Last September Weekend

If you can believe it, September is gone. And to celebrate, I’m sharing a quick weekend recap, one-sentence-per-photo style.

We kicked off the weekend with a trip to the Natural History Museum.

It was a gorgeous Friday to enjoy their outdoor animal area (which has some play areas for kids).

Saturday we did some shopping at the West Side Market.

It had been too long since we had been there.

We took an afternoon stroll around the neighborhood.

And ended up on the nearby playground.

The weekend also included a little run with this lady in the stroller.

We also got in a nice walk around the neighborhood.

And finished up with dinner at the grandparents’ house with the cousins!

A quick post for a weekend gone way too quick.

Some questions for you:

  • How many cousins do you have?
  • Did you run this weekend?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Visiting the Farm (plus beer, running and more)

It was another great weekend in CLE, and it was nice to have a weekend to ourselves with no weddings or big events planned. Which meant we of course ended up packing in tons of fun activities into the two days.

Friday night started with an impromptu birthday celebration for B’s brother. We went to the Flats for pizza, beer and bocce with the kids to celebrate FW’s uncle John.

After dinner, we got to take a walk along the water with FW’s cousins.

Saturday, we started off the day with a walk (me and LM) and bike ride (FW, B and his grandparents) to the farmers market.

After picking up some veggies for dinner and taking in the music, we headed home. Because we had some fun activities planned for the rest of the afternoon – FW and I were going to my Ladies Craft Beer Society together! My friend Reanna was hosting and she has a large property with bees, chickens, goats and more.

FW loves animals and couldn’t wait to see the chickens and the goats. So, after I hung out with the ladies and completed my craft (the macrame plant holder FW is holding), it was time to explore!

FW LOVED the chickens and goats. He was able to feed them both and follow them around for a while. He really enjoyed the farm and now of course I want some chickens!

Saturday night, B grilled up some veggie burgers and veggies we had gotten at the Farmers Market. I love farm fresh meals in the summer!!

Sunday morning started with a stroller run for the family- B took LM and I took FW for a 3.33 mi route. After we finished, we decided to keep running another 1.5 or so miles to literally run some errands. I was pooped (and FW’s face shows how I felt).

Sunday afternoon included some pancakes for FW. He even helped make them.

And naps! All around.

Followed by yard work, groceries for the week (and a little meal planning/prep) plus cleaning. This totally counts as cleaning, right?

And to end our weekend, per usual, we enjoyed Sunday dinner at B’s parents’ house. FW and LM are so lucky- they got to see Grandma and Grandpa 3 days in a row this weekend (and 4 days for Grandma, who babysat on Thursday!).

Some questions for you:

  • What types of chores, if any, do you do on weekends?
  • Do you take naps?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

When March Comes In Like A Lion

Well, March is here but it doesn’t really feel like we’re just a few weeks away from spring. The weather is COLD and we had a snow storm hit us Thursday night/Friday morning (so much that schools were even closed and daycare had a 2 hour delay).

So, Friday night and much of this weekend, instead of doing fun, outdoor, springy activities, we acted just like it was winter again.

Friday night, we hung out in the house with some takeout vegetarian Ethiopian food.

We also hung in and watched a movie. Well, most of a movie – we may have fallen asleep part of the way through the movie The House. Have you seen it?

Saturday morning started early with bagels!

And then, we walked to a nearby farmer’s market. They have a big farmer’s market about a mile away from our house in the summer, and a smaller one in the summer.

We bought some veggies and eggs and meat and jelly and treats. And FW pet a rooster!

After the market, we walked to a nearby bookstore.

I can’t believe we’ve lived here for a few months and haven’t been here before. It was amazing.

That afternoon included some errands, and some reading. I finished this book, which I really enjoyed!

Then, Dave and Anson came over with their kids. FW had fun running around with Celia for a while, and then they joined us for dinner.

Sunday morning, B, FW and I headed to Burton, Ohio – aka Pancaketown!

Burton is called Pancaketown, USA because every spring, they have a bazillion maple trees, which they all tap for maple syrup. These silver boxes on all these trees are maple taps.

Then, in March, a ton of places host pancake breakfast fundraisers, which they of course serve with their own maple syrup.

It was a great decision, since FW loves pancakes. It was his first time trying blueberry pancakes and he ate them right up. Especially the blueberry part.

That afternoon, the weather was chilly but still sunny, so we opted to take a walk around our neighborhood. We decided to walk to the library, where FW could run around and play.

We ended our day at B’s parents’ house and had a good dinner and dessert – cream puffs! FW enjoyed those.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like cream puffs?
  • What kind of pancakes do you like? The pancake breakfast had buttermilk, buckwheat and blueberry.

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

What Not To Say to Someone Returning from Maternity Leave

It’s been a year since I returned back from maternity leave. Yup, a little over a year ago, I was starting to figure out daycare drop off and pickups, our new routine, and how to juggle life as a now working mom.

So, now that I’ve been there – and survived – here are some tips on things NOT to say to someone returning from maternity leave:

How was your vacation?

Believe it or not, people have asked this. Or said something similar, like, “How was your time off?” While I was very grateful for my FMLA-esque time at home, it was hardly a vacation or time off. In the beginning, FW didn’t realize that he was supposed to sleep at night, so he’d be sleeping during the day and then up at night. And then when he finally did start sleeping at night, it would be for 2-4 hours at a time. Also, I was breastfeeding (and newborns eat about every 2 hours from the time they start eating), which meant that an average morning went like this:

  • 7 a.m. wake up when baby wakes up.
  • 7:15 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. feed baby.
  • 7:50 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. burp/dress/change baby.
  • 8:20 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. put in a load of laundry.
  • 8:35 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. change baby into new clothes because he spit up all over himself. Luckily, laundry just started, so I can throw the dirty onesie in there.
  • 8:50 a.m. – 8:55 a.m. think about eating breakfast … but am interrupted by hungry baby crying.
  • 9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. feedbaby. Repeat cycle. Except this time baby likely has a diaper blowout. 💩

Let’s just say it wasn’t much of a vacation 🙂

How are you planning on losing the baby weight?

Yes, I was also asked this. While not directly commenting on my new mom bod, it’s NEVER appropriate to ask a coworker this.  Or comment on anyone’s body- especially someone who has just given birth.

It must be so nice to be back and with adults again!

Sometimes, yes. But most days would I like to be home, snuggling with my little baby? Yes. Adults aren’t always as cracked up as they should be.

It must be so nice to get a break from the baby!

Wait, was that you said? I couldn’t hear you – I was halfway falling asleep at my desk and also thinking about the diapers, bottles, milk, etc. that I need to buy before heading to daycare pickup, while also calculating how much longer we can have this conversation before I can figure out a polite way to excuse myself to go pump. While I may not physically be with my baby, it didn’t really feel like I was  getting a break.

a selfie a few days before returning from maternity leave

I’m tired.

When I first went back to work, my average night’s sleep was awful. Some nights, FW would be up at 9, 11, 3, 5 and nurse for 30ish (at least) minutes each time …. Meaning I got 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time, if that. No, I’m not saying you’re not tired, I’m just saying I had no idea what tired meant until I had a newborn at night and then had to function as a working, professional adult during the day.

So glad you’re back – we’ve been waiting on you for [insert names of 7 projects].

While it’s nice to feel needed, it’s also nice to get back into the swing of things slowly. I’m not saying you need to give working moms a break and be easier on them, but the first few weeks I was back, were HARD. I was tired (see: aforementioned lack of sleep) during the day and it was hard for me to work on my couch at night like I often did before FW.  I had serious mom brain some days. And, weekends became much more precious – they were time I longed for to spend with my new family. So, when I had to some of the first weekends that I was back, it was hard. If you know a mom recently back from maternity leave, at least tell her how much you appreciate her being back and understand her new schedule – and priorities – may be a little different.

So what CAN you say to a mom who’s back from maternity leave? Here are 3 things I’d recommend:

  1. You look GREAT! (I don’t care if she hasn’t lost any baby weight or looks like she hasn’t slept since giving birth … we all need to hear it sometimes!)
  2. We missed you so much! It’s nice to feel the love at the office, especially when you’re missing your baby!
  3. Here’s _____ for you and your family! (where ___ = healthy dinner, gift card for dinner delivery service, diapers, a frozen dinner, etc. Basically anytime someone dropped off dinner – or diapers! – they were my new favorite people. )

Please note – I am INCREDIBLY lucky to have an amazing group of coworkers who for the most part are supportive and understanding. But not everyone is so lucky. AND note that I do not speak on behalf of all recently-returned-to-work women. All women are different. Some may enjoy talking about their post-baby bodies. Some may have felt like their time off was a vacation. So please take these as suggestions and think how you’d like to be treated as well.

Note: These random thoughts are part of the Thinking Out Loud linkup. 

A night out!

What a weekend. B and I finally had a laid back weekend with not much planned and it was much needed. We were able to have some fun, relax, run, be productive AND get a night out!

Friday was a good night and our night out. B and I had a babysitter (his sister) because we had plans to go out! I had an event that night – the 25 under 35 Movers and Shakers Awards where I was being recognized!

After the awards, we hung out a bit with Christy and Cari and then B and I went out for dinner!  We went to Alley Cat and had some great food – we shared some clam chowder, oysters and an amazing lobster roll.

I’m still drooling over that lobster roll. It brought me back to the East Coast – and trips to Maine and Cape Cod. YUM!

Saturday morning started out with a run, 4 total miles (3 at 9 min/mile pace). Followed by a trip to West Side Market and Gallucci’s to pick up some groceries for the week. I am trying to do better at meal planning and we have dinners for all week planned out!

both are so excited to be photographed at the market

For lunch, we hit up Boaz Cafe which may be my new favorite restaurant. B had a lamb roll up and I had a make your own bowl – chicken, baba and so many more great toppings. The food is so good and so fresh and so affordable (his lamb roll and my giant salad were $11 total!!).

Saturday afternoon I did something I haven’t done in forever- i baked cookies while B and FW napped! It was great- I made something quick (bars) but it was so nice to get back to baking. I’ve missed it!

That evening we stayed in and after FW went to bed, made some pizza and watched a movie. I love homemade pizza, especially when B is the one making it! (which is always)

We ended up watching Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which was just an okay movie. The real reason we watched it is because I went to high school with the real Mike and Dave (Dave was my year) and I had to see what the movie was about. I know it is only loosely based on the story (the real wedding wasn’t in Hawaii – it was in NY and my friend’s sister ended up going ha) but it was still funny to watch. Would I recommend the movie? Ehh, it was okay …

Sunday morning started with 6ish miles on the treadmill and then some meal prep.

Then it was time to check out some Open Houses! FW actually was napping and we missed one of the houses but the second one was nice. I really liked the house, so we shall see … then we ran some errands – and FW sat in the grocery cart for the first time!

And I got kombucha. Yum!!

That night we spent the evening at B’s parents house for our traditional Sunday dinner but this time WE cooked for B’s mom’s birthday! We made homemade pasta, with asparagus, peas and onions. I didn’t get to snag a photo, but it was great!

And that was about it. The weekend ended and now it’s time for conquering Monday. Here we go!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you ever make homemade  pasta?  Yes, B and I make it probably about once a month or so?
  • Do you like kombucha? Yes, I’m addicted to it, especially the homemade kind from my local tea shop!

I’m linking up with Katie and the weekly wraps.