Blue Diamond Nutty Honey Vanilla Very Berry Oats

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

I’m not gonna lie… this being a full-time working mom thing is for the birds!  I’ve been back work for a week now, with kids for a couple days, and man oh man I am absolutely exhausted.  Yes, I’m grateful to have a good job and one that I love, but wow am I tired!  I’ve heard the first week as a new working mom is the hardest, so I can only hope it gets easier.  (Stay at home moms, I know you have your own challenges, too!  All moms rock.)

Mornings feel rushed, to say the least.  I do as much as I can the night before, but there’s still so much to do in the morning that can’t be done the night before. (Getting dressed, makeup, nursing, pumping, eating.)  All of those are non-negotiable, but I can prep my breakfast the night before which has helped.  I loooove my breakfasts and always need something substantial.

honey vanilla overnight oats1

I became obsessed with overnight oats this summer.  Not only are they healthy, but there are a million different combinations and they can be prepped the night (or the hour) before to make for a quick, easy, tasty breakfast.  Plus, itz believed that oatmeal is good for breastfeeding mommas.  Well, folks, I’ve found a new favorite.

Blue Diamond recently sent me two containers of their newest flavors: Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle.  Be still my heart.  I love honey.  Like, I can (and do) eat it by the spoonful.  Honey + vanilla was made for me, I’m pretty sure.  Vanilla is one of my most favorite flavors ever, so the combination is totally killer.  Honey roasted chipotle is also fantastic, but I’m just such a sucker for vanilla!

honey roasted vanilla almonds

I’m going to need more honey roasted vanilla almonds because those guys didn’t last long.  Alright, are you ready for the best overnight oats recipe ever?  Seriously.  And not technically a recipe because I really throw it all together, stir, chill, and eat.  And I don’t measure all the ingredients.  But here’s what I got:

Blue Diamond Nutty Honey Vanilla Very Berry Oats


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • drizzle of honey (more or less depending on desired sweetness)
  • dash of pure vanilla extract
  • berries
  • chia seeds
  • Blue Diamond honey roasted vanilla almonds, some crushed and some whole


  1. Combine all ingredients except berries and whole almonds.
  2. Chill overnight.
  3. Add more milk if needed in the morning.
  4. Stir in berries and whole almonds.

I’ve been using dairy milk because I really need a good amount of protein in the morning to help keep me full, but I do think vanilla almond milk would be great, as well!  The almonds add a wonderful crunch among the creamy, mushy oats.  Mmm, itz so good!

honey vanilla overnight oats

Honey roasted vanilla or honey roasted chipotle?

4 month old baby William

Itz my birthday today!  My best one yet because I have my 4 month old baby William!

william linz 4months

Jonny, I love you, too, dear hubby!  And I love that our little guy looks like you.  Though some say his eyes are starting to look like mine… What do ya think? Otherwise, he’s an exact replica of his daddy!

The little man just turned four months on Sunday and I can hardly believe it.!  He’s still the happiest baby ever.  I’m not exaggerating.  He’s always smiling.

william 4 months

Height & Weight: 24.5 inches and 13 pounds 6 ounces.  The doctor is very impressed with his weight gain and growth!

Eating: (Drinking?)  William continues to eat every two hours throughout the day.  Though now that I’ve gone back to work, I’ll be curious to see if he goes a little longer since he’s taking breastmilk bottles.  I fill the bottles with three ounces of breastmilk.  Sometimes he takes just an ounce and a half and other times he’ll take the whole three.

Sleeping (naps): Still no schedule. He used to need a nap after being awake for an hour, but now he’s started to stay awake for longer periods.  Most naps are still between thirty and sixty minutes, though my grandma Mama can get him to nap for much longer – like an hour and a half to two hours! (Ok, he’s done that twice.)  He’s never slept that long for me!  The other day Mama told me when he started to stir she rubbed his forehead and head a little bit and he went right back to sleep.  She demonstrated on me and I instantly understood.  I’d sleep longer if someone was going to rub my head, too!

Sleeping (at night): William is still in the bassinet next to our bed…. I know I need to switch him soon, but I like him right there.  Usually he will go down around eight o’clock and wake up once between 1 – 3 a.m. and then again between 5 – 6 a.m.  Last week we definitely faced the “four-month sleep regression” when he was up much more frequently, but I’m hoping that was short-lived.

Clothing: He’s about out of his three-month clothes.  All clothes fit differently.  He’s outgrown some of his three-month sleepers, and three-month onesies are getting a little tight, but others he’s still in, just not for much longer.  3-6 month clothes fits best right now.  We just moved up to size 2 diapers.

william 4 months1

New this month: Laughing!  William’s always smiling, but laughing is definitely new and itz the absolute cutest thing ever!  Sometimes itz a giggle and other times itz a full belly laugh!  He also started rolling to his side.  It won’t be long before he rolls over!

william 4 months

William likes: Putting everything in his mouth!  This kind of scares me since there are so many germs everywhere, and I ask people not to let him put their hands in his mouth because of the germ factor. William also likes tummy time and lasts a pretty long time on his belly.  We just put him in a Bumbo seat and he seems to like that.  He still loves being sung to and read to and just played with, in general! He loves attention and is a definite flirt!

william 4 months2

William dislikes: Definitely dislikes being overly tired.  That’s really the only time he’s screaming crying.  White noise seems to calm him down as does being swaddled.  He also doesn’t like being hungry.  Sometimes in the middle of the night he gets really mad as I change his diaper. Itz during that 1-3 a.m. time when he’s gone five or more hours without eating, so I think he’s hungry.  That’s really all I can think of. Like I said, he’s such a happy baby!

william 4 months 3

And the most adorable.

all photos by Stephanie Cotta Photography

Happy four months, Baby. We love you!

William’s Birth Story – During

Itz here – Part II of William’s Birth Story – During.  This is the juicy labor post.  (No worries, my words or pictures won’t be too graphic!)  Make sure you’re caught up by reading Part I – The Before first.

william's birth story

As most of you know, my sister, Stephanie Cotta Photography, photographed everything.  Beginning with my pregnancy journey, through my birth, William’s many newborn photos, and periodically as William grows.  All pictures I’m sharing today are courtesy of her.  Itz actually part of the reason it took me so long to get this post going.  She took over 2,000 photos!  Narrowing it down was difficult to say the least.  Yes, I’m super lucky and grateful to have such a generous, supportive, and talented sister.  Here we go!

So we got to the hospital around 10:45 in the morning, and I burst into tears upon the receptionists question of why I was there.  After I bawled, “I think I’m in labor!” they had me sit down and wait to be admitted which only took a few minutes.  We got in a room, a nurse checked me, and the infamous “bloody show” happened. I looked down on the sheets, and was like, “Uhhhh!”  And then I was reassured that was normal.  I was dilated 3 centimeters and 90% effaced.  “You’re going to have this baby today!” she told me.  Woah, things were about to get real.

My contractions were pretty strong at this point; still just a few minutes apart.  The nurse told me I’d be moving into a Labor & Delivery room.  I remember asking if they were going to wheel me in bed.  Nope, I’d be walking.  (Seriously, in movies all women in labor are in wheelchairs or beds – not true in real life! lol.)  I remember being so uncomfortable walking the short distance to the next room which is funny because I always thought I’d be someone who would walk to pass time during labor and help things progress.  No way, so not what I wanted to do at that time.

birth story

I had Jonny call my mom and dad and tell them to come ASAP, and I texted my sister to do the same.  I was feeling so scared and so nervous.  I really had no idea what to expect.  Sure, we went to all the baby classes, but when itz actually happening to you, itz a whole new ballgame.  Shortly after getting comfortable (well, situated) in the L&D room, I asked for the epidural.  Funny because I thought I’d wait as long as possible to get the epidural, and it felt like I’d just arrived at the hospital.  However, looking back, technically I started laboring at 3:30 in the morning, and I ended up getting the epidural at 1 pm.  Nine and a half hours isn’t too bad, I suppose.

When my contractions were the most uncomfortable, my mom was trying to tell me to breathe and coached me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth.  I just remember moaning and groaning through the pain.

Since I’d asked for the epidural, the nurses were busy getting me hooked up to the blood pressure machine, putting an IV in with fluids (mandatory for an epidural), and adjusting baby monitors on my belly.

hospital bed

1:00 pm - Upon getting the epidural, I was 5 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced.  The epidural was WEIRD.  My parents and Stephanie were asked to leave the room, so it was just the two nurses, anesthesiologist, and Jonny.  My nurses were amazing.  One of them talked me through the whole thing, and the other braced herself against me.  Our foreheads were pushing against each other and she was holding my shoulders down, to help me stay relaxed.  Whenever a contraction came, I asked the doctor to wait so I could breathe through it.  I was so scared I was going to move during the epidural, but the nurses were great at keeping me still.  The ZAP was the strangest thing ever. It was like electricity going through my body.  Once the epidural was in, it was smooth sailing!

1:45 pm - A doctor came in to break my water.  This, too, was strange, and it literally took less than a minute.  I didn’t really feel it, but I do remember the gush of fluid coming out.  People aren’t joking when they say itz a lot!  And I felt like I kept gushing!

I tried to sleep to pass the time, but I didn’t really sleep.  Just closed my eyes and tried to stay relaxed.  I wasn’t in pain, but I couldn’t get comfortable being hooked up.  Every time I wanted to switch sides, the nurses would have to switch the blood pressure cuff.  I felt very calm at this point; it was a waiting game.

hospital rest

At some point, I remember feeling a little light-headed.  I wasn’t hungry, and didn’t want food, but the absence of eating was beginning to wear on me.  Jonny made me a Cocogo, the nurses put sugar water in my IV, and I ate a popsicle.  I felt better almost instantly.

3:45 pm - 7 centimeters dilated.  My nurses’ shifts ended at seven, but they said I would probably have the baby before they left.  Stephanie kept saying how amazing it was that I was progressing on my own without needing Pitocin.

guess the weight

My family took bets on William’s weight.  My mom won.

I’m not sure about the rest of the times up until William was born.  Truthfully, I didn’t even really remember these times.  I texted my mom a few days ago asking if my water was broken before or after my epidural because I couldn’t remember, and she sent me a note she had created in her iPhone of the times of when everything went down.  For the millionth time, thank goodness for my mom!

birth getting checked

Almost go time!

Soon enough it was time to start pushing.  I remember being very scared.  I had no idea what to expect or how in the world I was going to push out a baby.  Again, my nurses were awesome.  They told me when to push and counted for me.  Stephanie was perched high on a cabinet in a corner of the room photographing the whole thing.  Jonny and my mom were on both sides of me, holding my hands, and occasionally looking where William would soon be.  As much as I didn’t want to be touched or rubbed to alleviate the pain before, I was gripping and squeezing their hands for dear life.

birth pushing

Pushing was strange.  My epidural was magical and marvelous in that I felt no pain, just pressure.  Apparently, some people still feel pain with epidurals and others have too much of the drug or itz improperly placed and feel nothing at all.  I had a good balance of feeling pressure, so I was able to somewhat know when/how/where to push.  Even though I was pushing, I felt like I wasn’t.  The nurses said I was doing a great job, but I really felt like I wasn’t pushing even though I was trying hard.

The nurses actually told me to stop pushing because we were waiting for my doctor.  It seemed to take forever for her to arrive, and Stephanie asked the nurses if they’d ever delivered a baby before without a doctor (they had).  Since I didn’t really know what was going on down there, I remember thinking he must be like rightthere ready to come out.  Eventually my doctor came, I pushed a couple times, and then my doctor told me to stop pushing.  My body was contracting on itz own which literally pushed William out the final little bit.

william first look 1

6:17 pm - William Jack was born!

As he came out, the doctor told me to reach down and grab him, so I could literally pull him out the rest of the way.  They asked me if I had him, and I remember saying, “No! I don’t have him! He’s so small, so slippery!”  I really thought I was going to drop him, but of course I didn’t and brought him straight to my chest.

william first look

I could not believe him.  He was so tiny. He was so adorable. He was all mine. He was HERE! He was perfect.  Life was better than it had ever been.

william born

on the night he was born

… to be continued …

back to school

This post is sponsored by Pure Protein. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Well… I survived my first day back to school (work).  I’ve been back for a couple days now which means I’ve been without William for a couple days.  Very very very very very sad.  But we’re surviving.  And look how cute William looked on his first day of school:

first day of school

Stud.  I made sure to get lots of snuggles when I picked him up, and all evening long.

I know he’s in a good place with loving people; itz just hard to leave him.  And I hate pumping at work.  Hate it.  I’m so busy trying to get ready for the new school year, that stopping to pump three times a day is really driving me nuts.  I’ll continue to do it because breastfeeding is important to me, but I don’t like it.

Another change I’m getting used to is not being able to graze all day.  When I was home all summer, I was a total grazer, snacking here and there all day long.  My hunger is still out of control since I’m breastfeeding, so grazing works well for me.  Being back at school, I don’t have the time I’m used to, so I need to be smart about packing snacks I can eat quickly.  One particular snack I’ve been loving are Pure Protein Bars.

pure protein bars

Power Your Purpose

Pure Protein® makes it easy to fuel your inner athlete with the perfect combination of high protein and great taste! Pure Protein® bars are an excellent choice for pre and post workouts or any time of day for a protein boost. Our high quality protein bars were made to:

  • Help Maintain Overall Health
  • Support Lean Muscle and Strength
  • Help Fuel Your Body

Our goal is to provide you with convenient and delicious protein products, giving you the strength to achieve your goals!

The bars really satiate my hunger, as well as my sweet tooth as they have pretty rockin’ flavors.  I’m using the bars to fuel my body while at school, but I’ve been sharing the love, too.  My brother Jason, a workout fiend, loves the chocolate salted caramel.  Not only does he eat the bars pre and post workout, he enjoys them as desserts, too!  My friend Diana’s favorite flavor is peanut butter, and my grandma’s is dark chocolate coconut.  Obviously everyone has different tastes, but we all agree on one thing: they taste great!  My favorite is probably the coconut!

pure protein bars1

Pure Protein also has different flavors including Greek Yogurt Strawberry (I want to try this one!), Chewy Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Deluxe, Chocolate Peanut Caramel (another tasty sounding flavor!), and Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch.  Lots of good options!

St. Louis friends, I have a wonderful back to school event for you!  Megan & Erin have teamed up with DSW in St. Peters (St. Louis area) to host a back-to-school event and shoe drive to collect new & gently-used shoes for a local charity on Saturday August, 16th from 10am to Noon.  The first 50 attendees get a bonus gift card, plus there will be giveaways, crafts, story time, a dress-up photo booth and more to celebrate the addition of a kids department (baby on up!) at DSW!  Please RSVP here and bring the whole family!


Sounds like the perfect opportunity to get William some sweet new kicks!  And baby shoes are possibly some of the cutest things ever!

Speaking of the cutest things ever… check out my happy little dude:

william 4 months

photo by Stephanie Cotta Photography

He gets those muscular arms from eating Pure Protein bars.  Obviously.

Are you getting ready to go back to school?

Future Cane

Itz Jonny’s birthday today, so I thought I’d post a few pictures of the cutest little future Cane.  Let me explain.  Jonny went to the University of Miami for undergrad, and he’s… well, he’s obsessed.  But interestingly enough, everyone who goes to Miami becomes an obsessed die-hard Miami fan.  Jonny has the “U” tattooed on his leg, and owns seven thousand Miami shirts, shorts, jackets, etc.  I’ve gotten him every Miami gift possible including a Miami toothbrush.  To tell him we were pregnant, I gave him a Miami onesie and bib.  To tell his family and friends we were pregnant, he showed them a picture of the little Miami onesie with “Coming April 2014.”  He.loves.Miami.

I, now, have acquired several Miami items, as well.  And so has Zoey.  Seriously.  My cousin went to Miami, and is equally obsessed.  He named his dog Cane for the Miami Hurricanes.  Miami alums are crazy for Miami.

So what better way to honor Jonny’s birthday than by posting a bunch of adorable pictures of our baby boy in his favorite Hurricane gear?


This is the onesie I had bought Jonny when we very first started trying to get pregnant.  I knew it was how I wanted to share our good news with him.


Jonny bought this jersey romper shortly after finding out we were pregnant, and itz his favorite Miami item that fits William right now.  It is pretty darn cute.


And William looks pretty happy, too, eh?

The final outfit is a sleeper because what other options are there for little babies? Onesies, rompers, and sleepers.  William must have them all! (And he does…. in the next several sizes, too!)


Happy birthday, Jonny! We love you!

Best Sushi in St Louis at Siam

Looking for the best sushi in St. Louis?  Itz at Siam, baby!  Last weekend, Jonny, my brother Jason, my grandparents, and myself went to check out a hot new spot in town – Siam, located in The Grove.  Everything on the menu looked good, so we ordered a little bit of it all.  I kid you not.  Our food from the evening:


Appetizers, sushi, entrees, desserts – it was all mouth-watering amazing.  Siam is described as Asian fusion, elevated comfort food – which is a spot on description.  Everything from the presentation to the unique flavor combinations to the quality of food was right on point.  Itz obvious that the talented chefs put a lot of time and effort into developing the dishes and plating the food.  Alright, here’s a run down of what we had, and we all shared everything (yes, even my grandpa ate sushi!).  I’m pulling the descriptions from their menu:


  • Charred Edamame: Edamame, shoyu, sesame dukkah - wonderful flavor!
  • Pot Stickers: Traditional with sweet soy dipping sauce
  • Pot Stickers: Chorizo-date with goat cheese and shiso dipping sauce - Probably one of the most unique and surprising flavor profiles of our night – savory with the slightest touch of sweet.


(photo source)

  • Seared Scallops: Pan seared scallops, edamame puree, crispy shitake mushroom, nori butter - The scallops were huge and cooked to perfection and the edamame puree was unbelievable! I literally used a spoon to scrape off every last drop. I’d like to recreate something like that at home.
  • Umami Sliders: Ground sirloin burgers, wild mushrooms, crispy shallots, sufu, tomato jam - Jonny was the one who wanted these as he’s a HUGE slider fan and he gave them two thumbs up!



(photo source)

  • Goku Roll: Fried shrimp tempura, avocado and Japanese mayo. Topped with fresh red tuna, radish sprouts, masago, Japanese mayo. Served with baked scallops and spicy crab - This was Jason’s favorite roll and he’s quite the sushi connoisseur.
  • Serpent Roll: Marinated crab, avocado and masago. Topped with broiled fresh water eel.
  • Grove Roll: Mango spicy tuna mix, crab. Topped with super whtie tuna, flying fish roes, honey wasabi and eel sauce - This was Jonny’s and my favorite. The honey wasabi was unbelievable, just a tiny hint of sweetness!


  •  Salmon, Tuna, & Whitetail: The freshest sashimi EVER.

Entrees: (on special for the night)

  • Branzino with Israeli Couscous: The sea bass was served on the bone, but very easy to remove and the Israeli couscous tasted like comfort food: warm, flavorful, and delicious. It paired perfectly with the fresh green beans.
  • Hoisin Spare Ribs: My grandpa’s favorite of the evening.  I was too stuffed at this point to even try them.  I needed to save the last little bit in my stomach for dessert.


  • Siam S’mores: Star anise graham cracker, passionfruit, marshmallow, chocolate ganache - THE BEST! Itz a must to order! The sweetness from the passionfruit was so good. Campfire s’mores will never be the same.


(photo source)

  • Chocolate-Matcha Entremet: Chocolate mousse, matcha dacquoise, black sesame sponge cake, chocolate ganache - I’m not usually a huge chocolate cake fan, but I couldn’t stop eating this. It wasn’t too rich – it was just perfect.
  • Plum Wine Poached Pears: Honey mascarpone, ginger creme anglaise, sesame nougatine - Honestly, this was my least favorite of the desserts and itz because of the mascarpone which I’m not a huge fan of. The pears were fantastic, and this dessert was my grandma’s favorite.

And Siam as a restaurant?  AWESOME! Honestly, it reminds me of restaurants in Miami and New York with the way itz designed and decorated.  There are two different bars inside with a great looking patio. In the late evening hours, far past my bedtime, the bar and patio become packed!  Dinner is served until ten and from 10pm – 1am there is a late night menu.  We dined in the upper area where there are curtains so it can be closed off for private parties.  It seems like it’d be a really fun place for a bachelor/bachelorette party! The whole atmosphere is incredible; there’s a cool vibe that permeates the place, and I can only imagine how hoppin’ it gets at night.

If you’re in St. Louis and you’re looking for the best sushi, unique food, or a fun bar, you must check out Siam!  And if you go during reasonable hours, please give me a call. I’d love to join ya as I’m hungry all over again just thinking about our feast! :) (This momma can’t stay awake for the bar scene anymore.)

Which dish appeals most to you?

Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding in public – such a hot topic lately.  Or maybe it just seems that way as my news feed contains several stories each week pertaining to breastfeeding. Some are beautiful photos or cute stories, while others are cases of intolerance and ignorance towards breastfeeding.  Let me just say, I strongly believe in and support breastfeeding.  However, I know there are many reasons why women do not breastfeed, including being unable to or having great difficulty.  If you’re feeding your baby in any capacity, you’re a good momma!


photo by Stephanie Cotta Photography

I’ll be the first to admit: when I was younger (say, high school) I would have been grossed out to see a woman breastfeeding in public.  Now, ten years later and having a baby of my own, my thoughts and feelings could not be further from those immature, shameful thoughts.  I think there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public.  I think it should be allowed, tolerated, supported, and embraced.  And I’m talking about breastfeeding with no cover up.  Let’s think what breastfeeding in public actually means.  ITZ A WOMAN FEEDING HER BABY!

Some people feel women should use a cover or go someplace private (like a bathroom – EW!) to nurse.  I disagree.  Do bottle-fed babies have to eat with a cover over their head?  Would you like eating in the dark underneath a cover?  Would you want to eat in a bathroom?  I know I wouldn’t.  So why should breastfed babies?  They shouldn’t.

Have I breastfed in public?  You betchya!  My breastfeeding journey hasn’t always been easy; it definitely took us some time to get the hang of it.  The first time I tried to use a cover up I became frustrated.  Breastfeeding is very natural, but doesn’t always come so naturally.  For me, I needed to see exactly what I was doing and what was going where.  Now that I’ve figured out breastfeeding, I still don’t use a cover.  Don’t get me wrong here; I do use discretion when choosing to breastfeed.

For example, there are nice lounges at the mall that I will go to nurse.  But if there isn’t a clean, designated spot, then I will try and find someplace a little more private.  I nursed at the airport when traveling last month.  I simply went to a nearly empty gate, turned away from where a few people were sitting, and breastfed with nothing covering us.  Also, the more comfortable I’ve gotten with breastfeeding, the less revealing it is because I can simply pull out what I need to and put him on.  The time that my actual nipple is exposed is extremely limited.

Strangely enough, I’m almost more comfortable nursing in public compared to nursing in front of people I know.  I don’t mind breastfeeding in front of my mom, grandma, sister, and girlfriends, but the men in my family or my guy friends are a different story.  I don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of them even though I would feel comfortable nursing in a more public setting with complete strangers.  Not quite sure why that is.

One more thing, I’m PROUD to be able to breastfeed!  Itz pretty amazing when you think about it.  William has grown from just a tiny (adorable) five pound baby to a thirteen pound (adorable) hunk in just three and a half months.  Do you know how?  From me!  I’ve kept this little baby alive and fed him on a daily basis from my breasts, and he’s thriving. Proof:

william 4 months

my beautiful, growing baby boy

Bodies are amazing and breastfeeding is impressive, in my opinion!

This week, August 1-7, 2014 is World Breastfeeding Week which prompted this post.  There are so many benefits to breastfeeding, yet it can be such a challenging time during this new phase of a momma’s life, I just hope we can all be a bit more tolerable and supportive regarding breastfeeding.  I know I appreciated all the support I received and continue to receive when nursing my baby, whenever, however, wherever I prefer.

So let’s talk: What are your thoughts on breastfeeding in public?

William’s Birth Story – Before

Almost four months later isn’t too bad for finally sharing William’s birth story, is it?  Better late than never.  Life’s been busy lately in the best possible way. I’m happy to have the opportunity to share.  Just thinking back to my experience makes me smile.  As you know, birth stories can be quite long, so I’ve decided to split mine up in three parts: William’s Birth Story – Before – During – After.  All marvelous.

Let me just say, the timing of things is SO funny.  Everything happens for a reason at the right time.  As a reminder, William’s due date was supposed to be April 30, 2014.  But, that obviously didn’t happen.  Here’s the beginning of William’s birth story:

william's birth story

  • Sunday, April 6, 2014 - My baby shower and, later, the urban maternity photoshoot.
  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - My 37 week doctor appointment where she told me I’d have to decide the following week if I wanted to be induced at 38 or 39 weeks because he was measuring so small (the sixth percentile to be exact).
  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - After school, my mom spent four hours with me going through my baby shower gifts since my little baby was going to come earlier than expected, and we had to get the baby room ready!  My wonderful mother took home several laundry baskets full of clothes, sheets, and towels since I still had two more days of work.  My time was limited to say the least.  That night as I looked into a mirror baring my belly, I told my mom my belly felt heavy. Never before had I felt that way throughout my pregnancy.  She told me I definitely looked like the baby had dropped.  Well….

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to go to the bathroom.  Except, errrr….. it wasn’t just to pee as it typically had been.  Several times after that, I was in the bathroom.  Definitely odd.  At one point, Jonny woke up and asked me if I was ok because I was on all fours in the bed.  I told him, “Yes, itz just comfortable.”  I’d had a hard time getting comfortable and found myself on my hands and knees, so my belly could hang.  I honestly thought nothing of it.  Perhaps they were just some pregnancy pains, something I hadn’t experienced before.  A couple hours went by and I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I decided to get up.

6:00 am - I texted my sister Stephanie, “Are you up?”  She replied that she was, so immediately, I called her.

  • Stephanie: Yeeeessss? [very groggy]
  • Linz: I feel like I have cramps and I keep on pooping!
  • Stephanie: WHAT?! ARE YOU IN LABOR? [fully awake] You better not be in labor!  We still haven’t done maternity pictures in Innsbrook!
  • Linz: No, I’m not in labor! I just feel really weird!
  • Stephanie: You’re probably having contractions.  Are you going to go to school?
  • Linz: I have to.  My long-term substitute is coming to shadow me today and tomorrow for transition.
  • Stephanie: I think you’re in labor.
  • Linz: No way.  They’re probably just the practice ones.  But I’m not sure if I can go to school if I feel like this. [e-mails my principal, "I feel really weird and am possibly having contractions. I'm sure it's nothing, but if this continues I won't be able to come in today. I'll email you again in an hour and let you know."]  I have to go to school today.  I didn’t even bring my computer home.  I have so much to do!  Let me see how I feel in an hour.

7:00 am - Another phone call to my sister.

  • Stephanie: Well?
  • Linz: Itz hurting worse.
  • Stephanie: What?! You’re totally in labor!
  • Linz: I don’t think so, but I just texted my principal because there’s no way I can go to school feeling like this.
  • Stephanie: Have you called Mom and Dad?
  • Linz: No. I still don’t really know what’s going on.
  • Stephanie: You’re in labor.
  • Linz: Why do I keep pooping then?
  • Stephanie: Your body is clearing itself out, getting ready to push out a baby.  Better now than during birth…
  • Linz: This is so weird.
  • Stephanie: Go take a shower, do your hair, and put makeup on.
  • Linz: WHAT?!
  • Stephanie: Do it.  If you are going into labor, you’ll want to do it now before it gets any worse.  Plus, it’ll help take your mind off things.  Trust me.  You’ll thank me later.  Go shower.  Bye.

I do end up taking a shower, doing my hair, and putting my makeup on.  I also texted my co-worker/friend to come pick up the tie-dye that my class was set to do that day.  She came over to see me in my bathrobe with a full face of makeup on.  I kept telling her, “I don’t know what’s going on.”  Later, she said I looked scared.

Funny enough, Jonny was scheduled to go into work at two o’clock in the afternoon instead of his usual early time.  He kept asking me, “Should I call in?”  And I kept telling him no, surely I wasn’t in labor, let’s just see what happens.

8:30 am - I decide to call my parents.  They ask me if I’ve timed my contractions and I still believe I’m not having contractions even though they’re starting to become more and more uncomfortable.  They advised me to call my doctor to make myself feel better and just to let her know what was going on.

When I called my doctor, she, too, asked if I’d timed my contractions.  I told her no because I thought you were only supposed to time them when they became unbearable and I was still able to breathe through them.  She gave me three options:

  1. Come to her office and they could hook me up to the baby monitor if I was worried about him and for peace of mind.  I really didn’t want to do that because it was twenty minutes away and sitting in a car did not sound appealing.  Also, if I went out there and it turned out I was in labor, I’d have to turn right back around and head back out in the direction to my house to the hospital.
  2. Go to the hospital and risk being sent right back home.
  3. Wait it out at home until contractions are five minutes apart.  I chose this option.

Much to my surprise, when I timed my contractions, they were THREE AND A HALF MINUTES APART and lasting one minute!  I called Stephanie again.

  • Stephanie: Did you shower?
  • Linz: Yes. [rolls eyes] And I called Mom and Dad.  And my doctor.
  • Stephanie: And?
  • Linz: My doctor gave me three options. [explain what they are]
  • Stephanie: I CANNOT believe you are in labor right now.
  • Linz: Stop saying that, you’re freaking me out.  You were early, too, right?
  • Stephanie: Yeah, but they had to induce me both times.  This is AMAZING that your body is doing it on itz own.
  • Linz: We still don’t really know what’s going on.  But I timed them and they’re three and a half minutes apart.
  • Stephanie: You’re in labor.
  • Linz: I can still breathe through them.
  • Stephanie: You need to be drinking tons of water and eating right now.  You can’t eat once you get to the hospital.  I can’t believe you’re going to have a baby today!
  • Linz: I am drinking water and I already ate a banana.
  • Stephanie: Go eat more.  Call me when something else happens.

Jonny continues to ask me if he should call in to work.  I keep telling him, “Let’s wait it out.”  I did tell him the only thing I felt like eating was a bagel and cream cheese, but of course we had none in our house, so he kindly went out to get me one.  I remember eating it through contractions in our bedroom.  I couldn’t get comfortable.  I didn’t know if I wanted to lay down, sit, or walk around.  Nothing felt good.  I literally took bites through contractions and sometimes had to stop chewing in order to breathe deeply.  For a very split second, I contemplated taking a picture of the bagel on my bed.  Why?  Because I knew I would be sharing my birth story and this bagel and cream cheese would be part of it.  But I didn’t.  I could have cared less about pictures at that moment which is exactly why this entire post is [almost] picture-less.  having a baby > blogging ;)

Jonny and I laughed a lot that morning.  Were we really about to have a baby?!  My contractions continued to be three and a half minutes apart, but I was still breathing through them, so I figured we’d wait it out at home as long as possible.

10:30 am - Finally I said to Jonny, “I think we should go to the hospital.”  I was very uncomfortable and getting more so by the minute.  Jonny packed up the car, and off we went.  I didn’t want to talk in the car.  I closed my eyes, periodically opening them to check where we were during the short ride.

10:45 am - As we walked in to the hospital, I kept expecting someone to offer me a wheelchair.  After all, I [think I] was in labor!  That didn’t happen, so I waddled up to the Labor and Delivery floor.  The ladies at the desk greeted me and asked why I was here.

WATERWORKS!  I burst in to tears and sobbed, “I think I’m having contractions!”  I can look back on it now and laugh, but at that moment, it got so real.  I knew I was going to have a baby that day.  My body felt more different than it ever had, and my contractions were getting so uncomfortable.

… to be continued …

going back to work

Itz August 1st, summer is almost over, and I’m going back to work next week.


We’re both feeling a bit….

william sad 3.5 months

Yeah.  That.

Needless to say, I’m dreading going back to work.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my job, I love my school, I love my co-workers, I love my students.  I know I’m lucky to have a job, and a great one at that.  But I love my baby more and the thought of leaving him for eight hours five days a week breaks my heart.

I know that he will be in good hands.  The best actually.  My mom will have him one day, my mother-in-law one day, and “school” the other three.  Itz a place that Jonny and I both really love and know he will be safe, stimulated, and loved on constantly.

little dude

I just have so many worries.  I’m worried I’m going to miss lots of his “firsts.”  He’s growing and changing by the day. With me being away from him so long, I’m bound to miss something.  I’ve loved spending every minute of every day with him for the last three and a half months.

I’m worried about my milk supply and I know worrying is certainly going to do nothing.  I’m worried about pumping enough at school.  I’m worried about my body adjusting to this new schedule.  I’m worried about getting myself ready and getting to school on time.  Usually we play in the morning, but now I’ll need to figure out a new routine to be able to get myself together quickly, as well as him.  We usually walk in the mornings, but I doubt that is going to happen, at least not in the beginning until I figure out how to make it work. Maybe I’ll start doing quick yet effective at-home workouts since long, leisurely walks probably won’t be happening during the week.

I’ll miss exclusively breastfeeding him and snuggling throughout the day.  I’ll miss weighing him each week after I nurse in the group.  I’ll miss having playdates throughout the week with other cutie pie babies.  I’ll miss singing, dancing, and reading with him during the day.

I’m just going to miss my sweet little baby so much.  I know people make it work all the time, and I’m certainly not the first momma to return to work, but this is a huge first for me, and one I’m feeling super anxious about.  I just love him and don’t want to leave him.

william 3.5 months

How can I leave this sweet guy?! Advice?!

Sorry for the whiny post. Birth story coming Monday…

Summertime at Innsbrook

Summertime at Innsbrook is the best.  It includes family and tons of outdoor time.  What could be better?  Some photos from our trip last weekend:

It was William’s first time on a boat.  He was so ready for it!

william ready for boat

The beautiful lake on a gorgeous day.


We had the cutest drivers and best looking crew.


Steph and I with our babies.

aud steph boat

Audrey has to be touching William AT ALL TIMES.

But if you’re going to spend a day in the sun, you obviously need proper protection.

block island sunscreen

my attempt at posing with the sunscreen. errr……

Block Island Organics recently sent me a bottle of their sunscreen to review.  This was the perfect weekend to try it out. I’ve been hesitant to wear sunscreen this summer because whatever I wore would most likely get on William and I didn’t want that to include chemicals.  So I’ve pretty much stayed out of the sun to avoid needing sunscreen.  However, Block Island Organics is different.

Their philosophy is to actively enjoy the outdoors with the motto “Play Smart. Play Safe. Non-Toxic Suncare.”  As such, they strive to make safe, effective and lovable suncare products.  Their sunscreens are non-toxic mineral based (zinc and titanium), as opposed to chemical based.  Their products are non-comedogenic, vegan formulated, paraben free, phthalate free, nano particle free, artificial fragrance free, non-eye irritating, not tested on animals, made in the USA and highly rated by the Environmental Working Group.  They even have a Baby SPF 30 which will come in handy once William is in the sun more.

Since I lathered my arms and chest in this, it obviously touched William’s skin, but I felt ok about it.  This sunscreen is a bit pricier than other brands, but you have to consider what it is (really, what itz not! Chemicals!).  For one week, Block Island Organics is offering readers a 20% discount code valid from August 1-7, 2014.  Get it while itz hot! (Get it? Ha.)

A weekend at Innsbrook is not complete without cousins and a campfire.


And roasting marshmallows, ooooobviously.

My dad and Jonny (aka pyros) got the fire going once again in the morning.

dad jonny innsbrook

Lots of babywearing happened, too.  Actually, it happened most when my family went out on the boat for the first time.  Rain was in the forecast and I didn’t want to get caught on the lake in the rain with William, so we stayed back.  While babywearing him, I decided to do a little workout and walked up and down the stairs 30 times.  Fit momma for the win!

babywearing innsbrook

What does summertime look like for you?