Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Baby Talk: Time Flies.

Excuse my French when I say that motherhood has made me realize that the rapid passage of time is a real motherfucker. 

The other night I was playing with Ro-bot in his room, he was sitting up waving blocks and rattles all around and it just hit me, "You are not a newborn anymore." He is not the babe in the bump, kicking my belly at all hours. He is not that tiny baby they laid on my chest in the hospital. He is not the itty bitty baby who cried to eat every 45 minutes. He is not this brand new human anymore.

And where that makes me sad and I really long for just ONE more day being pregnant with him or just ONE more day with him when he was a newborn, I also look at him and just feel proud. Look at you sit and babble and feed yourself bits of bananas. Look at you crawl (!!) and roll around and pivot. He is no longer that teeny, tiny newborn but he is this really bubbly, funny, beautiful little human being. I'm realizing how quickly these moments pass and it makes me try to savor every minute. Even when the house is messy, Violet is waking the baby up, and my clothes are covered in who-knows-what, these moments pass all too quickly and I just want to drink them up. I want to press pause on the mornings when his little bedhead pops up and when he giggles at the mailman and when he does the "zombie baby" routine and when he reaches out for me...specially when he reaches out for me.

I bought a little sentence-a-day journal to keep better track of these tiny moments and I have set aside a day to work on his scrapbook so that years from now I can revisit this sweet time with him. But, ugh, time flies when life is beautiful.

How do you savor and record life's little moments?

Monday, July 20, 2015


Hey there! I'm guest posting today over at The Peanuts Gang talkin' fashion, mom bods, and leggings for Samantha's #LeggingsWearDontCare series. Head on over to check it out!

Friday, July 17, 2015


Rowan's first time finger painting! This was before he realized just how big of a mess he could make.

I am currently...
....eating sweet potatoes for dinner every.single.day. I am such a creature of habit when it comes to meals and right now I am in the habit of eat a sweet potato with non-dairy butter and a pinch of salt with a side of spicy steamed veggies and tofu for dinner almost every single week night. What can I say? It's quick, easy, and effing delicious.
...making big plans! I recently bought a paper planner to map out future blog posts in hopes of FINALLY making this a consistent and productive outlet for myself. I'm also working on getting our home in order and purging more junk (unused kitchen appliances, books we won't read again, excess blankets. It all must go). Thirty is just around the bend and I want to go into my next decade with a clean, fresh, organized start.
...listening to Tear in My Heart by twenty one pilots. I have such a soft spot for twenty one pilots and this new song is my favorite. I cannot stop listening to it. 
...reading  something new! I mentioned earlier this week I just finished the Andy Cohen Diaries and now I'm looking for something else to sink my teeth into. A nearly bought Go Set a Watchman out of sheer curiosity but after reading the initial reviews I just can't bring myself to tarnish my love of To Kill a Mockingbird. Not yet, any way.
...watching unREAL on Lifetime (I know, Lifetime? Seriously.) I watched the pilot after seeing some interesting previews and BOY that stuff sucks you in. It's dark, interesting, and pokes at the reality TV bear. It's a total guilty pleasure, glass of wine after the baby goes to bed watch.
...loving the sunshine when we get it! This summer has been so rainy and full of storms, the days of sunshine are extra special. Any time it is sunny enough but not insanely humid, the babe and I head out to the patio for dinner (at our shower my other mother bought me a pop-up outdoor high chair and it ROCKS). I've never been a huge fan of summer--hi, it's super hot and I sweat and boo hiss--but I'm learning to just soak in the moment....even if the moment itself is soaked in sweat and melted makeup.
 ...looking forward to a more relaxed schedule! The last six-ish months have been insane with work and obligations (which is a good thing in freelancing, for sure). But I'm working on that work-life balance and I've been making myself really stick to it. I was working from the time I got up until the time I went to bed almost every day and I was getting burnt out and felt guilty. Now, I'm creating boundaries and being honest about when I am and am not available. I'm happy to be busy with work but I am making it a priority to NOT answer emails while I give the baby a bath or hop on calls when I'm about to put him down for the night. I love what I do and I love being a mom, I'm just learning to strike that balance of the two.
Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Weekly Blooms: A Love Story.

If you follow me on any form of social media (in this case Instagram) you know that I am a lover of fresh flowers. Since I was a kid, nothing makes my heart quite as happy as a fresh bouquet of beauts. I can remember thinking that when I was an adult I'd always get paper bags at the grocery store and I'd always have flowers in my house (I also thought adulthood rocked cause you could drink as much pop as you wanted...).

Since I moved out on my own (and even a bit in college) I've always made a point to have fresh flowers in the house whenever possible. With two cats who like to destroy plants, it has been an exercise in creativity when it comes to keeping the blooms somewhere safe. A couple of years ago I started a formally informal routine called the Weekly Blooms--a weekly love letter to myself in the form of petals and stems. During a rocky year full of loss, disappointment, work woes, and my dad's cancer diagnosis I decided to make my weekly bouquet (sometimes bi-weekly depending on how long I can keep them fresh) a major priority. Even when money was/is a bit tighter, there's something beautiful and sunny about a small $3 bouquet of daisies on my entryway table. Over years, I've found myself really looking forward to picking out the perfect bouquet and have really come a ways in creating floral arrangements. It's nothing super fancy but it's a reminder to myself that I am wonderful. Every week. All the blooms.

Do you have any little routines like the Weekly Blooms?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Good Readin'.

I love to read. With a busy work life and mommin' it up, I haven't spent nearly enough time engulfed in a good read these last few months (and during pregnancy I was mostly reading "how to not accidentally kill your infant/you're doing everything wrong" type books). My favorite books are usually in the humor realm and lean toward memoirs (I just finished the Andy Cohen Diaries and it was such a dishy, fun read). 

On my reading wish list?

Gone Girl (I'm a million years late to that party)
Not That Kind of Girl (I actually got this for Christmas and it is still sitting on my desk...)

What books do you suggest?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Baby Talk: Losing Weight & Nursing Babes.

This week should be called "Nursing Talk" really...and on that note, you've been warned.

It's no secret that I'm on a quest to get healthy/lose some weight (unless you're new here and in that case hey gurl/boi, how you doin'?). Since the day Ro-w Row Row Your Boat was born I've lost a total of 54 pounds. I'm really happy that I've been successful in losing a chunk of weight (and I rue the days I ate pizza and drank wine pre-pregancy because I'm paying for it now). I have lost every pound I gained while I carried my babe but now I'm working on losing pre-pregnancy excess weight. 

What I've learned about losing weight this time around? Trying to drop pounds while nursing a baby can be a real pain in the ass. The first couple months I was always hungry, I constantly hit plateaus, and now I have to be careful that I don't go too crazy for fear of damaging my milk supply. A couple months ago I lost 5 pounds in one week...and immediately was met with a fussy babe who was NOT getting enough of the good stuff because my supply had dipped. It's this constant dance making sure to keep my supply up while hoping to see the pounds fall off. 

In researching losing weight while nursing I've come to the conclusion that slow and steady wins the race. I've gotten past the idea that I can lose 20 pounds in a month or that I can eat 900 calories a day. 

Here are some quick tips that have worked for me in losing these 54 pounds and working toward losing the next 50:

Water, Water: All. The. Time.
 Water is my favorite. Everyone knows chugging the clear stuff is awesome for you and I am happy that I instilled this habit years ago. I try to hit at least 80 ounces a day (but strive for my weight in ounces). I'm learning to stop drinking my calories--tea instead of wine, passing on sugary OJ for a cold glass of water, etc.

Gentle Movements
 I'm not someone who has ever had a hardcore workout routine (shocking, right?). I lost 18 pounds in the month before I got pregnant with Rowan and even then I was doing a bit of time on the elliptical (how magical are those things?) and walking the track at my gym at a leisurely pace. It's just about movement with me. I would love to be someone who can train with Jillian Michaels six days a week or someone who runs miles and miles every day. Right now, that's not what works for me. I use my FitBit to track steps and aim for 10,000 a day. Down the road, I'm contemplating investing in my own elliptical since the one at my gym was a beaut and it never felt like a tough workout but blasted calories.

Choose Good Calories & Keep Track
 Firstly, stick to your own calorie count. I firmly believe different people need different calorie numbers. Pre-baby weight loss, I stuck to 1,200-1,300. Now, knowing I need a few extra, I stick to 1,800 a day. It's crazy how quickly those calories can disappear when you watch what you're eating. Sure, I can have a glass of wine with toast (ugh, I love toast) OR I can have a ton of produce with a bit of hummus. I try to fill my 1,800 calories with really high nutrient things like spirulina, tofu, bananas, almond butter, fruit, steamed veggies, and hummus. I use MyFitnessPal's app to keep track of everything and I really love it--it's easy, quick, and I love the social aspect of cheering other people on (are you using MFP? What's your username, boo?).

Eat Clean, But Not TOO Clean
 I believe in treats. There I said it. Since I am nursing, I do try to fill my daily plate with lots of greens, vegan proteins, antioxidants, and "superfoods." Buuuut, sometimes I just want a salted soft pretzel. And I have one with spicy mustard. When I totally deprive myself, I always fall off the wagon. Keeping my plate mostly clean helps keep the pounds off but I allow myself to indulge too. Rhyno and I want to watch movies with the babe and order Chinese takeout on a Saturday night? I'm not killing myself over it. I let myself have that spring roll and a Sprite and sodium-laden soy sauce....but not every day. It's all about balance.

Embrace Your Bod 
The most powerful thing I've done in losing these 54 pounds is embracing my body as is. I've suffered from disordered eating and body dysmorphia my entire life and I can finally say I'm happy with myself. Sure, I wish more of my clothing fit and I wish I wasn't so jiggly but I'm happy. My body is strong and carried a healthy baby and continues to nourish said babe. I've survived grief and the awkward ugly duckling years and loss and nights spent making bad decisions. I'm working on creating an even healthier body but it takes so much stress off to just accept the one I have, too.

What are your best tips for slow and steady weight loss?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Vacation All I Ever Wanted.

I love to travel. As a teenager I was a People to People Student Ambassador and got to see the likes of Spain, Italy, and France. My gramma saved up to take my cousin and I on a cruise to Alaska in high school. Even quick trips to nearby Indiana and overnights in downtown Chicago, I love to see new things and have a bit of wanderlust. Somewhere between working a ton of hours at a 24/7 on-call job, lay-offs, bills, and the general responsibilities of life in your 20s, I stopped traveling. Rhyno and I have been together nine years and only went on one trip together--our honeymoon to Disney World.  

Then I got pregnant. Sometime last year I decided I wanted travel to be a priority for myself and the babe. I wanted our baby to see things and go on at least one vacation a year. With a renewed desire to create better work/life balance (more on that in another post cause, boy, do I need help there), I started planning a road trip to Florida a few months ago. With my parents in tow, we decided to drive down to visit my brother and sister-in-law with a stop in Tennessee. 

My parents, Robot, and I packed up and got out of dodge the day after Fourth of July! We were able to avoid traffic and got to Tennessee in about nine hours (not bad for having an 8 month old in the car!). We spent the next day touring Gatlinburg--I HIGHLY recommend visiting. I said this is a place I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise and it is beautiful. Lots of shopping, whiskey and moonshine tastings, great (vegan!) calzones at Mellow Mushroom, and the most beautiful aquarium I've ever been to. We stayed in a gorgeous resort with perfect mountain views. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Our next stop? Florida! We spent the day with my brother and sister-in-law at Universal to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (um, amazing) and our nerdy hearts were so happy. We rode roller coasters (let's talk about how awesome Child Swap at Universal is: we were all able to wait in line together and then swap turns on the ride), drank frozen lemonade, and sweated our butts off (hi, Florida is H-O-T). We went back the next day to do more shopping and roller coaster riding, ending the night driving to my brother's place in St. Augustine. 

Oh, the beach. Take me back! We spent Friday at the beach and man, that salt water felt so good. Robot was a fan of the ocean from afar and one salty splash to the face and he was over it. We packed up and hit the pool instead which he LOVED. He would have stayed in there all day if he had his way! We soothed our sunburn and hit a tiny Italian place for a family dinner. My dad said it was the best homemade pasta he's had since his fresh-from-Italy grandma was alive. It was SO good! 

We spent the evening watching movies and visiting with my cousin who happens to share a birthday with Ro-wanasaurus. We packed up in the morning to head back to Illinois and drove through the night (met with bad traffic, bad weather, and SIX hotels without available rooms). I was never so happy to see my own bed! We have only been home just over 24 hours and I am already mentally planning our next trip. I forgot how refreshing it is to travel and get away from real life for a bit. I loved seeing Rowan's face as we explored new places and experienced brand new things (salt water! sand! hotels! looooong car rides!).

 Off we go! You really haven't lived until you've pumped in the backseat of a car.

Loving vacation during a quick stop as we entered Kentucky.
The gorgeous view from our room in Gatlinburg!
Greetings from Gatlinburg!
 Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg is the MOST beautiful place.

Seriously, colorful jellies.
 That view of Orlando!

Hitting the Guinness Hall of World Records and finally wearing this LIFESAVER of a sling.
 Goofing around at Universal. Yes, his 6 month sized shorts are giant on him.

 Grabbing a giant donut with the Simpsons.

Seriously. Giant.
Dinner at La Strada with Robot's Uncle Patrick 

 Enjoying the sunshine and sand and even the water...from afar.

Where should we plan to adventure to next?

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Letter to Rowan, 8 Months.

Dear Rowan,

How are you going to be turning ONE in just four months? I'm all the cliches when I keep saying how fast time is flying.

This summer has been full of adventures for you! Grandma has the summer off so the two of you go do really fun things once or twice a week. You've played at the park, splashed in your kiddie pool, and  explored the Little Red Schoolhouse. You hate the heat but love sunshine and water. I can't wait to do even more fun summer things with you: your first Fourth of July (tomorrow!),your first road trip/vacation, Veggie Fest, and pool parties at GG's house. 

You are not crawling yet but, dang, you want to. You pivot and scoot like a champ and get frustrated when we put things out of your reach. You just really want to get going and I think you'll be tearing up this house of ours in no time. Parenthood is full of curve balls and bedtime has thrown us a big one. Once a bedtime champ, now you have nights where you resist sleep for a long time. I've accepted that you are a night owl but if you could you'd stay up until 11pm nightly. I'm working on adjusting your routine and seeing what else I can do to help you fall asleep more quickly. A couple weeks ago there was a night where it took you  4.5 hours to fall asleep. Nursing, rocking, back rubs, a warm bath, a bit of cereal...nothing worked and you were wailing. Daddy finally got you to sleep around 11:30pm when he got home from work and I felt like a failure. I couldn't get to the root of the problem and you suffered because of it.  I don't always know what I'm doing, Bear, but I promise I'm trying.

We celebrated Father's Day for the first tie and it was a wonderful day! It was so nice to appreciate Daddy (we made him a big pancake breakfast, got him a massage, and barbecued at Grandma and Grandpa's house). When we got home I found a Father's Day bib you were supposed to wear but I forgot about it. I felt like crap and then started thinking I haven't adequately documented your first year. This was apparently a month of me doubting myself as a mom. I'm working on that.

In the last month you've been in the cheering section as I ran/walked three different 5Ks. I've always wanted you to be at the finish line because it's important to me to teach you the power of being healthy (something I'm finally acting on as I near thirty). I am proud that you are already a veggie lover and can't wait to teach you how to cook and garden. I am determined to teach you how to be healthy and happy. I don't doubt that in getting myself healthy, I'm setting a great example for you.
To eight beautiful months with the baby love of my life. I love you Bear!



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fresh Month/Fresh Outlook.

Happy July! I'm usually not this person but, dang, how is it already July?

I'm excited to start a new month. After months of an emotional heaviness--feeling overworked, a bit lonely, stressed, and twisty about some relationships in my life--I feel lighter. 

The closer I inch toward my thirties, the more emphasis I find myself placing on my own happiness. I'm becoming more assertive with my feelings to fix problems. After months of working from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, I have made a decision to make things manageable. It's okay to say no to things. It's okay to say my plate is full. It's okay to create a healthy work-life balance despite years of being trained to put work first. My name is Sarah and I am a recovering workaholic. After some issues with friendships, I uncharacteristically sat down to have tough conversations and move forward. I'm quitting toxic habits and people. It's weird getting older.

I spent June making a lot of positive headway in my life. I ran three races, repaired friendships, took a good look at what I want in my career and built framework to get there. It's a new priority of mine to  keep myself top of mind and focus on my happiness.

Here's to July, I'm ready for life.