The Reality of Change: in a handful of paragraphs 

I have 20 minutes before I leave for work. 

I have been up since 6 AM. Since then my one-year-old has cried nonstop. She cried in the bath. She cried getting dressed. She cried getting her hair done. She cried during breakfast. She cried while I got ready for work. I would bet my hat that she’ll cry on the way to daycare. 

Last night, she cried for about two hours before falling asleep. She cried the whole way home from daycare. She cried on the way to daycare. And the night before she woke up and cried once every 2 hours or so. Before that she cried going to bed. And before that. And before that. And before that. 

This morning, I cried. I stood in the kitchen, washing grapes for my lunch for work, and I cried. 

I have been at a new, full time job, for 8 days. I have not slept through the night since starting said job. I look forward to picking up my daughter from daycare, but she only cries. 

Overwhelmed. Stressed. Vague. 

Coming back here after a much too long bow of absence has proven to be therapeutic and helpful. I will return with more detail, and I will return more often. 

My 20 minutes are up. 
Emily 

Where’d My Baby Go ? 

Last night, I was laying in bed with Nola, like I do every night. And I found myself staring at her for a really long time. She wasn’t the 7 lbs little baby i brought home almost ten months ago, anymore. She’s almost one. She’s basically a toddler. 

When did she get so big ? 

I feel like so much of the beginning of her life was spent in a sleepless, sore, crying-filled haze that all blends together when I try to look back at it now. I feel like I didn’t absorb as much of her little baby days as I should have. 

But, honestly how could I do more than I did ? There wasn’t a single moment I spent apart from her. There wasn’t a second that she wasn’t in my arms, on my boob, or in the same room with me. She sleeps in my bed. She takes a bath when I shower. She comes to work with me. Not a moment apart. Yet, it still feels like there are memories that I’m missing. 

Maybe it’s because, for almost three weeks, feeding her would cause me massive amounts of physical pain. 

Maybe it’s because I was (and still am) the only one getting up with her every night, every single time she would wake up. Sometimes, I would get two hours of sleep MAX. 

Who knows. 

I looked over at her and realized my baby wasn’t such a baby anymore. 

She waves “hello” and “goodbye.” She says “mama” when she wants me to hold her. She feeds herself. She is so smart and strong. 

As I’m wirting this, she’s sitting in the middle of the floor, analyzing her toy box. She isn’t looking to me to be held or coddled. She doesn’t want attention. She’s being independent. 

I’m so proud of her. I’m so proud that she is the way she is. So smart, silly, always learning, always curious, always looking for something to investigate and get into. 

In such a short time, she’s evolved into a small person. She’s not the little baby who sleeps on and off all day. She interacts and plays. 

I suppose there wasn’t too much for me to remember when it comes to her little days. Lots of sleeping. Lots of eating. Lots of people telling me she shouldn’t sleep in bed with me. All that jazz. And I remember that, and honestly that’s all there was to it. Mostly. 

Now is when the memories start to become more substantial. Crawling, talking, big girl food, walking.

I was there when she first crawled. When she first babbled. When she first sat up. When she first age big girl food. The first time she went in the snow. The first time she went to the park. The first time she pulled herself up. Her first teeth popping up. Her first smile and laughs. 

I was there for all of that. And they’re such beautiful memories. I’m so thankful to have them. 

While she is transitioning from a baby to a toddler, I’m excited to embrace all of the new things that are in store for her. Walking, talking, reading, writing, friendships. There is so much life for her to live and it’s only barley started. 

The memories are just beginning. The future is exciting. 
-Em

Turning 21- Don’t Care at All 

Okay, I’ll admit I was a bit of a hoodrat back in and after high school. A bit of a punk, if you will. A rebel, perhaps.  

In my group of friends NO ONE was 21, so we all couldn’t wait to turn 21. Why ? So we could go into the liquor store ourselves ? Oh so cool. 

I had my whole 21st birthday planned out. It was my golden birthday, too, so it was going to extra special. We were going to go to the bars, party our faces off, it was going to be killer. Mind you, I was 18-19 when this planning was happening. 

Then, a blue little plus sign threw a wrench in that plan. 

I spent my 20th birthday pregnant as hell. But, I was with my family and we had a really fun time. Did I party with my friends ? Nope, and you know what; I didn’t die. I was totally okay. No FOMO here. 

Fast forward to August 2015. 

I was telling my parents how I wanted them to watch Nola on the weekend of my 21st birthday (it was on a Monday. Shitty, right ?). They said they would ! The excitement. 

Fast forward even further to January 2016. 

Nola is completely depend on me to get her to sleep, to feed her (since she nurses to sleep), and to soothe her if she wakes up at night. 

And I was so totally okay with that. My little bean was so infinately more important than going out, that I didn’t care one bit that I wasn’t going to go out. 

My best friend and her family took me out to dinner on the day of my 21st. Did I have anything to drink ? Nope, and I still had so much fun. 

I didn’t need to get shit faced and I didn’t even want to. Not one little bit. 

The following Saturday, I went to dinner with my family. I ordered a drink-maybe two. It was a lovely time. I wasn’t upset that I wasn’t partying at the bar. I wasn’t bummed that I couldn’t go out because of the baby. 

It amazed me how much my mentality changed when Nola came along. I use to think you needed alcohol to have fun, and it can help perpetuate the fun, but it’s not necessary. 

Becoming a mother really put life into perspective for me. I didn’t have a drink on my 21st birthday, I didn’t have one until almost a week later. Some people would say that’s dumb, why wouldn’t I now that I could ? 

Well, dumb dumb, I have a baby to take care of. Will one or two drinks interfere with my ability to care for her ? No, but anything more than that and I can’t feed her. Anything more than that and it wouldn’t be responsible for me to hold her, or pick her up. And that’s not really appealing to me. 

Now, when she’s older and doesn’t rely on me to nurse her and get her to sleep, that might be a different story. Maybe I’ll go out a couple times a month for a few hours. But, getting shit faced no longer holds any appeal. 

This isn’t to say that parents with young babies who go out and drink are terrible parents, bad parents, irresponsible, neglectful, NOTHING LIKE THAT. So don’t get it twisted. This is just my train of thought on the matter in regards to me, my baby, and my personal situation. I don’t care what other people do, not my business. 

So, was turning 21 a life changing event ? No, and it wasn’t worth all the hype. It was nice to celebrate another birthday with my family, and it’ll be nice to order wine when I go out in the future. But, that’s about it. 

-Em

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Party Planning

Party Planning Specifically, party planning for a baby. 

I could not have imagined that planning a party for a 1-year-old was going to be this time consuming, this detail oriented and this involved. 

Good lord. 

So, Nola will be turning one this coming July and, as custom dictates, I will be throwing her a birthday party. Now, originally, I thought it was going to just be family. Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts & uncles. But, then I remembered a friend who threw a party for her daughter and there were 1.5 billion people there. So, then I thought “okay, I’ll invite some friends of mine and their kiddos.” 

7 kids under the age of two and 15 additional guests later… 

It went from a gathering of 12 people to somewhere around 40. Oops ? 

But, then I though it’ll be fun. We can cook out, have games like bags (and honestly that’s as far as I’ve gotten in the game department), we can have a sprinkler for the kids, the swing set will be there to entertain. It’ll all be good. 

Side note: I’m so excited for the sprinkler. Little kids in bathing suits, is there anything cuter !? 

  

Okay, but what about that food. Cooking out ? Catering ? 

I have never thrown a party before, and so I have no idea what food should cost (keep in mind, I’m a millennial, we aren’t good at doing things by ourselves LOL). After looking at catering sites (more like having my mom look at them ), she suggested cooking out “way cheaper !!” Okay great. That’ll save me a chunk of change. But, since I’m not catering to a vegan crowd, it’s going to be the typical hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips. *cue eye roll*

Then decorations. And a THEME !? Why does there have to be a theme ? Can’t the theme just be “1-year-old party”? Ugh the standards of children’s birthday parties is just too high for me. 

But, I am excited to decorate. And to make Nola vegan cupcakes (while the rest of the party has a normal cake, I’m not a monster). 

  
Let’s hope it doesn’t rain !! 

-Em  

Because I’m Lazy & Other Updates 

So, I haven’t blogged in a while. Like. It a good long while. And, I’m here to tell you all why. 

I’ve been lazy. 

Not just with blogging. I think of something to blog about everyday, or every other day at least. 

I’ve just been lazy in general. I’ve been having a hard time mentally committing to things lately and it’s put me in a real funk.  

My eating ? Has been vegetarian. Why ? Because I’ve been too lazy to plan my meals, find recipes, go grocery shopping, etc. So, I’ve been eating like crap. And in turn, I feel like crap. 

Working out ? That’s a good joke. 

With this transition into warm weather it means no more yoga pants and hoodies/cardigans/shape covering clothes. And that’s been tough. I’m still not at a place where I’m 100% happy with my body, so the thought of going out and buying shorts and capris (in a bigger size *dun dun DUNNNN*) has been off putting, to say the least. 

But, I went. I went and I conquered. I bought shorts and capris and skirts and even a dress. I bought actual outfits, not just pieces of clothing that I would just throw on.

 It was almost liberating; I’ve felt like such a slob because it’s been winter, so it’s been the same yogas and hoodies for the last 6 months. And anyone will tell you wearing the same thing over and over again gets depressing. So, having grown up outfits (THAT FIT) is so amazing. 

I was so pissed about buying clothes (and I put it off forever–because I’m lazy) because I wasn’t the size** I wanted to be and I thought “if I’m buying a clothes that are ONE SIZE bigger than what I fit into before, I’ll be this weight forever”! Not how it works. Having clothes that fit, no matter the size, will make you feel so much better about yourself. 

** when I say “size” I don’t mean a size 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, etc… I mean it like: I want to be happy with the way I look. If I like the way I look at a size 8, then so be it ! If I like how I look more at a size 10, cool beans. It’s not about the number. It’s about how I feel about myself when I look in the mirror and it’s about my health. 

Anyway. 

So, that was the clothes shopping debacle of upcoming summer 2016. 

Nola has been crawling and standing and moving all over the damn house. It was easier to sit down and blog when I could just sit her down and she’d stay in one place. Oh, hindsight, why are you so 20/20 ? She’s 9 months on the 3rd and I’m already planning her one year birthday party ! I can and can’t believe she’ll be one so soon. It’s amazing. 

What else ? 

Schooling has yet to begin. That’s a whole different shit storm to discuss another time. 

I will be back in full swing soon enough. 

-Em
 

WTF, Body ?

Do you ever have one of those mornings when you wake up and it’s like you woke up in someone else’s body ? 

This morning I woke up and something was wrong with every region of my body. Let’s work from the head, down. 

My hair was an absolute disaster. Even after straightening it after my shower last night. 

  
My face looked like I just hit puberty for a second time. Seriously, what the hell is going on. I have red splotches on the corners of my mouth, not cold sores or anything like that, just red dots. Cool. Bumps all over my face. Super cool. 

  
My nose piercing is infected. That hasn’t happened for almost two years. I have no idea what happened. And there’s a zit right at the front on my nostril. 

  
Attractive shit is happening. 

Then, aunt flow came to visit. Always a fun time. Probably explains why my face looks like a bomb just went off. 

  
My back feels like I slept in a pyramid  made of concrete. Am I 86 or….. ? 

 

 
Above is an actual picture of me. 

Giant bruise on my leg. Where did that come from ? Who knows. 

It’s just one of those days when I woke up and it already wasn’t a good day. I’d like to go home, take a hot shower and sleep for 18 hours. But, seeing as I have an 8 month old to tend to, I’ll probably go home, take a quick warmish shower and sleep for about 5 hours. 

I’ll take what I can get. 

-Em

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Vegan Sloppy Joes Recipe & Review 

Okay, so I’ve made sloppy joes with tempeh before, and they’ve been great. However, they were lacking a certain sumtin-sumtin, if you know what I’m sayin. I had these beyond meat beefy crumbles in the freezer, for a couple months now, and I wanted to use them up. 

I was hesitant to use these, I tried them before and wasn’t a huge fan. This preperation was fantastic. They make a great meat sub and the nutrition is fantastic ! 

  
Not too bad. 

So, I found my moms recipe for regular sloppy joes and used that, but tweaked it a little bit here and there and this is how it came out. 

  
Chili sauce (key, do not omit), chili powder, onion, green pepper, V8 juice, white vinegar, salt, and obviously the beefy crumbles. 

And brown sugar, forgot about that one. Oops. 

   
Do what you’re suppose to do with veggies 

 
Sauté and add the chili powder and salt 

  
Add the beefy crumbles and warm through 

  
Add the vinegar, chili sauce, and V8 juice 

  
Don’t forget that brown sugar 

  
Simmer until thickened, add V8 as needed 

  
Serve with some crispy potatoes and devour. 

Yummy, hearty, protein packed, filling, definitely a keeper. 

-Em