Friday Things!

Happy Labor Day weekend!

And Happy Almost Birthday, to the best husband a girl could ask for!

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I didn’t get a chance to celebrate International Dog Day, so here’s a bunch of dogs hugging their humans.

Speaking of dogs, Hello Kitty is … apparently NOT a kitty, at all?

True Blood is finally over (no more Civil War Bill flashbacks!!) but you can let the world know you belong to Eric Northman (because helloooooo Viking God) with one of these.

File this shirt under “things I need,” and “you got that right.” Ok, and this one too.

Call me crazy (no real ice cream for 10 months will do that to a girl) but I’m seriously considering spending $11 on a pint (or seven) of these.

Five Things on Fridays

A lot of blogs I read do a sort of “look at what I found on the Internet this week” roundup, which I enjoy. I’ve found other blogs I really like, read really interesting articles, and discovered adorable Etsy shops from their weekly links.

But sometimes their lists are sooooo long, I get a little overwhelmed and just give up reading. Five things, would be perfect, if you ask me.

Maybe a cute Etsy listing. A recipe here and there. Something baby/parenting/fertility related. Some celebrity news. Pictures of cute baby animals. Pictures of fancy kitchens or bathrooms or swimming pools so we can all live vicariously through much richer people.

You know. Stuff like that.

So here’s my first list of Five Things on Friday.

Want to be the perfect mother? It’s totally easy, and impossible and you should do it, or not do it.

Being polite is easy too. And hey! Fun facts about prostitutes!

Fancy pants? Smarty pants? Cranky pants? Bossy pants? HANGRY pants?! Yes, please. I’ll take one of each.

Chubby or super-ripped, Chris Pratt is adorable.

I had no idea making pickles could be so easy.

Ten Months

Ten months feels significant for some reason. Maybe it’s that nice, round, double digit? Who knows. I DO know my baby doesn’t really look like a baby anymore. He looks like a (mostly toothless, but still!) little boy.

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Height & Weight: I’d guess around 18 pounds and 29 or 30 inches? Won’t know for sure until his one-year (!) appointment, but he seems a lot taller to us.

Likes: Right now, Gus really enjoys emptying baskets, buckets, etc. He “helps” me take the laundry out of the dryer, and when I try to clean up his (thousands of) toys, he pulls something back out as soon as I put it away. He loves to pull all of his books off the shelf, and then flip through one or two until he finds a page that looks particularly delicious.

Dislikes: Diaper changes are still the worst part of our day. And man, does he despise the NoseFrida.

Sleep: We’ve had a few rough nights lately. First he got a little stomach bug, then we went to the beach for a week and everything was unfamiliar. Then he got a cold, which seems to be getting better. Also I think his top teeth are coming in. So some nights are great. Other nights he’s up once or twice and needs to nurse. One night he could only sleep sitting up on my chest, so I was in a chair from 2–6 a.m., and none of us were happy.

Eating: I try to give him three meals of solids now. Breakfast is Cheerios and oatmeal with fruit. Lunch is veggie straws and coconut milk yogurt with more fruit. Dinner is some more veggie straws, maybe a meatball, or some chopped avocado, and some sort of meat/veggie/grain combo jar. He still nurses every three-ish hours too, about 6 times a day.

Clothes: I feel like I always move him up to the next size too late. Like, he’s a string bean so all his 9M stuff still fits, but is getting short. When I look at 12M stuff it seems huge to me, but a few days ago I put him in some new, bigger, PJs and they fit him perfectly. So I guess he wears 12M now, haha.

Outtakes!
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New Tricks: He’s a dancing machine, like his Momma. Speaking of Momma, he will occasionally say “mama,” and I think he really means it. He also just chats up a storm in general throughout the day. He’s walked a few feet with his push toy after standing behind it for the last two months. He will wave and give high-fives, usually when we least expect it, and rarely ever when I ask him to. Although last night when Mike came home from work, Gus waved and said what sounded an awful lot like “HI!” so I’m counting that as his second word.

Teeth: Those top two are coming, I can feel it (usually around 3 a.m.) but so far it’s just a lot of drool, and ear pulling, and runny noses. Tooth tally: 2.

Nicknames: Chompers, Buddy, Stringbean, GusGus, Crazy Hair.

Mommy & Daddy: After about four straight years of wearing nothing but my glasses, I decided to switch back to contacts for a few reasons. 1) Gus gets tremendous pleasure knocking my glasses off my face, so, 2) now they are perma-smudged and scratched. No matter how much I clean them, I can never see clearly. I had no idea how badly the lenses were damaged until I started wearing my contacts a week ago. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve adjusted glasses that aren’t there. I’m like a nerdy mime.

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Spicy Black Beans

Are you ready for the simplest recipe, ever?

It’s low fat, vegetarian/vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, high in protein and fiber, and full of healthy carbs.

It can also be face-meltingly spicy, if that’s how you get down (and you know I do).

Here’s all you need:

1 can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded (or not, leave the seeds if you want more heat) and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped.
Salt, pepper, cumin and red pepper flakes to taste

Sauté the onion, jalapeño and garlic until the onions start to soften. Add the black beans and stir to combine. Cook for a few more minutes, covered, until the onions are completely soft and the beans are hot. Season with salt and pepper, and liberally with cumin. (If you add a lot of cumin, and I think you should, things can get a little dry in there, so add some water to help everything mix together.)

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Now, what can you do with all those beans?

Well, at dinner time, they make an excellent side dish for any protein really.

You could have them for breakfast, topped with fried or poached eggs! Or wrapped in a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, salsa and cheese.

For lunch I like to top mine with chopped grilled chicken, some chopped cucumber (for some crunch and to cut the heat a bit) and some guacamole. It’s like a DIY burrito bowl!

I don’t have any practice uses for dessert, but I suspect everyone is ok with that.

Bye Bye, Fries.

Like a lot of women, I’ve struggled with my weight and body image, both before and after baby.

Yes, I was one of those magical creatures who got back to their pre-pregnancy size in record time, and without trying. But when your pre-pregnancy size is still 40 pounds north of where you want to be, obviously, you’re not finished yet.

Now, I’ve never been skinny, nor do I really want to be. I’m almost six feet tall. My legs are solid muscle (so that thigh gap ain’t happening). My shoulders are broad, which is good, because I need something to help hold up these giant boobs. I can eat, and eat, and eat, and my ass will stay the same size. I’m ok with all those things (particularly the tiny heinie).

But I’ve lost track of how much weight I’ve gained and lost, over and over and over again throughout the years. That part I’m not so ok with.

In the past, a heathy carb/fat routine worked wonders for me. However, giving up dairy for Gus’ sake has really thrown me for a loop with regard to weight loss. For the last nine months my number one priority has been avoiding (wonderful, delicious) dairy products so that 1) my baby isn’t sick, and 2) he doesn’t keep me up all night screaming. (Trust me. If someone came to your house every night and screamed at you at 1am and then 4am and again at 7am, you’d give up pizza and cookies, with a smile on your face.)

So that’s resulted in a lot of carbs. Noodles are safe. Rice is safe. Bagels are usually safe. Potatoes are safe. McDonalds is mostly safe. Factor in, they’re also easy to make, and oooooooh, boy, am I eating way too many damn carbs.

And while I do want to lose weight because, hello!, I’m incredibly vain, I’m really more interested in getting healthy, and running and playing with this baby I’m so fond of.

All that to say, I’m working with a nutritionist, to come up with easy and healthy dairy-free meals and snacks, so I can take advantage of all these extra breastfeeding-burning calories, instead of eating my weight in French fries.

She gave me a sample menu with a carb count for each meal and snack (it’s basically identical to what another nutritionist gave me to follow when I had gestational diabetes). Proteins and healthy fats are pretty much unlimited. I’m supposed to eat every two-three hours (just like a baby!).

Totally do-able.

Now I just have to do it.

Beach Baby

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Today is our last day of vacation, and I’m holed up in our bedroom while Gus takes a nap (on my lap, as per usual).

Gus did really well with the three-hour drive to the beach, but I suspect that’s in large part a result of Mike’s plan to leave at 5am so he would sleep on the way. My husband is obviously brilliant, as the baby was asleep before we left our neighborhood, and didn’t wake up until we stopped for breakfast at the beach.

Gus has mixed emotions about the beach itself. He loved to watch the waves roll in and out, but wasn’t super pumped about them crashing on him (and by him, I mean baby waves touching his waist). We had little baby tide pools a few days (thanks to Hurricane Bertha, I think?) and he would sit with us to splash and play in the sand, usually happily.

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He gladly rinsed off in the pool with us every day after the beach, and he got to take his first bath in the big tub, which he loved more than anything else. He would crawl in circles after his bath toys, and now I understand why they sell those faucet cover thingies (while he made it out unscathed there were several close calls).

He loved to explore our condo, which was conveniently full of baby-friendly furniture, and was particularly fond of standing and staring through the giant sliding glass door (and then smashing his face against it).

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Gus played with his cousins (as much as a nine month old can play with 2–5 year olds), but we never stayed on the beach for more than three hours — breastfeeding and sandy boobs proved uncomfortable for all of us, and Gus was too distracted to nap anywhere beside our condo. But most days I got the baby fed, napped, and still got to swim in the ocean and pool, and even squeezed in some (very serious and cutthroat) Pictionary, so I consider our first vacation with a baby a success.

And now, despite how much I love the sea and sand, I’m super excited to get back home to my fancy mattress, comfortable nursing chair, and our puppies.

More baby on the beach pictures!
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