around here // 013

it is naptime, and i am sitting here blogging.  and watching a christmas movie.  if you've talked to me lately, you'll know that this is basically the greatest thing that's happened in... a long time.  NAPS ARE BACK, YOU GUYS.  all the hands-up emojis please.  thanks to cutting three of four incisors, he's lying down for naps and sleeping more than 15 minutes at a time.  i'm remember that i actually love having a toddler now that i'm not having almost daily meltdowns.   things are starting to slow down.  it feels like real life and the christmas season and all those wonderful things.  i'm actually able to sit down, breathe, and think a little bit.

which means it's time i blogged again.  but i the meantime, here's what's been going on around here.

craving nothing, really. when i was pregnant with julian, i had all my crazy cravings and aversions in my third trimester.  this time around, nada.  i went through all that stuff in my first trimester.  i'm a pretty boring pregnant woman right now.

reading the red tent by anita diamant.  our book club picked it a couple weeks ago, and i'm really not as far in as i should be.  i'm just really enjoying some free time right now to watch christmas movies and just be.

planning our christmas party menu!  things that are easy, elegant, easy, can sit out, easy and... did i mention easy?  yeah. that's key this year, since i'll be 36 weeks pregnant.  if you have suggestions, please share.

missing the holiday seasonal beer and wine that's usually poured in excess around here this time of year. . .

. . . but instead drinking hot chocolate. with milk.  whole milk.  extra calories for the baby, right?

loving this ok to wake owl clock that we got julian.  you set a timer and the owl glows orange when it's time for your little one to sleep, and then turns green when it's ok to wake up.  basically when he wakes up from his nap and sees the owl is still orange, he will try to go back to sleep or just quietly chill in his crib until it turns green.  it was such a game changer for us.

watching the family stone.  i tried the other day and had to turn it off so this is round two.  but mostly looking forward to watching the family man and love, actually.

listening to the birth hour podcast every time i'm in the car.  loved hearing blythe on the other day -- what great stories she had!

not working!  officially on maternity leave!  i don't know how 'official' it can be since i freelance, but i'm turning down projects now until i feel ready again.  i sent my last invoice out to a client wednesday night and it felt so amazingly good to know my free time is mine once more.  [working while staying home means i really just work whenever julian is sleeping. not fun.]

playing out on playdates with julian's friends lyle and ronin every chance we get. i'm just so thankful for them [and their mamas].

obsessing over the new gallery wall i'm putting up our staircase.  i've only been talking about it for like five years, so it's about time.  i can't wait to show it off when it's finished.

anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little boy.  i'm 35 weeks today, and we all have it in our heads that he's going to be early.  julian surprised us all at 38 weeks and one day, and second babies don't generally hang out longer than the first babies.  and he's already dropped, his head is... right there.  so we'll see.  we are just hoping i'm still pregnant christmas morning :)

crying over home alone and home alone 2.  anyone else?  no?  just me?

wearing all the leggings and skirts.  the way this baby has dropped maternity jeans no longer work.

cooking freezer meals.  it has begun! i've got four things stashed away so far and piling in more every week.  it feels good to do that.

also, can we talk about how awful/impossible/brain-damage-inducing it is to christmas shop with a toddler?
and i don't normally do this, but there have been some fantastic gems around the internet i've been enjoying lately and i really wanted to throw up some links i've been loving lately.  click, share, and enjoy.

did you see katy's mindi lahiri gift guide? it's kind of an awesome idea and made me laugh out loud when i saw it.

this chocolate bark recipe with crushed candy canes from alex and literally, everything is going to be what i make for our mail delivery people this year.

have you been following along with the prim and propah #sharethemeaning series this week? it's been filled with heart-warming sentiments, sweet photos and some seriously awesome giveaways. 

annie is pretty much always on point, but the montgomery fest gifts that give back guide was seriously perfect. this is something we've tried to do too -- buy small and even from non-profits when we can.  and you can do this for almost anyone on your list, guaranteed.

elise's blog has just been killing it lately.  i'm totally inspired by the way she's embraced motherhood this second time around.  her happiness is contagious and leaps off the screen to me. i hope my second time around is filled with just a fraction of the joy and grace hers has been.

anything justina blakeney does is basically perfection to me, but her bohemian gift guides are really great this year.  i am really crushing on this one.

loving chelsea's tips for closing out 2015 in a meaningful way.  i really admire her spirit.

happy holidays, friends.

ten things i'm most thankful for this thanksgiving.

i feel like i've been doing a lot of complaining lately.  these pregnancy hormones have me stressed, irritable, frustrated and constantly tired [though i'll attribute that to a toddler + teething as well].  there's not a ton of laughter or happiness from me lately, which i really hate heading into this holiday season.  so in an effort to remind myself of all the good in my life -- as well as actually write a blog post -- i want to share some truly wonderful things i am thankful for today.

our new home
if you had asked me last thanksgiving what i would definitely not be doing in the next year, on the very top of that list would have been moving.  but here we are, resettled in a new home.  and truth be told i couldn't be happier.  sometimes i miss our old house -- but not very often.  little things here, like an open floor plan, having a garage, a master bathroom, and enough rooms for all our last minute thanksgiving guests to sleep in make me so thankful.

a baby brother for julian
about 90% of the time i feel like i worry about how difficult it is going to be to have two babies.  i found the newborn phase to be completely overwhelming, and i am kind of obsessing over how little i know i am going to get to sleep.  BUT.  in julian's eyes, this little baby is going to be fantastic.  these two boys are going to be less than two years apart.  they will get to grow up doing everything together.  and speaking as someone who has a brother just 18 months younger than me, i can say with certainty that he is going to be thankful for that little brother the rest of his life.

a husband who works at home -- mostly 
when philip's on the road, it's pretty much the worst.  but when he's home?  there's nothing better.  sometimes we can go to the zoo, or sneak away to the pool in the afternoon all three of us.  occasionally i get to shower in the morning.  he makes our chemex every morning.  julian can run into his office with a story and philip can pause for just a couple minutes to read it.  and we put him down for bed together, every night.  sometimes for naps, too.  it's maybe the thing i am most thankful for, really.

a healthy toddler
we've had our struggles lately.  coming up on two years means the occasional temper tantrum.  cutting incisor teeth means constant irritability.  and a 18-24 month sleep regression means that my kid hasn't laid down to take a nap or slept longer than 15 minutes in three weeks.  it's exhausting.  but you know what?  he's a healthy, happy little boy.  he smart.  he's well adjusted.  he engaged and constantly learning.  we went through a big autism scare this year, but thankfully that's not something we have to worry about.  and every single day, i am thankful for that.  naptime or not.

a wonderful support system here 
having a sister that lives with me and a mom that lives just 20 minutes away means that we get to do things sometimes.  the occasional hockey game.  i can go to midwife appointments without dragging a toddler.  when i'm really exhausted and at my breaking point, i can call someone to help me.  it's something that is so absolutely not underrated and much more important than i ever thought it would be.

safety and security
if listening to NPR every morning has given me anything, it's a newfound thankfulness for where i live.  no one bombs my city.  i don't live in constant fear of ebola.  my own government isn't coming after me.  it's something we take for granted almost every day.  but the more we hear about refugees and their heartbreaking struggles, the more amazed i feel that my most basic needs are met every day without me even having to think about them.  not all are that fortunate.

financial health
it's taken until we are in our 30s, but it's nice to say that we don't have to struggle to buy christmas presents.  we've been working hard on our budgeting, paying down debts, living within our means and it's all been... working out [gasp!].  who would have thought?

mom friends
i am one of those fortunate few who have a close knit group of girlfriends.  we've all been close since high school and have been through countless ups and downs in the last 15 years.  but there's something about mom friends that you really appreciate when you have a baby.  i've been lucky enough to make a few who have boys right around julian's age, and it makes all the difference in the world.  we can text about throwups and fevers and teething habits.  we can share in babysitting duties and hang out with each other while the boys run around.  it's a lot less lonely that way.

staying home with my baby
there are some days i would give anything to not have to entertain a toddler all day and, you know, do something with my brain instead -- but i'm fortunate to get to stay home.  i've never had to leave my child in the care of a stranger, or walk away as he cries for me.  we may get sick of each other from time to time, but he's mine to get sick of, all day and every day.  and getting to freelance part-time, when i want to, makes a huge difference for me.

my january due date
this baby is going to come early.  i just know it.  but even if he's two weeks early like his brother was, that still puts him arriving in 2016.  which means i can enjoy the holiday season with my family of three, sipping coffee, playing games, opening presents, and sleeping.  i'll be full term on christmas day, so my money is as soon as santa leaves this baby comes.  but for now... i still have time.  and for that, i am thankful.

happy thanksgiving, friends.  here's hoping you're spending it in the company of people you love.

on the year that's past.

this morning i woke up thinking about how the earth is in the same exact position it was a year ago today.  we've come back to the start of the imaginary line in space that we define as the end of one year and the beginning of the next. 

for some of us it was a year of great joy.  for some, a year of sorrow.  for most of us it was a year of both.  in 2014, my loved ones went through divorce.  some of us dealt with death.  a few got engaged.  one wedding.  there were babies, planned and unplanned.  there was infertility.  big, scary life changes.  new friends were made.  houses were bought.  we lived through health scares and big fights, and that awful season of new girl.

what a year.  we say it at the end of every december, nostalgic already for the months prior.  years in review are shared on facebook.  the defining stories of the year are heralded on television.  the most interesting people of the year and interviewed and watched by no one.  for some of us, tomorrow will represent a clean slate.  a fresh start.  a much needed second chance.  resolutions are made.  we vow to be better.  quit smoking.  join a gym.  eat more vegetables.  stop watching grey's anatomy.

but the year chugs forward, and old habits come back around.  life goes on. 

instead, when next year begins tomorrow, let's choose kindness.  let's choose compassion.  let's choose to laugh when we could cry, to smile when we could roll our eyes.  let's go out of our comfort zone and make new friends -- or just be nicer to the ones we already have.  let's dance in the kitchen and sing in the shower.  let's forgive more and hug more and kiss more and begrudge less.  let's focus on the positive.  let's watch more mindy kaling. 

in 2015, let's live our ordinary, beautiful lives just the way we do.  drink our coffee and kiss our babies and call friends on their birthdays.


in 2015, let's live.