these days with baby zee.

i really love the fact that i did “these days with baby z.” posts when i was pregnant with Amelia. i can look back and see how i was feeling every couple weeks, how big my belly was, and the things i remember about being pregnant. it’s so amazing to have those memories written down and saved for me now.

even though blogging has fallen by the wayside, i do want to have those same memories with this pregnancy, so i will be starting my updates again (monthly at first, biweekly towards the end), and this time they’ll be titled “these days with baby zee.” so i can differentiate the pregnancies.

my weeks for this pregnancy just so happen to change on saturdays, so my updates will be on fridays, at the end of my current week. that way i’ll have had my doctor’s appointments and will have my updated stats and all that fun stuff.

23 weeks

for comparison, the above photo was me at 24 weeks last time.

16 weeks.2

how far along: 16 weeks.

i’m feeling: like i’m almost out of the woods in terms of feeling crappy. my energy is more even throughout the day, i usually don’t crash until about 9pm now, and the nausea is almost nonexistent. this pregnancy was so different from my first in terms of how i felt. i was nauseous most days with this one (although never got sick PTL), and i think if i hadn’t been alone most of the time, would have felt more exhausted than i did. as it was, i didn’t have the luxury of feeling crappy, which is a silver lining if you think about it! i can’t wait until i feel like working out…i’m thinking that’ll be any day now.

total weight gain: up 4 pounds from pre-pregnancy. i had a one pound loss in the first trimester, which i’m guessing is because i was running around after a toddler by myself, so technically i’ve gained 5 overall. this is pretty much how my last pregnancy went, so it’ll be interesting to see what my body does this time around. i have said it before, and after going through it once, i believe it even more wholeheartedly. our bodies know what we need when we’re pregnant, and as long as we are thoughtful about taking care of them (eating mostly healthy, getting some exercise every so often, etc.) weight gain while pregnant is not something that is in our control. embracing it without worry is better for our stress levels than worrying if we’ve gained too much too early, or why we’re gaining if we’re eating right and moving our bodies. women’s bodies are amazing, and if we trust them, they’ll do right by us. end soapbox speech.

baby zee’s size: this week, baby is the size of an avocado (4.5 inches long and 3.5 oz.). yaaaaas, delicious avocados. preferably mashed on toast. you guys, i don’t know why, but i still get such a kick out of the fruit comparisons every week. i just think it’s so funny!

this week: nothing really happened, pregnancy-wise. OH! EXCEPT! i had not one, not two, but THREE strangers say to me, unsolicited, “when are you due?” aca-scuse me? we’re doing that now? we’re asking strangers when they’re due without knowing if they’re pregnant? what if i already had the baby!? this never once happened to me last time, even when i was gigantic, so i’m still at a loss.

maternity clothes: oh boy. listen up. i’ve been in maternity clothes (pants at least) since 12 weeks. i tried to wait, but one day at work i had to unbutton my pants because they were painfully uncomfortable, and that night, out came the maternity pants. i was able to wear my normal pants with a belly band until 26 weeks or so last time, but that doesn’t seem to be working too well for me this time. my body decided very early on that it was just going to let this pregnancy thing happen as soon as possible, and this belly is out and loud and proud. and that’s fine because it means baby is growing and that’s a great thing. except you guys, i hate all my maternity clothes already. i’m already tired of them and i haven’t even worn most of them. anyone have suggestions for good, inexpensive maternity clothing? tell me!

sleep: the only good thing about sleeping right now is that i get to sleep with my snoogle. my sweet, sweet snoogle. do i miss being able to see my husband in the bed? sure. is the extra hip support worth it? abso-fricking-lutely. yea, sleep isn’t horrible, but it’s not the greatest. i’m up at least once a night to pee, and it’s been a lot harder to fall back asleep afterwards. pregnancy insomnia, it is real my friends.

best moment this week: i didn’t feel nauseous even once! low standards for the win!

movement: i think that i may have felt a teeny tiny flutter this week, but there is a 50/50 chance it was gas, so i’m not willing to say i’ve felt the baby move yet.

food cravings: pickles. like, i NEED them. i need them so badly that i even feel like drinking the pickle juice. and if we’re being honest, i have drank the pickle juice. am i sodium deficient or just the walking cliché of a pregnant woman? you tell me.

food aversions: no way man. give me all the food.

belly button in or out: it’s still in, but i feel like that’s only because it feels bad for me and is staying in out of pity.

looking forward to: feeling little baby movements and seeing the little one in a month at our ultrasound.

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11 tips for getting through the winter with a toddler.

i don’t know if you’ve heard me complain talk about it yet, but i live in minnesota, aka the frozen tundra. meaning, it gets bone-chillingly cold and very snowy for about half the year. as I write this, it’s -2 degrees outside. without the windchill (and if you don’t know what windchill is, count your blessings). all of this is fine if it’s just you, because you have the best excuse ever to hibernate on your couch under a blanket, with coffee and netflix. but if you have a toddler…well, the long winter means something entirely different.

having a toddler in the winter means trying to entertain that toddler without the benefit of days spent at the park or going on long walks outside. this makes for very long days spent mostly indoors with a tiny tyrant. so what’s a mom to do?

if you’re looking for some ideas to make the days go by more quickly in the winter, look no further. here are some of my favorite tips for getting through winter with a toddler. use this as a starting point, and add your own creative ideas.

11 tips for surviving winter with a toddler |

  1. get outside. i know, i know, as an adult we’re not used to the idea of playing in the snow anymore. but even 15 minutes outside with your toddler can help make the day go by a little more smoothly. and when you factor in the getting ready time and the getting undressed time, you can easily knock an hour out of your day, with the added bonus of a great energy burn and some fresh air (which could mean a longer nap time!).outside-during-the-winter
  2. create an indoor obstacle course. we live in a very small house, so we don’t have the benefit of a playroom, but you can do this anywhere in your house that has enough space to run around a bit. set up some pillows, chairs or even block towers to act as obstacles to jump over, run around or sit on. my daughter will run an actual mile around the kitchen table yelling, “run away! run away!” which provides countless minutes of entertainment.
  3. check out your local library. i had no idea that public libraries had been upping their games so much until recently! they just redid the one near us, and their children’s area is amazing. not only are there books, but there are little puzzles and puppets and activities for the kids to do too. if you can find a library in your area with a children’s section, it’s a great way to kill a morning (and bring home some new books!).
  4. bake some cookies. i know, i know, all you neat freaks are cringing at this one. but stay with me. all kids really want to do is scoop things and touch things and watch you make things, so making cookies can be a fun activity if you are feeling a little stir crazy. if the idea of flour all over the kitchen makes you crazy, just put some news paper down and call it a day.
  5. visit the mall. i’m not a big shopper, but every so often it’s nice to go somewhere that the little one can run around and you can get some errands done without having to get in and out of the car ALL DAY LONG. this is one i use more sporadically, because i like to make a half day event out of it and spend all morning at the mall, including having a lunch date with my daughter. it makes for a nice, special outing to break the monotony.
  6. take a trip to a bookstore. similar to a library, bookstores (especially children’s bookstores) often have play areas or storytimes, and toddlers are welcome to roam and explore. if you have a reader or don’t live near a good library, this is a great option.
  7. get out the paper and crayons. i HIGHLY suggest investing in a large roll of paper (or two), along with a few boxes of washable crayons. my daughter loves coloring, and we have an art session at least two to three times a day. what we’ve been doing lately is taping a long piece of paper to our kitchen table, and setting her up in her high chair so she can color and we can get stuff done without worrying about her falling off of or coloring on anything.
  8. let them get in on the chores. there’s this phenomena that i recently discovered. toddlers love helping. dusting, vacuuming, wiping up, folding clothes, give them a chore to do themselves, and most will get really into it. take advantage of this. if you need to have a cleaning day at home, just involve your toddler! give them a dust rag or a swiffer duster and if they’re anything like mine, they will follow you around, “helping”, while you get actual work
  9. find an indoor gym. i have yet to visit one of these, because i’m only home two days a week, but if you have the time and the curiousity, try looking up an indoor gym in your area. my local area’s “moms blog” has a whole list of them, so that’s a good place to start if you’re looking in your area. i think they would be a great way to get energy out, especially if the weather has been too crappy to get outside at all for a while.
  10. go to a local children’s museum or science museum. we went to the minnesota children’s museum last week and i am hooked! for one, i feel like i learned a lot, which was unexpected and lovely. also, it wasn’t too big or overwhelming, so it felt like a manageable outing. these places usually have an annual membership deal if you end up liking them, which makes them incredibly affordable as a regular thing.childrens-museum-of-minnesota
  11. have a dance party. when all else fails, turn on some jams and have a dance party! you’ll get some exercise and your toddler will burn some energy. you may even be able to diffuse a tantrum with this tactic! bonus: it’ll keep you warm, so there really is no downside.

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a slow descent into insanity.

if you follow me on snapchat (@hooleywithaz), you would see me on a regular basis, switching from put together professional to frazzled mom. you would be able to tell which weeks Mister Man traveled, because the frazzle seeps over into the professional side a bit too often. i look like a caricature of myself, hair pointing every which way, a mysterious spot on my shirt that i wasn’t awake enough to notice, and definitely a blemish or two.

exhibit a (don’t mind the heart doodle, just hiding a giant zit or two):

crazy mom

i don’t say all of this to garner sympathy. when i watch my snapchat story on the frazzled days, i get a really good laugh out of it. a hearty laugh. because i realize that while motherhood has caused me to make a slow descent into insanity, it’s also made me realize that i have not changed one bit since high school, at least not in the ways that matter.

when i see myself with that crazy hair and those zits, i don’t see a tired mom or a cranky wife. i see me, as a sixteen year old, heading to my high school classes dressed in sweatpants and a tennis sweatshirt, because for me, being comfortable and in a good mood was way more important than spending time putting on clothes with actual buttons and zippers. and the hair? well it weirdly looked exactly like it does now – usually piled high on my head in a bun, or thrown back in a messy braid. now, as back then, i can still clean up when i need to. but i didn’t have time to be worrying about my “put-togetherness” when there were friends to be talked to and tests to be taken. just like i don’t have time to worry about it today when there are babies to be played with and walks to be taken.

exhibit b (not as terrifying):

crazy mom

so this post is a PSA for you all: if you ever happen to see me on the street looking a little worse for the wear, don’t feel sorry for me. i’m probably feeling really great, and my insane appearance is just a reflection of all the fun i’m having.

but also, send coffee. always send coffee.

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reflections on a year of motherhood.

some thoughts from a rookie after her first year of being a mom:

tonight, when i put amelia to bed, she didn’t want to nurse. at all. it was like, oh thanks mom, but those are for little babies. i’m one so i drink from bottles now. so i had Mister Man whip up a bottle of regular milk, she geeked out and chugged it down, and that was that. we’re done with nursing, on the first anniversary of the first time we ever nursed together.

that bittersweet feeling; of getting through a whole year, but also feeling like i’m just not quite ready to be done with that year, that’s what this experience has felt like to me. the past 365 days have gone so slowly, and so fast; i’m so happy when each new milestone comes, and i’m so sad when they have to make way for the next one. the paradoxes are real, i’m telling you.


if there were any one feeling that i have felt the most this year, it would be pride. i have done more things this year that i am proud of than any other single year of my life, and a lot of them were really hard and really awesome. i gave birth. i nursed a baby for a full 12 months, while working (and an active baby at that!). i started a new position at work the day i got back from maternity leave. i survived solo parenting quite often. i have raised a daughter who has a sense of humor and loves to be active and brings so much joy to the lives she touches. so pride seems right. also i feel tired.


after a year of feeling like i was nothing but mama, i’m finally feeling like i’m closer to being back to being me and being mama. i feel like i’m figuring out how to be both in a more balanced way. and it’s okay that it took me a year. i had to make my peace with that a while ago, that the balance wasn’t going to happen for me within a year, like you hear some people say it will. but i made my peace with my timing and my balance and now i only feel excited about what life is going to look like going forward, there is no resentment in sight.

mom is a title that has fit me better than i ever thought it would. i’m nowhere near the person or the mom that i want to be yet, but i’m getting closer everyday. patience is a virtue that i thought i possessed before having amelia, but it turns out i didn’t have any at all. i ask God every day for more of it, and i’m slowly being blessed with that, although not without some growing pains on my part.

no one ever said it would be easy, but it is oh so worth it.

i wanted to write this quick while i was feeling all the first birthday feels. i’ll be posting amelia’s 12 month update soon, just as soon as i pin her down long enough to take her photo. yikes! #toddlerprobs 

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it got away from me.

okay, so, it’s official. i’ve officially lost hold of any free time that i used to have. and with that, i’ve become the worst blogger in the whole world. still doing fine at the mom and wife and daughter and friend thing (i hope), so i’ve got that going for me at least.

but i mean there are a million other things that have to get done, and this space, although wonderful for my creative outlet and state of mind, is the first to get pushed to “later”. ah, the magical “later” space, where lovely things go to die. between nursing the baby and feeding the baby and playing with the baby and trying to get the baby to nap and working and cleaning and going to weddings and showers and living my life, it just gets to be a little bit much. [oh, and i didn’t even mention the pumping. you guys, i have two months left of this breastfeeding thing, and while my body loves the part where i feed the baby, it thinks it’s a really funny joke when i try to get milk out of it with a pump. that’s another post for another day. long story short, the whole being attached to a machine all day every day has made finding time to do anything pretty tough too.]

the weird part of all this lack of free time is that i didn’t even notice it until amelia started sleeping through the night the last couple weeks. firstly, thank the good Lord above for babies learning to walk, because when they burn all that extra energy, they sleep like angels. secondly, whoa have i been in that much of a cloud all this time that i didn’t realize what a full night of sleep actually does for a person? it is AMAZING. and also clarity-making. now that i have any energy at all, i’m actually noticing the fact that i haven’t been using a whole lot of my creative  energy lately. i’m not necessarily upset about it, just noticing it more. it’s just sitting there on the shelf, staring at me, but i’m not really sure what to do about it yet.

(dressing room fun.)

i’ve contemplated getting more organized with this little blog of mine. i’ve thought about actually following through on my minimalization plans. i’ve even thought about trying to get on a cooking/baking/canning schedule. all stuff that means a lot to me, but for right now, is taking a backseat to the rest of life. and i know the world says that you need to take time for you, in order to be better for everyone else, but what if that just doesn’t hold true for me right now? what if i’m okay with it not being about me for a little bit? i get alone time when i need it, but being with my husband and daughter when i can is so good for me. and the time is coming very soon where i won’t be needed quite as much as i am now by the little one, and her independence will give me back some of mine.

i’m okay waiting a few months to get my independence back.

well thanks for this little word vomit session, it was fun. kinda reminds me of how this little spot started way back in 2012. anybody remember that? crickets?

see you soon!

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