Sunday, March 29, 2009

Health, showers, friends and other joys

Dealing with pregnancy fatigue and still dealing with a head cold (week three -- this bug has stamina!), I have an embarrassing amount of e-mails to respond to and an obscene number of posts in my reader that I couldn't possibly catch up on. I haven't been on Twitter in about a week. I had great plans for the Ultimate Blog Party including daily visits to the chat room I set up and additional giveaways (Jodifur won the Mothers & Children book). But they went the way of good intentions.

Despite my sorry physical state, I'm thankful for good general health -- for me and my family. Sometimes, I think being sick really makes you appreciate your health.

I appreciate being able to take a shower. For some reason, it occurred to me this week that I'm fortunate because my simple, quick shower routine is probably like a spa treatment to many people in the world.

I'm thankful for my real-life friends and mom posse, and also for my blog buddies. They -- you -- really prop me up.

I'm relieved every time someone greets me and doesn't comment on my expanding body size.

These are just some of the simple joys I discovered this week.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's the parents who are the problem

Sooner or later, I guess, every parent faces this situation: what do you do when another person -- someone you don't even know -- disciplines your child?

JP was occupied today with moving his workshop, so I looked for fun things to do with Fly. I found pony rides at a nearby park. We got in a long line and waited as several children from a birthday party had their turn. Eventually, I couldn't hold Fly any more. I set him down, and Fly got antsy waiting in line. He swung the gate back and forth (I made him stop when he started swinging it too hard) and he tried to climb over the fence (I made him stop climbing at the bottom rung of the fence so he wouldn't fall over or step in front of a pony).

Then he took up playing in the sand in the corner near a little girl of at least 4. Drawing lines with his finger and sifting handfuls of sand were fine, I figured, and he wasn't bothering anybody.

The next thing I know, the little girl whose parents were in line just ahead of me walked past, and Fly follows her with handfuls of sand.

The dad standing next to me grabbed Fly -- with both hands -- and yelled, "Knock it off!"


"Don't talk to my child that way!" I said, snatching Fly back from the guy.

"He's throwing sand at my daughter," the man said.

"He didn't throw sand. He's holding sand, but he didn't throw it."

"Just because you didn't see it doesn't mean he didn't to it," the man said.

"Believe me, if I see my child acting up, I'm the first one to step in," I said.

"You need to control your child!"

"Oh, thank you," I said, "I never thought of that before."

"Look, my daughter's shirt is dirty. If he wasn't throwing sand, then how did it get dirty?"

"She was playing in the sand, too," I said.

"No, she wasn't."

"You need to apologize," the mom finally piped up.

"Yeah, you need to apologize," the dad said.

"No, you need to apologize for treating my child that way," I said.

A few seconds later, I heard the dad mutter, "It's the parents who are the problem."

I could have responded to that a dozen different ways, but I just decided to drop it. I'm sure we'd already made quite a scene in the pony ride line.

So, truly, Fly did not throw sand during or after the time their daughter walked past me. And if the parents had seen Fly throwing sand before their daughter walked by, then why didn't they speak up immediately when the two of them were still in the corner -- why did they wait until Fly was in front of us? I'm not convinced they saw him throwing sand.

If the parents had taken a less confrontational approach, I might have apologized for Fly. After all, I told myself later, if a friend told me Fly had misbehaved while I wasn't looking for a moment, I would have said I was sorry and spoken with Fly about what he'd done.

But do not grab my child and yell at him, especially when it's clear you don't really know if he did what you accuse him of doing.

Fly ended up not wanting to go for a pony ride. He didn't want to sit on the pony. He didn't even want to touch the pony. All the waiting in line, and the drama, for nothing.

So we went to the playground, where Fly took up playing in the sand (again) with some toys that belonged to another child. I asked the parents if it was OK for him to play with the toys, and they told me yes and remarked how polite Fly was and how nicely he was sharing. That made me feel tons better.

I just don't know how some people feel they have the right to police other people's kids by laying hands on them and yelling at them.

So what should I do next time a Parent Cop confronts Fly so I can handle the situation more gracefully? Have you ever been in a situation like this?

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What I'd Wear Wednesday: drapey

What I'd wear today if I could: this fabulous halter from Ralph Lauren. I think I could wear this even though I'm pregnant. The halter is full and drapey over the tummy. It's long enough to cover up the few dreaded belly-panel pants and shorts I have (for lack of nothing else to wear) or to cover up the under-the-belly-style bottoms.

I also like the colorful blooms. This halter looks tropical and makes me think of warm, carefree days. (Someone tell me carefree days do come back sooner or later, right? Right?) I'd wear it with white pants like the model or possibly as a swimsuit coverup.

If you'd like to guest post for WIWW, please let me know.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


If your second trimester is supposed to be your energetic trimester, then I am doomed once the home stretch arrives in a couple weeks.

I'm just so tired lately that I often don't even want to think about doing anything. I keep going, though, mostly for Fly's sake, and also because I hope Newton's Law of Motion with all that stuff about inertia applies to pregnant women. You know, bodies in motion tend to stay in motion and all that. Because this body just wants to lie down or sit at every opportunity.

It's also hard when like a fourth of your weight is sticking out in front of you and seems to double every week or so, and you feel like your stomach is going to split open if you just move the wrong way.

I know all of this isn't anything generations of pregnant women haven't endured as well. I just feel like whining, I guess. Forgive me.

And now I feel like going back to resting....

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Friday, March 20, 2009

There's a party going on right here

Ultimate Blog Party 2009Hey. I heard there was a little party going on.

OK, a it's a pretty big weeklong party. Online. I think online parties are a tricky thing because you don't have the same, um, interpersonal dynamic. But the good thing is you don't have to worry about how to break the ice. Nope, you just jump right in. And it doesn't matter what you're wearing. It's totally come-as-you-are. When you're ready to leave, you don't have to come up with an awkward excuse to go.

So, welcome to my little corner of the party! If you're a regular, thanks for putting up with my insanity.

If you're stopping by here for the first time, thanks for the visit. I'm the mom of a toddler with a baby due in June. I keep a running list of expectant bloggers. (Wanna add yourself?) I write a style post on Wednesdays. Sometimes I'm sentimental. But sometimes I'm not.

I've set up a chat room for the duration of the party. Please stop by! I may or may not be around, but maybe you'll find others. If you come and chat, please leave the link to your blog so everyone can check it out! I will try to visit everyone who comes to the chat room and leaves a link, even if it's after your visit.

If this was a real-world party, everyone would get free drinks. Or a goody bag of some kind to take home. You know, some swag. I have a giveaway, but only one person can win, unfortunately. Today, I posted a review of a beautiful photo book by National Geographic, Mothers & Children, which just came out this week. Want to win it? Please read the review and come back here to comment. To make it interesting, comment on the most extraordinary thing your mother did for you, the best advice she gave you -- or on what you hope your children will learn from you. I'll randomly select a winner next Friday.

Have fun trolling the party circuit this week -- hope you'll stop by the chat room.

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Mothers & Children

Mothers in different parts of the world look different from one another. They raise their children with different expectations and customs. They feed their children different foods. But all mothers share the joy of having a bond with their children. And I believe we all want what is best for our kids.

The new National Geographic book Mothers & Children celebrates this most basic human relationship with photos of moms and their kids from all over the world. We see a mother and her daughter laughing in Suriname, a child sleeping in a sling on his mother's back in Botswana as she submerses herself in water, a mother in Iceland pushing her baby in a pram across the ice and a mom in Indiana breastfeeding her toddler while driving a farm tractor. True to National Geographic's style, all of the photos show real, everyday life -- they're not posed studio portraits -- which is the nature of motherhood, after all. I keep wanting to look at the photos again and again.

Among the rich photos are short essays on mothers as well as quotes like "Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Mothers & Children is a perfect gift book for Mother's Day or for a mom as a new-baby present.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting ready for some fun

Ultimate Blog Party 2009There's a little weeklong event coming up this week you've probably heard about. Please come back here tomorrow for the Ultimate Blog Party! I'll have a giveaway. There are also lots of other giveaways going on. I'm also going to have a chatroom open. I'll have all the details tomorrow!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What I'd Wear Wednesday: tattoo tees

What I'd wear today if I could: a comfy maternity T-shirt with a cool design, like this one from Babies N Bellies.

There are some nice, flowy, non-maternity-sized blouses on my floor in my closet that still fit. And I love wearing them. But some days, I don't feel like being flowy. Sometimes, you just want to kick back and wear regular clothes along with the hoi polloi. Am I right? I have some non-maternity tees that do the trick, but, um, well, only two of them fit now. And they're closing in.

I like the tattoo-style tees because they look comfortable, but they have some attitude.

Here's one from Eva Lillian:

And a non-tattoo tee that's still very rockin' from Babies N Bellies:

Is this model even pregnant?!

Notice I didn't say much about bottoms today. My maternity pants and shorts are not friends....


Monday, March 16, 2009

New babies

Just wanted to point out there have been a lot of babies being born around the blogosphere in the past few weeks. I just updated the Bustin' Out Babies list.

Are you expecting, or do you know someone who is expecting? Add your pregnancy or adoption by e-mailing me at growingalife at gmail dot com.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Creatures great and small

Being knocked flat on your fanny for more than a week by some microorganisms sure has a way of putting things into perspective. It's hard to be thankful for the simple joys in life when you are suffering in misery.

But then, I should know how small creatures can take over your life.

In the case of Fly and the little Junebug, a full-on life invasion is a good thing -- and I'm thankful.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

A diaper? A cake? A diaper cake!

Look what came in the mail for me today!

It's a beautiful diaper cake from Diaper Cakewalk! Isn't it pretty? The owner knows I'm not finding out the sex of my baby, so she sent me a gender-neutral diaper cake. Thank you! I'm still sick, so this was a nice highlight in my day.

I've truly never seen diaper cakes up close and personal before, so this was a cool gift to receive. And I can see that it would make a great new baby gift for someone. I am thinking this would be fun for the daughter of a friend who just found out she's expecting her first baby. It would make a cute centerpiece at a baby shower.

Look at the cute bunnies! The top one is a pacifier holder, the middle one is a wrist rattle and the big rabbit on the bottom plays a song when you press its chest.

The diapers are two different sizes of Pampers. Very clever. It's almost too pretty to use!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Spring

What I'd wear today if I could: Some fresh spring styles. By reading posts from around the blogosphere, some of you have been lucky enough to get a taste of spring weather already. But many of you have gotten extra helpings of Old Man Winter in recent weeks and can't believe you'll ever thaw out. Either way, spring does officially start in a couple weeks, so . . . there's something to look forward to.

As I did last fall, I thought I'd do a roundup of trends I've noticed. This isn't the complete spring trend list or some kind of fashion forecast like I know what I am talking about. Just some fun things to mention.

The thing that gets me every spring is I read somewhere that florals and soft/feminine/romantic looks are in style. Well, no kidding. They are every spring. They usually say nautical looks are in for spring too. Every single year.

With that in mind, it's true -- ruffles seem popular. They can be sweet:

Ann Taylor Loft ruffle top

Or sassy:

Bebe ruffle cami

Skirts are on the full side, whether just at the knee:

Charlotte Russe cutout skirt

Below the knee:

Lauren Ralph Lauren dot-print skirt

Or well above it:

Kensie watercolor skirt

But slim, tailored pencil skirts are also very big.

Speaking of big, the maxi is still going strong:

Victoria's Secret maxi dress

New York and Company maxi dress

Pants seem to run the gamut from really slouchy . . .

Victoria's Secret beach pant

Calvin Klein cropped cargo pants

To tailored, but wide-legged . . .

Victoria's Secret Marisa pant

Michael Michael Kors wide-leg jeans

To skinny, hitting above the ankle and paired with some substantial shoes:

DKNYC zipper-ankle pants

BCBGeneration ankle skinny pants

Speaking of shoes, they seem to have more substance to them -- like they're more there:

Anthropologie crowd pleaser wedges

Nine West papoose pump

American Eagle espadrilles

And I've seen a lot of drawstring bags, or at least bags that look as though they have a drawstring:

Michael Michael Kors satchel

Aeropostale drawstring bag

All-white outfits are popular in some stores, but bright colors really seem to stand out this spring -- even fluorescent colors, if you want to go that bright. (Hello again, 1984!)

What are you looking forward to wearing this spring?

If you want to be a guest WIWW poster in the coming weeks, please let me know!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

25-week belly bump

The baby is a-popping.

Things to keep in mind:

I have been sick for three days with some kind of cold. Or maybe it's bubonic plague.

Despite that, I gave in and included my head in the photo, as I was criticized last time for just showing my belly. Silly me, I thought that's all anyone was interested in.

The color of my bathroom walls really isn't "American Revolution Era Parchment."

Those flowers really aren't attacking my butt.

I have no better ideas on how to take a self-portrait, so if you have some tips, I'd appreciate them!

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Good yummy

It's been a few weeks -- I've lost count, not wanting to count -- since you nursed. You held on for a long time, my boy. You wanted that comfort only mama can give you as you fell asleep -- the holding, the contact and the precious food that was too good to be called simply "milk," so it had to be called "yummy." Good yummy. Our own special term.

But it was time. Even as you nursed, you thrashed, you bit, you slapped. I think that meant even you knew you were done nursing, even if you didn't want to totally give it up. My breasts already tender from carrying your soon-to-be sibling, it was your biting that made the decision for me: no more good yummy.

I thought you were going to wean much sooner. Many people probably assumed you were already weaned. But you held on.

And when you asked for your yummy at night and naptime, I had to turn you away -- tearfully at first, then with logic you probably don't possess and then with gentle cajoling. Eventually, you just stopped asking. Now, you haven't asked in weeks.

You are weaned.

I know you must understand by now that I am so much more to you than just my breasts. Tomorrow, you will turn two and a half, and you really don't need them anymore. They might have needed you, but they're now looking forward to nourishing a new life soon.

And even though you don't have mama's good yummy anymore, I wish you all the good yummy that your life will bring you -- whatever in life sustains you, comforts you and fills you up.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Umm....

What I'd wear today if I could: just some yoga pants like these from Target. With maybe an oversize cardigan.

Or anything. I am not sure if I care right now. I am trying to care. I really, really am. (I am trying to silence the voice of my friend in my head, which tells me, "There is no try -- only do." Hush, now.) But as I mentioned last week, I only want to be comfortable.

And I may or may not have worn the same outfit two days in a row because I knew it fit me, it was comfortable and was reasonably clean. I won't confirm or deny it. I am just a pregnant mom of a toddler whose back hurts, who is tired all the time and who might be coming down with something. So I think my fashion sins can be forgiven.

If you came here looking for eye candy, though, here's a silver bangle from Blue Nile similar to the one I rediscovered in JP's glove compartment that his parents gave me after Fly was born, engraved with his name.

I don't know how it ended up in the glove compartment.

And here is a dress I'd wear as a top over leggings or possibly the yoga pants up there, found in a Body Central catalog that arrived today:

(Covered with that oversize cardigan I was talking about, of course.)

You can get some more fun things there on the cheap.

I'm hoping my style mojo comes back soon, but I can't take any chances. If anyone would like to guest post a WIWW in the coming weeks, please let me know.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Manda Girl template, Scrap Girls papers and elements, Digital-Crea paper

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

The ladybits aisle

To join Heather at Cool Zebras for Simply Joy Sunday, can I just say how happy and relieved I am when I pass this aisle in the supermarket?

For months, I'd face this part of the store once or twice a week and wonder if I would ever have a need again to take a pregnancy test. It would just make me want a baby even more. That maternal need for a baby really messes with your head.

And now, I'm expecting a baby. And our family (well, most of our family) is so happy.

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