January 31, 2012

Oh There You Are

Recently there have been several posts about sharing pictures of yourself on your blog. It helps readers connect and feel like an actual person is behind the words on the screen. You can read a few here or here.

And I've shared a few photos here and there, but to be honest there aren't many. I tend to run like I'm being chased in the opposite direction of the camera. It's a rare event that I get caught on film.

But I want you to know that there is, in fact, a real person behind the screen. So here I am...

Heh. Okay, so the story behind this pic? I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-6 and I came home devastated. I demanded that my mother go back and, "get one with a smile on it." Clearly I hadn't figured out the finer points of how photography worked at that point.

Nonetheless, that's me in all my pouty glory. Add some wrinkles, a few gray hairs, eleventy bazillion calories and I look pretty much the same.

January 30, 2012

Marching to the beat of my own drummer

I'm hooking up with Northwest Mommy for Monday Listicles. This week's theme is
"10 songs that best tell the story of my life." But I'm going to switch it up a bit and just do ten songs that I love. Try out a few if you don't know the artist...I promise you won't be disappointed.

1. Ray Lamontagne - Let It Be Me. This one, like a lot of Ray's music (first name basis? yeah, we're tight like that), is achingly beautiful.

2. Ray Lamontagne - Please. Yup, more Ray. This one has one of my all time favorite lines, "baby I was born just to kiss your mouth" Swoon.

3. James Taylor - My Romance. First dance at the wedding. Husband and I took dance lessons and everything, that we didn't actually use. We rocked it middle school dance style...swaying and smooching.

4. James Taylor - Mexico. Danced with my dad to this one at the wedding. Unconventional choice for an unconventional dad. I think my jaw still hurts from laughing my way through this one.

5. Amos Lee - Colors. This is another heart breaker. As a side note, Amos Lee is very tall (and hunky in the best quirky way).

6. Alexi Murdoch - Orange Sky. I listened to this one constantly for awhile at the beginning of the infertility journey. The line, "and sister, you know I'm so weary and my heart's been broken" can still bring tears to my eyes. Another side note, dude is super sweet and humble. And hunky :)

7. Dixie Chicks - Lullaby. A song that can turn me into a weepy mess in about 3 notes when it's on and I'm thinking about Pie.

8. Adele - Turning Tables. Although I could pick just about any Adele song. Love her. But this one just kills me.

9. Dave Matthews - Oh. "I love you oh so well, like a kid loves candy and fresh snow." I love the imagery and the innocence of that.

10. Ray Lamontange - Three More Days. Just to end on something a little more upbeat, and of course Ray. This song is a go-to when it's nice outside and I'm driving home on a Friday afternoon. Windows go down, volume goes up and I rock out.

January 26, 2012

Not Even a Choice

I'm picking the prompt, " Return to work after baby was born or stay home? How did you make your decision?"


After Pie was born, Husband and I spent a glorious, amazing, unbelievable two weeks in a little family cocoon. It was the greatest two weeks ever. It was also the most exhausting, confusing, nerve-wracking two weeks ever. And then it was done.

When my darling girl made her big entrance, I was working full-time and Husband was working/going to school. I was the bread winner while he was pursuing his degree. So it was decided that he would stay home with her and I would return to work. It sucked (and still does) but it's the only thing that made sense. It wasn't even a real choice.

Unfortunately my job doesn't really do maternity/extended leave, so I was back at my desk two weeks after Pie was born. Still exhausted, still confused, and now spending most of my day away from my brand new baby. Did I mention how badly this sucked? Because it really sucked. REALLY sucked. Husband likes to point out that I must have been out of my mind to leave him by himself with a two week old when he'd never taken care of a baby before. I blame sleep deprivation. :)

But it was what it was, and it still is. And over the last two years, though I've spent far more time away from my Pie than I could imagine, she and her dada have become the most amazing pair. They are best friends and it gives me such joy to see them together. My two favorite people in the whole wide world madly in love with each other...

January 25, 2012

PYHO {It Still Hurts}

Don't miss the chance to Pour Your Heart Out with Shell at Things I Can't Say.

Infertility. It sucks. It's a dull ache that never goes away. It feels almost like a physical part of my body. Like, there's my left arm, left shoulder, infertility, right shoulder, right arm. Some days I don't really notice it. Some days (when it rains, heh) it acts up a little and I feel a twinge. Other days, and thankfully they aren't very often, a pain will rip through me with such surprising force that it takes my breath away.

There's an adoption reading challenge that I was thinking about participating in. You pick the number of adoption-related books you want to read and split them between fiction and non-fiction. I have a bunch written down that I want to read so I thought this would be a great excuse to push me into it. You know in all my free time.

So I pick a book and start reading. And 6 pages in had to put it down.

That's all it took. 6 simple pages of a fiction book and I was undone. That raw, empty, heartbreaking feeling I carried with me everyday at the beginning of this journey had rained down on me with the force of an avalanche. I couldn't catch my breath. I couldn't focus through the film of tears in my eyes. I couldn't believe how fresh the hurt still was.

I never thought I'd have to deal with infertility. And once I did, it never occurred to me that it would continue to hurt so much after we had a child.

But it does.

January 23, 2012

That kid cracks me up

Recently we've been teaching Pie about shaking hands and introducing yourself. Because why wouldn't you with a 2 year old? It always cracks me up because it seems so out of place to be shaking with a kid, but this weekend she pushed it over the edge into straight up hilarious.

{Pie comes over to me and sticks out her hand}
Me: {shaking} Hi, my name is Mama. What's your name?
Pie: Me
Me: Me who?
Pie: {pauses thinking} meee-mo!

I could not stop laughing. And it almost brings me to tears every time I think of it. Her first knock knock joke! And of course it would be about Nemo, her all time favorite thing in the universe at the moment.

And then because we're laughing so hard, she is quite proud and gives us this face, which just makes me laugh harder. Oh how I love that goofy kid.

January 20, 2012

I cannot believe...

...she was ever this tiny (a few more gems from my camera dump)

January 19, 2012

Red Rover, Red Rover...

I'm picking the prompt, "List the names of five dogs from your lifetime.  Write about why one sparks a stronger memory to you than the others."


I have a confession to make. My family is weird about animals. There I said it. We are not dog people, or cat people. We are "please don't sniff me there" people.

We never had pets, don't particularly get what all the fuss is about, and several of us are allergic. The only pets I've ever had are fish, and given my allergies, the same will be true for Pie. Though her fish are pretty cool.

But I have had several dogs influence my life...

1. Lassie - Not because I actually watched the show, but more because the phrase, "What is is boy? Is somebody in the well?" comes up more than you can imagine and never fails to crack me up.

2. Clifford The Big Red Dog- I loved these books when I was little. Despite being a dog, there's something very appealing about Clifford.

3. Old Yeller - Let's just get straight to the point on this one. I hate this book. Hate it. It was sad and awful and I think only added to my bizarre dislike of dogs. What do you mean they get angry sick and then I have to shoot it out back?!

4. Claude the Dog - To offset my hatred of Old Yeller, here's a dog book I love. It's such a sweet story Claude shares all his material gifts with a homeless dog, Bummer, because his family is the best gift. Everybody now...awwww. As a bonus my mom always read it with a French accent (I have no idea why. Mom?) so it was Clod zee dowg und heez frond Boom-air. And that, of course, is how I read it to Pie.

5. Harold from Bunnicula - If you don't know the Bunnicula series, I highly recommend it. I can't wait until Pie is old enough for these. These stories are told from the POV of the family dog, Harold. And are about Bunnicula a vampire rabbit who drains the all the color from vegetables. The stories are really funny and have such great memories. My mom used to read them to us on our never-ending, family packed into a station wagon vacations.

January 18, 2012

Wordless-ish Wednesday {Priceless}

I was running out of memory on my phone so I just dumped all the photos, videos, etc onto my computer. As I was looking through them, I found this one.

I'm pretty sure I haven't shared this before, because frankly I forgot it existed. But this photo is the first time I got to hold Pie. I was in the delivery room when she was born so I had seen her, but I didn't get to hold her for a bit because they had to do some quick respiratory intervention with her.

So this is it. Just seconds after the nurse placed my daughter in my arms. This is the moment I became her mom. This is the exact second I fell so irretrievably in love with her. This is the moment my family began...

(and yes...in case anyone is wondering...I'm am a total mushy, weepy mess writing this and looking at the picture!)

January 17, 2012

Birthday Recap

So my darling girl is 2 now. Officially, no question about it 2. And I think she had a really great day.

She woke up and came to snuggle with us (I surprised her by not going to work), and we eventually made our way downstairs. And she was even more surprised by a living room completely filled with balloons.

Then it was off to Waffle House for a special birthday breakfast. And while Pie debated the new fresh house salads...

 ...she eventually settled on a waffle (and most of mama's eggs and hashbrowns), and our waitress was so sweet. She put a candle in Pie's waffle and sang her happy birthday.

Then it was back home for more balloon playing. And we had planned on going to Gymboree or the park, something along those lines, but Pie decided to take a 3.5 hour nap. I'm not sure she's ever slept that long. It might have been because mama was snuggled up next to her sound asleep as well.  :D
 Then the Bios came over and we had dinner and played and eventually had cake. Which is also how we discovered that she can reach things on the counter. She came cruising around the corner covered in icing and there was a big swipe missing from the side of the cake. We let her have at it...it was her cake after all.

It was a pretty low-key day, but I think she really enjoyed it. I know I did!


January 16, 2012

I can't believe I just did that.

I'm hooking up with Northwest Mommy for Monday Listicles. This week's theme is
"ten things we said we would NEVER do but caught ourselves doing."

  1. Breathing a little sigh of relief when it's Pie's bedtime
  2. Having the tv on so much
  3. Not sticking to a more strict schedule
  4. Letting her eat junk
  5. Smelling her bum for poop (it really is the most efficient way)
  6. Using her full name when I'm less than happy with her
  7. Supporting...no...encouraging some of her louder interests (like drums from Santa)
  8. Letting her get away with things when I'm too tired to fight about it
  9. Letting her climb on the furniture, and subsequently jump off it
  10. Not being completely present in the moment with Pie  

January 13, 2012

2012. Stuff to do before the world ends...


According to the Mayans we have but a short year left to do everything we ever wanted before the world ends (heh). While I doubt I'll actually manage everything I've ever wanted, I would like to do one thing this year. One big thing.

I want to be present.

I came across One Little Word through *explanation required and instantly loved the idea. No list of resolutions that will be broken before the ink dries. No guilt. No failure. No beating yourself up about it. It's simply one word to keep in mind. One idea to filter your year through.

And I want to be present in my life. I want to take a deep breath and immerse myself in the moment. I don't want to be filled with anxiety about the to-do lists. I don't want to be overwhelmed with what has to get done. I want to put aside the stress, take care of what's immediately in front of me, and enjoy the sense of accomplishment when it's done.

I don't want the fleeting moments I happen to notice. I want them all. Every last one of them. I don't want to spend one more second playing with Pie and thinking about the paper/project/test I have coming up. I want to be there. Wholly. I want to give my undivided attention and give me best.

Of course this is all much easier said than done. I have a real problem with stress and anxiety. But maybe I need to up my meds a bit and fight back. Or start yoga again. Or remind myself more often that it all goes by way too fast and I need to be there or I'll miss it.


2012 is my year to be PRESENT.

Wish me luck.

If you decide to have a word. Let me know, I'd love to see.

January 12, 2012

Dos, Deux, Due, Duo, Two!!!

This little girl....

This tiny baby right here....

Had the nerve to turn one.

And just when I got over the shock, she went ahead and decided that today she would be two. Can you imagine?!

January 11, 2012

Christmas Picture Overload

Our Christmas was fantastic. Pie was so into it this year, and it was so much fun to watch!

We started with cookies for Santa. And being the good samaritan she is, Pie tasted one or two, or several or most of the cookies to make sure they were okay for Santa.
 Coming down the stairs Christmas morning...
Santa came!!
 Opening presents...
Yea a book!! 
 Dinosaur on the loose. She bolted around the corner of the couch before I could get a good pic...
And Santa's big present...DRUMS! She is crazy in love with these and surprisingly good at it. I'll have to do a separate post on these. 
Then we headed to my parent's house wher she got an embarrassing pile of stuff and treated us all to about eleventy million Jingle Bell Rocks via the dancing snowman here. But she danced every time so it was super cute. 
Middle Sister killed with a giant stuffed "Meee-moe." So now Pie can watch Nemo and snuggle him at the same time. He's become a nighttime fixture. He must be in bed with her.
And the all-time winner this year? My parents rocked it with this trampoline. Pie can't get enough. It's the first thing she does in the morning and the last thing she does before bed. She LOVES it. 

And at some point I'll have to tell you about a couple of things I got that I'm super excited about!