September 16, 2014

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.
It's mid-September. And yet summer lives on in the great state of Georgia. In case I haven't already mentioned it, Georgia is HOT in the summer. It's the kind of sweaty heat that thickens to a choke in your throat as you breathe, lending a sort of rainforest-y halo to the seemingly never-ending season. A constant beading of perspiration gathers on my forehead, coupled with a continuous longing for popscicles and ice cream and margaritas. Just to quench the weather. Now, I'm certainly not complaining, since I experienced a sinful amount of cold this past winter in Manhattan. However, This summer I was nine months pregnant in this sickly scorching heat, and I needed an outlet. In the form of a goooooood treat.

One of my favorite summer outings since relocating to Georgia once again has been taking little trips up to the truly delightful Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, located in the White Provisions district of Atlanta. My bff Tricia introduced me to this lovely chain and I've been understandably obsessed ever since. Jeni's has all kinds of insanely delicious & super unique flavors, my favorites being the Brambleberry Crisp and Brown Butter Almond Brittle. In a waffle cone, of course. But Jeni's also offers a ton of yogurt and sorbet options, and you can buy by the pint to take home! Bless her. Jeni knows what a woman wants.


// The West Side. It's rising up. //
// That's one ridiculously happy preggo girl :) //
// Why is my BFF so cute?? //
// Oh, that's ice cream love. //

With summer lazily winding down, the ice cream cravings will soon turn to pumpkin pie and hot chocolate. Go get your Jeni's fix while you can still sit outside and feel the refreshment!

September 12, 2014

A Final Bumpdate.

//Top: 10 weeks, 13 weeks, 16 weeks // Middle: 17 weeks, 20 weeks, 22 weeks // Bottom: 22 weeks, 24 weeks, 31 weeks //
// Top: 26 weeks, 30 weeks, 34 weeks // Middle: 34 weeks, 35 weeks, 36 weeks // Bottom: 36 weeks, 37 weeks, 37.5 weeks //
A Final Bumpdate.
I can't believe my pregnancy journey is over. Everett has been on my mind every single day since I saw those two lines form on the test. And now? I'm fascinated looking back over these silly selfies. I'm amazed at how significantly my body changed to accommodate my sweet son. Suddenly being on the other side of this journey is so strange. One day, everything just reverses. The burgeoning belly expands until it, literally, pops, and then begins its descent back to "normal" (oh geez, what is a normal body after baby??)

Now, being in the throws of motherhood, it's easy to move on quickly from the pregnancy experience and dive headfirst into baby development. But today, I had to take a moment to reflect on the beautiful and absurd experience that is pregnancy. I'm finally able to feel truly proud of what my body created and nurtured for 9 months. And I feel an entirely new appreciation for the vocation of motherhood, and especially, my incredible mother.

What women do for their children is remarkable. It's so, so hard. And it's the most thankless kind of job. I mean, my 7-week old baby just doesn't wake up thanking me for the hard work. The diapering, feeding, cooing, singing, bouncing, and all the asinine attempts to comfort his sobbing. Perhaps one day? Yeah, I know, dream on. But it's been this experience that has caused me to go back to my own mother, thanking her profusely, finally realizing a teensy, tiny sliver of how selflessly she gave to me all those years... and how she is still doing it. Giving, advising, disciplining, helping, teaching, growing me. I feel so grateful, so incredibly indebted and a tiny bit ashamed of those past immature moments when I found myself angry with her, accused her of "not understanding". Was I so blind? I know now. I have been on her mind for my entire life, plus nine months before that.

Now I see why this motherhood thing is such a complex, all-encompassing, never-ever-ending journey. It's the deep end of the womanhood pool. It's an extension of the most challenging and life-giving experiences one can have. All my poignant milestones, those moments of victory & triumph, those challenging battles & overcoming mountains - they weren't just for my own gain. They're the foundation for my own babe to build upon. It's my responsibility to take the most powerful, strong parts of myself, lay them at the feet of my son, and simply say, "Take what's mine, go and be greater." Which is awfully hard to do, because I feel so inadequately prepared. So unready. But I'm finding that the most gracious & authentic way to approach this motherhood thing is to just. Come. Undone.

And I'm only 7 weeks in.

Now I have to go rescue my crying baby from, you guessed it, my own mother. Because she held him the entire time I processed and wrote this post this morning. GO THANK YOUR MOM TODAY. Because wow.

September 9, 2014

Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party

Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party.
The week I went into labor, I was feeling antsy.

I had this urge to go out and have lots of fun, because I knew that sooner or later this baby was coming and I would be home bound for a bit. But oh my. Those last few pregnant weeks were a challenge. I was huge. I was swollen. And in GEORGIA. Land of the sweltering, unforgiving humidity. Not to mention it was July. My word.

I got the fabulous idea to have one last girly hurrah and visit a much-talked-about tea parlor in the city. I dragged my mom and my sister downtown (okay, there wasn't much dragging, we all enjoy a good bout of fancifulness), and we found our way into Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party. The name itself lends to all sorts of curiousness. Who's this doctor? Is he really from Bombay? And, what is meant by "underwater"?? Also, WHERE CAN I PUT MY FEET UP. Like I said, the mind can really wander.

We shuffled around the tiny shop and cheerfully breathed a sigh of relief when we found a few strewn-about chairs. We rearranged them across from each other at an indoor picnic table and were thankful we could actually sit together. This place seemed like a haven for the studious and the entrepreneurial. Everyone sitting in the shop was working on something, gaze intensely focused on their laptops. We were the only party who seemed to be there to, well, have a tea party. And so we did. Rather loudly.

We gleefully ordered the Caroline tea for two (and a few other delicacies) and split everything between the three of us. Not only were the tea, scones, quiche, brownies, CLOTTED CREAM and finger sandwiches an absolute delight, but enjoying the sweet company of these fine women absolutely capped off my final week of pregnancy. It was the perfect, priceless, princess-y kind of celebration. And while we never really got any of our questions answered (Dr. Bombay is still an underwater mystery), we did get to laugh and laugh and laugh until we just couldn't anymore. Little did I know that nine days later I would be in the throws of labor and very far removed from all that laughter and silliness. I'm thankful for this cherished memory and for discovering another gem in this familiar city.

September 5, 2014

In My Hospital Bag

In My Hospital Bag

In My Hospital Bag by oykristen 
// 1.  Anthropologie Peach Blossom Robe // 2. Target Expandable File // 3. Gillian O'Malley Nursing Cami // 4. Gillian O'Malley Nursing Bra 
// 5. Kate Spade "Stevie" Baby Bag // 6. Hanes Women's 10-Pack Cotton Bikini // 7. Gilligan & O'Malley® Women's Tee Shirt/Crop Pajama Set 
// 8. Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies Crackers // 9. The Honest Company Organic Nipple Balm // 10. C9 Core Fitness Ball //

In My Hospital Bag. 
I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy gearing up for  "the big day". Each morning was strangely thrilling, waking up and wondering if this would be the day that my body would encounter a whole host of sensations I'd never felt before and ultimately, unleash my baby. I spent those last weeks of pregnancy in mega prep mode: finishing the nursery, laundering onesies, and packing (and re-packing) my hospital bag.

I might have taken the "preparing" a bit overboard when packing my hospital bag. I say bag, but lets be honest... it was BAGS. Plus a cooler. Unfortunately, we forgot to throw it in the car when I actually went into labor (I know, how could we NOT be fixated on the cooler during our, "This is it! GET IN THE CAR!"-moments of labor transition?)  I went three days without my beloved La Croix. The worst. Well, actually, I wish that was the worst part of labor.

So here's what I had packed in my hospital bag, along with a few side notes of what I actually used and would recommend to others.

For Me:
* These Nursing Tanks (#3 above) - Oh, Gillian O'Malley, since becoming a mommy I am LOVING everything this woman makes. You can find her maternity/nursing line at Target. These camis make nursing so much easier. I have been really happy with them and bought several more over the past few weeks. Worth the investment.
* 2 pairs of Yoga Pants - You will live in these pants, so make it something you could comfortably fit in around week 25 of your pregnancy. You won't be squeezing into your pre-pregnancy pants quite yet. I preferred black and gray pants, just in case of leakage. Ah.
* These Nursing Bras (#4 above) - Again, Gillian O'Malley is knockin' it outta the park. I think part of my adoration for her nursing line is the exceptional quality for the moderate price.
* These Pajamas (#7 above) - They're cute. They're comfy. And I never ended up wearing them.
* These Gigantic Undies (#6 above) - I say "gigantic" because you should buy a bigger size than you think you will need. Also, make sure these are something you don't mind tossing after a few weeks, they are strictly for the postpartum experience. You don't want to ruin your good stuff :) Note: The hospital will give you some incredibly sexy disposable underwear - stock up on these. Not only are they so attractive you will find yourself walking the catwalk in your recovery room, but it's awesome to be able to toss them after each wear.
* Lightweight Robe - Ahhhh I love my robe. I have a bit of a robe fetish. However, I also didn't wear this in the hospital at all. There just wasn't time for all these costume changes.
* Belly Band - I wore this in an attempt to keep my tummy smooth under my clothes. I've heard rumors that it actually helps shrink your stomach postpartum, but who knows?
* Socks/Slippers - Cuz hospitals skeez me out. Protect your tootsies.
* Flip flops - For the shower (don't judge me... I never ended up using these in the shower. I just sort of forgot. DON'T JUDGE.)
* Bathing Suit - For water labor (which I totally didn't end up doing. Womp womp.)
* Going-Home Outfit - Keep it simple, you just need something comfy for the car ride. NOT your old skinny jeans that you hope you will fit into. Because you just won't.
* This Milkmaid Nursing Pillow - I have been really, really happy with this nursing pillow. The design and material just makes it so easy to nurse! But I know there are a lot out there on the market - bring whatever seems comfortable for you. Just make sure you have something to use in the hospital for nursing, because hopefully you will be doing that a lot!
* Honest Co. Nipple Balm - Don't use that crap the hospital gives you. This stuff is the bomb. And you don't have to wipe it off every time before you nurse (can you believe they make stuff that you put on, only to wipe off? So dumb.) Seriously, this balm is just so soothing.
* Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, razor, soap, contact solution, contact case, lotion, belly balm, deodorant, makeup bag, hair gel, hair ties, glasses - do I sound high maintenance?
* SNACKS: Kind Bars, Pretzels, Annie's Fruit Snacks & Cheddar Bunnies (#9 above - the best!) Remember, these snacks aren't just for you. Whoever is in the birthing room with you will also need to keep up their strength, so make sure you pack some good stuff!

For Stevie:
* Comfy Outfit/PJs
* Hoodie - It gets super chilly in the labor/delivery rooms for everyone except the lass in labor, understandably.
* Socks/underwear/t-shirts - Or whatever else your man wears.
* Toiletries

For Everett:
* Hospital outfits  - He didn't need these, as the nurses dressed him in hospital clothes the entire time we were there.
* Going Home Outfit - I packed two, a NB size and 0-3 month size. Yes, he was a hefty baby, but he still wore the newborn outfit home :)
* Receiving/Swaddling Blanket - Again, not necessary. The hospital provides receiving blankets (AND teaches you how to swaddle that babe. Score.)
* Nursing Cover - Ha, I also didn't ever use this. I just whipped out my lactation devices whenever he was hungry. All modesty goes out the window after having a baby. Believe me.
* Diaper Bag (#5 above) - Make sure its stocked with all the baby necessities! Or you know, whatever you guess might be a necessity.
* Car seat - Just make sure it's installed!

For the Labor:
* Expandable File (#2 above), Including: 4-6 Copies of Birth Plan, Copies of ID, Copies of Insurance Cards (Guess who forgot her birth plan? Yeah, that was awesome.)
* Water Labor Certificate - My hospital required this for a water birth. Surprisingly, I remembered to bring this and then never used it. The IRONY.
* Music Playlists - Never listened to any music. I sincerely did NOT want extra noise when I was in labor.
* Headphones - Nope.
* Fan - I literally forgot I packed this.
* Birth ball (#10 above) - THIS THING WAS AWESOME. I bounced my baby out.
* Pillows/blanket - Nope, don't even think about bringing these with you. If you bring these into the hospital room... you won't want to keep them.

Other:
* Extra tote bag (for all the hospital goodies, like free diapers and economy-sized maxi pads.)
* Laptop + Charger (yeah, I never got on my laptop at the hospital. I mean COME ON.)
* DSLR + Charger
* Phones + Chargers

That's what I brought! It seems like a lot, huh? All I can say is... having a baby is the hugest transition of your life. You will want to come to the hospital (or birth center) as prepared as possible. Oh - and one more thing. Make sure you actually tell your family and doula that you packed snacks for them. I forgot to mention that to my birth team, and after 36 hours... well, they were starving. Oops.

Seasoned mamas, any items that you packed in your hospital bag that made all the difference? Feel free to comment below!

September 3, 2014

TASTE: Lemon Mustard Chicken with Mango Cauliflower "Couscous" (PALEO ALERT)

Lemon Mustard Chicken with Mango Cauliflower "Couscous"
Good Morning! I hope everyone had an awesome Labor Day weekend. Ours was super low key, we just filled the days taking long walks and cooking early dinners. Haha, that's life with a newborn, folks! I am excited to share one particularly easy and delicious recipe with you today.

This was sent to me by my darling friend/sort-of-cousin/former-boss/mother-of-my-goddaughter (yes, we have a lot of relational ties). She mentioned that she had been eating "Paleo" lately, and that she's been feeling great as a result. I was intrigued, but not enough to give up all the good stuff in life. Obviously. She assured me that this recipe tasted DELICIOUS and that I needed to try it out for myself. So I relented. Folks? She was right. Ugh AGAIN. Kelley, you've got to stop doing that.

This recipe was sourced here, but I actually made a few (extremely minor) changes to the recipe to make it a bit more my own. (Lately I have a thing for adding whole grain mustard to everything :)

Lemon Mustard Chicken Ingredients:
- 4 chicken breasts, 2 to 4, boneless
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper

Lemon Mustard Chicken Method:
1. Heat a skillet or dutch oven over medium and let get really hot.

2. Place olive oil, lemon juice, whole-grain mustard, garlic, honey, thyme, red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well.

3. Add the chicken to the bowl and ensure an even coating of all the meat. (The original recipe says to "cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 2 days", but I didn't do that. I just coated the chicken well and placed it in the heated dutch oven.) Then I poured the remainder of the marinade over the chicken. The more the merrier, right?

4. Grill over medium heat only flipping once until cooked through. Serve over a bed of the Mango Cauliflower Couscous.


Mango Cauliflower "Couscous" Ingredients:
- ½ head cauliflower
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup raw almonds, chopped, consistency of choice, (you can substitute any nuts that you want)
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 pinch sea salt

Mango Cauliflower "Couscous" Method:
1. Melt coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pulse all of the cauliflower in a food processor until it is like rice or until it resembles Couscous.

2. Transfer the cauliflower to a separate bowl. Chop almonds up in a food processor, and then add to the cauliflower.

3. Place diced mango in the food processor and pulse until it is broken down to small chunks - don’t pulse too much or you will end up with mango salsa (which I am sure would work just fine; I just prefer little bites).

4. Add the cauliflower, almonds, and coconut to the sauté pan and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often and then add the mango. Continue to cook until done to your liking.



All together, now.
Serve the "couscous" with the delicious Lemon Mustard Grilled Chicken and enjoy. No seriously, you WILL enjoy it. Despite the whole Paleo-label. Let me know what you think!

August 28, 2014

Pregnancy Book Must Haves

Pregnancy Book Must Haves
// 1. The Birth Partner by Patty Simkin // 2. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin // 3. Active Birth by Janet Balaskas // 4. Birthing from Within by Pam England & Rob Horowitz // 5. Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize // 6. Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan // 7. The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenberg // 8. Babywise by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam // 9. Raising Baby Green by Alan Greene // 10. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp // 11. Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman // 12. The Honest Life by Jessica Alba //

Pregnancy Book Must Haves.
I might have over-read in preparation for labor/delivery. But I was so curious to know everything I possibly could about all the different methods, techniques, schools of thought, and others' experiences in having babies. What can I say. My nightstand was littered with these reads for months, and I am still reading a few of these now. The pregnancy is over, the baby is here, and oh my, there is much more to be learned!

These are some of the standout books I read while I grew a baby in my belly. Most were compelling, some were monotonous, a few were funny, a few were too serious, but all of them helped me prepare for my intro to labor, delivery and motherhood. I should note that most of these books have a natural approach, meaning they were based around the conviction and case for an un-medicated birth experience. I've included notes for a few of them, now that I've actually HAD my baby and can speak to what was helpful in properly preparing me for the unknown. If you are expecting, I hope this reading guide will help you as you prep for your little one!

1. The Birth Partner by Patty Simkin
This wonderful read was recommended to Stevie by our doula, Liz. She is so rad. I didn't read this book, because it was for him, but he actually read it. And sometimes read it out loud to me. Which says a lot.

2. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
This lady. Is the original hippie midwife. This guide to childbirth tells story after story of pain-free, fearless natural childbirth experiences from real women. It kinda gets you all jazzed up, if you're interested in pursuing a more natural route for labor and delivery. I'll admit, some of it is a bit too crunchy-granola for me, but I still appreciate the heart of this woman. She's pretty fierce. *Note: This book ended up being my favorite pregnancy read and I would recommend this to anyone seeking an un-medicated birth. It was encouraging, yet realistic, and offered so much helpful information about how to have a natural childbirth.
 
3. Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Hahhaha this is a classic, natural childbirth book, naked pictures and all. My big sis lent me this one. This book focuses on a few different breathing techniques that are useful during labor, and provides a full pregnancy stretching guide, as well. It's a bit 80's, but another great supplemental guide and case for natural labor/delivery.

4. Birthing from Within by Pam England & Rob Horowitz
This is by FAR the crunchiest of all childbirth books. But I loved it! Yes, there might be a few too many encouraging assignments to create "birth art" with your partner (you know, coloring pictures together of your birth-related hopes and dreams.) But there are also a ton of emotional/mental healing exercises for women who have had previous traumatic pregnancy or birth experiences. I really got a lot out of it, even though this is my first baby. If you're interested in going natural but you have some fear about pursuing it due to your past experiences, this is an excellent, positive, helpful read. *Note: There is a lot of interactive emphasis encouraged in this book. If you are a hands-on learner, this is a great choice for you. Be prepared to engage in art exercises, journaling and out-loud processing with your birth partner.

5. Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize
This woman has had a bunch of kids. She hasn't had pain in any of her childbirths. She outlines the reasons she believes that every woman can have the experiences she's had - she provides her stories, biblical scripture to back up why she believes what she believes, and some prayers at the end of the book that you can utilize during pregnancy/labor/delivery. Again, it might seem far-fetched, but this woman has LIVED these experiences. Can't argue with someone's experience. *Note: This book could set unrealistic expectations, as I came to learn.  
 
6. Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan
Oh hypnobirthing. This is the method that I used to prepare for my labor/delivery process. Basically, Hypnobirthing teaches women how to expel all pre-conceived fears they might have about giving birth. It particularly focuses on retraining the way you think about childbirth (hence, the "hypno"), utilizing specific breathing techniques and empowering a "birth partner" as your support person in the labor/delivery room. The "hypno" part seems to freak a lot of people out, but it shouldn't. It's very focused on training oneself to deeply relax. Note: We also took a hypnobirthing course, which really helped us activate the tools outlined in the book. I also feel compelled to mention that I didn't really find myself using these tools once I was actually in labor, but I believe all the prep work we did with this method made a big difference in my experience, so I definitely recommend it.

7. The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenberg
This is an awesome, up-to-date baby name book. It doesn't just give names and their meanings, it also gives rank of popularity, where the name has been trending in pop culture, and similar/related names. We already had Everett's name picked out, but there were some great contenders listed that we considered.

8. Babywise by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam
I started it. I haven't finished it. But apparently this book is like, a really big deal.

9. Raising Baby Green by Alan Greene
This isn't a pregnancy book, but a lifestyle guide on how to raise, well, a green baby. This book is THOROUGH. It covers everything you need to know about raising a baby in a toxic-free, organic environment. Cleaning products, types of paint to use in your home decor, cribs and gliders and lunch boxes and baby food blenders and recipes and clothing... I could go on and on. It's all in this book. *Note: This book can be kind of annoying. But it is a super thorough guide so I had to include it.

10. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
LOOOOOOOVE. This book is so great. Got a crying, colic-y child? Have no fear. This book is here. And it's not just a guide on how to shut your child up. Excuse me, I meant, quiet the precious gift from God. But it also references tons of research on why this method works. And for someone like my husband, who trusts the words/advice/research of a Doctor above all, he really appreciated Dr. Karp's reasoning behind his method. *Note: This method WORKS. At least with our baby.
 
11. Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
This is just a funsie. This New York Times author moved to France and had a baby, then realized that French children are infinitely more polite and better behaved than American children. So she sought to discover why. It's a fun and interesting read. And a nice break from some of the more serious child-rearing books out there.

12. The Honest Life by Jessica Alba 
Seriously, Jessica Alba has GOT to stop stealing all of my money. Her company, The Honest Co., is a line item in our budget these days. We are such suckers. BUT. It all started with this read. This book outlines her journey in pursuing eco-friendly, healthy, non-toxic choices for her personal life and her family. Yes, she's an actress with a business (insert critical emoji of your choice.) But her story is one that I connected with - don't we all want the best for our children? This book is a great guide on how to make healthy, clean, organic choices for your family - included are kid-approved recipes, seasonal food guides, eco-friendly cleaning tips & recommendations, organic hair/makeup/skincare routines - and it's all easy, NOT super time-consuming and affordable.

Any books that you would recommend to someone who is expecting a baby? Include in the comments section below!




August 26, 2014

A Month of Motherhood.

A Month of Motherhood.
Aaaaaaaaaaand we're back! I've taken the past month off from the blog to, you know, adjust. To life with a baby. But I am finally starting to get some sleep (keyword: some) and I've missed writing and this wonderful community of wonderful readers (that's you!)

The past month has been the biggest shift in my life. A bigger shift than getting married and moving in with a boy. A bigger shift than moving to a different city (more than once) and "starting over". This has been the big one. Laboring and delivering this child was no joke, but the responsibility for another human's life? That's hefty. That's not the kind of thing you want to screw up. But when you're new at it, you have NO IDEA how to keep another human alive. Especially when they're tiny (well, mine is sort of tiny), and rightfully needy. Feed them? Change them? Um, get them to go to sleep?! How does one do that?! Perhaps for some ladies, knowing how to care for a child is innate. But I was never the babysitting type. I was never an ooey-gooey baby-loving person. I never wanted to hold other peoples' babies, I was just fine looking at them from here, thanks very much. I'm the kind of aunt that never changes diapers, I just like to give presents and play with them until the tears set in (too intense!) This isn't a secret. And I don't feel all that bad about it (although my sisters might wish that I wanted to change their kiddos diapers a bit more.) However, I see that there are some benefits to being aware of baby-ish things before you actually have one of your own. Because PEOPLE. I'm pretty clueless.

Well, I should say I was clueless. The past month has felt like a college crash-course. Stevie and I have been soaking up every experience, attempting to trouble-shoot our child's needs and identify the "what" and "why" for every noise he makes - it is a stupendously serious learning curve. It has been awesome and sometimes a little bit awful. But we have laughed and marveled at our sweet son way more than we have cried. So that's positive. But there are a few things that I have learned this month... mostly to just BE OKAY with this hilarious, humbling process of becoming a parent. Hopefully, a good one :)

What I've learned in the Past Month of Being a Mom:

- It's okay to wear your maternity clothes post-birth. In fact, you probably have no other choice. Yes, you might have lost twenty pounds in the hospital, but there still isn't one thing in your closet that will fit your bod. AND THAT'S OKAY. Rock those maternity sweatpants. Yes, rock them for weeks.

- It's okay if your baby projectile poops all over you. It's organic.

- It's okay if your baby pees all over you. More than once in a day. He's just spirited.

- It's okay if the most glorious part of your day is when you get to take twenty minutes to yourself to take a shower. Note: I remember hearing this from a lot of moms when I was pregnant, and I honestly thought it was the saddest, most pathetic thing. Taking a shower? Like, that's a luxury?? Sad, sad women. Well, I stand corrected. TAKING A SHOWER IS AWESOME FUN. I think I will go take one now.

- It's okay to commandeer your baby's burp cloth as a tissue for your tears because HE WON'T STOP CRYING. Your tears are bigger than his tears, so you need that burp cloth more than he does.

- It's okay to feel mad at your husband for going back to work after paternity leave. Yes, I know he has to work to support us. Yes, I know he has to actually sleep at night in order to actually work the next day. I know all of this. I'm just still mad.

- It's okay if you feel quarantined from the real world during those first few weeks. That's because you are. But you're healing and you're getting to know your little smoochy-poo. All is right in the world. Just be okay with it.

- It's okay to online shop at Baby Gap on your phone during those late-night baby feedings. Oh wait, maybe that one is not okay...

- It's okay if you feel like you are using too many wipes and diapers. How many wipes does it take to change a diaper? Sheesh I don't know. Like 15??

- It's okay if your husband thinks you're using too many wipes each time you change a diaper.

- It's okay to send your husband to the store multiple times in a week to buy more wipes.

- It's MORE than okay to eat your heart out. Literally. Nursing a baby depletes all your energy and you need the calories. So eat up! But I mean, make it good stuff. Because your baby is suuuuuper impacted by everything you consume.

- It's okay to cry a lot. Like, a whole lot. YOU ARE NORMAL AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.

- It's okay to take a lot of time to process your labor/delivery experience. I still am. Things never go as you planned. Talking to people about it really helps.

- It's okay to drink wine now. HURRAY!

There is more to be said, but as the post has gotten lengthy I will just sum up. It's all okay. It's just going to be okay. Okay? K.