Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Raining, I'm Falling

For those of you who are currently experiencing jacket weather or better, I hate you. No wait, I didn't mean that--I'm jealous of you. Want to swap houses for a month or two?

Because it is not raining men here today in old Kansas City, it's raining ICE. After getting up this morning with baby E, actually doing my hair and makeup (wow!) and slipping into some new "business casual" work duds, I kissed my baby and hubby goodbye, grabbed my coat and my gigantic bag lady purse, and set off. Have I mentioned before that I live 4 blocks from work? Don't judge me ;) I walk when it's nice out. But today my friends, it is the opposite of nice out.

While pulling my car out of the driveway, I realized that I couldn't stop at the bottom of the drive and almost hit another car that was driving extra slow. Then I remembered that my actual wallet and such was still in the diaper bag inside the house. So I pulled around up front, got out, and slid right onto my bum. It was like ice-skating!

Whew! So I got my wallet clutch thing, said goodbye AGAIN, and left. Now I'm here and no one else is at work because it's a wreck waiting to happen out there. Think I'll do a little work, then go get a steaming hot mocha before returning home early to play with Everleigh and nurse my sore tush and my bruised pride :)

But look at what I get to go home to.....

Not so bad when you put it like that :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Curse of Creativity

Any of you who are creative, or have creative loved ones probably know what I'm talking about. There are good weeks and bad. Times when it feels like a blessing and times when it feels like a curse.

I guess I consider myself to be creative, primarily because I have a passion for music (writing, singing, playing, listening, watching, everything). Plus I've always felt sort of weird/different from other people, which I think tends to be an underlying theme for creative peeps everywhere.

Being weird only becomes cool when you hit about 16 and figure out that there are hair cuts and outfits that can help facilitate your weirdness into coolness, and other large groups of people who are also, quote "weird", and some of those people are people you think are amazing. I took my teenage weirdness and poured it into wearing adventurous clothing, writing music, and obsessing over all things "underground". I no longer have the time or the desire to spend hours researching new hipper, less-heard-of bands, or to hit up 6 thrift stores in a day looking for my next vintage find or old prom dress to cut up.

But I DO sometimes wish I had time to write more, to read more, to play more music, to PERFORM (have I mentioned that I pretty much adore performing?). Between work, school, and being a mommy, I really have negative time left to devote to this right now. My recent run- in with a new potential band-mate led to a "discussion" by my husband and I, in which he basically reminded me that I chose mommyhood as my permanent extracurricular for the next several years. That I might really not have 2 extra hours a week to do something new musically until Evie's older. That I should understand this and accept it and not be frustrated by it, because you can't always have it all. Don't get me wrong--I would trade all the music in the world for my beautiful, healthy baby girl any day of the week. I'm just struggling to find that balance still as an artist.

My husband, Scott, is a painter and also a musician, and it's an ongoing struggle for him to be super dad and still find the time needed to be a productive artist. Most days, it results in us high-fiving each other as we tag the other one in. He watches the baby while I work. I come home for lunch every day to feed her while he showers or tidies up the house. I go back to work. When I get home, I watch Ev and he leaves to go to his studio and paint, do homework, or work his part time night job. He spend his days with Everleigh, while I spend my nights with her. On weekends, I either have class (in which case he watches her) or I don't (in which case I watch her and he tries to play catch-up on his homework and paintings). While we do spend some happy, lazy evenings together as family, it seems like more often than not we're parenting relay style.

What's the solution? Some day I will finish my Play Therapy Certification and he will complete his degree. Life will be less complicated. But there will always be work and there will always be this energy that drives us to create. And babies only stay little for a split second.

For now, I guess I'll try to focus that energy into my most amazing creation to date.

PS: Just as I finished writing this, I received a text from Scott that made my eyes well up: "Ev and I are having a good afternoon so why don't you take some grown up time for yourself when you get off work? Luv!" Man, I'm lucky.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Wow! Sorry It's been sooooooo long since I updated my blog :( As some of you know, I recently started a new and exciting job, which is awesome. However, I had to go through some all-day trainings last week that really cut into my blogging time ;)

I am back with a vengeance, so look out!

Last week lots of exciting things happened:
  •  Everleigh started clapping her hands, which seems very fancy and generally makes me feel like I'm entertaining her with my every action
  • I attended my Play Therapy Certification class, and learned a lot about diagnosing children and how it kind of sucks but is a necessary evil in our current system.
  • I went to my preggo girlfriend's baby shower, hung out with other moms, and watched her unwrap THREE new Boppies. Wa wa wa. PS: One was from me. Thank goodness for gift receipts.
  • I took Evie to visit a bud who just had a homebirth (she is awesome) surprise baby GIRL. Since her Intelligender test had said "Boy", almost all of her baby stuff  was either specifically boyish or gender neutral with boyish tendencies, so Ev told me it was OK to pass along her super girly NB-6mo collection ;) Can I pause for moment here and say that no matter how well you think you remember, seeing a newborn baby is always surprising! They are SOOOO tiny and snuggly and amazing.
  • I attended my first chics-only Happy Hour since before I was pregnant and had a blast
  • While there, I met a super awesome little lady who plays music and has an artist husband and a little girl. She wants to start a band!
  • I went over to my new music-buddie's house and jammed :) while our kiddos played
  • My stepdaughter, T, got to come for a visit and hang with Miss Evie.
  • We ate at a really weird, poorly lit, gross Chinese buffet that made us all feel funny
  • I got some actual for real SLEEP (thank God). Little E decided to treat me to 5 1/2 hours of uninterrupted bliss, followed by another 3-4 hours of tossing and turning. I'll take it.
Hmm...I know there's more, but that's the gist. Hope you all have had a great past week! I'd love to hear about it :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Adventures in Sleeping

 Let me start by going ahead and admitting that while I've tried to read up on the subject, I still have tons to learn. I in no way consider myself an expert, and have likely done everything regarding this matter incorrectly. Please don't judge me ;)

Sleep. I think I remember what that word used to mean. While I was pregnant with Evie, I was constantly told by other moms, "enjoy your sleep cause you won't be getting any for awhile." And you know what I thought? I thought, "these women are being really negative." as well as "I'm PREGNANT! Do they really think I'm getting sleep now? Because last time I checked being giant and uncomfortable 24/7 and getting up every hour to pee doesn't constitute a good night's rest." Even after Ev was born, I thought of the nay-sayers and mused, "this isn't SOOOO bad."

 But here's the thing I never thought about before--it's ongoing. It's night after night after night. It's 7+ months of waking up every morning thinking there's absolutely no way you can possibly get out of bed and go to work and fake like you're normal because you are, in fact, a ZOMBIE. It's eye cream and lots of under eye concealer, and coffee, and wishing you could take a nap and acting like you're hearing what people are saying to you.

Here's my sleep story with my sweet sweet baby: This blog begins when Ev hit 4 months. There is good reason for this--she was really colicky from about week 2 to about week 14ish, which meant (in her case) that she basically cried like she was pain anytime she was awake and not eating. We had her checked by a couple of pediatricians who basically just told us, "babies cry. this one obviously cries more than some." We fed her, changed her, gave her less stimulation, tried the 5 S's, etc. What it came down to was that she needed to be held and walked pretty much all day every day, and she was still going to cry cry cry. Hence, my instantaneous loss of baby weight (now grad school/desk job weight...that's a whole other story) from pacing while carrying her for hours and hours a day.

We had a cradle set up in our bedroom for her, but when she woke up in it and couldn't easily see us, she would panic and scream. It became much easier to put her in bed with us (especially since I'm nursing full time). Then, she got too big for the cradle, and we kept her in bed out of fear that she would topple out of the cradle. When she hit about 6 months old, we decided it was time to help her transition to her crib in her very own nursery (right down the hall from our room). She did not love this plan. For awhile, I would nurse her to sleep, then put her in her crib. When she would wake back up in the night to eat, I would sometimes put her back in the crib and sometimes bring her back into my bed.

Then she started waking up as I set her in the crib and crying like I had just taken her birthday away. I caved and started bringing her back into the bed with me. But the thing about all that is--this means I haven't spent a whole night in bed with just my husband in 7 months. Plus now that's she's bigger, Everleigh kicks in her sleep and sometimes make her body into a big X. Then, other times, she will trap herself up against me and I can't move. We have a queen sized bed. It is TIME.

So last week I made the next logical step right? Wrong. Out of sheer exhaustion, I decided to make up a pallet on her nursery floor and sleep with her there. While I got a little more sleep, we really got no closer to getting her in her crib. She still wakes up between 2 and 5 times per night.

This might not be so bad if I stayed at home during the day and could "sleep when baby sleeps" but I work full time. So even if Miss E parties all night, I still have to fake it the next day while she naps at home.

At first I felt really opposed to the whole "crying it out" method, thinking it was kind of mean and used primarily to benefit fed -up parents. Now that I am a fed up parent, I'm giving it second thoughts.

Anyone have helpful advice about getting baby to sleep? Getting baby to stay asleep longer than a few hours? Getting baby to stay in their crib without crying like they just might be dying? Anything would be appreciated. Even though I will probably ignore your reasonable advice and opt for sleeping while standing up, or something equally ridiculous ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mini Fashionistas

OK readers. I thought it was high time I shared with you some of the cutest baby and kiddo fashion sites on this here world wide web ;)

While it's fun to dress Evie up, I'll be the first to admit that styling a 7 month old is pretty much fighting a losing battle--the poop, the frequent diaper changes, the spit, the spit-up, the whatever the heck else they get all over themselves everytime you look away for a get the idea. It's fun, but fairly impractical. Which is why I try to take pictures anytime I put something really cute on her and pray that I will be able to capture that so so cute outfit on camera before she quickly ruins it. Then, it's back into the zip-up sleepers (a mom's best friend).

But I have a long-standing love of all things vintage, and/or just plain fun/shocking/weird. In college, I took most of my classes in the Fine Arts building, where (amongst the throngs of weird theatre kids, music geeks, and artists) I felt free to experiement with clothes. And experiment I did. I wore tutus, flower printed tights, see-through dresses with cut up sweaters, homemade bracelets made from cutting the fancy cuffs off of vintage old-lady blouses, even a skirt made entirely from condoms--still in their bright and shiny wrappers--made by my buddy L. Oh what fun I had! Then I joined the ranks of corporate America, and my closet split off into 3 sections--1) work clothes 2) weird, fun crazy stage clothes 3) everyday eating a sandwich clothes.
The older I get, the less chances I find myself taking with fashion, although I'm trying to get my fashion mojo back.

So that's why the thought of having this little person to dress sounds like so much fun! Think about it--me and Everleigh going thrifting together? Hitting up local vintage stores? Laughing as we create silly outfits? I know it probably won't be a musical montage or anything, but fun WILL be had :) So there's no need to pitch the tutus and faux fur just yet. I'm getting inspriation from cool kid-fashion sites like these:

Pippi Parade--please check this out, if only to make yourself smile. I mean, it's an adorable girl named PIPPI for goodness sakes, wearing weird, fun vintage and thrifted clothes.
Lennon Closet--although it hasn't been updated very recently, Lennon Closet has some adorable pics of Harper rocking out her fantastic clothes.
Prudent Baby--awesome DIY ideas for all things baby and kid. Also, there's a Hot Mess Mommy section with cool fashion and DIY projects for moms too :)

There are so many more, but I don't have time on this super snowy Monday to get to them all. Happy reading!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Everleigh's Dolly (made by Mommy and Daddy)

I told you all a loooonnnng time ago that I was working on a doll project for Evie. While I love all things crafty, I'm not that good with, what Scotti refers to as, my "robot hands", so this was truly a labor of love. I used the pattern from one of my favorite artists/fashionistas/people ever, Emily Martin of The Black Apple, and you can too! Using Scott's canvas, felt, and some cute fabric I had originally bought for her nursery (and then not used), I crafted her little dolly. Also, I have to give props to Ev's big sis, Tory, for her help with the arms and legs, since I had to quit and go play mommy. Can you imagine that Everleigh was not content to sit and watch us craft? Silly girl :P And then my super talented hubby, Scott, painted the face on her in the style of Emily Martin (per my request).

This project was super fun and way harder than I thought it would be. And you know what the best part is? Everleigh totally LOVES her! She's just the right size for her to grab onto, cuddle with, bang into the coffee table repeatedly, and suck on the feet. They're pals :) and that makes it all worth it and then some. My next doll project? Make her some playmates, and maybe even attempt Emily's circus bear or strong man doll. Check out Emily's awesome dolls and her doll pattern (as well as a doll-making deomstration clip from her Martha Stewart appearance) at

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dear Everleigh (7 Months!)

Those eyes, those eyes. You're going to break some hearts one day, missy.
 Dear Everleigh,

You are seven months old today and cooler, smarter, and better looking than ever ;) Here are some of the amazing feats you accomplished this month:

You mastered the words "Mama", "Dada", and "Baby" and  sometimes even  use them appropriately! You also went from getting up on all fours, wiggling around, doing yoga positions, then falling, to actually crawling! Now you cannot be stopped. But that wasn't exciting enough for you--just days after getting crawling figured out, you also mastered the art of pulling yourself up. You absolutely love pulling yourself up to a standing position in your crib, on the coffee table, on the chairs, on my legs...pretty much anything you could possible grab onto to lift yourself up is fair game.

Along with all this new found activity comes a host of bumps and cries, as you are figuring out important lessons, like that you can't let go with both hands to grab the kazoo and still stay standing. But you know what? You're a pretty tough cookie. Daddy and I try to not make a big deal of things and just say, "you're alright!" while offering hugs. You seem to respond well to that and quickly move on to repeating the task that made you fall in the first place.

You've been trying as hard as you can to get those first little teeth, and it's made you pretty fussy, especially around bedtime. But Dad and I just try to make sure you're alright, and keep a sense of humor about everything so we don't get too frustrated.

What else...this month was Christmas, and you received a host of fun and thoughtful gifts which you quickly brushed aside to make room for playing with the wrapping paper and bows. You're starting to show more facial expressions, which crack us up every day--especially when you give us the "sassy look".

Your dad and I are starting to think you're going to be a real tough guy. Now when you want something that you can't quite seem to grab or want to climb up on something out of reach, you've started growling. Grrrrrrrrr. It's a low, animalistic growl that's actually a mix of funny and scary. But mostly funny. Mostly. In addition to that, you've started sometimes making a fist and hitting it with your open hand, which totally looks like you're saying, "don't mess with me"....OK you might be in the mob.

You definitely have a big personality! I love you so much, little girl, and I'm trying right now to enjoy your babiness while it's still here, since you seem to be bound and determined to grow up as quickly as possible.

Stay little just a little longer, ok?



Monday, January 3, 2011

Our Little New Year

Image by Monkeys Always Look. You can buy this hand-stamped little gem on Etsy!
Since my parents happen to be quite the social butterflies, and Scott and I could not secure a quality team of sitters willing to keep her past midnight on New Years, we partied with the kiddo this NYE. Which was really OK, because instead of going big, we spent a blissful little evening cubbied up in our living room.

We talked and laughed and sipped cheap champagne, and right as Everleigh nodded off, Tom Waits' movie Big Time came on (this movie is absolutely awesome). So I did silly gypsy dances to the music while Scott watched and laughed. We smooched, we ate pizza that took 3 and a half hours to get to us. We kept glancing over at little E fast asleep on the couch, and thinking, "we MADE that!".

It was a top shelf evening, for sure (even though I fell asleep at about 11:30).

Last New Years, I was visibly pregnant, but still able to rock a sexy cocktail dress, so we went to some underground art-school rave kind of BYOB shindig in the West Bottoms (a very weird, cool, and strange part of Kansas City). The party was actually held in an old factory or something that was the same space we rented out for our wedding reception, so we felt right at home. My how things change from one year to the next!

Here are my New Year's Resolutions:
1). To slow down and enjoy the time I have with Everleigh, even when it's tough. Time flies, and I'm already seeing how quickly she's growing and changing every day. I don't want to miss any moment of it.

2). To keep on losing weight and get stronger and healthier. I don't know if I've mentioned this in my blog, but I used to be really really fit. In college, I did dance, cheerleading, yoga, and kept a close eye on what I ate. Then I got in a loving relationship, got a desk job, and started going to night school full time. I would work 8-4:30, then go to school 4:30-10. All my meals took place as quickly as possible while I was sitting--at work, in class, in the car, on the couch. I was exhausted all the time. Finding time to exercise seemed like a cruel joke. Fast food was a staple. Then I got pregnant. I was careful to eat healthy foods, cut out the junk, and limit my pregnancy weight gain (since I was already overweight), but I still put on about 22 pounds. Since having Ev, I've lost about 50 pounds. I still have about 20 more to go to be at my most healthy weight. Plus, I wouldn't mind looking kick-ass either. I'm planning on buying a used running stroller and hitting the park with E as soon as it warms up a bit. Until then, doing some fun Mommy-and-Me yoga should help entertain her while getting my abs back ;)

3). To be a better wife. Sometimes I know I don't fully appreciate how amazing my husband is, and I want to work on doing a better job.

4). To continue to grow creatively. Whether it be through writing music, making clothes, reading more, whatever. I feel more like ME when I'm engaging in creative work, and I want to make sure I find the time and energy to really be myself. This sounds crazy, but in the midst of working full time, running errands, and being with baby, it's easy to unwittingly go into robot mode.

5). To be a better friend. I'd be lying if I said I feel 100% fulfilled in the friend department. Now that I'm a mommy, and many of my friends live in different cities, I sometimes crave that female companionship. This year, I'd like to take the time to be a better friend to the friends I've got (keep in better touch, make time for them), in addition to making some NEW friends who actually live here in town. This is a scary prospect--making new friends can be trickier than it seems--but I'm excited to try.

Everleigh's Vintage Dresses

Evie's big sis, Tory, got her some amazing vintage dresses for Christmas. While she wasn't entirely cooperative with the photoshoot, I still was able to catch some shots of these lovely little dresses! Plus, I thought on this sleepy, wintery Monday we could all use a few pics of a baby in really fancy dresses.

Happy Monday everyone!