Spilling the Beans

When it came time to share my pregnancy news with our family and friends, I knew it would come in three waves. First, we’d tell immediate family, because we were living with my parents and I knew I couldn’t keep that secret. Second, our extended families, most likely at Christmas when we were all together. And finally, we would share with the general public (we’re social media people), after the first trimester was well over.

Telling our parents was an idea hatched at 5:00am on a Saturday. I’d taken my first digital test, and the result was clearly positive (after about a week of using up my Wondfo stash). Mr. O and I couldn’t sleep anymore, so we snuck upstairs and headed for the 24-hour Walmart. Like giddy kids awake before the adults on Christmas, we made a beeline for the baby department. Throughout our infertility, we had avoided this section like the plague; now we were practically running. We chose a ‘Here Comes Trouble’ t-shirt for my mom (with monster trucks; she loves them) and a onesie for my MIL, bought oversized gift bags and a ton of pink and blue tissue paper, and then….sat idly in the car until we knew someone would be awake.

We told Mr. O’s mom first. She unwrapped the onesie, examined the ‘Going to Grandma’s’ slogan emblazoned across the front, and looked up at us, puzzled. Then she screamed, jumped out of her chair, and gave us both hugs.

My parents were a little tougher to tell. They opened their gift bag, took out the tiny t-shirt, and smiled blandly. “Oh cute,” my mom said, “a shirt for the dog.” My sister (who was also present) noticed me shaking my head frantically, and then, what felt like hours later, the three of them clued in. Cue tears, shrieking, and hugs all around.

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Charlotte Mae’s Birth Story

I had a scheduled section with our oldest daughter because she was breech. It was a wonderful birth experience and I went into my pregnancy with Charlotte knowing that I wanted a repeat c-section. My OB and I discussed birth options at my 8 week appointment and while I was a VBAC candidate, I much preferred a c-section.

The morning of my c-section was bittersweet. I had a hard time saying goodnight to Chloe the night before. She had been my sidekick for nearly three years, and I was having a hard time imagining her not being my only anymore. Just like last time, the biggest advantage of a planned c-section was the calmness that surrounded it. My husband and I were able to get up and shower the morning of surgery, and weren’t in any real rush. I was in minimal pain, (I’d been having prodromal labor for weeks!), but excited and anxious to meet our sweet pea.

My c-section was scheduled for 9am and we had to be checked in at the hospital by 7am. We live about 45 minutes away without traffic, so we had to leave by 6am. It was a very early start to our day and we hardly got any sleep the night before, partly due to nerves but mostly because of excitement. My mom got to our house by 5:45am to watch Chloe. We gave her a quick run-down of how we expected the day to go. Chloe woke up at 5:30am, which came as a huge surprise to us. She slept through both of us showering and me drying my hair, but it’s kind of like she knew something was going on and needed to see us. I was secretly okay with this, since it meant I got in a few more hugs and snuggles before we left the house.

A special lunch date on Saturday, three days before sissy was born

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Date Night Swaps: How To Go On a Date Without Paying a Babysitter

On our first wedding anniversary after Charlie was born, Bee and I went out on our first real date in almost a year.  We had a great time, watching a Broadway show and grabbing dinner.  It was a big splurge, but felt worth it.

What we hadn’t counted on though, was the cost of babysitting.  We don’t have any family nearby and babysitters cost $15-20/hour where we live.  We asked our nanny to stay late for our date, and had to pay time-and-a-half for overtime.  When you added it all up, that single date night cost us over $100 in babysitting alone!  And that’s not even counting the cost of the cab we had to take because we raced home immediately after the show was over!

So, we learned our lesson.  For the next few years after that, we didn’t go on a single date night except when Bee’s mom was visiting.  The cost of babysitting was just too high, especially when we realized that we still had to pay for dinner, a movie or whatever else we had planned.  It was easier just to stay at home.  If we ever wanted to go on a date, we took time off during the day while the kids were in school/daycare.  Or more likely, one of us stayed home with the kids while the other one went out to dinner with friends.

Then years later, we discovered two tricks that have allowed us to have evening and weekend dates again… this time, with zero babysitting costs!  

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Throwback Thursday – September 20th 2011

We launched Hellobee on September 20, 2011, so we’re coming up on our 3-year anniversary this Saturday! Some of you have been reading since the very beginning, but we’ve also had many new members join along the way that may have missed some of our older posts. So we’re going to highlight some of those posts in a new regular feature!

Back when we first launched I was the only person blogging. It’s funny to look back on some of those posts because it seems like I wrote them so long ago. At the time I was 8 months pregnant, and Olive would unexpectedly arrive 5 weeks early just 2 weeks after the launch.

This feature is pretty straightforward, but I’d love to hear any feedback you might have whether it’s topics of interest or how many posts we should link to each time!

Party Attire for Her

School is back, which means birthday party season is too. Add to that, we are narrowing in on the best season for holidays. I remember loving to get dressed up for parties as a little girl. It wasn’t always dressy, but it had to be something I had a hand in picking out. It’s fun to dress up and what better time than an adorable little party?

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Finding the work-life comfort zone

Even before I had a kid, I hated the term “work-life balance.” When you don’t have kids, you aren’t even really allowed to comment on the topic, even though you don’t need to have a kid to constantly struggle to figure out how to keep your house clean and meals made when you’re on a business trip every other week, pulling 12 hour days chasing a deadline, caring for aging parents or anything else that requires a lot of time and energy. Add a kid to the mix and it all of course becomes much more complicated, but even before I knew what it was like to be a WOHM mom, I fully believed that there really is no such thing as “work-life balance.” The best you can expect, regardless of whether you work at home, outside the home or are a stay-at-home parent, is finding a comfort zone where some things have to happen all the time, some things can happen some of the time, and others just have to give until there’s free time (hah!); what those things are will depend entirely on your and your family’s priorities.

This week marks exactly a year since I returned to work after 3 and a half months of maternity leave, and I found myself thinking about our work-life comfort zone – how it’s grown, shifted and stabilized over this past year. Different things will work for different people, of course, but here are some things that helped us find this zone.

1) Figuring out what’s important to you is key. For example, I get extremely unsettled and actually lose sleep and get anxious if my house isn’t at a certain state of clean. I’m by no means a neat freak – the dust bunnies in my long untouched corners will attest to that – but there’s a level of clean that I need to maintain in order to stay sane, which means some of my precious little free time needs to be allocated to getting to that level of clean. I straighten up Baby C’s play areas and dishes from her dinner every evening while Mr. Carrot gives her a bath. Every weekend we do all the laundry from the week and Mr. Carrot and I vacuum and do some dusting and neatening up in between entertaining a lively toddler.

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Easy Preschool Lunches

I’m not going to lie — so far I really enjoy packing my son’s lunch for preschool. Granted, he only goes twice a week and it’s only been a month, but still, I look forward to putting it all together! Here are some of the lunches I’ve been packing him since he’s started.

Top left: spinach ravioli with marinara, green beans, edamame, and strawberries (he ate all of the ravioli and strawberries and a bit of the veggies).

Top right: black beans, cheddar cheese stick, roasted corn, tortilla, and grapes (he ate almost everything).

Bottom left: rice with mixed veggies, strawberries, and a hard boiled egg (he ate half of the rice with veggies, all of the strawberries, and two bites of egg).

Bottom right: turkey with avocado rolled in tortilla, strawberries, and cheddar cheese (he ate all but two of the rolls).

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