Postpartum Pampering & Bright Planet Review/Giveaway

Disclosure: I received free samples for review from Bright Planet, but all thoughts opinions shared herein are mine…all miiiiine! Also, I only review products that meet my standards for environmental/social responsibility and are relevant to Meg Acts Out.

Ever since Harper arrived 7 (!) weeks ago and Hadley is still, well, a typical 3-year-old, I’ve been tossed back into the world of “what day is this and when was my last shower?!”

At a stage such as this, it’s all too easy to forget that I’m still part of the human race – a human living in sweats with semi-permanent eye bags, but a human, nevertheless. In order  to remind myself of this simple fact from time to time, I force feed myself some simple versions of pampering with what limited time I can steal.

So, what are my postpartum pampering go-tos to feel like myself again?

1) Time to bathe *like an adult*. I don’t mean the 5 minute shower where you spend so much time pulling the shower curtain aside to check on the baby in her vibratey (totally a word) chair that you forget whether you washed your hair. I mean the “lose track of time, select pretty-smelling products (conditioner, yay!) and remember to shave” type of bathroom experience.

2) Getting out in the fresh air. Much like a golden retriever enjoys the occasional car ride, so do I love getting out these days. Mind you, I don’t want to do it daily; the effort to get everybody cleaned, clothed, and packed up isn’t a treat at all. But, whether it’s going for a ride, taking Hadley for a walk, heading to a family member’s house to hang out, or actually attempting a fun family outing, the fresh air does a body (and mind) good.

3) Drinking something that’s actually hot. I haven’t been remembering to drink as much water as a lactating woman should drink, but I’ve been making up for it with tea. I find myself turning the tea kettle on throughout the day now (which isn’t the norm) just to refill my mug of green tea again. Some days even go by where I don’t have to microwave it. That, my friends, is the sign of a good day.

I know these things seem incredibly mundane and simple. Maybe they are. But, on those days when you find yourself happily singing Daniel Tiger songs all day or not so happily run ragged, they’re a godsend.

So, when Bright Planet contacted me to see if I’d like to try a few sample sizes of their bath and body products, I literally teared up a bit. “Spa experience, table for one!” As an environmentally conscientious company, Bright Planet offers hair and skin care products that you can feel at ease using.

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Overall, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the quality of all of the products. I can totally get behind Bright Planet’s 100% natural ingredients, which are paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, petro chemical-free with no artificial fragrances or colors. Plus, the products are 100% vegan and made in the USA.

When you try out eco-friendly products, there’s a preconceived expectation that they’ll smell like…well…patchouli. If you catch my drift. But, the first thing I noticed was how calming and delicious-smelling all four items I tried were. If the scent’s right, it can be a downright spa-like experience, and these definitely were.

Here are some brief thoughts on each item:

Inspiration Sour Cherry Scrub – A gentle but effective scrub that utilizes walnut shells (rather than those now-illegal microbeads), I tried this out on my elbows, feet – any place that was looking a little rough, if you know what I mean. Not only did it work great, but the scent was absolutely wonderful. Like, “Calgon, take me away” but without being, y’know, chemical-laden Calgon. 😉 I felt totally pampered.

Orange Blossom Green Tea Facial Cleanser – Let me tell you…this was my favorite. It was mild yet effective, didn’t leave my face feeling dry OR greasy (how do they find the perfect middle ground??), and, as with all of their products, the scent was perfect. Not cloyingly sticky-sweet, definitely not “hippie.” Seriously, just right.

Inspiration Conditioner and Inspiration Shampoo – It could’ve been my “no poo” attempt awhile back or simply the changing of my hair’s pH after having kids, but my hair is like straw. Like, Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz could relate. I ALWAYS need to use a conditioner now (I wish coconut oil worked) or else my hair simply won’t detangle. So, I was apprehensive about these ones. Not all natural products work in my mess of a nest. But, they far exceeded my expectations. Plus, again, the SCENT was absolutely lovely.

In addition to the fact that Bright Planet makes legitimately incredible products, I love their social conscience. Take their latest initiative, for example. From now until the end of January, they’re partnering with KUTOA, a company dedicated to feeding children in need. With every purchase made using the campaign code HELPKIDS, they will give TWICE (once to an American child and once to a child overseas) to the KUTOA cause.

If you’re interested in trying out any of the Bright Planet products, now’s the time to do it, knowing that in doing so you can help fight malnutrition and childhood mortality worldwide.

And you can also get a chance to try a sample kit of the items I received by entering the giveaway Bright Planet has generously agreed to sponsor. Just click on the graphic below in order to head to my Meg Acts Out Facebook page and follow instructions to enter. Be sure to share how you like to pamper yourself (postpartum or not).
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Breastfeeding 2.0

For those of you who were raised in a slightly repressed setting (as was I), I give you warning: I’m talking about breasts today.

Well, not the actual breasts. Just what you do with them. Er. What they’re meant to be used for.

That’s a great start.

Anyway, so if you’re not into discussing breastfeeding, you might want to skip today. Don’t worry, though. I won’t be offended.

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For those of you who stuck around, here goes. We’re about two months into this whole “second baby” thing. In some ways, it’s been one of the hardest things ever. In other ways, it’s been easier than expected. I’ll get into that another day, but suffice it to say, breastfeeding is going smoothly.

I’m sure I just jinxed myself.

When she was first born, Harper was taken away just as Hadley was to be introduced to a few family members, measured, and all that fun stuff. I was surprised (and over-the-moon happy) that they didn’t clean her up since there are many benefits to be had by delaying baby’s first “bath.”

Another thing that went down differently than with Hadman was that they got her back to me to feed quickly. Apparently, due to his size (and sheer lung capacity), he was given a bottle in the nursery. Big no-no. I was too out-of-it to be upset and he latched immediately, so I figured that one taste of formula wasn’t a huge deal. As long as he took to the breast, I was happy.

Harper’s what we call our little bird. She’s smaller than he was (by 2 pounds), so while she’s a good-sized baby, she feels tiny by comparison. She also feeds like a bird, head darting all over, eyes closed. All the cuteness, I tell ya. And she did this from the start. Yup, she latched immediately.

I’m what you would call “lucky.” Not bragging here, just being uber grateful.

Compared to our experiences with Had, we’re not bumping into nearly as many issues. She has gas (or some such pain) once in awhile, but not the consistent, ear-piercing, heart-stopping screaming he encountered. For the most part, she’s consolable and calmable with one of the many techniques we learned on Baby #1.

And, ultimately, it seems that the one thing that helps this time around is just that. Experience. We’re much less frazzled when the little birdie starts chirping or gets too worked up to latch or has a bout of fussiness. We know that we’ll get through it because, well, we already have once before. It’s all good.

So, what are our breastfeeding goals? I’m still not a very public breastfeeder, simply out of my own hang-ups. I’ll do it in the car and might cover up in front of most family members (I don’t think she’s a fan, so I don’t do it often). I have friends who have had very public battles over their open nursing, so I’m definitely not against it. I’d actually very willingly call people out for attacking a woman’s right if I were to see it in person. But, I just choose to head to a bedroom, the car, or schedule things around feeding time, myself. Isn’t it nice to have dreams?

Otherwise, the goal is to feed our girl this way as long as she likes. For Hadley, that meant until about 18 months (having weaned for quite awhile at that point – he just wanted an evening comfort nursing at the end there). For Harp, it could mean 12 months…it could mean 24. Who knows? And, honestly, it’s so relatively easy that I don’t mind it.

Of course, pumping is a while other issue. THAT, I DO mind. Such a pain. But, I’ve started using a manual pump to store up a small stash for our eventual first date night and for when/if I head back to work.

2016 Focus

Really? It’s 2016 already? As a kid, I always envisioned having gone through the apocalypse by now. Everyone socially equal and wearing the same brown canvas sacks.

That was just me?

Anyhoo, it seems that I have a different perspective on resolutions every new year that rolls around. (Seriously. Like here and here and here…although that last one still rings true today.) This year, I have some loose goals. By “goals” I mean stuff I’m looking forward to…and working on. Being at home with a newborn and frequently at odds with a rambunctious toddler will do that to a person. We could even call it my “focus” for the year. List time!

happy new year!

WRITING

Straighten out the blog – There’s actually a bit of a list I’ve gotta work on with this one, but just know that things will continue to transition here as I’m able to chip away at it. 😉 Vague, but I know what needs to be done. Now, if only I could find the time to do it!

Search out more freelance – I was super lucky in 2015 to start picking up more paid gigs with my BFFs at Green Child, weekly blogging for Thirsties, and some other fun side work. In 2016, I’m hoping to seek out more opportunities. So, hit me up if you want to work together!

Keep writing – As you see from my relative infrequency, I took an impromptu blogging hiatus with the birth of Harper. I was still writing, but my other paid responsibilities + craziness that accompanies a new baby/high-maintenance toddler/the holidays meant that something had to give – and that was MAO. I’m hoping not only to get back at it more regularly, but offer tips in addition to the usual personal stories to offer more of a life guide for you guys.   


Social media – After straightening things out around the joint, I’d like to orient my social media use to more of a professional venue. The time suckage that is Facebook (a topic I’ve grappled with before) isn’t something I can simply give up. There are times that my online gigs deem it necessary to dapple with all forms of social media, so it’s just not plausible. However, for blogging purposes, I’d like to choose a couple of my favorite venues to engage more in the simple living/green/parenting worlds. Won’t you join me? 🙂

 

FAMILY

Trips ‘n Things – Honestly, this is what I’m looking forward to most in 2016. We went on our first “Family of Four” outing last weekend to Cooperstown. We had no goal in going aside from getting out of the house. There were a couple of bumps in the road, but Harper did awesome bundled in her Moby wrap and I returned home completely rejuvenated. I actually felt like my old self for the first time in awhile.

So, this year, I’m hoping to fit in some more activities. A jaunt on the local walking trail. Seeing some distant friends and fitting in a trip to a local-to-them museum or discovery center. Trying out a new zoo. (Hadley’s been asking to go to an aquarium, too.) Packing up the car for a drive. Finding a family-friendly hike in the Adirondacks (and maybe hitting up a cabin for a day or two). Oh, and visiting a historical site would make my year.

Yeah, I don’t expect to do all of these things by a long shot. But, if we can try to get to a few of them, I’d be a happy mama.

Cloth – We’re finally going to start cloth diapering more diligently with Harpy girl. I’ve used them periodically, but after a lengthy boil water advisory and the holidays threw us off, we’re finally ready to take the plunge. We may stick with disposables during the nighttime for the time being, but one step at a time, right?

Happiness – This is pretty much the word of the year. Any goals I set are with this in mind, ultimately. It also is my reminder to try to pump more happiness into life for those around me. With the challenges that come with all these new transitions, there’s no point in piling more stress and obligations on our shoulders even further. So, if I don’t excel or, hell, succeed at some of the things on this list…no worry. I’ll be happy for what does get achieved. Bam. Happy is as happy does.

 

LIFE

New home – Now that we’ve got another +1 in the house, it’s crystal clear that we need to get on our house hunt…pronto. We’ve been “on it” before, but Dorky Daddy and I are both dedicated to the hunt now. We’re hoping to bridge all of our needs (and some of our wants) with reality. But, if we could get a place that we can *eventually* make our own in *one of* the towns we know to be kid-friendly in *a realistic price range*, we’d be happy. Heck, we’d be over the moon.   

Simplicity – As with life in general, we’re looking to continue our goal of living a simpler existence. House hunting and *hopefully* moving will help with the “do we really NEED this?” purging. Now, about all those Christmas toys…

 

That’s what we’ve got going for 2016. How about you folks? Any resolutions? What do you think of ours? Feel free to chime in! 

Welcome, Harper Quinn!

I haven’t written in over a month, and I’m trying not to feel too guilty about that fact. Between caring for a newborn, parenting a 3-year-old, getting myself moving, writing for my other gigs, and just the general holiday season, there are lots of reasons. Oh, and I don’t need to tell you guys…I’m tired, man.

But, I didn’t want to leave our new little bundle of joy out in the cold as far as a proper introduction to the world. For being bloggers, my husband and I are pretty private (him more than me), so we need to walk a fine line between over-sharing and maintaining some anonymity for our family’s safety.

I reason that we’ve shared a bit about our firstborn, so I’d like to record our secondborn’s arrival (at least to allow me to remember better). So, today, it’s all about our girl.

Yup, girl. In case you’re not in the loop, we were stunned and ecstatic to welcome an 8 lb. 2.5 oz. girl to our family the morning of Friday, November 13th via C-section.

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We agreed that she looked like a “Harper”, but took some time to land on a middle name. “Harper” means more than just “a harpist” (although my family’s musical side spoke to the name a bit); a minstrel actually was the news bringer, record keeper, and even genealogy expert of an area, which are all loosely tied to our interests and even careers.

We ended up choosing “Quinn” (rather than a family name, which I still feel guilty about – though I LOVE what we went with). It means “wisdom” and has a Gaelic/Irish history (as do I ;-)). It’s strong and special and sweet, and we hope she is, too. So far, we hit the nail on the head.

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Considering she’s 3 weeks old, her personality is starting to show itself more everyday. She’s been a sweetie from day one, but her lungs are a lot stronger (the nurses and doctor were actually concerned about her that she couldn’t get her vocals worked up and sounded rather weak). That said, we need to listen for her little chirps, squeaks and mouth noises to make sure she eats regularly.

Not to say she’s an awesome sleeper! She’s a newborn, so naps happen, but pretty sporadically, so I’m beat. She also finds it amusing to cluster feed, which I totally give into. Again, she’s a newborn; it’s what she needs. I’m just grateful that she has taken to nursing as quickly as her brother and, so far, there are no issues. Knock on all the wood, folks!!

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What about Hadley? I’m planning on writing a separate post about this, but as far as Harper’s concerned, he loves “his baby” very much. He gently pets her head, occasionally talks to her with a super sweet voice, and remembers to always include her when he talks about our family (which is often). Otherwise, we’re experiencing lots of 3-year-old, not-getting-attention-so-let’s-get-BAD-attention behavior. I feel his pain…but we’re experiencing our own pain and frustrations in the meantime.

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As with all things, it’s a work in progress and it’s a phase…just like this sleep deprived, mama cries about commercials stage. (With a history of depression, I know it’s not PPD or even baby blues; just exhaustion and hormones.) And the good outweighs the challenges, most days.

Oh, and as far as myself? I still get twinges of pain from overdoing it, but am pretty much back to normal physically. I had totally forgotten what the post-op pain was like and the first week home was rough. I have a high pain threshold, though, and made it through.

Sneezes and coughs be damned, though. Ouch.

If you’d like to know what else we’ve been up to, make sure you stop by the Thirsties blog to see how we’re changing our holiday traditions this year, among other things. And, I do hope to be sharing more here to get some normalcy back into our lives. 😉

Contact Me

Be sure to check out my About and Writing & Collaboration pages to learn more about me before reaching out. If you’d like to collaborate or team up on some blog business, contact me directly at megactsout@gmail.com or send me a message below. I look forward to hearing from you!






A Busy Mom’s Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning is all the rage for busy families these days, and I totally get it. BFFs with meal freezing and slow cooking, meal planning helps take away the “uuuuhhhh…what’re you in the mood for?” moments that we all deal with. It also helps out the ol’ wallet. Plus, it’s better for the environment because you’re generally not wasting precious resources and food. See? Win-win-win. Wins all over the place.

Guess what, though. I generally suck at meal planning. Not sure why. Maybe I’m too loosey goosey (let’s say “free spirited”)? No, it’s not that. Probably because I’m not organized enough to stay on top of regular planning. Yeah. That’s probably it, to be honest. For some reason, the idea of sitting down to plot out an entire month (or more) of meals is just daunting. And makes me want to do, like, anything else on my to-do list instead.

But, especially with the little one coming insanely soon, we’re going to give this thing a shot.

Shoot me now.

Seriously, though, I’m going to simplify this thing as much as humanly possible. And, here’s how…

*Yes, I needed to organize it a tad better, but this is real life, folks. 😉

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Use alternatives. It’s all fine and swell when you see a list of foods that other bloggers suggest. “Oh, that sounds good. And that one. Well, that sounds like a processed nightmare, but the rest are good!” But, while I wouldn’t call 3-year-old Hadman a “picky” eater, I wouldn’t say he’ll eat…some foods. Say, the ones mommy and daddy happen to like a lot. So, while Dave and I would love to stock our freezer with chili and soups, we’ll still need to figure out an extra dinner for the little guy. Crap.

So, instead of sweating the small stuff, I’ll go with a Plan B. We can make some delicious squash soup and turkey chili for the freezer, but maybe if we’re having a salad (since, let’s face it, the Dorky Daddy can make a mean salad, and if I’m in the throes of nursing, his salad skills will be required) or quick PB&J/grilled cheese on the side (another thing he’s adept at making…I should thank his mom), we’ll hook Hadley up with that, instead. We still try new-to-him foods with him since you never know when he’ll actually decide he likes it, but I don’t push.

Plus, the kiddo is a fruit fiend. So, a PB&J with apples or strawberries on the side isn’t something I can argue with. Everyday? Yes, I’ll argue that. From time to time, though, it’s fine. And the fact that he will eat a salad? I mean…lucky.

This also applies to using alternative ingredients. So many food blogs don’t include “real food” options in their recipes. I’ve learned easy ways to substitute other ingredients, not sweating it much anymore. So, feel free to use whatchya got!

Stock up on the faves. Luckily, there ARE things that the whole family enjoys. My meatloaf muffins are always a hit. No clue why. So, I’ll double the batch to freeze and grab as needed. And when I find some organic or grassfed beef on sale, I’ll grab some extra for meatballs (meatball saaaaandwich!!!) or just to prep some burgers for the freezer. See? This stuff will also work on those nights we need to sub something in for the little no-he’s-not-picky-he’s-just-particular guy.

Figure out what your family’s favorites are, and whether you just have the components on-hand or you’ve already made and frozen them, at least *in theory* you’ll have less of those “Eh, I’m not in the mood for that” nights.

For the love of God, don’t plan a whole month. You know who can really use meal plans? Crazy busy people. You know who doesn’t have the time to write out 30+ days of meal plans? Crazy busy people.

So, take this shortcut (I’ve seen it a few places, wish I could cite where!) — plan two weeks. Just two. That’s fourteen meals. Then restart the rotation mid-month.

Every night doesn’t need to be the best meal ever. It just doesn’t. Pizza is allowed (whether you make it, get a frozen one – we prefer Paul Newman, but whatevs – or buy from your favorite local joint). Soup and sandwich is fine. If we don’t get a crapload of veggies into our systems every day, I don’t sweat it and try to aim for some healthier choices the next day.

Plus, have you SEEN some of these meal plans? Sooooo not healthy. Buy whole wheat pasta and call it a day. And rejoice on the days you have a full-blown, delicious meal. Even if it’s just one day on the weekend…every few weeks. 😉

Jot down your plan. In my case, this is helpful because it’ll help Dave and I both since he’ll be taking on a bit more responsibility as far as groceries and cooking. It also gives a visual for what you have waiting for you in your fridge rather than just assuming “there’s nothing I can make with that.” Plus, there’s less energy wasted when you stand there, dumbfounded with fridge door in hand for five minutes.

This worked great when we tried the Real Food Challenge, too. I wrote down a list of our favorites on our fridge dry erase board, particularly ones that I’d shopped for that week. *wink* I even separated them by breakfast, lunch and dinner. This time around, I may also write down a handful of recipes for the ones that are committed to my memory, just so that Dave doesn’t have a million questions and will know how much he can use of each ingredient. If I have time. We’ll see!

Are you into meal planning and/or meal freezing? Go ahead and share your tips below — we’d LOVE to hear them!

Advice

Woot woot!!! So, there are a lot (tons…a plethora…a magnitude…a shitload) of quirks to work out on the blog, but here we are. No more Blogger. While I know — er, assume — it’s for the best, I definitely miss the comfort (and relative ease of making changes) of my old space. It’ll take a little while to get things in order, so please don’t mind the mess in the meantime. Kind of like any move in real life. Heck, there may be moving boxes out for months. 😉

While I’m working on finding my blogging routine again, I thought I’d just stop by with a quick question for you guys to pick your brains. I’ve been doing so much planning at school for when the baby comes, my own brain resembles that of a fried egg lately. Ew.

So, since I either know many of you in “real life” or find that many of you at least feel like you may know me a little bit, I ask you: If you were to ask me for advice, what area in your life would it touch?

Would you ask me about natural living stuff? Would you ask about recipes? Or simplifying life? Or superheroes? Would you just ask where I got my kickass boots or coral sweater?

What I’m pretty much saying is, when you think of me, what do you think I “know”? I’ve had people say “I know you know a lot about *blah blah blah*, can you explain *dum dee dum* to me?” And sometimes I’m super surprised…then realize, “Oh, yeah. I guess I know how to do that.”

So, I’m just asking what you THINK I know (whether I do or not ;-)). Any input, whether here, on Twitter or FB, or in a hand-written note, is greatly appreciated. And, promise, I’ll be writing more regularly soon.

Summer Transitions – An Update

So, clearly I’ve hit a snag switching over to WordPress. I’m fully ready on the technical end of things but, as always, the indecisiveness regarding my blog name (kind of important) is downright crippling, and I can’t make the move until I’ve settled on one. It’s a highly personal thing that I’m sure I’m over-complicating, but it also seems to be reflecting what I can only call a “blog identity crisis.” My identity in the world. So, my husband and I continue to brainstorm (and suck at it). We greatly enjoy the writing aspect of blogging, but the marketing side? Blah. I think we’ve come up with some pretty rad band names and maybe some solid investment firm branding, but nothing identifiably “me” or bloggy. Hence, you’ll know I’ve moved over…when I move over. 😉 

While I’m agonizing over the small stuff (well, that’s a catchy if not depressing title right there), I can’t just twiddle my fingers and not write. I mean, I’m writing for Thirsties and Green Child Magazine and even an awesome Arts & Analytics group that does analytic work in arts, athletics, and entertainment…but, this is my home. And I’ve got ideas and thoughts that I just can’t wait to get on with. 

So, I thought I’d share a bit of a recap of the end of summer (all things I wanted to write about in separate posts but got inundated with life and the WordPress conundrum). We’ve been back in the swing of things as far as back-to-school goes for a couple of weeks now, so it feels like summer was SO long ago, but *technically* it’s not autumn until tomorrow. See? Maybe I AM on top of things.   



The CSA – As you may have read, we decided to try out a local CSA this summer. CSA stands for “community supported agriculture” and, in our case, was quite easy to take part in. We selected a farm that uses organic practices, paid, Dave picked up at a location relatively close to his work, and had a box of fresh veggies to work with for the week. The verdict? I’m glad that we did it, but learned that the full share was WAY too much food for our little family. Hence, we wasted WAY more food than I was comfortable with.
I just couldn’t keep up. Sure, we tried a few new-to-us recipes, but between a rather picky toddler (at least he’s a fruit eater!), varying energy levels on this pregnant mama’s part, and the sheer amount of food, a half-share would’ve been fine. Definitely a lesson for next time. Oh, and I’m also rather happy that we just did the summer share rather than the whole summer/fall share. ‘Tis the season to enjoy crisp Saturday mornings at the farmers’ market! 

Su
mmer fun (and learning) – While there were days that I felt like the laziest person on Earth (and I felt awful that Hadman wasn’t getting outside nearly as much as he should), we tried to get out a time or two each week. With the sheer heat of the season, there were times that I’d slather us both up with sunblock, grab some toys, head outside…and turn around within 10 minutes because our little guy is just as anti-humidity as his daddy. Blah. Energy depleted.

But, we made the summer count, I think. We went to Kindermusik weekly (which sounds like nothing, but the energy it took to drive the round-trip hour at the end of those hot days…again, apparently I was a tired pregnant woman this summer!) and worked on almost-daily workbooks that the little guy loved. His focus is still hit-or-miss, but by doing a “letter of the day”, a very focused coloring page (like coloring a blank shape in an otherwise colored picture), and a “same/different” book, I saw major progression from the beginning of the summer. Plus, he ALWAYS asked to do it and generally enjoyed himself. Call me a proud mama.

And, of course there was Old Forge, the beach, and Sesame Place. We felt awful that we couldn’t see our friends in Massachusetts as we’d planned, but Hadley and I both got sick, then his turned into pneumonia. By the end of the summer, we were just glad not to have to use a nebulizer and to be generally back to our own selves. I’d still like to call it a productive yet relaxing time…for the most part.

Big changes – Oh, yeah. And talk about transitions!

We struggled, succeeded, and struggled again with potty training. I’m pretty sure that I waited too long to start, so that by the time we made a concerted effort, his heels were dug rather deeply. He’ll still occasionally whine, “But I don’t HAFTA go potty!!!” and has the occasional accident, but he’s finally started feeling a sense of urgency about the thing. About two or three times a week, he’ll have an accident on the way to the potty (which he urgently runs to), but the fact that he’s not just sitting there in his pee with no regard to the wetness is a HUGE deal. So, I’d say we’re *almost* there; I’d call him mostly trained and 100% in his “big boy underwear” (actually those cloth Gerber trainers that give a bit of extra protection that feel totally like underwear). Oh, and #1 is our only problem; we’ve never had issues with him as far as #2 is concerned. I’m sure you can sleep well knowing that tidbit of information.
  
We ALSO threw at the little man a shift in his sleeping situation. Since we’re slowly-but-surely transitioning the office to ALSO house the nursery space, we finally moved my old DIY desk to the basement (it was nothing but a landing pad, I swear; I almost never sat at the thing! Works much better near our laundry area) and, eep, scooched Hadley’s crib into the office. So, I sanded, primed, painted, and reassembled an awesome hand-me-down toddler bed for the little man. Verdict? He’s done pretty damn great with it. Some days he wants two pillows, some days not, and he lets you KNOW about it. Little stuff like that. But, he knows not to leave the bed on his own (we’ve got stairs that, for a few days, we used our baby gate on…not really necessary, though), and we’ve got the added peace of mind that we’re still using the monitor with a motion sensor under his mattress, so we know if he gets up immediately.

I was melancholy, but I think Dave took it even harder. Here’s his two cents on the whole “big boy bed” change. I can’t blame him. I just wanted to try to keep the shift as positive and Hadley-centric (rather than baby-centric) as possible, regardless of my “he’s not our baby anymore!” emotions. And, as it was, the little man seemed to fully understand that he’d need to share it whenever the baby comes along, anyway. (And, as it is, we’ll probably use a cradle in our room for the first couple of months, just like we did with Hadman, so things won’t shift so dramatically, anyway.)    

Home searching 
– And, then, there was another shift. We checked out numerous (the word “crapload” comes to mind) houses throughout the summer and all were either a) too small, b) out of our price range (particularly with work that needed to be done on some), or c) just…no. I like to think that we’re not picky, but maybe it’s simply not true. Given the fact that we’re busy with a 3-year-old (and an infant shortly!), jobs and side gigs, we’re trying to be realistic about the sheer amount of energy, time, and effort we can put into a house. We’re simply not as young as we used to be, either. *hips creak*
But, seriously, we’re not one of those HGTV couples who poo-poo wallpaper or completely outdated furnishings. I even completely planned on refinishing any wood floors before moving in, should they need it, as well as painting plenty of walls and doing general updating over time. It’s expected. But, a full bathroom or kitchen gut might be difficult, even down the road, and would often put it as a price point that we simply couldn’t reach. And, we also wanted to make sure that we didn’t get a house that would juuuuuust squeeze our 3+ people and 3 cats in; we’d like to be able to spread out and grow a bit (without having too much space to take care of). Okay, maybe we are picky. 

We finally reached a point where, sure, I get daily Zillow updates and check out some new listings once in awhile, but our active search has gone dormant. No more “let’s just see what it’s like on the inside” if we’re not positive it’s for us. We’re trying to slow down a lot of our activities in preparation for the new baby (and in hopes of getting some fun time in with our “only child” while the title still fits), so the overwhelming rollercoaster emotions of “is this THE house???” have been put to rest. Yes, we’ll continue the search at some point, but for now? We’re hibernating.

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So, those are my updates, for now! I’ve also been hitting up the semi-occasional Periscope here and there (username is still “megactsout”, if anyone wants to follow along), but it definitely has me feeling the “wow, when did my childhood lisp come back?” self-consciousness. If I have something to share, though, I just go for it. *shrugs* What’s the harm? While I’m at it, I’m doing a bit of nursery hunting for some of the stuff I mentioned in 
my inspiration post — of which I’m officially leaning towards mint and coral accents. See? I still find ways to relax. 😉

How are you guys doing with your own transition from summer to fall? We’re LOVING the slightly cooler temperatures (still not “fall” enough for us, but it’s a start!) and sleeping with our windows open. Anyone else looking forward to apple picking and super comfy sweater season? (Or, in my case, over-sized maternity sweatpants.) I’m pretty excited to do some baking, personally. What about you guys?

Moving…Virtually

Nope, not moving to a new house. (We wish…although, stability is a good thing. ;-))

MegActsOut is packing its bags to make a move from Blogger to WordPress.

I’ve used WordPress on and off for other projects and while I find the dashboard (or whatever the heck they call it) to be more…juvenile-looking, I guess…it should make blog maintenance and growth easier than it has been. Plus, there are a lot of built-in features that I’m itching to play with.

So, I’m hoping to make the migration this weekend sometime. If you follow me, be sure to check back here for an updated link to the new page. Heck, I may have even finalized a brand new blog name by then and everythin’. 😉

As always, thanks SO much for reading. Hopefully, this is only the start of bigger and better things.

Nursery Inspiration

We live in this tiny little sphere of the universe called Limbo. It’s a slightly unsettled, anxious place where the daily norm is that of the unknown. After you live there awhile, you find yourself adjusting to the feelings, and actually find calm in preparing for all the various “what if” scenarios that might unfold.

In other words, still no news on the house hunting front. There are other balls being juggled, too, that we’re figuring out, but that’s one of the biggest. So, with each week blowing by, closer and closer to the baby’s arrival in November, we’re pushing forward with any and all possibilities: in this case, turning our office into an office-slash-nursery (I kid not).

I’m hoping that whatever general scheme we go with for the space will fit swimmingly into a new place, should one pop up, as well.

See? Prepare for the future, in whatever possible incarnation it may be. 😉

That said, these are the two different mood boards I whipped up to decide between. We’re fighting a losing battle with an outdated, cheap diamond-patterned brown and tan carpet (which simply isn’t worth replacing with the crappy paint splatters someone left underneath) and, well, the fact that the place is also A (not large) OFFICE. Dave may or may not allow me to replace his fur-covered black office chair. (Beardslee sleeps on it during the day…and night…and forces Dave to abandon desk when he so pleases to use the damn thing. It’s hilariously sad to view.) But, dude, Mama needs a nursing spot, so we’ll see who wins this one. Admittedly, I used our bed the first time around which wasn’t always comfortable.

We also painted the walls when we first moved in and the color is neutral enough to help sell the house…even if it is a tad pink-ish for my taste. (It’s tan…but with a fleshy undertone, if that makes sense.) The background on these boards indicates a facsimile of the color. So, nope, we’re not painting!

So, check these out and weigh in down below (comments, please)! I’m not saying which has been floating in my head far more…so your results may have me in tears. Or not. I’m not THAT hormonal. Oh, and the inspiration colors will be accent colors that will work their way in as bedding, art, and possibly a painted furniture piece or something.

I don’t want to give either a “theme” because, well, then it turns into a whole thing. Like collecting. If you say you like one thing, the flood of “I know you like owls!” gifts begin…and continue 10 years past when you gave up on the things. So, no. But you can still guess the vibe I’m going for, right?

I’m loving the golden brass lately. If you told me I’d be into it 5 years ago, I’d have smacked you…or at least raised a cynical eyebrow. But, anyhoo, mixing it with the walnut tones we already have going on (with the crib, desk, and one bookcase…we have three, sigh) and neutrals gives some glam and texture to the space. Toss that with a deep green and fuhgetaboutit.

And, speaking of texture: can you say “DIY pouf”? Because that’s all my itchy Pinterest finger can peruse. Can’t wait to hit up Goodwill to see what sweaters they have in store. Mwahaha.

As far as art, we don’t have a TON of space, and I’d like the whole room to just accept its bipolarity and enjoy the ride – so, if there’s an inspirational wall hanging, it must inspire child and office-user alike. Throw in a vintage map and it screams “Oh, the places you’ll go!” as much as it does “this is a rad office, where’s the scotch?”

Mmm. Booze. I miss booze.

Can you tell I kinda want that Target chair? I’m still searching for something with a small footprint that’s upholstered on wheels that can be used as an office chair OR a spot to comfortably nurse, so this is just a thought for now. Hoooooly crap, am I picky? But, clearly arrows are non-negotiable. And tassel garland. Which I fully plan to make. I guess I have a thing about DIY art in a kid’s room. Maybe I need some in our room while we’re at it.

Notice the fluffy white rug, too? It’d be nice to have a landing pad on the floor and soften up the place. Plus, major points for detracting from the diamond monstrosity currently enveloping the space. I truly think that a well-placed layer like this will make the carpet read more like a neutral. #fingerscrossed

In this board, I clearly am all about the mint accents. Sure, a bit of peachy coral helps, but there’s just something about mint + brass in a neutral room lately. Yum.


So, here’s what it’s your turn! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments (and maybe even a vote or two for which is your fave). As usual, all the stuff shown depends on availability and whether I find (or make) something a million times cooler, but they give you the general vibe I’m going for.

Please and thanks for any thoughts!

Oh, and nope. We’re not finding out the baby’s gender in advance. Happy picking! 😉