Tuesday, May 31, 2016

mem day weekend recap

We had the perfect quintessentially-summer Memorial Day weekend! Friday Drew worked from home, I monogrammed #allthethings, and then we had a lovely low-key dinner at Blue Coast Burrito followed by a walk around the greenway. It was such a beautiful evening -- perfect weather, lovely scenery... even spotted a few palm trees around the Pollo Tropical (we can pretend we're in Charleston, right?).

Saturday I had a potential client consultation over the phone that went great, and then we hung out and got ready to head over to Drew's parents' place for a grad school graduation lunch honoring his brother Stephen. Dan bombed the lawn for mosquitos, but somehow I managed to get out with about 14 new bites. ACK! (May literally have to wear long sleeves and long pants if I'm outside in the evenings from now on.)

Sunday we let Drew sleep in (he helped out his friend Drew move into their new house just down the street from us when their movers didn't arrive until close to 9PM, so they were up laaaate), and then I got to go to the pool to lay out for an hour and read a book while Lilly napped and hung out with Dada. GLORIOUS! Felt like I was really getting away with something!

We hung out at another neighbor-friend's house Sunday night to grill out burgers and brats and they all watched the new Game of Thrones while I took Lilly home for bedtime. (Definitely not sad I missed that... I vehemently hate GOT.)

Then yesterday we sunscreened ourselves up, made some party-melons, and hit the neighborhood pool with LB! Literally the perfect afternoon -- eating guacamole and watermelon, swimming and bouncing with Lilly (who had a BLAST). We tired her out BIG TIME -- she collapsed at nap time and ended up going to bed at 7:45pm last night! Barely heard a peep from her once she was down!

Julianna and Kiggans came over for dinner (Drew's spicy seafood gumbo) and we excitedly made lists for our friendcation that's coming up in 11 days! Can't wait!!!!!


How was your Mem Day weekend? We were chatting last night about government accounting jobs and some that only require 4-day workweeks... that sounds sooo appealing; we'd love to have Dada home an extra day every weekend! (And you know, not have him have to work ON weekends... Sigh.)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

leaning in every direction

I'm in the midst of reading I Know How She Does It, which details how highly successful women with families manage their time and maintain some semblance of work-life balance. It's humbling for me, because it forces you to analyze the way you spend the precious commodity of time. The writer challenges the adages that "you spend the majority of your waking hours at work" and "it's impossible to have it all."

(library time -- something I made time for, for the first time in years last week! books!)

In a lot of ways it's encouraging, because incredibly few of these high-powered women actually work 50+ hour weeks, and truly the majority have a nicely balanced life. But it's terrifying on the other hand because it's so challenging -- taking responsibility for the time you have in life? Working on the things that actually matter? Paying attention rather than just letting life pass you by?

It makes me shudder a little, too, because I feel like I've taken such a backseat to business since the birth of my daughter. Not that I regret a minute of focusing on her or our family -- don't get me wrong there -- but just that I worked so hard and successfully built my business for a few years, and now I've definitely resorted to survival mode, just "scraping by" rather than approaching it proactively with a strategy. I don't do a good job of planning out my weeks or intentionally plotting out where I am and where I want to go, in my opinion. I tend to push that thought aside, which is really doing me a disservice in all aspects. I feel guilt-ridden when I go to the library or run errands with Lilly midday, but a "normal" 8-to-5 work day schedule wouldn't work for me anyways. I could really utilize the mindset of this mosaic lifestyle (seeing life through a lens of half-hour increments of time that make up a 168-hour week, rather than getting caught up in 24-hour days and just feeling like everything is out of whack).

I haven't read Lean In, but I feel like from what limited information I have about Sandberg's methodology, I did a pretty dang good job of leaning into building my business up until I got pregnant. I'm a young mom and I want to focus primarily on my family right now, but I also don't want to lose grip of my career altogether. 

What a delicate, complicated dance we must do to navigate these waters of motherhood and career! I like knowing that you don't have to pick either-or, necessarily, but it's also intimidating.

So this is where I'm at now.

Trying to figure things out. A lot of bit lost. Just now learning how to carve out "me time" and work out on a consistent basis. Barely learning to meditate. Uncertain of how to balance out marriage time / date nights / childcare / work life.

(sleeping baby time self care: hot bath!)

2016 still seems so promising for everything. But it's a process. Trying to make good decisions little by little. AGH!

Friday, May 13, 2016

five on friday

It's that time! Linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha:

one - mother's day loot

I was sufficiently spoiled ROTTEN for Mother's Day this year. Drew really wanted to make up for dropping the ball on my first one, so I got Starbucks, a nap, a funny card, potted lilies (I'm actually going to plant these!), and the most drop-dead gorgeous Kendra Scott druzy pendant necklace that I am madly in love with and will wear daily for all eternity. I'm not anticipating any other Mother's Days to be this gifty (it's all about the breakfast in bed and handmade cards!) but the "gift love language" part of me feels very cared-about, thought-about, and appreciated. And spoiled. :)

two - jacks

While we're talking about materialistic things, I got my first pair of Jack Rogers sandals (ON SALE!) this week! They're everything I could've wanted in a pair of Jacks -- glittery, metallic, super comfortable, well-made, classic design, made to last. They will accompany all my Lilly clothes perfectly and by my first non-Target sandals... i.e., won't fall apart in a couple of wears and need to be replaced seasonally. When you think about it, it's more economical in the long run to get a nice pair of classic sandals so I'm not replacing a $16 pair every year.

three - zika virus

It's finally gotten my attention (thanks mom). Especially as I just scratched a bug bite on my right leg, I'm sufficiently aware and concerned about Zika and all my preggo friends / friends of childbearing age since the birth defects it can cause are irreversible and untreatable. Why does this have to exist?! Why do stupid people keep going to South America / Central America / the Caribbean so they can spread it at home? I get it --- everyone who's getting married is going to go on a tropical vacation, probably get a mosquito bite, and then they have it. But with summer well on its way, mosquitos are AWFUL in the Southeast. Really worried it's going to spread like wildfire in a couple of months. AGH!!! Why do we have to worry about THIS now, on top of everything else? Why is it so hard to just have healthy children?

four - work

Why is May the most nightmarish of all wedding months? Seriously, the past two Mays have been pretty dang awful wedding-work-wise. Situations have arisen that just blow my mind, should never have happened, and get me literal nightmares. Thank goodness June is historically a chill month and all I'll have to worry about is being a MOH. I need a mojito...

five - momming two

Okay, I use this term loosely. What I mean to say is -- I survived babysitting another baby under 1 while I had Lilly at home! I survived a full six hours of watching someone else's child! Kat's nanny is out of the country this week so LB and I hung out with baby Jackson on Wednesday. It went great! Of course they were like revolving doors of naptime - one down at noon, the other down at one (while the first one got up at one), then the first one back down at two (while the second got up at two), but at least that meant I only had to juggle two babies at once from 8:30 - 12. I even got a hot shower too! Little victories!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

thirty days and counting!

Thirty days until our friendcation '16! We are so looking forward to 5 nights in Port St Joe, Florida with two of our best couple-friends (and Lilly's boyfriend Henry).

(throwback to our last friendcation -- circa '07! how has it almost been 10 years?!)

Of course our vacay is bookended by a crazy busy whirlwind of events -- I have a wedding May 21, then it's Memorial Day weekend (thank goodness I don't have any weddings that week, for the first time EVER), then we celebrate Henry's birthday, then we attend my friend Julia's wedding, then we drive to Memphis for me to Matron of Honor in Kat's rehearsal dinner and wedding, then we drive back to Nashville (that same night), then it's Sara's 1st birthday party, then we leave for Florida!

I've been working out the past week to get ready for swimsuit season and my extremely clingy-fabric bridesmaid dress for Kat's wedding. I tried out Barre3's online workouts and thus far I'm in love! It's actually amazing how fast they go by, you can pick and choose even a super short 10-minute workout and still get SOMETHING accomplished, they actually stretch at the end so you have a little cool-down. I would obviously prefer to go to Barre3's studio classes but it just hasn't been practical for our everyday lives, between budgeting and making the time to drive to the studio, arrange for childcare (or pay for their in-house childcare, which granted I TOTALLY appreciate the option of!), and fitting their set schedules. Barre3's online workouts can be done in my home office on a yoga mat (with one of Lilly Beth's bouncy balls!).

Other things we're looking into getting for our trip:

- A sturdy beach cart to lug everything
- 2 comfy lounge chairs
- A new swimsuit for Drew (I think I'm just going to resign myself to wearing the modest ones I got last year and my old ones from 2014 & back, since the bra tops now fit my shrunken chest)
- A misting handheld fan
- A weighted beach blanket

Definitely going to refer to this when we're packing. Can't forget swim diapers (need to check to see if they fit her!) and baby powder!

Other things we've got that we're bringing:

- Lilly's flamingo pool floatie
- Lilly's blue-trimmed bonnet
- the duckie blowup baby pool for a mini saltwater pool on the beach
- Lilly's hooded towel that I need to monogram as soon as my aqua embroidery thread ships in!

Nothing like vacation and anticipating it! People say the best part of vacation is the planning... I can't say I wholeheartedly disagree, but I am definitely looking forward to the actual execution too. Maybe we'll bring some diet margarita mix and tequila for the beach, too. Mama's got to have some kind of fruity cocktail!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

toddler meals

Our pediatrician is slightly concerned about Lilly's weight since it plateaued a bit after 6 months -- and by that, I mean she weighed 17lbs at 6 months, 17lbs 13oz at 7 months, and weighs 17lb 3oz today. Part of it is the fact that she was sick earlier this week, but she's a petite thing, and her sweet baby chub and rolls has definitely slimmed down a lot over the last half-year.

(The height of baby chub -- five months!)

(My long, lean toddler!)

Ideas for fattening up my sweet little bit:

- 10% milk fat Greek yogurt with raspberries, bananas, or fill-in-the-blank

- ice cream sandwiches (This was my sister's suggestion from past experience. Only issue is Lilly refuses to eat it!)
- whole milk during snacks
- shredded cheese -- Lilly loves feeding herself when I pour her a little stack!
- avocado (babies love guacamole! Ok, who DOESN'T?)

I tried to do peanut butter and banana but Lilly is apparently either deathly allergic to tree nuts (cringe!) or it was NOT great timing, because we ended up headed to the ER and now have an EpiPen. YIKES!

What other suggestions do you have for chubbifying a baby? She's never had issues being a chunk as a tiny tot, it's only been since months 7 - 12 that she's slowed down on the growth curve. Is this just her evening out with crawling and staying active? Doctor wants me to keep breastfeeding as long as possible but maybe we should supplement more with whole milk?

Dilemmas dilemmas! Insight appreciated!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

last-minute Mother's Day picks

I didn't "get it" before, but I certainly do now that I'm a mother -- it's important to honor those who birthed you, raised you, reared you, and essentially made you who you are today. It's not easy giving up your body / boobs / previous identity / showering time / marriage / whatever else, but obviously worth it. Still, it's nice to be appreciated with a present or "thank you" from time to time. Maybe one of the parts of childbirth is that your love language shifts a little bit further onto the "Gifts" portion. Or maybe that's just me. ;) Anyways, it's definitely not recommended to not even say "Happy Mother's Day" to your beloved one on her first-ever mother's day... talk about resentment city. My sister says every Mother's Day is disappointing so get used to it. But I'd like to think that maybe, just maybe, there's a silver lining and now that we know better we can do better to make it a lovely day.

We don't have big Mother's Day plans this year (one year I'll host a big brunch with champagne and frittatas, I'm telling you), but I am at least not dropping the ball on the two most important moms in our lives -- Grandma (my mom) and Grandmomma Cass (Drew's stepmom / Lilly's grandmother). 

I would love to have images from Lilly's first birthday party to print out and gift them (maybe!), but at least for now they'll get a couple lovely things to brighten their day.

Here are some other gift ideas if you're drawing a blank!

(I don't think I've met a woman yet who doesn't like SOMETHING Kendra Scott does/makes. Maybe I'm crazy, but I saw this on another wedding planner friend of mine and fell in LOVE. Adore! This is something you'd wear daily!)

A massage or manicure gift card
(Impossible to go wrong with this. Pedicures are a plus!)

(No one is surprised that Lilly makes the list! Love these precious stud earrings -- such a cute twist on the classic pearl studs I wear daily.)

Champagne and peonies
(Ditto my last sentiment. Who doesn't love the smell of fresh peonies, or a sparkling bottle of bubbly?!)

A tropical vacay!
(And this super cute hat to mark the occasion!)

What are you gifting your loved ones this Mother's Day? Flowers? Jewelry? Hazelnut dark chocolate? Veuve?