Week in the Life: Monday

I am participating in the Week in the Life project that captures everyday life for me through photos and stories. In the past, I have focused on sharing these sort of projects exclusively on my Instagram feed. This time around, I wanted to capture more words and reacquaint myself with the art of blogging so documenting each day here made a lot of sense.

Mondays are often a scramble regardless of how much I prep for the work week. I just think its natural to drag your heels a little when your morning hours are jam-packed and messy. My parents drive over and watch Ruby most Mondays.

0417_1_rubymommystripes

This morning she asked over and over when Bapa and Mana would arrive. We made eggs with avocado, sausage and had left over Hot Crossed Buns that I made for Easter (no bread for me). She ate little. One of her routines with Grandpa is to have a second breakfast of toast. This morning, she just wanted second breakfast so I didn’t press her to eat much.

0417_2_coffee

This morning I started my second round of Whole 30. I hate relying on coffee to make it through my day. My hope is this reset will recalibrate my habits with more vegetables, fruits, nuts and good fats. The prospect of giving up chocolate, bread and beer for thirty days is always daunting, but well worth the effort.

0417_3_bulletjournal

Today was a typical work day full of computer time and an early afternoon meeting. With the office closed last Thursday and Friday, I had more emails to go through from the website. Having recently upgraded my computer, I still need to load all my canned messages (adding this task to my to-do list).

0417_4_PhasesofLuna

My mom usually posts a “Ruby Monday” photo on Facebook. Today’s was titled Phases of Luna by Ruby. Currently fascinated with the moon (luna), Ruby is working on drawing a crescent shape. (We also read a bunch of books featuring a moon and try to get a glimpse of her before bedtime.)

0417_5_headinghome

Driving home is a nice transitional time for me. I like to listen to an uplifting playlist or one of my favorite podcasts to decompress before I reach my driveway.

0417_6_Outfront

It was raining off and on all day. The blossom’s on our dogwood have officially begun to fall. I wanted to capture the last round of spring bulbs under the tree before the next storm rolled in.

A post shared by Andrea Starace (@andiezoe) on

After a welcome home hug from both Ruby and Nate, Ruby shows me how she jumps. Hilariously, awesome toddlerdom.

0417_7_DiaperA

UPS drops off our latest box of diapers. As I cook dinner, Ruby builds a train out of them.

0417_7_DiaperB

There is lots of toddler chatter and posturing to get those diaper packs just right.

0417_8_Dinner

Dinner is artichoke raviolis with pesto, roasted sweet potatoes and a green salad. I just eat the salad and sweet potatoes.

0417_9_exercises

After dinner, we have a little time to play tonight before bath time.

0417_9_exercisesB

I do my core strengthening exercises while Ruby plays with her Easter eggs. She often ends up sitting on me while I focus on the exercises. Tonight I get off easy.

0417_10_bathtime

Nate is in charge of her bath while I change out the crib sheets and tidy up Ruby’s room. She’s a stickler to our bedtime routine. Dry > lotion > diaper > PJs > hair > teeth > cat sack (her sleeping blanket) > stories then bedtime.

0417_11_readmrmoon

We read a Peter Rabbit story and Mr. Moon at least three or four times before she goes to sleep.

0417_12_bedtimeformom

I follow suit pretty soon after Ruby’s down. I end up reading later than I should, but it’s so nice to unwind with a book.

Pixel runs to our bedroom as soon as I enter it. She loves to lay on my legs as I read, but if I move a millimeter she’s outta there.

I am currently reading a YA Fantasy series by Cinda Williams Chima. I’m on the third book, The Gray Wolf Throne. These books are a nice, easy read that gives my brain a break. I will probably finish the series by the end of the week.

Summer practice

Ruby in the evening light

Last week was odd. We celebrated Ruby and Nate’s birthdays on the 18th. There was a lot of anticipation before the parties which happened to coincide with the end of Nate’s school year. Although we were excited to celebrate with loved ones, the prep for the joint birthday party was overwhelming due to the timing. Nate was focused on his end-of-term grading while I managed Ruby and did what I could around the house. I was incredibly scattered and stressed out. In the end, everything worked out and we had a blast, but it was very exhausting.

Since then I’ve been just trying to catch up with life. I’ve switched gears to full-time working mom since Nate can be at home with Ruby. It’s weird.

I thought I would find peace in the fact that we made it to this milestone, but instead I came home depressed most of last week. It does nothing for me nor my family to see me so sad. These are the moments I want to cherish. Long days with my one year old. Summer nights with my husband. Laziness with my cats.

This is partly due to exhaustion, but I think I have had high expectations for what want to accomplish this summer. I don’t know where to start on all these grand plans I have dreamt about.

One of my favorite podcasters, Jess Lively, often quotes the yoga guru Shri K. Pattabhi Jois who famously said “practice and all is coming.” For me this idea of practice means doing those daily things that give me the best chance of success.

I’ve decided to incorporate this mantra into my summer narrative. Just do your thing everyday and see what grows. Don’t stick to a set plan. Don’t hurry the process. Just be receptive for opportunities that may present themselves.

Thinking through this I can honestly say I feel and do better when I have or practice the following daily.

1) Sleep
2) Exercise
3) Hydrate
4) Positive Attitude
5) Meditate

I am not giving myself any sort of routine to accomplish these daily list. It’s too easy for me to get stuck perfecting the routine instead of focusing on the outcome.

Since I made this decision, I have felt more at peace. In fact that very night I woke up with a voice from my dream saying “stay the course and all will be good.” It was very comforting to feel the force of those words in my mind.

I’ve began to notice more and find the goodness in my every day as I have let go of the worry.

  • I found a small feather on my path to the office
  • For the first time ever, I decided to drive past my favorite lunch place and found a park with a pond a block away.
  • I saw a hawk sitting on the brick wall on the side of the freeway.
  • The power went out on our street one evening. Instead of worrying about it, Nate and I spent time with our neighbors on our driveway looking at the stars.

This summer is going to be about living not a task list. My grand plans now are to work on my daily practices, enjoy the moments and just have some-honest-to-goodness fun.

My bedroom closet NOW (The new reality)

My Closet NOW

I had grand plans to have a very organized and minimal wardrobe once the baby came. I envisioned that I would shed most of the baby weight and be back in my regular clothing by January. I expected that my active and healthy lifestyle before baby would give me an advantage in recovery.

Things turned out a little different from my vision.

closet_now1

At 12 months postpartum I am getting close to my pre-baby weight. I still can’t fit into most of my old clothes. Besides compensating for breastfeeding, my body is still putting it self back together. My hips and lower back click when I work out. I wake up stiff. I still have a lot of work to do strengthening my abs and legs.

I didn’t expect this, but I am totally okay with this reality. I am focused on making my body strong again. If that means I eventually fit into my old clothes – fantastic. And if not – I’ll purge them and move on.

Bedroom Closet NOW (a mess)

Currently, I have an enormous amount of clothes in play. I have a full maternity wardrobe, all of my old clothes plus the few items I have purchased post-baby to get me through the transition period.

Bedroom Closet NOW (with shoes in the back)

To deal with all these clothes and my sanity, I have made some simple rules.

1) In my closet, I only hang up the clothes that fit me NOW.

I keep two baskets on the closet floor. One for clothes that are too big (maternity) and one for items that should be donated. On my closet shelf, I keep a “wear soon” box for some of my favorite items I like to wear ASAP. I also keep my workout gear that doesn’t fit me now. I find that workout gear is the most forgiving. I can usually go down a size first in these items since they are stretchy.

2) I go through my clothes every time I do laundry to make sure each piece still fits. This is critical to keep myself tidy and organized.

One part of my postpartum vision was correct. I have found that my current, smaller wardrobe has really agreed with me. I just wish it was full of pieces I loved. In December, when I go through that big ol’ Tupperware of regular clothes I will be highly selective of what clothes I keep. I want to keep going with this smaller wardrobe approach. I just have to wait until my body is ready.

3) Ignore the shoes for now.

I installed this amazing shelves in the back of my closet for all my shoes. Unfortunately only 20% fit me now. My feet seem slightly wider now and with my body changes I have no desire to wear heals. I want to feel balanced and sturdy. I’m not ready to go through my shoes yet. I have an emotional attachment to many of them. Maybe I’ll do that in December as well. For now, I rotate between a small selection of flats that feel good.

Read about how my Dad and I built this closet step-by-step (1, 2, 3)

Is Ruby really almost one?

What I've been up to

Geez – it’s been a long while since I last wrote a blog post. Even if I had the time to write a post this last year, I had no idea what I was going to write about. We’ve put most of our home projects on a long freeze to focus on the little one and our transition into parenting.

The first year with Ruby has been exactly what every friend, family member and stranger has ever described it as – challenging, over in a “blink of an eye” and the best time you’ll ever have.

Now that our little girl is nearing the big ONE, we are starting to sleep a little more and have time to devote to the house. Plus, we are having a big party to celebrate Nate and Ruby’s birthdays mid-June so I have some goals I’d like to complete before the party happens.

I am not going to put too much pressure on myself to keep on a certain timeline (it’s okay if they don’t all happen before the party), but I am very encouraged to feel that desire to work on home projects again.

Starting off here on OCH- I am going to write about our bedroom closet and guest bathroom that I never really finished on the blog. Then, I’ll begin writing about our current set of home goals.

My hope is to get 1-2 posts up a week plus restart my photo series Feline Friday. There is a lot to write up and discuss.

I’ll see you soon with my first recap on our bedroom closet.

Cheers,
Andrea