Friday, January 30, 2009

Saying it forward

Mom BlogsIt's Say It Forward Carnival time again! A day to spotlight loyal commenters, held by 5 Minutes for Mom on Fridays.

This week, I continue with other fabulous mamas.

Kristi at Interrupted Wanderlust. She really should win the commenting prize of all time because not only does she have an active toddler at home, but newborn twins! And she still manages to blog and comment! I can't figure it out. But I'm grateful and honored because I know how precious her time is.

Elizabeth at My Bloggy Life. We share the same birthday! What else do we have in common? Uhh.... we both have a little boy with blond hair. We both blog. (Duh.) But she surpasses me in her craft-making and sewing. And she's a teacher. And a basketball player. And she lives near the Canadian Rockies. Our differences don't matter, though; she's just fun.

Carabee at Land of Bean. She has an adorable little girl and fun things to say. She can rock a cute haircut. And you should see the great wedding photo on her sidebar. Carabee is so ambitious that she is doing the "101 things in 1001 days." She always seems to have something fun going on or a funny take on what's going on.

Psst! If you're not on my blogroll but would like to be, just let me know. I've had some new readers in the past several months and don't want to leave anyone out.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guys and dolls

Fly got a baby doll as a gift.

It's not just a baby doll. It's a boy baby doll. With the right apparatus. And apparently, some hefty piercings.

I hope this doesn't count as p*rn

Fly is a boy, after all, so his baby doll should be a boy too, the gift giver thought. That, and JP would be less likely to object to his son playing with a doll if the doll had a little package.

JP was surprised at first. But when I explained it would give Fly the chance to get used to the idea of having a baby around -- and/or to mimic the fatherly care he receives from JP, his role model -- JP seemed fine with it.

Sometimes, Fly brings out the baby for meals. Or to sit on the couch with him and play.

OK, so Fly has a bit to learn about how babies like to be held.

He seems to have a thing for the baby's feet. I later saw Fly chewing on the baby's toes. But really, who could blame him?

I wanna hold your ... foot?

And even later, I found Fly had shared a meal with the baby.

Hmm, maybe I should take a refresher course on infant choking and CPR.

(The doll is in the baby hammock Fly used to sleep in. We never got around to putting it away.)

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What I'd Wear Wednesday: No waist

What I'd wear today if I could: Well, maybe just my robe. But I can't really go out in public like that.

The past few days, I have been feeling like a big lump. My baby bump is starting to pop. Clothes are getting tighter. My entire midsection feels huge. I guess I've forgotten what it feels like to be pregnant.

In any case, I'd like to wear something that avoids my lower torso. What I mean is, it would be nice to wear something without a waistband. And because I don't really look pregnant yet -- I just look like a person who overindulged during the holidays and needs all the gym memberships that are being advertised this month -- it would be great if my clothes could do something graceful with my tummy.

Like maybe this dress from Ann Taylor Loft:

Or this one:

Or this dress from Old Navy, which also comes in dark blue or black:

Is a little comfort too much for a mama to ask? I say no.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Simply Joy Sunday

Heather at Cool Zebras is celebrating "the little things in life that bring me joy and happiness" with her Simply Joy Sundays. I thought this was a cool idea, especially because I've noticed a theme of sorts in my life this week -- little references here and there in real life and also the overall desire to live in the present moment -- as well as an invitation to join the Grace in Small Things social network.

This week, I've been happy to have been asked to play with one of the cutest little boys in the whole world.

I've enjoyed the furrypurryness of our cats, including this one who wanted to sleep on top of me last night.

I am thankful for quiet, deserted beaches . . . (even if it was too darn cold to do anything but shuffle around in the sand for a few minutes)

. . . and peaceful resting spots.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Playing in the snow

On the coldest day of winter, we just had to play in the snow.


To all the commenters I've loved before ... and currently

Mom BlogsI love you, man. And you and you and you. Yes, you. So I hope to thank you during the Say It Forward Carnival of Loyal Commenters held by 5 Minutes for Mom on Fridays.

I'm supposed to feature a few of my most loyal commenters each Friday, and I will try to do that for the next few weeks. All the Say It Forward posts are linked on the 5 Minutes for Mom site.

While I'm at it, if you're not on my blogroll but would like to be, just let me know.

Here are three bloggers who endure my ups and downs, weird moods and strange fashion choices. Look for more next Friday. Bloggers, that is -- not my quirks.

Heather at Cool Zebras. This mama has three kids (including a baby!) and at least that many blogs in addition to her own Etsy shop, where she sells handmade greeting cards and tutus. Plus, she's Twitterific. I don't know how she gets so much done. I think her secret is she doesn't sleep.

Chelle at Creative Thoughts by Chelle. This is another person who does so much and I can't figure out how. She is a blog designer and also writes at Being Savvy. She runs, swims and knits. I should also mention she has two munchkins and is due with her third child a month after I am!

Madeline at My Boy and Me. She always has fun pictures to share, especially of her little boy, and she creates amazing quilts! She is a real artist. And you just might catch a photo of her wearing some hot-mama red shoes.

Thanks, gals, for your encouraging, funny and inspiring comments!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hugs wanted

I knew this time would come. I've heard about it from mom friends, read about it on your blogs. And now I'm mourning the loss.

The loss of the hug! The loss of snuggle time!

Fly has moved on.

In the mornings, I used to be able to count on a minute of just holding onto my boy. I'd hold him close, kiss his soft cheek, murmur good-morning wishes and pass along other happy thoughts to him while I enjoyed a little munchkin cuddle.

But now, I barely get in a quick squeeze before he wants to be put down, or get off my lap, so he can grab toy cars by the handful or lead me to the kitchen for a drink.

If you ask him, "Can I have a hug? Can I have a kiss?" he usually says, "No!" and goes on playing. Sometimes, though, he obliges.

And sometimes Fly spontaneously wraps himself around my legs to give me a hug. I love it! But my arms and chest are jealous. They know they are the ones who are supposed to give and get the hug.

All the holding him close, all the kisses I've given him . . . and now I'm a mama lacking in baby love.

At least until the new baby comes in June . . . .

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Romantic

What I'd wear today if I could: something romantic. I know Valentine's Day isn't for a few weeks yet, but it's getting to me. It does every year. For some reason, seeing hearts and lace everywhere remind me of Valentine's Days of my childhood when there would be a party at school and everyone got Valentine cards in their specially decorated boxes attached to their desks, and cupcakes to eat. (And I try to block out the year a friend and I were mobbed on our way home from school by older kids who threatened to pull down our pants on the street if we didn't give them our bags of Valentines and treats.) It's just a fun time of year.

And it gets me daydreaming about wearing romantic clothes, too, like this ruffly tee:

I bet crafty folks could turn a plain T-shirt and some lace into a creation like this.

Or this subtly printed blouse:

The pleating just above the tummy area looks so forgiving.

Or even this super-girly-swirly paisley top:

And it looks comfortable too.

There was a great skirt I saw at the mall I wanted to share with you, as well, but I couldn't find a picture of it online. Just know that it was a dream.

The tough thing about all this is, it's going to be the coldest day of winter here, and I'll be sporting fleece.

What do you like to wear when you want to dress romantic?


Friday, January 16, 2009

So much for clean underwear

Lately, I've been taking a shower at night, after Fly is in bed. I like feeling fresh as I settle into the sheets, and the water helps me relax at the end of the day.

I've been feeling pretty good about myself and this pregnancy. When people ask how I am, that's what I usually tell them -- "pretty good." I am thankful because despite my little pregnancy annoyances, I know it could be much worse. I was reflecting on this as I left the bathroom after my shower when the Sneeze of All Sneezes came out of my head. This wasn't just a loud "ACHOO!" It was more like a full-body earthquake. I'm certain it registered on a Richter scale somewhere.

And then I realized it had happened.

I, um, lost control.

I wet my undies!

I thought this wasn't supposed to happen until after childbirth?!

OK, let the Depends jokes come forth . . . .

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Big and fluffy

What I'd wear today if I could: big, fluffy-looking boots sort of like these by Tecnica, found at Nordstrom. When I was at Disney, some of the smartest-dressed women I saw were wearing foot- and leg-swallowing boots. I think it made their legs look thinner because the boots looked so big by comparison. Because I live where it's warm, I don't really have much of a need for footwear that takes over the lower fifth of my body. But I just love the idea of thinner-looking legs. And the fluffy stuff is just so irresistible. So, sigh, boots like these would be completely impractical for me about 49 or 50 weeks out of the year.

And so would these boots by The North Face:

If you have a pair of boots like these, please tell me they itch. Or they're impossible to clean. Or your dog likes to chew them, or they smell after a while, or the fluffy stuff falls off, or they're really uncomfortable and make you walk like a plow jockey (not that I hold anything against plow jockeys). And I'll really, really try to believe you. I have to get my mind off these boots somehow . . . .


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bringing baby home, and giveaway winner

OK, no, I didn't forget I was supposed to announce winners of the Bustin' Out Babies giveaway yesterday. Real life got in the way. Real life has been getting in the way of a lot of things for the past several days. A toddler being very two. A spare room to clean out to make way for the baby. Family commitments. Realizing you've closed a neighbor's open door when they weren't home only a hour before cops blocked off your street to look for a burglar and now your fingerprints are there so you're worried they'll come looking for you if anything turns up missing at their house.

Paranoid much?

I need a vacation.

Anyway, Rachel at A Little Bit of Crazy wins the baby care DVDs and the novel for her sister, who's expecting for the first time. Congrats!

I've been thinking about what it will be like with Fly and a newborn. First things first, I'm wondering what to do with Fly when I am at the hospital having the baby and the next couple of days before we come home. I was talking with a friend who has a daughter close to Fly's age and a five-month-old, and she recommended having grandparents stay at my home to take care of Fly, and JP come home at night. That way, Fly will still be on his comfortable home turf and have the reassurance that at least one parent is there with him at night.

JP wants to stay at the hospital with the baby and me the whole time, but I'm concerned Fly will go into shock without seeing either of us for a couple days. I know he can probably come visit at the hospital, but at the end of the visit, he won't understand why he's going home and we're not going with him.

My friend also recommended a class offered at the hospital that prepares small children for staring bug-eyed ignoring welcoming a baby into the home.

So, does anyone have any other suggestions for how to help Fly adjust to having a baby around? Or what to do with him while I'm at the hospital?

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

E for effort

Telling a two-year-old that the mini Christmas tree that was in his room for a month is now being put away until next Christmas isn't easy.

OK, telling him is easy, but enduring the fallout from telling him isn't.

Last weekend, JP I and tackled putting away our holiday decorations. I told him if he would just bring our plastic storage totes down from the attic, I'd put it all away -- the trees (the main big one and the two little ones), the lights, the ornaments, the stockings, the snow globes, the manger scenes, the nesting wooden Santa dolls, the doorknob hangers, the wreath, the pine jingle bells decoration. The everything. (OK -- believe it or not, that wasn't everything. There were a lot of decorations we never put out.)

JP took pity and me and took down the big tree by himself.

And he helped me put the rest of the decorations in the storage totes. They've gone up in the attic until next Christmas, much to Fly's confusion.

It's a new year, and it feels good to pack up and put away. (Like going through my stash of baby things and deciding to turn them into a giveaway that ends tomorrow. Or cleaning out the spare room for my baby and finding 53 framed pictures for the walls, 6 empty frames, two mirrors and a corkboard. Clearly, JP and I have wall art issues. But that's for another post.)

But, wait! Darn, I forgot all the snow globes are still sitting on my dresser. And I found two little ornaments of Fly's tree in his room buried under all the new Christmas presents he got from family.

So our holiday pack-up system isn't perfect.

My guess is those snow globes will sit on my dresser until at least March.

- - - - -

The Parent Bloggers Network and Right@Home are asking how bloggers clean up after the holidays. Because Right@Home is full of homecare articles about cleaning and other things, maybe they will at least give me an E for effort.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Go fly a kite

Let's see who knows where those lyrics are from....

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Regular

What I'd wear today if I could: regular clothes, as usual. Keep to the status quo.

I've been asked if my WIWW posts will now become all about maternity wear. Never fear, internets!

Here's my explanation, long form:

I don't need to wear maternity clothes yet because my regular clothes still fit me. (Now just watch, nothing will fit me tomorrow when I get dressed!) But even when my expanding tummy and disappearing waist make me reach for something bigger, I plan to try to wear as many regular clothes as I can for as long as I can. (Not to mention there's a ubiquitous maternity chain store where the salespeople are mean and the return policy is ridiculous. You know the one I'm talking about. Not gonna shop there anymore.)

With my first pregnancy, when I was expecting Fly, I admit I tended to look to the celebrity preggos for style cues. Namely, for whatever reason, Angelina Jolie. She wore extremely simple all-black outfits. And that's a lot of what I wore.

This time around, my pregnancy style icon is a mom I know in real life who went her entire pregnancy wearing no maternity clothes whatsoever. She wore larger-sized, flowy, empire-waisted kind of regular clothes -- lots of mini sundresses. And she. looked. fabulous. All the time.

I was going to ask to borrow some of her clothes but found out she is expecting again, five months after giving birth. She is due only weeks after I am. So there goes that idea.

Now, I figure I'm going to need some maternity bottoms. Because I am a realist. And another friend of mine who is now a grandma told me she made her own reversible wrap skirts when she was pregnant, and I like really that idea.

I also have a couple maternity tops from last time that I love so much I never put them away with my other maternity wear. I can't wait to trot those out.

But otherwise, I hope to wear regular clothes as much as possible.

Take this top from Victoria's Secret:

Or these cute tops from Forever 21:

(Don't you love the heart over the tummy?!)

I think these could be worn through a good bit of pregnancy, if not the whole term.

If I see some maternity clothes I think are really great, I'll post them. If I see some amazing regular-sized items that I think would work for maternity, I will post them. And if I wish I could wear something that's impossible for me to wear at the time, I still might post it. Because if anything, WIWW is a wish list.

So if you're pregnant, what are you wearing now? If you're not, what did you wear during your last pregnancy? And where do/did you get your clothes?

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Bustin' Out Babies giveaway

To celebrate the new year and try to breathe some life into this dusty blog, I thought a giveaway was in order.

That, and I am doing a bit of organizing now that Christmas decorations have been put away and it's time to start fresh. Ahem.

I found the following DVDs that I enjoyed watching but which I no longer need to keep, so I am giving them away. Yes, they are pre-owned. But still very watchable.

The Happiest Baby on the Block

This DVD will show you some tricks for helping babies to calm down or stop crying during that "fourth trimester."

Bringing Baby Home

If you are a new parent and terrified you will break your baby within the hour of getting him or her home, this goes over the basics of baby care. Nothing more, nothing less.

Toolbox for New Dads

A fatherhood expert talks man to man about baby stuff and makes it seem less mystifying. You can see my review about this DVD here.

I also have a novel, which is brand new and direct from the press:

The Book of Mom

This is the story of a stay-at-home mom who is trying to figure out where her life went and how to find "inward and outward balance."

I'd like to give all of these items as a package to a new parent! It could be yourself, a relative or friend. Just leave a comment and mention who you would give these goodies to. I'll let pick a winner next Monday.

And if you or a blogger you know is expecting or adopting a baby, please check out my Bustin' Out Babies list of bloggers anticipating a joy bundle.

Good luck!

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sleep while the sleeping is good

That's been my motto around here lately. And even if I can't sleep, I try to be horizontal when I can. Now that I'm coming up on 16 weeks in this pregnancy, I am hoping and wishing and waiting for that second-trimester second wind to come along. I am not exaggerating when I say I can start dreaming with my eyes open.

Things are a little different for me this time around. I don't have the atomic heartburn I had when I was pregnant with Fly. But I do have dysgeusia. I don't have the nosebleeds with this baby, but I have rhinitis of pregnancy. One thing that's the same is lower back pain.

Oh, and of course that fatigue.

Another thing that's different with this pregnancy is my weight. I started off this time around weighing eight pounds more than I did when I was newly pregnant with Fly. (But still wearing the same size clothes somehow.) That doesn't make me happy, especially because I told myself if I ever got pregnant again, I didn't want to gain as much weight as I did last time -- 40 pounds. At the time, even my OB/Gyn was cautioning me about my weight. JP's mother gained half that amount (back when women were told not to gain weight during pregnancy), and JP was two ounces heavier than Fly when he was born.

So I was already weight-conscious.

And then it happened. Someone made a comment about my weight. A friend told me, "You've gained some weight," and I'm like, "No kidding." But inside, I was devastated. I had been feeling pretty good about myself, after overhearing some friends tell another mom at the playground that I was already (barely) in my second trimester, and the woman acted amazed that I was even pregnant because she couldn't tell. I am still wearing my regular clothes. But after my friend's comment, I felt like a big blob. I actually skipped dinner that day -- I wasn't truly hungry anyway. And when I am around that friend, I feel nervous eating.

I don't want anyone to think I'm endangering my baby by starving myself. I'm definitely not. I'm just saying my weight is more of an issue for me this time around.

And the sleep -- ahhh, the sleeping. It makes me yawn just thinking about it.

Knowing now the sleep deprivation that a new baby brings, I'm going to get in all the pillow time I can while I'm able.


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