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Pickles & Chapstick

Pickles & Chapstick: October 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Charlie Graham turns 1

I've been trying to write this post on and off for a bit now. Not sure what I wanted to say, not sure how much to say, etc. So here we go...

Today my Charlie Graham is a year old. It's something I can't say without my eyes welling up with tears. Today was spent with a lot of reflection on what we were doing those hours and moments before Charlie made his entrance into the world. This year has been one wild ride and full of ups and downs but mostly ups. It's been one giant learning experience. 

Motherhood is by far the most amazing thing I've ever gotten to experience. Motherhood has tested my limits and constantly makes me want to be a better version of myself than the day before. Especially in the last few months because I notice how much Charlie starts to mimic things we do. Motherhood has made me feel like wonder woman at times. I feel that there's nothing I can't handle. This also leads to exhaustion and taking on too much but that's a story for another day.  

For an entire year we've been watching this little person grow into his own. Watching his little milestones. Watching his personality develop. In this entire year he wasn't the only one growing and changing. As his parents we were doing the same. Charlie lights up the room when he enters it. I've seen him make a stranger's day by just his smile. I see the joy his little presence brings to our friends and family. Most of all I see the joy he brings to his father's and my life. I can't imagine my life without my little blue eyed boy.

You complete me and you're the best thing I've ever done. You're the best
journey I've ever embarked on. You are the constant light at the end of
the tunnel. I know your daddy feels the same way. Thank you for changing
our lives for the better. You are the best little miracle and the best surprise
we've ever gotten! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love you to the moon
and back!

love always,

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a weekend in pictures

the presents are starting to pile up for Charlie's birthday

they sell beer at the .99 store this kind was .79... if you were wondering 

Charlie was obsessed with these dogs

Hope is Charlie's god-mama and she also happens to share a birthday w/Charlie.
I took her out to celebrate her bday early. The red eye correction made our eyes look wonky. 

the NY giants game kept us on the edge of our seats or in Charlie's case, my lap

Charlie's favorite house to walk by 


Friday, October 26, 2012

flashback fridays

in honor of Charlie's first birthday on monday, this flashback friday is dedicated to him.
(this was taken shortly after he was born)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

wednesday wants: charlie's first birthday edition

this is a must 

 - not sure how or why this happened but charlie is the only family member lacking in the giants gear, and when i say giants i'm talking ny giants :) he NEEDS this shirt (and it's adorbs! did i really just say adorbs?)

 - he'd looooooooove this

 - my mini bookworm already loves his dracula book, he'll need this one for the christmas season

 - these made by thief and bandit

 - one of my favorite children's books is "if you give a pig pancake" mainly because it's about a pig and who doesn't love pancakes?! so you can imagine how OVERLY excited i got when i found a book about a pig and a party?!

 - i want to learn to crochet so i can make charlie these

 - why am i now just finding this book


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

she's crafty: halloween decorations - eyeballs in a mason jar

I'm all about homemade decorations. I got this idea on my own. When I was on a recent trip to Michaels a bunch of their Halloween decorations were 50%. There were four eyeballs to each package. I bought three packs. I already had the mason jar at home. Throw the eyeballs into a mason jar and voila! 

Here's the finished product. Sorry it's a little blurry. This was a pretty darn cheap halloween decoration. It only cost $1.50 (for the eyeballs). 

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get in my belly: charlie food - pumpkin baby food

From the time I was little I've had an obsession with all things pumpkin (especially my step-mama's pumpkin whoopie pies), so when I decided to start making Charlie's baby food I got really excited for "pumpkin season". This "baby food" recipe is also the easiest way to cook a pumpkin for pumpkin pie, etc. 

What you'll need: a pumpkin (i suggest buying the pumpkins that are labeled "pumpkin pie" pumpkins), a knife (a serrated one works best), ice cream scoop & a pan

Step one: rinse off your pumpkin

Step two: cut your pumpkin in half. I suggest cutting it using a sawing motion. 

Step three: using the ice cream scoop, scoop out all the "guts" and seeds. If you want you can save the seeds to bake them or trying to grow your own pumpkin later. 

Step four: cut your pumpkin into smaller pieces so they will fit into the pan. Fill the pan with enough water so you'll be able to steam it.  

Step five: put the lid on, turn on the stove, and steam the pieces for 15 minutes or until soft. 

**You can also do this in a microwave but I'm not a fan of using a microwave too much when it comes to Charlie's food.**

Step six: take the pieces out of the pan and let them cool off. 

Step seven: when the pieces cool off, scoop out the pumpkin into a dish. 

I've made all sorts of meals for Charlie using pumpkin. Below are a few ideas. 

 - Pumpkin & Apple. Sometimes I'll add a tiny tiny tiny bit of cinnamon to it. 

 - Pumpkin, Chicken & Kale. The key to this one is using more pumpkin and chicken than kale. 

 - Pumpkin, Apple & Broccoli. It sounds disgusting but it doesn't taste that bad.  

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Monday, October 22, 2012

a weekend in pictures

Woah... it's the end of the weekend already? This weekend was one of those weekends where I haven't had enough time to relax let alone check any social network feed (twitter, facebook, instagram, etc.). You know the non-important but yet stupidly important stuff. I still have yet to respond to text messages I received from Friday night on. Saturday I was all over Los Angeles going to several different appointments and trying on all sorts of dresses. Some I considered to be works of art and not my cup of tea. Who knew finding a maid of honor dress would be so difficult? It's especially difficult when you're taking photos and sending everything back and forth via text messaging. Sunday was just as busy but of a different kind. It was filled with errands/family stuff/etc. I did manage to take some photos in the midst of all the "cray". Enjoy! 

Tried out a pizza place by my house

and rewarded myself with a beer 

This is my "why did you send me here/i'm wearing wedges and not flip-flops" photo
to my mom. 

my "almost" one year old 

a typical awkward "walking" photo


Thursday, October 18, 2012

a little of this and a little of that

i look forward to animal photos of the week. i'm a big ole dork!

- an interesting article on home decor obsession being related to self-image issues

- if you're traveling for the upcoming holidays you should read this on some travel must haves

- just what i needed to hold all my craft/art supplies

- need costume ideas? refinery29 has 5 ideas for you. 

- don't forget to vote. that's all i will say about our upcoming election.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

wednesday wants

 1. foundation/powder: i randomly found this powder/uber light foundation on my own. i love how light weight this powder is. even on my worst sleepless nights (due to the babe) it made my face look alive & not sleep deprived. that's just my face, lets not discuss those bags under my eyes.
skill level: you can apply this while holding/wearing your baby  
when i was pregnant i read a lot about what women had to say about being a first time mom and they gave some pretty sound advice. i thought this week's Wednesday wants i'd share some of my favorite beauty items and give some beauty advice for first time moms. i'm pretty sure my best friend is starting to cringe right now (she's a make-up artist/makeup guru) because i'm almost certain she thinks i'm the last person who should be giving this sort of advice.

being a first time mom is overwhelming and when you're home with your little ones it's easy to get in the rut of not showering and wearing yoga pants (or leggings) and when you do that day in and day out it can leave you feeling pretty "blah". so here is some beauty advice for new mom's or anyone who wants to take it from someone who high fives herself when she remembers to apply moisturizer after washing their face.  

2. undereye concealer: i naturally stick to almay products because I have beyond sensitive skin.  those sleepless nights give you nice bags under your eyes in the morning. i've found this to undereye concealer to be uber helpful.
skill level: you can apply this while holding/wearing your baby. 

3. eyeshadow/eyeliner: i only venture into the target beauty area on solo trips. those are rare and far between. i find that entire section very overwhelming. who has time to shuffle through all that stuff? don't present me with 34200+ different colors of eyeshadows, it gives me anxiety (i'm not joking). this was randomly hanging at target by itself in the organics section while i was trying to find a recycled loofa. it was all like "hey rae, here I am. i'm an eyeshadow (correction, highlighter) and black eyeliner all in one. it's for lazy people like you who thinks a highlighter is just like eyeshadow!". since i had no idea how much it cost, it gave me an excuse to use that red price check thing that i secretly love. it was under $10 and normally i'd debate it but it was an eyeshadow (or highlighter - who cares!) and eyeliner (and i only wear black eyeliner) in one so i just bought it.
skill level: eyeshadow - you can hold/wear your little one as you're applying it  eyeliner - unless it's a sleeping newborn i suggest putting down the baby for this one. actually, just put the baby down. because if you're like me the baby will wind up with it on them and then you're left explaining how eyeliner got on the baby.
4. mascara: i still have yet to find a mascara i like and it's probably because i hate having to apply it and i only apply it because i'm afraid those makeup counter ladies will hunt me down and scold me for not applying it. for realz though - it really does make your eyes "look alive". so i suggest applying mascara even if you hate it. don't ask me about volume or lengthening, i'm clueless and i never notice a difference. i do suggest that pregnant women and new moms buy waterproof because you're hormonal and if you think those hormones go away after the baby, you're dead wrong. i cried today taking a photo of my son in his new moccasins and then sobbed again as I texted the photo. seriously, crying over new moccasins? motherhood does some weird stuff to ya!

skill level: don't hold the baby while trying to apply. they will bump your arm and you will get that all over your face or you're stuck arm wrestling your little one as they're trying to put it in their mouth. can you tell this has never happened to me before?

5. makeup remover - i'm going to be honest here, it's a good day if i remember to take off my makeup. like i said before i have a very sensitive face and my eyelids get eczema on them from time to time so i've been told time and time again to use almay's eye makeup remover. to be honest i only buy them when they're in those tiny packs because they're cheap that way. yes, i realize you get more when you spend more but i can't resist anything that comes in small packaging! for my face i prefer using burt's bees facial cleansing towelettes.

6. chapstick/lip balm - i'm addicted to this burt's bees lip balm. pregnant ladies, i highly suggest putting chapstick or lip balm in your hospital bag. when i was in labor i was DYING for mine. a friend at the time only had lip gloss on her and i was desperate for anything at that point. so there i was, in labor with shiny semi sticky lips. i won't give lipstick or lip gloss suggestions because i'll be honest i hate them both. lipstick smells funny and it's annoying to have to remember to reapply it. me + red lipstick is just a disaster. lip gloss is sticky and sometimes also smells and kissing someone while wearing it just grosses me out and then the other person has shiny lips. it's just weird to me. i will admit i own one lip gloss and i found it at CVS for 75% and it was under a $1 and it smelled like mike & ikes and wasn't gunky like most so I was totally okay with it.
skill level: you can apply this while holding/wearing your baby and doing a million other things
7. showering - ladies, i've been there. the baby is finally sleeping and there's cleaning to be done, laundry, dishes, etc. or the baby constantly wants to be held. put the chores on hold and the baby that wants to be held constantly? put them in the pack and play and put it in the bathroom or within an eyeshot of the bathroom and leave that door open. or if a family member, friend, neighbor, etc. is around ask them to come over and help you out. you aren't bothering them, people want to help you! you NEED that shower. not only are you probably smelly from breast milk, spit up, etc. but you're greasy and that just makes you feel disgusting sometimes and that can lead to the hormones getting even wackier. my son spent a week in the nicu and after the hospital discharged me i insisted on not leaving the hospital. not only was i dealing with some gnarly post-partum (that I wasn't aware of) but i felt disgusting and ugly. those rare moments when i'd get to run home to take a quick shower made me feel a bit better. even if it was for only 5 minutes it was something i did for "me" and that's important as a new mom. even after i brought him home, i made sure to shower. the people around you will thank you :)

8. nails - i'm horrible when it comes to nail care. i'm terrible at using nail clippers because i bite my nails. if my nails get painted, i will have chipped it off 48 hours later. my toes are a different story. i've always enjoyed when my toes have looked pretty (aka painted). when i found out i was pregnant i was a freak about chemicals and my sensitivity to smells got 100x worse (i'm naturally weird about smells - can you tell?). so getting my rare pedicure at a cheap mani/pedi spot became out of the question. i found this eco friendly nail spot in manhattan beach (color me green) that had a mani/pedi that catered to nursing and pregnant women and the nail place doesn't do acrylics so i didn't have to worry about those chemicals in the air. they also only use eco friendly nail polishes that are free of all those nasty chemicals. i now only use certain nail polishes that are free of those nasty chemicals. on the rare occasion i do wear polish on my nails i feel better about it, especially when i have to fish something out of C's mouth or those random moments I find him staring and touching my newly painted toe nails.  
9. do your hair - i see a lot of new moms cut their hair once they've had a baby because they want low maintenance. my advice is you can have low maintenance hair even if it's long. if you're dead set on cutting it, than by all means go ahead (whatever works best for you!) my hair is long, thick, wavy & sheds just as much as a cat. i have my share of issues with it. i can't wear it down because my baby is grabby, the moment i put it up in a messy bun and go running it falls out, i go through (at least) 8 hair ties a week because they always snap, etc. doing your hair doesn't have to take a lot of time, trust me. you can do your hair without busting out the curling iron or flat iron. top knots are very in fashion right now and it keeps little hands away from it. a messy bun is as easy as the top knot and it's on top of your head away from those grabby hands. there are also different super easy styles of ponytails that you can do. braids are also very much in right now, there's a braid for every skill level and time frame. i'm a personal fan of the top knot. don't ask me how to do one of those sock buns, i don't have the patience right now to master that. maybe i'll consider it after i'm done planning my son's first birthday.

10. get out of those yoga pants - sure they're comfy. Yoga pants weren't my friend as much as leggings were. I know that feeling, you're home all day so what's the point in putting on real clothes? Well it gets old, it can start to make you feel gross, etc. So put on leggings pair it with a tank (or nursing cami) and a button down (that covers your butt). I suggest a men's flannel or button down and pair it with flip flops, boots or chuck taylors. It was a favorite outfit of mine in those early months. I may or may not still wear variations of it. Hey, whatever works, right?

my biggest piece of advice to pregnant women and new moms is give yourself a break.

honestly, it's amazing and it sucks being pregnant. and i don't care what anyone says it's hard. not only do you have to worry about being an incubator for this little one for nine months but you have to deal with your physical and emotional changes that go along with it. i'm all about being healthy when you're pregnant but if you want that ice cream, go for it. i craved in-n-out and i had so much going on with my situation that when it came to in-n-out i just treated myself. it was my "happy" place. it may or may not still be my "happy place".

the same goes for after when the baby is born. be patient with your body. you're still going to be a hormonal basket case and you may or may not lose that baby weight. everybody's body is different, remember that when you're freaking out a month later and you haven't shed the baby weight yet. i'm not going to go into detail but after my son was born i had a lot of crap going on and it made me feel like crap inside and out. especially since i was living in LA and i was pregnant forever and i wasn't losing the baby weight fast enough. all the crap i was dealing with hit my self esteem.. hard! i'd have moments where i'd want to smash the mirror because i looked and felt ugly (hence the need for waterproof mascara). if you're around a woman who just had a baby, compliment them on how they look even if they are still wearing yoga pants. a compliment goes a long way when you're still 20+ overweight and you're covered in spit up. be healthy, especially if you're breastfeeding. i always forgot to eat after i brought my son home. i still forget to eat or i don't have time and it's just bad. rest, i can't stress that one enough. i'm notorious for taking on too much, doing too much and not giving my body a break. when that baby is sleeping, sleep. who cares if those dishes aren't done. ask for help. those family and friends who offer to come over and help out actually mean it. it was so difficult for me being 3000 miles away from family. it still is! also, try hard to be "in the moment" when you're with them. enjoy them as newborns, infants, toddlers, etc. people aren't lying when they say it flies by. i get upset thinking about how i wish i was more "in the moment" with him when he was a newborn, infant, etc. also, put the baby in a stroller and go for a walk. it can be in your neighborhood, in the mall, target, etc. just get out and get moving.

i'm the first out of my friends to have a baby so i can't wait for them to have babies. i will be knocking on their doors everyday to hold their babies, clean, bake or make them food. i suggest they do a bag check upon my departure because their newborn may or may not be in there :)

but to every pregnant woman, new mom, experienced mom, etc. give yourself a pat on the back because motherhood is hard but it's a wonderful gift - sound cheesy enough?

i also realize, this post should've been sponsored by almay and burt's bees but it wasn't but i really wish it was :) 

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