Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What I'd Wear Wednesday: What would you be for Halloween?

What I'd wear today if I could: this damselfly T-shirt from Old Navy. All right!

Staci commented that she'd seen this shirt at Old Navy and even said she would have picked it up for me right then and there if she had known my size. Isn't that sweet? Pretty generous for someone I don't even know! Thanks, Staci. I hied Fly and myself to the store for one and wore it yesterday!

There are three other insect-themed tees in this same line, if you're interested. I think they run just a little big.

So other than this T-shirt (which is now in the wash), what I'd wear today is a rockin' Halloween costume. Even though I love me some odonata, all I was able to manage was a different insect costume. Do you know what it is? Here's a hint: my NaBloPoMo page.

What are you for Halloween? Or what would you like to be?


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you

I missed it. Totally.

When did Halloween become a card-giving holiday?

Our collection of Halloween cards from family -- wait, one is missing because it's a haunted house that actually lights up and Fly wanted to play with it.

Do you notice a theme in these cards? Maybe it's because we have one of these:

My first baby. I promise she's not bad luck!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

A baby's parting gift

Day by day, the hours have quietly stolen my baby away.

"They grow up so fast" means nothing until you experience it for yourself. For me, it's a feeling of loss. "They grow up so fast" says nothing of loss, of the fragments of memories your sleep-deprived new-mom brain managed to store away for safekeeping on a day like this:

Walking away from me to explore things infinitely more interesting than I am.

"They grow up so fast" implies change and speed, but not the passing of time. It doesn't warn, "Watch, listen and savor." It barely implies that every time the sun rises, "You will never be this small again."

For Fly, though, time doesn't look back; it looks only at the here and now.

What can I do today that I couldn't do yesterday?

Time means only what is happening in the present moment, and so there is no fear.

For Fly, living in the present means living in an extreme -- extreme unhappiness, or extreme joy.

Living in the present is a gift Fly has given to me.

And I am eight years old again.

Time is linear, but now I know it is also fluid.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In support of the Mothers Act

BlogHers Act: Blog Day for the Mothers ActIt was just recently that during a talk with JP's sister, Sabee, she told me she was depressed for about a year after her son was born. Our Adorable Nephew is seven years old now.

I was a little surprised to find out she was suffering from depression, but not shocked. JP and I had noticed a change in her, but I never considered depression. After all, she still smiled. She still sent cards. She took excellent care of our Adorable Nephew. That didn't spell out postpartum to us -- because we didn't really know that it can be different for each person. We just didn't know.

I'm blogging about postpartum depression today as part of BlogHer's Mother's Act Blog Day, to spread the word about postpartum depression and support the Mothers Act bill. According to BlogHer, the Mothers Act bill would "provide for education about postpartum mood disorders for new mothers and their families, require healthcare professionals to screen new moms for postpartum mood disorders during the first year postpartum, and train those professionals on how to conduct proper screenings and care for women who are diagnosed with these illnesses." This could save lives -- half a million, BlogHer says. (I don't know if this is the same as the bill, but last Friday, ABC News reported on the U.S. House of Representatives approving spending $3 million on postpartum depression.)

Mothers -- families -- deserve this.

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What I'd Wear Wednesday

What I'd wear today if I could: a black vest, like maybe this one from Urban Outfitters.

Seems like every fall, I get the urge to wear a black menswear-type vest. And yet I don't ever do it. Oh, I have a navy vest, somewhere, made out of that gross old kind of heavy polyester. And I have a black suede vest that was given to me as a gift years ago -- but it's not fitted and makes me look like a lump. Maybe this will be the fall I actually get hold of a fitted black vest.

It's really versatile. On warm days, you can wear it like the model. I had dreams, though, of wearing it with a crisp white shirt. The black vest just says fall to me.

What item of clothing (or accessory) says fall to you?

(Update: Check it out! Someone came to this page from the Wall Street Journal Web site, of all places, because of a little feature toward the bottom that says, "Blog posts on this topic." And there I am! All because I mentioned "menswear" and "vest," I'm sure....)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Friend Guinevere just gave me this Fabulous award. All right!

What do fabulous people do? I'm stumped. Do they hold a parade in their honor? Invite friends over for a party to celebrate themselves? Rent a beach house and let the servants do everything?

What if I'm allergic to acrylic nails?! I can't be fabulous! I can't do it! The pressure! {{Panic attack}}

Maybe I'll just pass this award on.

I pass it on to Kristi of Interrupted Wanderlust, who is actually quite fabulous. Even though picked her as one of the winners of the DVD giveaway I had last week, she offered to let someone else win. That's pretty darn fabulous. Plus, she just got a new pair of fabulous eyeglasses.

Whew, I feel better already.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

There goes a potential Nobel Peace Prize winner

I've been feeling kind of funny for a couple of days. Been extra hungry and yet lethargic. And sporting three red whoppers on my chin that popped up out of nowhere.

I rummaged through the under-the-bathroom sink area. I seem to remember I had a spare one of these:

And decided I should use it.

I started imagining the possibilities. Fly and a little sibling. They'd be about 19 or 20 months apart. With JP's eyes this time. Fly would be a fiercely protective older brother. I imagined another little baby for me to cuddle and to nurse, to take pictures of and to pick the perfect name for. There'd be a new little person for me to learn. A baby would make us a family of four (my favorite number). This baby would be so blessed to join us, and we'd be blessed by him or her.

I'm not getting any younger, so if there is going to be another baby, I don't want to wait a long time. I had to know as soon as I could.

But then the answer came....

It's not a baby....

It's my first @#%$^&*! cycle in almost two years!

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Friday, October 19, 2007


After dinner last night, JP turned on my iPod and got out the tunnel tube toy he gave Fly for his birthday. The two of them were crawling and scooting through the tube as JP chased Fly and tickled him. I sat down too and joined in the tickling. The tube even started rolling back and forth, and Fly was giggling like crazy!

Then a song came on that needed my attention. You know that kind of song. Some songs can play in the background, but some songs need your ears, mind and heart. Sometimes those songs transport you to another place and you forget where you are....

The guitar riff reminded me I once played guitar (for only two years, and I was never any good because I couldn't make it a priority to practice). It reminded me I could play guitar again, if I made the time for it. But time, time ... how many new parents have time to learn to play an instrument?

The song kept pulling me in....

If I used Fly's naptime to practice music instead of blogging ... but then blogging is about the only writing I've been doing lately, and I can't give up writing. Can I? At a time when there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day, now, why now, do I have to be trying to sort myself out?

"Whatcha thinking?" JP asked.

"That I will never be really great at anything," I monotoned.

JP looked at me with an expression that was part question, part sadness, part understanding.

"You're a great mom."

Not You can be a great mom. Not You will be a great mom.

You are a great mom.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Odds and ends and giveaways

Last month, I invited anyone who wanted to join in the catalog fun to blog about the overabundance of catalogs they get. And only Kristi from Interrupted Wanderlust played along. Her catalog post is way funny. And did you know she also has a fabulous blog about cooking for babies and toddlers? (BTW, you can sign up here to get rid of unwanted catalogs.)

Then back in August, I posted a review of the Little Einstein's DVD Rocket's Firebird Rescue. Well, I just got two more copies in the mail for some reason! So I'm giving them to you. Just leave a comment here, and I'll pick winners over the weekend. (Update: Congratulations to winners Awesome Mom and Stacey, who got picked by!)

- - - - -

I was a teenager when Baby Jessica fell down a well and created a media stir as the nation prayed and watched as she was rescued. Now, Jessica is 21 years old and in the news because she's supposed to be collecting the cool million in money that people donated to her. She is a mother. To a kid who is Fly's age. But Jessica's parents are practically my age. Do I need to tell you how old this makes me feel to know I could be a grandmother but instead I have a toddler?!

Speaking of feeling old ... is it still considered trichotillomania if you pull only the gray hairs out of your head?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Keeping or tossing

What I'd wear today if I could: this button-front denim skirt from my own closet. (Actually, I did wear it this weekend, with some knee-high boots, but today is more of a yoga pants kind of day.)

I've been seeing button-front knee-length denim skirts everywhere. OK, not everywhere, but I've seen enough of them to sniff out a trend. So I thought, "Hey! I have an old skirt just like that!" and pulled it out. Truth: there was actually dust on this skirt.

And now for long fashion discussion ... feel free to skip to the comments if you like....

Clothing and image experts say if you haven't worn something in a year, you should get rid of it (preferably to a clothing donation, I say).

Other people say you should hold onto the clothes and accessories you really love because they will come back in style. I can't say I've loved this skirt, but it's served me well; I must have held onto it for some reason. But in any case, the "things always come back in style" saying is only partly true -- they do come back in style, but there's usually something new about the old style like a closer or fuller fit, different colors or prints, different fabrics, different pocket placement, etc.

This skirt is a perfect example. It's a little fuller around the hips because the waistband is elastic in the back. I don't think the newer button-front knee-length denim skirts are that way; they're more tailored. But this detail didn't make that much of a difference to me. If I hadn't held onto this skirt for, oh, 12? years, I sure wouldn't be wearing it or writing about it now.

And, that leads me to another style saying: shop from your own closet. Holding onto clothes that fit and which you like wearing is good for when you want to wear something "new" without going shopping. In the case of this skirt, it's so old that wearing it was like wearing something new. Er ... except for that layer of dust.

So where are you on the fashion spectrum? Do you keep stuff around, or do you nicely edit your wardrobe each season? And do you shop from your own closet?


Monday, October 15, 2007

You asked for it, you got it

After my Breast Fest post last week, some of you blog mamas suggested you'd love a "I love the smell of breast milk in the morning" T-shirt.

Well, guess what?

It's a reality.

Click on over to the Growing A Life Cafe Press shop for a bib, onesie, T-shirt or mug with the "I love the smell of breast milk in the morning" line. What do you think? Is it ugly? Too plain? Would you like a picture? Feel free to leave anonymous comments.

All profits are going to help breasts everywhere (lactating and non-lactating) in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.

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Parents save the planet!

Blog Action Day is today, when bloggers are posting about saving our environment.

The idea of saving the whole Earth is overwhelming, and that's why people love those lists like "10 Easy Things You Can Do to Save the World." Items on those lists are practical and do make a difference.

But I believe parents will (or have the chance to) make the biggest difference, just in raising our children to care about the nature of our world. That's why I take Fly and his friend into swamps, kayaking and camping. I want Fly to learn to love creation. I believe for him, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" won't just be a catch phrase, but a way of life. He and his peers might be inheriting a planet that's worn around the edges, but I think things are improving because we're more aware. Our society knows now things we have done have been bad mistakes. Fly's generation will have technology to correct these mistakes and improve our air, water and land. But they won't know what to do with that technology, or that our environment should be improved and preserved, unless they learn to love it first.


"For in the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught." -- Baba Dioum

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Thursday, October 11, 2007


People tell me boys generally are slower than girls when it comes to developing language skills. (And boys are supposedly slower to potty train, too.) Please tell me there are exceptions to these rules.

Fly is a smart cookie and says a few words now, but sometimes I still worry he'll be a gangly teenager pointing and grunting at the fridge instead of saying, "Hey ma, we're outta milk."

For example, Fly still puts everything in his mouth. Including our shoes. After saying NO for the eleventy-millionth time, I started going "PBBBBBFFFT!" any time he wanted to chew on something gross. To my surprise, after only a couple days of "PBBBBBFFFT!" he started doing it too. So now when he sees a shoe, Fly first goes "PBBBBBFFFT!" and then eats the shoe.

How is saying "PBBBBBFFFT!" easier than, say, making the Baby Sign for "drink?" I'm a little disappointed that I've been doing Baby Signs with him for nine months now, and he still won't sign with me.

But I press on. Not only am I continuing to do Baby Signs with Fly, but I also read to him. (I try to get him a new book every month, and I leave books out where he can look through them.)

There's something else in my arsenal of language teaching skills: the new Phonics 4 Babies DVD, Baby's First Words. This DVD is hosted by Mallory Lewis (the daughter of Shari Lewis, the famous puppeteer many people remember with cute little Lambchop) and her baby bug, a "Tummy Tot" caterpillar named Giggles. The DVD says it will "unleash the genius" in my child and "jumpstart early language development." Aha! Fly could learn 300 words. ("PBBBBBFFFT!" makes 301.)

Mallory Lewis, Giggles and the other Tummy Tots sing really catchy songs and play word games. One of the games Lewis plays several times throughout the DVD is Can You See It? It shows three items on the screen, and Lewis asks kids to find each item as she names it. This is a good game, but many times the three items have nothing to do with one another -- there's no theme. (One time, the game displays a coat, a mother and a fish.) Other times, though, the items do have a common theme, such as they all start with the same letter.

The DVD makes fun use of music, puppets, animation and real children. Lewis is an excellent performer, too.

Overall, Baby's First Words is a fun DVD to have and is certainly more educational for Fly to watch than even most PBS TV shows, but I think it's mislabeled and is really for an older toddler than Fly (now 13 months). I'll still watch the DVD with him, though -- because I know he's capable of more than "PBBBBBFFFT!"

A Parent Bloggers Network review

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Breast Fest

Today is the Great Virtual Breast Fest sponsored by the League of Maternal Justice. The LMJ wanted moms to nurse live on their blogs, but I'm just not that techno. In lieu of that, I have some nerdy attempts at humor entertainment planned.

People who think babies shouldn't breastfeed in public or that breastfeeding photos are obscene don't know who they're dealing with. Babies can be a very demanding population. Why, just yesterday, Fly led this demonstration:

This stuff is like caffeine for babies.

Fly has even been known to declare:

I bow down to the Queen of PhotoShop. But I just couldn't resist a little fun.


What I'd Wear Wednesday

What I'd wear today if I could: this cute cropped hoodie sweater from Victoria's Secret.

Except I'd get it in red or a rich brown (although the pink pictured is nice too).

Also, except it's still freakishly hot here, and I probably won't be able to pull out a sweater for weeks. Ah well.

It would be a fun sweater to wear just over a T-shirt, or even another (lightweight) sweater. Fly has discovered zippers, so even he would like this sweater when I wore it. Am I the only one who recalls an elementary school song that goes like this:

- - - - -

Zip, zip, zip
Zip, zip, zip
Zip, zip your jacket up to your chin
Don't you let that cold wind in
Keep it zipped all through the town
When you get home, zip the zipper down
Zip, zip, zip
Zip, zip, zip


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I can spell!

Sheesh, some people. Wanting me to divulge my middle name. And make a list of personal traits with it in an acrostic!

Well, this is a trick! Because, ha! I have two middle names! I am going to use only one of them for this meme.

B -- Blogger. But just barely.
R -- Romping around outside.
I -- Insouciant (according to my late great-grandmother).
D -- Divinely aided.
G -- Goofy.
E -- Easily amused.
T -- Tired.

(That's right, one of my middle names is Bridget, but my French-Canadian mother has always pronounced it Bri-zhyet. But she used the English spelling, so that's why no one else pronounces it the way she does.)

my mad cow, who tagged me, did away with the rule to tag as many people as there are letters in your middle name, so I won't tag anyone. But feel free to do a middle name meme acrostic post if you feel like it.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Not far enough

Today, Fly was up for 13 hours. Yesterday, it was 14 hours.

If those hours were spent happily sitting on my lap while I read him books, or walking around the back yard, or playing with balls or blocks or any other toy, it wouldn't be so bad.

But Fly gets overtired, refuses to sleep, and spends this time crying nearly nonstop. I can't make him happy. (Is it any wonder I have a hard time blogging and commenting lately? I'm a bad parent blogger.)

This just drives me out of my mind. Then when JP comes home and sees the state I'm in, he gets cranky, too, and basically judges me for my attitude. So all three of us are miserable.

How far would you go for your kids?

Since I can't do anything to help Fly, apparently, I don't go far enough.

Update: Thank you, everyone, for your sympathy and suggestions. I really, really appreciate them. (And you!) I'm happy to report that Fly is back to napping -- and it seems JP has gotten the message about my sanity, as he spent a lot of time with Fly this weekend so I could relax a little.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What I'd Wear Wednesday

What I'd wear today if I could: this satin blouse from Forever 21 ...

These dark, wide-legged jeans from Forever 21 ...

These sunglasses (less than $5!) from Forever 21 ...

And this ring from Forever 21!

Woo-hoo, Mama went shopping!

Ninety-five percent of the time when I post what I'd wear here every Wednesday, I don't make good on it. This is a wish list. But this week, especially after this post, I decided, "Hey! I'd like to spruce up!" So I found all of these fabulous items at one of my favorite online stores. (A real-world store opened up at a mall near me, so hooray!)

This outfit coming soon to a mama near you!


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Curses! Foiled again!

This past week, I missed an important conference I should have been at. It's related to my book. But without support from JP (more on that later), I knew going to the conference would be tough.

First, it's a five-hour drive (without a child who hates sitting still strapped to a seat in the back of a car). I'm not a good flyer, and anyway, there isn't an airport nearby, if you can believe it.

Then, it's a question of what JP and Fly would do in the relatively small town while I was in the conference. I couldn't leave Fly home because he's not weaned yet, and JP didn't want me to take Fly and leave him alone.

So when the conference sign-ups were going on, I wasn't sure if I would have Fly weaned by this time yet (he's not, but we're down to a few times a day). And the last time I did a book-related thing, I ended up nursing Fly in the car in the parking lot because it took place at a community college where there wasn't any place to nurse him. (They opened only one little section of the college on the weekend.)

It was a little heartbreaking, but the easiest thing to do was just not go.

Well, I just got the news that a longtime associate of mine was elected president of the writer group putting on the conference. So I sent him an e-mail to congratulate him. I told him I wished I had been able to go, but I'm nursing and blah blah blah . . . .

And Mr. President responded, "Well, Myrtle Q. Snookenfouz came two years ago and nursed her baby through the whole week of the conference."

At this point, do I:

A. Reach through the computer and slap the man
B. Calmly tell myself he's a man and doesn't understand
C. Kick myself all over again for my clumsy breastfeeding style
D. Kick myself for not having weaned Fly already
E. ???

And don't you just bet that Myrtle Q. Snookenfouz had a young, easy baby who slept a lot, and not a high-need toddler like Fly....

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