Monday, October 27, 2014

Currently

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! Just kidding, I don't know why people even say that because the first day of the week, no matter what calendar day it falls on is usually pretty awful, right? Mine has not been, but I am trying not to say that out loud so nothing blows up. I spent my morning getting new tires on our car (thanks, Santa aka Mom!) and am ending it with an OB appointment to listen to this little human growing in my belly, so things are not all that bad, for a Monday. Here is a little snippet into what else has been going on in these parts:

Currently...

Reading
I am thisclose to finishing The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and foresee reading it on the car ride home tonight because I am literally in the last chapter and really need to know how this trilogy ends! This book was a little slow to start out but got really exciting in the last quarter and I am looking forward to seeing how the author wraps it all up.
When I am done I have a spooky YA book recommended by my personal librarian (hi, Kate!) and then want to read Siblings Without Rivalry which is waiting for me at the library. I spent soooo much time reading baby books in my first pregnancy but have barely touched anything this time around. I figure that I am pretty much a baby expert now, but have no idea what to do with siblings since I don't even have one! Any other books you recommend for baby number two?

Eating
Still doing a pretty good job of eating like a pregnant woman, but continuing to be conscious about the quality of food I eat, just as I do when I am not pregnant. The good thing about continuing to run and be so active is that I have only gained about 6 pounds at almost 17 weeks, though I have not been running as much and am definitely feeling the little 4 miler and yoga class I went to last night. I have been reading all these articles about elite runners and their experiences pregnant and though I am not even close to the type of athlete these women are, it has been super motivating to help me want to keep my miles up.

Thinking About
Money management, or rather, having more money to manage. I do a pretty good job about managing what comes in and what goes out, but we seem to be at a point where we need more coming in. This is definitely something I know a million other people are dealing with in much more significant ways than us, but this is my blog and my experience so I thought I would share. Hopefully I can come back here and share that we have solved that problem soon :)
On a less glum note, I am also thinking about Halloween and how awesome it is this year! Maddie is so into it and we have a good amount of events for her to wear her adorable doughnut costume too!

Listening
I am in a seriously boring pattern where I pretty much only listen to the Pandora "Rolling Stones Radio" on my T commute into work and then NPR whenever I can steal the radio waves away from a certain tiny dictator on the car ride home. If I am at my desk and plugging away at work I will throw on my usual Miles Davis mix, but I have been really bad about actually listening to music lately. I just found out that Sleater-Kinney expanded their tour to include Boston, so I think I am definitely going to have to go to that, which makes me want to bust out all my riot grrl music and have a listening party. I think Maddie would love Bratmobile :)

Watching
I just finished up the entire Six Feet Under series and  have been devoting the rest of the 45 minutes between Maddie going to bed and me falling asleep on the couch to The Sopranos. Matty and I started watching this when I was sent home from the hospital to wait it out while in labor with Maddie, but my water broke not even halfway into the first episode and we never started up again. Now we are well into the second season and I am feeling pretty good about seeing the season finale before baby number two heads to kindergarten.

Loving
All these kicks, flips and flutters going on in my belly today! Last night in yoga class I felt the baby moving stronger than I have felt yet (future yogi, perhaps?!) and it has not let up since. I can't wait for Matty and Maddie to be able to feel the little kicks going on, though I am thinking that only one of them will not be totally freaked out by it. I am trying to include Maddie in everything that has to do with her baby sibling, including taking her to my doctor's appointments and our upcoming sonogram (one week until the gender reveal!), so I hope that she can get excited by the little kung fu artist Mama seems to be growing!

PS. Here are some Halloween pics from our weekend, with more to come over the week/weekend for sure!

In a sea of Elsas, there was Maddie! 

She has insisted on saying good night and good morning to her pumpkin every day since this picture.

I swear she asked us to wrap her up like a mummy, That is a smile under there!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

On Seasons

I have been thinking a lot lately about seasons (and not just because we are in full-on fall mode in New England with this lovely nor'easter blowing through) and specifically about the seasons of our lives. I would say we are in a serious "check that off the life to-do list" season with our first home purchase, one kiddo growing up and another growing in my belly, Matt plowing his way through school and both of us really trying to grow in our careers. 

It is a busy, busy season and one that can be considered a little stressful. Our expendable income and savings does not exist; we owe a lot of money from buying our home both to the mortgage company, people that helped us out, and the credit cards companies that we had to utilize to get us through that time. Add in to that a mortgage, paying for school and paying our nanny to help us raise such an awesome little girl and there is not much leftover for the rest of life. Right now most of my income goes to childcare, which is more than worth it and should really be a lot more than what we pay (Lord knows she deserves every cent times a hundred!). Sometimes this keeps me up at night with stress, especially with a new baby on the way and a largely unpaid maternity leave, but I know that this is just a season, Raises will come from the time and money we put into our careers and educations, some day our children will be older and the cost of their care will be significantly less and surely one of these days we will pay off some of our debt. 

Sometimes I wish we could travel more, spend more on new things for our home and splurge on some fancy things I have been wanting forever (like a computer for home to blog on!) but then I think of this season and all that it gives me at this moment, and I feel in such a better place. We are so lucky to have a home we own, to have careers that we love and want to thrive in, to have a super happy little one who is in such loving hands every single day. We are working to make a happy, successful life, and not just in an income sense, but in the sense that we want to be present for our kids, to show them what loving what you do looks like and to role model healthy, respectful relationships. And despite how busy we are, I think we are doing a pretty swell job. When I hear Maddie playing pretend with her animals it is amazing to hear the scenes she plays out having them share, go to races to cheer each other on (no, seriously, the giraffes are avid marathoners) or make each other pancakes for breakfast. That says an awful lot about what she sees around her, not only from us but also from her extended family of caregivers, friends and family. 

This season may be poor in one sense, but it is so, so rich in another and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in my life.

Her pick at the pumpkin patch - the smallest, least orange one she could find. 
Now that is a happy kiddo.
Making friends, wherever she goes. 
Maddie took this! I added the filter, but a pretty good shot for someone that doesn't stop moving.
Oh, Maddie.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Friday!

THIS KID. My heart can't even take her some days.

Hooray, we made it! This was not a short week for me, so I am a little extra excited over the impeding weekend since it seems like everyone else got to avoid their Monday this week. It was a good, productive week at work and at home and I am looking forward to some time to unwind from it all with my little family. 

I am incredibly thrilled that we will finally be getting our washer and dryer situation taken care of this weekend. I know, life is full of exciting things for the O'Sheas right now and this ability to do laundry at home may just put me over the edge. New baby? New house? LAUNDRY?! 
No but really, we have not been able to use our washer and dryer since we moved and had planned on getting someone to wire/plumb our basement to be able to use the machines we already had instead of buying a stacked unit for our small area inside the house, but decided to take the plunge and get the stackables, It would likely cost about the same to install things in the basement and I think that being able to do laundry in the house without having to take my eyes off of/carry/corral an infant and a toddler in a few months will be worth the extra it might cost to get the stacked unit. We are still going to have to schlep the bigger stuff out, but the ability to wash our clothes more than once a week at my AILs house (or the dreaded laundromat) is making me feel so much less stressed out. Runners and toddlers make for a lot of dirty laundry, y'all.

Aside from that gem of excitement, we have some fun stuff planned for tomorrow too. Our dear friend who is an amazing photographer is going to come over to take family portraits, which we have not had done since Christmas of 2012! I am looking forward to seeing how she captures this exciting time in our lives; between the new home, the bump and that adorable little human we have a lot to showcase! I am sure we will get some awesome shots to add to our gallery wall and perhaps a holiday card photo!

Tomorrow evening we are going to head to the Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island for their annual Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. I have been wanting to go for a few years and since Maddie is really into the spirit of Halloween this year, I think it is the perfect time. The weather is being very typical New England right now and going from cold to way too warm for October, which has been making me and my desire to wear all the fall things a little grumpy, but I am happy for a warmer night to go out and peep the pumpkins. I will definitely be posting pictures here!

I am trying to reserve Sunday for church, cooking delicious fall food and some work around the house. I want to get our bedroom taped off and ready for the shade of paint that Matty picked out of my swatch and then get going on the striped wall idea I have for Maddie's room. Has anyone ever tried the stripes in two colors? I am sure it looks waaaay easier than it is, but I love how it looks and I think it will go great if we end up moving baby number two in there with her down the line and we need some division of room sides. 

So that is the plan for our weekend - how about you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Open House

This past weekend we hosted a little "open house" to show off our new home and have an excuse to get our friends over and stuff them with food. The open house idea was awesome because people stopped in when they could and didn't feel obligated to be there at a certain time or stick around if they had other stuff to do; it also meant people were in and out all day and night, which was kind of great. 

We have so many wonderful friends and getting to spend a little time with everyone and show them our home was so great. I am starting to realize that we have a lot of littles in our circle too because there was a constant flow of them too! Maddie had a blast showing her friends her room and doing "art crafts" with them.

People brought over so much delicious food, lovely presents and sweet gifts for Maddie and we could not be more thankful! Our home feels so warmed and I already can't wait to host another get-together!

Here are a few pictures from the party and the aftermath. I totally left my phone alone when everyone was over and missed out on some photo-ops, but it was nice to just be face-to-face with everyone instead :) Thanks for coming and if you could not make it, come over soon!


My little helper, aka, the one who takes a bite out of everything when I turn around. 

These were so cute and the littles (and their parents) seemed to like them!

I was really excited about my crudite trays. 

Next morning breakfast with her new (to her) kitchen set.

Sunday was a day of rest, for everyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Whatcha Got Cookin'? Fall Edition

This morning as I was overloading my poor husband with tasks to do before he could get out the door and go to work, the door was left open and the strangest thing happened: it was cold! Like, real fall brisk cold, to the point where I had to think about layering up for myself and the kiddo. This excites me to no end because, like most people in New England, I love the fall (until it turns into winter, but that is another story) and with that comes my love of fall food.

The slow cooker has been out and at work for a few weeks now but I am also looking forward to making up some soup, which is the easiest thing to freeze and bring to work during the week. I am also the queen of throwing a bunch of leftover veggies, some beans and some tomatoes into the slow cooker for random weeknight chili dinners. Top it with hot sauce and cheese and I can call it whatever I want!

I thought I would share some of my favorite cooler-weather recipes, including some slow cooker gems. Feel free to share your own, too! I am always looking for new food to put in this prego belly of mine :)


  • This soup recipe from Food 52 is delicious, simple, cheap and makes SO MUCH soup (also, vegan).
  • I made this chicken hominy soup and it was actually really easy. I recommend using this recipe to make your own shredded chicken, which I am now always going to keep in the freezer. 
  • This slow cooker curried lentil recipe is so good, and you can use chicken breasts if you don't have thighs available (or leave out completely to make veggie friendly). I like to use greek yogurt to garnish for a little extra tartness. 
  • Thug Kitchen has this awesome chili recipe, which is the only time I make chili outside of the slow cooker. I don't even know what hominy is but I love it. Also, cannot wait for their cookbook to come out (hint, hint, Santa).
As you can tell, Real Simple is my go-to easy recipe finder for slow cooking, but I also love this blog and Food 52 and their abundance of soup recipes. 

Happy fall cooking (and eating!!).


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oh is for October

I would usually say that fall, and especially October, is one of my favorite times of the year: crisp weather, Halloween decorations and a certain winding down after the summer months.
So far, though, it has been a little bit more difficult this year. The weather goes from lovely to gross, I can't seem the find the Halloween decorations in the basement (or the time to put them out) and I feel about as wound down as a spinning top filled with espresso. In just a week's time we have weathered one hospital visit, three sicknesses, one broken down car and too many hours of stressful work days than I would like to track. Buuuuuut, such is this stage in life, and with our health back, a new battery in  the car (which was the best case scenario) and some sense of calm back at work, I have decided to start enjoying October to the fullest extent.

This weekend provided a great opportunity for that as we were down the Cape for some relaxation and so I could run the Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon. Considering I spent the previous weekend in the ER with pneumonia and am carrying this new baby around in my belly, I was just happy to be able to run and complete the Cape Trilogy of races that I started back in February. The course was gorgeous, the day was perfectly sunny and even though it was my longest time yet, I did it. 13 miles at 13 weeks is kind of the best story for the new baby book ever, right?

Baby's first bib!
I am hoping to do one more half marathon before the winter hits and my training depends more on the weather than what is on paper, so any suggestions for a late fall race are welcome! Part of my maternity running plan is to allow the weather to dictate my running more than in the past as I anticipate a loss of coordination/center of balance that would not work well on snowy sidewalks. This probably means some more time spend on the dreadmill, or perhaps the bike or pool, but whatever keeps this baby safe is what is most important, and as long as I am getting in some sort of exercise I will be happy.

A lot of people have asked me if I plan to continue running through my pregnancy and the answer is: absolutely. I will keep going until I feel the need to stop, which may not happen until I am at the end of my pregnancy or might have to happen sooner, but I am listening to my body and taking great care of myself (as I do pregnancy or not). I am strongly in the camp that a healthy body makes for a healthy baby, and I am also a role model to Madeleine and showing her how a woman can best take care of herself, whether pregnant or not. The fact that she thinks going to road races or Mama meeting her "fwends" in my run club are as commonplace in our lives as going to her weekly gymnastics class is pretty awesome :)

A lot is going to change with a newborn in our house (duh) and two little people to love and care for, which is going to make the need to take care of myself even more important.  I am lucky to have a husband who also puts my well-being high up on the priority list and helps me make that time for myself, but I know that is going to become even trickier once spring rolls around and this baby joins our family. I am anticipating a lot less time in my running shoes and a lot more time kissing kiddos, but I would not have it any other way. These are seasons of our lives that pass so quickly, and I am just lucky to be living them and trying hard to live in those moments.

I am hoping to make Boston 2016 my first post-pregnancy marathon goal, but am open to the fact that it may be Matty's turn to train (we learned that lesson the hard way!) or that breastfeeding and helping Maddie adjust to being a sibling might not allow for that training time, but for now, that is where my head is at. Might things change? Absolutely. This body of mine is in charge and anything that tells me I need to slow down or make changes will be heard loud and clear without any resistance from me because this is about more than me right now. Am I hoping to be that big belly out for a run in March? Heck yes! But who knows what these next few months will bring. At the end of the day the goal is just as it was with my last pregnancy: to bring a healthy and happy baby into the world via a healthy and happy Mama.

I wasn't anticipating this being so much about running, but I guess that is what's on my mind (and not just because my muscles are reminding me all about the running I did from the waist down today!). Happy October, all!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Things I Learned on my Sickbed

I'm happy to be writing this on the other side of a pretty awful five days; and more so that I can sit up and not cough long enough to write. A tickle in my throat Tuesday turned into a pretty crummy feeling Wednesday which had me in my doctor's office Thursday with a diagnosis of bronchitis and possible pre-pneumonia. Pretty scary stuff, especially at 12 weeks pregnant! I was given antibiotics and told to stay home the rest of the week but by Friday night I could barely breathe. It was painful and terrifying so after being up all night we headed into the ER in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday where I was told I had full-blown pneumonia. I spent 8 hours doing breathing treatments, and getting IV antibiotics and steroids to open me up. I was able to feel better enough at the end of all that to convince my Dr. I could avoid being admitted overnight, and now I'm feeling loads better; I even walked to the park at the corner without getting winded tonight! Such a sad accomplishment for a marathoner who hasn't had bronchitis in about 20 years!
I had a lot of time on my hands, so here is what I took away from all this sick time. 

In sickness and in health is real. 
I have a very awesome husband and the way he took care of me, Maddie and everything that needed to happen for me to get better was nothing short of heroic. It's awful to be sick, even more so when pregnant and worse yet when you have a two year old who has no concept of leaving Mama alone. Matty did everything for me, even getting sick himself in the process and I could not love him more for it. 

Family saves the day. 
My AIL was kind enough to throw her weekend out the window to take Maddie while we were at the ER so I wouldn't have to be alone and Maddie could have some time to run around and be a kid. Then, she even took her for a few hours on Sunday so we could rest and Maddie could to the aquarium. What would we do without her? No, really, I can't even comprehend a world without her!

I don't do "nothing" well. 
There are only so many blogs to read, episodes of Six Feet Under to binge watch and social media to peruse before I lose my mind. I had to miss out on two birthday parties, hours of painting the house and so many miles of running this weekend! It was miserable. I seriously start getting depressed and melancholy when I can't do stuff...hence the groceries and house cleaning and slow cooker dinners at the world's slowest pace yesterday. I just don't have that off switch! I sucked it up and did what I needed for me and this baby I'm growing, but goodness was it tough.

So, I'm feeling a lot better and happy/terrified of my desk for going back to work tomorrow. Thanks to all my lovely friends and family who texted and offered help; it was much appreciated and will be reciprocated in chicken soup whenever you need it!

My little nurse keeping watch over Mama with her iPad and cuddles. 

Hooray for feeling better and a few minutes at the park!