Whoremones

So, you know how I’ve been all “OMG my PPA is neeeeeverrrrr going away and I feel like a freak!” Crying tears of angst as I lay awake staring at the ceiling.

And then yesterday I was all euphorically thankful for my perfect baby and my lovely husband and our fur-babies. Crying tears of joy as I played on the floor and watched the Macy’s parade with my mini.

Then today…woke up *exhausted*, like had to lay there for a few while my kid smacked me around…stumble into the bathroom, pee, *wipe*-there’s BLOOD but not sure which end it’s coming from, check again…

Yep. I started my f*cking period. First one since May of 2014. SMH. This explains *eveything*.

XOXO,

MLACS

I Can’t Explain

I tried to write a post about my PPA yesterday, and I don’t think I articulated myself very well. I got a comment from a new reader that gilted me, and I was upset. But in retrospect, the post was confusing and I don’t think this person meant any harm.

However, I took the post down.

I realize that this is not a safe or productive space to discuss my PPA while I’m going through it. It’s best left to my therapist and (hopefully soon) a support group of other women with PPA/PPD/PPOCD. I realize I do not have the right words to convey what it is to live with PPA. It’s an exercise in futility at this point.

Rest assured, I am fully functional and my daughter hasn’t suffered at all. I am happy and engaged with her while we eat, play, and explore each day. We are social and have playdates a couple times per week. I “suck it up” and do things I’m supposed to do (go places, do things) even when my anxiety screams at me to retreat. The only semi-oddball thing about my parenting is that I haven’t really left BG at all, but that is a parenting style (AP) and while unusual it is not unhealthy (Dr. Sears advocates).

But in reference to the title of this post–I can’t explain PPA. It’s like infertility. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and it’s very lonely. I wish I could articulate it, but I tried and failed. So in summary:

PPA sucks.

XOXO,

MLACS

MLACS Bakes {Puppy Treats}


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I’ve been buying these dog treats called “Buddy Biscuits” (gluten-free variety) to the tune of $8 per box for over a year now. Our dog has 3 large cookie jars on the kitchen counter that I keep stocked with various flavors. I’ve been saying that I should stop buying them and start making my own dog treats but it just never made it onto my to-do list until recently.

Finally, I googled for recipes and gathered ingredients this past week. Come to find, dog biscuits are actually very simple and you only need a few ingredients (it occurs to me that homemade dog biscuits are actually healthier than a lot of the stuff I eat…have considered trying one…).

I made them today and they turned out great! The dough was easy to make and easy to work with–it didn’t stick to the counter at all when I rolled it out (I did flour the counter though). One of my tricks is to cover my rolling pin with plastic wrap so it doesn’t stick or get messy (I’ve also subbed a cold bottle of wine  wrapped in plastic wrap for a rolling pin and that works great too).

Here is the link to the Betty Crocker recipe for Peanut Butter Pumpkin Puppy Treats: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-peanut-butter-and-pumpkin-puppy-treats/2bdaee86-dc24-4a65-85a6-e4bdd30e458f

I used Trader Joe’s gluten-free flour, though the recipe says “brown rice flour”. I used the can from the can of pumpkin (called for in the recipe) as a cookie cutter for the biscuits–I have a 70lb labrador so I wanted a larger sized treat–but you can make them whatever size suits you and in whatever shape you desire (I’m ordering some sturdy cookie cutters in fun shapes).

Do you guys have any favorite treat recipes for your pups? Please share!


Licking the beaters is the best part!

Licking the beaters is the best part!

XOXO,

MLACS

Crazy Inspired (Inspired Crazy?)

Out of the blue I bought a jogging stroller and started jogging (I haven’t done anything but walking or yoga in…18 months?) It felt GREAT. I wasn’t even sore! Tackling this fitness goal has increased my confidence 1000x and I have some of my swagger back. I still suck at jogging but now I have this big fancy stroller to hide behind (it looks cumbersome but is light as a feather) and it gives me some street cred.

Then today I went to the beauty salon for the first time in…at least 10 months. Mr. MLACS was nearby with BG and I did end up nursing her while my hair was in foils and I was sitting under the dryer (so I can cross that off my bucket list). I haven’t left her alone with him at all in 4 months (like not even to take a shower) because she FREAKS out. Today they did great! BG did fuss but not in a panic, just complaining. She has taken a genuine interest in Mr. MLACS and I love watching them play and bond…but I digress…

Did I mention my hair has been falling out by the handful?

Yeah, it’s been lovely–thank you, *whoremones*.

I’ve been wearing it in a bun 24/7 since about 4 months PP because I shed more than the cat and dog *combined*. You should see some of the hairballs I’ve amassed. So gross. I’ve always worn it long and “high maintinence” but lately it’s been looking pretty low-class so…

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I told my friend/stylist to chop it off today, and here I am at least 8 inches shorter and I LOVE IT! I asked her for a long bob and she delivered (see my avant garde picture). I would usually agonize over this decision (and then not go through with it) so I must say that I surprised myself! I can still do a ponytail but now it works great to tuck it behind my ears too–the goal is to wear it down more.

I bought new clothes! I have been looking SO ragged in my VS sweatpants and random shirts (whatever is clean that fits–still nursing so boobs are big and still have a tummy). I’d like to thank the hipsters for inventing “lumberjack chic”, because I really love my new flannel shirts and Sorel boots. With my “lob” (long bob) and new clothes I will actually look appropriate and on-trend. Seriously–I was avoiding mirrors and had almost given up on myself. I bought some new cold weather workout gear too.

To top off my “transformation”…I was standing in line to pay at target and this older woman ahead of me squealed and came after BG (I was babywearing her outward facing in the ergo 360). First she touched her foot. I stepped back a bit. She kept talking. Then she touched her hand. I froze. Then she touched BG’s face and I found the courage to say “I’m not comfortable with strangers touching my baby” and I turned and walked to a different line, heart pounding and didn’t look back. This is not the first time a stranger or random acquaintance has touched her, but it’s the first time I addressed the issue directly. I want to protect and teach BG body autonomy, so that she is self-posessing and assertive about her physical boundaries. It starts NOW. And WTF is wrong with people?! Smile. Say hello. Wave. But don’t touch. I wonder what that lady would’ve done if I had rubbed her foot or touched her cheek?! The f*ing nerve of some people. Idiots.

So yeah, I feel like I’m turning over a new leaf, or starting a new chapter, or *insert other metaphor*. I’m getting my “Oprah” on and trying to live my best life.

My daughter is my inspiration ❤

XOXO,

MLACS

10 Secret blogs I adore!

Here are a bunch of blogs (ahem, mine included) that you might like to get to know! Most especially my buddy, Steph Mignon at http://www.stephmignon.com

Steph Mignon

You Inspire Me

Someone once said that a good blog is hard to find, and I tend to agree with that. I’m always on the hunt for blogs that hook me, enchant me, and blogs that keep me coming back for more like a good restaurant. But I’m also looking for blog friendships too, people who support my endeavors just like I support theirs. True virtual friends, if you will.

Now by blog, I’m not talking the “professional” types out there, all glossy and shiny with curated, perfectly crafted content. Those are great. They really are. And I know some of us aspire to be more like them, but today I’m going to list, in honor of NanoPoblano, the ones I love because of the beautiful voices that are them. (Note: most of these blogs are not part of the Pepper Parade, but I just had to list them because I love them…

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Thule Blessed

$_20

So I am now the proud owner of a Thule Chariot Cougar 2!

Let me start by saying that I thought Thule was pronounced “Thul” (as in thor with an “ul”). Mr. MLACS got a big kick out of it when he heard me say it, and corrected me that Thule is pronounced “Too-lee”.

I feel it was a blessing that I found an $800 stroller for $200. Too good to be true.

The man selling the stroller lives in the city 2 hours from us, and I asked him in earnest if he would hold the stroller for me until I could come pick it up today. We talked a little bit–I asked him why he was getting rid of the stroller and he said he had given it to his son but his son never used it much. I remarked what a good deal it is, and he said he just wanted rid of it and for another family to appreciate it. He said he’d hold it for me; I thanked him profusely, and right after I hung up I danced a little jig around the living room because I was STOKED!

I was like a kid on Christmas Eve–could hardly wait to jump in the car and go to the city to pick up the stroller. The man was lovely and even had the owners manual for us, which we need because the TCC2 does *everything*. It is a jogging stroller/hiking stroller/bike trailer/cross country skiing trailer. It normally comes with 4 wheels, but he had it rigged with the jogging kit that is sold as an accessory (which is another $100, so really it’s a $900 stroller).

I’M SO EXCITED!

I can take BG out even on the coldest winter day, because the TCC2 is “climate controlled”. She can ride in it until she’s 5 years old, and…

It seats *two*, which means I could continue using it in the event that we succeed in expanding our family (not ttc right now though).

We then went to REI and got the baby seat insert for 6-18 month olds (for babies sitting upright). Scored the last one they had in the store!

So I am “Thule blessed”! (ha ha)

But seriously, I feel all warm and fuzzy about this, like it was meant to be. And I’m very motivated to get my a** in gear and start running again (which I haven’t run in like 4 years, and never in cold weather). I’ve always wanted to be one of those fit mommies who used to pass me pushing a jogging stroller (I’m a 10 minute mile even when I’m in super duper shape–I’m a helluva sprinter though). I feel like this is my chance to fulfill that dream and be the mom I really want to be, for myself and for BG.

XOXO,

MLACS

Jogging Strollers (thing I never thought I’d use)

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So I’m a former gym rat and I miss working out. I miss my classes and my awesome group of gym girlfriends–it’s hard to see them posting their group selfies on facebook and not feel left behind.

I know, poor me, right?

There is no hot pilates or spin class on the horizon because I still haven’t left BG with anyone, ever, and she still wails if I hand her to anyone except her father, and even then she is only content for a few. I feel like a freak (I’ve said this before) for not being able to leave her yet. My therapist says I’m normal though, so that’s a relief.

Anyways, my compromise is that I’m planning to buy a jogging stroller, since BG does quite well in our travel system stroller (we have the Britax B-Ready). Mr. MLACS tried to get me to buy a BOB, but I was like “Dude, these take up more space than a regular stroller and I don’t even think I’ll use it since I like the gym and it has childcare.”

Well, I probly sealed my fate with that proclaimation because *here I am*, looking to buy another stroller. Dammit.

What I’ve read is that for $$$ priced strollers BOB Revolution and BOB Ironman are the best. But I’m seriously considering the JOOVY 360 because it’s slightly less expensive $$ and compares to the BOB Revolution, except one thing that bothers me is the JOOVY doesn’t have a hand brake and there are some killer hills in my neighborhood. I refuse to spend $$$$ on Phil and Teds or Mountain Buggy, etc. since I don’t even know if I will stick with this. I’ve thought about buying something cheaper $ but it appears that you get what you pay for, and I want shock absorption, a comfy seat for BG, and good tires. I’ve considered buying used but the only ones I’ve seen look worn and they still aren’t super cheap.

So if any of you ladies have any suggestions/reviews of jogger strollers please send ’em my way.

XOXO,

MLACS


Mommy Wars: Pureé vs. BLW

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You know there are certain things–parenting styles–that divide the masses and provide fuel for what is sometimes referred to as “The Mommy Wars”. Topics of debate include breastfeeding, vaccinations, sleep training, co-sleeping, circumcision, and many more. I’m not inclined to get into politics on any of these. I really don’t care what anyone else does as long as it doesn’t affect MY kid (so ok, I’m pro-vaccinations since that does affect my kid, but I digress…)

What I’d like to share with you today is my experience with introducing solids to BG. There appears to be two opposing methods of introducing solids, one being pureés (a.k.a. babyfood) and the other being the more haute and trendy baby-led-weaning (BLW) method.

I always knew that I wanted to do babyfood. In particular, that I wanted to make my own fresh organic pureés. Most of the women in my mommy group are academics (think professors, PhD candidates, and other sorts of intellectuals–I live in a college town). They’re all hipsters too–craft beer brewing, community gardening, beard loving, festival-going, biking-instead-of-driving *hipsters*. Which I’m like whatev, that’s cool, I used to be super liberal myself. But seeing as BLW is the hip trend at the moment, that’s what they’re all doing.

And some of them are pretty *smug* about it.

They think it’s greeeeeeat because “Baby can eat whatever we’re eating”–that’s the main point they keep bringing up–no need to tote around jars of babyfood or prepare a separate meal, no need to rebuff your poor child when they reach for whatever’s in your hand (which, btw, they do that regardless if the item you’re holding is edible so it doesn’t indicate a desire for food).

And (although you all know how combative I can be) I just smile and nod. Because what’s the point? There’s no harm in BLW…

Except for choking.

I was eating watermelon–BG was nearly 6 months old–and she was looking at it wistfully. So I held a piece to her mouth and let her suck on it…until she nommed a bigass piece off and I floundered to fish it out of her mouth and scared the begeezus out of both of us. It happened again with cantaloupe. *Facepalm*. And that sort of ordeal is not uncommon with BLW, from what I’ve heard.

So that sealed the deal for me. I started researching babyfood making systems and pieced together my own based on reading reviews and price. What I bought (all from amazon.com):

1. Kidco electric food mill

I’m a fan of Kidco products–we also have the Kidco Go Pod and I use it every day. This food processor does a good job of making a smooth pureé with very few (if any) chunks. You don’t want to be feeding your baby and have them choke on a chunk of carrot that got lost in the crowd. I do still have to watch out for chunks in some foods (beets, carrots, peaches & pears come to mind). It’s easy to take apart and rinse out.

2. Mumi & Bubi freezer food storage trays (set of 2)

Love these things! Each cube measures 1oz of food. They fit in the freezer easily. The cubes pop out easily. They rinse off easily. And I put hot beet pureé in them the other night and it didn’t even leave a *hint* of a stain. Bravo!

3. Sage Spoonfuls 4oz glass storage containers (set of 6)

These are cute and fit neatly in my cabinet/fridge. Nothing terribly special about them, I just dig ’em.

4. Oster 5 quart food steamer

This thing is great! Doesn’t take up too much space, breaks down easily, easy to clean, and it works like a charm!

I got a few other trinkets too, like some mini spatulas that come in handy to transfer food from the food mill to the cube tray.

So anyways, my handy new gadgets make it easy to cook and store nutritious organic pureés. It’s easy. And when the cubes are frozen I pop them out and keep them in a labeled plastic freezer bag. I currently have ample stores of:

Peaches, pears, plums, apple, banana, sweet potato, purple carrot, peas, green beans, beets, lentils, acorn squash, and pumpkin.

At mealtimes I just pop a couple cubes in a jar and heat them up briefly in the microwave. BG loooooves food and she’s up to 4oz per meal (or more). She ate 8oz this morning! And how great is it that she had organic peaches, pears, sweet potato, purple carrot, lentils, apple, and oatmeal/prune juice ALL in ONE meal?!

Cuz guess what? If I did BLW she wouldn’t be eating a lot of that stuff. I’m tattling on myself–I don’t eat that healthy most days. And I don’t have the energy or motivation to fix myself nice meals when Mr. MLACS is away. I eat a lot of soup.

So I love love LOVE the fact that I have an easy, no-fail system to feed BG the best possible foods. I say no-fail because here’s another tidbit–BLW babies don’t know how to eat. They have to learn. So at first they only consume a little (if any) of what they are fed, whereas BG scarfs down her pureés with gusto.

Oh and that’s another thing. It’s vain. But since I feed BG from a spoon, there’s very little (if any) mess to clean up. One of my BLW buddies has lamented that she has to bathe her son after every meal, since he eats with his hands and smears it ev-ery-where.

Now I do realize that I will have to start letting BG try to feed herself in the near-ish future. I know there will be peas in places that they don’t belong. But I can see that BG has learned to eat and has developed a lust for lots of healthy foods, so when the time comes I will let her flap her little wings with confidence.

So here I stand: Pro-Pureé.

XOXO,

MLACS

MLACS Bakes {GF Apple Spice Cake}

I loooooooove to bake! And it’s fall here in the Midwest. So you will find me in my kitchen, in my slippers, pumpkin spice coffee in-hand, shirt lightly dusted with flour and splatters of batter on my pants.That’s how I roll.

I’ve been threatening to share gluten-free recipes for awhile and I’ve casually decided to start blogging about other stuff besides my bodily functions (though I’ll still blog about those–sorrynotsorry).

What’s hillarious (and SO “me”) is that today’s invention was a combination of 2 different recipes–neither one of them gluten-free. But I couldn’t find a GF recipe I liked, so I took my chances and subbed GF flour in a “regular” recipe. And it worked!

Behold: GF Apple Spice Cake with Streusel Topping

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It’s been hours since it came out of the oven yet the whole house still smells *dewishious*.

I’ll link the 2 recipes but here are my modifications:

Apple Spice Cake

1. Pamela’s GF flour (blue bag) instead of regular

2. Used coconut oil (calls for 1/3c oil)

3. Added 2tbsp flaxseed meal (to pretend it’s *healthy cake*)

4. Used coconut milk for milk (I can’t drink milk so unless Mr. MLACS is home I only have coconut milk, which seems to work–I added extra to this batter though b/c it was too dough-y at first)

Streusel Topping:

1. Pamela’s GF flour

2. Bob’s redmill GF rolled oats

3. Salted butter (organic)

Baked at 400° in a 9×9″ square pan for 30 minutes, then turned off the oven & let it sit in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Cake recipe link (it’s actually for muffins, I was just to tired/lazy to mess with muffins): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/24352/easy-apple-cinnamon-muffins/

Streusel topping recipe (it’s for pie but ignore that and scroll to the topping part): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/apple-pie-with-oat-streusel-361836

Bon appetit y’all! (you realize I never say “y’all” and this is me being a punk, yes?)

XOXO,

MLACS