What’s Been Saving My Life in the 4th Trimester

This post is a bit late (story of my life these days) because I somehow have a six month old now, but I’ve been thinking about what was super duper helpful in those first few months.  You know, besides having an incredible partner and supportive friends and people bringing me food.

Also, besides hitting the pool as much as possible.  Just like when I was pregnant, I started going to the pool as soon as I was cleared.  Even though I wasn’t thrilled about being in a swimsuit, I did love just being in my body and moving in the water.  It felt good.  Continues to feel good.  Oh, you don’t have year round, convenient pool access?  I know.  This is something we are very fortunate with here.

BUT I promise the rest of these are things you can use for your own fourth trimester or to support the new mamas in your life.  In no particular order . . .

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4 Months In

So we are now four months in to this whole having three kids thing.  How’s it going?  Things are constantly in flux and still a little crazy, but I feel like we’re starting to get our sea legs.  I’ve been wanting to share more here, but I haven’t for reasons I’ll get into here.  So here’s what we’re up to and how a typical day looks for us right now.

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How this pregnancy has been different

I forgot how hard this is.  How every last day of pregnancy lasts a year.  (I’m 39 weeks tomorrow.)  At this point, it just seems like a cruel joke.  There is no baby.  I’m just pregnant now and will be forever and this is my life now.

OK, enough wallowing.  I know we’ll get to meet our little guy AT SOME POINT.  Before we get into the newborn haze and I block all of this out, I’ve been reflecting on how this pregnancy has been different than the first two.  Both on what I’ve done differently and how I’ve felt.

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ICYMI: Where did 2015 go, ya’ll?

Have you started to feel like every day for the whole rest of the year is planned?  Seriously, where did it all go??  And how do I already feel behind on Christmas shopping???

Chase pigeons every day

Chase pigeons every day

On the Blog:

I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that we are having adventures faster than I can write about them.  I’ve been updating Travel Resources with more info to give you travel ideas, even if there aren’t links to full posts.  Looking for your next day trip or weekend getaway?  Check it out here.

One adventure I did cover was our jam-packed day trip to Turin.  If you have a chance, I’d spend more than a day here.

I also talked about my love/hate relationship with crowds and our trips to Nemi and Orte.

As well as gettin’ deep about last meals at Castel Sant’ Angelo.

And 3 tips to make your travel awesome.

Huh, I guess there are still some travel posts going up around here.  I feel like things have definitely gone off the rails lately.  #sorrynotsorry

Fall is here!  I still haven’t ordered my OTK boots, but I’m sure everyone here would like me to just do it or shut up about it.  What’s on your fall fashion wish list?

Heh, million dollar baby.  LITERALLY.  And then my other recent attempt at humor where I talk resumes and giving booze to horses.

The one where I get kind of preachy about judging other people.  I swear, I’ve put the soap box away.  For now at least.

My baby is 3!!  Still says hilarious things.  (And like my kid, I’m very food-oriented.   Treat yo self.)

On the Internets:

For my hipster peeps, have you tried switchel?  I really want to try this apple cider vinegar drink, but I’m having a hard time on the ginger juice.  I can’t find it in juice form, and I don’t have the capability to juice fresh ginger.

This video had me cry laughing.  If you want to kill your morning, delve into Break Womb’s other stuff.  Ah, it’s funny because it’s true.

How not to say the wrong thing

If you looking for some fall pieces of your own, Ann Taylor is 50% off through Sunday.

I’m very intrigued by this stroller.  Any urbanites tried this one?

That’s all I got.  Happy weekend everyone!

Why you might not want to ask me to look at your resume

9.17_Why you might NOT want to ask me to look at your resume

You may have noticed.  I’ve been having some trouble writing lately. I WANT to be writing.  Just any time except when I’m actually near a computer.

I blame two things.  First, of course, the adorable weirdos.  I’ve just been more wiped out lately.  Nap time rolls around, and I just need a break.  Eh, I’ll write something, I say.  Just let me read a few more chapters of Mindy Kaling’s new book first . . .

Also, I joke that I can take care of the kids and only do ONE other thing in my life at a time.  Well, I don’t know why I’d call it a joke.  It is pretty true.  Except not completely true because I’ve been running again and I’ve also been doing more travel planning.  So maybe 1.5 things in my life.  Running doesn’t fully count.  This is why having running buddies is awesome.  I just show up, and they pull me along.  Autopilot.  Melissa, did you have a chance to think about a route for our long run?  Uh . . . blank face.  I’m sure they love it.  I’d like to think that I make up for my route laissez faire with sparkling conversation on our runs.  Which is TOTALLY something I do and not turn bright red and wheeze.

But, yeah, I’ve been spending my precious computer moments planning more adventures instead of writing about previous adventures.  Some out of town.  Some in town.  We went on an epic organized gelato crawl that I need to tell you guys about.  (Because nothing makes people hate you more than pics of you stuffing yourself full of gelato.)  We are going to see Shakespeare at the Globe Theater in BorgheseI saw Castel Sant’ Angelo at night.  We are trying some new restaurants.  We got tickets to see the Forum at night.

All good and exciting things.  All take time to plan.

So I haven’t been writing.

But lately, I’ve had trouble sleeping.  Thankfully, not wake up in the middle of the night sleeping, but just get-up-too-early not sleeping.  (She says, furiously knocking on wood.)  Instead of getting up, though, I’ve been tossing and turning or reading because WHO ON EARTH wants to get up at 5:00 am if they don’t have to.  NO ONE that is.  Maybe babies actually.  But babies can be kind of jerks sometimes.

So today when I woke up early AGAIN I was all FINE UNIVERSE.  You win!!  I’ll get up!  I will write and spend time crafting my brilliant tomes of wisdom that are DEFINITELY not just internet screeds.

Aside:  Screed is a really funny word, right?  Try saying it over and over.  Screed, hehe.

But, ANYWAYS, the joke is on YOU, universe, because I’m recycling something I’ve already written.  (Which is good because I already hear Mac screaming.  See above re jerk.)  You can lead a horse, but you can’t make it drink the champagne.  Which is probably a good thing.  You don’t want your horse stealing all your champagne.  Unless you are me, because I’m not doing a full whole30 right now, but I am trying to cut back on certain things.  Like booze.  Because I may not have mentioned this, but I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately.

Official Disclaimer:  I do NOT give booze to horses.

But I guess the joke is kind of on me because I just wrote over 600 words culminating in a disclaimer I never thought I would write.  Or really the joke is on you because you just read it.  Muhahahaha.

So remember how I have a sister?  (Two actually, but let’s focus on this one for now.  Oh, and a brother.  But I digress.)

When we were back in the States, she asked me for help on her resume.  Do I have opinions on resume style?  YOU BET.

I gave her some pointers, said something obnoxious about her sending me an updated draft within a week, and then scampered back to Rome.

Surprisingly–although I guess not as surprising as you’d think for a put-upon sibling who was used to dealing with the tirades of a domineering older sib–she sent a draft within a week.  And it was AWESOME.  Seriously, you guys should go hire my sister.  If for nothing else than to help you with your resumes because she is now a stone cold resume writing genius.  I just had a few comments and sent it back.

Within a few days, I hadn’t heard anything.

You may not have picked up on this, but patience is not one of my strong suits.

Aside:  I just googled “strong suit” to make sure that I’m not mistyping this.  And I was all, what does that really mean anyway???  Trying to be all deep.  Is it about the strong, power suit in your closet?  The one you only break out for interviews?  Because you had an awesome resume???

And, of course, it is about your strong suit of cards.  Which I think I actually knew, and I probably could have re-puzzled out if I gave myself the chance.  (James is definitely doing some serious eye rolling at this point.  I’ll be able to confirm for you in person in a few hours because I love nothing more than to read blog posts over his shoulder to see where he is laughing.  (I don’t think it needs to be said, but he loves MANY things more than this.))

Update:  James read that first paragraph and was all “seriously??” and I’m like just keep reading.  And then he lost it.  ALL the laughing.  So I was happy.  But then I was like, GREAT, my best joke on here was a private one for you.  Face palm.

So back to my strong suit.  My fictional strong suit is a traditional color, but it has some feminine details, and I like to wear it with statement jewelry.  Because I have LEARNED NOTHING.

My sister.  Even though my email game is anything but tight, I apparently expect everyone to reply promptly.  Because that makes sense.

So I sent her this message.

Which I thought about asking her permission to use, but then I was all, hey, I wrote the email.  And this really says everything about my mental state and nothing about hers so she has no reason to be embarrassed.  Except on my behalf.

You:  OMG.  I just landed the BMW internship job thing.  They said normally they don’t do this, but they are going to pay me a starting salary of $75K because they were SO impressed with my resume.  They even want me to start a resume-writing workshop for all zee Germans who have perfect English but are worried about their English.

Me:  That’s terrific!  I knew you could do it!

You:  Also, NBD, this German prince or duke or something was TOTALLY hitting on me at my interview.  He showed up on the lawn in his private copter (with BMW motor, of course!) and begged me to give him a chance, but I told Dieter that I’m a career girl and I can’t be seen dating the boss.  Or the dude who will be my underling in about 2.5 seconds when I skyrocket up the corporate ladder faster than a German chasing a keg of beer rolling over a field of bratwurst.

Me:  Right on!  Girl power!

You:  Anywho, I couldn’t have done this without you.  You’re the best.  DAS BEST.  I’ll make sure they name the next Z Series after you.  And then deliver one to your door!

Me:  Aww, you’re too sweet.  You really did all the work.  I’m glad I could be of some small assistance.  Don’t forget me when you are off running the Eurozone and rubbing elbows with Merkel!

You:  NEVER.  I don’t have favorites, but you are definitely one of my favorite sisters.  Love you!

Me:  Love you!

With apologies to all jokes at expense of zee Germans.  The email just tickled me, and thankfully my sister thought it was funny too instead of being all WHY ARE YOU RIDING ME ON MY RESUME, WOMAN?  Also, it was for the best because she claims her email ate my original message with my actual thoughtful comments which I would say isn’t a thing except that has totally happened to me before too.

And with apologies to all of you because I’m pretty sure I have exceeded my caps and italics usage for the year with this rant, I mean post.  But you can’t really blame me.   Blame THE UNIVERSE.  Because this is what happens when I’m writing at 5:30 in the morning.

Happy birthday to Mac!

Guess who still refuses to crawl and is now one year old??

THIS GUY

THIS GUY

Mac had a pretty swell birthday.  I mean, he didn’t tell me he enjoyed it or anything, but I think he had a good time.  Recap on birthday numero uno below.  Or just watch this video.  It covers just about everything.  Thanks Google+!

Mac woke up early so I didn’t get to run in and terrorize him with the birthday song, as per tradition.  (For his recent birthday, James delighted in being awoken from a peaceful slumber with my phone pressed to his head blaring the birthday song.  What can I say?  We make birthdays special ’round here.)  I did get to play Mac the song while he was sitting on the kitchen floor.  At first, he was all “why are you guys just staring at me” but then he started his signature Mac dance bob.

Mac was fortunate to be able to celebrate with his grandparents.  We took pics with the birthday banner.

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Not our best family photo

Not our best family photo

Mac opened presents from thoughtful relatives, godparents, and friends.  Henry “helped.”

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We went on a birthday adventure.  We took the subway for the first time to St. Paul Outside the Walls.  Stunning and huge.  More on this one later.

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And the main event:  cake!  James made a chocolate cake with homemade frosting and a separate smash cake for the birthday boy.

He went for it.  Instantly.  No hesitation.  Fistfuls of cake straight into his mouth.  Like to the point I almost worried about needing to take it because he was eating so much cake.  As if taking cake from a chocolate-covered cake demon would ever be advisable.

Before:

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During:

5.18_happy birthday 3 5.18_happy birthday 2

After:

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They were some of the happiest moments of his young life.  Sadly, the high was followed by a definite low, as cleanup was inevitable.  Mac howled while he took a shower, but I think he’d tell you it was worth it.

P.S.  Want to relive the epic Mac saga? Mac at 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 8 months, 9 months, 10 months, and 11 months.

Wut up

You can't resist the squish

11.5_Mac 3 1.12_Mac 4 2.17_mac 3 3.9_Mac 7 4.30_Mac 7 5.18_happy birthday 13

You should probably just start walking already

Dear Mac,

You are 11 months old.  WHOA.  That’s all I have to say about that.  Moving on.

4.30_Mac 12 4.30_Mac 11 4.30_Mac 7

Moving is actually the name of the game for you these days.  You want to be on your feet!  You want to be walking!  You have places to go and people to see and things to put in your mouth!  You still can’t do any of this unassisted, but it doesn’t stop you.  You just reach out your hands and expect your entourage to enable you.  (They frequently do.)

4.30_Mac 1

You have zero interest in crawling.  You will flop all the way forward, rotate 360 degrees, or “walk” a few steps and plop before you will even think about making a crawling motion.  Instead, you have cultivated some pretty aggressive pointing.  That.  That, woman.  Bring me THAT.  I try not to cave, but . . .

4.30_Mac 4

You have also become a lot more demanding.  What happened to my easygoing baby??  Now, you generally cry if I try to leave the room.  Whether this is because you miss me or because I can’t hold your hands to help you walk when I’m gone, I am unsure.  But we are talking piercing shrieks that turn your face red.  Screams the likes of which you have NEVER before uttered.  This turnabout is a little shocking.

I get it.  You’re frustrated.  I’m frustrated too.  I know you can’t move how you want to, and it is driving you bonkers.  I feel bad that I’m frustrated.  You were low key for months; who am I to complain now?  You’ve just thrown a curve ball.  I’m still trying to catch up.  I never thought I’d encourage having a mobile baby, but you should probably just start walking.  Or crawling.  Or SOMETHING already.  I think we’ll all be happier.

I'll keep you in the carrier until I fall over though

I’ll keep you in the carrier until I fall over though

I doubt walking would help on bathtime though.  Here, you have just flipped a switch and decided you hate it.  You scream throughout your entire bath.  Whether sitting up or sitting in your chair, sitting with your brother or alone, being offered toys or not.  Everything is awful.  I’m hoping we can come to some kind of understanding on this.  Bathing is not optional.  I promise, we’re not even doing it every day!  (The usual routine is Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.)

4.30_Mac 3

Big doings though on the sleep front.  Something has clicked this month, and you are generally sleeping through the night.  w00t!  (Furiously knocks on wood.)  Sometimes you have a nighttime, uh, movement that awakens you, but I don’t think there is anything we can do about that.  Sometimes you wake up early and sing to yourself.  It is pretty adorable.

4.30_Mac 9

This is not new, but I’m not sure I’ve covered your usual sleep positioning here.  We call your sleep “move,” kissing the bicep.  You curl one arm up to your head and turn your head towards it.  But not until you’ve done the pacifier shuffle.  You sleep with four pacifiers, and I have no idea why, but the first thing you do after being laid down is to spit your current pacifier, grope for new ones and replace.  Weirdo.

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I’ll be curious to see your new stats at your upcoming doctor’s appointment.  You’ve slowed down a little on your food adventuresomeness, but you are still huge.  I tend not to fully credit your hugeness because I see you next to a two year old every day, but you’re a chunk.  Your favorite food is probably banana.  It makes your eyes light up in a way that is endearing and also a little disturbing.  (It’s just a banana, kid.)  You’ve also gotten on the noodle bandwagon, and you can slurp with the best of them.  You have this “charming” habit of working your food over in your mouth and then just letting it fall.  I’ve seen you “eat” an entire piece of pizza this way.  But, overall, not too shabby for someone with four teeth.

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You may have noticed a distinct Alfalfa look on your recent pictures.  Don’t worry, you don’t have a cowlick, and we aren’t gunking your hair with product.  This phenomenon happens because of your hooded bath towel, and I must confess that I do my best to encourage it.  It just looks so right.  Like you have a crest.  I love it.

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You and Henry are still the Odd Couple.  You guys will be face-meltingly sweet to each other and then one of you is trying to pummel the other with tiny fists.  You are able to play more and more together, which I love.  If I’d like to “steer” you on your walkabouts, I only need to ask your brother to go ahead.  Sometimes your route veers just to copy something your brother did.

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And now you are almost the big 0-1.  What a year, baby.  What a year.

Love, Mom

P.S.  More Mac at 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 8 months, 9 months, and 10 months.