Friday Five: Ask A Mom! (Part Two)

This is the second post in a series of posts where I ask Reanna from The Last Mommy Blog a series of questions about being a mom. She came up with most of the questions but I get to have her advice. So it’s a win-win for me — and now you, too!

If you missed last week – you can read it here. Or go here to read how I answer her questions on her blog, too. Today, it’s all about newborn life. Because newborns are the sh*t in my opinion (I may be biased).

tinybeans-435738038

1. First, let’s get to know Reanna a little more with a development/growing check-in: How old is The Baby right now, and what’s he up to?

The Baby is 7.5 months old right now. He is crawling, pulling up to stand, busting out teeth like crazy (we’re up to six), sitting at the table for three meals a day (though still getting the majority of his nourishment from me, judging by how much of his food ends up smooshed on his thighs or eaten by the dog) and doing a lot of babbling. He’s SO. MUCH. FUN. right now. He tries to get us to chase him around the house and loves peekaboo. But he’s also super stubborn and I think he’s going to be a holy terror of a toddler!

2. Like me, Reanna also did not find out your baby’s sex before birth. Describe what it felt like when you heard, “It’s a boy!”

My first thought was, “What? That can’t be right!” I had convinced myself I was carrying a girl, if only because The Husband was so adamant it was a boy. (He later told me he was pretty sure he’d seen a scrotum on the ultrasound.) I’ll admit, I was disappointed for a second, if only at being wrong, but I love my little guy so much.

3. Newborns are amazing, but scary! What was hardest for you to get the hang of: Diapers, clothes changes, baths, breastfeeding…?

Breastfeeding was definitely the hardest for me. But also pulling onesies over my baby’s head was scary. That and driving him anywhere, because he always seemed to have terrible meltdowns and I was stuck driving and couldn’t comfort him. Newborns are just hard, man.

4. What would you recommend to someone about making the most of maternity leave?

Get out of the house once a day if you can, even if it’s just taking a walk. Even if you have leaky boobs and your house is a mess, if someone you like wants to come over to see the baby, say yes! It will make you feel better to talk to a human whose poop you’re not responsible for, and it will help you exercise your “not giving a sh*t” muscles about imperfections… something that has gotten considerably stronger for me in the past several months!

5. What is one thing you’re super proud of about your approach to parenthood so far?  

I’m really proud of myself for sticking with breastfeeding through a really, really tough beginning. [Please don’t read into that more than it says, anyone who did not stick with breastfeeding, for ANY reason! I definitely don’t care!!! Fed is best! *Hug!*] For me, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and once it got better it was so easy and affordable, not to mention such an amazing bonding experience, that I’m infinitely grateful it worked out that way. And the rough road at first gave me so much more compassion and perspective for all moms than I would have had otherwise.

Side note: If you’re still reading… B and I are taking our first road trip with the baby soon! And I’m so excited. And nervous. 8+ hours in the car with a 2 month old? Eep. BUT I’m also so grateful for Reanna’s tips to traveling with a baby – I’m definitely using these!

Questions for you:

  • Parents – anything else to add to Reanna’s answers, above?
  • What’s the last road trip you took?

i know there’s a typo in there… i didn’t make the image, but you get the gist of it. it’s so true!

WIAW: Double Ice Cream Day

It’s Wednesday already? Thank goodness – only three more full days until the weekend and it’s also What I Ate Wednesday – time for sharing and checking out a random day of eats. I love seeing everyone’s eats and sharing my own. These are my eats from Thursday – and it just happened to be a day with ice cream more than once a day.

Breakfast was a huge fruit salad.

20160818_095010

Followed by some more fruit.  I had bought what I thought was a cantaloupe at the store, but when I cut into it – it was green! It wasn’t a honeydew either. No idea what it was – but it was delicious. 20160818_104248 20160818_164244

Lunch was a mishmash while FW slept. A salad and a black bean burger. Plus a sweet potato and some spaghetti squash with cinnamon, honey and a little bit of peanut butter (not pictured).20160818_135450

Snacks that afternoon included some some chex mix – thanks to Cuoghi! Her mom made a ton and she shared some with me.

20160818_140554

AND ice cream#1. It was on sale at the store and oh so delicious. I had to have a few scoops🙂20160818_165308

Dinner? Some chicken, and farmers market/local farm fresh veggies. Tomatoes from B’s coworker’s garden, plus zucchini and potato and onions roasted (all veggies from the farmer’s market).20160818_184229

And then, dessert! B and I took a walk to get ice cream sandwiches. Cathy’s creamery downtown is the best. Cookie dough ice cream, one chocolate chip cookie, one peanut butter cookie and white chocolate chips.

20160818_204456

Dessert was definitely a surprise, but SO GOOD. Ice cream #2= amazing.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have dessert every night? Any go-to desserts?
  • Favorite kind of chocolate? White, dark, milk, etc.?

What A Weekend – One Sentence Per Photo Style

Annnnnd just like that, we’re back to Monday. Sigh. I’m feeling it after a pretty eventful but fun weekend.  But because my brain is mush, this weekend update is going to be one sentence per photo style. Ready — go!

Weekends are made for patios – this time, Parnell’s.

20160819_185327

B’s take on Lidia’s eggy eggplant was so delicious. IMG_20160819_223754

My (and FW’s) first Shaker Woodworking Festival meant fair food and amazing wooden crafts, furniture, etc.

20160820_135936

Copycat!

20160820_165504

FW is learning to get used to my local kombucha fix.20160820_173520

This is what our weekends look like now🙂IMG_20160819_194600

A visit from “Uncle” Wing.Screenshot_20160820-200854

Cheering on Team USA (yay for bronze) and watching one of my favorite events!20160821_100201

A little Sunday morning run.20160821_085929

Meeting an old friend for the first time.

20160819_092331

Sunday brunches with friends are a great way to start the day.20160821_110341

Some of the brunch crew. 20160821_122704

Spending Sunday afternoon on a walk and then in the park.

20160821_141002

So naturally we played a little bocce.20160821_141309

A new twist on Sunday family dinner – out at a restaurant!

20160821_171050

And that’s a wrap. Hope you had a great weekend! I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Some questions for you:

  • Did you spend time outside this weekend? We finally got a break in the heat and it was great!
  • Did you watch the Olympics? What are your favorite events?

Friday Five: Ask a Mom! 5 Questions for The Last Mommy Blog

My friend Reanna is a super mom.

reannamomblog

She is one of the first of my friends to have a baby, and she has been a source of so much inspiration and information as I’ve started this journey toward motherhood. She’s a great resource – she is going through all that I’m going through 6 months before I do and doing it and all with a smile and a great sense of humor (she’s super hilarious – check out her blog, The Last Mommy Blog). So when she asked if she could interview me for her blog, I was like – wait, why can’t I interview YOU? So, I’m partnering with her and sharing some advice, info, tips, etc. for moms. She has so much info to share that this will likely be a series of posts for the next few weeks.

Before we get started, here are 3 fun facts about Reanna:

  1. She used to live in Cleveland but now lives on a farm south of the city. She moved into her grandparents’ house when her baby was just a few months old and is cleaning it out, renovating it and basically living in nature. This is so crazy and amazing to me – I’m scared/in awe of anything nature related and don’t know how to even fix a broken drawer.
  2. She was the Lady who started Ladies’ Craft Beer Society. In case you haven’t read my posts about it, we meet once a month and drink a craft beer and do a craft. It’s been a great way for me to meet new friends with similar interests (drinking is an interest, right?) in CLE.
  3. She wears many hats these days. She’s adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom AND is a part-time freelancer. And she also is a semi-successful gardener and may soon be a goat owner. That’s more hats than I own in real life! (which is why she froze her eggs…more on that [clickbait! but you know you wanna know!] here)

Okay, onto the pregnancy and parenting stuff. Here are 5 Q&A’s with Reanna – and check out her blog, where I answer some of these questions as well! This week, we’ll celebrate Friday and talk pregnancy and becoming a mom.

FRIDAY FIVE; PREGNANCY AND BECOMING A MOM

1. Has motherhood changed your perspective on the world in any way?

I feel so hard for all mothers and babies now. I have always thought our maternity leave policies (or lack thereof) in this country were unfair, but now I feel they’re downright cruel. I took The Baby to a restaurant when he was a few months old and our waitress told me she had a two-week old at home and I wanted to stuff piles of money in both her hands, scoop her up, drive her home and tuck her and her baby into bed. It is appalling to me that we are failing families in this way.

2. What was the worst advice you got while you were pregnant?

I have to also say, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” I caught a few naps while The Husband was home from work, but as an anxious person it was almost always next to impossible for me to fall asleep on demand. It’s the advice equivalent of telling someone, “Don’t be scared,” or “Win the lottery.” You just don’t have as much control as that advice implies.

3. What was the hardest part of pregnancy for you?

Agonizing heartburn. It was so bad by the end of the second trimester I could barely eat until I started taking prescription heartburn medication, which I felt nervous about every time I took it because it was a Class B drug or something. That and my regrettable inability to quickly think of a good retort at 37 weeks when a male coworker asked me if I was dilated.

4. What surprised you about pregnancy?

I thought I would be really excited to tell people I was pregnant after I was far enough along I felt comfortable to. But I had a lot of anxiety around it. I’m not sure if it’s because I’d had a miscarriage the first time around, or because I was explaining my participation in human reproduction, or because it opened the doors for people to pay me lots of attention and ask me a lot of questions, but it didn’t feel as good to let people in on our secret as I thought it would. Except with my friends, I just wanted to carry on with life as usual.

5. Are you happy with your childbirth experience? Is there anything you wish would have gone differently?

I am so very grateful for my childbirth experience. The only major bummer was that it happened on Christmas Day. Not because it ruined that particular Christmas (not by any means!) but I know it’s going to make The Baby’s birthday rough for him, for his entire life.

There you have it – until next Friday, when there will likely be 5 more questions for The Last Mommy Blog.

Some questions for you:

  • What questions do you have for new moms?
  • Moms, how would you answer any of these questions?
  • YAY for Fridays!! What are you looking forward to this weekend?

WIAW: All By Myselffffff

Okay the title is a little bit of a misnomer. But here are some eats for last Thursday, when I ate all of my meals – that’s right – by myself. Okay, not REALLY by myself – this guy joined me .. but I was the only adult at each meal I ate for the first time in a while. So here is what I ended up eating for today’s  What I Ate Wednesday!

For breakfast, B and I got smoothies at Restore. I know- I said I ate alone. But I did – I ate it while BF’ing FW. We also got coffees –  my iced coffee from Phoenix was delicious – but it took me about 3 days to drink it …

20160811_085201

Snacks during the morning mostly included grapes. A whole lotta grapes. Only a few are pictured here.20160811_121756

I had lunch while FW was napping and made myself some egg whites and cheese with leftovers from dinner – sweet potato, zucchini and pepper hash. It was delicious – and again, eaten alone.20160811_132538

I had plans to meet up with a coworker, his wife and their new baby for an afternoon drink and opted for white wine. Yes, it was social (with other people) – but no food (minus a potato chip or two that was on the table) was really consumed.20160811_170112

B had after work plans – an event and then the Indians game – so I was on my own for dinner. I stopped off at the Heinen’s salad bar and picked up this.  There are some more tortellini, quinoa and other goodies under that lettuce.20160811_181627

I heated up some soup my mom had made and brought when she visited to go with my salad – chicken and pasta.

20160811_183134

And a peach that I had gotten at the farmer’s market that morning made for a complete dinner.20160811_201643

That was it! A pretty good day of eats by myself. Disclaimer-  some days when I eat alone all I manage to eat are spoonfuls of peanut butter, ice cream and handfuls of cereal because I’m holding FW with the other hand all day.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you eat differently when you eat alone vs with friends/family?
  • Do you eat soup in the summer or when it’s hot out? Or only in the winter?

First Run As a Family of Three! (Plus Pride, BBQ and more)

Another great summer weekend filled with food, fun, drinks and family has come and gone. Why do summer weekends go so fast?

I know, rhetorical question. But seriously, even though we got hit with some rain for what feels like he first weekend in forever, we still managed to enjoy our time in Cleveland by celebrating a birthday, enjoying some BBQ, celebrating Cleveland Pride, running and more.

We started Friday night with drinks and BBQ at Mabels to celebrate B’s brother’s birthday. Look at all that BBQ meat!

20160812_192550

It was a great night out on E 4th street – it was hot and humid but the patios were getting full.

20160812_202915

Saturday morning started with this little guy. And this guy. We of course had to watch the Olympics now that the track & field events have started!20160813_111014

When he went down for a nap, I hit the gym for 4 sweaty miles. It was already upper 80s and a bazillion percent humidity so I decided to stay inside and watch Mr. Robot while on the treadmill for a little. The gym was steamy also, but I’m glad I stayed inside and had my water bottle.

20160813_120539

Then, it was time to head to Cleveland Pride! FW had the perfect onesie to celebrate.IMG_20160813_133606 20160813_132140 20160813_132922

The weather held up so we also ended up eating outside on the patio of Rebol, the new spot in Public Square. It was really good – I made my own bowl with their noodles and poke tuna.

20160813_140356

That afternoon/evening it stormed on and off, so we took it easy. B picked up some dinner supplies at Gallucci’s – it was the Feast of the Assumption after all – and made us pizza for dinner. We finally broke out one of the “good bottles” of wine and enjoyed that as well. And some meat and cheese. A perfect Saturday night🙂

Snapchat-107007927194602053

Sunday morning, FW and I watched a little of the Olympics women’s marathon and then the three of us headed out to try out the new jogging stroller! We went to a nearby trail and logged 4.25 miles, taking turns holding the stroller at different times. I’m not going to lie, running with the stroller is hard! It was the first time B and I had run together since the race we did when I was 38 weeks pregnant, I’d it was great to be out there was him again.

20160814_111207 20160814_114115

We followed the run with some pastries and kombucha. Because that’s what I like to do on Sundays🙂

That afternoon, we hit up the outlets for some shopping! We were there until they closed and then we picked up sushi for dinner. Yes, I have sushi just about every week now that I’m not pregnant any more. It’s great!

20160814_202540

Some questions for you:

  • Are there any foods you eat once a week or so? Yes, we eat pizza and/or sushi at least once a week😉
  • Do you like sushi? What’s your favorite?

Per usual, I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

WIAW: An Actual Productive Day with Baby

You guys. I had an actual productive day. If you know me, you know that this isn’t a big deal. I am not usually a person who sits still and does nothing (including binge TV watching) … but since FW was born, I’ve gotten used to the fact that I can’t get as productive as I would like. I can no longer make plans and assume they’ll get done … between napping, crying, eating, etc. I never now what I’m going to have time for. BUT this Monday, all the moons/planets/babythings aligned and I had a productive day! So, I bring you – Monday’s eats for What I Ate Wednesday!

Breakfast was some yogurt, granola and LOTS of fruit – peach, fruit salad, etc. My parents visited over the weekend and left me with some of my mom’s homemade granola.

20160808_085453

I also had some more granola as a snack after eating the parfait. It’s too good. I’m going to finish it before this week ends!

20160806_143153

FW and I took some time during the afternoon to take a walk with B during lunch. It was nice to get out of the house and go for a drive – and then a walk. It was really nice to get out of downtown and walk in a new part of the town. And then, lunch was this bowl of veggies and some cheese. Disclaimer: I had about twice as many roasted veggies as this, but forgot to take a picture until about halfway through.

walk with dad!

walk with dad!

20160808_112750

Snack during the day included some of these peanut butter energy balls. Anson made them for me and I’ve been hooked!

20160808_091500

I also had a spoonful (or two) of peanut butter. Yup, peanut butter twice in one day.

20160808_173143

During the afternoon, FW and I hit up the West Side Market to buy supplies of dinner. And then, FW took a long afternoon nap, and I managed to have time to prep dinner AND make dessert- this lemon zucchini bread! I haven’t baked with FW around unless B was home yet, and yes, maybe I should’ve been napping, but baking felt so good!

A pre-dinner snack of some cheese.

20160808_152840

Dinner was some salmon, salad, corn and orzo salad. And a glass of white wine. And because FW had been so good during the afternoon, it’s no surprise that B and I took turns eating while FW screamed. Ahh well, you can only have a happy baby for part of the day, right?

20160808_194131

And dessert? Some of this lemon zucchini bread from Two Peas and their Pod. It came in my inbox in the morning and when I bought zucchini at the market and FW napped, I knew I’d had to make it!

20160808_182147

And that sums up my day of eats. Now, some questions for you:

  • What do you make when you have a bunch of zucchini on hand?
  • What is your favorite kind of nut butter?