Lifestyle

Coffee Date

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Posted on Aug 28, 2014 in Lifestyle

me feet coffee slippers

If you and I were to sit down for a cup of coffee this morning, I’d tell you that the idea of a coffee date was actually kinda ironic because I’m not drinking coffee right now. And then I’d probably order some sort of iced herbal tea, because I’m also off of soy and dairy—making pretty much everything on the menu at the coffee shop off-limits. That’s alright, it’s all so my baby girl feels better, so that makes it worth it.

Once we sat down, I’d probably tell you that I’m really struggling with how much of my private life I want public now that I’m a parent. It’s no longer just my life that I’m sharing, it’s this tiny human’s, too. And I feel like my sole purpose is to protect her. Part of me wants to shut out the whole world, but the other part of me wants to spread around all this immense joy I feel everyday. It feels like too much happiness to keep to myself. Especially considering the state of the world.

Me and JuneBug

You’d probably ask if the baby was sleeping through the night yet (because that seems to be the question everyone wants answered), and I’d probably give a hearty chuckle, because our sleeping arrangements are decidedly unorthodox.

I’d confess that since we’re dealing with a baby with severe reflux, we haven’t let her sleep without one of us awake nearby since she was diagnosed six weeks ago. Which means we split the night up into two shifts—Craig takes from 8pm-3am (with him waking me up once for her to eat), and I take from 3am-10am. The irony of this situation is even though both of us sleep on strange schedules, we’re actually both getting more sleep than most parents of newborns. I haven’t felt sleep-deprived since the first week we were home.

So no, she isn’t sleeping through the night, but we’re cool with that.

Then, I’d tell you how it was a blessing-in-disguise that Craig was laid off from him job during paternity leave. I know it’s unfashionable to talk about money, but I’d admit to you that it’s taken some financial rearranging to deal with the sudden loss of work. And then I’d tell you that even though it’s been hard, it’s probably the single best thing that’s ever happened to us, because it means we both get to be home with our baby girl. Silver linings and all that stuff.

Babyface and  Junebug

We’d talk about how I’ve re-watched both Friday Night Lights and The West Wing during my late-night nursing sessions over the past two months. And now I’ve moved onto re-watching Gossip Girl. If you’re a mother, I’d probably ask for your reassurance that I’m not totally ruining my child’s brain by watching TV while she sleeps on my chest.

If you were pregnant, you’d probably ask me for some advice, and the biggest piece of advice I’d give you is to throw away all your parenting books. Seriously, don’t read them. Your instincts are the only guide you need. And all those books will do is make you feel guilty when you don’t follow their recommendations exactly. Which you wont. Because every family is different. And no one has ever written a parenting book about your family.

And then I’d ask you if you want a box of baby clothes. Because a new outfit or two gets thrown into the “too small” pile every day.

baby clothes nursery

Since you’re polite and a good conversationalist, you’d probably ask how my work was going. And I’d tell you that I am so happy in my career it isn’t even funny. I’d talk about how miserable I used to be in my job—how I’d cry almost every single day—and how drastically different my life is now. It feels like an entirely different universe. I’m in such a healthier place. And I’m so proud of the work I do. Sure, I still have frustrating days, but that’s life. And overall, I’m so much more fulfilled in what I do.

smoothie

I’d ask you how your family was doing. And then I’d try really hard not to talk anymore about my baby girl. She’s really all I want to talk about all the time, but I’m not so far removed from being childless that I don’t remember how annoying that can be. I refrain from telling poop or spit-up stories. And try to think of something non-baby related to talk about.

june bug

I decide to talk to you about my other baby—our garden. I tell you all about our grandiose plans next year to plant even more space and sell at the farmer’s market. I tell you that Craig and I really want to start a CSA, but are petrified to take the leap because the number of successful farmers out there that make a living wage off their farm is pretty much right around zero.

I’d then tell you how excited I am to spend hour and hours with JuneBug in the garden when she’s a little older. I remember playing in the freshly-tilled soil as a kid, and I can’t wait to give her those same memories.

Whoops. There I go again, talking about the baby.

Trowel Garden

I’d tell you how I’m starting to get the urge to get back to taking care of myself again. We’d chat a bit about weight loss, and then I’d sheepishly admit to you that I’m intimidated of the weight loss process again. What if it doesn’t work this time? What if I never can get back to feeling healthy? What if I can’t figure out how to fit in fitness and taking care of a kid?

I’d tell you that I’m back up close to my highest weight ever as an adult, and, while it feels totally different this time, it also feels just as insurmountable as it did before. I’d tell you that I miss my old clothes. And I miss my knees not hurting. I’d tell you that is such a strange feeling to be so incredibly proud of this body (it made this beautiful creature, birthed her, and fed her), but at the same time want to change it.

I’d tell you that I tried to workout last week and it was so difficult, I cried. But it also felt so amazing. I’d tell you that it’s going to take some time to get used to this new body—the parts just aren’t all working the same way they used it.

Me Workout

I’d then probably apologize for unloading all my baggage on you. Let’s change the subject.

We’d start talking about the good food we’ve both been eating lately. I’d tell you that I’m totally obsessed with mashed avocado on toast, topped with a few slices of our homegrown tomatoes, salt, pepper and a perfectly-runny poached egg. I’d admit I’ve eaten it at least once a day for pretty much the last month.

Avocado Toast

I’d tell you that I’ve started to drink beer again (oh, how I missed it), but I’m such a lightweight now that about a 1/4 cup of the stuff gets me good and buzzed. Hey, at least I’m a cheap date.

Beer

I’d then tell you about the most perfect (orange!) honeydew melons we grew this year. And then I’d beg you to take one off my hands because we have a million of them sitting on our counter. No matter how delicious, two people can only go through so much melon before it goes bad. In fact, I’d probably hand you a whole bag of produce to take with you before you leave.

Garden Basket

Then I’d probably apologize for scratching so much, but I can’t really help it because the lower half of my body is covered in poison ivy—and has been for the past month. You’d ask where I got it, and I’d tell you it was from walking the path to my parents’ house a few times a week. I’d tell you it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out the source and start wearing boots and long pants over instead of flip-flops and shorts. You’d tell me not to scratch. I’d nod my head and then try to covertly scratch between my toes. Because it itches worse than any itch I’ve ever had before.

feet creek flipflops shoes

I’d look up at the clock and realize I spent all of this time together babbling on about my life, without asking you much about yours. I’d promise to be a better listener next time, and then I’d ask that maybe we go for pedicures for our next coffee date, because my toes haven’t been touched since the day before I went into labor. And I’ll try to have something non-baby-related to talk about.

Revisiting Our Emergency Kit

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Posted on Aug 6, 2014 in Lifestyle

What to Pack in Your Emergency Kit/Jump Bag

Back after our apartment was hit by a tornado in 2011, I wrote a post about what we had in our emergency kit (in fact, the photos in that post were taken in an apartment we were squatting in as temporary housing). More importantly than just the list of items, that posts contains what we learned by going through an actual emergency with the kit—what we added, what we changed, and what we used. Even though our emergency kit wasn’t perfect, I was so thankful to have that resource during the stressful time post-tornado. We saw first-hand how stressful it was for our neighbors who weren’t prepared (and in fact, lent out more than one item in our kit to them).

tornado

But now, our life is dramatically different from when I first wrote that post. Back then, we lived in a small apartment, in the city. We had only one pet, and we certainly didn’t have a little baby running around. Then, our emergency plan meant that in most situations (fire, tornado, earthquake, environmental disaster, terrorist attack), we were going to leave our apartment and the city. In almost all situations, it was safer for us to pack up in the car, and head south to my parents’ house in the country. That made our emergency kit easy. We packed the bare minimum in an easy-to-transport bag.

jump bag

But that’s not our situation anymore. As our life gets more complicated (owning a house, more pets, having a baby), our emergency kit needs to get more complicated, too. And, in fact, our entire emergency plan is now multi-faceted. I know this all may sound like overkill to some folks, but the peace-of-mind of knowing we’re prepared is absolutely worth it to me.

I think the key to figuring out your emergency plan and kit is accessing your situation. Figure out what you are at high-risk of going through. We’ve figured out, shy of the zombie apocalypse, there are three types of events that could logically happen to us. Obviously, we live in tornado-central, so tornadoes are a biggie for us. Secondly, as we learned this past winter, it’s entirely possible for us to get dumped on with a metric ton of snow, lose power, and not be able to leave our house for a week. And thirdly, everyone is at risk for a house fire.

Your list might be different. You might live in a flood-prone area (we don’t). You might live on a fault line (we do, but it’s not a huge risk to us). You might live in a major city that is susceptible to environmental spills or terrorist attacks (we don’t). You might live next door to a nuclear plant (we don’t). I think the key to having a really great emergency kit is figuring out what emergencies you might need it in. And of course, you can go as crazy with thinking about the scenarios as you feel is necessary. We’re not crazy about it. Yes, I realize that there is a chance that the entire financial system will collapse, roving gangs of zombies will come to eat us, and some foreign dictator will spray the entire country with some superbug. But I have no interest in revolving my life around planning for those extremes. But I do want to be prepared for the realities of our situation. And the reality is, we sometimes get hit by big snowstorms, fires happen, and we’re apparently tornado magnets.

tornado

Based on our risks, we decided to stick with the easy-to-transport bag idea, but just expand it to include a more comprehensive selection of items then we had before.

We store this bag on our main floor, in a cabinet equidistant from all the outdoor doors, so it’s easy to grab if we can in a fire, but also near the basement stairs entrance so we can grab it as we head down to take shelter for a tornado. Forecasting has gotten pretty decent in the past few years, so we usually know at least a few hours a head of time if we have a high chance for tornadoes, so I also tend to put my purse and the diaper bag right next to the basement door on those days, too.

emergency kit cabinet

It sounds like a ton, but we manage to keep it in a small duffle bag. Easy to grab and go. It includes:

  • A pair of shoes and socks for both Craig and I—we just picked up cheap, sturdy shoes from the Goodwill
  • Work gloves (2 pairs)
  • Backup glasses for both Craig and I—if you don’t have backups, you can get $7 glasses from Zenni Optical 
  • Backup keys to both the car and the house—see how we used our car as home-base post-tornado here
  • Whistle
  • Glow sticks (2)
  • Hand crank weather/AM-FM radio
  • Water (2 liters)
  • Protein bars (6)
  • Hand crank flashlight
  • Ponchos (3)
  • Emergency blanket
  • First aid kit—including baby-specific items, like Children’s Tylenol and adult meds like Excedrin, Pepto, etc.
  • Feminine hygiene products—trust me, stress does crazy things to your body
  • Toilet paper
  • Travel size deodorant
  • Toothbrush and travel size toothpaste
  • Baby wipes
  • Cloth diapers (2)—we might switch these to disposables
  • Baby blanket
  • Onesies (2)—in the next size up from what she’s currently wearing
  • Baby hat and socks
  • Formula samples and bottle—we’re exclusively breastfeeding, but I have no idea how stress/emergencies can affect supply, so I figure better safe than sorry and put these in there. If nothing else, some other parent might be able to use them during an emergency if we don’t need it.
  • Washcloths (2)
  • Travel size Dr. Bronner’s—used for hand soap, wash clothes, etc.
  • Small bottle of bleach and eyedropper—can be used for water purification in a pinch
  • Ziplock bags
  • Plastic grocery sacks
  • Collapsible bowls for pet food and water (3)
  • Kitty food—in a ziptop bag
  • Puppy food—in a ziptop bag
  • Extra leash and collar for Puppyface—this was mega important for us during the tornado
  • Pillow case—to quickly grab Kittyface
  • Dust masks (3)
  • Leatherman tool
  • Paracord
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Disposable camera—to document things for insurance
  • Backup charger for our cell phones—we both have iPhones, so it’s the same charger
  • Accordion folder with copies of important paperwork
    • Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
    • Insurance polices (life, car, homeowner’s)
    • Will
    • Mortgage/Deed
    • IDs (driver’s licenses, Craig’s green card, passports, birth certificates)
    • Puppy and kitty’s vaccination records
    • List of emergency contact info
    • $20 cash (in small bills)
    • Photos of entire family (including pets)—good for if we get separated
    • Basic first-aid how-to guides
    • Paper and pen

emergency kit

It’s not going to last us through a week out in the wilderness, but it will definitely help us get through the first few hours after an emergency. It sounds like a ton, but it’s actually pretty compact. I can easily carry it.

emergency kit

We also have other survival-y items stashed in the basement, where we would be hanging out in the event of a tornado, or if for some reason we needed to stay in place during an emergency. Our overflow pantry is in the basement, plus a spare fridge and freezer packed with food. We also have a bunch of good-for-if-the-zombies-come gear stashed in the basement with our camping goods—camp stoves, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, flashlights, etc. We don’t really have an emergency kit in the basement, but there are a lot of things that could come in handy in the event of an emergency down there. Basically, just as long as we have access to most parts of our basement, we could live down there for an extended period of time relatively comfortably. Although, I really don’t see that happening except in a crazy extreme emergency.

tornado

I know this all sounds like overkill, but it’s actually a pretty modest emergency kit. We’re not stashing years worth of food or water. We’re not preparing for every single bad thing that could ever happen, but we are being realistic about that bad things that are in the realm of possibility with where we live. And we’ve worked really hard to make sure our emergency kit is compact and don’t really impact our day-to-day lives—but still leaves us feeling prepared for the most common emergencies we could face. If you have less room, you can make a smaller kit. If you have more threats, expand your kit.

We usually go over and restock our kit once a year (normally right around early spring—before tornado season hits). We’ll switch out expired food, replace anything that isn’t working well anymore, and update any paperwork that needs it. Now that we’re a family of three, we’ll need to do it a bit more frequently to make sure Baby J’s needs are met—obviously she’ll need bigger clothes, different food, etc. as she grows.

Do you have an emergency kit? What types of emergencies are most likely to happen in your area?

Baby’s First 4th of July

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Posted on Jul 7, 2014 in Lifestyle

pekin 4th

I hope you all had an awesome holiday weekend! We had absolutely gorgeous weather here, and even though we’re still getting used to life with an itty bitty baby, we tried to make the most out of our festive weekend.

As I’ve mentioned before, Independence Day is a big honkin’ deal where we live, so we really wanted to try to get out to enjoy a little bit of the town’s celebration this year. Not only do we love joining in the festivities, but at this point, any excursion out of the house with a small baby is a victory. When you have a tiny human to take care of, it’s like relearning how to do everything—including something as simple as sitting at the town 4th of July parade! And when it goes well, you pretty much feel like you just won the lottery.

babyface parade

We set up shop at our normal parade viewing location, and within a few minutes, the little lady was asking for some eats. I had just done my first public nursing session the day before (in the pediatrician’s packed waiting room—a good place for a test run) and it went really well, so I was feeling confident about nursing in public. Confident enough that I happily fed my daughter while sitting on the main drag in my hometown surrounded by hundreds of strangers (and well, some not so strangers). I was so proud! We’re still fumbling a bit with latching on, so I’m not ready to go sans cover yet (plus, the sun was bright, and we wanted to keep June Bug out of it), but..baby steps! Thankfully, it was unseasonably cool out, so we both were perfectly comfy under the light blanket. It’s funny how every little thing feels like a major victory when you’re a new parent.

me nursing

Baby girl nursed for the first half of the parade and then happily passed out under her sun shade for the second half. She didn’t even wake up when all the firetrucks came by with sirens blaring. We all talked about how different it’ll be next year and all the years after. Marching in the 4th of July parade is a rite of passage in this town, and I’m sure at some point this little girl will be smiling and waving to the crowds from a float (or on a tractor, as you do in parades in the Midwest). And even before that, she’ll be right up front with a pillow case collecting candy with the other kids. I’m definitely embracing the snuggly newborn stage, because I know it’ll pass by all-too-quickly. This was probably the first and the last 4th of July parade that she’ll spend curled up in my arms. Sniff.

me juniper

Usually after the parade, we head over to the park and browse the flea market, listen to some music and enjoy a funnel cake (or two), but we figured that going to parade was a victory enough and headed back to my parents’ house for a nice holiday meal. Maybe next year we’ll be ready to hit up all the 4th of July festivities. For this year, seeing all the tractors was plenty of excitement for the day.

parade

After dinner, our big plans were for an absolutely epic family nap. We’re still trying to get a handle on sleeping arrangements for nighttime, and the night before the 4th was a rough one for everyone. But a four-hour afternoon nap seemed to cure a lot of the sleep deprivation. Plus, we did some rearranging for that night and had a much, much more peaceful night (well, other than all of our neighbors trying to outdo each other with fireworks).

I hope you all had an awesome weekend!

Did you do anything fun for the holiday weekend?

10 Goals for 31

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Posted on Jun 20, 2014 in Lifestyle

Happy Friday, friends! Today isn’t just any Friday, it’s my 31st birthday! We’re still in waiting-for-Baby-J holding pattern around here. And as much as waiting isn’t fun, I’d prefer the little one stay inside just another day or two. Not only would I prefer not to spend my birthday in hospital, but more importantly, I would prefer my little girl to not have to share a birthday with her fuddy-duddy of a mother the rest of her life. It’d be nice for her to have her own day. But, we’ll see! I guess she’s the only one who can decide when she wants her birthday to be.

chamomile flowers stock

We don’t really plan on doing much today to celebrate, but even my super-pregnant self can’t resist the draw of making some goals for the upcoming year on my birthday. Don’t worry, you won’t find any “do a triathlon” or “lose 50 pounds” types of goals on this list—I’m feeling a bit more introspective this year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to guide my next year on this planet and my first year as a parent, and I figured today is a great time to put those thoughts into black and white. And while I am writing these down, I’m also accepting that I have no friggin’ clue what the next 365 days has in store for me—so I might revisit this post on my 32nd birthday and laugh with the hearty laugh of an experienced mom. Who knows. But we’ll try it anyway!

daisy stock flower

1. Cut myself some slack. I have to be honest, I put up a pretty high bar for myself, and whenever I don’t achieve it, I tend to have a hard time letting that perceived failure go. It’s something I think a lot of us struggle with. And it’s something that just wont fly with being a parent. Every single day I’m going to do something wrong as a parent. And I have to accept that mistakes happen, not everything is easy, and failure is an option. And that is all okay.

2. Embrace the moment (all the moments). Life is full of its ups and downs. And the older I get, the more I realize that the downs are just as important as the ups. In fact, if the downs didn’t exist, neither would the ups. There are going to be (many) struggles over the next year, and I really want to learn to bring myself outside of the emotion and frustration of that particular moment and accept that this is a normal and even healthy part of life.

3. Live for the sake of living, not documenting. I’m a blogger. I’m a digital native. I’m a social media-aholic. Which means that I really struggle with fighting the “pic or it didn’t happen” mentality. Getting validation through Instagram likes or Twitter replies is not going to make my life any happier or healthier. Sure, I get joy out of sharing my life with people, but I think, like everything else, it’s about balance. I don’t want to be so focused on sharing my life that I forget to live it.

flowers stock

4. Get back to me. It was no secret that I haven’t loved pregnancy. I would take it a step further and say that I haven’t felt like myself since the first time I tossed my cookies way back last fall. There is something about pregnancy—beyond the morning sickness and the aches and pains—that left me feeling so removed from my regular self that I felt lost and down the majority of my pregnancy (it got much better in the last trimester). I understand that this year (well, really, the next 18 years) is going to be a major transition period for me, but I also feel like I have a chance to really reinvent myself and get back to what makes me, me. I can already feel it.

5. Eat good food. These next two are related to #4. I tried to eat as well as I could during pregnancy, but it was really a struggle. I want to take this year and focus on getting back to the basics when it comes to my eating. I want to relearn to live on and love healthy, fresh foods again. It’s the best thing I can do for me and for my entire family.

6. Move again. I know there are a lot of strong, incredible women out there who power through rough pregnancies and keep on exercising and working out, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I am so excited to slowly get back to a normal activity level (after I’ve been given the go-ahead by my midwives). I don’t plan on running any races anytime soon (or, uh, ever), but I do think that as I heal and strengthen, it’ll be so exciting to be able to get back to a baseline level of fitness. I’m not sure I realized how much of my identity was wrapped up in being fit and active, and I’m excited to figure out what fit and active looks like in my new world as a mom.

flower stock

7. Don’t work so much. I wouldn’t consider myself a workaholic—honestly, I would much rather just lay on the couch and watch crappy TV all day—but I do struggle a lot with figuring out the balance between working enough to keep food on the table and working so much that I end up rocking back and forth in the corner because I’m so overwhelmed. I’ve been doing this freelance/be-my-own-boss thing for nearly two years now (wow!) and I think for the longest time, I was petrified to turn down any opportunity for fear it would be the last that came across my inbox. But I’m beginning to learn that there will always be another opportunity. I started to get a bit more persnickety with what jobs I accepted last year, but I also think I need to realize that even really good opportunities aren’t really good opportunities if they come at a really bad time.

8. Save, save, save. This one might seem kinda counterproductive to #7, but it’s actually not. One of the biggest reasons I think I feel like I need to work all the time is because I’m not a very skilled saver. I can be pretty frugal, but when it comes to actually buckling down and saving for something, I really struggle to delay immediate gratification. I work hard. So I feel like I “deserve” something. So I buy it. And then I have to work harder because I didn’t save that money. It’s a vicious cycle. If I’m being entirely honest, I wouldn’t have to work nearly as hard if I just stopped fickle spending here and there and buckled down. It’s not that I drop thousands of dollars on lavish vacations or buy new cars every two years. It’s that I do things like spend $10 here and $5 there that adds up to hours and hours of work time over the years. This year, I, quite literally, cannot work the hours that I did in years past with a kid, so something has to give. And it’s going to have to be my $5 here and $10 there.

9. Learn to ask for and accept help. I don’t know what it is about our culture that makes it so darn difficult to ask for (or even just accept offered) help, but man, it feels like the absolute biggest of hurdles. I’ve finally had to learn to swallow my pride and get over myself toward the end of pregnancy. It’s something that I really struggle with. I’m not immune to wanting people to perceive me as superwoman, but it’s really just a totally unhealthy way of going through life. There nothing wrong with asking for help. And in fact, I’d say the healthiest people are the ones who do. I have to learn that it isn’t a sign of weakness to ask for help. And if I don’t, I’m not going to make it through this year.

flower tulip stock

10. Embrace a year of change. Above and beyond all of these goals, I think I have to accept that this year is going to be like no other year I’ve ever experienced. And it probably won’t be smooth sailing for the majority of it. A lot of people talk about “getting back to normal” after having a baby, and I’m trying to live under the philosophy that “normal” doesn’t exist anymore—at least not in the form I used to recognize it. Eventually, I’ll find a new normal (and quite probably, an even better normal than ever before), but I can never “go back”. This is the year of just accepting that I’m in limbo and trying to ride the waves until we, one day, realize we’ve found our new rhythm. I’m going to try my darndest to go with the flow this year.

Do you have any goals you’re trying to achieve this year?

Things I’m Digging…

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Posted on Jun 16, 2014 in Lifestyle

berries

1 Sunrise Growers Antioxidant Blend. We stopped at Costco last week to stock up on some of their healthier pre-made foods to stash in the freezer for when Baby J comes (still no signs she plans on showing up anytime soon . . .), and we noticed these big bags of organic fruit on sale in the freezer aisle. They are SO good. I’ve just been throwing a handful in the blender with some kale, a banana and a some milk and it makes the best smoothie. So many frozen berry blends aren’t very balanced, but there is such a good balance of berries, cherries and pomegranate in here. Yum!

me pool magazine

2 Pool weather. We went back and forth about opening up the pool this summer (we figured we’d have, uh, other things to take care of), but we decided to open it up mostly because I think it’ll be a nice way to help me recover after labor. But I’ve also been enjoying it pre-labor! It’s been warm and sunny, and I’ve been enjoying laying out in the sun with a magazine. I’ve actually yet to get in the water, mostly because I’m afraid that I won’t be able to hulk myself up the ladder to get back out!

cr-v car

3 Our new car. It’s official, I’ve totally moved on from my weepy ways and am in love with our new car. Having all the extra space is amazing! And I was concerned we were going to really miss the amazing fuel mileage of our small car, but the CR-V is getting really great gas mileage. We were getting between 35-40 MPG (!) with our Fit, and that was awesome, but we’ve only dropped to between 25-30 in the CR-V, which ain’t too shabby for all the extra space we have. I’m still getting used to having a car that blends in with all the others in the parking lot, but we’ll fix that with lots of hippie bumper stickers soon.

raspberries

4 Black Raspberries. We are lucky enough to have acres of wild-growing black raspberry vines on our property, and they’re starting to come off. They are incredibly tasty, and I love that they are totally free and require absolutely no maintenance. We picked gallons and gallons of the berries last year, stashed them in the freezer and ate on them all year long. Yum!

chore charts

5 Chore charts. In our attempt to keep our place neat and tidy, we made ourselves chore charts last month and they have been working beautifully. We just keep ‘em up on the fridge and check things off as we get through them. Each of us has a daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal section, and it’s really been helping to make sure we stay on top of things (and we were able to sit down and decide who did what, so each of us “owns” our specific chores). I’m sure we’ll get derailed once Baby J shows up, but it’s nice to know we have a system that’s been working that we can go back to once we settle into a new routine.

What are you digging lately?

Currently…

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Posted on Jun 11, 2014 in Lifestyle

daisy stock flower

Thinking…that I should really fold the basket of clothes sitting next to me. I’m trying hard to keep up on all the chores around the house so everything is nice and neat when Baby J comes, but it’s getting increasingly hard to, you know, bend over.

Feeling…swollen. I’ve heard all the stories about the swollen feet and ankles at the end of pregnancy, but wowzers, I had no idea they meant this swollen. I’m drinking a ton of water and keeping my feet elevated, but still, I can barely even squeeze my big ole (regularly) size 11s into flip-flops anymore. The skin is so tight, it hurts! Some women have even told me their feet grew a size or two larger during pregnancy and stayed that way. I really hope that isn’t the case for me, or I’ll never be able to buy cute shoes again.

feet creek flipflops shoes

Watching…not a lot. We got rid of satellite a few months back, and haven’t really looked back. I am excited to see all the HBO shows on Amazon Prime. I’m about three seasons behind on True Blood. I wonder if watching that while breastfeeding will scar Baby J for life? Probably so.

Excited…about meeting my daughter, obviously. Everyday I wake up and think, “This could be the day I become someone’s mom.”

baby clothes

Missing…gin and tonics. Out of all the boozy things I could miss, an ice-cold gin and tonic while sitting on the front porch is #1 on the list.

Reading…nothing. Although Craig is reading to me (and my belly) pretty often. Baby J might come out knowing a lot about sustainable homebrewing. Either that, or knowing all the words to The Pokey Little Puppy.

homebrewing book

Wondering…how much truth there is to the idea that more babies are born on the full moon. We’ve got one coming up on Friday (Friday the 13th, no less!). I wonder if Baby J will be a full moon baby.

Working…on not a lot! Working really hard to wrap up projects by June 1st was one of the best things I think I ever did for myself. It’s given me time to nest and work on craft projects and just generally enjoy the calm before the storm. I haven’t had this much time off in years and years, so I’m definitely soaking it up (and taking lots of naps). I know a lot of women don’t get a chance to do this, so I am so grateful to be able to take this time off and really bask in these last few days.

trees woods stock

Stressed…about pretty much nothing. With worked wrapped up and most of my around-the-house projects tackled, we’re pretty much in waiting mode around here. Which is a nice change from the frantic pace we normally keep.

Proud…of Baby J’s nursery! I can’t show it all to you guys until after she is here (because there are lots of name hints in the room), but I’m so excited with how it shaped up. I’m in particular excited that we were able to do it really affordably using lots of DIY and upcycling.

ruler nursery growth chart

Wanting…to drop some pounds. I haven’t really stressed about baby weight much, but as I close in on the homestretch, my joints are seriously aching. I forgot how punishing carrying extra weight is on my knees (which are genetically weak anyway). I’m not going to rush myself or really set any post-baby body goals, but I am pretty excited about the idea of getting some of this weight off so my knees don’t hurt so badly. Even just the few pounds I drop from delivery should help a lot! That and being able to wear shoes other than flip-flops.

Wishing…that our tomatoes would hurry up! I’m seriously craving some homegrown tomatoes.

tomatoes

Eating…tons of lettuce and kale from our garden. Greens (finally) made it back onto my edible list a few weeks back and I’ve been making up lost time and trying to cram in as many leafy greens into my diet as possible. I’ve had more green smoothies than I care to count.

Drinking…lots and lots of water to try to counteract swelling. And my weight in iced red raspberry leaf tea.

Loving…craft projects, summer flowers, having my husband home more, the excitement of a new stage starting, fresh food from the garden, ice water, dresses that feel more like nightgowns than real clothes, our new car (seriously, it’s amazing—although I still wish it was orange).

What are you currently feeling, loving, thinking, eating, etc.?