First Trimester Pregnancy: What a Mind F*CK! (and a little of the second trimester)…

Excuse my language, but that’s how I can sum up first trimester pregnancies. If I’m being honest, it’s probably the whole 40 weeks of pregnancy, but especially the first trimester. I’m almost 18 weeks along (and guess what, I started a draft of this blog right after I finished by first trimester and look how great I’ve been at posting it? #MomLife #WorkLIfe #ToddlerandDoglife. 

So how did we get here? Certainly not the ‘conventional” way….just like our first child, we went the IVF route, using one of our frozen embryos. Beginning in November, I started estrogen and progesterone shots for my embryo transfer that was on December 10. For all those people who have those cute onesies that say “Proof Mom and Dad didn’t socially distance,. I  want one that says “Proof Mom and Dad did socially distance. #IVFbaby.”

I have been to every single fertility appointment and OB appointment solo. For the transfer, I had to drive down to Valley Forge for a 3 PM transfer by myself because Jason had to make sure to get Maggie from daycare (he wasn’t allowed inside anyway so I guess it wasn’t a huge deal). Anyway, we found out right before Christmas that I was, with child and while elated, that is when the worrying begins. It also didn’t stop the shots – I had to continue those until January 31 and let me tell you, getting shots nightly in the ass area is not exactly the funnest thing in the world.

Now, I will say I have been slightly less stressed with Baby Number 2 – who we affectionately call Sprout because we aren’t finding out the gender. It’s both easier and harder to be pregnant again – first with Maggie I had some bleeding early on so that freaked me out but turned out to be nothing. So far, I have not had that but I do have some high blood pressure that is being controlled by medication and they are watching that closely because I am “older” now. I definitely have more nausea and fatigue than last time though. This is perhaps due to chasing after a 2 year old while also working full time. Fortunately, I haven’t gotten sick that much, but sometimes the nausea alone is enough to cause issues. 

Sprout doesn’t seem to always like sweets which is a real bummer because I love sweets. Early on, Sprout didn’t seem to like pizza, but I had a little chat with Sprout, and let’s just say, pizza is back on the table. No one messes with pizza. With Maggie, I avoided caffeinated beverages until the third trimester when I took sips of Coke here and there and never ate a deli meat. This time? I’ve already had some Coke and have definitely heated up some lunch meats.  I’m trying to be as careful as possible, but sometimes you just got to give yourself some grace.

But, this brings me to my title. There are days I feel great – like barely pregnant and I’m like holy shit, what is wrong??? Basically, if I don’t feel nauseous, I’m worried that something is wrong. The bump is there, but the worry never quite goes away.

As for what Maggie knows? She knows “sometimes Mommy’s tummy hurts and she has to lay down.” She also saw me from time to time getting shots and would say “Mommy does shots, Daddy helps.” She even takes the meat thermometer and thinks it’s my shots. Heaven only knows what she might be telling her teachers at daycare. I have also told her there is a baby in Mommy’s tummy but I am 100 percent sure she doesn’t get that. As for Tucker, I know he knows, he just chooses to ignore the fact. 

So, we are baby stepping our way to the end of August when Sprout should make his or her arrival. If you want to send good thoughts and/or prayers, that would be greatly appreciated. And as always, I am very mindful that this announcement can trigger some feelings in those who are trying for a baby or have had miscarriages – please know that I am always here to listen and always here to share my fertility story. 

My shots during IVF and 17 weeks along!

kids Life Parenting

When Life Hands you Lemons…

Make Lemonade! Actually, that’s probably the one thing we have not done during our COVID-19 quarantine! I did bake brownies with Maggie once and that was enough fun for me.

As I mentioned in my last post, with Maggie home from daycare from mid March to mid June, I knew we had to come up with some fun ideas to keep her toddler brain occupied. While she’s not one to sit and watch anything for a long period of time on TV, she is OBSESSED with the phone and iPad and watching YouTube kids (Hello, Blippi!) and I knew that I did not want her to have too much of that.

My mom got me these two books – Play and Learn Toddler Activities Book  by Andrea Thayer and the Rainy Day Toddler Activity Book by Krissy Bonning-Gould which contain a lot of great ideas for toddlers and even older kids. I utilized those as well as many Instagram accounts for toddler ideas and sensory play. I was also fortunate that her daycare teachers sent a long a lot of fun activities.

So, I really really suck at crafts. Like, anything I make rarely turns out the way I see it in a picture. But you know what? Who cares. I was doing it with a toddler who isn’t super verbal so she couldn’t make fun of me anyway. I could tell the dog was sometimes judging me though.

I started to get crafty with my ideas and learning – we had the very hungry Caterpillar book so I cut out shapes and had her make a caterpillar. She loves the Wheels on the Bus song so we did a bus craft. Ditto for the Crayons books – we made a crayons craft. I also made my own Play-Doh (and then bought actual play-doh). All the time I was thinking to myself: WHO AM I???? WHAT HAVE I BECOME?? and then racking my brain for the next day’s activities.

Of course, I never forced her to do anything – if she didn’t want to do a craft, she didn’t have to. If she wanted to play independently (which was rare, she usually liked me right there), she could. These were just things I had to get us to nap time or bed time. For us, if Maggie’s bored, it usually leads to meltdowns…


Here are some non-crafty ideas:

  • A water table is a MUST toy for you – Why? Because you can use it INSIDE OR OUT. I pulled it out of storage in late April and let her play with it in the basement and she loved throwing her toys in there. When it got warmer, it went outside for water playtime.
  • Plastic Eggs – We pulled these out before Easter and she would do little Easter Egg hunts.
  • Walks Walks Walks. She’s only now starting to get interested in digging in the dirt, playing with rocks (UGGGHHH) but she loves being outside. The downside is she’s not really into her stroller anymore so walking her and Tucker at the same time is difficult for one person.

What are some ideas you have that have successfully kept your kid’s attention? Let me know in the comments section!

kids Life Parenting

Parenting in a Pandemic

Minus being a dog mom (which I do think trains you well for being a parent of children when you have a needy dog like I do), I’m relatively new to this whole parenting thing. I always say I’m a “new mom”, despite the fact that my daughter just turned 2 because quite frankly, everything is freaking new. 

Back in March when the world stopped turning and all our workplaces and daycares and schools shut down, I was both relieved and terrified. Relieved that we had the ability to work from home and that she was too young to process anything going on. Terrified as to how we were going to handle it all with a then 20 month old toddler (not to mention her easily excited 6 year old golden retriever brother). And of course, I was terrified about all of the unknown of COVID-19. I mean, where in the parenting guidebook is the chapter “How to parent in a Pandemic?” Is that covered under “how not to shit your pants?” 

I have learned that my little one thrives when there is a routine (as does her Mama), so I sprang into action. Back in January, I had actually taken a picture of her daycare “schedule,” because I am a helicopter Mom and having an App for Daycare just isn’t enough for this woman…nope, I had to get the schedule too. Well, I modeled our days at home after that schedule. I started to come up with themes and crafts and stories. Every night or every other night, I’d come up with activities for the next day so we weren’t flying completely blind. 

My husband and I worked to take turns parenting for the morning and afternoon unless there was crazy stuff happening at work because us just doing an hour on, an hour off was too jarring for her. I ordered lots of new toys and art supplies. We went on lots of walks. We did Zoom with my parents. And fortunately, her daycare provided 3 days a week of Zoom storytimes, music times and Shabbat that was a half hour each morning.  We did this until June 22 when her daycare reopened partially and she was able to go back. 

I make this sound so easy breezy, when in reality, here are some things that happened:
* She stopped sleeping through the night. So did the dog. 

* I felt so stressed from work, coming up with activities, parenting and dealing with the scaries of the world that I would cry frequently, worry and stress.

*Not every activity was a hit, we didn’t follow the schedule to a T (what toddler does?) and sometimes naps were not in a crib but on one of us.

 * I ended up taking the COVID leave that work offered because I got to a point where I just couldn’t do it all and not have meltdowns. Even with my husband,  let’s be honest – the bulk of childcare rests squarely on Mom’s shoulders. 

BUT because I try to be positive, here are some really awesome things that happened 

*Hello! We got extra time with her in a time of her life that goes by in a blink of an eye. 

*While there was a lot to balance, I didn’t feel rushed at home like I would normally when it’s time to go to work, daycare, dinnertime, bathtime, etc… the commute was easy and hello yoga pants uniform!* I got to see the awesome work her daycare does on a daily basis with their Zoom calls. It was so cool to see her “interact” with the programming. They were seriously lifesavers. 

*I got to see her progress on skills and was much more focused on quality time. *I got to be really creative and some of the things I found out to do were so fun!

Now that she’s back at daycare and I’m physically at work, I still struggle if we are doing the right thing, but daycare has been going above and beyond with their safety protocols. I also struggle with the fact that I could pass it on to her because of people not following protocols. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to wear a mask, socially distance and wash your hands. 

Even with things opening back up here in PA, we are still not going anywhere and and sometimes that’s really hard on the weekend because I am back to trying to come up with things to occupy a toddler’s time. Thank goodness for a mostly shady backyard and an inflatable pool and water table! I do wonder if she’s like, why aren’t I going into stores or out to eat? Yes, those places are open but we are choosing to be extra vigilant. 
In my next post, I’ll document some of the craft ideas and other things we have done and the hits and misses. For now, for those still stuck at home, give yourself GRACE. You are doing the best you can. You are MORE than enough for your little one, for your family, for friends. 


Why Am I Even Doing This??

Greetings! If you’ve stumbled upon this page, I’d like to either say thank you or I’m sorry. I used to have a blog devoted to our pup Tucker and then it evolved a bit when I had our baby girl. Then life just got too damn busy and I haven’t written for “fun” in quite some time.

Guess What? Life is Still So Freaking Busy that I’m not even sure why I’m starting this up again. I’m a working mom  of a 2 year old girl who is busy.busy.busy and an almost 7 year old golden retriever who is also busy.busy.busy. Add in a husband and a day job that involves a lot of writing and reading and well, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else.

Of course, if you are here, you probably knew a lot of that already. So…why am I doing this? Will I keep up with it?

Well, the answer of WHY is like most everyone else, the last 5 months of restrictions have been hard. I’m an introvert by nature but we also spent 4 months working from home with no childcare help. Every night I got creative and did lesson plans for the next day for our toddler to keep her busy and us sane. I really enjoyed doing it and while tiring, it also energized me in a way creatively that had been missing from my life.  It was clear that like most who do a lot of writing at their job, my creativity for things in my personal life had taken a bit of a backseat. So, I want to try this again.  This blog is honestly not going to be centered on one thing – some days you might get my thoughts on the current state of affairs, sometimes you might get mom tales, sometimes you might get recommendations on kids and dogs products, and sometimes I might try and pull out my inner philosopher/life coach musings. I just don’t know.


I also don’t know how often I’ll post. I’ve had a few days of vacation which is why I am doing it now, but when the toddler is home, there is literally nothing I do alone. NOTHING.

Also, I just want to put it out there – anything on my blog is 100 percent my thoughts and opinions. I don’t speak for anyone else but myself (I don’t even speak for my baby or my dog – they have their own thoughts).