Q&A: Dogs & Babies, Maternity Leave, and the DockATot

Soooooooo, let me paint you a word picture (accompanied by an actual picture.) Here I was, sitting on the sofa, browser open, Penny napping peacefully in her Rock ‘n’ Play, the dogs snoozing away nearby, and with absolutely no idea what to write.

It’s not that I don’t have things to write about. I mean, I had a baby six and a half weeks ago. I’ve had a lot of learnings and really do have a lot to say, haha. But it’s like there’s so much I want to say, I can’t figure out how to say any of it! Tough though it may be to believe now, there used to be a time when I posted daily to this here blog — sometimes even twice a day! Shocking, I know. And back then, I had no problems coming up with something to write about every day, but it seems that the longer I go between posting, the harder it is for me to get back into it. Conundrum.

So being the internet-dependent person that I am, I turned to you guys to help me figure out and narrow down what I should write about with regard to what life has been like over the past several weeks. And boooooy, did you! Thanks to you all, I now have a whole list of topics to to dig into, specifically for those who might be interested in the nittier, grittier side of newborn momming. Since some of your questions are pretty big and deserve posts of their own, I figured I’d start off by tackling some of the easier-to-answer questions I’ve received.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

How are Harry & Daxter adjusting to life with their new baby sister?

Thankfully, bringing Penny home has been a total non-issue for the dogs! Harry has been completely nonplussed by her presence since we took her home, and Daxter continues to warm up to her more and more. I was a little bit worried about how Daxter in particular would take to her, as he had exhibited some jealous behavior towards my nieces when they were babies, but thankfully those issues have yet to surface with Penny. Yay!

I definitely tried my best to prepare the dogs as much as I could prior to Penny’s arrival:

  1. I made sure a bunch of the baby stuff was all set up and placed the house long before I actually went into labor, so they could get used to all the new furniture and “stuff” that would be encroaching on their space.
  2. The dogs stayed with my parents while I was in the hospital (where they stay frequently), and I sent my parents home with the hat that Penny wore in the hospital to let the dogs get familiar with her smell.
  3. When the dogs came home, I went outside and greeted them by myself without the baby since it had been several days since I had seen them.
  4. Lastly, upon the advice of my friend Lara, who is a dog trainer, I made sure not to make a big deal of trying to get the dogs to “meet” Penny. I didn’t force them to go up to her, or hold her up to them to sniff, or anything like that. Penny was sleeping on the couch in her Boppy lounger when they came in, and it actually took them a little bit of time to even notice her.

All those things combined led to a very uneventful introduction, and things continue to go quite smoothly! Daxter still doesn’t love it when she starts crying and fussing (he’ll just get up and sulkily leave the room, lol), but he loves curling up in her Boppy lounger when she’s not using it, and both he and Harry (as well as my brother’s dog, Pixel) all seem to be generally unaffected by her presence. And Penny can sleep through their barking and yapping too, so win-win!

How’s breastfeeding going?

I feel very fortunate not to have had any real issues with breastfeeding thus far. I know that’s not the case for many people, and I’m incredibly grateful to have what seems like a good milk supply, as well as no issues with Penny latching (nor with her taking the occasional bottle). I have dealt with pretty regular engorgement issues (I don’t think my supply has really regulated yet), but fortunately have not had any complications from that, like mastitis (and praying it stays that way!)

 
That said, breastfeeding in and of itself is not without its mental and emotional challenges, even if the physical aspect has been pretty smooth for me. After all, just because it has been going well so far, doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to continue being that way, so the possibility of my milk supply dwindling in the future is sometimes on my mind. Also, I’ve been super grateful that Sean’s able to give her the occasional bottle of my pumped milk, as it can be emotionally draining to be her only food source, but we were also constantly second-guessing whether or not we were giving her too little, or too much, when we bottle fed her.

I ended up getting the Hatch Baby Grow scale and changing pad which, in addition to letting us keep track of her weight and growth (something that the data-freak and crazy first-time-mom in me L-O-V-E-S), it has also allowed us to see roughly how much she has been taking from me as well by weighing her pre- and post-feeding. Doing so has really helped alleviate a lot of my worries with her feeding, and I can definitely say that she’s getting enough to eat because she’s packing on the pounds like a little champion: 11 pounds 12 ounces as of yesterday!

What was it like leaving the house by yourself with Penny for the first time?

Thankfully, it was very smooth, but probably only because I ramped up my outings with Penny VERY slowly. Sean and I had taken her out with us together several times (to the doctor, to lunch, etc), and when my sister was in town we took both Penny and my nephew Alex out together as well.

So by the time Sean was back at work and it was just me, I felt relatively confident in handling her carseat and stroller… but I still took it one baby step at a time. Pretty sure our first time out solo was just to the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru, lol. Then to Target. Then finally to meet a friend for lunch, and now getting out of the house is easy as pie… as long as I don’t need to be too punctual. Punctuality is definitely not my strong suit now.

What was it like leaving Penny for the first time?

The very first time I left Penny was just to run some quick errands while Sean was home on the weekend — this only happened a couple weeks ago. It’s actually kind of crazy to think that I wasn’t more than a room away from her for almost six entire weeks, heh. I did pretty well since it was a short trip and I was actively doing something the whole time — driving, running into the store, etc.

The first time Sean and I both left Penny was last weekend when we went to see Blade Runner 2049 and my parents watched Penny for a few hours. I did less well that time — even though I know my parents had everything totally under control, it was still hard to be away from her, of course. She’s my tiny human, after all! I’m obsessed with her. I did okay during the movie itself (it was really good!) but I was ready to get up and race out of there the second it ended. Also, I burst into tears when Sean poked fun of me for checking my phone as soon as the credits started to roll, lol.

How long are you on maternity leave, and when do you go back to work?

I’m very fortunate to work for Yelp and receive twelve weeks of maternity leave, fully paid. If you’re outside of the US, that probably doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but believe me, it’s above and beyond what most people get in the States and I’m very grateful. Since I was induced three weeks early, I used my PTO to add to my maternity leave as well to beef up my leave time and keep my original return-to-work date in mid-December.

What are your childcare plans for when you go back?

I’m also very fortunate to currently work from home (though Yelp is soon opening a DC office! Exciting!) and have an ever-changing but pretty flexible schedule, which gives me options for Penny’s childcare that I might not otherwise have with a traditional 9-5. We are also lucky ducks in that we have lots of family close by! So the plan is for my parents and Sean’s mom to watch her a couple days a week, and I’ll be enrolling Penny in a part-time daycare for the rest of the time. On nights when I have an Elite Event happening, she’ll either be home with Sean, babysat by family (in addition to our parents, we also have my brother and sister-in-law and Sean’s sister in the area), or with a sitter.

How are you sleeping?

I’ve saved this for last because it’s kind of a doozy to get into. The simplest answer is: I sleep in three hour chunks. Sometimes it’s slightly longer, sometimes a little shorter, but for the past week or so she has been pretty consistent.

The (much) longer answer is that over the course of the past 7 weeks, that amount has ranged from one hour (which, yes, is just as horrible as it sounds) to 3.5 hours (which feels AMAZING to get that much sleep at once, ludicrous as it sounds), and we’ve only made it to a three hour average by finally throwing money at a sleep solution that seems to really be working for us — the DockATot.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was very resistant to getting a DockATot initially, for a few reasons. One, it’s pretty expensive for what many have described as a fancy dog bed. Two, it’s most commonly utilized for bedsharing, which is something I swore up and down and left and right that I would never do (but don’t worry, I have an entire post I plan on writing about things I said I’d never do before actually having a baby, lolololololol). Three, it’s not technically approved in the US for use as a crib nest (in a crib or bassinet), even though it is marketed as such overseas (where it goes by the name “Sleepyhead” – 100% positive this distinction has to do with )

But, as you can see, I ultimately got over my reservations and made a conscious, informed choice to try the Dock-A-Tot, and I’m gonna be honest: I am soooooo glad that I did.

A little backstory: when we first brought Penny home, I was adamant that we strictly follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for safe sleep (to reduce the chance of SIDs). That meant she was to sleep alone (no loose bedding, blankets, or toys), on her back, and on a flat, firm surface, so we had a bassinet set up in our room which fit all those criteria. What I didn’t really consider, however, was that it would be so difficult to get her to sleep in said bassinet! Go figure.

Yup, pretty much.

Trying to put Penny down to sleep in her bassinet was a challenge every night. More often than not, her eyes would shoot back open the second she touched the mattress even if she’d been fallen asleep elsewhere. She’d also only stay down for about an hour to an hour-and-a-half most of the time she was in her bassinet, but would sleep soundly for much longer in the other sleeper products we have — her Boppy Lounger or Rock ‘n’ Play. However, since only products labeled “crib,” “bassinet,” or “pack ‘n’ play” “count” for the AAP’s safe sleep recommendations, I didn’t want to let her sleep overnight in them and started experiencing tons of anxiety that she wasn’t sleeping safely enough (on a somewhat related note, I highly recommend that new moms NOT Google things like “SIDs Death Stories” at 2 in the morning.)

So, suddenly I was either spending hours at night trying to get her to go down, and then back down, in her bassinet (often the only way to do so was by letting her fall asleep on her side or tummy whilst on my chest and then transferring her, sigh), or simply staying awake all night while she slept in her lounger or Rock ‘n’ Play. Obviously, neither of which were real solutions as they both required me to be awake all night and frankly, it started to feel dangerous as my exhaustion started compounding upon itself.

Cause darling she’s a nightmare dressed like a daydream

More than once, I accidentally drifted off while nursing or holding her in bed or in my glider, only to awaken in a total crazy-freak-out-panic each time because it felt — and was! — so unsafe. That was the reality check that finally made me realize we desperately needed to figure out a different sleep solution, as I felt the benefits of strictly adhering to the AAP guidelines were now outweighed by the risks our total exhaustion was posing (and to be clear, its not like I was suddenly intending to disregard the official recommendations, I just realized they could still be applied whilst allowing me to get some rest.)

I like to think I’m pretty tuned into all the trending mom stuff on Instagram (#dockatot, #freshlypicked, #littlenomad, lol), so I’d heard about the DockATot a while ago (plus I have friends who really love it), but was hesitant to jump in due to the price. So I initially tried out a cheaper alternative, the SnuggleNest, which I found on Amazon as an Open Box deal for only $30.

The SnuggleNest did work better than putting her in her bassinet alone (and also allowed us to bring her into bed with us more safely), but didn’t seem to make that big of a difference in her sleep as she was still waking very frequently, and I also kept waking to find her all sidled up against one side which made me slightly nervous (even though the sides is mesh/ventilated.) Clearly she was looking for the security of feeling more snug and “boxed in.” (Which I’m pretty sure is also what makes Daxter only want to sleep smushed between my legs at night, and makes Harry cram himself into Pixel’s teeny tiny dog bed when he visits instead of his appropriately-sized one… but I digress.)

I already knew that a big part of what makes the DockATot so popular was the idea that it makes your little one feel snug and secure on all sides (their tagline is “reinventing the womb”) so I finally started researching it in earnest. And as I did, it began to appeal to me more and more — not only did I have friends who swore by its magical, sleep-inducing powers, but the more I looked into it, the more sense it seemed to make from a safety, security, and sleep perspective. Then, after one particularly sleepless night, I had a crazy mom moment and literally ran out of my house to go get one, lol.

Since using it, I’ve found that it’s not just a soft, fluffy pillow, but is structured, quite firm and, in my experience, does live up to its claims of breathability. (I stuffed my face into the bumper for over a minute and could still breathe through it.) Plus, it keeps Penny so snug that she has yet to get her face anywhere close to the sides even when she turns her head.

The most important thing, of course, is that it helps her — and thus, us — sleep. Penny goes down quite easily in it when it’s time for bed, and far more amazingly, returns to sleep so quickly after waking up to nurse in the middle of the night. Plus, from the very first night in her DockATot, Penny started sleeping 3 to 3.5 hour stretches with consistency (barring any extenuating circumstances like her coming down with a little cold this weekend ::cry::). It’s not a magic bullet that has made her suddenly start sleeping through the whole night, of course, but honestly just getting consistent periods of 3+ hours of sleep makes such a huge difference, and obviously it’s my hope that those stretches will continue to get longer as Penny is able to go more time between feeds.

We primarily use the DockATot in her bassinet (it fits perfectly), though I do bring it into bed occasionally (especially after Sean leaves for work in the morning so she and I can nap together, hehe.) And I look forward to hopefully being able to use it to help transition her into her crib when the time is right for that as well (acknowledging that if she starts rolling before then, we may need to reevaluate since the danger of using a DockATot in a crib is the potential for baby to roll out and become trapped between the side of the crib and the DAT. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it though.)

I could probably keep talking about this forever and go into even more detail as to why we made this decision and why it’s working for us, but this has already been a super long post, so if you have specific questions or would like more details about our sleep sitch, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me!

I’ll take my leave for now, though, with the promise of coming back to address some of the other questions/topics you guys had for me — most of which deserve posts of their own. On the docket are posts about my postpartum body image, product recommendations, a day in our life, my new mom skincare and beauty routine, all of the emotions that motherhood has brought with it, and, as mentioned above, all the things I’ve had to take back about motherhood once I actually became a mother, lol.

I also intend to talk about my plans for weight loss and getting back on the health train, but I want to make it clear that this is unrelated to the concept of “losing the baby weight” because A) I think the societal pressure to do so is utter crap and B) I’m already back at my pre-pregnancy weight because I only gained like 10 pounds during my pregnancy. It’s just since I was overweight when I started out, I’d still like to lose some libbies and start focusing on my health again (especially if I’m to be expected to keep being able to carry my little chunkmonster at the rate she’s gaining weight, bahahaha.)

WHEW! Hopefully all of that should keep these blog wheels turning for a little while, at least! Penny and I are headed off to Atlanta today to visit my sister (so I guess you can add a “my experience traveling with an infant” post to the list!), but I promise to try and get back to blogging more regularly once we return! And in the meantime, you can let me know if there are any additional topics of interest that seem to be missing from the list. 🙂

Foxlet: Week 17 & 18

Helloooooo! So in case you missed last week’s news

We found out that there’s a baby girl growing inside me! Sean and I are both super excited, and extra terrified, hehe. And now we’ve successfully arrived at week 18, so read on if you’re interested in how this little lady (squee!) is doing!

 
Foxlet’s Size: Foxlet is the size of a tall Frappuccino with whipped cream on top! Or, y’know, a bell pepper or an artichoke.

Weight Gained: I don’t even know right now. My weight seems to fluctuate up and down by 2-3 pounds on any given day, and sometimes more than that. I actually kind of freaked out a few days ago because the scale said I’d dropped an additional 5 pounds, which would have brought my overall pregnancy weight loss to almost 20 pounds! And, as I’ve said before, while it’s not uncommon nor a bad thing for me to have lost weight (since I started out overweight), I’m getting to the point where things should probably be evening back out. But since that 5-libbie loss occurred after a night fraught with toilet-hugging, I realize (now, in the light of day and sanity) that it doesn’t count.

If I had to guess based on, I dunno, averages or whatever, I’d venture that I’m like 12-ish pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I think I’m slowly starting to gain my lost pounds back, but I’m still in the red for right now. And I still barely even understand how that’s the case, since hardly any of my non-maternity pants fit anymore and I already feel like a walking stomach.

Symptoms: Dude, I am EIGHTEEN WEEKS and my nausea still hasn’t gone away! I’m starting to get to the point where I’m more pissed about that than anything else. 12 weeks, they said. Then 14 – 16 weeks. Well, heeere we are, and I’m still spending most nights rubbing my belly (in an attempt to quell my nausea, not for good luck.) I’m trying to keep things in perspective and remember that it wasn’t that long ago that I was nauseous literally 24/7, so things really have been getting better, it’s just still not great. I’d say I feel good like 30% of the time, okay (not great, but not terrible) 40% of the time, and still pretty damn awful 30% of the time.

At least the active puking seems to have primarily taken a backseat… aside from twice this past Sunday, including once while at church. Happy Easter to me! (Don’t worry, I made it to the bathroom and didn’t end up heaving into the collection plate.) And the lessening vomitous activity is definitely a good thing, because (and this most definitely has TMI written all over it, but whatever, pregnancy is gross) lately throwing up has involved simultaneously peeing my pants. YUP. Now, if you’re suddenly thinking that I’m the most disgusting person who’s ever walked the face of this planet, this is apparently a pretty common issue at this point in pregnancy — just ask the hilarious genius behind Alpha Mom if you don’t believe me:

(Side note: if you’re pregnant and not subscribed to Alpha Mom’s weekly pregnancy updates, you are seriously missing out. They. Are. Everything.)

Aside from those oh-so-lovely symptoms, additional ones lately include breast tenderness, round ligament pain (a kind of stretching/pulling/occasionally sharp pain as my uterus continues to grow), and getting embarrassingly short of breath from doing things like… pacing while I’m talking on the phone. Lol.

Emotions: Here are just some of the most recent Reasons that Pregnant Gretchen is Crying:

  • My mom asked my dad to switch seats during Easter brunch
  • I died in a video game I’ve been playing
  • My friend Jackie unexpectedly brought me bubble tea when we met up for dinner
  • I’m babysitting Pixel (my brother’s dog) and all three dogs looked up for a photo at the same time

  • Phoebe temporarily died for the 34892598th time on Charmed
  • I couldn’t find my right flip flop
  • Daxter crawled into my lap while I was trying to take a belly pic and fell asleep on my baby bump
  • I ate all the hot dog buns in the house but we still had hot dogs leftover
  • My sister sent me a ridiculously cute picture of my niece Kira

Okay, I guess you can’t really blame me for that last one. ::heart eyes emoji::

Cravings: Raw fruit and veggies are still a big craving, as is sandwiches with lots of mustard on them. Raaaaaandom. In general I’m just so happy that appetite has started coming back (yay!), so I’m finally able to eat foods that I have barely been able to look at for the past few months. Though, I’m definitely not back to my old self by any means because I’m still awfully picky about what I want/am willing to eat.

On the more stereotypical pregnancy craving front, I have been indulging in ice cream relatively regularly, and I ain’t mad about it.

 
Aversions: Still having that big marinara/red sauce aversion, which means I have officially surpassed my lifetime record for the longest period of time gone without eating pizza. On the plus side, meat’s finally back on the menu! Huzzah!

Sleep: Sleep’s been kind of iffy. I’m trying not to take Unisom as often right now, as I fear I’ve been getting too reliant on it (plus it made me sleep SUPER late sometimes, which delays eating, which makes me more likely to be nauseous…). Which means that sometimes I sleep fine, but sometimes I toss and turn all night, or I have those nights where even though you know you must have fallen asleep at some point, it feels like all you’ve done for 8 straight hours is lay there thinking about stuff. Also, my crazy vivid pregnancy dreams have been making a comeback lately.

Purchases: I made the grave mistake of going to Target on Monday to pick up supplies for a Yelp event I’m planning, and got immediately waylaid by the baby section. And while you should be VERY proud of me for being able to resist picking up the teeny watermelon baby bikini below, I couldn’t quite stop myself from procuring just a couple of wee little baby tings. Heh. It’s just a set of socks and washcloths though, so I still think I was rather restrained!

 
Wearing: I have fully jumped aboard the maternity clothes train and I’m loving it. Why haven’t I been wearing maternity clothes my entire life?! They’re so comfortable and they make my bump look way cuter. I’ve picked up the majority of my maternity wardrobe online from Old Navy, got a few pieces from H&M (didn’t even know they carried maternity or baby clothes until recently!), and I also just ordered a dress from Pink Blush Maternity after salivating over the gorgeous maternity dress that Ashley wore for Easter. Love that they have a huge, well-stocked plus size maternity section to peruse!

Missing… not much right now, actually! I’m not really feeling deprived, I just continue to be eager to have my nausea be gone 100%… and am getting a little fearful that that might not ever really happen for me.

Looking Forward to… my big Yelper Party next week! It’s my biggest bash of the year — free food, awesome entertainment, the works! — and this year’s theme is Yelp Goes Gatsby, so it’ll be extra fun! (Though admittedly, trying to find an era-appropriate dress that works with this belly has been slightly less fun.) This is one of just a few events I throw that’s open to literally anyone who RSVPs on Yelp (plus it’s totally FREE to attend with the option to donate at the door to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) so if you live in the DMV area, you should totally come out!

The Day Before Tuesday

Hey, look, it’s Monday! Hope everyone had a rad weekend. In true Gretchen fashion, mine was bookended with media consumption: I kicked off the weekend with Captain America: Civil War (it was awesomeeee) and ended it with last night’s episode of Game of Thrones (which, alas, left me… unsatisfied.)

Bran is literally every single person watching last night. What a tease.

Anyway… Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there, by the way! I couldn’t spend Mother’s Day with my actual mama (she’s in Texas with my grandmother right now), but she was of course in my thoughts all day (along with my mother-in-law and my sister and all the other fantastic moms in my life!)

As for me, I traded in my own (fur)children for some new models this Mother’s Day:

Hehe. Grooming Day is always a good day in my house. They’re like brand new dogs! Well, physically. Personality-wise, they’re still the same old bratty, lovable, annoying, wonderful princesses they always are.

Tonight I’ve got an event that I’m hosting for work, which I’m going to relish, because tomorrow I get to wake up bright and early to go get a whooooole bunch of cavities filled! Huzzah! ::sad trombone:: I swear, I take good care of my teeth. Curse this soft enamel! Anyway, suffice it to say I’m looking forward to today’s activities far more than tomorrow’s.

If I’m not too numbed up, maybe I’ll be motivated to check in post-drilling tomorrow. You never know! Either way, see you when I see you!

Friyay!

Happy Friday from these three greenpawed beardfaces!

Sigh… guess that’s what I get for walking them on wet grass after it’s been mowed. I’ve got my brother’s dog Pixel with me for the week while Ben and Taylor are in Florida (I mean, I actually steal him pretty regularly, but this time it’s for a legit reason, ahaha) so it’s all schnauzers all the time at the Fox household right now. Heeee — oh man, it is fun to say “the Fox household” guys. I have an actual household! ::grin::

Aaaanyway, the rest of the week has been pretty chill. Yesterday I spent most of the day in my pajamas working (heh), and I went up to the Baltimore area on Wednesday to help out at my coworker’s rad 90s-themed Yelper Party. Oh man, best theme EVER. I was in Heaven: we’re talking Beanie Babies, slap bracelets, Doc Martens, and rocking out to Bell Biv Divoe… the only downside to the party was how acutely aware it made me of the fact that the 90s was TWENTY YEARS AGO. Which, of course, made me feel old. And also made me want to see if I have any Beanie Babies left.

As for this weekend, Sean and I have big plans to get our nerd on bright and early tomorrow. I cannot WAIT to see Avengers 2.5 Captain America: Civil War! We have tickets to see it tomorrow morning, and all the early buzz I’ve heard from critics as well as friends who have gotten sneak peeks of the film (lucky bastards) has been amaaaaazing! Are you #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan?

Unnngh, between Civil War this weekend and X-Men: Apocalypse at the end of the month, my comic nerd flag is waving hiiiiiiigh right now. And I am totally, 100% okay with it.

Hope everyone has a rockin’ weekend! See you on the flip.

Pups & Mezze

Well, I hope that you’re all caught up with Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, and if you’re not, what in the Seven Kingdoms are you doing on the internet?! Get out of here! No, but seriously, GoT is pretty much the one show where you just cannot afford not to watch it live if you really care about spoilers. To be clear, I’m not putting any spoilers out there myself rn, I’m just offering this as a general observation and Game of Thrones fangirl. I just feel like I’ve read so many interweb comments today about how spoilers have ruined folks’ lives, and well, shouldn’t they know better?

Anyway, now that I’ve dived headfirst into this post with a random non sequitur (hey, I’m still getting my blogging legs back, okay?), let’s talk Monday! Yesterday started off with a vet visit for Harry & Daxter to give away all my money get their annual checkups, shots, and whatnot. They’re both still healthy as, well, as miniature schnauzers, since that’s what they are. And despite Harry getting on in years and Daxter being literally the most accident-prone dog to ever exist, they both passed with flying colors. High five!

Sidenote: Anyone living in the Burke/Springfield area who might be looking for a vet, I highly, HIGHLY recommend Dr. Alt at Burke Veterinary Clinic. He’s the bee’s knees. Second sidenote: are you impressed that I finally figured out how to make my own gifs? Let’s hope Daxter gets internet-famous! 😉

After the vet it was back home to do some work, then off for some blissful “me time” as I went and got a massage. Then back to the house again to cuddle with my vaccine-booster-laden animals and work some more, before heading out into what ended up being a ridonkulous thunderstorm to meet the lovely Anne for dinner!

We went to Yayla Bistro for dinner, which had been on my bookmarks list for-freaking-ever (4.5 star average on Yelp!) and it did not disappoint. It’s a Turkish/Lebanese mezze-style restaurant, and everything we ordered was seriously delicious.

We got a smorgasbord of Mediterranean treats, including hummus (duh), dolmas (huge and outstanding!), a beet & orange salad (served over potato salad mmmm), and grilled squid (SO good.) We also got kofte, which was super flavorful ,and Anne ordered an arugala salad. Plus they brought out bread with house-made olive tapenade. We did a pretty good job tackling the feast, though I do have a small box of leftovers to dig into tomorrow, hehe.

In an exciting turn of events (if “exciting” really means “awkwarrrrrrd”), we get to the end of the meal and… turns out I’d forgotten my wallet at home. Not. Kidding. It was literally the first time this had ever happened to me, and I felt terrible! Thank goodness for Anne being a far more responsible adult than me, or I’d have had to ask if this adorable little locally-owned restaurant accepted Apple Pay. I mean, obviously I shot Anne some digital cashola on the spot to pay her back for my half of the meal, but still, ::cringe::

I was also super paranoid driving home from the restaurant because I was suddenly so aware that I didn’t have my license on me! Guess that’ll teach me to leave my wallet lying around at home. Sorry again, Annie Bananie, but thanks for the great evening! I should have given you my leftovers as penance. <3

Aaaaand, that catches us up to today! As you’re reading this, I’m probably at the dermatologist’s office getting a bump on my noggin looked at. I suspect it’s a pilar cyst, but hopefully I’ll find out more tomorrow! And with that, I’ll stop talking about it, because we’re probably pretty close to venturing into TMI territory. And as I suspect most of you are not as interested in dermatological issues as I am (I actually watch Dr. Pimple Popper’s videos on Youtube like, all the time. She is awesome and the human body is weeeeeeird), I’ll keep the rest of the dermo-chatter to a minimum for now.

Have an awesome Tuesday, and I’ll be back tomorrow with my first “official” weigh-in of the (weight loss) season. Yipes!