Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to work...

As much as I think I would hate to be a stay at home mom-I give props to those that are-I was really sad to see summer and my maternity leave end. In some ways, I feel like I didn't have any maternity leave. I had really hoped he would come a little bit early so I could enjoy a little more time with him, but considering all my time with him was spent during my normal summer break, it almost feels like it wasn't a real maternity leave. Don't get me wrong, I loved having those last three weeks of school off-and given my physical, mental, and emotional state, I think it was the right choice. It just didn't feel like maternity leave as I had no baby yet.

Going back to work has been good though. We've been back for a little over a week now, and things are going well. There are parts of my job that annoy me-typical of any job-but overall, I'm happy to be back. Jack and I both love his baby sitter. He's staying with a woman who is keeping two other kids-a boy that is just over 1 year and a little girl who will be three this winter. Both of their moms used to work with me, so it's nice seeing them in the mornings. I don't worry about him while he's there. His behavior seems to be pretty consistent there as it is at home-struggling with names, but eagerly accepting a bottle. As much as I enjoy being with him, it's nice to be around adults and have a break from him, too. Yesterday, when I picked him up, he gave me the biggest smile when he saw me and heard my voice. Made my heart melt.

I'm still struggling with figuring out a morning routine for us...If I can get him back to sleep before we leave the house, he tends to take a nice nap in the morning, which is good for everyone. It seems like the best routine is one where I wake up him when I have to get up, we nurse, get dressed, and he can play with his crack mat kick-and-play piano while I finish getting ready. Then he goes in his swing to get in a good nap while I pump, stirs slightly while I put him in the car seat, and he's good for another 1.5-2 hours. Today I deviated some and he didn't get back to sleep before leaving the house, which meant he didn't get that awesome nap in, and this afternoon has been a little difficult.

Our afternoon routine is working out really well, though. We come in the door and I typically have a load of laundry ready to go. I start that, throw bottles and pump parts into the sink to soak, and we have a bit of play time before napping while I clean up, wash bottles, blog...typcially mommy things. I hope we can keep this up as the school year progresses. 

And while I fervently believe that breast milk is the best choice for my child right now, pumping is a pain in the butt! I typically pump before we leave the house as my supply is pretty high, and I will be pumping three times at work, although right now I'm finding I am only doing it twice due to our schedule. Finding a quiet place can be rough. I have an office, but I share it and during certain times, the door is open while we dig out costumes. I can't count on it to be a private place. I've been going to the clinic, which I really appreciate them letting me use the space, but I can't keep my pump set up, it takes extra to go down, get set up, pump, and then clean up. The good news-my supply (thus far) is holding up, and I'm getting enough for the next day plus an extra feeding or two. After my freezer supply was defrosted and completely lost down at the beach, I'm excited to be building that back up while maintaining what I need in order to feed him. I just hope I can keep it up.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Trader Joe's Grower's ReserveSauvignon Blanc

Wine: Trader Joe's Grower's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Store: Trader Joe's (duh)
Price: $5.99 (I think...I'm having trouble remembering)

"The Trader Joe's Growers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc was made with organically grown grapes. We believe in working with nature to produce outstanding wines. The Trader Joe's Grower's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is deliciously complex with ripe melon, nectarine, and lemon zest flavors.  The wine has a rich, viscous mouth feel which finishes clean and refreshing."~back of the bottle 

I really like this wine...It has subtle fruit flavors, and is slightly acidic with a buttery finish. Not a strong after taste and easy going enough to enjoy alone with with a light snack (cheese and fruit-my favorites!) or with a light chicken or fish meal. Or scallops...yum. (I wish my husband wasn't allergic to shellfish. He's offered to cook scallops for me, but I can 't bring myself to let him. But I digress.) And it's all organic, a plus in my book! Definitely will purchase this again.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, August 26, 2013

Skinnygirl Margarita

I've seen Skinnygirl cocktails all over the place, but I've never had a chance to try one. Considering I'm (desperately) trying to lose the pregnancy weight, my husband picked this up for me as a pick me up. And it worked. The website describes it as...

"There’s a reason this is the one that started it all. Made from premium Blue Agave Silver Tequila (yes, please) and lightly sweetened with agave nectar, the original Skinnygirl® Margarita is STILL delicious and low-calorie (really?). Yes, really. Serve this refreshingly light low-calorie Margarita in a fun glass rimmed with salt, and you and your girls are good to go!"

The thing is, it's not a margarita. There's something missing-hard to put my finger on it. It's a really good lime cocktail, though, especially when you mix it with some Diet 7Up (helps give it a little more flavor and who doesn't love some fizz).  I would try it again.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jack-Month 2!

So we're a few days late...This post was ready to go earlier this week, but life kept getting in the way of taking his picture. Oops. Better late than never...

I know it's a cliche, but this month has flown by. Mr. Jack, you went to bed one evening a newborn and woke up a little infant! And you grew so much...Suddenly, a set of sleepers were too small, and you were much heavier to hold.

You have the cutest smile. but you hate to let it show when the camera comes out!

You were a trooper on vacation. You were lucky enough to visit two beaches and even made it to two different states. You loved the beach. You took some awesome naps out on the sand, and by the end of the week, you liked to pull back the towel and kick your feet in the sand. When we came home and found that the cat had peed all over your Ikea play gym, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to get the Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano. You love that thing. You're content to play with it for  quite a while, staring at yourself in the mirror and kicking away at the piano.

You also had your first taste at being a studio rat this month. Last week there was a summer intensive at the studio so you hung out there Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for part of the day while mommy took class. You were pretty well behaved.

Weight: 11 lb 0oz

Length: 22.5 inches

Head Circumference: 15.125 inches

Clothing: You are officially in 0-3 month clothing, and you've actually outgrown your 3 month sleepers in the Babies R Us brand (too short!). Your current shorts are a bit big in the waist although they fit your fluffy cloth diaper butt really well. 
Hair: Still brown, but lightening up. Your ears are almost completely covered by your hair...I'm wondering how long we can go before you get your first hair cut.
Eyes: Brown, with a surround of blue. I still believe they will end up hazel in the end. 
Sleep: It's hit or miss. You have had a few 4.5 and 5 stretches lately, but then wake up every 2 hours like clockwork afterwards. Sunday night, however, you went down as usual, and only slept for about 2.5 hours. I think you were a bit constipated and your swaddle didn't let you stretch out the way you like in order to work out the poop. We worked on sleeping from 11:30-3AM, when I finally laid you down with me, in your diaper only, on the twin bed and we red books. You seem to calm down enough we could nurse one more time and get some sleep...until 5:30AM. At 7, we were up for good and I was just happy you took a long nap. You transitioned pretty easily to the crib when we got back from vacation, although you were so fussy Sunday night we went back to the Rock and Play for the night.The rest of the week has been difficult, too, although not quite that bad. I've read this fussyiness and clinginess can be part of "Wonder Weeks," so I'm hoping we'll get back to normal and you'll have made a huge cognitive development when we're done.
Nicknames: You still have just as many nicknames as last month, but your father has taken to calling you "The Jack," which I'm not too thrilled about, but what does it hurt?
Milestone: You are so animated. You love to see and interact with people. You are good at playing by yourself, but you prefer to have your gym in the middle of everything so you can play and still know what's going on. You smile and laugh at people all the time.

The beach is a bore...

Not a fan of the Atlantic Ocean

Play gym, before it became a casualty of the cat.

One of the many pictures your cousin David wanted to take with you.

Dad, leave me alone.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vacation 2013-The Beach(es)

One of the blessings of Nick not teaching Summer School this year is the luxury spending our time when and where we like. Usually, we're lucky to go out of town for a couple days, but this year we were gone for 11 days. It was amazing.

The view out of wonder we didn't go on the beach Thursday.

I manipulated my 6 week post partum appointment a few days early and as soon as I was cleared to resume all normal activities, we headed down to the Outer Banks to join my parents at their beach front condo. Unfortunately, they had to leave the next morning due to a business emergency, so we were left on our own. Thursday was cloudy and nasty, so we visited some shops and found some grub. And we had a little mishap where we wouldn't find the key to the condo. We searched everywhere-retraced everywhere we had been-only to find it in the bottom of the diaper bag. Oops.
You get to see the sunrise when you're up with a little one...

Friday brought better weather, so we headed down to the beach. The beach sucks when there are only two of you with a newborn. We couldn't go out in the water together, as someone had to stay with Jack. Hanging on the beach was relaxing, but I would have loved to get further than ankle deep in the water. I started out putting Jack in his baby bathtub on the beach (thank you, Pinterest!), but later we found he was just as content laying on a couple blankets on the sand. 

Saturday morning we packed up and trekked 6 hours further down the coast of North Carolina to Holden Beach to join Nick's family. Of course, we procrastinated on filling up, so we coasted through a wildlife refuge on fumes, holding our breath and crossing our fingers the whole time. Additionally, 6 week old babies require lots of stopping. 

We spent almost everyday down at the beach. This time we took turns watching Jack and going out in the water with our siblings, which was awesome. Additionally, we were surrounded with people who love Jack as much as we do, so there was always someone willing to watch him. 

We made a couple of outings down to Myrtle Beach...the first time, we were hoping to go to Margaritaville for dinner. 2.5 hour wait-no ma'am. So we ventured over to Planet Hollywood. I hopped out, in the rain, to get a table for 12 while Nick parked the car. Just as soon as I put our name on the list, I saw Nick walking up the stairs to the entrance-empty handed. I mouthed to him, "Where's the baby?"

"What?" With a shrug. 


"Oh, shit!" 

My husband left the baby in the car. Seriously. Who does that? Never mind, my husband. In his defense, it was cold, rainy, and Jack was in there about 2-3 minutes alone. Certainly not something I would encourage, but if you have to make that kind of mistake, I guess this was the best way. And I can promise you, he will never do it again. 

Jack's thoughts on the 2.5 hour wait.

Jack's first introduction to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Planet Hollywood.
But, on a happier note, I was able to send the week getting some of my physicality back. Bike rides, long walks, miniature gold, I was even convinced to lead a family Pilates class. It felt so good to start moving again-even if I ingested many more calories than I expended that week.
I'm a baby wearing pro! I even got 2 hole in ones that night.
Dad, however, got creative.
Family Yoga/Pilates/Stretch class...notice the little ones photo bombing.
Friday evening when we left it was bittersweet. We had a wonderful time, but I'm not sure we were ready to head back to the real world. The best part, though: we left at 8PM, made it home about 1:45AM, and only had to stop one time for Mr. Jack this time. Fabulous.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Liebster Blog Award


I feel so honored. Rachel nominated me for this award, which, in all honesty, the only award I should be getting right now is for blog neglect. Oops. I have so much writing to get caught up with. Hopefully little man will start napping more and I can finally get on top of that. At any rate, many thanks to Rachel, who's blog I love reading to see her adorable boys, Jack and Cal, and see what good things she's cooking. 

When you’re nominated for a Liebster, here’s what you do:
1.    Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2.    Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
3.    Answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
4.    Display the Liebster Award logo.
5.    No tag backs, meaning you can’t just re-nominate the person who nominated you.

1.  If given the choice, and money were no option, what would you choose to do for your career? I'd probably do something similar to what I'm doing now...maybe I'd teach on the collegiate level, or maybe I'd just be a free lance choreographer. Something along those lines.
2.  Name a food or a meal that you could eat every day. Just about anything Italian or Mexican. I'm debating both for dinner. 
3.  Do you have a regret about something?  Feel free to unload! Buying a house when we did. Don't get me wrong, I love our house, and I'm thrilled to be a home owner, but given the market we were buying in, we definitely overpaid. Now we feel stuck in our home with little option as far as where we can move if our jobs took us there.
4.  What is your guilty pleasure tv show? What Not to Wear...there are some stupid people on there.
5.  Kids or pets not included.  What would you grab in the event of a house fire? My dance bag, although it lives in the car, so it might be OK. Otherwise, Jack's baby book, our wedding album, and our iPads.
6.  What is one thing you consider yourself really good at? Organizing.
7.  What does your dream home look like? Craftsman style rambling ranch with front room over garage (FROG) which would be an awesome sports bar type room for all Nick's memorabilia.
8.  Are you an introvert or an extrovert?  Why? Some people think I'm an extrovert, and I can play one well, but I'm really more introverted.
9.  In your Favorites menu on your internet page, list the first three that come up. Facebook,, and and Bloglovin'
10.  Where is your favorite place in the world? The beach. I feel most at peace when I'm there.
11.  Name an actor, author, political figure, alive or deceased that you would love to spend a day with. She doesn't quite fit into any category, but probably Helen Keller. 

  And here are my questions for those I've tagged...
1. What color best describes your personality?
2. How do you see yourself in 20 years?
3. You meet someone for a summer. How do you hope they remember you?
4. What's your hidden talent?
5. Beer, wine, or cocktail? If you don't drink, what are doing reading my blog?
6. What's your favorite childhood memory?
7. What is your ideal pet? Why?
8. If you could live inside one movie, what would it be?
9. What celebrity is top on your freebie list? (You know, the freebie that your spouse/significant other would let you sleep with if the opportunity arose.)
10. What's your favorite type of weather?
11. If you could solve one world problem by snapping your fingers, what would it be?

So...keep your eyes open to see if I tagged you as a nominee!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Brews and Vines of NC

It's about damn time I had a post about alcohol again, huh?

One of the things I love about going out of town is enjoying local brews and wines. And I've been known to be able to sniff out a local winery or  brew pub better than any one else. While we were pn vacation (more to come on that later), I made sure to check out some. So, where did we go?

Outer Banks Brewing Station -I have always been curious as to how this place was. Our food was awesome-Nick got a bratwurst sandwich, and I got the fish platter. Our seats over looked the brewery, and I enjoyed a Nitwit (Wit (White) is Belgium’s answer to Hefeweizen. It’s light, hazy, refreshing, ale brewed with a portion of un-malted wheat. Ours is fermented with Forbidden Fruit (a special strain of reserve yeast from the famous Hoegaarden brewery), and spiced with a subtle lacing of Coriander and Bitter Orange. (4.5% abv.)) Nick had the Stormy Roses Stout (Inky black & creamy-smooth dry-ish Irish styled stout is brewed with Scottish Golden Promise malts and Chilean dark crystal & chocolate malts which lend a smokey, black licorice note! Perfect for watching passing summer storms… (6.6% abv)) and later a Lemongrass Wheat Ale (A zesty golden hefeweizen infused with a potent smack of Lemongrass. The flavor is crisp, tart and refreshing – World Beer Cup Silver Medal winner!! (5.2% abv.)) We both really enjoyed our beers-lived up to expectations!

**Beer Descriptions taken from***

Trio- Last year we found this awesome little shop. They used to do a special tasting of NC wines, but alas, not so much this year. BUT, they do have wine vending machines in which you can get a taste, half a glass or a full glass of wine. I had seen these before, but hadn't had the opportunity to give them a try. It's really easy to use. In this case, we went up to the bar, turned over our credit card (just like if you were starting a tab), got plastic card that kept track of our purchases, and swiped that at each machine we used. We tried to stick to NC wines, but when I came across a wine associated with Dave Mathews, I had to indulge. The white was good, but I really enjoyed the red. It was a red both people who like red and those that don't typically enjoy it. We walked away with a bottle of white for a friend, a bottle of red for ourselves, and two wine glasses.

Sanctuary Vineyards- We passed this vineyard on our way down, and, had we had more time, I would have loved to go back and do a tour/tasting. As luck would have it, they had a tasting set up in one of the gift shops we went in. (I knew there was a reason I wanted to go in there!) They had a huuuuuuge selection of wines, but since Nick and I tend more towards the dryer wines, we stuck with tasting a handful (seriously, about 6 wines) of those. While I enjoyed Shipwreck (Syrah and Mourvedre blend)  and Wild Pony (Chardonnay/Riesling blend, we walked away with a bottle of Morton (A surprisingly elegant, yet buyer friendly, blend of our winemaker’s choice red wines. Syrah, Tempranillo, Tannat, Aglianico and Cabernet Sauvignon have been carefully blended, giving flavors of blackberry, black cherry and spice with subtle sweetness and oak.)

***Wine description from ***

Full Moon Cafe and Grill- I found this place by accident in a tourist book. We decided to head over for lunch on our way out of the OuterBanks, partially out of convenience and partially because it was a lit cheaper for lunch. Nick got the tuna (steak) sandwich-which was amazing-and I got the Roanoke Shrimp Melt, which was pretty darn good. To accompany our meals, I had the Lost Colony Ale (A northern English style of ale. Walnut-colored with a sweet malty taste, plus caramel, coffee and molasses flavors from the imported British malts.5% alcohol by volume (abv)), and Nick had some red ale that i cant find on the website. Both were awesome, and if we had had room in the car for a growler, one of them would have come home with us.

***Beer description from ***

Boardwalk Winery- We found this place down at Broadway on the Beach in Myrtle Beach. All the grapes are local to North and South Carolina, and the  wines are made there at their storefront. WE each tasted 7 wines for $4 and ended purchasing a bottle of wine. Too bad we didn't have this coupon I found on the website for a free souvenir glass if you purchase a tasting and a bottle of wine. Oops. lesson learned: in the age of smart phones, always go to a store/restaurant/attraction's website before finalizing your purchase to see if there are any deals you can hop on. Most of their wines tended more on the sweeter side-lots of fruit wines-but we did come home with a bottle of Endless Summer Semi-Dry (Endless Summer is sure to please the masses. This is our top selling blend. With it's wonderful blend of Mango & Peach wine, each bottle promises to bring back those feelings of long summer days...and nights! 12% Alcohol.)

***Once again, wine description from*** 

One place I had hoped to hit up, but we never got the chance to, was Silver Coast Winery. Hopefully, we'll make it there next year. 

Not only did we enjoy some awesome drinks, but we came home with a lot more glassware...Now, to find a home for each of them.