Before I get to my review of Plated and their excellent meal delivery service, I have a confession. I’m super embarrassed about this, but somehow, this post completely fell through the cracks and I’m just now getting around to sharing this with you….um, a year and a half after I agreed to review this product!!! WHAT?! That’s ridiculous, and my many many apologies to the company. I could have easily let this one slide, because I’m never obligated to write a review if I don’t want to. But!…I really and truly loved having the opportunity to work with Plated and had to bite the bullet and admit my little oversight, here.
Alright, on with the show. Plated.com is an e-commerce platform that delivers everything you need to cook a chef-designed meal at home in 30 minutes, for just $12 per person. They offer a handful of new recipes each week for you to choose from. They deliver all of the pre-measured ingredients needed to make these meals at home, plus a photo-packed recipe card with step-by-step instructions. Their meal options even include vegetarian and gluten-free dishes so there is something for everyone.
I loved having the opportunity to sample Plated’s meals. Their menu selection is so unique! Every time I check their weekly specials, I’m impressed by how diverse each dish is and also over the fact that they’re almost always dishes that I’ve never cooked before. They absolutely have that restaurant quality about them, and I’m all about bringing something new and fresh into the kitchen and onto my family’s dinner table. And what’s even better is getting such quality meals for such a great deal. I’m not at all a picky eater. I’d go as far to say that I’m an adventurous one, always wanting to try new foods from any menu AND new recipes I find via Pinterest. That’s why I appreciate the different and thought-out meals that Plated has to offer. I had a really hard time choosing 2 meals, they all look so great (even the vegetarian dishes, and I like meat!).
Let’s talk price for a moment. At first, I thought that $12 a plate sounded like the price I’d pay for my meal in a restaurant so what am I really saving here? Why not just go out and eat? But I started thinking about the fact that you won’t have to drive anywhere, whether it be to the store or a restaurant so you’re saving on gas money right there (hello, steep southern California gas prices!). Don’t forget that you’re saving money from leaving a tip for your waiter/waitress. Also, you save your time, which you can’t put a price on. I don’t know about you, but being a mom of two now, I dread grocery shopping with the kids. It’s such a hassle getting them into the car and out. My oldest is finally well behaved at the store so she’s not such a problem but my 6 week old is colicky and cries and screams often. Just thinking about juggling the two of them at the store plus all of my grocery shopping gives me anxiety. It absolutely saves me time, money and my sanity to have every ingredient I need for a delicious meal sent to my doorstep.
Plated’s meal delivery service is such a great convenience for any new parent or a family with a busy household. If time is something you’ve been lacking and have been trying to find more of, then ordering tasty dishes to cook for your family is seriously the way to go. And, if you’re thinking you can’t afford it on a regular basis then why not use them during a week when you know life will be a little extra hectic or for a special occasion? Here are some examples of the perfect time to order from Plated to make your life a bit easier:
- You have major deadlines to meet at work and will be spending much of your day/week trying to meet them, leaving no time to even think about what to make for dinner, let alone grocery shop
- A holiday/special occasion (party, graduation, anniversary, trip…) is approaching and you’ll be out most of the week planning, shopping and running errands. Who has time to think about dinner?
- You’re expecting house guests from out of town and need every last minute you have to clean and prepare your home, rather than worrying about grocery shopping for dinner.
- You’re expecting company over for dinner and you want to impress them with your amazing cooking skills (but really, you were sent every ingredient along with step-by-step instructions to make it. Winning!)
- You’re trying to plan a fun date night activity with your boy/girlfriend. Why not order a meal for 2 from Plated and spend the night indoors, cooking together? With a chef-prepared dish, you can’t go wrong. Follow this up with wine and a movie and you’ve got yourself an intimate night together.
- You’re expecting to give birth to a child soon and you know you’ll have no time to grocery shop or will even be able to physically do so while recovering during the immediate days/weeks after. Plan ahead and order your meals. One less thing to worry about while you’re caring for your newborn.
- You have a friend or family member who is expecting a baby soon or has just given birth and you’re racking your brain for that perfect gift to give the new parents. Order them meals from Plated! I recommend doing so during week 3 or 4 and beyond because that’s when Mom will be more mobile and able to prepare meals with more ease. Use the first 2 weeks to make them meals yourself, like casseroles, so they don’t have to lift a finger.
- You’re going on vacation/out of town for a week. You know your fridge won’t be stocked with anything to make a fresh meal when you return home, and you’ll be busy unpacking and getting your house back in order. Ordering meals ahead of time to arrive when you get back will be a total convenience for you.
Both meals that we chose (Panko-Dusted Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw // Spaghetti Squash with Feta, Chickpeas and Wilted Spinach) were amazing. Before then, I had never cooked with spaghetti squash or had made fish tacos. My husband and I were both super pleased and satisfied with it all and they were very easy to cook (thank you, crystal clear instructions!). The portions were perfect for us, too (and my husband eats a lot…sorry dear). We liked them so much, we’re actually going to order (on our own dime this time) from them again real soon. Having a 6 week old at home doesn’t give me much time to take a shower these days, let alone plan, shop for and cook dinner. I highly recommend giving Plated a try or gifting their service to someone in need of a helping hand!
Preface: What I’m about to share includes some very personal and somewhat disturbing thoughts I had during the first few weeks that followed the birth of both my girls. I realize that I may face some judgement and negative reactions, but I’m opening up anyways, with hopes of assuring other parents who may also be dealing with similar emotions that they are not alone, that they are not crazy (hormones are a bitch) and that these feelings are normal under extreme circumstances. The madness and chaos will pass, life will regain a form of routine and stability, you are strong enough to get through each day (one day at a time) and all of this will one day be but a distant memory. Hang in there. Ask for help when (not if) you need it. It takes a village (especially when a colicky baby is involved), and that’s okay. Also, I apologize if my thoughts seem unorganized or scattered. This was really difficult to express while only on 5 hours of broken sleep (everyday for the past 6 weeks)…and…while having many interruptions, making this take a few days to compose rather than the usual few hours.
(All photos were taken during Margo’s 2nd week of life. She already looks so different now at 6 weeks!)
After dealing with a few very long months of screaming, crying and fussiness after birth from my first born, Mia, I had wished and prayed and hoped for a mellow baby with our second. I was reassured by many that “your second one is always easier.” How wrong they all were. I’ll get to Margo, my second child, in just a bit after a little back story on Mia.
I don’t necessarily remember the details of Mia’s “condition” 3 years ago, but I do remember how I had felt during the first few weeks after giving birth. Not only was I a new parent and had no clue what I was doing or what to expect, but I was dealing with a baby that cried all of the time while my body was surging with postpartum hormones. I wouldn’t say that I was depressed, but I definitely experienced the “baby blues.” I cried everyday, multiple times a day for at least 2 weeks. I spent a good chunk of time locked in my bathroom and on the floor, in tears. I didn’t know how to deal with a baby that screamed and cried all of the time, even after I had satisfied the checklist of reasons for why she could be upset: diaper change, too hot, too cold, hungry, overstimulated, under stimulated or in need of some snuggles. I was so overwhelmed, stressed, hopeless, helpless, angry, disappointed, confused and resentful (towards my husband for getting to be at work every day instead of home). There was a point during one of my bathroom pity parties when I actually thought to myself, “What if I just…leave? Like seriously, leave. What if I get into my car and drive away? To anywhere. And not come back. Can I do that? I think I can do that. I could seriously, right now, do that…and not care about ever seeing my baby again.” I truly thought, in that moment, that I could walk away and never look back. Part of me really wanted to escape because being caught up in that moment and in those never ending days and weeks, I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I couldn’t see how any of it would ever get better and I wanted out. None of this was what I had expected or anticipated. I don’t think I’ve ever admitted to those thoughts here on my blog. I’m not even sure if I’ve admitted them to my husband or family/friends? I’m ashamed to have even considered leaving, but I wasn’t in full control of my emotions. I’m even more ashamed to admit that I, again, had disturbing thoughts cross my mind just recently when I was knee-deep in hormonal chaos with Margo, which I’ll get into in a bit.
Three amazing years later of raising Mia (yes, life did get much better!), we had another daughter, Margo Blu (who is now 6 weeks old). Again, I was so hopeful that life with this little one would be different than with Mia. The first few days in the hospital had me fooled that they would be. Margo was mostly mellow, nursed fairly well and napped for hours. She seemed to be the opposite of Mia and I was stoked! I thought I would actually get to enjoy and cherish her newborn self, something I didn’t get with Mia. Oh, what a cruel joke that was.
Within a few days of returning home, Margo kicked up the chaos into full gear. She was constantly fussing and crying and everything I did to soothe her didn’t work, just like with Mia. Except this time, things were worse! At least Mia would relax during a feeding, but Margo has complete meltdowns during them. I’d say that 80% of Margo’s feedings look like this: Margo begins to show obvious hunger cues, I prepare a bottle (with formula…I gave up breastfeeding after 9 days which I’ll go into detail about in another post), I cradle Margo in my rocking chair and insert the bottle into her mouth which she eagerly sucks at immediately and within 3-4 seconds of sucking she lets out a scream. I rock her, burp her, try to soothe her until she calms a bit and shows cues of wanting the bottle again. I repeat the same process and so does she. Literally, she screams and shrieks (blood-curdling, by the way) between every few seconds of ingesting her formula. Sometimes, she screams so intensely that her red face turns white and all sound leaves her. Her scream actually goes silent. One time I thought she had stopped breathing! Paired with her screaming are jolts and jerks from her arms and legs, squirming, twisting and writhing from her abdomen and body. She tightens and tenses up and is in such obvious pain. I can hear gurgles and bubbles in her tummy and she lets out so much gas which also makes her scream. I know she’s hungry and needs nourishment so I continue to feed her, but I hate doing it because it’s causing her so much discomfort and agony. It takes at least 30 minutes to get through this. It pains me so much to see her go through this without being able to comfort her, and believe me, we’ve tried everything to troubleshoot this problem and to provide relief (expect another post about everything we’ve tried/used to try to “fix” her at a later date).
During the first 2 weeks of this, I was a mess. I was trying to keep it together, to stay strong, but I was coming undone. I was trying my best to breastfeed but was failing and felt like a failure as a mother. My postpartum hormones were back, once again, and were getting the best of me. I was crying everyday, multiple times a day and was finding myself, once again, on my bathroom floor with the door locked. I was juggling and fighting so many different emotions, all while having the responsibility of caring for my three year old. And, I was still physically recovering from giving birth. I was heavily bleeding which required multiple pad changes daily and my “area” was very sensitive meaning I couldn’t walk or sit comfortably (or use the bathroom without pain). THANK GOD for my mom, who was staying with us at the time (she was here with us for almost a month!). I don’t know how I would have managed through those first few weeks without her. Anyways, the stress I was feeling from everything had me so torn up over whether or not I should keep breastfeeding or give up. I lasted 9 days. I realize that this is a very short attempt but I kid you not, they were the longest and most troubled 9 days of my life. Remember those disturbing thoughts that I had mentioned, a few paragraphs earlier? Well, it’s because of those thoughts that got me to throw in the breastfeeding towel and turn to formula.
I was so consumed with stress, frustration, self-pity and anguish and unable to see any end to it in sight. I knew that it took a few months for Mia to outgrow this horrid phase and I couldn’t possibly imagine enduring the same length of time with the chaos we were facing now with Margo. It seemed ages away and I doubted my strength to handle it until then. Here’s where my awful confession comes in: during one particular sob fest, with tears streaming down my face (yup, in the bathroom) I wished for us to fall victim to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). I wouldn’t dare hurt my child myself, I wasn’t that detached from reality or my sanity, but I was enough to hope that it would just…happen…one evening in her sleep, to painlessly and quietly be taken back to where she came from. I thought that if this was in the cards for us, I would be okay with that. That I may even be better off with this, and we could all go about our lives as just us three. Things were so great, we had a smooth routine and we were happy (and not walking zombies on edge all of the time) with just us three.
I finally picked myself up off of the bathroom floor after a few hours and then secluded myself in my room and remained motionless in bed for hours more where tears continued to constantly flow. I felt horrible for having these thoughts and couldn’t bring myself to even look at my newborn let alone care for her. Both my husband and my mom were home and I let them deal with her. Neither of them knew exactly what I was going through (I didn’t dare confess these thoughts to them), but both could clearly see that I wasn’t in any shape to be up. Even now, they still don’t know what really happened that day. I can’t say the words out loud. But it was because of these terrible and shameful thoughts that brought me to the final decision to stop breastfeeding. I felt like the worst mother but I needed more help and more time and space from the baby so that I could regain my composure and sanity. I tried pumping so that others could bottle feed my breast milk, giving me that much needed break away but when the milk hardly flowed (probably due to the amount of stress I was under) I was constantly stuck on the pump giving me no actual break or rest. It just created more frustration, so I quit cold turkey. As much as I had wanted to successfully breastfeed, giving it up was the right thing to do. I felt immediate relief after announcing my decision and I’ve been in a much better place, mentally and physically, ever since.
It’s now been 6 weeks since I gave birth to Margo, and even though we’re still not out of the woods yet with her “colicky” temperament, our days are better. Sure, Margo is showing signs of slow and gradual improvement (feedings are still an awful fight) which has given us hope that the worst is behind us. But…I think the biggest enabler that has improved my quality of life is my attitude. Now that my hormones and emotions have drastically settled (the last time I cried was a few weeks ago), I’ve chosen to be more positive and patient and accepting. Before, I think I was fighting the reality that we have a colicky baby and felt cheated from experiencing what should have been joy, with my newborn. I was sad, bitter and envious of everyone who has ever had an easy-going, calm and overall happy baby (which I thought was most people). After using social media (Facebook and Instagram) to seek help and advice from other parents, I discovered how common it was to have a difficult baby like Margo. I learned that even those parents who I had thought had “perfect” babies (via all of the happy looking baby photos posted to their social media accounts) actually went through similar beginnings that I was facing. I felt such a relief in learning that this was more normal than I had thought. I spent so much time searching for a “fix” and always coming up empty-handed, I was in a way, relieved to know that there wasn’t anything I could do. I could finally stop trying to find a solution (and stop feeling disappointed when nothing worked). All that was left to do was just accept and embrace my current reality and situation.
Embracing a crying and screaming baby isn’t the easiest thing to do, but after I did, life did get easier. If all I can do is hug and kiss and hold my child as she screams in pain or discomfort, then that’s what I’ll do. No, it’s not making her less fussy nor does it quiet her down, but I’d much rather her endure whatever it is she’s going through while in my arms, rather than alone in her crib. I know that in some way, it’s comforting her to know that I’m not letting her go through this on her own and it’s reassuring her that I’m here for her. I actually tell her every day as she cries, “I’m here, Margo. Mommy’s here. We’ll get through this together.” This is my job, after all. I have next to no time for myself anymore or for my household. But this is temporary. I’ve accepted the fact that I have no where else to be or nothing else to do that is more important than caring for my children. Once I embraced this truth, it put life into a clearer perspective where the “bigger picture” became my focus, rather than this small window of time that will some day be a distant memory. My 3 year old, Mia, has actually played a huge role in achieving this outlook. She started out similarly to Margo and look now at how well she’s grown. She’s amazing! Watching her everyday is like looking into Margo’s future. I know Margo will follow the same milestones and developments that Mia did and I can’t wait to experience each one. I daydream about the two of them growing and playing together and these visions get me through each day because I know that this is all worth it. We’re having to make some sacrifices now, but it’s all for such a fulfilling and special outcome that’s waiting for us around the corner.
To any first time parent who is reading this and who is going through a difficult beginning with a child, and who doesn’t yet know from first hand experience, the greatness that is waiting for them around this ugly corner, please know that it is absolutely worth it. I guarantee it. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose sight of the importance of your role. Don’t fight what you can’t control, instead, embrace it. The sooner that you accept your new role and reality, the sooner you will feel at peace with this new responsibility. You’re not alone and there are plenty of other parents who have experienced what you are going through, I am one of them. Don’t hesitate or be too embarrassed to reach out to them, me included. Just talking it out lifts weight from your shoulders and helps to get through each day. Take one day at a time, focusing on small victories rather than overwhelming yourself with the thought of what could be weeks and months of an uphill battle. Eventually, you’ll be on the downhill side of this and each day will get easier. You will smile again, laugh and dance again, sleep again, enjoy a warm meal, take showers and blow dry your hair, eat at a restaurant, take a day trip or vacation, grocery shop during the day with your kids rather than at night while your partner stays home with them, have a clean (eh, cleaner) home, and just feel normal once again, like you’re living rather than surviving. Until then, slow down, take lots of deep breaths, drink plenty of water, savor every minute of quiet and peace that your child gives you, memorize their newborn smell (you will miss it once it’s gone), steal as many kisses as you can and most of all, accept and love your child for who they are rather than dwell on who you wish they were (this is your child and you are their entire world).
I hope someone, anyone out there finds some kind of comfort in what I’ve shared. I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, questions and even criticism. Leave a comment and help me continue this discussion with your points of view so that I and others can benefit from them.
My “Mia Rose Carone Sandwich Bug” (yep, that’s what she calls herself) turned 3 years old. Pardon my lateness with this update, it did happen a month ago, but life has been a juggling act lately (having a 5 week old) and I’ve had minimal time to take showers, blow dry my hair, do laundry or prepare a meal let alone blog about it all.
On Mia’s birthday, we kept things simple. She went to school where she wore a special birthday tutu and she took a few dozen funfetti cookies that her and I had baked the night before. Mia just loves to help me in the kitchen, especially when sprinkles are involved. Her class sang “Happy Birthday” to her and she got a special birthday hat. The day was going so well, until she woke up from her nap at home later that afternoon.
My mom was staying with us and she had planned to take Mia to one of her favorite neighborhoods for a stroll through it’s downtown avenue. They were to hit up the pet shop to check out the birds, fish and lizards. They also were to get a cookie from the bakery. BUT…her first 3 year old meltdown happened instead. All she was asked to do was to use the potty before they were to leave so she wouldn’t wet her pants while they were out. She refused. Down right refused. The situation went downhill quickly and long story short, she ended up staying home, screaming and crying in her room for over an hour. “Terrible Twos”??? That age was a stroll in the park for us. Helllllloooooooo “Threeteens!”
Later that evening, my mom made us all dinner and Uncle Chris joined us. We ended the night with the Happy Birthday song, cake and ice cream and presents.
I’m so beyond proud to be Mama to Mia. She’s such a bright little girl, always wanting to learn more and know more and ask a ton of questions daily. The word, “why” seems to be her favorite and has been for some time now. One of her favorite phrases has been, “Mommy/Daddy, you’re THE BEST Mommy/Daddy ever.” She tells us this multiple times a day, every day. And when I follow it up with, “Aw thanks Mia, you’re the best Mia ever!” she’ll respond with, “Awwww thanks, Mommy. You’re so sweet.” And every night at dinner, she reaches out to both Daddy and I (she sits in between us) and says, “Carone Sandwich!” and expects us both to lean in and hug her at the same time. She’ll “cheers” anyone who’s eating or drinking the same thing as her.
She’s got a great memory! Sooooo opposite from me. She remembers things that have happened weeks even months ago and brings up the most random events or happenings. She hasn’t yet grasped the concept of time so everything she talks about happened “this morning.” She knows what street we live on, which state both of her grandma’s and grandpa lives in, and knows how to get to certain places in town (turn that way, go up that hill, it’s over there). She almost knows the whole alphabet but L-M-N-O-P is a bit of run-on mess. She can count but for some reason, always forgets #4. She also has trouble pronouncing the letter “F” when it’s the first letter of a word. The word “fish” is “shish”. But, she can pronounce it when it’s at the end of the word like “safe.” Her vocabulary in general is really great! She/I get many comments and compliments on how well she can talk and how much she can say/communicate. She’s almost completely understandable by strangers. I still have to step in occasionally to translate. I love being able to understand what she has to say, all of the time!
She’s got a very silly sense of humor and loves to make Daddy and me laugh. If she thinks that we’re not happy or are cranky, she’ll say “Mommy, you mad?” If I say yes, she’ll proceed to make the biggest and toothiest smile that her little face can make and will then ask, “How about now?” She also hops and dances around the house to crack a smile out of us. One of the funniest things that I think she does is after every shower, she literally runs through the house (completely naked) shouting, “Naked butt saves the day!!!” The other day, she walked into my room lugging 2 big bags full of stuff and was wearing her backpack, full of stuff. She says, “Bye Mommy, I’m leaving. I have to go. I’m moving to Uncle Chris’ house.” I asked her where she’d sleep since he doesn’t have a bed for her. She said, “Hmmm…Uncle Chris is comfy!”…meaning she’d sleep with him in his bed. Later that night, she was having a pretend phone call with him on her toy phone and she says, “Hi, Uncle Chris! What are you doing? Oh really? You’ve got poop in your butt? Okay see ya later, then!” The other day, while my mom was visiting with us, Mia asked her if she has big or small boobies. My mom said small and so Mia leaned in and copped a feel and says, “No, they’re big!” She also asked Grandma if she could see her butt.
She loves going to preschool (only 3 days a week, for 3 hours each day currently) and talks about her friends there all of the time. I’m so glad we decided to put her in this program, she’s blossomed so much there. She comes home singing songs she’s learned and totes around the countless pieces of artwork she’s created there. She’s also more outgoing and social because of the interactions she’s had with the other kids.
Mia absolutely loves helping Daddy in the garden. She’s not afraid to get dirty. She plants seeds with him and waters them. Just recently, she was able to pluck her first carrot from the ground and taste it. Best carrot I’ve ever had. She’s also sampled some cherry tomatoes and we all can’t wait for the rest of the produce to pop up.
I would say her most prized possessions are her “Mama Bunny” (still) and her “Purple Bike” (no, not just “bike”, but “purple bike”). She sleeps every nap and night with her bunny, carries it around the house all day and even takes in into the car. She’s had it since birth and loves it to pieces. I have to sneak it away to wash it because she gets upset when I do. She rides her bike every day in the backyard, lapping the pool. One thing that drives us crazy is that she’ll drive it purposely into the dogs, thinking it’s funny. We’ve actually “thrown the bike away in the trash” because she continued to ignore our warnings. Of course, after a few days she got it back and these occurrences have decreased a great deal. Her favorite toys to play with are bubbles, her monster trucks and race cars, toy trains, dump trucks, tractors, and her Dusty Crophopper planes from the movie “Airplane: Fire and Rescue” (her favorite movie).
Mia still has a huge passion for books. Her “library” in her room is pretty impressive. I constantly find her in her room, “reading” her books to herself. I read her 2-3 books every single day in bed with her before her nap time, and I read her 2 books every single night in bed with her before bed time. I know that she’s really paying attention to every word I read because when I leave her with the books I just read, she flips through the pages and reiterates the story with great accuracy.
This kid has a carb obsession! She’s always requesting to snack on/eat bread, crackers and chips (but scarcely gets them). She’s not huge on sweets. When she gets a cookie, she’ll only take a few bites. Her favorite candy is M&Ms. She could eat those all day long (again, only rarely gets any). Thankfully, she’s very into fruits and veggies. She eats bananas, apples, strawberries, pears, blueberries, raspberries, honeydew melon (that’s a recent food discovery), watermelon, grapes, carrots, celery, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, avocados (loves those) and edamame. She likes PB&J sandwiches, turkey & cheese sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches. She loves waffles and pancakes for breakfast and will eat eggs (over medium, scrambled and/or hard boiled), oatmeal, cereal and she loves bacon! Dinner tends to be more of a pain to feed her. She’s not crazy about any one particular meal that we make for dinner but will eat: pasta (spaghetti with marinara sauce and ravioli), sides of rice, mac n’ cheese, veggie sides, french dip sandwiches (just discovered she likes roast beef!), fish sticks, bean & cheese burritos, grilled cheese and she really likes Campbell’s chicken and rice (or stars or alphabet) soups. Lately, she’s been snacking on walnuts, almonds and peanuts and loves Naked Juice (the brand). And she just recently has been eating more meats. This used to be impossible to feed her, she’d store it in one cheek and never swallow them. So….I’d say overall that she’s a pretty great eater. It’s getting her to feed herself that’s been a struggle. She tries to get us to spoon/fork feed her and if we leave it for her to do, meals take forever. I don’t think she knows what a warm meal tastes like! However, if she really likes the meal she’ll scarf it down on her own, no problem.
She weighs about 28 lbs and is a bit below average for height and still has a big head. She’s almost out of wearing size 2T clothing and is starting to fit into 3T. Her shoe size is somewhat in between size 6 and 7 (depends on the brand). Her favorite pair of shoes is her cowgirl boots.
Mia is almost fully potty-trained and has been for months now. The only time she wears a diaper is at night, but surprisingly wakes up most mornings with a dry diaper. With the new baby, we’re putting off fully diving into night potty training since our hands are pretty full at the moment. It’s so nice only having one child in diapers!
A few of her favorite places to visit are: the LA Zoo, Descanso Gardens, the Long Beach Aquarium, the park (still not crazy about the swings), and a neighborhood “downtown” avenue that is full of little shops and restaurants. She’s always asking to take a walk there and when we do, we always go into the pet store so she can visit the birds, fish, lizards, snakes and bunnies. We also always go into the bakery for one sugar cookie for $0.50.
Overall, I’d say this kid is fantastic. She brings us so much joy and laughter and makes us proud every day. The “terrible twos” were pretty non-existent for us. I loved age 2! But age 3??? Oh man, I’ve been getting the feeling lately that we’re really in for it this year, especially since we’ve just had another baby. My biggest complaint and annoyance with Mia is that she’s constantly whining! I mean all of the time. If I had a penny for every time I said, “Stop whining! Use your big girl voice” I’d be able to afford a tropical vacation somewhere. She’s also become a bit dramatic. If she bumps her knee on something, she whines and cries about it in a phony distressed voice. But her “owl ice pack” always fixes everything. She’s become more sassy and will talk back to me. The other night at dinner, she wanted to eat a tortilla chip before her meal and I told her no. Of course, she proceeded to reach for the chip anyways and I said, “Don’t even think about it!.” She then says, “….I’m thinking about it.” When I tell her I’m going to put her in time-out, she’ll tell me, “No, YOU are going into time-out!” She also needs to be told something a bazillion times before listening, and that’s after I’ve had to raise my voice finally. I’m a broken record these days. But I don’t think we’re experiencing anything new here or unexpected. Hopefully we’re seeing the worst of it because if that’s so, then this age will be manageable and more pleasant than not, for sure (*fingers crossed!*).
A few goals that Daddy and I have for her this year are: enroll her in some kind of dance class, sign up for swim lessons (soon, summer is almost here and we have a pool), possibly introduce her to a gymnastics class, work on her alphabet so she can identify each letter (out of order)(she knows a few like W and X) and same with her numbers (she does know #3), get her to finally feed herself completely independent from us, become night-time potty trained, teach her to ride a bike with pedals (the one she has now is a balance bike, no pedals) and take her on a camping trip.
Mia definitely has her own opinions, voice, thoughts, plans and spunky personality. She’s stubborn, too, but I really wouldn’t change any of it. She keeps us on our toes, never leaving us bored with life. I’ve really enjoyed discovering who she’s becoming as her own unique person. And, I so look forward to watching how she takes on her new role as “big sister” and how her relationship grows with Margo.
UPDATE: This giveaway is CLOSED
While I was still pregnant with little Margo Blu, I was asked to check out a seriously adorable Etsy shop, Simply Crafting Away, to possibly review a pair of their crochet baby booties. Jacyln, the lovely owner, allowed me to choose a pair of my choice to try out once baby arrived. At the time, I didn’t know the gender of the baby so I picked a pair that I found to be fairly neutral in color and style: Chevron in Teal and Grey.
I was so excited when I received these sweet little booties in the mail, I couldn’t wait for baby to come so I could try them on. Jacyln added such personal and detailed touches to the package (cute doodles on the box, a few business cards and a very kind “thank you” card for working with her to support her Etsy shop), making these booties all the more special. I love Etsy and I always try to support handmade items when I can and I’m so glad to have crossed paths with this fun little shop.
When Margo was born, I had the booties packed in my hospital bag for immediate use. They were a little too big for her tiny feet, which I figured they would be but still gave them a shot. After returning home, Margo has been anything but easy for us and taking decent photos of her was next to impossible. I finally was able to snap a few in her 3rd week of life (while awake which explains the blur in most…wouldn’t stop moving!) and I was pleased to see how well the booties fit. There is a bit more room for her feet to grow into but because of the shape of the booties, they’re snug enough to not fall off.
Jacyln’s baby booties make for the perfect gift at any baby shower or for your own little bundle of joy. Who says you have to wait to receive baby gifts from friends and family? I know I didn’t. And I also love and appreciate the affordability of all products that Simply Crafting Away offers, especially since they’re well-made and of high quality. I seriously wish I knew how to crochet or knit. I’m always so impressed with people who can, and who can do it well.
Now comes the fun part: THE GIVEAWAY! Simply Crafting Away is giving one of my readers the chance to win a pair of crocheted baby booties of their choice from her really great selection made for both boys and girls. Even if you don’t have a baby of your own, you know you’ll be in need of a baby shower gift sometime in the near future so you might as well enter, too. These are sure to get a whole mess of “Awwwwwww’s” when the mom-to-be opens up a pair of these!
HOW TO ENTER
- I’ll make entering this giveaway really simple for everyone. All you have to do is visit Jacyln’s Etsy shop (HERE) and leave a comment on this post below telling me which pair of booties you’d choose, should you win. This step is required to enter. All extra entries will not be accepted if this step is not fulfilled.
And for you overachievers, you can score some extra entries into the giveaway by doing any or all of the following:
- “like” Simply Crafting Away on Facebook
- follow Simply Crafting Away on Instagram
- follow Momista Beginnings on Bloglovin’
- follow Momista Beginnings on Instagram
Once you’ve followed (or if you already do), leave separate comments below for each follow/entry. There’s a total of 5 possible entries for each reader (leave 5 separate comments for each). The giveaway will run for one week, ending on Tuesday, May 19th at 10pm PST. The winner will be announced the following day. Good luck to you all!
UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway is…
Ashley Bree Perez!
Born: Thursday, April 16th at 8:34 pm
Weight: 8 lbs. 13 oz.
Length: 21 3/4 in.
Two weeks ago, we welcomed our second daughter into the world. If you’re new around here, we had decided NOT to find out the gender throughout the entire pregnancy which was really tough to do and I’m honestly surprised that I never caved in and forced it out of my doctor! Anyways, I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that we had a girl. From day one of finding out that I was pregnant, I was sure that we were having a boy. It wasn’t until the 3rd trimester that I had lost all inkling towards what the gender may be. I felt uneasy referring to it as a “he” OR a “she”, so I used both genders interchangeably. Also, nearly every person I came across was sure that I was having a boy based off of how I was carrying the baby. All of my weight was in my stomach making me look like I had a beach ball under my shirt. I guess having a more extended tummy rather than carrying wider in the hips is supposed to be a sign that you’re having a boy. And of course, when you already have a child, most everyone immediately throws themselves into the opposite gender camp which means more were rooting for a boy.
I was asked often, “What are you hoping to have?” As most parents will answer, “A healthy baby.” Beyond that, I honestly can say that I didn’t have a preference. My stance was “whatever is meant to be, will be.” Having a boy meant that I’d get the experience of raising each gender. I’ve become so comfortable with raising a girl for the past 3 years that having a boy would definitely mix things up. Also, my husband would be able to pass down his family name and he’d get to pass down all things boyish and manly to his “mini-me”. Having a girl meant that I’d get to experience sisterhood! I have only one younger brother, clearly never getting to know the bond between two sisters. Obviously, I can’t predict the relationship that my two girls would have but regardless, I’d still get to live vicariously through my daughters and witness their sisterly bond. Also, how convenient that I’ve saved boxes and boxes of girl clothes and gear from Mia.
Because we didn’t know the gender, we came up with names for both a boy and a girl. We had a definite boy name chosen since the first month of pregnancy. Daxton Alan (nickname: Dax). My husband liked the idea of a name starting with “D” since his does and I like how uncommon a name Daxton is (at least I think it is). It also sounds so strong and masculine, which also attracted me to it. And “Alan” is my husband’s middle name.
Now a girl name…whew! This took every bit of 9 months to come up with. I had read through just about every online names list there is. I jotted down every single girls name that stuck out to me, we’d try the name out for a few days to a week and hardly any of them ever stuck! The other problem I’d come across is that the names that I DID like were already taken by a friend, family member or someone close enough in our social circle. Oh, and also my husband vetoed the one name that I did like and want from the beginning…Isla. So! We cycled through names up until the day of our daughter’s birth. We entered the hospital with a list of names that we would decide on once we saw her sweet face (if it was a girl, of course). The names to choose from were: Frances (nickname: Frankie), Marley, Marlo and Margo. My 3 year old, Mia, really wanted her name to be Marley. In fact, she referred to the baby throughout my pregnancy as her “baby sister, Bob Marley.” But, we decided instead to name her Margo Blu. I think it sounds feminine, classic and I like that it’s not super common (um, I think…I hope!).
So there you have it. Welcome baby GIRL, Margo Blu, seen here at 3 days old!
Her coloring is a little off because she had jaundice (which is gone now, btw). I wish I had more photos to share at this time but she’s been quite a handful since we left the hospital. I had big plans to practice my “newborn photography skills” with her once we returned home but haven’t been able to because she spends a lot of her time crying, screaming and fussing. When she sleeps, I don’t dare touch or move her for my own sanity’s sake! This also explains why this blog has been so quiet lately. I have so much I’d like to share about how life has changed for us over here and slowly, I’ll get to it all. In the meantime, I’m trying to rest as much as I can between juggling TWO KIDS. Wow………………………….I have two kids.
EVERYONE has been telling me, as I had been approaching my due date, that your second baby will most likely come early. EVERYONE has been telling me that my baby looks so big that they’re sure he/she will come early. Well, “everyone”…bite me.
I’m overdue, once again. I had Mia 5 days past her due date. And yes, I know I’m not technically “overdue” because the baby comes whenever he/she is ready and the due date is just an educated guess and that 42 weeks (isn’t it?) is considered full term or past due or whatever. BUT…that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get my hopes up for an “early” baby with all of this “early” mumbo jumbo talk.
As I write this, I’m 3 days past my due date with no signs of labor or contractions. I’m just highly uncomfortable, large, heavy, slow, tired, limited on full movement and eager. Definitely eager. Keeping ourselves from knowing the baby’s gender has really made us all very eager to meet this little guy/girl! To finally give him/her a name! To finally refer to him/her as “baby brother” or “baby sister” to Mia!
My last doctor appointment was 3 days ago (on the due date) and the doc found that I wasn’t even 1cm dilated yet. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. My doc is on call this weekend so it would have been pretty convenient to have a baby, like now!…but I already know very well that babies and kids don’t care about our schedules and plans. My next doc appointment is in 2 days, where I’m sure induction will be discussed (something I will strongly discourage if possible). The doc also mentioned something about scraping my membrane? I’m not even sure if that’s what she said, I think I blocked it out since it sounds less than pleasant. But if it’s a natural and safe way to start labor and avoid induction, sign me up.
We’re all in suspense over here, especially Dominic. He’s constantly asking me if I’ve “felt anything?” (contractions), or if the baby is moving or has been. And if so, has it been a lot? Too little? He’s worried the baby is getting too big and if I don’t go into labor soon it won’t fit out of me and I’ll be forced to be induced or to have a C-section. So, he’s been encouraging me (more like hounding me) to do anything I can to naturally start the process. I’ve bounced on an exercise ball, posed in a squat position while stimulating my nipples (lovely visual, right?), eaten bananas, walked and then walked some more, I ate Mexican food with hot sauce, had a very small glass of wine, had a pedicure where my feet were rubbed as well, and yes…did the deed. I know there are all sorts of other things I can try to get the ball rolling, but I’m pooped. I have a more, “this will happen when the baby is ready” attitude about the situation so I’m trying to now relax rather than to focus on or stress over when this baby will finally come. You know what they say, “A watched pot never boils.” So I’m officially averting my eyes.
Until we finally arrive at “go time”, I’ll continue to pretend like every meal I eat is my “last before baby”, every night’s rest is the “last without a crying/hungry baby”, every play date or quality moment with Mia is the “last without a baby” and that every time I leave my house that it could be the “last easy outing without a baby.” I’m really trying to enjoy the last of the quiet (as quiet as it gets with a toddler around) and the ease of our routine before it all gets rocked. But the truth of the matter is, we’re ready.