Remember those TV ads from the ‘80s with the close-up of a greasy fried egg sizzling on the skillet, followed by the ominous “This is your brain on drugs?” Well, consider this my updated millennial PSA for all you mamas and mamas-to-be out there. But instead, imagine a close-up shot of your feet with a flip-flop on one and a work flat on the other (which one of my fellow colleagues totally did), followed by the words “This is your brain on baby.”
“Three’s a charm,” “Good things come in threes,” and “The Holy Trinity” all symbolize something I am starting to put a lot of stock in. The number three may just be my lucky number. I mean, if last “leap year” alone isn’t proof, I don’t know what is. Grant started a new job, we closed on our first house, and found out we were expecting our second child – all literally within three weeks of each other. Then, in the just the past three months, my blog baby went from my little fledgling project to being inundated with brand collab opportunities that has me in a position I never thought would come. A place where I can finally turn something I’ve been so utterly passionate about into a real business where I’m in control of my own success or failure.
Fresh off a glorious babymoon, I thought it would be fitting to do a bump update since it’s been a couple months, and I haven’t whined at you in a while 😉 J/K, this pregnancy has been fairly uneventful, other than the horrible sinus infection and lovely acne that seems to be way worse with this one – thanks girl. So here goes –
Last week I had started a draft for this blog post with a working title of “Happy Place.” Except a lot’s happened between now and then. As I laid awake after a much needed cry fest last night, the only thing I could think of was that it was time for me to “get real.” Too often we feel the pressures of putting on that happy face, even though we know well and good we are holding back tears or anxieties that eventually come to a head when we’re least expecting it. Last night was one of those times. I was preparing to give my son a bath just like any other night, but this night he insisted on having a “boo boo” that was going to hurt if he put his foot in the water. Oh dear. So for a solid five minutes (felt like 30) I tried every bribe in the book, until tears ensued and dad walked in asking buddy what’s wrong. To which I went off on a lightening speed explanation on why I’m so frustrated after trying to negotiate with a toddler for ten minutes, which results in said dad backing out of the bathroom slowly, very slowly.
I have a lot of mixed feelings on maternity wear. Not because there aren’t a ton of cool brands out there – see Fashion Mamas founder Natalie’s crowdsourced list in LAmag (I may or may not have contributed to the H&M & TopShop picks). I just have a hard time spending money on clothes that will be worn for maybe six months and then disappear in a box somewhere in the back of your closet/no-woman’s land. But on the other hand, shopping for your new-found bump is one of the short-lived perks to being pregnant. So, I made a compromise with myself: I will allow myself to shop for maternity clothes, if and only if they are affordable and fit in a way that makes me feel great about myself (cuz let’s face it – come 32 weeks in, we all need a little pick me up). Plus, there’s nothing like your best friend from college getting married to kick you into hyper-shopping mode.
So I admittedly have always had a hankering to make it to Coachella, and yet in the 7 years we lived in LA I never made the trek. To add even more salt to my wound, this year my awesome Fashion Mamas tribe is hosting their first “Mama Mirage” Coachella event, sponsored by Havaianas (cue sad face). Because I never like to wallow in my own sorrow, I figured what better way than to pay it forward to all my lovely followers. I’ve partnered with SheIn to send 2 lucky persons to Coachella – including airfare and hotel! The winners will also receive makeovers by some of hottest influencers for the entire weekend – seriously how cool is that??
In honor of The Second Shift’s #WomInspired campaign, I thought I would share my own story of empowerment and the very special professional role model I had that led me to a happier place as a woman, a mother, and a professional. The importance of women lifting each other up and serving as positive role models and mentors to those around us cannot be overstated. I was fortunate enough to work alongside Tracy Seng in my nearly five years at Los Angeles Magazine – someone who inspired my career, and has always supported those around her to follow their own path.
So it’s been a few weeks since we broke the news that we’re expecting a girl, and I thought it would be fun to share what first went through my mind when I found out. I still can’t believe that nowadays they can do a simple blood test as early as 10 weeks to reveal the gender, and a friend of mine told me that they literally just call you up and tell you what it is. Well she wasn’t lying, and when the nurse asked if I was ready to know all I kept thinking was “oh I already know it’s a boy.” Well, not so much. When I heard her say “girl” my first reaction was, “Really??” Then, I had to ask how accurate it was because I knew Grant would want to know, and she reassured me everything is pointing to a girl. So of course I got all teary-eyed as I called my mom to tell her, failing miserably at trying to keep cool swinging my 3 year old at the park. I then got so excited because I’d been devising a plan to surprise Grant with balloons and girly looking desserts when he got home from work. When he walked through the door it was that classic look all those dads on the Youtube videos have when their sneaky wives film their reactions – at first it’s shock, and then just the sweetest look of contentment. I sent a pic to Grant’s family and they all said it looked as if he were blushing 🙂
Everyone knows 2016 was a crapshoot. I don’t think I know one single person who couldn’t wait for it to be over. So as I was mulling over just how to put into words what this year meant for us, it dawned on me – 2016 was a leap year. Now try and follow me here. A leap year, in both the literal and metaphorical sense, means to correct drift. So if you think about it – all 2016 was meant to do was get us back in synch and help us find our true North. I don’t know about you, but the older I get and the more complicated life is – it only seems harder and harder to follow my internal compass. But 2016 was a year for reflecting and looking inward, whether I wanted to or not. Many of you have read my initial recap of this year that I wrote back in Sept. Well a lot, and I mean A LOT, has happened since then.
Dear Judgy Mom at the park this morning,
I can see my son just offended you, and I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that my son, who just turned three less than a month ago, and who you undoubtedly took one look at and mistakenly took him for a five year old, didn’t live up to your high standards. Because here’s the thing – he does look five. At first glance, if I were you, I too would have scoffed at his behavior – running up and pushing aside your son who had at least four years on him and who he thought was done on the swing set. And I’ve been known to tell a kid (much, much older than Garrett) to let him have his turn, but minus the incredibly rude tone saying that “my son was playing there first.” And as you sat in the only other swing (as an adult), I’m sorry I didn’t thank you profusely for reluctantly getting up to let my son swing – because we all know how put out we feel to give up something to a child.