Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beach Baby Advice

Hellooooo, summer!
My oh my how I've waited for sweet summer to arrive.
And boy did we set it off with style!
Immediately after school was officially out, as in one hour later, we departed on our first real vacation as a family of three. I say real vacay because we've taken weekend trips. But this --- this was set to be five nights of pure bliss, complete escape, the ultimate relaxation opportunity after the most challenging school year of my career.

Supposed to be.

Isn't that how it always goes, though? You set out and have these grand plans? Then they all change. But not because you want 'em to. They change out of necessity. Well, my big plans of "pure bliss, complete escape, and ultimate relaxation" changed.

Adam, LC, and I went on a beach trip with another couple; dear friends of ours who will be celebrating their second anniversary this month. They don't have any children, but they love LC oh so much. Well, I think they still do (after all her tantrums and whatnot...). Being around them for five nights really allowed Adam and me to reflect on our pre-baby life vs. our baby life.

As Adam and I drove back home, we had an opportunity to come up with some things we'd like to tell our younger selves - or maybe even pre-baby couples - about beach vacations.

1. Enjoy spontaneity. 
     Routine is everything. Put it on a t-shirt. Tattoo it on your ankle. Break your baby's routine and you ruin everything. This first lesson was learned early on. Like 4:30 a.m. early. 

2. Sand must be one of the plagues. 
     Sand gets everywhere. And it sticks around like an annoying younger sibling. Babies are just naturally sticky to begin with, so baby + sand is bound to be a dangerous combo. That, coupled with the fact that babies LOVE to put everything in their mouths is just great. Sand clump? Lemme eat it...  Don't be surprised to find some sand in your baby's diaper. Both when you go to change it today AND when you change it tomorrow. And that baby powder everyone tells you to use to help get the sand off sticky baby? It's just as bad. Now the sand is on the bottom of your feet, and you (as well as the house) are covered in a fine dusting of baby powder that just won't go away. And the baby's trying to eat that, too...

3. See food. 
     That's about all you'll do. You will no longer taste that delicious $20 seafood platter you've been longing for. By the time you wrangle the baby, painfully contort your sunburnt body to retrieve the toy from under the table, clean up the drink spill, and apologize to the strangers giving you the stink eye due to the baby's surprisingly loud pterodactyl-like scream, your food will just barely have warmth remaining. Then, before you start baby wrangling again, you will inhale your entire platter of food at an alarming yet impressive speed.  On a good note, though, doesn't speed eating increase your metabolism? At least that's what I tell myself....

All in all, we had a great time.
Great memories.
AND great pictures. :)

Hmm, wonder why we're up so early....

Hmm...wonder why someone's already napping....

I don't even know. 

My girl loves the sand. 

LC is pictured here in escape mode. :P

Quite possibly my favorite. 

Now I share a photo that almost caused me to pee my pants. This is a photo I share with you simply because I want you to experience the same Can't-Breathe-Almost-Pee-Your-Pants belly laugh that I had when I first laid eyes on this photo. Honestly, I'm not sure how or WHY I made this expression. I mean, is this even real life? It can't be. I don't even know. 


Just know that I must really like you to share this. 


No words.
Just no words. 

Did you pee your pants?
I hope so.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Post Where I Whine About My Mushy Body

It's been a while since I last posted.

It seems like life just gets in the way.
Meetings. Naps. Baths. Playtime. Grocery shopping.
It all tends to pile up and muddle my days. However, I'm working on it. I'm working on carving out little pieces of time for myself - time to do what I want, what makes me happy.
But it. Is. Hard.
I don't have to tell you that, though.
Painting my toenails, writing blogs, relaxing in a bath, shaving my legs ---- they all seem like luxuries these days. Haha!

This is my crazy child.

This is my child giving me a heart attack/eating the high chair at a  pizza place.

My child trying to eat me.

So, where to begin with an update...?
Maybe starting with my Nosy Nelly would be easiest.
My best gal is now 9 1/2 months old. Well, really she's nearing 10 months old. That, my friends, is just flat out crazy.

At 9 months old, LC...
- LOVES baths
- would rather explore the house than play with toys
- crawls all over the place
- can pull up
- says "dada" and "uh oh" quite a bit

Now for the ugly part.
At nearly 10 months postpartum, I still admittedly rock my maternity jeans.
Ughhhh. I can shimmy into some of my pre baby clothes, but I have all these strange lumps now. And I'm so squishy! I gained nearly 50 pounds when carrying LC, and I am still hanging on to at least 5 of those pounds. But I feel like it's in different places. Am I the only one? Please tell me no.

I'd love to have lost all of my baby, my pizza & ice-cream weight, the time LC turns 1 year old. I don't feel like that's asking too much. Two months until she's one. That's 8 weeks to get it right. I can do this. Right????

I guess I'm putting this out there - publicly whining about it - so that you'll keep tabs on me. Check in, ask how it's going. Knock the candy bar or ice-cream outta my hand. That kind of stuff. It's pitiful, but I can't do it alone. I just can't --- I've tried! Without folks pushing me, checking on me, encouraging me, I slip back into my lazy couch, pizza routine. I'm a boss at meal planning, but it's just so easy to choose Zaxby's or Dairy Queen over my healthy meals. Ughhh. First class ticket on the struggle bus, guys.

Adam recently started an Adovcare 24 Day Challenge and is loving it. He's lost weight. Feels better.
And I'm jealous.
I want to look better.
I wanna have more energy.
 I wanna fit into my clothes!!!

So, with that being said, I've decided.
I'm gonna do it too.
And let me tell you, I was skeptical.
I'm always skeptical of stuff you buy.
But seeing is believing, right?

I'm gonna start a 24 Day Challenge on May 1st and you're welcome to join me. I can help us meal plan if you help keep me in line! :) There's a short video on the challenge that I watched; I found it to be pretty informative.

Either way, please check in with me.
Ask me how it's going.
Read my blog posts for updates.
Ask if I forget.
And don't hesitate to be mean to me if I'm slurping down a Blizzard. ;)

LC's 9 month photos - this is the first photo of us together that I actually like - I didn't cringed at the way I look!  

Saturday, March 12, 2016


It's a good morning.

My back door is open.
Outside, the birds are singing a wonderful tune as my sweet Buddy plods in and out.
The decision between soft comfy bed and the sweet waking world is a tough one.
For now, we're both inside.

I'm currently the only one awake - save my furry companions.
My ever trusty cup of coffee is by my side.
This is a rare, coveted moment of peace.
But butterflies are fluttering away in my stomach.

It's different this time.
Different feeling.
Different rituals.
Different running pals.
Different race.
But I'm certain it'll be fun.

I'm sure that I'll be significantly slower.
My face will be as red as a lobster.
I will probably have trouble moving later today.
And I will undoubtedly pee my pants.

But here I am.
Excited - kinda.
Prepared - kinda.
Ready - totally ready - to run a race.

My future running buddy.

Must teacher her proper selfie etiquette ASAP. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


It happened last week.
Just out of the blue, too.
I realized that I have a 7 month old daughter.
The hubs and I have been muddling through this strange land of parenthood for 7 months now.
And, consequently, I've been wearing my maternity pants and telling myself that it's ok - I just had a baby.

Seven months ago.

So, with that hard pill swallowed, I mustered all the courage I had, located the one pair of workout pants I own that fit (see mom pants), and packed my bags to head to the gym. Prior to October 2015, I had been a regular gym rat. Adam and I went to CrossFit many times a week. It was wonderful. But since having the baby, I'd only been to the gym once, and then we just did some weightlifting.

On that faithful Wednesday of last week, with butterflies in my stomach, I walked into the doors of Adam's CrossFit gym, CrossFit Protocol. The workout of the day was tolerable with burpees, rowing, and some pushing a sled. I felt as if I could manage.

What I didn't expect, though, was what other joy of motherhood I discovered.

It's terribly difficult to go into a new gym, know no one, and try to do movements in a new, mushier body. But I did it! We began with rowing. Sounds easy, but alas! In a mere 30 seconds, your lungs, abs, and legs all burn with a fiery greatness you never knew possible. Suddenly, I was done rowing though! I had hit my mark and it was time to go on to the next movement - burpees.

And that's when it happened.
The inevitable.
It came at some point during the burpees.
Who knows.

Honestly, I didn't notice it right away. After the rowing and burpees came more rowing and more burpees. When we finished with that, we had a short break before pushing a weighted sled and MORE burpees. Maybe it didn't occur until my second  round of burpees? All I know is that it happened.

When the workout was finally over.
When my legs felt like jello.
My lungs were on fire.
And I saw dear hubs and my sweet gal---
That's when I realized what had transpired.
What with all the jumping around and can imagine.


So, I suppose that my daughter and I have quite a bit in common:
blue eyes
awesome shoe collection
fussy when sleepy
fussy when hungry
we pee our pants sometimes

Welcome to motherhood!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I've Gained So Much

I was doing some reflecting recently.
Honestly, that's sugar coating it - let's be honest...
I was thinking the other day around 3 a.m. when I was awake for the bajillionth time. I was thinking about this time last year. There was so much excitement in my house, with my family, at my school (also, there were full nights of sleep, but that's another story!). The holidays are always exciting, but it was around this time that we decided to share our nausea-laden good news with everyone.

On one of our many car rides throughout the holiday season last year, Adam and I set goals for 2015.
I'm happy to report that I accomplished all of my goals ---

except one.

It's the one that I actually was confident I'd be able to cross off.
The one I gave myself wiggle room on.
The one where I wanted to be back in my regular clothes by Christmas.

Negative, ghost rider.
Neg. A. Tive.

I guess I didn't anticipate gaining 47 pounds - only six of which were baby!
I guess I didn't anticipate a tiny person dominating so much of my time and energy.
I guess I didn't anticipate wanting to eat everything in sight every single day.

I've gained soooo much.

So much weight.
Six little pounds to start with. 

So many smiles.

So much experience.

So many memories.

So much joy.

So much love.

I'm so happy with my 2015 gains.

Here's the sweet gains LC has made since the last time I did one of these updates. It's easy to fall behind with so much going on!

At 5 months old, LC ---
- Reaches for and grabs her favorite crunch toys and mom's hair
- Rolls from front to back and back to front like a mad woman
- Has mastered the backwards scoot
- Now sleeps pretty well in her own bed in her own room
- Still has a bald spot on the back of her head
- Still has blue eyes
- Doesn't mind tummy time

At 5 months as a mom, Janell---
- Adores making LC laugh
- Loves taking LC on runs in her stroller
- Got her hair cut shorter
- Can now wear her wedding band again

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I don't understand why some folks aren't into Halloween.
I mean, there's fun, creepy stuff....
Dressing up...
(My dad's birthday!)
And you get to ask strangers for tons of free candy.

Last year, my pals and I took a road trip on Halloween. You better bet we dressed up!

We certainly didn't try to freak out people we passed on the road. Never. 

Year before last year, Buddy and I dressed up to give out candy.

Me as Dorothy, Buddy as Dobby. 

I have a little something for LC to wear, but Buddy said he'd like to opt out this year. Too much doorbell action for him.

All that's to say--- I love Halloween.
I guess I do understand the hesitation towards really getting into the spirit. After all, those monsters can be scary!  But honestly, I'm finding that there are plenty of monsters in my life right now. Even without Halloween.

There are monsters in my closet. 
All of those clothes that I still cannot fit into haunt me each and every time I glance in there. All of this asparagus, salad, and lean protein makes no difference. My weight just won't budge. I know it's ok. I just had a baby--- blah blah blah. But I'm uncomfortable. All this extra padding just isn't me. I feel heavy. Dumpy. And just plain uncomfortable. However, I guess I'll just be uncomfortable while my hormones are all wackadoodle from being a milk machine. Baby's needs trump my need to clear out the closet monsters. 

There are monsters in my head. 
Never before have I doubted myself so much. There is so much advice out there - expert parents, Dr. Google...I just can't escape it. While it's oftentimes requested and warranted, it's confusing to sift out what seems right. Baby should sleep on her back - back is best! Be sure to put baby on her tummy - tummy time! Don't overfeed your child. Make sure you feed your child enough. Babies should sleep 10-12 hours a night - sleep begets sleep. But don't let your baby sleep too long. Keep your eyes peeled for signs of sickness. Just let her cold run its course. Baby shouldn't have diarrhea. Diarrhea is normal for some babies. It's ok for the baby to cry-it-out. Don't let your child cry too long or they'll feel abandoned.

Sometimes it's just too much. 

There's a monster in my bedroom. 
It's the tiniest monster I've ever imagined, but I don't want her to leave. She can stay. I know I have compared LC to a dragon in the past, but I think she's more of a monster right now. She leave a path of destruction wherever she goes (see my living room and car for proof...). She makes noises that wake you up in the dead of the night (noises which my supersonic hearing pickup on no matter how exhausted I may be). Definitely a monster.
But have you ever met a monster than can do tricks?
Mine can. :)
She knows how to smile.
But she can't roll over yet. We're working on that.

Happy Halloween from Lydia Claire!

At 17 weeks old, LC....
- Loves to look around
- Chews on her hands
- Drools constantly
- Had her first sickness - thank you daycare
- Loves to smile and laugh

At 17 weeks as a mom, Janell...
- Feels more confident going out with bae
- Has given up on LC's baby book
- Had her first sickness in 11 years - thank you daycare

Photo by Jessica McCravy Studios

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I've always thought it was so corny when parents would post those three years ago today my life changed drastically status updates for their kids' birthdays or whatever. Phew. Well, duh. You had a kid.

But seriously, ya'll.
Three months ago, my life changed drastically.
I can't believe that it's already been three months. It's been the longest, fastest three months ever.
And I seriously can't believe just how drastically my life has changed.

My nail polish is usually chipped.
More often than not, my clothes have spit up on them.
I can't remember the last time I had a seriously clean house. Well, actually I can. It was June 30...
I'm perpetually running late for work- just can't tear myself away from her in those sweet morning hours. 
I've become crazy efficient with my morning routine. Ready, car packed, some chores done, and waking up baby by 6 a.m....

It's so true. Life changes so much with a kid.
Let's just talk about the fact that it's suddenly October - my birth month! Since Adam and I share a birthday, it's always been a big deal. We celebrate the whole week! That means parties! Daily gifts for Adam! Great plans for Oct. 2!
Well, I just realized that our birthday is on Friday.
We haven't celebrated.
I haven't gotten hubby anything.

I'm not sure if it's baby brain - another phenomenon I scoffed at but now know to be real - or that baby is just on my brain, but I can't remember anything these days. Important stuff, guys. Like the car seat. Yep. And that totally becomes a problem when you pick up your child in the afternoon and have no car seat in which to put the little tyke.
At least I remembered the kid...

Surprisingly, though, I don't forget mascara.
It's something I always find time for. Mostly because I look like a creeper without it.
Marathon = wore mascara.
Labor = wore mascara.
Errday = mascara.
All that's to say that I'm digging this Younique kind. It makes my lashes look nice and full - something they're not on their own. You can definitely go all tarantula eyelash with this stuff, or you can use sparingly and just look awesome. I'm having an online Younique party, so you can look at the stuff by using this link:

Fast feet.

Anyway, at 3 months, Lydia---
- Loves to suck on her hand
- Kicks her legs all the time
- Shares lots of smiles
- Sometimes tries to talk when asked questions
- Still sleeps through the night
- Has an adorable bald spot on the back of her head
- Hates tummy time

At 3 months as a mom, Janell---
- Loves making her girl smile
- Enjoys shopping with and for baby
- Can't decide what baby should be for Halloween
- Gets excited every morning when baby wakes up

Always with that hand...