on how to be supermom (or at least how to fake it)

Hey!  Check me out giving out advice, after only 3 weeks of being a mother!  By which I mean, take this with a grain of salt - I’ve had a kid for all of 21 days so I am no expert, and newborns sleep a lot, but I feel like I’ve worked out a nice little system for keeping myself feeling/looking decent with a baby in the house and wanted to share. Just in case you were finding it difficult, because sometimes it is!  So in case you need to get up and be somewhere tomorrow, baby in tow, here are my so-far foolproof tips for looking like supermom by breakfast time.

1) The night before!  Take advantage of that 5-9 waking hour period where your husband is home to handle that baby.  You know he missed her at work all day anyways, so let him have his time.  Take advantage of the night-before shower (you can just wipe off that overnight spit-up, no one will notice), get all the dishes done RIGHT after dinner is eaten, and tidy up the house so that you won’t feel compelled to do it in the morning.  Heck, even program the coffee maker to have a pot ready around the time the bebe gets you up in the morning.

2) When you do get up in the morning, if the baby is still sleeping then make some headway before she wakes up.  Fix the hair, throw on the makeup (false eyelashes!  instant bright eyes!) and get dressed.  If baby is crying and hungry, feed her and then PUT.  HER.  DOWN!  In a swing if needed.  Then get on with getting yourself ready, because looking your best will make you feel better all day long.  Promise.

3) For breakfast (You, too, have to eat!) make something you can eat with one hand - I’m partial to the bagel, egg, & cheese sandwich because for some reason Claire has come to associate my eating times with her own, and we still haven’t quite mastered hands free breastfeeding.  I also haven’t mastered not getting crumbs on my baby while we both eat, but I’m working on it.

4) If all that fails, and the baby is still fussy by the time you have to be somewhere but you’re still not ready, take advantage of your travel time.  All I know so far about soothing Claire is that movement is key.   Whether you’re walking or driving, take advantage of the travel period by putting baby in a sling, or just having her in the carseat.  Claire is almost instantly quieted by both those things, and they’ll usually initiate a short nap that lets me get done whatever I needed to do at the bank/Target, etc.  Take the makeup bag with you if you have to, and finish the job at your destination.

5) Give yourself a freaking break.  Newborns do not care what you look like, and chances are you have months of your husband just being generally in awe of you for birthing your child, period.  Sometimes, you stay in a nursing tank and underwear all day, and that is completely okay.  


friday link love

Oh, Friday I have a whole new appreciation for you.  Monday thru Thursday are as exciting as ever with Claire to hang out with all day, but Friday means we get Darrell back for the whole weekend, and nothing beats our little threesome.  This weekend we have NO PLANS (yes, you read that right) so I foresee lots of late morning snuggling up with the bebe in our bed and a little bit too much Netflix.  Of course, we're supposed to reclaim some not-scorching hot weather, so we may have to hit up the park as well.  I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead, and Happy Friday!  

Here are some articles I've been hoarding the past few weeks, lots of reading going on during late-night feedings (if you want some book recommendations, click here!)  

The real Mr. Big is a real New Yorker, and I loved this interview with him on the "old New York."  

The reason behind why you only like some foods as an adult.  

The science behind sharing our beds.  

I think I need this adorable top (more stripes) for nursing this summer.  

Google & Mindy Kaling are leading the charge on getting girls into coding.  

I'm completely and totally guilty of overusing the exclamation mark.  What about you?  

Literary city guides tell you where to find the best bookstores, coffee shops, and restaurants so you can spend your vacation poring over books.  

I am desperately in need of these for Claire.  Because America.  

Can't wait to make this for dinner next week.  

This insanely compact chart will make you realize just how short life can look!  I can't decide if it's depressing or inspiring...perhaps both?  

Client feedback on the creation of the earth.  As a "client" for lots of freelance designers, this made me laugh.  

Not than I plan to start posting any, but Facebook finally got the memo about breastfeeding not being sexual, and now allows mothers to post photos of themselves feeding their children.  


crow steals fire

I have to admit, it feels like a million years ago that these photos were taken.  This was the day before I was induced, and I was almost unwilling to even take them (not feeling that great by this point, hence the shorts, black tee, and lack of makeup) but I was excited to show off this necklace from Crow Steals Fire.  St. Louis based jewelry designer Donna Fox creates these beautiful & simple personalized pieces, and when she offered to send me one it was serendipity - I had planned on ordering something to commemorate Claire's birth soon anyways, and her necklaces were perfect.  It arrived the weekend I was scheduled to go in, and I wore it to the hospital.  Considering our good fortune, I now consider it a good luck charm and wear it almost every day.  

You can find this necklace here, and check out her complete selection in the online shop here!  


reading list

So here's a funny thing about having a baby: nursing requires a lot of entertainment.  Sure, in the first few weeks it's a two handed (sometimes three handed, with my husband giving me drinks of water from a straw) job to get baby and milk to meet, but by now Claire pretty much does the work herself, and I just have to stay still.  Books & Netflix have become my best friends.  More often books, because watching Netflix means noise which means waking up Darrell, and my rested husband is 10x more likely to be helpful to me than when he's exhausted.  Here are a few favorites that have made getting up in the middle of the night more tolerable, because at least I have a good story (okay, and a super cute and hungry baby) to hang out with.  

This book was a quick read, and I think the best way to describe it would be "entertaining."  Narrated by it's newest employee, an ex-computer programmer, it's about a bookshop that doesn't seem to make any money, yet stays open 24 hours a day to be available for its secretive patrons.  He soon discovers that the bookstore operates as an outpost for a society that believes they are decoding volumes (stored in the back for "members") that hold the secret to eternal life.  However, the society's beliefs are called into question when our narrator uses his tech-savvy to quickly break apart the code others have tried to solve for decades.  I enjoyed it, but I was glad it was short - the plot didn't merit more pages.  

The Goldfinch, 10/10 - 

I know, EVERYONE is reading this book.  There's a good reason for that, it's stellar.  This is easily one of the best books I've read in years.  I was hesitant to get started on it, it's nearly 1000 pages and my schedule lately is more suited to something that is captivating and not terribly drawn out.  This was both, despite it's length.  The book follows the life of our narrator, a young boy who is in a museum with his mother when it's attacked by terrorists.  He miraculously survives with minimal injury, his mother does not.  At the encouragement of a man with severe head injuries near him during the blast, he steals a priceless painting from the museum - "The Goldfinch."  The book goes on to track the confused & orphaned boy after the attack, and also follows how his possession of the painting affects his path.  Unsurprisingly, it certainly doesn't make his life any easier.  


awkward and awesome tuesday


When you pick the baby up off the nursing pillow after a good long feed and some adorable grunting, see a light yellow stain and think “hmmm…..poop or breastmilk……”  Yeah, after that I picked up a second cover for the pillow.

Deciding whether or not to change the baby after a spit up episode.  If you change a baby after every time they spit up….you run out of clothes with a quickness.  If you leave them in clothes with spit up drying on, are you disgusting?  This is a real question.  So far I’ve basically used quantity as a deciding factor, but there was certainly a time or two when it happened in her sleep that I thought “is this worth waking her up?  Really?”

More MESSES!  Random clothing stains.  Darrell and I have gotten to the point where we’ll ask one another what we think a mark is, smell it without a second thought, and then judge whether or not anyone else will notice it.

Claire’s only tantrum so far has been at a meeting for her christening prep.  She literally WAILED the entire 30 minutes, until the family hosting offered to just excuse us early.  I feel as though this may not bode well for her ACTUAL christening…..although she seems to enjoy baths, so who knows!


The little noises Claire makes when we walk her around the neighborhood in the Sakura Bloom sling.  I included a little video just so you could hear the cuteness….


Getting Claire dressed.  I probably have way too much fun picking out her clothes.  If you’re interested in seeing her daily wardrobe (you know you want to!) follow me on Instagram via the link to the right, or just search #claireoliviahayes.

Breastfeeding.  For more reasons than one - I’m not planning on doing too much specific updating on post-pregnancy weight loss, but she was born two weeks ago and I have genuinely felt a little smaller every day.  It’s very encouraging - having a limited wardrobe is definitely one way to make the morning even less pleasant after a night of equally limited sleep.

Taking advantage of long newborn naps.  So far we’ve been able to go out to brunch twice, watch the World Cup game with friends, and hang out at a family friend’s pool all day with the baby.  As long as there’s a cool place to nurse her, I’ve decided that our motto will be “have baby, will travel,” until it isn’t - because sometimes babies just need to be at home, as Claire has proven on a few other outings!  


claire's birth story

I hemmed and hawed about whether to even write this up for the blog for a few reasons.  First, the universal response to my telling this story to anyone who has ever had a child has been “gag me.”  Second, I did not have the same delivery anyone else has ever had (I am the only mother to have ever birthed my daughter) and man, people sure do seem to think that the way they have babies is the right way.  Did you have an epidural?  GREAT.  Did you give birth au natural at home in your bath tub?  SO HAPPY FOR YOU.

So I’d like to preface our story with this: yes, I had a very easy labor and delivery.  If you didn’t, and you think you will just be annoyed by reading about Claire’s birth well then cruise right on by this post!  Baby pictures below!  And I may not have not given birth the way you think is the right way, or maybe I did.  I’m happy for you, and I’m happy for me.

Phew, now that that’s out of the way, here is the story (and a large amount of incredibly unflattering photos) of how Claire Olivia came into the world last week:

On the day of my 38 week doctor’s appointment, it had been 3 days since I had slept.  I went into that appointment looking like a wreck - I cried before, during, and after the appointment, with Darrell doing everything he could to cheer me up.  I think he’d have bought me a pony if he thought it would’ve brought a smile back to my face.  When my doctor offered to induce labor that weekend, under the reasoning that Claire was measuring awfully large (risk factors: she breaks some bones on the way out, I get more um, damaged, than necessary) I went for it,  and we scheduled me in for Sunday the 8th at 8 pm.  

The nice thing about induction is, you know it’s coming.  We left the house with our bags packed to perfection, our house spotlessly clean, and our laundry baskets empty.  We picked up magazines & snacks at Walgreens on our way to the hospital, having been told by our doctor that the entire process could take 24-48 hours - or not even work at all!  Thankfully Orange Is The New Black had come out last weekend, so we had plenty of entertainment queued up.  

We got to the hospital, checked in, met our nurse and she had me hooked me up to a drip of Pitocin by 9 pm.  Apparently you increase it by “twos,” - two whats, I don’t know - and they can ratchet you up every 30 minutes, up to 20.  We usually go to bed around 9, and had pretty much been told that nothing would really happen until the morning, so I was shocked to be in some serious pain about 3 hours later.  Darrell had fallen asleep, and I woke him up MAD - he was then instructed that he wasn’t allowed to fall asleep unless I did.  I was determined to make it as long as I could without an epidural, not because I didn’t plan on getting one (I had basically heard that with Pitocin, YOU GET THE EPIDURAL) but because I knew that epidurals could potentially slow down labor.  By 3 am though (with the pitocin at about a 10) my contractions were extremely close together and incredibly painful.  I was wishing I had involved drugs an hour earlier.  There were tears.  By this point, I was at about 4 cm.  I asked the nurse if I would be a wimp if I went ahead and got some much-needed relief, and she proclaimed that I had actually done pretty well by comparison to some patients.  

Our anesthesiologist showed up about 30 minutes later, and I didn’t even look at the needles.  I honestly wouldn’t have cared what they looked like anyways.  The hardest part of getting the epidural wasn’t the pain of the insertion, it was sitting through another two contractions completely still.  Honestly, getting my IV hurt worse.

After that, I fell asleep.  Yes, you read that right.  I couldn’t feel a thing and I was exhausted.  I woke up at about 7 am to a “pop,” which I was pretty sure was my water breaking.  I was hesitant to even have Darrell call the nurse - surely not much progress had been made, and he was so tired from the night before - but I figured it was probably best to have them verify it was my water, so I woke him up.  A new nurse came in to check it out, and it was indeed my water.  Also, I was at a 10.  

YES you read that right, I had progressed from 4 to 10 cm in my sleep over the course of about 3 1/2 hours.  The nurse had me do a practice push, and proclaimed me an excellent pusher.  Her estimate was that we would have our baby in less than 20 minutes.  

yeah, epidurals work really well.  i was smiling, 5 minutes before pushing.  

Then we were a bit frantic - Darrell literally asked if he could have permission to brush his teeth.  Claire’s amniotic fluid had meconium in it, so there was suddenly an entire NICU team in our room, plus about 5 nurses.  We were only waiting on my doctor to come in early for her call time - she wasn’t even scheduled until 8 am, and of course never assumed I would deliver so quickly!  

My doctor arrived at around 7:20, and I immediately was being instructed on how to push.  I was very focused - it was strange and kind of awesome to be able to push without fear of pain.  I pretty much gave it all I had each time since they had said I wouldn’t have to do it for too long, and she was born at 7:28 after less than 10 minutes and maybe 7 or 8 pushes.  It was incredibly surreal - I was still having trouble coming to terms with the fact that we would get to meet her so soon.  It was fairly painful to even watch them clean her up and clear her airways of meconium - I was desperate to get my hands on her the minute she was born.  Once Darrell had cut the cord and she had been relatively cleaned up and declared healthy, they laid her on my chest and I immediately started crying.  
Claire, on the other hand,  immediately stopped - it was very clear, she knew who I was.  Her eyes seemed huge and they focused hard on my face.  I had no idea that she would be so aware that I was her mother.  Seeing her was amazing, realizing this was the person that had been in there all along.  

why do men get to look so good during this whole process?  

We were allowed two hours in the delivery room before we were moved to recovery, and we made the most of them.  Claire nursed almost immediately, and she was/is good at it (I know how fortunate we are.)  We spent those two hours just trying to memorize the moment, googly eyed over how beautiful she is, kissing each other and truthfully, still in complete awe of how lucky our delivery had been.  Darrell only got last week off of work, and we knew there was potential that I could be in the hospital until Thursday.  We ended up checking out on Tuesday morning since we were rooming in with Claire to breastfeed on demand anyways, so there was no reason to stay.  

 So that’s our whole story, the 12 hours that it took to change our entire life.  I’d do them all over again, any day.  I remember looking at Darrell the first time I fed her and just thought to myself that I’d like to jump him right then and there to have another (clearly not an option) but I really felt that way.  That cocktail of new mom hormones really makes you forget the entire pregnancy & delivery, literally 30 minutes after it’s over.  And as I write this she’s laid out flat asleep on my lap post-nursing session, and I intend to let her stay there for a while.  I could probably stand to get dressed, or help Darrell with dinner, or finish vacuuming, but babies don’t keep, you know?  


the first week in pictures

Can't get enough peonies - not that we need more flowers in this house, but I still couldn't help but pick some up when we bravely ventured out of the house to Trader Joe's on Thursday. 

Constantly needed baby supplies - a sling for when she's inconsolably fussy and my nursing pillow.  

Darrell is fairly unwilling to put her down at all - when I suggested starting tummy time, he asked if she could just do it on his chest.  (Does that work?!)  

My favorite view for nursing - I have a rocking chair in her nursery for privacy, but I prefer to sit on our bed next to the french doors, curtains just slightly open so I can feel the gorgeous summer breeze we've had all week.  

A parenting concession - we had planned on her sleeping in her crib, but of course even with only a 700 square foot apartment she seemed too far away.  We had our 4moms breeze set up with the bassinet halfway through the first night.  We're potentially planning to have her moved to the crib by three weeks....but I'll keep you updated on how well that goes.  

Darrell is a prolific napper, I really need to improve my skills.  

I cannot seem to get enough fruit.  The peaches are already gone and half of the nectarines.  We let the dishes go a little bit longer than usual (but we're a tad OCD, so they did get done eventually) and the coffee pot started to get a workout again after a long caffeine-free pregnancy.  I can't decide why I enjoyed the coffee more - the pleasure of being able to have it, or because it kept me buoyant throughout the day after a long night of baby-feeding.  

This is our fancy Pottery Barn crib, currently being used as a changing table.  Our friend Emily painted the sweet "C" art.  I have lofty goals to hang it tomorrow morning (my first day home alone with Claire.)  

Our little table of baby "necessities," currently overrun with flowers.  We haven't touched a single one of these items - as it turns out people were right.  Babies don't need much beyond a boob, lots of love, and a place to sleep.  

If I'm feeling extra nice, I'll take Claire into her nursery to feed her in the rocking chair at night rather than doing it in bed next to Darrell.  I keep this light on near the door so that I don't go toppling over in a tired stupor with our infant in my arms.  Also, MORE FLOWERS.  

Saturday morning we went for a walk (only a few blocks away) to a fancy neighborhood's street-wide yard sale.  We came home with nothing, but got a lot of "is that a baby in there!?" from folks wondering about the sling!  I don't think baby-wearing is a big practice in St. Louis.  We have yet to pull out our stroller, and I can't imagine why we would - the sling is easily Claire's favorite place, besides napping on her Daddy's chest.  

Saturday afternoon, a group of my girlfriends came over to see Claire and it was easily a highlight of my weekend - I could've listened to them gush over her for hours!  

I had to end on this photo of Darrell and Claire napping this morning.  The World Cup started on Thursday, and these two have been peas in a pod watching soccer and sleeping.  It honestly (surprising!)  makes me hope she loves sports as much as her daddy so that they can continue this forever.  I think it would be hard to decide what the best aspect of our "new" family has been so far - bonding with Claire as mother and daughter or watching Darrell instantly become her dad.  I had heard stories about men not feeling as instantly connected to their children as their wives did, but I can truly say that sometimes I see it already; she will be her daddy's girl.  This morning while we were getting her ready for brunch, Darrell said that he had never changed a diaper before she was born, and I can honestly say that I had no idea, 6 days into her life.  His confidence in his ability to care for her and do right by her has amazed me since she arrived, and he's been my rock when I was feeling scared.  I was nervous about Monday being my first day alone with Claire when he goes back to work, until he looked at me when I voiced my concerns and just said "babe, you're going to kill it.  You really are" and I just knew that if he thought I could, I would.  


the aftermath

The days of scheduled and timed posts may be gone from this blog, but I would prepare yourselves for a lot of baby photo spam, I mean I have to put the 100 photos I take each day somewhere!  So I thought I would write an incredibly sappy and incoherent update about our first week at home with Claire.  I'm not exactly firing on all cylinders, but bear with me.  These are snippets I jotted down between nursing, rocking, and attempting to feed myself in between, some of it with some pathetic one handed typing.

Loving your child…..it is some heavy stuff.  The best way for me to describe my feelings towards Claire would probably be to say that her importance to me is somewhere parallel to oxygen.  Sometimes when she breathes out I just want to put my mouth level to hers and inhale her exhales…..okay and now i sound insane, but that's a real thought i had Wednesday night.  

I was telling Darrell that same night, I had so much time to adjust to the fact that his happiness, health, safety were of tantamount importance to the same factors in my life, but Claire came in with a vengeance-8 lbs of life altering baby love.  When eventually that fact hit me and I was on the verge of a scary emotional meltdown, I realized that all I needed to do to move past it was hold Claire, because she makes everything better.  

After a fraught first night at home (where we each slept approximately 1.5 hours because we let her sleep all day, so she wanted to eat alllllll night) she gifted us with night two, when she slept the whole night except for three one hour feedings - and when I say all night, I mean from 9 until about 5:30.  I kissed her all over when we got up that morning - it was like she knew we needed it.  She came close to that last night, waking up only 3 times between 9:30 pm & 4:30 am, and then getting a bit fussy after that, when again my sainted husband took her on an early morning walk in the sling.  The sling = Claire's happy place, especially when her daddy is wearing it.  

After these past two nights, we've committed to every 3 hour feedings even if she was sleeping because apparently that is Claire’s current magic timing for actually dozing off long enough in between that we can get some rest.  Although you know what makes it hard to rest?  Missing your baby because she’s sleeping and you just want to hold her constantly, all the time, forever and ever.  Every time a day ends, usually around 8 pm,  and the summer sun starts to go down I may or may not burst into tears because it’s one.  more.  day.  over. with our newborn, perfect, teeny tiny, cuddly baby.

I already reminisce about her first day, second day.  Sometimes when I’m holding her LOOKING at her, I’m also on my phone looking at pictures of her.  I catch Darrell doing it all the time as well.  I feel like it's my job to memorize her.  I take pictures of her ear, her foot, her eyes every day because they'll never look like that again.  Not that I could forget, likely no mother could, but it's nice to be able to see and remember, even if it's heartbreaking.  

I know there will be wonderful days ahead - I look forward to when her little arms can reach for me, when she can smile & laugh.  But there is a definite melancholy in knowing that these newborn days will never be again - I will never be a first time mom, on the first day with my firstborn, learning how to do it all with her together.  So I'm going to go and stare at her face some more and try to make today tick by more slowly.  


no awkward, all awesome

Say hello to our daughter....


friday link love

My wishes for this weekend?  Well, I have two.  Option a) a baby!  Really, that would be ideal.  But option b) sleep, would also be fantastic.  In fact, sleep might even win right now, because after two nights of zero sleep I'm not even sure how I would get the baby here should I go into labor.  I have no energy left.  Also, do you know what there is to do when you live in a semi studio apartment with no privacy and you have all night insomnia?  A whole lot of watching 90210 on your iPhone, that's what.  Enough to just make it realllllllly depressing.  Luckily I have a fantastic husband who has guaranteed me brunch, farmer's market strawberries, backrubs, and a marathon of Orange Is the New Black season two this weekend, so this girl can't really complain too much.

If there isn't a post on Monday....well then just be psyched, because I'm probably having a baby.  Otherwise, I have TOO MUCH time on my hands to blog, so it will be business as usual.

Okay, enough with the ranting, here are this week's links!

So, you want to live in a Nancy Meyers movie?  Seriously, I want to move into the kitchen from "It's Complicated."  

Ballet dancers show off their most complicated movies, in slow motion.  Captivating.  

Mindy Kaling on kissing....too funny.   

We've all read this before, but Mr. Rogers gives the best advice about talking to young children about tragedy.

Made me laugh - I really need to re-watch Moonrise Kingdom.

Favorite poses from yoga students with a regular practice - skip to :40 to see my favorite arm balance trick of all time, from a talented practitioner who was in my teacher training class!  

I get the feeling my husband wouldn't be on board with the "bare ankles" trend - he's very into socks!  

I have a surprising number of friends who "tweet" for a living (well, as a part of their job) and I found this article to be an interesting insight into what they do!  

LOVE this theory - men who do more housework have more ambitious daughters!  

One thing that will be entirely new to Darrell & I  - in so much that it's different from how we were raised - is that Claire will be a city baby!  I loved these tips for having a newborn in the city.  

Do you think fighting means there is "passion" in a relationship, or just the opposite?  I loved this point of view from one of my very favorite blogs.  


linguine with tomato cream sauce

Pasta is kind of my jam lately (okay, and all carbs) and last week I sort of invented this sauce to make it more than just "spaghetti dinner" because we had all these things in our kitchen.  Actually, we had 50% linguine & 50% fettucine, a combination I don't really recommend at all because they cook for different lengths of time, so I'm choosing to guide you towards 100% linguine.  You're welcome.  

Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce (serves 4)

what you'll need: 

1 box of linguine
1 28 oz can san marzano tomatoes (ideally, but any whole tomatoes are fine)
1/2 tbsp of minced garlic
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp red chili flakes
handful of torn fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup of cream
salt & pepper

how to make it: 

1. In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the pasta and cream. Bring it to just a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper about halfway through the cooking time, tasting to make sure it's how you like it.  

2.  Towards the end of that 45 minutes, cook your pasta.  Before you drain it, save about 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water.  

3.  Add the pasta cooking water & cream to the tomato sauce mixture, and stir it up.  Let it cook for about a minute more, just to thoroughly warm the cream.  Taste for seasoning one more time and make any needed adjustments.  

4.  Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve with a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  It's allllll about the cheesy creaminess here.  


awkward and awesome tuesday


My left foot is more swollen than my right foot, and in a “width” way not a “length” way.  This means that none of my shoes that have a strap across the front part of my foot fit….but only on one side.  Thankfully, this feels more like swelling than actual stretching of my foot, so hopefully it will go away post-delivery!

I had a meltdown on Saturday morning, because I was convinced as of Friday night that I would go into labor.  It would’ve been so convenient!  The beginning of the weekend!  We had just finished the grocery shopping!  Darrell wouldn’t have had to use those two days of paid time off!  Because, you know, those are the sort of things babies waiting to be born prioritize - paid time off.  Oh, hormones.

Oh, getting dressed.  I’m hot in everything, so if I’m being totally honest my ideal state of dress at this point is underwear & a maternity t shirt with the A/C blasting.  But since they won’t let you into restaurants like that, I’ve started running through my supply of stretch jersey dresses.  I basically do the same load of laundry every five days.

Early labor contractions are wayyyyyyy boring.  I'll have two in a row that are just a few minutes apart, get really excited, and then nothing.  Even more annoying is when they do that "real contraction" thing where they move from my back to the front.  At this point I'm basically refusing to get out my contraction timer until I'm in tears.  Also, how weird is sitting around hoping/wishing to be in pain?


Have I mentioned how boring it can be to wait to go into labor?  Especially when you have no idea what it feels like to go into labor?  Well, it’s boring.  Thankfully, my mom has a flexible work schedule and has been coming over to St. Louis to entertain me on Fridays, when I feel like I’m at the end of my “I work at home alone” rope.

With nothing to do this weekend, we just decided to eat ALL the good food.  Our favorite Italian on Friday?  Check.  The best BBQ on Saturday night?  Check.  Movie theater popcorn?  Of course.  Sunday morning pancakes?  You bet, I even made the kind that has to be mixed up Saturday night and sit overnight.  With chocolate chips AND blueberries.

Our dogs got groomed yesterday!  I know that sounds like a stupid thing to be excited about, but the dirtier they get the less I want to play with them, and then I feel oh-so-guilty about the sad looks on their faces.  I’m not exactly in a position to give them a bath right now either, so they neeeeeeeded it.

A husband who has made it his sole mission in life to take good care of me.  I get nightly foot rubs AND back rubs, he volunteers to cook dinner & clean it up, and he walks at my pace on our nightly trips to the park.  When I have a meltdown (those are coming more frequently lately,) he just reminds me he’s on my side.  And I’m lucky to have him there.  


hopefully, this post won't get published

Because if it does, it means I’m still pregnant.  I was pretty determined to have this baby over the weekend.

Ever since my doctor said “any time now!” it’s been one big waiting game around here.  Don’t make any plans!  Lots of “we might do that, but who knows!”  It’s got its ups and downs, because on one hand - lots of free time, and we’ll be grateful that we’ve kept the house clean, the laundry done, and the groceries stocked once she does arrive.  On the other hand, no plans means……absolutely nothing at all to do.

We kept ourselves busy this weekend by doing crazy things like cleaning out our storage space (well, I directed from a chair, but you know) and going out on dinner dates, and seeing a movie; we decided on Chef by the way- so good!  So cheerful! I would highly recommend it.

In spite of all that, I am basically really ready to have this baby.  I am making good progress, and I do expect to have her by my due date so that’s an upside, but the downside is that two-ish weeks seems like an eternity right now.  To pass the time?  We’ll be walking, and running errands, and keeping the laundry done, and just generally trying not to go crazy waiting for her.  We will try to enjoy these last few days of “just us two,” but to be honest, I can try and make that sound romantic but that won’t make it so - we are done being just us two.  We are so very ready to be a threesome.

Claire’s birthday will be, to me, at the absolute best time of the entire year.  First of all, summer is everything - in my mind it always has been and always will be.  It’s when all the magic seems to happen, and the best time of anytime like that is of course the very beginning.  The tippy-top.  When nothing’s been spoiled yet, and there’s only possibility and hope and dreaming of what’s to come.  When those first warm days in June pass through and you remember what it’s like to still feel warm even when the sun goes down, and every drink tastes better and weeknights don’t even really feel like weeknights.  That’s when she’ll be born, right at the époque of possibility - a fact I hope shapes her whole life and person.  This year I feel like there are potential fireworks at the end of every exhale.  Every warm and windy morning could be the day that I get to meet her.  
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