At Home.

IMG_5804An end-of-the-week recap of what we’re doing, eating and reading:

Like everyone else, we are freezing cold and ready for Spring at this house. I am buying myself all the Spring flowers as a reminder we only have a few weeks to go. And, day dreaming about my garden.

One of the best lists of cooking tips I’ve seen, particularly 2, 19, 33, and 50.

Loved reading these thoughts on daughters and complimenting physical appearance. As a Mom, particularly the Mom of a daughter, this is something I think about every single day.

A great suggestion regarding sugar cravings.

We stripped Penelope down, gave her markers and let her do this last weekend. Kept her entertained for almost an hour.

Such good advice, whether you are a Mama or a writer or both.

It’s a weekend for cooking favorites at the Nadeau house. These quesadillas and this stromboli are on tap. Plus, Penel and I are surprising our best guy with a Key Lime Pie (shhh…). And, always, waffles (we favor the overnight batter).

I have been wearing these ankle boots almost every day since they came in October. They are the most comfortable pair of cold weather shoes I’ve owned and so easy to dress up or down.

Oh, Serial.

As of two weeks ago, we are flying through our list of pre-baby projects. Not the least of which is Finish Decorating This House, which is its own three page list of projects. You know, nothing major. Hugh hung this for me last weekend and it is making happy every time I look at it.

And, and oldie but goodie: she’s always been a Mama’s girl.

Happy weekending, friends! Hope you stay warm and eat pie.

Pregnancy Essentials: Second Trimester

My pregnancy with our second baby has been so different from the first. I felt pregnant pretty much from the moment the second line appeared at 3.5 weeks and spent the first fifteen weeks so, so sick. If I made a list of first trimester essentials, it would read like this: baked potatoes with butter and salt, sourdough toast, and lying on the couch trying to convince Penelope we should play a game called “rest.”

Thank goodness, I hit week 15 and the second trimester bliss arrived – the sickness and exhaustion and headaches disappeared, and I’ve felt great the last eleven weeks. Oh, and it’s flying by. I am 26 weeks today and I have no idea where the last 6 weeks have gone.

My first pregnancy, I am pretty confident that I did not think of one single thing unrelated to growing, birthing, clothing or raising Penelope for the entire 40 weeks. This time, I sit down to eat my lunch and baby girl kicks me in the bladder and I’m like, oh, I have to pee. And, oh, I’m pregnant!

Which is to say I just feel more like myself and less like a wild bundle of anxious, pregnant nerves. Probably good for everyone involved. These are the necessities that I’m happy I don’t have to live without:

bkr Glass Water Bottle – I’m obsessed with drinking enough water. I love this glass water bottle. It goes everywhere with me, keeps me hydrated and keeps my water from tasting like plastic. I have the 1L bottle and drink at least four per day.

New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamin – You take this prenatal 3 times a day, which I love because you are able to actually absorb more of what you’re taking in small doses. I also take this fish-oil-free DHA. Both have been easy on my stomach.

Behance Action Book – Keeps all my lists organized and ideas and projects organized. This is a great post on how to use the book, if you, like I, geek out over other people’s work process.

Acure Sensitive Skin Facial Cleanser – Pregnancy + winter make my skin even more dry and sensitive than normal. This face wash is the only thing I’ve found that removes my make-up, doesn’t dry my skin out and isn’t loaded with scary chemicals.

Relaxed T-shirt Dress (non-maternity) – Maybe because I was rolling right along with my capsule wardrobe when I got pregnant, but I have wanted to invest as little money and energy into my maternity wardrobe as possible. In keeping with the theme, I want comfortable clothes that make me feel like me. I have this dress in blue and grey and haven’t taken them off since they came. I am loving it right now with leggings and ankle boots, but am counting down the days until I can wear it with sandals and bare legs. I think it will be great postpartum, too. I ordered a small, and could probably wear an extra-small, which is my normal size at Gap.

Zella Leggings (non-maternity) – Ditto on my above sentiment. These non-maternity leggings are the best leggings I’ve owned, pregnant or not. They are thick but not hot. They do not fade. They do not pill. They are reversible. They make your butt look great. I have worn them every day for the last three months and they look brand new. You need them in your life. I got these in my pre-pregnancy size and the waistband is still working with my (very large) 26 week belly. I plan to wear them post-baby, too.

Modal Nightgown – The most comfortable, least frumpy maternity sleepwear I’ve tried. I wear this every. single. night.

February 2015 Goals

February 2015 Goals
I super-love goal setting. It fulfills both my need for achievement (check them off the list) and my love of self-improvement. Over the last six years, I have refined my methods to the point I feel like I have a system that really works for me.

At the end of each year, I reflect on the previous twelve months – what worked, what didn’t, what I want to do differently, what I want to do more of – and use this to help me set a master list goals for the upcoming year. Some of these goals are one-and-done tasks that get checked off the list (finish decorating house, beach trip, switch to all non-toxic household products). The rest are ongoing (eat whole foods, continue family dinners).

From my master list, I set monthly goals. At the end of each month I look at what I want to (and, feasibly, can) tackle in the upcoming month. This includes both one-and-done and ongoing goals.  I also evaluate my goals from the previous month to see what got done, what didn’t, and if the the things that didn’t get done need to be carried over or taken off the list.

Then, at the start of each week, I look at the monthly list and decide what I am going to work on for the week. If they are one-and-done, I pick a specific day for the goal and write it in my planner. If I’m focusing on an ongoing goal, for instance, move, I write a way I am going to work on it each day of that week (10K steps, yoga, family walk).

Most important is writing them down. And looking at them. Often. I keep my lists together in a notebook on my desk (pictured above) open to the monthly goal list. I look at it almost every day. To make things happen, I need to get them out of my head and in a place I am going to see them frequently. For me, this is the difference in getting them done and having a list of one-days I daydream about but never accomplish.

January 2015 Recap
–  Eat black-eyed peas and collards: Done. Also, this is one of our Fun Resolutions. Yes, I realizing making resolutions to have fun sounds decidedly Not Fun, but it keeps me from getting to the end of the year without doing a special holiday breakfast or eating watermelon with our feet in the pool.
–  Read 2 books: The Gifts of Imperfection and Teaching Montessori in the Home.
–  Write, daily: I’ll give myself a 40% on this. It is my big goal for the year, so I am happy with progress over perfection here.
–  Declutter office closet, hall closet, both bathrooms, P’s toys/closet/dresser: Hello, second trimester nesting. Nice to see you again.
–  Find new facewash: I am finishing our switch to non-toxic household and personal products this year. Tackling one or two things at time has made it much less overwhelming.
–  Restart Fletcher’s training: Our Boxer. I love him, but man is he crazy.
–  Finalize nursery plan and to dos: Done. Let the decorating begin.
–  Move: I’m back to wearing my fitbit, getting outside most days of the week, and doing some (very) basic prenatal yoga a few times a week.
–  Eat whole foods: I will nicely just call this a fail.

February 2015 Goals
–  Complete a Whole30: Today is day 3. I’m already happy not to be feeling so exhausted and grumpy, but this is round 2 for us so I know we’ve got miles to go.
–  Decorate, set the table and plan a fun Valentine’s meal w/ Hugh and P: Resolving to have fun is fun, people.
–  Read 2 books: Unrelated to parenting, birth, or childhood development.
–  Write daily. Post three days per week.
–  Start purchases for nursery and P’s big girl room.
–  Declutter office closet, basement: Godspeed, self.
–  Sew one basic project: Currently torn between a skirt for P and a foldover clutch.
–  Keep moving.
–  Continue Fletcher’s training: Longterm goal is to have him completely out of the crate when we aren’t here. Mainly so I can have the crate completely out of my house.

Let’s roll, February.

These Are the Days.

We are quickly creeping up on Penelope’s third birthday in April, and, naturally, the baby parts of her have been slowly fading away. Suddenly, it seems, I am left with a little girl where my toddling baby just was.

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She pushes her own little cart around the grocery store and unloads the groceries at checkout. She walks beside me on the sidewalk, chatting away like a little friend. She dresses herself. She drinks from a glass, feeds herself soup, can make it through a whole meal with little help at all from me. She speaks in paragraphs, in monologues, in elaborate stories, in all-day-long questions – from the minute she opens her eyes, her voice is the soundtrack of my life.

IMG_5583Those flour handprints on the counter are the stuff my Mama dreams are made of.

My favorite motherhood advice/reminder/cliche is, “everything is just a phase.” It is what I chant silently to myself during the hard moments – teething, sleepless nights, separation anxiety, two-year-old melodrama – hold on, Mama, this will be over before you know it. But, even more so, it is the whisper in the back of my mind during the perfect moments – backyard picnics, full force hugs and whispered I love yous, cookie-baking marathons, book-reading afternoons under a blanket on the couch – hold on, Mama, this too will be over before you know it.

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And it has never felt truer to me than these last few month. Not only is she tiptoeing up to three, Penelope is becoming a big sister in May. She is so excited about “our baby” and and her excitement is only adding to my own about our second daughter. But, it’s also making me hold on tight. Even tighter than normal. I know this new baby will come and bring with her all the joy and love and how-was-she-ever-not-here we got from her big sister, but I also know that my long and simple days with Penelope as my only companion are drawing to a close.

More than ever, I am reminded what a privilege it is to be her Mama. To take her to the grocery store. To walk beside her on the sidewalk. To share my meals and my time with her. To be the eager ear to her stories and questions. To be her whole world. To be right here. Even on the hardest days, the days I countdown to bedtime, the days I wish for a split second of quiet with no one touching me, the days we both lose our patience, the days where I wonder if my life is too ordinary, I know. These are the days, and they will pass in a blink.

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I go in to check on her one last time before I close my eyes, and, as I smooth her wild curls from her forehead and straighten her covers, all I can think is, my God, how in this world did one person get lucky enough to be her Mama. And how is that person me.