Tuesday, March 11, 2014

{Tuesday Truths} Real Life with Baby

Hey everyone!!

I know its been a while since I last popped in, because real life with a baby is dang busy! I had no idea that just keeping myself, hubby and our little human fed, clean, and well rested would be so time consuming! But here we are, just a few days into Henryk's second month of life and we are all doing great.
 A little selfie comparison for you... 8 weeks on the left, and newborn on the right... 
 We are preparing to take our first road trip to Portland and Hood River for a couple days, so that will be an adventure to say the least. If you have any sage travel advice, please leave it in the comments.

When Henryk was almost 2 weeks old, we had some newborn photos taken. Of course, he displayed his stubborn side and didn't cooperate as we planned. Luckily, the photographer is a friend of mine, Elena at Golden Trail Photography here in Bend, so we had a beer and caught up while waiting for Henryk to play along. As expected, I got peed on #lifeofaboymom, but I love the photos Elena captured and her style of editing. I can't believe this was already almost two months ago and he is 9 weeks old today.

This is my favorite photo Elena captured. My baby looks so tiny, especially compared to the giant baby he is now! 

So, you maybe be wondering... how is it all going? Really?

The truth is... Being a new momma is not easy. It is frustrating, messy, tiring, and often a bit lonely. But its also unbelievably fulfilling, joyous, and revealing. I say revealing in that you uncover a new side of yourself that you had no idea existed. I spend my days desparately trying to meet the needs of a human who can't communicate, and to see him thriving fills me with a joy and love that cannot be expressed in words. I would die for him. Sometimes, when he is in his car seat sleeping and we are out, my body literally aches to be cuddling him. Its borderline scary, but now I understand  my own mother so much better, and I appreciate every little thing she ever did for my brother and I, and continues to do for our little sister.

Another question we get asked a lot, is how the dogs are handling the new being in the house.
The truth is... they are doing much better than we expected, and our expectations were high to begin with. We have a lot of friends with kids, so they have been around children of all ages and are generally comfortable with them. If they could talk, they would say the hardest change has been not getting as many walks or adventures. But I have to commend hubs and myself, as we have been doing pretty well about getting them out a few times a week, and not totally neglecting them. They still get lots of cuddles and treats too.
They are good about giving Henryk his space, and I don't worry about them stepping on him or nipping at him. I wouldn't say they are overly protective of him, but I do feel comfortable leaving him napping in his crib to take a shower while we are home alone. They would definitely protect him if necessary.

Breastfeeding is a huge part of our lives, and I feel blessed to be able to provide the healthy nourishment our baby needs. But...
The truth is, breast feeding is a journey, and not an easy or natural one. The first week or so was ROUGH. Between nipple chapping and then engorgment once my milk came in, I was in some pain! But, with advice from a lactation consultant, a bag of frozen peas, and lots of lanolin, we pulled through and have found our stride in breast feeding. I produce LOTS of milk, which is great, since I will be going back to work in three weeks (sob). I generally wake up before the baby to pump one side each morning, then we are usually caught up for the day. Since the beginning, he has had a great latch and can nurse anywhere, even with a cover over his head. He has nursed in numerous restaurants, at friends houses, in the back of our car, in the Ergo while I wear him, and of course at  home. We are still working on a bottle with him, he likes a wide nipple with a slow flow, so we have tried a few different brands, looking for the magic bottle. But hubs has fed him successfully a few times, so I'm not too concerned about that when I go to work.

Having a new baby throws a major wrench into hobbies and adult time...
And the truth is... I am going on my first mountain bike ride in 9 months TODAY! Hubs has gotten a couple rides in since baby arrived, but I have stuck to walks and some short jogs. Its going to be tiring and probably a little frustrating, but I'm looking forward to spending some adult time with hubs, and the mind release that biking is for me. We are leaving Henryk with our good friend Ash, who has a 10  month old and will be watching Henryk a few hours a week when I return to work. I'm so thankful to have friends with babies who can trade childcare!

Ashleys son Anders, and Henryk
 Which leads me to... The truth about friends and babies! I feel so blessed to have a group of friends here that I've known for years who have happened to have babes around the same time we did. We spend a ton of time with them, and its so nice to be able to not worry about the kiddo making a fuss, because your friends understand.
I've also been blessed to become a part of an awesome mommy group (What up BAM's!). What started as a small group of mommies getting together weekly has grown into a larger group of mommies who go on walks, swap childcare and clothes, and support each other through this crazy journey of motherhood! We all connect through a private group Facebook page, and each mommy can add other moms they know, so the web is ever expanding! Its been an awesome support system, and I look forward to watching all of our kids grow up together.

This photo was from our Valentine's Day mommy group... and this was only half the babies there that day!! It was our biggest group yet!

I will finish off with the most FAQ about new mommy life, are you getting any sleep?
The truth is... yes. Henryk is an awesome sleeper and has been pretty much since the beginning. I don't want to sound like I'm gloating, so I will stop there.

The truth is, Hubs and I won the baby lottery and we are head over heels in love with our son. No, we aren't even considering #2, so please remove the thought from your head. : )

Any other real life questions you have? Leave em in the comments! And if you need more cuteness in the form of my son, follow us on Instagram (@lololalala)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 7th, 2014

The day when life changed forever.

After much anticipation, we welcomed our perfect son, Henryk to the world at 8:57pm, on January 7th.

He was born weighing 8lbs 1oz, and 22" long. Long and skinny, just as I predicted.

(WARNING: Birth story follows and is somewhat graphic in description.)

I was starting to get VERY tired of being pregnant, and had decided to get acupuncture the day before (the 6th) to see if I could encourage him to get the labor train moving. I enjoyed my treatment, and went about  my day per usual, meeting some friends from out of town for a beer (yes I enjoyed a 10oz glass. Like I said, I was over it), and then getting some dinner with the hubby. I complained to him that my lower back was really sore, but didn't think anything of it.

This was my last bump photo, taken two days before Henryk was born
We went to bed on the 6th at our normal time, and I got up around 2am, again as usual, to use the bathroom and let the dog out. Once I laid back down, I felt a small burst of fluid and thought, "well there is no way I peed my pants, I just used the bathroom!"
So I got up, and the gush became gushier. Holy shit, I thought. This is it! I went back to the bathroom and put on a maxi pad, and examined the fluid, which was pinkish in color. This confirmed it, my water had definitely broken.
I wasn't having an contractions yet, so I went into the living room and called my Doctor. She said, yep thats it, come down to the hospital whenever you are ready. I went back into the bedroom to wake James and he was already stirring.
"Is it time?" he said groggily. I responded yes, and started gathering all the final things we would need for the hospital, toothbrushes, champagne glasses, you know, the important stuff.

We got to the hospital around 3:30am, and went right into triage. A nurse came in and asked a bunch of questions, and began monitoring my contractions and the baby's heart rate. She also checked my cervix, and we were bummed to find I was still around a 1, as had been the case for the last few weeks. Nonetheless, when your water breaks, they don't wait to admit you due to the risk of infection so we were put into a room within an hour of arrival. The Doctor shift change was at 7am, and we were pleased to see Dr. Carlson who would ultimately deliver our baby, was on call. A very nice coincidence, as we had seen him once during our prenatal appointments and liked him quite a bit.

Once in our room, we rested and Dr. Ahmed came in to check my and see if anything was happening. I hadn't dilated and my contractions were still very mild, so we discussed started pitocin around mid morning to get things going. Like I said, with a water break, they don't waste any time. James and I got up and walked a few laps around the hospital, and that really started my contractions. I was happy that we might finally be getting somewhere, without the synthetic hormones. Once we got back to the room, my normal OB stopped by on his way into the office for the day - I was scheduled to see him that morning and had cancelled, obviously. I was shocked to see him, it made me very happy since he is a busy man.

We started pitocin around 11am, and at that point I had dilated to a 2. Of course, I had heard all about pitocin horror stories and asked about an epidural at this time. I wanted to make sure I was on the 'list' and that when the time came for one, I wouldn't be waiting hours for the anesthesiologist. The drugs definitely got my contractions going, and by 2pm I was begging for the epidural. The contractions were so strong that I could barely breathe through them, I felt like the undead. I couldn't control the sounds I was making as I worked through them. My labor nurse checked me and I was only at 3. I think I was so tense from the pain, I was preventing my progress. Within 15 minutes of asking, the anesthesiologist was there and got me started. The pain relief was immediate and amazing. James and I both napped for about 2 hours, and when we got checked again around 4:30, I was at a 7! Finally some progress!

My contractions were coming very close together in groups of two or three, then a longer break. The nurse upped the pitocin again to try and regulate them, and check me again about 45 minutes later and I was at a 9.
"Its almost time to push!" she said, and I couldn't believe it was almost time to meet my baby. As my contractions strengthened, I could feel them more and more and the pain and pressure in my hips told me he was moving into the birth canal.
Dr. Carlson came in about 20 minutes later as they finished getting the room ready. We did a couple rounds of pushes and he said the baby was still very high and I had some work to do. He left, and the nurse and James and I continued pushing. I'm not sure if my epidural was turned down or didn't totally worl, but I had pretty decent control of my legs, and could lift them almost totally on my own. I pushed with all my might for another hour, until Dr. Carlson came back to check again. Baby had moved some, but not nearly as much as needed to use the vacuum extractor to help ease him out. He told me to push for another half an hour, and we would see where I was at. He also mentioned a C section, if I wasn't able to get him any lower. I had been pushing for almost two hour at this point.

The nurse and James helped maneuver me into several different positions to push, and none seemed to help. I was exhausted, and in pain and I could feel the baby wedged into my pelvis, not moving even though I was giving it everything I had. When Dr. Carlson returned, I caved. A C section it was, and I felt so defeated. I couldn't deliver our baby naturally, I felt like a failure.

The nurses flew into action, and a new anesthesiologist was called and turned my epidural way up. Unfortunately, all this was happening around 8pm, after the night shift of nurses came. So my wonderful nurse who I had labored with all day (and also happens to be the mother of one of my co-workers), was done. She offered to stay, off the clock - bless her-, until I was out of surgery. As much as I wanted her to stay, I said no, and I didn't see her again through our stay.

I was off to surgery within a half hour of caving. Once in the OR, James was suited  up in scrubs and waited in the hall until I was prepped. They put a tent over my midsection and strapped my arms down to boards so I couldn't reach into the surgery area. Then James came in, and it was go time. I was aware the whole time, and could feel some pulling on my stomach, but that was it. The anesthesiologist kept a commentary going, and within a couple minutes he said, ok its almost baby time! About 90 seconds later, at 8:57pm on that wonderful Tuesday, I heard the first cry from my sweet boy and that was it! Ten fingers, ten toes, a full head of brown hair and one big boy!

They took him with James to tidy him up and cut the cord, while I was stitched up. Our first photos of him are all with James, as I was prone on the table. After they got us both put back together, they brought him over to me and laid him by my head on the table. It was so awkward as I had to look totally 90 degrees to see him, but I still wept with joy that he was here and healthy and it was finally over.

 We headed back to our room and things quieted down. I was finally able to hold him and nurse and have my skin to skin. He was so perfect and I was absolutely in love, so was his papa. I was just beside myself with joy watching James with our son. I have a whole new level of love and attraction to my husband, as I watch him. He is everything and more than I could have wanted in a life partner.

Dr. Carlson came back to discuss the surgery and my recovery. It turns out, Henryk had been pushing against a membrane that was acting as sort of a vacuum. So every time I pushed, he would move down and when I released pressure he would move back up. There was pretty much no way I would have been able to push him out. That made me feel a little better about saying yes to the surgery. I guess Mothers intuition is right, I knew I wouldn't be able to do it when I gave the go-ahead for the C section. 

I was trapped in the bed until the next morning, with a catheter and these pumps on my legs that kept blood circulating. They pretty much prevented me from sleeping at all, and every time I needed the baby to feed or change a diaper, I had to ask James. I didn't change one diaper until almost 48 hours after Henryk was born.

We stayed in the hospital until Friday the 10th, my actual due date. Henryk passed all his tests and I was gaining my strength and awareness steadily, so we were able to head home and begin our new life as a family of three!

Its been three weeks now and I feel like we are hitting our stride. I will save all that for another post, but it has been an incredible journey so far, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!

In the car seat for the first time, to go home! 

Everyone says he looks more like Daddy!

Henryk has a lot of personality for such a little guy 

Friday, December 20, 2013

37 Weeks!

Whew. Home stretch people and I am feeling it. Yikes. I finished up work last week, two weeks earlier than I planned,  after an eventful prenatal appointment. I went in for my regular checkup, feeling just as I do now, totally fine. My blood pressure has been really low and steady for my whole pregnancy, but for some reason it just went through the roof (for me), last week. My Doc was concerned, as he should be, and after making me lie on my left side and measuring it a couple more times, he sent me to a non-stress test, which BTW is the most inaccurately named test ever. So stressful! They hook up two monitors to your stomach, one measures baby's heart rate and prints it out, the other measures any contractions you may be having. They give you a little button to push each time baby kicks.

So I laid there and tried to relax for about a half an hour, then the nurse came back and said, "Well this isn't going to get you out of here!" Henryk's heart rate was lower than average, around 135 b/pm. She gave me a juice box to sip on to see if the acidity and sugar would ramp it up at all. It didn't. So Dr. Clark comes back in and I'm off to a blood draw, to check for kidney or liver problems, and an ultrasound, to measure the amniotic fluid and make sure he is looking good in there.

Long story short, all came back just fine, thank goodness. All those tests and concerns after such an easy pregnancy did nothing to make me less stressed or lower my blood pressure at all I'm sure. It was really cool to see our babe again though, he is huge and active, and passed all the tests in less than 10 minutes, the time allotment is 30. My Doctor asked me to come back a couple days later to re-check my blood pressure, which was still up. He suggested I go on light duty, aka no work. Since I work on my feet in a restaurant, and this just happens to be the busiest time of year, he decided it would be too stressful and didn't want to risk a blood pressure spike which could put Henryk at risk. Luckily, I work for an amazing company that offers disability, which is actually separate from the disability I will get for the first six weeks of maternity leave. So hubs and I aren't totally screwed when it comes to income lol.

And with that... on to bumpdate!!

This is one of my longest friends, Becca, who will be welcoming a little girl to her family at the end of February! Its so cool to be pregnant at the same time as a close friend. We compare lots of notes lol.

How far along: 37  weeks + 4 days. So close. Any time now little man.

Total weight gain/loss: I have started doing that weird thing at the end of pregnancy where you lose weight. I was down a whole lb at my last appt, so that puts me at 27 lbs gained total. So weird. I did make a batch of my fave cookies, Snickerdoodles, using this BOMB recipe from the Cake Boss. So I will probably be back up on Thursday.

Maternity clothes: Now that I'm not working, its pretty much leggings and yoga pants and my hubbys hoodies on the regular. I'm trying not to leave the house for many errands, because that equals spending money, which we are a little tighter on now that I'm not working. Some of my maternity clothes still fit, but on shorter shirts I am getting that 'cute' (not) gap between a low waist and my shirt. Yikes.

Stretch Marks: No new ones, since the 4 tinys appeared below my belly. I must have had one good growth spurt, and that was it for now.

Sleep: Since we bought the tempurpedic bed topper, it has been a lot better! I still wake up several times a night to use the bathroom and let the dog out, but when I finally wake up for the day, my hips aren't achingly sore! Woot! So if any other prego mommies are suffering out there, go to Costco and buy a mattress topper for $150. Two words, WORTH IT.

Best moment this week: Well it was actually last week, but seeing the baby again on the ultrasound was so awesome. Also being reassured that he is healthy, seeing those four heart chambers and fingers and toes. Very good. We also could see his HAIR waving around in the amniotic fluid, which was so awesome. I was born with a ton of hair and James had a pretty good mop too, so I've been hoping for a hairy babe. 

Miss anything: A good nights sleep, wine, beer, etc etc... Minor things in the grand scheme of pregnancy. As strange as it sounds, I also miss work. I find lots of things to fill my days, but I love my work family and I miss seeing them daily. Love you guys!

Movement: Oh yeah. Now its so strong that it takes my breath away when he kicks a lung, or wakes me from a dead sleep when he decides to roll to the other side of my belly. Crazy boy. But lots of movement = healthy babe, so no complaints!

Food cravings: Nope. Just food, and all the time. The hunger that couldn't be satisfied has left, but now I feel hungry all the time, but nothing sounds good. My poor belly doesn't know what to think!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: Not too bad, but random things make me feel nauseous, which I hear is kind of common in late pregnancy?

Have you started to show yet?: Good joke. I might be visible from space at this point.

Gender: Henryk, our baby BOY!

Labor signs: Still a few good Braxton Hicks here and there, and I feel like I can definitely tell what a 'contraction' feels like. I was slightly effaced at the last appointment, so lets hope progress continues!

Belly button in or out: Innie, but it is going through some major changes, and I am starting to think it might just pop out!

Wedding ring on or off: On, but only the band. My engagement ring is a little too tight. Boo.

Mood: Overall... pretty dang good! Just tired tired tired. I had to take a nap today around 2pm, which lasted until 5pm when I forced myself to get up. I easily could have slept for the rest of the night. The warm, snuggly pitty pup in my arms didn't make it much easier to motivate.

Looking forward to: Meeting this baby! So soon! Hopefully he decides to make his appearance a little early, preferably before the new year. We shall see. And Christmas is just around the corner, my hubs is such a great Santa, I can't wait to open our gifts! And funny as it sounds, there are just as many presents for Henryk under our tree as for James or I. Spoiled baby. His grandparents are too good to him.

Whew! Long post, forgive me. So, any crazy pregnancy stories or scares for me? I feel like this is my payback for having such an easy pregnancy so far. Share in the comments!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Get in Henryk's Stocking! (version 1.0)

As promised, (me, following through on a blog promise?! Crazy!) here is Henryk's list of desired gifts for the upcoming holiday. Since he has yet to make an appearance, I have taken the liberty of assembling this list for him. So basically, its things James and I want for baby boy. I think he'll be okay with that.
This list has been assembled from our Amazon Baby Registry, which if you are a soon-to-be momma I highly recommend using, and my Pinterest.

We will start with the big, expensive gifts, just to get the shock factor out of the way. This Osprey backpack. Our friends Garrett and Carly and their son Kellen have it and use it ALL of the time! Since James and I love to get outside and play, this will be an easy way to pack the boy and all his gear! Plus, you can just set it down and it stays propped up, so he can chill in it on the floor while mom and papa have a post adventure beer. Priorities.

Next up, some prettiness from Aden & Anais of course! We received some bamboo swaddle blankets fron this company for our shower (thanks Alex!), and they are to die for soft! Henryk would love the Muslin changing pad cover in the Liam the Brave Dog pattern. He already loves his pups, so we have to represent them in the nursery. I imagine its a good idea to have more than one changing pad cover too... Just a thought?

Sticking with the dog theme, Henryk would love this Jonny Justice Gund plush toy. For those who may be new around here, James and I are huge supporters of rescue dogs, specifically the pitbull type breed. Jonny Justice is a rehabilitated pitbull, best known for being rescued from Michael Vick's dog fighting ring. He is now a therapy dog, and is changing the populations view on pitbulls daily! He has done such a great job with his work, he was named most beautiful dog in the country by Gund and has since been immortalized in a stuffed toy! So obviously, we need a fluffy Jonny around here.

Next up, how about some precious baby pants for our little man? These Bear leggings from Salt City Emporium appear to be sold out, boo, but these arrow ones are precious too! Love it!

I also LOVE these name leggings by Jennifer Ann. How precious would they be on my little man?! I die.

And finally, we will finish up with come cozy in the form of a beautiful blanket, from Fine Little Day. I think its sold out, and also made in the UK so super expensive and costly to ship,  but boy is it beautiful!! The whole site is full of beautiful gear, so anything from it would be graciously accepted and well loved.

Henryk would also really like a baby book, as he doesn't have one yet... appalling I know. I had an interesting Doctors appointment yesterday and may end up on bed rest for these last 4 weeks of my pregnancy, so that will be a project I attack with fervor.
What are your kiddos asking for this year? I can't wait to share Christmas with our son over the years... the joys of parenting. Share in the comments!

Monday, December 9, 2013

36 Week Bumpdate!!!

I'm baaaacccckkkk!!!! Hahaha, bear with me people, I am so bad at keeping up on these things! In fact, our big chalkboard door in our kitchen STILL says 30 weeks... yep that was from back in October. Ooops. We just get so busy with life sometimes, taking photos in front of a door falls to the side. That being said, I have some new belly shots and lots of info for your reading pleasure! Onward!

It appears I really am growing a human in there! And he is getting huge! 

 How far along: 36 weeks! We've hit the 'pre-term' mark! Woot for small victories!

Total weight gain/loss: So far, so good I think. I've gained around 28lbs, with 4 of them coming during the Thanksgiving holiday. Sorry I'm not sorry, but if people could stop bringing us homemade toffee and if my errands could stop being near the most amazing chocolate shop in the world, it would be a LOT easier to gain at a normal rate.

Maternity clothes: Ah Maternity clothes... I never knew you could actually outgrow them?! Yep, some of my pants just aren't comfy anymore, I have three pairs that work wonderfully still, and three others that are on their way to the next prego lady.

Stretch Marks: Yesterday, we entered uncharted waters with 4 tiny stretch marks appearing below my belly button and on the sides of my stomach. At first I thought they were just indentions from wearing too tight pants... then I remembered I live in yoga pants. Definitely not the case. But can't fight nature I guess! I recently switched from using Palmers Cocoa butter to Bella B Tummy Honey Butter, and I'm not sure if that's the culprit or if Henryk is just getting huge. (I prefer to blame him, as I'm feeling the hugeness in other areas)

Sleep: Meh. That's all I can really say. If I exercise (i.e. yoga or a long walk), I sleep much better. We are buying a temperpedic bed topper today, so I think that might help with my pressure points.

Best moment this week: We celebrated my company's annual Holiday party yesterday at the beautiful Sunriver Resort, and even though I couldn't get tipsy and act a fool on the dance floor like years past, it was still a wonderful time! Besides the below zero temps outside... yikes!

Miss anything: A good nights sleep, wine, beer, etc etc... Minor things in the grand scheme of pregnancy.

Movement: Non-stop, but it has changed into sharp nudges and long, slow continuous pressure on the ribcage. OUCH. Pretty sure baby boy has super long, strong legs like his papa.

Food cravings: Nope. Just food, and all the time. The hunger that couldn't be satisfied has left, but now I feel hungry all the time, but nothing sounds good. My poor belly doesn't know what to think!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: Not too bad, but random things make me feel nauseous, which I hear is kind of common in late pregnancy?

Have you started to show yet?: The new game is... how big can she get? Strangers love to talk about my belly... Its actually pretty annoying. Luckily, the waddle hasn't kicked in quite yet, so I feel blessed there.

Gender: Henryk, our baby BOY!

Labor signs: Braxton Hicks are increasing, and I definitely feel some changes happening. He hasn't 'dropped' yet, but I have my first cervix check on Tuesday, so that will answer some questions.

Belly button in or out: Innie, but it is going through some major changes, and I am starting to think it might just pop out!

Wedding ring on or off: On, but only the band. My engagement ring is a little too tight. Boo.

Mood: Overall... pretty dang good! Its a little shocking. I do get really tired at night, and head to bed around 9:30 if I can.  

Looking forward to: Meeting this baby! So soon! Hopefully he decides to make his appearance a little early, preferably before the new year. We shall see. I'm also looking forward to finishing up with work, my last day is the 29th, only 12 shifts to go!!! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Get In My Stocking - Version 3.0

Judge me if you must, but the success of my virtual Christmas list over the past two years (2011 and 2012) has been so great, that I must push forward with this new 'tradition' of mine, and broadcast my greatest desires for the upcoming Holiday for all of the world to see. New this year, you will find an abbreviated version of a list for our son, Henryk, who will be making his big debut in January! Because whats more fun than making a list of adorably necessary baby boy things? Nothing, that's right, nothing is more fun than virtually shopping for a baby. If you follow me on Pinterest, you  may have seen a few of these pop up in my pins. I use Pinterest for its original creation, to remember things I find on the internet! Brilliant!
Conveniently for my hubs, choosing to write this during the Black Friday weekend means most everything is on sale! Get on it babe! 

Without further ado...

This Sombrio hoodie, size XL (I like 'em big... name that movie) is a MUST in my life! Purple, Canadian company... I love everything about it! I can't get the image to transfer over... click through to enhance your virtual shopping experience!

Continuing on the cozy clothing train, this gorgeous cashmere sweater needs to be in my life, NOW! I'll take Black or Classic Smoke Heather, in large. If you wanted to order more than one, great! I plan on snuggling our baby for hours lounging in this piece of heaven!

Next up, I'd of course love some new jewelry, honoring the most precious men in my life! This Initial necklace belongs on my body. They are backed up in orders for a while, so maybe this could be my 'push' gift? Hint hint... I'll take the Sterling Silver, 18" long, with a J and H of course.

Now lets move into the kitchen. I would love this Pitbull tea towel, it definitely needs to be in my life! The Etsy shop, Dog Park Publishing,  that this is from has some other cute doggie stuff too, so feel free to browse hubs, and choose anything else I might like. Cookie cutters make great stocking stuffers!

I'm ashamed to admit it, but ever since I moved away from home oh... 8 years ago, I've been boiling water for tea or oatmeal in a pot, and I would LOVE a beautiful Le Creuset tea pot! Preferably in Flame, Marseille, or Caribbean.

I've started a tradition, I guess you could call it that, of wanting something silly but awesome from Anthropologie every year. These graphic bear candles definitely fill that spot on the list this year. I like both sizes...

 And finally... Boots. Since I'm going to be having this baby in the heart of Central Oregon winter, I think some warm, cute and non slip boots are definitely in order, and these Sorels are just what my heart desires! Size 9 please, in curry/herringbone.

And lets finish up with a little more cozy, in the form of this blanket from Threshold at Target. I really want this teal one, but its a in store only deal, so if you can't suffer through a trip to Target during the holidays, I'd take the tan or orange one and be just as happy.

And I think that's it for larger gifts! In my stocking I would love to see some tongs for the kitchen, maybe a new tote bag for the farmers market and grocery store, either those tiny ones from Whole Foods (they sell them near the register), or this hilariously awesome one from West Elm. I'd also love some new wool biking socks, ankle length please. Oh yeah, and a new sewing machine would be awesome too... Just saying. Look for a coupon before you order it though!

So do you love getting a sneak peek at other peoples wish lists during the holidays? I just love the feeling of indulgence from listing every single thing that I'm wanting! Any major gifts you're desiring? Leave a note in the comments! Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

{Tuesday Truths} Marrying a Chef

A couple days ago, I came across yet another list of life facts on Facebook. This one was from the always clever Huffington Post, titled, '5 Things No One Tells You About Marrying a Chef'. Obviously I couldn't resist clicking through, marrying a chef is definitely not for the faint of heart, nor is it what you'd expect, so I was interested in their take on it.
Sometimes internet articles are grossly disappointing, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this one was spot on. However, some areas deserve a little expansion, so today I will tell you the truth about my experience being married to a Chef.

The truth is, their mind is never truly away from work. Its 5am and you're both sound asleep and brrrrriiiinnggggg! Phone rings, and its a prep cook wanting to discuss some assinine problem that probably could have waited until Chef rolled in around 8am.
Or you're on vacation, and restaurant choices are based solely on menu items Chef is intrigued by. He might even start a list on his phone of new ideas he could work into specials at his own restaurant. Or perhaps he will forget his phone, and you'll wind up with photos of recipes or menu items on yours, so he can recall them later.

I'm terribly sorry but I can't recall what magazine this recipe was in. Maybe Coastal Living? If someone knows the original source, please email me or leave a comment and let me know!

The truth is, when they cook at home, it is a masterpiece. My family now really looks forward to James cooking because they know it will be gourmet, starting with homemade demiglace and ending with profiteroles, fresh out of the oven drizzled with homemade chocolate ganache. The truth that comes hand in hand with this is that, they cook like they have a paid dishwasher on staff at home. This is by no means a complaint like it sounds, but when James cooks dinner, I have to be in the kitchen at every gap in cooking to wash any dishes I can get my hands on. He will use almost all the pots and pans we have, numerous bowls and utensils, and pile ingredients on the counter even after he is done with them. Again, I am not complaining, because when I cook, he cleans up. Its kind of our unspoken agreement.

Beef Bourguignon... Epic

The truth is, get ready for an unusual schedule. Restaurants are busiest on weekends and holidays, so that's of course when Chef will be working. Lucky for us, I also work at a restaurant, so this has been a benefit rather than inconvenience for us. We typically have Monday and Tuesday off as our weekends, which is actually a blessing. We can get to the doctor or other weekday only businesses without a problem or schedule interference. The hardest part is passing up on holiday trips and family events due to work, but once baby gets here, hopefully that can become more a priority. Hand in hand with this, is the truth about taking vacations in the off season. It may sound like a pain, but travel is so much more affordable and painless when the standard vacation season crowds are back at work or school. September is our big travel month, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The truth is, being married to a chef will show you  a new level of passion that you didn't imagine possible until you got roped into this lifestyle. I am so proud of my husband and the hard work he puts in for his restaurant and staff, the love he has for what he does, and the fact that it shows in the product you receive when you visit his place of employment.

So spill... whats mealtime and lifestyle like for your family? Have you ever dreamed of having a personal Chef? Me too... Oh wait.
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