No Purple Walls.

Greetings From My Bed July 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sara @ 12:21 pm
Tags: ,

It has been a fun week. I am flat on my ass, for no apparent reason. I’ve had some fantastic back pain behind my shoulder for a while now, and have been asking Adam for frequent back rubs. At times, I ask him to make a fist and just push. It sucks. Yesterday, I don’t know if my muscle seized up or a nerve was pinched or what, but I spent the day like Quasimodo.

 

We are the same.

 

Then last night, I woke up with a lot of pain in my lower back, causing me to attempt to sleep in Child’s Pose. So today, we are watching a lot of Netflix. I am enjoying a constant loop of morality and lesson songs from Daniel Tiger while I lay on a heating pad. The good life.

 

 

This seems to be one of those weeks. I’ve got some zucchini from the farmers market, chilling in my fridge. I went to make some zucchini fries, and we were out of milk. Then I went to make zucchini bread, and we didn’t have enough flour. So I made brown butter coconut cookies instead, which ended up being the best baked good I have ever made in my life. There can be a silver lining in one of those weeks. My silver lining is going to make my ass jiggle for a week. Don’t care.

 

 

So at some point, I will have a post on what the hell I end up doing with that damn zucchini. And at another point, I will have a post on something else I find at the farmers market this weekend. But before I do any of that, I am going to get August down for a nap and then sit in my bathtub with a jar of cookies.

 

I Thought About Babies July 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sara @ 3:09 pm
Tags: , ,

I feel like I just sat down to write the last post. The problem with actually trying to pack some summer into your summer is shit starts to runaway from you. It feels like elementary school again, when every moment flew by and I was just trying to maximize my time running through sprinklers. Felt like all of five minutes before it was time to hang up my awkward one-piece and no-purpose goggles and head back to school. Not that you guys are school. You guys are way better than school. But trying to get on a more frequent blogging schedule is a little trickier than I thought.

 

I tried really hard to find one with goggles. Apparently my mother loved me too much to take any.

I tried really hard to find one with goggles. Apparently my mother loved me too much to take any.

 

We had a pretty busy weekend, full of friends and activities and there was even a high-quality nap somewhere in there. One of my dearest friends just had her first baby, and we went up to Philly to visit her family with another wonderful friend of ours. I’m not going to lie. I was pretty in awe of this new mama. She had makeup on. She had real clothes on, and a bra. She didn’t seem like she was taking a small break from eating her own hair. And she had a baby just a couple weeks ago. I think I was hissing at sunlight that soon after August was born, and I was most certainly not showered. Or at least less showered than I am on the regular. There was a period of time where I didn’t wear a shirt, and just walked around with a My Breast Friend fastened around me like a damn inner tube. Those weren’t exactly pleasant days, and there’s been a lot of apprehension on my part about returning to all that. But visiting my friend, and seeing that sometimes it can be easier, gave me some of my first “Maybe I can possibly sort of do this again one day, perhaps?” thoughts.

 

Totally ready.

 

So there’s that. I’m pretty terrified of having another child. Partly because, aside from the occasional sleep boycott or short-lived tantrum, August is an easy kid. And technically, he was an easy baby. But I did not have an easy time being his mother. Nowadays, I know this kid. I know how to be his mom. But it took a while to get there. I barely left my house for the first three months. I barely left the chair that I nursed him in most days. My pregnancy, my birth experience, those first few months while trying to breastfeed, and my body every step of the way, were absolutely nothing like I expected. Everything felt out of my control. And a lot was, and a lack of control is normal and should be expected. But I didn’t handle it well at all, and I don’t have a lot of confidence at this exact moment that I can handle it much better the next time around. But that is something that I’m learning I need to let go of. It doesn’t matter if I am the kind of person that needs to be in control. When a baby comes, I am going to lose a lot of it, whether I like it or not. Babies don’t give a shit about your comfort or preferences or if you’re a Type A first born Capricorn who gets into fights with doors that look like pushers but are actually pullers.

 

Selfieeeee.

 

Part of it is the unknown. Part of it is the fear of returning to what I know, because what I already know sucks. Part of it is the ever-present mom guilt. How could I ever love anyone as much as I love August? Right now, he’s the world. We are always together, I am always available to him. And I feel bad that he won’t have that level of attention when I have another baby. But I’m starting to get there. What I am trying to say is that my friend’s unbelievably sweet little girl turned my uterus up a notch, and it has been a minute since that thing wasn’t protected by lasers and attack cats.

 

NO ZYGOTES.

 

Sometimes, when I sit down to write without a plan for what I am posting about, I am surprised by what ends up coming out. I’m also excited that the audience I am writing for- my friends, family, and people I’ve never met- has always been a supportive audience that makes me comfortable enough to not just hold down the DELETE button instead of hitting PUBLISH after flying off on a tangent like this. I appreciate that I can come here and be honest, and probably sound like a wackjob, without fear or weirdness. So thanks for being cool.

 

I Went to the Farmers Market and Founds Something Weird Wednesday July 9, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sara @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Successful attempt at making something from the farmers market! Mostly. We were on a tight schedule on Saturday. We had to run by my cousin’s house and let out her dog and feed him, then get August to a music class before we could swing by the tail end of the market. And before you decide I am some crazy weirdo that is putting her toddler in piano lessons, I will correct you and say that I am some crazy weirdo that is trying to socialize her child. August gets a good bit of socialization during the week from my Stroller Strides group, which I still owe you a post on. But he gets to play with kids there, and they also hold play dates that we attend. But whenever those play dates are structured, and especially if there is singing or clapping or loud excitement, he gets super upset. Can’t handle it. So I took him to a free session of a music class for kids eight months to five years old, to get a feel for how he would handle it.

 

This was the emotion I was bracing myself for.

 

He handled the shit out of it. Absolutely loved it. It was structured, but I didn’t have to hold him down in my lap. August could walk around and do his thing, which seemed to help a ton. The songs weren’t super loud or crazy. Each one had it’s own little instrument the kids would learn a bit about and get to play with. A drum pad, rhythm eggs, jingle bells, resonator bells, and more. The teacher would hand them out to each kid, do the song and let them play with it, then collect the instruments before she handed out a new one. I thought having to give something back would lead to a meltdown, but he was cool and happy when he understood that he would get something new after he turned in the old one. I’ve never seen him follow directions in a group setting like this, or even be all that happy. He was beaming! So I’m going to sign him up for the fall session. We were so happy with how the class went, and I think it’s going to be great for this stage where he is transitioning out of parallel play and interacting more with other kids.

 

Anyways, so we got to the farmers market towards the end, and I’m so glad I committed to this post because otherwise I would have said screw it and went home. And if that had happened, I would have missed out on these beauties!

 

NOT big ass green beans. Fava beans!

NOT big ass green beans. Fava beans!

 

Now, I have only ever even heard of fava beans in the context of Silence of the Lambs. So that made me need to buy them. I bought one basket and brought them home, ready to make a heaping side dish with possibly some leftovers. When looking online, I came across a few methods of preparing them with pecorino or parmesan and olive oil. Easy peasy.

 

I soon found that fava beans are a laborious bean to prepare. You gotta shell these suckers twice. First you take the beans out of the pod. Or bean. I would like to take this moment to address the fact that fava beans are also a misleading bean. They false advertise the shit out of themselves. Those big huge pods? Most look like they’ve got three big, tasty beans inside, ready for shelling.

 

Nope.

Nope.

 

So that was frustrating. After shelling all these suckers, expecting Adam and I would be able to each enjoy a hefty helping, this was what my labors produced.

 

I’m trying hard not to make size doesn’t matter jokes.

 

After all that, I still needed to de-shell these guys a second time. They had a thick skin on them that needed to be removed. So I boiled some salted water and tossed in my disappointing yield, and let them cook for six minutes. Then I blanched those bitches.

 

By which I mean I threw them in a bowl of ice water to shock them and stop the cooking process.

 

After blanching, you can just pinch the end of the skin off and pop the bean right through. They’re bright and green and delicious, and worth all the effort, but I wish I would have known to buy more. But I tossed them in a bowl with a little EVOO, some crumbled pecorino, a bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper, and we were good to go. This was an easy side, once the initial prep was done, with really nice results.

 

That is a very small nesting bowl, by the way. This really made a tiny amount.

That is a very small nesting bowl, by the way. This really made a tiny amount.

 

I decided to make us a tapas-ish dinner, so I threw the fava beans together with more pecorino, some hard salami, and the most garlicy bread on this earth. It was all really delicious, and a great meal for out on the deck. Plus, having a green vegetable in there made me feel a little better about a dinner made almost entirely of meat, cheese and carbs. There was enough for Adam and I to both have a small side of the fava beans, but it ended up being just enough because the entire meal was pretty filling.

 

All in all, I would totally make fava beans again. I will just make way more of them next time. This weekend, I will hit the market again in search of something that I’ve never made, and I’ll report back with my findings. If anyone has a suggestion for something I should be on the lookout for, please share in the comments!

 

Minions and Candy and Eagles That Look Like Hippogriffs Are What Make America Great July 7, 2014

‘Merica!

 

U. S. A. U. S. A.

U. S. A. U. S. A.

 

We celebrated the 4th of July, along with all our fellow Americans, this past weekend. We are starting to enter an era of holidays that August can participate in an enjoy, which is making everything a buttload more fun. Of course, he doesn’t really get the whole thing where our forefathers declared us independent from England and all their tea-drinking and bland food nonsense. But he totally gets the part where we watch a parade and wave at fire trucks and get candy thrown at us. Just like John Adams and Ben Franklin.

 

And puddle-stomping.

And puddle-stomping.

 

We drove up to my aunt and uncle’s home in Riverton, NJ. My favorite 4th’s were always spent at their house, because their town was super into America and stuff. The parade went right by their house, so my sisters and I always had great seats for candy-catching. It was exciting to share that with August this year, and see him interacting with people near us and running out to add to his sugar stash. Another great part about him being so young is that he didn’t notice when I would periodically toss a handful of candy into the bag a little boy next to us was holding. We let August eat a few pieces, but there was no way I was voluntarily signing up for the meltdowns to come post-shitload of lollipops.

 

Although he tried his damnedest by  unwrapping every lollipop that came his way and tasting it for five seconds.

Although he tried his damnedest by unwrapping every lollipop that came his way and tasting it for five seconds.

 

August is still too young for fireworks. Both the staying up late part and the super loud noises part, so we went home early and just chilled for the day, worked on the backyard a bit, and then Adam and I went to bed before 10 I think because we are olds now. Summer makes me tired. I don’t think I’ve gotten through a full episode of The Wire after August was in bed in over a week.

 

There was another exciting first last week. My sisters and I took August to his first movie. There is a theater by us that has $1 kids movies from the last year or so a couple mornings a week. We got there early and got primo seats at the bottom of the stadium seating, so that there was a small wall right in front of us and we could let August get up during the movie without him bothering anyone sitting in front of us. We saw Despicable Me 2, and he did really well. I had to cover his ears a couple times when it got too loud, and he yelled at the screen if something was too scary, but overall he had a blast. Popcorn and M&Ms are August’s new favorite food groups.

 

His arms were too short to reach in the bucket, so we grabbed a plastic cup to hold his own personal "POPtorn".

His arms were too short to reach in the bucket, so we grabbed a plastic cup to hold his own personal “POPtorn”.

 

The best part about seeing a movie in this kind of setting, where it’s all parents bringing small kids, trying to get out of the heat and occupy everyone for a couple hours, is that I didn’t have to worry about August making noise and disturbing anyone. Everyone is making noise. The only time I felt compelled to take him out of the theater was towards the end when it was a little intense for him and he was getting restless. We ran around in the lobby for a few minutes, came back in for the final scene, and high-fived for a successful first movie experience. Most of the movies on their schedule this summer suck, so we probably won’t go again this year, but it’s a great thing to have available to us.

 

And I will take any excuse for eating movie theater popcorn.

And I will take any excuse for eating movie theater popcorn.

 

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and isn’t too sunburnt or hungover starting this week off. I’ll be back on Wednesday with the first farmers market post. I posted a picture on my Instagram of what I decided to cook this week, so feel free to check that out or follow along for sneak peaks at future posts. You can view the feed on the right side of this screen.

 

Farmers Markets Sell Things Besides Kettle Corn and Pastries and I Intend to Find Out What. July 4, 2014

Filed under: food,Uncategorized — Sara @ 9:21 pm
Tags: , ,

Every Saturday morning in the summer, I wake up with the intention of going to the farmers market to hunt down some fresh produce to throw into the coming week’s meal plan. The moments after I wake up tend to go one of two ways.

 

Option A

I go to the farmers market, but with zero plan and no idea of what I am looking for. Then I see baked goods and that is what I’m always looking for. And I leave the market with less money, more scones, and zero swiss chard.

 

Option B

Oops.

 

So I’m trying a new thing, but also trying to be realistic about what I am capable of in the early hours of the weekend. All the Saturdays in July are going to go one of two ways.

 

Option A

I go to the farmers market with zero plan and zero idea of what I am looking for. Then I look for something weird I have never cooked with that also grows out of the ground and I buy it. Then I see baked goods and buy them because YOLO.

 

Option B

I still sleep in but I also still manage to get my tired ass to the farmers market. Shit is open until 11am.

 

I got this.

 

What I am trying to say is, I will see you guys this week for What Thing Did I Find At The Farmers Market And Attempt To Cook With Little Knowledge Wednesday Or Something. That is a working title. I will wake up tomorrow and buy a thing, figure out how I want to prepare it and with what, then I will post recipes if it worked out nicely and hilarious anecdotes if it did not. If you have a generous spirit and know something about a vegetable and are also indoors on this fine Independence Day because your child would be a raging bull if you kept them up late enough for fireworks, I would very much appreciate a nudge or suggestion for something to look for tomorrow morning so I don’t actually come home with swiss chard. Unless swiss chard is good? I don’t know things.

 

This post was brought to you by the jackass at Wegman’s who never stocks my damn broccoli florets steamer bags and is forcing me to broaden my horizons because broccoli cuts are disgusting YOU JERK.

 

Summer Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry For Sweat Stains Under Your Boobs. June 30, 2014

Summertime is happening! I mostly know this because I am showering at a closer-to-normal-person rate on account of I’m sweating my balls off over here. Maryland summers are like living in an atmosphere of butter. Shit is gross.

 

Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is where you get swamp-ass.

 

I gotta let you guys in on something in my life that is also sweaty. Fit4Mom’s Stroller Strides class. I’ve been a member for over a year, but in the last few months I’ve finally gotten motivated so I’m like, trying. Which is still very new and very weird for someone who, upon being informed in middle school gym class that we were starting a unit on cross country running, stood up and proclaimed “I do not run across my street, let alone my country,” then pretended to have my period for three weeks. I’ll post more about this later, but let me just say that I’m so in love with everything about this class. Even the burpees.

 

Eff burpees.

 

But back to summertime. August and I are tearing through this mother. Beach? Check.

 

Still finding sand in everything we own.

Still finding sand in everything we own.

 

Ice cream? Check. Farmers Market? Check.

 

Cannot walk by the kettle corn stand without him going "popTORN popTORN!"

Cannot walk by the kettle corn stand without him going “popTORN popTORN!”

 

Awkward tan lines? Check. We went to Ocean City, MD last week with my family and had a blasty-blast. August played in the sand, discovered wet sand and was ecstatic, ran away from waves, and said “HI!” to every person trying to sunbake in peace. We spent lots of time on the boardwalk, ate crabs, rode some rides, and ate a ton of things that were bad for us and fried and dipped in sugar.

 

And it's safe to say he has inherited my Oreo-induced euphoria.

And it’s safe to say he has inherited my Oreo-induced euphoria.

 

His latest verbal thing is saying my name in the middle of exclaiming something.

Want something? “Pease, Mama, pease!”

Don’t want something? “No, Mama, no!”

Excited about something? “Yay, Mama, yay!”

Want a bite of something? “Aaaah, Mama, aaaah!” (with his mouth as wide as he can get it)

 

Walking around OC with funnel cake, french fries, popcorn, donuts, and other goodies that are going to make my ass jiggle for the next month, I heard a whole lot of the latter. And I’m so thrilled, because August has been treated for a speech delay since he was 12-months old, but has had an explosion of language in the last month. He’s repeating everything (I’m so lucky he says “sit” and “shit” exactly the same) and his vocabulary is expanding so fast. Over the last year, I’ve heard little things from him, small words here and there. It was usually the first sound of a word, so if he wanted a ball, he would say BAAA and if he wanted me to open a box, he would say OOOH.

 

It’s been a year of waiting to hear his voice outside of tiny snippets, little soundbites. Hearing him say, “Hiiiii, Mama!” when I come to get him from his crib in the morning, or hearing him make the effort to say BA-NANA instead of NANA, or watching him sing along and dance to a song he likes or “read” me a book he knows by memory is just a whole bunch of the greatest things ever. He’s still behind for his age, but I’m finally hearing his words in his voice and I. Will. Take it.

 

We have a little stream that is a short walk from our house, and one of my goals this summer is to make use of it. Walk August and Bea down there in the morning with a blanket, towels, and a packed lunch, and spend the day cooling off from the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter-air. Part of finally entering a period in my life I would describe as “active,” means I no longer have a violent reaction to walking short distances, and I even have less hatred of nature and dirt. So I can do things like take advantage of the fact that we basically have a free pool, that I never have to clean, that is just a ten-minute walk from my front door.

 

And I get moments like these, anytime I want 'em!

And I get moments like these, anytime I want ‘em!

 

All he wanted to do today was throw rocks from the shore into the water.

All he wanted to do today was throw rocks from the shore into the water.

 

And all I could do was take pictures with my iPod because I never remember to bring an actual camera.

And all I could do was take pictures with my iPod because I never remember to bring an actual camera.

 

I hope you’re all having amazing summers. I’m going to make an effort to post something summery we do each week, so check back soon. And let me know what you like doing with your tiny humans in the hot months, so every week isn’t titled “We Ran Through My Neighbor’s Sprinkler While He Was At Work and Now All His Grass Is Dead.”

 

How to Greet Your Loved Ones After Hours and Hours of Travel Without Looking Like an Extra From the Walking Dead June 14, 2014

The last post was about things that were helpful on the flights and in Spain with August, and I was going to tack this onto it but decided it would be better as a separate post. I just wanted to make a short post about what made my life a little nicer on the plane, since this can apply to mommies and non-mommies alike.

 

From when we got to our first airport to when we landed at our last was probably about 18 hours. I could be wrong, I am bad at math. But even give or take, I think it’s safe to say we spent “a lot” of hours traveling. By the end, I felt like hell on earth, but I was very grateful to myself for thinking to pack a toiletry bag for the plane. I fit everything into a small pencil case, and was able to freshen up and feel like a little bit of a human being, which was especially nice after a red-eye across the Atlantic. So I bring you, the contents of my in-flight toiletry bag.

 

Herschel Supply Co. Settlement Case, Khaki Polka Dot/Navy, One Size

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 1.23.16 AM

This was a small case that could fit easily in a purse or carry-on. It was great for holding the essentials, and the long shape is ideal if you need to throw in a makeup brush or anything else with some length to it. I filled it with toiletries and a little bit of makeup.

 

Yes To Cucumber Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes, 30 Count (Pack of 2)

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Facial towelettes are great when you fly. You can take off your makeup before you go to sleep, and you can use one again when you wake up to wash your face for the day, all without leaving your seat. The not leaving my seat thing will be a frequent thumbs up in this post, because I wasn’t about to take August into the bathroom with me anymore than I had to. Now, these in particular are ideal for flight because they have ingredients to reduce puffiness, refresh your skin, treat breakouts, and moisturize. Plus they’re super gentle so you won’t irritate skin that’s already sensitive from dry airplane air.

 

Bausch & Lomb Contact Lens Case

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I had to get a little creative here. I needed to bring my moisturizer and tinted moisturizer on the plane, but the bottles were too big and it felt dumb to pump the little bit I needed into a 3oz travel bottle. So I put my moisturizer in one side of the case, my tinted moisturizer in the other, and voila! I could hydrate my skin and add a little color while barely taking up any space in my bag.

 

Colgate Wisp Peppermint Mouth Fresheners

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Again, with the not-leaving-my-seat-ness. Brushed my teeth before I went to sleep, then again when I woke up. No spitting or water required. I brought extra because I liked to use two in the morning.

 

NARS Blush, Orgasm 0.16 oz.

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Still my favorite blush. I felt like a zombie at the end of this trip. And I mostly looked like one, except for the lively color on my cheeks! Fooled the world. The pencil case was long enough to hold my regular blush brush, too, so I didn’t need to use a crappy travel one.

 

Maybelline New York Volume Express Mega Plush Waterproof Mascara

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This has been my new favorite cheap mascara for about a year. It has a great fluffy brush, and pretty decent staying power. I also packed my eyelash curler. I didn’t bring much makeup on the flight, but what I did bring was just enough to make me look awake and natural. Tinted moisturizer gives you a bit of sheer color, blush and lip stain make it look like your blood is flowing, and mascara opens up your eyes. I might have packed eyeliner and my brow stuff if I wasn’t traveling with August, but I wanted to stay as low maintenance as possible while still being able to look somewhat put together.

 

Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm, Cherry Me, 0.15 Ounce

71HwdKUktlL._SL1500_

I love colored lip balms, forever and ever. They’re moisturizing, you get a splash of color, but it’s low maintenance enough that you don’t have to keep checking if it’s on your teeth or faded towards the inside of your lips. And since the color is so sheer, you can go with something bold, like a red, because the shade will brighten you up but it won’t be so vibrant that it seems out of place with comfy travel clothes.

 

Aveda Blue Oil 0.24 oz

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I feel like I may have mentioned this little guy in a post before, so my apologies if I’m repeating myself. But damn, this roller ball is my life partner. I try to keep one in my purse at all times, because it’s so refreshing and relaxing. It has peppermint and camomile, and I normally apply this to the back of my neck where it meets my head in the middle and on both sides, plus behind my ears and on my temples. The peppermint oil is great for a little pick me up, and leaves a nice tingling sensation where applied. Then the camomile soothes muscles. I get bad tension headaches, and if I apply this early enough, I can usually avoid needing medicine. However, I did bring a mini Altoid tin with a few Excedrin in it, just in case. But I packed the Blue Oil mostly to perk me up a bit when needed.

 

When everyone was waking up on our flight from Newark to Madrid, I was able to get myself together in the time it took my seat neighbor to come back from the bathroom. I changed August’s clothes when I changed his diaper after we landed, and we were both ready to go. As with my last post, let me know if you end up using and of this, or if you have any suggestions of your own. I’m always looking for new tricks! Tell your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/mom/dad/amputee-that-catfished-you-on-the-internet that I said “You’re welcome,” when they pick you up from the airport.

 

 
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