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Is there a sexy side to pregnancy?

Maybe it’s just me, but pregnancy is not one of those times in my life when I’ve felt my most attractive. I’m sure there are women (and men) out there who find pregnancy to be very natural and sexy, but for the most part, I feel…. frumpy. To me, there is nothing seductive about elastic waistband pants and shirts embellished with stretchy seams to accommodate my ever-growing belly.

I find maternity clothes (and all clothes, really) to be constraining and uncomfortable during pregnancy, which means I typically end up sporting my bathrobe or the baggiest sweatpants I can find the minute I get back from work each day. Since I arrive home about an hour before my husband, he usually finds me lounging in my comfiest clothing while cooking dinner by the time he pulls in from work around 6:00. The other night, for some strange reason, I happened to actually be wearing jeans and a cute sweater. He commented on how nice I looked – and it totally hit me that he probably hasn’t seen me in anything but elastic for at least a month.

There are plenty of other problems beyond the issue of finding cute and comfortable clothing to accommodate the 20 extra pounds of weight around my middle. It’s pretty difficult to paint your toe nails when you haven’t been able to reach your feet in weeks. I mean, just getting socks and shoes on in the morning while a tiny human kicks me in ribs is challenging enough. And attempting to shave my legs is like an acrobatic routine that I’d just rather not endure on a regular basis.

I’ve seen some women sharing maternity photos on social media of themselves dressed in nearly nothing – showing off their gorgeous figures and their precious pregnancy “glow.” Check out this photo Vanessa Lachey shared on Twitter during her pregnancy in 2012.

Vanessa Lachey - Photo courtesy of http://blog.thebump.com/2012/06/21/its-a-boy-for-vanessa-nick-lachey/

Vanessa Lachey – Photo courtesy of http://blog.thebump.com/2012/06/21/its-a-boy-for-vanessa-nick-lachey/

I’m all for attempting to embrace my changing shape, but it feels like the only glow I’m sporting these days is due to the beads of sweating forming on my face from lugging around baby weight while dealing with constant back pain. And speaking of back pain – it doesn’t get sexier than the maternity support belt. Strapping four pieces of fabric and Velcro over my expandable pants definitely makes me feel desirable. While I’d love to attempt some sensual preggo photos, I feel this type of photo more honestly captures my experience with pregnancy:

 Doesn't get more seductive than a support belt. Am I right?

Doesn’t get more seductive than a support belt. Am I right?

After all is said and done, I know I’m fortunate to be able to experience pregnancy and to be carrying a healthy baby. I know the nine months of lending my body to baby will be totally worth it when we reach the end. Not to mention, I also know the first few months post-partum is probably even less sexy than the pregnancy itself (picture leaking breast milk, constant pumping, spit-up covered clothing, etc). So for now, I’ll continue to sport my support belt underneath my stretchy shirts and pray to god I get my sexy back somewhere in the near future.

The Nursery

As an expecting mother, one of most exciting things for me during both my pregnancies has been planning a nursery. For the most part, I’m not talented in interior design, nor do I thoroughly enjoy it, but let me just tell you that the nesting rumors are true. Pregnant women love to get shit ready for their babies to arrive. And considering the nursery is where I will be spending the majority of my sleepless nights during the next several months, I might as well put some time and effort into making it a cozy place to be.

During my first pregnancy, I felt the same desire to do some serious nursery decorating/nesting, but my interior design efforts consisted mostly of walking into Babies R Us and scanning a ton of shit to put in the nursery. The nursery décor at Babies R Us is pretty much a bedroom in a box – they have an entire wall of themed décor that you can literally stand and scan in a matter of minutes. Not only do they offer everything you need, such as bedding, lamps, wall decals, hampers, window treatments, etc, but it all matches the same color scheme and cliché theme of your choice. I’m not knocking this kind of decorating, since it is clearly what we chose the first time around, but it does feel kind of generic when I look back at pictures of the nursery. But who can blame me? Grey was born before I knew Pinterest existed. Who the hell could complete any kind of creative DIY/decorating project without first pinning hundreds of pictures to your Pinterest boards??

I attempted to make up for my sad lack of design skills when Grey moved into his new bedroom at age two. Rather than stepping foot into Babies R Us, or any other baby supply store, I searched the internet for some inspiration and created a pretty cool little kid’s room (in my opinion, anyway). Check out of some photos of Grey’s current bedroom below.

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So when it came time to turn our guest room into a baby’s bedroom, I was determined to do something more creative than the first nursery I nested in. I found an awesome photo on Pinterest of a room I loved – I’d share the link here but unfortunately the webpage no longer exists. So, I used this one photo as a model for finding some cool wall art and modern patterns. I had my heart set on painting stripes on one wall in the bedroom and thus begged my husband to hire a painter to avoid having to take on this task. The thought of trying to work out precise measurements, make sure the stripes were level, and hope to God that the painter’s tape would prevent the paint from seeping out was a little overwhelming. But since we weren’t able to find an affordable painter who was available and my husband was begging me to have a little faith in his abilities, we decided to go ahead and attempt to do the painting ourselves. Now that the room is finally finished, I have to say, I think we did a damn good job. The stripes came out perfect and the wall décor is exactly what I was picturing. Check out some photos below!

Baby B's Bedroom

Baby B’s Bedroom – The Stripes

 

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I had such a hard time finding a rug, but I totally fell in love with this Safavieh Amherst Navy and Ivory print – and they had it in a seven foot round, which was perfect for the space! And after purchasing and returning several different window treatments, I finally settled on a teal geometric print from Target.

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I’m SO thrilled with how the wall art came out! I wanted a quote from the Bob Dylan song “Make You Feel My Love,” so I found an artist on Etsy who paints quotes on wooden pallets and purchased it in navy blue. I purchased the “Be Brave Today” digital file on Etsy as well, then printed and framed it. I found a cheap wooden letter “G” at Hobby Lobby and used acrylics to paint it teal and white. I purchased three bow ties from Children’s Place, then glued them into a shadow box frame. My favorite piece in the nursery is definitely the digitized print of our family dog, created by my very-talented-graphic designer sister. Check out her business Facebook page here.

My Pinterest Inspired DIY Mobile!

My Pinterest Inspired DIY Mobile!

I saw a homemade mobile on Pinterest and fell in love! It looked easy enough to create…. and it wasn’t too bad…. however it was far more time consuming than I would have liked. Check out the tutorial I used online here.

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Even though trying to create a unique room was a lot of work, I so happy with the final result. So when I’m spending half the night feeding, changing, and rocking a newborn, at least we’ll have a cozy space to get comfortable in.

Have some nursery design ideas?? Leave me a comment or a link to photos below!

Follow The Honest Mommy on Pinterest at:

https://www.pinterest.com/thehonestmommy/

From Trendy to Kid Friendly

Before my husband and I had our first child, we enjoyed a lot of perks that we totally took for granted. Our routine during the week consisted of going to work, meeting up at the gym for a workout, and eating a late dinner around 8:00pm. And on the weekends? Well, on Fridays, we went out. We drank lots of alcohol. We slept in late. And then we did it again on Saturday. Just living the dream.

At some point, we got a puppy, which totally threw off our lackadaisical lifestyle. We couldn’t go to the gym together after work because someone had to get home to let the dog out. We had to get up in the middle of the night and early in the morning to let him out to pee. And we thought that was rough. (We were naïve sons of bitches, by the way).

Anyways, besides hitting up happy hours and having drinks with friends, our favorite “date night” thing to do was to spend our evenings trying the latest trendy restaurants downtown. Our favorite restaurant offers homemade pastas and decadent cheesecakes for dessert. We spent every special occasional at this awesome wine bar that serves the best steak and most delicious variety of wine a girl could ask for – and even features a few semi-circle round booths so that you can sit close to your hubby (which sounds super cheesy, but it was cozy). One of the newer restaurants we checked out a few times describes itself as “South Carolina Lowcountry cuisine & craft cocktails in a rustic-chic setting with chandeliers.” Sounds awesome, right? From what I remember, it is; sadly, it’s been a while since we’ve had the opportunity to stop in some of these places. Not exactly toddler friendly, if you know what I mean.

When our son was born, we didn’t go out to eat nearly as often as we had in the past. Even though a newborn is pretty portable, I felt weird breastfeeding in public and often found myself sitting in the backseat of the car feeding my baby while my husband was inside waiting for our dinner to arrive. And as he got older, I was terrified of taking him to restaurants for the sheer fact that he might throw a shit fit or blow out a diaper while waiting for our check to be delivered. But I eventually got over that new mommy fear and surprisingly, our kid is pretty well-behaved in public. He turned three recently and just like his mommy and daddy, one of his favorite things to do on the weekends is to eat out, which is awesome. The only difference these days is the type of place we find ourselves having dinner. You know, “rustic-chic with chandeliers” is not really his style…. Nevertheless, I think it’s important for him to learn how to sit through dinner (not to mention eating out means I don’t have to cook), so we’ve been taking him to restaurants a few times a month.

Last Friday, my husband and I planned to pick him up from daycare together after work and grab a bite to eat before heading home. We were trying to figure out where to go when I got this awesome text from Matt.

restaurant post 1

That’s right. He asked me if I wanted to go to Macaroni Grill BECAUSE THEY GIVE YOU CRAYONS TO DRAW ON THE TABLE.

We used to pick restaurants based on the level of trendiness and the whether or not they served cool cocktails. And now?? We choose where to go based on whether or not you can draw on the damn table (since our child will most likely draw on the table whether or not it’s allowed).

Some nights, I miss the freedom of pre-parenthood life when we were able to do whatever we wanted on the weekends. But the honest truth is I’d choose eating at TGI Fridays, Applebee’s – and yes, even Macaroni Grill – any day. As long as it means I get to spend the evening with two (soon to be three!) of the cutest boys I know.

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When Mommies Need “Me Time”

Back in January, I was the lucky recipient of the dreaded jury duty summons. Don’t get me wrong, I get it. It’s an American right and responsibility and so on. But to be honest, jury duty feels more like a major inconvenience than an important civic duty. From having to drive downtown at the crack of dawn, to having to pay for my own parking, and the sad $40 per day pay rate, it’s all pretty annoying. But honestly, when I received the summons, I looked at my number and I was pretty sure I had a good chance of not even being called in.

And I was wrong.

Sure enough, on the morning of my call to duty, I was told to report to the court house by 7:30am. I called in to work, got the baby off to daycare, and headed downtown. In true pregnant lady style, I showed up toting around a bag full of snacks and several bottles of water, knowing I had a long day of sitting around and doing nothing ahead of me. Since it’s not often that I have a full day of nothing to do, I also packed my iPad and a book I’d been attempting to read for the last year (or two).

After waiting in a very long security line and getting settled into a room full of 400 other people who were equally as thrilled to be there as I was, I decided to make the best of an annoying situation. I poured myself a decaf coffee and grabbed my book. To my surprise, I looked up at the clock some time later only to realize I had been busy reading for over an hour and a half. It occurred to me then that maybe jury duty wasn’t so bad after all. I mean, I couldn’t remember the last time I had an uninterrupted hour and a half to myself to just sit and read a book. And not only that, but I was actually getting paid $40 to sit there and enjoy some alone time (alone, besides the 400 other people in the room, of course).

By the fourth or fifth hour of the day, I had not only read half my book, but I had made some friends, enjoyed some adult time, and caught up on e-mails.

And around this time, I realized that I had been in desperate need of some time away from work and parenting. I mean – seriously – if you are enjoying yourself at jury duty, you probably need to get out more often. I couldn’t recall the last time I had taken some time to hang out with adults and do something that didn’t revolve around motherhood and career related responsibilities.

mom e card vacation

So last week, when a fellow pregnant friend invited me to join her at a prenatal yoga class, I jumped at the chance. Now let me preface this by saying, I am definitely not a yoga junkie by any means. I’ve taken a handful of classes in the past, but that’s about it. I’m not a granola eating, meditating, natural birthing kind of person. I’m typically the person who looks awkward in the back row attempting to bend myself into bizarre poses and trying not to laugh as the instructor tells me to take deep breaths and release my fears and worries through my fingertips (and other yoga nonsense that makes me giggle). They are constantly telling you to let your mind relax, not to think about anything except being in the moment, but c’mon. We’re moms, ladies. I’m making a mental grocery list and planning my son’s birthday party as I’m standing in warrior pose. But I digress.

So although I’m not yoga master, I really wanted to go. I mean, jury duty was thrilling and all, but I needed some legit “me time.” I trudged through the frozen tundra after work last Monday night and made it to class with a few minutes to spare. I was the first mom to arrive, and I have to admit, I was nervous. The studio was very small – there wasn’t going to be any hiding in the background. The class was going to be taught by a doula and I was slightly nervous she’d spend the entire time trying to convince me why I should attempt natural child birth and how to breathe through contractions sans epidural. And even more, there were a variety of props set up at each person’s spot – blankets, yoga blocks, a few fancy pillows. I had a feeling I was going to be in over my head with this class.

As the women arrived and we settled into the start of class, the doula welcomed everyone and spoke to each pregnant mom individually, asking us how we were feeling. I know what you are thinking – last week I was totally bitching about people asking the obligatory, “How are you feeling?” when they don’t really want or care to hear my answer. But this was different. She actually wanted to know how we were feeling. She asked what parts of our body were hurting, how we were sleeping. She offered some stretches and sleeping positions that might help our aching backs. It was amazing. It was so nice to spend 10-15 minutes talking about the physical challenges of pregnancy with other women and have them actually listen and understand. Maybe this wasn’t going to be as yoga-meditation-crazy as I had expected.

The rest of the class was just as amazing as the first few minutes. It was extremely relaxing, not at all strenuous, and really enjoyable. The instructor was helpful and showed us how to use all the props to modify poses without making me feel like I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to be doing. I still had trouble shutting off my mind and not making mental lists, but I have admit, there were a few minutes that I was able to actually “be in the moment.” LOL. That yoga-dialogue will always make me laugh.

During the last fifteen minutes of class, the instructor shut off the lights and played some quiet music. She gave each mom a short massage, complete with lavender oil and a killer neck rub. While I would normally feel SO awkward accepting a massage from a random doula I had just met an hour earlier, I didn’t hesitate at all. What pregnant mom is going to turn down massage?! Certainly not this tired Mama. And it was wonderful.

After all, I guess what I came to realize is this. Every parent – pregnant or not – needs some time away. I learned this fact back when my son was born, but between play dates and bedtimes, time can easily get away. Rule of thumb: If jury duty feels like a fucking vacation, then you need a vacation.

So if you find yourself relaxing during your latest dental cleaning, or you actually enjoyed waiting for two hours in your doctor’s office solely because you haven’t had two hours to put your feet up in months, then you are in desperate need of some “me time.” Schedule yourself a massage, go grocery shopping without your children, or plan a night out with hubby. You deserve it, ladies.

Top 5 Ways to Piss Off a Pregnant Lady

For a lot of women, pregnancy is a miraculous, joyful experience spent planning and preparing to welcome a tiny life into the world. Some women adore their growing baby bumps and revel in the attention that is sure to come their way by practically every stranger on the street. They read the breastfeeding books, attend all the baby care classes, and decorate beautiful nurseries all while sporting that gorgeous pregnancy glow. And then there are people like me – who are pretty much uncomfortable, awkward, and irritated for the majority of the nine months. I want to be one of those perfect pregnant ladies, but I can’t help but think that having another human inside my body is slightly strange and frankly, planning for a new baby is nothing short of seriously stressful in my book. Between trying not to pee my pants every time I sneeze and not being able to pour myself a glass of wine after a long ass day, I’m pretty much just annoyed the majority of the time.

And as if simply being pregnant isn’t challenging enough on its own, I’ve realized that the people around me are only adding to my annoyed attitude. So today, I want to share with you the five most annoying things that people say and do that only further piss off an already annoyed pregnant woman. Here goes.

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1.) People who comment on my growing belly. At least a handful of people this week have commented on the fact that my baby bump is growing noticeably bigger. Thanks for stating the obvious, people. I’m six months along….. so… yeah, I’d say it’d be a major problem if I wasn’t getting bigger. But seriously, it makes me feel really awkward when people say shit like, “Oh, your baby bump is getting bigger!!!” Whether you’re my co-worker, my OBGYN at my latest monthly appointment, or some random ass stranger, I’d rather you didn’t share your opinions on my massive midsection.

2.) Random people who rub my belly. The only thing worse than people mentioning my expanding waistline is people who feel the need to actually touch it. I’m not walking around rubbing people’s beer guts, so I’m not sure why you feel the need to pat my belly because I’m pregnant. Not appropriate.

3.) People who share their labor horror stories. Listen, ladies. Let’s all make a pact to stop sharing the disastrous delivery stories. First of all, I’ve been through labor once before and I survived, so I don’t need to know the dirty details of how your own personal delivery when down. And secondly, if you can’t help yourself from discussing your own experience, then just fucking lie to me and tell me it was amazing. Let’s keep it positive and talk about how amazing epidurals are rather than comparing how many hours we all spent suffering through contractions before the anesthesiologist showed up. Am I right??

4.) People who ask me how I’m feeling. I know, I’m being a bitch here – and I know you mean well when you ask how I’m feeling. But most of the time, people who ask this question don’t actually want to know the answer. They ask it because they think it’s the polite thing to do. But do you really want to know how I’m feeling?? I mean, I guess I could be honest and start telling the entire world that I’m exhausted, sweaty, sore, cramping, achy, huge, and nauseous. Other than that, I’m fucking great.

5.) People who ask if we are going to try for a girl. For god’s sake people, let me push out baby boy number two before you start asking if we are going to have baby number three. I’m not even 100% convinced I’m capable of handling two children, so the fact that people are already asking if we are going to have another one is laughable. And even if we have a third child, the answer is NO – we are not “trying” for a girl. We are going to thank our lucky stars that so far, we will never have to face dealing with an emotional, hormone driven, drama-filled teenage daughter.

So there you have it. And while I’m sure there are many other things that I could continually add to this list of shit people do to piss me off on a regular basis, I’m going to stop there for the moment. And please, if you know someone who is pregnant, escape adding to her daily annoyance levels by avoiding the items on this list.

Life with a “Threenager”

I read an article the other day called “10 Signs You are Living with a Threenager.” If you aren’t familiar with the term “threenager,” just picture an irrational, raging, unreasonable, infuriating teenager inside of a tiny three year old body. Yup. Writer Kristen Hewitt hit the nail right on the head with this one. And after reading her article, I am most definite that we are embarking on the threenage years. God help me.

When my son was about 18 months old, I feared the approaching, so-called terrible twos. He was always such a sweet baby, but he was showing signs of stubbornness and persistence even then. I thought for sure we were totally screwed. But to my surprise, my sweet baby turned two last February and became this awesome, hilarious toddler that had so many funny things to say, and for the most part, was pretty easy to handle. He was still young enough in which he loved me more than life itself but old enough for me to be able to take him to do some really cool stuff – we spent our summer together playing outside, swimming, riding bikes; we even took him to play mini golf for the first time. It was a pretty awesome time. And it was somewhere during these enjoyable months that I became bat shit crazy and had the bright idea that because my son was so cool, we should definitely have another child. (Slow head shake).

Fast forward several months later. Mommy is currently six months pregnant and Grey is about three weeks shy of three years old. And it’s happening. My lovable, happy-go-lucky boy has slowly turned into an independent, bossy, know-it-all, relentless threeanger.

Here’s the moment I realized that age three was most definitely going to be more challenging than age two. He woke up from his nap, like any other day, asking for juice. Fine. Totally normal, besides his slightly demanding tone. I poured the kid a cup of OJ and handed it to him, which was followed by full on, toddler-crazed tantruming, ear-splitting screaming, and some pretty impressive flailing around. I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor as I watched what was happening before my eyes. After several minutes of deciphering the high-pitched shrieks, I realized that apparently, I had chosen the wrong cup. That’s right – all this insanity over the wrong fucking cup. Let the games begin.

What’s amazing is that these episodes are often mere minutes of possessed preschooler behavior before he quickly returns to his typical, easy going self – which is sometimes even more terrifying than the actual tantrums.

And tonight was no exception. My happily playing three year old turned into a total banshee at the mere mention of bath time. I’m so mind blown by the castastrophe that occurred that I won’t even go into the details, but picture my three year old attempting to trash the shit out of my bathroom while I stripped him and quickly tossed him into the shower just long enough to soap him up and drag him out. The neighbors probably thought I was attempting to torture someone in my tiny bathroom. Seriously, I was just trying to wash the Play Doh out of his hair, god forbid. Somewhere during this outrageous episode, I told him he wasn’t allowed to watch a TV show before bedtime due to his insane behavior, which just further infuriated his tiny threenage soul. After saying that, I had to chuckle to myself. I had just grounded my kid for the first time and he’s literally three years old. I’m so screwed.

After several similar incidents over the past few weeks, I came across Kristen’s article and it hit me. This is it. Buckle up everyone. Not only are we entering the threeange years, but in just four short months, there will be a newborn in this house as well. Say a prayer for me.

Maternity Meltdown

A few weeks back, I set out on a mission to buy myself some maternity clothes. I’m finally giving in – my pants don’t zip, my belly band is too tight, and as my four year old Pre-K students so bluntly like to remind me, my “tummy is getting very big.”

On a normal day, most women would relish in the opportunity to head out on a shopping spree spending some money on themselves for whatever it is they might need (or want, simply) at that exact moment. For some women, shopping is a hobby and spending money is a practiced skill. Some women shop so much that they are forced to hide their habits from their husbands by stuffing their bags into the back of their closets and wearing new their purchases slowly so that their significant others don’t notice how much they actually spent in one trip.

So when my husband actually encouraged me to go spend some cash on myself a few weeks back, you’d think I’d be thrilled. Here’s the thing. If you’ve read my blog before, you might already know that I’m not a huge shopping fan in the first place. I try to avoid the mall for the most part and I hate the process of picking out new stuff, trying it on, and so on – UNLESS of course, I am at Target. I can walk into Target for a bag of dog food and literally leave after spending $250 on a slew of shit that I surely don’t need. But for the most part, shopping is on a need-to-only basis.

As if I don’t already dislike shopping enough, shopping for maternity clothes is last on my list of things I ever want to do (except for shopping for post-partum clothing – that definitely takes the cake for the shittiest task ever). For living in a decent sized city, you’ll be shocked to find out that there are really only a small selection of stores in the area that even carry maternity options. I was set on the fact that I needed a decent pair of jeans and a formal dress to wear to some upcoming events (two of the hardest things to find, even when you aren’t preggo).

I stopped into the local maternity store thinking it was a sure thing. I mean, it’s an entire store devoted to maternity clothing, right? The first thing I noticed is that the jeans section was almost completely bare. Where the hell were all the jeans? There were only a few different styles in the first place and the majority of the inventory looked picked over. There wasn’t one pair of jeans in my size. Fail #1.

At that point, I was slightly disappointed considering my currently ill-fitting, unzipped skinny jeans were cutting off the circulation in my legs. I was really looking forward to sporting some spandex around the waist. But I shrugged it off and moved on. I headed over to the “dress section,” or really, the six different dress options that the store carries. I swore I looked online before entering this shop and saw tons of super cute stuff – so why wasn’t any of that stocked in this location? I realized it didn’t even matter if I liked the dress or not. I had two weddings and a work event to attend and I needed something ASAP. I decided to just grab a bunch of stuff and starting trying it on. Unfortunately, out of the six dresses that might actually be formal enough for what I was going to, they only had three in my size. I put on the dresses one by one – too big in the belly, too big in the boobs, too short on legs. Fail #2.  Somewhere along the line, the saleswoman (who had been previously busy chatting with her friend on the phone) decided to attempt to help me, but it was too late. She should have known the minute I walked in door that as a hormonal, emotional, pregnant woman, I needed help well before this point. I was overwhelmed, disappointed, and in a full pregnancy-induced sweat. Thus, I walked out.

And where should every woman go when you’re feeling depressed and in need of some serious retail therapy? You guessed it – Target. Thankfully, I knew Target carried a line of maternity clothes (plus I could buy a bunch of other random crap while I was at it). I walked straight back to the maternity section only to find a similar situation. Very few style options, very limited variety of sizes. I spotted one item of clothing that somewhat resembled a dress and made my way over to it. As I got closer, I became more and more…. confused. Was it a dress? Was it a shirt? Was it supposed to be pajamas? What the fuck was this thing?!?! It was like a gray, cotton, three quarter length sleeved potato sack.

Unidentified item of clothing....... WTF is this thing?!?!?

Unidentified item of clothing……. WTF is this thing?!?!?

Sometime after the potato sack encounter, I began to have a full on maternity meltdown. I may have blacked out, wandered around Target for another half hour, and then sobbed into my steering wheel after a day filled with shopping failures.

Needless to say, it was a miserable day for finding any clothes. After going home, drinking several mocktails, pounding some chocolate, and sleeping off my meltdown, I did end up finding one pair of jeans in the very small section of designated maternity clothing at Old Navy. I can officially hang up my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, until further notice (hopefully).

A win for Old Navy - jeans in my size with a nice, stretchy, elastic waistline.

A win for Old Navy – jeans in my size with a nice, stretchy, elastic waistline.

The moral of the story is this: In order to avoid any maternity store meltdowns, if you encounter any clothing resembling a potato sack while shopping for clothing, give up, go home, and shop online ladies. And hopefully, you have better luck than me!

He or She?? What Will Baby Be: The Gender Reveal

He or she?? What will baby be....

He or she?? What will baby be….

When I was pregnant the first time in 2012, my husband and I were counting the days until we could find out the sex of the baby. When we were asked if we wanted a boy or a girl, we gave the politically correct stating that we simply wanted a healthy baby (which we did, of course). And on the inside, we were both screaming, “BOY! LET IT BE A BOY!” My husband wanted a boy for obvious reasons – he had visions of throwing the baseball in the backyard and watching football on Sundays with his son. I wanted a boy simply because the idea of some day having to deal with a teenage girl absolutely terrified me. When the ultrasound tech told us that it was indeed a boy, I’m pretty sure we cried sweet tears of relief. We didn’t plan any special gender reveal – we simply texted our family and friends that our little boy was en route.

With this pregnancy, I had the same anticipation in finding out the sex of baby #2. This time around, I wanted to know the gender for different reasons – like whether or not I could toss the 45 bins of boy clothes in my basement or if I should get busy sorting and washing them. I can honestly say that I didn’t really have a particular preference this time around, just more of a burning curiosity. My pregnancy has felt pretty different than the first time around and I started to convince myself it was a girl. Only a little girl could cause such horrible nighttime nausea, pimples like a pubescent teenager, and cravings for limitless amounts of chocolate. All things I didn’t experience the first time I around, so I was secretly certain it just HAD to be a girl. Plus, the ring on a string test and the Chinese calendar said girl, and that shit is never wrong. Right?

On top of the fact that I was sure it was a girl, my husband’s side of the family has four grandsons, including our two year old. In my mind, the odds pointed to girl. How could we possibly end up with five little boys running around our future family gatherings? And I’m fairly certain my mother in law was looking forward to someday getting to spoil a little girl with princess things and everything pink. I have to admit, the idea of having a girl was slowly starting to grow on me… and so we counted down the days until that faithful ultrasound.

Last Monday morning, we were finally headed to the hospital with our son to find out the gender of baby #2. After drinking the required 32oz of water prior to the test, arriving 15 minutes early and having to wait for our appointment, I was more than anxious to get started. As I lay on the ultrasound table, I prayed that everything look healthy, that the baby would cooperate so we could find out the sex, and that I wouldn’t pee on the poor technician (32oz is A LOT of water, especially with a kid kicking your bladder).

It took what seemed like forever for her to get the necessary anatomical measurements before she attempted to tell us whether we were having a boy or a girl. Of course, when it was finally time for the big news, baby didn’t want to move its legs for us to sneak a peek. I made sure to tell the technician that I would do whatever it takes – Pound some sugary OJ, stand on my head, run circles around the waiting room – I was going to make that baby move if it was the last thing I did that morning. Luckily, our stubborn peanut finally gave in as I heard the technician say,

“I think….. it’s a boy!”

You think? What the hell does that mean? Is there a penis or not?????

But sure enough, after another minute or two, she confirmed that it was indeed another little boy. I was filled mostly with feelings of shock, then overcome with sheer terror – I had visions of my future unfolding before my eyes – fist fights, rough housing, toilet seats endlessly left up – I knew immediately that I was forever outnumbered.

I drove home in silence, still shocked by the thought of what life would be like with TWO crazy little boys running around my household. I know nobody likes to admit it, but I’m not ashamed to say that I was a little fearful of the amount of testosterone that was about to overcome my home. I can honestly say that it took me about two hours to fully embrace the idea that while I won’t ever get to take a daughter wedding dress shopping, I will love having a little brood of boys who will always secretly love their mother more than any other woman in the world.

And not to mention, I’ll never have to deal with a PMSing, back-talking, drama-loving, rebelling teenage girl. Thank God for that.

Because we had our family coming in for dinner the day after Christmas, we decided to have a little gender reveal cake to share our baby boy news. Because of the fact that we were making a big deal about keeping the secret and cutting the cake, I’m pretty sure our entire family was also convinced that we were having the very first granddaughter on my husband’s side of the family. And while I’m sure everyone else was probably just as surprised as I was, they were all still thrilled and excited for us.

It's a..... BOY!

It’s a….. BOY!

And the best part about a gender reveal party for the two year old big brother??? An excuse to eat a shit ton of cake, of course!

My little cake monster :)

My little cake monster :)

Back with BIG News

Several months ago, I made the decision to take a short break from blogging. I know, I know. You were devastated and depressed. But hang tight, I’ve decided to make my return.

There are really two reasons for my short hiatus. Here’s the first. If you remember, the last time you heard from me, I had returned to work full time as a teaching aide in a school district and was continuing to pursue a job as a teacher in an elementary school. After leaving my career when my two year old was born and then trying to jump back in, I knew I needed to focus all my time and energy on getting a job before anything else. Summer is crunch time for searching for teaching jobs, so I knew I needed to take a break from blogging in order to spend time writing resumes, creating lesson plans, and perfecting my portfolio. I completed a handful of phone screenings, which isn’t easy with a two year old in the background screaming for a glass of milk, or for help on the iPad, or whatever other demand he happened to have at that moment. I studied interview questions during nap times and got primped for meetings with principals all while entertaining my very clingy and needy  active toddler.  I seriously think I spent half the summer in my interview suit. It was pretty brutal. But in the end, the hard work paid off and I finally landed my very first full time teaching position in a school district in New York State. Not an easy feat to say the least.

Secondly, the reason I started blogging in the first place was honestly as a way to vent about the insanity that is parenthood. I’m sure many women transition very easily into their role as a mother. These are the women who sob at first sight of their child and post on Facebook about how they fell in love with their fetus before it even left their womb, blah blah blah. That’s all nice and sweet and emotional, but it’s not the reality for everyone. My transition to motherhood can really be described in one word: shocking. I wasn’t totally ready for a kid who didn’t really like to sleep, who was eventually diagnosed with lactose intolerance (thank god we finally figured that shit out), and for the anxiety that can come along with being responsible for another human being 24 hours a day. It was a little wild, to say the least. But time passed and eventually things started falling into place. I remember writing a post about how parenting doesn’t really get easier, but you get better at it. And looking back, that’s totally the truth. The things that seemed so crazy in the beginning are suddenly your everyday normal. All of a sudden, saying things like, “please stop licking the dog” don’t seem so unnatural. You learn to take a shit and a shower while your kid sits on the floor in the bathroom every day. And you don’t even mind it. You look forward to the conversation with your toddler as they smush their face against the glass doors of shower while you shave your legs. All of a sudden, it seemed weird to blog about it. The craziness seemed so normal that I almost felt like I didn’t have anything else to say.

And then, something bizarre happens. Just as you settle into your life, your routine, your new job, your role as a parent – Just as you think you have things under control, you begin to think your kid isn’t going to kill you after all – it hits you. The same strange urge that got you into this whole parenting mess in the first place swoops back in and blinds you to the madness you’ve just so recently overcome and you begin to believe that for some INSANE reason, you should start all over again. That’s right. You get the itch to get pregnant again.

And for some crazy reason, your husband agrees to it.

That’s right – this mother, who was convinced that we would be a “one and done” kind of family in regards to baby making, actually felt the urge to have another. And about three weeks into starting my new job in the school district, we found out we were expecting baby number two.

I know. You’re speechless.

Sadly, it’s taken me 19 weeks to share this news with you because I’ve literally been too exhausted to lift my head up at the end of the day. Before we made the decision to try for number two, I had forgotten what a bitch the exhaustion of pregnancy can be – especially while taking care of a toddler. And so, my faithful readers, I’ve finally returned to share with you the honest, insane truth about becoming a mother of TWO children. And the most definite shit show it will be.

Stay tuned.

5 Ways to Keep Your Kid Busy with Craft Sticks

This year, I was lucky enough to take the summer off and spend some extra QT with my toddler. And in the beginning, it was pretty awesome. I’ve missed having endless amounts of time to spend hanging with him since I went back to work. That being said, we’ve been home eight weeks and I think we’re both ready to get back into the swing of things. I love my toddler, but DAMN, he’s exhausting. I’d pay serious cash for the ungodly amount of energy he possesses. At this point in the summer, we’ve pretty much done anything and everything that I could possibly come up with to keep him busy. With only a few days left, I’m scraping the barrel for ideas.

Lucky for me (insert sarcastic tone here), the kid woke up well before 6:00am today. That means I had a few extra hours to spend keeping him from jumping off staircases and swinging from the chandelier. So by 8:00am, I was desperate. I found a bag of craft sticks and challenged myself to find five ways to keep this kid entertained (hopefully for a length amount of time). If you’re lucky enough to have a busy baby like me, feel free to check out some of the awesome activities I came up with below.

1.) Craft Stick and Clothes Pin Color Match

I used markers to color the end of six or seven craft sticks. Then, I colored the ends of each clothespin with the same colors. I challenged my toddler to attach the clothespin to the craft stick that has the same color. He LOVED this game! In the beginning, I had to help him squeeze the clothespins, but he got it down. Great for color recognition and fine motor skills.

Craft Stick and Clothes Pin Color Match

Craft Stick and Clothes Pin Color Match

2.) Matching

Next, I took a bunch of craft sticks and colored simple designs on each one. I made sure to make pairs of each design that I drew. Then, I laid all of the sticks on the table and had my toddler pick a stick and then find the matching design to make pairs. He really loved this one, too, and we had fun taking turns to find matches. If your child is a little bit older, turn the crafts sticks over to hide the designs and take turns picking sticks to make matches, similar to the game Memory.

Craft Stick Matching

Craft Stick Matching

3.) The Name Game

Write your child’s name in large capital letters on a piece of paper. Write each letter of their name on the end of a craft stick. Have them match the craft sticks to the correct letter on the paper. If your child already knows how to spell their name, have them do it without the paper that has their name written on it.

The Name Game

The Name Game

4.) Counting Craft Sticks

Cut four small pieces of paper into squares. Write the number “1” and color one dot on the first piece. Write the number “2” and color two dots on the second piece, and so on. Have you child lay the correct number of craft sticks onto each piece of numbered paper.

Counting Craft Sticks

Counting Craft Sticks

5.) Craft Stick Puzzles

This was, by far, our favorite! Print out two copies of a simple picture from your computer. I chose a clip art photo of a dog. Lay out craft sticks onto one copy to determine how many you will need. Cut the picture so that the pieces can be glued onto the craft sticks. When it dries, give your child the second picture so that they know what they are trying to assemble. Give them the craft sticks and ask them to assemble them to make the picture.

Craft Stick Puzzles

Craft Stick Puzzles

Need even more ideas??

  • Write one letter of the alphabet on each craft stick. Have your child put them in ABC order.
  •  Write both capital and lowercase letters on craft sticks and have your child match the capital and lowercase letters.
  • Try writing a sight word on a craft stick. Write each letter of the word on clothespins and have your child clip the correct letters onto the stick.

 

After a rough morning, these games kept my kid from climbing the walls for about an hour! Oh, and I think he learned a thing or two, as well. I’ll take it! I hope you try some out and enjoy! Leave me a comment below if you have some more crazy craft stick ideas!