Wednesday, February 29, 2012

let's climb!

My little darling baby boy just started crawling a couple weeks ago...
now he is moving on to climbing!
He is figuring out what not to climb on...
{expensive appliances}
...and what is okay to climb on...
{stable objects that mama sets up!} this basket:
The kid is exhausting {and thrilling} me with all this climbing. 
 So cool {and bizarre!} to see him try to stand:
Stops to smile at the camera before his begins his journey.
 He begins his ascent:
Steadies himself:
Wonders why I'm not helping him:
Leans into it, hoisting up one chubby baby leg:
Realizes this is going to harder than anticipated:
Tries it again, this time motivated by the focal point {spray bottle} that Mama set up:
Leg up again:
Flails around a little.
Pulls himself up.
At long last, his goal is achieved.
Enjoys (?) one brief, drool-filled moment on the top.
Wonders how he is going to begin his descent.
Realizes he has no clue how to get himself out of this mess.
Let's out an ear-splitting shriek designed to get Mama to put down the camera and do something!
Is safely placed on solid ground.
Soothes himself by chewing on the basket liner.
Oh, and then a truck.

(Um, he did this a while.)
Finally, the joy of his accomplishment sets in.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

no more XS

Since having my baby, I have suffered a severe 
style identity crisis.  
Before my pregnancy I worked a lot -- as a shoe store manager for years, and then several in an office.  My style was business chic:  tailored pants and button-down shirts from Express, mainly. Oh, and lots of really cute high heels.   My casual wardrobe consisted mainly of:  flared jeans and tight embellished tank tops in the summer,  and tight v-neck sweaters in the winter.  

Now, as a stay-at-home mama,  I have no use for any of the business clothing, rarely wear heels, and my post-baby figure does not warrant anything involving the word "tight."  Let me explain... 

The other day I was out with friends and I realized I felt uncomfortable.  Not because of the conversation, or because I had eaten too much...but because my darn sweater kept creeping up.   I kept reaching back to pull it down, even though my back was to the wall and no way anyone would see my unmentionables...but it still made me uncomfortable, and therefore not as able to focus as well as I could have on the conversation.

I think the key to looking good is feeling good inside...because it shows in your smile and your eyes.  I don't think I look good when my mind is saying, "Pull your sweater down so your undies don't show!"  and "I shouldn't have ate that ice cream because now my jeans feel like they are squashing my lower organs!"

Inspired by my gorgeous blog friend Sarah at Modern Country Style in this post I decided to clear out my closet.  One afternoon while baby napped, I purged any of my pretties that had these two letters inscribed on the tag: XS

I'm just not extra small, and haven't been for a while.  So why, oh why, have I held on {and even bought more of} this size?  I am a 30-year-old woman with a baby.  I'm simply not extra small.  On a good day I'm "small."  On most days I'm "medium."  Or as my husband coined:  "Smedium."

And I'm okay with that.  I look back at photos of myself when I really was "extra small" and I don't think I look my most beautiful.  I know I didn't "feel" my most beautiful.

So I'll take "Smedium" any day of the week.  Because I'm way more happy now.

 Goodbye pretty dresses that don't fit/aren't flattering anymore...
Except this one...because every girl needs a LBD.  And Hubby likes it:

I tried on everything I own, discarding what I didn't LOVE.  I ended up with a very empty closet.  Kind of like a clean slate.  The few garments I kept were only those that  I really thought were comfortable and flattering.

I'm not in any hurry to go out and buy new clothes.  Why?  Because five days a week I wear t-shirts and black sweatpants, like these:
When I do go shopping for some new threads, you can bet I will be more wise about my spending.  I will try on everything before purchasing and, as wishful as my thinking may be, I will not buy anything "extra small."

Plus, I want to try to figure out what my personal style is now.  It certainly has changed a lot in the past five years.   I only want to buy items that coincide with my style...whatever that is.  It will be fun shopping and figuring it out.  :)

Do you hold onto clothes that don't fit?  How would you describe your "personal style"?  How has it evolved over the years?

Friday, February 24, 2012

my life: the kiddo years

I've decided to write a series about my life.  Partly to help whoever reads this get to know me better.  Partly to simply reflect on the years and get to know myself better.  But mostly because I have been reading memoirs lately and wanted to do my own gallivanting down memory lane...

I was born July 7, 1981.  On my due date.  Ever the punctual one.
Looking like a typical, wrinkly, "old man" baby:
What I've heard about what I was like as a baby is that I didn't like a bunch of strangers up in my face,  and I really loved my crib.  What this tells me about myself is that even then I was an introvert.  I liked my alone time, and I preferred to not be overwhelmed by large gatherings.
One-on-one interaction was, and still is, best for me:
I liked being "the baby."

Pretty obvious in this picture that I relished it:
Oh, and in this one, too:
So when I was four-years-old and my little brother came onto the scene, I was none too happy.  Can you tell by this picture?
 I was clearly puzzled as to why this new baby had to come and steal my thunder:
Thus began a childhood riddled with wild, dramatic tantrums and outlandish attempts for attention.
The technical term nice way of putting it is that I was a "spirited child."
I tried to be the funniest, the loudest, the meanest, the most helpful, the most irritating...whatever I could do to get my parents attention, positive or negative.

For example: Here you can see me at little brother's birthday...trying to appear as though I adore him.  I assure you, though I did love him, technically.  However, this feigned look of adoration was a ploy to be in this photograph...and near the cupcakes.
Could he get any cuter?  To this day he is impossible to dislike!
What this all tells me is that I was a jealous one even then.  Not envious - I've never wanted anyone else's life or possessions.  Jealous - I just wanted to keep and protect what I already had.  At that time - it was my status as "the baby."

Looking back now, of course, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am glad I ended up in the middle.  It motivated me.  Molded me into the hard worker I am today.  I had to pave my own way.  Plus,  I got to have a little brother, who is the most amazing guy. Added bonus: I got to torture, tease, and get him to participate in all my crazy schemes/dramatic productions.  We grew up to be pretty okay with each other:
Besides being a pain-in-most-of-my-family's-butts, I was very imaginative, very creative, and quite bright.  I always tested high on achievement tests, and was praised by teachers for acting, speaking and writing skills.  My worst grades were in math (wasn't interested) and physical education (super klutzy and scared of the ball.)  I was simply not coordinated, therefore horrible at nearly all sports.  Plus, I hated being embarrassed, so to avoid any possibility of public mortification I just didn't try.  Which earned me very few participation points.  Don't I look awkward?
Definitely not an least not in any sport involving excessive smiling, or a ball.
I read voraciously.  Whatever I could get my hands on, whether I really understood what I was reading or not.  At 6 I was reading my sister's Sweet Valley High books and also Babysitter's Club under the covers with a flashlight, my favorites.  I'd also sit in my dad's office at the church and read one of his seemingly endless amount of biblical literature. Like I said, whatever I could get my hands on. I loved school.  I was precocious, incorrigible, a leader, an instigator,  and was constantly getting in trouble for my crazy schemes.

I wrote, edited and published my own neighborhood newspaper at the age of 6.  Of course, it was handwritten, and there was only one copy.  But I would knock on all the doors on our block to see if anyone wanted to read it.  I'm sure they loved my exposes on topics like: "why do Anderson's keep their Christmas lights up all year" and "who has the nicest lawn?"  

Once, in second grade, I decided that the entire class should know the technical, encyclopedia Brittanica definition of the term, "sex."  So I read it aloud while the teacher was out of the room.  Sadly, it was not that interesting and certainly did nothing to demystify the word for any of us.   And I got in big trouble from the teacher.  "Greta, what would your father say if he knew what you did?"  I looked her in the eye: "I dunno.  Why don't you go down to his office and ask him?"  I'm not sure if she ever did; however, after reading this blog post, he will know.  Sorry, Dad!  {just remember I turned out alright!}
I loved playing dress-up. "Pretend games" were always my favorite:
when I look at my face picture of me, I see Cormac
Early on I was a performer...a passion instilled by my mother, a former stage darling in high school.   I don't think I was ever actually any good at acting...but I adored everything about it.     The lights, the costumes, the audience...every detail.  My talent was more speaking than acting.  I had a loud, clear voice that carried to the back of the auditorium/church/theater.  Ironically, in church Christmas plays I was always cast as "the angel."  My sister was always Mary.  The sweet, caring soul even then.
I would speak my mind no matter what the repercussions.  You can bet that my dad, a Lutheran pastor, wasn't thrilled by his mouthy daughter's antics.  More than once I was dragged out of church by my mother while my dad was in the pulpit preaching, with me screaming:  "Don't spank me!!!!" I figured, if I was going to go out, it would be with a bang.

I looked sweet...and was sweet, at times...but those oversized geeky glasses and shy smile disguised a big, and often volatile, personality.
I was a handful, to say the least.  My mother would sometimes say, exasperated: "I hope you have a kid just like you someday." Well, my sweet mother, perhaps I did.  :)

Eventually I grew into a skinny, weird, awkward 'tween with braces, more crazy schemes, and crushes on boys.  And the tantrums stopped.  For the most part.

My life: the 'Tween Years...coming soon....yikes... 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I can't stop myself from taking photos of each and every little thing my baby does.

I want to freeze frame everything.  See above.

I find it mildly concerning when I get tired at 7pm.  I'm not pregnant.  I get 7 hours of sleep per night.  I only have one serving of caffeine a day.  I take my vitamins.  I eat well.  Why the heck am I so tired???

I want to soak up all of the energy so many mamas seem to have and bottle it so I can chug it down at 7pm each night. 

I decide to take the plunge and try hot yoga this month.   Recently got back into yoga, as  when I lived in MN I went to classes regularly at my gym.   Now I go once a week to a pilates/yoga mix class. I  have always wanted to try the hot version - super excited!    

It really hits me that I have been a mama for seven months.  Wha-what???  

I can't believe how lucky I am when I get four hours on Sundays to do whatever.I.please.  while my trustworthy Hubby takes care of the sweet babe. 

I feel like I never, never, ever want to move/sell a house again.  It is sooooo much work!  This will hopefully our last move for at least 7 years. 

I feel like a really good person when I play around and laugh with Cormac.  Having a baby has made me a happier, kinder person.  Laughing with him and sharing joyful moments together with a baby is something I was definitely missing in my 
life...but didn't know it until now.

How would you finish the sentences above?

Linking up to the 'sometimes' series on this sweet blog:

Monday, February 20, 2012

happy, happy seven months!

My baby boy is not perfect, by any means. 
It would be boring if he was. 
For example, now he makes this "stink face" about five hundred times a day...
He has uber-sensitive skin.  The other day I tickled his nose with my {I thought was clean} powder makeup brush, and his nose and area surrounding broke out into a dry, scaly rash.  Any accidental scratches look like he's been knifed.  If he so much as bumps his head on a door {that he is trying to open and shut!} a huge red circle appears on his forehead and lasts for the entire day.

He hates getting dressed.  The boy would stay naked all day...but I tell him that until he has his own house he can't sit around in his undies, er, diaper all day.   So I endure the tortured screams of protest when I try to put his arms through the armholes of his shirts.   I actually find the screams pretty funny.   In turn, he finds it hilarious when I make "po-po" siren noises and announce "naked baby alert!"

He still doesn't sleep through the night.  I have beautiful mama friends whose babies somehow slept through the night since eight weeks.   But Cormac, he still likes to awake after four hours for a bottle.  Sometimes even twice!

Okay, that is it.  That is all I can think of to "complain" about.  Life with Baby is good.

He is crawling now -- so fun!  He prefers to crawl to the following things:  my laptop, vents, doors, towers of blocks that I stack over and over, and, of course water bottles.   Oh, and he loves my toenails, especially when painted bright colors.

He still weighs around 18.5 pounds  - when I had to buy a new size in diapers I nearly wept.  Is that weird?

Still no teeth...but various nights where he {and we} were miserable with teething.

Favorite food is green beans.  Least favorite?  Bananas.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

I will forever remember this photo shoot as 'the one where you had a red, runny nose and just looked plain sick.'  

Luckily, I eventually got a few smiles out. :)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Whoa...just realized how much his hair has grown in the last couple months.  
I'm never cutting it!
{says the neurotic new mama}

Happy monday, my blog loves!