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!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Proof (of the need to baby proof)

I set Roscoe up with his toys while I cleaned up after lunch. Within minutes he found an unmanned stack of magazines to hurl onto the floor.

I don't know why we have been so reluctant to baby proof. I guess it's because we haven't wanted to rearrange our space--we like it as it is!

It became clear today that we can't put it off any longer. Roscoe knows what he wants, and now he can get it for himself.


Most importantly, we want Roscoe to feel at home in his own home, which means creating an environment that he can explore freely and with confidence.

Looks like our Saturday plans were just made for us!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Where does the time go?

As I was rocking Roscoe to sleep this afternoon--swaying to a rhythm that I found months ago, my back arched slightly to accommodate Roscoe's near 20 pounds--I thought about how nice it must be being a baby. No understanding of the larger world and it's inherent challenges, no worries, no responsibilities. Only singing voices, familiar faces, and cool stuff to explore.

Today Roscoe inched forward on his belly, toes pushing him in the right direction, for the very first time. In a few days I don't doubt that he'll be crawling. And in the next few months: walking.

With his arms slung over my shoulders and his fingers tangled in my hair, his head nestled into the crook of my neck, my arm tucked securely under his little butt and my hand wrapped around his foot, I tried to think of a time when he'd be too big for such things.

It's so nice to take time out from a busy day to notice the details that make the hours and the minutes tick by at a furious pace, and gone forever.

Which moments make your day meaningful?

Monday, March 29, 2010

McFatty Monday Week XII: C

My get fit routine was not exempt from the chaos of last week. I made it to the gym twice mid-week and had every intention of fitting in the other two sessions over the weekend, but under the circumstances I opted instead to enjoy the company of extended family.

Did I mention that friends and neighbors hand delivered an abundant spread of homemade comfort food? It's true. The good news is that I maintained my weight last week, which I'll take as a success!

I've been hovering at 147 for a month now--losing weight one week to gain it back the next. The crazy thing is that it's already April. and after April comes May! I have 4.5 pounds to lose in order to reach my before-baby weight, but I feel like I have a long way to go before I'm anywhere near my before-baby level of fitness. I'm worried that one or two months just isn't going to be enough time. And I really want to get pregnant. Like, now.

In general, I have been impressed with how quickly my body has rebounded from pregnancy. Rationally, I know it's only been 10 months. So I feel silly demanding 100% from a body that has already been through so much this year. Still, I feel uncomfortable taking on the challenge of carrying another baby knowing that I haven't given myself sufficient time to fully recover from carrying the first.

I also know that five pounds is a very reasonable weight loss goal, and who's to say what can (or cannot) be accomplished in 8 weeks?! I'm going to push aside all doubt and worry, and take the necessary steps to discover what is possible.

Any (and all) words of encouragement would be music to my ears!!!

Oh, and if you had two under two, how did you feel about getting pregnant again so soon?

This Week's Score: C
Cardio: C
Strength Training: C
Weight Watchers: C

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gram


Roscoe's Great Gram passed away a few days ago and we were fortunate that her illness afforded us time to say our goodbyes in person. Roscoe and I visited her in the hospital one afternoon last week and even though Great Gram wasn't feeling well, she seemed to enjoy having Roscoe for company. He made quick work pulling off her glasses and camping out on her bed.

The final nature of death is intense. Roscoe's just a baby now, but it is sad to think that he'll never get to know the woman who mothered Roscoe's Tippy, and grandmothered his Papa. She most certainly will have an influence on Roscoe indirectly, through them, over the course of his life.

As for the rest of us, we're grateful for the time that we shared with her and the memories that we made together over the years. And we'll be sure to pass on to Roscoe and his cousins all that we can remember so that they'll have an appreciation for who she was and what she meant to all of us.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am enough

The deeper I dig into the blogosphere, the more inspired and downright captivated I am with the range of content that I find. Women everywhere are using words to entertain, affect, fuel, unite, and encourage readers around the globe.

Consuming those words, sentences, paragraphs, and images, which have been crafted and thrown out into the universe by other women like me, has become a bright spot in my day--empowering me to feel bolder, smarter, more purposeful, and ever connected.

A more recent find is a blog feature by Tracey Clark called I AM ENOUGH.

Besides the fact that this woman created the pregnancy journal that I filled to the brim with my first 9 months with Roscoe, she also was brave enough to articulate the phrase I AM ENOUGH. And so her feature begins with this:

"I have been a self-improvement junkie for most of my life; vigilant about getting to the bottom of my “issues”, digging deep to better understand myself, reading every book written to inspire personal growth, incessantly working on becoming a better person, etc, etc. Although I had let go of trying to be “perfect” I was still striving to be better. Always better. Never quite enough."

Her message strikes a chord deep within me, and I can just imagine the freedom that would be mine if I could not only feel those words as she has, but actually begin to live them. As a mom, as a woman, as a wife, as a human being...I'm not there yet, but I'm tuning in on Tuesdays to learn more.

Just thought I'd share, because it seems that I'm not the only one who felt something when I read about the self kindness collaboration.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I love dirt!

Living in the suburbs I often yearn for natural landscapes and open spaces. Remember overturning rocks to find all the creepy crawlies that dwell underneath? Or investigating the odd little creatures and organisms that make their home in shallow pools of creek water? I grew up in a few teeny tiny towns in various states on the west coast, and I haven't forgotten how it feels to discover worms in the soil, or a birds nest perched in a tree.

I have always loved the outdoors, and despite where we live, I hope that Roscoe grows to appreciate the unrestricted, organic experiences waiting for him outside the confines of our home.

It has been a hope of mine to find some outdoor spaces in the vicinity of where we live in order to help foster Roscoe's interest in the world around him. After looking around a bit online, I found a park called Hidden Pond Nature Center and it happens to be at the halfway point between my house and that of a girlfriend's, so we decided to meet up!

The weather was gorgeous and we had just enough time between naps to play on the playground, stroll around the pond, and check out the offerings at the nature center. We got to see tadpoles, newts, and lots of other amphibians. Roscoe was really into the fish tanks.

I got to meet her youngest son for the first time, and was reacquainted with her oldest who is 2 1/2 and has changed so much since last I saw him. Justin is only 6 months old and crawling already, which made Roscoe very, very(!) jealous.


Hey! No pinching!


Aha! I gotcha! (by the back of the pants)


Dont' leave me! (or I'll bite you on your back)

Nooo! Please stay.


Ha! Eat my dust!


We'll definitely be back again soon! And if you haven't yet seen this book, you might want to take a look:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The boys are back in town

Roscoe's cousins Mack and Noah were in town this past weekend and the gang got to hang as a threesome for the very first time. Remember this, only 8 months ago?

At 3 1/2, Mack leads the pack. Roscoe and Noah are separated by just 6 months. I forgot (already) how special it feels to hold a new baby. Compared to Roscoe, Noah seemed so so tiny. His pronounced little features and sweet, calm demeanor reminded me in the nicest of ways that it's almost our turn, again.

After lunch and a soccer game, we camped out on the couch with the kiddos--toys strewn about, and cartoons humming in the background. In the company of his red haired cousin and aunt, Roscoe fit right in--convinced that dark would surely trump light, it's still crazy to me that I gave birth to such a fair complected child. But when the extended family is in the mix, it's pretty clear where his genes came from! Roscoe tested Mack's patience with his constant biting, pulling, and yanking. Mack was a good sport, but made it clear that he wouldn't be sitting next to Roscoe in any future photo ops.


Mack the "hulk"


Uncle Brian


Aunt Courtney


Baby swap


Cool buddy and his momma


First fists of dirt. Later I got to fish out a slobbery twig.


Cousins!

Hey Noah!? You're cute!

Red/ish hair rules!


The afternoon was just a preview of the fun to be had later this summer, when we'll all be packing up and heading south for a week at the beach in Charleston, SC. There's so much to look forward to with these little guys in tow!

Monday, March 22, 2010

McFatty Monday Week XI: :)

Last week offered a welcomed hiatus from the gym and weight watchers. Despite my best intentions, family commitments permitted only one opportunity to go to the gym. So, in true Jacqueline fashion, I was compelled then, not to follow my eating plan either.

I didn't track anything. I didn't stress about sweets. I ate two slices of pizza and I enjoyed a Starbucks frappuccino on a sunny morning with my sunroof open.

Sometimes, to give ourselves permission to take a break from pursuing our goals can be just the thing that we need to gain a little perspective, consider how best to move forward and, in my case, crave the structure that losing weight demands.

And you never know, not stressing over the details might produce results. Unexpectedly, I lost 2.6 pounds.

How was your week? Did you experience any freedom in your routine?

This Week's Score: :)
Cardio: D
Strength Training: D
Weight Watchers: D

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gorillas it is!!

Roscoe is almost ten months old, and I have officially commenced planning for his one year birthday party!

Meet Roscoe's party invite:


I will not spoil the fun for party guests by sharing all the goodies, but just know there's gonna be a lot of monkeying around!

Paper Culture offers such a great collection of cool, funky, and fresh invitations. You must check them out!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Accessorize

I'm a sucker for wool and knit stuffed animals. These precious monkey twins are made from "up-cycled" 100% wool sweaters.

Monkey's not your thing? What about a fuzzy hippo, giraffe, elephant or pig?!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Feed me!

I haven't been to a La Leche League meeting since I returned to work in October. It was my goal to attend one meeting this Spring, but the timing of Roscoe's second nap made it impossible this afternoon. Looks like I'll have to try again next month.

For all the breastfeeding challenges that I encountered in the early months of new motherhood, LLL was my respite. Me and my marathon-nurser were just one pair in a varied group of moms with babies in all stages of nursing. No matter the topic of discussion, it was relevant to my experience; and in the company of women who had been through it and lived to tell about it, I was both encouraged and empowered to continue down the nursing path.

As Roscoe gets older, our nursing dynamic continues to change. He's practically phased out night nursing, and continues to nurse five times throughout the day. He sometimes still nurses for comfort, and I'm ok with that. He has two teeth and I think his recent interest in biting (youch!) is an extension of his exploration of cause and effect. If he wasn't so genuine in his innocence I might not find it so endearing.

It's been my hope to nurse him at least through his first year. And EEK! that's just two months away! Roscoe's pediatrician informed me at Roscoe's last visit, that milk after 9 months is actually secondary to solids, which brought a little frown to my face. But it also brought me some relief to know that nutritionally, Roscoe is becoming more independent.

Picnic!
Grub? CHECK! Sun hat? CHECK! SPF 75? CHECK!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mc Fatty Monday Week X: D+

I'm a gym hopper. At one point or another, I have been a member at every fitness gym in the area. Within a year or two (or less!), I'd find myself bored, uninspired, and frustrated by bad service, funky equipment, hum drum group exercise classes, or at wits end with fighting for that last treadmill or weight bench. To get back in my groove, I'd cancel my membership, do a little research and move on to the next bigger or better equipped facility.

When I was 8 months pregnant with Roscoe we left the gym we had belonged to for a year, and joined one closer to home. For two months everything was great, but after Roscoe was born I found his routine really difficult to work around and I started lifting weights in the garage, running in the neighborhood, and doing p90x. A few months later I joined LA boxing.

I'm comfortable with my current workout schedule but I think I'm ready to add in a fifth day of something: running, another class, personal training? I can't decide. La Boxing claims to be a full-facility gym, but it's not. The classes offer some of the best cardio workouts I've ever had, the instructors are serious and do a great job keeping everyone motivated by demanding something different from us every day. But the selection of strength training and cardio machines definitely leaves a lot to be desired: there are only two weight benches and one line of weights. for everyone to share. If any one of the 40+ boxers try to lift at the same time that I do, a competition for resources ensues, and I do. not. like. it.

And I never did forgot about the 80 dollars a month that we had been paying for our regular gym membership despite our complete absence. I'm a girl who loves options so it dawned on me over the weekend that I might be able to supplement my current schedule, which typically includes week-days only, with weekend-evening weight lifting and/or cardio sessions at the old gym. Plus, if I'm ever up for twice-a-day training, I can take Roscoe with me on weekday mornings or afternoons.

I decided to do a test run on Saturday night, and boy did it feel good to have a whole floor of free weights, benches, and weight machines at my disposal!

All that to say that my workouts are going well, and hopefully distract you from all the ways in which I failed again to get control over my food this week. :)

This Week's Score: D+
Cardio: A
Strength Training: B
Weight Watchers: F

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lazy Sunday


We met up with "Uncle" Adrian at a cool little restaurant in the city for Sunday brunch. Among other Scandinavian dishes, I got to try Abelskiver (danish pancake balls!!) for the first time. Fluffy little powdered sugar-dusted, cardamom sprinkled delights. They were so yummy I haven't been able to stop thinking about them. And then I remembered this pan from Williams Sonoma.

Don't mind those tomato seeds stuck to Roscoe's face! He's become quite the food connoisseur. He tried Thai food this weekend too--his favorites were Tom Ka Ghai soup, pad thai noodles, rice, and straw mushrooms.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Three cheers for maternity workout gear!

As I've mentioned (a lot!), I exercised right up to the night before Roscoe's birthday. I loved that I was able to keep that part of myself in the face of inevitable weight gain and body morphing.

With that being said, I won't deny that dressing my body for the job was one of my very least favorite and most frustrating tasks--in fact, I recall several public displays of outrage when it became clear that the needs of an entire market (pregnant exercisers!) were going completely unmet--and that even the biggest brands couldn't be relied on to fill the niche.

Maternity workout clothes were impossible to find in store, and the options available online were either lacking style, or designed more for lounging than sweating: read 100% cotton. I did order a few clearance sets of pants and jackets from Born Fit, but quickly realized that not only had I bought the wrong size--a risk inherent to buying clothes online, especially when size changes weekly--but the cut was not intended for short people, like me. Needless to say, the tags never even came off. For the most part, I made due by rolling down the waist band of my pre-preg workout pants, and squeezing myself into my pre-preg hoodies. It worked, but it wasn't ideal.

Feeling good about our pregnant bodies is so important, and I was pretty excited when I came across this functional, flattering, and comfy looking workout line by Fit2BMom. I would live in hoodies and capris if I had my way, and Fit2BMom offers several styles of each.

This blazer-style wrap has also piqued my interest:


Topping my current Maternity wish list: a petite line of workout clothes. Seen one anywhere!?

How did you stay sane dressing for your workouts during pregnancy? Did you have a favorite go-to brand?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Roscoe's Nursery: Featured on Spearmint Baby!

The bunny that started it all:


There was something special about his neutral colors, and cozy texture that caught my attention—and his whimsical cape certainly didn't hurt. With his purchase a color palette was born! Later, we had a canvas created from this picture, which now hangs above the changing station. We left spaces for art work, but in the end I really liked the idea of displaying photos of items found within the nursery—talk about effortless decorating!

I knew that I wanted the style of our baby's nursery to be an extension of our home, and since my design concept began before I knew whether we were expecting a boy or a girl, I stuck with ideas that worked equally well for either. I love monochromatic looks and wanted to stay in the family of tans, browns, whites, and creams. If Roscoe had been a girl we would have brought in accents of coral or lilac but as it turned out we opted for blue and orange.

The first piece of furniture we purchased was the crib. I immediately fell in love with the color—a warm gray—and thought it offered an eclectic twist and a fun challenge to build an entire room around. After unsuccessfully searching high and low for a complimentary changing table, we chose an over-sized dresser in the same finish.





The bookshelf--a muted blue that perked up the color palette and hinted at "boy"—provides great storage for our reading nook, and all of Roscoe's play gear.





A leather rocker adds masculine character, and a canvas pit bull pillow lightens the mood. A push-pin bulletin board displays photos of Roscoe's aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents personalizing the space and adding a splash of color. It's our go-to spot to chat about the people that Roscoe doesn't get to see on a daily basis.



It took us several tries to find the right shade of paint, but we finally settled on a color called Whispering Wind--a perfectly hued gray with hints of brown. Andy added decorative crown molding, and painted both the walls and the ceiling, which really makes the trim stand out.

The focal point of the nursery is a gorgeous vintage wall paper tree that spans from floor to ceiling. There are many color combinations available but we chose the "June" style, which comes with leaves that are primarily blue and green. Sold as a do-it-yourself kit, it is applied the old fashioned way with a brush and a bucket of paste. The tree trunk installs in 4 separate pieces and comes with more than 80 individual leaves that you can place however you like. Roscoe's June tree really brings his nursery to life.


The window treatment is a classic, flat, roman shade in a delicious wool sateen fabric. I've been looking into crafting an upholstered valance but haven't yet settled on the perfect fabric!



Perusing my favorite stores, in person and online, for special finds to incorporate into the nursery design was a most treasured hobbies during my pregnancy.



felted wool doorknob sign


ceramic snail lamp


wooden critter hooks


personalized growth chart


figaro clock with a tail that swings

woven baskets

window box storage for diaper wipes, diapers, and butt paste


One of my favorite elements of Roscoe's nursery is the variety of textures that I was able to incorporate into such a small space: a soft jersey rug, plush seating pillows, basket weave, rattan and linen lamp shades, leather upholstery, and a grasscloth tree silhouette. It's visually interesting, and full of tactile stimulation for little hands and bodies to explore.

I hope to always remember those last few weeks of my pregnancy when we often found ourselves just hanging out on the floor of the nursery, dreaming about our son and trying to imagine the ways in which our life was about to change. Roscoe's cool, eclectic, nature themed nursery is everything we had hoped it would be, and continues to bring us so much joy.

Without a doubt it's my favorite room in the entire house.




Where to find:

Laundry and trash baskets: Williams Sonoma Home
Crib, dresser, shelving unit, leather rocker: Pottery Barn Baby
Bedding, changing pad cover: Serena and Lily, Cameron (natural and white linen, with cream sateen)
Round floor rug: Shaggy Raggy rug in soft cotton jersey, white
Snail lamp: Anthropologie
Round ceiling light shade and wall sconce: Pottery Barn
Window treatment: The Shade Store, grey wool sateen
Window box storage: Serena and Lily, also check out The Macbeth Collection
Doorknob hanger: Tree. by kerri lee
Critter hooks: Paper Source
Grow with me chart: Tiny Sprouts
Reading corner pillows: Pottery Barn
Clock: made in Collodi, Italy—received as a gift
Tree silhouette: Romp Store
Pit bull pillow: by Pillow Pillow Pillow

A special thanks to our photographer, Mel Worthington, from Worthington Photography for sharing with us her talent as well as a few of many lovely photos she took at Roscoe's two week photo shoot. If you want to see more incredible nurseries (and lots of adorable babies!) check out the "newborn" section of her blog.

And stroll over to Spearmint Baby, it's chock full of nursery inspiration!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fun in the sun


The past week was busier than usual. I worked three consecutive days (instead of two) which was exhausting for some reason, and I had to find time to focus on a writing project that I'm also working on. We were housebound much of the week, and despite warmer weather over the weekend we didn't get outside to enjoy it.

Yesterday was a free-day for us, and the temps were in the 60's so I was determined to hang out with Roscoe in the sunshine.

We took a long walk to the park and he had his first ride on the baby swings. Later, I took him for a spin (to the mailbox) in his radio flyer wagon. He wore his new bull dog cap and held on for dear life, but seemed to enjoy the bumpy ride. He's suddenly become very sensitive to loud noises--he hates my kitchenaid stand mixer, the food processor, vacuums, sirens and, as I learned on our mail-run, he really does NOT like garbage trucks!

He tried raspberries for the first time and gobbled up a whole pint--we're competing for fruit these days because Roscoe eats as much as I do. Last week he ate all my blueberries. I'm enjoying his big appetite and his adventurous attitude toward food.

Another exciting first: he mimicked the words "kitty cat", "da da", and "momma".

Rawr!

Monday, March 8, 2010

McFatty Monday Week IX: D+

I really thought last week was a great week, until I stepped on the scale this morning.

I'm beginning to wonder if maybe the Weight Watchers' point quiz calculator is flawed. (Do I sound desperate for an excuse?!) Among other items, it asks whether you are "breastfeeding only" (i.e. no solids or formula), or "breastfeeding but supplementing". I fall in the latter category since every day Roscoe eats his weight in blueberries, chicken, yogurt, oatmeal and his latest favorite: oranges. Exclusive breastfeeders get 10 extra points, and nonexclusive feeders get 5.

What has me stumped--and I guess it doesn't really matter because I think it swings in my favor--is how the quiz accounts for variation in supplementation. At this stage in the game a mom could nurse just once a day, or six times like me. But everyone gets 5 points!? Either I've been allotted too many points, or I've slacked off in the food tracking department because I gained weight!

So, in a funk I made chocolate chip cookie dough, which really hit the spot.

I know...this is my problem. And as much as I hate food bans, I'm just not doing well with moderation of late and so I'm back to banning sugar for the next week.

Best workout moment of week 9:
Riddick Bowe, former heavyweight champion, taught Monday's boxing class. I had my form in check all night, and he took note stopping by my bag to let me know that he thought I was "the coolest cat in the house"!

This Week's Score:
Cardio: B
Strength Training: D
Weight Watchers: D

How do you stave off discouragement when you've had a bad week?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cute find of the day!

I have a new favorite baby boutique called Pink and Brown--for the locals it's in Alexandria. They carry so many of my favorite brands yet there's always something new to check out. This trip I swooned over these sweet "kicks" by Deglingos, you know, the french company that makes those crazy stuffed animals?

I couldn't help but fall in love with the funky orange cat, and zany pattern combination. They have adjustable straps to accommodate chubby ankles or to grow with your little one as their feet get bigger. I almost walked out of the store with them--which was pretty hard to resist--but Roscoe already has one pair of shoes in the 6-12 month size and I feared that the current pair would be tossed aside if forced to compete with these cool cats.

For girls, Milkos the cow, and Lapinos the bunny are pretty cute too!

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