Friday, June 17, 2022

May 2022 Thoughts

5/9 - I am having the WORST anxiety today. Thank goodness for deodorant and the Calm app. I just wanted to stay home with kiddo today. 1 week until school is over and we go to Disneyland.

5/13 - My sister is 7 weeks postpartum and I'm glad I got her a Mother's Day / birthday gift. 

5/14 - Got in the car today and it was mega stinky. Found some horrible goo in the cup holder of LO's carseat that got smeared everywhere. Smelled like vomit. Took the carseat apart and washed the pads. It was stressful putting it back together but I think it's all right now.

Had to take the bus to LO's first swim lesson which was actually pretty fun. So it all worked out but nap schedule was upset. Had to do baby spa time this evening to moisturize after the swimming pool. We don't routinely use lotion but kiddo was reaching inside his diaper and looking very uncomfortable.

Got an extra large patio umbrella in anticipation of outdoor time this summer. Heading to Disneyland on Monday. Packing and meal prepping tomorrow. Feeling optimistic about the end of the semester. Booked a spa day for DH and myself on LO's last day of daycare for the semester.

Selling on the consignment sale this time instead of buying. Want to reorganize a bit and declutter. With LO getting taller and using a chair to climb up higher, there are fewer and fewer safe places for junk to pile up.

5/18 - Our trip to Disneyland went awesome. If you want to read more, I wrote a detailed debrief here: http://bikecar101.blogspot.com/2022/05/metrolink-to-disneyland.html Kiddo was so good on the trains and buses. Now I feel more confident in planning for our 4 hour plane trip in July.

5/19 - Sometimes I feel like I spend my whole life refilling things.

5/21 - Sold some stuff at the consignment sale instead of buying. Volunteered to check and bag orders. It was humbling. Bagging was such hard work. Close quarters. Lonely. Heavy lifting. Sitting on the dirty floor. Bending over a low table. Honestly I have so much more respect for how it all works. My sales were $15 higher by doing a 3 hour volunteer shift. I sold 15 items for a take-home of $208. We have more room in our garage by getting rid of stuff. 

Now I have to list and move the remaining items that didn't sell via Buy Nothing. I am so grateful to the volunteers who have sorted and bagged my previous orders. I've shopped 8 consignment sales virtually. Before that it was pre-pandemic and I was still pregnant. On one hand it's amazing how we've all adapted to survive quarantine. But on the other hand, we missed out on so much.

LO had his 2nd swim lesson which he cried through the entire 30 minutes. But when I asked if he was ready to get dunked, he would say "yeah." I'm so in love with his determination.

We were given the recommendation from daycare to get kiddo assessed for speech therapy. I can't help but wonder if his speech delays are anything to do with COVID isolation. I don't want to admit that we need help. As an educator, I feel like I've failed. And also I just started watching Game of Thrones and *spoiler* on Season 1 Episode 5 there is a woman breastfeeding an 8 year old. I worry that my son doesn't talk because I try so often to keep him calm and quiet by breastfeeding.

The Latched Mama podcast had a story about picky eating and they mentioned that pandemic babies don't know how to behave in a restaurant and we are no exception. Some former students took us out for Korean BBQ. Granted they wanted to start eating at 7pm (LO's bedtime) and we didn't get a babysitter because of the pandemic we don't have one. Kiddo was a mess during the meal and we had to run out at 8:30 because it was such a shitshow. Huh. Whatayagonnado? Sorry this was such a ramble. Thanks for reading.

5/23 - Milestone Monday. Cute phrases like "I did it." And "thank you." The language is getting easier to understand. 

So helpful at the grocery store. Closes open doors. Climbs in and out of carseat in minivan. 

Fetches things by name. Will deliver food to parents. Will agree to diaper changes if wet.

5/25 - Kinda sad. Had a "pinning ceremony" on Zoom today. It was so anticlimactic. But it was fitting for the end of a hard year where we transitioned back to in-person instruction mid-Spring semester. All the Deans and Vice Provost were there but I couldn't see them since I was zooming from my phone. I was breastfeeding and babywearing during the ceremony and it just felt like the extension of what we survived during WFH and the maternity leave during a pandemic. The head of faculty development brought me to tears by saying outloud that the antiracist work we are doing matters and is one way we can keep the university a safe place to learn.  

LO was running a fever but I didn't realize it because our Air Conditioner was broken and I thought he was just hot. After the AC got fixed, during the Zoom ceremony, two grown men saw me all tits out behind the camera,  I took kiddo's temp and it was 100 deg F. This caused me to be a no-show at My Gym and it was supposed to be our first class and we have 2 weeks unlimited but now the dude is sick. 

Had a solo night out at the roller rink to celebrate this anticlimactic ceremony. It was good. The CSUN Oasis Wellness Center has some suggestions to unwind at the end of the semester. One of them was "soul date" which I Googled and turned up no hits. Maybe they meant solo. But I think Rainbow night at Moonlight is definitely a soul date.

5/28 - Kiddo threw up in the carseat today. So scary. I hate when he's behind me and I can't tell if he's breathing. Canceled swim lesson. 

On the bright side, now we are home to set out items for Buy Nothing to clear out the garage. Heading to Disney California Adventure on Tuesday. Hope kiddo is feeling better by then.

Another lingering effect of COVID... We still have to make reservations for things that used to not require reservations. For example annual pass holders for the LA Zoo still have to have BOTH a ticket and a reservation. On one hand, it's a blessing because it (maybe) limits the crowds. But on the other hand, it's just one more thing mommy's gotta do to get out of the house.


Saturday, June 11, 2022

News and Reviews

Update to Month of Mama. Reviewing items now that I've had a chance to put them into action.

Velvet Disney Ears 10/10
New shoes 10/10
F4M swag 10/10
Zyia running belt 10/10
SheFit bras as swimsuits 10/10 
I also got a skirt from Five Below and two bottoms off Amazon. I also got a clip tank from SheFit. I want to see how it works and it was discounted by 50% regularly $45.
CRZ YOGA feeling naked biker shorts. 10" love them. Just ordered 2 pairs of the 8" inseam.

Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime nursing bra 10/10 and bought a second one in the color Twilight.
I do like the KB Bamboo Nursing & Maternity Tank after all. It is breathable and good to nurse in. 8/10. Because after you wash it, it's confusing to turn right-side out. And if you wash the pants more often than the top, they discolor at a different rate.
I wear KB Everyday Lounge Joggers as much as I can when they are clean. Have not really worn KB Bamboo Maternity & Postpartum Lounge Shorts but it hasn't gotten super hot yet. Maybe I just need to hang them where I can see them. 8/10

Okay so I put on the KB Eleanora Bamboo Maternity & Nursing Lounge Dress in Oatmeal Stripe today and it was not good. The sleeve length was not right. The midsection hugged all my rolls. The pockets didn't lay right. I kinda looked like a pig in a blanket even wearing Spanx underneath. I'm gonna offer it to my sister. 0/10.

Latched Mama floral nursing hoodie. 10/10 Love.
LM Blissful lounge nursing dress. 12/10. I live in this.
Printed pleated nursing dress. 10/10
LM Midi Nursing Tank Dress 10/10. Thin and breathable, comfortable for play. OMG if they were in stock I would buy a second.
OMG what could I say about each of these items? I love them so much and I love myself for buying them. It has elevated my summer wardrobe 1,000,000% and makes it simple and quick to pull a lewk together. They hide all the flaws. They keep me cool. They are perfect for discreely breastfeeding my toddler. LOL as if such a thing exists.
LM Printed V-Neck Nursing Tee 2.0 I am actually obsessed. I would live in this. Flattering. Easy to breastfeed in a carrier. Great for walking around Disneyland. I bought 2 more when they were on sale for $15 off. 

Goodr sunglasses have been a big hit with me and kiddo. The OGs are good for me and the BFGs are perfect for hubbie.

I treated our family to the Fit4Mom Gather meal plan, since it was half-price for May (regularly $17.99). It is a 30-day recipe book with a calendar, snack suggestions and shopping lists. There were some mistakes or ambiguity but I forgive that because it did give me lots of healthy snack ideas for kiddo and some new recipes that were quick, easy and yummy. Gather: A 30-Day Family Nutrition - it is worth full price. I feel like it was more toddler-friendly than Mashup Mom. We got our groceries at ALDI and it was on average $16.27 per day. But if you consider it is HEALTHY and FRESH then it's worth it.

So we have been sitting in the parking lot of the Discovery Cube for an hour because kiddo fell asleep on the way over and I didn't have the heart to wake him up. Thank goodness I filled up the gas tank. Too bad gas is so expensive. This nap is costing us $$$.

Heading to the Color Run this weekend. Hope it is super fun for all 3 of us. Debating whether to bring the stroller on the run or let kiddo walk. He is super into walking now. Got my suitcases out to pack for my Nebraska trip. I know, it's 4 weeks away, but weeks go by fast when you're looking after a toddler every day.

Also, I am obsessed with this Think tinted sunscreen, which of course is sold out.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Month of Mama part 6

Had a wonderful self-care week. CJ Grand spa on Friday and we have been doing FIT4MOM's family nutrition plan called Gather. Heading in to a week of workouts. Got a couple new swimsuits in my Amazon cart because my other suit is just NOT okay for swim lessons. The top is just not able to hold my boobs properly. I had considered wearing my SheFit bras as swimsuit tops so I think I'll just go ahead and do that.

I've had a chance to wear my purchases from Latched Mama. Love the dresses so much. Love the nursing t-shirts too. Just so soft and comfy and flattering and not causing me to overheat. Love love love.

Also have been wearing my Kindred Bravely stuff. Love the Sublime bra so much I ordered a second one. It's amazing when you upgrade your wardrobe, you really feel taken care of.

Tried out the Goodr sunglasses today. So fun doing a try-on session with the whole family. Love how the OGs fit over my glasses and as expected the BFGs fit my husband very well.

Our son's daycare sent home all of his stuff so he's officially out for the summer. I'm happy to report we were able to change our swim lesson day/time from Saturday at 1:30pm to Monday at 11:00am. This is good because the other one was during naptime which made him extra cranky.

We made hotel reservations and bought plane tickets so it seems like the summer is locked down. I did the Curly Girl method for 16 weeks and I conclude that it is awesome. It was affordable after an initial shock buying stuff that I did not really use. I could write a whole post about just that. Hope I can get a haircut someday. Maybe before school starts again in the fall.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Month of Mama part 5

This month has been busy in the best way. I'm having a TON of anxiety about the end of the academic year and a return to 24/7 time with kiddo. It's not that I don't want to be with my kid, I think it's just the stress of any transition comes with uncertainty and I put so much pressure on myself to do everything well. So grateful for Fit4Mom for providing me the scaffolding to frame my life around so that I can lean in to my community and not feel like all the programming is up to me.

F4M Mothers Day Mega Class

We had a super-fun mega class on Mother's Day weekend. There were a lot of swag items given out. Fit4Mom is planning a Fun Run this weekend instead of Strides 360. And we're doing a group trip to the Zoo on the last week of the month. The next Body Well session doesn't start until July so I will miss some of it. But I'll probably still sign-up for it anyway for the accountability. June will be a month to shape up and do a class (almost) every day.

End-Of-Year Celebration @ Daycare

It was our son's first graduation ceremony LOL. Actually just a party in his classroom with all the families of the children and then a reception with cookies outside on the patio. We got to see the toys he likes to play with. It was sad to think that he won't be seeing his friends every day. But we've planned some other activities to keep him socializing and learning.

Swim Lesson @ Water Wings

Kiddo had his first swim lesson which was awesome. What was not-so-awesome was that something fermented in our car and it smelled really bad and we localized it to the car seat so we had to take it out and take it apart and wash it and let it dry and put it back together and reinstall it in the car. Meanwhile, we had to go to a swim lesson on the bus which was totally fine, easy and fun. Kiddo really enjoyed it. It was good practice for our Disney trip and it gave me confidence to see how easy it was.

F4M Gather Meal Plan Week 1

I was totally on the Mashup Mom ALDI meal plan until kiddo started getting older and pickier. The Fit4Mom Gather meal plan was written by a mom of a 3-year old so the recipes are more little kid friendly. So far, the rainbow of foods has been really good, everything has been quick to prepare and tastes great. We took these 4-oz food portioning containers down to Disneyland and they were absolutely perfect for having grab-and-go healthy snacks throughout the day.

Train and Bus Adventure @ Disneyland

We had the most fun at Disneyland. As I told my mom, you're parenting no matter where you are. So whether you are stuck at home driving each other crazy or out there in the world trying to stay sane, it's all a day in the life of being a mom. Here are just a few of the many faces of Albert at Disneyland. He loved running free. Simple things like stealing my sunglasses and spotting Mickey mouse brought a big smile to his face. He loved Tom Sawyer's Island the most and had a very hard time leaving it. I had so many moments throughout the day where I thought, "this is what childhood is all about" just kids being kids and a whole huge park centered around imagination.

Coming soon: JUNE 11, 2022

Our next big adventure and pretty much the only thing I have on the calendar for June so far is going to be a fun run down in Carson near CSU Dominguez Hills. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Month of Mama part 4

I looked outside my door this week and what did I see? The missing package was out there looking at me!

I'm pumped because I thought this package was lost forever and these items have been unwrapped, unpacked and they were in the wash this morning which means I can try them on either today when I get home or over the weekend, whatever. If it doesn't fit, it must acquit, I mean send it to my sister.

I also got on the clickety-clacks and started placing orders for other stuff I wanted. These are items that have been on my wish / worry list for a long time. There are materials to make more fairy jars. There are items that will support my new summer meal plan. There are items that will support my fitness / travel and Disneyland trip. There are some items for "fun at home" because my son is obsessed with vehicles at the moment and he loves these two monster books. Finally, mom needs her vitamins so I'm restocking my supply.

I was kinda on the fence about getting a new fitbit but then I looked into the data and saw that the one I currently have is 3 years, 8 months and 21 days old and that's like FOREVER in technology years. So yeah, it's OK to replace. 

We have lots of ideas for stuff to do:

  • Fit4Mom (obviously)
  • Discovery Cube Thursday – Sunday from 10AM – 5PM
  • Disneyland - Monday, May 16, California Adventure - Tuesday, May 31st
  • Totally Toddlers Art & Sensory Studio - Mondays 4pm (open studio), Monday 10am & Friday 10am (toddler playgroups)
  • Water Wings Swim School - Saturdays 1:30pm
  • My Gym - Mondays at 4:20pm & Tuesdays @ 5:30pm (open gym) and the 1.5 - 2.5 year old specific classes run $129.00 every 4 weeks and have a variety of days / times
I'm also planning for our trip to Nebraska in July. It's always nice to bring gifts and I thought these crazy sunglasses would be perfect. I will bring them all and then let people pick which one(s) they want to keep. Mainly my sisters. And maybe my brother-in-laws.

I ordered these just a bit too late for Mother's Day. I got the idea from my mother-in-law. She always has these fun visors, which are great for being outdoors in the heat. They preserve your hairstyle pretty well. I got the red one to wear with my minnie mouse ears on our Disneyland trip but I'm guessing they will also be good for workouts and coordinating with my ridiculous sunglasses.

I'm so ready for FUN IN THE SUN and you can't take that away from me. SUMMER IS HERE!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Bike Month 2022

We took kiddo to a couple of group rides: a Walk Bike Glendale event on Apr 3 and then 626 Golden Streets on May 1. Before I forget I wanted to list everything we brought so I can remember what we did and did not use.


Sunscreen 100%
We had a stick and a cream and a spray and we used them all. And nobody got burned. And I put kiddo in long sleeves. And I wore arm bands. And we wore gloves. I think all these things helped.

Diaper bag
100% necessary. I don't know what it is about the bike or if my kid just poops on schedule, but both times we had to do a diaper change of a poopy one in the middle of the event.

Radio Flyer Canopy
I didn't bring this to the first ride but I did have it for the second. It was no hassle and it kept my phone shaded. This is important because phones can get really hot in the sun which drains the battery.


Snacks
100% required. Fruit, crackers, milk, water. We used all these. Energy bar. Saved my butt when it got close to noon and we weren't at our lunch spot yet.

Tools
We brought 2 spare tubes for each bike, Allen wrench, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, tire ions and pump. Thankfully we did not need them but it's always good to have especially when your tires are an unusual size and it is unlikely someone else will have one for you.

Ring Sling
It was nice to have a lightweight carrier but it wasn't necessary. I didn't bring a change of clothes for any of us but that might be worth packing next time especially considering the chance of poop is 2 for 2 so far.


Hand Sanitizer & Toilet Paper
I did have wipes the second time and it was nice to wipe hands around mealtime and diaper change, after applying sunscreen, and before naptime. I almost brought toilet paper but then didn't. We didn't need it but almost. The Port-A-Potty was almost out of TP by 1:30pm and the event ended at 4pm so I imagine at some point in the day, the TP ran out.

Sunglasses & Hats
Kiddo played with them and wore them and they were good to have for all of us. I bought 3 trucker hats in case we took off helmets but wanted to not burn our heads. We didn't really use them but it was probably because we were able to find GOOD shade when we needed it.

Cash
Didn't really need it but it was nice to leave a tip at the bakery where we got lunch. Always good to have.


Cooler Bag & Ice
I brought the fruit in a cooler bag with ice packs and I brought two chillers with ice in them. It was GREAT to have cold water to drink on a warm day. It's not classified as necessary but I would call it nice to have.

Bikemate Bag and Squeaker
This is a set of superfun accessories that were available at Aldi in June 2021. I snatched them because I thought the bag would work well on our Brompton and I was right. But I attached it to the accessory bar of the Taga and it is the perfect place to store masks, keys, phone, sunglasses, just the essentials. Also our kid loves squeaking the horn/bell whatever you call it. We didn't get the flag or water bottle but if I see a set like this again, you better believe I'm buying it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Month of Mama part 3

I did try to find these items used, I really did. But there's only so many things you can buy used. Bras and panties are just not in that category. I have been searching out the brand names Kindred Bravely and Latched Mama constantly on Facebook marketplace and other online outlets of used clothing. There just isn't that much inventory. So when I finally placed an order, and it got lost, I decided to just take the plunge and get the items new.


First, I have to say the simply sublime nursing bra is 100% what I needed to add to my wardrobe. I didn't see myself wearing the nursing bras I bought ages ago while still pregnant but now that I work outside the home, I do have to wear some kind of bra every day. Turns out these are the only ones that don't hurt after awhile. It was 100% comfortable and supportive from the moment I put it on. I didn't get this white/blue ombre, I got it in Beige - XXL-Busty. Cannot recommend strongly enough.

I did get two pairs of Bamboo Hipster Panties | Beige - XXL/XXXL but I am not a fan. I will probably pass these along to my sister. I can't say what bothers me about them but they just aren't comfortable for me on my body at this moment. I think if I had a big pregnant bump, it would make sense but with my mom tummy it just looks like an overhanging blob of fat and it's not cute.


This model looks fine in the panties, but it didn't look like this on me. She's carefully hiding the love handles too. I'm wearing the Organic Cotton Nursing & Sleep Bra | Beige - XXL-Busty today at work and I love it. It's really soft and it doesn't cling too tight and it does support and it doesn't dig into my back rolls. For making a large order, I got this nursing and sleep bra for free and I also got free shipping. The total was $163.15 for all these items.


I also got the Bamboo Nursing & Maternity Tank | Slate Blue - XX-Large instead of the clip down spaghetti string tank shown in the first photo. I didn't expect it to be double-layered on front and back. I guess it does also camoflauge the back rolls better that way. It seems like it will get hot in the summer and I still get night sweats so I'm not sure it will be a home run but I will definitely try it out. My husband helped me fashion show all of these items in different combinations. He told me that the Bamboo Maternity & Postpartum Lounge Shorts | Slate Blue - XX-Large and the Everyday Lounge Joggers | Slate Blue - XX-Large are probably best kept as house pants. They are a very thin material and definitely showcase my cellulite. I got the Eleanora Bamboo Maternity & Nursing Lounge Dress | in Oatmeal Stripe instead of Navy Stripe and in size - XX-Large. It looks like it's going to be very comfortable and perfect for nursing on the go. I like that it is light-colored so that it will reflect light and be nice and cool for summer.

What's great is the slate color of the leggings coordinates really well with this "denim" colored floral. This hoodie is long in the back and covers up the aforementioned cellulite very well which would make it more acceptable to leave the house in this ensemble. It's also very lightweight which is nice to protect my arms from baby talons but yet not get me overheating.


What I also love is that the color of this "mountain springs" nursing dress coordinates with the slate leggings well too. The placement of the banding is very flattering and my husband authorized me to wear this to disneyland. I think I will pair it with some of the shorts on the previous post. I like that it has side-access nursing or you can pull the neckline down. It's very stretchy and forgiving. I also like the length. It will allow me to sit on a hot bench and not touch the metal to my skin but also have my knees uncovered so that they can sweat.


I'm not super happy about the color of this dress. It's not really good for wearing out and about. But I'm wondering if I overdye it with the other tie-dye stuff, maybe I can get some good banding like the Mountain Springs one and then it won't look so pajama-y. I like how in the photo, she is showing how you can pull to the side for night nursing. I also like how they use plus-size models so you can see how the clothes will look on your body and decide if the style is right for you.


I love the color of this dress. The fabric weight is pretty heavy. I finally got my husband on board with why I store dresses in a drawer rather than on a hanger. It came with a belt and the nursing access is really good. The only problem with it is that I am very short, so the dress is almost to the floor.


These last two I found on poshmark used. They are worth every penny. I have been LIVING in the loungewear long-sleeved top. The tank dress is a bit long and I might sew up the shoulders but with that modification, it is awesome. These two are how I became more confident that I needed the 2XX and 3XXX sizes. I don't care. I'm fine with it. They're comfy.