marlo being marlo


you recently learned how to unlock my phone and flip the camera so that you can take pictures of yourself. you take approximately three hundred or so a day. it's annoying to have to erase so many photos every day but it also buys me five minutes when i'm trying to use the bathroom or eat a scrap of food or simply breathe so i pick my battles. you win this one.

even though i was finally able to convince you that the milk will only come in when the baby comes, you remain suspicious. almost every day you take your little index finger and push- not so gently- on each boob, just to make sure that the milk hasn't decided to come in unexpectedly. you are diligent about reminding me that you, too, want some milk when it does decide to come in. i've left this request alone in high hopes that your streak of innate tenacity won't make you want it even more simply because i've told you no. you've apparently forgotten that you stopped nursing nineteen months ago and that you don't even like milk of any variety. you've determined that mine is special, i guess? 

about a month ago, you heard your dad yell "fuck" very loudly while he was watching a unc carolina game. since then, you occasionally walk around the apartment yelling "BUCK, mama. BUCK." you have no idea what you're saying (i can only hope) but i still find it hysterical and have to put forth a great deal of effort to not laugh my ass off. luckily, you've yet to yell such tasteful choice of words in public but i'm counting on that happening very soon.

your dad recently went out of town for the weekend and i wanted to send him a little goodnight video of you singing twinkle, twinkle. while you were in the bath and singing away like you always do, i figured it'd be a good time to capture it on video since you weren't paying me any attention. about four seconds in and with the timing of a seasoned and skilled comedienne, you stopped singing, looked dead at the camera, and let out the most giant fart ever. you dad really loved the video.

you label everything as either "so silly," "so cwazy," or "ummm, no." there are no other options.

let me tell you something of fact, mo: hearing you say "baby e-dee is in derrrr, mama" has to be the cutest damn thing that has ever come out of your mouth. much cuter than... say.... "buck, mama buck!"

round two | seventeen weeks


up until yesterday morning at 8:30 am, i'd yet to really attach myself emotionally to this pregnancy. i'm not sure if it's because i'm so preoccupied with marlo or because i'm stretched so thin emotionally and physically but i'd yet to feel that connection i felt so innately and instantly during my pregnancy with marlo.

but then i saw her.

i saw our girl, edie cooper fadel.

and it was like the emotional rush of finding out i was pregnant happened all over again but this time with the utmost clarity and sharpness because i now know who is growing inside of me.

so, miss edie cooper, i hope you know that you are incredibly anticipated, cherished, and already so immensely loved.

we can't wait to meet you.

thoughts on motherhood


a protector. a lover. a mother.
and fifteen weeks pregnant.
my job isn't to never fail; my job is to show my babies how to be humans, how to fail gracefully, and how to pick themselves back up after they fall. because they will fall.

my job isn't to shield them from ever getting hurt; my job is to remind them that remaining vulnerable in a hardened world is still the most beautiful way to approach and embrace the beauty that life offers us.

my job isn't to be perfect or to measure up to anyone else's idea of who i should be; my job is to remain authentic to who i want to be, who i am at my best, and to teach my babies that differences are what make us beautifully human.

my job isn't to tell them who i think they should be; my job is to embrace, respect, and appreciate their individuality, who they want to be, and their path to becoming that person. my job is to love them without conditions.

my job isn't to be selfless or a martyr or a doormat. my job is to believe in my self-worth and to distinguish that thin line between selflessness and selfishness so that my kids never become complacent with their own needs coming second.

my job isn't to not need others. my job is to believe so much in my own abilities that i don't repeatedly rely on the opinions of others to build me up or to be my backbone.

my job isn't to shelter them or to guard them from the pitfalls of life no matter how badly i'll want to; my job is to make sure that my kids know how to kick life's ass when life is being as asshole.

my job is to protect them, to love them, and to show up.

that is my job as a mother.

round two | whattup, second trimester!


fourteen weeks
my belly sticks out as far as my bum and i've got some super sexy love handles in the works. neither bother me a bit. 

just because i've done this before doesn't make it any easier. it's actually harder due to the result of the first time. yeah, i'm looking at you, marlo mclean. 

i've already felt some little flutters going on in there and, just like with marlo, i initially assumed it was gas. 

the first trimester- quite simply- really sucked. i'm struggling with severe anemia and it's a real pain in the ass. literally and figuratively speaking. i fear pooping on a daily basis more than i fear labor and labor was the opposite of fun so that's telling you something. iron supplements are no joke, y'all.

i read this article almost every day. it makes me laugh, cry, and brings me a lot of reassurance when i'm doubting my ability to mother two babies the same way i'm able to mother one. 

we do have names picked out for both a boy or a girl. 

i often forget that i'm pregnant. but suddenly i'll have an epic hot flash or get knocked over by a wave of nausea or a headache that lasts for. fucking. ever. and be pulled right back to the present. nature is kind like that. 

currently, i'm only craving four foods: green juice, salt and vinegar chips, bacon, fried egg, & tomato on sourdough, and smoked oysters from a can. sweets need no longer apply. 

i take a lot of naps. naps are my favorite.

i have a lot of sex dreams while pregnant. thanks, hormones. i owe you one.

i'm not a laid back person by nature but pregnancy does something magical to me. it's like i'm stoned and it's definitely a nice change of pace. now, to say that i'm laid back is absolutely not to say that i'm less emotional. because that would be a lie. i cry a lot. probably as often as i nap. 

lastly, i've consciously chosen a very hands-off approach to this pregnancy. when i gave birth to marlo, i didn't trust my body and believed that my doctor knew best. turns out, he didn't know best and i suffered tremendously because of it and i was left traumatized by it. now? i prefer to let my body do its' thing. i ask my midwife to only tell me what i truly need to know and i don't look on the internet for answers to any of my questions. (luckily, i don't have too many questions this time around.) i trust that my body knows what it needs to do to grow a healthy baby and deliver that healthy baby into my awaiting arms. it's a level of physiological and emotional confidence i so deeply wish i possessed three years ago. 

fourteen weeks down, only two hundred twenty seven to go. 

five things | from the week and a recipe


1. marlo has started this amazing thing where at night after i tell her that i love her, she'll declare to me, "i love you more, mama!" swooooon.

2. watch this episode of between two ferns with zach galifianakis and brad pitt. it is so, so good. side note: when i was pregnant with marlo, i developed bizarre crushes on ellen degeneres, tom selleck, and blake griffin. hormones, man. this time, it's zach galifianakis. my hormones are twisted jokester bitches.

3. last night, i felt little baby flutters for the first time. i felt them fairly early on with marlo (around 15 weeks, i think) and i'm almost at 14 weeks now so it's not too far off. it probably helps that i'm not mistaking them for gas this time around. needless to say, it was as amazing and unbelievable as it was when i first felt little baby mo somersault inside of me.

4. i bought baby some swaddles earlier this week when aden + anais was featured on gilt and man... let me tell you something that has never been truer: even though i'm keeping the things we buy baby to an absolute minimum this round (it is amazing to me how much we thought we needed with mo that we never actually used), there is something about tiny miniature baby things and picturing a squishy, sweet-smelling newborn wrapped up like a burrito that really gives me all the feelings. you guys. we're having another baby. ANOTHER BABY. makes my heart do a little pitter patter that sounds something like mo's feet running around barefoot on the hardwood floors.

5. yesterday, i was feeling pretty crummy. pregnancy is so grand and all that noise. it was also rainy out. aaannnnd i've also entered that part of my pregnancy where my decisions surrounding what i eat are based 100% on impulse and driven by an unbelievable unseen force that scares my husband. out of nowhere, i got a craving for coconut curry and chicken soup at the same time so i walked my hangry pregnant ass to the corner bodega and whipped it up the second i walked in through the door. a few people have asked for the recipe so, here it is. enjoy
one red bell pepper, sliced thinly
half of a red onion, diced
one cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
one can organic lite coconut milk
one-half can coconut cream (found this at TJ's)
four cups unsalted chicken stock
two cups shredded rotisserie chicken (you can substitute shrimp, too)
one bunch cilantro, divided in half
two scallions, light green and white parts chopped
one tbsp grated ginger
two tbsp red curry paste
one tsp toasted sesame oil
two cloves garlic, minced
zest and juice of two limes
one tbsp fish sauce (there is no substitution, sorry)
two tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
4 oz rice noodles
sliced jalapeño, optional

over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and ginger and cook for a few minutes in the grapeseed oil. next, add 3/4ths of the red pepper, leaving the rest for garnishing the soup, and cook for a few more minutes. next, add the curry paste, sesame oil, and fish sauce. cook for one minute until the sauce mixture coats the veggies and the aroma is noticeable. it should be pretty thick. 

add both coconut milks and chicken stock. bring to a boil and add the shredded chicken and rice noodles. cook according to directions on box (about three minutes). *if you were substituting shrimp, add the shrimp when you add the noodles and they'll cook at the same time. 

once the noodles are cooked, add a handful of chopped cilantro leaves, one scallion, and the zest and juice of the limes. portion into bowls and top with red bell peppers, cilantro, and green onion. i also add thinly sliced jalapeño to the top of mine since i keep the soup more on the mild side for little mo. 

makes enough for two days of lunches for both myself and marlo.

i cry a lot these days


1. for starters, this whirlpool commercial. it kicks me in both ovaries every. single. time.
2. the national anthem. every. single. time. particularly so when it's just instrumental.
3. every. single. time marlo asks to touch or love or see "her baby." 
4. every. single. time i eat these chocolate and caramel shortbread cookies from one girl cookies. they're that good.
5. when nothing fits. which is every. single. day.
6. when i'm trying to go to the bathroom. you guys. the struggle is real.
7. every. single. time i think about living in seven hundred square feet with a three year old and an infant. 
8. when i'm tired and can't nap. which is always. 
9. when i look down and realize that i've hit the bottom of the nutella jar and i didn't pause to really savor that last spoonful. 
10. and, finally, when i sing "you are my sunshine" to marlo at the end of the day and i get to the part where it says, "my only sunshine" because i know that she is no longer my only sunshine and it makes me equal parts horribly sad and unbearably ecstatic. i'm going to miss these days of just us so much but i also know that my heart is going to expand again in unfathomable ways.  

five things | round two


the bean. 
1. three years to the day that we found out that we were pregnant with our little mo, i took a test that told me that we would be giving her a sibling. later that evening, marlo excitedly ran up to joe when he walked in the door and let him know that there was FINALLY a baby in mama's belly. "itssa baybeee in dere, dada!" (fyi. she's been asking for one for months.) 

2. we are due the week of marlo's third birthday although the due date changes by a few days each visit depending on the beans' growth. but due dates mean little anyway, amiright? (especially according to marlo.) the first week of may could end up being a very busy- and very wonderful- week for this family of mine for the rest of our lives. and that is pretty damn cool.

3. this picture was taken when i was only seven weeks along at a vineyard. (ps. a vineyard tour isn't the best place to visit when you're newly pregnant and can't drink wine. it's pouring salt into an open and swollen pregnant wound.) my abs put up no such fight this time around. they just parted like the red sea and my bump was all, "hey! it's partay time!!! let's do this!" it's now about three times as big as it was in that photo. and, yes, i get the "are you having more than one?" question a lot.  i got it from my grandmother last night when we were able to tell her in person. but, nope. it's just one in there, thankyouverymuch.

4. current cravings: yellow rice, french fries, store-bought rotisserie chicken, mushroom quesadillas, pizza from juliana's, goat cheese, eggs, b.l.t.'s on croissants with too much mayo, freshly squeezed orange juice. current aversions: cooking ground meat, coffee (i still love a latte though!), and the smells of play-doh, beer, and red wine.

5. there is nothing more comforting to me than when marlo climbs onto my lap and lays her head on my belly and rubs and loves "her baby." she's fully aware of what's going on and her enthusiasm surrounding her brother or sister gives me this newfound excitement which i'm desperately clinging onto. it's that abundance of unassuming excitement that keeps the anxiety surrounding what raising two kids actually entails at a minimum. also, i now know how dogs feel when their favorite person in the world spends a few minutes scratching that special spot behind their ear. my favorite person is marlo and i'm very much like a labrador when i'm pregnant. give me all the belly rubs!

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