Saturday, December 3, 2011

threes

Lately the number 3 has had a lot of significance in my life.  My family now has gone from 2 to 3 members, my daughter weighs 13 pounds and is 23 inches long, we're waiting 3 months before starting a serious new home search, I'd like to lose 30 pounds to be at my goal weight, and starting in the new year I'll be whittling down my wardrobe to only 33 items for a 3 month span (previously blogged about here.)  


Another notable number is that I was initially planning on only breastfeeding my daughter for 3 months until I brought this up with her pediatrician earlier this week.  For some reason, when I was pregnant, many of my friends told me that they only breastfed their children for 3 months, some did shorter spans and a very slim few did longer spans.  So when I told the pediatrician that I was planning to wean my daughter in about a month, I was surprised when she told me that I should do 6 - 12 months of breastfeeding at the minimum.  I think part of the reason I was so surprised by this is that it seems to me like everyone else breastfeeds for only 3 months and the minimum is supposed to be double or quadruple that amount of time.  

So I went home to do some research.  There were many benefits that I already knew were associated with breastfeeding: boosting baby's immune system, reduced risk of SIDS, reduced risk of postpartum depression for mom, etc.  My doctor told me that most of these benefits aren't fully realized unless baby receives breast milk for 6 months and that information is subsequently backed up but the AAP

How long should I breastfeed my baby?

The AAP recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months of life. This means your baby needs no additional foods (except Vitamin D) or fluids unless medically indicated. Babies should continue to breastfeed for a year and for as long as is mutually desired by the mother and baby. Breastfeeding should be supported by your physician for as long as it is the right choice for you and your baby.
It's also backed up again here by LLL
All the benefits of human milk—including nutritional and health—continue for as long as your baby receives your milk. In fact, as your baby takes less human milk, these advantages are condensed into what milk is produced. Many of the health benefits of human milk are dose related, that is, the longer the baby receives human milk, the greater are the benefits.


So now I'm thinking that I'll begin to wean my daughter at either around 5 or 6 months, unless she grows teeth and bites me.  Then it's game over.  But generally speaking, baby teeth begin coming in at around 6 months.  

How long did you breastfeed your child or how long do you plan on breastfeeding your child?   

Friday, December 2, 2011

deliciousness

I LOVE to cook.  L-O-V-E love it!  But during the end of my pregnancy I was too big and too tired to make anything more than pasta, salads or sandwiches.  During the first few weeks of Maddie's life I was too tired to make much of anything and thankfully our wonderful family and friends brought us healthy dinners.  :)  But now that we're really into a routine of sorts I've been cooking healthy meals every night and oddly enough, I feel like we're entertaining our friends and family more now that Maddie is here than we ever did before our little bundle arrived.

This week I tried 2 new recipes that I picked up from Pinterest and they both turned out fabulous!!

On Wednesday night I made these White Chicken Enchiladas, they were incredibly easy to make, very yummy and made way too much for just my husband and I.  These easily could have been made for us and another couple and I still would have had plenty of food.

I took my own picture but mine didn't turn out this pretty...my broiler made the cheese a little burnt

Last night I made these Stuffed Pasta Shells, they were surprisingly easy to make and again the recipe made way more than I needed to make for just me and husby.  Last week, the day before Thanksgiving, we hosted a "friendsgiving" dinner at our house with 3 other couples and this easily could have served everyone there.  I should also add that this is a Weight Watchers recipe, but it still calls for pasta and lots of cheese so I'm a little wary as to how weight friendly it actually is.  AND I didn't have any marinara sauce on hand last night so I threw a can of stewed tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes in the blender and made my own sauce, which turned out amazing in a pinch.


I like both of these recipes because it would be so easy to add a little flavor via additional ingredients and they are still incredibly simple to make.  It's so nice when recipes call for a little oven time because it also allows me a few minutes to clean up the kitchen before dinner time starts.  Both of these recipes will be going into my regular rotation.

Have you tried any new recipes lately that were huge successes?  Where do you find inspiration for new recipes at?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

you get what you pay for

Last January, husby and I bought our first home.  I was very newly pregnant at the time and quite naive to the gear and space requirements of a new child.


We bought our home with the intention of living in it for 3 - 5 years and eventually renting it out when we were ready to purchase a larger home.  This made a lot of sense to us because home rentals are fairly easy to maintain, are great long term investments, and because we're near the downtown area and a major state university renting it out to good tenants would be very easy.

Fast forward to October and our cute little 2 bed, 1 bath home is feeling awfully cramped with swings, bouncers, jumpers, play mats and various Boppy pillows filling up the open spaces.  Long story short is that we're now in the market to buy a new home within the next 6 - 8 months but this time we'd like to buy our forever home.

The problem we're encountering is size versus location.  We love our location; lots of great restaurants within walking distance, beautiful neighborhoods with developed communities with lots of history surrounding them.  However, if we move a little further out our money will get us a lot more bang for our buck.  Either way we'll be in a bigger home but it might not big enough if our family expands again in the future or we might be a greater distance from the amenities and features that we enjoy now.

What would you rather have, lots of space to spread out or a fab location?  I'm leaning towards location...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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Christmas Time Is Coming or Here

I know that for many people Christmas time begins the day after Thanksgiving, and it seems for a lot of people this year Christmas time began the day after Halloween.  Well, for me Christmas time begins the first day of December.  Not for my husband though, he's one of those people who is ready to start celebrating Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  Since this is our first year celebrating Christmas with our baby girl we're thinking about what we want our traditions to be regarding the holidays.  

We've already decided and implemented that Thanksgiving will be celebrated at our house from now on, with this being our first Thanksgiving in 8 years where neither of us had to get in the car and drive to multiple family get togethers.  

For our Christmas traditions, this is what we plan on doing:

1.  We're going to get our Christmas tree the first weekend of December every year.  

2.  Outdoor Christmas lights, stockings and other Christmas decor will go up the day after Thanksgiving. 

3.  Maddie will have a mini Christmas tree in her room (a friend of mine always had this when we were growing up and I thought it was soooo cool!) 

4.  A new Christmas ornament will be added every year, purchased from where ever we take our family vacation at (this is a tradition that we do in my family, I have a NYC taxi ornament that hangs on my mom's tree every year.) 

5.  Our Christmas tree topper will go on the tree on Christmas Eve (this is a tradition that husby's family does every year.)  

I love that we'll be taking a tradition from my family, a tradition from his family and starting traditions of our own.  For both of our families the Christmas tree just went up whenever it went up, mostly based on how busy the family was or wasn't.  

Are you starting any new Christmas traditions this year?  

To insight a little holiday spirit, here's a picture of Maddie girl in her little Christmas onesie.  


Monday, November 28, 2011

two months already

On Friday my little Madeleine turned 2 months old and this afternoon we'll be going to the doctor's office to see how much this sweet girl weighs, how long she is and lastly, we'll be there for her to get her shots.  I'm guessing she's right around 15 pounds, about 25 inches long and I'm really not looking forward to her receiving her shots.  :(

I've heard from other parents that the mothers tend to cry more than their babies do during these appointments and I'm thinking that will probably be out situation as well.  I'm incredibly protective of my daughter and although I know that she needs to be immunized I can't stand the thought of something causing her pain.

Wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Baby Motivation

Before I was pregnant I had heard that it was customary for new moms to receive pearls from their husbands, but it was more of an East coast or Southern tradition.  Then early in my pregnancy a friend asked me what I wanted my husband to get me as a 'push present' after our daughter was born.  Silly me, I hadn't even thought of it for myself.  So I brought the subject of a push present up to my husband and he was all for it.  After some careful thought, I decided that I wanted a charm bracelet that I could one day pass down to my daughter.  And so began the search for a timeless charm bracelet that would be appropriate for me to wear now and be appropriate to give to my daughter in about 20 years.  Tiffany had the perfect solution:

There's something good in there!  






Tiffany has classic charms and their chains are built so that every link opens meaning that you can make the chains to any length that you desire.  So what I have now is a chain that can be worn as a necklace or bracelet now and when Maddie is old enough I'll give her half of the chair and the charms that were given to me on the day that she was born. :)  When the hubs gave me my push present he also gave me 3 charms: a little baby cup charm with ABC blocks engraved on it, a small circular charm with an M for Madeleine on it, and a heart charm with pink sapphires (Madeleine's birth stone) embedded into it.  I absolutely love this piece of jewelry.  I think charm bracelets are classic and meaningful but still fun.  The fact that I'll be able to share this with my daughter someday just makes me so incredibly happy.

Did you receive a push present after the birth of your child?  Do you have something meaningful that you're planning to pass down to your child in the future?

Monday, November 21, 2011

to work or not to work

During my pregnancy I was repeatedly asked if I would return to work or not after my maternity leave was up.  Initially, the answer was always yes.  I didn't want my life to revolve around my baby and I loved the feeling of being productive and because I work for a not-for-profit company, I also like that I help people.  However, as my due date drew nearer and now that Madeleine is here, I'm 99.9% sure that I won't be returning to the workforce before my daughter is 2 years old.  Here's why: 

1.  One of the reasons that I wanted to return to work was that I liked my job.  I still do like the work that I was doing but the further removed I become from my co-workers the more I realize that I want to be in a place that's much more professional.  I feel like I'm settling in the position that I currently have and that I can easily attain a bigger and better position.  

2.  On the note of bigger and better things, I do need to finish my studying and taking the exams for my CPA certification so I can move onto said bigger and better things.  There is absolutely no way that I can work full time, spend the time I want to spend with my daughter and still manage to successfully study and pass the CPA exams.  Out of those 3 things, the one I'm most willing to give up is work. 

3.  My boss is absolutely wonderful to work for.  He's motivating and critical without being pushy or offensive.  My co-workers on the other hand, there are a few that I do enjoy interacting with but the vast majority of my co-workers are tolerated and there are even a few that I go out of my way to avoid contact with entirely.  Like the co-worker who asked me point blank, at my desk, if my pregnancy was on accident and then followed that question up with asking if we conceived our baby on our honeymoon (both answers are no, btw).  Or the co-worker who cries when she asks me for my sales tax reports and if she doesn't get them within an hour of asking me for them, complains to my boss.  Or the other co-workers who complain whenever anything goes slightly amiss and nearly demand that I correct the situation, although the situations never have anything to do with me.  I can certainly live without all of that stress and drama in my life.  I would never want to bring that home with me, especially after being away from my daughter all day long.  

4.  Now that Madeleine is here, there are a handful of people that I fully trust to watch my daughter to babysit, and I only feel comfortable with my mom watching her overnight.  I honestly don't know what I would do with Madeleine for daycare if I were to return to work.  She's so little and I definitely don't want her to do in-home daycare because I don't feel like it's structured enough or that there is enough accountability and transparency for me to feel comfortable.  I wouldn't mind putting her into a larger structured daycare facility but at that point how much would I be shelling out for someone to watch my daughter?  Additionally, it doesn't feel right that I'm paying someone to spend time with my daughter when we can comfortably afford for me to stay home.  

5.  Lastly, the hubs really wants one of us to stay home with our daughter.  He wants at least one of us to be able to experience all of her "firsts" and major developments and not hear about them from someone else.  It's a pretty good argument.  

In short, I'm nearly positive that I'll be staying home with Maddie for the next couple years.  How did you decide whether or not to return to work after maternity leave was up?  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the portable baby

Maddie girl is 7 weeks old and I can count on one hand how many times I've taken her out shopping by myself, and only one of those times was to go grocery shopping.  Today I will attempt grocery shopping with her again.  You see, I have a fear of taking my new little baby out in public by myself.  Why you ask, oh, because I'm terrified of being the person who can't control their kid, even though my kid happens to be a tiny little baby I still don't want her screaming and crying in a store.  I don't know, the whole idea gives me anxiety.  

However, I do have all of the necessary gear to take babykins out in public, 2 strollers (a BOB jogging stroller and an UppaBaby Vista) and 2 baby carriers (Baby Bjorn and Moby Wrap).  





The best purchase that I made as far as toting the babe around with me is..... the baby bjorn active!  It's comfortable (I've heard many complaints about it causing back pain, the active version has more lumbar support) and I purchased it from Gilt Group so I got it for a killer deal.  The moby is decent, it doesn't feel super secure for a newborn so I still find myself holding her head with one hand while she's in it, plus it's not as easy to get on and take off as the Bjorn is.  

As far as strollers go, the BOB is smooth and looks pretty good even though it is pretty sporty looking and I bought the car seat adapter so I could just hook her car seat in and go for a walk before she has full head control.  The biggest problem with the BOB is that it's really heavy and it's pretty large.  If you don't plan on hauling it in or out of your car on a daily basis and need a stroller for outdoor use, it's a great stroller.  For everything else, the UppaBaby Vista has been a champ!  I bought mine in the silver color and it looks pretty sleek and clean.  Super smooth ride and very easy handling.  I love that it comes with the bassinet for newborns and the seat for older babies.  The best part is that IF and when we do decide to have another kiddo, the Vista can be converted to tote around 2 babies.  So I could justify the price as I will be able to use it again some day.  

At the end of the day, the Baby Bjorn is my top pick for transporting Madeleine around.  I wear it around the house when I'm doing laundry or cooking, I wear it to calm her down when she's really fussy, and I always use the Bjorn when I take her out in public because it really does feel incredibly secure, it's easy to put on and take off and it doesn't look too ridiculous, the best part is that I always have 2 hands free for shopping.  

What gear do you use to take your baby out in public?  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Project threethreethree

Do you think you could go 3 months with only 33 items in your closet?  That's my new mission starting today!  Yesterday when I was on Polyvore, drooling over gorgeous clothes that I'm dying to purchase, I came across the icon and, subsequently, the website for Project 333.  The whole point of this website and mission is to live on less, and as a byproduct on living on less fashion wise there is more creativity, thought and style brought through with a wardrobe, outfit and personal presentation on a daily basis.  This is PERFECT for me!  I love clothes and I have so many pieces that I love but I ultimately end up wearing my favorite pieces repeatedly yet never quite nailing down the style that I mean to portray.  By narrowing down my closet it will be easier to curb my spending and ultimately give me a better look.

Today I'm working on pairing down the items that will stay in my closet and things that will be boxed up and moved into the coat closet (out of sight, out of mind.)  I should also add that I'm not including accessories or handbags into my 33 items for this quarter.  I'm a beginner and I really am still working on my desired style, plus, one of my handbags would have to be my diaper bag and I just don't think that's fair.  :) 

Here is my first look (what I'm wearing today) for the Fall 2011 quarter: 

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Virtual Closet

I've been frequenting a website called Polyvore which is basically like a virtual closet where you can add existing items or wish-listed items, similar to the way you add items to Pinterest.  It's like having a virtual inspiration board where you can mesh many items together onto one board.  I happen to only use Polyvore for clothes for the time being (I plan on using it for home decor as well, once I'm not distracted by all of the beautiful clothes) and it's really been helping me to utilize more of my closet and unfortunately it's also been inspiring me to shop.  For example, yesterday I made this outfit:

Untitled #37


J Crew v neck t shirt, $20
Leather jacket, $108
Abercrombie & Fitch vintage jeans, $38
Juicy couture handbag, $198
Rachel crystal stud earrings, $12
Halogen wool scarve, $58


The only downside to this is that I have everything seen above with the exception of that leather jacket...and now I REALLY want that leather jacket. So I'm thinking what I'm going to do is make a list of items that I want but don't yet have and can't quite justify (leather jacket, Tory Burch leather flats, etc.) and slowly purchase them. I was thinking 1 - 3 wish list item a month is probably pretty good depending on the overall cost of the items. The upside is that this will prevent me from making impulse purchases of items that are worn once or twice and then sit in my closet until they're eventually given to the Goodwill. Really, I think this will just make me a smarter shopper. :) Or, at least, that's how I plan to explain it to my husband!

How do you add items to your closet? Are they planned out purchases or impulse buys?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Then Reality Sets In

I was so very fortunate to not have dealt with any postpartum depression issues at all since Maddie was born.  I have just been on cloud nine snuggling with my sweet little girl and loving every second being a mom and enjoying our new family.  However, there is one thing that has made me cry several times since she was born: my body.

Since talking to my OB and basically everyone who has ever had a child, my expectations were pretty far off.  I thought that after a week or two everything would snap back together.  WRONG!  I'm starting to realize that my tummy will probably never look the same again and the crazy red stretch marks that I have on my sides are probably going to be around for awhile.  I have to say that I did gain more than the suggested weight too but at 6 weeks postpartum I've lost all but 8 pounds of my pregnancy weight.  But I am holding steady at this weight so it's time to pull out the big guns.  

Starting on Tuesday, I will be doing personal training 3 days a week at the gym.  :)  I'm sooooo excited!  It's a "fit into your skinny jeans" program so 3 days a week I'll work with a personal trainer and then there will be 2 days a week where I'll have a predetermined workout that I'll do on my own and then 2 days of rest.  I left a pair of jeans with the trainer today that I can't fit into yet (they're a size 6 that I can get on but I just can't button up) and at the end of 4 weeks the goal is to fit into those jeans.  By the end of 3 months I'll be at my goal fitness level and goal jeans size.  I seriously can't wait!  

To hold myself accountable, and to any other moms who are looking for motivation, here is my before picture.  


This was taken a month ago today...so I was 2 weeks postpartum.  See that bit of belly that's hanging over my pants?  Yeah, that's my target area.  It has already gotten a smaller but now it's time to really firm everything up.  It's funny normally my problem area are my thighs but I could care less now, it's all about my belly and abs.  

How did you get your body back after baby?  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Settling into a Groove

Well, my beautiful daughter, Madeleine Leona, was born 6 weeks ago, and it was the best day of my life!  :)  I've been on hiatus from blogging because I'm still trying to figure out this whole mommy thing.  I've got life under control enough that I've been able to figure out how to shower and get ready every morning, and now I have found some time to make my return to blogging!  YAY!  

So...the birth story, well the abbreviated version of it.  On September 25th, my husband, mom and myself went to the hospital at 7:00 AM for my scheduled induction and I was 2 days shy of hitting 42 weeks of pregnancy.  

 Hello giant belly!
There's a 9 pound baby in there! 

When I was settled into my room (by the way, the entire day that I was in the maternity ward I was LITERALLY the only person on the entire floor and I was at one of the busiest hospitals in our area, but I'm so thankful it was because I had the most amazing nurse I could ever ask for) they checked me and determined that I still wasn't dilated at all, no where near having a baby.  So for the next 15 hours I was put on pitocin and another drug to get my body ready for labor.  However, after an impromptu ultrasound they determined that Madeleine was both at least 9 pounds and was facing down (good) but her nose was facing my bellybutton (bad) and she still hadn't dropped.  So at 10:30 PM they decided to perform a c-section and at 10:59 PM our beautiful daughter entered the world at 9 pounds and 21.5 inches long.  She was simply perfect in every way.  

Our First Family Photo: Mike, Madeleine & me

video
This is Maddie's first home video, I love her sweet cry.  I'm so thankful to my mom for taking this video.

The 3 of us stayed in the hospital for the next 3 days and then went home, with so much help from my wonderful mom.  Every day with Maddie has been better than the next.  She is such an easy baby, she eats so well, sleeps like a rock and has the sweetest disposition.  I can't wait to watch her grown into a beautiful little girl and at the same time I don't want her to grow anymore than she already has.  In just 6 short weeks she's changed and grown and developed at an incredible rate.  Every week I've been taking pictures of Maddie to watch her growth.  Already I miss my sweet little newborn that I came home with but the smiles and giggles I get from her now make Mike and I smile uncontrollably.  

 1 Week Old 
 Her umbilical cord still attached @ 1 week
 Her sweet little feet @ 1 week
 2 Weeks - This is the photo I used for her birth announcements :) 
 I love her bright eyes! 
 3 Weeks
 Her eyes were such a bright blue when she was born, they're starting to turn green now
 5 Weeks, I love her facial expressions!
One second she's frowning and the next she's smiling.  I love it!  

My goal now is to blog on a daily basis about life in general, and obviously, staying home with my daughter is a huge part of that.  :)  It's good to be back!  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Anxiously Awaiting the Post Pregnancy Phase

All I can think about lately is life after pregnancy. There are so many aspects to my regular daily routine that have been put on hold since I've been pregnant. For instance, I normally run every morning first thing in the morning. I'm normally a bouncy, perky morning person (which I miss dearly and this persistent morning sickness has completely robbed me of). I'm used to eating a low carb and low fat diet that I've had to modify significantly to make sure that Madeleine is getting the necessary nutrients that she needs. I normally love shopping for clothes for myself but I can't bring myself to buy anymore maternity clothes and I can't bring myself to buy regular clothes not knowing what my post-partum body will be like. And during this time of year in northern California, I'm normally a total sun worshiper and have a beautifully golden tan going on right about now (Im currently a pretty pasty shade of pale, even though we have a pool in our backyard and this is our first summer in our new home.) Yesterday I was driving to have lunch with my mom, singing along to the radio and couldn't help but think how much fun it will be to go dancing with friends once I'm no longer with child.


It would be wonderful if I could look like this right after having my baby too! LOL

I'm so excited to be a mother and everyday I become increasingly giddy about the moment that I'll finally hold this sweet baby girl in my arms and I can't wait to see Mike hold and admire our daughter. But there's another part of me that's just ready to be a regular woman again instead of being the recipient of stranger's comments about my size ("you look like you're going to explode!"), receiving dirty looks when buying beer or wine at the grocery store (my husband can still drink beer, and when other people have dinner at our house I encourage them to have wine or beer), or sad that my belly is growing so much that it's difficult for even my husband's t-shirts to cover this bump, and don't even get me started on the stretch marks that have taken over my belly and hips.

There is just so much to look forward to after the birth of my daughter. I just wish that moment would finally arrive so I could move forward out of this temporary pregnancy phase. This feeling reminds me of the way I felt when I had a semester or two left before I graduated college, when there was a week or two left before our wedding and when there were just a few days left before the close of escrow on our home. It always seems like time slows down significantly right before a major life change takes place.

Is there anything in your life that you're anxiously anticipating right now?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Its D Day

D as in Due Date! Today, September 15th, is my official due date to have my daughter, Madeleine. Only problem is that she's not even budging. There are no contractions, no leaking, no pain, basically there are absolutely no signs that she's going to be making her debut anytime soon.


Selma Blair recently delivered her baby almost 2 weeks past her due date

So last week when I scheduled an appointment to have my hair done on my due date, everyone balked at me telling me that there's no way that I'd make the appointment. I just looked at them dead pan and said "I highly doubt that she'll be here by then" and low and behold, she's not here and I'm betting I'll still be pregnant until I'm induced next Thursday morning.

In the meantime I'll be pampering myself today with a hair appointment and then a manicure. :) This past weekend I indulged in a prenatal massage and pedicure hoping that it would be the last time I'd pamper myself before I had a little baby to take care of, and this morning I find myself somewhat thankful that I'll be able to pamper myself again today. (I say somewhat because I long for the day when I can wear jeans that zip up and have a button closure instead of stretchy maternity jeans, shorts and skirts and I'm dying to see what this little girl looks like. Does she have my nose and Mike's ears? Mike's eyes and my smile? I can't wait to meet this sweet little girl and just admire her beauty, and I'm really looking forward to seeing Mike hold his daughter for the first time.)

Have you ever known anyone that had a baby on their actual due date? I have a feeling that it's pretty rare.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Well Read

I like to call myself a reader. I'm in a book club with a handful of other women from my office and I'm known to go through 20+ books in a year. I think that's pretty good considering some people never read at all. Last night (at 2:30 in the morning because of course this pregnant lady is wide awake at that hour) I finished 3 books that I was half way through:


Overbite by Meg Cabot


Oxford Girl by Plum Sykes


Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella

All three books are chic-lit and nice fluffy reads. But now that I'm done with them I'm not sure what to move onto. I'll be honest, the majority of Shopaholic and Baby had me on the verge of tears or crying (I blame the hormones) because the main character is very pregnant and thinks her husband is cheating on her. This book literally took me several months to finish because I kept crying while reading it...even though I KNEW it was going to have a happy ending and of course her husband was't really cheating on her. Sigh... So now that I'm looking for a new book to read. I'm trying to find something that isn't too fluffy and not so intense that it's going to have my crying at each new chapter.

I'm already half through Heart of the Matter by Emily Griffin, who I normally love but I started that book on our honeymoon and it feels like the husband is about to cheat on the wife so I haven't picked it back up in more than a year (not exactly something you want to read as a newlywed or when you're about to give birth.) I'm considering starting to read A Dog's Purpose by Bruce Cameron but I have a feeling it's going to be as much a tear jerker as Marley and Me was (such a good book but the last few chapters had me bawling my eyes out.)

I think Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell is my best bet. It's a sequel to The Carrie Diaries (which I read right before my wedding) and I loved it.

Do you read often...if so, do you have a book recommendation of a good book that isn't too emotional?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do you Pin?

So as of late I've become a big fan on Pinterest. It basically allows you to collect images from all of the web into different categories that you can go back and visit again at any time. For the most part I've been looking at interior design and outdoor inspiration since I'm in the middle of buying furniture for our living room and entryway and we're meeting with a landscaper today to go over some designs for our backyard. And then yesterday I stumbled upon some of the cutest little girl clothes.


Link


Link

Then I noticed that most of my pins of adorable baby girl clothes were coming from Zara. I think I know where I'll be buying Maddie's clothes this winter. Soooo cute!!

How do you save inspirational photos that you find online?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Diamond in the Rough

Last weekend I bought this secretary desk at a nearby antique store:


The color isn't really that bad but the problem is that it doesn't really mesh with anything else in our home and the tourquoise paint job wasn't necessarily done well (note that the wood that's on the glass is still the original wood instead of painted over). My plan is to completely paint the desk white, like below:

Source

Here's another before and after of a similar secretary desk:


Before


After

This is definitely a project that I'll undertake after the baby arrives, but I'm so excited about how it's going to look. I love this piece of furniture for our home, the size is perfect and it has just the extra storage that we needed!

Have you ever found a diamond in the rough at an antique store?

Friday, September 9, 2011

UPDATE: She's Stubborn, Just Like Her Mama

So my appointment this morning left me feeling like I was going to cry. Not only am I more than 39 weeks pregnant and still not dilated AT ALL...the nurse that I normally see told me that my doctor is planning on leaving the practice at the end of September and she was shocked that my doctor hadn't already told me. Because I'm using my family doctor as my OB and as Madeleine's pediatrician I'm crushed that I'll have to find a new doctor by the end of the month. The upside is that she's moving to a practice that is still covered by my insurance and it's to an office that is only 15 - 20 minutes away, so I could still go see her but it won't be the 5 minute commute that I've grown accustomed to. Double whammy this morning.

So how did I lick my wounds...by having lunch with my mom and then some retail therapy. Picked up this beauty for my entryway...can't wait to have Mike hang it up. :)



Pier 1 Imports - Product Details - Antiqued Red Wall Clock

Dr. Appt This Morning...

I'm crossing my fingers and toes that when I go to my dr. appt this morning that I will be VERY dilated. Last week there was no activity...hopefully a week of eating jalepenos, doing squats and lots of walking will have made a difference. I'm hoping my doctor will check me and say "holy smokes, you're 6 centimeters dilated! You should head to the hospital now because this baby is coming today!!"

Hey a girl can dream, right?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yes, I'm Still Pregnant

Tomorrow I'll be 39 weeks pregnant and already the flood of text messages, calls and emails has hit me posing questions along the lines of..."is the baby here yet?" or "are you still pregnant?" to which there is only one answer: "yes, I'm still very pregnant."


Source

The really funny thing is that I found out last night that Mike has been telling people different due dates. At some point in the beginning of the pregnancy he forgot which date in September I was due and just started spitting out a date that sounded right. He told some people late August, others were told early September. His brother emailed me yesterday to let me know that I was in their thoughts this week since I'm due on the 8th... LOL Mike's mom also called him yesterday to remind her what day I was due, so I'm going to go ahead and assume that the Joyce's just aren't great with remembering dates in general.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Maternity Pictures

About a month ago, Mike and I went down to Santa Barbara to meet with Jen Rodriguez (the amazing photographer who did our engagement and wedding pictures) to have some maternity pictures taken. In September 2009 Mike and I met Jen in Santa Barbara for our engagement pictures and almost 2 years later we met Jen again in Santa Barbara only we were happily married and expecting our first child together. :) Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot:






These were all taken when I was a little bit past the 34 week mark. Now that I'm 2 days shy of 39 weeks I feel like my belly has nearly doubled in size! Yesterday I was making pupusas and towards the end of cooking I had to sit down because it felt like my belly might fall off of my body it felt so heavy! Thankfully we have the pool in the backyard and when I'm swimming the weight of the belly just disappears....until I get out and then it REALLY feels like my belly might fall off.

P.S. The pupusa recipe was fabulous, they're definitely in the dinner rotation now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almost there...

I can't stop myself from drooling all over the new fall fashions.  I can't wait for the weather to cool (oh, and for my body to go back to it's normal non pregnant size) so I can slip into some skinny jeans, a soft blouse, structured blazer and some booties or heeled loafers.  There's something about fall clothes that are just so structured and crisp that really resonates with me.  If my body was it's regular size this is what I would wear today to run errands:

Running Errands 8.30.11





Perfect for the post office, market, lunch, gym, salon kind of day. Here's to hoping that in - 3 weeks I'll be able to wear this outfit. Fingers and toes are crossed!