June 19, 2014
A couple weeks ago Lance and I took our first trip alone as a couple since having Jack. Before this we had only had one night away from him at the same time. Such is life when you live plane rides away from grandparents (before you have kids=cool, after you have kids=not so cool). So a few months ago I bribed my Mom into coming out for a weekend by promising another grandchild in the works (cough cough…eventually…)…and of course she was happy to oblige and brought along my Stepdad too so he could do things like build us a new fence.
Since we live out west California is an easy destination…and since we had done Napa/Sanoma before we decided to explore the Southern part near San Diego. Neither of us were really interested in the tourist stuff San Diego has to offer so we decided to stay up North in San Marcos…and explore the coastal towns (and breweries)!
We really only had two main objectives for the weekend…relax and drink good beer. So it should come as no surprise that our first stop was the La Jolla Brewery (fave beer: Glider Port Pale) and then we ventured off to Ballast Point which was in a weird location but had a great deck for trying one (or 10) of their brews on tap.
I tried so many I forget which one was my favorite…but I definitely enjoyed the Calico Amber and the Fathom IPA…weirdest beer we tried was the Habanero Sculpin. Shocking…it was as awful as it sounds.
Then we made it to our little abode for the weekend… the Lakehouse Hotel.
This place is so cute! It was just completely remodeled about a year ago and it shows…a true Instagramer’s delight.
We made our way to a Trader Joes to stock up on snacks and wine…and then headed to dinner at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. Their seating is all communal…which I guess is the hip thing these days…and the place was jammed with people…but we somehow scored two seats at the bar shortly after we got there. The pizza was fantastic as were the beers. They brew their own as well as have a ton of the local stuff on tap. I had their Pale and it was a nice break from the heavy IPAs.
The next day we headed toward the coast/Solana Beach area where we ventured out to the water and walked up the beach a bit.
We weren’t totally hungry enough for lunch at this point so we decided to kill some time at another brewery…Culture Brewing. This place was like a giant open garage which was awesome for
people luxury car watching.
If there’s one thing about California…they sure LOVE their IPAs. Don’t get me wrong I too love a good IPA…in fact they used to be my beer of choice back in the day…but living in Utah (oh and having a kid) has really killed my adventurous beer spirit and after day one of beer tasting I was ready for something light(er)! So I claim their Hefeweisen as my favorite (GASP!)…whatever I’m weak. (The Amber was really good too)
After we had our fill of beer we headed north for lunch at Las Olas in Cardiff. This little place is located across the street from the beach…with fun outdoor seating. Maybe it was the booze, or the beach breeze and views, or just the vacation happies…but dammit if their fish tacos weren’t AMAZING. Good lord…I want one right now as I’m typing this.
Then we continued north and stopped at another bar (shocking!) Union Kitchen in Encinitas. This place was packed at 2pm on a Sat…people “brunching” which is apparently what you do in California. We hung out long enough to have some fun cocktails and watch the Preakness. Then it was back to the Lakehouse for some pool time.
Since we were feeling lazy for dinner we opted to go to the local Pizza Port and grab a pint and a pizza to go…perfect end to a fun and relaxing day. There was a wedding in the “boathouse” that night which was really close to our room…so we spent the rest of the night on the deck listening to the music and creeping on drunks as they left the reception. Typical vacation stuff.
We headed back home on Sunday feeling refreshed and ready to see our little redhead trouble maker. I think he was less than thrilled with our return because the grandparents did fun things like go to the zoo and aquarium…and introduced him to chocolate milk.
I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed himself while we were away…as did we! Maybe next time we’ll take him along ;)
May 14, 2014
So I signed up for StitchFix ….I’m pretty sure Lance is still confused about what it is because he refers to it as Stitch-n-Bitch. (because of the book?! no idea.) But whatever…it prompted this post that includes BOTH bitching and stitch-fixing. You’re welcome.
So first let’s go ahead and get the bitching out of the way… the HELL that is the “Hand, Foot & Mouth virus” (the name actually ends in disease but then it sounds all 3rd world scary to me…but then again it does suck ass so maybe disease is the best way to put it). You throw a bunch of grubby toddlers that chew on EVERYTHING in one room and it’s bound to happen. Oh the joys of daycare.
It started out as an innocent fever and a very calm/mellow Jack…which was all “awwwwww cute snugly-bug buddy” on Sunday (Mother’s Day!) and quickly morphed into the “I’m never sleeping again or eating or drinking anything EVER so you can freak out and constantly think I’m dehydrated” NIGHTMARE!! You guys…18mo old humans do not grasp the concept of a sore throat. They assume ALL food and EVERY GLASS is the devil because PAIN!!!!! But yet they are still hungry…and thirsty. I spent the hours of 10pm-1am Monday evening trying to convince my child that water was not hot lava. Then once he was willing to drink it…all hell broke loose because once again…PAIN!!!
Then for added excitement Jack decided he didn’t want to sleep anywhere within a 5mile radius of his crib…or sleep at all for that matter. The only time the crying stopped was when we were holding him and walking around… DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT SITTING DOWN BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Also blisters…everywhere. Like why?!
Pure evilness. Obviously the devil’s work.
So basically what I’m trying to say is…the following pics are kinda gross because my child is currently possessed by the devil and StichFix has this 3-day window where you gotta get that shit back in the mail or they take ALL THE MONEY and when i scheduled my “fix” I had no idea i would be trapped in said hell.
Real life is messy mirrors.
So here’s my first Fix. And if you aren’t familiar with this service then you probably don’t subscribe to 1000 mom blogs like I do…it’s what the cool kids are doing these days!
(long story short…you get 5 items styled specifically for you…sent to you in a box that gets you all excited like a kid on Christmas (or me in a beer store)…then you can decide if you actually like anything they send you and pay for those items…and just return the stuff you don’t!)
Now the price points on all of the items are more than I would normally pay for clothes. HOWEVER…I DESPISE shopping for myself now…I’ve always had a certain disdain for the mall…but now that I have post-baby body and a crazy toddler the idea of spending my free time there to just BROWSE sounds like a prison sentence. So I’m willing to pay for the convenience and it’s a “service” after all…nothing is free my friends.
My first impression with my items was that i LOVEEDDDD it all…and NO WAY will those jeans fit me.
Guess what…they did. (I’m wearing them in all the pics) They are not black like they seem…but a dark navy which is the reason I decided to keep them. They also have a high waist which is what I’m after these days thanks to all that extra flub around my midsection. They are stretchy and not too long…which is something I have an issue with most jeans because…SHORT LEGS!
Jeans: Kensie – Johnny Skinny Jean in Navy @ $88.00 Gah instant KEEP! (also this is the most money i have ever spent on jeans…but since jean shopping is like right above shoving forks in my eyes on my list of things that aren’t enjoyable…I’ve made peace with it.)
First top: Pomelo – Corinna Striped Heathered Dolman @ $48.00 Return
Now I alllmooossstt kept this top. It’s super comfy, soft, has mid-length sleeves, and grey with stripes…this is like all the shirts in my closet put together. Which is ultimately why I didn’t keep it. One of the reasons I singed up for StitchFix is try something new to me or that I may not normally pick up and try on in the store. So I liked the top…but didn’t keep it.
(this is my attempt to show the color of the jeans…i promise they aren’t black!)
Top 2: Under Skies – Aiya Eyelet Detail Blouse @ $58.00 Return
My initial thought with this top is that I would like it…but once I put it on it just seemed too baggy and flowy for me. This is a size medium and I wonder if maybe a small would have been a bit better.
You can see how it’s pretty long too. It felt like a big PJ shirt and given the price is equivalent to my weekly wine bill…it was an easy return for me. I’ll take more wine over a fancy white shirt thanks!
Top 3: Fun2Fun – Burgdorf Diamond Printed Henley Blouse @ $38.00 KEEP!
This top was the first one to really catch my eye when I pulled it out of the box. I currently do not own a single “blouse” so this qualified in the “something new!” category. The sleeves are a bit long but the style card has them rolled up…and once I tried that I instantly liked it even better. The material is a nice light weight so I figure I can wear this during the summer months with a cute skirt. Plus the navy of the shirt looks awesome with the navy in the jeans. The only downside is the length in the back…
It almost reaches the back of my knees. Is this a thing now or am I just extra short?! Anyways…I hear tucking-in is cool again. I perfected the “tuck-in” with my Mossimo tees back in Jr High…so I’m pretty sure I got this. Now I just need to find an excuse to wear it! This is a bit too fancy for work…it will invoke lots of (why are you sooooo dressed up?!?!) questions from my Patagonia/Chaco wearing work mates. So maybe a date night…or a trip to Target on a crazy Thursday night.
Oh and I got a necklace but never actually tried it on. It was basic and $34.00. I’m not much of an accessory girl and even though I did request jewelry pieces “some of the time” this one just wasn’t for me. If I’m gonna spend that kinda cash I want it to be like an outfit…so I can just wear one of my stained white or grey tees with it and call it fancy.
So there ya go. Bitching and Stitch-fixing all in one post.
I’m also now considering becoming a fashion blogger** since my closet has some hip items in it.
(Also I should probably mention that the links to StitchFix are my referral link so if you want to sign up use it…that way I get to buy more things!!!)
**for a real fashion blogger check out my friend Abby’s blog…she’s got a lot more hip clothes than me and actually knows how to wear them.
March 24, 2014
I’ve been wanting to do one of these posts since Jack was born…when every week seemed different…as a way to chronicle it all and compare in the future. Obviously that didn’t happen…but that doesn’t mean I can’t jump on the wagon now! I always love reading these from other bloggers to get an idea of how similar/dissimilar our lives are…kids vs no kids…SAHM vs WOHM…I tend to find mundane details interesting…like when people wake up and what they watch on TV. So here’s hoping you all feel the same…otherwise this will be extremely boring.
So it’s no secret that I work full time in addition to being a Mom full time…which is a mix of good and bad. Working is a choice I make and after going to school for 6 1/2 years (and STILL paying for it) well I don’t take my degree lightly…I put it to work (literally) and like the daily challenge that it brings. So here is a “typical” working day (a Wednesday a couple weeks ago) in my life. (Part 2 will be an At Home day with Jack…which looks totally different!)
Now that Jack generally sleeps past the 5am mark (knock on wood) I’ve started to sllooooowwwllly get back into working out in the mornings…because let’s be honest if I don’t do it first thing in the AM then it’s not happening. Lance and I alternate days (just in case jack does happen to wake up before 6) so Mon and Wed are my days. It’s not easy…I find any and every excuse not to get up but recently the reality of “not breastfeeding anymore = weight gain from eating one chip” has set in. So to the basement I go…
Shaun-T FTW!! I loved Insanity pre-pregs…so when we discovered T25 we jumped on it…25mins is perfect for our current life and fits nicely during naps too (if i MUST use such precious minutes this way!). Also Tonya is back…for all you Insanity folk…and she does modified moves which is nice because my post c-section bod does not love doing pushups in every form imaginable.
Jack starts waking up just as I’m getting out of the shower…I quickly throw some clothes on and head to the kitchen to see what food Jack may or may not eat for breakfast and how many meltdowns this will involve. Luckily Dad is on the case already. Lance also has breakfast ready for me (scrambled eggs and toast is typical) so I eat while I prep Jack’s breakfast and get our bags packed for the day. I make our lunches the night before so it’s all ready to go just needs to be put in bags, etc. I find even though I HATE doing this the night before it helps the mornings go MUCH smoother.
Oh and just because I think this is insanely cute…in the above picture Jack is trying to put bibs on his stuffed puppy. You guys…this all started because one morning I was trying to avoid a meltdown and quickly grabbed a nearby bib and put it on his new puppy. He did not forget…because every day since we have to put bibs on puppy. Toddlers are crazy…and smart.
Time for Dad to head out to work! This is Jack running and saying “byyyyyyyyyyye”
Jack will refuse to sit and eat most mornings…so we just let him run around and eat in between while we try and get ready ourselves. Not perfect but it’s life. In the meantime I rush back to dry/straighten my hair and throw on minimal make-up…I’ve got this whole process down to about 10mins…granted most days i look like crap.
And now the real dressing battle begins…Jack’s turn. Obviously he knew something was up and decided to put on a show and quietly look at his book while I dressed him.
Dressed in record time and with zero fighting…seriously…this is NOT my child. I’m not sure who he’s trying to impress.
Arrived at daycare and drop off goes smoothly.
Back in the car and ready for the commute to work…and COFFEE!!
Made it to my office. I work on a college campus…in an old building on the 6th floor…no bells and whistles here! Just constantly praying we don’t have that catastrophic earthquake we’re overdue for anytime soon. Usually when I get in the first thing I do is check email, figure out a game plan for what I need to get done that day…check on progress of processes I started the day before, etc. My day to day is different and depends on whatever project(s) we are focused on…ie. whatever proposal/grad student thesis/conference/publication deadline we have breathing down our necks. Hooray for science research and fighting for government money!
Once a week we have a group meeting. (Our group consists of a couple research staff (me), one post-doc, and about 5 graduate students working on their Masters or Phd) Each week someone presents an interesting and current article relating to our research…and this week it just happened to be my turn! So here I am trying to put the finishing touches on my presentation. It was quite thrilling…that is if ice nuclei creation in long lived supercooled clouds is something that thrills you.
Post talk snack…and planning out next task.
Heading home…the WORST part of my day. The U is shoved up next to the foothills which makes for a traffic nightmare every night. There’s literally like one 2 lane road to get ALL THE PEOPLE out. This is why I LOVE spring break, fall break, Christmas break…and summer…because getting rid of the kids creates a much smoother commute home. I’m an old curmudgeon and college kids are the worst. This day’s commute was made slightly better thanks to a Bill Simmons podcast with Lena Dunham.
HOORAY I’M HOME!! This little guy was happy to see me and posed for the rare selfie with me.
In fact we got 2! Now that we got our hellos out of the way I run faster than a speeding bullet to the bedroom to get my sweatpants on. Please tell me I’m not the only one that does this w/in minutes of walking in the door. Like i CAN NOT BE BOTHERED by anything until my sweatpants are on and my bra is off. Lance is one lucky guy.
Lance will usually have dinner ready to go and Jack fed by the time I get home…so we eat quick and then if I’m lucky Jack and I will sneak in some playtime before he has to head to bed. He got a shiner at daycare this day (see his right eye) but his mood was great! So we got about 10mins of “fun time” before starting the bedtime routine.
Jack and I read a couple books (of his choosing..Go Dogs Go is a current fave…the one above is a random he dug out of the toy bin). Then it’s prayers and into the crib! Most nights he will go down without a fight. We do have the occasional meltdown when he doesn’t want to stop playing…but overall it seems to work great for us.
I start cleaning up the kitchen, do the dishes, and get Jack’s lunch and my lunch ready for the next day. We have to provide all the food for Jack’s daycare and they request we don’t bring anything that needs heated…so he gets a lot of PB&J’s. I also have a bad habit of snacking during this time…but omg are these pb pretzel chips good. DO NOT BUY THEM.
After getting things prepped for the next day I finally get to sit down and relax! Woo! I decide to upload pics for this post using the ipad…granted I won’t actually write this post for 2 more weeks but hey at least I got an early start! Lance and I chat and catch up on TV or whatever we’re feeling that night.
Nothing worth watching on TV so I head to bed a bit early to read a bit. Working on the last of the Divergent trilogy (Allegiant). (Finished it a week or so ago…actually didn’t mind how it ended considering I didn’t like the book as a whole that much…the first and second ones were much better I thought. Excited for the Divergent movie though…I sorta love Shailene Woodley)
Lights out and I’m pretty sure I fall asleep within minutes.
So yes there you go…a typical work day for me. As you can probably tell on days I work I have very little time with Jack…which sucks. But I also only work 4 days a week so I get 3 full days with him and I think that makes up for it. The busiest parts of my day are between 6-7 (both am&pm). Life is usually pretty hectic and nuts and all over the place during those hours. I know that this schedule will only change as Jack gets older and our family grows…so I’m glad I was able to document it at THIS time.
I hope to do another post on a day at home with Jack soon…so stay tuned!!
February 20, 2014
A couple articles across the interwebs have got me thinking lately.
Deep in the trenches of Toddler motherhood it seems every day I’m faced with new challenges (like the need to THROW ALL THE THINGS AT MY HEAD), frustrating whining fits and tantrums, and several “ah-ha” moments when I realize that HOLY CRAP HE UNDERSTANDS WHAT I’M SAYING!!! And those same days I question if I’m doing the right thing…setting enough boundaries, reading him enough books, making enough animal sounds. So to ease my stress and worry I turn to the internet…naturally.
Like a lot of new moms I’m drawn to those bloggers that make me feel right at home…that I’m not alone and that
sometimes half the time having kids is NOT all butterflies and rainbows. So called “Bad Mommy” bloggers. The ones that aren’t afraid to be honest and tell us how it really is…to get peed on, the unexplainable crying, nonstop whining, food throwing, biting…all before 8am. Sometimes I’m left terrified of what’s yet to come (terrible 2′s, troublesome 3′s…having multiple children to care for (deep breath in)) but often I find myself nodding my head thinking YES OMG YES THAT IS EXACTLY IT!!
So when I came across this article I surprisingly agreed. As my co-mother friends can attest…I will be the first one to admit my shortcomings or mistakes as a mother…(yep we turned Jack’s car seat forward already…and this one time he fell out of the cart at Target b/c I failed to strap him in)…but I often wonder if this comes off as a competition?! Like some warped competition of being the “worst mom ever” which makes everyone else feel better about what they do. If I’m not perfect…am I also not Bad Enough either?! I love how Elissa ends the article:
“This isn’t to say we didn’t gain anything from the bad mother. The spirit of confession she brought, the invitation to reveal our deepest doubts and frustrations, has surely benefited many women who felt suffocated by the mother mystique. But now we need to take that slightly selfish, sometimes bored and occasionally uncaring woman and just call her a mother. Not good, not bad, just mom.”
I’m not perfect, and I’m not bad…I’m just a Mom.
Along the same lines…when I was pregnant these “bad mommy” blogs were totally foreign to me. I lived in a blissful fog of “omg my baby is going to be AMAZING!!!.” I read weekly pregnancy updates of fellow bloggers, and birth story after birth story. So when my life was flipped upside down during those first months…I wondered WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS?!
Turns out…the internet tried to. At the time I turned a blind eye but it seems like now the “Things no one told me about having a baby” and “What I wish I knew…” or “What I would tell my Pre-Pregnant Self” posts are littered across the internet and fill my facebook feed…thanks to a lot of my new mom friends. So it’s not exactly new news…having a baby is hard and life changing. I’ve even made it my unofficial “job” to tell people this before they have children themselves. I don’t want to be blamed for not giving fair warning.
As an example…a few weeks ago I was guilty of doing the head-tilt “awwwww” look at another couple with a newborn at the liquor store. After I realized I was probably making them uncomfortable with my wide-eyed stare and huge grin, I asked how old their son was and if he was their first. When they both replied yes…and had that all-to-familiar tired look of “please don’t say how amazing this time is” I quickly replied with “it’s hard huh?!”. Now thankfully they must have agreed because instead of cursing me they gave me agreeing looks…and even bigger smiles. It felt good. Maybe that is what they needed to hear. Being me…I also threw in a quick “well that’s why we’re here buying booze right?! (awkward laugh)”
While I wholeheartedly agree that as friends and Moms is it our duty to let our fellow moms, especially our closest friends, know that they are not alone during those hard times…that they are doing great…and yes you can admit it is hard you can tell me your deepest honest feelings without the “but it’s the best decision ever and i wouldn’t trade it for anything” end comment…. (I KNOW. Trust me…I know. My days are filled with ups/downs and yet my love for my son is unquestionable and deep and scary strong** ) I also worry that by pushing too much negativity about what becoming a parent is “really like” in the faces of those friends of ours who do not have kids yet (or ever), or even our pregnant friends can be a bit much…and even make them question why we did this in the first place?!
Like most things…you can’t fully grasp it until you experience it. You can tell someone how hard it is and try to explain just how evil sleep deprivation can make you…they won’t get it until they are deep in it themselves. So I’m torn. I inhale articles and blog posts that talk about how hard motherhood is and the daily challenges we experience before we even have our morning cup of coffee. But on the other end, I don’t want to be so negative that those around me question even for one second my choice to become a mother.
It was our choice. We don’t regret it. My marriage has changed, my free time has changed, my workout schedule has changed (if we can even say it exists), my view on what matters has changed, but most importantly my role in this world has changed. I’m a Mom. My son deserves whatever I can give him…whether it’s “bad” or “good” in the eyes of the internet.
** I’ve been thinking a lot about how negative posts must affect those who are unable to have kids or those who experience miscarriage and unthinkable loss. A beautiful blogger friend recently lost her daughter at 37 weeks and it just breaks me inside to think of the pain she and her husband must be going through. PLEASE please please send her and her husband your thoughts and prayers.
December 18, 2013
In the past Holiday commercials have mostly annoyed me…cars and jewelry being the top contenders. But this year I’ve seen a couple that have made me laugh and cry…all at the same time. Maybe it’s the Mom hormones in me…or companies are finally figuring out how to tug at our heart strings…but these are good.
You may have already seen them…esp if you don’t live under a rock.
This one from Apple.
This one from Coke.
See what I mean?! Tears.
Happy Holidays All!!
November 19, 2013
You guys…Jack’s 1yr photo shoot did not exactly go as I had hoped. I guess I should get used to this.
Instead of crawling around smiling, laughing, and hamming it up like the perfect little boy I envision him as…he was NOT HAVING IT. As in…every time I tried to set him down so you know…we could get a picture of JUST HIM…he screamed bloody murder and grabbed onto me with a death grip. 30mins into it when he was STILL not cooperating I wanted to cry…pretty sure Sam thought I was a crazy mother who has no idea how to even make her child smile. Ugh. So it turned into a “Mom&Jack” photo shoot.
Here are a few of my favorites.
See that last one is pretty good of him right?!
Oh and here’s what I mean about clinging to me for dear life…
Another “Mom lesson” learned…things will not always go as planned…but try and roll with the punches and make the best of it.
And bring snacks…always.
*All photos by the lovely Sam Kelly.
October 22, 2013
A year ago today we met Jack.
This past year has been the hardest of my life. They say a mother’s love for her son is something fierce…and I get it now. Although it took a little longer for me to develop that real strong bond with him…the love and joy he brings to my heart now grows at an exponential rate. It’s indescribable the way his little looks make me feel…and when he tucks his head just so on my shoulder I want to stop time and never move from that moment.
Turns out…I’m not a baby person. The 6 months mark was right around the time Jack’s personality really started to show…he became such a cool kid. Being a Mom became fun…not just work. Still hard yes (oh man is it still hard!) but fun too…enjoyable. The last couple months have been even better. We wrestle around on the floor. We sing and yell. We dance. We chase each other. We laugh.
Jack is Me in miniature form. (and a boy..duh) He has that spitfire redhead personality. Lance evens us out…and one can only hope our next child is more like him…calm, relaxed, chill…or else he might have to move out.
Jack’s favorite things right now are (in no particular order):
blue blankie (although this is probably the top one)
Me…obviously (ok and Dad too)
pushing ALL THE THINGS around the house (his clothes basket being his first choice…activity table a close second)
The dishwasher…well actually the silverware in the dishwasher
Strawberries, grapes, and mac-n-cheese.
Pairs of things…and crawling with one in each hand. (ie., pan lids, blocks, cups, socks, toy cars…)
Piles of magazines stacked on side tables…that he can one by one throw off and rip up.
Jack’s least favorite things right now:
Diaper changes and getting dressed/undressed. (so dramatic!)
the Stroller (actually he has NEVER liked this)
Sitting in the cart at Target (only wants to stand and throw stuff around…makes for tricky shopping)
He doesn’t walk on his own yet…but he seems to be getting more steady and braver by the day. He’ll get this look on his face like he wants to walk from one point to the next…but then he’ll drop down and crawl. He is getting a lot better at standing on his own. All these skills I feel like have gotten stronger over such a short period of time. When he first started pulling up he was so wobbly and unbalanced…it’s amazing how quickly they change. I still gasp a little when I see him standing independently.
I think our nursing days are over. We had slowly gone down to just morning and night sessions…which i loved. Then that turned into just morning sessions…and then the other day he refused…and my boobs didn’t mind. So yeah…I think it’s over. Man…breastfeeding was SO MUCH MORE than I thought it would be. More work, more pain, more exhausting, more emotional…just all of it…MORE. But it was good…at times very good…and worth it. Oh so worth it.
Although that barely scratches the surface of the past 6+ months…it’s what’s on my mind now. I wish I had updated here more often…but such is life. I hope to drop in from time to time still…if anyone is still reading.
So with that…Happy Birthday handsome little man…I love you more than you’ll ever know. You are my happy.