A Day in the Life: April 5, 2016

Oof. Blog posts are few and far between these days, aren’t they?  Honestly, lack of time is a huge factor, as is a general ambivalence about sharing my life on the internet (especially now that there are little people involved). I do love me a good “Day in the Life” post, however – they’re such a fun way to capture a moment in time!  So here I go, linking up with Julia for Day in the Life Roundup Spring 2016.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

    M is 32
    G is 31
    S is 2 days shy of 26 months old
    Lil G is 1 day shy of 11 weeks old
    Stinson pup is 6 years old

We live in Natomas, a suburb of Sacramento.

2:45 am – Wake up to nurse Lil G. Back to sleep 15 minutes later.

6:35 am – Wake up to the sound of Lil G crying. Go to his nursery and nurse him, leaving S sleeping in our bed. (She has been sleeping in a toddler bed for months now, but still comes to our bedroom almost every night to finish out the night with us.) Spend a peaceful hour scrolling my phone while the baby sleeps on me. G has been long gone to work at this point; he usually leaves before 6.
7:30 am – Head back to our bedroom and find that S is actually awake and watching the “movie” on the monitor. She says, “I watching the giraffe fassipier (Wubbanub pacifier) movie!”  So cute. I tell her our plans for the day, which include seeing her best friend C and she gets excited. I check her diaper and am relieved there are no leaks – this is our first time in cloth diapers overnight in about a year, and it makes me happy that they still work (and simultaneously sad that we haven’t used them in so long…could have saved a lot of money, but I was pregnant and lazy). I change S into clothes, and she puts up a battle per usual. I then change Lil G into clothes, and finally, myself. No shower or makeup for me this morning – good thing I showered last night!

8:30ish am – We head downstairs for breakfast. S eats Earth’s Best frozen waffles with cream cheese (cream cheese on waffles is one of the quirky things she likes) with strawberries. I scarf down a Larabar since we are kind of in a rush and I am not very hungry. I pop the kids in double jogging stroller (we just caved and bought a side-by-side Baby Jogger Summit x3 Double and I am in love with it) and take Stinson on quick walk so he can do his business.

9:15 am – I get the kids in the car and send Kellie a Glympse of my location. (Have you heard of this app? It’s amazing. You can share your GPS location with people so they know when to expect you. And it’s free!)


9:35 am – We get to Kellie’s house, where Kellie & C are waiting for us. I take the stroller out of the car, snap G’s carseat into it & S gets on the piggyback skateboard. We walk 1/2 mile to gated park where S and C play while Kellie and I chat. We haven’t seen each other in a couple weeks so there is lots to catch up on, and it’s nice that the park is gated so we can relax for the most part. The girls push each other, go down the slide, and hurt themselves and cry at various intervals. At one point S is devastated because she dropped her container of nuts on the ground. Typical toddler stuff! Around 10:45, we start walking back to Kellie’s house.


11 am – I leave Kellie’s house but pull over because I think my car is making a strange sound. Turns out it’s nothing so I get back on the road. Since we’re driving past Midtown Sacramento, I decide to stop at Tres Hermanas for lunch – it’s my favorite Mexican restaurant and we used to live down the street…I still miss it pretty much every day. On the walk from the car to the restaurant, S exclaims that “we are in a jungle.” The poor kid is now used to suburbs where there are no trees. :( 
We get a table outside and snack on chips while we wait for our food. I order my favorite salad, the Ensalada Nortena. The waitress brings S a styrofoam cup with water and the following conversation ensues:
S:  I have my coffee. Milk!
Me:  It’s actually water.
S:  It’s actually water.

Ah, age 2, you are so fun. S and I share my salad (though she eats more chips than anything else), and then I nurse Lil G. The sun in shining and S is in an incredibly good mood. I chalk up my first solo restaurant outing with both kids is a success!
12:20 pm –  We head home. S falls asleep in the car, which bums me out a bit because she’s been taking later naps lately so I thought we’d make it for sure. Car naps are the worst! Oh well. Lil G starts crying right when the car stops so I take him out and we head in house. I prop door to garage open so I can hear S. I do some stuff around the kitchen, change and feed Lil G, then quickly run up to his nursery to finish hanging some wall art I’ve been meaning to hang. Meanwhile, I listen to a new podcast and tell myself that I really should listen to podcasts more often because I really enjoy them.


 2:15 pm – S wakes up from her car nap. She is super sweaty so I change her, and she spots her old Halloween costume in her closet and tells me she wants to dress up like a monkey.  Inspired by something I heard on the podcast I was listening to, I decide to let her. Then she wants to put on her princess dress, so who am I to say no? Princess dress on, we head downstairs.


3 pm – Once downstairs, S won’t let me put Lil G in the swing, insisting it’s her baby doll’s turn in the swing. I tell her that’s fine, but in that case we can’t go play outside because Lil G needs to be in swing if we go outside. She thinks this over and decides she can give G a turn after all. She then runs over to pantry and starts requesting things. I can tell she’s hungry so I decide to fix her a snack of sliced apples and peanut butter. I recently resigned myself to the fact that I love Skippy more than any other type of peanut butter despite the fact that it’s not the “good for you” peanut butter, and I am so much happier to have accepted that. I also make us a smoothie to share because I have fruit (banana, raspberries, blueberries & strawberries & fresh OJ) in fridge I don’t want to go bad.  S sees me pouring OJ and declares “I want to drink a beer!”

Kids say darnedest things, where does she get this stuff?! We sit together at the table and eat our snacks. While we eat, S is chattering about her princess dress, and declares, “I want some ballet stints” (ballet slippers?) Not sure where she gets this stuff, but she is oh so fun right now. After our snack, S runs outside and plays in the back yard.

4:30 pm – Lil G won’t stop screaming, so I pop the kids in the double stroller and go for a 20 minute walk. It’s pretty hot outside. The walk seems to do the trick and G calms down.
  4:50 pm – We are back home and I turn on Daniel Tiger for S. I clean out my car and the kitchen while she finishes Daniel Tiger and watches an episode of Clifford as well.

5:30 pm – I turn off the TV. S keeps asking for food so I give her a pouch while I prepare some dinner for her. She loves Aidells Chicken & Apple mini sausages so I heat some of them up in the oven and serve them with marinara sauce over pasta. S eats her dinner and I have a snack, then S heads back outside to play in the back yard. She saw her daddy washing my car over the weekend, so she grabs the kitchen towels and asks me to turn on the hose so she can “wash” her Little Tikes car. Sorry California drought, this is just too adorable.


6:25 pm – G gets home from work, which is on the earlier side for him. S exclaims, “I miss you so much! I love you so much!” which just melts both of our hearts. Those two have a special bond, for sure. We have carnitas bowls for dinner – a super easy meal I assembled while S was playing outside. G and I talk about our respective days and S starts yelling and interrupting to get our attention, which earns her a time out.

7:10 pm – After dinner, G and S head outside and “play soccer” in the backyard – basically kicking around a ball. S sees a mosquito and runs inside because she’s scared of the “squitos.” I can’t blame her, I had horrible reactions to the Sacramento mosquitoes last summer and am not looking forward to the mosquitoes this summer, especially with the Zika stuff going around.

7:20 pm – I nurse Lil G in his nursery while S & G finish up playing outside and then do bath time around 7:30 pm. G usually takes care of S’s bath and nightime routine, which is immensely helpful now that Lil G is here. Meanwhile, I change Lil G, put him to bed in his crib and face the immense mountain of laundry that needs to be folded and put away.



8:38 pm – I hop in the shower, blow dry my hair, and do my skincare routine. This is not a usual occurrence but a friend of mine recently sent me some Arbonne samples so I’m giving it a shot. There are many steps and it feels very adult-like of me, but I am pretty sure I’ll never be able to keep this up. It does feel kind of nice to take this time to pamper myself though. I head downstairs and turn on the electric kettle to boil water for tea, then promptly forget about it. I realize that G never came out of S’s room, so he must have fallen asleep while putting her to bed again (poor guy. This happens at least once a week it seems. He works too hard!). I wake him up (so he can go to bed, the irony) and kiss him goodnight, then head downstairs to watch Parks & Rec.

9:30 pm – Turn on Parks & Rec. It’s one of those shows that we never quite got into when it was on, but are loving now that we can binge watch it on Netflix. I think tonight’s episode might be my favorite episode so far – the Trial of Leslie Knope. So so good. Chris Traeger “literally” kills me. I am kind of half-watching knowing that I will likely re-watch the episode with G tomorrow. I am also simultaneously online shopping though I don’t end up buying anything. I type up my notes for this blog post and eat a mini Drumstick.

10:35 pm – Done typing up my notes, so I turn off the TV, take Stinson out one last time, turn on the alarm and head to bed.

 

 

Posted in DITL, Inspiration | 2 Comments

Labor Playlists

Making an appearance on the ol’ neglected blog to share the labor playlists I used during my labor with Baby #2 (“Lil G,” who arrived on his due date, January 20…hoping to finish writing his birth story soon!).  I got the idea of having a labor playlist from my friend Kellie, who taught a childbirth class that G and I attended. I didn’t have any playlists to labor to with S, and I think it really helped during my labor with Lil G.  I made a “mellow” playlist for early labor and a “motivating” playlist for active labor, but we ended up just listening to the mellow one throughout. I love listening to these playlists, and some of the songs bring me back to certain moments of the labor (this may or may not be a good thing, haha).  Without further ado, here they are:

Mellow:
– “All My Days” – Alexi Murdoch
– “Orange Sky” – Alexi Murdoch
– “Beautiful Boy” – Ben Harper
– “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight” – Amos Lee
– “Down in the Valley” – The Head and the Heart
– “The Blower’s Daughter” – Damien Rice
– “Beggar in the Morning” – Barr Brothers
– “Home” – Phillip Phillips
– “The Lime Tree” – Trevor Hall
– “Dust” – Trevor Hall
– “Sweet Disposition” – Temper Trap
– “Rumble” – The Soorleys
– “Feel” – Robbie Williams
– “Girl in the War” – Josh Ritter
– “Hello My Old Heart” – The Oh Hellos
– “Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + The Machine
– “It’s Time” – Imagine Dragons
– “Falling Slowly” – Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
– “October” – The Helio Sequence
– “White Winter Hymnal” – Fleet Foxes
– “Let Your Heart Hold Fast” – Fort Atlantic
– “Budapest” – George Ezra
– “Hero” – Family of the Year
– “Operating” – Hunter Hunted
– “Keep Together” – Hunter Hunted
– “Comes and Goes (In Waves)” Greg Laswell
– “Free Fallin’ (Live)” – John Mayer
– “Good Morning” – Bic Runga
– “Gravity” – John Mayer
– “The Hear of Life” – John Mayer
– “Highway Don’t Care” – Tim McGraw
– “Ho Hey” – Lumineers
– “Home” – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
– “One of those Nights” – Tim McGraw
– “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” – John Mayer
– “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
– “Sway” – Bic Runga
– “How Come You Never G – Feist
– “Pumpin Blood” – NONONO
– “Unsteady” – X Ambassadors
– “In Your Arms” – Chef’Special

Motivating:
– “Contagious” – Night Riots
– “First” – Cold War Kids
– “Best Day of My Life” – American Authors
– “Big Girl (You are Beautiful) – MIKA
– “Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + the Machine
– “Downtown” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
– “Feel” – Robbie Williams
– “Help I’m Alive” – Metric
– “My Body” – Young the Giant
– “Show Me What I’m Looking For” – Carolina Liar
– “Starlight” – Muse
– “Thrash Unreal” – Against Me!
– “Wake Up” – Arcade Fire
– “Young Folks” – Peter Bjorn and John
– “Feel So Close” – Calvin Harris
– “Hello” – Martin Solveig & Dragonette

One of the L&D nurses liked the music so much, she gave me her email so I could send my playlists to her. Hope these help out someone looking for good labor (or just chill) music!

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A Day in the Life: August 13, 2015

A bit late to the game, but once again I am joining Kate and others and doing a Day in the Life post. The last time I did one of these posts was over a year ago, and so much has changed since then! I left my job at the firm in April to stay home full-time with S, less than a month later we moved to Natomas (a suburb of Sacramento), AND I got pregnant with Baby #2! I really wish I had done one of these posts while I was back at work; I was a “working mom” from August 18, 2014 to April 3, 2015 and I never documented what my daily life was like…suffice it to say it was very busy and overwhelming and I am much happier now that I am home full-time! Without further ado, here is what our days have been looking like lately…

Thursday, August 13, 2015

  • M is 32 (and 17 weeks pregnant with baby #2)
  • G is 31
  • S is 18 months old
  • Stinson pup is 6 years old

We live in Natomas, a suburb of Sacramento.

7:39 am – The sound of S stirring wakes me up. She usually wakes me up around 7:10 most days, so this day she let me sleep in. I glance at the monitor to make sure she is really awake, brush my teeth, and head to her room to get her. I pick her up out of her crib and we read some books together and cuddle. All of a sudden, she starts exclaiming, “Puppa! Puppa!” and runs to Stinson’s crate to let him out.

7:55 am – After releasing Stinson from his crate and trying to hug/smother him, S heads to the guest bathroom (her bathroom) and uses the stepstool to reach the counter and Daddy’s electric toothbrush (he uses that bathroom in the mornings so as not to wake me up, and often leaves his toothbrush within S’s reach as a surprise for her…it’s his love language). S holds the toothbrush under the faucet and says “teethies?” which is my cue to turn the water on for her. She “brushes” her teeth for a few seconds and then it’s time for a diaper change. Despite her vociferous protests, I get her changed and put some clothes on her. She starts pulling out the baskets full of books out of her shelf, and one falls on her hand and she starts crying. I cuddle her a bit and then she’s fine again, and proceeds to run into our bedroom.

8:15 am – Now in our bedroom, crawls asks to go “up, up” onto our bed, where she wants to get “cooey” (cozy). This is one of her favorite things to do at this age, and it involves hiding under and snuggling with our duvet. After getting cozy for a bit, S tries to grab the glass of water from my nightstand but I catch her before she spills it on the floor. She then goes to the closet, grabs one of my purses and starts filling it with her things and dragging it on the floor to her room.

8:30 am – Time for me to take a shower. This doesn’t happen every morning but I am feeling brave today as I actually have plans involving seeing other adult people. I have to put S in Pack n’ Play because she keeps trying to open the shower door while I’m in it. She is not happy to be contained. After a quick shower, S is now out of the Pack n’ Play and causing havoc while I get dressed, including crawling into the dog’s crate.


8:55 am – I slice a banana for S to distract her while I prep breakfast, and even though she is signing “more,” she throws the banana pieces on the ground. Stinson is so used to this that he doesn’t even eat the banana slices anymore. As I open a bag of bagels, I chuckle to myself at the bite mark that S made through the bag into one of the bagels when we were at the grocery store the night before. I toast bagels and make green smoothies for me and S (with spinach, bananas, whole milk, greek yogurt, and frozen berries). I pour the smoothies into plastic straw cups and take the bagels out of the toaster oven. S sees the bagel and says, “mo? mo? mo?” I ask her to say please and she says, “Peas?” then “Ooookay.” It’s hilariously cute. While we eat our breakfasts, I open the slider door to let Stinson go out, but he’s not having it this morning. I guess we’ll have to go on a quick walk, which is what we do before getting in the car to head to playgroup.

9:50 am -We leave the house for playgroup. When we lived in Midtown, my neighbor Lee invited me to be part of her playgroup that has been meeting for a few years now. Most of the moms in the group have 2 kids so I’m kind of the odd man out with only one, but S is finally getting to an age where she can interact with the other toddlers and I think it’s becoming more fun for her. I always welcome the good company (and adult interaction) but since we moved to Natomas it’s been harder for us to make it to playgroup due to distance, especially because S usually naps around 11:30 so I don’t want to screw with that.

10:15 am – We arrive at playgroup. This week Ashlee is hosting it at Oak Meadow Park, which is one of my favorite parks (wish it was closer to us!). I chat with the other moms while S gorges herself on snacks and tries to climb everything, including the picnic tables (to get more snacks).

11:35 am – We leave playgroup and I cross my fingers and toes that S doesn’t fall asleep in the car on the drive home. She woke up later than usual so I am thinking it should be ok.

12 pm – We arrive home and as I am getting S’s bottle ready and holding her on my hip, I smell the unmistakeable scent of poop. I quickly realize that we have a blowout situation, and since S is wearing shorts I have some on my arm as well (lovely). This rarely happens anymore – maybe it was all the snacks? – but I rush upstairs, change S out of her clothes and attempt give her a quick bath in the guest bath. I vow to get a handheld shower-head because it’s nearly impossible to rinse her off in the bathtub without one. I finally get S in some pajamas, give her the bottle and read her a book (Possum Magic – an Australian classic given to us by our sweet Sydney friends Sarah and Marcus). After S is down, I go in the garage and check the carseat to see what level of damage I’m dealing with. I praise baby Jesus that there is no poop on the carseat, throw in a quick load of laundry, and put on my pajamas. I do a quick cleanup of our master bedroom, then go downstairs and clear the kitchen. Meanwhile, I heat up an Amy’s frozen burrito for lunch, and eat while researching handheld shower-head options.


1:10 pm – I am feeling exhausted (still coming out of first trimester fog) so I go upstairs to try to get a nap. It takes me a while to fall asleep but I finally do.

2:50 pm – I wake up from my nap and check the monitor. S is quietly “reading” in her crib. I head into her room, change her diaper and we read some books and play together.

3:25 pm – S closes all the doors upstairs, which I take as my cue that it’s time to head downstairs. I boil some ravioli (we love this kind) for S and simultaneously begin caramelizing onions in preparation for dinner. S sees the onion and asks for “apple.” We are out of apples so I give her slices peaches, which she promptly throws on the ground. I give her some grapes (an S favorite) and she throws those, too. The ravioli are finally ready so I cut her a few, but they need some salt so I sprinkle them with the fancy Maldon salt I ordered off Amazon because I can’t find the regular salt. This backfires as S picks off only the salt flakes and refuses to eat the rest of the ravioli.

4 pm – I give up on trying to feed S and take her and Stinny for a walk instead. We go around the block and pick up the mail.

4:15 pm – I load up S in the car. As we are leaving the garage, I see the neighbors’ 5 year old twins pointing their toy guns at me and S. This totally rubs me the wrong way and I make a mental note to tell G about it later.  We drive to Home Depot to check out handheld shower-heads. I end up finding a Moen one that is magnetic and decide it’s worth a few extra bucks (we can always take it with us when we move!). I briefly consider going to the gym (normally we go 3-4 times a week because FREE CHILDCARE!) but I decide I don’t want to cut it too close because I have a 5:30 call with my friends.

5:10 pm – We arrive back home and I prep dinner (Iowa Girl Eats BBQ Mini Cheddar Meatloaves, a dinner standby in our house). While I am prepping dinner, S unrolls the entire roll of parchment paper…twice. In the interest of my sanity (and because of the 5:30 call), I let S watch a couple episodes of Curious George. When she sees me grab the remote, she asks “George? George? George?” until I turn it on for her, at which point she starts dancing with her hands in the air. It’s adorable how much she loves that little monkey.

5:30 pm – I have a video conference with my friends Iulia and Lauren while S watches Curious George (note she is getting way more George than she usually does due to the call. She usually gets 30-45 min a day max). While on a girls’ trip a few months back, we decided it would be fun to start a “Mutual Improvement Society” a la Benjamin Franklin and have monthly meetings (we are huge dorks, I know). Basically it’s like a no-obligations book club where we occasionally also share recipes but mostly catch up via video conference because I’m in Sac, Lauren’s in LA and Iulia’s in NY. I love it because it gives me a chance to catch up with my old college roomies and it sounds all official, even though it’s not.

7:10 pm – G gets home from work and we all eat dinner together. S is a major beef lover (“steakies!”) so meatloaf goes over pretty well.

7:30 pm – I clean the kitchen while G and S hang out outside. S picks whatever teeny tiny cherry tomatoes are left on our sad little plant and eats them immediately. I join the gang for a few minutes but then head upstairs to install the new shower-head.


  

8 pm – G and S join me upstairs. We play “cozy” on the bed and then get S ready for her bath. S gets her bath a bit later than usual, and is frightened of the handheld shower-head. We will have to work on that. While she’s in the bath, we quickly FaceTime with Buni (my mom).

8:20 pm – G gets S in her pajamas while I go downstairs and heat up milk for her bottle. While G gives S her bottle, I read S some stories. Tonight it’s a Sandra Boynton triple feature: Doggies, Personal Penguin, and But Not the Hippopotamus!. After her bottle, we brush teeth and I kiss S goodnight. G usually stays with her a little longer and rocks her/sings to her for a bit before putting her down.

8:45 pm – We both sit on the couch having some “internet time” on our laptops with House Hunters International on in the background. We don’t watch much TV these days but when we do, it’s usually HGTV (I am addicted to Fixer Upper and we both love House Hunters).

9:45 pm – Normally we don’t go to bed until 10:30 or so, but G has an early day tomorrow and I am tired as well, so we turn in for the night.

Posted in DITL, Inspiration | 7 Comments

Best Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

I’m dusting off the ol’ blog to post a recipe that is just too good not to share with the internet. I first learned of this recipe from a bottle of Spice Hunter brand Oregano back in college, and I loved it so much I wrote it out on a piece of paper that has lived in my recipe binder ever since. I totally forgot about this recipe until a couple weeks ago, when I randomly had all the ingredients on hand and came across the recipe. And since Spice Hunter now has a different version of this recipe on its website, I feel that it’s my duty to share this version with the world…you know, for posterity’s sake. Here it is: Chicken Cacciatore (Adapted slightly from Spice Hunter) Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1.5 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. In a large, deep pot, sauté onion, garlic, and oregano in e.v.o.o. until the onion is clear, around 3 minutes.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts, then sprinkle flour on them. Move around some of the onion mixture in the pan so you have room for the chicken breasts. Add chicken breasts to the pan and cook until chicken is browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms to the pan and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, mix the can of tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and vinegar together. Add a little water (maybe 2-3 tbsp.) to thin it out a bit. Pour this mixture over chicken in the pan, and stir everything together. Put a lid on the pot and simmer the entire mixture until the chicken is cooked throughout, about 20 minutes.
  5. Serve over polenta. Voila!

Sadly I don’t have any photos of the finished dish, but I can assure you that it was delicious (and toddler-approved…see below for evidence). IMG_0798

Posted in Good Eats, Workweek Meals | 1 Comment

M & s in June

I was inspired by Elise’s E&e series to start a similar series of my own to document my days with S.  This is what S (16 months) and I were up to in June 2015:

Reading

READING:  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking | I Am a Bunny

Wearing

WEARING:  New Balance running shoes (getting back into running after a 2-year hiatus!) | Pink Crocs “shoes!”

Wearing2

DOING: Cooling off at the pool at our new (to us) gym | ditto

Obsessed2

OBSESSED WITH: This trio of face products (Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30 Moisturizer, Beauty Blender, Maybelline Fit Me foundation) | “bubbles!”

Eating

EATING: all the organic Cripps pink lady apples | ditto

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Reflections on My Birth, a Year Later

I know…I know. It’s been more than 3 months since my last post…can we still even call this my blog? Yet though I am constantly thinking of things that I want to blog about, I rarely actually put pen to paper (so to speak) because there’s just too much going on, and, let’s face it, blogging’s usually the first thing to go. That being said, something happened that keeps looping around over and over in my mind and I feel like I can’t get it out without writing about it.

A friend of mine sent me a (highly graphic) YouTube video of a natural frank breech birth today. I’m not sure what compelled her to watch it in the first place, but seeing as how my baby is about to turn 1, she shared it with me, saying how impressed she was that I had a natural breech birth as well (let’s just say it’s not for the faint of heart). I watched the video, and after remarking how incredibly similar it was to my own birth, decided to take a gander at the YouTube comments. Big mistake. I knew I didn’t read most comments on the internet for a reason, but the comments on this particular video left me livid. People were not only rude, they were cruel. One person commented that she was “so disappointed that [the woman in the video] was so against c section that [she] was willing to RISK THE LIFE OF [HER] CHILD to have it [her] way.” This same person found the video “upsetting and just plain HORRIBLE and selfish.” Someone else described the woman in the video as “stupid and lucky.” Yet another commenter stated, “I hate people like you. Dirty, filthy idiotic hippies who know better than professionals. If you or the baby would have died, I wouldn’t feel bad at all.” Wow. Just…wow.

I found the comments to the video extremely upsetting on two levels. First, on a general level, since when did it become ok to say such cruel, vicious things to other human beings? Apparently the anonymity provided by the internet gives people license to say whatever horrible things they’re thinking to other people, without any concern about hurting others’ feelings. It also struck me how ignorant most of the comments were. People threw around all sorts of “statistics” about how many babies die during breech birth, but I have to wonder how many of them have actually researched the subject, as I did in advance of my birth? It’s upsetting that people feel they can treat others this way.

The comments were also upsetting on a personal level. I try to keep a thick skin about me and I realize that no matter what decisions I make, people will have different opinions (especially when it comes to parenting). But I couldn’t help but feel personally attacked by the comments, since I made the (almost) same choice as the woman in the video. I say almost because she had a home birth, and I was able to deliver in the hospital. I don’t know that I would have chosen to deliver breech at home if the hospital hadn’t been an option — I honestly think I would have found it too risky — but at the same time, I won’t judge the woman because I am not her and I had the option to deliver in a hospital whereas she didn’t. Reading the comments, I couldn’t help but wonder – is this what people think of me? That I would knowingly endanger my child’s life because I so desperately wanted to avoid a C-section? That I was lucky and stupid?

Because here’s the thing: I most certainly was lucky, but I was not stupid. Leading up to my birth, I did a lot of research on breech birth. I spoke to my doctors candidly and at length, and had to meet very strict criteria set out by UCSF to even be allowed to attempt a vaginal breech birth. I had to deliver in the OR, so that if anything did start to go wrong, the baby could be delivered via emergency C-section. My doctors, who had years of breech birth experience, felt confident that I could deliver naturally with no additional long-term risk to my baby. I made an informed, intelligent decision, and so it really stings me when I see such hurtful, judgmental comments on a birth so similar to my own. It shouldn’t affect me, but it does. And I just hope that as my daughter grows up, she will be able filter out all the noise, make her own decisions and stand by them, and know that her mother chose to have the birth she did precisely because she believed it was the best choice for both of us. Happy almost birthday, baby girl.

Posted in Baby, Baby S, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Fall 50 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

A few weeks ago, I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs to try something called a “capsule wardrobe.”  Google the term and you will find many different variations on the idea, but essentially it’s this: paring down your wardrobe into a seasonal “capsule” of a limited number of items that you wear for an entire season.  Some people, like Elise, do 36 items including shoes; others do not include shoes in their count.  You may be asking yourself:  Why on earth would anyone do something like this?  I’ve always liked a challenge, and like Elise, my goals with this project are to 1) eliminate clutter, 2) save time standing in front of a full closet with “nothing to wear,” 3) cut down on unnecessary spending and 4) better define my personal style.

I decided 36 items was a bit extreme for me, so I whittled down my wardrobe to 50 items – not including shoes, accessories, workout and sleepwear – and decided to commit to wearing only those 50 items** until January 1, 2015.  As for the rest of my clothes, I donated a bunch and then packed and stored the rest out of sight.  I am also making an effort not to buy any new clothes until January 1, but I am not beating myself up about it too much, since I don’t tend to overindulge on clothes anyway. Instead, I am telling myself that if I do buy any new items, I have to swap out/donate one of my Fall 50 for that item.

I have been unofficially wearing my “Fall 50” items for the past few weeks now, but a weekend at home and a nudge from a curious friend have finally prompted me to photograph my capsule wardrobe and blog about it (nothing like a public declaration to hold myself accountable!).  Most of the items you see below have been in my closet for years; the ones I have purchased within the past couple months are denoted with an asterisk (there are 5 of them).  I tried really hard to pick things that go with at least a few other items in the capsule, but there are some randoms in there too.  No links to products because this is not a sponsored blog and also #aintnobodygottimeforthat. Without further ado, here are my Fall 50:

Fall50Casual

CASUAL TOPS (10): blue and white striped H by Bordeaux shirt (Nordstrom Rack); black and white striped H by Bordeaux shirt (Nordstrom Rack); multicolor stripe Merona tee (Target); purple striped boatneck tee (Ann Taylor Loft); navy shirt (Anthropologie); “Need Coffee” shirt* (Old Navy); “Sunday Funday” shirt* (Old Navy); gray tee (Target); salmon tee* (J. Crew); Caslon white tee (Nordstrom).

Fall50SweatersJackets

SWEATERS & JACKETS (16): orange and gray sweater (Anthropologie); deep purple sweater (Ann Taylor Loft); striped navy and cream sweater (Banana Republic); navy and white polka-dot sweater (J. Crew Factory); gray ruffle sweater (Banana Republic); tan cable knit sweater (H&M); tan cardigan (Banana Republic); Bobeau yellow cardigan (Nordstrom); tan sweatshirt (Oakley); navy and white stripe sweatshirt (Banana Republic Factory); black zip hoodie (Ann Taylor Factory); berry cashmere zip hoodie (Nordstrom); olive puffer vest* (Old Navy); military jacket (Target); brown cordurouy blazer (H&M); navy jacket (J. Crew).

Fall50Blouses

BLOUSES (12):  Polka-dot chambray (Old Navy); light chambray* (J. Crew); blue plaid button-down (H&M); red plaid shirt (H&M); pink heart top (boutique in SF); Bobeau brand sage sheer top (Hautelook); Bobeau brand floral top (Hautelook); French hen shirt (J. Crew); black top (Nordstrom); cream lace top (Banana Republic); black and white flannel shirt (Madewell); teal shirt (Nordstrom).

Fall50Bottoms

BOTTOMS & DRESSES (12): navy & gray sweater dress (Gap); multicolor sweater dress (Ann Taylor Loft); Tiny brand shirtdress* (Anthropologie); Merona black and white dot shirtdress (Target); Citizens of Humanity bootcut jeans (Nordstrom); black Rockstar jeans (Old Navy); Paige ankle peg skinny jeans (Nordstrom); curvy fit bootcut jeans (Gap); Bobeau maxi skirt (Nordstrom Rack); maroon skinny pants (Banana Republic); olive chinos (J. Crew); Franco Sarto leggings (Nordstrom).

My hope is that this little experiment will prompt me to try some fun new combinations as well as hone in on my personal style and what I really do and don’t wear.  I hope to share a few of the outfit combinations over the next couple months as well as report back about how this is all going.  I’ve been doing this unofficially for almost a month now and I can already tell you that getting dressed is MUCH easier in the morning when my choices are more limited.  I am curious to see how I will feel at the end of this and whether it will motivate me to donate a lot of the stuff I put in storage.

Have you or would you try a capsule wardrobe?

**In the interest of full disclosure, I did keep a handful (less than 20 items) of fancier “work clothes” on standby for the days I have to go into the office/to court. Because I work mostly from home, it didn’t make sense to keep these as part of my Fall 50, but I wanted to have them on hand just in case. 

Posted in Inspiration | 5 Comments