Sunday, October 30, 2011

FOR MAMA // LEARNING TO LET GO

sofia on her birth day


I've been reading a lot of birth stories lately, and for anyone that has had the chance to read ours, knows that it was anything but what Erick and I had planned for.  As great as it was, there were still some things that had initially bugged me.  But, as most new moms can tell you, sometimes it takes a while for feelings like these to surface.  I know that after I gave birth to Sofia, I found that I had ran on this "natural baby high" for a few months; it was only after re-reading other friends' stories, that had sparked these newly surfacing feelings of things I wish I had done differently.

As I think ahead, I know that I want more children in the future.  The thought honestly scares me a bit because for the past hour I've been sitting here slowly realizing that I still need to make peace with birth before I ever even think about having another baby.  I need to make peace with the fact that it's not the end of the world if you have to get an epidural.  A lot of what happened during Sofia's birth just totally through me for a loop and honestly, it was pretty petrifying at first.  I wasn't expecting to give birth that day.  I wasn't expecting to be induced.  Well, the great thing about it is that I know now.  I really have to learn to make peace with birth and the glorious process that it is.  It will definitely take some time, but I know I can find comfort in the fact I will be ready and willing to expect... the unexpected.

Don't clutch so desperately onto some "plan" of action.  Breathe a little deeper.  Trust those around you.  Pray a little more often, and honestly let it all go.


HERE'S TO THE LAZY DAYS


Here's to hoping we all have a few more lazy days in bed.  All this cold weather has been making it harder and harder for me to get out of my massive pile of blankets.  Did I mention I was getting a new all-white sheet set again soon?!! Thank you, Overstock.com.  :)  

Our weekend was a lot of driving, but all-in-all we had a great family day.  I'll have more pictures up soon so, enjoy your Sunday friends.  Don't get up if you don't have to.  


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

THE SAME THING OVER


Lately, certain tasks like working the same shift, eating the same crappy lunch, and wearing the same broken rainboots have really started to get on my nerves.  Sometimes I wonder why I let myself get mundane and ignore the fact that I continually do things I do not feel good about!  It's kinda like getting stuck in a rut, except you're purposely choosing to not care.   Today, I finally care enough.  I think.  I can't even look at that picture above without screaming to myself that I need to suck it up and just get a new pair of boots.  I mean, really.  Look at them!  I don't know what it is about it, but shoe shopping is one thing I love and hate all at the same time- I'll only really buy one nice pair of shoes a year and then just try and "skate by" and wear them, beaten up, for as long as I can.  I'm sure we all have that "one necessity" it's just hard for us to shell out the money for, regardless of how badly we need it.  Mine is shoes.

As far as the eating goes, it's going to be a tough transition into living a healthier lifestyle.  I caved and had a bacon egg and cheese breakfast bagel today.  (BACON!  CARBS!)  I'm just doing everything for the sake of convenience because it's so... damn... hard... trying to make the effort to prepare meals and pack lunches of said prepared meals because the time I'm spending at home usually goes straight to my daughter.  I don't even want to be doing anything else once I get home.

What have you all done to break that rut?  To break the monotony?  I love what I do, but certain bad habits die hard.  What do they say, it takes 27 days to create or break a bad habit or something like that?  I guess I'm going to have to stick it out, friends.  Here's to day one.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BECOMING A PART-TIME VEGAN ZOMBIE

Well we all know that vegans are freaks, but as Cherise Grifoni says, "even zombies and humans can coexist at the dinner table".  The minute I read the opening line of her new book, I knew I liked this girl!  So, what's the deal?  Am I going crazy vegan?  Am I really giving up bacon, hot dogs, and chicken wings?  The quick answer is no.  The more realistic answer is, I'm trying to be healthier and eat a little lighter and a little cleaner.  I have felt so exhausted, so run down and so... dense?  Haha.  Is that even a real feeling?  I don't know, but it sure felt like it to me lately.  I'm slow and I'm weighed down.  I know I'm not giving my body the proper fuel it needs to make it through the workweek, produce breast milk, or have enough energy to be a mom to my near 5 month old.  

Burning good fuel (aka wholesome, clean food) will make me feel better in the long run, lose the last 20 pounds of this baby weight, and maybe even feel more well-rested.  I really couldn't get over how disgusting I felt this week, yet looking back I had eaten three hot dogs, a burger, chicken breasts, massive amounts of dairy, caffeine and steak tacos.  I really... am in no way... receiving ANY nutrients from the crap that I have been eating right now.  Would I want my daughter to eat the way I do?  Hell no.

I'm making a change, a gradual change, but a change I know I can commit to.  The only reason I know this is because I'm going "flex".  Did you really think I would ever give up my bacon forever?!!  No way.  Moderation here is key, and I want the majority of what I eat to be the good stuff.  I can treat my body better than I have been, we all can.  

What do you guys think about being a "part-time" vegan?  Is the idea just too absurd?  Is it hypocritical?  For me, it was the right option.  I knew if I had to give up the foods that I loved forever and cold turkey, it would never happen.  By giving them up partially, and knowing to save that Buffalo Wild Wings trip for special occasions instead of a weekly routine, I'm allowing myself to get healthy, stay healthy, and be happy (not deprived!).  I'm doing it for me.

Now where were we, zombies?   
....  GRAINNNNSSS!!!!  (get it!?) 

Book reference, sorry.  :)

CONFESSION: I'M ASKING FOR HELP


Well, I don't usually do this.  In fact, I wasn't sure I was going to post this at all but it's really worth a shot.  I don't want to give anyone a big long shpeal about anything, I just want to make it simple:

This blog started and still remains a personal adventure, but my main goal outside of having a cool keepsake is to impact other people.  I want to inspire some other young moms.  I want to say, you know what?  You can change those diapers and wear your skinny jeans too.  It's okay to be yourself.  Life does change when you have a baby-- but it's always for the better.  And even if you lose yourself somewhere out there in the crazy motherhood panic, I want you to know that it's okay.  You'll come around.  You'll realize you never really lost yourself at all, you've been there all along.

Through this past year I've gained a handful of followers, and even some readers around the globe.  I want to spread the word, I want to reach out further.  I have to network.  If you like Diapers and Skinny Jeans, the content, the photos, (those adorable little baby toes)... I'm asking for your help tonight, I'm asking for your vote.  I'm really trying to get ranked over at Top Baby Blogs to reach a greater audience.  Right now I'm #398, and hey- it's a long way from top #100 or even top #25, but I'm just trying to spread the word and share the love.  We'll get there :)


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Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

BLISSED OUT: OUR PERFECT FALL DAY










I'll be honest.  I was a little worried about today.  I knew Erick's work schedule got messed up and left me and the baby alone on what was supposed to be our "family day" of the week.  I took some good advice from friends and thought to myself that I was just going to enjoy the day with my daughter.  Sounds too simple, right?  I thought that too, it seemed unsaid that, of course I would enjoy my day off with my daughter.  But when you're juggling your job, a messy house, an un-existent dating-life and so on... it gets to be more difficult to literally focus on one task.  To do nothing except enjoy this beautiful, chunky four month old I get to spend the day with.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that when I focused on one thing, I was not only able to enjoy what I was channeling all my energy toward, but I also (somehow) was able to get more done than I thought I was able to!  I couldn't believe it.  I woke up today and washed all the fuzzibunz laundry, cleaned everywhere inside the house that I could during Sof's morning nap, my floors are washed, my bed is made, and I've been able to get through this entire day without breaking down and crying like I had previously over having only 24 more hours left before I had to go back to work...   I know, I can't believe I would do that either.

The highlight of our day together was just a little bit ago, I had noticed a little patch of sun on our bed and decided to take Sofia in there to breastfeed so we could both snuggle.  As I was laying there, I could hear the birds outside while the neighbors were running their electric-powered leaf blower, cars outside honking, even the quiet roar of a distant freight train.  Sounds like that bring back intense memories of being outside at my Grandma Jean's hearing the freight trains go by, playing outside in her backyard and getting hit in the head with the occasional acorn.  (She lived in the middle of some pretty large Oak trees!)  Next thing I realized, I had been sleeping for around an hour.  I looked over at Sof and she had passed out holding on to my arm that was wrapped around her belly.  That right there was the moment that pummeled me to the ground.  I am so in love with my daughter.  I am so in love with my life.  I would never in a million years dream that I would get to be a mom, have a wonderful husband who has been my best friend through thick and thin, live in a quaint apartment in the southside of Chicago or spend each and every day I'm given with new meaning.

I have never felt anything more powerful in my life.


HER FAVORITE GREEN RUG





Man, those FuzziBunz sure fit a lot better now!  She has gotten so chunky it's kind of ridiculous.  Everytime I see her thighs I want to take a huge bite!  (cue abby and ashley voice: is that weird?)  Probably the new, cutest, and my most favorite thing that Sof does now is everytime she starts to get tired she starts talking in these long, whiny, drawn out syllables.  I really need to catch this on video because Erick and I crack up everytime she does it.  Something about hearing her own voice like that puts her to sleep.

Friday, October 21, 2011

FOR BABY: FIRST FOODS



Have you ever wondered how to make your own baby food?  I found myself thinking the same thing last week when we started Sofia on solids.  Some people will tell you to wait til at least 6 months, and if your baby has been content on breastmilk or formula alone, then I also think it's best to wait.  Sofia, though, is about four and a half months old and was already tugging and biting at my boob, trying to hold her own bottle, staring longingly into our eyes as we ate our people-food and waking up in the middle of the night (when she's slept the night through since 4 weeks).  We knew something was going on.  Luckily, we got the OK from our awesome doctor to start solid food and I just so happened to have this amazing book from my cousin Jill.  

We started Sofia with a simple, organic short grain rice (she hated it), so we have slowly been introducing simple purees.  Slowly being the key word, here; you're always going to want to wait around 3-4 days between introducing new foods to double check there are no allergies.  Another trick I found was to mix a food I knew she liked with the rice cereal to help her learn to like the taste of it.  Now, we mix her rice cereal with bananas and it's like she has loved it all along.  I have a recipe for the banana-rice cereal too, but let's start with the sweet potato.  Here we go.

You'll want to start off with one medium sized sweet potato, unless you're cooking in bulk for the week.  One medium potato yields around 7 individual servings.  I purchased my potatoes from the farmers market up in Andersonville, but anywhere you can find great organic for a good price is completely up to you!



Wash and scrub your potatoes vigorously for a few minutes and poke some holes around them.  I usually run them under the water one more time after I've poked holes because the extra water inside creates steam and helps them cook easier.




Preheat your oven to 400ยบ and wrap your potato in foil.  Put the potato (or potatoes) on the bottom rack and let sit for around an hour.  Once done, unwrap the foil and scoop out the potato (no skins!) into a blender with a little hot water, breastmilk, or whichever baby-safe liquid you'd prefer.  The final step is to puree to a consistency your baby is comfortable with. 






Thursday, October 20, 2011

COLOR LOVERS: THE PERFECT FALL PALETTE

image via: asha susan


ALL TIME LOW



I'm not very good at hiding things that have been bothering me, in fact, I'm more like an open book. Emotions are broadcasted across my face on a continual basis. Sometimes, it's not pretty. I've been up and down with the stresses of being a new mom while working full time and as hard as it is, I've been able to keep my head above water. Yesterday was the first time that I've ever felt like I was sinking. I'm not used to feeling so absolutely helpless to the way my life was stomping all over me. I've made such an effort to keep track of my time and put it to better use, yet still it's like I get slapped in the face by the fate that just happens to roll through. Maybe I'm being tested? One thing I know now, is that I am aware of my limits. My breaking points. Last night, I reached an all time low. Today, I stand taller. It can only go up from here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

12 x 2012 - ATTAINABLE GOALS

Katherine over at Gathered Heart inspired me to do the Twelve by 2012!  We're running short on time before the end of the year, so here is my official submission.  I think it's pretty attainable and will definitely be doing a recap this time next year! ;)  What would your twelve things be?  Let's keep this going!

** EDIT **

Typo!  By multipule I totally meant multiple.  Sorry guys!
;)

CONFESSION: I NEED SOME CLARITY

Alright guys, here's a confession-  I need a little clarity with this blog.  It has really taken a back seat to just about everything in my life lately, yet, it's one of my favorite things to take the time to update!  Something has got to give.  I'm going to make more of a concious effort to stop being unmotivated regardless of how many hours I'm putting in at my job.  Being unmotivated sucks.  And really, I'm at my last straw!

Speaking of things that I've been sitting on my haunches with... I am so glad none of you have ever had to come visit me at my place- it's a mess.  Seriously.  It's the 'clutter everywhere', dishes in the sink, dirty floored, piles of junk, messy, messy house that I'm ashamed to say I'm raising a family in at the moment.  This "lack of motivation" bug that I caught seems to hit me a couple times throughout the months and I'm at the point where I'm bursting out of my seams to get things right this time.  I'm gutting the house.  I'm gutting the fridge.  Everything I own. will. sparkle.  And because of that?  I'll be motivated to work on new projects on my clean desk.  Make healthy meals in my clean kitchen.  Maybe even think I look a little thinner in my clean mirror.  You get the idea....

Diapers and Skinny Jeans will be getting a facelift over the next coming weeks, too!  Super exciting!  I've been practicing a lot with my html/css coding and I need to put it to use.  I still have a very long way to go to get where I want in web design, but hey... I'm growing.  I am so excited to give this blog some structure and weekly specials.  I get so much joy talking everyday to my small, but so very important audience.  I love you guys.  You are what keep me happy on the days I don't feel so great.  It's awesome to know that there are people that have grown with me and my family!  It feels amazing to have shown you a glimpse of my life, and hopefully, to have helped or enriched yours in some way.  We're all searching for someone who understands or has been there before.  I do it to.  I hope you find solace here.





Sunday, October 16, 2011

WEDDING IN THE WOODS






























Isn't this absolutely stunning? I fell head over heels when I saw this gorgeous wedding over on gather to keep today. The photos turned out wonderful, too! If you want to see more of those, you can head right here.



Saturday, October 15, 2011

AWAKE MY SOUL


This is one of those weekends.

The weekend where I don't see my husband on our day off together.

Sometimes I really hate change. I hate when I get so used to the luxury of a Saturday together and then for whatever reason we pick up a shift at work, or have somewhere else to be.   I ate brunch with Sofia alone.  They brought my hazelnut latte and I sipped it slower than normal, staring at the empty seat across from me.  I thought about how limited Erick and I's days together really are right now. I thought about when the last time was that we even took a night off, a night out, sipping micheladas over a noisy crowd and laughing at our own jokes. 

I know we'll get there.

As it gets closer to the holidays, it only spirals busier and busier out of control, so we may as well plan ahead. Which reminds me- I have a great post to write about planning. (and we all know I'm not very good at that...)  Thanks for continuing to stop by, it means a lot that people actually want to read about what's happening in my life and how I'm adjusting to motherhood.  It's been a crazy ride.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

WHAT A WEEK


It has been absolutely crazy with work lately gearing up for some cool things to launch, so I've been a little absent on the blog lately.  About the only thing I have done has been updating the instagram.  I'll have a cool new home to showcase those photos hopefully in the next couple of weeks.  I have been hard at work at a few blog side-projects to feed my creative hunger.  I'll be sure to keep you all posted.

How have you been enjoying this unusually warm fall weather?  Our family still has to visit a pumpkin farm, go apple picking at an orchard, and take pictures at the morton arboretum to complete our "to do list".  Spending the maximum amount of time outside was our number one goal (especially since we didn't get a chance to do that this summer!)  Thank goodness for the reasonable weather!


Saturday, October 08, 2011

COLOR LOVERS 10/9

photo via: here

HAVE AN AWESOME WEEKEND.


I totally can't wait to take those lovely tomatoes I bought at the farmer's market and scramble up some eggs with mozzarella cheese.  I've been on quite the health/yoga/better-eating kick lately and I really hope it sticks! (Plus, I know my reflection in the mirror could say the same thing.) Haha. There are quite a few people I know running the chicago marathon tomorrow, so good luck to you all!  You inspire me to do the same someday.  I'll get there.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

DURING OUR WEDNESDAY
































During our Wednesday we:

- found out Sofia can roll over to her back!
- ate brunch at Tweet
- mastered the bottle-feeding-while-drinking-coffee move
- went out in public with my hair like that
- played peek-a-boo at AlleyCat Comics (laughing ensued...)
- got our first round of vaccines (and didn't even cry!)
- took a trip to the Andersonville farmer's market
- noticed Sof's hair is starting to grow back again

The weather has been so strange lately, hasn't it?  People must think I'm nuts because I'll wear a winterish coat in the AM because it's cold, then step out for lunch and have it be near 80 degrees!  But despite the um... uniquely... warm autumn we're having, we took full advantage of the warm weather this Wednesday.  I had such an amazing time with my people, our little baby is getting super chunkified and please.  Let's just bask in the handsomeness that is my husband for a second.  Ah, yes. Gahh!  I am so lucky to have married this man.  I think about it every day!

Speaking of being happy, I've been in such a great mood lately and can attribute that to stopping the birth control pill.. (I know, I know. Don't worry, no brothers or sisters yet!)  But really, I can't be the only one the pill makes semi-crazy?  Does this happen to any of you or have you found alternatives? I don't know, there's something about synthetic hormones that my body just doesn't register well with.  I get irritable, anxious, angry-- about the only thing I can equate it to would be living with a constant stream of PMS.  Not. fun.  But now that we've found other means to control our babymakin' I am starting to feel like myself again. Thank the good lord.