Thursday, May 31, 2012

save the last dance for me

Today marks the triumphant return of Wedding Wednesday...

I've been busy lately--shopping. 


They look so adorable in person. I ordered 2 sets (140) what to do with them!

These will be at the bar--next to a recipe for a corresponding cocktail.  I am excited to do a little research (and watch more Mad Men of course) to get some fun (and tasty drinks)...

I have also decided to do a semi-potluck dinner.  I will be asking a few members of my family/friends to contribute dishes rather than gifts and I took the whole week before the wedding off and will be cooking up lots of dishes myself.  The food was where the theme broke down a little...until now.  I have these three titles on their way to me.

Betty Draper's staple-- Betty Crocker's Hostess Cookbook (via)

via-- Who doesn't need thoughts for buffets? 
via  It's a wedding people--it's supposed to bring the romance out in you!

 Also I have been thinking about the music. Keenan wanted to do all period music and at first I was resistant, but I think I could be swayed. So I ordered a little something to change my mind. We'll see if it works.

I think this should set the mood around the dancing area and above the bar...

The Save the Dates are out....and I have also picked up a lot of serving trays, utensils, glassware/barware and constructed my own cake plates...but I have saved those pictures for another day...

Things are coming along!

title courtesy of The Drifters- Save the Last Dance for Me (number one song in October 1960)

Friday, May 25, 2012

sunshine day

My sister (and my carpenter step-dad) had quite the task ahead when she began her nursery.  In a few short months we changed my parent's guest room into a charming, sweet, updated little room perfect for a new addition (and for an office/guest room in the future).  This room had been long ignored-- for about 10+ years it was dubbed "the middle room" which meant storage area for extra furniture, the computer and the exercise bike and tons and tons of 1990's clothing my mom forgot that she had (think Suze Orman jackets).  
This was the weekend we cleaned everything out.  We had already changed the blinds and valance.

Yes people that is wood paneling, and ugly puke carpet

The people who designed this room loved them some wood

My sister had fish on her wall when this was her room, circa  1998
Every little detail is transformed-- down to the electric face plates, doorknob and  hardware

Guest book from the shower-- cream walls

Accessories in the built-in-- new yellow paint on the accent wall (goodbye fish)

Take me out to the ball game prints over the crib-- love that painted paneling!

New wood floors, New slipcover on the couch, New hardware on the desk, New pillows

My favorite part of the room-- the flooring and the accent rug (Target)

Spray painted the mirror

The sheet has the faintest blue hexagons and a creamy yellow skirt that matches the valance

Cozy spot to sit

It's hard to believe it's the same room.  It's so beautiful, and minimalist (just like my sis) and we all worked very hard to get it done before little sprout made his way into the world.  She ordered a beautiful print from Etsy that she had framed at Hobby Lobby and that needs to be hung, and we are still working on one little project for over the changing table-- but otherwise it's home for bebe Ledger.  

Sigh...onto the next project!  

title courtesy of the Brady Bunch (yep) that cheesy song they sing as "The Silver Platters"--can't help it all the yellow makes me so happy 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I recall...being strangers to change

Dear Sloane,

On the day you were 17 months old your cousin Ledger Matthew was born.  I was a wreck all day long helping your aunt Tay through a harrowing 48 hour labor and delivery, that we are all more than thankful ended well. 

A few days after delivery: I am just so glad we got to have this moment.

aunt Tay & Ledger Matthew, Sloane and Grammy

When we finally got to see aunt Tay after the c-section and subsequent allergic reaction (par for the Taylorcourse) you walked into the room so excited to see her.  You were the one who made her so happy because you wanted only to see her-- the rest of us were waiting to meet baby Ledger (although he was still "baby boy" until morning).  When you saw Ledger for the first time you exclaimed:  "Hi Tiny!"

You adore your cousin.  On the days you don't see him you walk around saying "babybabybabybaby".  Every time you touch him you are gentle (so far) and give him sweet kisses on the top of his head.

When we left Ledger had to go back to NICU for his antibiotics etc...You told him to be strong.

I am pleasantly surprised that you give little attention to me or your bff grammy when we are holding Ledger. We thought you might not do so well with this as the last few weeks of the pregnancy you got very into "being a baby" (your interpretation of this as seen below)

A one year old--shoved into a bumbo, with a bottle, whining...truly lovely

So happy that you are adjusting so well to the new things in your world.  Even though you recently learned to verbalize "no" and love to use it in combination "nonononononononono!" while running away, you still are adjusting to this change with a bit of grace (as much grace as a toddler can possibly possess and exude, which frankly isn't that much). 

Love you,


title courtesy of Iron & Wine:  Tree by the River

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I've been up all night

I miss my scanner lately, my ability to photograph a document, leaves much to be desired.  Additionally, I just do not have the patience for trying to do it better. 

Got a little scrapping in this last weekend.  It was nice but I sometimes long for those long afternoons and evenings to myself to scrap or read.  Everything now days must be done during nap time, or after bed time when I am so tired I cannot even think. 

Sloane and Grammy -- BFF

Tiny Ballerina-- journaling from Tiny Dancer, Elton John

We are entering a new phase with Sloane...anxiety.  Sloane is scared of nearly every noise, things blowing in the wind (or the ceiling fan) and any new object in her path.  It hit the penultimate point last night when she refused to sleep until 3 am, and only then intermittently because of her fear from either a nightmare or a noise outside of her room which I didn't hear and could not identify.  This makes for a frazzled mama. 

Every time I got her calm and ready to put back down the crying and shaking started all over again.  In November (at 11mos) I successfully weaned her from night/comfort breastfeeding and got her to start sleeping through the night, and falling asleep without parental soothing using graduated extinction (Ferber).  I do not think that method will work for these issues so I am at a loss. 

I do not want to start any sort of habit with her, co-sleeping is not something we do (I need my sleep desperately for migraine prevention and having an adorable chubby bubby sighing and cuddling with me may seem like it would promote sleep but for me it does the opposite), but last night desperate for sleep (this is when I always make the worst decisions: I let her fall asleep with me on the couch (she is also scared of daddy's breathing/snoring, and scared of daddy a lot lately too).  It took her forever to fall asleep with me.  This is due (I believe) to the sleep training, she is so used to being on her own to sleep that to be with me meant she should be awake.  Finally she slept at 3am, fitfully, and I slept little to not at all.

In researching this a little today, I come across my fear--
Be a model of calm, confident behavior. When your child comes to you in a fearful state, be warm, sensitive and responsive. Tell him you understand that he is scared, and that everybody gets scared sometimes. But don’t let sympathy turn into overprotectiveness. Many animals—ranging from birds to monkeys—are sensitive to social cues about fear (Zentall and Galef 1988). They pick up fears by watching others model them. Kids are no exception. If your child believes you are worried or anxious, he may become more fearful.
Zentall TR and Galef BG (eds). 1988. Social learning: Psychological and biological perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

How does a typically anxious person turned parent feel about that statement?  FREAKED OUT THAT I WILL RUIN MY CHILD (but totally pretending to be cool and calm). 

Neither Keenan nor I are known for our calm or cool state of being, in fact we are known for the opposite of such.  I try to put on a brave face when I see her scared, what is bubbling in my heart for her is empathy-- I know how it feels to be anxious and I hate seeing her feel that, and I fear that it is showing in my face or my nonverbal cues, down to my breathing and the way I hold her.   
So I am off researching another phase (please let this be a phase), one never stops learning.   Now it seems more than ever I need to learn to relax. 
title courtesy of mr. anxious adam duritz of the counting crows:  Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes to Hollywood)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

I am a sucker for reality shows with competition (main network shows, i.e. I don't care who wins Flava Flav's heart).  I always end up sucked into The Biggest Loser, Amazing RaceAmerican Idol  (even though I sorta try not to be) and I live to watch Survivor and Big Brother

For the last two seasons I have loved The Voice. I voted for last year's winner Javier Colon each and every week-- he was the clear frontrunner and he was in a final 4 with 3 ladies who were all great in their own way, but Javier had my heart-- especially when he covered Cyndi's Time after Time, Fix You (Coldplay) and Man in the Mirror (MJ) so beautifully.

This year's final four contestants is a reverse in statistics-- 3 men, 1 woman and this year I think it's anyone's game.  I have voted for different people each week, with a couple of constants-- Chris Mann- because I am a sucker for a contestant from Kansas, as well as Katrina Parker -- who stole my heart with her love of performing 90's female anthems (No Doubt, Joan Osbourne, The Fugees). 

I was just singing along (in my head of course) every week and enjoying all of the talent until last week when Adam Levine (eye candy and Maroon 5 front man, let's be honest-the-only-person-you-know-from-Maroon 5-man) sent Katrina Parker packing with a comment that whittled his decision down to one of "bromance", when interestingly the show the night before ended with Juliet Sims belting about a Man's World (James Brown).  Indeed.

I have no beef with Tony Lucca, in the earlier days I voted for him as well and I found Christina's personal attacks on him off-putting in the earlier I wasn't bothered by the choice Adam made until last night's episode. 

Tony Lucca came out a did cover by Hugo of a cover Jay Z's iconic 99 problems.  As a student of feminism, I am of course familiar with the song with the chorus (which was lifted from an Ice-T song, which is incidentally just as inflammatory) that states "If you're having girl problems I feel bad for you son I got 99 problems but a b---- ain't one."  Hugo's cover is MUCH more benign than it's predecessor and I dug Tony's cover of the Hugo cover, of a cover, I digress. But the spirit of the song left a bad taste in my mouth.   

I realize Christina started it and continued it week after week.  I thought she was petty and immature and confusing.  I realize that the coach and the show have a lot of input on song choice (per other disgruntled contestants and it's obvious that they have to get viewers) but I was a little disenchanted to see a man that the show has sold as a "family man" (with his wife and son looking/loving on) a man who seemed to stay creatively above the fray of immaturity by covering Hit Me Baby One More Time and then How You Like Me Now?  fall into the trench of what seems to be a immature war between Adam Levine and Christina. 

I was disappointed that to "make another point" or "have another moment" (A.Levine) Tony had to go where he did.  Frankly I don't think he did have to go there.  But he did.  As a woman, should I be insulted that Christina was called a bitch?  She is no feminist role model (in any way shape or form) but she had a point-- lyrically the basis for the song was a derogatory towards women.  Or, in other words, "Why did you have to go there?"  I think before this stunt the world was firmly anti-Christina (on this front)...afterward I feel a little slighted. 

I wish that Tony's bromance wouldn't have lead him to this.  I think it boils down to the fact that in this Man's World of a music industry, Tony did what he needed to do to stay relevant, keep trending, and that seemed to come at a cost this week.   

title courtesy of James Brown, Man's World

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

take the way home that leads back to Sullivan Street

I think that my friend leaving this world on May day (2 years ago) is poignantly fitting.  "Mayday" is the call of distress from a ship or a comes from the French "m'aidez," or "help me". When repeated three times on a radio frequency, "Mayday" signifies grave and imminent danger.

May day indeed.

I think my grief in someways for this loss has intensified since becoming a mother.  This is in part because I have grown so close to Dustin's father over the past 11 years.  Even after a scant 16 months with my child I don't want to think about being without her here on earth. 

28 years must have felt just like a blink.  There cannot be time long enough when it comes to the life of your child.

As for me there are "things I remember and things I forget, I miss you, I guess that I should." (Raining in Baltimore). 

What I remember so vividly...

what your voice sounded like -- the cadence of it.  especially the way you told me to "chill babe"

how you did things in order to push my buttons-- like insisting the scene in American Beauty that made it Oscar-worthy was the video of that stupid plastic bag that the emo boyfriend videotaped.  Now that you're gone every time I see a plastic bag fly by I think of you.  I notice them when I need to see them most.  I ate lunch with your dad and friends today and behind us on our walk to our car flew a grey plastic bag. 

your hair-brained schemes

your love of music, there are some artists and songs that make me think only of you because we played them in your car together, and then I played them for you in your hospital room (The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness double album--especially Spaceboy, Better than Ezra-- this time of year, Dave Matthews Band---Live at Red Rocks album, Under the Table and Dreaming album, and their song Crush,  Counting Crows -- Sullivan Street it makes me think of all the times I left your house on Simmons street late at night to go home, and of course Rufus Wainwright's version of Hallejuah breaks my heart.) 

how you made me feel important when you spoke to me (you apparently did this for TONS of people--that's pretty amazing)

blueberry muffins---it was a piece of your memory you got back, something I was sure was insignificant and you would have forgotten it anyway... It was from the last time you had come to see me in Manhattan about a month before your car accident.  We went out for coffee at breakfast and I wanted you to try one of the muffins, they were wonderful but they were out that day.but one of the times I saw you later on, after we were not together you told me "you were mad they were out of blueberry muffins." It absolutely slayed me.  Cut me to the quick. 

how you hated celery-- you told me that if you looked at it you'd throw up you made it seem more like a phobia than a taste.  the thought of this cracked me up and I always planned to have a bag of celery in my fridge when you would go poking through it, but I never did it.

how you bought cards for occassions other than what was happening.  I have 3 of such cards from you-- one of them says "Congratulations on your baby boy!" (it was for a "break a leg") Happy Birthday (just because in September) and one about the loss of a pet (when you were leaving for the week back to Emporia).

you were basically wonderful. 

title from Sullivan Street by the Counting Crows