Mommy’s Must-Haves #3

When Dilan was 6 months, he broke four of my favorite necklaces while nursing. That boy has some serious arm muscle power. I haven’t worn any of my favorite jewelry since then. I’ve learned the hard (fun?) way and started mommy’s must-haves lists of useful products. This edition contains some of my current favorites. It’s funny how our tastes, attitudes, and preferences change over time. One thing I love about being in my thirties is that I’m so much more balanced, calm, collected, and easy going than I was in my twenties. It’s also a huge help to have a second child close in age to the first one. Your time becomes so much more valuable because of it and it really forces you to focus on what’s most important, and not care about what anyone else thinks (ok fine, this is still work in progress, but I’m slowly getting there…). So with that in mind, here are some products that have made my life easier and more fun lately:

  1. Honest’s Everything Cream Foundation. I’ve never been a big make-up person. I usually throw on some loose face powder and mascara and call it a day. I’ve never worn foundation, except for one or two big events over the last few years. One of them was my wedding. I think the last time I wore lipstick is over three years ago, at my sister’s wedding. Yep, that’s how low maintenance I am when it comes to make-up. I’m lucky to have a husband who is used to my bed-hair- and-yoga-pants look at home and honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The bright spot is that when I do try to look nice, it makes a big difference. I’m also very cognizant of chemicals in make-up. With that in mind, I decided to try out the Honest Company’s Everything Cream Foundation. I love all their other products and got a $20 off coupon, so why not give foundation another try after all this time? Well, I LOVE how the almond shade looks on my face. It evens it out without having that “caked on” look. It’s not too greasy and not too dry. I’m a big fan. You can find the newly launched Honest Beauty line here:


  1. Teething necklace by Dimples and Grace. I found this one on Amazon and absolutely love it. Know who loves it more? Eight month old Asher, who is working hard on getting those first teeth out! He loves chewing on this and I love the fact that it’s easy to wash and doesn’t scream “TEETHING NECKLACE”. I love the emerald green as well. It gives a nice pop of color to my mostly black and gray sweater collection 😉


  1. Toms tote bag. What’s one thing I don’t like? All the prep and planning to just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE with two kids. It takes me at least half an hour on a Friday night to gather everything we’ll need to get out on Saturday morning. Enter Toms’ “YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT WHAT THIS BAG CAN DO” tote. It’s expensive, but by purchasing it, Toms paid for the materials and care needed to ensure that one mom somewhere in the underprivileged world has a safe birth. Now that’s awesome. By carrying around this tote with diapers, wipes, extra clothes, etc., I remind myself that I’m lucky to have two healthy kids to gather stuff for in the first place. I’ve never been an expensive purse person. I own two somewhat expensive purses, both bought on clearance, but that’s it. And you know what? That not-so-sexy Tom’s tote is way more attractive to me than either of the brand name ones.


Enjoy your weekend!!



Well, we made it a full three years. I’m writing this post while absolutely beaming with pride. We went from a colicky newborn who had a difficult time soothing himself to an independent, thoughtful, and smart three year old. For all you new parents out there: there is a light at the end of the tunnel, although it’s difficult to see when you’re so sleep deprived that you can’t remember your birthday (true story). We’re right there with you with Asher right now. But, I wanted to take a break from baby duty to show you what happens when you hang in there for three years or so. We’ve got an excellent sleeper and eater on our hands (partial luck, partial persistence) and so much more to be thankful for every day. Sure there are tantrums and days when all he eats are crackers and cantaloupe (and we’re lucky he always picks a fruit), but those days are minimal and much more manageable at 3 than they were at 2 for us. Things still get messy and chaotic and STUBBORN, but our house is filled with laughter and fun and silliness at the same time. Rather than me telling you about him, I asked him a few questions so he can tell you what 3 is like:

How old are you?

“Threeee” <grins ear to ear>

Favorite color?


Favorite animal?


Favorite food?

“Banana bread” (Editor’s note: probably because that’s breakfast this week and we just talked about it)

Favorite person?

“Bobo” (his monkey lovey). Daddy is usually ranked right below Bobo, for the record. Everyone else comes after.

Favorite song?

“INK!” (by Coldplay, from the Ghost Stories album – heavily influenced by mommy)

What are you scared of?


Favorite superhero?

“Spiderman”. Don’t tell me you didn’t see that one coming. He’s smart, but still 3, after all 😉

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“A monster” (probably heavily influenced by Halloween coming up)

What’s the best thing you’ve done today?

“Create pumpkin art, work, see baby Asher”


Dils, if you’re reading this later, two things: 1) I’ll be reminding you of how much you loved your baby brother when you guys fight in the future, and 2) you are the best 3 year old EVER. We love you, pickle.



sangfroid, noun: the ability to stay calm in difficult or dangerous situations. Also: self-possession or imperturbability especially under strain.

Remember that from your SAT vocab days?? Oh sweet memories. I thought about this word the other day because being a new mom of two under three requires A LOT of sangfroid. Like when you think your toddler is choking, but he’s really just faking you out (true story). Or, when he fails to reach a developmental milestone, which he probably should have mastered by now (also a true story). Even if you’re not a parent, I think there a ton of situations in which you can practice to become better at sangfroid. We are beyond blessed as a family to never had to deal with something truly traumatic or excruciating. However (and not to be too much of a debby downer, but you know where I’m going here…), I know that someday I’m going to be thinking about how glad I was that I practiced sangfroid, because it will prepare me a tad bit better for that gloomy day….Are you pumped yet? 😉

Even if you’re not preparing for doom and gloom, I’m still sharing my best sangfroid tips because I hope you may be able to use them on a daily basis. Here they go:

  1. Get really good at task switching. A few weeks ago, I woke up at 2:30 am to nurse the (crying) baby. I then got ready, went to the airport, pumped breastmilk in the restroom at RDU, ate breakfast, jumped on a plane, landed, pumped again at the Chicago Midway nursing room, jumped on the metro, arrived at our SAS office in Chicago at 8:45 am, and presented to a packed room of people at 9:00 am. I jumped back on a plane at 3:50 pm, came back from the airport, walked into our house, took off my heels and nursed our baby to sleep in my work attire at 7:20 pm. Crazy days like that make me feel empowered and lucky to have a mini village (daycare teachers and daddy) to watch the kids while I’m gone. They also make me realize how important it is to be able to switch gears in your head effectively. They prepare you for chaos, even if there is none in sight yet. No one does task switching better on a daily basis than Anil. He’s a startup CEO and a fantastic dad at the same time. It’s my secret goal to be as good as him, one day.
  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Here’s the funny thing: I have to admit that I’m not always prepared, so I won’t preach too much here. But, on the days that I am, things definitely run smoother and I feel so much less stressed. One of the biggest things I do with having two small kids is making sure that I always have water and snacks nearby for everyone. Dilan and I get HANGRY and can’t think straight when our blood sugar levels runs low. Always having something to nibble on makes a big difference in tantrums and everyone’s stress levels. So does carrying the right size diapers and wipes that aren’t dried out ::darts eyes::
  1. Be mindful. When I’m at work or home and things start to get tense, I try to stop myself and think about what the other person must be thinking. Could they possibly be having bad day? Sure, they get snappy at you, but what’s the real reason behind this? You can’t go and over-analyze this in every situation (because you simply won’t have time), but it often does help to think about how everyone is fighting a tough battle and everyone has rough days. A little kindness never hurts and could just make the situation a little better. Unless, you’re dealing with a jerk. Stay away from jerks.
  1. Get personal – down at “eye level”. I’ve been practicing this with Dilan a lot. Whenever I can’t catch his attention (which happens a lot since he is two, after all), I get down at his level and tell him to look me in the eye. I then ask my question or ask him to calm down and this works way better than when I’m simply yelling talking down to him. Great way to interact with kids, not lose your cool, and prevent things from blowing out of proportion.

Now I know I have some seriously hippie yogi talented friends out there. What are some practical things you guys do to keep your sangfroid?


Jack Johnson, Hives & A Lot of Love

A quick six month update from the trenches: this has been a pretty rough week for everyone. Asher caught a (daycare?) bug and has had diarrhea for about six days now. A pediatrician told us to try probiotics, which caused him to break out into hives. She didn’t catch that probiotics contain dairy, which he’s allergic to, and I thought about it too late: #momfail. Our work and travel schedules are pretty insane this month, and I could really use a glass of wine.

On the bright side: Asher has turned into the smiliest six month old I’ve ever met. He went from being too small to be on charts, to growing to about 35th percentile for weight. He’s a bit weak when it comes to gross motor skills, but I think / hope we just need to do a better job practicing with him. Other than his dairy and soy allergies, he’s completely healthy and it shows (ok fine, not today, because he broke into hives). He likes the few fruits and veggies we’ve fed him so far and LOVES watching Dilan do anything wild and crazy. He still wakes up 3x per night to feed, even though he knows how to put himself to sleep. We’ll work on that when he feels better.

As for me, I hit two big milestones today as well: I finally lost all my pregnancy weight and met my goal of nursing for six months on the dairy and soy free diet. I think I’ll keep going a little longer, because Asher loves to be nursed and that’s what’s most important: not just providing food, but a dose of special love as well. We’ll see how my supply holds up. I’m not anti-formula, but I just enjoy the sweetness of nursing. Asher and I celebrated everything by slow dancing to Jack Johnson after lunch (a veggie burger for me and two teaspoons of sweet potato for him) . Jack, you know what’s up when it comes to our babies. They love you and your sleep inducing songs.

So our six month update doesn’t contain Asher’s official six month picture or any type of Pinterest-perfect outfit. It’s your typical, second child status post: written in an extreme hurry…but with a lot of love :-). Hugs to you, my little one. Happy six months. You are loved more than you will ever realize. Here’s to many more to come ::raises imaginary, much needed champagne glass and milk bottle::


Four Weekday Recipes You Can Actually Make

Well, when you guys told me that two-small-children, two-careers life is crazy, you weren’t kidding. If you’re like us, the hours of 5 pm – 9 pm on week days are pretty…intense. By intense I mean that the baby needs to be nursed, while the toddler needs some fruit, wants to play with play-doh, and needs help while going potty. ALWAYS at the exact same time. All at once. Daddy isn’t home yet to help, but thank goodness he’s there for dinner. Dinner is an exciting mix of food going everywhere, negotiations for more blueberries, and the baby refusing to sit in his bouncer for longer than two minutes because he HAS TO sit at the table with us and pull on mommy’s hair while she eats dinner. And, nurse again while she attempts to eat, of course. After dinner, we do dual bath and bed times, books, evening snack and bottle, and then label the next day’s bottles for daycare, do some laundry, and pick out everyone’s clothes for the next day. Anil and I usually don’t get “us” time until about 11 pm or so.

Somehow, when you’ve been away at work from your kids,  you don’t mind the circus after work. As hectic as it is, it’s really hard not to smile when the toddler tells you the “skarks” in Finding Nemo are scary :-) It’s such a blessing to have healthy children.  I’m also constantly being told that I’ll miss these moments one day, so I will take y’all’s word for it.  However, there is one thing I’ve really come to dislike when I get home and that’s cooking meals and doing dishes. It takes away from precious family time that we never seem to get enough of these days.  I never thought I’d say this and I still love to eat, but having a lot of time to prepare meals is just not happening. And that’s ok. We still manage to pull together dairy-and-soy-free dinners (for me, who nurses an allergic Asher) on most days, with shameless take-out meals making up for whatever we’re lacking. I thought I’d share a few of these super simple meals, in case you’re in the same boat and don’t have more than about 15 minutes to get dinner on the table.

Four Weekday Recipes You Can Actually Make

1. Oven roasted veggies and sausage: Pick a few veggies that don’t get too soggy in the oven. We like sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions. Add your favorite kielbasa or sausage. Don’t eat meat? You can try tofu or soy based sausage, or toss in cooked lentils at the end. Toss the veggies and sausage with natural Italian seasoning, some garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Bake at 350 to 375 from about 45 minutes to an hour (really depends on your oven). Done! Healthy, easy, and you can prep it the night before and just throw it in the oven as soon as you get home. Depending on the protein you pick, this is a wonderful gluten, dairy, and soy-free meal as well.

Oven roasted goodies

2. Alexia frozen veggies and fried eggs: If you’re going to go the frozen route, Alexia is actually a pretty good brand because they use all natural ingredients. I like their asparagus, red potato, and mushroom medley. I sauté this mix with a little bit of olive oil and then fry some eggs for protein. Very simple, but tasty.

Alexia and eggs

3. Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala burgers in tomato-cilantro sauce. Ok, this one requires a little bit more night-before prep and also requires you to have some Indian spices on hand. Go grab a small container and mix in a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of fennel seeds, a teaspoon of dried thyme, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala. Mix well and get back to it the next day when you’re ready to cook. When it’s game time, grab a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes and a handful of fresh cilantro. Wash well and toss in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add some olive oil to a pan and add the dry spice mix. Cook for a few minutes and add the tomato-cilantro mix. Cook for another 5 minutes or so and crumble in the completely defrosted veggie burgers, from TJ’s, of course. Cook for another 10 and you’re done! Indian food that tastes like it took an hour to make, done in about 20 minutes.


4. Chimichurri-anything. I absolutely love chimichurri sauce. It’s so easy to make and you can prepare it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Here’s what you do: take 1 cup fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup fresh parsley, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 large cloves of garlic, 1/2 tbsp cumin powder, 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (less if you don’t like the heat). Blend it all in a food processor & toss it on pretty much anything. And by anything I do mean anything: roasted or steamed veggies, potatoes, meats, tofu, tempeh, chicken, yuca, you name it. SO good.


626 Diapers Later

If there was ever a time when I had to put my big girl underwear on, these last 3 months were IT. We had Asher, who was born small for gestational age, has reflux, and is apparently allergic to dairy and soy. We found out about this on the day we moved to our new house and I had to pump around the clock for two weeks while formula feeding Asher so the dairy and soy could get out of my system. I was feeding or pumping 16 – 18 times per day while unpacking boxes. In addition to that, we had some major sleep regression with Dilan (still working on this), had Anil travel for work a week after we moved, and had a boat load of people over all at the same time. Some of this was planned, some of it wasn’t. That’s just life. But talk about a whirlwind of a three months!

No one really talks about not loving or being too exhausted to fully enjoy those first newborn weeks, but I am here to tell you that it’s absolutely ok if you don’t love every moment of it. Now if you’re not having fun at all, you may just have a problem. Your life isn’t going to be like that Hallmark or Gerber commercial you see and that’s fine. Even if you don’t have as much going on as we just did, you just have to remember that YOU’RE GOING TO SURVIVE. Just like we just did. All the stressful sleep and feeding habits eventually disappear and this too, shall pass.

After spending three months with the most adorable preemie sized baby boy, I felt obligated to follow up on this post I wrote for Dilan. Though we’ve been giving Asher a good dose of the second child treatment (sorry dude, comes with the rank), we still had to track what he’s been up to these last 12 weeks, so here it is:

Diaper count: 626 total
Nursing: 210 hours, for a total of 859 times
Bottle count: 198, with a freezer full of expressed, but “contaminated with soy and dairy” milk =(

Asher is growing rapidly and though he may stay small for a while, I’m confident that he’ll be just fine in the long run. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep him on track when I go back to work next week.

Work. Yikes. I absolutely love my job because it challenges my brain like nothing else does. But man, I will miss staying at home with that boy and Dilan, who stayed home on occasion. In the long run, there is nothing glamorous about staying at home with a newborn and a toddler, as I’ve said before. It’s madness. I truly appreciate everything SAHMs do and in the back of my head I keep thinking “I could never do this full-time”. Staying at home and taking care of the kids is a luxury, but not for the stay-at-home parent. It’s a luxury for the family because nothing’s nicer than coming home to a home-cooked meal, a clean house, and folded laundry. But doing it sure isn’t simple when you have kids around. I’m glad I got to do it for 12 weeks and got the family somewhat settled in. So for those of you embarking on something similar, here are my best newborn tips for those tough first few weeks:

Meals – Cook before the baby comes. Freeze some meals and pick up take-out menus beforehand. If people want to bring you food, TAKE IT. We had both sets of grandparents come visit us for a full two weeks, which was glorious. However, not everyone has the luxury of having family in nearby states, so take any and all meals that come your way. Just tell people what you want, really.

Laundry – I do at least one load every other day to keep track of laundry. Between a newborn and a two year old, it piles up quickly. Buy those pods that you can just toss in with the laundry so you don’t have to measure anything.

People – Speak up. Tell people what you want and when you want it. Most friends and family will be glad to help, but you have to tell them when it is and isn’t a good time to come over (witching hour, anyone?)

Getting out – I won’t lie. Two and a half is a tough age. Especially if there is some regression and your child is going through some developmental changes (read: lots of tantrums). It’s pretty much impossible right now for me to go anywhere with both kids, but we’ve ventured out a little bit. It just requires a lot of planning and patience, and at least 30 minutes of buffer, unless you want to be late all the time. Carry extra diapers, a boat load of wipes, at least two extra outfits per child, sippy cups, bottles, and a ton of distractions for the toddler. New books, your iPad, dollar bin toys from Target, whatever it takes.

That’s about it, guys. Wish me luck at work next week!! This corporate mama is as excited as she’s nervous. Greatness comes to those who embrace the chaos, after all. And to be completely honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way.


Newborn Things to Love

I can’t say things aren’t super hectic right now. We’re in the final stages of packing up our house and getting ready to move to our new house in the next week or so. On top of that, I’m at home feeding the newborn about 14 times a day, while changing an average of 14 diapers a day as well. Daddy is back at work and is traveling for work a week after we move and our two year old is as busy as he can be and just picked up the word “nasty” from somewhere…oh dear.

Amid all the chaos and fun, I couldn’t help but share some of my favorite newborn things right now. You may have seen my Top 20 Must Haves for a new baby that I created when Dilan was born. I did come across two new things the second time around. Aside from the amazing baby smell and cute noises Asher makes when he nurses, here is what else I’ve really been enjoying:

My Brest Friend nursing pillow. You probably have a Boppy pillow or some other type of pillow to help support you if you’re breastfeeding. I thought the Boppy was pretty great until my lactation consultant introduced me to the Brest Friend. Not only do I love the nice and geeky name, I really like the firmness of it as well. There is no gap between your belly and the pillow and it wraps around you to provide some back support too. It’s made all the difference in my posture. The best part is that you can rest your gadgets on it while nursing. My MacBook Air is actually sitting on top of it right now while I’m feeding Asher and writing this post. Totally worth checking out if you’re planning on nursing for a while. Definitely worth the money and you can get it shipped to your house from Amazon if you don’t have time to go to the store to grab it. Have you heard of Minted yet? If not, go add them to your Instagram account right now! Minted focuses on outstanding design by hosting ongoing design competitions. The Minted community then votes on the best designs and those are the ones that are sold on their site. You can find the cutest announcements and invitations, stationary, decor, and custom art work. I’m actually looking at getting our birth announcement through them. We love magnets because they’re easy to stick to the fridge, of course. Here’s what I’m looking at: the birth announcement magnet by Jennifer Wick:


I’m usually more of a crisp and clean font person, but I kind of like the different fonts Jennifer used here. It makes the announcement unique and adds an artsy flair to it. I would love for you guys to help me pick a final design, though. Take a look and let me know what appeals to you. In the meantime, I’ll go look for some more and newer snuggly baby pictures.

So there you have it, just a couple of my favorite things right now. When things get hectic and you’re trying to fight your way through the sleep deprived haze, don’t forget to  enjoy the small things (besides your small baby ;-)). They may just make those rough newborn days a bit brighter :-). Signing off now to do some diaper changing. I’ll talk to you guys soon and stay tuned for our official birth announcement coming soon!

All The Small Things

I’m sitting at my desk in my dorm listening to this Indian boy telling me how my music collection sucks. He downloads a handful of sappy songs instead and then continues with “All The Small Things” by Blink 182. “You don’t even have that song?!” Who cares about small things, I think in the back of my head. I don’t even like Blink.

Fifteen years later, that Indian boy is still there. He’s holding my hand this time around, helping me through contractions in our Labor & Delivery room. We’re about to have our second baby boy. He’s an IUGR baby, which means that he’ll be very small, though not a single doctor has been able to tell me why so far. I gained an acceptable (for my body size) 30 pounds and we had only made one doughnut and one fried pickle run during the entire 9 months. I can’t say I didn’t try to be healthy. It was nerve wrecking.

What made things worse is that we’re trying to watch “Back to the Future” (one of my favorite movies of all time) to distract me from contractions. I normally love Biff, but MAN is he annoying during contractions and the transition of labor part. After about an hour of telling Biff to go to hell, I decide that I’ve been at it long enough and ask for the epidural. I didn’t have one when I gave birth to Dilan. Everyone who’s had one tells me it’s amazing and you’ll be able to nap right through those contractions. Sounds good to me! I finally get one in and am about to lay down, so ready for my nap when I hear a silent “shit” from our L&D nurse. She’s looking at that screen that graphs your contractions and the next thing we know, she’s pinging my doctor and the delivery crew. The contractions are getting worse and I can still feel them. I SO do not have the energy to push out a baby and beg for my nap. Yeah, right, not happening. The special crew is called in, just because the baby is expected to be small. Twenty minutes, that annoying oxygen mask, and a lot of pushing later, Asher Anil Chawla is born:

Weight: 4 lbs, 6 ounces
Height: 19 inches
Head size: 32 cm

His name (Asher) originates from the Sanskrit word for “happy”. And that is exactly what he’s made us. There was no need for the NICU, he was breathing on his own and did not need any special care. I was floored. Since then, he’s been battling jaundice and some really bad reflux. He still manages to nurse like a champ and is growing slowly, but surely. Our pediatrician has told us twice already that he’s very feisty and the strongest little 4 pounder she’s ever met. We tend to agree. We’re not completely out of the woods yet, as he does need to grow more and shake off the breastfeeding jaundice, but every single day, things look more promising. Asher is small, but mighty.

I must send out a special thanks to Dilan. I know it’s tough to not get all the attention anymore, but just think of it this way, Dils: if it wasn’t for your awesomeness, we would have never thought of having an Asher in the first place. You’re going to be an amazing big bro. As for me, I will never take small things for granted again. My music collection back in the day might have sucked, but thank goodness it did, because it introduced me to a pretty amazing daddy who knows how to create some darn cute kids :-). Small things are growing on me. Heck, I may even like that stupid Blink song one day.


28 Months & 36 Weeks

I know I said the same thing last time, but I truly believe that this age, 28 months, is just the best age EVER. Who cares about terrible twos and tantrums? Sure, it isn’t easy to go anywhere with a 2 year old without him obsessing or going crazy about something, but guys, the words and phrases that are coming out of his mouth are just ADORABLE. Anil and I talk about how cute he is every single night. Here’s what else is going on with Dilan:

State of the Dilan

Sleep is great as well right now. He sleeps from about 8:30 PM – 7 AM, which is just about perfect for us. Ok fine, I do miss the days when I could sleep in until 9, but those are never coming back, are they? I expect some major sleep regression when the baby is here, so we’re savoring good sleep right now. We had to work on sleep with Dilan big time over Christmas break since he wanted Anil to sit in his room and hum for a full hour or two before he would attempt to sleep. Now, all he needs is his night light, Bobo in his toddler bed, white noise, and the door slightly cracked open to fall asleep by himself. Works for us. He’s been dropping naps on weekends for the last month or so (grrr), but whenever possible, I try to get him to nap in our bed on weekends. I don’t care how bad that is from a consistency perspective, I just want to nap with him, smell his hair, and stare at his beautiful lashes. It’s precious time that we won’t have very soon.

Dilan still eats up a storm every day. Pizza, pancakes, crispy Kale, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, meats, rice dishes and strawberry or raspberry yogurt are among his favorite foods right now. The latter ones have become a food jag since he asks for it at dinner every single night. I’m thinking it will pass soon enough, but if it doesn’t, at least it’s not candy or cake he’s asking for. We haven’t had a well check in a while, but I’m guessing this is where he’s at physically:

Weight: 30 lbs
Height: 36 inches at least?
Head size: No idea

He’s still in speech therapy once a week and will be getting some help with fine motor skills as well. He’s not terribly behind with either, but I’ll have to explain our whole rationale for putting him in therapy in a separate post. Everyone keeps telling me that he’ll catch up and I know he will, but I don’t feel bad about the extra help he’s getting since he’s in daycare and it’s helping him thrive there and at home.

In terms of potty training…he has zero interest. I’m not worried about that one either (someone reassure me here!) and am not going to start it now with a baby and move coming up. All in all, we’re just crazy about him right now. He constantly tries to push the limits, pushes his wants and needs until he’s red in the face, and watches too much Peppa Pig, but it’s all part of being two. He has an opinion about absolutely everything and although it’s annoying at times, I have to give him credit for sticking to his guts and not being easily swayed. It’s a quality that will pay off later in life :-). He also makes split second decision about things, which I think he gets from me since I’m very much the same way. I don’t spend too much time on any given decision, unless it’s majorly affecting other people’s lives somehow. Our favorite Dilan phrases are: “What’s that noooose (noise)?”, “Tapitty (strawberry) yogurt”, and “Bobo get it” (get Bobo for me). You’ll have to hear them in person to fully appreciate these.


State of the Mommy

I am a pretty good blend between a nervous whale and a calm and focused mom right now. We’re most likely having an SGA baby and that definitely makes me nervous and worried at times. But then again, nothing has been found wrong with me or the baby, which makes me think that maybe we’re just part of the standard deviation with the small baby that someone has to have. A few more weeks (or days) and we’ll know for sure. I’m not afraid of labor pain (18 hours without meds the first time around will toughen you up), but I just want a healthy boy who can breathe on his own. I couldn’t care less about his weight, as long as he’s healthy. In the meantime, I’ve been super slammed at work and will probably continue to be until I go into labor. It’s all fine with me. Our house is getting packed up, we’re getting things ready for a newborn, furniture is getting sold, and we’re closing on our new house in the next two months. Things are SO exciting right now! I keep facing the sun instead of the shadows and telling myself that it will all work out. Cross your fingers for us, ok?


State of the Daddy

I don’t think Anil has ever been busier than he is right now. He’s actively working on growing his team while selling and buying new furniture and appliances with me and convincing Dils to brush his teeth (takes about 20 mins on average). He just moved into a new office and continues to do work almost every night until the lights go out. It’s nuts, but he somehow has it all under control. He brings me a giant bowl of Chex cereal every night and to me, that’s just the sweetest thing. I know cereal is about as unromantic as it gets, but when you’re starving at 10 PM, it’s just the nicest thing to have brought to you in bed. It’s really all I want for Valentine’s Day.


7 Ways to Beat the Busy

Ok, I’m not going to lie…I’ve been daydreaming of someone getting Dilan dressed in the morning while I eat a sea salt sprinkled pain au chocolat and get 10 minutes to myself. You guys know how it goes. The third trimester is just tough. You’re running at the same speed as everyone else while you’re growing an entire human being. Sounds simple, but it’s actually pretty amazing…and exhausting. On top of that, I’ve been running behind a (sometimes tantrummy) 2 year old, packing for our move in April, trying to keep things awesome at work, and getting everything ready at home for a newborn. It’s hard not to drop the ball somewhere, but instead of beating myself up about it, I know better these days. I’ve got 7 tips for how to beat the busy…whether you’re moderately busy like me, crazy busy like I hope I’ll never be, or just trying to get your everyday tasks done.

1. Plan your meals ahead. We usually plan dinners for at least the 5 work days of the week, but many times for the weekends as well. This does not mean that you have to cook religiously every day. We do “take-out Tuesdays” and pick a healthy take-out option. It breaks up the week and gives me a break as well. The hubs wants to do “Wine Wednesdays” after I give birth. See why I married him? Sounds awesome, though this mommy really wants to nurse for a while first. We’ll get there eventually. The point is that you won’t feel as stressed when you’ve planned ahead. No one wants to be HANGRY.

2. Grocery shop once a week. Having the time to shop multiple times a week sounds amazing, but we really just don’t. I do one large trip for the entire week. This obviously requires that you’ve taken care of step 1 above. Want to know something else that’s awesome? If you’ve got a Harris Teeter around, you can shop online for a small fee and they’ll bring the groceries to your car. It is by far the best thing ever and I wish every store would do this. I can see this becoming super useful with multiple kids in car seats (and diapers).

3. Simplify breakfast. As I’ve mentioned before, we make healthy smoothies almost every single morning. It’s by far the easiest breakfast you can make because you’re simply throwing ingredients into a blender and that’s about it. You can drink your smoothie on your way to work (or play) and if you get your hands on a good blender, it’s super easy to clean up too. Frozen fruits are life savers, especially during winter.  Added bonus: most toddlers dig fruits and you can sneak in veggies too! Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

4. Purge one area per week. After living in the same house for 8 years, I’ve learned one thing: crap piles up. It just does, unless you are really diligent about purging cabinets and dressers. I’ve also learned that it can take ages to get through those plastic cups that used to sit in your dorm room and the useless kitchen gadgets your mother-in-law thinks you have the time to use. The best way to get through it all is to select just one room or cabinet a week and focus on that only. I wish I had done more of this over the years. It sure would have made moving a lot easier.

5. Use a great planning tool. We love Trello. We actually did drop the ball and stopped logging freezer meals a few months ago, but we picked it right back up last weekend. We also log things like furniture findings and purchases, car maintenance, and new home to-dos. It’s great to get that stuff out of your head. Let me know if you need any Trello tips once you try it out.

6. Get house cleaning help. This one is sooo controversial. I had a tough time with it for a while because I CAN DO IT MYSELF, DARN IT! I soon came to realize that getting our house cleaned from top to bottom is one of the best investments we can make. It would take me at least 6 – 8 hours to properly clean on a weekend, but now, I get to spend time with my 2 year old and husband instead. Uh-mazing. Seriously worth considering, especially if you’ve got a household with two full-time working parents. We still clean plenty in between. Don’t believe me? This is roughly what we’re cleaning up on a daily basis and it’s plenty for me:



7. Nap while you can. Nap time is time-out for adults. It gives you a chance to re-set, maybe think about what you’ve been doing with your life, or maybe just pass out in less than 10 minutes while you drool on your pillow. I think that once you become a parent, you get to appreciate naps much more than you did before. I don’t feel bad about napping on some weekends over the last few months. I know these are some of the last few weeks that I’ll be able to since we have just one child right now. I’m a better mom when I wake up because I had a chance to calm and slow down and sometimes even snuggle up with the 2 year old. And what could be more amazing than that?