Jul 8 2015

My Mommy Must-Haves Part I: Pregnancy & a Hospital Packing List

My Mommy Must-Haves Part I: Pregnancy & a Hospital Packing List

Moving across the country forces you to reconsider what you actually need for Baby #2. If it’s not an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY, we don’t want to unpack it, so we’ve had to take a good hard look at which items make the cut.

When I was pregnant with Peaches, we were fortunate enough to have a beautiful shower, and settled enough so that she came home to a painted, decorated nursery stocked with furniture and baby gear. I feel like we pretty much tried it all (except a wipes warmer, because everyone we talked to agreed: nah). This time around, as we sifted through all the boxes of stored infant belongings, we only pulled out the essentials.

A mama friend recently challenged me to narrow it down to my three top mommy must-haves in each category. Not the obvious stuff like prenatal vitamins, but the comfort-and-peace-of-mind stuff. For pregnancy, no problem; but for Part II (the newborn phase), I’ll have to list a few more than three. No getting around it.

With P, I bought every book known to mankind, pounds of lotions and butters, and a huge yellow exercise ball to sit on. I spent way too much on a maternity wardrobe and ended up actually wearing about half of it (at least I didn’t have to buy anything for pregnancy #2!). I’m slowly learning that moderation is key. When I found out I was expecting this time, I knew there were only a couple items I would NEED to have on hand: Continue reading

Jul 3 2015

Yes, I Just Ordered Coffee And Other "You're Not Supposed to Do That" Pregnancy Confessions

<span class="entry-title-primary">Yes, I Just Ordered Coffee</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">And Other "You're Not Supposed to Do That" Pregnancy Confessions</span>

Yesterday morning, after another round of steam mopping and sanitizing, I thought I’d treat myself to a breakfast sandwich and cherry pastry at a well-known bakery-café. “And a medium coffee, please,” I said. The employee cheerfully handed me an empty to-go cup.

As I turned toward the coffee carafes, the patron behind me gaped at my belly. “Are you sure?” she asked with raised eyebrows. It was a woman about my age, holding a toddler by the hand.

“Oh, it’s just for a half-caff,” I reassured her, as if I owed this stranger some explanation. I slunk away and pulled the decaf lever, guilt slowly melting into irritation. My eyes were narrowed by the time I topped off my cup with regular light roast, just as I always do.

I was annoyed with her, yes, but I was also annoyed with myself, and with a society that treats pregnant women as if they are everybody’s business. If you have ever been with child, you could probably tell us countless tales about all the strangers who reached out to rub your stomach or offered (sometimes inappropriate) unsolicited advice. I once had a parent sit down at conferences and say, “Hi, my child loves your class. Are you planning to breastfeed?” Why, hello. Nice to meet you.

With Peaches, I read everything I could find about The Pregnancy Rules, and I did my best to follow everything to the letter — but all the contradictory research gradually rendered that impossible. This time around, I figured I should just stick to what my doctor recommends. I don’t smoke (never have), I don’t drink (um, REALLY miss it), and I don’t eat raw fish (really miss that, too). For the record, my OB has also mentioned that I prooobably shouldn’t be in a crouched position scrubbing floors, and that I’m supposed to be avoiding stress.

Whoops. I’m really trying to get better about that, Doc.

But there are some behaviors she thinks are just fine, even though I’m not sure that the general public — at least according to the Interweb and random women in a bakery — would approve. These are my pregnancy confessions. Continue reading

Jun 24 2015

(Rental) House of Horrors

(Rental) House of Horrors

For better or worse, I’m a child of the nineties, and sometimes a really good Clueless reference is all you need.


It looks good from afar, but up close, it’s an absolute disaster. The disastrous-ness has essentially reached comedic proportions, so I guess I could just try to laugh. Maniacally. As I run screaming from the driveway in my bare feet and hurl a filthy white flag into the night.

I almost don’t even know where to start. Or where to continue, I guess, since I’ve already touched on a few issues. Maybe something chronological?

The kitchen.
Okay, so we haven’t had a microwave since we’ve been here. Like, ever, not even for one second. I didn’t bring this up at first because having a microwave is definitely not crucial to survival, and plus I never imagined it would become such a longstanding situation. But we’ve been in the house for three weeks now, and there is still no microwave. Or oven, as it happens, since they go together in this particular unit. Which maybe wouldn’t be such a huge deal, but we STILL can’t keep bread or grains in the house right now because of the moths (more on that later). So here’s where this has become a problem worth mentioning: Continue reading

Jun 17 2015

Santa Cruz Saturday P's First Trip to the Ocean

<span class="entry-title-primary">Santa Cruz Saturday</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">P's First Trip to the Ocean</span>

Living in this rental property has been one catastrophe after another, each one seemingly more nightmarish than the last. But this is not that post. This post is Peaches and the ocean and kiddie rides and happiness.

This past Saturday, Al and I figured it was finally time to ignore the stresses of moving and to explore some California fun with P. She’s seen lakes and swimming pools, but never the ocean — so we packed up and headed to Santa Cruz.

The traffic on the drive there wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected for a weekend (it probably helped that we didn’t leave until after her nap, which typically ends around 3:30 PM these days). It was beautiful and mountainous — if a little too winding for my taste — and P chattered excitedly about all the animals she’d get to see in the water. (Spoiler alert: Continue reading

Jun 10 2015

Rodents and Spiders and Pests, Oh My!

Rodents and Spiders and Pests, Oh My!

It’s taken half a month, but most of the boxes are unpacked. Most of the rooms are set up. The floors and cabinets and bathrooms are clean (for now).

When I first envisioned my We-Finally-Officially-Moved-In! post, I totally imagined that it would be this glittery, sparkly thing brimming with well-won optimism and hope. Fast-forward past two-and-a-half weeks of hands-and-knees floor scrubbing, steam-mopping, and breathing in bleach fumes at seven months pregnant, and it turns out I’m not QUITE in sparkle-mode yet. Sorry if you were expecting that. Like I said, I sort of was, too.

toddler dipping feet in hot tub

Testing the hot tub waters on our last day of temp housing.

We’ve been in the rental home for a few days now, which means we’re done with the whole temporary housing situation; for a while, we were driving back and forth between two “homes,” unpacking one, then going back to sleep at the other. So the good news is, eliminating one of those living spaces was a key first step to feeling settled. Check.

The rodent.
Then, early last week, I was in the garage unpacking some shoes. I was humming to myself — yep, literally HUMMING…for a minute there, I was determined to make the best of it — when I heard some rustling. Continue reading