Confessions from My [Third] Second Trimester


[first confession: this picture is actually from the first trimester.]

My first pregnancy (and the second pregnancy that followed in quick succession), I wore my normal padded, underwire bras through the entire duration of gestation and nursing (fun fact: I have never owned or worn a nursing bra.)  This time?  I haven’t worn real bra with things like hooks and clasps and underwire and separate cups for weeks.  Months, maybe.  Sports bras all the way–bring on the sexy uniboob.

I busted out the maternity clothes at 8 weeks.  I am so over squeezing into my old clothes for the sake of pride–this time, absolute and uninterrupted comfort is prioridad numero uno.

Here’s a basic summary of my diet for the first couple of months.





IMG_20140309_114850[and let’s just take a minute to acknowledge the sahara desert that is my skin.]

Not pictured: boxes and boxes (and boxes) of Cheez-Its.  My snack of choice.

Around week 12, I was getting super smug that I hadn’t yet gained any weight.  And then the universe was like “JOKE’S ON YOU!” because I then proceeded to gain 6 pounds in one week.  Pride goeth before the pounds.

I got an ultrasound at my first appointment and I cried.  Of course, I was already crying because I had to have a pelvic exam, and those little bastards always induce anxiety attacks. (2 children and 2 IUDs later, you’d think I’d be used to it.  But something about that exam table and the stirrups and the nakedness just freaks the absolute hell out of me.) But when I looked up and saw the fuzzy, black and white images of the wee little babe inhabiting my womb, the hyperventilating and shaking and panic-sobs turned into a much calmer and happier kind of weeping.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I promised myself I would actually exercise consistently this time.  I did yoga every day…for like 9 days straight.  On the other hand, I have been very faithful to my daily afternoon nap.

My first pregnancy, I followed all the “rules”, did all the research, spent hours and hours poring over books and websites.  I’m not knocking that, because it’s an essential part of the first time experience.  (Plus, it’s so fun to actually have a legitimate reason to be on all the baby websites, after all the months you’ve spent secretly looking at them anyway.)

This time, I eat sushi and Brie and raw eggs and lunch meat and basically whatever the hell strikes my fancy. I don’t worry as much about all the cramping or the random, weird symptoms that crop up.  I’ve been through labor and delivery twice, so while I know it’s the farthest thing from a picnic that you could possibly come up with, I at least know what to expect and have concrete proof that I’ve survived it before.  I am in no way an expert and this baby is likely to throw me for a loop, as babies are wont to do, but overall I am just less worried.  And that is nice.

And even though this one was a huge surprise and even though the timing couldn’t have been much less ideal…

I am so excited.




[Tesla, 1 week old]

I hope this one’s cute, too.








Sunday Brunch


Yesterday was Dave Matthews and the house to myself while I cooked a big brunch.

Yesterday was strawberries and cream cheese stuffed french toast  and fresh blackberries with lime and honey (my favorite and only way to eat them).  And also bacon.



Yesterday was a hike, and a nap (or a 15 mile run, if you’re Silas–I took the nap route, obvs) and family dinner.

Yesterday was cloudy and cool and lovely.  Rare for Arizona, but some of my favorite weather.

Let’s have yesterday once more, please.  Shall we put it to a vote?



Hope you had a lovely weekend filled with lovely food, as always.  What lies ahead for you this week?  I have to admit that I have a serious case of Monday melancholy.  Time to go watch cat videos.

And speaking of cat videos, if you haven’t seen Dubstep Cat….DO IT.  You’re welcome.

Anatomy of a Friday Morning


For the last several days, I’ve been a bit of a…oh, what’s the word…cranky bitch.

So today, in spite of the ongoing irritibility and general “I’m done with life and all I want to do is watch Season 2 of Veronica Mars and eat Chewy Sprees until I can’t feel my tongue anymore”-ness, I decided to have some caffeine, woman up, and take this day by the horns.

The boys chopped strawberries.

20140328_081538and ate them.



I cooked up some delicious apples…and burnt them a bit.


There were spilled smoothies


and nests made.

20140328_091552(Desmond’s face…)

We had German apple pancakes (pancake?) for the first time


and let me just say–delicious.  In fact, the child who whined for about 15 minutes straight that he didn’t “want apple pancakes!” ended up eating twice as much as I did.

Food really does make everything better sometimes.



I hope your Friday is delicious and your weekend is even more so.  I’m thinking of making some sort of chorizo pizza tonight…




8 Things I’ve Learned on My Intuitive Eating Journey


1.  Perfection is a myth.  Tonight we had pizza and I wasn’t hungry at all but I was super cranky and irritable and pissed about everything…so I ended up trying to numb my feelings with 5 pieces of pizza.  Every time I think I’m past this, it happens again.  I may never fully overcome it, but it happens much less frequently than it used to, and that is how I measure progress.

2.  How not to respond to a binge or overeating episode: Taking a bunch of laxatives or other medication, going on a 2-hour run, swearing to all deities that you will not eat a single thing for the rest of the week, going on a liquid fast, mentally berating yourself and wondering when you are ever going to get your shit together.

3.  How to respond to a binge or overeating episode: Don’t freak out.  Seriously.  Acknowledge that it happened, acknowledge that you are sickeningly full and miserable and in pain–and realize that you will feel better tomorrow.  I try to go to sleep as soon as I can (as many of my binges happen at night), because by now I know that nothing is going to help the awful sickness pass but time.

4.  Food can be comfort, love, and an emotional painkiller.  Finding something to replace it is really hard.

5.  Talking about it helps.  Hiding your shame and pain and feeling like a worthless excuse for a human being with no self-control does not.  You need support.*  Find someone–a counselor, a friend, a family member, or an online support group–that you can talk to when you’re feeling shitty and all you want to do is eat your way into of a vat of chocolate frosting.

6.  You are not the only one.  You are not the only one who has ever eaten an entire pizza or package of Oreos by yourself.  You are not the only one who has pulled food back out of the trash and eaten it because you were like a (wo)man possessed and could not think of anything else.  You are not the only one who struggles.

7.  It is not about a lack of willpower.  You are not a weak person who just needs to suck it up and work harder.  You are someone who is dealing with something that others who toss “eat less, move more” at you may not understand.

8.  It gets better.  It can.  It does.  It will.

I promise.


*I am not qualified in any way to offer advice or counsel, but if you need someone to talk to and be on your team, I am always here.

It’s Birthday Month!



March is full of birthdays around here.  We have 5 March birthdays in my family, including Silas and myself.  I also have at least 8 friends with birthdays this month.  

So basically, cake.  That is what that means.

Today I made lemon pound cake with blueberry filling and lemon cream cheese frosting [pictured above] for my mom’s birthday.  My cakes may be ugly, but they taste mighty fine.



Blueberry compote.  Yes.

I actually made two cakes, because we didn’t think there would be enough for everyone.  But when you’re eating a two-layer pound cake with filling and cream cheese frosting…you get full pretty quickly.  So we had an entire cake left over.

Photo on 3-9-14 at 2.10 PM


I hadn’t baked in a while, so it was fun to cake it up today.  But those suckers took me all morning to make.  I might be done for this month.  Silas and I can stick some candles on a pizza or something.



What is your favorite birthday cake (or treat, if you’re not a cake person)?  Honestly, I love a classic yellow cake with a good chocolate frosting.  It’s the best.



Letting Them Help


They want to help.

They want to be included, to contribute.  I want this, too.  It is what I am supposed to be teaching them.

But I also want space, want to just get things done, want to continue on through each day as I’ve always done; doing things in my own way and my own time.

I have found that I often try to redirect them, pushing aside their requests to help.  Why?  Out of fear?  Fear of messes, fear of not getting tasks done as quickly as I would like?  Surely my reasons are not as trivial as that.

But maybe they are.  I’ve had more than 4 years to get used to being a mother, and yet I still crave order, solitude, cleanliness–not the first words that come to mind when you think of children.


One day last week, we made strawberry muffins for breakfast.  I fought my “no, just let me do it” instincts, my “watch out so you don’t spills”, and my “try doing it like this” commentary.

I let the boys help me (over)mix the muffin ingredients, reminding myself that fostering independence and a sense of accomplishment is more important than tender muffins.  Tesla scooped the batter into the muffin cups, and Desmond chopped strawberries.  (With a real knife!)


The boys loved contributing.  I could tell they felt important, included.  They enjoyed the muffins immensely, especially since they helped make them.  That scene has played in my head, over and over since that morning.  They are so much happier when I give them jobs to do, tasks to complete.

So this is me, telling myself, that I need to step back, relax, and let them learn.


Even (and maybe especially) when they don’t do things “my way”.



I know some parents are really awesome at giving their children responsibility.  It is something I really believe in, but really struggle with at the same time.  Does spilled flour make you twitch, too?  😉

Also, I wanted to share a video a friend posted in response to my post about taking up space the other day.  It is insightful and will only take a few minutes, so watch it here.






I love brunch on weekends.

It always ends up being brunch because I like to take things slow in the morning and don’t usually get around to making breakfast until 10 or so.

Our traditional weekend breakfast is coffee cake (this one or this one, with blueberries instead of rhubarb), but lately I’ve been in a waffle mood.



Sometimes I’ll make a fruit compote or syrup to go on top, but often we each just do our own thing.  The boys usually eat their waffles with peanut butter and jelly.  Silas is a fan of the peanut butter + syrup combo.  I favor lemon and powdered sugar on mine, but sometimes you just can’t beat regular old syrup.

(And I mean HFCS-laden table syrup, not maple syrup.  It’s what I grew up on, it’s what I love.  Don’t judge.)



What’s your favorite weekend breakfast?  I’m always looking for new recipes.



Teaching Children Intuitive Eating

[subtitle: How the Hell Do You Do It?]


Today, on two separate occasions, I followed the sound of silence to find one of my sons tucked in the corner of a room, frantically unwrapping and eating candy that he had found in the Christmas stash.

I’m still trying to sort out how I felt upon discovering him, hiding from me like he was doing something bad.  I have a swirling mass of needs-to-be-untangled thoughts and feelings about the topics of eating and bodies, and I don’t want to project my own drama onto my sweet, innocent, still-untarnished-by-the-world little children.  And yet, I want to raise them to value themselves and others, to look deeper but also to love the bodies they were born with and to have an easy, natural, untainted relationship with food.

But it is damn hard to know how to teach intuitive eating when it’s not a skill you grew up with or are even now passably proficient in.  I don’t know what mistakes I can make and still have my children turn out okay.  I don’t even know how many mistakes I’m already making.  I don’t know if fostering intuitive eating means letting them eat whatever and whenever and however much they want, or if it’s eating whatever they want at mealtimes only, or if it’s eating whatever they want of what is offered at mealtimes, or any number of options.  I just don’t know.

My boys are bread fanatics–they would subsist solely on baked carbs if we decided to restrict our diet to a single food group.  Because they’ve often loaded up on bread/rolls/naan/focaccia/biscuits/etc. and refused to eat any other dishes at dinner, my husband has instituted the “finish all your food before you have more bread” rule.  I back him because we’re supposed to present a united front and all that.  But inside, I’m conflicted.  The “eat food to get more food” concept just doesn’t quite sit right with me.  To me, it reinforces the concepts of  (1) “special foods”–things like bread and dessert get put on a pedestal; you have to suffer through a plate of “boring food” in order to get to them and (2) overeating/eating when you’re not hungry.  If a kid (or adult) wants a piece of cake but believes he has to join the Clean Plate Club to get it, he’ll plow through the food on his plate until he’s worthy of the prize.  And if he isn’t hungry anymore by the time he’s “earned” the cake?  Too damn bad.  He’s worked for this cake, and he’s going to eat it, hungry or not.

If it’s dinnertime and I’m absolutely craving chocolate cake, I think I’m better off forgoing the dinner and just eating the cake (provided I enjoy it, listen to my hunger signals, etc…all that IE stuff).  Maybe after I finish the cake, I’m full, so cake is all I have that night.  So what?  Worse things have happened.  But as someone who has worked really hard to eradicate the ideas of “good/healthy/guilt-free” foods and “bad/sinful/naughty” foods from her mindset, I feel really uneasy when we start talking about earning this food or deserving that food.

On the other hand, I really want my children to be open to trying new foods, and I don’t think I should have to make them something separate when they don’t like what is being offered.  But I’m having a really hard time trying to fit these two pieces of the puzzle together.  What if I let them eat whatever they want (of what is offered) at dinner as long as they try at least one bite of each dish?  Then I’m exposing them to new foods, but am I screwing up their chances at being intuitive eaters?

Maybe I am projecting.  (very likely) Maybe I’m overthinking this.  (99% chance)

But I hated seeing my son try to hide his candy-eating from me.  Oh, I know it wasn’t due to some deeply rooted body shame and mental anguish over his food choices–he was just hiding because he thought he would get in trouble (I’d already vetoed candy consumption when he asked me earlier).  But at the same time, I don’t want him or his brother to ever feel ashamed or like they have to hide what they’re eating.

I suppose the most impactful thing I can do is model all of these things myself–self esteem, body acceptance, a healthy relationship with food.

At least that’s easy.



Do you overthink your relationship with food?  Do you think it’s laughable that I use the words “relationship” and “food” in the same sentence?  Do you believe that children are the future? (teach them well and let them lead the way)