So long, farewell …

09/26/2010 at 3:36 pm | Posted in Bloggy | 5 Comments

Today is one of those days I want to bottle up and keep forever, like Luke’s jar of sunshine on Modern Family.

I just peeled myself out of Small Fry’s bed, where I’d put her down for a nap and accidentally left my own drool spot on her orange pillow. Laura’s homemade sweet potato soup is simmering on the stove. And it’s pouring rain.

Heaven.

We’re at the beach for our annual summer send-off. Despite the fact that fall officially began last week, temperatures have still been soaring into the 90s every day. Here in North Carolina, we’ll be saying goodbye to summer well into October.

My parents rented the same cottage they booked for our wedding week six years ago, so I love coming back here and reliving those memories (minus the panic over the no-show hairdresser or the mayhem of midnight favor-bag stuffing).

Small Fry is totally blissed out, what with the beach and her grandparents and her favorite playmate ALL IN ONE HOUSE. We snuck out today to soak up a couple of rain-free hours, and she came back into the house covered in sand. It was even crusted around her nostrils. She can’t get enough.

She and I have both been sick lately, so I’m hoping this salt air will work its magic. We need a break. And some sleep.

So, friends, I’m going to unplug for the week. Take a break from blogging, Twittering and all things that tie me to the computer.

I’ll be back next Monday with photos from the StrollerThon. And probably a couple hundred shots from the beach. And, you know what October means? A certain deep fried event will be rolling through town. The Deputy and I are already cooking up a grand adventure. Can’t wait.

Hope you have an A-plus week. Be back soon!

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Such a girl

09/23/2010 at 8:27 pm | Posted in Belly to Butterfly | 3 Comments

(This is part of the Belly to Butterfly series, written by my sis Laura.)

I hear the phrase “such a boy” a lot and instantly know that I’m supposed to understand that said boy is: energetic, a daredevil, active, athletic and in general a handful.  However, the phrase “such a girl” usually carries a more negative connotation in my mind and in the conversation following. Not to get all militant feminist on you guys, but I kindly disagree.

First, there’s Clara, one of O’s neighborhood pals.

Clara’s favorite game for a while was to run at top speed with something (usually her hands or a blankie) covering her eyes. She kept getting a knot the size of a silver dollar on her head to the point her mom worried about the state of her brain. Then there’s Adah, also a friend of the ‘hood.  In her opinion you can’t push her hard enough or high enough in a swing. She likes to fly! Just this past weekend at an outdoor music show, her dad was tossing her and hanging her upside down while all moms in the vicinity cringed.  Then there’s O whose favorite toys right now include a dump truck, yellow ball and the hand-me-down garage Small Fry is sharing.  (This is by choice…O also has access to dolls, stuffed animals, fake food and I’ve tried getting her to use the real vacuum once or twice to no avail.)

I know that some things are innate for the majority of us and I’m trying to be more proud of my nurturing and domestic tendencies and not see them as fulfilling a stereotype or letting down Gloria Steinem. But I also know that my daughter loves to explore, is a hot mess when she can get her hands on some dirt, doesn’t stop moving to the point of sheer exhaustion for everyone but her and watches with envy and delight when she sees her friends tumbling, running, bouncing and in general, terrifying their moms.

How about we call a truce and say she’s “such a kid!”

Sweet on sweetpea prints

09/21/2010 at 3:41 pm | Posted in Bloggy, Swell Stuff | 2 Comments
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I’m so excited to welcome our newest sponsor, sweetpea prints! And not just because the shop is so freaking adorable. It’s also affordable (bonus), and Liz, the artist behind the shop, is wonderful to work with (double bonus).

Her customizable prints range from children’s names to birth announcements to just plain fun illustrations, like the cute birds in a tree pictured above.

She’ll also work with you to create a totally original, customized print based off any of her designs.

So hop on over to sweetpea prints to take a peek! And be sure to say hello on Facebook.

Sweet, indeed!

Flying the flag

09/21/2010 at 9:46 am | Posted in PPD | 3 Comments
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Good morning!

And happy Glee day!

Who is more excited than me for tonight’s premiere?  Perhaps Sue Sylvester, but that is all.

I digress.

I’m also really excited today because the mommy blog run by our local CBS affiliate, “Go Ask Mom,” ran a guest post I wrote about my experience with PPD and the wonderful group who helped save my tushie, Moms Supporting Moms.

StrollerThon is less than two weeks away, and we’re still working hard to get the word out! I’m really grateful to Sarah, who writes “Go Ask Mom,” for supporting the cause.

For more information about StrollerThon, click here. It’s not too late to sign up! And if you’d like to learn more about Moms Supporting Moms, go here.

Hope you have a Glee-tastic day!

First haircut

09/20/2010 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Small Fry, snap happy | 18 Comments
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In the latest installment of freak-mommy-out-because-I’m-growing-so-fast, Small Fry got her first real haircut on Friday.

I’m still crying inside.

This child was born with a head full of hair. Thick dark hair that spiked straight up in the back. I used to call her my little Liza Minnelli. It kept growing and growing, and we found innovative ways to keep it out of her eyes, including the famous sprout phase.

People kept asking, “When are you going to cut her hair?” And I was all, “NEVER. You can’t make me.”

Until it just got too long. Impossible to keep back. Getting caught in all sorts of places (like the armholes of her shirts).

It was time.

So I took her to one of those cute over-priced kiddie salons and the mean lady cut off my baby’s curls. Or, as it happened in reality, the lovely hairdresser patiently and sweetly gave Small Fry a new ‘do.

Here’s how it went down. Photos of mommy crying not included.

My heart is three hours away

09/19/2010 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Love, Motherhood, Small Fry | 9 Comments
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Something just isn’t right.

This house is too quiet. And tidy. And boring, actually.

Small Fry is with her grandmother for a few days, and I feel discombobulated.

I’m supposed to be living it up — doing all those things I can’t do with a small child to look after.

But I miss her so much my chest hurts.

Don’t get me wrong. I slept in this morning and went shopping this afternoon. And I might just be lying on the couch watching football. But, y’all, it isn’t nearly as fun to pick out a Halloween costume for a toddler when that particular 2-year-old isn’t scuttling around my legs swiping clothes from the racks.

And it isn’t nearly as fun to shop for groceries without that little person smiling at me from the cart, legs dangling, munching on a free cookie.

And I just made a meatloaf and potatoes without any interruption. I miss my little kitchen companion, scooched up on a bar stool, “helping” me cook.

I’m pitiful, you guys.

VERY grateful to my mother-in-law for this wonderful gift of time and rest. But pitiful.

Is it Wednesday yet?

Thoughts on turning 35

09/16/2010 at 8:44 am | Posted in family, Love | 33 Comments
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Holy crap. That is all.

No, I’m kidding.

But really. 35? It got here way too quickly.

I remember my 12th birthday so vividly that it’s impossible to believe that my daughter is closer to that age than I am.

I am 35 today.

It just feels weird. Probably because on most days I still feel like a kid playing the part of a grown-up. But I’m proud of all that I’ve accomplished, especially becoming a mother.

And I’m happy.

So I’ll count my blessings today and hug my family extra tight.

And relish in their love.

Because, really, how can a birthday not be awesome when it starts with a gift like this?

Pen to Paper Challenge + Giveaway!

09/15/2010 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Bloggy | 6 Comments
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My third note in the Pen to Paper challenge was a no-brainer. I have a very good friend who is going through a very hard time right now.

She lives nearby. We have lunch often. But still. Letters aren’t only for long-distance friends, right?

I really hope that my little envelope in her mailbox will bring, at the very least, a brief moment of happiness.

And speaking of happiness, I’m really excited for our very first Pear Tree Greetings giveaway!

Aren’t these Halloween stickers adorable?

Two sheets (a total of 24) personalized stickers could be yours!

There are a bunch of other designs, and I think they’d be fun on party favors or treats for school. The stickers also coordinate with Pear Tree’s funky line of Halloween invitations. Love!

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment below telling us your best Halloween costume ever.

For extra chances to win, you can do any of the following. Be sure to leave an extra comment for each:

> Follow Pear Tree Greetings on Twitter
> “Like” Pear Tree Greetings on Facebook
> “Like” the fancy new pretty*swell Facebook page

This giveaway ends at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 22. I’ll choose the winner via random.org. Have fun!

Walk this way

09/14/2010 at 8:36 am | Posted in Belly to Butterfly | 4 Comments
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(This is part of Belly to Butterfly, written by my sis Laura. Thank goodness! I’ve missed these posts. Haven’t you?)

I haven’t written in a while and I’m not quite sure why….there’s been plenty going on…maybe that’s the reason.

O is 13 months going on 75 years (in the form of a reincarnated babbling, feisty old man who needs help but doesn’t accept it easily). All she wants to do is walk, and climb, and walk some more.  Only catch is…she can’t walk yet (at least not without two of my fingers for confidence). It’s exhausting! Lord help us if there are stairs in the vicinity…the workout would put Jane Fonda to shame.

To give you an idea of how frazzled I’ve felt lately, I’ve actually been waking up (on purpose!) earlier than her (we’re talking 6:40am) so that I can have a chance to eat my cereal, drink some juice and pee in peace.  Desperate times my friends.

The two ways I get a break during the day (outside of her naptime…which we all know isn’t really a break but more of a mad dash to complete all the things you can’t when she’s conscious (as Carter noted this weekend, “When she’s around everything gets half done.”) is by taking her for a walk in the stroller or by sticking her in the car (who knew getting gas or depositing a check could be so relaxing!).

Otherwise, when we’re at home, my job is to keep her in one piece…at 5pm when Carter gets home, the torch is passed.  (Just recently we had to disassemble Sandwich’s travel crate because O got stuck inside…although good to know that she fits.)

I don’t know about you but that 6 hour stretch between her wake-up time and nap time seems like a looooong few hours when you’ve got a kid who can’t play on her own for more than 5 seconds. The kid wants to walk, and if you don’t go in the direction she’s leaning towards, she’ll plant her body and bend until you have no choice but to follow her lead or end up in a twisted, sweaty heap on the floor.  If this happens, it’s best to just stay down…play dead.

I think I’m becoming a hunchback.

BugFest!

09/13/2010 at 4:05 pm | Posted in About town, just plain fun, Small Fry | Leave a comment
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Our version of BugFest didn’t involve many bugs. But instead: sand, music and fair food.

Which, of course, means it was awesome.

Small Fry had a blast. She marveled over giant roaches and swarming honeybees. She even danced the hokey-pokey for the first time. Baby O enjoyed wandering the capital grounds clutching her parents’ fingers.

I enjoyed the ribbon fries. And chicken gyro. And maybe a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone.

Shocker, right?

Laura took all of these lovely shots. None of which, mercifully, shows me eating.

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