Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Faking It

Lately I've heard a few different young professionals confess to me that sometimes, they feel a bit like they're faking it. Like they are frauds. And I could relate. Even after 4 and a half years of undergrad, 3 years of full time grad school, an additional year of specialized training in my field, and work experience to back me up, there are times I dive in to a therapy session thinking, "can I really help this person?". Then once the session gets rolling, I am able to feel the connection between myself and the client and the nerves settle back down.

But it got me thinking--don't we all feel that way sometimes? Like we're still 17 and someone just gave us a job or a kid or some other huge responsibility, and now we have to sink or swim? While parenting has always felt pretty instinctual to me, there are definitely moments where I feel like I am too young or inexperienced to possibly do this right (PS: I'm 29--not exactly a spring chicken).

I think the interesting challenging of your twenties is figuring out who you are--your values, beliefs, goals, all while pursuing career and family and chasing your passions. And then one day you look around shocked that you're an adult. A real bona fide grown up with the responsibilities to prove it.

The key is to trust yourself. Trust your abilities. And when you're feeling a little overwhelmed once in awhile, there's nothing wrong with faking it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The 80's Are Back? + First Listen of Gotye

photo source

Scott has pointed out to me on several occasions that I tend to use the words "kind of 80's" or "that's pretty 80's" to describe things that are tacky, ugly, or undersireable. And at the risk of sounding JUST like my mom, when I see "those kids" (gosh I'm old) out there buying up poofy sleeved dresses from Forever 21, and wearing metallic spandex pants and whatnot, I can't help but think that there is a reason those things got left in the dust 30 years ago. I remember my mom being horrified when I fell in love with some vintage 70's pieces as a teen...she would say "ick. I had something just like that when I was younger". To which I replied, "why didn't you keep it mom???! You could have given it to me".

As a child of the 80's, it just doesn't hold the same romance that it does for older folks like my hubby (sorry baby), who graduated in '89. He remembers the stone washed pants with love, the hammer pants with nastalgia, the mullets with a chuckle. All I remember with a shake of the head are the bangs, the hairspray, the paint splashed crop-tops, the skinny jeans that zipped at the ankle with the little bows in back. The itchy fabrics and the preppy look. And lots of bad music. Nope, clothes-wise I'm definitely more of a 70's girl....I love the flowy skirts, the delicate tops, the floral designs, the bold colors--rusts, oranges, lime, yellows. And there's no denying my love for 90's girl bands/artists (can you say Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Juliana Hatfield, Fiona Apple, Alanis, Veruca Salt, Liz Phair, Portishead, the list goes on and on). I guess we all develop a soft spot for whatever was cool when we were 13, and it follows us around forever :)

Enough about that. This week I got my first listen of the new album by Gotye, "Making Mirrors", and was instantly teleported to the cooler version of the 80's or "the good 80's" as I'll now have to say. And while we've probably all sung at the top of our lungs to the Peter Gabriel-esque hit "Somebody That I Used To Know" (hey, who doesn't love a good breakup song?), I found the rest of the album to be interestly 80's-tastic.

If you're curious and don't want to cough up the dough to download it, check it out for free right now on NPR

Oh, and please--no hammer pants.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Everleigh Goes Western

Saturday we were bored, so we piled the girl into the car and went thrifting. We stumbled on a few neat thrift stores (and one really strange one), and of course by the time we located said thrift stores, Everleigh had fallen asleep in the car. So Scott and I took turns looking in the stores while the other sat outside with little Evie (trust me, this kid does MUCH better if you go ahead and let her sleep).

I found a few cool steals--a sweet yellow onesie for Ev, some neat vintage fabric for $2 (do hear a craft project calling?), and this adorable little boys western shirt. I just couldn't pass it up. When I washed it up and tried it on her, I was blown away by her cuteness ;) and also her resemblance to her dad when he was little. He said, "it's like looking at myself, but little and a girl"...well said, honey.

 My take was that she basically looked like a little art-school chic and really just needed some fashion glasses and a bike with a  basket to complete the look. Work it, girl. PS: she also discovered through Grandma that she LOVES suckers.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Little Something Fun

So...it came to my attention recently that someone shot video footage from my band's most recent holiday "reunion" show...and of course, I had to check it out. Keep in mind, it's live and we hadn't played together for a year prior to the show, because Rach lives in OREGON :) but I still think it came out ok. We had an awesome time playing, which is really what mattered most to me.

If you're interested, pop over to THIS LINK to see our little page, and check out the video of us playing live. The featured song, "Yellow Fields" is one where my bandmate, Rachel, does most of the singing (we alternate song-writing and lead vocal duties). Give it a listen! It's one of our slower, chill songs that builds to a bigger finish, so hang with it. And check out how sexy I am on stage. Haha. J/k. Always weird to see yourself when you didn't necessarily know you were being filmed. If you like what you hear, you can listen to some of our other songs on our other lil page HERE or HERE.

Oh yeah, and go Alice!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fussy Babies

Last week, I set about reading the Dr. Sears book, The Fussy Baby: Parenting Your High Need Child, and let me tell you, I have been "amen"-ing ever since. For those of you who are not familiar, Dr. Sears is basically an awesome attachment parenting version of Dr. Oz. He has a great website with lots of help and advice for parents on health issues, vaccines, breastfeeding, fussy babies, etc. During Everleigh's early colic months, I spent a great deal of time on his website getting support and encouragement to hang in there.

In reading The Fussy Baby, I'm reminded so much of how different one kid is from the next, and how trying "high-needs" kids can be. For clarification purposes, Dr. Sears uses the term "high-need", to describe kids who are more clingy, intense, sensitive, poor sleepers, etc. and require more from parents and caregivers than your average baby/kid....not a kid with a physical or mental/developmental disability. He talks in the book about how these fussy babies often go on to be challenging toddlers who like to nurse well into their toddler years (his wife nursed their high-need baby, Hayden until she was 4 years old!), have difficulties sleeping (high-need babies usually do better with bedsharing or co-sleeping...cry-it-out is a train wreck with this temperament), and are very sensitive to change and transition/alternate caregivers, etc.

The upside? These kids are also typically very smart, engaged, attuned to the needs of others, and assertive. Dr. Sears remind us to view parenting as a long-term investment. It may be difficult now, but the payoff is the tight-knit bond you form with your child and the blessing of being able to guide a child through the world--even if that child has a temperament that is different from your own.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Vintage Baby

As I mentioned before in my 19 month post, I recently had the pleasure of digging through tubs of baby and toddler clothes that my mom saved from the early 1980's. My parents had kind of a hippy Christian thing going on in the 80's, so many of the items look 70's to me. Either way, they are awesome.

 I have 3 sisters, so we had lots of girl clothes around our house. Many of the saved items were handmade by my mother too, which made me love them even more. Thanks mom for being such a packrat! Here are some of the neat little finds--I tried to get Everleigh to model them, but she wasn't a very good sport about trying on dress after dress and then letting me take her picture. Can you imagine? I can't wait until spring and summer to try out some of these adorable warm-weather outfits!

My unhappy model

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dear Everleigh (19 Months!)

Dear Everleigh,

This post is a few days late (sorry!), and you are now 19 months old! Like---a year and a half plus one month ;) Right now, you are getting into everything all the time. You couldn't be more curious, and it's kind of exhausting but also really neat to behold. You are constantly putting the pieces together and figuring out what's what, who's who, and how to get what you want done (you are becoming an expert at this). This was a big month for our family, and you've been a real trooper. Here's what you've been up to:

New House: We moved a few weeks ago, and you gained a giant fun-filled playroom in the move. You love your playroom, and still call our house "new house". Sometimes when we're all downstairs, you'll say "playroom" and then "Mommy come too" or "Daddy come too".  You're super good at recruiting playmates! You have adjusted to the move really well, and tell us all the time that you love the new house. You are now sleeping in your new room about as crappily as you did in your old room, so you're settling in :)

"Yeah Man, Yeah Dude": I don't think these are things we say very often unless we're joking. But somehow, you've glommed on to them and you now say these two phrases frequently. I have to admit, it's super cute. You're our little hippy baby.

Waking Up: you've started doing this funny thing where literally the second you wake up, you start talking. Lately, you've said some really funny things right off the bat. Yesterday, you woke up and said "Oh man". And the other day you woke up from a nap and said "meow". It seems like you have so many words in your head that need to get out, you can barely take a break at nighttime and nap time.

Little Words: You are now saying lots and lots and lots of words. You will repeat almost anything, so we have to be extra super careful what we say. You tend to repeat bad words 10 times as much as good words if you catch wind of them. Some of your favorite things to say? "Mommy's home now", "I love you", "Daddy does it" (as in "bagel with cheese please. Daddy does it"), "tall baby" (we really started something with that one :) you request tall baby at least once a day...often saying "tall baby, Mommy/Daddy/Tory/"whoever you think you can convince to put you on their shoulders and walk you around).

Okay: One of your favorite tricks to pull is to say a word, like "grapes". Then when someone says "oh, you want grapes?" you say "okay", as it they just thought of it and you guess you'll go along. Even the way you say "okay" is all drawn out with the emphasis on the first syllable, almost like "I guess I'll let you do this for me, if you insist". It's brilliant and I'm thinking about incorporating it into my daily life:
ME: "raise"
MY BOSS: "what's that? You want a raise?"
ME: "o--kay".
Thanks, Everleigh for coming up with such an awesome strategy for getting your way and making people feel like it was their idea.

Growing: At your 18 month check up, you weighed 23 pounds and were 30 inches tall. This makes you kind of small for your age (like 25th percentile), but the doctor says you're perfectly proportionate and healthy so you're on the right track. Plus Daddy's a shorty, so you're probably not going to be super tall. And that's ok ;) Lately, you've been going through a growth spurt and you're hungry all the time. We feel like we feed you all day (and all night), and it's still not enough. You are a good eater, girly....something you may have inherited from me ;) Your favorite things to eat right now are bagels with cream cheese, corn, chicken nuggets, goldfish, anything noodle-based, cheese, yogurt, grapes, blueberries, and green beans.

Dance Party: At the new house, we have an unfinished basement that Daddy has turned into an art studio. At first, you thought the basement was scary and weird, but after Daddy put up his art and got some color going on and some speakers and whatnot, you decided it is party central. We've had a few dance parties down there, and you love to groove. So now you want to go to the basement all the time, and will say "basement" and then dance this little dance where you tuck your elbows in and bounce up and down while turning side to side. Last night we paused a movie to have a spontaneously requested dance party in the basement. You're that good ;)

Reading: you have always loved books, but lately you are so eager for new information, you can't wait to read. Your favorites? "When I get Bigger", "Ten Little Babies", "Snuggle Puppy", "Go Dogs Go".

Bike Ride: you spotted Mommy's awesome bike she rarely rides in storage in the basement, and insisted we put you on it for a ride. We just let you sit on the seat, but then you leaned in to grab the handle bars like an old pro. You soooo want a bike, but I think you forget like, all the time that you are ONE. So...we're thinking of the best kind of kiddo bike/trike to let you try out this summer. I can already see you wanting to ride a motorcycle or something in the future. Your daredevil nature has not faded one bit.

Genius: So this one may be a stretch (or not?), but we are convinced you're the smartest baby in town. Last night when I was reading you Ten Little Babies, you looked at the number 8 on the page and said "eight". You know some of your colors (blue, red, purple, yellow, green), and you have a really good sense of comedic timing. Genius or not, you're definitely destined for great things!

Vintage: This month Grandma and Pappa went through their storage and attic spaces and found three large tubs full of baby and big girl clothes that used to belong to my sisters and me when we were little. I was born all the way back in the 1980's, and my parents were still pretty big into the 70's still, so a lot of the clothes are 70's ish handmade pieces that Grandma sewed way back in the day. I had so much fun digging through the tubs and reveling at all the amazing little vintage finds. You definitely have the start of a killer vintage collection at one and a half, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous. You could really take it or leave it, but it's been fun for me to put some of my old clothes on you and take your picture!

You surprise me every day with how smart, loving, and brave you are. I write so much in these posts, because I don't want to forget any of it--your little words, your quirkiness, your little crooked toe, the way you laugh when other people laugh even if you don't know what's funny....these are the things that fill my head as I fall asleep at night and that bring a smile to my face when I first wake up. You are the joy in my life, and I will be forever thankful to you for that.

Love always,


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Favorite Little Book Store

Since moving back to Kansas City several years ago, I have discovered some absolutely fabulous local businesses here. One of those is the most amazingly cute, sweet, and kid-friendly book stores known to man.

Tonight, we stopped in to pick up a book for Everleigh's friend, Sage.

And while I may be a little old for this place, I still feel my imagination kicking in to overtime when I walk through the giant aligator mouth door and soak in all the wonderful and whimsical things around me. Oh, and the books selection is also fantastic ;)

Everleigh loves it at the Reading Reptile, and I cannot wait until she's old enough to have birthday parties there, attend story time, and pick out some books of her own.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Missouri or Florida?

So, while I understand that as soon as I post about this our luck will likely change, I cannot help but brag about the amazingly lovely mild winter we are having. It's fabulous. It may mean global warming is peaking and we're all going to die. But right now I'm choosing to focus on the positive. Yesterday it was almost 70 degrees outside. 70. On January 5th. In Missouri. Cah-rae-zee.

So I took the afternoon off and scooped up little Ev-wev and we all went to the Zoo to soak it up. While we were a little pressed for time, it was still a lovely little trip. Everleigh kept asking about when we would see the doggies and kitties (her all-time favs) so I don't think she quite gets the concept of the zoo yet, but she had fun seeing the baby monkey and the tiger and playing on the playground with some British kids and being strolled around in the sunshine.

And while I am by no means a pageant mom or some other kind of silly type running around trying to put a hairpiece and false eyelashes on my baby, it made me a little too happy that Everleigh allowed me to put her hair in piggies and SHE KEPT THEM IN MOST OF THE DAY. I know, right?

Again, I don't care if she wears bows all the time or likes pink or wants to be a princess. But dang it if those pigtails aren't the cutest thing ever. So----to recap:
70 degree weather in January in Missouri; A day at the zoo in the sunshine with foreigners; and Everleigh wearing pigtails purely for my enjoyment = a perfect little Thursday.

PS: look at her cute little jacket too. She's such a tough guy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Look Back Before We Look Ahead

While I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday laze, I have to admit it feels good to be back to work, back to blogging, and back to taking care of businss ;)

The new year is always a time of new beginnings, and a time for reflection. 2011 was a big year for our family, and I thought it only right to reflect before moving forward:

January 2011: In my severe sleep deprivation haze, I spent way too much time trying to make Everleigh a baby dolly by hand


February 2011: Scott turned the big 4-0, and we celebrated in style.

March 2011: Everleigh got her first tooth (at nine months old) and took her first series of unassisted steps!

April 2011: We got pictures back from our first family photo shoot (by the amazing Jennifer Flanagan) and Everleigh slept through the night (only once) for the first time since being born.

May 2011: I turned 29 and reflected on birthdays post-kid; My step-daughter,Tory, graduated high school!

June 2011: Everleigh turned ONE, and we had a beautiful little outdoor cookout in the rain :(

July 2011: Scott had a big art show, and we celebrated the 4th of July with a bang.

August 2011: Scott started school at the prestigious art school, the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) and our schedules got a whole lot busier!

September 2011: Scott and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary

October 2011: Everleigh was a bee for Halloween (a holiday she now calls "we-a-ween")

November 2011: Everleigh had a fun and chilly Fall photo shoot with Tina of In His Image

December 2011: We moved the week before Christmas, and it reminded us of what the holiday season is all about; Scott and I both had reunion shows for the holidays with our bands and got to be rockstars for a night!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Windy New Years!

Yesterday (New Years Eve), Kansas City was blessed with an unexpectedly gorgeous day, with weather topping out in the mid 60's. This is kind of unheard of in Missouri, where we typically spend this time of year lotioning up and layering and shoveling snow and staying inside.

Now you KNOW we Foulks love us some warmer climates, so we fully embraced the day and got out to a nearby park to take full advantage of our gift.

While it was warm, it was super windy, but we just let it blow our hair and challenge us on the big hills. We took Ev by the pond to see the duckies, which she loved, we swung on swings. We petted all the friendly doggies in sight. We ran and played and it felt absolutely perfect.

Here are some shots of our time:

Scott and my stepdaughter, Tory

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I can't think of any better way to say goodbye to 2011 than with this gorgeous day.