Weekend Recap

If you can’t tell by the fact that I’m just now finally getting around to posting a recap of last weekend, ya know…on Friday, we’ve been pretty darn busy around here. Both boys are currently sporting fevers, hacking coughs and gushers of snot. Poor kids. Andrew’s nose is so tiny that even one booger means he can’t breathe so sleep has been fairly nonexistent. Which means this mama is running on empty. Tomorrow is my half marathon! Holy wow. And in terrific last minute, true Parks Family planning, we’re heading out to New England right after I cross the finish line for a long weekend by the Finger Lakes. So to recap: we’re waking up our sickly children at 3am tomorrow to pack the car full of everything we need for not only a race but 3 day getaway, driving to the race, I’m running a half marathon while Bry figures out how to keep both boys alive amidst a large crowd, then jumping in a car for a 4 hour drive, sweaty and cramping. Yup. Sounds smart to me too.

Anyway, this past weekend was great! I had my first 5k race on Saturday morning. I’d never run a 5k before but a couple of my girlfriends were registered and convinced me to join. It was for a great cause and I figured, why not? We woke up to pouring down rain and temperatures in the 50’s. Bry decided to stay home with the boys while I went to run. I have a race recap coming at you next week but the long story short is that somehow, against all odds, I ended up winning my first 5k (#1 overall female). How in the world my legs managed to keep an average 7:35 pace is beyond me. I’m pretty sure it was the fact that they were numb.

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After a shower and briefly shoving my face full of food we headed out to a friend’s 2nd birthday party. The kids had a blast and passed out as soon as we got home. After naps for everyone we decided to drive up to my old alma mater and explore campus. It was still cold and dreary but a college campus is the perfect arena for an overactive toddler.

IMG_20141011_172057 20141011_174006Sunday we decided to forego Sunday Morning Pancakes in exchange for DONUT Sunday.

20141012_075830 20141012_075857We walked around the National Zoo for a bit after breakfast. In the afternoon we headed back to campus and stopped at Jason’s Deli for lunch. This was followed by 4 bowls of their delicious chocolate pudding. So so good.

20141012_130243We walked around campus for a few hours after lunch, exploring some more.

20141012_144534 IMG_20141012_144618 IMG_20141012_144730 IMG_20141012_145717We went home to some warm chicken tortilla soup in the crockpot, cuddled up to Transformers (we’re rewatching the first 3 so we can rent the 4th), then woke up to another Monday.

Day In The Life

This was written a few weeks ago but in the utter chaos that we call life I forgot to post it. Enjoy.

1:10am: I hear Andrew wiggling around in the pack n’ play next to our bed. I throw a pillow over my head and silently pray that he goes back to sleep. He begins to whine and fuss so I roll over, make a bottle, half open one eye and shove it into his mouth. He chugs it down. I go to the bathroom, refill the bottle and curl back into my cocoon.

1:30am: He’s still fussing and rolling. I give him another bottle and listen to our neighbors dog bark. I give another check to the idea of moving out to the country.

2am: I can hear Andrew straining. I get up and get a diaper and wipes and change him by the light of my iPad. He stares up at me with his big gummy smile. Wide. Awake. I try not to interact with him in the middle of the night but damn it he’s so adorable!

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2:30am: Bry’s alarm goes off. I’m still awake. Andrew’s still awake. Will I ever sleep again?

3:30am: I’ve finally gotten Andrew back to sleep when Daddy walks in to brush his teeth and turns on the light!! HE TURNED ON THE LIGHT?! I try to silently yell at him to turn the damn thing off but it’s too late. The baby’s up again.

4am: Shooshing, singing, another bottle and rocking him while draped over the side of the pack n’ play with my eyes closed and I finally get Andrew back to sleep. I roll over, sprawl out on the entire length of the king sized bed and pass out.

6:15am: I can hear Andrew wiggling next to me but he’s not whining. I try to silently escape the covers and make it upstairs to pump before he fully wakes up. I get upstairs and notice the time. Hallelujah! The kids slept past 6! I make a large pot of coffee, pump, put away the dishes and get everything out to start breakfast.

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6:45am: Andrew’s up. I go to get him. We have a babbling conversation about sleeping (or lack there of). I change him and give him a bottle in his rock n play while I cook.

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7:05am: I manage to finish making breakfast for Jackson and myself and get it to the table just as I hear Jackson rocking and talking in his crib. I sweep the living room and put a blanket down, then set Andrew on it to practice his crawling.

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7:15am: I get Jackson who tells me all about the truck and train he slept with. I ask him if he wants breakfast and he licks his lips.

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7:20am: I change Jackson and then put him in his highchair. We dine together.

20140917_072716I have 4 eggs with spinach, corn and Frank’s red hot sauce plus 2 slices of TJ’s sprouted bread drenched in Earth Balance (most of it is melted already…there’s 4 times what you see in the pic. Don’t let it fool you).

7:25am: Jackson and Andrew play as I clean up. I ask Jackson to not kill his brother while I run to get dressed. I get some clothes for Andrew, socks for Jax, throw in a load of laundry and finally brush my teeth.

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7:27am: Make it back upstairs to find Jackson’s bike dangerously close to Andrew’s head. I change both boys again, fill our water bottles, pack snacks and Jackson’s truck and tractor that he’s not so subtlely thrown over the gate to bring with us. I get the stroller packed and ready to go.

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8:15am: We’re out the door, walk up the street to stretch and begin our 5 mile run. Jackson eats a banana and identifies all automotives we pass while Andrew chews on a teething ring and takes his morning cat nap.

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9:15am: We finish running and I do a cool down walk for the rest of the 3/4 mile to the park. Jackson sets up his construction site as I stretch and Andrew and I have a babbling conversation. I make funny faces at him occasionally. He’s a good sport and laughs. I finish stretching and nurse him on the bench while Jackson plays. We snack on apples and I change Jackson on a park bench.

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10am: We start walking home. We have 30 minutes to get there and Andrew in bed or we miss his golden opportunity for a decent morning nap.

10:20am: We made it! I get both boys inside and change Andrew. I grab a bottle and head downstairs to get him to sleep while Jackson plays in the living room. I switch over the laundry, put away the stroller and grab a handful of almonds.

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10:45am: Jax and I read books in the window. Then we sit at the table while he eats a snack of a granola bar and apple sauce and I have some leftover squash and a piece of crusted tofu.

20140917_104352 20140917_104729 11:15am: I pump while Jackson plays. We talk and make noises for all the trucks and tractors. He helps me set up the pump and likes to make sure I remember it’s “Andrew’s milk”. Got it, babe. Thanks.

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11:20am: Eat a cookie and chug some more water. Get out the ingredients to start dinner. Change Jackson who claims he’s hungry when he hears it’s naptime. I give him half a cookie and he happily replies “night night”.

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20140917_10421511:30am: Put Jackson down for a nap. Sweep kitchen, begin cooking dinner, do dishes, pick up living room, talk to Mommy on the phone, text friend back and put on calf sleeves to wear around the house cause that’s what all the cool kids do. I realize I forgot an integral  ingredient for dinner and debate whether it’s absolutely necessary. It’s cheese though. Cheese is always necessary.

12:30pm: I debate heating up some leftover coffee or taking a nap but the bed is stripped of all the sheets that are sitting warm and cozy in the dryer just begging to be snuggled up in. Too bad you have to go through the nursery to get to the dryer and if I have one piece of advice for new mamas it’s NEVER wake a sleeping baby. I start this post instead.

1:00pm: Jackson’s up. I check on Andrew first who is also wide awake and is hanging out in his pack n play. He sees me and smiles brightly. God I love that kid. I pick him up and we go into the nursery to collect big brother who promptly tells me he’s poo pooed. I change both boys, make a pb & banana sandwich for Jax and feed Andrew pureed mixed veggies.

1:30pm: I leave both boys in the living room happily playing and make an escape to shower. I change over the laundry too.

1:32pm: I find Jackson kissing Andrew and my heart melts. Give Andrew a bottle, pump and eat half a ham sandwich that Jax takes a few bites of.

2:00pm: We play for awhile and I dry my hair. Jackson thinks it’s hilarious. We eventually head out for a walk around the neighbhorhood.

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3:15pm: Arrive home just as Daddy is pulling in. Change both boys and get Andrew in his carseat to head to the grocery store. As Daddy chugs some coffee I change over the laundry again.

3:45pm: Go in for cheese and get side tracked with a few “extras”. Andrew naps in the car with Jackson and Daddy while I run in.

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4:00pm: Get home, put dinner in the oven, drink some more coffee and eat part of Jackson’s fish sticks. I also eat more almonds then proceed to play on the floor with both boys. Jackson uses me as his jungle gym.

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5pm: Andrew is exhausted so I change him and take him to bed. We read a few stories and I sing to him for about 20 minutes as he wiggles around. I make our bed then head back upstairs for dinner.

5:30pm: We eat dinner. Turkey & Broccoli casserole. Basically this recipe + ground turkey, garlic powder and red bell pepper.

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6pm: We count down the minutes til big brother’s bed time. We’re both beyond exhausted. I start a load of dishes, finish the laundry, clean up the kitchen and dream about dessert while Jackson plays with Daddy and my mom. Once a week we have family dinner where we cook for her and she joins us for dinner, which was tonight.

6:30pm: I make the excellent decision to nuke a cookie and top it with vanilla ice cream. My taste buds went nuts! I devoured it in a matter of seconds, licked the plate clean and went back for seconds. Then I attacked that one so vigorously I ended up biting my lip. Hard. Ouch.

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7pm: Take Jackson to get ready for bed. Diaper change, tooth brushing, bedtime story and lights out. Then we both crash in our freshly laundered bed. Zzzzz.

Slowing Down

The other morning I was sitting in the living room pumping while both boys were still asleep in their cribs and Bryan was on the couch drinking coffee, telling me about work. While he chattered away about fire sprinklers and alarms my mind was on the 408 different things I had to do. It was kind of like watching a movie without the sound. His mouth was moving but there were not words. Instead I was thinking about the laundry that had to be washed, dried and folded. The children that would soon be up with dirty diapers, rumbling bellies and endless tiny voiced demands. The meals that needed planning, food that needed to be bought and cooked. The appointments waiting to be made, the doctors visited, the bills paid. The endless dishes piled up waiting to be washed and put away. A run that needed to be taken, photos that needed editing, emails returned. My body sat in that chair, my eyes on my husband, my mind a million miles away. And then it all came back to me.

This was my husband. My dear, sweet, rambling husband and it didn’t matter if what he was talking about was boring to me or didn’t “matter” as much as those 408 other things, it mattered to him and thus it was important. It dawned on me in that moment that I was rushing through life, flying by the seat of my pants to get everything done. But none of it mattered.

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My sons don’t care about the dirty dishes or undone laundry, they care about the bedtime stories we read together, the trips to the park we take, the afternoon adventure walks and time spent exploring together. They’re small but perceptive and can tell when my mind is elsewhere. And that’s not fair to them. My husband doesn’t care if I showered or meal planned, he cares that I’m attentive when he’s telling me something that’s important to him, that I’m present in our life.

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I think about all the nights I’ve spent draped uncomfortably over the side of the pack n play, my arm falling asleep and my legs tingling, thinking to myself “dear sweet child, please just close those big beautiful eyes and SLEEP already” or when I’m really exhausted “just go the f*ck to sleep”. And it stings. I realize that in my effort to get it all done I’ve been unwittingly wishing away the most important moments of my life.

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There will be a day, far too soon, where I’ll give anything to relive the nights I get to watch my son fall asleep, his eyes staring at my face because to him I am home. The hours I was held captive by my son’s small, warm body curled up in my arms, asleep on my chest. Even the times we go for walks and Jackson wants to explore in a neighbor’s yard and I ask him to come back and he responds with utter defiance “NO!” and stomps his little foot with such seriousness. Even those times, I’ll miss.

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So instead of wishing away the things that I thought were keeping me from getting things done, I’m trying to focus on soaking up every moment even if it means the house stays dirty and we live in a little more chaos. Because at the end of the day it’s those little things that matter most and make life worth living in the first place.

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Body After Baby #2: 6 Months

I never really talked about myself after having Jackson. I didn’t discuss the weight differences, the body changes, the mood adjustments. But they all existed. I know this is sometimes a controversial topic but it’s also one that gets searched a lot on the blog. I figured I’d finally talk about it.

With Andrew, I had even less time to focus on myself once he arrived. We had so many things going on in our lives, so many worries and of course we now had two children to nurture and grow. I couldn’t sleep when the baby slept because there was still a toddler who needed my attention. I couldn’t peacefully sit and nurse day in and day out. I had to figure out our new normal in a whole new way and at first it was challenging. Who am I kidding, it’s still challenging.

My first day as a mom of two by myself (once Bry went back to work) I ventured out to the urgent care clinic to diagnose what turned out to be bronchitis. I felt proud of myself for remembering both kids, packing them into the car and grabbing the necessities. I got them loaded into the double BOB and walked to the urgent care clinic, opened the door and…the stroller wouldn’t fit. The rest of the story includes having to walk around the entire building, nursing Andrew one handed while using a breathing treatment with the other and Jackson literally pooping on the floor, Hansel and Gretel style.  My only saving grace was that he’s too young to be embarrassed or even realize what was going on. My heart hurt for him as I ran out of there with a half naked toddler, screaming infant and a handful of prescriptions to get me on the mend. Then I learned I had never closed the BOB before and spent 20 minutes in the parking lot trying to figure out how to get the largest contraption known to man into the back of our Highlander. Trial by fire, my friends. Anyway, sorry about that tangent. The point is, I haven’t had much time to think about myself or getting back to my “old” self. And that’s OK with me.

I’m a mommy of two now. When I lean over there’s flaps of extra skin from the 18 months I spent growing my two bundles of joy. I still get up multiple times a night to pee and have to stop on runs, or sometimes even leak (sorry, but someone out there needs to know) because I’ve birthed those kids. I’ve always been small chested and even as a nursing mama, I don’t magically have a larger rack. I do however have an even bigger discrepancy between the two girls. If I had to guess, it’s almost a full cup size difference now. I have stretch marks on my hips and on my boobs. I still crave things I did during pregnancy (donuts, yum!) and still have some of the aversions (ginger, bleh). But this new body of mine is one I’m more proud of then the one I had at 21. It’s stronger and more perfect in it’s imperfections. I no longer look at myself and nit pick constantly (though I promise I have my days where I feel fat in everything and want to just bury myself in my PJs under a big blanket or spend 30 minutes throwing every article of clothing I own over every square inch of our bedroom in an attempt to find something I feel comfortable in just to end up in a baggy sweater and yoga pants). For the most part I’m able to see how amazing my body is for what it’s done and I’m proud of it. I worked hard to get to where I am. I run 4 days a week, 3 with the kids in the double bob which is no easy feat. Up until a month ago I was taking bodypump once a week too and on my days off we’re often walking to/from the park, hiking and exploring new places or running around playing. I’m usually on the go.

My kids are my full-time job and they require my full attention or they’ll very likely die. Those kids are insane and leaving them to simply pee is a gamble. At first I preferred to run with the boys. I hated spending an hour or two during the weekend running when I could be home with them and Bryan. I felt guilty and I missed them. But as the weeks of training wore on I realized that the hour and a half I take Saturday mornings to head to the trail on my own is necessary. It’s necessary for me to have some dedicated solo time, to sweat it out and have some uninterrupted time to sort through thoughts and feelings. When I finish I feel refreshed and I return with more patience and a better ability to be the mom I want to be. It’s also important for Bryan to have some one on one time with the boys. It’s important for them to get to play with daddy alone and for him to parent without my presence.  We all benefit from it and instead of leaving feeling a need of urgency to return home and guilt for taking time to myself, I’m able to see it for what it is: a necessity.

All of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit but my shape is definitely different. Before I had Andrew I weighed 113lbs and looked like this:

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Awww. Bald baby Jackson!

By the time he was ready to come out I’d gained 24lbs and had swallowed a small globe:

1912403_10202130515484085_57004039715963925_n (1)Clearly nesting the 2nd time didn’t include cleaning the bathroom. Keeping it real.

I left the hospital still looking rather pregnant and deflated. I weighed about 119lbs at 5 days postpartum. I missed my pregnant belly and emotionally had a hard time in the beginning with feeling guilty that Andrew wasn’t still baking away. Namely the guilt stemmed from him being in NICU for the first 30 hours of his life but regardless of when he came, he’d have had to go because of his kidney.

10518860_10203274716008383_4066530992970795235_n10382174_10203274718368442_6456311217690985178_n36 hours postpartum and 5 days postpartum. Holy sh*t storm of exploding junk. That’s embarrassing.

At 6 months postpartum I weigh between 114-117lbs depending on water intake, how many cheesecakes I’ve devoured, etc. My hips are still wider, I still have extra skin in my stomach that’s incredibly noticeable when I bend over and my dearest toddler likes to point out my love handles and refer to them as “boobs”.

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Self photography is clearly my niche. You totally can’t tell I’m holding a remote in my hand.

Overall I feel and look much like my old self, just with very dark and saggy bags under my eyes and two amazing kids to chase after and love.

Stitch Fix #4: The Last Hurrah

I actually thought I’d cancelled Stitch Fix after my last fix but I arrived home to a familiar cardboard box sitting on our front steps yesterday afternoon. I have to admit, for the first time since I started Stitch Fix, I wasn’t excited when I saw the box. But curiosity killed the cat and I’m not ready to die so I brought it inside and tore it open.

The idea of Stitch Fix still intrigues and interests me. I love the fact that someone could style me and send me beautiful clothes without ever leaving the house, and with two kids two and under, that sounds perfect. I’ve seen other bloggers’ fixes and have loved some of the pieces they’ve received. I’ve specifically requested a few. I’ve pinned even more. And yet fix after fix has arrived and I’ve been met with disappointment at items that are so far off from my style, created to fix like a tent and/or strangely designed.

When I first opened the box, I pulled out the styling card and note from my stylist (which contained multiple spelling errors, almost as if it was rushed). This was my first fix where I had a new stylist which was strange since I had requested my old one. But I went with it. I looked at the cards with the 5 items I was sent and how to style them and I felt my heart sink again. One of the specific things I’d requested from fixes was “unique” pieces. I’d specifically stated I wanted items that I couldn’t find at any old store like Target. After all, the price point of most items are 4 times the price of most clothing stores I usually frequent. If I’m going to pay a pretty penny, or 4800 pretty pennies on average, I want an item that wows me. So imagine my surprise when I saw that 4/5 of the items were solid black or dark gray.

I sighed and figured I’d give it a shot. A picture’s worth a thousand words, they say.

Item #1: Market & Spruce Ivonne Double Strap Cross Front Top- $48 XS

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I saw this shirt and thought it was cute but black. Like 99% of my closet. At $48 I wasn’t convinced it was worth it when I could easily find something similar at Forever 21 (forget the fact I just turned 26) for under $20. But I played along and put it on. Let me start by saying it took me a full 5 minutes to figure out how to get into it. It’s like a straight jacket tank top with all sorts of loops and holes. When I finally navigated my head and arms through all the various holes and pulled it on over my head, it fit like a glove. The top is fitted around the bust and blouses out around the ribcage. It isn’t too loose though but flowy enough where it’s still flattering and you can eat an entire cheesecake without having to show the world your food baby.

I felt GOOD in it. It has some unique designs around the bodice and a racerback style back. The deciding factor was when Bryan got home and I tried it on for him. His eyes lit up, his jaw dropped and he repeated at least a dozen times “Wow. You look great! You look really good!” This coming from a man who never comments on fashion or the way I look, wears hiking pants 99% of the time and rolls his eyes if I ever ask him what he thinks about anything clothing related.

And just like that, I was sold. If it wasn’t for his reaction though, I’d most likely have returned it based on the price tag and lack of a real “wow” factor. I really wish this had come in a cobalt blue or deep purple. Then I’d really have loved it.

Item #2: 41Hawthorn Selfridge Cowl Neck Sleeve Top- $48 XS

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Finally, I got a fix where the tops weren’t 8 sizes too large. Again, a rather plain color that most of my closet looks like. Again, I played along. The top is extremely comfortable and made of a jersey type material. The color was gorgeous on. It really made my face pop and I went from unenthused to in love, just like that. It’d be absolutely perfect for nursing with the cowl neck and was easy to move in.

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You could even pull the top down and create a whole new style of shirt!

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I liked it and definitely debated keeping it but $96 for two not terribly unique shirts was just too much for this SAHM. Bryan wasn’t thrilled with it either. The front, while adding a “unique” factor bunches up in a way that could definitely flatter some but on me it seemed to add a bit of bulk. Definitely a cute top that I liked much more than I thought I would.

Honesty? I haven’t packed the return bag yet because I just cannot let this shirt go. Somebody help?!

Item #3: Papermoon Calvin Scoop Neck Striped Knit Top- $44 XS

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This is definitely one of those things you could find at Target for a quarter of the price. It’s a soft, thin cotton material and a lot like the other items in my closet already. Pretty plain. I wasn’t impressed with it in the box but when I put it on, I was even less thrilled.

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Oversized and way too short. It barely covered my love handles. What was this designer thinking? It seemed like an item you’d find at TJMaxx that ended up on sale because they messed up during assembly.

To make matters worse there’s an awkward, long, rectangular shaped pocket that rests half on your boob and half on your side. It was just bad. The neck was gigantic as well.

I pulled that sucker off and threw it in the return bag as fast as possible. No second guessing there.

Item #4: Mavi Kalie Denim Jacket- $98 XS

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Holy high price point. I gulped when I saw it, winced a bit and tried it on. Then I breathed a sigh of relief. I didn’t have to worry about handing over my life savings, this jacket was bad. The denim is incredibly stiff and makes it near impossible to move, bend or lift your arms which happens to be a requirement in my line of mama work.

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My husband clearly lucked out in marrying me. I’m a winner!

The sleeves are 2 inches too long and overall it just wasn’t great. Especially after I saw an adorable denim jacket at Target for $30 the other day that wasn’t constricting. Returned.

Item #5: Market and Spruce Roma Cowl Neck Jersey Knit Top- $28 XS

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I liked the price :) However, again, another plain t-shirt you could easily find at any local store. The color was definitely not my cup of tea (but happens to be my mom’s favorite!). I appreciate that my new stylist went with more form fitting shirts finally but I have a feeling Stitch Fix doesn’t have a huge choosing because this top seemed like a cheaper, less appealing, short sleeved version of Item #2.

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The color just didn’t work for me. At all. Looking at it in these pictures makes it even more apparent that peach and I do not go together. It reminded me of sherbet. Unlike the long sleeved cowl neck shirt, it didn’t have a liner to cover up anything between the folds of the neck. It hung strangely and just wasn’t great. Also, I should work on my posture. At least I brushed my hair.

I truly wish I could say each fix got better and that my stylist just  “got” me. But alas, each box seemed to get worse. I hesitate to even spend another $20 for one more fix so at least for now, Stitch Fix and I are on a hiatus.

A Very Fall Weekend

Late Friday night a storm rolled in, bringing with it a significant chill in the air. Saturday was a high of 66 with wind at 15mph. Unfortunately, it was headwind. I headed out for my last long run of this training cycle: 11mi on my favorite trail. My feet felt amazing in my new shoes but my legs felt stiff from taking the week off of running. Mentally I wasn’t in it. I wanted to be home with my boys, cuddling up by the fire and drinking hot apple cider (because in my mind my kids can sit still long enough for that). I pushed through and despite getting 3 new blisters from running 11mi in new shoes without breaking them in (rookie mistake), I finished!

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I got home in time for naps which I spent searching Google for nearby fall festivals. I had an undeniable craving for a shrimp burrito so once the kids woke up we headed to Baja Fresh to fulfill my dream.

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It was everything I ever wished for.

We drove out to Gavers Farm in Mt. Airy, MD. It was a beautiful property and the fall festival they held was fantastic! Compared to some of the more popular festivals in the area it was reasonably priced at $9/person with kids under 3 free. The festival included hayrides to the pumpkin patch (where they had fun taking turns riding the pumpkin), a huge bouncy pillow, wooden tractors, trains and boats, a corn maze and straw maze for the younger kids, a sandbox with play tractors, a giant slide, a real tractor, etc. It literally went on for over an acre and despite the array of toys and things to do Jackson parked himself in the sandbox with the toy tractor identical to the one he has at home and refused to move.

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While he played Bry and I ate apple cider donuts and hot apple cider. It was really chilly with the wind. The donuts were delicious and we devoured half before we made it back to the car. At one point, Jackson grabbed my camera, put it into his face and said “cheese”. Bryan and I almost died laughing. The original selfie?

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Eventually we called it a day and packed up to head home. The rest of the night was spent on the couch with cheesecake and wine watching How I Met Your Mother (best show ever).

Sunday morning we had our usual pancake breakfast then took a walk around the neighborhood. Jackson was in a funk and less than fun to be around. Fresh air affects him much like it does me, and after a few minutes in the crisp air he was in a much better mood.

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We walked up a giant hill on the way home. Jackson started grunting as he struggled to make it up. Then he placed his tiny hands on his back and said “push” and began to push himself up the hill. It was hilarious. Toddlers.

We Skyped with my in-laws for a bit before I headed out to do another photoshoot for a friend’s son’s 2nd birthday.

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I came home to a napping house and enjoyed a quite lunch with Bryan. When the boys woke up we got dressed and headed to a neighbor’s house for their son’s 2nd birthday party.

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Lots of games, cake (the only thing he’ll sit still for) and fun. After 2 cupcakes and 4 juice boxes we cut Jackson off but it was too late as he was jumping up and down and running around in circles from the sugar high. We headed over to a nearby trail and went for a short hike it hopes of settling him down.

We had a picnic style dinner when we got home, got the kids to sleep then watched a few more episodes of HIMYM while cuddled up nursing Chardonnay on the couch. Another wonderful weekend of fun and relaxation. And another weekend gone too fast. Is it Friday yet?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip (Lactation) Cookies

Before I had Drew I heard a lot about magical cookies that would help boost milk production for nursing moms. A cookie that you claim you were devouring by the dozen in the name of feeding your baby? Sign me up! I turned to my best friend, Google, for some recipes but none were quite what I was looking for. For me cookies need 3 things.

1. Chocolate.
2. Sugar.
3. More chocolate.

A lot of the recipes I found were chocolate free or healthy. I’m all for healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle but cookies are one thing you just don’t mess with. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and try to create my own. Let me just toot my own horn here and say these may very well be the best cookies I’ve ever created. Holy hell are they good. Even hubby agrees. And for those who aren’t feeding small humans with your tatas, don’t fret! You can eat them too. By the dozen if you desire. Brewer’s Yeast is the main ingredient that helps promote lacation (as does flax seed and oats), however it’s also found in beer and packs in a surprisingly punch of 8g protein per tbsp. So eat up!

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Oatmeal Chocoalte Chip (Lactation) Cookies
For all those with taste buds and know what’s good

Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

2 tbsp flaxseed meal
4 tbsp water
1c Earth Balance (or any butter), softened
1c white sugar
1c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2c all purpose flour
3tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2-6tbsp Brewer’s Yeast (the more you add the more the effect on your milk supply. I use 4tbsp and you can’t taste it but still get the boost ifyaknowwhatImean)
3c old fashioned oats
1c chocolate chips (or half the bag, or the whole bag if you’re feeling adventurous)

Directions:

1. Mix together flaxseed and water. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 if using nonstick cookie sheets and 375 for regular.
3. Cream together butter, white and brown sugars.
4. Add eggs and mix.
5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla.
6. In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brewer’s yeast and oats.
7. Add flour mix to butter mixture 1/2c at a time and mix.
8. Once completely mixed, add in chocolate chips. Sometimes I’ll add shredded coconut or chopped walnuts too. Whatever your heart desires.
9. Make into rounded spoonfuls and place on cookie sheet. The bigger the cookie the better. Then you can say I’ve “only” had 2 cookies when they’re really the equivalent of 12 ;)
10. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven and desired type of cookie (chewy vs. crunchy).
11. Enjoy!

Just to make sure it was completely safe, my selfless husband was the guinea pig and helped me polish off a batch over the weekend. Verdict: he didn’t start shooting milk everywhere but he did enjoy every morsel. When I opened the cookie jar this morning to find it empty, I kicked myself for letting him in on the secret that these cookies weren’t just for nursing mamas. So fair warning mamas: you can share these if you want (but you don’t have to!)