Pregnant woman with hand on stomach

Baby Stuff // 13

I can’t believe I’m about to say this but we are officially halfway through this pregnancy, dudes! Time is fuh-lying, despite how much this little nugget is giving me a…

Pregnant woman with hand on stomach

I can’t believe I’m about to say this but we are officially halfway through this pregnancy, dudes! Time is fuh-lying, despite how much this little nugget is giving me a run for my money. And speaking of which, who’s up for a little overshare of a pregnancy update? Remember when I used to do Baby Stuff updates with Henry? We left off with him at #12 so I just decided to pick it up at #13, even though this is baby number two. I’m in a chatty mood today so let’s go.

WEEK 20.

EATING allllll of the carbs. And the fruit. But definitely not meat. Uggggh.

DRINKING La Croix like my life depends upon it. And obviously plain water too. But seriously why didn’t I think of La Croix with my last pregnancy?! It’s saving me from mind-numbing boredom when it comes to my beverage selection. Although I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I’ve craved a beer every. single. day. of this pregnancy. Corona Light, please.

READING absolutely nothing about babies! Suck it, baby books! This ain’t my first rodeo.

WANTING just for one day to feel perfectly well. This adorable child has been giving me persistent nausea since day one. Like, all day. With Henry it went away at about 14 weeks and here we are at week 20, still woozy. It’s admittedly waaaaaay better (I was on anti-nausea meds for a while and have been able to stop them completely), but there are still times of day when I just need to lay down for a sec.

SLEEPING is starting to get challenging. I forgot this about last time but for some reason when I go to bed my nose plugs. So there’s a lot of mouth breathing going on. Super sexy, right?

WEARING dresses and only dresses and more dresses please. Maternity pants are a JOKE.

FEELING like I have NO EARTHLY IDEA how we’re going to manage two kids and two jobs. Ryan keeps saying, “I know it’ll work.” And every time he says that about something he’s right. But he’s a little more laid back than I am. I like to have a plan and there is no way to know what to even plan for right now!

LOVING the kicks. Ah, the kicks make it all worth it. This little nugget is like Henry; he liked to kick me around in the morning before I got out of bed. I had forgotten until the other day I was waking up and feeling these little flicks in my tummy. It was like the kiddo was saying good morning.

Hole in Living Room Floor

Married Life // Under Construction

How’s that for a glamorous photo? I decided it’s one of those “keep-it-real” days around here. This is an actual picture of an actual hole in our actual living room….

Hole in Living Room Floor

How’s that for a glamorous photo? I decided it’s one of those “keep-it-real” days around here. This is an actual picture of an actual hole in our actual living room.

Before we started this renovation on our house, my dad made an offhand comment to me one day about how we should be ready because construction has broken up more than a few marriages. I nodded seriously at him and giggled inside because sometimes my dad cracks me up with his sage advice. But truth be told, now that we’re in the midst of this whole shebang I can absolutely see how a marriage is tested by sledgehammers and cement mixers. It’s chaos. And sometimes the physical chaos starts feeling like mental chaos and you both just start to snap.

Right now, there’s a hole in the middle of our living room where our fireplace used to be. A giant, 6-foot-by-5-foot hole. Just hanging out. And in the three adjoining rooms, there’s a layer of dust on everything that meets the eye. So here we are, trying to go about our lives and work and entertain a toddler but not let him fall in the hole or lick the dust or anything else life threatening. And meanwhile, we’re deciding how best to plug the hole temporarily and what kind of cabinet exactly is going to go there eventually, and should it be a cabinet or closet? And what really is the difference? And will two extra feet in this room really matter? OH MAN. It gets intense.

And to top it all off, I’m pregnant now and for some reason we always end up doing these major life-changing things (like moving to a new town or a complete home remodel) while I’m with child. Because we just really like to live on the edge. All of this is to say that yes renovations can absolutely challenge a relationship. We had a little taste of it when we moved into the house a couple of years back, but this is next level.

So how do you deal? We’re figuring that one out as we go along. I think mostly you just fight tooth and nail to remember that you’re on the same team. Because as soon as one person gets a little tone in their voice, the other one gets defensive, and then all of a sudden the new dining room is a war zone. So maybe we have differing opinions about whether we need obscured glass or clear glass in the new bathroom windows, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. We’re trying to keep our heads from spinning with all of these teeny tiny decisions, and lean on each other instead of pitting ourselves against each other with differences of opinion. It’s really easy to dig your feet in and try to stand your ground, but really nobody wins at the end of that situation.

Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that some old closet doors are now covering the hole so we can’t fall in. At least we got that one figured out. 😉 xoxo

Judgy Parents

Adventures in Parenthood // Passing Judgement

When we were new parents, people would ask us all the time what we were learning or what our major takeaways were. I always had a couple. First, I had…

Judgy Parents

When we were new parents, people would ask us all the time what we were learning or what our major takeaways were. I always had a couple. First, I had no idea you could love something so much. And second, it was my personal mission to never judge another parent for their choices in parenting, because this shiz is hard.

Henry is a vocal dude. He’s happy. He’s a little boisterous. Lately when we’re out at restaurants he gets excited and lets out these little yelps. Obviously we are trying to teach him that yelling at the table or in a restaurant is not cool. (And truthfully, it’s not even that loud.) But what do you do in the immediate? There’s no stopping a baby who’s so happy he has to crow. So every time it happens, you teach. Sometimes we look around and see other parents (most often grandparents) smiling like they know the drill and kindly excusing our loud kid. Other times I catch the eye of somebody who clearly doesn’t think we’re disciplining well, or who thinks that perhaps this fine establishment of In ‘N Out isn’t the proper venue for a loud baby. And every time I see those looks, I just cringe. Partly because I’m a people pleaser and hate making other people upset. And partly because I think the children and families in our communities would be so much better off if people would just stop judging.

Then there’s what I like to call “milestone judgement.” This sounds something like, “Oh, wow… He’s not walking yet? Isn’t he 11 months old? Oh, don’t worry — I’m sure he’ll get it…” Or, “How funny! MY baby was saying full sentences at one year!” Or, “So you’re going to switch him to cow’s milk, right?” See where we’re going with this? And I always wonder about those milestone judgers out there: Does it make them feel better? When the passive aggressive judgement is flying, is it because they’re trying to feel more confident about their own parenting choices or their child’s milestones? Because I’m not entirely positive what other reason there might be to get all judgy on a fellow parent. When you get down to it, this gig is hard enough without having the pressure of judgement from other parents, when really all anybody wants is to do the best thing for their babies.

I confess: I’ve been guilty of it too. Perhaps not vocally, but I’ve definitely passed judgement in my head before even realizing what I was doing. But I do try to fight it with everything I’ve got. Because there’s no way to know the full story. Maybe that mom at the park who’s on her phone has been home with the kid all week and just needs two seconds to decompress. Or maybe that dad is spanking his child because it’s the only discipline that gets any traction. It’s impossible to know every nuance of a family dynamic. And what’s more, when you’re in the trenches of parenthood, sometimes you just have to do your best to survive.

Tell the truth – have you caught yourself judging? Or if you’re a parent, have there been certain times when you’ve felt judged? xoxo

Toddler

Adventures in Parenthood // I Have a Toddler

Oh, my heart. A few weeks ago Henry took his first steps. We had been working on it with him, helping him go from crawling to walking holding both hands…

Toddler

Oh, my heart. A few weeks ago Henry took his first steps. We had been working on it with him, helping him go from crawling to walking holding both hands to walking holding one hand and finally we were playing in the living room one night and Ryan said “Walk to Mommy!” And he just… did. And my heart twisted in a new way that I haven’t felt yet because my baby is now a toddler.

How do these days pass? Days and then weeks and then months and milestones and years? I have never wished one moment away, even the ones in the middle of the night where your legs give out because you fell asleep standing up trying to shush the kid to sleep. Not even the ones where you’re covered in puke for the third time that week. Or the ones where the kid doesn’t even want you because he’s into Dad that week. But despite not wishing those moments away, they fly just as quickly as the happy moments and they fall away and every day the baby marches farther away from being a baby and closer to being a kid/teenager/adult.

I remember the first few weeks of having Hanky home — I was a postpartum mess. I would look at him and feel these scary waves of love that I couldn’t control and didn’t know how to deal with and the only way they could make it out of me was to cry like an idiot. So there were some tears. And then after a few weeks I could feel the fog lifting and I felt more like myself. But it wasn’t like the love subsided; it was more like I learned how to manage it. Like learning how to surf. You’re never gonna turn the wave the way you want it so you just ride it out and enjoy. And now that he’s older, every time he hits a milestone or learns something new or looks at me and touches my face, I feel those same waves and just try to ride it out.

I imagined him taking his first steps a dozen times. But never once did I imagine how I would feel about it. Turns out, the overwhelming feeling was pride. Pride?! Never would have guessed. But here’s this tiny person, and I was the first one in the world to touch him, and he’s ours, and we watched him learn to breathe and eat and drink, and now he’s figured out how to put one foot in front of the other. And I was just so proud of him that he was brave enough to try and fall and try again.

And now? Now we have a kid who runs around and tears apart our cabinets and looks at us with total unbridled joy that he found the bag of tortilla chips. Mom!!! Look at these chiiiips!!! At least, that’s what I imagine he’s saying. So we clean it up and make another mess and learn another thing or two every day. And I have a toddler. xoxo

Fighting in Marriage

Married Life // Fighting

I just asked Ryan what the next Married Life post should be about and without even a split-second hesitation, he said, “FIGHTING.” We may or may not have had a…

Fighting in Marriage

I just asked Ryan what the next Married Life post should be about and without even a split-second hesitation, he said, “FIGHTING.” We may or may not have had a doozy yesterday. We were shooting some video content for the blog and we had differing creative ideas and all of a sudden we found ourselves in the midst of a flared-nostril, crossed-arm staring contest and we had both dug in our heels so hard I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen next. I have what you might call a bit of a stubborn streak. And a temper to beat the band. I just don’t usually show it to anybody but Ryan. Lucky fellow.

So I’m sure you’re dying to know what happened next. I made a joke to try to diffuse the situation, which made him madder, which made me re-mad, so I stormed out and went and flung myself on our bed and scrolled through Instagram until my blood stopped boiling. (No joke.) After that I came back in and said I was sorry for the mean things I said, and he said nothing back, which made me mad AGAIN, and then he backpedaled and apologized too and the rest of the day was a kind of bumpy dance where we both were mad but didn’t want to be mad so we just kind of made it through the day. By evening we were making fun of ourselves for being idiots because neither of us could really pinpoint how the fight actually started.

Sometimes I feel like a jerk because if Ryan and I never wanted to fight, we wouldn’t have to. Fundamentally, we have nothing wrong (which I know is a major blessing). We’re on the same page about kids, money, work, family, religion, all that major stuff. When we fight, it’s about completely dumb stuff. Like whether the camera should be at this angle or that angle. Or who has to pick the lunch place this time. If that’s not first world problems I don’t know what is. But despite all that, I maintain that occasional fighting can be healthy for a relationship. Because usually it’s not about the thing that’s actually happening, it’s about what’s underneath, right? If I had to guess, our fight over “creative differences” actually had to do more with me thinking he might not like my ideas or that maybe I’m a total hack and have no good creative ideas to begin with. Or with him thinking that he always just tries to help and I don’t let him help. Or the fact that we both really love to be right, to a fault. Or something similarly deep and uncomfortable to talk about because they’re more serious issues. So really, if you can be honest with yourself and search for what’s way down deep underneath the anger, a fight can be an opportunity to be better as a person and as a couple. (That is, if you can stop the steam from coming out of your ears for long enough to see what’s really going on. Which is not my strong point.)

Do you fight with your partner? What are your hot-button issues? I’m not talking pet-peeve type of stuff, I’m talking about what really gets you into a war zone. How do you get out of a fight once you’re in it? xoxo

P.S. More talk about our marriage!

behindthescenes

Behind the Scenes // Photo Outtakes

This post has been DYING to happen for years, y’all. And Mr. Lovely officially gave me the go-ahead, so I’m pretty excited (for lack of a better word?) to share…

behindthescenes

This post has been DYING to happen for years, y’all. And Mr. Lovely officially gave me the go-ahead, so I’m pretty excited (for lack of a better word?) to share with you some of the best behind the scenes photos you’re gonna see, possibly ever. Because we work side by side day in and day out, we often help each other out with projects. I’m still a one-woman team at Lovely Indeed for the most part, which means we usually take all our own photos. Of the two of us, I’m a better photographer, so usually I’ll put the camera on the right settings and set a shot, then Ryan will hop behind the camera and actually take photos of my or my hands or whatever. But while I’m setting the shot, I need a subject, so Ryan stands in… Do you see where I’m going with this? I have the most magnificent collection of terrible, hilarious photos of my husband waiting for me to test shoot and I’m sorry but they are just begging to be shared. Let’s just get right to it, shall we? I took the liberty of pairing Ryan’s test shot alongside the final shot, just for funsies.

Sometimes, they’re not so bad, right?

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And then sometimes they just kind of look like bad cellphone photos.

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Sometimes he realllllllly doesn’t want to be doing whatever it is that we’re doing.

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And then sometimes he really gets into it.

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behindthescenes9

behindthescenes1

Behind the Scenes

I am sitting here dying laughing while I write this post! Come on, if you’re a blogger with a husband you KNOW you have similar photos. Or if not, hopefully you’ve had a laugh at my husband’s expense today. Don’t worry, he can take it. xoxo

Married Life

Top Five // Married Life

It’s time to play the greatest hits game! In honor of Lovely Indeed’s 5th birthday, I thought it would be a blast to go back and recap our Top Five…

Married Life

It’s time to play the greatest hits game! In honor of Lovely Indeed’s 5th birthday, I thought it would be a blast to go back and recap our Top Five posts in a few different categories. Up today, we’re sharing our top five Married Life posts. As it turns out, you guys loooove to talk about boys. Married, dating, single, it doesn’t matter. I just love hearing from you in the comment sections of these posts because you’re all so thoughtful (and totally hilarious). If you missed any of these, check them out and don’t forget to scroll through the comments for some extra juicy stuff. xoxo

Married Life // The Pet Peeves
Married Life // Honey I’m Home
Married Life // Kids
Married Life // Traveling Together
Married Life // Goals

Marriage Tips Year Four

Married Life // Tips for Year Four

This is one of my favorite annual posts! Each year around our anniversary Ryan and I put our heads together and talk about the stuff we learned that year. Some…

Marriage Tips Year Four

This is one of my favorite annual posts! Each year around our anniversary Ryan and I put our heads together and talk about the stuff we learned that year. Some of it is stupid and small and some of it is big and has shaped the way our marriage looks. But all of it is awesome. (See links to years 1-3 down below!) This year had some major stuff going on for us — we tackled pretty much every major change you can think of, from moving to babies to jobs and more. But looking back, I also feel like we’ve grown this year more than ever before, and I feel like a different person than I was a year ago. In a great way. So if you’re into that kind of thing, read on for our biggest tips and takeaways on year four of marriage.

Don’t Push a Big Decision. In our last year of marriage, we’ve moved houses, cities, and had a baby. No small stuff. Just big stuff. And each of those big things seemed like they would be a gut-wrenching decision, but they weren’t. Somehow, when the time was right to make a big decision, we just knew it. It felt right. And I think it’s because we didn’t push on trying to make up our minds about a big thing before it was time. One day, we just looked at each other and said, “You ready to move?” “Yup.” I think if, as a pair, you allow life to take its course, it’ll be a lot less stressful when the time comes to make a life change.

Live and Let Live. Now that we’re settling into marriage, we’re finding that it’s imperative to let each other be as we are. Here’s an example. I like to get up at 5:30 and go to the gym so that I can start my day all revved up. Ryan likes to sleep until about 7:30 (which, in parent time, might as well be afternoon). At first I would get so frustrated because that meant that I would be on morning baby duty and have to get my work day started. So he tried to get up earlier, but it was a dismal failure. He’s just not a morning person. His evening game is strong, and mine is not. So I’ve learned to honor the fact that he needs a couple of extra hours of sleep in the morning to be his best self. And when he wakes up, he’s ready to go. I could bang my head against a wall trying to get him up at 6 am but none of us would be better for it.

It Takes Two. Especially — especially — where parenting is concerned. Do not make the mistake of trying to take on the world by yourself. If you have a partner, for crying out loud depend on each other. And be dependable in return.

Know Your Strengths. Truth bomb: Ryan sucks at cleaning the kitchen. When he tries, he leaves a trail of smeared countertops and half cleaned dishes in his wake. But also, I totally suck at stuff like emptying the diaper pail. (Somehow I bust the bag open every time.) So he empties the diaper pail and I clean the kitchen. You’ve gotta know your strengths and play to them. Give in to it, or it’ll be years of trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

Be Love. Once you’re a few years in and the honeymoon is over and you’re down in the trenches of marriage with broken garbage disposals and crying babies, it’s not uncommon for 5 pm to roll around and suddenly you realize you’ve barely even looked at your spouse. Ryan and I have never been into grand sweeping gestures of romance, but what we are into are the tiny things, day in and day out, that all weave together to make a wonderful relationship. Instead of trying to be romantic, try to be love. Infuse love into everything that you do for each other and with each other; it takes no more time to perform an act out of love than it does to perform it out of habit or grudgingly. Each thing I do around the house, I do it knowing in my heart that it’s for the betterment of my husband (and my son) and our life together. And I swear you can feel that in a marriage.

So that’s year four, gang. Do any of these ring true with you? In my mind, it doesn’t just apply to spouses, either — I think all of these can apply to marriages, friendships, and everything in between. If you have any of your own tips or thoughts that you keep close to your heart, share ’em in the comments! I’d love to know. xoxo

P.S. Year One. Year Two. Year Three.

 

Wedding First Dance

Anniversary

Four years, three cities, two coasts, one baby, and about twenty gazillion perfect memories. I feel infinitely older than I did four years ago today when I married this guy,…

Wedding First Dance

Four years, three cities, two coasts, one baby, and about twenty gazillion perfect memories. I feel infinitely older than I did four years ago today when I married this guy, but also infinitely better for being his wife. I have no idea how we got so lucky, honey.

We’re off on our annual anniversary trip — in Tulum, finally! And this year we get to spend it with little dude. Follow along over on Instagram for lots of #lovelyindeedtravels photos, and come back next week because I’ve got a whole mess of good stuff lined up while we’re away! xoxo

Married Life // Making Friends

Married Life // Making Friends

It’s so easy to make friends when you’re little. Right? I mean, you just go up to the closest foursquare court on the playground and ask to play next. Then…

Married Life // Making Friends

It’s so easy to make friends when you’re little. Right? I mean, you just go up to the closest foursquare court on the playground and ask to play next. Then you grow up a little more and in college you’re tossed in with everybody else in your major and you have a built-in social group. But what about after school is over and you get married and you’re in the real world? How do you find friends?

Mr. Lovely and I are pals. I mean, best buddies. And it’s so amazing to be married to your best friend and get to be friends and be in love. Really, it’s insanely wonderful. We come as a pair and love to spend time together. But also, I think it’s healthy for the two people in a relationship to have outside activities and especially outside friends. I think we all need a network of support that should extend beyond our significant others, yeah?

Our situation is a little weird, in that we’ve tackled two major moves during our marriage, from NYC to LA and now to Central California. And each time, we left behind a group of friends that we were incredibly sad to part with. So now we’ve got plenty of friends, but they just happen to be scattered all over the United States. And in our new town, we’re finding that as a married couple with a little dude it’s not as easy to find pals as it was when we were young and footloose and fancy free. Also, I think that the older you get, the fewer people there are in your age demographic who are open to new friendships. Lots of people our age who live in town are kind of set for friends, they have a routine, and there’s just not a lot of room for adding more to the mix. Which I totally understand. So where the heck do you make friends?!

We’ve literally started hitting on people to be our friends while we’re out in the world. No joke, we spotted a couple in our favorite taqueria with a baby who looked similar in age to Henry, and we walked right up and asked if they ever wanted to hang out. Now they’re some of our good buddies. But putting yourself out there like that can be intimidating and tiring, and it’s easy to just fall back into the insular routine of hanging out with your spouse or partner because it’s the path of least resistance.

Nevertheless, we’re always striving to meet new people; not just to have things to do, but because people are awesome. Every time I meet someone new I am grateful to have another person and point of view to broaden my world a little bit. So I’d love to know your take on this one! Have you experienced the same thing? Where do you meet new friends as a grownup? xoxo

Mom and Baby Pink Wall

Adventures in Parenthood // Getting Sick

Everybody right this second please knock on a million pieces of wood for me, because I’m about to say something dicey. Up to now, Henry hasn’t really ever been sick….

Mom and Baby Pink Wall

Everybody right this second please knock on a million pieces of wood for me, because I’m about to say something dicey. Up to now, Henry hasn’t really ever been sick. Knockonwood. He had some tummy troubles with dairy but that was more an intolerance than an illness, and those days are long gone anyway. So we haven’t ever really dealt with a baby who had a fever or a cold or any of that.

What we have dealt with is trying to be a parent to said baby when we ourselves were sick. And not just any old sick, but knocking on death’s door, head over the toilet, literally can’t move a muscle sick. And that, my friends, straight up sucks.

You know how when you’re sick, all you want is your mom? At least that’s all I want. I want a cold rag on my forehead and saltines and my mom to tell me everything is going to be okay. But when you are the mom and you get knocked out, you kind of don’t have any choice but to just keep going. Cold rag and saltines be damned. I mean, it’s not like the kid is gonna say, “Oh I’m sorry you’re sick Mommy and Daddy! Don’t worry about me, I’ll just change my own diapers and feed and play with myself today.” We were pretty lucky this time — Ryan’s worst day was Monday and mine was Tuesday, so we sort of were able to tag team. But even so, I almost don’t even have any recollection of what actually happened on those two days. I mean, we all made it out alive (including Henry) so something must have gone right, but it’s like a black spot in my memory. Oh! And don’t even get me started about breastfeeding with the stomach flu. You haven’t lived until you’ve been trapped underneath a feeding baby and suddenly have the need to toss your cookies.

Anyway! Chalk this one up to good ol’ Chelsea keeping it real just in case any of you are thinking of becoming parents and you want some real talk. Add it to the “Things They Never Tell You” list and file it away for a rainy day! Oh, and you’ll be happy to know, we’re all much better now and Ryan and I both lost three pounds. So there, flu. xoxo