weekenders

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21 July 2017

1. The closest I can get to a smile ...

Some babies have tummy time but Abe has smile time in which I spend a fat chunk of his waking minutes trying in vain to get him to smile.


No dice. He'll smile up a storm in his sleep but the spirit has yet to move him to throw me a social smiling bone. SOON. I know it.

2. I skipped a week of quick takes and it really threw me off in terms of what I told you I've read. WiLd aNd cRaZy GrAcE. I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I liked it ... didn't love it but I zipped right through it so obviously it held my attention. I also finished The Shark Club which I thoroughly enjoyed and surprised me with the ending which I always appreciate. I just started The Sunshine Sisters and will report back next week!

3. Speaking of reading, if you're in the market for some new (to you) blogs to put on your radar - Erin's roundup is worth a click and peek :)

4. The Bachelorette! I have to agree with Sharleen and say I'd be super surprised if she doesn't end up picking Bryan. Peter for Bachelor (or Dean! but I read he said he's not emotionally ready? who KNOWS) ... though!

5. I was wanting to invest (push present to myself? perhaps, perhaps) in another pair of Birkenstocks in preparation for a whole host of travel we have on the horizon (oh how my 16yo self is rolling her eyes at my 33yo self) since I have and love the Arizonas and even polled the kind Facebook page (who was pretty much split down the middle between these and these) but went rogue and snagged a pair of these and dare I say they are more comfortable than my birks? I dare. And (whispers) they might be a little more aesthetically pleasing too. They keep selling out at Nordstrom and Zappos so I know I'm not alone in my undying love and future devotion to my new (late) summer kicks.

5.5 I just came across these. $800 for Birkenstocks?! Now I've seen it all. All of it.

6. the big! bad! sale! of! the! summer! ... these boyfriend jeans (or, excuse me! ex-boyfriend jeans) have been getting rave reviews for their more tailored fit than traditional boyfriend jeans and are a lot softer/lighter weight. Plus, I love that brand and it very rarely goes on sale. Sign me UP (in a few months when I'm slightly less postpartum :)).

These 2-in-one booties caught my mule-loving eye. They seem genius in theory but I wonder how well they actually work ...

7. And Nike is having a 20% off clearance sale (ends tomorrow: 7/22) use code: SAVEMORE20 in case you're in need of some new shoes! I never thought I'd call a pair of sneakers, "pretty!" but here we are ...

Have a wonderful weekend!

postpartum in the kitchen

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20 July 2017

I knew that title would have everyone for my blog. In droves!

No, but really. I wish I were more prepared in the meal department when babies come on the scene but I'm not and I'll never pretend to be.


Our kitchen decor speaks for itself ...


Ahem.

The truth is that we rely on quick and easy and not-so-healthy options in the first days and weeks but with Abe and Bosco we've also leaned heavily on Blue Apron to get us over that first month hump which makes for happier humans all around.

The older kids are getting old enough that their not only interested about when meals are going to be served but also how they're made so after we put the little kids down for naps after church this past Sunday we let them help like the kind parents that we are.


Julia took great care and pride in checking off the steps as we made Pork Chops and Peach Sauce with Corn and Summer Squash Succotash together. Simon said he'd never had a pork chop that tasted good so (as usual) he was skeptic but I was hopeful and optimistic as Blue Apron has yet to let us down.

I've heard of people grilling peaches but I'd never thought to sauté them but I'm going to have to add it to my teeny tiny recipe repertoire because the sauce was GOOD.


In true oldest fashion, Julia has to help Sebastian do the one task he really wanted to do.

Someone woke up from her non-nap to observe ...


... but no offers to help, shockingly.


Checking everything off very diligently.


... keeping the pencil handy.

Simon would like everyone to know that he staged and took the following photo ...


... look at the butter placement/focus.

Okay! So, in the sad event that you're not familiar with Blue Apron and all that it entails let me enlighten you:

Blue Apron is a genius service that delivers farm fresh ingredients right to your doorstep, perfectly portioned, along with beautiful chef-designed recipes to create the most delicious meals
+ there are two plans: the 2-person plan and the family plan and everything arrives in a refrigerated box (it stays impressively cool on our porch even in the middle of a Florida summer!)
+ They are currently working toward developing a sustainable food system and use very high quality ingredients - you can check out their vision page here!
Blue Apron has a huge selection of recipes and is always adding to their rotation every week
+ There's absolutely no commitment and you can skip or cancel at any time
+ All of their meals are between 500-800 calories per serving and take up to 40 minutes to prepare (usually less - in our experience!)
Blue Apron offers a recycling program that you can learn more about here!

Blue Apron also just added a kids' Cooking Camp add-on for kids where kids can learn to do things like plant seeds, make salad dressing, and get them excited about being in the kitchen ...


They loved coloring the included coloring page and I won't tell you how many of veggies they had to ask, "sooo what color is that one?"

Our finished product ...


... changed Simon's mind about pork chops and changed the kids' minds about squash (I'm more excited about the latter)!

Want to try for yourself? The first 50 readers to try Blue Apron will get three free meals tacked onto their order just click here!!

If you want to browse some of their recipes first click right on over here!

Thanks for reading and thanks to Blue Apron for sponsoring this post and making our lives a lot easier post-Abraham :)

the birth of Abraham James (part ii)

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18 July 2017

... back to the delivery room we roll.

(part one here!)

So, my epidural was acting up and I was starting to worry that it was just going to give up on me entirely. It didn't, thankfully. I rolled around enough (with lots of help from my angel nurse and Simon) that it seemed to sort itself out and to be honest I was still so fixated on making sure the baby came out face down that the contractions were a semi-welcome distraction.

The OB that had come on that morning was super nice and came in once the nurse confirmed that I was complete and ready to push. The nurse said she thought the baby wasn't OP but she couldn't be sure ... which didn't sound promising at all. Commence cuticle chewing.

The good doctor gave me the okay to start pushing with the usual, "this baby is just going to slide RIGHT out ... " chuckle, chuckle. I knew better but started pushing anyway and it seemed like the baby was coming down like a well-behaved newborn ... nice and normal. Praise the good and generous Lord.

Oh, hmm - wait. Maybe not. Suddenly I heard reports from down yonder that the baby formerly known as behaved was what was that? Oh, "direct OP" -- Great. Great. Just great. And not surprising.

I should pause to mention that the doctor on call was a male which was fine but I preferred females (which lots of people tell me is hypocritical since Simon has delivered lots of babies to which I SAY: I'm not offended if you would prefer a lady doctor to Simon .... not offended in the slightest ... ) however, he was really great and I would totally voluntarily deliver with him again. He tried his best to turn the baby (the baby was not having it) and let me try almost every pushing position out there (humility - thy name is pushing positions). I kept saying I was fine if they wanted to bust out the kiwi (the mini vacuum - like they did with Phoebe) and that I was sorry this was taking so long and tried to get Simon to tell me the truth if my pushing was making any progress (he kept saying the proverbial, "great job!!" but I didn't believe him, at all).

And THEN the baby's heart rate started to dip so they strapped an oxygen mask on me and THEN I started throwing up which was a first for me in the delivery room. It was quite a sight. Or, so I would imagine. I had to shove the mask out of the way to throw up into the receptacle Simon was holding, put the mask back in place, push (in some unbearably awkward position), rinse, repeat. More drama than a Lifetime movie. If I had been on the fence about having a baby and walked into my room during these moments-o-delight ... I think I would've been scared childless forever. And ever. Amen.

They announced (more nurses had joined the party - at that point -- the Pope could've waltzed in and I would not have cared and probably asked if he'd mind baptizing the baby in a minute or ninety) that the baby had, "some wisps of hair" which was encouragement enough for me to finally get the job done after a full hour and push the baby out. Woo hoo.

I would've pushed for several more hours and I'd do it all again and again but I was SO happy to have "only" pushed for an hour, to be honest.

Simon yellnounced that it was a boy and they laid the baby on my chest with his back to me (think spooning, I guess) and I kept wanting to ask/demand that they turn him around so I could see his face but I was too busy crying tears of relief and joy to spit the words out. Finally, they did and even if we had 100 more kids that moment of getting to see your baby's (albeit bruised) face will never ever get old. Everyone predicted he'd weigh eight pounds even but let me hold and nurse him for well over an hour before he made it over to the scale (where they announced he was eight pounds and nine ounces making him our biggest baby to date by almost a pound). He had a pretty dark line-shaped bruise on one of his calves from the cord being tightly wrapped around it which explained the variables.

I'll always laugh, like the mom that I am, thinking back to when our angel nurse brought in some food and Abe fully opened both eyes for the first time, stopped nursing completely and turned his massive head to the side to see what he was missing. Coincidence? Probably. But, the timing was hilarious, promise.


Abe and his wisps of hair.

Everyone was asking about names and we told our three choices to one of the nurses who just happened to know a Dominic, Damien, and an Abraham and said she liked all three of them so she'd be no help. She also offered her own suggestions as well. We settled on Abraham (I think Simon was being nice after that little odyssey of a delivery but we've since agreed he's definitely an Abe so his niceness paid off, I guess) and Simon stuck around for a little bit until he ran home to relieve the sitter and grab the kids for a quick visit.


(they were just rubbing sanitizer on the hands - as much as I'd like to pretend like they always enter rooms in prayer formation .... )

And that was that!

I'm tempted to expound on my postpartum room and all of it's closet-sized glory but some things are left rosier in the old memory bank.

I can't believe Abe is almost six weeks old because it feels like he's been around forever and like he was born just yesterday, you know? I know you do.

I'm convinced Bosco doesn't remember a life without him, Phoebe is VERY daring with her attempts to try to pick him up and carry him around (years off my life, every time), Theo and Sebastian still introduce him as, "the newborn baby" to anyone that will listen when we're out and about (which is not often) and Julia doesn't know it yet but she's about to get a little lesson on diaper changing to help this mother out.


:)

the birth of Abraham James

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16 July 2017

A formal title for an informal tale.


You know those birth stories where the mom isn't totally sure if she's in labor but she goes to the hospital anyway and it turns out she's actually fully dilated, locked, and loaded and gives birth in triage while the unprepared nurse yells out into the hallway abyss for help, STAT?

Me too.

This is not one of those stories.

Friday, June 9th.
38w6d pregnant.

cue Law & Order scene change, "dun dun" sound effect. 
YOU KNOW THE ONE

I went to my scheduled OB appointment that morning where, despite the ultrasound the week before saying the baby was measuring almost 8 pounds, the doctor said she was positive the baby would be six maybe seven pounds. She also said I was dilated to a 4 and offered to strip my membranes.

I happily accepted.

I also got REALLY excited about being so dilated despite knowing people walk around for weeks at 4/5 cm but still. I promised myself at the beginning of the pregnancy I wouldn't be an eager beaver at the end about having the baby and would be totally zen about going past my due date but then - I broke that promise. Sort of. I'll hide behind the pain of my right leg veins (said veins completely vanished almost immediately, btw - thank the varicose gods) along with the fact that Simon started a more time consuming rotation in July and I had one seasoned postpartum eye on the calendar/clock in that regard. But, I was also just feeling huge and ready to meet the baby.

So, Simon was able to watch the kids after my appointment and I went on a long walk around the hospital (outside - blocks away - not literally in the hospital). Contractions were coming regularly and the contraction timing app I downloaded told me to go to the hospital or call an ambulance several times but I knew better.

Nope.

I'm no stranger to prodromal labor and suspected this might not be the real deal, sadly. However, the OB had told me not to wait around at home if I wanted an epidural and those words were blaring on full blast in my head over and over because - yes to the epidural.


I stopped on my walk and bought a sandwich (and used the bathroom and took this real nice selfie) because it might be my last supper, you know? LOLOLOL (no)

I went home and gave Simon and the boys haircuts, packed my hospital bag, went on another walk, and kept on having contractions. They were painful but not stop me in my tracks painful so we made dinner, supervised a road race, and put the kids to bed I showered and the contractions continued and were getting more painful. I texted a few sitters but no one was free to come so our angel of a friend, Libby came right over around 10:30 and we were on our merry way. I was still kind of, "is this it? shouldn't I be in more pain?" but proceeded anyway like the novice that I am.

We were checked right in, the triage nurse put the fetal heart rate monitor on and immediately said she was pretty positive I was having a boy. She also said Labor and Delivery was crazy busy (I've literally never heard of a Labor and Delivery not being crazy busy ... come to think of it ... ) and told us which OB was on call which made me happy because 1) I had met her (there are lots in the practice I hadn't met) and 2) I really, really liked her. She came in and checked my non-progress and announced that I was 3cm dilated.

L to the O to the L.

I wanted to just slink out, gown and all. Not only had I not progressed but I had somehow regressed from the supposed 4cm earlier that day. Wonderful. She said she would come back in 2 hours to see if I had, "made change" so I decided to walk the halls but as soon as I stood up I decided I'd rather nap instead. So, I was motivated to have the baby but not that motivated. I napped (through no contractions - of course, of COURSE) and Simon read his book club book until the kind doctor came back and declared that no, no change to be had so -- I was going to be discharged.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fight serious tears when she left. I don't know why, in retrospect. I think I was just tired (it was around 2am at this point) and embarrassed and didn't want to come back and get sent home for a second time and worried about who would watch the kids because surely we couldn't ask Libby AGAIN - you know, the usual hormonal run-on sentence drivel. God bless Simon. He assured me that I would eventually have the baby and that, "this happens all the time" (mmm hmmm) and I tried to pretend like I was cool - cucumber style - when the triage nurse came in to give me my discharge papers.

Literally (used correctly, promise) as she was handing me the papers, the baby's heart rate dipped (technically called a variable deceleration) which could be a sign of the umbilical cord being compressed and so (long story short) they decided to keep me overnight for observation.

We got moved to a much bigger room with a couch rather than a chair for Simon and I was upgraded to an actual bed vs. a glorified ironing board. Simon and I both slept but he said he woke up and noticed a big decel at one point. The OB came in around 5am (???) and said that the variables weren't stopping and she wasn't comfortable sending me home and that she thought an induction was probably the best option since I was technically 39 weeks as of midnight.

Before she even finished saying, "we'll start by breaking your wate --- " I interrupted and asked if I could get an epidural first.

Priorities Patton, at your service. Be an advocate for yourself, I say.

She said sure and anesthesia actually met me outside my room as I got moved from triage to real deal Labor and Delivery. Simon had warned me several times that epidurals can take a long time to come once they are ordered so I was overjoyed that he was proven wrong.

The epidural placement wasn't seamless and it had to be done a couple times but overall it was fine. Sort of fine. After they broke my water I was a whopping 5cm. My contractions were still pretty pathetic so Simon went home to nap and relieve Libby (neither one of us was worried that I would deliver precipitously). I met the nurse that was coming on for the day shift and I don't do her justice when I say that she was an angel sent from the heavens above. She was pregnant herself and SO kind and sweet and everything you'd hope a Labor and Delivery nurse would be.

I enjoyed a popsicle and some broth (truly, it really hit the spot for some reason), a movie, and found a sitter free to watch the kids. Simon came back around 11 and they started pitocin since I still wasn't having any productive contractions. We watched another movie. I started to grill Simon about names since we weren't totally decided on a boy name. We narrowed it down to Dominic Pierre, Damien Francisco, or Abraham James and Simon said we should decide if the baby was actually a boy when the time came.

My epidural was pretty heavy on my legs but as I hit transition (I suspect) I started to feel the contractions in my stomach and back and started to ever so slightly freak out. I had been diligent about changing positions because I was borderline petrified of having a fourth consecutive baby try to come out while sunny side up ...

DUN DUN DUN

part two coming SOON. Promise. 

dia de prime

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10 July 2017


One month old and that handwriting ... it could use some work, Abe. B+ for effort though.

Unless you've been living under a proverbial rock or steering clear of the online community you're probably well aware that it's Prime Day. Yay.

I know the deals were pretty underwhelming last year but they've stepped it UP this year and a lot of people are saying that a lot of deals are even better than that of Black Friday. Is it so? Well, let's find out.

Would it be nice to get my birthday (not MY birthday but you know - Simon and the kids' birthdays) and Christmas shopping done in July? It would. It's unrealistic but I would love to make a dent. I can't tell you how nice it was having Bosco's birthday done and Father's Day ready to rock and roll several weeks in advance (and not just because Abe was born a few days prior) because I was able to be more thoughtful and less rash and harried in my gift buying frenzy.

Alright. Let's see what we've GOT.

Well, first things first. You all know I love our dog, Diego. But I did look at this for several minutes wondering if this was Amazon's idea of a joke or a real thing??? It tosses treats? I feel like it's something the Jetson's dog, Astro, would've had at his disposal.

I get the vast majority of our area rugs from Amazon and there are loads of deals to be had on some goodies ... take a peek!!

I'm embarrassed to admit that the two older kids had to tell me what an Echo was but it's 50% off. I'm almost tempted, kids. ALMOST.

You all know how I feel about my Fitbit and the Blaze is an extra $60 off at checkout ... yee haw.

Kindles! 38% off and in two colors.

There are a few cute (and sensible but still cute!) swimsuits on sale ...

The Instant Pot (hot, hot, hot this year, it seems) is 30% off!

The Roomba is 33% off ... I'm kind of dying for one ....

If you're in the market for a new car seat there are lots of great deals on lots of popular brands!

The Clarisonic Mia1 is 35% off

30% off Saltwater Sandals (these never go on sale ... or so it seems!!)

30% off L'ovedbaby organic clothing (the footed overall is such a classic - Abe is wearing it here)

... and I've got my eye on a lightning deal for my favorite stain remover that goes live at 3:50am.

Wild Night is calling. (edited to add - got it!! worth it.)

I'll update the post if/as I find things worth sharing, of course. Of course!

(And if you're not a member of the My Sale Rack page ... you should join!)

jumping the weekend gun

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30 June 2017

1. Original post title: jumping the Friday gun because I started this post on Thursday but we all know how those best laid plans tend to go ... SO. Weekend gun jumping it is.

2. I managed to leave the house twice with kids in tow this week and my big takeaway is/was that I will forever miss the minivan's sliding doors. We upgraded (or downgraded - depending on who you talk to) to a suburban and even the kids are having a tough time with the transition as they all call it, "the new van" (despite it being 12 years old just like "the old van"). Anyway, I've found myself getting a little bit frustrated at how little I've been able to get done or the state of the house (hurricane meets tsunami) by 8:03 in the am but then I remind myself that Abe isn't even three weeks old and force a figurative chill pill down the hatch. I've never looked back at the newborn days and thought, "I wish I'd cleaned/stressed/done MORE" so -- chill pills for all. Or all for me.

I think Abe is good on the chill front.

3. I have managed to do some reading this week and finished The Identicals which I've decided wasn't my favorite Elin book? Which means I still liked it but it just wasn't up to par with her others - in my esteemed opinion. I started The Shark Club (the author is the daughter of Sue Monk Kidd who wrote The Secret Life of Bees) and so far - so great. I'll let you know how I like it when I finish it though. Also, I was SO excited to get a copy of the Blessed Is She planner in the mail yesterday. It's gorgeous and super intuitive and makes me really excited to get my life together. In August.

4. I can't believe we are already down to just six guys left on Rachel's season (but um - I've heard pretty much zero words from Matt and Adam .... may as well be four?) and I'm still on Team Peter. And Dean. And Eric. I'm just not a fan of Bryan. At all. I kind of like Peter for Bachelor and Sharleen pointed out that he could potentially be less into her as she is into him? Things that'll keep you UP AT NIGHT.

5. L-l-l-l-ast call for this sidewalk sale full of clearance goodness. I wish they carried newborn sizes but I know Abe will fit into the 0-3 month stuff just as soon as a blink so I think we'll allllll survive.

Here he is in a 0-3 month tee. Funny story - I took this photo before I ran to the store with the girls and while I was gone Simon texted me the exact same photo that he'd taken of our little cherub. Great minds, great minds.

6. I know it's WAY overhyped by almost everyone but I'm still hoping this gorgeous top and these cute (and seemingly comfy) shoes go on sale during the upcoming (and overhyped) anniversary sale. I saw someone wearing the sandals on Instagram (I've become that person) and fell in love. With the shoes. Not the shoe wearer. Also, 1/2 off everything (even clearance stuff!) at LOFT right now with code: SPARKLER. If you need cute but inexpensive sunglasses - theirs are the best bang for your buck, says I. ALSO ALSO 1/2 off everything over here as well! Yes, even clearance (again) with code: FOURTHFUN.

7. As Simon handed Julia a container of Costco-bought cinnamon rolls for her last-day-of-camp party this morning she was quick to tell us that so and so was bringing, "HOMEMADE blue and red rice crispy treats" (with no hint of jealousy/malice - or if so she hid it well) so I've got big plans to make HOMEMADE watermelon star cutouts for the 4th. Look out.

Happy Fourth of July - if I don't talk to you before then :)

Linking up with Kelly!

seven things

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23 June 2017

1. I've got about a million (or five) blog posts I would love to sit down and pound out (birth story included) but I'm enjoying taking it as easy as possible while not letting the laundry pile up to our lashes and making sure everyone adjusts to life with a new baby accordingly. I'll be back in regular blogging action in no time, like it or not.


Abe is anxious for my return.

2. Overall, everything is going well thanks to Abe being a champ of a night time sleeper, Simon having some time off, and my standards bar staying nice and low (lower ... lower ... lower ... THERE! that low).


Mom's glasses, Abe's paci, and 1/10 of his truck book collection - a simple man with simple needs.

3. A wonderful article on how Joy is doing these days (and a big Happy Birthday to her mom today!!)

4. I haven't made a ton of headway on my current book (although I am enjoying it) but Simon and I watched Age of Adaline and Captain Fantastic this past week and were pleasantly surprised by both (I'd especially recommend Captain Fantastic :)).

5. Did you see my play kitchen makeover on IG? I'm going to blog about how I did it and alllll the things I'd do different but the original kitchen is on crazy sale right now just in case your life has a big fat play kitchen hole that needs to be filled ...

6. Extra 50% off clearance at J.Crew Factory right now with code: CLEAROUT

7. and!! Primary (quality baby/toddler/kid basics - we are big fans) is having a sidewalk sale and new customers can get an additional 25% off with code: welcome 25

and that's all she typed. over the course of three hours. Mavis Beacon would be so proud.

Linking up with Kelly :)

two!!

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15 June 2017


Someone's got a birthday today and it's not me, Simon, Julia, Sebastian, Theo, Phoebe, or Abe so that must mean it's Bosco's big day. I think he sort of gets it because he keeps flashing me a pointer finger. Toddler Einstein? You thought it first.

Bosco's had his little world rocked this past week and has definitely thrown his allegiance over into Simon's court but he's been very sweet with the, "baby! baby! baby! BABY!!" and asks to "hold! hold! hold! HOLD!" him alllll throughout the day.

I've mentioned a few dozen times that he is truck obsessed but even if I mentioned it a few hundred times I don't think I would be able to properly convey just how deep his affection and obsession runs. He's started seeing trains and cars and boats and planes on the side but his one true love remains. Trucks + Bosco FOREVER.

Obviously he's my child and I think he's super cute but I think because he says hi to anyone within a 100 yard radius he gets lots of smiles from passersby. Said enthusiasm for greetings galore also makes him the slowest walker ever - which makes up for all the times he sprints away from me while proudly yelling back, "hi Ma!!" in my direction so I'm sure to notice his antics.

He loves all of his siblings and loves nothing more than to be included when they play but he has a special bond with Julia and often pushes siblings off the couch to get a better look of photos of her hanging on the wall. They share a love of sleep and (fingers crossed I don't jinx it) has to be woken up every morning and is more than happy to go down for naps and bed at night.

His version of a tantrum these days involves him putting his forehead on the ground for a split second before he forgets what he's mad about and moves on with his day. Let's hope it stays that way.

He's got the sweetest temperament but is showing signs of his two-year-old spice SO let the games begin, "Offy" (as Phoebe logically calls him) ...


... Happy, Happy Birthday sweet Bosco! We're so happy you're ours.

Bosco's birth story here!

 

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