It’s been almost a month since I last posted!

I am (amazingly) sitting in a perfectly quiet house at the moment. Everyone is napping and I am enjoying the peacefulness…along with a thick slice of zucchini bread. It seemed like a good moment to check in.

As of July 14th I am the mommy of TWO beautiful girls. We are now the parents of CHILDREN. Crazy. And not just children, but DAUGHTERS. I am so blessed.

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A birth (love) story.

It is a popular phenomenon for mom’s to blog their birth stories. With shows like A Baby Story, the rise in popularity of delivering more “naturally”, and social networks/blogs that encourage the proclaiming of even the most mundane life experiences – it’s not really surprising. Last night, at a cookout with friends, we were talking about this very trend and the women speaking did not have children of their own (but hope to one day) and were describing the stories as a mix of eccentric and horrifying – like a “car crash where you just can’t look away.” I am familiar with these stories, both the extreme (eating placenta, birthing at home in the bathtub, etc) and the graphic (near-death experiences, heart-stopping emergencies). I am not trying to imply that every woman who tells her story online is looking to be sensational, or to minimize the fact that hundreds of women every day have very out-of-the-ordinary, life-threatening labor experiences. I just agree with my childless friends, you should use some discretion when telling your story.

However, I’ve also read plenty of amazing stories that are poetic and written to express the incredible love and life-change that occur at the birth of a child – the miracle where both baby and mother are born. The delivery of my first child was long & tedious, but after seeing her gorgeous face I swore to myself that the only thing I would tell or share with first time moms was: 1) it is the hardest thing you will ever do, but you CAN do it, and 2) it will be the most beautiful moment of your life. Hands down.

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We have had such an amazing week…and even though I’m definitely feeling like I am 38 weeks pregnant, our house is sparkling & my to-do list is nearly complete! Sam took it upon himself to demolish our housing projects list this past weekend & he was a serious champ – broken siding re-affixed, weeds pulled & mulch spread, back deck stained & lattice hung, bathroom wallpaper removed & primer painted…my man was a machine!

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Review: How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm

As a new mom (the first time around) I devoured countless parenting books (memoirs, novels, how-to’s, articles, etc) because 1) I love to read, and 2) there is something so magical about connecting with people through written words – I couldn’t wait to connect with other parents in the joy of having our first child! Of course I’m drawn to stories of mother/daughter relationships (factual & fictional) but I also love the occasional “professional” opinion. I’m the type of person who “researches” something to death before I attempt it myself (i.e. gardening, lesson planning, child-birth). The night I went into labor with my first I was up at 2a.m. rocking in my rocking chair reading The Bradley Way for last minute tips. 😉

I heard about the book How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm (by: Mei-Ling Hopgood) from an awesome blog I discovered a few months ago – Science of Mom – written by a former research-scientist-turned-stay-at-home-mom. Her posts are always very interesting and include extensive research & references (very impressive as the mom of a toddler). After reading her review I happened to go to the library and there it was on the “new release” shelf! 🙂

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Pregnancy hormones do crazy things to your mind & stomach. With my first pregnancy (I was eating mostly vegetarian at the time) I had ridiculous cravings for, not only Five Guys burgers, but Tony Packo’s chili dogs! Straight up. Chili & beefy hotdog. In both of my first trimesters I lived on a steady diet of carrot sticks & pretzels, or pickles & ginger ale – but as soon as my appetite returned around 18 weeks, watch out! This time around it has been particularly hard to resist: chocolate chip frappuccinos, large bowls of cinnamon toast crunch, chipotle guacamole, and (oddly enough) plain cucumber slices! Thankfully, no beef…yet. The other obvious cravings are chocolate & peanut butter…so I’m sharing a recipe that I happily discovered this week (from Cooking Light people, so feel good about it!) Peanut butter & bananas are quite possibly the perfect combo & my pregnant tummy can attest to its deliciousness. I’m about to enjoy a slice right now with a tall glass of milk. Ahhhh…comfort food!

Things I love Thursday

Mason Jars
When I was pregnant the first time around I had a thing for straws. I couldn’t drink without them. There was a perpetual plastic panera/starbucks/etc cup filled to the brim with ICE on my dresser, in the car, on the end table, in the refrigerator…! This time around it’s Mason Jars. I just love them…icy drinks, hot drinks, it doesn’t matter. Wide-mouth Mason Jars. I can’t explain it. And have you seen these?!?!?!? Yes, please.

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Natural Spring Cleaning

Cleaning house is never the most appealing activity on my list of things to do, but recently I have been experimenting with more natural cleaners and I have to say, it hasn’t made the experience worse! 😉 I’ve always felt a little funny about the cleaning products that require you to ventilate, wear rubber gloves, use a gas mask, etc while using their products …and I became especially aware of these effects when I was pregnant with my first child (there are certain cleaners you should just NOT use while you’re growing a human being!). Also, now that my first baby is a toddler I’m even more aware of what fumes I’m putting in the air and what chemicals I’m putting on surfaces that are at toddler (mouth) level.

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