January 31, 2013

some pregnancy favorites

Personally, I'm a product post junky.  I love hearing what other people like, be it cosmetics, workout gear, photography stuff, clothes, etc.  I want to know what other people have tried and loved.  One, because you have to make sure you buy the 'cool stuff,' right?  And two, because it is nice to know that someone else has given the product approval before you spend your cash.  So here are some things I enjoyed this pregnancy (and some stuff that I just plain like)...


Blue Bell Strawberry Fruit Bars  ::  I'm a chocolate addict, and usually want some sort of chocolatey ice cream treat as my nightly dessert.  But even not pregnant I'm pretty hooked on these things.  They are the only brand of fruit bars I really like (something about the texture is perfect), and I'm not partial to any other flavors, but the strawberry ones pretty much rock.

Target Long & Lean Tanks  ::  I always heard people rant and rave about these Target tanks.  Sans belly they definitely don't work for me.  The straps are too long and something about the fit is off.  But under another shirt?  Perfect during pregnancy.  Way cheaper than any of the maternity tanks I've seen, nice and long and stretchy.  I've also started wearing them to workout in since none of my workout tops or t-shirts fit anymore.

Hudson Skinny Leg Maternity Jeans  ::  Definitely a splurge for maternity wear.  It is tough to spend a lot of money on an item you can only use for a limited number of months.  But I have worn these babies at least two to three times a week since the 19-20 week mark.  For the most part the panel stays up, they are comfortable, and have a great fit.

Vitafushion Prenatal Vitamins  ::  Regular prenatals make me vomit.  Which is awesome when you're already queasy.  These don't have iron, which I'm guessing is my saving grace.  I just try to make sure I'm getting enough iron rich foods.  These vitamins also taste great.  Score.  Depending on where I buy them and what's on sale I've also used the Up & Up version at Target.

Covergirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm  ::  This is just a favorite item in general, but in my opinion is extra great for moms, or moms to be.  It feels more like a chapstick and moisturizes pretty well, but has some color so you look like you tried, you know?

Gap Supersoft Leggings  ::  I had some maternity leggings from Target, but they just weren't cutting it.  They were always falling down or sagging in the crotch.  These from Gap?  Pretty much awesomeness.  They are so soft and stay put for the most part.  I will say the material is pretty thin, so although I would never advocate it anyway, I wouldn't suggest wearing these leggings as pants.  But they are great under tunics and dresses and such.

Gilligan & O'Malley Sleep Tee  ::  In general I just love these sleep tees.  I've been wearing them for quite some time now.  I don't do pajama sets, I can't have anything too restricting, and these have been awesome.  And for the most part they fit me throughout the pregnancy as well.  I can still wear them.  It is kind of like wearing your husbands shirt, only quite a bit cuter.

Camelbak  ::  Really, what I should say is find a water bottle, tumbler, something you love to drink out of that you can refill.  Ever since I started carrying around a Camelbak I drink a lot more water.  And that is especially important when you're pregnant.  I shoot to drink at least three full ones a day, and even then sometimes I can tell I need more water.  Crazy considering I used to barely consume probably 32 ounces in a day.

Mossimo Capri Yoga Pant  ::  These have been super comfortable on my belly.  And sometimes I wear them as leggings, and with tall boots in the winter you can't tell I'm wearing crops.  Comfortable, cheap, and they work.

Elbow Sleeve Side Ruched T-Shirt  ::  These t-shirts can be a little spendy, but they are super soft, nice and long and have fit me well since around 20 weeks.  They are usually buy one get one half off, and sometimes buy one get one free.  I stocked up on colors and wear them by themselves, under cardigans, etc.  I like the sleeve length too, short enough to wear in a bit warmer weather, but they stay put and don't bunch up under sweaters and such.

Fun earrings (LR2 signature earrings & some from Francesca's)  ::  Most of my maternity wardrobe is pretty basic, consisting of a lot of the tees listed just above.  The quickest way to dress them up?  A fun pair of earrings.  Or a necklace or scarf or something, but I'm just not quite that cool :o).  So earrings it is.  The LR2 signature earrings that I received when hosting a giveaway last year are still my go-to earrings.  Sparkly and fun, can be dressy or casual.  I also have several pairs of earrings from Francesca's.

I really wanted to be one of those girls who could make regular clothes work, but when it comes down to it sometimes maternity items are just easier.  So I suggest finding a few pieces that you love and can pair with a lot of things and just go for.  I hate the bellaband and used the hair tie trick instead.  I was able to wear some of my colored skinnies for quite a while thanks to that trick.  Also staple to my wardrobe in general are comfortable tall (flat heeled) boots.  For my maternity clothes I shopped at Gap, Destination Maternity and Shade Clothing.  Sometimes Old Navy has cute stuff, but for the most part I was never that impressed with the quality or fit.

January 30, 2013

a day in the life - elisabeth

Yesterday I was really lacking energy.  So I'm crossing my fingers for a little more today.  Need to be productive!  Today you get a little peek at Elisabeth's day.  Enjoy!


Hi. I'm Elisabeth with an "s". A little bit quirky (I put salt on my watermelon), a touch wonky (I smell every book I read), and borderline "un-domestic"(I iron once every six months, and can't sew a button to save my life). I'm also a self-proclaimed pessimist (comes from my father). Thankfully, I have a loving, patient husband, and adorably spunky daughter.

Both my husband and I work from home; it's a unique dynamic and comes with its share of challenges, but we wouldn't trade it for the world. It can be stressful to juggle laundry and diaper changes and spilled milk (literally) AND deadlines (I'm a biologist with an environmental-tech consulting company) and conference calls and never-ending e-mails (I also work part-time for a local university) all at the same time. But we make it work.

I've gone ahead and described an "average" day in our house. It was tempting to pick our busiest, most exciting day to share - you know, the rare one where I actually manage to slap some makeup on my face, and we sit around tables with other little girls sipping make-believe tea. But that would give you the wrong idea. See, most of the time, toys are scattered everywhere, I haven't showered in a couple of days, and something is in the process of boiling over on the stove. And, in the time since I received Ashley's e-mail, I've neglected to take my camera along for "the ride" every. single. day. I plead Mommy brain...


6:00-7:00 At some point, we'll hear the familiar "Mama, snuggle...Daddy, kisses" that quashes any lingering hopes of sleeping in. Little A stays in her bed, with or without whining, until 6:30 and then based on her mood (and my own), we'll get up.

6:45-7:15 A handful of Cheerios (I place them in a ice cube tray like this - she adores it), milk, and toys - she's good to go. I check e-mails, sip tea, and play with her on the couch. Aside from hating mornings, this is my favourite time of the day.


7:15-7:45 Breakfast. Cereal (Raisin Bran, without the raisins...she's on a raisin strike), yogurt, parfaits, applesauce, toast, or scrambled eggs.

8:00 By now, it's time to get dressed for the day; then we play some more. Building blocks, colouring, hide-and-seek, and reading books are tried-and-true fav's. These activities have just changed in complexity as she gets older (like now we name the colours of every block, and count how many we've stacked).


8:30-9:00 Independent playtime. I have followed (loosely), a number of the general principles of Babywise/the Baby Whisperer. I take everything with a grain of salt, and tailor techniques to fit our lifestyle and inclinations. But this independent playtime - it's a winner. For 30 minutes Little A plays contentedly in her room, surrounded by toys, listening to music. We'll hear maraca's one minute and her jabbering on her playphone talking to "Grampie" the next. I shower, do dishes, make phones calls... We set a timer (which she insists on watching us set), and when it goes off, playtime is over...and she gets to play with the timer. It's priceless.


9:00-9:45 More play. Occasionally we watch a short YouTube video (especially these vidzforkidz videos). We're pretty adamant about no (extended) TV viewing, but since we have a three monitor setup in our office, this allows her to enjoy a few minutes of "screen time" while I use another monitor to answer e-mails, get started on my work for the day etc., all the while being able to hold and snuggle her.


9:45-11:30 Outings. Some days this just means walking outside to get the mail. It could also be church (Sunday), Bible Study (Tuesday), Library Story Time (Thursday), or Farmers Market (Saturday). In the summer, we went on family walks (10-14km/day), but Canadian winters are pretty harsh, so outside time has been more limited of late.


11:45-12:15 Lunch time. I dread this every day. I am so unimaginative when it comes to lunch ideas. Hummus and crackers. Cheese. Grilled cheese. Spinach fritters. Baked beans. Banana Bread. Occasionally leftovers (but usually these get reused for supper).

12:30-1:00 Nap prep. Finish lunch, change diaper, pick up toys, and wind down for a nap. We have this down to a science. Again, Babywise principles have played a huge part in how well naps/bedtime goes. I'm absolutely convinced of this. We recently dropped the soother, which seems to have made falling asleep even easier. We read a few books, sing a few songs, and then she lays down. After kisses from Daddy...we're good to go.


1:00-3:00 Mommy time. I generally spend the first 30 minutes relaxing. I do my daily Bible reading, catch up on blogs, respond to personal e-mails. Relax. Then it's full-on work mode. I send e-mails, contact clients, manage spreadsheets, and make any calls that are too important to handle with a little chatty sidekick chiming in. There is never enough time to accomplish all my tasks. I'll try to squeeze in some meal prep if we aren't having leftovers. Once every few weeks, I'll give in to the urge and take a nap.


2:30-3:00 Up from a nap. I used to leave her for a predetermined amount of time, but now that she wakes up wanting "Mama" immediately or sooner, after letting her fuss a few minutes (she often does this in between sleep cycles and falls back to sleep) to make sure she's actually not going to go back asleep, I get her up. Life's too short to cry over short naps. Though I still do sometimes...

3:00-3:30 Snuggle time, milk.

3:30-5:00 Play/outing. A walk, playing outside. Occasionally a playdate, errands, a pre-planned activity (making cookies together, playing with sensory bins, playdough, or colouring).


5:00-5:30 Final prep for supper. This can be rough. Usually we're all starting to get weary, and there are lots of requests for "Snuggle, Mama" which is infinitely more difficult when trying to stir pots and chop veggies and set tables.

5:30-6:15 Supper. We always, always, always sit down for this meal together. We start with prayer - we all hold hands (she insists), and she is starting to close her eyes which is adorable. Amen is her favourite part. She'll often request "Grace" multiple times during a meal, just so she can say "Amen" and see our response. Mealtimes are pretty smooth sailing. If she's teething, she basically refuses to eat. If she's not teething, she'll eat until we pull the plug. I always try to include things she likes in each meal but, ultimately, what is served is what's available. I don't make two different meals. The result - a broad palate, including an appreciation for, get this, wasabi! She has inherited a love for desserts too, so most evenings we top it off with some applesauce and a small cookie.

6:15-6:45 Bath time. We usually bath/shower every other night. If she's particularly tired/had a bad nap, she can go to bed as early as 6:30. Most nights it's about 7:00.

7:00 She LOVES the time leading up to bedtime. She had a small sippy of milk, "reads" her books, and is just so happy and cheerful. She'll hide in her room and then run out waiting for us to scare her (the kid LOVES to be scared). We brush teeth (not a favourite activity, and she voices her dissatisfaction LOUDLY), and then I tell her it's bedtime. She runs, literally, to her bedroom. We sing more songs (Only You, Edelweiss and Twinkle, Twinkle are favourites; after each song, she always, always says "again"...). Then a quick prayer, and another plea for "Kisses, Daddy" as she slinks into her bed and hides, giggling the whole while.

One of our favourite bed-time reads.  via

7:00 - Peace...

7:00-7:30 I relax. Browse the internet/check e-mail, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or a special dessert.


7:30-9:00 Work. I continue on paid work tasks, like filtering through my inbox and any lingering issues that need sorting. I do house tasks too like dishes, cleaning, making grocery lists, phone calls. If we haven't been out for a walk, I might try to squeeze in an exercise video.

9:00-10:00 More me time. I'll read a book, take a shower, maybe watch a short TV show.


10:00-11:00 Watch TV with the hubby. We love old sitcoms and just finished Frasier; we'll watch an episode or two every night, talk about our day, make sure we're up-to-date on the following days schedule, etc.,

11:00-11:15 More reading/TV/final kitchen cleanup/lights out.


What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?

Wow - this is a loaded question because it was sooo different from what I imagined. If I had to summarize motherhood in one word - intense. Intense feelings ranging from fear, excitement, frustration, guilt. Ah, the guilt. I never anticipated so much guilt. You feel guilty for sleeping arrangements, feeding habits, soother use...every.single.thing elicits guilt, both self-induced and from outside pressure. And then, of course, there is the intense love. A love like you've never experienced before, because it is reserved only for the special relationship between a mother and child. You feel like you would, very literally, do anything for your child.

What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?

Whoa. Again, I feel like I could write for days on this topic. Here are a few things to come to mind.

Take care of yourself. The first six months I felt like a zombie. Looked like one too. Get a facial, try to get back into an exercise routine. Shower and put on makeup whenever possible. Hire a babysitter even if you can't afford one. Talk about your feelings: good (I'm so in love with my perfect baby) and bad (how can I possibly be crying so much; why do I feel sad all the time). FREEZE LOTS OF MEALS ahead of time. I was amazed how difficult even getting around to eating a bowl of cereal would be. Some babies cry all the time. It's not your fault, and sometimes there is absolutely nothing wrong. It does not reflect your worth as a mother.

What are your top three baby products?

MAM pacifiers (the only kind my daughter would take, and I always joke they are the brand I would want to use...you know...if I ever needed a pacifier for some reason!).

Zippered pajamas - you can never have enough. I personally detest the snap kind, and never liked the nightgowns (although I'm sure lots of moms would include those on a must-have list). I like the footed jammies from the Children's Place the best.

Formula mixing containers - Although I pumped for four months, I had major issues with BF; and I despised making up formula. That is until I started mixing it in a BPA-free Rubbermaid container. Worked like a charm. No muss, no fuss. Easy pouring feature too.


Thank you for sharing your day with us Elisabeth!

January 29, 2013

a sweet baby shower

On Sunday my lovely bestie threw an adorably sweet baby shower for me.  It was so nice of her, and I am so grateful for all of my friends who came out and showered Miss Elsie with some love.  I got to fulfill my craving for doughnuts, my mom made a delicious chicken salad (I'll share the recipe soon, seriously, so good!), and Elsie got some adorable stuff.  Plus we are good to go on diapers for a while, or well, at least a little over a week.

I'm just going to let the pictures do the talking, because after spending 5+ hours wrapping an 'E' with yarn, my brain doesn't really want to function.  I failed to get any pictures of the majority of the guests, but guys, I still love you.  Promise.  Now the eye candy...

the hostess with the mostess, who is totally going to kill me for that one :)

Meg, thank you so much for hosting this little shindig.  You did an amazing job, everything was so cute and perfect.  I couldn't ask for a better friend!

January 28, 2013

what are your favorites?

Still not much to discuss on the workout front for me.  I toyed with not posting a link-up for the next few weeks, but I love reading all of your updates and stories too much to do that.  So you just get some lack luster posts from me until I have something better to discuss, like how the baby weight loss is going or something, mmmkay?

Oh, just wanted to throw this out there... in January I've covered 47 miles walking (and a wee bit of 'wogging', something between walking and jogging :o).  Not too shabby for 8 months pregnant, right?  During my pregnancy, with all exercise activity included, I've covered 660 miles.  I'll take it!  So so SO much different than when I was pregnant with Ryann, where my only form of exercise consisted of chasing after toddlers at work.  Now next time around (if there is a next time around), I just need to maintain the cardio with strength training!

Now I know we've kind of discussed things of this nature, but can you share your favorites?  I want to hear about your favorite workout gear, workout videos, quick and healthy recipes, recipes great to have on hand for lunches, etc.  The workout gear because I think once my body can squeeze into it, a new top or something might be a great workout motivator.  Videos because I'm going to have to find new ways and times to get my exercise in.  And healthy recipes, especially for lunches, because I need to be prepared so I don't just eat junk while trying to take care of the new babe and the toddler.  So, hit me with your best... stuff :o).


Link up your health and fitness related posts below!  And a little reminder about linking up.  Please link up to a specific post, not just your blog in general.  Also, please link back to me (either by grabbing the button in the sidebar, or with a text link), so that other people can play along and get motivated as well.  I try not to be too pick about this stuff, but at some point I might just start deleting links if you don't follow the rules.  Come on people.  There are only two!

January 25, 2013

thirty-six weeks


written January 24th

Well, I thought this week was starting to go pretty well.  Annnd then I went to my doctor's appointment.  I'm sure everything is fine and I'm stressing myself out for nothing, but...

Let's rewind a bit.  Earlier this week I had a sudden onset headache and was feeling a little nauseous.  I took my prescription headache medicine, and laid down for a good half hour or more, but no relief.  I never made Christopher check my blood pressure, but ended up taking another pill right at the six hour mark so I could go to sleep.  I've woken up with a headache in the middle of the night the last couple of nights, but am blaming it on the fact that I'm staying up too late.

So today I had my 36 week check-up.  My mom came up and hung out with Ryann so really it should have been an easy breezy appointment.  The nurse weighed me (according to their scale I lost a pound over the last two weeks, meh).  Then checked my blood pressure.  144/88.  Well shit.  She said she was going to finish up her initial stuff, and then leave me to lay on my left side for five minutes and see where we were at.

She attempted a finger prick to check for anemia, but apparently my stupid hands were too cool.  She kept have to try and warm them with her hands to get the blood to come out and fill the little teeny tiny tube.  I swear it took like three minutes.  I went and peed in a cup, came back and laid down.  She came back in five minutes later, and thankfully when she check my blood pressure it was down to 116/62.  Not too shabby at all.

Then my doctor came in.  "So, your blood pressure is a bit high.  But it did come down nicely, so that is good."  "Oh good."  "But there is a trace of protein in your urine.  Have you been drinking enough water?"  "Um, well, I think I drink a little over 2 liters a day.  Is that enough?"  "Oh, yeah, that is enough.  Well shoot.  I thought maybe I could chalk the blood pressure up to a fluke, or the protein up to lack of water, but you're kind of shooting down all my options."

Noooo!  Of course then I spilled the beans about my headache episodes, and she was even less convinced that it wasn't all related.  Because my pressure came down relatively quickly and easily she isn't giving me any restrictions as of now.  But she said if I have any more serious headaches that I need to call, or have Chris check my blood pressure.  And if I see anything over 140/90 that I need to call.  And if my blood pressure is still high next week or there is any protein in my urine we will run some labs and "have some decisions to make."

Not going to lie, I'm freaking out.  I think I've said to Chris at least 10 times tonight already that I'm not ready.  That I want at least two more weeks.  Three would be great.  My induction is set for 6am on February 15th and I would LOVE to make it to that date.  Obviously if it is safer for baby girl to be out than in, I'm all for it, but I WANT MORE TIME.

Needless to say, I'll be packing my hospital bag this weekend, and doing my best to finish up as many items on my to-do list as I can.

Oh, also at the appointment when she went to find the heartbeat, it took her a lot longer than usual.  Not like five minutes or anything, probably maybe just over a minute.  But Elsie's heartbeat has been in the same place for WEEKS.  And now it is on the other side.  For a brief second I freaked thinking she had flipped to breech, but my doctor is still pretty confident that she is head down.  So that is good at least.    

how far along:  36 weeks (compare to 36 weeks with Ryann)

size of babyaccording to the bump a honeydew, between 17.2-18.7 inches long and weighing somewhere between 4.2-5.8 pounds.  Elsie's kidneys and liver should be ready to go, her lungs are nearly there, and circulation and immune systems should be ready to go as well.

weight gain:  17.4 pounds.  Somehow, according to my scale I am down 2.6 pounds this week.  Lately I've been craving more fruit and not really wanting much to do with carbs, so I'm guessing it is mostly water weight or something.  Who knows.  I'm betting my weight is just going to fluctuate here on out unless I give into my junk cravings (which I'm tempted to do, only a little bit left to indulge with limited guilt!).

maternity clothes:  See the belly above.  What else would you put on?

symptoms:  Headaches.  Stupid freaking restless legs.  Really awesome punches to the cervix.

exercise:  Seven walking workouts totaling 17.6 miles.  Didn't realize I walked that much this week!

cravings/aversions:  Strawberries, salads, fruit... along with doughnuts and cookies :o).

movement:  I can finally say this little girl has slowed down a bit.  She is still fairly active, and the movements more often than not are painful, but she isn't as crazy as often.  But it is still insane to watch my belly move.

sleep:  Besides the fact that I have been staying up a little too late, sleep has been alright this week.  I still dread getting in bed and trying to fall asleep because of the restless legs, but I'm not up for hours in the middle of the night.

gender:  Girl.  Although I'm back to paranoid that they were wrong and a little baby boy is going to pop out.

looking forward to:  My baby shower that my bestie is throwing this weekend!  She really is the best.

worries:  That I'm going to develop pre-e and have to birth this babe in like a week.  And how the heck we'll live through an entire call month with a newborn.  And just pretty much everything.

what's different this time:  Surprisingly I think I'm sleeping better.

milestones:  Three weeks or less to go!

best moment this week:  Ahem, there is no longer a toilet in the nursery.  That is amazing.  The dresser is all painted (just need to decide on pulls, get some drawer liner and fill that thing up!).  The rug is down in the nursery.  Our bathroom reno is near complete (just need a shower door and a mirror).  Christopher and our friend Kyle hung a new light in the nursery.  Got to hang out with a friend I haven't seen in a while.  Christopher's aunt brought over the baby blanket she made for Elsie, and I am OBSESSED with it.  So really, yes, minus today's doctor's appointment?  A pretty darn good week.


January 24, 2013

that's what she said

Ryann:  "Oh, I think you're right mom."
Me:  "I usually am."
Ryann:  "But you're not always right."  thanks for pointing that out kiddo
Me:  "You're right.  Not all the time.  Nobody can be right all the time, nobody is perfect."
Ryann:  "Oh, I know someone who is perfect."
Me:  "Oh yeah?  Who?"
Ryann:  "Papa!"

Me:  "You need to pick up that spoon and take it to the kitchen.  We do not throw silverware on the floor."
Ryann:  "That's not silverware.  That's plastic."
touche little one, touche.

Ryann:  "Ooo, I like your hands!"  in reference to the fake nails I had put on

Ryann:  "Tell me a story about pigs.  And snow.  Now."
the very first thing she said to me when I woke her up from a nap 

Me:  "What are you doing?"
Ryann:  "Just laying here.  Yooking at the yight.  It has three eyes.  And wings."
you should probably stop staring at the light...


January 23, 2013

a day in the life - amber

Woot woot!  I've got another stretch of mamas lined up to share their days with you.  All the way through mid May!  So assuming I actually remember to send out reminder e-mails and we can all stay on top of it, you'll get to creep on lots more days.  Yay.  :o)

Today you get a little look at a day in the life of Amber.  She is a running machine, completing I think 5? half marathons and one full marathon in 2012.  Way to go Amber!  I hope you all enjoy a peek at her day!


Hi my name is Amber and I've been blogging over at MotherhoodMightBeFatal for eight years now. My blog is small and relatively unknown but I always like to meet Mama's like me to compare notes. I hope you enjoy this look at my day!

5:30 AM:  The alarm goes off. Depending on what's on my plate for the day the alarm is as early as 5:00 and depending on how I feel, I will get up. Some days I’m just too tired. But most days my brain has this internal conversation where I remind myself the children are not awake yet and I can actually get something done! Today I got up right with the alarm at 5:30.

5:45 AM: I’m up, with a cup of tea and making lunches. One for the Girl Child, the Boy Child and the Husband. I take my vitamins and eat a banana and this morning I decide to be reallll adventurous and have a piece of toast too.  I unload the dishwasher and switch the laundry. Typically I do whatever’s leftover from the night before so it’s not always the same. Today is heavy on the housework (hence why I went ahead and got up at 5:30).

6:00 AM: By this time I like to be in my office. Today the Hubby leaves for work around 6:15 (he always gets an early start because he commutes an hour to work). I keep my fingers crossed the kids will stay asleep and I'll get a solid 90 minutes to power through some work. And by “work”, I mean I'm a student in a marriage and family therapy master's program. 

Graduate school goes something like this:

It’s a LOT of reading and re-reading and research and note taking. Theory and history and research on treatment practices make up the bulk of the first two years of study. The last year is all a big test with real live people as clients to see if you retained all that information. So the first two years are really important. Which is why I am up so early every day to get a head start on it!

7:35 AM: Today the kids woke up at a decent time (sometimes they like to mess with me and wake up randomly before Daddy goes to work. So I say a little word of thanks to the Universe I got this much time to work!)

7:45 AM: The girl child is already dressed, with her hair combed, her bed made, her lunch in her backpack and making breakfast. My son? Still sitting in his bed playing with Legos. Sigh.

8:15AM: By now I've cajoled the boy child into getting ready for school (and helped him tie his shoes, he's just learning) 

The kids play nicely argue while I try to get dressed. I don't need a lot of time since most days I'm just getting into gym clothes but seriously - FIVE minutes of peace would be nice.

8:40AM: Drop Off at School (five minutes early as requested by the girl child so she has time to chat with her friends). Also I know my kids' school start late. But in our district elementary each school starts thirty minutes after the last grade level and high school starts at 730. Let me tell you, when you've been up since 5:30A taking them to school at quarter to nine feels like lunchtime. Boo :/

8:50A: Thankfully we live super close to the school so I'm back in our driveway and ready for my run in less than ten minutes. Today I have a long run on the books that I did not want to push off because I'm stubborn. So, I go ahead and run my five miles. I'm farther from home than I planned when I hit that 5 mile mark so I run past the house at 5.55 and decide to finish out a full six miles (because I'm OCD like that). 

 9:50A: Then to stretch post-run I do a quick 10 minutes of yoga. I do about 5 minutes stretch and 5 minutes core just to feel like I did something. I feel good as I jump into the shower.

11:00AM: I have always been super expedient at self-care because I grew up the eldest of five kids and live a busy life. I'm showered, dressed with make up on in twenty minutes. I don't remember what I did after that but it was probably answer emails. My phone always sidetracks me. I do know I spent a few minutes making a list of Internship sites to contact for my Internships next year. The end is so close in my Master's Program, it'll be here before I know it!

11:15AM I go down to have an early lunch and realize I did not bag and freeze the meals I made the day before. Oops.

11:45AM: While I eat I usually survey what reading I need to do for the next week. Yes I'm one of those annoying people that is always ahead but when you've got little ones being a student has to suddenly take a back seat anytime something with them comes up (which is always). If you're not ahead you're behind is what I always like to say. Here are the books I'm reading this term, plus one that was in my bag when I took this shot. Killmenow.

 12:30PM: I've just gotten immersed in this when I have to take a call for CASA. That's what the sticky note is about - not calling a Doctor about a bowel movement, haha. It's just all confidential so I have to keep my notes in shorthand. I'm preparing to go to court and things always come up at the last minute.

 1:15 PM: Thankfully I also live really close to the County Courthouse (we live in the city) so it doesn't take me long to drive down, park and get up to where my CASA case is being heard. A CASA is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children that does just what the name suggests. I volunteer my time to advocate for the best interests of children that are in the foster system in my county. It's sad and exhausting work but SO worth it. I spend the next hour in a quick court session that isn't as contentious as usual. YAY for the little things :)

2:00 PM: I had planned for my sister to pick up my kids but because court was nice and short and sweet, I don't have to have her do it after all. So I head over to pick up the girl first. She's in first grade and has full day class so I park the car and get back into my reading. When you go to Graduate School as a SAHMom, part time volunteer you need to be ready to work when you can. Reading in the car is just as quiet as the library, IMO.

3:15PM: She comes out all smiles as usual. I don't even have a picture because when I first hug her, she's offering me a full account of her entire day. I don't touch my phone until we get home and I've missed a call about CASA. I knew the ease in court was too good to be true :/ 

3:50PM: After my call I set out dinner to thaw (I precook and freeze almost all my meals). Then I check over the girl's homework, even though it's Wednesday she has done the homework for Thursday too (she's such a nerd like me). She gets dressed for swimming and we're out the door for the YMCA.

The boy goes to the Y after his half day kindergarten so he's playing nicely in his classroom. I used to go up and ask him to come down and hang out with me, but he told me he'd rather play with his friends :/ So I read some more (it's all I do, yes?) 


4:15-5:00: The girl swims. She loves it and is really good at it. We hope she sticks with it through school - a scholarship for college doing something she loves wouldn't hurt :)

5:15PM: After she gets dressed and I pick up the boy from his classroom we're on our way home. In the winter it's always dark which is a bummer :/ 

5:30PM: Daddy comes home which seems like it's the highlight of the kids day, they are always SO happy to see them. We have dinner together as family every night.

6:00PM - 7:30 PM: After the dinner dishes are washed, the kids usually play together for an hour or so while Mommy - you guessed it - does schoolwork. Daddy relaxes after his long day (he's a Call of Duty lover). By 7ish it's time for showers, the kids are old enough now they shower themselves so they take turns argue over who has to go first.

7:45PM: We come back together for reading books before bed.

8:00-9:00 PM: Sometimes Hubby and I will watch a movie or some television. But my school load this term is so demanding that just wasn't happening tonight. I head back to the office to finish up some work that is due the next day before I do one last load of laundry.


9:30PM: I try to be in bed by 9 and tonight I don't make it. When I finally prioritize what I didn't get done for my To Do List tomorrow I put away my books and notes. I have a system and no one is EVER allowed to touch the stuff on my desk. OCD, remember? Anyway, it's finally time to go through my nightly routine. This is an old picture I used last year when I wrote a Day in the Life post but it'll work to give you an idea. I use an electric toothbrush now and I gave up on the Proactive gambit but even if the players have changed it's still the basics of how the nighttime routine is played. 

10:00PM: I'm in bed. I realize I didn't return a phone call from my Mom and I have an email from my adviser I started to write but never finished. It's probably 10:10 by the time I shut off the lights. Hubby is downstairs watching TV and I have no idea what time he comes to bed. But it's safe to say I'm asleep before my head hits the pillow!

-What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?

How all encompassing it is. I thought my kids were hard when they were little. It gets easier in some ways and harder in others. Now instead of diapers and spoon feeding it's homework and conquering hard conversations about things they hear from their friends and what they should be when they grow up.

-What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?

Oh geez. I hated advice when I was a new Mom. It never seemed to come from a kind place and wasn't always applicable for me. I did the SAHM thing but I'm now working too. I'd say to be kind with yourself in the beginning, don't set high expectations you can't meet and forgive yourself when you feel like you're doing it wrong. You care if you're doing it right or wrong and that puts your heart in the right place. That's all that matters :)

-What are your top three baby products?

Now you're really taking me back. With my daughter it was the pacifier, she had to have a certain kind. So have a variety on hand because they won't like them all. With my son it was cloth diapers because he had a reflux problem and it seemed we were always using those things. They are great for clean up, of any kind. The last thing would be a bouncy seat or a swing. I stuck both the kids in those when they were small so I could have a minute to myself (I even took them in the bathroom with me so I could shower!) When they would fuss, I would make funny faces and try to distract them. You need a device that keeps them safe while you take care of you :)


Thank you for sharing your day with us Amber!

January 22, 2013

her name is...

This highly anticipated post (maybe?) is most likely overrated, but since I know there are several of you that would like to know what Baby J 2.0's name will be, I figured I'd share.  This IS her name for sure unless she comes out a he (in which case, we're screwed in the department of too much pink and the whole boy name thing, we never agreed on one...).  So with that in mind, I don't really need to hear any negative comments.  Mmmkay?

Honestly, I hate picking a name for a child.  It is kind of fun, at first.  But this kid is more or less stuck with this name for the rest of their life.  Like the whole thing.  What if they hate their name?  What if they are one of a dozen with that name in their class?  What if people make fun of them for it?  How do you know it is the right name?  Stresses me the heck out.  And I know several people say you should just wait until the baby is here and meet them and all and then decide between your top names, but I just met the kid.  How the heck am I supposed to know that she just looks like a this or a that?  Not to mention I wouldn't do well going into the hospital without a name.  Pregnancy hormones are crazy.  Post partum hormones are freaking INSANE.  I'd probably throw something at Christopher if he didn't agree with me.

So without further adieu, little miss will be named...


Elsie Joann

Yes, Elsie.  Not Elise.  I'm so mean to my children, aren't I?  I'm sure she will often have to correct people, and fix typos with her name, but we like it, so that is that.  Naming this little girl was much harder than naming Ryann.  I'm not sure why, but I just couldn't decide on anything.  There was something wrong with every name we considered.  It was too popular, I didn't like it, Chris didn't like it, it just didn't seem to fit us.  Then one day, out of nowhere, while axing my two favorite names, Christopher threw out Elsie.

I won't lie, it took a little bit to grow on me.  I worried a bit about it being too much of a nickname, and not having a formal name.  But the most common formal name for Elsie is Elizabeth, which is of course Ryann's middle name.  So we're sticking with Elsie.  We figure in the future if she feels like going by something a little more formal, Elle is always an option.  I like that she has some nickname options, such as Elsie Jo or EJ.  I think they're cute.

Joann is a nod to Christopher's grandma.  Her middle name is actually spelled Joan, but pronounced Joann, and it seemed easier to spell it how we wanted it to be said.  Plus my middle name is Ann, so it is kind of after both of us, right?

And because my first born is a ham (or weird, whatever you want to call it), a couple of other shots for our attempt at a name reveal...


Truly I can't wait to discover Elsie's personality.  I'm so curious if she'll be like Ryann, or a complete opposite of her.  Whatever the case I really hope they can be the best of friends.  Ryann already loves her little sister so much.