Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Thanks for all your comments on my last post - don't you love a good discussion?  Plus, I'm glad we all kept it classy - I mean, as classy as you can keep it when talking about Bebe's kids.  PS, I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who knew what that was about!

But we must move on, because I have some more pretty pictures to show you.  They're not as nice as Amy Barry's, but that's because I am not a photographic genius and when I take a good picture, it's purely by accident.  Nonetheless, I'm happy I got some shots and I'd love to share them with you!

Sofia was baptized the same day we took her pictures for her birthday.  It was a big day for her and she was such a champ!  She even had the courtesy to explode her diaper between wardrobe changes and if that's not manners, I don't know what is!  I had taken her out of the pink dress and kept her tights on for her nap - I don't know if I'm thankful or not for that.  When she woke up, she smelled like she'd dropped a bomb in there.  Thank God for cloth diapers because it most certainly would have been up to her neck in a disposable!  It was up to the edge in the front and the back and her tights were helping to hold it in.  Well, when I went to take the tights off, the elastic caught on the diaper and poop flipped in my face.

I would like to say I ruefully laughed and calmly wiped it off but there was poop on my face.  Near my mouth.  I will spray a poopy diaper all day long, I'll scrub poopy clothes, but I draw the line at poop on my face and I sure as HELL don't want it near my mouth.

Drew literally cried from laughing so hard.  Ass.

However, I cleaned us both up with no further incident and we got her dressed for the baptism.  My mom brought the family dress with her and when I put the baby in it, she looked like a little angel!
Angels need to eat too.

We piled in the car and headed to church, talking to Drew's parents and Nate and Julie along the way.  I was so bummed that they couldn't be there, but Nate and Julie sent along the sweetest bracelet for Sofia.  

So sweet and delicate!

I was nervous that she would freak out in church after having such a long day, but I was able to keep her bribed with yogurt melts.  That kid will do anything for yogurt melts!
She was squirmy, but as soon as we got near the water she calmed down.
Baptism hair

This picture is my dream come true.  I've always dreamed of my husband holding a little girl in a pile of ruffles and lace and to see it in real life made me happier than I could have imagined.  There were so many times when I thought I'd never get to this place, yet here I am.  I am so very thankful and so incredibly blessed.

Lemme get that face
So, um, we're good here, right?  I'm ready to bounce.
Grandma and Grandpa are cool and all, but I'm ret ta go!

This was one of those major adult moments for me.  Most times I feel like I'm bumbling and barely muddling my way through things, but sitting there in church with my family really made me feel like a grown-up and I was completely content.  Church is magic like that - I've never not felt good when I've gone to church and it really makes me wonder why I don't do it more often.  

Then again, maybe Sofia and I will turn over a new leaf.  We've already been back to get our ashes - maybe she and I will go to church like I used to with my dad.  I have great memories of getting dressed on Sunday morning and holding his hand as we walked to church.  He used to give me my own quarter to put in the offering plate and I was so proud to drop my big money in the basket when it passed by.
We're so ashy.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Sofia was about five months old when I went to my first playgroup.  These groups are vital to a stay-at-home mom because day in and day out with a baby as your only company can get pretty isolating.  I'm super lucky that my neighborhood is home to the oldest PTA in Texas and once you're plugged in, you're money.  

But you can't just walk in a playgroup and be all 'Yo what's up!'  Oh no - there's a system, an etiquette, a process.  Luckily, I've gone before you and will now bestow my wisdom and then tell you how and why a mom totally upset the delicate playgroup balance when I hosted last week.

First, playgroups are for the moms.  When your kid is barely walking and especially when they're not, let's be honest.  You're going to these get-togethers for your own sanity and that's completely fine.  In fact, it's necessary.  Whenever Sofia hit a milestone or I had questions or concerns about things, I would ask my mom, then the playgroup moms, then the doctor if necessary, in that order.  Playgroup moms are a wealth of information and if it weren't for them, I would be a much more neurotic parent.  

Therefore, playgroups are a safe space.  If you're in a good one, there is no judgement.  You come to playgroup with the knowledge that you can say out loud that your kid is working your last nerve and you know that the other moms will chime in with how their kid was working their nerves just last night.  Then they'll pat you on the shoulder, tell you hang in there and you feel recharged.  

But most importantly, keep your kid in check.  This isn't as important when you have a little baby and they just lay there but as they start to crawl and pull up, it's your job to make sure your kid stays in line and respects the playgroup balance.  It's totally fine to play with the other kid's toys and explore, but you best not let your kid break something or hit another kid.  At least not without being appropriately apologetic.  I mean, kids will be kids but you still have to be the mom.

Last week was my first time hosting morning playgroup and I wanted to make a good impression.  I had it all set up - I'd gone to the grocery store the day before and I was stocked up.  I made smoothies, coffee, I sliced up fruit and I even made some healthy cookies for the babies.

I didn't know what kind of group it was going to be and I was nervous no one would show up so I was super happy when my girlfriend Kristin promised she'd be there.  She's super cool and I knew if it ended up being just the two of us, it would be all right.  Kristin's a down-ass chick and we really get along.

However, a couple of other moms showed up and it was nice.  They were kind of quiet and I hadn't met them before, but they got plates of fruit and glasses of smoothies so I figured we were okay.  We made small talk about our babies and it was pretty chill - not like my afternoon playgroup, but nice.  It was a pleasant morning, the babies were chill - the playgroup rules had been met.

Then the boys came.

I have a ten-month-old daughter so my frame of reference as a mother is limited.  My kid is super cool and I know her moves so we've found our rhythm. My afternoon playgroup is pretty well established, we know each other and the babies are all girls around the same age.  I know what to expect.

So when this mom walked in with her baby, and her 2 *and* 4-year old boys I was a little taken aback.  I mean, I knew them and I'd even been to their house, but that was *their* house.  I honestly didn't think she'd bring her big kids to a baby's playdate.

When I tell you these little boys tore through my house? Straight up disrupted our safe space? Y'all.  These bad-ass little kids took to running through my entire house and everyone knows that playdates only happen in the designated space.  You don't just start running through people's houses taking their baby's books off the shelf in her nursery.  You don't just dump out every single toy and run off.  You don't open drawers just to see what's inside.

And you certainly don't eat off other people's plates.  This little kid just smooth walked up to Kristin's plate and helped himself to her blueberries and bananas!  Like it was no thing!
Am I totally dating myself with this reference?
Please say you know what I'm talking about so I don't feel old.
Or at least be old with me.

The whole time I kept wondering when the mom was going to step in and get ahold of her kids. But she seemed oblivious - isn't that how it always is?  When the younger one ate from Kristin's plate, she didn't even reprimand him or tell him to apologize to Kristin!  She was just like, "Oh, let's just get you your own plate."

Nah playa.

I would have pulled my kid up sharp and let him know that you don't eat off other people's plates like you're Helen Keller or some shit.  I would have made him apologize right then and then made him sit the hell down for a minute.  *Actually*, I wouldn't bring my 2 and 4 year old boys to a baby's playdate.  I would have taken the baby to a big kids playdate or the park or something, so they can run around and get all their energy out.  She was constantly like "Oh no sweetie, come out of there, be careful of the babies, no sweetie don't do that, here why don't you sit down and eat that, don't drop the blueberries on the white rug, use your inside voice."

Inside voice my ass.  But I held my tongue - they were her kids, not mine.  My only responsibility was to make sure neither of them stepped on Sofia, which was a full-time job.

Until those damn kids started dive-bombing off the back of my sofa.  Onto my hardwood floor.

What is it about boys that makes them want to climb things and jump off of them?  Is that a genetic thing?  I about had a heart attack when the older one did it first and of course then the younger one had to copy him.  That's when I opened my mouth because there would be no cracked skulls up in MY house.  

"Do NOT jump off the sofa."  I couldn't believe I even had to say that.  Who goes to someone else's house and uses it as a jungle gym? 

Shortly after that, she rounded up her kids (thank god), but not before they opened my front door themselves and ran into the yard, nearly into the street.  What the what??  Again, I was the one who was like, "BOYS.  Inside.  Now."  I wasn't mean about it, but damn!  When your kid is about to hurt themselves, somebody needs to speak up and I didn't hear her saying much!

Now let me not judge that mom.  I don't know what was going on in her world and God knows, her hands were full.  But come on!  If you know your kids don't know how to behave in other people's homes, you don't bring them out!  Take them to a park where they can jump off of stuff all day long!  One of the other moms actually picked her baby up off the floor and held her so the boys wouldn't trample her!  

After everyone left, Kristin stayed to help me clean up and hang out a little longer.  We were both in awe of the havoc those two little boys caused and we jokingly thanked our lucky stars we have girls.  Which of course means I've probably jinxed myself and my kid is going to jump off the roof.

Oh please baby Jesus, I hope not.

UPDATE:  I'm not sure why, but anonymous comments don't show up through Disqus.  I'm an equal opportunity comment-receiver so I wanted to make sure it showed up.  

Here ya go: 
Just wait till you have an older child or a boy and your whole world will change. You are totally in the wrong in most of this. Shut some doors, make some rules to the mom, etc. She most likely needed a small break with people that would understand..obviously not y'all. You live in a dream world if you think your kid will never eat of someone else's plate or jump or run or be loud. Seriously. 

If I may respond....
Thank you for your comment, I welcome all opinions.  However, I must respectfully disagree.  Would you be okay with a child jumping off the pews in church?  Eating from other people's plates at a restaurant?  Not me.  In my opinion, going to another person's house is on that same level, playdate or no.  And shutting doors??  Closed doors aren't a deterrent to two- and four-year olds (which were closed, btw.)  As for the rules to the mom, I didn't know I needed to tell her to keep her kids from jumping off my sofa, so no, I didn't say that ahead of time.  If she did indeed need a break, that's what grandmas and baby-sitters are for.  You don't take your kids to someone else's house as a guest and let them run wild because you need a break.  That's bad manners, no two ways about it.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Birthday prep: The pictures

I have laundry to do, I need to pick up the house, walk the dog and the baby just went down for her nap so naturally I'm using this time to blog because I can't wait to share these!

We had a really big Saturday:  Drew and my dad did the Dash for the Beads, we had a showing, we had Sofia's baptism and photoshoot and of course it rained all day.  I want to write about it all because it was all really memorable but first!  First!  The photoshoot!

I was so flippin excited about this - I'd been daydreaming about it for the longest time and for it to come to fruition so perfectly was just what I needed to get some wind back in my sails.  

Amy Barry did the shoot - she's totally part of the family now.  She did our wedding, our maternity pictures, our first family pictures (in my header) and now she was doing our baby's pictures for her one year birthday!
I love Amy Barry

I picked up the chair on Friday, got the balloons while we had to leave the house for the showing and changed our plans at the last minute to shoot indoors because of the rain.  Thank goodness for the cool stripes in the breakfast nook!  
Getting the 'studio' ready
The chair was perfect!
Playing stylist to my model

Now, won't you join me for some girly squealing???
my sweet girl!
a little over the shoulder action
I die for that face

I am so incredibly grateful to Amy Barry, I'm so happy I met her, I'm so thankful for her amazing work and I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures.  This was only the preview - I have no idea how I'm going to choose the picture that'll go on her birthday invitation if they're all this good!

Thank you Amy Barry! We love you!

Friday, February 17, 2012

I thought it was Thursday

How in the world has it been two weeks since I posted?  That's crazysauce!  

Thoughts on Thursday is just what I need to get back in my blogging groove - thanks Carolyn!
life love and puppy prints

It's here it's here!  I pick up the chair tomorrow for Sofia's photoshoot on Saturday!
I can't believe my baby is going to be a year old in two short months!

I usually go to the afternoon playgroup in my neighborhood because it works better with The Schedule.  However, in the spirit of community, I offered to host the morning playgroup today. It's a different set of moms that come in the morning and I am never ever hosting morning playgroup again.  The above picture came from a Google image search for 'bratty boys' and I have some things I need to get off my chest about that shit.

Sofia is getting baptized on Saturday.  I'm so excited and it feels like the first grown-up thing we've done for her.  Drew and I had to go to the class, track down paperwork, get signatures and my parents are here to stand up for her.  Nate and Julie are her actual godparents, but the Catholic Church is super funny with their rules and their hoop-jumping nonsense.  I'm so bummed they can't be here for it, but they sent her the most gorgeous bracelet and I can't wait to take her picture in it!

You guys!  I found my abs!  And a big hallelujah for muscle memory!
My girlfriend Kristin and I have worked out a plan and we've been able to go to yoga and it has been amazing.  My back was literally in spasms when I would pick up the baby because I was so weak and that has been remedied by getting back on the mat.  
I have a post planned about how awesome it is to have mom friends and Kristin is definitely on the top of that list.

This, my friends, is a bacon and Bailey's cupcake, courtesy of Pinterest.  PS, are you following me?  If not, you need to get on that because I pin things like bacon and Bailey's cupcakes.
Thanks to Pinterest, I have actually been planning meals and it has actually been going well!  I make something new every night that Drew is home and there's always leftovers, so I eat those while he's gone.  I haven't cooked at all this week and it's been brilliant!
I also got the cake mixes and tins so I can practice Sofia's birthday cake so I will write all about that soon.

I got to be Sofia's Valentine this year.  It was pretty much the biggest honor ever, although I haven't quite mastered the Instagram self-portrait with a squirmy baby.  I wore red lipstick for the first time in over five years - I kinda liked it.

This squirmy baby is cutting three teeth at once and ran her first fever last night.  I was so paranoid about high fevers and seizures and brain damage that I obsessively took her temperature all night, after I called the doctor and asked if her temperature would cause seizures and brain damage.  Then all my Facebook Varsity Mom friends were like 'Pssssh!  She's good!  This is just par for the course and be glad that you've gone this long before getting a fever.'  I really don't know if I'll ever get to be a Varsity Mom.

I'm trying so hard not to be ugly and bitter about this house-selling business but I'm starting to worry.  I was going to type out exactly what I'm worried about but I'm superstitious and just deleted all of it because I don't want to speak it into existence.  
Our house will sell soon.
Please baby Jesus, let our house sell soon.  I can't take much more of this.

I got a new writing gig!  My contract with Bravado is over and I've started writing for the Dallas Moms Blog.  I've only posted over there twice, but it seems like a cool group of ladies and it's always fun to branch out and meet new people.  Come over and say hi sometime!


Friday, February 3, 2012


You guys.  Thank you.  

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, for talking me off the ledge and most of all, for letting me know I'm not alone.  It has been so cathartic to set this burden down, accept help and start again.

I got the meds and I hope that they will do the trick.  I felt ashamed asking for them, but this is for a season, just to smooth things out and get me over the hump.  I'm not defective and weak and even hippies need meds sometimes.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Drew and I have called a cease-fire and things are okay.  He's giving me a much-needed break from the dog, taking over all dog-related duties and that's been a big help.  I needed a breather and he's done that for me.  Of course, he leaves tomorrow but I'm trying to focus on the now and be thankful for the positives.  We have allowed for dinners out twice a month and we took advantage of it last night - we sure as hell needed it.
I don't normally take the baby out without shoes, but it was in the 70s last night
so I made an exception.  Besides, I'm in love with those little toe-toes.
And we finally found a sippy cup that
she'll use!  Who knew it was so hard to find a good sippy cup?!

Most importantly, I found some crafting mojo!  When you're in the midst of the doldrums and despair, it looks like there's no way out, no solution and you're just going to stay in the sucky place forever.  Creativity is my outlet, whether it's writing, painting or even some degree, cooking.  Two nights ago, I anxiety-cooked and made this pasta dish and it actually turned out really good!  Thanks Kristin and Carolyn!
Eat this pasta now.
Image courtesy PHHH

Plus, I hosted playgroup yesterday and made these Diabetes Cookies.  As in, there's an entire stick of butter and an obscene amount of sugar in them.  As in, these will give you diabetes.  
I substituted hot chocolate mix for the cocoa powder and added dried cranberries.
They turned out well, although I needed a giant glass of water to wash them down.

Additionally, creativity is not just about home decorating.  Cori hit the nail on the head when she commented about how frustrating it is not to be able to nest and Carolyn was spot-on when she said that organizing and crafting and decorating is what she does when she's stressed, because these are my problems too and that's why I was feeling so trapped.  I had no outlet.  Or so I thought!

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

You know what else is crafty and doesn't involve home decorating (per se)?  


Yup.  I said it.  These are desperate times, y'all.

Last night I was a Pinning fool.  I searched high and low for all kinds of sewing tutorials, figuring I could kill two birds with one stone.  Namely, I could alter my clothes so they fit.  I lose weight when I'm stressed and between that and breastfeeding, I'm straight-up scrawny.  I'll be the first to say you can never be too rich or too thin, but this is kind of silly.  I'm down to one pair of jeans that are getting looser by the day and only a couple of shirts.  If I fix my clothes I'll satisfy my crafting craving and keep from buying new clothes, thereby saving money.  It's a win-win.

I have a ton of t-shirts and I found a bunch of t-shirt tutorials that I'm going to try next week.
Rosette t-shirt tutorial
Image courtesy Hope Studios
Looks easy enough.
This one looks interesting as well.
Image courtesy Trash to Couture

Maybe I'll even try my hand at lengthening some of my t-shirts, like she did here.  Or I'll turn some of my crewnecks to v-necks, like she did here.  

I can be crafty.  I still have my outlets.  I can do this.

I just couldn't see it because of all the nonsense I was carrying.  Once I let it out (by having a panic attack and subsequent huge fight and crying my eyes out followed by running to the doctor for meds) and set it down (by getting a break from my triggers), I could see other options.  You guys helped me with that.

Thank you.

Lastly, we have four showings tomorrow, one of them second-lookers.  Please send all your house-selling fairy dust our way that someone, any one of these four will be interested.  Like, really interested.

Again, thank you.  So much.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I don't know how you do it

They say that when I tell them Drew is home an average of two days a week. I used to just smile, sometimes I'd just shrug and say "I don't have much choice I guess" but only yesterday I told the truth.

I'm not doing it. I'm failing miserably.

A few days ago I had a full out anxiety attack. The baby was crawling around on the floor and when I picked her up, her little knees were filthy and covered in dog hair. I frantically brushed at her pants, horrified that I had a dirty baby. The dog hair wasn't coming off, no matter how much I brushed at her pants. I couldn't see anything but dog hair. My breath caught in my chest and I started crying. No matter how much I clean, no matter how much I sweep and vacuum, I will never escape the dog hair.

I can't post all the links where I've written about my dog hair anxiety because I'm blogging from my phone(how cool is that!), but this isn't new information. This isn't even the first time the baby has been dirty/covered in hair. But it was different, and in that moment I wanted to scream.

It's all so much. I'm so tired. We fight so much. So flippin much.

Trying to sell the house has been so hard. Every time I get the feedback email saying how cute our house is, but it's just not right, I get my feelings hurt. Like they're rejecting us personally, like we're dumb and weird and the only ones alive who would like our house. I've asked to be taken off the emails because I can't hear it anymore.

I do my best, but my house isn't my own. Staged houses aren't conducive for real life, although we try our best. My home decorating, crafty, DIY outlet is indefinitely suspended.

Retail therapy is out. By my own admission, I was getting a little enthusiastic with Amazon and Target, but thanks to Pennsylvania state taxes that we have to pay now, overnight we lost $500 a month. Talk about a gut punch. We're cutting back everywhere and it's still not enough.

The separation, the money, the job, it's all taking its toll on our relationship. We're holding on by our fingernails and we won't give up, but it's not pretty.

I'm at my doctor's now to talk about getting some pharmaceutical assistance. I never in my life thought I would end up here and I don't even know if pills will help, but I have to try.

I've been carrying all of this, and I need to set it down. I need to say out loud that this is hard. Yes, I have my health, my baby is perfect, I'm still married. I have blessings.

Which is why I feel like such a failure. Why I'm beating myself up right now, telling myself that I should be stronger. It's pretty pathetic that I don't even have the strength to give myself a proper dressing down.

I can't paint something, I can't shop. I can't take a yoga class without guilt about spending the money, I miss my husband but you'd never be able to tell by how we rip each other to shreds when we're together.

So I write. I dump. I may take meds. And I hold on by my fingernails, hoping and praying that there's something left when the storm is over.


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