Thursday, December 29, 2011

this is gonna be a good life


why I love a "new year"
I love a year-in-review post, I've been doing them in the last pages of paper journals for years.  But in the last few years I have only been blogging, sayonara paper journal.  I only have time for one form of self-expression.  Keyboarding is much faster (thank you Mr. Lilly) than writing. 

Every time I prepare to write this post I always peruse the years past....2008 2009 2010--- life is different now. 

A short review of my 31st year of life...
What I listened to:  I tried to branch out a little this year (don't worry, lots of Counting Crows were interspersed, new album in March, hooray!)

Adele, Bon Iver, The Civil Wars , Iron &Wine, Florence and the Machine

Read all about it:  Besides the bevvy of parenting books (thank you Dr. Ferber's Sleep Solution) I also enjoyed some pop-fiction by Jodi Picoult, and really enjoyed the debut novel Sharp Objects and sophomore follow-up Dark Places by a Missouri/Kansas girl with grisly prose, and real female characters:  Gillian Flynn.  Can't wait for Gone Girl. I really like why she writes about female violence.  I am hoping to get a Kindle fire this year, and then I can really get some reading done this year.

In stream of consiousness order: things that rocked my world (or what I obsessed about):
Baby Quinn was born and then got so sick, Being mama,  Finding the documentation for two years worth of continuing education credits in order to renew my drama therapy registry, Sloane learning to sign, the Joplin tornado, the earthquake/tsunami in Japan, War is OVER (in Iraq), Sloane teething, the Casey Anthony trial coverage and verdict, Moving from Kansas City to my much smaller hometown, leaving my job, finding a new job, the Royal Wedding coverage, Sloane can say "mama" the royally stupid wedding & then divorce coverage, Charlie Sheen, the cancellation of Brothers & Sisters (RIP), Baby Addison was born, Bin Laden is killed, the Occupy movement is born, 9/11 was ten years ago & the coverage surrounding the 9/11 tributes, worrying about the economy.

Desperately wanting (things I had to have):  I mostly just want a Kindle fire.  I think hope I will get one for my birthday. Time to pin things on my new addiction: pinterest. I joined the Studio Calico kit club (now my scrapbook supplies come to me *sigh*).

Loving on the small screen: Dexter, Homeland, Revenge, Ringer, and a small dose of reality tv: Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Teen Mom, Hoarders

The big screen:  I went to the movie theater one time this year, and it was to see one of Keenan's choices: Pirates 3 (which was lame).  This is my own nightmare. I should probably MUST get a baby-sitter more this year.

the you tube:  the twin babies talking (never gets old) jace quoting presidents (let's be honest, I am going to make Sloane do this) hey jude (so adorable) i hate tom brady (as a fan of a team who tom brady has beat I understand this little guy)

The downside of becoming parents this year was there was no traveling, obviously no movies, live concerts or many plays (I did see Keenan in the KC Rep's A Christmas Carol, which was smashing).  But in other ways I feel like I've travelled a million miles, seen things I never thought I would and heard the best music once my daughter began to talk.  I am hoping that 2012 can restore a little bit of our prior lives to us while holding on to this new wonder as well.

Here's to your health and happiness in 2012!

Bring it new year.

title courtesy of one of my guilty pleasure-radio songs: Good life by One Republic

Monday, December 19, 2011

sleepless long nights that is what my youth was for

Fabulous weekend as my 4 gal pals were in town and we slumber partied at my house.  Every time we are together it goes way too fast and we stay up too late, but the lack of sleep is always worth it. 

I did get one gift done. From this tutorial, I found from Pinterest (where else is there these days?) I made a monogram for my brother's fiancee.  It will be her new monogram (in September).  Hopefully she likes it.  I had some doubts as I thought it looked a little mummy-ish.  I did white yarn and painted the ends of the G (other letters without ends would work best) purple/grey (the color of their living room) and embellished with a wooden tag of her first name.  I wish I would have used grey yarn...and this DIY seriously takes forever...9 million wraps later I had this....

Then after the embellishments-- fabric layered flower, pretty brad, and wooden M tag....

I hope she likes it, she hard for me to buy for.  Still have a few more things to finish up this week.  And wrapping of course,  I am a last minute wrapper every year.

title courtesy of Feist: 1 2 3 4

Friday, December 16, 2011

remember to let her into your heart....

  Ceramic Ornament
Go with Shutterfly Christmas cards this holiday. Satisfaction guaranteed.
View the entire collection of cards.
After an epic fail trying to do a DIY handprint ornament with a child who is 1). too old to sleep through the inking of her hand and 2) too young to bribe to hold still.  I decided on these ceramic ornaments for the grandparents.  Hopefully Breann has better luck with Q. Although, next year-- DIY. 

When time runs short it's so easy to spend more money.  Ugh.  Luckily I had a discount code and the ornaments were on sale.  But it will be replacing a gift for the grandparents, instead of tied to the package like the much more economical handprints were going to be.  Such is life.   

Tonight Sloane is joining her cousins at my mom's for the annual gingerbread house building night.  They craft some stuff for us parents and get to eat treats.  She will have fun and I will have time to get some more of my crafts done.  Crossing my fingers that they turn out better than the failed ornaments.

title courtesy of The Beatles: Hey Jude 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

it's my worried mind that you quiet

Sloane is slowly weaning herself. She turned 1 yesterday. She is only nursing in the morning for about 5 minutes and at night for about 3 minutes. She signs "finished" or "play" and wrigges off of my lap. I nurse whenever she requests (by climbing on my lap and pointing her tiny index finger ever-so-lightly onto the top of my shirt, sigh so adorable). But she only requests twice a day.  She is growing up, so quickly.

I hope she wants to continue for a couple times a day for a little longer, but each time I nurse her I feel myself savoring it as it may be the last time.  I never thought I'd get to this state of peace: loving to nurse her.

 I didn't think I could make it through the first 6 weeks, let alone 6 months and now 1 year.  It seemed we had a million hurdles to get over: double the milk that I needed (thanks a lot nursing staff at the hospital), scouring the internet for help, La Leche League, post-partum depression, lack of gaining weight, waking up to nurse, reflux, latching, clogged ducts (worst pain ever), growth spurts, lanolin (best invention), ugly nursing bras, pumping at work, nursing in public, the boppy pillow, waking up to nurse, nursing 12+ times a day, nursing 8 times a day, nursing 4 times a day, teeth- ouch, nursing twice a day.
nursing, March by my friend Kate

a layout I did to inspire myself to reach my 12-month nursing goal

I read this on-line in the comments of another blog I read and bawled...totally how I feel. So bittersweet....

wean me gently by c. cardall

I know I look so big to you,
Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.
But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us.
I know that our relationship is growing and changing,
But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,
Especially at the end of the day
When we snuggle up in bed.
Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.
I know you think I can be patient,
Or find something to take the place of a nursing;
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.
Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough.
I guess I am growing and becoming independent,
But please be there.
This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,
Please don't break it abruptly.
Wean me gently,
Because I am your mother,
And my heart is tender.

title courtesy of Ray LaMontagne: Hold You in My Arms

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

just one look and I fell so hard in love with you

first look (please excuse the petechiae all over me, labor was hard work)
Dear Sloane,

Today is your birthday.  Your first birthday.  You got up and enjoyed (by dancing and smiling) me singing "happy birthday to you".  You ate oatmeal for breakfast and watched Elmo, took your nap, ate macaroni and cheese with butternut squash for lunch and I am making you pumpkin waffles for dinner.  Lots of playing with your new toys you got from your party. You took one step by yourself today from the edge of the couch to grandma.  All of this while wearing your pink cupcake shirt and your  baby pink tutu and  black leggings and mary jane socks (I couldn't resist).

It's hard to believe it's been a year in the way that you still seem like a baby to me, not a "toddler".  It's not hard to believe it's been a year in the way that I have forgotten what I did with myself and all my time before I was a mother. In some ways it's hard to remember how it was without you.   You make everything so different and so vivid.

What a year.

love you,

title courtesy of Linda Ronstadt: just one look

Monday, December 12, 2011

sweeping the clouds away

I might go into the details a little later.  But here are some shots from Sloane's 1st party.  She was a little doll for it.  So sweet, even though it was at the same time as her afternoon nap (way to go Mama!).  She got some awesome gifts...a little bit of everything (clothes, a pretty lamp for her room, a wagon, Sesame Street toys, crayons, and a baking set).

When it was over with I felt so exhausted and sad that all the planning and everything is over so soon.  Then I remembered:  Christmas is in 2 weeks.  Time to get busy again. 

I was lucky to have Breann there for a million reasons, but one big one is that she took all the pictures for me! Thank goodness because I was busy with a sweet little munchkin. 

title courtesy of the Sesame Street Theme song <3

Thursday, December 8, 2011

home sweet home

Pretty Patterned Ornaments Holiday
To view our most popular holiday card designs, click here.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sloane's first Thanksgiving

She heard you don't like Tebow.

Lot's to do before this weekend!  The big party!  My mom is starting the cake today.  It is from a 1984 Wilton Yearbook--it's a Sesame Street treehouse cake, the treehouse stands up and has a little tire swing. 

Mom and I had fun at the candy shoppe picking out eyes for the character cupcakes (black sixlets), chocolate-sprinkled "shingles" for the roof, and sour watermelon oh's for the tire swing.  The treat buckets are almost assembled for the kiddos.  I am going to count out the M&M's for a guessing game tonight (which I am banning my math teacher brother Chance from playing) and work on some more little goodies for the kids. 

I have to paint a sleepy owl (yellow and lavender) on the doll cradle I scored for 2.99 at a thrift store (it is now sanded, primed and painted a beautiful white). I got two black paint markers so that Keenan and I can write her a message on the bottom of the cradle. Then I will unwrap the baby I got for her and place her inside inside of the huge bag.   I can't wait for her to see her very own doll and bed.  She loves playing with the dolls at Grammy's house.

Photos of everything-- including the smash cake, to follow! 

title courtesy of Home for the Holidays (Perry Como's version is my fave)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

let your heart be light

Snowflake Stars Christmas
Customize your Christmas cards this holiday at
View the entire collection of cards.
One thing off the to-do list.  Order 25 cards from Shutterfly (using my free points from buying 9 gazillion Pampers diapers).  Now I just need to do the other thousand things on the list. Including ordering 25 cards from Tiny Prints using a coupon.  I did two separate cards only because of price, but I think it will be kind of fun.  Of course my mom gets one of each.   

Sloane's big birthday party is this weekend. Thank God my bestie Breann (craft vixen and party planning extraordinaire) is coming on Friday to help me prepare.  Last night I attached (via Modg Podg) a bunch of characters that I cut out of a vintage Sesame book (thrift store) to card board and cut them out again and then attached them on the pack with packing tape to some cake dowels that I painted white.  They are going to stick out of the food and peek out of some of the games I have planned. Only 5 kids will be there and they are all different ages so hopefully I can keep everybody entertained for at least a little while.  

title via our wish for you..."Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

Monday, December 5, 2011

they call me stacey, they call me her, they call me jane...that's not my name

One of my favorite days of the year...the day the top 100 baby names of the year list drops.  This is not only a child-bearing-years phenomenon.  When I was around 7 I bought a baby-naming book at a garage sale for a quarter.  My mom looked at me wondering.  I told her that I needed it to name my dolls.  My dolls, my paper dolls, my barbies, my bike and my roller skates all had first and middle names.  I was VERY in to naming.  I still am.  As soon as someone tells me they are pregnant, I get a little giddy feeling of wondering what they will name their child.  Naming my own child was a daunting task I took quite seriously.  I am not someone who has liked the same baby name for their whole life, if I had named my child in grade school she would have been "Aurora" high school she would have been "Carrie" in college "Annaliese" in young adulthood, my first 3 dolls as a child were "Janie" "Lolly" and the hipster babydoll "bluehead".  You can see my tastes change.  That's why naming a child for real was quite intimidating. 

I ended up choosing a name off of Keenan's small post-it note of names that I mostly hated (to be honest) because it was Irish in origin (just as mine and Keenan's are), it was unisex (just as my sister and mine are) and it meant "strong" and strength for a preemie is a vital quality, so we named her in a room by ourselves while the nurses got her clean and hooked up to her wires.  My family liked "Sloane" the least of our list of girl names (except my brother Matt who is a true Ferris Bueller fan)-- but now they all admit that they love it and it fits her to a T: our little early bird, our strong girl Sloane Jillian.

Sloane didn't make the top 100 (according to Sloane is #587 this year), but a few of my other favorite names did...(Piper, Paige, Harper).  Aiden has been on top for seven years!  I think Jacob has been in the top 20 for my whole lifetime. 

title courtesy of the Ting Tings: That's not my name