Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Excuse for Lots of Marshall Photos

Well, it's been another whirlwind week since my parents arrived in town last night. They made it just in time for a late dinner of shrimp pasta and asparagus, and we chatted a bit before sending them back to the hotel and heading to bed.

By the way, here's how we put Marshall down for a nap.

Here's how we found him five minutes later. We've got a mover!

This morning I had to get up and out pretty early for Marshall's six-month appointment! I can't believe we're already (almost) at the half-year mark. What a crazy ride so far. Anyway, the appointment was longer than usual thanks to a forty-minute wait, and then Marshall got three shots. Fun for everyone!

By the way, I am not one of those mothers who cries when her baby gets a shot. I think I've mentioned this before. Should I feel bad about that? I mean, I feel bad for him when his face gets all red and sad, but that's about it. A woman saw his little band-aids and told me shots are "the absolute worst for baby and mom." I definitely don't agree. At least when he gets a shot I know why he's crying and I'm able to hold him immediately after. I'll take that over not being able to comfort him (like with jaundice, when we weren't allowed to pick him up from under the lights) or not knowing what's wrong.

Okay, that was a fun tangent! Moving on. After the appointment we met up with my parents and headed to a local park for a nice walk. Marshall napped, the adults chatted and people-watched, and we ended up looping three times for 2.75 miles. Then we grabbed lunch and Marshall napped again at home, which allowed my parents and I to relax for a little while. It was a nice afternoon of laundry, watching Marshall practice his sitting up(!), and hanging out at home.

I told my dad he would get 10 gold stars if he could get Marshall to sleep before I got out of the shower. He won.

After Terry arrived home, my parents finished making fajitas for dinner, and we put the little guy to bed. Pretty typical day with PopPop and JanJan visiting!

By the way, Terry and I are both super sore from that core workout the other day. You should try it.

Do you cry when you get shots? Or when your children get shots? (Fur children are included here.) Apparently I only cry when my baby sleeps soundly in another room.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ugly Monday

Monday morning reared its ugly head today and made me wish I could clone myself. Mostly so that my clone could just follow me around cleaning up spit up and/or holding Marshall when he spits up on me.

It was that kind of a day. The kind where I found myself thinking over and over, "Okay, there can't possibly be anymore spit up, right?" After he spat up the normal amount (politely, while I held him unceremoniously over a sink and burped him, as we always do), he just kept going. On the floor, on my sweatshirt, on him, on my t-shirt, on the bed, on him again, on the play mat, in the crib... 

Old picture, but you get it.

I know that we got a pretty easy baby, all things considered, so I really do try hard not to complain about little things, but the spit up, as you can see, drives me up the wall sometimes. 

Moving on to more positive stuff! We enjoyed a lovely, long weekend together. Terry was able to stay home with us on Friday, and since we had a planned power outage in our building, we decided to spend a good chunk of the day out and about. 

First up: the La Leche League meeting! Terry dropped Marshall and me off and headed out to a coffee shop. I got to meet about eight other women in various stages of motherhood: a woman pregnant (with twins!), a new mom of a three week old, a new mom of a five week old, a mother of three (ages 10 months, two years, and five years), another mother of three (the youngest was three months), and three LLL leaders, who are all also mothers. Whew! Quite the range, which was so helpful. The meeting was a wonderful, easygoing opportunity to share concerns, ask questions, provide insight to others, seek and give advice, and gain a sense of community and support in breastfeeding. I am looking forward to writing another breastfeeding update, so I'll write more in depth there, but if you are a breastfeeding mother (or pregnant and hoping to nurse), I highly recommend finding your local LLL meeting

Then we went out to lunch, and I tried pho for the first time. Well, really, I ate pan-friend noodles with shrimp and chicken, but it was still a new restaurant. We also walked around a mall for a bit before heading home to our dark apartment and waiting for power to come back on. 

Saturday we took our time getting up and out and enjoyed a long walk in Palos Verdes, relaxed at home, and then checked out a local brewery. Nice little day.

Also, I'm putting together a little tutorial on how to look like a total goober while taking a photo. Here's a preview:

Terry fails at looking like a goober.

I think my weekend highlight was ordering Christmas stockings on Saturday night! We realized we would need to get Marshall a stocking and decided to go for a family set. We ordered them here on Etsy, and I'll be sure to take a photo when we get them! (Spoiler alert: I did not get the fish one.) I'm so excited to start some new traditions with Marshall and combine some of our childhood traditions as well.

Sunday morning we had Jenn and Justin over for brunch (I made a frittata and roasted potatoes--super simple), 

and then we ventured out to West LA for dinner at a friend's house. She made this pie (as well as homemade pasta and pumpkin cupcakes), and I feel like I need to make it myself sometime soon. Quite the weekend!

Oh, here's another highlight: 

I love how Marshall's tiny hand is on Terry's shoulder.

My parents will be in town the rest of the week! I'm thrilled to get to see them and give them a little time with Marshall. 

Here's a quick little core workout for you if you have a stability ball:

5 Ball V-Passes (don't allow feet or ball to touch the ground!)

30 sec to 60 sec Plank (choose feet on ball or elbows on ball)

Repeat the whole thing four times, resting as needed. 

How was your weekend? 

Are you starting to get ready for the holidays? I've planned out the Thanksgiving menu and ordered our stockings and a few gifts, but Terry doesn't allow Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving. :-)

What's your favorite core exercise? I love a good ball crunch. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Catching Up on a Sick Week

Ahh, this week really took a turn. I'm still sick with some sort of a cold that has progressed through a sore throat, head/neck ache, congestion, and runny nose. Today I entered the sneezing stage, which is fun. Thankfully I never got a fever, but trying to care for an infant while also having to blow my nose (and then wash/sanitize my hands) every two minutes or so is proving rather challenging.

But at least I get to cuddle with this guy even more.

Comfort food helped out a little this week. On Tuesday we made this soup, which tastes exactly like potato cheese soup. Because that's what it is, essentially. Definitely a rich food, but I liked it. I would make it again on a cold winter night. Leftovers last night were great, and Terry took another serving to lunch today!

A little elf who sometimes goes by PopPop is making our Christmas dreams come true! My dad generously stopped by our storage unit up in Northern California to grab several boxes of our Christmas decorations so that we can decorate for Marshall's first Christmas. Thanks, Dad!

On Tuesday we met up with Terry for lunch and even snagged a family photo.

All in stripes! 

I'm making more of an effort to get photos of us as a group of three whenever we can. It's crazy how quickly Marshall is growing, and I feel like I could never have enough photos.

Scout is adjusting to Marshall in the high chair.

Today Marshall grabbed an orange slice out of my hand and starting sucking on it. So there's that little development. I just started reading this book to see if baby-led weaning is something we want to try with Marshall. Seems fun and easy and right up our alley.

Speaking of food, can you believe Thanksgiving is only two weeks away? Terry is super excited for this stuffing recipe, which I have to agree is pretty amazing. I am excited for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is celebrating Marshall's first holiday season!

Some other items of catch-up, since this week turned out to be something of a bust:

I'm really excited to attend a La Leche League meeting tomorrow! Our local MOMS Club invited all the infant moms to attend, so I'm going to check it out. Even though breastfeeding is going well, I'm excited to learn more about what to expect as Marshall starts solid foods and continues growing.

Tomorrow our power will be shut down for most of the day for some sort of maintenance. Luckily, Terry is off work tomorrow (woo hoo!), so we're going to spend most of the day out and about. After the LLL meeting we'll go out to lunch and then probably run some errands, all with the little guy in tow. I'm actually looking forward to a little family day.

It's National Adoption month, and I loved this post from Brittany about how adoption wasn't a fall back plan for her family. Also, these photos of families coming home together are truly beautiful.

Terry is starting to listen to Serial. I heard about it on A Cup of Jo, and it sounds fascinating, but I'm not sure a crime investigation is the best idea for my already-overactive mind.

I made these blondies yesterday, but I melted the butter instead of bringing it to room temperature, and it was magical.

Do you listen to any podcasts? It sounds like something cool people do, but I have never gotten into any. I love books on tape (CD), though!

Happy Friday to you! Hope it's a wonderful weekend.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mom Brain

I'm convinced that nothing else will make my heart feel the way it does when I see these two together. 

...But delicious food also makes my heart (and stomach and taste buds) feel good.
Yesterday's breakfast: zucchini-carrot muffins, raspberries and kiwi, and tea.

Terry is introducing our son to the Wonderful World of Beer. It's never too early.

Today I woke up pretty sick. When Marshall got hungry at 3 am, I asked Terry if he could work from home to help me out as needed. Luckily, the day was an easy one because Marshall was asleep for most of it. He slept on me for several hours, and I loved it. It also ensured that I stayed put on the couch, resting.

Midday, though, I knew an outing would do us both some good. We both get a little cabin fever if we stay inside the entire day, so we headed to Target with absolutely no goal or list.

Here's what I bought:

Two seasonal Larabar boxes (Target has the lowest prices on Larabars I've seen anywhere--$5 for a box of 5 bars): Snickerdoodle and Pumpkin Pie. Terry and I shared a Snickerdoodle bar and agreed it tastes good, but more like apple-oatmeal-raisin or something.

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea from Celestial Seasonings, which I've heard others mention, but I'm new to the world of flavored teas (I also bought pumpkin-something the other day, and I love it). I thought the sugar cookie one would be way too sweet, but it actually tastes delightfully light!

The cream cheese was to make this recipe. I highly recommend that you do the same. (By the way, she says you should eat it with graham crackers and apples, but I have found that brownies also work.)

And now I shall tell you about mom brain. You might remember that I had pregnancy brain in a bad way. Apparently it continues after the kid arrives, too. Here are some examples:

When Marshall was five weeks old, my brother and sister-in-law visited for the weekend. At one point, we watched a documentary, Somm, together. The following week, I sent my brother a text suggesting "a great documentary" that he and Ashley might enjoy. He thought I was joking. I had just completely forgotten watching it with them.

I cannot think of words when I'm speaking. It almost always happens when I'm trying to ask Terry to bring me something or when I need to give instructions, like with cooking. The other day I wanted to communicate to Terry that he didn't need to grab pajamas for Marshall because I already had them. I was staring at the sleep sack while I spoke, and yet all that came out was, "You don't need to grab the...I already have's blue...the fleece...blanket..." By the time I gave up on that poor excuse for a sentence, Terry had already figured out what I meant, gone into Marshall's room, grabbed the other items we did need, and walked into our room, laughing at me all the way.

There was this incident, when I teamed up with another mom for super mom brain.

Yesterday I thought I had my act together. I had a meal plan. I had a grocery list. I was ready to do some prep for the week. I got a few things organized and then realized I couldn't really prep anything else in advance or it would spoil before we got around to it. And then this morning I realized the soup I had planned for tonight required chicken broth. Which was, of course, completely frozen.

So all day I pondered what to make for dinner and finally came up with this easy dish:

- ground turkey (1 lb) plus two hot Italian sausages, browned
- butternut squash (half a Costco package) roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper
- two zucchini sauteed in butter and olive oil

It was so simple, but we both really loved it.

These two make mom brain completely worth it.

Off to bed to fight off this cold or whatever. Hope your week is off to a good start!

Any mom brain stories to share? 

What meal are you most excited about this week?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Matching Boys, Waffles, and that Basket

Hello there! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was a mix of awesome and not-so-awesome, the latter because Terry had to work a lot. But we squeezed in some fun.

On Friday we got the car washed and then drove to a nearby park for a quick family walk. The boys accidentally matched!

Grey and orange--two of my favorite colors! No doubt they just wanted to impress me.

And even though Daddy had to work, at least he was home! Marshall showed his appreciation the best way he knows how--spit up and smiles.
I spy a kitten...

I got some smiles, too. :-)
This kid loves a good mirror.

On Friday night, I made waffles for dinner with bacon, eggs, and greens. So, naturally, Saturday morning became Leftovers Breakfast. To mix things up I stirred in a little almond extract and topped the waffles with sliced almonds and raspberries. It was a terrific decision.

By the way, Costco had raspberries for $3.49 this week. I will be back to buy more. (Scratch that--I wrote this on Saturday and already went back today [Sunday] to get more. They were goooooood!)

Oh, and as promised, here's the basket I bought at HomeGoods to make a little "Marshall station" for our bedroom now that he has migrated to his own bedroom.


- a few blankets (so we can lay out blankets on the bed/sheets when he joins us in bed in the mornings, as is becoming a routine)
- burp cloths--I only had a few in there at the time of the photo, but really we have dozens scattered throughout the house at any given time, so we're usually covered
- diapers
- wipes
- changing pad (the black and white thing in the back)--a waterproof pad we place on the bed to protect our duvet cover/sheets while changing diapers
-washcloths, since we give Marshall his baths in our bathroom (his little infant tub fits on our bathroom countertop)
- extra onesies--two short sleeve and two long sleeve
- Honest Company Healing Balm, for diaper rash or scratches (our other room has Butt Paste)
- a bulb syringe (we have three, all in different rooms--we used them all the time when Marshall was a newborn but not so much anymore)
- cloth reusable wipes, which I love--I use them to dry Marshall during diaper changes so we reduce the chances of diaper rash. They're super soft, too!
- a few quiet toys--Marshall will come into bed with us in the morning and, after I feed him, he might not be quite ready to go back to sleep yet, so he'll happily play with a soft toy or rattle before popping his thumb in his mouth and dozing back to sleep

Saturday night, once Terry was able to take an extended break from work, we headed out to watch the last quarter of the UCLA game at BJ's. I really like their pumpkin ale, and we split a pizza, but otherwise it was just about watching the game and getting out of the house. It was way past Marshall's bedtime, but he was a champ!

Go Bruins!

Sunday Terry didn't have to work at all (yay!), so we made it a family day with some errands and chores, some meal prep for the week, and a lovely visit with our friend Fay, who got to meet our little guy for the first time!

Here are our dinner plans for the week:
It's nice to have a plan, and I'm excited for some variety around here. 

Plans for the week:
  • Working on Christmas cards (I'm hoping to find some sort of early bird special...any recommendations?)
  • Starting some Christmas gift projects
  • Attending some MOMS Club events and meeting up with my little unofficial moms group for another walk
  • Keeping up with my workouts!
Speaking of which, here's what I did Saturday:

Only 20 minutes total, and definitely enough to get me nice and sore! I got through two and a half rounds of Group 1 (if you think I conveniently happened to stop before I had to do a third set of burpees, you are absolutely correct) and three full rounds of Group 2. I got my heart rate up, worked lots of muscle groups, and broke a good sweat, all with just a pair of dumbbells. It was excellent.

Some notes and links to proper form:
*Pendulum lunges (I know Jillian's videos are a little long, but she talks through the exercises really well. If you click to the middle of the video, you can see the exercise without all the chatter.)
*Curl + Press (Use both arms at the same time)
*Burpees (with or without the push up at the bottom--I did it without)

*Squat with Front Kick
*Front Shoulder Raises (Use both arms at the same time)

Time to get to bed to try to nip this little sickness in the bud. Hope your week starts off wonderfully!

Do you start celebrating the holidays as early as Starbucks, or do you have an after-Thanksgiving rule? We wait until after Thanksgiving. It is hard to resist starting to think of gifts for people, though!

What's your favorite day of the week? I love any day Terry is home (ideally without having to work). Otherwise they all kind of blend together...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

TV Shows, a Weird Day, and a Workout

My favorite TV shows so far this season:
  • Marry Me (SO much like Happy Endings, which is one of my favorite shows of all time)
  • Mindy Project
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Modern Family
  • The Middle (<--I just got into this one, and I haven't really watched any of the other seasons, but I think it's hilarious)
  • New Girl
I also watched a few episodes of A to Z and Manhattan Love Story, but I hear they were both already canceled. I'm going to start Blackish (the pilot was awesome), and I feel like I should get into a drama or reality show to add some diversity to my comedy-only list, but I don't have any on my must-watch list. Recommendations?

Today was a weird one. Marshall slept well last night (have to admit, he seems pretty comfortable in his crib), but he did wake up around 12:45 and didn't get back to sleep until 1:45. I'm still adjusting to the whole idea of him not being right next to me, so I stayed awake until I knew he was asleep, which involved:
- creeping into his room multiple times after I had fed him to see if he was asleep (he wasn't)
- sitting outside his door for about 30 minutes so I could just pop back in if he needed me (he didn't)
- seriously considering sleeping on his floor so that at least I could sleep (I didn't)
- going back to my own bed several times and trying to tell myself he would be fine and would fall asleep on his own (he did, but I didn't believe it until I saw it)

It's a process. So anyway, when he woke up this morning (not until 6:45!), he was just all awake and happy in his crib. I brought him back to my room to eat, and then we hung out for a while before he fell asleep again. I won't lie; I was pretty grateful. I needed more sleep, too! We napped another few hours and then Marshall ate and fell asleep on me so I gladly cuddled him until almost 11 am! I know these days are numbered, so I just went with it and breathed in his sweet baby scent.

When we finally woke up for the day, rested and happy, I realized I had lots of fun (albeit ambitious, with a five-month-old) plans, but then he took yet another nap and we didn't leave the house until after 2 pm. Ah, to be a baby and sleep all day...

First up: HomeGoods. I took down Marshall's co-sleeper yesterday (so sad), which opened up a huge void in my heart our room. We used to store a bunch of "Marshall stuff" in there--diapers, changing pad, wipes, extra clothes, burp cloths, blankets, etc.--so that we don't always have to change him in his room. Sometimes in the morning Terry will offer to burp/change Marshall while he gets ready for work, and we also do the whole bedtime routine in our room, so it's nice to have all that stuff right there. With the co-sleeper gone, I wanted a simple basket to store everything neatly. I found a good one, but I don't have a photo to share yet. I'm sure you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting for me to post one, so I'll follow through with that soon.

Next: Carter's. I mentioned to some of my new friends yesterday that I wanted some warmer footed sleepers for Marshall because his room is an icebox, and they suggested Carter's. One of the girls texted me this morning to say they were having a huge sale, and she also offered me her 25% off coupon, so I had no excuse but to check it out!

I bought two fleece sleepers, a pair of sweatpants, and two sets of onesies that I'm not totally sure I'll keep. I need to take a little inventory of Marshall's 12-month clothes before I decide. (The baseball sleeper on the left is from Marshall's, which was right next door, so...)

I also needed to go to Costco (greens, butter, fruit, and ground turkey) and the grocery store (buns, mozzarella). It was Day-O-Errands around here, and I'm grateful that my little guy was up for the adventure!

 Sadly, late in the afternoon Terry called with the bad news that he has to work all weekend. We scratched our plan to meet for a run this afternoon, so now I'm regretting that I didn't get more movement in throughout the day. I hope I can make up for it this weekend!

By the way, here's a fantastic full-body workout made up of compound exercises (exercises that use at least two major muscle groups) I did recently. You can complete it twice through for an extra challenge, but one round took me less than 15 minutes, so it's a quick one. Adding on the EMOM burpees got a good sweat going!


Some notes and links to proper form:
Plie Squat with Upright Row
Plank with Row
Squat + Shoulder Press (scroll down to #5)
One-Leg Wide Row (<--similar, but do a wide row instead of a regular row): Stand on one leg, careful not to lock the knee. Lower the upper body down as close to parallel to the ground as possible, keeping the back straight and hips aligned. Complete the wide rows from this position, using the core and hamstrings to maintain balance.
Stationary Lunge with Curl
Stationary Lunge with Lateral Raise
Glute Bridge + Chest Press
*Bicycle Crunches (x2): Complete 30 reps total (right + left = 1 rep)
*Calf raises (x3) + Reverse Curl: I guess it's obvious, but it's 3 calf raises and then one reverse biceps curl (that's one rep).
EMOM 10 Burpees: Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes, complete 5 burpees. That's 50 total!

It's a fun one! Well, fun for me. I realize not all people find this type of thing fun, but at least you can do it indoors with just a pair of dumbbells, and it'll be over before you know it.

So now that Terry's working most of the weekend my plans have shifted to running more errands, lots of meal prep, and finding fun activities for Marshall, like rolling over the other way. And our friend is visiting on Sunday to meet Marshall!

What's your weekend looking like? 

Any TV shows I should be watching? What's your favorite? 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


It's really been a nice week around here so far. Yesterday Marshall and I met up with Terry for lunch. 

Studs too good to look at the camera.

Marshall and I have been to Buy Buy Baby no fewer than four times in the last week or so, which is exhausting. That store is awesome and overwhelming. We needed some cozier sleepwear for Marshall, though, so I grabbed a fleece sleep sack but also almost bought this adorable Christmas onesie with a tie:

Luckily Marshall is growing too quickly for BBB, because they only had 9 month sizes and Marshall will for sure be out of that by Christmas!

This morning I met up with my new mom friends for a walk. We have six moms now! We walked near Terranea for about an hour and then let the babies (ranging five weeks to five months) roll around on blankets while we all chatted. It's lovely to meet new people, let Marshall interact with other babies, and get out of the house to do new things! Plus, despite the hot weather (yeah, that's back), it was a beautiful day! I didn't take any photos, but here's another one of Terry and Marshall from the other day.

Scout has been loving this cooler weather lately. He's super snuggly at night and really enjoys curling up with us anytime he gets a chance. Sadly, he often tries to cuddle while Marshall is eating, so I have to get up to burp the kid within a few minutes, but we're all finding our rhythm.

Tonight Terry and I agreed to squeeze in a quick workout while hanging out with Marshall in his room. We did another every-minute-on-the-minute workout: 5 push ups + 10 squats every minute for 15 minutes. It was super quick, not too sweaty, and Marshall thought it was funny that Terry tickled his feet every time he did a squat. Marshall also got to join for the last set of squats!

Last night Marshall slept through the night. He woke up twice (midnight and 3:30), but put himself back to sleep without needing anything from me. At 6 am Terry's alarm went off and I made him go check on Marshall, who was awake and hanging out in his crib. I fed him and he went back to sleep for more than two hours! I'm proud, but I'm also chalking a lot of his sleepiness up to a little cold. Hopefully he'll feel better soon, but I'm still impressed that he slept so well!

And here's a little WIAW action for you:

Breakfast: oatmeal with raisins, a touch of maple syrup, some granola, and unsweetened coconut. My oatmeal toppings went a little overboard today, if that's possible, but it was delicious.

Lunch: leftover vegetarian fajitas (bell peppers, zucchini, black beans, Greek yogurt) on a tortilla

Snack: graham crackers with peanut butter and chocolate chips, plus a cup of tea.

Dinner: We actually enjoyed a two-course meal tonight! Leftover tomato bisque and leftover shrimp pasta.

For the pasta, I made a recipe we usually make but with a little flair. It's super simple; I just tossed together:
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 large bag of medium cooked shrimp (I pulled all the tails off while they defrosted)
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, roasted with minced garlic and olive oil at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes
  • pesto (I used store-bought, but homemade would have been even better)--about 3/4 of a TJ's jar
  • pine nuts, to garnish
  • chopped basil, because I was feeling fancy

Delicious meal. Marshall even joined us at the table! He's not eating solids yet, but he'll start soon, so we're getting him used to the idea of sitting with us. It's so fun to have him hang out with us for dinner now!

(We gave him a persimmon to play with. He ignored it in favor of his hands.)

For dessert: graham crackers, homemade whipped cream, and chocolate chips. SO GOOD.

And that's a wrap! In case you missed it, you can check out some pretty ridiculously adorable photos of Marshall's first Halloween here. He was such a cute Harold!