Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DIY Hair Rose for Baby (Or You!)

As you all know, my Everleigh absolutely refuses to wear hair bows. I can sometimes con her into letting me put her hair in piggies for a minute, but once she remembers they're in they come right back out. Also, she inherited my hair's magical shape-shifting ability to hold a form, so if I put her hair in piggies and she takes them out on the way to the store, her hair will still be in the basic shape of pigtails--but weirder. It doesn't lay back flat, even if they were only in for like 3 minutes.

ANYWAYS, in the hopes that some day I could convince her that bows are awesome, I took on this DIY project. And you know what? It was pretty easy and fun. You can do it too!

1). Get yourself some wool felt. I chose blue and yellow squares and they were like .50 each.
2). Follow the directions found HERE on the adorable site makeit-loveit.
3). Try to get your daughter to wear it and if all else fails, rock it out yourself!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Why I Would Have (Probably) Been a Terrible Stay-at-Home Mom

First of all, you stay at home moms have my respect. Mad respect. You wake up every day and do like 25 jobs--often with little praise. You never get bonuses or raises for things like increasing productivity or working overtime. You are the unsung heroes. Working moms have a whole different set of battles to face--many of them emotional. We try to balance home and work, and usually feel like the work people think we're floundering because of our home-life and our kids/spouses think we're overextended because of work.

 As a child, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. Always. I loved taking care of/bossing around my little sisters, babysitting, playing dolls, playing house, playing "school", I basically loved the whole concept. Except I also always wanted a career. I never thought a lot about the fact that the two don't always go beautifully hand-in-hand (something I've learned the hard way). As a young adult, I watched as several of my childhood friends married very young and on went on to become domestic goddesses. I shook my head and said "not for me". I think because my mom always worked (and worked pretty obsessively), I had that picture of family life to a certain degree. Except I was going to find that illusive balance. I was going to work just as hard as her but also be more available to my daughter. I was going to have it all ;) It sounds so easy on paper, right?

My SAHM flaws?

1). I know it's silly, but I feel a little victimized by having to clean my own house. My family growing up was messy. Like, someone might put jelly on toast and leave the jelly sitting open on the counter with the dirty knife right there kind of messy. And from the time I was about 10 years old and up, we always had a semi-regular house cleaner that helped with the upkeep. We weren't rich and didn't have a live in maid or mom just realized she wasn't very good at cleaning up after 4 girls and a sloppy husband and called in professional help. This basically taught me that cleaning was only important if you  were having company or if someone else did it for you. Living in my own place from age 19 to now has taught me better habits, but I'm still not very good with deep cleaning my kitchen or bathroom unless there's a "special occasion". And I sometimes have been known to put a knife with peanut butter on it in the sink without rinsing it off first, or folding my clothes and then throwing them in a pile in my closet. I guess you could say, I'm "closet-messy". Lucky for me, I married a guy who is more or less OCD about having everything clean, so it worked out.

2). I get bored easily. I guess this is why lots of SAHM's join play groups and take their toddlers to the baby-gym and other things. Sitting at home with a one year old gets old really fast. There. I said it. While I can throw myself into her world completely for stretches of time and play it up like the best of them, after awhile I feel that twinge of boredom setting in. Rapidly followed by guilt. I'm working on this.

3). I'm not so great at multi-tasking. Holding the crying toddler while trying to cook a nice dinner while also trying to clean as I go so the house looks nice when Scott gets almost never goes as planned. I clean up the bathroom, she runs in a grabs the TP and has it all over the floor before I notice it's unusually quiet. I make the bed, she sneezes all over the sheets and then wipes her nose on my pillow. At the end of a day home with Ev alone, I usually feel just as exhausted (if not more) than I feel after a day of work. The whole sleep when baby sleeps thing sounds great, but then I wonder when am I supposed to get anything else done?

4). I like to feel the tug of a deadline, the pressure of goals. With kids, you kind of have to set that aside and just be in the moment with them. Which is awesome and probably WAY better for your mind, body and spirit. But I think I would miss the thrill of the deadline....the gratification of challenging myself to get that promotion or launch that new project and the satisfaction of actually doing it!

The truth is, I didn't really end up having a choice. For now, I have more earning potential than my husband, and therefore it's my job to keep the bills paid. And he turned out to be an amazing Stay at Home Dad: his playful nature translates into hours of imaginative play, his creativity makes him the best fort-maker, play-dough sculpture, Muno-drawing parent this side of the Mississippi. He does a great job of balancing parenting with keeping up the house and keeping from getting burned out by doing little things for himself like maximizing nap-time and listening to music he likes to keep his mood upbeat.

Yep, I guess I'm pretty lucky.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Okay, so I got really bored with my hair being more or less the same for about 9 years now, and out of the blue last week decided to change it up. I typically wait until I desperately want a change to even think about calling in professional help. This time, I basically just googled how to cut your own bangs, and went for it.

The result? Not terrible, although not really the adorable Zooey Deschanel look I was hoping for either (have I mentioned that I rarely pick realistic people to have hair crushes on? Someone with completely different texture, color, etc. might not be the best role model...). I guess I don't hate it but I also kind of feel like I'm back in 9th grade again.

Anyone else have interesting trying to cut your own hair experiences?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Art Thing

So we went to the art thing last Friday night and it was super high energy and funtastic. There were lots of artists and fancy people and people who fancy themselves to be artists.

I meant to take more pictures, but A). every time I went to take, say, a crowd shot I felt like someone locked eyes with me and felt weird that I was taking their picture. B). I was busy trying to chase a baby and also have fun, which left little time or space for taking pictures. Be grateful I got what I got ;)

My favorite gallery was called Plug. They featured several works by an artist who used a lot of architectural style drawing and designs in his pieces, and I really like the flow of the work. They also had a DJ playing techno style dance music and Everleigh had to stop and do her bend-at-the-knees, swing her arms side to side dance. It was a real crowd pleaser, and when the song ended, Ev clapped for herself and everyone around her clapped too. People really like seeing toddlers dance, ya'll.

Another brand new gallery, called Bill Brady, was packed and noisy as all get out. They had some fun pieces and also some things that make non-artists cringe with comments like "is this art or something a kindergarten class made?" I'm no art critique, so don't trust my judgement, but some of the picks seemed questionable to me.

At the Dolphin, someone had brought their furry friend, a dog, and Ev had a blast chasing it around the gallery space and laughing uncontrollably. Normally, this would be frowned upon, but that night everyone was feeling pretty up for partying, so kids chasing a dog in the gallery seemed pretty normal. Surprisingly, there were several other young kids there too, and everyone was pretty excited to see this poor dog, who certainly got his fair share of huge, kisses, strokes, and fur-grabs. Then we headed outside to catch some heat from the bonfire (I held Ev to make sure she didn't do anything silly) and we wrote a song about the fire, which is probably the lamest song ever, but she liked it.

We ended the night by saying goodbye to Daddy, so he could continue to rub elbows with the art elite and shamelessly promote himself and we could get snuggly in bed. Ev and I took a bubble bath together, read some books, and drifted off to sleep with our hearts full of love heads full of beautiful images from the night.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Much More Gooder

Now that the cold/flu bug has left us, we are feeling (in the childhood words of my sister-in-law) "much more gooder". Last night, Scott cleaned the house top to bottom (don't you just love OCD husbands?), and I boiled our toothbrushes. No more colds, please!

Tonight in celebration of our newfound health, we are going out as a family to a big gallery opening down in the West Bottoms. Kansas City's art scene is really blossoming, and several prominant gallery owners nationwaide are taking notice. Tonight, we're planning to put on our "art scene finest", and head down to party (baby and all) with the biggest names in the Kansas City art scene. Apparently, there are some exhibits opening tonight, which feature New York artists, and should be pretty sweet.

I am so excited to be included in this art party, family-style. While we take Ev out to First Fridays whenever weither permits, we often miss the cool, more down-low art parties that go on because we are too busy changing diapers and finding binkies and watching Dora and going to be at 9. Not tonight, my friends. I'll bring my camera, and hopefully be able to give you all a taste of the bizarre world of the West Bottoms (a completely strange area of KC), Kansas City meets New York art scene, and all the colorful characters who grace these kinds of events.

Now...what to wear?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Harajuku Love

If you know me, you know that I absolutely love vintage. My dream closet would be comprised of many wonderful stockings and vintage frocks and little hats and lacy tops and colorful shoes--much like my girl-hero, Emily Martin (check out her sweet little style blog Some Girls Wander).

And if you know me, you also know that most of the time in my day to day, I dress in black slacks with tops I don't love, or simple dresses paired with sweaters. Scott calls them my "old lady professor" outfits. The truth is, in college, I fell in LOVE with bold style, and would often experiment with my wardrobe on campus. No PJ pants for this co-ed. No way. I was wearing vintage dresses, see-through slips layered over colorful patterned skirts, hot pink tights, heels, heels, heels, etc. While my style wasn't always wild, it was always fun and little experimental. Sometimes I bought something simply because it was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen, and I knew I had to have it. During this time, I also got into Japanese street fashion when I discovered the book, Fruits.

And now, my little Ev can wear some fun Japanese street fashion too ;) with the release of Gwen Stefani's Harajuku for Target line for toddlers. These adorable dresses and oh-so-stylish t's make me wish I could fit them, and also nudge me to get a little wacky with my clothes, mama-style. I'm working on whittling the weight down, and once I'm "vintage-sized" again, I plan to get a little more fun and playful with my everyday attire. After all, why not?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sick Together

Recently Everleigh and I both got sick. It went like this: I started feeling like my throat hurt. A couple days later, I felt achy, tired and crappy. Then my nose started running like that was its job. I spent two days feeling like it might be worth it to just go ahead and die. Then I crawled out of it and got it together just in time to deal with a sick baby. And not just any sick baby. A mommy-loving, anti-sleep, high need baby. Which means I became the carrier, comforter, bather, milk fountain, nose-wiper, cradler extraordinaire. 

Whenever Ev gets sick, I am reminded of how easy I have it most of the time. She literally wants held all the time. She cries real tears if it takes me a minute to get her. After being bathed and loved up and given medicine and snuggled and read to, she will sleep for about 30-45 minutes before waking up furious that she can't breathe through her nose. Then she cries, wants held and rocked, drifts back to sleep, then become uncomfortable being held and wants to spread out on the bed. But when she lays back on the bed, she realizes she can't breathe and the cycle starts over again. And so it goes. 

Sorry for the complaint-fest...I do realize I'm blessed in so many ways. Just wanted to share the humor in the hard work that being a mom/caregiver can be sometimes. 

Hope you all are keeping the sniffles away!

Dear Everleigh (20 Months!!!)


This week you hit 20 months old, which means you're between one and a half and two. It also means I will have to stop using months soon to describe your age because it just gets weird at some point. Like for instance, I am currently 352 months old. But it's weird to say it that way. Okay, back to you.

You're one and a half right now, so I have the sneaking suspicion you will change a great deal in the years to come ;) Which I understand and totally condone. However, there are some little things I just don't want to forget like:

Dinosaur teeth. while you have almost all your teeth now, when you smile or laugh we can see all but your two front top teeth for some reason. It's actually really endearing, and makes your other teeth look all big and round and especially cute.

Fergus. We found this book for you at the library (David Shannon's "Good Boy, Fergus"), and you are pretty obsessed with it. You just love having us read it to you over and over and over and over. You'll look at us and say "Fergus!", and we know we're going to have to read it at least 3 times before you feel like you've got your Fergus fix. Other favorite books this month? "Just Me and My Dad" by Mercer Mayer and "Goose on the Loose".

"Daddy help you." Whenever your dad or I saw you struggling with something, we would ask, "do you want Daddy/Mommy to help you?" and you would nod. Now, you've taken to getting in a bind and saying "Daddy help you" or "Mommy help you". Sometimes you say both to me :) silly girl.

Puppy song. Lately you've gotten into me singing you the "puppy song" from your "If you were my bunny" book. One night you had me sing it like 12 times in a row, which was exhaustingly fun. You are a puppy lover if I ever saw one.

Babe song. You fell in love with Johnny Cash's "It ain't me babe" song and now request it often by saying "babe song". You even sing your version of it sometimes "no,no,no ehhhhhh me BABE". You're on your way.

Tiny Girl: you are still hovering between 18 mo and 24 mo clothes. You've been right on the 25th percentile mark for your age pretty much since birth, and as your pediatrician says, you're perfectly proportionate, you're just small. This does not phase you. In your mind, you are the biggest toughest kid around.

Preferences. This month you really kicked in with your preferences. It's fun to ask you if you want to watch something on TV or hear a song on the radio. Sometimes you say no to things I would have sworn you liked. Other times your yes's surprise me. Sometimes you say yes, then laugh because the thing you said yes to is SO silly, it's laughable. In general, you hate grown up TV, although you'll tolerate westerns for dad's sake. You love Dora and Gabba Gabbba and Boo. You like pop music or indie/rock jams with a good beat. You also love blues and guitar solos. Go figure. You're very picky about which shoes you like to wear and what PJ's you like and so on. Your favorite shoes are your purple and pink snow boots, and although we haven't had any real snow this winter, you've worn your snow boots with several outfits around the house.

Sleep talker. You continued to talk in your sleep this month...often you'll say words like "more please", "puppy dog", or "play". Last night you said "doughnuts". I am not claiming that one.

Sicky. This month I caught a terrible cold, which I then passed to you. When you are sick, you want Mommy, Mommy, Mommy and only Mommy. All the time. Day and night. You can't breathe through your little nose, and this makes you mad. On average when you're sick, you sleep about 45 minutes at a time. Mommy is tired, but mostly I feel bad for you and your poor little nose.

Scuff Nose, Part II. Also, right before getting sick this month, you took a little tumble up the stairs and scuffed your nose on the carpet. It looked pretty awful, but you were very brave. I just about called 911 before realizing you were totally fine.

Share bear. This week, I saw you being SOOO sweet and kind to a little boy at the library (or as you call it, "libaby"). It melted my heart to see you saying thank you, please, and even bless you when the little boy sneezed. You didn't freak out, even when the boy took the Dora book you wanted to look at, and I couldn't have been more proud.

I did it. You've taken to saying "I did it" or "We did it" after you accomplish something, however small. You'll get your sock on and say "I DID it!" and sometimes even add "lo hicimos". It's pretty adorable.

Everleigh, you are just such a sweet, smart, and special girl. I love you so much and I'm so happy to be you Mom.

All my love,


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More to Come

I have a miserable cold this week and feel like I'm relating to the world from one end of a long tunnel right now. I have some fun posts in the works, but they will have to wait another day or two 'til I feel human again.

Signing off,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Etsy Crush

Here are some things I'm crushing on this week:

Adorable typography art by one of my favs, Emily Martin of The Black Apple

Sweet vintage Valentines from this shop

Handmade heart garland for year-round cheeriness! From this shop

A lovely little 1940's dress for the vintage lover with curves, found here

Adorably cheesy mother/daughter handmade felt necklaces