Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 25/40

Note: McFatty Monday's is no longer! Instead I will post Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 15 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 13.5, last I checked--but I haven't checked in two weeks and now I'm afraid to!
Cravings/Aversions: none
Sleep: Roscoe resumed co-sleeping with us in Florida. We had dreamy nights full of slumber, and have decided to continue now that we're home. With Little Sears on his way I'll have to work out the details if this becomes our new routine.
I can't live without: Family. We were thrilled to spend an entire uninterrupted week together, and being separated from extended family over the holidays made us that much more appreciative.
I miss: I really missed my salt pig of fleur de sel. I should have packed some for the road!
I am looking forward to: Friday, when I will get to hang out with Roscoe and Andy all day and play with our Christmas bounty.
Best moment this week: Watching Roscoe's excited little face light up with each gift he unwrapped. And then to hear him exclaim in a high pitched voice, "tink-ew!" It was too sweet.
Milestones: Roscoe put a plastic little toy man under his t-shirt and called it a baby :) I didn't expect Roscoe to be very aware of the baby or of his impending big brotherhood, but he understands a lot more than we think.
Movement: After our first two days at Disney World I realized that I hadn't felt the baby move at all, and got a little worried, but I must have just been too busy to notice because the little guy soon picked up his acrobatics and hasn't taken a break since. I can pretty reliably now feel his little rump under my ribs, too.
Gender: Boy!

Exercise: Our resort had an on site gym and I welcomed the convenience. I lifted weights twice, and took the elliptical for a good spin. I also spent 5 straight afternoons roaming around the Disney Parks so I hope I burned some calories in the process.

Diet: We ate most dinners at home and packed lunches for our park days, but I will not lie and say that I had a balanced and nutritious diet while away. I ate A LOT of chocolate covered treats, in the shape of mickey mouse.

Goals for the upcoming week: My workout gear arrived and I can't wait to test it out. Three times at the gym is my goal.

Belly Shot: I'll try to post a picture soon.

Labor Signs: None

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Disney

The Magic Kingdom was a madhouse Monday afternoon. The four of us, with two little ones in tow made it through the front gates around 2:00, when morning naps and full bellies gave everyone the best chance for a happy experience.


I've never been to Disney at Christmas time and Main Street was decked out for the Season. We weren't the only ones who thought a Disney trip in December was a great idea; the streets were so packed we could barely navigate. The MVP of the day (and possibly the trip so far) was my new Sakura Bloom sling. I can't believe we survived the infant stage without it, but I'm so happy that we finally have one because Roscoe camped out in it all day. He was snug and content, enjoying the view and the people from the safety of my arms. Besides the minor balancing act that I had to perform to manage my belly and Roscoe without toppling over, I was so grateful we threw the sling into our pack at the last minute, "just in case".

Pirates of the Caribbean was a surprising hit--we kept things cheery by keeping the focus on the animals--and Roscoe just could not contain his excitement during the Jungle Cruise, and The Tiki Room. We stayed until the sun set, then made one last stop at the Main Street Confectionery for pumpkin fudge, caramel apples, and Mickey shaped rice crispy treats. We made it home just in time to usher Roscoe into the tub and then tuck him in for the night.

The temperatures have been in the 70's, and besides the bird of paradise in our villa that we decorated with white lights, and the stockings we hung in the living room, it's too easy to forget that Christmas is just 3 days away.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 24/40

Note: McFatty Monday's is no longer! Instead I will post Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 16 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 13.5, last I checked.
Cravings/Aversions: none
Sleep: We're all still struggling to get well after three weeks of shared illness. Sleep has suffered.
I can't live without: A nice break from reality every now and then. A warm weather escape is going to be just the thing we need.
I miss: Running. It's a guaranteed calorie burn/feel-good workout. Even though it's cold outside I don't like knowing that I probably couldn't do it comfortably, even if I really wanted to.
I am looking forward to: Christmas in Florida! Disneyland was a childhood staple in our house, and I can't wait to experience it again for myself, but also to share the magic with Roscoe.
Best moment this week: The nursery is 75% complete!! The curtains are hung, the walls painted, shelving installed, and the main pieces of furniture are in place. I think I might have a new favorite room in the house. Roscoe's nursery got a toddler makeover and now he has a newly organized space with plenty of room to rough and tumble. The boys' rooms are side-by-side and I love to stand in between the two and take both in at once.
Milestones: For the first time when the baby moved I could feel both sides of my belly moving--he's taking up the space now!
Movement: Lots!
Gender: Boy!

Exercise: After all the great comments I received last week to encourage me out of my workout slump, I was finally moved to buy a few new items from fit2bmom--they're having a sample sale! This week I'm hoping a change in environment and warmer weather will entice me to work out and counter all the Christmas treats that I plan to consume.

Diet: I'm glad that January 1 will bring a new beginning and a mental restart for my diet/nutrition goals.

Goals for the upcoming week: Have fun!

Belly Shot:

Hey! Good start, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and a full body circuit! All before 8:30am.

Labor Signs: None

'Twas the night before take off

It's 4:40 in the morning. The whole house is dark and silent, and I just cannot fall back to sleep. In 4 hours we leave for the airport to fly to Florida. It's the first time we'll have spent Christmas away from our families, out of state and without the comforts of home. I'm looking forward to it and yet I already miss tradition.

The year's first snow blew in two days ago and while it was only a few inches it lingers still, powder turned to ice. Highs in the 70's are sounding pre-tty darn nice right about now. Our luggage is packed as efficiently as possible, we managed just one bag each--plus a stroller, a car seat, and three personal carry-on items...

Roscoe and I share a gigantic duffel filled to the brim with everything from toiletries to Christmas stockings, stuffers, and a few wrapped treasures for Christmas morning. And I wouldn't be surprised if a couple strands of white lights got thrown in for festivity. Christmas Eve dinner recipes are somewhere in the mix too.

Unlike our typical vacations, this one is loosely planned, with very few expectations--I'm not sure there is any other way to travel with a toddler and a 24 week pregnant Momma. But our hopes are high to fully experience five days of Disney World, catch up with our friends (who are sharing this adventure with us), catch up on sleep (oh I hope! I hope!), and to also sneak in a little baking, sun basking, and lots of Christmas cheer.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Boring

I'm so bored. Oh so bored. The gym is terribly boring.

The outside temps are in the 20's and I dare not set foot outside, if I have choice in the matter. Even our afternoon walk to the mailbox has been put on hold until further notice. If determined to break a sweat, the gym is my only refuge from frostbite and aching lungs.

There are a few little issues driving my motivation into the ground, however.

I still do not have proper maternity workout attire (I have no excuse for why I have not made the investment after 1 1/2 pregnancies) so I am left to either squeeze into my former gear (which doesn't fit that well, ahem) or to creatively assemble "outfits" from cast away items that I would otherwise never, ever, wear. I don't know about you but I like to feel confident at the gym, or else I don't really have fun, and I want to leave. Lately I've noticed that I've adopted a bad habit of jogging into the gym, swiping my card, running into my class, spinning like a drone for an hour, and then hightailing it out of there as fast as I entered.

While it would make all the sense in the world to take advantage of the fact that I have already done 3/4s of the work by dressing, and transporting myself halfway across town, I leave instead of lifting weights or working out my abs because I'm not up for strutting my "stuff" around the gym.

Then there's the fact that my gym is pretty traditional with a schedule of group exercise classes, most of which take place before 5:30 pm, rather unaccommodating for anyone who works, particularly considering the traffic in the area. Spin is the only class that is even remotely appealing, but I kind of hate it while I'm there. The lights are so bright, and the instructors are so peppy. I like to get in a zone while I exercise, and somehow staring at my own (blurry--since I don't wear my glasses to class, and pale (BRIGHT LIGHTS!)) face in a mirror for an hour while trying my best to block out all the extraneous diversions just isn't inspiring. Do I get my heart rate up? yeah. Do I break a sweat? yeah. Do I enjoy it? not really.

It's become too easy to find reasons not to go to class. That means that I need to do something drastic because not going to the gym, especially now, just won't do.

I have nooo answers, but I hope I come up with something soon. Any suggestions? I'll take anything.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Graduation Day

My little sister graduated with her masters degree on Saturday. True to her nature, she stole the stage and danced her way across. I was moved to tears because I know how much work she's put into her education and I'm thrilled to see what she will do next. She deserves everything she's earned.

Momma's Monday Check-in: 23/40

Note: McFatty Monday's is no longer! Instead I will post Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 18 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 13.5
Cravings/Aversions: none, although I realized that poached eggs have been the staple of this pregnancy. With Roscoe it was bagels with cream cheese and tomato.
Sleep: The three of us have been sharing a virus of some kind--it started with Andy, passed to Roscoe last week, and now it is my turn. I lost my voice over the weekend and the coughing alone has made all the muscles in my torso sore. Night coughs are awful, but coupled with pregnancy insomnia I'm really struggling with rest.
I can't live without: The Internet. Christmas shopping is complete and I did it all while lounging about on the couch.
I miss: my income before childcare expenses and part-time work hours.
I am looking forward to: We leave for Florida at the end of the week! A warmer climate, and Roscoe's first Disney experience will be a different way to spend the holiday.
Aha moment: There's not much to happen between now and the baby's arrival besides weight gain...
Best moment this week: I really enjoyed my prenatal visit on Friday and when Susan felt for his little body and quickly found his head down low, she stated "yep, that bounces like a little head--looks like he's head down!" It sank in a little deeper that our boy is in there doing his thing, and making early preparations to be born. I know he's only a pound a half but I can already picture him in my arms.
Milestones: I threw up for the first time this pregnancy! I have no idea why, but it happened during a morning tooth brush. Interestingly, I threw up only once with Roscoe, also while brushing my teeth.
Movement: He's quite active! When I read at night I rest my book on my belly now, and he's bumped my reading material several times in the past few days, which is always amusing.
Gender: Still a boy!

Exercise: This past week did not work out the way I had hoped. I made it to only one cycling class early in the week and have been couch surfing most evenings in the hope of ridding myself of this terrible sickness.

Diet: I've been trying to drink more water, with some success. I didn't gain anything last week so that is a good thing.

Goals for the upcoming week: Get well, meet my work deadlines, pack efficiently for Florida, find time to workout at least twice.

Belly Shot:

Labor Signs: None

Friday, December 10, 2010

23 Weeks

Roscoe and I set out for Maryland this morning to meet with my midwife for a third prenatal appointment. As many times as she's been to our house, we've never been to hers and part of the deal to work together again was to share the burden of travel. The drive took just under an hour and traffic was a breeze.

Susan greeted Roscoe with a basket of toys (that just so happened to be vehicles of all kinds--perfect!) and he was content for most of the visit. We chatted some about my diet and how I was feeling. She followed up on my hip complaints from our last visit, and we further discussed the evolution of the nursing transition as well as our intent for Roscoe to attend the birth of his little brother (assuming that he wants to be there, and assuming that he isn't asleep).

Little Sears had a heart rate in the 130s. Roscoe was very interested in the Doppler and listened intently at first when we could hear the heart tones. Then he started exclaiming, "baby!, baby!", and "see? see?" I told him the baby was in my belly and that it would be a few more months before he could see him, realizing as I spoke that months are pretty intangible to a boy his age.

My fundal height measured 25 cm (instead of the expected 23, one cm for every week of the pregnancy), which is nothing to worry about but I'll be curious to see how it measures at our next visit. I measured "big" with Roscoe at several points throughout the pregnancy but babies have growth spurts too, or perhaps his positioning was a little lopsided. In the end, all was well.

Susan felt for the position of the baby and noted that he is head down already, and unlikely to turn at this point. I asked her if she delivered breech babies and she said no, so hopefully he stays put!

My next appointment is scheduled for mid January, which feels just around the corner. I'll be 28 weeks by then, and the gestational diabetes screening is on the agenda. Yum. Last time I got to drink peach/mango nectar. It was delicious.

That's all for now, folks!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Defining moments

It is incredible to know that my body built Roscoe from scratch (with Andy's help, he wanted me to add), nourished him, grew him, and gave birth to him, and then sustained him exclusively for the first 6 months of his life. I did all that. me.

Before Roscoe was born I had a lot of questions about breastfeeding. They weren't focused so much on if I was going to do it, or how I was going to do it, but more on how it would feel to do it, and whether or not that level of intimacy would be weird. As for logistics, I was under the impression that breastfeeding was a natural skill inherent to mothering, and I more or less pushed away the awkward thoughts I had about putting baby to breast in favor of waiting to figure it all out when the time actually came.

I'll admit that when my midwife asked if I would like to try to nurse, just minutes after Roscoe was born and before my placenta had even been delivered, it did feel a little awkward to offer something so personal to this itty bitty person that I couldn't hardly recognize but, I was curious to see what he would do.

At less than 10 minutes old, Roscoe did what came naturally to his newly born self, and with that first latch we began what may be the most defining, demanding, and deeply satisfying aspect of our relationship.

I had my midwife's number on speed dial those first few days. It was fortunate for me that she is a lactation consultant and former La Leche League leader. She taught me a lot about nursing. The primary lessons? Nursing satisfies a baby beyond hunger and A baby's wants are a baby's needs. Nursing is more than feeding.

I've since written many a post about nursing and over the past 19 months I've had the pleasure of experiencing a full range of conflicting emotion. In reality, we had a rough start, the dedication required to exclusively breastfeed was almost more than I could take at times, and for many months I could only dream of my former freedom and independence.

Around the ten week mark we finally clicked as a momma/nursling pair and nursing was as easy and convenient as I had imagined it could be. But it was more than that. Magical. (Wow, would I have used these words to describe nursing before I had experienced it?) It satisfied my hunger to nurture my son in a way that only nursing could, and the act of it alone met every one of Roscoe's physical and emotional needs. Before Roscoe made his debut I was well accustomed to achieving and doing--a way of being that made it difficult for me to transition into the new realities of motherhood. Nursing forced the opportunity to take breaks in our busy days and connect with each other. The physical and emotional demands remained, but it was around this time that I began to own my new role and nursing mother became part of my identity.

I never set out to nurse Roscoe for a specific amount of time, but I had hoped to make it through the first year. The idea of nursing a toddler didn't seem crazy to me, but it wasn't something I could relate to either. By the time Roscoe turned one he wasn't just a toddler, he was my toddler. Continuing to nurse was a given for us.

When I found out I was pregnant with Little Sears, Roscoe was 14 months old and blame it on the hormones, but within a month or two my experience nursing had changed from a pleasant and easy going activity, to one that elicited an antsy and uncomfortable full-body sensation. There were days where I had to cut our sessions short because I just couldn't stand it. On several occasions I convinced myself that our last session had been our LAST session. These feelings come and go still, but obviously we're hanging on. I think the biggest pressure to wean is that I find it hard to imagine the logistics of juggling the demands of a nursing newborn coupled with nursing to meet the emotional needs of an active toddler. Tandem nursing isn't something that I readily identify with although I know it is an option.

So, I've been fretting over this decision, quietly and passively. Stewing really. Contemplating the situation without wanting to take action. Once I became pregnant, Roscoe weaned himself from four evenly spaced daily nursing sessions to just one. All that remains is his nurse-to-nap at 11:00 am every morning. It's a nursing that means a lot to him, but I've not convinced myself that he needs it, and I've equally not convinced myself that I have good reason to take it away.

In perfect timing I attended a La Leche League meeting on Saturday morning. Oh, sanity-saving, norm altering, reason-inducing LLLi, how do I love thee? More than I can ever express.

La Leche League has been my oasis in a societal dessert of general breastfeeding non-support.

As I listened to a room full of mothers share their questions and experiences nursing their children, I found myself offering advice and nodding my head in agreement. I identified with each of their stories--our experiences mirrored theirs, and theirs ours. Yes, for the first time I even saw myself in the woman who breastfed her giant 2 1/2 year old three times over the course of 2 hours. When it was my turn I shared my uncertainty about how to move forward with the baby's arrival on the horizon, and I heard the process that others went through and their personal reasons for why some chose to tandem nurse while others did not, and how it actually played out for them once the second baby was born.

I realized that if we are content (which we are), there's no need to force a change on an otherwise mutually satisfying relationship. A lot can happen in four months. Roscoe may make the decision to wean on his own. If not, I've released the pressure on myself to do anything in particular in order to generate a specific outcome.

I'm Roscoe's Momma and right now our relationship involves a comfort nurse once a day. Everything will be OK. As for my concern that Roscoe will revert to wanting to nurse more often once his little brother is born? Come what may. If so, I guess I'll have become one of those Momma's. The evolving experience of nursing my son has certainly changed my attitudes and norms about nursing in general. No longer do I extend an awkward smile at the sight of a nursing toddler, instead it makes me happy to know that those two are lucky enough to still benefit from and enjoy an essential relationship that will forever be uniquely theirs.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 22/40

Note: McFatty Monday's is no longer! Instead I will post Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 18 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 13.5
Cravings/Aversions: fresh squeezed orange juice
Sleep: Roscoe's been sick this last week so that means lots of night parenting for me and Andy, and not a lot of zzzs.
I can't live without: The Internet. I'm having way too much fun searching for nursery gems.
I miss: La Leche League meetings--Roscoe and I used to go every week when we were just starting out but we haven't been in a long time because his nap schedule and my job have proved a challenge to work around. I attended a great meeting on Saturday in order to meet part of the requirement for my Bradley certification. It was inspiring, and affirming, and helped me to figure out what I want moving forward from my and Roscoe's nursing relationship.
I am looking forward to: A midwife appointment on Friday. I will be traveling to her this time, so Roscoe and I will have an adventure crossing state lines to Maryland.
Aha moment: Reebok has a new maternity fitness line at Destination Maternity...unfortunately, it looks a little blah to me.
Best moment this week: Andy painted the nursery this weekend and it is distinct, and sublime. I love it. My purchases over the weekend have taken the room in yet another direction....
Milestones: Carpal tunnel syndrome?! My left pinky finger was numb much of last week, but has improved over the weekend. I'll have to wait and see, but this pregnancy has been filled with all kinds of new aches and pains, so I won't be shocked.
Movement: I've been trying to figure out what position the baby is in but I've deduced that little guy still has plenty of room to move around and hasn't settled into any one spot.
Gender: It's a boy!

Exercise: The weather has definitely turned so walking/running outside has lost its appeal. Cycling continues to be my exercise of choice, for the moment. I'm also looking into buying a heater and a weightlifting bench for our garage--I think we'd use our weight set more frequently and more efficiently if we had a bench to use.

Diet: I logged my food for my upcoming midwife appointment, and after looking at the big picture I learned:
1. I should drink more liquids--most days I only drink 1 to 1.5 12 oz. bottles of water
3. I should eat more green vegetables, or more vegetables in general
4. I am enjoying mightily my fair share of chocolate/homemade goodies

Here's the first day I logged for November 30 (a side note: a grocery run was imminent and there was no meat to be found, otherwise I would have eaten some! Bare cupboards also account for beets in the morning.):

Breakfast: 8:00 am
1 cup roasted beets, 1tsp olive oil, lemon, Fleur de sel
1 egg
1/2 whole wheat pita
1 tablespoon hummus
1 slice low fat cheddar cheese
8oz water

Snack: 10:20 am
2 clementines
1 tablespoon peanut butter
4 mini mozzarella balls with balsamic vinegar, Fleur de sel
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Lunch: 12:30 pm
1.5 cups butternut squash soup
6oz. hot chocolate, 1 marshmallow, 1 small gingerbread cookie

Snack: 2:50 pm
1/2 whole wheat pita
3/4 cup fresh beets
1 slice low fat cheddar cheese

Dinner: 6:00 pm
3/4 cup whole wheat pasta with peanut sauce
6 spears asparagus with Parmesan cheese and lemon
1 cup pineapple

Snack: 8:00 pm
6oz. hot chocolate with 1 marshmallow and another piece of chocolate

Total Protein: ~71 grams

Goals for the upcoming week: Exercise 3 days, lift weights twice.

Belly Shot:

Labor Signs: None

Friday, December 3, 2010

Marshmallows!

As requested, here's the recipe for homemade marshmallows, adapted from my favorite of favorite cookbooks for sweet treats: Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: desserts for the serious sweet tooth.


1 cup cold water
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
cornstarch and confectioners' sugar for dusting

Pour 1/2 cup of the cold water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the water and allow the gelatin to sit and absorb all the water, 45 to 60 minutes.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup cold water, the granulated sugar, the corn syrup, and the salt. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and let the mixture come to a boil. Cook the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (or you can eyeball it--basically you want the sugar to get to the soft-ball stage). Do not allow the syrup to go past 244 degrees or the marshmallows will be rubbery rather than tender. Remove the syrup from the heat and slowly beat into the dissolved gelatin with an electric mixer set at low speed. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue beating until the mixture is very thick and white but still warm, about 15 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and cinnamon.

Generously dust a 9x13 inch baking pan with cornstarch. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and dust the top liberally with confectioners' sugar. Let the marshmallow stand, uncovered at room temperature, for 8-12 hours to firm up. Turn the marshmallow from the pan onto a sheet of parchment paper liberally dusted with confectioners' sugar. Cut into 20 large squares. Dust each square with more confectioners' sugar. Store the marshmallows in a tightly covered container until ready to serve.

Oh my gosh. I hope you love them as much as I do! Need a reminder as to how easy to make and yummy to eat they are? Read the post from last week.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Deck the Halls


Decorating our Christmas tree this year gave us the opportunity to put away our computers for the night, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and spend some quiet face to face time. Together. Alone (without Roscoe).

Serenaded by Christmas tunes we strung the lights and felt pom-pom garland, dug through mounds of ornaments to choose our very favorites (we bought a much smaller tree this year), and then carefully placed each one, just so. We added candy canes this year too, which was a throw back that made me very happy.

I wish every night could be reserved for Christmas Tree decorating.

The next morning we couldn't wait to show Roscoe and the first thing he exclaimed when he saw it was "cool!". Throughout the rest of the day he managed to "yank and run" away with every ornament within his reach. So our tree is now decorated only from the halfway point up.

Roscoe's keen interest and intent to dismantle the tree, ornament by candy cane by light strand, has subsided, thankfully, but we're not feeling brave enough to put any of his wrapped gifts underneath just in case temptation proves too great.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Taking risks

I just ordered these curtains for the nursery.

They are bold.

They are graphic.

They boast tiny crescent moons atop little black clouds.

They are not at all what I imagined for the nursery but for some reason I love them, and I hope they will bring a quirky but charming twist to the space.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 21/40

Note: McFatty Monday's is no longer! Instead I will post Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 19 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 11, maybe more--with Thanksgiving dinner on last week's agenda I didn't weigh myself
Cravings/Aversions: Chinese food
Sleep: Meh. Could be a lot better.
I can't live without: My good husband
I miss: Having the opportunity to nap on a whim
I am looking forward to: Trying on Sakura Bloom slings this afternoon. I'm finally going to see them in person and take one home. Update: I loved them as much as I had hoped, and I bought the essential linen in Raven/Driftwood. Such a splurge, but it is the only thing that I really, really wanted for myself for this baby.
Aha moment: I *think* we picked a full name for Little Sears but we're testing it out over the next few weeks. We probably won't share until he's born because I have an aversion to referring to a baby by name before it arrives. Is that weird!?
Best moment this week: There were quite a few, but topping the list: Baking up a delicious storm in the kitchen; giving Roscoe, Mack, and Noah the opportunity to have cousin time to play and wrestle to their heart's content; finding our Christmas tree; and wrapping all of Roscoe's presents.
Milestones: I picked out all the paint colors and a color palette for the baby's room: Dark gray for the walls, a lighter, bluer gray for the ceiling, and a bright blue, pumpkin, and apple green for the accents. Tangible progress is being made and my felt mobile FINALLY arrived.
Movement: Little Sears is most active in the evenings and in the middle of the night. For the first time I could make out part of his little body sticking out on my right side, and we can feel his kicks and punches from the outside now on a regular basis.
Gender: It's a boy!

Exercise: I tried a spinning class this week--something I haven't done in a long time, and it was a nice change of pace. My gym offers only one evening cycle class each week but, luckily, the instructor plays good music (the primary variable by which I judge cycling classes). It looks like for now, at least, Tuesdays will be my night for spinning and weights. We also ran 3.5 miles on Thanksgiving morning with our neighbors, which felt like a lot longer to me, and gave me some hip pain as a reminder not to run anymore.

Diet: I made good on my promise to not make a week out of Thanksgiving leftovers. As yummy as our Thanksgiving feast was, particularly the turkey and gravy, I declined all offers to take any of it home. That night I was disappointed not to have a buffet to raid downstairs, but I'm glad to have thought ahead.

My personal goal for this pregnancy has been to gain around 25 pounds, and I have a little chart by which I track my weight each week. At this rate, I'll probably gain closer to the average 35 (or more!). So I can either increase my exercise, or cut back on extraneous holiday eating. Doing a little of both sounds like the best approach.

Goals for the upcoming week: Exercise 4 days (lift weights at least twice), track my food intake for three days (per my midwife's request), and have a productive work week after such a nice holiday.

Belly Shot:




Labor Signs: None

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sweet Redemption


Hot cocoa with marshmallows is a quiet pleasure these days. With so many artisan options I've long ago given up on the classic Jet Puffed. When the Fall chill arrives I crave the gooey goodness of a melted marshmallow and this year, instead of searching high and low for a fix, I decided it was time to learn to make them myself. Years ago (before a stand mixer graced my counter top) I attempted a recipe that produced a slimy, wet, and weak little batch of marshmallows too icky to enjoy.

I'm happy to share that with my latest attempt at these heavenly confections (I made cinnamon vanilla), my confidence has been rebuilt and I will be making homemade marshmallows from now until forever.


oh yum


spread it out


liberally sprinkle with powdered sugar and let sit for 8 hours


TAH DAH! Share, and enjoy!





Need something to eat those marshmallows with? Here is the recipe to my favorite hot cocoa--it's really more like drinking chocolate, so you don't need a lot, and topped with either sweet whipped cream or a marshmallow it's perfect any time (or all the time).

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a medium bowl, combine the bittersweet chocolate with the milk chocolate. Add the boiling water and let it stand for 1 minute. Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth.

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and heavy cream just to a simmer. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk over moderate heat until hot. Pour into small mugs and garnish as you like!

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Inspire me to infinity and beyond

Little Sears's room will be themed to Space!!

I found my inspiration for the room on Etsy, of course! Our mobile will arrive from Australia sometime this week and it will be twice the size with 7 strands, not three.


Decisions made so far include dark blue/gray walls, with punchy accents of brighter colors like the orange, green, and blue you see in the mobile to be found in seating and storage.

Do dark walls scare you like they scare me? We've always wanted to try something bold, and this little guy has inspired us to challenge our design sense and explore outside our comfort zone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 20/40

Note: McFatty Monday's is no longer! Instead I will post Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 20 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 11
Cravings/Aversions: None to note.
Sleep: I need more sleep. Andy and I made a pact to be in bed at 9:00 for the next three days to see if it makes a difference. Sounds simple. Think it will work?
I can't live without: Fall treats like white chocolate covered pretzels with peppermint, iced gingerbread cookies, and sparkling apple cider.
I miss: Sumo San sushi, in Richmond
I am looking forward to: My upcoming five day weekend and Thanksgiving Feast!
Aha moment: Maternity leggings=comfort, comfort, and comfort. I bought three pair and I don't think I want to take them off! I'm sleeping in them, working in them, and going out and about it in them. Also, our local Gap Maternity MUST invest in more than two dressing rooms. Saturday lines were crazy ridiculous (> 25 minutes), and pregnant women are not the group to make stand in a line and wait on end. I ended up trying my stuff on in the bathroom...
Best moment this week: Beginning to piece together Little Sears's nursery, bit by bit!
Milestones: I felt the baby's first two BIG kicks. I also felt a small one from the outside.
Gender: It's a boy!

Exercise: I tested out a new routine at the gym: interval training on the elliptical interspersed with circuit weights. It was a nice change of pace but a little boring. Oy. If I know one thing, it's that I have to love my routine or else I won't stick with it. The search continues.

Diet: In addition to all the sweets that are on my mind, oranges and spinach have been a staple every day--not to mention lots of other fresh fruit and veggies. My point is, junk on my mind, whole foods on my plate!

Goals for the upcoming week: Mmmm, Thanksgiving is in two days! My goal is to enjoy the holiday with my family and make time to bake a few special goodies (marshmallows and hot cocoa, almond butter cream rolled cake, and cheese souffle). I'm also going to make a point to not allow Thanksgiving day to become Thanksgiving week. Know what I mean!?

Belly Shot:
Labor Signs: None

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two things:

1. Today I am 20 weeks pregnant, AND
2. Roscoe is officially 1 1/2 !

My belly is now big enough to bump it into things! It's also making a chore out of simple tasks like tying my shoes, shaving, hoisting Roscoe up and down, and hurdling over baby gates. Today when I was out and about with Roscoe I caught a look at myself in the glass of a window shop. Roscoe was hanging on to my pinky finger and my belly was out in full force. I looked like the Momma of two.

The nursery is coming along nicely, although I'm feeling rather impatient. I like to decorate in steps, and first things have to come first! I'm currently waiting on snail mail to deliver the first installation of goodies that I've ordered (to address storage, paint, and our little inspiration piece). Once I place everything in the room I'll have a better idea for what I'm working with and can then make decisions about accent colors, curtains, and seating. Not only are we designing on a tighter budget (Momma won't have a job in four short months!), but we re-assembled the crib last weekend which made us realize that we're also dealing with a much smaller space. Our creativity will have to shine.

I've also been making a short list of items that I need to get in the next few months. Luckily, baby clothes are not on the list. I pulled out Roscoe's "newborn" layette and picked out all the stained items intending to wash them once and then throw away anything that wasn't sparkling--however, a hot wash with bleach and a double rinse and they were all perfect as new. Then I separated the newborn clothes from the 0-3 month items. Assuming that Little Sears is around 7 pounds at birth, he already has a decent wardrobe. I just need to buy a few footed sleepers and we'll be all set.

As for baby names, we're waffling between two. Andy is in love with the first but I have yet to be fully convinced. The second I really like, and he likes it too, but not as much as he loves the first. Identifying a name that is as unpopular (on the charts), yet just as lovable, is proving to be a challenge.

And speaking of Roscoe:

Monday, November 15, 2010

10k success

Sunday was race day. To be clear, I did not "race" the 10k. I ran it. Or maybe it was a jog. Either way, I finished strong and I didn't walk. I tend not to put too many expectations on myself during races.

We decided at the last minute to honor Roscoe's nap schedule and so he and Andy stayed home. It's a choice that we've made to ensure that Roscoe's sleep remains a priority and that he naps and sleeps in his own bed, but I was still bummed to have to drive in and run alone. On the upside, it did present a rare opportunity for peace and quiet reflection, just me and Little Sears.

I woke up at 5:30 to make a playlist, dress, and grab breakfast. I left an extra 45 minutes to find parking because in DC there are no guarantees.

I relished the uninhabited state of I-95 at 6:15 on a Sunday morning. In no time I was cresting the interstate overlooking the DC skyline. Parking wasn't as bad as I imagined but it did involve a mile jaunt to the start line.

The energy on race days is what I love best. There were people walking and running from all corners to funnel into the field at West Potomac Park. Music was blaring, the port-a-potties were lined up in parallel rows of twenty and the line of people in wait was continuous. A huge tent filled with bananas, coffee, coconut water and other energizing snacks were mine for the taking, although I had only a few minutes to grab a bag of dried fruit.

I started the race a few minutes late due to the never ending potty lines. None of the staff could guarantee restrooms on the course--and I wasn't about to chance it. At this point in the pregnancy, thirty minutes into any run and I'm usually begging for a pee break.

The weather was chilly, and the skies were clear which made for utterly perfect running conditions. I put on my sunglasses, re-laced my (new) shoes, adjusted my visor, and I was on my way! Since the groups are organized by pace with slower people at the back, one benefit to starting late is that you get to pass a lot of people along the way (which is feel good).

The Potomac river was gorgeous in the early morning sun, and the east coast foliage was in full display for Fall. I brought a Gu* along for the ride, just to give myself something to look forward to at the half-way mark (FYI: they're great for labor too!).

The last two miles I alternated on repeat Gold Lion by the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, and Roscoe by Midlake--I labored to Roscoe and if this body can give birth, this body can run 6.2 miles.

My parents surprised me with a meetup at the finish line, which made my day. Then we beelined it to the food tent where I was greeted by bagels with cream cheese, chocolate chip cookies, and other goodies. Mmm...there are few things more satisfying than a carbohydrate binge after a long run.

I ran a pace of just under 11 minutes, which is about one minute slower than my pre-pregnancy pace (modification!). The last mile was full of braxton hicks contractions, and as mentioned, my hips were so painfully sore last night that I am accepting the fact that long distance running is off the agenda from here on out. Warm up runs? Short runs? Probably ok. But the joy that comes from exercise is sucked right out when you have to take time off to "heal" afterward. And frankly, I think my hips have an important job to do right now, and I don't need to put them under more stress. There are great options for cardio that don't involve repetitive impact.

I'm thankful that I got to share a race with Little Sears and that I met the demands of the run proving to myself that I can be pregnant and still enjoy the things that make me happy.

Momma's Monday Check-in: 19/40

Note: McFatty Monday's is no longer! Instead I will post Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 21 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 11 last I checked but it's been over a week, and I only weigh under special conditions, so we'll have to wait on this!
EDIT: yay!! only 10 :)
Cravings: Spinach salad
Sleep: Pretty good once my head hits the pillow. Since Roscoe doesn't care that a time change has occurred, we're really still on the old schedule as far as the morning goes (up at 5:30!) but then we stay up until at least 10:00 to keep up with our shows and the rest of the world who has adopted DST. I'm tired!
I can't live exercise without: proper maternity attire and supportive shoes
I miss: Same as last week: hips that don't ache.
I am looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery! I've picked out my inspiration piece and will share it in another post.
Aha moment: Running isn't going to be in my exercise vocabulary for much longer. Hello Elliptical.
Best moment this week: There were a lot of great moments this week, but one that hasn't been mentioned: my belly finally popped. For sure.
Milestones: I'm going to be a momma to TWO boys!! Also, Roscoe was born at 38 weeks which means I could be at the halfway point in this pregnancy. Oh, and lots of Braxton Hicks!
Movement: Starting Wednesday I've been feeling the baby very regularly. Can't wait for the outside kicks!
Gender: It's a boy!

Exercise: I ran my 10k race this weekend! It will get it's own post, but it felt like an acheivement to meet the physical challenge. I ran strong and the views of the Potomac river were lovely. I bought a new pair of shoes over the weekend which completely solved my knee issues, but within 15 minutes after crossing the finish line hip pain had me hobbling and waddling the rest of the entire day. It hurt so bad last night I wanted to cry. Ugh. I will be recuperating over the next few days.

Diet: While I was away last weekend, Andy did a mini-shopping trip at the grocery store, which didn't go very far and by Wednesday it was slim pickin's in the fridge and pantry. When faced with such a predicament I have a tendency to leave fruit and healthy/tasty items for Roscoe if a trip to the grocery store isn't imminent. By Friday I was ravenous for some fruits and veggies.

Goals for the upcoming week: I'm working on a new routine now that my race is complete. We're headed into Winter soon and while I used to run in all temperatures I'm not going to do it this year. I need to find some lower impact activities that I can enjoy indoors. Spin, elliptical, rowing, and WEIGHTS--I must lift them.

Belly Shot:
Labor Signs: None

Friday, November 12, 2010

Small Comforts Litte Luxuries: Winter 2010

Whoa. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away? I've been taking every day one at a time and here it is already, mid November! The temps have been waffling between warm and cold so it appears that the DC region is just as slow to catch on.

But hurray! Fall is in full swing! Cooler weather, comfort food, holiday rituals, and lots of family togetherness spent indoors. It's time to snuggle in and hunker down.

In the spirit of giving I thought I'd share a few of my Fall loves:

Foodzie can be overwhelming but browsing is half the fun, and in the Chocolate and Candy section I've found all kinds of Fall treats to eat and share. Masala Chai Tea has been keeping me company this week. The combination of ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, and black and white pepper is spicy, and creamy, and everything good. Loose tea leaves add another level of sophistication to the process of brewing and sipping a nice hot mug full.





For me, the combination of pregnancy and cooler temperatures spells dry skin. Couple that with flu season (lots o' hand washing) and I'm already screaming for more moisture. Origins' make a difference hand treatment is a must-have. Yes, this stuff solves the winter blahs, but it's the fragrance that makes me swoon: black licorice and orange.


Finally, warm candlelight illuminates even the darkest, coldest night, making any space more festive and inviting. Capri Blue makes my favorite scent Volcano. It reminds me of fruit punch: complex, crisp, and fruity, it makes my mouth water. Lately, I've been burning a mini version as a pick me up during the work day. Anthropologie offers this candle in a variety of pretty containers to match any decor but I like this blue jar best, because it suits both the Summer and Winter.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh lucky day!

I'm on a mad hunt for nursery inspiration. Do you remember Roscoe's bunny?

As I perused the Internet tonight I found the series of knitted wool animals at Anthropologie.


Estelle the elephant (with fruit on her head), and Gerard the giraffe are my favorites.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Party time!

For our second son's coming out party, we gathered our closest friends and family for an intimate dinner with a surprise twist. Every guest was asked to wear pink or blue depending on their guess. For the record, girl won by just one vote. In spite of my last minute teetering, I threw on my favorite pair of fuzzy pink socks just in time to greet everyone at the door.

We decided on a rainbow theme with tissue paper pom-poms, multi-colored gumballs, a festive striped runner, and a rainbow cake. I made a few simple, but crowd pleasing dishes and served them in white platters to contrast all the color! It was perfect for the occasion.



We ate dinner around our farm style table with animated conversation that woke Roscoe only once. I would have liked for him to be present, but the time change has him sound asleep by 6:00pm. Toward the end of dinner we were happy, and full, and looking forward to the main event: dessert and the big reveal!

Our ultrasound was earlier in the afternoon and the tech sealed up the results in an envelope that we opened in front of everyone. I love the added suspense! Inside the envelope we found a single photo with a sticky note on top. When I pulled back the sticky, I searched wildly for "It's a girl" or a three lined image, but instead found "It's a boy!" with a distinct photo to match. I teared up as I opened the envelope--knowing the sex of the baby brings another layer of reality--and the joy of another son brought on more tears as I said the words out loud.

I'm thrilled, although it is hard for me to imagine a son that isn't Roscoe. I'm also curious to know what this new baby will look like--Roscoe completely surprised us with his light complexion and auburn hair. Now I imagine that all my children will look like him, but it's not crazy to think they could be complete opposites. There is so much to look forward to, not to mention the fact that Roscoe will have a little brother just 22 months younger.

Lucky ducks, I have high hopes for these two!

Reveal parties seem to be the trend of the moment. Have you been to one? Have you thrown one? What do you think of them?
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