lifestyle

still here, still squawking, still ridiculous.

i know that this blog has turned into a baby book substitute for my poor second-born child (i’m sorry william, i promise i will get you a real baby book like your sister has), and for that i…well, i don’t know what. do i apologize? i don’t think anyone was made that i went MIA. do i feel bad? kind of, but only for myself for not making my creative outlet more of a focus during this crazy time. i guess i feel like i miss the people who i interact with on this blog, and so maybe that’s it. maybe i just say that i’ve missed you all, whoever you are that come here to read my ridiculous squawking about the important and unimportant goings-on in my head.

i really like that this is a place that i can let my weird sense of dry humor show, and where i can update my faraway friends and loved ones, and where i can showcase my love of good old-fashioned home cooking and strong cocktails. and maybe write a heartfelt essay or two along the way that resonates with a few of you. this blog is not a blog like blogs have become over the past three years. and it won’t ever be that kind of a blog. even if or when i get my editorial calendar back on track, it will never be belong in the shiny, curated part of the internet with everyone else’s stylized (although maybe a little homogenous) stuff. and i hope that might be a tiny reason why people still read my blog…because it’s just me. and if you like me for me, what more could i ask for?

i have a recipe post lined up for next week, and somewhere, way down deep inside of me, there is some inspiration that’s starting to bubble up through the sleep deprivation that is part and parcel of being a working mom of two little ones. so while the baby book posts will still be a big part of how this blog is happening, you’ll start to see more of me sprinkled throughout this space. and i hope you’ll be here for all of it.

[that got weirdly deep, and i didn’t think it would. that’s what happens when you give me a beer and let me type without thinking for a few minutes….]

well let’s give a quick update into what’s happening in my life besides the whole child-rearing gig, shall we?

  • marriage is a whole different ballgame when there are two kids involved, but even through all the adjustments and general mayhem, i’m delighted to report that Mister Man and i are still very happily married. and what’s more, we will have been very happily married for five years as of june 1. in honor of this momentous occasion, we’ve decided to take a rather large, rather fun trip to the united kingdom in the fall, and it has been so much fun planning it out together! this will be our first trip to europe together, and my first time back since just after college, and i could not be more excited to take a trip, just my love and i, all the way across the pond. more on that as it comes together!
  • speaking of different ballgames…postpartum bodies are crazy. i won’t get into details, so as not to scare anyone off from having kids, but let’s just say that after baby number two, the snap back isn’t as snappy as it was with baby number one. i was in a big rut of eating ice cream every night, and dangerously close to the “eff it all” mentality, when i luckily was given the opportunity to do some nutrition and fitness coaching with katie over at belle fitness and nutrition. holy wow you guys. firstly, she is basically superwoman. she runs her own business, solo parents THREE children a lot of the time, and still has the best attitude around. secondly, she just gets how to help people fit good nutrition and fitness into their lives where they are. i don’t even have a gym membership, so she gave me some at home workouts, and they truly work (and i feel like i can make time for them, which is saying something). between her workouts and the nutrition program she works with, i’ve lost actual inches from my body in two months. i’m visibly slimming down, and it doesn’t feel like i’ve turned my life upside down to do it. because i wouldn’t have done it if it was too complicated. what i’m trying to say is, she’s amazing. if you’re in the market for a simple way to work good nutrition and fitness into your life, PLEASE check her out.
  • i’m drinking so much coffee these days you guys. like, i’m wondering when it qualifies as a problem. i’m walking a fine line between enjoying my daily coffee(s) and being fully dependent on them. i’m starting to justify the lattes at work by saying they are part of my daily protein intake, but we all know that it’s the espresso that i’m jonesing for. does anyone have experience in breaking a caffeine addiction while being sleep deprived that doesn’t involve actually giving up all caffeine? i’m not really going to do anything about it, but just in case i find myself getting worse…
  • i don’t know if any of you noticed that i have a second instagram now…in the absence of having the energy to write actual blog posts, i’ve been really into instagram and posting little micro-blog posts there. i’m also very into instagram stories. i mostly tell ridiculous stories about things my kids do to me, and every so often i can be pretty funny if you’re into that sort of thing. ANYWAY. if you read this blog, you’re cool and you already know that i’m halfway crunchy and into cooking from scratch, and natural cleaning products, and just generally being as much like laura ingalls as i can be. but my instagram is also a place where a lot of my irl contacts follow me, and i just find that the engagement for the crunchy stuff wasn’t there. i want people who like that sort of thing to be able to choose to see it and enjoy it if they want to. plus, i started posting a lot about essential oils, and i know that can trigger a lot of people because it’s gotten a bit crazy these days (and essential oil people can be a bit nutty if we’re being honest). so it all went into a separate account. all that being said, if you like that sort of thing (natural home and essential oil and simplified living), go ahead and follow me @withloveathome. also, a lot of people have asked so i’ll say it here: i’m not a big seller of essential oils, but i am a big fan of them, so if you ever have questions, or want me to order you some with my discount, or want to order them yourself, please don’t hesitate to ask.
  • i am an AUNTIE!!! our gorgeous niece, grace, arrived on april 21, and i am so excited to be an aunt i could just scream. it’s the weirdest feeling but there is something so cool about seeing your siblings have kids! Amelia is already obsessed with “baby grace”, and she and William are only six months apart, so i cannot wait to see how their relationship grows as they get older. i love my cousins so much, they are some of my best friends to this day, and i hope for the same for my kids.

thanks for being here and for giving me grace and for loving my silliness through it all. i love you all right back.

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coffee date.

happy “it’s finally getting to be seasonal hot drink weather” season! let me tell you all something, and you can hold me to this; i will never be sick of seasonally appropriate food and beverages. seasonal eating and drinking IS MY JAM. give me all the gin and tonics and rose in the summer, all the pumpkin spice and old fashioneds in the fall, and all the hot cocoa and red wine in the winter (we don’t have spring here really so i have no seasonally appropriate beverages for that one). i don’t get all the hating on the PSL man. just let people live their lives and drink it, and if you don’t like pumpkin things, then get something hazelnut or cinnamon flavored. or don’t. but stop hating on my seasonal drinks!

here’s to a post that’s not about my pregnancy, and instead about catching up with you on all things in the z household. coffee dates are the best. let’s always have them.

coffee date fall

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if we were on a coffee date, i’d obviously be sipping on a hot, lovely latte. probably a pumpkin spice latte with half the pumpkin spice (or vanilla if i’m feeling old-fashioned). like i said, i am pumped up about fall coming. not only is the weather getting cooler, which means i am far less swollen and puffy, but there is also more time for relaxing and getting stuff done around the house, which is perfect for me since i’m pretty obsessed with organizing right now.

fall candles

if we were on a coffee date, i’d be singing praises for the glory that is living near family. our babysitter recently left for a fabulous, open-ended trip around europe, which is awesome, but also left us with a couple months gap in childcare for one day a week. sounds easy to fill, but finding someone for one day a week is tough, then taking a maternity leave right after for four months? not happening. enter my aunt and my mom splitting the weeks to help us out. it’s amazing. my mother-in-law, who regularly takes care of amelia two days a week just told me that she would be happy to take amelia one day a week while i’m on leave to help me take a break. we are never in need of babysitters or people to help us out with our yard work or anything else we might need. i’d highly suggest that if you are ever able to, you live near your family if you get the chance. it’s pretty dang great.

if we were on a coffee date, we’d probably talk about the fact that i’m feeling like a terrible friend. on average, i’ve been responding to texts four days after i get them (which is ridiculous), i’ve been terrible about locking down friend dates, and just in general i’ve been a lump of a human being. i’d want to know that you feel like that sometimes too. because i can’t be the only one who does this from time to time. i mean, if you’re the type of friend who is amazing all the time, then you can tell me about what that’s like too, because i have no idea. and i’d want to learn from you. teach me your ways, or at least tell me that you understand me on some level. that would make me feel better.

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what’s on your mind lately? tell me what’s going on with you over whatever type of coffee date beverage you want. seasonal or not!

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coffee date.

it’s been a hot minute since i’ve had a coffee date with you people. i’ve been a bad friend. summer gets the best of me, what can i say? there’s so much to do that there’s almost too much to do, you know? so i end up not doing anything. is anyone else like that? or is it just terrible me?

so let’s get back into it again, shall we? because i need some coffee. i always need some coffee.

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if we were having coffee, i’d tell you how much i wish i could drink coffee all day long these days. because being pregnant, and not sleeping, and also running around because it’s summer does not make for a rested me. and unrested me wants a coffee IV drip. but pregnant me can’t have a coffee IV drip. so i nurse my morning coffee until noon.

pregnant coffee belly

if we were having coffee, i’d ask you to tell me about any trips you’re planning. you see, because of this whole procreation thing (gross) that Mister Man and i have going on right now, our travel plans are a little lacking. and i know, i know, you can still travel with little kids, and all that fun stuff, and i agree. but i know how i get after i have babies, and even though i wish i had the energy of this lady, i just don’t. so you need to tell me all about your travel plans, from the quickest weekend trip to the most amazing european adventure.

if we were having coffee, i’d probably be weird and ask you to look at my belly when the baby started doing its acrobatics. because you’d either think it was awesome or super creepy and both of those are fine reactions. but seriously, there is an alien inside my belly and i need to share it with people.

if we were having coffee, i’d ask how you were and i’d wait to hear the answer. because i’m trying this new thing where i listen better. a lot of people i know are going through a lot of hard things, and i’ve started to learn that if you just give it a minute, you can help lighten their burden by just listening to their stories. so just know that i’m here to listen to you if you happen to need it.

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let me know what you’d be chatting to me about at our coffee. i promise that i have the time to chat as long as you need. like, until our coffee gets cold. i’m used to cold coffee these days anyway.

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these days with baby zee.

happy friday before a long holiday weekend! aren’t these the best kinds of fridays? i really think they have to be. also, happy first day of july! did you hear me? JULY. what the actual.

i’m writing this in the car on the way to a cabin for the weekend. Amelia just upchucked a little (update: she upchucked twice within the first hour of the drive) so we made a nice little gas station pitstop and now she’s riding in a front-facing car seat for the first time ever. it was very unceremonious. 

and with that fun piece of info, please to enjoy my latest belly photo and fun, necessary facts about this pregnancy. have a fabulous 4th of july everyone! 


how far along: 24 weeks. (i’m on the every month update plan for now but will get more frequent after 32 weeks.)

i’m feeling: honestly pretty great.i have some round ligament pain (for those of you who are like, wtf is that, it basically means the muscles around your pelvis are stretching and it feels like you’ve been kicked in the crotch by someone for a while…every day), but still have great energy and i even golfed 9 holes walking last night!  

total weight gain: 14 pounds. like i said last update, i was at about 12 pounds gained at 24 weeks. so i’m not too far ahead of where i was last time anymore. i’ve definitely been feeling more full these days so that might have something to do with it. 

baby zee’s size: this week, baby is the size of an ear of corn. which is very appropriate for 4th of july weekend! 

this week: i had my 1-hour glucose test…and failed. it’s like the worst dejavu ever. i failed my 1-hour last time too and had to take the 3-hour test and i swear to you, it was more unpleasant than giving birth. so i’m a little salty about the whole thing. i’m pretty confident that i do not have gestational diabetes so it’s that much more annoying. 

maternity clothes: i broke down and grabbed a few dresses during a huge old navy sale and it was so worth it. i spent $75 on four dresses and found the holy grail of maternity dresses in the process. take note: old navy maternity is the best, bar none. 

sleep: still pretty okay. the round ligament pain gets worse when i’m laying down, so that’s no fun, but once i’m asleep, all is well. 

best moment this week: not my appointment…probably watching Amelia play with her baby doll and feeling really awesome about how she’s going to do with another sibling around the house. 

movement: slowly getting stronger and more frequent. baby zee seems to be a jumper or a boxer. lots of jabs this time around. 

food cravings: malts. why? it’s so weird. 

food aversions: i get full after about 8 bites of anything so that’s not cool.  

belly button in or out: it’s basically flat now. 

looking forward to: spending the weekend with the family at the cabin…we might try to get out once more before october but either way i want to enjoy this time together before we grow by a person. 

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these days with baby zee.

hello again! i know what you’re thinking. two posts in a week? who are you? what have you done with erin? you guys, i don’t know where it came from, but the writing bug hit me this week, and even if the creativity bug hasn’t caught up yet, at least i’m writing! [edit: oh wait, i never posted this on friday so i guess i’m the same old erin. continue on with your lives.]

we’ve just been over here enjoying the gorgeous weather minnesota decided to give us, eating all the smoothies and freezie pops we can get our hands on (we being Amelia and me), and hanging out with dad as much as we can. it’s been a pretty great start to summer, i must say.

we had our ultrasound this week, which was great [sidebar, we are not finding out the gender of the baby, just like we didn’t with Amelia. it just seemed fun to do it again, and everything we have for the first month or so is already gender neutral, so no worries there. i know some of you think we’re crazy, and some of you think that’s awesome, and that’s totally how parenting in general is, so everything is as it should be!]. just because we’re cool, Mister Man and i had my mom watch Amelia so we could enjoy the appointment, and then we went out to a nice lunch to celebrate our anniversary. yes, we have reached the point where a weekday lunch is sufficient to celebrate our love for each other. but it was a REALLY good lunch, so it totally was romantic and awesome.


[please excuse the giant pile of clothes.]

how far along: 20 weeks. (looks i’m on the every month update plan for now…)

i’m feeling: pretty dang great! i’ve started to work out again, my energy lasts all the way until a fairly reasonable bedtime, and i can (mostly) keep up with little miss Amelia. i’m even playing golf in my work league this summer (although not very well) it’s wonderful to feel wonderful instead of crappy. we’re all very much happier in our house because of it.

total weight gain: 11 pounds. i looked back at my old updates to see where i’m at in comparison to my last pregnancy. apparently i was at about 12 pounds gained at 24 weeks. so with this amount at 20 weeks, i’m about a month ahead of where i was last time. this is probably due to more fluid retention because HOLY FOOT SWELLING the other day. it could definitely also be due to the mass amounts of snyder’s pretzel bites and freezies that i’ve eaten on a very regular basis in the last month. it’s anyone’s guess really. the last few days i haven’t felt as hungry as i have been the last month, so i think the crazy snacking might be tapering off soon. i’m guessing that my total gain for this pregnancy will be around the 32 pound mark (i was at 27 last time).

baby zee’s size: this week, baby is the size of a banana (10.5 oz. and 6.5 in.). i definitely can tell that the baby is getting bigger. my belly took a little break in the growth department, meaning it didn’t get TOO much bigger in the last few weeks, but it’s definitely more full of baby. does that make any sense? basically it’s just great that i’m not inflating at the rate i was the last two months.

this week: we got to see our little peanut at our ultrasound yesterday, and it was awesome. everything looked a-okay with baby, and it’s so much fun to get to see them wiggle around, and that profile! stop it! it’s too cute!

maternity clothes: hooooo boy. yes. i got a maternity stitchfix the other day, but turns out i’m super cheap and the items were just a bit too far out of my price range. i did keep one shirt, which my credit paid for, and it’s awesome (all the clothes were awesome waaaah) but i am still in desperate need of some more. thinking that next week i might try the maternity consignment place near me to see if i have any luck! also, let me just say this: i’m gonna need some new bras, which did not happen to me last time. ugh, bigger boobs are not what i needed out of this pregnancy!

sleep: surprisingly, a whole lot better in the last month. i’m still waking up around once a night, but i’m sleeping really well when i am asleep. it’s been a very refreshing experience, and i’m trying to take advantage of it as much as my night owl self will let me.

best moment this week: seeing the babe!

movement: yes! i started feeling little movements around week 18, and they have been getting progressively stronger and more noticeable. i started feeling Amelia so early, and she was very active and strong from the start, so it’s been a little odd to have a less intense movement experience this time around. but every morning and night i get little kicks and punches to remind me that baby’s there. and we did see during the ultrasound that this baby is also very active, so i’m getting ready to feel stuff all the time!

food cravings: see above re: pretzel bites and freezies. also, i had the BIGGEST craving for a malt the other night. i didn’t do anything about it because i was at home and it was 9:30pm, but man was that real. probably going to need to remedy that soon…

food aversions: nothing too crazy, but it’s been really tough to choke down my veggies. which is strange, because i really like vegetables. the “earthiness” of them just puts me off a bit right now. hoping that’ll go away at some point.

belly button in or out: i’m saying it’s still in, but really it’s probably closer to flat?

looking forward to: getting this belly out in the sun a little more now that it’s pool season. also, we’re going to start brainstorming names here soon, which is always a good time!

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