Monday Meme Round-Up

In this week’s special edition of Monday Meme Round-Up, I’d like to share with you the star of many homemade doggo memes and now the star of this month’s Beachcomber Pet of the Issue – our very own Hayduke Morgan!

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Here are some more good memes starring good boys:

Pupperino doin a faste (wow I love the beach this is very nice)

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Doggo doin a thing (finally a news story I'm proud of)

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@sonny5ideup is heckin sick of it!

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Friday Favorites

Carla May is finally sitting up on her own!  We have been practicing on my bed so that she has a soft landing when she (inevitably) face plants.

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She is also grabbing my hands and pulling up to standing.  Which is a great advancement, BUT she was also pulling up on the side of the Pak n Play and dive bombing over the edge.  Luckily, I was always there to catch her!  Needless to say, we lowered the mattress…

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Here are a few other things that brought me joy this week…

Alligator Pear Chips

Alligator Pear Tortilla Chips are my absolute favorite chips, and they are made locally in Pensacola.  The name comes from the company’s recipe using avocado oil (avocado = alligator pear – It makes sense if you think about it!).  They are delicious and come in many yummy flavors.  My husband sells them at The Local Market, and I eat so, so many of these chips.  They are a great vehicle for salsa, queso, guacamole, and bean dip.

Fresh Haircut

I went to see my hairdresser Amanda this week and loved what she came up with!  She is amazing with color and is a balayage superstar (Balayage is when the stylist paints the color onto your hair).  She brightened my hair up on the ends for a summery look but blended the roots so that it is still low-maintenance.

Catching up with Amanda is a real treat, and I always leave the salon feeling like a new woman!

Instagram Story Face Filters

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I was wondering when Instagram would take the plunge and totally knock off Snapchat…. Well, it finally happened.  I have a Snapchat account, but never used it much.  I have mostly just stuck to Instagram.  I can already tell we are going to have fun with the face filters!

 

 

 

How was your week?  What brought you joy?

xoxo

Colicky Newborn Survival Guide

Having a newborn is really, really hard.  Having a colicky newborn straight up sucks. Not to mention the fact that new mom hormones cause you to switch in mere minutes from pure amazement at this tiny being you’ve created to uncontrollable sobbing because you are just so, so tired (and this cycle repeats all day).

17E15-1-2Having had no experience with newborns before our daughter Carla May was born, Chatham and I would often ask each other in the thick of it, “Are all babies like this?”  (By this we meant crying constantly if not sleeping or being fed.)  “Of course,” we’d say, anything to keep ourselves from breaking down.  Looking back, our daughter absolutely had colic, no doubt about it.

For those of you who may not know, colic is “a frustrating condition marked by predictable periods of distress in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby.”  Basically, it is a situation in which a healthy baby cries for no reason during the first few months of her life. This period is often called the “fourth trimester,” in which some babies are not quite ready to face this big, scary world and crave the safety, warmth, and comfort of mommy’s tummy (who can blame them??).

Surviving (and I don’t use that word lightly) three months with a colicky newborn taught us a lot about parenting and a lot about each other.  Through trial-and-error we learned the preferences of our tiny human creation.  Each day got a little better and a little better until the colic stage was finally behind us.  We are stronger as parents for having gone through the experience together, and our baby girl is now as sweet and happy as can be!

Anyway, I wanted to share with you some things that helped us tremendously to get through the fourth trimester without breaking our spirits:

Dockatot

17E15-1-4Many of you will go to the Dockatot website and look at the price tag and say, “HELL NO!”  Trust me on this, you cannot put a price tag on sleep.  The Dockatot is basically a big pillow nest with breathable side rails that holds your infant snugly in place.  It prevents your baby from startling herself or rolling over and waking up.

The first few nights at home with Carla May, we put her down to sleep in the bassinet by our bed that had a padded mattress in it that seemed pretty comfortable to me.  Apparently it wasn’t as comfortable as it looked – Carla May did not sleep one minute the first three nights at home.  Thankfully, the fourth night Chatham remembered the Dockatot and shoved it in the bassinet (fit perfectly).  If  my memory serves me correctly, I believe we got a five hour solid stretch of sleep that night (!!!!!).

The Dockatot has been incredibly helpful in getting CM to nap in places other than our home.  We went to a party one night and brought her with us (this was at the very end of her colicky stage when she started sleeping well at night).  We set up her Dockatot and white noise machine in their guest room and put her down at her regular bedtime. She slept peacefully, and we got to enjoy visiting with our friends!  I’ve mentioned before how I bring CM to work with me three days a week.  Naps would not be possible without the Dockatot set up in our conference room.  AND I’ve forgotten it at the office and had to drive back to get it before bedtime only one time!

Mom Tip: For the first few months, CM had a lot of diaper blowouts because she had such skinny legs.  We covered the Dockatot with a muslin swaddle to protect it, since the Dockatot cover is so difficult to take on and off.

Exercise Ball

When I was pregnant, I replaced my office chair with a big exercise ball because it felt more comfortable to me.  I suppose Carla May got used to the rocking and bouncing motions while she was in my belly, because when she came out, bouncing on the exercise ball was the only way to keep her from crying (if she wasn’t eating or sleeping, anyway).

I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was when I discovered her liking for being bounced.  I also can’t tell you how many hours I spent on that thing, but I would estimate 12-16 hours per day for three months.  People ask me, “How did you lose your pregnancy weight so quickly?”  Oh, approximately 1260 hours of bouncing on an exercise ball holding a fussy baby.  I wouldn’t recommend it….

Baby Bjorn Bouncer

17E15-1Quick Question: If your baby cries when you put her down, what do you do when you need to take a shower?

Answer: Just don’t, duh!

Another Quick Question:  What do you do when you have to pee?

Answer: Put her in the Baby Bjorn!

Honestly, the Baby Bjorn is something you will love, and your colicky baby will tolerate.  Carla May would put up with sitting in the Baby Bjorn fuss-free for a maximum of 15 minutes, but if you haven’t gotten off the exercise ball all day long, those 15 minutes of time for yourself are crucial!

SwaddleMes

17E15-1-3Muslin swaddles are soft and beautiful and multipurpose and blah, blah, blah…  BUT if your colicky baby is also a squirmy worm who busts out of traditional swaddles like a tiny Houdini, you’re gonna need to get something a little stronger.  I actually call Swaddle-Me’s “baby straight jackets” because that is exactly what they look like and how they function.  The velcro is fool-proof, so even sleep-deprived parents can swaddle baby up tight without having to desperately look up YouTube instructional videos in dead of night (yes, we did this).

Tommee Tippee

On our baby registry, I asked for a starter pack of the most highly-rated baby bottles out there.  Unfortunately, Carla May refused to drink out of that particular type of bottle.  I asked around and a friend recommended we try Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Anti-Colic bottles, because they feel similar to a real breast for the baby and prevent baby from swallowing as much air as other bottles.  Finally, we found a winner!  They have a ton of parts which is annoying for washing and assembly, but since CM takes only four or five bottles a week, this was not a big issue for us.

Dohm

I have been a big fan (haha) of Dohm machines since before I even got pregnant.  The Dohm is a box fan that emits pure white noise that drowns out any background sounds.  Chatham and I have had one in our bedroom for as long as I can remember.  We got one for Carla May’s nursery and one for my office conference room/nap station.  The Dohm, in addition to the Dockatot, create consistency that make for much better naps.

Freezer Meals

Before you have a baby, I recommend making as many meals as you can in advance and then freezing them, because you never know if your newborn will let you put her down long enough to make dinner.  (And if you aren’t expecting, make a bunch of freezer meals for a new mom you know!  What a great gift that would be!)  In my “nesting” phase of pregnancy, I made and froze about 20 dinners.  When Carla May was born, I was so glad that I had options in the freezer that I could throw in the oven or the crockpot in my 15 minutes of Baby Bjorn time..

Self-Care

30At one point the in our first month home with baby, Chatham said to me, “Marilu, you cannot survive on coffee and wine alone.”  The argumentative part of me wanted to say, “Watch me!” but the reasonable part of me knew he was right.  At that point, I tried to take better care of myself.  This included taking Carla May on a walk in the stroller every morning, taking my gummy vitamins, and trying to eat healthier.

For reference, here are some nutritionally dense foods you can eat with one hand while bouncing on an exercise ball: apples, spoonfuls of peanut butter, whole wheat Ritz crackers, glasses of milk, string cheese, cashews.  Also, drink LOTS of water!

The most important things for your mental health  are to keep your head up, stay as positive as possible, and ask for help!  The first few months with a colicky newborn are so, so hard, but they also go by really fast.  It helps to know that you are not the only one who is going/has gone through this.  One day you’ll look back and laugh (or cry? or both??) at this special and insane time.

Monday Meme Round-Up

My favorite memes from the last week… Enjoy!

Doggo doin an innocence (I'm a good boy for life I promise)

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I got you little buddy

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Doggo doin a chat (no bad boys here sorry better luck next time friendo) [fb: infinitiedoggomemes]

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Friday Favorites

Carla May has been trying to sit up on her own this week, and Hayduke has been testing her balance.  I have gotten a lot of laughs from watching.  I hope you do, too:

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Here are a few more things that have brought me joy this week:

Book Darts

I saw these on Anne Bogel’s Instagram and ordered them immediately.  Never again will I re-read an entire page to figure out which paragraph I was on!  Think of all the time you can save!!!

Found where all my book darts were hiding.

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Elle Little Headbands

My friend Letitia sews and sells beautiful handmade women’s accessories.  She recently came out with a line of wire headbands.  I didn’t realize how terribly my other headbands function until I tried on one of these.  The wire holds the band in place and allows you to style the ends however you like.  She has so many fun colors and patterns available, including several Rifle Paper Company fabrics.

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Check out her store here.  I bought several headbands and have already gotten a lot of use out of them (and they make great gifts, too!).

The Handmaid’s Tale

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Most of the time movie/show adaptations of books leave much to be desired.  This is not the case with Hulu’s new series based on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a book I re-read and reviewed back in March.  The series is only five episodes in, but it is already capturing the creepiness and haunting tone of the book. Some of the scenes were so powerful, they actually left me close to tears (then again, I am close to tears a lot these days, so that may not reveal much… #momlife #hormones).  Elizabeth Moss from Mad Men plays the lead character Offred, and her performance has been spot-on thus far.

50mm Camera Lens

I’ve recently started using a real camera rather than just my phone (THANK YOU to my sister-in-law Jane for the hand-me-down Nikon D3100!).  Last week I picked up a 50mm lens, and it makes a world of difference in my photos.  See how Carla May’s face is clear in the two photos below, but the background has a great blurred effect?  That’s the 50mm lens working its magic.

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Peonies

Mother’s Day is this weekend, so all of the grocery stores have beautiful flowers available this week.  I hardly ever see peonies at the grocery store but saw some gorgeous pink ones at Whole Foods last weekend and just had to indulge.  Fresh-cut flowers are one of those things that seem like a silly purchase when you over-analyze, but actually bring so much joy relative to the amount you spend.  I get an instant boost of happiness every time I pass a vase of fresh flowers, especially peonies.

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How was your week?  What brought you joy?

xoxo

Weekend with “Granny Calamity”

My mom finally made it in town this weekend to visit.  She is an artist living in Mentone, Alabama.  She works a lot and the drive is long, so she doesn’t make it down very often but we were glad she did.

I was joking with my mom about how she has never made the six-hour drive quicker than eight hours.  She was bound and determined to prove me wrong this time and told me that she wasn’t even drinking water on the road so she wouldn’t have to stop for bathroom breaks.  She was on track to get here in just five and a half hours.  I was blown away by what good time she was making… and then I got a phonecall from her on the side of the road….

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Broken alternator!  Luckily, she was only 40 minutes North of Destin.  She got a quick tow to the Niceville Pep Boys, and Carla May and I picked her up there.  We have decided that she is just not meant to make the trip any faster.

After picking up “Granny Calamity” (her new grandma name – this changes on a regular basis, but this week she is “Granny Calamity,” a little long for a baby to say in my opinion, but I digress… where was I?)… after picking up mom from the auto repair shop, we had dinner at Ciao Bella in Niceville.  “Granny Calamity” is vegetarian and Ciao Bella has great veggie pizza options!

While we were enjoying our pizzas and salads, our little bandit snatched up an entire loaf of bread from the center of the table to gnaw on.  I swear this child would rather be eating than doing anything else, and I have yet to find a food that she will not eat.

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We spent most of the weekend enjoying the beautiful weather at the Seascape in Miramar Beach.  The water was so blue and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky.

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I got a new 50 mm camera lens on Friday, so we played around with my camera and got some decent shots!

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Carla May loves playing peek-a-boo and gets a kick out of anyone who peeks out from behind the camera, so it is pretty easy to get good photographs of her.

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She is such an expressive baby and clearly shows her emotions on her face (she gets that from me – I do not have a good “poker face”).  I am constantly cracking up at some of the looks she makes.

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My mom had never been to a Whole Foods before, so we swung by there to pick up some of their empanadas and vegetables for lunch.  They also had beautiful peonies, which are one of my favorite flowers, so I had to treat myself to those as well.

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Mom and I ate lunch on the deck, soaked up the sun, and caught up with each other while Carla May was napping.

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When Carla May woke up from her nap, we took a walk to Pompano Joe’s.  I had pinned a towel across the top of CM’s stroller to keep the sun off of her, but the breeze picked up and kept blowing the towel around.  She thought this was the funniest thing ever.  Her belly laughs were the perfect soundtrack to me scrambling to keep her shaded as the towel whipped all over the place.

 

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By the time we finally made it to the restaurant, the wind was blowing pretty hard.  It’s only about a mile walk, but seemed much longer with the headwind.  We had planned to have a cocktail and stick our feet in the sand, but decided instead to sit on the streetside porch with the building blocking the wind.  Pompano Joe’s has all kinds of porch-sitting options.

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Our walk back to the condo was quick with the tailwind.  The rest of the weekend was spent making veggie spaghetti and relaxing.

The weather was beautiful, my mom made it down and back in one piece (although not in less than eight hours bahahaha), and we had a wonderful weekend visiting and catching up.

Monday Meme Round-Up

Get your doggo memes right here!

It's ok @yourmomsatonmyface We're gonna be ok!

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Puggo doin a delivery (sorry I'm late Bork Bork) @itsdougthepug

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Science needs to hurry up & create a communication device so I could talk to my dog | For more @superlazyrobot 👈

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Friday Favorites

This week Carla May was making a weird noise when she inhaled, so we went back to the doctor’s office to check on it.  She proceeded to tear the doctor’s office apart, and had a mighty fine time doing it.  Thankfully, she got a clean bill of health!  Sometimes babies make weird sounds for no reason.

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We also spent a fair amount of time hanging out with our doggies this week (as usual) and I managed to capture this gem of Carla May and Hayduke snuggling.  She was sitting on my lap and he just cuddled up right next to her.

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Anyway, here a few other things that brought me joy this week:

Betting on Zero

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Chatham picked this movie out the other night because it received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it certainly lived up to that standard.  Betting on Zero is a documentary about hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s short position on the company Herbalife, a multilevel marketing direct sales company that Ackman accuses of being a pyramid scheme.  The documentary covers Herbalife’s history, investigates the company’s business model, interviews people that sell or sold products for Herbalife, and follows along as Ackman tries to share his research with the market and subsequently gets in a public fight with Carl Icahn.  I finished this documentary feeling enraged but grateful to the producer for sharing the story.

Believe

This comic from The Oatmeal that came out this week is a really good illustration of the “Backfire Effect,” which is something I studied in one of my MBA classes and is very relevant to our society today.

Plus, The Oatmeal has wonderful comics in general.  Like this one:

My dog every time I leave the house.

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Our Photo Shoot Pictures!!!

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I mentioned a few weeks ago that we did a “Mommy and Me” photoshoot (plus Chatham, too!) with Darris Hartman.  We got all of our photographs back this week and I absolutely love them!

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Some people might think photoshoots are a little silly, especially when we take so many pictures with our phones these days, but I disagree.

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A real photographer with a nice camera can capture images far better than I can with my phone.

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I know I will treasure these photographs and the memories they conjure for years to come.

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What I Read in April

I started this month off with some light reading and then got on a bit of a nonfiction kick. My thoughts on each of this month’s reads are below, listed in order of when I finished each book (no spoilers, I promise). Have you read any of these? Are any of these books on your TBR list?

The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project is a delightful book that I re-read every few years. Each re-read is a nice reminder that this is it – our lives are happening right now. We don’t need to wait until such-and-such happens (marriage, children, a raise, etc.) to enjoy it – we should savor our time right now. Another takeaway is that happiness is mostly a choice*, and we can choose how we’d like to frame events and responsibilities in our lives. For example, I used to hate washing and changing the sheets each week. I have since re-framed my mindset such that every Sunday, I look forward to starting the week off with clean sheets and freshly made beds.  This book is a good reminder that sometimes it is challenging and thankless to be light and cheerful, but being happy is truly is a selfless thing to strive for. My favorite quote from this book is, “The days are long, but the years are short.”  The author has a wonderful blog on happiness and habits if you are interested in this topic.

*I am not including the effects of mental illness in this blanket statement.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – Maria Semple

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? was a fun, light read told through letters, emails, and memos along with some first-person narrative from 15-year-old Bee, daughter of the eccentric and stylish Bernadette.  Not a spoiler, since it is in the title: Bernadette goes missing.  This book shares snippets of Bernadette’s past and tells the story of how Bee and her father try to find her.  This was a fabulous beach read!

 

 The Stranger in the Woods – Michael Finkel

I picked this book up because my husband told me how good Finkel’s first book was and said this one had gotten a lot of buzz. It was a Book of the Month Club pick from March, so I went ahead and threw it in the cart with my April selections. While I liked the premise, I had kind of a hard time getting through this book. If it weren’t so short, I probably would have put it down and picked something else up. The book is essentially a character study of the North Pond hermit Chris Knight, but Knight doesn’t reveal much to the author so Finkel doesn’t have a whole lot of material to work with. To me, the author seemed to have had committed to writing an entire book on this particular topic, so he threw in a bunch of background and research on hermits as filler to get this story to book length when it perhaps would have been better formatted as a long article.

Sidenote: After I wrote this review but had not yet posted it, The New York Times Book Review did a write-up on The Stranger in the Woods in which they also used the word “filler,” which was pretty validating for me as an amateur book reviewer.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

I finally purchased this book on audio after a friend recommended it years back.  The story about the woman and family behind HeLa cells was simply incredible and should probably be taught in history and/or science classes.  Oprah Winfrey produced and starred in an HBO movie based on this book that came out this month.  While I am delighted that the movie will expose an entire new audience to this amazing story, I personally couldn’t finish the film.  The book was waaaaay better!  (That always seems to be the case though, right?)

 

Lab Girl – Hope Jahren

I. Loved. This. Book.  Chatham picked up a stack of books at the Midtown Reader when we went to Tallahassee one weekend in January.  He thought I would like this one especially, and oh boy, was he right!

Lab Girl is a memoir of a female paleobiologist and despite the science-y subject matter, it was a real page-turner.  The book is separated into three parts that represent three different periods of the author’s life.  Every other chapter the author describes a scientific process in nature using beautiful, poetic descriptions, and then the next chapter subtly relates these biological changes to changes that are going on in her life at that point.   I was enthralled with the storyline and blown away with the quality of writing.  I wouldn’t expect someone in the maths and sciences to write so elegantly, but as I rack my brain, other examples do come to mind (Dr. E.O. Wilson, Isaac Asimov, Stephen Hawking), so perhaps that assumption is unfounded.  At any rate, Jahren’s writing is magnificent and her story is important.  I highly recommend this book.

FYI: If you decide to purchase any books from this post, I recommend you buy them from a locally owned bookstore if that is an available option for you.  If you decide to purchase from Amazon by clicking on any of the book covers in this post, I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  Also, if you sign up for the Book of the Month Club(which I highly recommend) by clicking on any of the links in this post, I get a free book. Thank you!

Monday Meme Round-Up

The best pupperino memes of the week…

F working out, just gonna dive off this thing. Pup @corgilicious_coco

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Doggo doin the arctic chicken (woof woof is it cold out here or is it me)

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smol dog post for u

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