A Mom’s Farewell

I have been a mom for to an wiggly, squiggly, adorable boy for two months.  Nathaniel, rather, Nate the Great, is the apple of our eyes and quite the handful.  With that being said I must bid adieu to the blogosphere. I have enjoyed blogging immensely, but I prefer to spend every spare moment with our son.

Who wouldn't want to spend every waking moment with this angel?

Who wouldn’t want to spend every waking moment with this angel?

I truly enjoy reading blogs.  In fact, there are several healthy living and mommy blogs that I read on a consistent basis.  There is a common thread among many of these blogs – the authors are either self-employed or stay at home mamas (lucky ladies!).  They make their own schedules and as much as I’d love this, it is not my life.  I work in academia which is filled with its own set of demands and bouts of surprises.

My blog will remain active until January so pull off any recipes you find appetizing.  Who knows, I may be back in a couple of years when life becomes more routine.  Just know that this isn’t goodbye. Although I’m no longer blogging, you can keep up with the life and times of our little family on Instagram and Twitter.  I hope to see you there.



Meet Nathaniel

It’s been 11 days since the birth of our son.  Nathaniel Walter Brown was born, a full week late (41 weeks) on October 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm.  He weighed 8.14 lbs and was 21.5 in.  He is a lovely baby boy and we are happy, tired, overwhelmed and in overall bliss.  The birth story, and it is quite a story, is coming soon.


Voting Does a Baby Good

This morning, the little fella and I walked around the corner from my job to Rock the Vote.  Funny, in my mind I thought he’d be in a Moby wrap when I made my voice heard.

My initial plan was to drive to my usual early voting spot during lunch.  Luckily, my student assistant mentioned a polling place within walking distance which brought me immense joy.  I’m at the point where baby boy is positioned on my pelvis and aching my right hip.  Walking is the only thing that makes it feel better.  I don’t know about you, but when it’s 69 degrees and sunny, my booty longs to be outdoors.

My supervisors are bugging about me being at work so my student worker accompanied me to vote.  I really do appreciate the concern but I will try very hard not to break water all over the university. I shouldn’t complain.  All of this care and concern for me will be a distant memory a few days from now.  A FEW DAYS FROM NOW!!!!

2012 will definitely be a year to remember.

Do you need a reason to vote?  Here are several:


Guess who is comfortable in the womb?  Yup, we’re four days beyond the due date and this little guy is not budging.

Oddly enough, this doesn’t bother me in the least.  It’s nice feeling those little kicks and nudges a bit longer.  Being close to mama speaks volumes.  On the other hand, Dad-to-be is on eggshells.  Not nervous, just wondering when it’s going to happen.

As a treat, Mom and Dad-to-be decided to use yesterday as a “this could be our last time as a family of two” day.  I awoke to mild contractions and opted not to go to work just in case.  When it became apparent that nothing was going to occur we left the house to enjoy the beautiful fall day.

We enjoyed an awesome breakfast (mmm, Belgian waffles), drove around the Piedmont to watch the turning of the leaves, did some last minute baby shopping and took in a movie.

This movie is hilarious – please go see it!

Only two options remain – wait or induce?  As much as we look forward to seeing this munchkin, waiting is more appealing.  I worry about bringing him into a stressful environment if we force him out.  Our mission is to make the birthing process as zen as possible.

As of Monday I was 3cm and 90% effaced.  My next appointment is in a few hours so wish me luck!

Beyond the Due Date

We’ve passed the due date.  It’s amazing how a date on the calendar can have so much impact on our lives:

  • graduations
  • weddings
  • vacations
  • birthdays

It is my hope that Baby ____ will hold out until Tuesday.  If so, he’ll share a birthday with his Godmother.  I jokingly told her that I’ll never have to buy her a birthday gift again.  She agreed.  I guess it’s unofficially settled.  However, I realize that this is his show, not mine.  So we continue to wait until the big day, uh, contraction.

10/13/12: Happy Due Date Day!

What is baby boy up to this week?

It’s hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. His skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to overlap a bit if it’s a snug fit through the birth canal during labor. This so-called “molding” is the reason your baby’s noggin may look a little conehead-ish after birth. Rest assured — it’s normal and temporary. Source

My 40 week appointment is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  Big decisions can be made based on what we discover.  We’ll find out how much Baby ___ weighs and if my amniotic fluid levels are up to par.  We’ll also be able to decide if we want to induce or let it ride until 41 weeks.

I cannot believe that this may be the last weekly pregnancy update.  I’ll keep you posted.

Feeling Squirrely

Over the past few weeks I’ve been cooking and storing food in the freezer like a mad woman.  The reason is obvious but the practice has become more trying as baby nears his due date.  I mentioned my latest activity to a friend I made in child birth class and she requested that I share a few easy dishes she could also prepare as they await the arrival of their son.  A lot of what I’ve been cooking can be achieved in one pot – crock or casserole.  These items simply store better when packaged properly in the freezer.  So far I’ve made:

Aside from the items being easy to make, they are also cooler weather winners.

First up: Fall Vegetable Stoup


Click the photo for the recipe link.

I previously posted this recipe and I encourage you to buy new potatoes and stuff this down your throat immediately.

Potato Soup: This recipe stems from sending dad-to-be to the market for new potatoes and he returned with, Russet potatoes.  Really, sir?


Crock pot potato soup

The above photo was taken mid-preparation.


  • 6 large/9 medium baking potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 quart veggie broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • garlic salt, cayenne pepper and Tony Chachere to taste – I eyeball it.
  • 1 cup unflavored almond milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar vegan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 8 slices of veggie bacon or top with Bacos  – did you know that they are vegetarian?
  • cheese, for sprinkling


  • Combine first seven ingredients in a large crockpot; cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours (potato should be tender).
  • Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soupy is slightly thickened. Stir in cream, cheese and chives.
  • Top with sour cream (if used), sprinkle with bacon and more cheese.


Last but not least – lasagna.


Click the photo for this “meaty” vegetarian lasagna recipe.

I’ve made this before but it’s good enough to make at least once a month.  Plus, cutting it into squares and individually wrapping the dish makes for an easy through in the oven meal without much thought.

Other items I recommend moms-to-be purchase are:

  1. Boxes of cornbread mix – this is a great side for soups and easy cornbread quiche.
  2. Frozen veggies – this is my go-to for a quick soup, topping for baked potatoes or cornbread quiche.
  3. Amy’s Frozen meals.  I especially love her low sodium bowls.
  4. Frozen pizza and tube crescent dough.  These are great for pizzas, egg bakes and more. Don’t forget the pizza sauce.

What are your favorite cook-ahead or slow cooker meals?

Hump Day Humor

Here’s  a little something for the ladies…


Over the past few months this blog has covered more about baby than its original intent.  The next few months will see a shift in the ‘holistic approach to life’ direction.  It is a necessity.  Not simply because I need to shed the 20 pounds of baby weight but I need to be healthy for our son.  We want to live a healthy lifestyle so Baby ___ will understand that it’s not a chore, but simply a part of life.  We want to be the standard.

The statistics are scary.  Knowing that what we do in our lives will affect our son’s health is motivation enough to get in better than pre-pregnancy shape.  My goal is to shed not just the 20lbs I gained this year, but 50.  This is a household goal as both mom and dad have the big 5-0 in sight. I hope to achieve this goal by my 38th birthday on April 23, 2013.

The following photos serve as visual motivation of strong, healthy women and a baby who shall motivate me to greatness.

My #1 motivation!

Slim and muscular compliments of a mainly vegan lifestyle.

If I had to trade physiques this would be the one. Muscular but still feminine – gorgeous!

How is this even possible?

Jilly from Philly – confident and beautiful at any size.

She always looks happy and healthy despite the number on the scale. A true body image winner.

Ms. Ali – a true inspiration for all women and mothers.

The next year, month, week will be an adventure as I transition into motherhood. The journey to drop 50 will be a challenge but one I’m sure I can handle.  Won’t you join me in my goal to a healthy for Baby _____?

Who are your healthy lifestyle motivators?

One Week Left

Can you believe it?  I definitely cannot.  The past (almost) 10 months have been a whirlwind of  changes.  I did a vegan challenge and became so healthy that we made a baby.  I achieved my dream of moving from K-12 to the collegiate level of education.  That in addition to other changes has made 2012 quite dynamic.

With one week left the Braxton Hicks have substantially increased but the pain isn’t bad.  At this week’s appointment my midwife informed me that I progressed to 2cm dilated and 80% effaced.  If that is the effect of Braxton Hicks as opposed to true labor – BRING IT ON!

I have decided to enjoy this last bit of pregnancy.  Ice cream – check.  Cupcakes – check.  Basically, I’m eating whatever the hell I please!  My diet will drastically change once our son is born.  I plan to stay away from as many allergy prone foods as possible during most of my nursing experience.  Plus I’m anxious to get back into better than pre-pregnancy shape. 

What’s going on at 39 weeks?  Your baby’s waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it’s likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath. Source

The nursery is complete, the car seats are installed and the hospital bags are packed.  All that’s left is the arrival of our beautiful baby boy. 

Mamas: What is the one thing you wish you took to the hospital that you forgot at home?

An Open Letter to Family/Friends

Dear ______,

We love you.  Please remember that when we’re not able to answer or return your calls immediately in the future.

We love you.  Please remember that when we ask for family bonding time before visiting when we return home from the hospital.  We promise that you can see our bundle of joy soon – just not yet.

We love you.  Please don’t be offended when we ask that you wash your hands before holding our pumpkin.

We love you.  Please remember that when we forget your birthdays, anniversary, or any other significant day in your life over the next few months.

We love you.  Please remember that should we snap or act a little snarky from lack of sleep when you ask us something as simple as the weather.  We don’t mean it – we’re just adjusting.

We love you.  Please do not be offended if our hair is disheveled, clothes wrinkled, or there are a ton of dishes in the sink when you visit.  You know that we usually clean up when you visit.

We love you.  Please bring us meals, diapers and adult conversation when time permits.

We love you.  Please stop by to enjoy movie nights and not freak out when I expose a boob.

We love you.  Feel free to swing by for a mere 15 minutes so I can take a shower when dad returns to work after paternity leave.

In the midst of our fourth trimester, remember that we love you and appreciate all that you’ve done during the pregnancy and all you plan to do in the future.  Our son is so fortunate to have you in his life.

We Love You!