Baby C: Month Two

img_7704Likes: cuddling, sitting on someone’s lap, being worn in both the Soul Tai and the ring sling, eating,

Dislikes: being hungry, getting your vaccines, getting too tired

Who You Saw: Grandma and Grandpa from Minnesota came for a visit! One of Mama’s bests, G, came into town from Chicago too!

Places We Traveled: Scioto Audoban Metro Park, the Ohio History Connection & Ohio Village, the Park of Roses for a picnic, and most importantly, the OHIO STATE FAIR

Milestones: SMILES! You started social smiles this month and you are quite the little charmer. You’re also starting to rock side to side both on your back and in tummy time. Not quite rolling over yet but you sure are trying!

five.

What a year we’ve had! Right after our four year anniversary, I headed off to China for two weeks for a work trip. As soon as I came home, we moved apartments. Just down the hill, but feels worlds away from where we used to live.

This year will always be the year our son came to join us – and for that I am so grateful. We’re not too deep into parenting yet, but I’m so glad to have my M by my side on this journey. We celebrated a little differently than usual this year since we had such a wee one in tow. One huge perk of getting married in a beautiful city park is that it is always there for you years later. I picked up lots of fancy cheeses, charcuterie and pickles for a picnic and we had a great (but fast because baby + mosquitos do not mix!) evening outside.


last year’s anniversary post, here.

Baby C: Month One

Hey! We had a baby! I’m not sure I’ll get to be point where I can write about our (his?) birth story; but, we’ll see. I know this is late but here we are!

img_7266Likes: being held, bath time, eating, smiles

Dislikes: being woken up, Vivi

Who you saw: Nana, Grampy and your uncle Nick came to see you in the hospital and once we got home, your Aunts A and L came to see you, and lots of your mama’s family at our annual 4th of July cookout (your due date!),

Places we traveled: Target – so many trips to Target for stuff we needed!

Milestones: you were back at birth weight 8 days after you were born! Still gaining like a champ

 

#ababyiscomyn (our baby shower)

One of my best friends, C, came into town in May to help my sister A and her best friend L, throw us a baby shower. Normally, I’d have also blogged her visit but we didn’t do too too much; some hiking, lots of cooking, crafting and grand conversation having.❤

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I’m so grateful to them for planning such a great event with a ‘baby is brewing’ theme as a nod to M’s love of beer and my (then) current obsession with tea. My parents were gracious enough to host us, our friends and family. My mom, as always, served up great food and I got to test out a few Pinterest ideas I’d been eyeing for ages.

We were lucky enough to receive several presents to help welcome our little one and I’m so grateful for everything, from practical to pretty. Since I’m writing this after our sweet one made their debut (I’m working on a post for that too!), I can safely say, we’re putting it all to use!

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living my values

I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t have a lot of rules. But, that really isn’t the case. I do love having a set of standards. And the more I learn, the harder it is for me to not make changes in our lives that better reflect our values. I’ve also found that having a set of rules makes it easier to make choices and move on so I can focus on the things that really matter to me.

I recently shared a little bit about my move to vegan and cruelty free makeup. I’ve used up a few products since I posted that and, honestly, nothing feels as good as getting complete use out of something you spent your money on! I’ve also been slowly replacing all of our personal care items with vegan and cruelty free items.

One rule I know no one else really gets is our paper free kitchen. It is more cost effective and so much better for the environment. I’m not quite ready to give up my TP just yet but at least we’re saving a few trees! We’re currently very happy with cloth diapering – hopefully that continues until potty training!

Three years ago, we moved from Chicago to Columbus and I transitioned from working in a  trendy office culture to working from home. I found it very hard to justify spending money on new clothing and have only purchased a few special occasion items in the meantime. Since I become pregnant, I have had to purchase a few maternity items but I’m still mixing in lots of my old clothes as well. I tried to keep to a very small maternity wardrobe: 2 long sleeve tops, 1 tee shirt, 2 tank tops, 3 dresses, a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts as well as a swim suit. And I’m pretty ready to pack these pieces up and try something new. I have also purchased a few items that aren’t maternity wear but are a size up that I could wear until late in the third trimester and plan on getting a lot of us out of us this summer and fall.

HOWEVER, fast fashion is a major, major contributor to global warming and ecological waste (it’s over 10% globally, more than personal vehicles and air travel). I’m really over the cycle of gaining / losing weight and rushing out to purchase new clothes to make myself feel better. I know that I have a period of transition coming postpartum, but I’m also really excited to work towards a striped down, wardrobe for a stylish work from home mama.

Some rules for my wardrobe I’m considering:

  • shop used first, ethical fashion second and fast fashion last
  • be open to sewing and altering more clothing than I have in the past (my mom is also getting into sewing more clothing items so I’ll have someone to bounce ideas off of)
  • make do with less – I’ve been holding onto clothing that I think I’ll fit back into, that I’ll need when I go into the office, that I’ll need for when we start to get invited to a monthly cocktail party

We’re also welcoming a new person who will need clothes! Some rules for the baby’s wardrobe I’m considering:

  • shop used first
  • sew adorable baby things! I already have designs on our family Halloween costume🙂

I’ve also been feeling very convicted about the food we eat. I miss being a vegetarian. I really do – it is pure laziness and wanting to not make a fuss that caused me to start eating meat again when I moved to Columbus. M loves his steaks and never really loved keeping a vegetarian kitchen, so I’m not sure I see that going away from our lives any time soon. But, I know I can make some changes to make sure we’re eating in a more ethical way – without changing the food budget too much.

  • eat less meat – only at one meal a day
  • purchase organic, local meat whenever possible
  • make better use of larger cuts of meat with freezer/crockpot cooking

 

Maternity Photos!

I know this is WAY freaking late but this blog is our family history too so I want to make sure I’ve recorded this very special moment in our lives.

My little sister’s best friend Lindsay, and basically my second little sister, is a professional photographer and graciously gave us maternity photos as our shower present. I love them so much! We took them on a quiet Sunday morning in the park I walk thru every day, right behind our apartment complex. I will treasure these images of such a special, fleeting time forever.

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What I Read: July ’16

Emotional Rescue: Essays on Love, Loss, and Life—With a Soundtrack by Ben Greenman: This collection of essays by writer Greenman focuses on his love of music. If I’d had more time, I would have looked up some (or any) of the songs to go with his essays. I picked this as part of my Read Harder challenge – I know why I don’t normally read collections of essays. While this wasn’t really my jam, it something I could easily pick up and put down while feeding the baby.

What I Read: June ’16

A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi: This was a quick pool time read about two women, linked by surrogacy. I found the stories of both the Indian-American mother and Indian gestational mother to be truthful and heartfelt. The ending was not a surprise, nor were there any plot twists and turns but I really enjoyed this uplifting novel.

The Last Woman Standing: A Novel by Thelma Adams: Another Kindle First book! I ADORED this one! It’s a piece of historical fiction that tells the story of Josephine Marcus, lured out west by a smooth talking lawman, Jonny Behan, and her relationship with the famous Earps. Adams has reframed the famous shoot out at the OK Corral through a spunky and independent female voice. Granted, I love historical fiction but I really enjoyed this one. (Warning, there are some spicy bits if that isn’t your thing).

The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman: I added this to my queue back in January as part of my Read Harder challenge. This post-apocalyptic literary epic tells the story of 15 year old Ice Cream Star as she is forced to grow up much too fast in a world built on the debris of a collapsed America. The language is unique and reminded me of reading Shakespeare – slightly different from modern English but once you’re a few pages in, the cadence finds itself. This is something I’d have never sought out myself but I’m glad I read it!

What I Watched: Ex Machina, X Men: First Class, (Dis)Honesty: The Truth about Lies,

What I Read: May ’16

So much Read Harder progress this month!

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald: This was a fast read and it was just OK. I didn’t like some of the sexist overtones and found the movie to be a bit trite.

Girl Waits with Gun (Kopp Sisters #1) by Amy Stewart: I really enjoyed this novel set in the early 1900’s about Constance Kopp, who doesn’t fit the demur mold expected of her at the time. She’s an excellent detective and I was happy to learn there were more books in the series. There are some language that is definitely not accurate for 1914 but I found it easy enough to overlook.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks: I found this set of oral histories a unique approach to storytelling. This is something I would have never picked up without this challenge and I’m glad I did!

The Witches: 1692 by Stacy Schiff: This was much more dense than I was expecting! Schiff explores the Salem witch craze and trials of 1692 thru a thorough and critical lens. If you’re interested in this period of history at all, I highly recommend this deep dive into the details of what happened and how it happened.

What I Watched: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Deadpool, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, Scenes from A Marriage, Tomorrowland, The Bicycle Thief, Mr. Holmes