Holidaze

Look at me, posting two weeks in a row. Impressive, I know.

I’ve been getting into the holiday spirit, which means decorating, overeating, non cheesy Christmas music, and wine. Good times!

tree

Although she won’t remember this holiday season, Avery will be able to enjoy it at least a little bit, as opposed to last year when she was pretty much just a lump. In holiday experiences thus far, she was pretty into the cookie I let her sample. I think we will skip the Santa photo ordeal this year because I really don’t feel like dealing with it, but we may go check out the gingerbread houses at the Sheraton.

Yum

Yum

Back to the cookies: if you like ginger, these are amazing. I made them and then ate an embarrassing number of them in one day. Then I tried to get my husband to take the rest of them to work, but he wouldn’t, so I hid them in the pantry to protect me from myself. #issues.

In other news, Avery is now napping once a day in the afternoon, which means weekend brunch is back on the agenda. Including brunch at Fat’s Chicken and Waffles, which we can walk to from our house.

Hell yes

Hell yes

Look at that amazingness. Highly recommended when you want what our household refers to as fatbrunch. Avocado toast/brunch salads/green juice = not an option here.

tea

To combat the cookie binges/superfluous gravy consumption/excessive wine drinking going down as of late, I’ve really upped my tea game and have been trying to swap wine and dessert for tea several evenings a week. These are all pretty delicious and as a bonus, I can take them to bed without risking crumbs and the wrath of my husband.

Mom Hacks: How To Not Look Like Crap

I wear a form of stretchy pants at least four out of seven days in any given week so maybe I’m not the best person to give advice on how not to look like shit. I also wear sweats, as in a legit men’s sweatsuit composed of a matching hoodie and extremely baggy pants. Point being, I’m not here to judge anyone.

I do, however, notice that when I put a small amount of effort into my appearance, I tend to feel better about life. And I do mean a SMALL amount. Here are some things I try to do when the showering once a week and wearing pants I slept in routine starts to wear me down.

Pants that aren't stretchy! They do have holes tho oops

Pants that aren’t stretchy! They do have holes tho oops

Easy Swaps
I am a ride or die Ugg wearer, deal with it. Uggs are easy, comfortable, and I actually like the silhouette. Yet sometimes real shoes are a good idea. So I bought these Chelsea boots from Nordstrom:

SHOES

SHOES

Stylish but painless to wear: they pull on. Not suede, so they won’t get totally fucked in the Seattle rain. I try to swap out my trusty Uggs for them a couple times a week. Other possible easy swaps I try to make when I am feeling dumpy: oversized sweater instead of sweatshirt, a more structured legging rather than my ratty old ones, throwing on a real coat instead of my husband’s parka. Baby steps.

Avery wreaking general havoc per usual

Avery wreaking general havoc per usual

The 15 Minute Rule
I’m the one who gets up with Avery in mornings. My husband works, and I’m home, so that’s just the way we roll. But I’ve started forcing dadpants to get up with enough time to allow me a brief stint to myself so I can get ready for the day. Being able to shut the bathroom door and spend some time on myself without needing to simultaneously prevent Avery from flushing the toilet repeatedly, accidentally ingesting toothpaste etc. makes a lot of difference in terms of my AM mindset. Bonus for everyone: I actually brush my teeth in the mornings now! And sometimes even floss them.

Kate Moss is my #momgoals

Kate Moss is my #momgoals

Embrace An Aesthetic That Works for You
My goal is cool rocker/tomboy mom. This is really easy because all my clothes are gray and black anyway, and my hair looks like crap so I can wear beanies and it works. I can throw on my trusty leather jacket over black yoga pants, maybe wear an ankle boot, and I have created an easy, comfortable, practical getup that also makes me feel like a decent human being. It becomes a uniform and then I don’t really have to think about it. As an overthinker, not thinking about shit sometimes is clutch for my sanity. If the rocker/tomboy mom isn’t you, there are a million other ways to go. Bohemian? Maxi dress and cardigan or army jacket. Glamorous? Knee high flat boots and hoop earrings. I’ve also found little, easy additions like a couple rings, or a scarf, or a cuff bracelet can help me feel more put together. Also, everyone knows this already, but dry shampoo. All day every day.

Summer Smoothie + Cocktail Deliciousness

I made up and created not one but TWO delicious beverages within the past 24 hours. Pretty impressive for a busy mom on the go (shoot me in the face)! I’m sure my award will be arriving in the mail shortly.

Smoothie fixins. Thank God new house has subway tile for my super profesh food shots.

Smoothie fixins. Thank God new house has subway tile for my super profesh food shots.

I drink smoothies for breakfast most summer mornings. Quick, healthy, tasty, and I fucking love drinking things out of straws so this habit gives me an excuse to buy them. If you keep a decent stable of ingredients on hand it’s pretty easy to keep your smoothie game interesting. This one was a winner. I was so obsessed with it that I texted my husband “I just made the best smoothie in the world” to which he replied “maybe at the time.” Rude!

PB and J Smoothie

Blend together for one smoothie (I used a Vitamix, you might want to omit the chia seeds if you don’t have a high speed blender):

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or similar)
½ frozen banana
3 frozen strawberries
1 medjool date
2 TBSP peanut butter
1 TBSP chia seeds
1 generous dash cinnamon

And now for something boozy. Balance! This next bev is still pretty healthy though, and really refreshing. Fruity, without being too sweet.

Yellow watermelon, you so fancy!

Yellow watermelon, you so fancy!

Watermelon Margarita

Serves two

Crush a cup, ish of watermelon in a cocktail shaker (I just mashed the shit out of two triangular shaped slices with a spoon-I used yellow watermelon but red would also be just dandy)

Add to shaker:
Handful of ice
3 oz silver tequila
Juice from two limes
Dash of orange juice (you can also use triple sec but I am too cheap to buy Cointreau and I think cheap triple sec tastes skanky)

Shake, shake shake and pour into your glasses of choice.

Delicious though I must admit that I probably won’t make it through summer without consuming one of these at least once.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Sometimes you buy a house and then start renovating it and then are on a budget and have to stop buying clothes for a while. This seems more bearable given that it’s summer and I can get away with wearing the same maxi dress and my trusty Birkenstocks constantly and pretending I am bohemian chic when really I just am unshowered with messy hair. I’ve been really good about not doing any shopping, but, per usual, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is calling to me. Damn you Nordstrom! Here is what I’d be buying if not for my self imposed shopping freeze.

Vince coat
Jacket

I “need” a new coat for fall/winter and I’m feeling this one. I like the drape, I like the length, and I like that it could be dressed up or down. Even though as dressed up as I am likely to get all winter will probably be a sweater dress or actual pants in lieu of leggings.

rag & bone ankle bootie
Shoe

I think it’s time to upgrade my $30 super cheap looking “vegan” leather ankle booties. I may even opt for a camel or gray bootie. I’m trying to venture beyond black, into the exciting world of non-black neutrals. Baby steps. Color still kinda scares me.

Rebecca Minkoff satchel
Bag

I haven’t purchased a new bag in a couple years, and my most recent bag purchase entailed a faux leather (aka plastic) tote from Urban Outfitters that I use as a diaper bag #momglamour. A mom-ish but stylish bag would be a lovely fall purchase. Even though the bottom would no doubt soon be blanketed with stale Cheerio dust and other mysterious, vaguely disgusting substances. This Rebecca Minkoff tote could stash a fair amount of baby crap but also looks pretty cool and isn’t black. A winner!

Back At It

Apparently I’ve taken a casual 7 month plus break from blogging. Babies are hard! Also, we moved, which was somewhat of a debacle (hot tip: avoid taking out a Chase Bank loan if you can help it). Those are my excuses.

Nine Months Old!

Nine Months Old!

Avery is now 9 months old, and as of last week, crawling. Scary! She isn’t very fast, yet. And she hasn’t tried to stick things in electrical outlets, fall down stairs, or pull over furniture, yet. Phew.

I have been feeling the need for a creative outlet so I’m going to put forth a solid effort to blog at least once a week. Hopefully not just about baby related what nots. Maybe some exciting home renovation updates, too! A couple dudes are hammering away upstairs as we speak.

Anyway, happy summer even though Seattle has been shafting us in the sun and heat department for the last month or so. Here’s to a reinvigorated blogging effort.

Baby's First Trip To Lowe's (jk, this is like her tenth trip)

Baby’s First Trip To Lowe’s (jk, this is like her tenth trip)

National Napping Day

I’ve never been a napper (unless passing out in front of the TV at 9PM counts- I’m really good at that). During the first sleep deprived months after she was born, I sucked at napping when Avery napped. Her naps were incredibly inconsistent for at least three months so it was hard for me to really let go and sleep because I knew she could wake up at any moment.

Now that Avery *usually* wakes up only once at night and *usually* naps for about an hour at a time, I’m *usually* not a total zombie. However, I am still tired a lot so I’ve been thinking about cultivating napping as a potential new hobby. Just in time for National Napping Day, which is Friday, March 11 (maybe it should be moved to Sunday, March 13th since we all lose an hour of sleep the night before…ugh).

To celebrate National Napping Day, sleep startup Casper (they make award winning sheets, pillows and mattresses) has created a lovely Napping 101 tip sheet:

Casper_napping101_LRG
The coffee tip is kind of brilliant. And apparently my 9pm couch naps are a terrible idea. Also, naps should only be 10-30 minutes long, who knew? Just don’t tell Avery this, please…

Valentine’s Day with Verlocal

Valentine’s Day is sort of a dumb holiday. I’m not into cheesy baby’s breath-ridden bouquets, crappy chocolate or mediocre restaurant pre fixe menus. On the other hand, celebrating stuff is fun and it’s nice to have a reason to try something new and unexpected. Enter Verlocal, a platform that connects people through experiences led by locals.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.16.07 AM

What does that mean? You can use Verlocal to sign up for a wide range of classes and activities led by local experts. Verlocal is available in several major metro areas including Seattle, and there are tons of intriguing options. Pretty diverse stuff: cooking with cannabis, aerial yoga, and steelhead trout fishing, for example, are all on offer.

Verlocal

Several of the classes would be great for an unexpected Valentine’s Day date, actually. Hands-on Soft Cheesemaking perhaps? Cheese definitely = love. The Hands on Artisan Chocolate Making Class would be another great option. Or you could reenact that Demi Moore Patrick Swayze scene from Ghost in a pottery class. If your date has a sense of humor, you could sign up for Trapped in a Room with a Zombie: enter a room and solve riddles in order to escape…. or get eaten! Romantic!

If you’d like to check out one of Verlocal’s offerings, for Valentine’s Day or otherwise, use the code “Admirer” for a 20% discount on any of Verlocal’s experiences.

Things I’ve Learned During My First Three Months As A Parent

I’ve made it through the first three months of parenthood, holy shit. The last weeks have been intense. Brutal lows, exhilarating highs. I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much in such a brief stretch of time. A few thoughts:

Take help when offered. Seriously. My dad saw me struggling while he was visiting post Avery’s arrival and he offered to pay for some daytime help for me. I felt anxious about inviting a stranger into my home and almost turned down his offer. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Being able to nap a couple times a week while leaving Avery in someone else’s trained hands (we hired a postpartum doula) has been absolutely amazing.

New parents will likely receive less specific offers of help, e.g. “what can I do?” Keep a list of things people can do for you. Have someone buy you groceries, walk your dog, do laundry, hold the baby while you shower, make you a sandwich, cook you a bunch of something you can freeze…If you are offering help to a new parent, offer to do something specific! Or just drop off food or a gift certificate to a restaurant that delivers.

Yawn? Or scream?

Yawn? Or scream?

It’s impossible understand, pre baby, how different things will be, and in what ways. One example: I went to Costco alone last week while Will watched Avery and it was a blissful escape. I hit horrific traffic en route and welcomed the delay. Lame but true.

Don’t pay much attention to timelines/dates. This was an important lesson for me to learn. I initially clung to any timeline oriented tip I heard, thinking, at six weeks she’ll start getting less fussy! Not so much. Then: At three months everything evens out! Guess what, Avery still has terrible days/nights pretty much weekly. Every newborn is different and from what I can tell, few are super consistent in all of their habits. They also constantly evolve and change. It’s trite, but I try to take things a day at a time. This has helped me avoid feeling like a parenting failure/that there is something wrong with my child.

Naked time

Naked time

It might take a while to feel bonded to your baby. I had heard this before giving birth but I didn’t fully internalize it. Then, when I didn’t necessarily feel an instantaneous all consuming love for Avery, I felt extremely guilty. But seriously, your baby is an unfamiliar being that doesn’t reciprocate your affection: it can take some time to feel strongly connected, and that is normal.

This face though

This face though

Parenting a baby is really fucking hard. This past three months has been one of the hardest periods of my life. And if I hear one more anecdote about so and so’s easy baby who never cries and slept through the night at three weeks old I’m going to throat punch someone.

But it does get easier. Not all at once and not very fast (for me, at least), but it does get easier, and it’s well worth the rough patches.

Avery’s Birth Story

Overall, I was lucky and Avery’s birth went pretty smoothly. (MAYBE IT WAS THE DATES I ATE). By my due date, September 25th, I still wasn’t experiencing any labor symptoms and my OB decided she wanted to induce at 42 weeks as long as the baby and I remained healthy until then. We were doing regular fetal non-stress tests (NSTs) and everything looked just fine so I feel like I could have pushed back and insisted on waiting a little longer. But, I was generally feeling ready (i.e. super antsy and impatient) and the date worked out: my OB was scheduled to work on the date of the induction so if I didn’t go into labor on my own before that, she’d likely be the one to deliver Avery (typical of a lot of OBGYN practices, I would get whichever of the OBs was on the day I gave birth).

At my NST two days before the 42 week mark, I was having contractions, but I couldn’t feel them. I lost some of my mucus plug around then, too, but nothing else was really happening, so we checked into Swedish First Hill at 8pm on October 8th. It was a little anticlimactic as I had been prepared to labor for quite a while at home. I’d assembled coconut water and snacks, made a list of yoga poses to try, and DVRed lots of Jeopardy episodes, thinking that would be a good distraction from contractions. Oh well.

BABY!

BABY!

I was pretty nervous about being induced, having heard lots of stories of inductions dragging on with no progress and ending in C sections due to fetal stress. My OB had warned me that an induction would boost my chances of a C section from about 10% to about 20-30%.

After checking in and taking blood and putting in an IV line and other assorted medical type things, they gave me a round of misoprostol to try and soften my cervix, and encouraged me to try and sleep. The contractions slowly intensified to the point that I could feel them. At some point they gave me a second dose of misoprostol. I still wasn’t dilated past like 1 cm or so but the contractions were strong enough that they didn’t give me any pitocin. They did however give me an Ambien which helped me sleep between the contractions, until about 3 or 4am when they became so intense I could no longer sleep.

Baby w Burrito

Baby w Burrito

Somewhere around 5am I made Will wake up as shit was getting pretty painful and I needed the moral support. The contractions felt like really intense pelvic and lower back cramps/spasms. The most painful thing I’ve ever felt, for sure. Eventually I got into the jacuzzi tub in my room and hung out in there. The tub, counting through the contractions, and trying my best to breathe through them, was was got me through. And a lot of bracing with my arms against the walls of the tub which the very no-nonsense nurse kept admonishing me not to do. My guns were really sore the next day. The staff also gave me a couple doses of fentanyl, which just lets you get into kind of a weird zone in between the contractions that relaxes you a little but doesn’t do that much for the actual pain.

At some point, maybe around 8am or so, my water broke in the tub and at 10ish I decided I couldn’t deal anymore and wanted an epidural. The staff didn’t measure how dilated I was but I guess they could tell it was fine to hook me up with an epidural given the breaking of the water and the intensity of the contractions.

The anesthesiologist took his sweet time getting there and I felt a little desperate by the time he arrived. I then waited out a couple brutal back to back contractions since I didn’t feel like I could hold still through them. Though the epidural needle is indeed huge and scary they numb you before inserting it and besides a tiny pinch from the numbing, I didn’t feel a thing. Within like 20-30 minutes I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down which was amazing. I’m totally pro epidural-it was fantastic and I can’t imagine going through labor without one. I slept and ate Haribo gummy bears (you can only have shit like gummy bears or popsicles post epidural-real food was allowed earlier but I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything. I was actually really nauseous for much of early labor and puked a bunch of times which I did not expect).

By 12pm ish my OB came and checked on me and I was fully dilated and at 2:30 I started pushing. I was able to push really well somehow despite not being able to feel shit. I pushed for an hour (3 pushes with every contraction) and the environment was extremely chill-Will and I were talking to the nurse and doctor about, like, wine tasting, and how we met in college, and other random chit chatty things. Avery hung through labor like a champ, and after an hour, she was born and placed on my chest. Will admirably overcame his fear of blood and cut the cord. I had a couple superficial tears and just needed a couple stitches here and there. Avery was only 7lbs 3oz which I am sure helped with this, and probably all the squats and kegels I did while pregnant didn’t hurt either.

<3 <3 <3

Recovery was pretty smooth though I was definitely sore for a few days. But in all, labor went really well and I feel extremely lucky. Swedish, my OB, and the rest of the staff were fantastic and it was a great experience overall. Way smoother and faster than expected. Life with a newborn? Definitely NOT smoother than expected. More on that later…

Avery Is Here!

Avery Isobel Wyatt is here! She arrived Friday October 9, 2015 at 3:30pm weighing in at 7 lbs 3 oz, measuring 20 inches long. She is pretty adorable and we are crazy about her. We are gradually adapting to life with a newborn, which has brought its ups and downs, but everyone is doing well overall. I’ll post her full birth tale soon.

HI!

HI!