  Here mommy, you put on Baby Abby's clothes.  Now give her a bottle.  It's bedtime, change her to pajamas.  Change her diaper..."  It goes on and on.  Same thing for coloring, or doing puzzles, or playing trains, "Color her hair, color the trees, put that piece here, make Thomas go down the hill..."  Any suggestion of her doing it herself is met with much resistance.

I do my best to try and step back and make her do it.  But if I act disinterested, or like I'm not paying attention (or heaven forbid I have to take a phone call, go pee, or make a meal) that is when she does anything and everything she knows she isn't supposed to do, just so that I almost have to engage with her.

So sometimes?  Sometimes you just do what you're told.  And wear the headlamp.

photo 4(1)
photo 1(4)
photo 3(1)
yes she looks a little drugged in that last one... I still love it

And I've heard the phrase that three is really just two with intent.  Well if that is the case, then my friends, I am screwed.  This kid already has more opinions than I ever thought possible from a toddler.  She is, to put it nicely, a handful.

photo 2(4)

Yep. That's my kiddo.  Crazy, exhausting, and the tiniest little person that has stolen my whole heart.  Love you Ryann :o).

August 29, 2012

a day in the life - katie

GOOD MORNING!  Please blame my exceptionally chipper mood on the fact that I got some lovely meds from my on Monday that have made my headaches much more bearable, and yesterday I was relatively productive, so I'm feeling like superwoman.  I mean, I made the bed (I know, I don't get a cookie for that), loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, ran five miles, actually called the guy to come out an look at our leaky toilet, took Ryann to gymnastics, checked out party supplies at Party City, made lunch, got Ryann down for nap, designed some wedding invitations and had dinner marinating before 2:00.  That my friends, is a productive day for me.

However even feeling like superwoman I'm not sure I could hang as a single mom.  Meet Katie, she does it, and I hope you enjoy a day in her life!


Hello everyone! My name is Katie and I am 24 year old single mom to 2 year old Bella. I blog over at Lifes a DanceI work full time between 40-50 hour weeks for a large apartment rental company on the university of Illinois campus. I have worked for my job for 7 years. While I love my job and everything about it some days are harder than others to leave Miss Bella boo! 

Our everyday routine rarely changes. Bella is with her dad on Tuesday and Thursday nights until 830pm and then he brings her home for bedtime. She also goes to her dads every other weekend but only for one night. For example he will pick her up at 10am on Saturday morning and I will pick her up from him at 10am on Sunday morning. Hints why it’s even more difficult to be a full time working mom but I have to do what I have to do to provide for myself and Bella. I am glad to have a job that allows me to own my house and drive a nice car and provide for myself and Bella. Some days it works to my advantage to go to work all the time when my darling toddler is being very strong willed (like her mama.) As I said before our day to day routine rarely changes. When Bella is with her dad on Tuesday evenings I hit up the gym and then the grocery store. On Thursdays when she is with him I hit up the gym and then I do the laundry and pick the house for the weekend! Well here goes the start to our VERY busy lives…

6:15am:  Alarm goes off. I usually jump up and in the shower. Some days I will snooze until 6:30 however it is very rare. I am off and running from this point on. I get myself completely ready shoes and everything before I go in and wrangle the toddler out of bed.
6:50am:  Dump dinner in the Crockpot. I could kiss whoever invented the Crockpot because without it Bella and I would never eat a home cooked meal!
7:00am:  Bella is stirring and (demanding) asking for milk nicely. I take her to the living room to rock her and watch the morning show for 20 minutes until 7:20am when it is time to get her ready for the day. She’s up and uses the potty, gets dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed and shoes on by 7:30am.
7:40am:  I take her to daycare. On Mondays, Wednesday & Fridays she goes to a home daycare in our town. On Tuesdays & Thursdays she goes to a Montessori preschool.  I live in a small community that is 20 minutes away from my job.
7:50am:  Drive to work.
8:15am:  Arrive to work and walk a couple of blocks to the local starbucks it’s a very bad habit but I have a starbucks every single morning.
8:30am-12:30pm:  Work work work! I am the office manager for the apartment rental company so I am in charge of 15 employees plus my own tasks plus keeping the tenants happy! Mornings are usually always spent in meetings.

12:30pm - 1:30pm:  Lunch time! I head over to Atlanta bread for a cup of French onion soup and to read some blogs!
1:30pm - 5pm:  Work work work. I use this time to accomplish some of my daily tasks.
5pm - 5:20pm:  Head home. Because I work later than my daycare is open my parents pick Bella up for me on Mondays & Wednesdays and I pick her up and we head home for dinner.
5:30pm:  Dinner time! Today was roast, potatoes and corn.
6:00pm:  Done with dinner and on to walk to the mailbox to retrieve the mail and then free time!
6:30pm:  Decide because of the crappy weather outside we would do an indoor pinterest craft which was a success!
7:15pm:  Bath time. My little girl is defiantly a fish and loves her bath time.

7:30pm:  Read books and snuggle before bed.
8:00pm:  Bed time. Shoot me now but I am one of those mothers that still rocks her two year old to sleep and I wouldn’t change if for the world my time is oh so precious with her!
8:30pm:  Bellas out and placed in her own bed. I use this time to prepare dinner for the next day (in the crock pot), do the dishes, pack our bags and lay out our clothes for the next day. I 100% believe that the reasons our mornings are so smooth because the bags are packed and clothes are laid out for the next day. It is defiantly the key to our lifestyle.
9:30pm:  Finally sit down for a glass or 9 of wine. And watch a show on the DVR. Without the DVR I would not be able to watch any television shows.
11pm:  LIGHTS OUT! To repeat again!!

So that is our everyday life a working single mom. Of course not every day is sunshine but most days are like a well oiled machine and work out great.
What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
**  The most surprising thing to me about being a mom is that my daughter has really taught me how to live life.  She has taught me more things in her two years than I ever thought possible.  She has taught me the true meaning of love and laughter.  It truly is like walking around with your heart on the outside watching them explore life and get the occasional bumps and bruises.
What advice would you give new or soon-to-be mamas?
**Sleep when they sleep!  Also they are only little for so long so soak it all up.  EVERYONE says they grow so fast, but until you have a child you won't believe it.
What are your top three baby products?
  1. Hands down the Chicco Liteway Stroller.  We orginally had the car seat/stroller combo and I only used it for the first year, then I switched to the Liteway.  I tell every new mom that I would register for this.
  2. Bella loved her bumbo.  I know there is a huge recall right now, but they can be fixed and it was great to take to use as a high chair on the go.
  3. Sounds crazy but the mommy hook.  I buy one for every new mom.  Basically it attached to the stroller and holds your diaper bag or shopping bags when you're out and its super convenient.
Thank you Ashley for letting me guest post for you!


Thank you for sharing your day with us Katie!

August 28, 2012

fourteen weeks


I wanted to thank you all for your input on my stroller debate.  If I learned anything from it, honestly, I think it is none of the ones I've picked out is a bad choice.  It seemed at least one person had an attachment to each and every one.  Right now I'm leaning toward a City Select, and evaluating our jogging stroller needs later on.  I like that the Select can be a single, because we could get it now and use it with just Ry, and have it just be a single when we need it.  Seems like configurations are (somewhat) endless.  But really, thank you for all of the valuable input!  On to my always late weekly update...

written August 23rd

how far along:  14 weeks (compare to 14 weeks with Ryann)

size of babyaccording to the bump a lemon, about 3.4 inches long and weighing 1.5 ounces.  Baby is growing lanugo and his or her kidneys are making urine.  Yay.  :o)

weight gain:  1.5 pounds.  Welp, I've gained three pounds in the last two weeks.  Hold me.  I know that is nothing to stress about, and it looks like I gained a bit at this point with Ryann too, but I was still on the negative end of things.  I've been pretty terrible about over-doing it on the carbs and sweets, so I really need to keep that in check if I'm going to stay under 30 pounds total.

maternity clothes:  Not yet, but I did try on (and purchase, thanks mom!) a couple of pairs of maternity jeans yesterday, and they didn't not fit, if you know what I mean.  I'm sure they'd stay on better if the bump was a bit bigger, but as soon as the weather warrants it, I have a feeling I'll be busting out the elastic pants.

symptoms: Gah, the headaches!  The freaking headaches.  I have a tendency to get headaches in general, and pregnancy amplifies them by like a million.  They hit me mostly in the afternoon and render me useless, and this past week I've also woken up to a headache as well.  That is pretty defeating.  I'm drinking as much water as I can stomach and popping tylenol, but no relief.  I'm sure the sweets and carbs aren't helping my case but...  Also I've forgotten to mention this, but I constantly have a nasty taste in my mouth.  No amount of teeth brushing or water drinking will help.  And it isn't that metallic taste you hear about, it is just a nasty nasty gross taste.  Sucking a jolly rancher helps while it is in my mouth, but those only last so long.  And last but absolutely not least, the freaking bloating.  This morning I had 8 ounces of water and a piece of peanut butter toast and felt like I had eaten enough for six.  What gives?

exercise: Managed six workouts again this week, score.  Two 2 mile walks, 2.25 miles on the stationary bike, a 3.1 mile run, a 4.35 mile run, a 5 mile run AND a 6.2 mile run.  Woot!  I can tell this week is going to be tougher to get in the miles though, I'm just not feeling it.  Just gotta really keep it up for another 6-7 weeks!

cravings/aversions: I don't even know.  I'm so freaking sick of water.  I want to eat food all the time but food makes me feel sick.  But I eat it anyway.  Definitely interested in soup in general, but wouldn't mind some more egg drop!  What is it with pregnancy making me crave soup?

movement:  nope

sleep: For me in general, not so bad this week.  Ryann on the other hand though, sucks at sleeping, therefore mine is a bit disrupted.  But I don't think it was near as bad as last week.

gender:  Still thinking boy.  I think I'm going to skip the early ultrasound (it is $99 plus tax), and have a gender reveal party instead.  I'm just hoping I can't tell at the ultrasound, because I doubt Chris will get to go with me.  Crossing my fingers that we get to find out about four weeks from now.  These four weeks need to go FAST.

looking forward to:  Not being so bloated.  And decorating the nursery.

worries:  That I'm not going to connect to this baby.  I know it is stupid, I'm sure I will, but right now even though I think about pregnancy in the baby a lot, there is so much more going on that needs my attention.  Ryann needs my attention.  How am I going to make space in my life for another one?  Also?  how in the heck we are going to fit another little person and all their crap into our house.  Our house is a decent size, but I apparently can't organize and have way to much stuff because I don't know how this is going to work.

what's different this time:  Um, not needing a BeBand?  I wish I had written more in my weekly posts last time.  I think the headaches are worse than with Ryann.  I know I had headaches the last time I was pregnant, but I seriously just don't remember them being this bad.

milestones:  Second trimester baby!

best moment this week:  Getting some awesome maternity jeans thanks to my mom.  I seriously can't wait for the weather to cool down!  Oh also?  My wifey (aka one of my best friends and sorority sisters) got engaged.  So happy for them, and all my friends getting married and having babies and getting good health reports, and there just seems to be a lot of happiness going around.

And the following picture was actually taken last Thursday (as opposed to yesterday like the one above... whoops).  I no longer need to tie my workout pants to keep them up.  This belly is still all over the place.  It is definitely growing though!


August 27, 2012

rain rain...

Ugh, I would say go away (to the rain, not you) but we desparately need it, so I guess it is a good thing.  But man, the rain completely foiled my running plans two days in a row.  Yes I could have run in the rain (but it was absolutely POURING on and off) and yes I could have run a little later in the day (but I'm a morning workout girl, can't do it).  But instead I ended up not running Friday or Saturday, after whimping out on the treadmill Thursday.  And for the record I was at my parents Friday-Sunday so I had no treadmill access.

Thus I missed a 4 mile run this week.  I can't remember if I've ever completely missed a run that I've had on my training schedule.  I may have not made the entire distance or something, but I think I have yet to miss a run or a workout.  It briefly felt like that was it, there was no way I'd be able to do the half marathon now, my life was over, WAHHH.  Er, yes, a bit over dramatic, hormones?

The good news is I managed a 7.35 mile run yesterday with a 10:22 pace.  My unofficial goal is to finish the half with at least an 11 minute pace.  But ultimately I'm not putting any time goals on this one, just trying to get my pregnant butt to the finish line any way possible.  I know I'm going to have to stop to pee (probably more than once, but hey, I made it 7+ miles yesterday without having to pee... actually I wanted to pee around 5.5 miles, but I wasn't close to a bathroom), and walk through every water station to grab a drink, and make sure I'm taking in enough fuel.  All that means no reason for a time goal.

The bad news... I'm going to be stuck on the treadmill for the next two weeks straight (unless anyone really wants to babysit the wee one bright and early in the next two weekends so I can get in a long run outside!).  I've been spoiled being at my parents a lot in the last two weeks, and haven't had to be on the treadmill much.  But I've got six miles and eight miles on my schedule, and I'm already trying to psych myself up to complete them on the treadmill.  The six will suck, but I can survive.  Eight?  That is pushing it.  Although Amy apparently rocked nine on the treadmill this weekend so I guess I should get over it, right?

Moving on, I've decided I need to bring back my mini goals as well.  I've been slacking in the strength training department A LOT, and also in the vegetable eating department (whoops).  So here are my goals for the week:

30 push-ups three days this week
one full strength workout
two servings of vegetables everyday

What is your favorite way to get in your veggies?  Any favorite recipes?  I know I can do smoothies, and we eat a lot of streamed broccoli, but if you have any great or creative vegetable recipes I'd love to hear them.


Link up your health and fitness related posts below!   And please link back to this post so that other's can join in on the inspiration too.  The more the merrier.

August 24, 2012

can we talk about strollers?

Obviously this time around with baby number two, I've got most of the crap if you will.  We went gender neutral on all of the big stuff, so all we will need if we have a boy is bedding and clothes, and towels.  Things of that nature.  But I also want a new stroller.

I was completely overwhelmed with all of the gear (and how much everything cost!), so I took the easy way out the first time.  We just purchased the Chicco Cortina Travel System.  And while the stroller has served its purpose, and still functions just fine, it is definitely getting older and I just don't love it.  Plus now I would like the ability to accommodate two children.  Ryann might be in that awkward age where she doesn't always want to walk, or rather we want to contain her, so although we don't need a straight up double stroller, I will want the option for her to 'ride'.  I'm sure many baby wear and then use the stroller for the toddler, but I didn't wear Ryann very much so I'm not sure I want to rely on that.

A sit 'n stand is obviously an option, but I'm not sure that is quite what I want.  I'm thinking a single that can convert to a double, has the option of a wheelie board, and can accommodate a car seat is the best choice.  At first the only strollers I really knew about were the Bugaboo Donkey (hello way expensive stroller) and the UppaBaby Vista.  The Vista seemed like a decent choice.  Looks much fancier than my current stroller, comes with a bassinet, can convert for two kiddos, optional car seat adapter... basically does everything I need it to.  So I went to Buy Buy Baby to check it out.  Oh man, it pushes so much smoother than our Chicco.  And just seems so much nicer.  It was a little daunting and I still don't really know how to use it, but that is ok.  Of course I asked the closet sales rep a few questions.  And then she threw out another option.

UppaBaby Vista Stroller

The Baby Jogger City Select.  The nice thing about it, is that I wouldn't necessarily have to buy an entire second seat.  Just some second seat adapter things for $20, and a car seat adapter.  There is still the option to purchase a second seat, but it is possible that by the time we stop using the car seat adapter Ry would be at a better age to just walk or stand on a wheelie board.  The City Select is cheaper than the Vista, but doesn't come with a bassinet (there is an option to purchase one).  But I'd be curious to know how many people actually use the bassinet on a regular basis...  Also I think I like the way you can configure the doubles set up on the City Select better.

Baby Jogger City Select
 Beyond those two strollers I have found two more online (but not seen in person) that might fit the bill.  The Britax B-Ready and Phil & Ted's Dot (or Navigator, but the Dot is smaller, which might be nice).  So what say ye mamas of a baby and an older toddler?  Do you have any experience with these strollers?  Anything I should be thinking about?  Want to throw me for another loop and suggest a stroller you absolutely love?  I'd love any and all opinions.  I simply can't make decisions on my own.

I know that these are some of the pricier double options, but seeing as it is one of the only 'big purchases' we will make with baby number two, I'm willing to go a little bit nicer.  The real kicker though, is that I might also want a double jogging stroller... But that is a topic for another day :o).

August 22, 2012

a day in the life - erin

Hooray!  It's Wednesday!  Ryann is starting her second year of Mother's Day Out today, so I have a whole day to GET SHIT DONE.  I'm trying not to sound too excited... I am a little worried, she will be in a new room with new teachers and eat at a table and sleep on a cot.  Moving on up!  Hopefully she likes at, and please oh please if she doesn't take a nap I really hope that she doesn't terrorize her new teachers.  Oy.

The other great thing about this Wednesday?  You get a day in the life from someone other than myself.  Score for you.  Especially since you get to meet Erin.  I feel like I've known Erin forever, even though we've never met (which will change someday Erin, I am freaking determined).  Annie and Ryann are close in age and I just love reading about what their family is up to.  Erin amazes me with all of the things she does, and I love that she tells it like it is.  No sugar coating, you get the good and the bad.  I love her for that.  So please enjoy a detailed look at a day in her life :o).


Good morning! I'm Erin from it's all happening. I started my blog 4.5 years ago (whoa) to record my life and originally focused on photography, travel, and cooking - annnnnnnnd then I got pregnant (and then pregnant again), and it devolved to fairly standard mommy blog land - I LOVE having my blog as a way to document our lives, since my memory is pretty crappy. I am a full-time working mom (and I love it - wow, need to write an update to that post!), and this was a fairly typical work day for me!

Ashley was the very first person who inspired me to record a day in my life, back almost exactly 2 whole years ago now - I've been following her blog since we were both pregnant at the same time with our girls, so when she said she needed more people for her series, I figured it was about time I volunteered :) I have since written several day in the life posts, and usually am reminded by Navigating the Mothership's quarterly reminders - I missed her round-up this time, so Ashley's prompt was timely for me so I could motivate myself to record a day anyway! I love going back and reading these to see how much changes, but how many mundane details remain the same.

In this day in the life, Annie is 2.5 years old, and Luke is 5.5 months old. It is Friday, August 17th.

12:30am - Hear wailing over the monitor - after looking at the clock, I immediately panic that we'll have to deal with Luke since I try not to nurse him until at least 2am, but thankfully it's Annie. (they share a room) I tell Ben to go down and tell her to pipe down, but she quiets down after about 30 seconds, and thankfully Luke doesn't wake up. I lay there scared she'll start crying again for a few minutes but fall back to sleep eventually.

3:51am - Sort of hear Luke making noise and confirm with Ben that he is awake. I'm a little disappointed because he had slept until 5 for the past several days in a row, and I don't like him to "regress", but also am excited that I might actually be able to get more sleep after this. I think the monitor was down REALLY low after Annie's crying, so hopefully he hasn't been awake long. I actually prefer him to wake up in the 3-4am timeframe vs 5am so that both of us can get some sleep after that, but unfortunately he doesn't listen to my preferences too well ;)

I still use the Total Baby app to record the middle of the night nursing - so I can remember when he finally stops them!

I stumble downstairs and get him and he seems pretty frantic and pissed, as he always is when I get him in the early morning. I literally cannot get my shirt up fast enough for him and sometimes he attempts to latch on to my stomach. This is by far and away our most productive nursing session of the day - he latches on quickly and there's no messing around. He's been very into grabbing my face and hair with his hand, which he does. I check instagram and email while he nurses. Kind of a long session for him - normally he's done after 6-7 minutes, but he nurses for 10 minutes this morning. I always only nurse on one side (the right) in the middle of the night. He finishes up, I burp him and miraculously he has a huge burp but NO spit up, and I put him back in his crib. He's still very awake and cranes to look at me. Annie snores through this entire time. I go to the bathroom and hear him make a little noise, and then go upstairs. Thankfully, no extended chattering time for him as is his way, and I fall back asleep after a bit.


6:15am - I am already awake, and hear my alarm go off. Immediately roll over and hit snooze. Think I maybe hear Luke starting to chatter. How does he do that? I don't get it. It's like he can sense when my alarm goes off, even though his room is an entire floor away.

6:24am - Alarm snoozes and I get up to shower - I check the monitor and it appears that Luke is at least laying down and sucking his thumb, so that's good. Turn up the sound so Ben wakes up if any child cries. I head downstairs to the bathroom and get in the shower. Since I haven't nursed at all on the left side since 7pm last night, I'm very full - I hand express a good amount in the shower every morning so that Luke isn't choking and so I leak less all over the place when he nurses (distractedly) later.

6:45am - I peek out of the bathroom after my shower and find Luke in exersaucer in a good mood, Ben doing dishes after making smoothies (which we have every weekday), and Annie's door still shut so she must have stayed asleep when Ben went in there to get Luke. I dry my hair and do my makeup.

Luke in exersaucer
Clutter everywhere!

Mom and Luke
Still in my robe - I don't dare put on real clothes before Luke nurses since there's a lot of leaking and potential spit up going on!

6:58am - Bring Luke upstairs to eat as Ben goes in to get Annie up, after I give him specific outfit instructions for her. Luke is very distracted, and doesn't want to eat - I had hopes that because he ate at 4 instead of 5 he'd be more hungry, but I guess not! He literally pops off every 5 seconds (I took a video of this so I have evidence, but will not be posting it even though I made sure just Luke's head was in it) and just stares at me and chats. It's very cute but at the same time annoying :) Much like a lot of things he does! After I decide he's done, I lay him on my bed while I get dressed - it's "casual summer" at my work, but I'm giving a few presentations today so I have to squeeze into my nice pants that haven't seen the light of day since I went back to work after maternity leave. They feel a bit tight. Ugh.

7:08am - Come back downstairs to find Annie had wet her bed (this was her 2nd night in undies at night at her request) which is annoying, and also odd because she didn't say a single thing about it - so who knows when that happened?! I didn't necessarily want to put her in undies at night yet, but I mentioned to her the other morning "Oh, maybe soon you'll be ready to wear undies at night, too!" and that night she had a complete meltdown when Ben was trying to put a diaper on her because she apparently remembered, so we went for it because she had been staying dry 90% of the time anyway. Hand Luke off to Ben to get dressed.

Luke escaping
Seriously, child, you don't need to roll over EVERYWHERE!

I also found out that Ben didn't have her go to the bathroom so encourage her to do that which she HATES (as in, hates when anyone but her suggests it) but I know she needs to go before we go to daycare and it just needs to be part of the routine. Am semi-annoyed that Ben didn't already do this but whatever, he was dealing with wet pjs and sheets.

Annie gets her smoothie and then is insistent on finding a chair, which I have no idea what she's talking about. She goes into the office to get her chair at her little table and I convince her to just sit there and drink her smoothie while I put in a ponytail. She informs me that she wants a "pony down here" (touching the nape of her neck) "that touches my dress" and also tells me to "get the hair out of my face" - I ignore one request and put one on the top of her head since that actually accomplishes keeping her hair out of her face, at least. She then immediately notices her apron and insists on putting it on, abandoning her smoothie - which I encourage her to keep drinking. And then it's moving her along to putting on her jacket, ("I want the pink one!") and then shoes, telling me a few times that "I have socks on!" (so exciting! Those socks are 6-12 month Old Navy by the way, that still fit her completely fine) and then she tells me about Luke "he's got a sweater on!" "We're matching!" I wish I could relax more about getting out of the house and also enjoy her running commentary but I'm always late to work and am on a tight schedule of needing to leave by a certain time to nurse Luke too, so I can't exactly stay later in the evening.

Moving the chair

Pony in
Checking my handiwork

Ben then takes her to the bathroom to pee, and she goes a lot, meaning that her wetting the bed incident happened awhile ago - lovely that she was basically sleeping all night on wet sheets, ew!

Done with potty

In the kitchen, Ben is holding Luke, who had just spit up - and the following conversation happened.
Ben: "ugh, damn it!" (said under his breath)
Annie: "You said damn?"
Ben: "noo........"
Annie: "Yes you did! You said damn!"
Ben: "I think I said dang"
and then we both laugh hysterically. Not sure how she even knew to call him out on that??

waiting patiently

Hands full
Bringing the carseat to put in my car (sans baby)


7:25am - We're all out the door (amazing that the previous things happened in only 15-20 minutes time!) and Ben loads the kids up in the stroller with Luke's bottles, and I get in the car with all my things. As I'm driving, I realize that I forgot nursing pads, which I still need - thankfully I have some spares in my purse. I listen to The Current on my drive in, and am happy because Weezer was on, and there was a segment on Minnesota State Fair Day in NYC, which I've heard about before and it sounds pretty fun.

7:37am - I get to my parking garage downtown, pay the guy and park, and walk 3 blocks to my office in downtown Minneapolis.

It's a beautiful, crisp and cool morning! Quite the refreshing change after the sweltering month of July.

7:45am - I arrive in my building, go to fetch my bagel (which is one of the biggest perks of my job - free bagels and donuts every Friday!) As per usual, when I get a bagel, I have cinnamon raisin with honey walnut cream cheese. It's oddly quiet at the bagels - no chit chat at all, but I think quite a few people are off today because one of our main systems is down for scheduled maintenance today.


I then get to my floor, make my french press coffee and am annoyed because there are 5 people lined up to use the water dispenser - what the heck?? Usually I'm pretty much the only one there and I'm on a time crunch to enjoy my coffee today because I have a presentation at 9!

My solution to avoiding work coffee

I get my coffee made, then check emails and go through all the student requests for help that came in since yesterday and assign them to various coworkers. I also make sure I have everything set to go for my presentations at 9 and 10. Since our systems are down, the Career Center is helping with some professional development sessions for the teams that basically can't work today - we did sessions on LinkedIn, professional brand, portfolios, and my sessions are on resumes. During this time, I get an email from Ben that I forgot the carseat in the kitchen - ugh - so I'll have to rush home and walk to get them (which I actually love, it just takes more time) and then be a bit later than normal nursing Luke - he's usually VERY anxious to nurse RIGHT when we get home around 4:45pm!


9:00am - 9:45am - First session! 25 people are there and they seem pretty engaged, which is good. I love presenting, and wish I had more opportunities to do it in person - I give webinars very regularly, but it's always different to actually be in front of a group!


10:00am - 10:45am - Second session - only 10 people this time, but they are a bit more participatory which is fun. I'm pretty dead by the time both are done because I've basically been talking for almost 2 hours straight.

10:50am - RUN to the Wellness Room to pump - usually I pump at 10:30, so I'm definitely overdue and I feel a letdown happening basically as I get to the room. 5 minutes goes by and I'm already overflowing the left so I quickly switch bottles!

11:01am - Done pumping, rinse out parts and store milk and pump parts in the fridge - 13oz this morning!

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1 bottle for the right, and the 2 left bottles - thankfully I was able to fit it all into 2 bottles so I still have 2 left for my 2nd pump session! Even though I have SO much milk frozen, I still hate to dump any.

11:31am - Got an email from my boss saying we can leave at 3 because of our great work in the sessions this morning - yay! I have an appointment with a student scheduled at 3pm, but he's already no-showed once - I email him to see if he can meet earlier, and then just go through emails answering student questions and reviewing a few resumes.

12:00pm - My coworker Nona lets us know that some extra donuts have been delivered to our floor - we all race over to the kitchen to get the best ones - I grab a chocolate frosted one for dessert later.

12:40pm - Heat up my lunch, which was leftover summer veggie quinoa from Wednesday night. It's surprisingly good and re-heats really well! I'm even too full to immediately eat my donut, which is always shocking. I work through lunch, but also have a good g-chat conversation with a friend!


2:05pm - Finally eat my donut - can't very well let it go to waste!

2:29pm - Feel a let down, and am reminded that it's time to pump again. My body is like clockwork! Finish up an email before going.

2:35pm - Go to Wellness Room again and pump - I think I got 8oz this time, 4 from each side - they are finally evening out, although the left definitely still has a much stronger let down! Rinse out the pump parts, and store all the milk in my freezer bag.

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Wellness Room self portrait!

2:55pm - Back at my desk - I never did hear back from my 3pm appointment, so I definitely hope he doesn't call me so I can leave! I will give him 10 minutes before I bolt.


3:11pm - Yay, no call! I'm outta here. Pack up the 100 tupperwares that have been accumulating at my office so we actually have something to store our food in at home, and head out into the absolutely beautiful day. I'm SO EXCITED to have some time to just chill out before getting the kids, and so glad that I'll now have time to walk to daycare and still get Luke with enough time to spare for him to nurse.


3:23pm - I am driving out of the parking lot - crazy when I type it out to realize just how long it takes me to get out of the large building I work in and walk just 3 blocks - but with the stoplights and elevators and escalators and etc - it takes awhile! As I'm driving, I find it odd that the meters are already on for the 94 entrance ramp this early. There is also a line. Traffic has no rhyme or reason! Once I get on 94 it's smooth sailing, though. I have The Current on still, but there's some song I don't like on, so I switch to KDWB and rock out to some pop music - it's a "good" music day for my return home because I know all the words to all the songs ;) (which include such classics as Some Nights, What Makes You Beautiful, Too Close, and finally (since a commercial came on, so I switched to KQ92) Honky Tonk Woman). I crank it to eleven.

3:40pm - I roll into my house, go inside to put my milk away, put the tupperwares away, and get out of my black work pants which were definitely not so comfortable. Might need to attempt to fit back into those soon, I guess. Put on jeans, and come outside to relax for awhile. I check the interwebs on my phone from my lounge chair, and am having a San Pelligrino Orange which is delicious and exactly what I needed!

Ahhh! Special thanks to @aolmscheid for allowing a little of this to happen before getting the kiddos from daycare!

4:10pm - I decide to quick start a load of laundry and change the kids' sheets so I don't need to worry about doing that when they are home - Annie's were soiled with pee, Luke's with spit up. Yay. Parenthood is beautiful.

New sheets
Fresh sheets for all

4:20pm - After literally just sitting in the silence outside with no phone (it was charging) for 10 more minutes, enjoying listening to the sounds of summer, I leave my house to walk to daycare with the Ergo and the stroller. Always love walking through the neighborhood with an empty stroller, who knows how many people think I'm some kind of nut! That 40 minutes of time between work and getting the kids improved my mood dramatically - really wish I could do that every day without sacrificing any of the time I am used to getting with the kids!


4:30pm - I arrive at daycare, which is 5 blocks away, and Luke immediately cranes his neck to see me and practically leaps out of Barry's arms for me while making this half laugh half wail sound (Barry is Sue's husband - who is almost always the one holding him when I get there). I immediately get Luke situated in the Ergo. Both Luke and Annie have apparently had good days - I chat with Sue a bit, and she tells me that Luke needs more diapers on Monday, and that he's "slowed down" on his pooping (one day he pooped 5 times in 2 hours). I then go over to the playhouse where Annie is once again hiding from me, with Sienna, who is 4. This scene happens - thankfully, since I have the stroller, she is actually willing to leave - usually it's a MUCH more drawn out process than this :)


We then walk home, with Annie taking her shoes and socks off on the way (it was a lot warmer now than it was this morning), and with Luke making alternately happy sounding coos and angry yells as we walk. I try putting the hood up on his to see if he wants to nap, but he pushes his head out, so I guess that's not going to happen yet!



4:45pm - I get home, and see a few minivans pulling up - we have pizza and playtime with the neighbor group of friends (same group we went to the cabin with in June - we seem to do pizza and playtime about once every month or so) at our neighbors Nate and Molly's house - so Maggie and Milo, and Allison, her mother and brother-in-law and baby Greta are just arriving. Ben is also outside, and so are Nate, Molly, Mia and Jack. Annie RUNS toward the front to greet Milo, and I go inside to nurse Luke. Apparently Aaron is biking Madeline over.


4:54pm - I nurse Luke, and within about 5 minutes, he's asleep after being a bit cranky at first - he went through about a week of not falling asleep nursing at all, so I was very sad, because it truly is one of my very favorite parts of the day - but this week he's fallen asleep for a little catnap nursing snooze a few times and I just love it SO much - gives me all the time I want to rub his fuzzy head and cuddle with him without him going nuts and moving all around like he normally does! It also gives me some quiet time with my boy before I have to venture out into the chaos of 10 adults, 4 toddlers, and 3 infants :)

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5:16pm - Luke wakes up, and we go next door.  The toddlers are all playing with the toy cars and bikes, or just running around being crazy. It actually was a pretty good night in terms of minimal fighting over toys and tantrums, so that's good! Right when I get there, Madeline announces that she's going potty, so I send Annie in there with her. Eventually they come back down and Annie lets me know that she did pee - good! I think one adult did go in there to assist eventually - we have a group parenting policy with this crowd ;)

Crowded deck

Annie looks happy, but she was actually quite annoyed that Ben picked her up :)

Toddlers playing
It's not ALWAYS perfect :)

Toddlers playing

Nate and Jack
Nate and Jack

Allison and Greta
Allison and Greta

Jack and Luke
Jack and Luke get in each other's way a lot :)

Mom and Luke

We have dinner - pizza, fruit, chips and salsa - we get pizza from Checkerboard, which is right near us - everyone else loves it, but it's way too greasy for me. Of course I still eat several pieces :) Initially I give Annie a piece of the veggie pizza, but she says it's too spicy for her (there's jalapenos on it) so I just give her a piece of pepperoni which she eats only after finishing every bite of fruit.

Toddler dinner

Luke is in the exersaucer, but that's short lived

Toddlers with stickers
Molly gives all the kids stickers to entice them to actually sit and eat :) Annie's says "much better!" which she walks around telling everyone.

6:45pm - Annie announces she has to go potty, so we go upstairs in Nate and Molly's house - Pat is up there changing Milo's diaper - Annie lets me know that Milo pooped, and "I can smell his poop" - um, thanks Annie :) We return back downstairs and Luke is getting quite fussy and tired - he's actually had a pretty good night - needed to be held and entertained, but not SO cranky that it was annoying.

Just some toddlers singing to a newborn

Milo and Annie in the playhouse
Annie and Milo spent a bit of time back in the playhouse

Ben and Luke and drink

Dad and Kids
Ben with the kids - and Annie with an Oreo

Lukey on the deck
Time for bed!

Lukey on the deck

7:00pm - I take Luke inside to put on his jammies and change his diaper - he's now all smiley and we have a good time on the changing pad with him laughing a ton and then of course getting the hiccups as he always does after a good laugh.

7:08pm - I start nursing - he's all about it but only wants to nurse for a few minutes before he gets cranky - so I switch sides at 7:11pm and then I don't quite remember exactly what time but soon enough it's clear that he's done so I put him in bed. He's a little pissy about it but isn't exactly crying either so I just leave him in there. I may have gone back in there once to rub his back, but just for maybe 20 seconds. I decide to quickly make up the bottles and freeze milk from the day because I really hate when I leave that til Sunday night and the milk has separated so much that it's hard to actually get it out of the bottles so I do that quick. Luke has 2 fresh and one frozen bottle a day - so I prepare two 5.5oz bottles, and then freeze 10oz, then go back outside! Luke appears to be well on his way to sleep at that point based on the video monitor, if not already asleep.



The toddlers are running around like crazy now - several times over the course of the night, Ben and I have talked to Annie about NOT crying before bedtime (because she had thrown big time bedtime meltdowns the previous few nights) so we're gearing up for that. For quite a few issues we've had (crying at night, mostly) we've had really good results from just having a conversation with her about it when she's calm so hope that does help. There still is a minor tantrum (despite several warnings that bedtime is approaching) when Ben does bring her inside, but it's not so bad.

Pat giving Annie a piggy back ride
Pat is Annie's favorite person of all time. We'll tell her Milo is going to be somewhere, and she says "and Pat too??"

Erin with a beer

7:50pm - Ben goes inside to put Annie to bed - I give her a kiss and say goodnight and stay outside socializing and having a Corona. Allison is leaving with MJ and her mother-in-law, and Maggie and Pat are leaving with Milo so I say goodbye to them and then hang out with Molly and Aaron while Nate puts Mia to bed.

Annie sad about bedtime
Our other little thumb sucker ready for bed

8:19pm - Ben comes back outside - he says bedtime went well and there were no ridiculous tantrums - she did her typical stalling though, and did say something to Ben like "I just want to talk to you!" when he told her it was time for bed... she also wanted to see that it was, indeed, getting dark outside.

We then moved back to make a fire and had some good conversations about parenting and marriage for a while, with Molly and I giving most of the sage advice ;) I decide right then and there that Maggie, Molly, Allison and I need another ladies night out so I send an email from my phone at that moment so I don't forget! I also actually have a 2ND BEER that night, which is quite rare for me when I'm just at home :) Feeling wild and crazy!

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9:10pm - SO wild and crazy that 9:10 hits and I need to come back inside :) I finally get my contacts out and sit down - ever since having kids, I feel like I NEED that veg time on the couch alone before going to bed far more so than I ever did before, even if what I'm doing is socializing with friends. The 2 beers have made me slightly tipsy, so I leave some rambling and probably nonsensical comments on Julia's blog. Basically can't keep my eyes open any longer so I just give in and head up to bed a little after 10 - when I get upstairs, I yell out the window to Ben to remind him that he still has the baby monitor and to keep it turned up because I can't hear anything up in our room.  Passed out pretty quickly, thanks to those 2 beers :)

And thus ends a day in my life!

On to Ashley's questions!

1. What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom? Definitely the range of emotions that come with parenthood. The highs are SO high, but the lows are almost scary sometimes. I never considered myself a particularly rageful person until Annie turned 2... but man oh man, does she ever know how to push my buttons - and just HOW frustrated and mad I get about totally typical normal toddler stuff is scary sometimes. Patience was never my strongest virtue, but I could manage for awhile - but after being challenged and tested at literally every turn for any length of time and I definitely lose it sometimes! But then, 10 minutes later and we are laughing and having fun and I think that life is wonderful.  Same goes with Luke - I can get so frustrated with him (not so much lately, but especially during his newborn months) about things like going to sleep, or just stop crying, or etc, and then I'm rubbing his fuzzy head and he's cuddling with me and all is instantly forgiven and he's the most perfect baby to ever exist. I've always been pretty logical and rational, and parenting has made me into a much more emotional person - in both good and bad ways!

2. What advice would give to new or soon to be mamas? I've written about this (and the next question) here. Interesting to me to see how my answers have stayed the same through the 2nd child! My main piece of advice is to find a support network of some sort - I am really lucky that I have a ton of friends who are all pretty much in the exact same stage of life as I am, and it has been KEY to my sanity to be able to have them to talk to - just to know that you aren't alone! Blogs are great for this as well, if you don't have a lot of friends in real life with kids. Joining a new mom group through the hospital after I had Annie was awesome - this time, I had literally twelve friends who gave birth within 6 months of me, so I didn't need it!

My mantra is always "this too shall pass" - the good and the bad. I DEFINITELY do not enjoy every moment of mothering, and it does not really come naturally to me - which is okay with me - but I do try to savor it, and appreciate it. While Annie has her frustrating moments right now, she's also so entertaining, and it's amazing to watch her figure out the world and be able to verbalize it. Luke is likely my last baby, so I'm really trying to soak in his babyhood as much as I can - because I know all to well now that it does go by so fast, even if the days sometimes seem insufferably long!

3. What are your top three baby products? There are a few things that appear on every list that we've used the crap out of - namely the boppy (I use it at literally every nursing session and did until I weaned Annie at 12.5 months), my breast pump, carseat, stroller, etc - but I feel like those are obvious ones. So my top 3 are:

-iPhone! I use this to track nursing, record stats and questions from pediatrician visits, the white noise app is used all the time, and more importantly, I use it to capture our lives through pics and videos when I don't have my DSLR with me (which is almost always when we're out of the house now with both kids!). It's also key for entertainment during super long nursing sessions in the first weeks.

-Video Monitor - seriously LOVE this thing, mostly for the toddler stage. I'm sad that it's now pointed at Luke because I would love to keep seeing Annie, but since they share a room I just can't justify it. I keep meaning to move it to a location where I can see both kids! It's great for us to see if we really need to attend to a child, or if they are calming themselves down, if Annie stayed in her toddler bed when we first put her in there, if they are standing up, sitting down, etc - especially since our room is on a different level. I know you can get by without one, but if you can at all afford it (and I'd sacrifice quite a bit of other baby crap to get one) seriously it's worth it.

-Ergo baby carrier - this has been ESSENTIAL with Luke - he did not nap well the first few months of his life, and we took MANY walks with him snoozing away in there. Now he just loves being in there and it keeps our hands free to do whatever we want - in many cases push the stroller with Annie in it. I far prefer to wear him and have Annie in the stroller than to use our Sit-n-Stand, which is really bulky. We used it with Annie up until she was over a year old, and she STILL fits comfortably in it. I am certainly not partial to the actual brand, but I can attest to the fact that the Ergo is super comfortable and you can wear it for many hours at a time. I've used that and the moby and prefer the Ergo by far.


Thank you so much Erin, for sharing your day with us!!