And just like that, it’s June.
May was a wonderful month, full of family and friend gatherings, Finn snuggles, and Kieran laughs. We opened up our swimming pool and starting grilling several times a week. The weather finally took a turn for spring and we’ve had some summer-like temperatures these past couple weeks. It’s been lovely.
As I mentioned last month, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with going back to work at the end of my maternity leave. Well, the day has come. I go back to work tomorrow. I am having a much harder time with it this time around. With Kieran, of course I was nervous and sad to leave him, but I also felt much more overwhelmed with him and was looking forward to some separation. I needed to feel important in another aspect of my life.
That is so not the case with Finn. I have talked about this at length, but my perspective this time around is just so incredibly different. I’m more relaxed. I’m taking things in stride. And I’m making a much bigger and better effort to be present in the moment. Because now I know: this time is so fleeting. Before I know it, I’ll have another walking, talking, spark plug of a little boy. He’ll only be this way once. Each day is precious, and everything, good and bad, is temporary.
So, as you can imagine, I’m struggling a bit with the idea of having to leave Finn to return to work. 12 weeks was a gift (and I know it’s more than many women get), but it somehow doesn’t feel like enough. I remember feeling this way at the end of my leave with Kieran as well, but I was partly looking forward to returning to work. This time, I’m filled with anxiety. I just want to be home with my baby. Sigh. I’ll get through it. I’m sure I’ll find balance in the change, as I did last time. It’s just a very emotional time right now, and going into the unknown has never been a strong suit of mine.
Anyway. Onto some lighter things! While I spent most of this past month at home with my kids, I did manage to wrangle a few new favorites to tell you about. They are mostly food centered, but that isn’t really a surprise, is it?
- When I was pregnant, I was craving a light spritzer-like cocktail. Almost daily. I wanted a gin fizz or a wine spritzer SO badly. Oh, and my icy cold chardonnay cravings were out of control. On one random and probably unnecessary trip to Target, I found these cocktail-inspired seltzers. I immediately grabbed the sangria and the mojito flavors. I was so excited to have something that would sorta kinda taste like the real thing. I was so excited, in fact, that I cracked one of the mojito seltzers open in the parking lot. My first few sips were…underwhelming. Probably because I had been so impatient and was drinking warm seltzer out of the can. Womp womp. I got home and tried it again over ice and loved it! Then came the sangria flavor, which is my favorite so far. It’s fruity and light and delicious! I’ve bought several boxes of it this past month as we head into summer. It is an awesome nonalcoholic poolside or beach drink! I love it with a splash of fruit juice. I may even add some vodka to one of these soon, as spiked seltzers are all the rage. I can’t wait to try the grapefruit paloma flavor next – my Target has been out of it every time I’ve gone, which I think must be a good sign.
- Have you see the new Blueberry Cheerios yet?! OMG. They’re so good. I love regular ol’ Cheerios. They are what I grew up eating. They taste like memories and comfort to me. I love the flavored varieties as well. The apple cinnamon, honey nut, very berry, and maple oat are my faves. When I saw the blueberry flavor, I immediately scooped it up on a quick grocery store trip with the kids. Kieran was just as excited as I was to try them, and we dug into the box moments after arriving home. They are so delicious and not too sweet. As a mom, I love the nutritional boost they provide. Is cereal as healthy as eating a bowl of actual blueberries? Or course not. But it’s a delicious way for me to get some vitamin-fortified food into my kid. Because, believe me, it’s a STRUGGLE.
- I also tried the new Rebbl cold brew protein drink and LOVED it. I love Rebbl products as a special treat. I buy them only occasionally because they’re kind of pricey. I’ve had several of their flavors, and this one was delicious. It has an almost nutty flavor to it with a caffeine boost that this mama definitely appreciates. I drink it in increments, though, as I’m breastfeeding and don’t want to bombard Finn with caffeine and other new-to-him ingredients. Half a bottle keeps me full and satiated, though! I really want to try the mint chip protein flavor but haven’t been able to find it yet. Perhaps that will be listed on next month’s favorites! We’ll see if I can get my hands on it.
- Because of the turn in weather and the pool opening, I’ve been really into beer lately. Well, rather, the IDEA of beer. As I’ve said 140 times by now, I’m breastfeeding and therefore have to be careful about what I consume, especially alcohol. BUT! My husband went on a beer run for Memorial Day weekend and found me this AMAZING mango blonde ale. OMG. It’s sooo good. I’ve had a few mango beers, most of which are IPAs (which I loathe, by the way), and none of them has tasted this good or smooth. They’re usually too bitter OR too sweet for me. This one is perfection. It’s sweet and smooth and rich tasting with LOTS of mango flavor. It kind of reminds me of Blue Moon but with mango instead of citrus. I adore it and will probably be treating myself to these all summer long.
- One last food/drink item to tell you about: Siete almond flour wraps. So, I have been on the fence about these even though they have been ALL THE RAGE on Instagram. Almost every food blogger/influencer I follow has raved about these almond flour tortillas. I was hesitant for a number of reasons. I don’t follow a gluten-free lifestyle and never found the need to substitute my regular flour tortillas with anything. These wraps also are very expensive. Finally, none of my local stores carried these products. I certainly wasn’t going to order them online in bulk before trying them. THEN! FreshDirect started carrying them. I use FreshDirect almost exclusively for our produce, at least until the farm stands open in the summer. When I saw that they added these wraps to their available items, I snagged a pack to try. Let’s just say: the hype is justified! They’re delicious! I find them good for veggie and hummus wraps for a quick and light lunch. They’re slightly lighter than regular tortillas, lower carb, and gluten free. The main thing I took away from the swap was that I still felt full and satiated without feeling “heavy” or uncomfortable after eating. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.
- I am always on the hunt for the best sunscreen. Since having children, I’ve opted for mostly mineral-based sunscreens whenever possible. The fewer chemicals I’m slathering on Kieran’s super-sensitive, eczema-prone skin, the better. I used the Sun Bum face stick all last summer and loved it. This year, I stocked up on the regular sunscreen and their baby sunscreen for Kieran. I am loving both so far! Not only do they rub in a little bit better than other mineral sunscreens (not as much of a white cast), but they do the job when it comes to protection. They also smell great! I’ll report back later this summer once we’ve had more time in the sun.
And that’s really it! Like I said, I spent most of this month soaking up all the time with my kiddos. Perhaps I’ll have some more exciting finds to share next month, after I’ve re-entered the real world, haha. Wish me luck tomorrow, friends. Send a virtual hug. Because this mama is gonna need it!
Xoxo! Happy June!