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!

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?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You heard it here first!

Momma's Monday Check-in: 18/40

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 23 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 11....eek.
Cravings: Vietnamese food
Sleep: I slept in a hotel room (alone) for the better part of last week, which felt pretty great.
I can't live without: My little Roscoe. I haven't spent much time with him over the past week, and I miss him so much.
I miss: Hips that don't hurt. I've been so achy this pregnancy, something I didn't experience the first time.
I am looking forward to: Baby Sears's Reveal Party. Tonight!!
Aha moment: Choosing a birth place well aligned with your birth values and goals goes a long way in helping to ensure that you have the kind of birth experience that you want.
Best moment this week: Sharing Roscoe's birth slideshow with the group at my Bradley workshop.
Milestones: To gain 5 pounds in a week feels like a worthy milestone. I hope that it's temporary, and the result of a generally sedentary week and a detour from my typical diet. 17 weeks to gain 6 pounds, and 1 week to gain 5. oh darn. Pregnancy is full of surprises!
Movement: I feel enough subtle, irregular movement to know there's something in there. But that's about it.
Gender: The ultrasound is at 1pm today! We'll find out with the rest of the gang at 6:00pm. My vote teeters between boy and girl. I can't decide if I should wear blue or pink. Suggestions?

Exercise: I ran on Monday. That's all! It was a tough week in the exercise department because my days were packed with work and workshop.

Diet: Hmm, since I was away from home I had to rely on hotel food and other conveniences, but as a requirement of my workshop I did follow the Bradley Diet for the last four days.

Goals for the upcoming week: I'd like to run twice before my race this weekend. A couple short runs would be perfect. And I really need a new pair of running shoes. My knees have ached after my last few runs which is a good indicator that my current shoes are done.

Belly Shot: Coming soon. So behind!

Labor Signs: None

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I did it for the sticker

After work I headed downstairs, scooped up my little guy--still in his pajamas, but to his defense I basically was too--and strapped on his new boots and winter hat to head to the polls. I had to entice him with the lure of visiting a real-live SCHOOL! (or kool as he likes to say)

We only had to drive 4 minutes, which was convenient. Earlier in the day I had researched the three items on the ballot so I knew what to do when I got there (this took considerable time--I swear they are strategically worded to confuse).

Nonetheless, Roscoe and I moseyed our way from the parking lot to the entrance and greeted every passerby we met along the way.

Inside, Roscoe noticed a large panther statue and let out a big RAWR! to demonstrate his keen ability to identify animals.

We voted, we asked for our stickers, and we left empty-handed. We were told that the "I VOTED" stickers were deemed "too expensive" for our precinct. What a disappointment. I didn't realize what an impact they have on post-poll satisfaction. I even thought to myself, "Man, I got dressed, I dragged Roscoe out, I drove to the precinct, and they couldn't even give me a STICKER!?"

Really, I just wanted one for Roscoe.

Did this happen to anyone else?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 17/40

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 23 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 6
Cravings/Aversion: None to think of.
Sleep: It was a tough week. Not a lot of sleep for me.
I can't live without (or at least I don't want to): Roscoe's nanny.
I miss: Having the option to sleep on my stomach. Some nights that just sounds so comfy and preferable to side sleep.
I am looking forward to: The Bradley instructor course starts this week on Thursday!
Aha moment: I am privileged to know Roscoe and to have the opportunity to parent him.
Best moment this week: Hearing the baby's heartbeat was nice. Even though I'm obviously pregnant, confirmation never gets old.
Milestones: 17 weeks feels so close to halfway!!
Movement: I've had a few episodes of distinct activity, but Little Sears doesn't seem as active as I remember Roscoe being at this stage.
Gender: We find out in 9 days! The menu is set, and the decorations have been chosen! I'll be wearing blue to the party.

Exercise: I boxed on Monday, ran 5 miles on Tuesday, and then went to boxing on Friday. Despite my best intentions I never made it on my second run, nor did I lift any weights. Boo.

Diet: We bought some Irish Butter during our weekly grocery spree. It is SO delicious that I devoured several loaves of bakery bread just so I could eat more of it. Halloween is over too, which is a good thing.

Goals for the upcoming week: I'll be staying at a hotel Thursday through Sunday so, realistically, I'll get two or three days of cardio in. Hopefully at least half of those days will be for running.

Belly Shot:

Labor Signs: None
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