27 January 2013

Ten Months!

Baby Charlie is ten months old!  How'd that happen?

Ten months is super fun with young Charles.  He's a champion eater, and a champion sleeper, and during his waking hours he never stops moving.  He's started dancing (oh, sorry that that's the cutest thing that has ever happened on earth) and he's forever in love with Mitchell.  Last month he got six teeth (!) and he somehow did it with only a fussy day or two, and he drinks from a sippy cup in the cutest manner that any human ever has.

Oh, and he gets jokes.  We call them baba jokes around here.  (Charlie is like super crazy physical developmental milestone kid, but when it comes to the verbal stuff he's, well, much more of a boy*.  And while I'm loath to say things like "he's all boy," the more I learn the more I think there are more differences between boys and girls than I would have previously liked to admit.  So the only real sound he makes right now is "baba" [unless you're counting Tim Taylor-style caveman grunts], but Matt and I are so tickled with these babas that we've kind of decided, "Hell, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."**)

*This is like when my college advisor looked at my math entrance exam test thing and said, "Mandy, your math scores reflect the English major in you."  Shooooot.

**Wait, did that sound like we beat our baby?  We don't beat our baby and don't plan to.  Oops.

23 January 2013

Useful Pregnancy Crap

So like next week or this week (I can never remember) I'll be in my third trimester, and when I told Matt that, he said, "I don't like to think of it as your third trimester; I like to think of it as your sixth--and final--trimester."  I like that.  5/6 of the way there, peeps!

Now since I've basically spent the last two years being pregnant (only taking a break to birth a human and put my body through a different kind of hell as I struggled to keep him fed, but that's a story for another time), I feel like I might have some tips for others about stuff that was/is actually helpful or necessary during pregnancy (especially since a bunch of my friends are fixin' to jump off of the getting-knocked-up cliff).  Obviously, everyone is different and what worked for me might not work for you, but I think this might help to sort through the array of shit that stores try to convince you that you need while you're growing a fetus.

Here are my must-haves:

1.  Long tank tops.  So awesome.  Mine are mostly from Target, some are the Liz Lange brand and some are the Be Maternity brand, but they're all awesome.  I wear them under my other shirts, work out in them, sleep in them, and pretty much have one on at all times.  They're long and forgiving and soft and I will probably keep wearing them long after I'm done growing babies.

2.  Be Band.  I have a black one and a nude one, and they're crucial to me for keeping up the full panel maternity pants (note: when at home I basically wear all yoga pants all the time, but for work and other times that I feel the general public doesn't want to see waaaaay too much of my ever-growing body, I opt for the full panel maternity pants).  Nothing's more annoying than saggy-assed pants, and these help to keep everything in place.  I've seen infomercials now about how people use them to decrease muffin tops, too, so there's that.  (Though once I'm done being pregnant I will just long to wear clothing that is not a contraption, so I'll be passing mine on to my next knocked-up friend.)

3.  Body pillow.  Ten bucks and it makes side sleeping much more tolerable, if only it weren't being constantly commandeered by my husband and furry son.  Also fun for making car trips more cozy.

4.  Heating pad.  Mine has a permanent place on our couch now (and is also often taken over by the dog).  Now, my doc says that I can totally lie on it for like an hour because today's heating pads don't get hot enough to boil the fetus.  So that's nice.  If you have an old-school one, though, you only get like 15 minutes.

5.  A good pair of jeans.  You really only need one, right (remember the all yoga pants all the time around the house rule)?  I was happy that my favorite type of Gap jeans, the long & lean cut (oh, Gap, you slay me with your less than apt body type descriptions!) was also a cut for the full panel maternity jeans.  They're more expensive at full price than I feel like they should be, but you can totes keep your eye out for sales and coupons.  This is not an area you're going to want to skimp on, unless you like feeling even more frumpy and uncomfortable.

6.  A good pair of work pants.  Mine are just plain black and are from Target.  They were only $35 and I love them.  They're super flattering and comfortable and they wash well.  I would buy another pair if I wasn't so determined never to buy another piece of maternity clothing in my life.

7.  Flats.  Ugh, I like flats on other people but hate wearing them myself (I have high arches and they hurt my feet).  But at some point in pregnancy they become a necessity.  Honestly, I wore my lower heels up until Charlie was born last time, and they were great, but the flats were better with jeans and stuff when it was too cold for flip-flops.  Plus, when you wear flats you won't have crazy old broads tell you how you're strangling your baby with the umbilical cord because of the height of your shoe.  Something that you might not realize before you get knocked up is that there are like one bajillion undercover obstetricians.

8.  Brand name Tums Smoothies.  I'm like the cheapest of the cheap and we were buying the Target brand regular tums until Cassie told me to switch to the Tums Smoothies.  Since I basically have enough to these each day to count as a meal, it's nice that they're less chalky and taste much better.  And if you close your eyes and get your mind in the right place, you can totally convince yourself that you're eating Smarties.

9.  Publix Mac & Cheese.  Oh, how I love thee!

10.  Elliptical machine.  Partly for the aforementioned Public deli treats, but mostly because, as much as I often hate to admit it, ellipting is like the greatest pregnancy exercise.  It makes you strong, is low-impact, and is great bang for your buck exercise-wise.  When I ellipt, I'm less uncomfortable, my back hurts less, I sleep better, and I have more energy throughout the day.  If only lying on the couch eating cookies and watching Netflix Instant had those same benefits!

So, those are the items that will help to get me through the next three months of my life without (hopefully) too much whining (accidentally just typed wining--oh, I wish!) and bitching.  Did I forget anything?  What did you find totes necessary while you were with child?

And stay tuned for the "crap we needed with the baby" post.  I know, I know, too much excitement up in here.

13 January 2013

If This Isn't Nice, I Don't Know What Is.

The first week of 2013 wasn't kind to us.  The weather was kind of gross, and we were feeling whiny because I had to go back to work, and it seemed that all of our things went in on a suicide pact.  In one week my ipod broke, Matt's phone broke, the car got a flat tire (which I had to change by myself at night in an empty parking lot all pregnant--it's fine now that I wasn't murdered, but it was a little scary at the time), and then on the way to get the tire fixed, the doughnut got a flat.  On top of that, our sweet pup was on too high a dose of his mange medicine (yes, he STILL has mange) and it was making him very sick and unlike himself (and after reading scary stuff on the internet I was sure we'd poisoned him and he was on the verge of death).  Then we found out that our lovely car needed a shitton of work done, work that would cost approximately 3,000 times more than the car was worth.  It was just one of those weeks.

But this last week has been just amazing.  I found out that I'm going to be teaching AP next year (!)*, and our dog recovered wonderfully with a lower dose of meds.  Matt got a new phone, I realized that life does go on without an ipod (though, let's be honest, I'll get another in the next few months), we got a new [to us] car (!!!), our landlord replaced our dishwasher, the weather was amazing, and we were crazy productive.  Everything seems to be falling into place.  We have company coming next week (thus the household productivity--don't want them to think we're dirty barn people, now do we?), we have a refrigerator full of food, a car that just starts every time you turn the key, and a dishwasher that actually washes dishes**.  Add to that some cheap Fresh Market steaks, Downton Abbey, Girls, and the fact that it's 8:00 at night and our windows are still open.  I can't wipe the smile off my face.

Meatball eater.

Meatball beggar.

First family trip to Skidaway Island State Park.  Um, amazeballs. 

Open window dinner prep.  Ahhhhh. . .

Mitch passes out as soon as Charlie goes to bed.  It's hard work looking after a baby brother! 

Haha.  This is Mitch's "We're sorry you have mange" special toy.  We call it his Baby Krampus.  He's obsessed with it.  Has there ever been a scarier toy?


**I mean, who are we?  The Rockefellers?

06 January 2013

Love and Marriage

[Today, Charlie took a nap that was almost 3 hours long.  I took a nap when I put him down, and woke up--on my own--about a half hour before he did.]

Matt: Are you so proud today?

Me: Huh?  Why?

Matt:  Your son out-napped you.  I mean, that's like the thing you do best and you've trained him to be even better than you are.  It's probably how Archie Manning feels when he watches his sons play football.

02 January 2013


Hello, friends!  I hope your 2013 is rockin' out so far.  I've realized [after 7 years of teaching] that I get kind of down in the final days of my Christmas break, mostly because break is always so awesome and so relaxing and so wonderful, and then I dread going back to work.  And you don't have to tell me how bratty it is for me to whine and cry about having to go back to work when I 1.) have a job and 2.) just had two weeks off.  I know, I know.  But still.  It sucks.  This year I'm extra bummed because not only was break f'ing amazing, but work is extra hard and stressful this year, and after having two weeks of hanging out with my three favorite boys, I really don't want to leave them.  I might have cried about it like 4 times today.*

But it'll be fine.  It always is, and I certainly have much to look forward to in 2013.

Like the new season of Downton Abbey.

And an upcoming visit from in-laws and my soulmate.

And a less sadistic school calendar for this part of the school year.

And a tidier house.  (I think I love putting away the Christmas decorations as much as I love putting them up.)

And celebrating one whole year with the cutest human boy on the planet. (And making a smash cake!!!  Horray!)

I can't handle the cuteness of Charlie's concentration while he drinks through a straw 

And welcoming a new girl into our lives. (Egads!)

Matt and I have some lofty goals for 2013, and if everything goes according to plan this will be a busy, exhausting, rewarding, and magnificent year for us.  There's a lot we're working on, and it's starting with our adopting the so very trendy green smoothie breakfast and pledging to ellipt more**.  Surprise, surprise.

I've talked about this here before, but I've spent my life (with the exception of a few irresponsible years in my mid-twenties) in school, and my new year really starts in August or September.  But the January one is fun for new beginnings, too, I suppose.  And I really like how people do the whole "choose one word to live by for the year" thing, except that I'm not a serious enough adult to pick something actually inspirational, so here's the word I'll live by in 2013:


I want to be a badass mother and wife and teacher and sister and daughter and friend.  I want to cook badass food and throw badass parties and manage my life in a completely badass way.  So there.  When I look back, I'm hoping to remember 2013 as the Year of the Badass.

What badass things do you have in store for the next year?

*Also, I am a huge crybaby.

**Um, so, at almost 6 months pregnant I am as uncomfortable as I was at about 8 with Charlie, which I think is a combination of this being a second pregnancy after I already had a kid like a week ago and my body's all stretched out and deformed and the fact that I haven't really been ellipting at all.  So I've decided that in order to keep myself from being absolutely miserable in the third trimester, I need to make my body stronger so that I can handle it with more badassery.  Not being such a fatass is just a bonus.


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