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!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Currently: First Trimester Edition

You guys, I am so excited that the cat is out of the bag about this bun in my oven so I can finally talk about it over here! The funny thing about second pregnancies is how much less emphasis there is on everything; the first time around it was all I thought about all the time and was SO amazing every time it crossed my mind. It is still amazing and wonderful and all those things now, but I have been there/done that/know what to expect and I am so busy chasing a toddler around that there is little time to lay around and eat golden grapes off a chaise lounge like the baby-making goddess I am.

I thought I would start with a little catch up of how this first trimester has been (the good and the bad!) as I approach the 12 week marks and things start getting real!


Reading: I am still trying to work my way through  a book about the ballerina Alicia Markova that I first read about in Vogue. It is a really great book and such an interesting story but it is soooo long that I only get about 1/1,000,000th through on my subway commute and reading at night is, well, not a possibility since I can't even be bothered to be awake much past 9pm these days.

Eating: ALL THE THINGS! Now that I am feeling less crummy I am definitely eating more, though I find that stuffing myself immediately leads me to a bad place, so I have been trying to cut down my portions from their usual pre-pregnant huge amounts in order to avoid any gross feeling. Unlike my last pregnancy I have no food aversions so far (last time it was chicken on the bone that made me want to run and scream) though there are times when I see something that I would normally eat and think it is the worst idea ever. My previous craving for Subway turkey sandwiches is back in full swing though, so thank goodness there is one right across from my office!

Thinking About: Getting our new place painted and organized before this new little human comes home and we have to reorganize everything again! I still haven't painted Maddie's room and would really like to make better use of the huge closet that she has. I am hoping that cooler weather and a slowing down social calendar (someday) will mean more weekend days at home and time to focus on the important things like crown molding and throw pillows. I guess nesting comes earlier the second time around, just like the bump!

Listening: To my body, a lot. I am continuing to run and it is one heck of a humbling experience. I am not a fast runner by any means, but after my last marathon I finally started doing some speed work and was getting fast for me. I knew that we were going to be trying for another baby at some point so I didn't throw everything into it since I knew I would have to start over postpartum, but I was still making some progress. Those speedy miles are now long gone, and I really have to get over myself and just be glad that I am still dragging myself out of bed most mornings and putting those miles in, no matter how slow because this is about keeping that baby safe and healthy, not the number on my watch (which I quit wearing for a while to get back to listening to my body and not watching a pace). Yes, I am going to be that super pregnant woman running down the street bump out, and no, I do not want to hear about why I should be at home with my feet up. Pregnancy is not an excuse to be lazy or feed into that whole disability bullshit our culture spins :)

Watching: Preferably, the backs of my eye lids, but also a lot of Frozen (Maddie finally got around to being obsessed with it, especially the reindeer Sven). Last weekend at the grocery store Maddie busted into a mash up of 'Do You Want to Build a Snowman' and 'Frosty the Snowman', which was pretty epic. Other than that, I barely make it to Maddie's bedtime these days, so I watch what she watches in the 20 minutes between tubbie and books and then call it a night!

Loving: The fact that we are going to have a sweet, snuggly baby to bring home in 6 months! There seem to be a lot of pictures of babies going around on my Facebook feed lately and it is getting me pretty excited for those sweet newborn smells. I am also loving how Maddie is really starting to get into the idea of being a big sister; she kisses my belly and asks me how the baby feels and it really is just about the sweetest thing in the world. As an only child this is a totally foreign situation to me but I am thankful that I am going to give Maddie someone that will (hopefully) be a best friend for life.

I leave you with this sweet picture of Maddie snuggling her new Lady dog that she got as a gift in the mail the same day as her Lady and the Tramp DVD. So stoked to watch this a bunch of times this weekend :)
Happy Friday, y'all!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

About That Pregnancy

We definitely could not be anymore excited to tell everyone the news that we are adding a fourth member to our family. Not one to like to keep any sort of good news to myself, I enlisted Maddie to help spread the word to all our friends and family on Facebook. I think her face says it all! Big sister status is exciting stuff!

Although we were trying, the fact that I am pregnant came as a pretty big surprise,  especially since the stress and sleepless nights of the home buying situation were not what I considered prime conditions under which to make a baby. But, lo and behold, we got exactly what we wished for and found out the first morning in our new house, which is a pretty funny story:

Matty had taken a quick trip back to the old place to get the rest of our things that the awful movers couldn't fit in the truc the day before. As he did that I did a little unpacking while also getting us ready to go to the Newport Jazz Fest. I happened to be in the bathroom and came across the pregnancy tests that I bought in anticipation of our plan and decided to take one since I was a couple of days late (which I had  honestly chalked up to the stress of the move). What a surprise when I came back to check on it and saw that one little word that had changed our life a few years before. PREGNANT! Of course, Matty was not home yet so I called him and tried to play it cool while trying to figure out when he was going to be back because I absolutely cannot keep anything from him, especially something like this! I paced around like a crazy woman until he got home and then non-chalantly asked him if he had remembered seeing the bin of maternity clothes we store in the basement. It took him a minute to figure out why  was asking such an obscure question in the middle of all the moving chaos, but when it hit him, he lit up just as I knew he would and we had a little "holy crap we did it and this is all happening and  ahhhhhhh!!!!" moment together. 

And now, here we are!

My first pregnancy was a dream with not one iota of sickness and all the time in the world to pamper myself, sleep and act like I was the first pregnant  woman to ever grace the planet with my fertile presence.  This one, well, not so much. While I have not been so sick as to throw up, I spent the first 8 weeks in a constant state of wishing I would just puke and feel better or that I could just lay down and not get up for 9 months. Unfortunately, a busy toddler, a new house, a progressing career and a triathlon to train for made all of that completely impossible. I sucked it up as best I could, let myself be a hot mess in the confines of our new house, and luckily had a pretty great upswing at the 8 week mark. Lucky for us, my Mom had been with us for the 7th week and helped us out a ton and then on the way to take her to the airport and spend a long weekend in Vermont I bought Sea Bands and ginger lozenges that combined pretty awesomely with fresh mountain air and three days of naps and relaxation. We drove home from Vermont to make my first doctor appointment and I was already feeling so much more human and ready to hear that sweet little heartbeat. Talk about tears of joy when the nurse picked up that sound and then pulled Maddie in for a listen!

This little one will be here right around Easter and with a second-time baby bump already pushing out, I am starting to get pretty excited. I cannot wait to see Maddie in a sibling role and watch that amazing husband of mine become an amazing Daddy to another little one. 

As for me, I am on a train from NYC to Boston and sat next to the cafe car for a reason :)

Thanks for sharing in this excitement with us!