Thursday, June 18, 2015

Labor Day Challenge: Week One

During my last stretch of weight loss six years ago, I joined a challenge thread on the Calorie King forums. I loved the accountability and support that came with being a part of the challenge. I was also the group's spreadsheet keeper, which I enjoyed because well, you know, I love spreadsheets. So since I'm ready to lose some weight again, it seemed only natural to me that I would return to logging my calories at Calorie King and start a 12 week challenge thread there.

Official Weigh-In Charts!
Date 6/15 6/22 6/29 7/06 7/13 7/20 7/27 8/3 8/10 8/17 8/24 8/31 9/07
Weight 172.4
BF% 34.1
Arm 13.5"
Bust 38"
Waist 36"
Hip 43.5"
Thigh 23.5"

Progress Pics
This time around I'm definitely taking progress pictures but there's no way in hell that you're going to catch me doing these in my underoos. Instead, I have selected the least flattering pieces of clothing that I currently own because at least then I'll be able to actually see progress. What are these unflattering pieces of clothing you ask? Maternity leggings and a maternity shirt. Unfortunately, I'm super lame and totally forgot to take them on Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Today. Oh well. Definitely next Monday!

It's going to be difficult, I think, to find a calorie target that works well for me. I want to continue breastfeeding (more on that whole story later this week) so I have to eat more than I normally would to lose weight but not so much that I'm at a maintenance level. It's extremely possible that I'm going to have to fiddle around with my targets for the first half of this challenge. I'm starting out at 1700 calories based on the research I did, but will adjust it either way depending on the first two weeks.

I'm starting small. No grand plans other than to go to Reformer twice and try for 10K steps/day. I learned my lesson the last time I did this; grand plans with no flexibility simply do not work for me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Growing Peanut: The Hospital Bag

I wrote this way back in March and never got around to publishing it, you know for obvious reasons. Since I'd already almost finished this one, I figured why not. If you're looking for some other resources for ideas of what to pack for your hospital trip, there are a couple of links at the bottom of the post.

I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at packing. I rarely bring more than I need to and I've never left anything important behind. When it came time to figure out what I would need for my hospital bag, I started by asking an equally pregnant friend where she found her checklist. After that, I set about refining the list for my own purposes and then consulted another friend who has done this a few times.

Ultimately, this is what I ended up with after taking into consideration that my hospital is in a major city and that it's also only 15 minutes from our house. I've added some notes about what I actually used and what I could have done without.


  • Maternity PJ pants for lounging around when/if there are visitors. 
    • I didn't use this. I could hardly get out of bed for the first two days postpartum.  2.5 hours of labor and a vacuum assist makes for one hell of a sore set of pelvic floor muscles.
  • Fleecy Robe from the clearance rack at Target - capable of being sacrificed if necessary
    • Extremely useful item, very glad I took it. Hospital gowns never close enough in the back and are so not warm enough.
  • Two pairs of cheap sticky footed socks - also capable of being sacrificed
    • Did not need to bring these! Hospital provided.
  • Nursing nightgown
    • I used this my last night at the hospital and it was a huge relief to be able to put on clothing that wasn't the hospital gown.
  • Nursing bra and underpants 
    • I used the nursing bra for sure. I just don't like going without a bra so the cheap cotton ones I got from Target worked great. As far as underpants, I didn't need to pack them because the hospital provided plenty of mesh ones.
  • Cheap flip-flops for showering
  • Expandable bag for bringing home anything that the hospital allows me to take.
    • Definitely useful! 
Baby Stuff

  • One gender neutral (super cute) froggy sleep'n'play with matching mittens and hat for bringing the baby home
    • I bought this in a 0-3 size and it was huge on Cecilia, who was only 19" at birth.
  • One swaddle blanket
  • Baby's first squirrel stuffed animal (this is totally frivolous, I know, but still bringing it!)
  • A tiny tube of Aquaphor to help with that first yucky diaper
    • Not really necessary for us. Cecilia pooped three times before she was even handed over to us and all her meconium poops were handled by Eric. Hehehehe.
  • Approved car seat already installed in the car (not pictured, duh)
  • Click-in stroller for the car seat.
    • Both the car seat and the click-in stroller were very handy for leaving the hospital.
  • Car Seat safe cover to keep the little Peanut toasty (not pictured, because it's in the car)
    • Used a hospital blanket and swaddle blanket instead.

  • Chromebook and charger
  • Camera, both lenses and USB cable
  • Extra memory card
I didn't use a single one of these items during my stay in the hospital. I was far too exhausted to get up and take nice pictures of her after birth. I spent all of my time staring at the cute baby and attempting to sleep.

Personal Hygiene Products

  • Toothpaste, disposable toothbrush and floss
  • Chapstick
  • Travel sizes of all my favorite shower products
  • Hair elastics
  • Bag to carry it all in
I ended up using all of my basic toiletries. That first postpartum shower was the best.
  • My preferred brand of heavy flow sanitary pads in case I hate the hospital maternity pads
    • Didn't need these because of this! I didn't have any foam though.
  • Depends for if I hate the mesh underpants that much
    • The mesh underpants from the hospital were great, didn't need these.

Not Pictured for Obvious Reasons
  • Marriage license - I doubt that I'll need this but in choosing not to take Eric's last name, sometimes I have to prove that we're really married.
    • Didn't need, but still glad I had it in my important documents.
  • Birth Preferences Sticky Note and important health facts (blood type, etc.)
  • Insurance information
  • Driver's license
Other Resources

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

On Motherhood

Let's start this out by stating the obvious: no one (in their right mind, that is) has ever said that parenting is easy. But before I gave birth, I was under the delusion that I'd just be a natural at it, you know having read every article and book ever, and that I'd just know what to do. I figured I'd just sort of slide right into the role with graceful ease and not even miss my prebaby life. My pregnancy was so uncomplicated that I was lulled into a false sense of preparedness.

Um, you guys, I was totally wrong. I have no idea why I think I'd ever do anything gracefully. I'm a Grade A klutz.

Nothing about this transition has been easy.

Actually, hold up, that's a big fat lie. My relationship with Eric has been easy. He's been completely awesome. See, I have proof!
In response to this article
Normally I wouldn't share this because he deserves his privacy, but I just want everyone to know that he's been great. It's the only graceful and easy transition that has happened in the last 10 weeks.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss sleeping through the night. I can tell you the precise date of the last time I slept through the night and it was March 28th, 2015. And I'm sure that I'll be able to tell you the precise date of when I sleep through the night again.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss how easy life without baby was. If I wanted to go to Reformer or Zumba, I went without a second thought. I didn't worry about whether Eric could be home in time.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss sitting quietly in the morning, sipping my coffee and eating my oatmeal in peace.

But missing all of that stuff? I've finally realized that it's completely normal, though that fact has had to be drilled into my head by my husband. See, he's done wonders to keep me grounded in reality. It's been far too easy for me to fall into a negative thought cycle lately, and I've been trying to balance that out by being grateful for the little things.

Now I rejoice every time Cecilia sleeps just a little bit longer. Hot damn people! We had a six-hour stretch last night! I also realize that this is very good and some babies are still sleeping erratically at 10 weeks of age.

Now I'm grateful that my husband understands and helps me to get that important one hour escape necessary for my mental wellbeing.

Now I enjoy sitting down with my oatmeal while my daughter learns how to swat at things and smile at me on her play mat.

Now I look forward to every Thursday morning when I can go walking in the park with my friend.

Now my favorite part of our bedtime routine is having a "conversation" with Cecilia after I've changed her into her jammies.

And mostly, I'm grateful for how healthy and smiley this little munchkin can be:

A photo posted by Sarah Pickett (@mysqrl) on

Monday, June 8, 2015


Today's post is going to be a jumbled bunch of thoughts I've had lately (crazy ones and not crazy ones) organized into a bulleted list. Because I can barely make my brain work on a good day and today is not one of those days.
  • I miss exercise a lot. I feel like a slug most days. I haven't been able to find the balance between caring for me and caring for Cecilia yet. Plus I've been letting myself make excuses to avoid a daily walk with her in the Ergo carrier. I need to cut the crap because just walking does wonders for my mindset on the bad days.
  • My baby is not one of those mythical unicorn babies who can be classified as "easy." I tried to get her to nap this morning on the bed next to me so I could read The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg on my Kindle and also give my exhausted shoulders, back and neck a break. The result was that she just screamed at me for ten minutes while I shushed her, patted her tummy and cuddled her until she passed out for a measly 30 minutes and then repeated the cycle for another 30 minutes. I didn't even get to read more than a couple pages because I spent each thirty minute chunk in a state of constant vigilance. Seriously, every peep or squeak I was all "OH GOD SHE'S WAKING UP NOW!" Eventually, we gave up on this endeavor when she started gumming at her grubby little baby hands, I fed her and now she's back in the Ergo. She has been asleep for almost an hour.
  • I miss running races. I think I'd like to run a half marathon one day even. Specifically the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I'd even consider doing the Glass Slipper challenge too. 2022 maybe? Maybe this is a complete and utter pipe dream. I don't know but it's nice to think I could accomplish something like that if I set my mind to it.
  • I signed up for KnitCrate's Dyed-My-Way series. Knitting is one of the few things I can do for myself while I have Cecilia in the Ergo, so I'm excited to have several months worth of curated projects to try!
  • I'd really love to blog more but...I find that I'm afraid to put my honest thoughts and opinions out there sometimes. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cecilia & Mommy: 2 Months Old

Cecilia does not like naps.
Nope, not one bit.
She must have pink noise on to stay asleep for any duration of time, so I walk around (literally, I walk in circles around the house) sounding like someone's old busted radio all day. I've been (desperately) trying to get her to nap in her mamaRoo but ultimately it just sounds like a torture device despite my best efforts. I'm hoping that this is a phase and her daytime sleep will somewhat normalize between 3-4 months. Her night time sleep is usually pretty good. She generally falls right asleep around 8:30-9 P.M. and sleeps anywhere between four to five and a half hours straight right now.
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You wanted me to stay still, mommy? You know that's not my m.o.!
Despite her daytime sleep habits (or you know, complete lack thereof), she is a pretty happy baby before she gets tired. She's so smiley and she loves to play pull-to-sit in our laps. I think she just wants to be able to sit up and see everything that's going on around her. I would too because the ceiling is just not that interesting, unless of course it has a ceiling fan for her to look at. She's totally fascinated by the ceiling fan in our family room.
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At least I'm not crying, mommy! 
Basic Baby Stats:
  • Weight:  10 lbs 7 oz (+1 lb 5 oz)
  • Length: 24" (+1.75")
  • Head Circumference: 40.5 cm (+2.5 cm)


  • Hanging out on her changing table
  • Eating breast milk
  • Napping in the Ergobaby carrier
  • Eating her hands
  • Being very smiley and happy in the morning
  • Staring and cooing at the toys on her play mat while mommy makes oatmeal in the morning
  • Being pulled to a sitting position from mommy or daddy's lap - this is really more of a love, as it's her favorite thing to do during her playtime
  • Being swaddled Houdini style for attempted naps in the mamaRoo


  • Napping anywhere but the Ergo, and even sometimes IN the Ergo - there is a lot of protesting and sleep props required to get her to sleep in the mamaRoo for even a measly half an hour. We have a lot of nap time work ahead of us.
  • Being swaddled hands-to-heart style
  • Bath time - this is getting better slowly

It's becoming a bit of a battle in my head to overlook the mommy pooch and continued puffiness of my face. Yes, the logical part of me knows that I just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl only two months ago but that doesn't stop the illogical and negative voices in my head from creeping in sometimes. The logical part of me also knows that I've done this before and that I have a strong enough sense of self-efficacy to know I can do it again.
Still squishy tummy, still tired at
2 months postpartum
I'm down to a measly three weeks of maternity leave left and it's hard to wrap my head around the fact that I'll be back to work that soon. I'll be returning part time at first (3 days/week, 7 hours/day) and my mom will be staying with us for those three days to take care of Cecilia. We're very fortunate that I can be part time and we have family childcare. The last week of my leave will be our transition week where my mom comes to stay but I'm still around to help get everything settled. It also gives me the opportunity to spend time making myself look like a presentable human being that can be an effective part of the workforce. I've already booked myself a day at the spa (laser treatment, eyebrow wax, hair cut and massage) and I'm planning to go shopping for some new clothes because I refuse to wear my maternity clothing, damn it. I'm also considering picking up some extremely basic make-up supplies for my return to work. I'd certainly prefer to look more awake than I actually will be. It's pretty funny how much someone can change in just a little over three years.

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