Monday, November 28, 2011

Teethsplosion, Ear Ache and a Scuffed Face



This really has not been Everleigh's best week. Last Monday or so she started getting fussy during the day and just plain not sleeping at night. She also started getting like 10 teeth at once, so I couldn't really blame her.
I wrote off the fussiness as teething-related, and tried to catch brief naps here and there, drink enough coffee, and put enough eye-liner on that I looked awake at work :) And yes, we're trying to ditch the binkie since she's a big girl now, but tough times call for tough measures. It was either go with the binkie or let her stay attached to my nipples all day. Nursing a sick toddler is much like nursing a newborn--sweet and loving but constant.

She didn't get better. After telling my mom about it, she was convinced it was an ear infection. But it was Thanksgiving and there were no docs open. The Walgreen and CVS take care clinics only see 18 month and older kids...Ev is 17 months. So we waited, and my sis slipped me some unused ear drops from her 6 year olds last ear infection. They really helped her get some rest, which further confirmed our suspicions.

Then to add injury to insult, Ev stumbled in the driveway of my sister's house following Thanksgiving and scuffed her little nose and upper lip. It wasn't deep or serious, but the light scuffing quickly scabbed over and frankly, looks awful.

This morning I took the morning off work, and after seeing Scott off to school, I took Ev to her pediatrician where he confirmed that she does, in fact, have an ear infection in her right ear. So now my baby's on the up and up. Whew!

That was my week. Somewhere in there, I also saw family, cooked a yummy turkey, ate lots of delicious homemade food, attended my neice, Remi's 3 year birthday party, did some Play Therapy homework, and secured us a new adorable rental house--More to come on that! At the new place, Ev's bedroom/playroom is GIANT and I'm so excited to have an excuse to decorate again (using many of the same staple peices from her nursery, of course).

No worries though--things are looking up! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How Having a Baby Changed Thanksgiving for Me

Growing up in a religious household, Thanksgiving was always a big event. We traced our hands and made turkeys, and wrote on each finger something we were thankful for. We learned about the Pilgrims and the Indians (although I'm pretty sure we learned the sugar-coated pro-Pilgrim version). We sang songs about giving thanks. We ate the yummiest dishes our extended family could make. It always seemed to be warm and the energy was high.

But as I got older, Thanksgiving often felt like a time I HAD to go hang out with family, bring an assigned dish (as a young and poor adult, my role was often the "rolls girl" or something equally exciting), and show up ready to listen to stories about how my cousins were doing in school, somebody's interest in online vampire role-play gaming, who's dating whom, some distant relative that had taken ill. It was a flurry of hugs and awkward conversation, followed by a decent meal. Then I was ready to get the heck out. It always felt pressured.

After having Ev, I feel like so many things have changed. For one, I never feel like there's "too much" family time. It's awesome to walk in a room and watch ten people your kid loves hug them. It's such a relief when my mom says "fix your plate and eat while I watch her", or my sisters take a turn changing a diaper or reading "When I Grow Up" for the 20th time that day :) And after getting the scoop on how to make a yummy turkey from friends at work a few years back, I'm now the designated turkey cooker, which is admittedly pretty fun. My parents are still blown away that adding butter and seasoning and sea salt can go so far (sorry, I love you guys but your salt-free, butter-free, seasoning-free ways don't add up to awesome flavors).

So, I guess you could say the glow is back. I'll listen to my share of family stories with a smile. Because I feel more connected. These are my people--the ones who took me for pedicures when I was 9 months pregnant and watched Everleigh when I was in a pinch. The ones who go out of their way on a regular basis to ensure that I am well taken care of. I feel more love for my family, and I also am more open to feeling loved in return. Also, now that Everleigh is in my life, I feel more blessed than ever before. I look at my loving husband and my beautiful, healthy daughter and I feel truly thankful.

I hope you all have fun Thanksgiving plans! Wish me luck on the turkey!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vote for Babique!!!!




 I rarely ask my readers for anything but a moment of your sweet day ;) but now I'm asking that you do me (and Ev) a solid and VOTE FOR BABIQUE by clicking the link below and then clicking just above the owl on the upper left. It will literally take 10 seconds or less, depending on your internet speed.

Help Our Rank & Visit Top Baby Blogs, Baby Blog Directory!
Why? Babique has long since been listed on Top Baby Blogs site, which is a fun and awesome list of really incredible mommy blogs. And while I know flat out Babique is not the most impressively amazing blog on the block, if you're still reading this post, you must at least like it a little, eh? By remaining on the Top Baby Blogs list, I continue to meet awesome new readers and it also puts me in a better position to eventually receive sponsorships and other cool things just for doing what I do.

Every so often, Top Baby Blogs resets it vote count, which is why I'm asking you now... our votes were reset to ZERO and I need you to bump us back up! Plus, you can vote for more than one blog...so if you read several, you can still give Babique a shout out. We're not really shooting for #1 (although that would be amazing)...but somewhere in the top 200 would rock. THANKS FOR HELPING US!

PS: while I won't keep bugging you about it, you are allowed to vote once every 24 hours for like, ever. So in the future, if you ever read a post you think was great or you are feeling mighty generous, send me a vote! I keep the Top Baby Blogs link on right-hand side of my page all the time, so votes can come in all the time. I like to think of it as a "Like" button :)
Don't be a butt--vote for us :)

Remember a vote for Babique is a vote for: Everleigh, working moms, breastfeeding, people trying to retain creativity with no time, stay-at-home dads, awesomeness. Thanks!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Famous Frowns

I just had to show you guys this--Scott's baby picture with that oh-so-serious face I've come to know and love on Miss E.

She is her Daddy's daughter for sure ;)

Photo by Tina of In His Image

Scotti rocking that frown

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Drumroll Please: Everleigh's Acting Debut ;)

video

Awesome, right? Well, regardless we had fun doing it, and I really honed in on my hand-modeling skills :) We think this will be fun to look back on and giggle someday...our very own little infomercial featuring the two of us girls in our very own home. Pretty sweet. I was told this ad may or may not launch nationally, so who knows? If you're ever up late eating ice cream and flipping through channels at 2 AM, you might just spot us! Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Everleigh's Fall Photoshoot with Tina of In His Image


I went to high school with Tina McGarrah Norman of In His Image, and while we've been Facebook friends for awhile, I was a little out of the loop. So when she approached me about doing a Fall shoot with Everleigh, I said "Let's do it".

Tina was a joy to work with, and since she has two little ones of her own, she is a baby whisperer/photographer extraordinaire. And while Everleigh wouldn't give us any smiles or sit still for more than 1/2 a second because, well, she is EVERLEIGH, I really felt like Tina captured Ev's personality in a big way. Scott joked that when Everleigh decides to launch her dramatic acting career, she'll already have her portfolio ready to go ;)

Tina has been doing professional photography for just one year, but her use of natural light and eye for capturing a moment has already taken her far. Overall, she most enjoys when people let their guard down and have fun with sessions, so their personalities can really shine through. Tina is currently booking for 2012, so check her out

Here are some of my favorites from our shoot:


Mommy and Evie

Hey look! A ramp!

This one cracks me up because her pose seems so New York or something. She frowns while giving us a Britney Spears. Who is this kid anyways?

She lightened up a little here to play...but wanted to run with the stick. 

Checking out the leaves!


Grinning and playing with the horse Daddy carved out of a solid block of wood

Wait--is that a smile?

Rocking the jeggings and Vans


The "why are you putting me through this with the hat" look

I'm so happy to have such sweet, fun photos of this stage in Everleigh's development! A HUGE thank you to Tina McGarrah Norman from In His Image Film and Photo. Pictures C/O In His Image. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kreativ Blogger Award-This Mama Got Linked!





I was flagged by the amazingly interesting, dry humored, and witty mommy pre-med blogger Amira of Amiracan Story to complete the Kreativ Blogger Award questionnaire. As such, I'm required to answer the following questions while trying to also sound interesting and cool. J/k. ;)








Name your favorite song: Wow. Music has meant so much to me throughout my life, that it would be crazy-hard to pick ONE. Here are a few that have meant the most to me in recent years or that I just altogether dig: Sea and the Rythm by Iron and Wine; Falling Slowly (from the movie Once), by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova; All I Need by Radiohead; Let it Be Me by Ray LaMontagne; Maybe Not by Cat Power. Can you tell I'm a sucker for sad songs and love songs? Day to day though I'm primarily an NPR and Pandora girl, or I listen to the comedy station in town to keep it light (since my job is pretty much the opposite of light most days). 
Name your favorite dessert: I'm gonna go with Tiramisu. But let's face it, every dessert is okay in my book ;)
What pisses you off?: People who think they have all the answers. Mouth breathers. Political figures who want to give less and less to those who need so much. People who hurt kids. 
When you’re upset, you: Try to stay calm, then have a freak out session later, usually to my husband or maybe in my car alone. In these moments I have been known to get angry, cry, eat junk food, say  things I don't mean, slam doors, journal, then calm down, think about all the dumb things I did and/or said and apologize. It's not a great system. I'm working on it. 
Your favorite pet: Um, a rock? Can I go ahead and say here that A). I realized after growing up with birds, dogs, and cats galore (and feeling awful), that I am severely allergic to most animals and no matter how cute your dog is, it's really not worth it for me to pet him if I go home with red eyes and a sore throat. B). Because of A. I really don't enjoy cats (or especially dogs). Same goes for bunnies, hamsters, etc. Most people think you're a jerk if you mention that, soo...I usually just don't. C). I also kind of think it's gross that people let animals live in their homes, lay in their beds,  lick their hands (and then touch other things), get hair all over their clothes and stuff. I have to say I'm against it. D). I am NOT an animal hater, and if being around them made me feel great, I guess my favorite pet would be a cat.
Black or White?: Black. Hands down.Next question.  
Your biggest fear: Self-sabatage 
Best Feature: The older I get, the more realistic I get about my outward appearance, and the less I really care about what I look like---instead my energy goes to what I FEEL like and how I make others feel. I guess my best feature is my mind. I remember when I was younger and feeling awkward, trying to imagine what I would look like when I "grew up". I guess I just kind of thought I'd look like someone totally different--maybe Gwenneth Paltrow or something. Haha. No one told me you pretty much look like YOURSELF, just older and maybe a little fatter. Now when I look at baby pictures, I'm like "oh. There I was." I still have the same eyes, nose, lips, expressions. This seems obvious, but wasn't to me for some reason.
Everyday Attitude: "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be" --Abe Lincoln
What is perfection?: A day in the sun with my family laughing, playing, being in nature, breathing in the warm air, saying how much we mean to each other without having to say it aloud. Getting the baby to bed at a reasonable time and getting tangled up in an engaging and intellectual conversation with my husband over a glass of red, followed by kisses and at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I am drooling right now thinking of it :)
Guilty Pleasure: This mama loves the occasional opportunity to completely zone out and watch something so bad it's good, like the Bachelor, while Daddy plays with the girl. Pre-baby we would make it a drinking game and take a sip of beer or wine whenever anyone in reality TV said the word "journey". Warning--don't do this unless you have nothing to do the next day, no kids, and lots of Alka Seltzer. 
Random Facts:
  • I was homeschooled until fifth grade and I feel like it made me a weird person. No offense, but I would never do it with Ev.
  • I bit my tongue almost off when I was 3 or 4 and had to get stitches and only eat popsicles and pudding for a month. My tongue still looks kind of different because as I got older, it grew around the scar
  • People have told me I look like so many people who look nothing like each other or me....check it out: Juliette Lewis (the one I get the most. People also say I sound like her. Weird.) Drew Barrymore. Uma Thermon. For a short time when I was thinner and more tan I got Paris Hilton a lot. Um, Kelly Ozzbourne. Courtney Love. Hmm...those are the big ones. I think I look like a mix between old Greek statues and every other white chick with blond hair, blue eyes and a weird nose. 
  • I am one of those people who can't let it go if someone doesn't like me. 
  • I have been singing and performing in church and whatnot since I was like 4, but I didn't write my first song (lyrics AND melody) until I was like 21 or 22. It's amazing how much more meaningful songs are when they come from your heart.
  • My first sort of band (that never really turned into much) was called Lo Haze. By me anyways. I was in a big Nabokov phase at the time. I also really wanted to name my future daughter Lo, but then it got all used up and stupified by reality TV (The OC?) and I married a guy with a heavy O sound in his last name. That was the end of that.
  • I am a huge fan of WOMEN in general. I love female musicians. I love to read books by women. I love the depth and intensity of the female experience. I think we're in an era where women are trying to redefine themselves, and I am proud to say I know so many amazing and inspiring gals. 
  • Sometimes I think about what kind of old lady I want to be someday. Try it, it's fun!

  • Now go ahead and check out these fabulous ladies, who can now regard themselves linked as well!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Daddy-Day

You know it's a Daddy-day when you get home from work at 4PM and your daughter looks like this:




Check out the hiked up PJ pants paired with the striped shirt, diaper peeking out and the fabulous bedhead :) Oh Daddy. He assures me they were having too much fun to care, and I'm glad to hear it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dear Everleigh (17 Months!)






Dear Everleigh,

You just turned 17 months old (wow! a year and five months old!), and I'm sorry this post is a few days late, but I've been so busy enjoying you lately, I haven't dedicated much time to writing. This was a big month for you! Even though there weren't any huge visible changes-- like busting out some new teeth or growing several inches--you are really becoming a Big Girl, and I couldn't be more proud. Here are some of the highlights from the month:

"Tattoo"--you were curious about Daddy's two large tattoos, and after he explained them to you and told you what they were called, you glommed right on. Now every time you see Daddy's arms, you say "Tattoo", except you put the emphasis on the first part of the word--"TATToo". It's very cute. Last night you got into a sticker book and started putting stickers on your arms and saying "TATToo". Sigh. We love you. No tattoos (or TATToos) for awhile though, k?

Daredevil--honey, you may be trying to worry me to death :) You LOVE being daring, and taking everything as far as you can. Right now, you're way into trying to climb over the back of the couch head first, and even though we catch you every time and stop you, you're determined to experience this rush. I don't think what you think is going to happen will happen. You also started standing on your rocking giraffe, which I understand. But lately you've been taking it a step further and standing on the back rail while holding on to the handles. Maybe you'll join the circus? Be a stuntwoman? Whoever you are, you are brave.

No. No. No (shaking head). No. --ok, it's still pretty cute. But lately when you decide your response to a question is "no", you make sure you get the point across by saying no in a way that leaves no wiggle room. Furiously shaking your head and saying "no" in several different pitches.

"I do"--I'm pretty sure you've never uttered the word "yes", but sometimes if we say "do you want more peaches?" or whatever, you'll say "I DO!", which we love.

"Happy"--Sometimes in mid-play, you will look over at me or Daddy and just say "happy". It literally makes my heart swell. It's amazing how that simple word confirms to us that we're raising a happy girl.

Family time--we've been setting aside lots of time lately for family time, and it's been sooooo good for all of us. The more time we all 3 spend together, the more I feel complete joy in my life. You are so special, Ev. It's impossible to have a bad day with you.

Dreams--you're doing so much better sleeping on your own like a big girl most of the time! Sometimes though, I'll slip in and watch you sleep, or lay with you in the early morning. Lately, you've been talking in your sleep a little. Last week while in a deep sleep, you said "puppy" and just this morning you whispered "Daddy". I hope you're having lovely dreams of puppies and your Daddy while Mommy snuggles you close.

I wish I could tell you how much having you has changed me, but I really couldn't begin to put it into words. Your Daddy and I are so proud of your intelligence, your strength, your bravery, your sense of humor, your sweet nature. And hey, it never hurts to be really good looking either (wink). Never forget--we love you and we're all in this together.

Love always,

Mama

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How We Chose Everleigh's Name


A sweet shower gift from my friend, Kim!

I thought I'd share the story about how we chose Everleigh's name, because I get asked about it a lot :)

My first "real job" out of college was working for a financial company in town (pre market crash!). Part of my job was to man the telephones and speak to investors, so on a daily basis I heard lots of unique names from all over the US. Being my planny-planerson self, I already knew a baby (or 2) was something I wanted in the future, and I often kicked around potential kids names. Anyways, while working there, I actually made this hypothetical list into a handwritten list I kept in my desk. Any time I heard a cool name I liked, I would add it to the list.

Well, one day I spoke to a man named Everly, and I loved the name so much, I immediately added it to my list. From then on it was my top boy's name. I was pretty certain if I had a boy, I would name him Everly, and if I had a girl, I would name her Tilly. On paper.

So when we found out we were having a girl, I told Scott about my Tilly name, to which he responded that there was no way he was naming a real person that. So I made a list of approximately 50 names I liked, which he narrowed down to about 8 in 30 seconds. Harper made the cut, but Everly was not even on there since that was our top boy name. After reviewing the names, Scott asked, "what about just sticking with Everly anyways?" To which I replied, "let's do it".

The next morning on the drive in to work, Scott said out of the blue "Everly Harper". And it was settled. Later we decided to change the spelling to make her gender a little more clear, since our baby book had Everly listed as a boy name, and the only other Everly I had ever met was also a man. So we landed on Everleigh Harper.

As my pregnancy progressed, I would often google the name "Everly", "Everleigh", "Everlee", etc. jusrt to see what was out there. Our baby book listed the (boy's name) Everly as meaning "singing", which we also thought was awesome since we're both musicians. However, I had a hard time finding this meaning anywhere else since....

At first my google searches pretty much came up empty handed. Which we thought was cool. We loved the name and that was all that mattered. We swore she'd be the only kid in her class with the name, but thought it was still mainstream enough to not be weird just for weird's sake. Then as we got closer to her birth, I started seeing more and more of the name popping up. Someone from the Twilight movie named their baby Everleigh. A popular baby blogger (whose blog I discovered through this googling process and now read faithfully) named her new baby Everly. Suddenly the name was everywhere.

When Everleigh was about 3 months old, we took her to a birthday party and she met her first Everlee face to face, a new baby girl that belonged to one of my sister's friends. So I guess it's blowing up a little. But I just wanted to share that we chose the name a long time ago, and picked it because we loved the meaning and the ring of it and all the images it conjured up for us. It had nothing to do with what was or was not popular, or what another blogger or friend named their kid. I truly did not even know baby blogs existed before these searches!

Plus after meeting this little girl, we KNEW she was an Everleigh if there ever was one.  That said, she may hate us when she has to write it out for Kindergarten.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Playing a Show...After a One Year Hiatus

Well, folks, I've just finalized plans to play a show on December 23rd with Alice. Rachel is coming back to town for the holidays, and we were like "um, how bout playing a show?".....so it's settled. We're playing at The Rendezvous in Saint Joseph, MO (Rachel's hometown) on December 23rd...mark your calendars :)

I guess I'm feeling a mix of really really excited and totally freaking out. Here's the deal--I LOVE the stage. Love performing. Period. I started singing in church when I was like...4, then graduated to plays, orchestra, band, small groups, cheerleading, dance...basically anything that involved music + standing on a stage with lights on you followed by applause. I love it. Being in a band so perfect for me, because the band started after a period of me doing singer/songwriter stuff and not knowing where to take it. I was 22 and had just graduated college with 6 months left on my lease and no plan. What better thing to do than to bartend and start a band? My parents were worried. But I stuck with the band even when I got my first "real job"...stuck with it even when I was in night school to get my MA. Heck, I stuck with it when I was living in a different city and when I was pregnant and nauseous and sleepy.

But at this current time? It's been almost a year since I last performed. And that includes karaoke night at the hole in the wall bar we love. Sure, I sing Yo Gabba Gabba songs and The Wheels on the Bus all the time to an audience of one. I've even busted out the guitar a few times for Ev, but stopped after she insisted on grabbing at the strings. Do I even remember these songs? How to play the bass? The electric guitar? How to be awesome on stage? How to take enough time out of my week to practice? These questions may not be answered right away.

Being a mom and being a rock star (even if it's on a really small level where you're just giggin locally and playing shows for your friends) do not instinctively go together. I'm already thinking about childcare and how this even fits in to our move and what I'm going to wear and where we'll stay the night and so on. I'm a mom, guys. Let's hope I can still rock, because let's face it---I could use a few applause.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Little Pumpkin

My friend, Stacie, was awesome enough to knit Evie this sweet little pumpkin hat for fall. Too bad Ev is so dang against wearing anything someone else might want her to wear for a photo.....

Still, the hat is precious and I loved how the colors in these photos made the whole scene look like yummy candy.

Enjoy









Thanks again, Stacie! You = awesome.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Success

So...for a lot of moms (and dads) out there, Halloween is a holiday where you buy or make the cutest little outfit for your munchkin, attempt to select something you think they won't hate, and pray they will actually put it on, pose for one adorable pic, and enjoy the family-fun filled night roaming the neighborhood with you in tow, wowing neighbors and passing strangers alike with their cuteness.

I gotta tell you, as a "Christian kid" who was basically never allowed to trick or treat (although I do recall one or two years where we dressed as Bible characters and did a can-drive door to door....), I feel it is my duty to provide Everleigh with all the fun normal kid things I missed out on ;)

The night actually went well. Scott had class til late, so Ev and I met up with my big sis and her adorable 6 year old, Edmond. Everleigh liked her bee costume, and enjoyed wearing it, save the little bee headband which was rejected. She loved getting out into the night air, chasing after her big cousin, pointing out the moon and stars, and even doing a little dance for the neighbors who were pumping scary music into the yard. She mustered up a few "tick or teats", and said some "thank you's", and while she couldn't have cared less about the candy or the actual task of going door to door, I could tell she loved feeling like she owned the night.

Here are some shots! PS: Everleigh pretty much refuses to be photographed...so you either have to take shots of her running away/looking away or trick her by singing a Yo Gabba Gabba jingle and snapping it really fast. This was the best I could do under those circumstances :)














Success!