Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On Being Done

I am done having babies.  I know it deep in my heart and mind that our little family of four is complete. There's no yearning, no baby fever, no twitchy ovaries, zip.

I'm happy with that decision.

I thought I'd have a difficult time having Andy come around because I know that he has always really wanted to have a son.  He loves his girls to pieces, but I know deep down he wants a son to do "boy" things with.  For a hot minute he was really on the fence about having a third, but since Arya is nearly one and still isn't sleeping through the night, he's come down off that fence.

There's something really bittersweet about knowing that Arya will be my last little baby.  It makes me slow down a bit more, enjoy her a bit more, savor each stage.  It also makes the annoying phases and habits seem trivial in the larger scheme of things.

I don't feel sad or sentimental when instead of packing away her clothes for a future baby, I donate them.  I keep a few outfits that are attached to fond memories and off the rest go.  When I see a pregnant woman I don't envy her.  When I hold a newborn baby I have no qualms about passing her back to her mother.

I'm enjoying this stage of our family where we are still growing into ourselves, but not continuing to multiply.

Now we just need to do something about a permanent form of birth control.  Andy has agreed to get the big snip.  He actually had an appointment in February but chickened out at the last minute.  Candy ass. But apparently he's gotten his courage up and is ready to give it another go.  I told him that if he doesn't get it done by June I'm getting my tubes tied, because I've only had one period since the baby was born because I'm still nursing and I don't like not having a monthly reminder that I'm not pregnant.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Emile Noel Artisan Oil Review

Emile Noel was born in Southern France and raised on his family's oil mill.  He had dedicated his life to creating organic, cold pressed artisan oils.  Emile Noel oil mill only produces organic products which means that the produce selected is farmed without chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or GMOs.  Organic foods also tend to have higher levels of healthy nutrients.  When oil is cold pressed the seeds do not get too hot and release their oil slowly, which respects the seeds and their flavor.

Emile Noel also partakes in fair trade

sourcing and has been awarded the Organic Fair Trade by Ecocert.

There are over 20 organic virgin vegetable oils, including macadamia nut, extra virgin olive oil, and hazelnut, so you are sure to find one that suits your taste and cooking needs.

Now to the good stuff!  I received a complimentary bottle of Pumpkin seed oil, which I was excited to try because I love all things pumpkin and I figured...let's push the envelope. The pumpkin seed oil has a delicious nutty flavor and it really brings out the flavor of many dishes.  I've drizzled it over roasted squash, used it in a salad dressing with a little salt, pepper, and honey (hint, if you put nuts in the salad it really intensifies the flavor of the pumpkin seed oil), and I've put some in the batter of my pumpkin pancakes.  I can't wait until the Fall when pumpkin season really kicks in.

The organic, cold pressed oil from Emile Noel is not only delicious, but packs a nutritious and earth conscious punch as well.  This product comes highly recommended.  To purchase your own organic artisan oil from Emile Noel just visit

**I received a free sample of Emile Noel Artisan Oil so that I might provide an honest review.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.***

Monday, April 28, 2014

11 Months

In all the Disney World hullabaloo I totally forgot to do Arya's 11 month update.  So it's a few weeks late, but here it goes.  That adorable headband is from Dancing With Gracie.

She ripped that 11 month sticker right off her onesie

Weight: About 22 lbs

Height: 27 inches

Sleeping Habits: My little girl is a keeper, not a sleeper but she's actually getting a little better.  She goes to bed around 7, wakes up around 2am to nurse, and then back to bed until about 6.  She takes two naps that are about 1.5 hours each.  

Eating Habits: We still EBF and she takes bottles of pumped milk when I'm at work.  She eats every 4-5 hours.  She'll take 4-5 ounces in a bottle. She gets breakfast, lunch, and dinner and some snacks.  She has really become the most distracted nurser ever.  It's like nursing a little acrobat.  Her current favorite foods are pancakes, string beans, any kind of chicken and grapes (peeled and cut up tiny) 

Milestones: She took her first steps this month!  She won't take more than 4 at a time before she drops to a crawl, but we're heading in that direction.  

Best Thing This Month: Definitely Disney World.  It wasn't always easy, but it was so fun to make those memories with my girls.  

Challenges This Month: We're cutting 4 canine teeth.  Bleh!  

Looking Forward To: Her first birthday.  We are in full party planning mode over here!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Back From Disney World

We just got back from a wonderful week long vacation to Disney World.  There's something about the magic of Disney that has kept me coming back year after year.  We first started going when Isabella was around two, then we took a mini trip when she was three and a half and then there was this trip with both of my girls:  Isabella is four and a half and wee Arya is almost one.

I was really nervous about the flight, but I have to say thank God that I'm still nursing because I nursed during take off to alleviate ear pressure and she wound up falling asleep for over an hour.  I nursed on landing too for the same reason.  Arya was really good on the flight.  We just kept shoving snacks and toys in her face.  Her big sister is a huge distraction as well.

We had a major snafu at the airport though.  Apparently they have a policy where they don't unload bags in the rain, which meant we were stuck in the airport for two and a half hours waiting for our luggage.  Both girls were on meltdown mode after that and so was I.

I think that Disney World with a one year old deserves it's own post, so I'll just give the highlights here.

Day 1:  We went to Hollywood Studios and Isabella finally got to ride Tower of Terror.  Her cousin, Daniella, has been talking about it for a while and she was really excited to try it.  I thought that she would be terrified, but Andy said she loved it and wasn't even a little bit scared.  My mom and I stayed with Arya while she snoozed in the stroller, and did some shopping and a little snacking.  We watched Beauty and the Beast live on stage, rode the great movie ride, and played in Honey I Shrunk the Kid World.

Day 2:  The Magic Kingdom!  The ultimate in Disney fun.  We let Arya take a long morning nap and made it to the MK just in time for Isabella's appointment at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique where she was transformed into a fairy princess with firework hair.  She was even chosen as a special leader to sing Bibbity Bobbity Boo which is quite possibly the most annoying song known to man.  Then we rode on Dumbo, Ariel's Under Sea Adventure, and took some pictures with princesses before we made it to dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table.  We've never eaten here before and it was one of my favorite moments from the trip.  You walk up a fancy royal staircase into a big ball room after you pose for pictures with Cinderella (you get the picture package included).  Each little princess got a wand and Ariel, Belle, Snow White,Jasmine, and Aurora came to the table for pictures and autographs, plus the food was out of this world delicious!  Arya was a royal pain in the ass this day, but she got it together for dinner at least.  

Day 3:  This was the day where Andy and I were taking Isabella by herself and my mom was staying back at the hotel with the baby and I'm so glad she offered because it was such a great experience.  We got there at around 2 and stayed until after 11.  We rode anything she wanted: The Barnstormer, Belle's Enchanted Tales, Small World, Pirates, Winnie the Pooh, Stitch's Great Escape, Monster's Inc Laugh Floor, the electrical parade, the fantasy parade, wishes firework spectacular, The Haunted Mansion.  We did it all and still managed to eat some Dole's pineapple ice cream (yum!).  What a great day.  

Day 4:  A much needed day for rest and just staying put!

Day 5:  Happy Easter!  My sister came and we spent the day at Epcot.  We rode Soarin, met Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins, went on Nemo's Under Sea Adventure, and Turtle Talk with Crush.  We let Arya crawl around in Innovations, while Isabella played and we enjoyed looking at all the countries, maybe with a beer or two.  This was a really super awesome day.  

Day 6:  Finishing strong with another day in the Magic Kingdom after an amazing breakfast with the characters at Chef Mickey (seriously I think I got like 4 plates of food).  Arya rode Small World for the first time and she was mesmerized all she kept saying was "wow"  over and over again.  It was so cute!  We also took her on Peter Pan.  Andy, Arya, and I left a little early so Isabella could have a late night with Grandma and Aunt Meaghan.  Apparently she fell in love with Splash Mountain and made them ride it over and over again.  

It was such a great trip.  And it looks like we're making a return trip in the summer of 2016 when the girls are 3 and 7 (can you even imagine them that big?)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why I'm a Terrible Mom

The internet is a scary place and it can really make you feel like you're not adding up.  It's easy to feel like a crappy parent as it is, let alone when Pinterest is whispering in your ear that your craft isn't cool enough and your dinner isn't fancy enough.  So here's the list of why I'm a crappy parent.

I play on my phone too much when I clearly need to be engaged with my children every second they are conscious.  How will they ever get any self-esteem?

I make them a separate dinner.  I love grilled shrimp.  Isabella hates it because it looks like a "slime booger."  So instead of a battle, she eats macaroni and cheese...from a box.  Everyone's happy.

I don't make crafting a regular thing.  I used to do tons of crafts with Isabella, but with the baby and work and keeping up with the house crafts are more of a "special occasion" kind of thing.  And my crafts never turn out pretty like on Pinterest.  I don't really care.  Sometimes she likes it better when I just put out some paints and paint brushes and she can go to town.  Easy for me and fun for her.

We watch TV.  I used to feel guilty about this.  I've "Let it Go" "Let It Go" a million times over.  TV saves my mornings and sometimes my sanity.

Sometimes I enjoy being around the baby more than Isabella.  That sounds awful, but think of it for a second.  The one year old can't whine, beg, or tell me that my hair looks "awkward."  She doesn't fight me to get dressed, she eats whatever I put in front of her, and lights up when I enter the room.  I love them both the same, but sometimes Isabella is a much bigger pain in the butt.

You know what?... I don't really care, not even a little bit.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Where Are You Spring?

There's been whispers of Spring's approach.  A day of sunshine.  A warm breeze.  A budding bloom.  But basically it's been really really cold and really really rainy.

I am so sick of winter.  I'm done.  Done with sweaters.  Done with boots.  Done with snow.  Done with hats and gloves and scarves.  Done. Done. Done.  This winter has been brutal, with snow storm after snow storm after ice storm after hail storm.

I can't wait to change over my wardrobe from drab winter colors into bright and sunny Spring colors.  I'm ready for color, this coming from the woman whose closet looks like it's going to a funeral.  And it's not only me, poor Isabella is growing out of her clothes at such a rate that her sweat pants are starting to look like the capri pants I'm longing for, but I don't want to spend any more money on winter clothes.

I see all the girls pretty floral sundresses, capri pants, and t-shirts and I just can't wait to see them wear them.  I want to go to the zoo, the park, have BBQ's, go for walks, watch Isabella ride her bike, eat outside, and just go without having to bundle up two kids.

I know it's coming, I just wish it would hurry up and get!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Every So Often

I'm not what you would call a sentimental mother.  I've seen women reduced to tears at the mere thought of packing away newborn clothes.  I've always felt a bit out of place in that respect because while there are pro's and cons of each stage, I've always been eager to see what the next stage of development will bring.

Pros:  squishy and little and snuggly
Cons: needs to feed every hour

Pros:  can sit up and crawl and play and is just so loving their place in the world
Cons: wants to put everything in their mouth, tries to stick their fingers in electrical sockets

Pros: can officially be bribed/reasoned with, can do fun things in public
Cons: opinionated and psychopathic

Pros: So fun and independent and smart.  Enjoy spending time together
Cons:  stubborn and fresh

I have no idea what comes next, but I'll keep you posted.

Anyway...I really enjoyed Arya as a newborn, mostly because I knew it was fleeting.  I'd experienced how fast it passes first hand with Isabella.  I didn't intend to waste those fleeting moments lamenting for more sleep and pining for more "me" time.  I knew it would come.  But even though I knew she was my last, I still enjoyed it, but was ready for the next stage when it was time.  I love when they get more independent, can engage more, and interact more.

But every so often I see a pregnant woman's belly and I get nostalgic for the sweet seed of life kicking inside me.  Every so often I see Arya looking more like a kid and less like a baby and it takes my breath away.  Every so often I think about what it's going to be like when my littles are big and don't need me anymore.  Will I feel sad?  Nostalgic?  Free?

I don't know.  All I can do is enjoy each stage as it comes and embrace the ones to come.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Disney World

I have a foggy memory of the summer.  Isabella had just turned four and Arya was but a wee blob of a baby.  "Mommy, can we go back to Disney World?"  Isabella's tiny voice asked.  Andy just laughed and said, "We have no money, go and ask grandpa!"

He was clearly joking, but Grandpa said yes!  We decided to go during my Easter recess (one of the most crowded times I know, but the only other option was summer break and the last time we went around the Fourth of July it was a sauna).  I remember thinking that it would be so much fun at Disney World with an almost 5 year old and an almost one year old.

Now I have an almost one year old and I'm a little worried about the fun part!

Not that Arya isn't great...she totally is, but she's really into crawling all over the place, putting everything in her mouth, and being generally displeased with the word "no".

I looked up all sorts of fun things for babies to do at DW and she can do tons of stuff, ride a lot of rides, see a lot of shows, cry and meltdown, be shuttled around for naps.

I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed at the amount of laundry I have to do.  Laundry by nature is a fucking bitch because unless you do it completely naked you're never really done. Since the weather here varies between freezing ice cold and tolerably frigid, I have to wash all of my spring and summer clothes.  All of Andy's spring and summer clothes.  Plus spring and summer clothes for both little girls.  Plus whatever crappy winter clothes that we have to still wear because it's never getting warm...ever!

Then there's the plane ride.  Isabella's a non-issue because she really is such a good girl and I could throw on Frozen on repeat and she'd be quiet all damn day.  It's that little one that's going to give us a run for our money.  Grandma better pull her weight on this trip.

All in all we're going to have a magical time.  DW is the best place ever.  The first time I took Isabella there she was just a smidge over two and I remember standing on Main Street with tears streaming down my cheeks because I was so in awe and so emotional over seeing all that magic and reliving my own childhood through her that I couldn't contain my I a front of a million tourists.

It's going to be epic.