Vacation Mode

vacation

 

Can you believe that summer is almost over?! Seriously, how are we at the tail-end of August? Wasn’t it early Spring, like, two days ago?

I’m popping in today to give you a head’s up that I’ll be taking a vacation from the blog for the next week and a half or so (though I’ll still be all over Instagram, I’m sure.) I’ll be soaking up quality time with my family and friends, and while I don’t want to worry about posting, I didn’t just want to drop off and leave you hanging.

I’ll be back September 1 with a new vlogging challenge inspired by my friend, Lindsay! If you have any questions or topics you want me to address in my daily vlogs, leave a comment and let me know. I’m super excited about it!

Enjoy the last bit of summertime, friends!

New Stationery from Faye Street Studios

If you’re a long-time reader of the blog, you’re familiar with my best friend, Emily. She’s the person in my life who just gets me and is someone who still likes me despite the fact that I’m my genuine self around her. She’s the friend who I never have to entertain, but am always the most entertained with.

text

She’s totally awesome, and I’m always so proud of her. Whether it’s her amazing weight loss transformation or buying her own home or being a girl boss, I just think she’s the coolest.

The ‘girl boss’ part is pretty new, since she just started her own Etsy shop, Faye Street Studios, back in May. I don’t want to take credit for her success, but when she made Cory and I our wedding present (the lyrics of our first dance) I’m pretty sure I told her “you need to sell this stuff!” 

lyrics

It only took her four years to heed my advice, but I’m so glad she did ;) She seriously makes thee cutest prints, am I right?!

Collage

And while several “Emily originals” hang on the walls in our house, I have something new to add to my collection. I’m a note-writer to the core, and I have a love of personalized stationery. Because Emily can read my mind, she went ahead and made me the most precious little cards.

faye street studios 22

I told her I wanted something simple with just my name at the top, and she went kind of overboard with giving me options to choose from.

faye street studios 3

Narrowing down my favorite has been quite the struggle, but she assures me that this is a good problem to have (but she also once assured me that I should drink rum straight from the bottle, so there’s that…)

faye street studios 4

I know I’m slightly biased, but I honestly think you need to check out her shop and follow Faye Street Studios on Instagram. She’s even offering you guys 20% off with the code LunchboxDiaries. 

Go buy all the things!

A Week of The Ferber Method (I Survived)

So, for those of you who aren’t familiar/don’t give a shit about baby things, The Ferber Method is the “cry it out” method.

Basically, you let your baby cry for a predetermined number of minutes, then you go in to reassure him that you have not left him for dead on the side of the road, and repeat. The intervals get progressively longer and longer and it’s a surefire way to leave any mother broken and weak and convinced that her baby will no longer love her.

(I think most people would simply describe it as, teaching the art of self-soothing, but whatever.)

Anyway, we gave The Ferber Method a go for one week, and I learned some things.

the ferber method

  1. Set a timer. Listening to your baby cry is like public speaking in the fact that you feel like it’s been going on for hours, when in reality, 45 seconds has passed. Literally, 45 seconds.
  2. Don’t sit outside your baby’s door. For God’s sake, WALK AWAY. Take that damn timer and walk outside. If you sit on the other side of the door, you might as well stab daggers into your heart while you’re at it.
  3. You will cry it out. I honestly think it’s coined the “cry it out method” because of moms. The first time I left Jack to cry it out, I sat on the other side of his door and ugly cried. I’m terribly thankful to not have a reality TV show with a camera crew following me around because it was not my finest moment, friends.
  4. The baby will still love you. The first time Jack actually fell asleep, I spent the whole hour simultaneously rejoicing and freaking out, because I was convinced he would hate me when he woke up. I was all but Googling child therapists in the area when he woke up and I ran into his room to find the happiest baby on the block. One look at that gummy smile and I started crying again.
  5. Mimic bedtime. Just a little tidbit that worked four us: I found that putting Jack in his pajamas, closing the blinds, and putting on his white noise machine helped immensely.
  6. It works. You don’t have to tell me how terrible I am for letting my kid cry – I know how terrible I am. But I also know that I had an almost 5 month old who didn’t nap, ever, and it was becoming a problem. After a week of selling my soul to the devil implementing The Ferber Method, I have a baby who naps several times a day, in his crib, and I can actually do things. Now, he only cries for a minute or two, and is out like a light.
  7. Dr. Ferber, I love you and I hate you.

Let’s not get confused: I’m not here to argue, defend, or debate that this is thee sleep training method. (I actually hate myself for even using the term sleep training if we’re being perfectly honest here.) Now let’s all go sleep when the baby sleeps ;)

Lies I Tell Myself, Vol. 1

By playing this baby Mozart channel, I’m increasing Jack’s SAT score.

If I cry alone in the bathroom, it doesn’t count.

If I cry in front of Jack, he’ll end up in therapy.

Jack will love cuddling me forever and ever.

My mother’s voice did not just come out of my mouth.

This free coffee I make at home tastes just as good as the one I could buy at Dunkin.

Eating a chocolate chip cookie in small bites throughout the day is not the same as eating a whole chocolate chip cookie.

Giving up my paycheck to stay at home always feels worth it.

I hate Facebook.

I’ll fold that laundry today.

I’ll just go “walk around” Target.

I don’t need wine.

wine me

If We Met for Coffee

If we were to meet for coffee, I’d apologize for the fact that I can’t stay up past 8:30pm these days, or I would have loved to meet you for happy hour instead.

I wouldn’t want to waste time talking about myself, really. I think it’s the counselor in me, but I’m always much more interested in listening to other people talk about themselves than listen to myself talk about…myself.

But most conversations aren’t one-sided, now, are they?

You’d ask me how life as a mom is going, and I’d tell you that it’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done, which still shocks me, because I was terrified I’d be bad at it. I’d tell you that I’m constantly blindsided by the overwhelming amount of love I feel for this baby boy, and that truly, sometimes I fear that my heart may just burst.

But that’s where I’d draw the Pinterest line. I’d also tell you that I probably had a melt down before meeting up with you because I have nothing to wear and breastfeeding is causing embarrassing hormonal acne that makes me feel like a pizza-faced teenager.

jack

If we met during the week, Jack would be with me, and you’d get to see that he’s the cutest baby ever. I’d tell you that it’s so hard not posting the one million pictures I take on a daily basis!

I’d also tell you that I love staying at home with Jack, but I’m having a real hard time with the loneliness factor. I’d tell you that as an extrovert, I get my energy from interacting with others, so being alone is the most draining thing for me. I bet you’d say, have you looked into joining any moms groups?, and I’d tell you, oh hell yes. 

I’d tell you I’m thinking about joining a MOPS group, but I’m totally hesitant to pay the joining fee before attending the first meeting. I mean, what if I don’t mesh? Do I get a refund? How would I even ask for that refund? I’d say, yes, these are the things I think about these days…

I’d talk to you about the things I don’t blog about, and you’d probably be surprised by some of the things I’d tell you. Some (read: most) things don’t belong on the internet.

I’d tell you that yesterday, I got Jack to nap in his crib for the first time ever. I let him cry for seven minutes, and it was the longest, most gut-wrenching seven minutes of my life. I’d say that, in the end, it was worth it because he napped for 90 minutes (!!!) and I cleaned ALL THE THINGS.

P+J

I’d tell you that my mother-in-law kindly watched Jack yesterday when I cashed in my pre-natal massage gift certificate (oops) at Red Door Spa in Short Pump and it was the best thing ever. I’d tell you if you ever go over to Short Pump, you need to get a deep tissue massage from Monica. It hurt so good.

At this point, Jack would become restless, signaling me that it’s time to go home. I’d hastily gather up all his things (not wanting to bother anyone with his crying!), hug you and thank you for meeting up, and tell you that we need to do it again soon.

If we were to meet for coffee, what would YOU tell ME?

PS – This “coffee chat” concept is not mine. I’ve seen it on several blogs over the years, but I don’t know who started it! 

The Pool Day That Wasn’t

harlowcanyago

source – ps. are you following her yet?! her pictures are amazing.

Something glorious happened on Saturday.

Something almost glorious happened on Saturday, and I had been looking forward to it for weeks.

When I was pregnant, Cory had the opportunity to attend a ‘Daddy Bootcamp’ class (WHY they don’t offer a bootcamp for moms is beyond me.) It was a neat class that covered the basics of being a new, first-time dad; but what Cory found to be most helpful was the “veteran dad” who attended the class with his new baby and answered everyone’s burning questions.

The Saturday had finally come; Cory was volunteering at the same Daddy Bootcamp as the veteran dad.

From 9am – noon.

With Jack.

I love my baby, but I think any mom reading this can relate to the giddiness that came along with the idea of being child-free for a few hours.

What would I do with all that time?

EASY.

I was going to the pool BY MYSELF. I was going to sit in the sun and get the tan that I’ve been missing out on all summer. My pasty legs are begging for a little bronzing! I was even planning on napping in the sun! The solid kind of nap that would leave me open-mouthed and possibly drooling in public, but I didn’t care.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I tried not to let the cloudy skies and my slightly achy body deter my happiness. It’s early, you’re tried. I told myself. The clouds will totally burn off, and you’ll feel fine by the time the pool opens HOURS from now. 

By the time Cory and Jack pulled out of the driveway around 8:30, I was practically kicking my heels with glee. What should I do first?! Pee by myself? Eat a hot breakfast? Take a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes (and shave my legs)?!

Oh, the options were boundless.

I actually settled on reading my book (my brain was slightly shocked to be reading a book more advanced than Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?.) I sat on our deck and got so sucked into Girl on the Train that I hardly noticed that the clouds had not cleared by the pool’s 10am open.

Give it a little more time. I told myself, feeling slightly disappointed, as I was quite certain that the day would be a drizzly, cloudy one.

I continued reading, but moved it inside because of the drizzle, still bummed about the pool.

Around noon, Cory called me to tell me they were on their way home, so put down the book (seriously, was SO GOOD) and jumped in the shower.

When I get out, a few four-letter words escaped my lips (shocking, I know) as I looked out our bathroom window.

THE SUN WAS SHINING.

Not a dark cloud to be seen.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

As for the achy body?

Yeah – that was a fever of 102.

At least I got to pee by myself.

 

I Essentially Joined an Online Dating Site

Just FYI: This is not sponsored post. 

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a major supporter of meeting a significant other via online dating.

As some of my ‘single’ best friends can attest, I can be kind of a pusher when it comes to this topic. (I mean, I don’t know any other way that a busy 20-something with a career and a bustling social life meets a significant other these days.)

Although I’m coming from a place of love, more often than not I’m met with a “Would you just shut up? You have no idea what online dating is like.” This is usually followed by a screenshot of a message from a creepy dude who refers to himself as Poseidon of the Sea or a guy listing ‘enjoys giving oral sex’ as a quality he looks for in a potential mate.* 

(*Both are real examples.)

So when I heard about Hello Mamas, a website for moms to meet other moms, I figured I had to try it out, right?  I mean, to at least take one for the team.

I learned that writing a short bio about yourself is the painful equivalent of going around the room during a cheesy group training day at work and having to say something interesting about yourself.

hello mamas profile

 

That’s my real profile.

I considered being more reserved, but I chose to be myself because ain’t nobody got time to go through the trouble of planning to meet a stranger, only for her to be alarmed that I’m a not Pinterest mom who has her shit together and that I’m someone who normally feels driven to drink by 5pm on days that end in Y.

I also answered a ton of Likert scale questions which I thought were pretty helpful for me to showcase my personality.

Like, I don’t necessarily want to hang out with a smoker, but it’s not a deal-breaker. I consider myself to be extremely tolerant of family structures that don’t look like mine, and I’m less interested in weekend meet ups.

I put time and effort into my profile answers, and I was feeling pretty good about things. I was basically giving myself the “you is smart, you is kind, you is important” pep talk.

I was super pumped to find out who my matches were! Because let’s be honest – I love staying home with Jack, but it’s lonely and slightly mind-numbing.

Out of the 103 moms in my area, here’s what I found:

no matches

At least it’s not Poseidon of the Sea asking for oral sex. Right?

5 Things to Expect When You’re No Longer Expecting

Here’s what I don’t get: why there are a million and seven books and resources for pregnant women to help us navigate pregnancy, but once we actually birth the damn thing, it’s a dried up resource well. As if all the experts huddled together and decided “we’ll tell them how to get their baby to sleep well (LOL), but other than that…it’s on them.” 

There are tons of things to expect once you actually have your baby, but here are the first five that come to mind.

—-

1. You still look pregnant after you’re no longer pregnant. Some of us are luckier than others in this department, but I was slightly taken aback by my sagging, soft, empty belly post-birth. I wasn’t expecting everything to immediately snap back into place, but I wasn’t expecting to my belly to look or feel the way that it did, either.

postpartum belly

2. You won’t be able to relax. So many kind souls have offered to come over and “relieve” me of my momming duties for an hour or two so I can take a nap, go get my nails done, etc. In theory, that sounds FANTASTIC, but what I didn’t expect is the sheer inability to relax. I always feel on. For example, during the two hour car ride to the Billy Joel concert, I called my mom five times check on Jack. Hashtag insane.

billy joel concert

3. You will contemplate murder. Okay, that’s the crazy lady hormones talking, but you will wish bodily harm on the following people:

  • anyone who wakes your sleeping baby
  • anyone who tells your their baby is a perfect sleeper
  • anyone who acts as though they’ve got this parenting thing in the bag (aka: the worst humans alive.)

4. You will get drunk the first time you drink. When I say “drink” I’m talkin’ more than your nightly glass or two of wine. A few weeks ago, I went out out for the first time since having Jack and three things happened:

  • I did not drink any liquor.
  • I was hung over for three days.
  • My bar tab was $13. Thirteen dollars. 

thirteen dollar bar tab

5. Your fur baby will become…an animal. You all know how much I love my Penny girl. She was, hands down, my first baby and my heart swelled for her. Baby or no baby, I didn’t expect my love for her to change. Well, as much as I still love my Penny girl, she’s not my baby anymore. If you have a fur baby and no human babies, I’m sure you think that sounds harsh (because it is), but if you had a fur baby and now have a human baby, you know it’s just how it goes…

great dane

Don’t fret: Penny is still beyond loved and adored! She’s also a great “big sister.” 

Honorable mentions: being able to pick up almost anything with your feet, having to do almost everything one-handed, being un-phased by any and all bodily functions.

Okay moms, what else would you add to the list?

M&M’S® Crispy are Back. You’re Welcome.


Here’s some trivia for you: my beloved M&M’S® Crispy became extinct in 2005. Donezo. Caput. Adios, amigo. Had I known about the impending extinction, I would have done a better job at hoarding these delicious treats. But, no, it happened without warning and I was left to live in a world with crispless M&M’S®.

serving size

As difficult as it was, during The Extinction, I had to move on with life.

I graduated high school and went off to college. I rushed a sorority and survived quantitative methods my sophomore year. I met Cory, got engaged, and got married. I got a Big Girl Job and traveled the world.

All the while, something was still missing.

CRISP.

I can assure you that I wasn’t the only one with a gaping hole in my sweet tooth, because between 2005 and 2014, M&M’S® Crispy was the company’s number one requested variety to bring back to the masses. For nine long and treacherous years, we Tweeted and Facebooked until our thumbs bled, pleading with the company to BRING BACK THE CRISP.

Glory be. M&M’S® listened.

MMS Crispy

I’m not trying to say that I was apart of a movement that changed the world, but I’ll certainly leave it open-ended so you can come to your own conclusions.

mms

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.