Mama Stuff

Becoming a mom, surviving my first birth and PPD

Let’s take a break from fitness and talk mom stuff, shall we?

I feel like I want to start by saying that my journey into motherhood was not all puppies and rainbows. The struggle was real. And that is totally okay. Because now I think I pretty much rock mommyhood. We put so much pressure on ourselves for all of this to come naturally when often times, it just doesn’t. It is a big learning curve.

The other day I was making a pie real quick while Violet was having dinner. Piper was having none of being stuck in her high chair so I had her on one hip while the other hand was cutting the pastry dough. I was covered with flour, the kitchen was a mess, and Casey was just pulling into the driveway from work while I said a quick, thank you, Jesus, he is home! I sort of had an out of body moment where I was like, whoa. I am a mother. I am a mother and I can do so much more than I ever thought was possible. I somehow have twenty hands instead of two. I can load more into these two arms than a fucking pack mule. I can wipe up the counter, make a bottle, keep the baby from choking, make chicken nuggets (yes, I know, it happens), update our grocery list and unload the dishwasher simultaneously all to a distant chorus of mommymommymommymommommymamamoooooooom. You know that Family Guy episode? That is my life. And every so often I can step out of myself and kind of be amazed by what I can accomplish if given about 2.75 minutes.

But back to before all that. Giving birth. The aftermath. Whoever decided that you should go through the most painful and emotionally traumatic experience of your life while simultaneously exhausted because you have been up for the past 24 hours in labor, and STARVING because no one told you to eat something before going to the hospital because once you’re admitted you’re not allowed to fucking eat!? So there I was at peak emotional vulnerability when a big ass long needle I needed (well, I wanted) to be injected into my spine. Shit got real. Oh my God I was actually going to have a baby and I was so not ready for it.

The next hour or so was a blur but, spoiler alert, a baby came out. And it really was just a baby. Not my baby. It could have been anyone’s baby, to be honest. She was kinda gross and wrinkly and it was awkward. I certainly did not have an instinct to hold her and kiss her and breastfeed her. I was like, um, okay, what now? Slowly, in the hospital I kind of got used to her. She made a little newborn sneeze and I had to admit, it was pretty cute. I definitely loved her in an I-am-responsible-for-this-life kind of way. But I wasn’t in love with her. And I wasn’t sure how that made me feel. I think that for some people it takes time to fall in love. That is totally normal and okay. By month two I was head over heels and already contemplating when I could have another squishy nugget.

Everyone has different reactions and I think there is so much pressure on women and mothers in general to be a certain way, follow a certain path. I think we only talk about (or maybe we only remember) the good parts. Not the hobbling to the hospital shower the next day only to leave it looking like a murder scene. Not the middle of the night on night one, oh my God can I please just get some sleep, pleeeeeeease, but I can’t send my newborn off the the nursery because that would make me a bad parent. And my tits are about to fall off but God forbid I give her formula lest she have an IQ of 40 and never graduate high school, let alone college. Ahhh, the mommy guilt. And so it begins…

Then on week two, at home, thinking wow I haven’t even had a hint of baby blues, when BOOM, I hit a wall and I literally cannot function and I certainly cannot take care of this baby. I can’t even fathom picking her up. She needs to go back, we made a mistake, I cannot do this, I do not want to do this. In a way, I was fortunate because of my history of depression I was quick to call my OB and get on some meds. After a few days I was better. I could handle it.

Now Violet is almost 3 and my best buddy and my whole heart and we are pretty much inseparable. Even though I didn’t fall in love with her right when she came out and even though I fed her formula and even though I had several mental breakdowns in the early days.

So, we all need to give ourselves a break. You do what you gotta do to get everyone through that first year in one piece. And I swear it will be okay.


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Jello Play Dough Recipe

Jello Play Dough RecipeI stumbled across this play dough recipe and figured I would give it a try. It promised to be the best, smoothest and yummy smelling play dough. It totally is! This is my new go-to. I hate that play dough smell and  this smells so good (but not so good that it tempted my toddler to eat it… the baby on the other hand… not so much). It is also super smooth and pliable. Definitely a winner!

It’s so much more fun to make this with your little ones than to get store bought. They love to dump and mix the ingredients! Great for a rainy (or snowy) day.

Jello Play Dough


1 cup flour, plus extra for kneading
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 3-oz package of jello in color/flavor of your choice


In a medium sauce pan, stir together flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil and water until combined. Add jello and stir until combined. You may want to add food coloring (the yellow and purple were light in color so I added a drop of food coloring to make them a little more vibrant) but it definitely isn’t necessary.

Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly. After about 5 minutes, the play dough will begin to come together. Continue cooking and stirring until it forms a ball and is no longer wet. Turn out onto a piece of wax paper and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Add additional flour, as needed, if the dough is too sticky. Knead flour into the dough until you have the desired consistency. Some batches I needed no extra flour and others I needed up to half a cup.

Store in air tight containers. Have fun!

Jello Play Dough Recipe


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Violet’s Nursery

This is probably my favorite room in our old house! It is definitely the one I miss the most as I have many memories of Violet’s first few months spent inside these walls.

The main things that we did renovation-wise were to put down Pergo flooring and new baseboards, replace the doors, and the window. My decorating goal was to have a room that was girly but not overtly pink, and stylish but not too babyish. 
Here is the before picture:
Additional views:

Detail shots:

I love this room so much, I am tempted to replicate it exactly in our new house but then another part of me says to try something new! I do really love the paint color, though, it is a beautiful robin’s egg/Tiffany blue.
Item Specifics:
Paint – Valspar Aqua Glow
Rug –
Dresser – Ikea with knobs from Anthropologie
Nightstand – Ikea
Glider – Monte Luca
Lamps – Ikea and Target
Bedding – Etsy Modified Dot
Crib – Babyletto
Mirror – Ikea, spray painted pink
Shelves – Ikea
Pink storage boxes – JJ Cole
Violet and Bulldog pictures – Homegoods/TJMaxx

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Wow, it has been such a long time since I have felt like I have had the time to upkeep this blog. I miss it often but I feel like I have had so much to do and so little time to share lately. However, I want to start blogging some again. We have so many changes going on in our lives and there are more to come.

First, and most importantly, the birth of our daughter, Violet, in early June 2012.

I can’t believe she is already 7 months old!

Of course, we had to have an amazing nursery for her (pictures to come in a separate post).

With Violet’s arrival it became clearer and clearer to us that we were done with the city life. Living in DC was a blast but we wanted a change. So after much deliberation we decided to relocate to Casey’s hometown of Lancaster, PA. The moving process was a whirlwind and from start to finish and we closed less than a month from listing! One of my goals is to share the final renovation pictures here.

We are currently living out of a hotel in PA until we find the home of our dreams (or perhaps another renovation project to make it the home of our dreams).

I want this blog to become a space to share things about motherhood and Violet, wonderful recipes (as soon as I get all my cooking tools out of storage and have a real kitchen), and our home buying and renovating whatever home we purchase.

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

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