Adventures (and updates) in BLW

cider and maple glazed pork tenderloin with pear, onion, apple

W gobbled up this scrumptious dinner and only gagged twice!  One of the pears happened to be a bit less smooshy than the others and it was a bit tough going down.  Granted the apples, pears and onions are super mushy…and the pork was torn into bits…it’s still a major win from where we were in the not-so-distant past.   His gagging is FAR less emotionally traumatic…and with a few swift pats on the back, the food is back up, and he’s chomping at the bit for more.  Pun intended.  His palate is also pretty impressive.  Just yesterday he couldn’t get enough chipotle cilantro lime white bean soup (I added chipotle and chicken! Long name, but easy and amazing dish, too.)

But BLW updates aside, this recipe is the perfect seasonal dish.  I made a slight modification since babies aren’t supposed to have honey…so I used Maine maple syrup instead!  Even more seasonal and local.  Yum.  I also added a healthy slosh of fresh apple cider and a fresh-picked apple, both from our weekend fall bucket list outing at Snell Family Farm.

It was melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

Yours truly,


Pumpkin pie, oh my!

Pumpkin pie, oh my!

It’s no secret that pumpkin pie is one of the best flavors of fall.  Not to get all mathematical on you, but its addition to the menu board is to the start of fall as “skirt day” is to the start of spring (if you went to BC, you get the reference.)  I mean, the debut of fall-flavored goodies at Starbucks is practically its own holiday, causing my Facebook feed to blow up with pictures and exclamations of joy.  So, when I was craving some homemade granola, I decided to put a fall twist on a classic Martha recipe.

Instead of using cinnamon, I used McCormick’s Pumpkin Pie Spice.  I also added raw pumpkin seeds instead of pecans, and dark chocolate chips instead of dried cherries 🙂  This is delicious as is, over yogurt, or in its own bowl with some cold milk.

As for the presentation, we’re heading to a friends this weekend so I decided to pretty-up the packaging and went with a clear treat-bag with its own heart tag.  I just cut out two hearts, adjoined at the top, and folded it over the top of the plastic bag, adhered with Zots.  I’m kind of obsessed with gold sharpies right now, thanks to my crafty sister…so, naturally, I wrote the tag with that!

Tastefully yours,


And with a wave it hit me…

On three separate occasions this week I’ve been reduced to tears and about to explode with love and pride over the magic that is growing, birthing, nurturing and witnessing the journey of this tiny human.  I’ve been overcome with the magic that is motherhood.  Either that, or I’m pregnant again…I have been craving Thai food and crafting…

Welp, let’s hope not quite yet…

But, I digress.  That’s not to say I don’t think W’s amazing all the time, obviously.  But, I think the crisp fall air has jerked me out of a humid summer haze and made me inhale deeply…made me aware and present in these moments.  It’s been reminding me to emotionally and mentally catalogue these far too fleeting firsts.


One of these moments was when W waved for the first time.  The realization that your child understands what is happening in the world around them and then communicating with the world around them is…just…cray.  It’s crazy!  Theoretically I know that he already communicates in his own way when he’s tired, hungry or unhappy and theoretically I know he is very intuitive and gets what’s going on.  But, when he waved “goodbye” to Nana as she left after her usual afternoon visit, with a forlorn look and all, the magnitude of his sheer human-ness just hit me.  He’s growing up so quickly.  He’s so smart.  He gets what’s going on and he’s engaging with the world around him in a learned way.

IMG_1556Another was during our morning nursing session.  This is, quite possibly, my favorite time of the day.  It’s been a long (and amazing and hard-worked-for) 12 hours since I’ve seen my precious little W, and when I hear him chirping over the monitor (usually around 7am) I go in and find him sitting up, happily playing with his lovie in his crib.  The excitement in his eyes when he sees I’m there is (swoon) priceless.  But my favorite part is still yet to come…we head back to our bedroom and sleepily snuggle under the covers while he nurses.  Some mornings we fall asleep again and take our first nap all intertwined.  Other mornings he fills up and is ready to play…so he babbles on and on, stares at our ceiling fan and giggles while we play peekaboo.  This was when it hit me again.  I was peering down at him…babbling and smiling up at me, playing with my hand…and again I was overcome with awe at what a little human being he is – and that we created him.  That we were nurturing him to become this incredibly happy and joyous boy.  Ugh, I love our morning time together.  My second favorite moment of the day?  When we get out of bed and I make cup of coffee.  Ahhhh…perfection.

IMG_3193The third awe-inspiring moment was yesterday at the park.  It wasn’t awesome for any special reason – W didn’t have a “first” moment or anything.  It was amazing because it was just so simple and mundane.  It was a gorgeous fall day. The sky was blue, the grass was green and the wind was blowing in our faces.  Our Frenchie, Rex, was with us.  W was so content looking at the fountains, watching the birds flit around and chewing on his whisk.  Oh, the simple things.  I just felt downright lucky to be alive.  Lucky to be there with little W.  It was just an awesome day and I got to thinking I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way than with him.

Sigh.  And with that, our little love-bug is just shy of 8 months and he’s phenomenal.  Sleeping through the night, finally taking a bottle, eating some solid foods, sitting up on his own, crawling, pulling himself up on his knees, waving goodbye and mastering the b, d and m sounds…soon it will be talking and walking, oh my!

For now, though, I’m just enjoying the present.

Yours presently,


Hospital bag must-haves

Hospital Bag Must-Haves

When I packed my hospital bag (obviously a month in advance), I packed with my idea of “labor” in mind.  What happened next was, as you might know from my previous post, an entirely different reality that required a different wardrobe.  (Not that I packed high heels or anything, but I didn’t end up wearing much of anything I packed…much to my hubby’s chagrin after he hauled everything into the hospital on that frigid morning.)  So, when my neighbor asked me to send along some thoughts on hospital bag must-haves (she’s due in a few weeks!), I was so excited to share what I would have done differently…and what I actually used.  With a few more friends due in the coming weeks, and to remind myself whenever Baby #2 comes along, I wanted to get it all written out.

For the list-lovers, here it is in a condensed version.  Below is more of an explanation why I think these are helpful items…so read, digest, modify and decide what’s best for you.

Hospital Bag Must-Haves:

  • Juice, coconut water and/or Vitamin Water*
  • Tylenol and ibuprofen*
  • Stool softeners*
  • MediPlast*
  • Ultra-thin pads*
  • Tuck pads*
  • Coconut oil*
  • Vaseline*
  • Nipple cream*
  • Hydrogel pads*
  • Medical Info (keep a folder ready to go with your insurance, any necessary paperwork, your birthplan if you have one, etc.)
  • 4-5 pairs of comfy pants (again, this is in the event you dirty a bunch!  You might only wear 2 pairs…lucky you!)
  • 4-5 nursing tanks with shelf-bra (if those aren’t comfy for you, pack some nursing bras and cozy, long tanks)
  • 4-5 cozy t-shirts (VS makes a burnout, v-neck cotton T that I’m obsessed with.  That’s what I wore the whole time I was there.  Super soft.  Awesome.)
  • 4+ pairs of roomie undies (you’ll be shoving pads and ice-diapers in there…so space is nice…but the hospital undies are AWESOME.  Mesh boy shorts.  Score.  And I’m NOT being sarcastic here.)
  • 2 sweatshirts/long sleeve shirts (again, layers are KEY – you have no idea what you’re going to be in the mood for!)
  • 1 cotton robe/wrap sweater (I wore a super-soft, short robe the whole time I was there.  Loved it.  Got it at Target.)
  • Socks/slippers/flip flops or all three.
  • Bathing suit (if a water birth is in your birth plan…)
  • Any other clothing articles you love ❤
  • Toiletries: The usual suspects and I especially loved my Dry shampoo, Baby wipes, Face wipes, Gum/Wisps, Chapstick.  I brought my favorite BB cream, a bronzer, brown eyeliner and mascara – think 2 minute application when your 5th visitor is on their way!)
  • Misc. (it’s up to you from here on out…pack cameras, phones, chargers, books, games, iPads, whatever!)

*These are items I’d recommend stocking the medicine cabinet with BEFORE the baby arrives!  No fun having to make a pit-stop on the way home from the hospital.

Get now and keep on hand: Some liquids and medical supplies.  

If your water breaks, the person on call will tell you to drink a glass of juice, lay down on your left side and count the baby’s kicks and movements.  They want you to get 10 kicks in an hour to make sure the baby isn’t in distress due to your water breaking.  We don’t really drink juice at our house so we didn’t have any…thankfully, my grandparents had just sent Florida oranges so my hubby juiced some fresh OJ, made me toast and peanut butter while I relaxed and counted kicks.   Ew.  I was also all about the REVIVE Vitamin Water during and after labor – I cut it with water, so a few big bottles lasted for labor and my post-baby stay at the hospital.  While on the topic of food, mind you, about 1 hour after my nice little morning snack I was puking up orange juice, cinnamon raisin toast and peanut butter all over the hospital floor…so, maybe pick a snack that’s bland but filling – you’ll need energy but no thanks to OJ and PB puke.

You should also stock up on items you’ll want when you finally bring baby home.  We had to stop on the way home from the hospital and that was annoying.  I’ll save you a trip: thin, extra-absorbant pads, mediplast spray, tuck pads, Tylenol/ibuprofen, stool softener, coconut oil, nipple cream and hydrogel pads.  These are all essential vag-care and nip-care items you’ll likely want.  Because, I’ll be honest, you won’t do much other than breastfeed and “sleep” those first two weeks…so not much else is necessary.

When it’s time to go / If your water breaks: Comfy Outfit #1

As soon as my contractions started getting closer together, I dashed upstairs and got into my “it’s go-time” outfit.  I would consider setting aside whatever you’re most comfortable in and layer up…because cutting out any and all annoyances (tags, underwire, funny seams, etc.) is key.  With layers you can strip down or bundle up with ease depending on how you’re feeling at the moment.  Next time, I’ll set aside a nursing tank with a built-in bra (I love the shelf-bra nursing tank from Target), a comfy burnout T-shirt from VS, a long sleeve shirt/sweater/zip up, a pair of sweat pants/comfy pants, a pair of grannie-panties and a major pad (I actually have hospital undies left over from baby W that are AH-mazing so I’ll be wearing those for Baby #2).  I mention the pads because if your water breaks, it gushes a bit with each contraction.  I didn’t really think the pads were for ON THE WAY to the hospital so I didn’t have any here, and needless to say, crawling into the hospital with paper towels stuffed in my undies wasn’t the most comfortable thing…but it did come in handy when I pooped my pants WHILE puking upon arrival.  Awesome.

In labor: Comfy Outfit #2  

Again, you never know if you’re going to puke, pee, poop or bleed all over the first pair of undies, pants and shirt.  I did.  However, I just took my pants and undies off when I got there and went the rest of labor with no pants 🙂  While sitting on the toilet…puking, pooping and bleeding…”discussing” pain management options with the nurse (to which I vehemently growled that I wanted an epidural), she then asked if I wanted to labor in a hospital johnny.  I’m not even sure I replied.  I just got off the toilet, leaving my underwear and pants behind me.  I managed to waddle over to the bed wearing only my tank, t-shirt and headband, got on my hands and knees, buried my face in a pillow, and didn’t emerge but to mouth “ice” to my doting husband and to roll over when the doctor presented me with little baby W.  So, you never know what you might want to wear or not wear.  Pants are totally optional, though 🙂  Also, if you’re thinking a water birth or the tub is a possibility, bring a bathing suit top if that’s your thing.

After the baby is born: Comfy Outfit #3 and #4, plus a belly band

My stomach felt strangely hollow and jelly-like after the baby, so I really liked having something tight around it.  I wore one of those stretchy bands that I wore during pregnancy (you know, the kind that hold your pants up well past the point you should be wearing regular pants.)  It worked pretty well, and I think they even make postpartum ones that I’ll probably get for Baby #2.  I also kept on the same shirt and tank top on that I’d come to the hospital in and labored in for that day.  I slept in it, too, I think…But, having another nursing tank, t-shirt, undies and pants/shorts will be a good idea.  Now you’ll start having visitors, too, and your boobs/nipples might be REALLY sore so I just hung out in a cotton robe with nothing underneath.  I could cover up, loosely, if I wanted to.  But at that point, I just kept my boobs out and visitors had to deal with it.  My nipples hurt too much and needed to air dry to heal!

Going home: Comfy Outfit #5 and an outfit for baby 

Again, a pair of comfy pants, underwear, top/sweater/sweatshirt.  I say pack one specific for going home just so you know you have something clean to wear.  Also, bring something seasonally appropriate for the baby on the ride home.  Remember, though, that you can’t put bulky sweaters underneath the car seat straps, so pack a hat and a blanket to put over the baby if it’s cold out.  Also, since skin-to-skin time was so important, we didn’t really dress W in much other than a blanket and what the hospital had for him.  So, feel free to pack clothes for the baby or not many at all!

Toiletries, duh.

Really just pack what you would for any other overnight trip.  The only caveat is, try to bring along items that aren’t heavily scented or, even better, are unscented and natural.  The first hours and days with your babe are key to their ability to “imprint” and that requires their natural scent and yours!  I like to think that’s another reason why I didn’t shower for three days.  Toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, gum, body lotion (coconut oil would be a super healthy option here, and it even doubles as nipple cream if you want!), face wash (though I’d have gone with face wipes and Jojoba oil if I had to do it again), wash cloth and unscented baby wipes for your body (I didn’t shower the whole time I was there because the thought of getting my stitched vagina wet wasn’t happening, so I “showered” at the sink), shampoo (again, dry shampoo was my saving grace – didn’t shower the whole time I was there…this was pretty scented, though, so for Baby #2 I’m going to try to find a more natural one or make my own dry shampoo), HAIR THINGS – elastics, headbands – whatever you might want for during and after the baby is born.  Nothing more annoying than not being able to find a hair thing when all you want is that god damn hair out of your face.  Ugh.

Stuff for your feet.

A pair of slippers, a few socks…whatever you like on your feet.  Remember you could be in your room or roaming the halls.

Sleep stuff.

Your own pillow, eye mask, sound machine, etc. –  it was really nice to have these things 🙂  I was trying to catch a few winks wherever and however I could, so the comforts of my own pillow, a mask to block out the light if need be and some white noise was GREAT.  The hubby should bring a few pillows, too, cause that hospital pull out bed aint too comfy…


I’ll leave this up to you!  You’ll probably want your phone, camera, video camera, chargers, etc.  I didn’t have time for reading or games, etc., pre-baby…and I sure wasn’t interested in that post-baby!  But, as long as you’re not dragging 3 suitcases to the hospital…better to have more than less 🙂

Happy labor, mamas!  All the mothers of the world are there with you in spirit 🙂

Yours truly,


If you found something else super-helpful during your labor and delivery, please comment!  The more experiences the better.

Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List

Today is exactly why I love Fall.  The sun is shining.  The air is brisk.  And a sweater and jeans feel just right.  So, with W down for nap number two it seemed the perfect time to finish up my latest DIY craft project.  Inspired by a fellow mommy-blogger, Modern Mama Loves, I set out to create a fall bucket list!  Though W is too young to appreciate this right now, I think this will be an awesome seasonal tradition that isn’t expensive to keep up with!  (There’s nothing worse than DIY “crafty” things that break the bank).

Right now an “outing” is often pretty overwhelming – between timing it with naps and the sheer amount of stuff that seems to accompany the little guy.  But, with the hubby home on weekends, I think this will make exploring the seasons and this beautiful state something we really look forward to showing W!

So, like any crafty biatch, I headed out to Michael’s and stocked up for only $15.99.


1. Galvanized bucket 2. Jute rope 3. Scrapbook paper 4. Clothespins 5. Adhesive (I actually used scrapbook “dots”) 6. Chalkboard stickers 7. Paint pens

It was super easy to chalkboard paint fun excursions onto the chalkboard stickers, stick them onto fun paper, cut them out and stick to clothes pins.  They’re hanging right near our command center so we don’t forget…and they’re so darn cute!  Next up, taking the “bucket list items” off of the rope and putting them into the “bucket” once we’ve gotten off our butts and done them.  Here’s what one of the “bucket list” items looks like!


I used the “Pink and Orange” mum design because it seemed appropriate!

Now that I have the bucket (the most expensive item ringing in at only $6.99), each season it should be easy enough to make new items on some seasonally appropriate scrapbook paper (I love alliteration) and save them for next year.  Each page of paper is only .59 cents and every once in a while we might need a few more clothespins, but those are super cheap, too.  After a year, we’ll have a set of bucket list items for each season, that, as W grows up and our family changes, we can add to!  I have to imagine, though, some of them will be pretty timeless – you can’t go wrong with apple picking in the fall 🙂

Other items that made our bucket list?  You’ll have to stay tuned and follow along as we check them off drop them in the bucket!

Yours truly,


PS – this is my first go at using Polyvore for collages!  With nap-time coming to an end, there wasn’t a ton of time to fiddle with it…but I’m pretty impressed with how easy it was.  Gotta love Google 🙂


Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List

It’s the first day of school…

It's the first day of school...

And for the first time in 25 fricken’ years, I’m not participating. From Kindergarten (ahem, twice) to college, to teaching my own classroom in Brooklyn, to recruiting college students for five years…I’ve been there, obnoxiously eager, relatively anxious, and with my new gear in hand.  The first day of school always marked the start to a new year.  To the start of sweater season. To turning over a new leaf. Today, though, I’m neither student, nor teacher, nor friendly recruiter. It’s just another day in the neighborhood, and W and I will carry on as usual.  But my wheels are, of course, turning…I see a fall bucket list on the horizon and possibly some baby sign language classes.

But until then…

In honor of the first day of school, of fall’s glorious approach and to turning over a new leaf…I decided to get a hair cut at my favorite salon 🙂  It seemed symbolically appropriate.  Frankly, I just really need one.  And, most importantly, I have a gift certificate.  The stars just seemed to align on this one…

Yours truly,


photo credit


In a world where technology and connectedness trump simplicity and solitude, we’re far more concerned with the battery life of our gadgets than we are with our own battery life.  Why aren’t we as religious about recharging ourselves as we are our precious iPhone or video baby monitor?

I mean, being a life-sustainer (aka mom) can be is hard work.  It is downright exhausting and often anxiety-producing to have a little, precious, breathing, growing human that depends on you…to survive24/7.  But just like the stupid video monitor I can’t live without, I need to recharge every once in a while, too. This past weekend I did just that.  I recharged with a weekend full of what summer in Maine is about.  Call it a ME-juvination.  And it was a beautiful thing.


photo        IMG_9581

The little sister and her boyfriend were home from NYC for the weekend, so we dined on delicious homemade pizzas, wine and ice-cream sandwiches on our back deck at dusk while W slept.  I had an extra glass of wine and said eff-it to pumping. Freedom.  I also ate so many ice-cream sandwiches I thought I was going to puke.  Reckless.  We ate stupidly expensive and awesomely delicious lobster rolls at Fort Williams with W’s Great Grandmother.  Timeless.  We went swimming off the dock at Sebago Lake under the hot summer sun.  Refreshing.  The hubby stayed home with W so I could go to dinner with my family.  So, I drove to dinner by myself with every window down, the sunroof open and Pop2K BLARING on the radio while I screamed lyrics to songs from way back when.  Giddy.  The hubby stayed home again with W so I did the same thing on the way to lunch the next day on the deck at Portland Lobster Company, where I drank cold beer and ate friend Maine shrimp while grooving to Lyle Divinsky.  Soulful.  As the band played another set, I looked out onto Casco Bay I took a deep breath.  Mindful that my soul was full.  Exhale.

And I couldn’t wait to get back to my little love bug ❤

So here’s to being as anal about my own battery life as I am that stupid video monitor.

Yours fully,