Wednesday, March 31, 2021




I started the month wishing for a vaccine and am ending it VACCINATED and I am so, so, so, so, so grateful. Now to lick all of the doorknobs.

Cheers, science!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


 I have lost THREE POUNDS in the past 12 days, and I am working hard to lose the rest of my baby weight. I need to lose 11 to have a BMI under 25 and 17 to be back where I was before Minnie. As usual, I am using the much maligned My Fitness Pal app and this time I am not even lying to it. I am giving myself tons of calories since I still breastfeed ALL OF THE TIME and taking things slow. It's nice to see what reasonable portions look like, and I don't feel deprived at all. (Although I do have to make some hard choices when it comes to snacks and sweets.)

Some hits: Aidell's chicken apple sausage with egg whites and veggies. Cuties because they are delicious right now.

This pizza-- such a good lunch!
Veggie lasagna with veggies and more veggies on the side
The puff on Minnie's chin (kidding!)
I am addicted to a Tbsp of cashews and a Tbsp of dark chocolate chips. especially as a post-dinner treat.

Any great low-calorie lunch and dinner ideas?

Monday, March 29, 2021

My Madison Mom post for the month

 Read it right here.


Minnie cannot stand up by herself THANK GOD because when I helped hr hang on to her changing table so she could explore her noise machine, I thought I AM NOT READY FOR THIS AT ALL THANK YOU.
Beatrix tried so hard to snag lasagna off Jack's plate while I was cleaning the kitchen that I let her eat it and then she puked all over her bed because OF COURSE SHE DID.
Baby Jon:
Baby Min:


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Being the default parent


I don't even know how we came to divide our labor this way. I think because Ben was at DWD at the start of the pandemic, and his job was a freaking nightmare of business as millions of people lost their jobs, etc. His new job is less busy but still busy, and the kids just sort of gravitate to me for all of their needs while I also work full time.

It is... a lot?

And WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES with our jobs we can work from home.

I read this great Vox article about how the problem is work, not a broken childcare system, and it really resonated. The ideal worker is not a disconnected, disembodied dude, not any more. Jobs can't assume theres a lady at home to produce the family because Republican economic policies from Eisenhower forward have made certain that lady? IS ALSO AT WORK.

So during the pandemic, moms are sacrificing everything SO DADS CAN lock themselves in a room and be the ideal worker using the kind of economic justification that perpetuates the wage gap it's predicated on. And the thing is? This is how the world works for working women all the time. The pandemic has just exaggerated things.



Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Intuitive Eating

 I WANT to practice intuitive eating.

And I think I will.


Which is basically the opposite of something an intuitive eater would say. But! This article from SELF explains it perfectly: weight loss and intuitive eating are at cross purposes. I think that after I lose the baby weight, I can eat intuitively. And I think that while I am losing, I can eat what I want, as long as I control for portion size. But the whole idea of counting calories is not what intuitive eating is all about. 

It's a conflict for sure.

Here are the ideas I can incorporate:

No bad foods

No moral judgment about food

Honoring hunger-- I can eat when I feel hungry, but what I eat and how much are important right now

Respect my fullness and learn what satisfaction feels like

No emotional eating

I made the lasagna on the back of this box:

459 calories for 1/9th, in case you wondered, and worth every single one.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

1000 Hours Outside-- Back on the Hunt!

 We are totally going to log our 1000 hours outside! Thanks to the hockey rink, the kids got outside every day even when the weather was awful. If we can be out for an average of 4 hours/day for March and April, we can slooooow down to the regular average of 2.7/day for summer-- although jeeping the hours up for summer will help us for December.

So far, that's no problem, although it's more like 7 hours Saturday and Sunday (EIGHT both days for Dorothy) and fewer during the week. We're working on it, is my point, and baseball season is right around the corner.

Tiny cup: adorable, hilarious,. and really useful

SINK BATH! Everyone loves a good sink bath.
I am in love with his sock/shoe combo-- you??
Can you tell which side she was napping on?
Fencer baby! Now that Minnie can control her arms, she is a much better sleeper. We are talking a super solid afternoon nap and loooooooong night sleep. 
Hi, this is Dorothy, a VORACIOUS READER and I am here for it!
Minnie on a hike
Dorothy is not the kind of hiker who should have a stick.
This lasted... not very long.
Seeesters in the sun. Minnie got this jean jacket from her grandparents for Christmas, and it is the perfect spring coat and makes all of her clothes more adorable.
I cannot believe this adorable little bear lives in our house. We are so lucky.
Dorothy being outdoorsy

Monday, March 22, 2021


It's amazing what nice weather can do!

Our house feels bigger!

We are slaughtering our 1000 hours outside goals-- Dorothy-- the straggler-- spent EIGHT HOURS outdoors yesterday.

Minnie adores all the walks
(I love the serious way she is contemplating his hair)
Do you guys remember when I was afraid she wasn't getting enough to eat?


Friday, March 19, 2021

Life Lately

Minnie and I (along with Harry, Cooper, and Dorothy) drove all over the place on Ben's birthday morning to get donuts and lattes from our old favorite places. I had to bring Dorothy and Cooper and Minnie so Ben could sleep in and then I also had to bring Harry so he could either mask up and run in OR sit in the car with the kids so I didn't get arrested. I invited Jack along, but he was like ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?
Dorothy. And her iPad.
Minnie and I feel the same way about the return of winter weather for our walks.
This is Dorothy's AG cool club-- her favorite girls in all of their original clothes.
Her serious little face!
Sour bite
She loves to play with her puffs, but she doesn't seem to understand that she can eat them
Dorothy used all of her cash in the world-- Hanukkah, Valentine's Day, Tooth Fairy, birthday-- to buy a whole bunch of Barbie-sized LOL dolls. Minnie just wanted to play with the piggie bank.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Little Gym!

One of the things we did to celebrate Dorothy's birthday was to rent out The Little Gym for a family playdate. I didn't even know that was thing until I saw it on my friend's Instagram, but it IS a thing, and we loved it. You can have the whole gym and any equipment you want for 45 minutes.

We wore masks inside the lobby, but after a temp check and some hand sanitizer, we could take them off inside the gym after TLG host went back to the front desk.

One of the things I have really hated about COVID is that I haven't been able to take Minnie to a baby class, so it was fun to let her play on the BIG! RED! MAT!
As expected, Dorothy loved it the most. She said, "The whole time I have been 7, the only place I have gone inside is the flu shot place!"
I can't wait to get my second vaccine dose and sign her up for gymnastics.
Minnie was a little crabby because we had to wake her up from nap to go to the gym, but she loves Cooper so much that he managed to squeeze out a smile.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Baby Food: A Journey

 I think I just gave up on making baby food for the other kids because I could. I could just run to the store and buy a jar or a pouch whenever they turned up their noses at a homemade offering. I remember telling myself that Cooper liked store-bought food better, even. But I think he was just being a baby, and it takes babies a few tries to like something.

Because we still don't go inside stores, though, there is a delay between wanting something and buying it, so Minnie has been getting all homemade food all of the time. And you know what?  I love making it.

I bought some tiny canning jars, and they are absolutely perfect. I usually make 4 or 5 jars of something at a time and usually have 8-9 jars going in the fridge. I make food every 305 days, depending on her appetite, and we have some Earth's Best baby oatmeal for the in-betweens. She can always eat that with a mashed up banana or some avocado. I have been making regular Quaker oats for her, though, with some sort of stewed fruit, and then I puree the cooked fruit and oats with a few soaked dates and add either cinnamon or cloves.

I make the food in the morning during the breakfast rush, a time so busy I don't even notice the extra work. But yesterday, I made it in the afternoon, and it was a while THING. Weird, huh?

I thought Minnie might have fun  playing with random kitchen clutter in this sheet pan I plucked from the drying rack.

While I made nectarine puree and oatmeal with plums, dates, and cloves.
She is the most patient baby in the world.

Next up: meat and fish, plus yogurt!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


 I cannot even. I mean, I know that tie marches on, etc etc etc. BUT YOU GUYS.

I still remember my little Idea of March baby being born like it was YESTERDAY.

I went into labor on March 13 at Ben's birthday celebration. My mom and dad came on the 14th, even though they both had to take off work, and my labor slowed down. Ben hung out with them and the 3 boys (including a full-on BABY Cooper) while I did hypnobirth breathing in our room, feeling so incredibly peaceful.

I almost got an epidural because I was so hungry and tired and wanted to relax, but Ben told me to just drink some juice (like I was Shelby), and we walked the floors with a tumbler of apple juice the size of my femur. I spent so long in the tub sleeping between contractions that Ben fell asleep in the couch in our birth suite.

Transition woke us both up, but there is something so perfect about unmedicated childbirth-- it's such a clean pain with no lingering sensation between the contractions, so you can use that moment to regroup and be ready for another one. The contractions build like waves, so you can sort of ride them and feel the crest, which keeps the fear at bay. And the feeling of expelling a baby with no meds-- it's a high and a hormone rush like no other.

I pushed for 20 minutes, and there she was-- pink and tiny and ready to eat. And also I ate a Subway BMT that my nurse had been storing in the nurses' station fridge WHILE DELIVERING THE PLACENTA. Always so delicate-- that's me.

And now she is EIGHT.

She had a wonderful birthday with all of us home together and friends delivering cards and presents. She wore the sundress she picked out even though we had a NAMED WINTER STORM. she chose all 3 meals (sheet pan pancakes, Panera takeout, and burgers on the grill with corn, green beans, and the palest pink watermelon I have ever seen). Hers was the last birthday party before the world shut down, and now all the kids have had a birthday cycle without a party, and they DO NOT LIKE. Expect lots of parties in our future, I guess.

Here's 8 in pictures:

My present-wrapping helper who became irate when I would not let her eat the paper because I AM SO MEAN.

The most perfect birthday sunrise ever:
Look-- she is literally IN THE AIR about this doll
Always up for a party:
Ready for summer-- thanks Grandma and Grandpa!
Thanks for the awesome dolls and furniture, Grandma!
Pancake cake!
Table decor:
BALLOONS!! (I can't recommend this company enough, BTW)
Nothing to do with birthday, but this is funny:
The whole party crew!
We moved the decor indoors right before the freaking BLIZZARD.
Birthday mess
We played Pic Wits at dinner per the birthday girl's request, and she totally won. We usually play a game of some sort-- Trivial Pursuit, Cards Against Humanity, What Do You Meme, etc
Look at all those candles!
What a perfect birthday
(Even the ugly cake was perfect)