July 17, 2014

Boom.

Today was a day that from the moment I woke up I was on the move.  I constantly was in the middle of three things simultaneously all the while caring for my two daughters.  And my husband.

Three loads of laundry; switching the loads and folding them, lugging them up and down the stairs.
Put all folded loads of laundry away.
Changed our sheets.
Fed baby.
Fed V.
Washed bottles.
Called doctor to find an urgent care facility for my husband to treat his poison ivy/made an appt for my physical.
Ran to Staples, my mother's new house to take a pic for a craigslist ad, AC Moore, the post office.
ORGANIZED BASEMENT.
Trashed/recycled/donated goods.
Hung pictures/decor on the wall.
Worked on an ad for the Boston Design Guide while holding baby and submitted said ad.
Had a personal design project printed.
Kept house clean.
Did fifteen loads of dishes.
Fed baby.
Fed V.
Washed bottle.
Washed dishes.
Changed ten diapers.
Exercised. With Vienna with monitor going, ready to have to stop at any moment to feed baby. Completed exercise.
Fed baby.
Fed V.
Showered.  With Vienna.
Ran back to Staples. With both girls.
Assembled a birthday gift.
Packed for beach tomorrow in Newport.  Packed car.
Rocked baby to sleep.
Stayed on diet.
Wrote blog.

Instead of feeling like the goddamn martyr for dedicating one of [all of] my days to running around like a circus clown and getting no real thank you from anyone- I just feel good.  I love owning my day; owning my list of crap; slapping the list in the trash when it's complete and high five-ing myself all the way to my beloved wine glass.

I win...  And so does everyone else that I live with cause they have me and I rock.





April 7, 2014

moo moo musings

As a woman of short stature and a naturally curvy/athletic physique, being 31 weeks pregnant does things to your body you can't ever be prepared for, even it's the second pregancy.  I swear if I jumped, my boobs would smack me in the chin (my third chin, to be exact).  Not that I could jump, as my ankles would buckle under the pressure and my knees are no where to be found.  Getting in and out of my car is a comedy show, as is getting into and out of my jeans.  "Skinny" jeans by Gap Maternity.  It's an oxymoron at best, but I do what I can to keep up.

Really, I should be wearing Nico's old button down shirts, stretchy pants and flip flops.  But today, I sit here in my skinny jeans, a ruched black flowy top and a cropped long sleeve sweater.  I have my mint green patent loafers on and I dried my hair today.  In the Realm of Pregnancy, I'm legit r o c k i n g it.  Bet your ass the second I get home these jeans are going back in the drawer and I'll assume my regularly scheduled uniform of sweats.  Aka, I'll be able to breathe fully for the first time since my morning PJs.  (A big thank you to my co-worker who randomly told me I look beautiful today.  I love you.)

No matter how we try, I feel like it's safe to say that 95% of pregnant women need a little positive reinforcement.  EVEN IF we thank you and shrug it off like we don't believe you.  ESPECIALLY if that's how we respond.  It's hard to have the latent self image of your typically fit body literally consumed by the reflection in the mirror.  It's for a great cause, we're happy to do it, we accept the effects that making babies does to our bodies, but women are generally magnificent creatures and it's part of our cognitive make up to work diligently to maintain that.

If you're a husband/partner, you must make your woman absolutely sure that your eyes are still only for her.  Cankles and all.  Every day, at least once: you love her, she's gorgeous, hug her, kiss her forehead.. any one of these will do.  When Nico makes those little gestures, I notice.  I notice that he's making that conscious effort, I notice that he's taking a moment to give something important to me, I notice that he makes that moment about reassuring me that he's with me.

Another note/safety precaution for all partners of pregnancy alike- my way of coping with my insecurities is by using self deprecating humor- not sure if you've caught on at this point.  That is MINE and mine only.  Once, poor Nico hopped on the bandwagon and used one of my lines in reference to what I was going to wear a wedding (hint: it involved the word moo-moo) and I nearly lost my shit.  I was utterly heart broken.  He was just joking, thought it was a safe quip to make as normally laughing at myself is something I by default end up doing on a daily basis and it was a simple mistake.  Learn from his mistake if you can.  This is not one of those things you want to try at home, kids.

In summation- being pregnant is wonderful and challenging in many ways.  Yada yada yada, we still need to know that we're the hot piece of ass you couldn't live without, had to marry, and CLEARLY could NEVER live without.  And if you ever say that there's 'more of us to love' you're gonna die.

March 18, 2014

sharing is caring: an easy dinner

A fifteen minute home cooked meal can be priceless in times of pregnancy, sheer exhaustion, lack of motivation, or on a regular day (let's be honest).  This is one of my go-to's that I felt like sharing so that you can look like a domesticated goddess even though you know you're just a teenage girl in a grown woman's body working a 24/7 shift that you're not getting paid real money for.  Ever.

We're paid in love.  But love ain't buying me a pair of Louboutins, I can tell you that. 

I digress.

If you like pasta, meatballs, cheese and kalamata olives- a.k.a if you have a sophisticated pallet- this is for you.

This is what you need:

-3/4 lb elbow pasta
-Full Jar of Trader Joe's Green Olive Tapenade (click here for link)
-Grated cheese- I prefer Pecorino/Romano but any type will work fine.
-20-30 pitted kalamata olives (or any kind you prefer- but always go with pitted.)  I leave about half whole and give the rest a rough chop.  Looks nicer that way, people.
-2 tablespoons of the juice from the jar of olives.
-Tablespoon or two of EVOO
-Salt and pepper to taste.
-Parsley and Basil as garnish
-Frozen meatballs (click here for recipe) (I cut this recipe in half and went without the pork.  I made these previously and it made so many that I ended up freezing about 25 meatballs for nights like tonight.  Just preheat the oven to 375 and cook frozen meatballs for 20-25 minutes shaking the pan half way through to ensure fully baked goodness.) These are optional but go very well and make sure the men are happy.  They're crispy and amazeballs.  Literally.

What you need to do:
1) Preheat oven to 375 for meatballs.  I put about ten on a pie pan covered in aluminum foil for a zero-clean endeavor.  This way you'll only need to clean the one pasta pot you use.  Boom.
2) Get water boiling in a medium sized pot (do yourself a favor and salt your water generously and add olive oil).
3) Put meatballs in for 20-25 minutes rolling them around halfway through cook time.
4)  Add pasta once water reaches a decent rolling boil.
5) Drain cooked pasta fully, and pour back into pot.  Add EVOO, whole jar of tapenade, olives, olive juice and 1/4-1/3 cup of grated cheese.  Mix into pasta gently. Add salt and pepper and mix in.
6) Let rest for a minute or two and then pour into serving dish.  Garnish with some basil and parsley.
7) Remove meatballs from oven and voila.  Dinner is served.


Any decent recipe has notes and substitutions:
*This recipe also works with goat cheese instead of grated but sprinkle it in at the very end after the pasta has cooled as a garnish- otherwise it'll melt and look like white sauce and you won't get that chunky texture that is best.  Then leave some at the table so people can add more to their plates.  

**You can substitute elbow pasta for orzo.

***You can also add in some arugula, chopped sundried tomatoes, chopped pepadews, the little mozzarella balls... Whatever.   It's one of those 'everything but the kitchen sink' type dishes.  

**** You can obviously just use store bought frozen meatballs and cook according to package directions.

*****If you have a little nugget at home like I do, keep some plain pasta aside prior to adding all the ingredients, and just add butter and grated cheese to their bowl.  You're not necessarily making two meals and everyone ends up happy.  Including you.  As well as your tired-ass back and feet after working all day and running errands and being generally awesome.  

Bon ape tit.







March 4, 2014

my girl

I kid all the time about the 'intrigues' of three year old behavior- I even recently reposted a blog post titled, "Three-Year-Olds Are Assholes."  It was funny, on point, and written by a mom who obviously loves her children.  She's also honest.  

I've tried to make it my business to stay honest about being a mother and a wife.  You grow up and inherit romanticized ideas about being in a life-long relationship and the joys of motherhood.  The chore list, bills and braxton hicks contractions are somehow edited into the fine print.  If they make it there at all.

Living a blessed life with an adorable, handsome husband and an adorable, precocious daughter I go to bed at night giggling about Vienna's pigtails or catching Nico flexing in the mirror.  But I also go to bed praying that today wasn't the last day that I have them in my life.  Please, God/universe/karma/whoeverYouare, please let me keep them with me.  Forever will do.  But I'll take anything, I guess.

Our love for V is gut wrenching in the happiest of ways and for all the joking I do about the trials of raising a toddler [while pregnant] it's important that I also praise her for being a sweet, bright, loving little girl who tries diligently to be a good girl and make us happy.  She does more than she'll ever know.

 


February 20, 2014

arc out of the flood



I wish I could take credit for this greeting card.  I've been feeling inspired by Emily McDowell lately.  Not only does she do what I went into design to do, but she's on point.  I  need to get in the game. 

Besides that, what a week.  This greeting card applies.  "I am not not afraid.  I was born to do this." -Joan of Arc. 

As most of you know, we decided last minute to opt out of the house we were supposed to close on the next day.  Reiteration- we found out on our anniversary that the house would require astronomical flood insurance annually with no guarantee that the price wouldn't go up.  So, on the next day, when we were supposed to close and start moving, I was catatonic with disappointment wandering aimlessly down the aisles of TJ Maxx looking at housewares that are beautifully unnecessary to me.  Why buy more pretty things when all of the pretty home decor items I have are ALREADY PACKED AND READY TO MOVE??? 

A day later, when I was exactly 24 weeks pregnant, i.e. 6 months, I came down with a severe stomach bug that put me into the hospital for dehydration and early contractions.  Three IV bags and two days of utter misery later, I'm back to the land of the living.  Baby is fine, the contractions were only a result of the dehydration and we're moving on from the house nightmare.

Nico and I are fine.  We have our eyes on the prize, we are past the fact that we are living in a bare apartment, decided to stay half packed and will keep looking for the right house.  Whenever it comes on the market. 

When it rains, it pours hammers and nails.  But we ain't scared.  We were born for this.  We have each other and we'll make it work.  We got this.  The outpouring of support from our friends and family this past week has been frigging amazing.  Every day I was checked on by my girls, and my mom came over when I was sick to clean and freshen up the house and bring us food. 

A big fat Thank You to everybody who was there to help us keep our heads above water (no flood pun intended) and remind us that all is not lost.  You know who you are.



February 11, 2014

thirty going on about three

A word to the wise.

Just because your child may be verbal beyond their developmental age doesn't mean that they are mature beyond their developmental age.  Vienna blows us away everyday with the things that come out of her mouth.  She picks up everything she hears and then spits it out in a contextually correct manner days later seemingly out of the blue. 

She knows which words are bad (no thanks to me) and she reminds me of such every time I let one rip.  Accidentally, of course.  She understands how to use 'why' (like most toddlers) but can also subsequently use 'because' with an appropriate explanation after.  ("V, can I kiss your toes?" I asked, to which she replies, "No."  "Why?" "Because I'm standing on them."  Seems logical to me.)  She picks up sequences, lists of things to do, how to do them.  She'll hear a funny line on a commercial ("Nap time is calling my NAME!") and then apply it on another day in another location when she's feeling tired.  She turned 3 two weeks ago.

I may just be her mother, but I think that's impressive stuff.  We're not even discussing how my father taught her which president is depicted on each dollar and the value of that dollar.  "Washington is on the one... Franklin is on the hundred."  She's a bright kid.

So when she "uncharacteristically" acts like an a-hole by throwing a temper tantrum in a grocery store or at dinner at someones home, I am totally and utterly beyond frustrated with her lack of control.  What is wrong with you, dude?  Get in the game.

I was scrolling one day on my newsfeed on Facebook and saw something to the effect of "just because your kid is smart beyond their age doesn't mean they are mature beyond their age."  I scrolled down to see if there was an added clause for husbands.

I keed.

I don't know- it was a giant pearl of wisdom for me.  I hold her to such a high standard due to her typically very decent, well mannered behavior.  And I can get so pissed off when she acts, well... three.

She's a baby.  My baby.  And in my house will always be required to act like a decent human being.  But I have to remember that she can only be that which she is equipped to be- and right now that is three years old.  I need to be what I am equipped to be, which is a thirty year old parent with a solid understanding of the developmental stages of our species, and give my daughter the space to be just that.

Happy Third Birthday, V! xoxo



February 9, 2014

tricky treat.

In trying to make up for my loose caloric parameters during pregnancy in general- ie. allowing the stock french fries side instead of requesting the salad substitute with my meals- I've been making a valiant effort to make healthy choices.  I've been using the Bar Method Pregnancy DVD along with my Fluidity (ballet) Bar.  I've been doing my best to manage portion sizes.

Thankfully, this pregnancy allows me to actually eat healthy foods.  When I was pregnant with Vienna, all I could eat were tater tots, subs and chicken fingers.  It was fun but riddled with miserable consequences.  My ass was huge, my arms were bulky.  I looked like a linebacker.  In her broken English, Nico's grandmother told me at my baby shower, "From the front, it looks like [you're having a] girl.  From the back?  Boy."  Which was awesome.  

I vowed when I got pregnant second time around that I'd carry like Kourtney Kardashian- little body and baby belly.  Not so much- I still look like a line backer, but I'm hoping with my exercise habits and relatively healthy food choices that when it comes to drop the baby weight it'll be a bit easier this time.  I am 30.  Everyone says it'll be harder now, so every bit of effort I make has got to help.  For the love.

Or so I tell myself now.  I'll keep you posted.

Anything pumpkin and chai to me is a treat.  So I made myself a little pumpkin chai smoothie tonight.  A healthy one.  I'm tricking myself.

1/2 cup    Pumkin Puree
1/4 tsp     Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp     Chai Spice
1 TBSP   Agave
1 1/2 cup Almont Milk
Ice

Yum.  Happy 23 weeks to me!