The 2011 no-hate Oscar fashion recap: lovely lavenders

02/28/2011 at 9:16 am | Posted in just plain fun | 9 Comments
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Mila Kunis at the Oscars 2011

Confession: I fell asleep before any of the big awards were given last night.

I missed PS 22 singing their hearts out. I loved James Franco’s and Anne Hathaway’s video at the beginning of the show, but I just thought the rest of it was kind of, well, boring.

Except for the fashion, of course!

I’m a big fan of color, like Jennifer Hudson’s outrageous orange, and Jennifer Lawrence’s stunning red. But my favorites of the evening? The prettiest shades of purple.

Natalie Portman at the 2011 Oscars

Scarlett Johansson at the 2011 Oscars

Hailee Steinfeld at the Oscars 2011

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Which looks were your favorites? What did you think of the show? Should I have stayed awake?

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Capture the Everyday: something I can't live without

02/25/2011 at 10:15 am | Posted in pregnancy | 5 Comments
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bottle of miralax

Sad but true, friends. Sad but true.

This little purple-and-white bottle has become my constant companion during pregnancy. Along with milkshakes and mass quantities of fried chicken biscuits.

But enough about me and my insides. Ahem.

I’m really excited to tell you about this new photo challenge that my friend Melissa just started: Capture the Everyday. I love the idea of creating art out of the mundane. Although I think my laxative still life might be stretching the boundaries a bit.

Hop on over to Adventuroo to see more of the everyday!

Capture the Everyday from Adventuroo

The next time around

02/24/2011 at 8:51 am | Posted in baby sunshine, PPD | 26 Comments
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I will be easier on myself.

I’ll know more. Like how to change a diaper. And soothe a colicky baby.

Breastfeeding will not kick my ass. And if it tries to, I will not be afraid to exercise my resources.

I will ask for help.

And when it’s offered to me, I’ll accept help. And meals. And visits.

A little pal (who CANNOT WAIT to hold her baby brother or sister) will keep me company.

I will recognize the symptoms of PPD and do something about it. And if I can’t see it creeping up, my husband will.

I’ll lean on the miraculous network of people who already have boosted me and this baby up onto their shoulders.

I will try my hardest to relish every sweet moment with my new child.

I’ll go outside. Take the baby for walks. Get some sun on my face.

When someone offers to hold the baby for a while, I will march myself upstairs and take a nap.

I’ll have YOU in my corner.

I will be easier on myself.

The next time around.

Swell Stuff {Michelle Smith Designs}

02/23/2011 at 3:22 pm | Posted in Swell Stuff | 3 Comments
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items from Michelle Smith's Etsy shop

Browsing Michelle Smith’s Etsy shop is like getting a little taste of spring. The soft palette, the bird- and flower-print designs, the lovely simplicity of her work. It’s a breath of fresh air. And just plain pretty.

I’m lucky to know Michelle in real life. In addition to being a very talented artist she is the creator of IndieNC, an online marketplace and blog to which I contribute. She also authors her own blog, Feminine Modern, and her work has appeared in Real Simple magazine and on Design*Sponge. On top of all that, she’s a mom. And all-around rock star.

Pictured above:

1. Cotton canvas throw pillow with bird art
2. Glam antique gold and white bobby pins
3. 2011 “Home Sweet Home” poster calendar
4. Square wooden clock with pink flower art

28 weeks: pop goes the belly button!

02/22/2011 at 10:26 am | Posted in pregnancy | 5 Comments
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Ah, here we are. That magical time in the third trimester when my belly button takes on a life of its own.

I used to have a cute little “innie.” But sometime in the last few weeks, the top began to nudge out, looking like a little hood that needed an ornament. Even Small Fry noticed and thought it was just hilarious.

Now? The whole thing protrudes from my ever-expanding belly, looking much like a fruit loop trapped under the skin.

It catches people’s eye. But, hey, I guess I should be grateful they’re staring at my innocuous belly button rather than my chest, right? Don’t get me started on the increasing discomfort of underwire. One of life’s greatest pleasures right now is unfastening my bra at the end of the day. Holy relief.

I think my new little friend is funny. I’ve named him Herman. And Small Fry loves him, so what more could I ask for?

Here’s what else makes me happy this week:

Thin Mints and Samoas (thank you sweet lord for the Girl Scouts)
Burt’s Bees bubble baths
walking outside in flip-flops
bulbs about to bloom
Small Fry POOPED in the potty. A big one!
sweet friends
Bojangles and Chick-fil-A (I seriously should become a shareholder in both)
chili dogs
beach trips on the horizon
American Idol (and The Bachelor. There. I said it.)

What’s on your happiness list?

PS 22 rocks my face off

02/21/2011 at 9:33 am | Posted in videos | 3 Comments
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I’m working on my most creative belly shot post yet (warning: flesh may make an appearance), but I just stumbled across this AMAZING group of kids and I simply can’t resist sharing it with you right this minute.

Check out Staten Island’s PS 22 chorus singing Viva La Vida:

And here they are getting the surprise of a lifetime from Anne Hathaway:

Just incredible! Maybe its the hormones, but I’m sitting here at my computer crying. Which means much of the same when I tune in to the Oscars this weekend.

Who wants to watch with me?

Bring the kleenex.

Friday goodies!

02/18/2011 at 9:25 am | Posted in just plain fun | 4 Comments
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chalk heart on pavement

Why, hello Friday. I thought you’d never get here!

It’s been quite a week in our little family, with Small Fry’s first day of “new school,” starting work on the nursery, and a lovely, sunny Valentine’s Day.

Here are a few things that made me smile this week:

– This beautiful letter from Katherine Stone to some of us “warrior mamas” expecting new babies

– Laura’s sweet Valentine’s Day post (love these photos!)

Bacon toothpaste? Or perhaps you’d prefer cupcake flavor? (Thanks, Whitnee)

– So many of you have asked about the ice cream cups we served at Small Fry’s birthday party: Howling Cow rocks!

– American Idol and this fun recap. I’m totally addicted. Already.

I am SO ready forĀ  a relaxing, fun weekend that might include a trip to IKEA. Holler.

Hope you have a happy weekend!

Daycare drama

02/17/2011 at 11:50 am | Posted in Motherhood | 20 Comments
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I’ve been debating writing this post.

First, it’s embarrassing. I feel like I failed my daughter.

Second, there are folks who read this blog who know our situation, including details about the “old school” and the “new school.” I’m afraid of offending anyone.

But I need to write it. If anything, to show how CRITICAL it is for parents to speak up on behalf of their children.

A couple of weeks ago, Small Fry and I showed up at her daycare for Monday-morning drop off. We were greeted by strangers. And told, without any explanation, that the center’s director and assistant director had “left.” I asked what had happened and got no clear answer. Then, instead of turning on my heel and marching Small Fry out of there, I meekly walked her down the hall to her classroom.

Everyone’s doors were closed. In a tiny building that’s usually bustling with early-morning activity, laughter and chatter, this was alarming. Thank goodness Small Fry’s favorite teacher was there. She was afraid and confused. I asked her more questions, but she didn’t know anything either. And there were only half as many kids in the room as usual.

I took off Small Fry’s coat, gave her a hug and kiss, and said goodbye.

I left her.

Panic struck on my drive to work. I called Marc, and he comforted me. Calm and collected, as always. When I got to my computer, there was an e-mail from the former director saying briefly that she had been unexpectedly fired on the previous Friday evening. She is a single mom. Without a job now.

I picked up Small Fry early that afternoon, and the building was still eerily quiet. I nervously and oh-so-politely asked the woman in the front office again what had happened. She waffled and gave me the phone number of the owner. By the time we got home, Marc had researched half a dozen other childcare facilities in the area and booked tours.

Small Fry never went back to that school.

We scrambled to enroll her in a much better preschool, just around the corner from our house. One where they teach Spanish, music and yoga. And where “corn dog nuggets” are not on the menu.

While on our tour, we ran into one of the other mothers from Small Fry’s old school, and she told me she had withdrawn her daughter months earlier because of questionable disciplinary practices that got a teacher fired. I had no idea why the teacher had disappeared earlier that fall. Small Fry’s teacher.

And I never asked.

I also never expressed my concern over the fact that, on many occasions at pick-up time, I’d find Small Fry sitting in front of a TV, or perched by herself on the floor while the teacher mopped (with ammonia) around her.

And I left her on that day in the care of strangers. With no information about what had happened to the director we loved.

Aside from my immense guilt, the moral of the story is: it is our right as parents to request and receive information about our children’s well-being while they are in someone else’s care. Our RIGHT.

I’ve been kicking myself for days over this. I was too concerned with being polite, being the nice parent, wanting them to love my kid, not causing any problems. I ignored the red flags and squashed my concerns. But I should have been louder. More inquisitive. Braver.

My only saving grace right now is my sweet girl, grinning from ear to ear, clutching her lunch bag, on her first day of “new school.” She is safe, happy and cared for.

And I will never EVER keep quiet again.

I will speak up. It’s the only choice.

You Capture: warmth

02/16/2011 at 8:49 am | Posted in Small Fry, snap happy | 12 Comments
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This post might make you hate me. Especially you folks freezing your tushes off in other parts of the country and world.

Monday in our little corner of North Carolina? 70 degrees.

I know. Crazy.

When I saw this week’s You Capture assignment, it definitely wasn’t anywhere near warm outside. I envisioned shots of Small Fry and Marc snuggled up under a blanket on the couch. Or Marc building one of his famous fires. But then this beautiful day arrived, and you could not pry my camera from my face. Or the huge grin from Small Fry’s.

She ran around like a wild child, blew bubbles, decorated the driveway with chalk art, kicked balls with her pals. And let off some major pent-up-all-winter steam.

An awesome day!

And sometimes not so awesome:

But mostly awesome.

For more warmth, check out I Should Be Folding Laundry today!

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Get to know Small Fry

02/15/2011 at 11:01 am | Posted in just plain fun, Small Fry | 12 Comments
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I love to read blogs. Especially those written by people I actually know in real life. Like Mandy. Her blog, Harper’s Happenings, is one of my favorites (take a peek — you will fall in love). Sweet Harper is irresistible. And Mandy is just plain hilarious.

When she published an interview with Harper recently, I loved getting to hear Harper’s sweet voice and her adorable answers to readers’ questions. And I thought to myself, Small Fry would totally dig this. And now that she’s a freshly minted 3-year-old, she has lots of wisdom to share. Lots.

So I wrote Mandy, who graciously gave me permission to steal her idea. And now I’m asking you, lovely readers, to play along!

Have a burning question for Small Fry? Like who her favorite Yo Gabba Gabba character is, or why the sky is blue? Ask away! She might even sing for you. I have a feeling this could become very entertaining.

Just leave your questions in the comments below, and we’ll get working on our video interview.

Can’t wait!

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