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, May 31, 2010

McFatty Monday Week 21!

Can you believe we're into week 22 of McFatty Monday? I haven't blogged about my progress in the past two weeks but I haven't forgotten about McFatty Monday. I've been deliberately avoiding it.

The accountability of blogging the experience was so positive and very motivating at first. Over the past month or two, it has become a source of negativity as baby-making season approaches, and the last pounds of baby weight remain. It's fun to blog about progress and achievement. It's not so fun to blog about failure.

Lucky for me, movement on the scale is only one measure of my success. I've lost a total of 21.38 inches (5 since the last photos were taken), and here's a visual recap:


Week 1, Week 12, Week 20


Week 1, Week 12, Week 20

I know I've been more dedicated to my fitness goals than to a diet, and I'm pleased with where I'm at. I have more to say on the whole McFatty Monday experience, and I still have loads of video footage from two training sessions with Jennifer, which I will try to edit and post soon (fingers crossed for next Monday!).

June (just one day away) is our month to begin trying to conceive another baby! When I get pregnant, McFatty Monday's will morph into something more appropriate for pregnancy but until then, I will be working behind the scenes to drop these final pounds.

I hope to make this week one of my best yet!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another visit to the Pedi

Roscoe had his one year pediatrician visit on Monday. He weighs 21 pounds now and has come a long way on the growth charts. If you remember, there was a time a few months back when he was in the first percentile--he's now in the 30th! Of course, he's still in the 10th percentile for height, but we're all pleased with where he's at--and not surprised since he comes from a family of relative shorties.

He's still a frequent nurser, which I'm okay with for the most part. Though I would love it if he would sleep through the night, and cutting back on the night nursing would probably help. Incorporating whole milk into his daily menu would be a logical move but Roscoe won't drink it! He takes a sip and then fountains the milk straight back out of his mouth. It's cute, but it's not getting us anywhere. His doctor suggested chocolate milk, which at first I scoffed at but then considered, assuming that it would at least give us a non-boob starting point. But, in true form, he is completely disinterested in anything that will create independence from his Momma and his milk.

I'm also happy to announce that we have taken a first step toward weaning Roscoe from his other crutch: The Swing. Several months back, when he was clearly outgrowing his little lamb swing, we did what any desperate parents would do and bought another model with a higher weight limit. It's been a long time coming but Roscoe now sleeps in the swing with the power off. It's a sleeping basket! We gathered our courage to try it one night, and he did just fine. The pediatrician has been encouraging us to move Roscoe to his crib for many months, and he seemed even less impressed that Roscoe still sleeps in the swing at one year.

Roscoe got another round of vaccines and I spent most of the rest of the afternoon carrying him from place to place as he refused to be put down.

And finally, the biggest surprise of all: Roscoe has a double ear infection! It was a shock, but does explain some of the (more than usual) clingy, fussy, behavior of the preceding week. A round of antibiotics is in effect and, if sleep and smiles are any indication, he seems to be feeling much better.

It was quite an eventful visit, and I'm glad that we won't have another for three more months.

Pals

Roscoe has a new bud! Jacob is 14 months old and lives just around the corner. As it turns out, they have the same taste in cars!

They make an awfully cute pair, don't you think!?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture

I eat a lot of fruit every day, and a few vegetables too. But I'd love to eat more vegetables, and I'd love to love vegetables more! Since I can't have a garden, I decided to join a CSA for the Summer. Here's a list of all the yummy fruits and veggies we'll have delivered in the coming months.

I'm looking forward to trying out some new and different produce, not to mention learning to cook them! I've had this cookbook sitting on my shelf for years, and I think it's finally going to get broken in.

Tuesday we picked up our first share. Inside my bag I found:


Scallions, cilantro, green head lettuce, chinese cabbage, bok choy


red leaf lettuce, tatsoi, snow peas


Greens, greens, and more greens! I've never cooked bok choy or even heard of tatsoi!

How will I use these veggies?
Red and green leaf lettuce will be used for salads.

My favorite salad dressing:

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 or 2 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
Whisk it together, add salt and pepper to taste

I think I'll try brown butter pasta with tatsoi. A scallion quiche would be tasty, and perhaps a homemade salsa or guacamole with cilantro. Snow peas with garlic butter sounds nice, and I'm still not sure about the bok choy. I've heard it makes a nice accompaniment to fish. As for the chinese cabbage, how about a stir-fry?

Do you have any great recipes to share?! Have you ever belonged to a CSA?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Birthday party follow-up

I've had a few inquiries about Roscoe's birthday party and wanted to answer your questions:

1. Those gorilla cookies are iced shortbread packaged in clear cello bags and tied with twine from Bake it Pretty. They made a perfect take-home favor for our guests.

2. Yes, that is a gorilla on our porch. A freestanding life-size cardboard cutout that I purchased online.

3. I made the "I'm One!" t-shirt that Roscoe wore to his party. I bought Hanes tees online and then followed this tutorial from Made. It was fun and easy, and the freezer paper stencil technique is so versatile!

4. That B&W photo of me, Andy, and Roscoe was taken at his birth. Ange from Swell Little Life has an etsy shop where she sells edible photo images from which you can create your own photo cakes and cookies! I actually won a contest she had a few months back, so I made a chocolate sheet cake and applied my prize! It served as our Happy (one year!) Anniversary treat. I'd also love to try individual cupcakes with photos of Roscoe's face on each one--too cute!

Thanks for asking!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Over already?

We really wanted to take time to celebrate our family on the week of Roscoe's birthday, and a staycation fit the bill nicely.

We mapped out in advance our planned activities for the week, packing the days with local experiences--some that are a part of our usual weekly routine, and others that were more like special events. We napped when Roscoe napped, watched a few movies via netflix, took lots of walks around the neighborhood, and tied up loose ends around the house including some baby gear/toy organizing and cleaning. I trained with my trainer twice, attended boot camp on Saturday morning, and made it to a boxing class midweek--and Andy found time to workout too. Oh. And we ate out A LOT--breakfast, lunch, dinner, delivery, brunch--we did it all!

It was a relief to leave work-related stress behind--an unusually hard thing for me to do since I work from home--and Andy's parents doggy-sat Chloe for most of the week so we had no pet responsibilities. Sweet reprieve!

On to the highlights!

I've been taking Roscoe to Gymboree since he was about 5 months old. It was fun when he was younger, but it's really great now--I love watching him navigate physical challenges--he loves climbing up and down the ramps and slides best. It is typical on the weekends to find moms and dads in class with their little ones, and we have enjoyed going to Gymboree as a family. Also, open gym hours offer unstructured play that can't be beat.

Open gym at Gymboree

We took Roscoe to the library for the first time on Tuesday. He immediately beelined for the bookshelves and pulled at least half of the board books off the rack. He pushed a chair up and down the aisles, played with puzzles, a bead maze, and made a few friends. I loved the library as a kid, and spent a lot of time there. I didn't realize the breadth of baby/toddler activities offered through our local branch and I hope to take advantage of their programs this summer.
Roscoe's first trip to the library

On Wednesday--Roscoe's actual birthday--we took him to one of our (and everyone else's in the region) favorite pizza joints, Two Amy's. The pizze d.o.c is superb, and everything on the menu is delicious. I've been inspired on more than one occasion to replicate their flavor combinations at home. I always leave craving my next visit. Afterward, we stopped at a toy store off Wisconsin called Tugooh Toys, where Roscoe picked out some cars and a book. He has a new fascination with things that go--trucks and cars in particular, which he enthusiastically points out by name. By the end of the afternoon Roscoe was beat, so he didn't get to enjoy any yummy gelato--but Andy and I definitely did!
A birthday outing in NW, DC

Later that night, my parents, who were vacationing in Hawaii last week when we threw Roscoe's party, came over to wish him a happy birthday. More gifts and more fun!
A visit with Grandma and Grandpa

Thursday we spent the afternoon on the national mall for an on-location photo shoot. More on this later, when we have pictures to share! I'm most excited about the fact that Mel wants to photograph our second (yet to be conceived) baby's birth. Yay!

On Friday, we went out to lunch and then to a movie: our first official date since Roscoe was born (except for the time we saw Avatar--but Roscoe slept the whole time we were gone). It was just the two of us, and it felt special to get out alone. Madeleine watched Roscoe from 1:00 to 5:30 and I put all things baby related out of my mind--have I mentioned how much we love our nanny? We watched Date Night, which was too fitting. Have you seen it?

Lunch for two

So, it's Sunday, and Staycation 2010 is nearing its end. If only we were independently wealthy, we could live like this every week! Instead, we'll look forward to July and seven days in Charleston.

How was your week? Have you ever staycationed?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Be Right Back . . .

We're taking a vacation this week! No big plans, just a nice hiatus from our regular routine and the opportunity to enjoy some much-needed family time. We do have a special day planned for Wednesday, a photo shoot with Mel on Thursday, and an afternoon date for me and Andy on Friday. Otherwise, we're catching up on our sleep and exploring local activities.

Blogging will resume on the 24th!

Roscoe's birthday party






Friday, May 14, 2010

Heart Thumps

One of Roscoe's favorite books at the moment is The Noisy Zoo. One of the pages shows a big gorilla surrounded by orange peels, and when you push the gorilla's sound key a quick low thump-thump-thump-thump-thump can be heard to replicate the sound of a gorilla thumping his chest. It kinda reminds me of a heart beat.

All week I've been happily consumed with the final details of Roscoe's birthday party. Yesterday and today have been chock full of preparation for our little guy's big day. Last minute grocery runs, baking, arranging, and decorating--I am having so much fun orchestrating this event just for him, and I cannot wait for tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be beautiful.

It's been a special week too, because our geographically removed friends and extended family have been thinking of Roscoe and sending him lots of birthday wishes through the mail. Roscoe is loved by so many people. He is an extension of us, and I deeply feel all the kindness and affection that is shown to him.

Roscoe's party has a gorilla theme, and with every detail that I've tied with string, or iced, or wrapped, my love for my baby--who is practically a toddler--just grows and grows. I am so proud of this amazing little boy, and I can't believe that he was made and grown out of my and Andy's love for each other. It feels like we can't possibly love him tomorrow any more than we do tonight. Yet every morning I'm proven wrong.

He's not even 1 yet, how much bigger can our hearts grow?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Momma lives here, too

Someone is noticeably absent from the thousands of pictures that we've taken since I purchased my DSLR camera back in October of last year.

I am in very, very, few of the photos and I can blame this sad fact on three things:
1. I am usually the one behind the lens
2. My new camera is a tiny bit trickier and more cumbersome to use than my old point & shoot and cannot be as easily passed to another person
3. I sometimes decline photo ops

I was disappointed a few months ago, when I realized that our fun, sweet, and crazy times as a momma and baby pair have not been adequately captured on film. Since then, I've been more intentional about finding my way into photographs. I'm pretty sure that when we all look back, not one of us will care if Momma's makeup was applied, or if her hair was assembled.

I also wish I had more pictures of the three of us. Family shots can be categorized as occasional, if not equally absent.

I recently read this fantastic post on The Creative Mama, about The Importance of YOU in photographs. It reminded me how very relevant, and apparently universal, my experience is. And I love all the practical tips to help insert mommas back into the picture (read the article for the goods!).

Another thing I haven't even tried out yet--the self timer!!

And for fun, because Roscoe is a cutie pie and because Momma doesn't have to look polished in every photo: post-slide pics from last weekend!



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Delicious

Raw apples have been on Roscoe's no list for a while. Ever since he could bite off chunks and choke himself, I've been cutting them into little squares and cooking them first before sprinkling with cinnamon and serving.

But, this afternoon, after cutting up an apple for myself, Roscoe reached for a piece and started to chew. I held him in my lap and while I ate mine, he ate his. He used his little bunny teeth to carve out little chunks of apple, juice dripping down his arm and into my lap.

Then the sweetest thing happened. With a big-hearted grin, he pushed to my lips what was left of his juicy little apple chunk. I pretended to nom on it, and said thank you. And then he happily resumed snacking. A few minutes later he offered again, and it was clear that he was SHARING with me!

It is overwhelming sometimes, how I am blindsided by the emotion that even the smallest gesture from such a tiny person can generate. Eating our apples together was the best five minutes of the whole day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

McFatty Monday Week XVIII:B

I lost .4 last week....

Must have been yesterday's fantastic mother's day breakfast & lunch.

I confess to 4 days of strict max muscle dieting, and 3 days of not so strict sanity-saving munching. After the first couple of days I was feeling a little nutty. As Blair eloquently stated: it was one of THOSE weeks, which at this stage in the game IS becoming a little embarrassing. I don't know where my diet motivation has run off to, and I'm kind of tired of looking for it.

What makes matters worse, I think, is that Roscoe's birthday party is this Saturday, and EVERY day this week, I have scheduled baking. Sheet cakes, cupcakes, shortbread cookies, sandwich fillings, ice cream...this is going to be a tough week to eat low sugar and high protein. :sigh:

Still, I am determined to lose something this week, even if it's another measly .4.

This week's score: B
Max Muscle: C
Strength Training: A
Cardio: B

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Swim season

Roscoe and Madeleine spent this afternoon in our side yard, picnicking and playing in the water. Roscoe was intent on putting his hands under the stream of the hose only to promptly withdraw them in order to lick the water off with his tongue. It was entertaining, but eventually she just gave him the hose, which seemed to better quench his thirst.

Our community pool opens at the end of the month, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying the early mornings or late afternoons poolside. I think Roscoe's new swimsuit is pretty cool, and it has UPF 50+ so I think he's all set for the summer!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Welcome to the world little girl!

We had an impromptu photo shoot with baby Kaleigh this afternoon. Don't you just love everything about a new baby?






Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A year gone by

If you're ever in the market for a natural birthing class, I would highly recommend the Bradley Method.

Besides everything that we learned, the friendships that we made through the experience (and the Bradley series is definitely an experience!) sustained me for at least the first 6 months after Roscoe was born, and they continue to hold a special place in my heart. It's funny how we barely even talked to each other during the 12 week course, week after week, hour after hour--sharing so much about our private lives during class-time yet otherwise keeping to ourselves.

On the night of our final class the walls came down. Maybe it was the 2 hour marathon of birth videos, which portrayed in no uncertain terms what it was that we were all about to experience. Despite our differences we were on the same path, and in that last hour of class we were a heap of swollen pregnant women united. In the weeks that followed there was very little contact between any of us until Lillian, the first of the babies was born. Then, in quick succession, the others followed: Evan, Sammy, Roscoe, Gunner, and Jonathan. And we were all mommas!

Once the kids arrived, the necessity of a good support system was clear and so we quickly organized ourselves. Every week for six full months we rotated houses, restaurants, and local attractions. In October, when a few of us returned to work, our routine changed to once-a-month potlucks that included all the dads too.

Lillian and Evan just celebrated their first birthdays and as the year comes to a close for the rest of us, our Bradley group is naturally dissolving. We've all evolved as parents, and families--three of us prepping for the next addition, and one family moving to the Hawaiian islands later this month. It's bittersweet to complete the first leg of what has been an amazing adventure, as we pioneer into the next.

As a group, we're as varied as they come but, we were brought together by our shared desire for natural birth. In the end, two babies were born at home, four in hospital, and two by c-section. Our individual birth stories offer quite a contrast! And while our parenting styles are connected on many levels, our practices run the spectrum.

One thing is certain: If ever I need a sympathetic ear or a bit of advice, I know who to call. Roscoe was born in the middle of the bunch, and so I have friends with kids directly in front of and behind him. In the first few months when every week brings huge advancements, I always enjoyed my visits with Heidi and Lillian because I got a sneak peek into whatever baby milestones and achievements there might be to look forward to in the weeks ahead. And it was fun to be in a position to give advice to my friends with the younger babies, especially in the beginning when otherwise I would be the very last person in the world asked to dispense advice about newborns! The important thing was that each woman offered something special to the rest of the moms.

It's no wonder then that I grew to depend so much on each of the other girls. And it makes sense now that our dependency on each other is waning. It's sad to think that many of the friendships we develop through our children will be stage-dependent. We're through our first year, and moving on.

Still, I sense that at least a few lifelong friendships have been established over the course of the past year, and I also know that my approach to mothering has been shaped by the other five Bradley moms. It has been extraordinary to have five other incredible women who are also fabulous mothers, to bounce ideas off of, to share the dark and the bright times, and to have the cherished opportunity to be a part of the lives (from their very start!) of five other beautiful babies.

Last Friday night, we convened for what may be our last Bradley get together. We went out as a group, without our babies, for a date night. It was weird not to have 6 little people to distract us in conversation, and the opportunity to delve into adult topics that we never ever seem to get around to when our attention is otherwise scattered in every direction.

I tried not to think about the fact that Katie is moving away, and taking our little Sammy-saurus with her. It makes me sad!!

We managed to eat a nice meal, drink pitchers (and more pitchers) of sangria, and stop at dairy queen on the way back to our houses. I was really hoping for a final photo to capture the group with one year under our belts, but of course I left my camera at home. I asked the cashier to take a few shots of us with our iphone, and unfortunately, this was what we got:


Blurred, with two husbands cropped out, and that is the best photo in the set!

At this point I think we've all become accustomed to imperfection, and plans gone awry, so in a way maybe this is a fitting end to an unforgettable beginning.

Monday, May 3, 2010

McFatty Monday Week XVII: D+

I abandoned Weight Watchers last week. Maybe because I was mentally gearing up to hunker down with my new Max Muscle diet, or maybe because I was surrounded by yummy food galore, I didn't track any of my points, which included eating out on Friday night (date night, again!), and over the weekend an "Ice Cream Social" themed birthday party, and a "Welcome Baby" barbecue.

My workouts last week were tough but FUN!, and I did more weight training than cardio, which I will try to avoid repeating in upcoming weeks.

Very importantly, I'm all stocked up and ready to start my first week of my new diet, which looks like this:


There's no magic in this meal plan. It's a high protein, low sugar diet with a total calorie count of 1644, a number that factors in my activity level and the fact that I still nurse a baby.

The food selection is completely reasonable and was chosen with the schedule of a "busy mom" in mind. The software program that supports this diet actually allows me to substitute a whole list of other foods for any item, however, for the first week--because I'm feeling lazy (and unless I start to feel crazy later on) I'm going to eat the same thing every day.

The thought is that if I make my daily food routine slightly boring, eliminate the typical fridge/freezer/pantry-wide selection of things to eat, and simplify the menu, then maybe I will save myself from obsessing over food every day. I'll have more time and energy to focus on other things, and maybe I'll better appreciate food as sustenance and less as a pleasure seeking leisure activity.

This week's Score: D+
Cardio: B
Weight Watchers: F
Strength Training: A
(Can I ever get a good score on all three at once?!)

Countdown to TTC #2: 5 weeks!
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