Friday, December 30, 2011


You guys.  I'm back!!  

In more ways than one - first, of course, I'm home.  After nearly a month of traveling, I'm back in my own bed and I couldn't be happier about it.  Even though it was great to see family and be with Drew for more than a day, living out of a suitcase is no fun and traveling with the baby is getting more and more complicated.  Babies need a lot of stuff!  I found myself constantly questioning how Angelina Jolie does it with her twelve thousand kids.

But even more than that, I got a night of mojo!  Wait, that doesn't sound right.  Whatever, who cares - I'm too giddy to think about proper phrasing.

I cleaned my house.  You know how twitchy I get when my house is dirty.  After the baby went to bed tonight, I cleaned it all.  Mopped the floors.  Cleaned the bathrooms.  I did the laundry and folded and put it away as it came out of the dryer.
This mountain of vacation laundry is no more!
Everything is hung up and put in the drawers,
do you know how major that is?!

Not only that, I took a shower - a long one!  I even got to put lotion on and rub it in!  I even gave myself a little calf massage!  I even put my three day old hair in some twists and I'm just going to see what happens!

I owe it all to this tiny human, who went to bed at nine pm and is still asleep.  I don't even know what to do with myself.

Sofia's first Christmas was so wonderful!  We spent it with Drew's parents and she even got to have a white Christmas!
My snow bunny

We all had a wonderful time and most importantly, it wasn't that cold!  Even with the snow, I was able to be outside for the few seconds it took to document Sofia's first snowball.  Christmas morning was of course, all about the baby and she was naturally spoiled beyond belief.  And she liked the paper more than the gifts, but it was cool because Mom liked her gifts.
Uncle Nate and Auntie Julie got her this WheelyBug and I died 
over the cuteness and how she did so well balancing on it!
A couple more inches and her feet will touch the floor!
A bow in the hair and in the mouth - that's a good Christmas!
Look what I get to do now!  
And don't even think I'm going to be original about this shit; I'm 
copying from each and every blogger I know, thankyouverymuch.

Remember this picture from way back?
These are the Santa hats the boys had when they were babies.
Now his baby gets to wear it!
Sort of
She's so flippin cute I can't stand it

Speaking of standing...

This morning, she went down for her nap like a champ which is amazing because she caught a cold with all the traveling and weather changes.  She's been so congested and fussy I was beginning to think we were never going to have a sleep routine.  But then, she slept in her crib with minimal fuss and she's sleeping now so I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth.

So while she napped I unpacked and created Mt. Laundry, dreading the the cleanup that always comes after vacation.  I was in the bathroom when I heard her wake up.  She wasn't fussing, so I let her be for a couple of minutes.  When I finally came around the corner to see what she was up to, the child was standing up in her crib.  My heart stopped and I didn't want to scare her, but she was chest high in there - she could lean just a little too far and flip right out of the crib because I hadn't lowered it because it never occurred to me that one day she would just frickin stand the hell up.  I clapped and laughed and told her what a good job she did and then scooped her out of there so fast!

And then I recreated it for the blog.  Of course I did.
O hai.
I can stand up.
And I have more hair so I actually get bedhead now.

I lowered the mattress as far as it would go and took the mobile down and cried that she's going to walk and talk and go to school and make friends and do things without me and leave me.  Yes, I'm co-dependent.  Get off me - this is happening too fast and I'm not ready. 

Then again, she goes apeshit when she can't see me so maybe I've got a little time yet.

Anyway, the holidays were a lot of fun but I'm so glad to be home and I'm super glad that we have no travel plans for a while - everybody can come to us for a while.  This afternoon, my brother texted me and told me that he and his girlfriend are coming for the weekend.  I'm so excited to see them!  When he told me that they were coming down, I initially thought it was really sweet of them to come down for Drew's birthday.  When he was like, uh no, we're going to a New Year's party in Dallas I did a double take because oh yeah, it *is* New Year's.  It going to be fun to see them, but I was all mom when I told him to have fun but if they came home and woke the baby I would cut them both.

The baby is still asleep!  She woke up for a second, yelled a little bit, and put herself back to sleep!  I can't believe it - it's like a Christmas miracle all over again!  I may push my luck and play around on Pinterest for a while!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mom hair

Thing #812 they don't tell you when you have a kid:  After you have said kid, your hair will fall out.  Observe.
8 months preggo, hair is lush and full
6 months post-partum and nearly bald at the temples

Full disclosure:  I'd gotten a blow-out for the bottom picture and I really don't have enough hair for blow-outs to look good on me.  I do much better when I do my own hair, like I did in the top picture.  It's just that I have to blowdry it first and then go back over every section with a big-barreled curling iron to smooth it out and that takes forever.  Plus, I wanted the pampering that they give you at the salon, but I really should have known better.

Even more full disclosure, because it's just so horrifying:
I nearly cried when I saw this picture because I looked so bald.  
I'm never getting a blowout again.

It's pretty safe to say I haven't the slightest clue what to do with my hair since I've had a child.  The method I just described takes at least an hour and a half to do and it must be done all at once because it'll look fuzzy and I won't be able to fix it.  These days I only have that kind of time after midnight and I'm so spent by then, the last thing I'm thinking about is my hair, so most days it looks like this:
This is a one day old twist-out.  One day.
It looked like this the day before.  Decent right?
Too bad I can only get it to look like this for one day.

The only upside to having rat's nest hair is that it's just ratty enough to give you good height when putting it in a bun.  Buns are my life now.
Gather into a ponytail, wrap it around and pin.
It comes pre-ratted!
I don't even have to try and make it this big,
which is cool and kinda gross at the same time.

I rarely straighten it these days so my routine is mostly this:
Day 1: Wash and detangle and put it in four two-strand twists without separating the strands because I don't have time for that.
Day 2:  Good hair day.  I take out the twists and go somewhere so I can be seen with my cute hair.
Day 3:  Ratty ponytail because it's still sort of okay to be out.
Day 4:  French braid if I can get my hands in my hair.  If not, it's a bun.
Day 5:  Bun.
Day 6:  Bun.
Day 7:  Bun.
Day 8:  Bun.
Day 9:  Realize I haven't washed my hair in nine days, get grossed out and wash it.

I do it to myself, because I don't do anything to it at night.  If I could find a no-fuss nighttime routine, I would be so happy because I don't do satin pillowcases, bonnets, and I certainly don't retwist it.  I usually put it in one braid just to keep it out of my face, knowing my hair doesn't like braids.

And don't get me started on detangling!  I was all excited because I thought I found my Holy Grail product that would get my hair detangled without losing mounds of hair.  If I didn't know that pregnancy hair falls out when you're no longer pregnant, I'd be crying every day.  I was losing handfuls of hair y'all.  It was scary and no amount of vitamins could stop it.  Thankfully, it seems to have slowed down but I sure do hate seeing more hair in my brush than on my head.

Anyway, coconut oil!  I thought coconut oil was my Holy Grail, my key to slip and shine and smooth, tangle free tresses.  

HA.  It's more like the key to stringy, greasy nonsense.
It took me two hours to get this head full of grease.
It's okay to be jealous.
At least I have a little more hair at the temples now.

I wanted straight hair for Drew's Christmas party this past weekend and took my precious sleep time Thursday night to do my hair.  I'd used coconut oil for the twist out when we went to see Santa so I thought it would work with straight hair too.  No and no.  Detangling was so hard, I thought I was going to pull the rest of my hair out.  Blowdrying it melted the oils more so I was just a mess o' grease.  Curling it made it even worse so I had to do it all over again when we arrived in Reading Friday night.  I was so pissed!

Ironically, the detangler I bought for my curls works best when I use it to straighten my hair.  Go figure.

It works great to detangle but it made my hair so sticky when I'd twist it and leave it to air dry.  I was about to give it away when I used it Friday night and then blowdried my hair.  Magic!  So weird.

I'm super glad I don't have to throw it out but I still don't have a good detangler when I wear it curly, which is most of the time.

So this is where y'all chime in.  What's your nighttime routine?  What's your curly detangler?  What do you do with your hair now that you've had a kid?  Did your hair fall out too?  Isn't that the most depressing shit ever?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (sort of)

Yeah right, like I could do a post with no words.  

I happened to have my phone in my pocket and instead of getting annoyed, I ruefully snapped a photo because this is my life now.

You know how they say once you have a kid you'll never be alone again?  Ever?  It's true.
Right after this, I broke out the pack n play again to have a place to stash her when I have to go to the bathroom because she shouldn't have to witness that.
I can't do anything about the dog though.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Mom Bag

Lots of things change when you become a mom.  You never sleep again, your heart grows a million sizes, you see the world differently, blah blah blah.  You know one of the biggest changes I struggled with?  

My handbag.

I didn't realize how important my handbag was to me until I had to stop carrying one in favor of a diaper bag.  All of a sudden my most important accessory had also grown a million sizes.

My super stylish girlfriend got me my first diaper bag at my baby shower.  She is single with no kids.  That's lesson one:  Buy your own diaper bag.  Handbags are an intensely personal thing and you're better off picking one out for yourself and showing it to the person who wants to get you something, just because no one else really knows your personality, your wardrobe or even how you plan to use your bag.  I didn't know this and figured diaper bags were diaper bags.  The only thing I told her is that I didn't want one that was too precious.
No thank you

No offense to anyone who carries a diaper bag like these, but it's just not my thing.  I don't find patterned diaper bags very versatile and they practically scream "There's poop in here!"  So she went for one that was a little more gender-neutral.

This bag worked great in the beginning, when I didn't get out much and Sofia's things were small.  She wasn't too interested in toys, she hadn't grown into her cloth diapers and life was good.  I loved the cross-body style and I felt very hip and urban carrying it.  Then I started getting out more and I started cursing the giant messenger flap.  There were three pockets on the outside of the bag, but trying to lift the flap, unzip the pocket, dig in the pocket to get something while trying to keep the flap from flapping down, all one-handed with a crying baby, and life started getting hard.  Lesson two:  Get a bag with easily accessible outside pockets and easy zippers.  Flaps suck.

As I started to get the hang of the mom thing, I also started to feel like my bag was a little too gender neutral.  I mean, this was my bag!  Pretty much my only accessory!  Heels were gone, earrings and necklaces got sacrificed to curious baby fingers, daily makeup was a joke, I never really wore rings and I was starting to feel a little less than feminine.  So I started the search for a handbag that could function as a diaper bag.

It needed to be big - like mom big.  I was carrying cloth diapers now, a change of clothes, and.... well, you'll see.

I also wanted it to be leather.  That way it could somewhat dress up my outfit and make me look slightly more put together.  Outside pockets were a must, but I didn't want it looking like a fisherman's vest.  I searched high and low, staying up nights - seriously!  I needed a lot from this bag and I intended to carry it for several years so it had to be up to the task.

I wanted something brown and distressed because most of my wardrobe is brown and I wear jeans or yoga pants pretty much every day so I didn't want it to be too structured and fussy.  It had to have a short shoulder strap so I could still hold the baby with both hands.  I know the cross-body style is better for the back but it also made me feel mannish so I'll just have to do some extra yoga to counteract the potential back problems.

I consulted Ain't no Mom Jeans for tips and guidelines and that's where I first saw the Foley and Corinna Mid City Tote.

Now, if you click the link, you'll notice that this little bag costs a shit-ton of money.  Money that I don't have and wouldn't pay even if I had it.  But I loved the bag - so I went looking for its twin.  Even a long lost cousin would work for me too.  I looked at Overstock and kind of liked this one.
I liked the style but I didn't care for the colors.

I kept an eye on Craigslist and Ebay too.  I probably spent a month looking online for bags and going to stores when Sofia would let me.  Nearly every night I'd check different websites looking at different bags, but I kept coming back to the Foley and Corinna.  

And then the purse gods smiled on me.

I found a Foley and Corinna on Ebay for a fraction of the original cost.  I was nervous as hell because Ebay is notorious for fakes but this one felt right.  The pictures looked good, I asked my questions and I went for it.  I paced back and forth, waiting for it to come because I wanted to like it and I wanted it to work and I was prepared to leave all kinds of negative feedback if it was ugly or fake looking in any way.

It wasn't!  It was beautiful!  Gorgeous dark brown leather, beat-up just the right amount and BIG.
I can carry my house in here.

I've had this bag for a couple of months now and I love it.  It's roomy and stylish and goes with everything.  I was worried that it would become a black hole but it's got two inside pockets and two outside pockets and that works just fine.
The shoulder strap is handy too.

As for what's in the bag?  Wellll,
1.  Diaper wipes, just in case.
2.  Spare outfit for the baby.  This is a MUST.
3.  Cloth wipe solution and washcloths.
4.  Wet bag for cloth diapers
5.  Maxi-pad, just in case and if someone asks you for one. 
6.  Liquid hand sanitizer
7.  Hand lotion
8.  Dairy pills because I'm lactose intolerant.
9.  Boogie wipes because I don't want Sofia to be the Booger Kid.
10.  Changing pad
11.  Pacifier case in case she ever decides she'll take one.
12.  Bib
13.  Boon spoons for food pouches.  I don't really need these but they're in there, just in case.
14.  Dreft laundry pen
15.  Flip and digital camera bag with cord
16.  Gum, baby nail clippers and travel tubes of Aquaphor.
17.  Checkbook and lots of pens.  Why do I have so many pens?
18.  Coin purse
19.  Credit card holder
20.  Disposable diapers, just in case
21.  Sunglasses
22.  Burp cloth
23.  Cloth diaper - sometimes I carry two
24.  Hand sanitizer wipes - when I run out, these will go away
25.  Mommy cards - these actually come in quite handy!
26.  Bronzer - my attempt at being cute.  I have never touched it.
27.  Card for the guy at the nail salon.
28.  All my lip stuff and a Tide stick.

I just realized I didn't number my coupons.  They're right below the maxipad.  Coupons are very important - I mostly have Buy Buy Baby, Babies R Us and Bed Bath and Beyond coupons.  Did you know Bed Bath and Beyond coupons never expire?  And that they're kind of a drugstore now?  With makeup and toothpaste and everything?  I get my toilet paper and shampoo and stuff there now and I get 20% or $5 off and sometimes both!  I'm such a mom now - whenever we go someplace, I'm all "Wait, let me see if I have a coupon!"

So that's my mom bag for ya.  I realize that I may carry too much stuff, or you may hate my bag and that's totally fine.  Handbags are personal decisions and what works for me may not work for you.  This post was actually really fun for me to write and it spurred me to clean out my diaper bag so it's all good.  It's definitely a work in progress and as Sofia gets older and her needs change, my bag will probably change too.  But for now, this is me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I survived Santa

When babies are this young, everything is for the parents, not them.  Sofia will have zero memory of her first trip with Santa and I tried to tell myself that it didn't matter whether we went or not.  I didn't want to wait in the lines and fight the crowds for something that wouldn't matter to her one way or the other.

But when I ordered our Christmas cards and bought her Christmas dresses I found my grinch mood lifting and I was thankful for my friend Kristin who texted me, saying we should go together and it would be less painful.  

This being our first time, I turned to my best friend for all the pointers.  Their little girl is 18 months and they're pros, so when he said to get there early for the ticket to stand in line, I listened.  After I was like, WTF?  I have to get a ticket to see Santa?  Ugh, this better be worth it.

The baby wakes up normally at seven (she's been sleeping semi-well but I'm still too tired to celebrate) so I bundled her up and we headed to the mall.  I got there at 8:30 because it took me that long to get going and I was still rocking the unwashed face and bedhead.  I met Kristin at the line and there was no one around because they didn't hand out the damn tickets until 9!!!!!  So we went to Starbucks and by the time we came back at like 9:05, they'd already started to line up!!  WTF?  Gah, these people are serious!  After getting schooled by the mom ahead of us who had been coming for like eight years we got our tickets (5 and 6, thank you very much) and I headed home to get the baby dressed.

We ended up going with the red outfit due to my lack of accessories for the blue dress.  I couldn't find a silver bow and I didn't really want to buy *another* pair of shoes for Sofia.  I know right?  I never thought I'd hear those words, but she already has four pairs of shoes and she'll probably grow out of those within a month.  I'm trying to space out my clothing purchases for her.  I don't want to buy ten pairs of shoes now and have to do it all again in a month.  So red it was.

The Santa people had it down.  Before I knew it, it was our turn and the guy took her from me in an instant, sat her down on Santa's lap and started snapping away.  I barely had time to snap my own pictures.
At least his hair and beard were real and I was glad he didn't wear a dumb hat.
I would have liked some eyeglasses though.
I may mention that for next time.

Most importantly, she didn't cry!  She's in the stage where she's not sure about other people holding her - sometimes she screams, sometimes she's cool.  I was right there and I was praying this was a cool baby time and it was!  She was a champ!  I didn't get a scrunchy-face smile but she didn't scream and that's a win in my book!
I went ghetto and this is a picture of the picture.
They wanted $125 for the digital file!
Santa ain't *that* cool.

At the last minute I decided not to do the jacket because the collar was flipping up and the detail on the bodice of her dress was covered if I buttoned it.  I think it looked just fine and more than anything, I'm just happy not to have the Screaming Baby picture.  
Because this kind of picture isn't cute.
At all.

The whole thing was over in less than five minutes and I was so freakin glad that we were there early because that damn line stretched to forever.  I couldn't imagine what it must be like on the weekends!
She did such a good job!

It was a big day!  For both of us!  I felt like I'd cleared a mom hurdle by taking her, like I got a merit badge on my Mom Sash.  
I even had a good hair day!  Bonus!
Obligatory bathroom pic, because good hair days
are so few and far between around here.
The ends need work but I was untwisting it in the car on the way up there.
So safe, I know.

Anyway, Sofia's first trip to see Santa was a success and I have a good eight more years to pick outfits!  Next year, blue!  Or silver!  Or green!  Or gold!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby style: The Christmas edition

I totally forgot to tell you, but when I wrote the last baby style post, the people at Vitamins Baby heard me!  They sent me an email thanking me for saying nice things about them and gave me a discount code to use for anyone who's interested!  Granted, that was over a couple of months ago and I don't even know if the codes work anymore.  And now, no one is ever going to give me a discount code again because I'm late in sharing it with my readerfriends.  But, if you like Vitamins Baby too and want to get something from them, use FB2011 to get 20% off whatever you buy.

*To all other retailers who want to give me discount codes or free stuff, I promise cross my heart I'll be more timely about writing about it.  Swears.  Give me stuff and I'll show you.


Now, on to the business at hand.  I'm taking Sofia to see Santa on Thursday and we did some shopping today.
We got a hat and mittens for winter.  Old Navy has some cute stuff!

I went next door to Carter's and got a red dress and then went to Babies R Us for diapers for our out of town trip next week.  They had their Christmas dresses on sale and I found a great blue one.  I couldn't decide so I got both and will return one.  But I need help!  I can't decided which one to keep!  So we had to play Fashion Show.

These were the best shots I could get with my phone because Sofia loves to touch things.  She is all about the texture and the silky red dress, the fur on the collar of the jacket, the velvet bolero jacket and the sparkly netting of the blue dress was so much for her.  I was constantly trying to keep her from putting the dresses in her mouth, saying "Baby, we have to return one of these and they won't take drooly dresses!"

The red is definitely festive and Christmas-y but I wonder if her dress will just fade into Santa's suit.  But I want silver accessories with the blue dress.  Old Navy had some silver shoes and I have no clue where to get a silver bow, but I just love the sparkly blue skirt.  I would have gotten some more pictures but Sofia was not having it.  She wanted to put everything in her mouth and after I stopped her a couple of times, she was done being in the dress.

Aaannd, we have meltdown.

I took the dresses off and now I'm thinking I should visit the fabric store and make a book of scraps for her to touch and taste.  Have any of y'all ever done that?  Have you ever seen it done?  

But I digress - what dress should she wear?  It's her first trip to see Santa!  This is serious!  You know how judge-y those babies can be!

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's a Christmas miracle!

I'm back and I missed you!  I missed this!  The baby slept for FIVE HOURS last night - all in a row!  It was so beautiful!  Drew was gone, the house was quiet and you know what I did?  I caught up on all mah blogs!!  It was so great!  I wasn't able to comment on all of them but I was there!  

You know what else I did?

I'd been hearing all the hype about this show and last night I finally watched the pilot, because I can't do things out of order.


I ain't even playin.  Who in the holy hell thinks this shit up???  I was so messed up and it took forever to get to sleep.  I had to scrub my brain by watching New Girl, Up All Night and Happy Endings and I still had nightmares about that damn monster woman in the basement.  And the scarred dude.  And the bloody twins - AND THAT RUBBER MAN.  What the F*ck!  Seriously.  F*ck that show.


Thanksgiving was wonderful and it was so great to see my family, although if I have my way about things, this will be the last year we travel.  Sofia was great on the drive, for which I am eternally grateful.  But being in my parent's house, with all their stairs, and their uncovered outlets and their glass picture frames and their pointy, breakable EVERYTHING, it was so much more work.  I don't think I sat down for more than a minute before I had to jump up because Sofia was crawling high-speed for the outlets.  What makes kids go straight for those the things that will kill them?

My mom drove back with me and stayed with the baby while I finished the work for my neighbor.  Remind me to never EVAHevahevahevah say I'll do something for someone without first arranging for childcare.  I was kidding myself thinking I could coordinate movers and get a house unpacked with a baby strapped to my chest.  Yahright.

But it's done now and it's behind me and now it's time to get in the Christmas spirit y'all!  I decided about ten minutes ago that we're going to do Christmas cards so I got those ordered and they should be here next week sometime.  I'm aiming to get them mailed out before Christmas Day - I think that's reasonable.

Okay, the baby is wigging out so this has to be short but have you SEEN American Horror Story?  What is UP with that show?


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