Thursday, September 30, 2010

now, i am a big girl.

she was running all around, back and forth. taunting me. i was holding on as tight as i could, just knowing that if i let go, i would fall. my legs were too wobbly. the ground, hard and cold under my nearly bare feet.

but she moved so fast and free. i wanted to run like her. how was she so sure. so able?

she ran past me again, this time, brushing my shoulder with her hair. she turned around and laughed at me, waving at me to follow her.

i let go.

so far, so good.

one foot out, in front of the other. steady.

another step. and another. another. faster now.

....10, 11, 12, 13........18, 19......right up to the edge........

and now, that girl, that little girl, she's gone. now. now i am a big girl. now i can walk.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

in the ghetTO (the ghettooooo)

i hate stealers (not THE stealers. people who are stealers. otherwise known as thief's.). i know, mamaw, hate IS a strong word. in this case, it isn't strong enough.

there is something about knowing that someone has been in your car, touching your things, TAKING the things that your hard earned money bought, violating your personal space, that really boils my blood.

if you are in need of something, i have no problem helping you out. my husband and i have been richly blessed and we like to help others as much as we can. 

this morning, we were on our way out to go deliver meals through meals on wheels. we were making room in the trunk, moving the baby's stroller over to our explorer when we noticed the dash had been RIPPED OUT. 

there were wires sticking out all over the place, shoddily snipped. the stereo was missing and the facade of the dash was hanging on by one screw. the doors had been locked, but the windows cracked since it gets as hot as hades here. this was undoubtedly the thiefs point of entry. jerks.

it's not the radio. that is a material thing that can be replaced. it's my ruined faith in man kind. and now i believe that i live in the ghetto. i always thought that, but now, i believe it. i blame joel. he picked this place. for 1/3 the price and double the space of our condo in hawaii, he saw this place as the taj mahal. his vision was skewed. i guess i can forgive him.

really, this is a blessing in disguise. because that means I will be making all of the big decisions for the foreseeable future.

now, when do we leave this arm pit? (ok, that was harsh. i'll regret that when i'm not mad anymore. maybe. probably not. i just don't want to offend anyone. well.......when do we leave again?) 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

how it all happened, the final installment

the road to motherhood, was long. i am not going to pretend that i have had the toughest struggle. the reality is, a LOT of women go through what i have been through and worse. miscarriage is INCREDIBLY common, as is infertility. the unfortunate thing is that many women feel ashamed or embarrassed and don't talk about it much, until long after they have gone through the experience. so, while i was going through everything, i felt so incredibly alone. absolutely isolated. remember, we weren't talking about it. so i didn't know how common my issues really were. and of course, now that bella is here, i can freely talk about everything i went through. 

my pregnancy wasn't terrible. but i was sick for most of it. i would wake up early to take joel in to work, with every intention of working out. i was determined to stay healthy through my pregnancy and keep my weight gain under control. i would drop joel off at PT (physical training, not physical therapy, for all you non-military readers), drive to the gym, and then.....sleep. in the car. in the parking lot. for an hour. then joel would call me to pick him up and i would groggily rouse and drive over. 

joel: "you fell asleep again, didn't you"

me: "yup. don't judge me. i'm creating life"

one morning, i was driving joel to work and was overwhelmed by a nauseas feeling. driving down the street (on base, so like 15 mph) i opened the door, stuck my head out and puked all over the road. then kept on going. this was very common for about the first 18 weeks. i hated it, because, like, who really enjoys throwing up? i lost 10 pounds, i slept a lot, and i felt all sick and vommy most of the time. my kitchen was full of ginger snaps, ginger ale, candied ginger, raw ginger. none of it helped. and i felt miserable.

but i was pregnant.  i was having a baby. so i complained and felt incredibly guilty. this was what i wanted, after all. 

for most of the first trimester, if you mentioned anything that had anything to do with meat, i would be sick for the rest of the day. joel got on a "homemade beef jerky" kick right around week 8. which meant our house constantly smelled like......meat. 

then we moved and i felt great, swollen ankles aside. even in the middle of a southern summer, carrying around an extra 15 pounds, i felt amazing. 

my morning sickness was gone, i could eat meat again (hallelujah!!), and i hadn't gained much weight. actually i was back at my pre pregnancy weight after dropping about 15 pounds from the first trimester. life was good. 

bella's birth was amazing. i was induced at 7 am and she was born at 7:31 pm. the worst part was that i hadn't eaten in over 24 hours, threw up about 32 oz of fluid (no one warned me about that......from all the fluids and the adrenaline, as i was pushing i was puking. it was very lovely) and it was sunday, so the chick-fil-a combo i was so excited about gobbling down was disappointingly absent (i lost track of the days and didn't realize until around 5:30 that is was sunday). so i settled for a big bacon classic combo (which is called something else, but i like calling it that) from wendy's. and when i say settled, i mean i scarfed it down with reckless abandon. 

bella latched on with no problem, and nursed right after her birth. and a couple of times after. then she stopped.

the night after she was born, she hadn't eaten for 12 hours. my nurse had been in and out, trying to help me about every hour. i was frustrated and the baby was frustrated, so they took her to the nursery to give us both a break. at around 3am, the nursery nurse came in and started to yell at me. 

nurse meanie: "why haven't you fed her!?"

me: "i've been trying to. every hour. for 12 hours."

nm: "well, obviously not hard enough. she needs to eat. i am going to take her into the nursery and give her a bottle"

me: "please don't. i really want to nurse her and i am afraid if she takes a bottle she won't nurse"

nm: "then keep trying. but don't let her fall asleep, because if she does, she won't wake back up"

me: stunned silence............

was this medical professional seriously suggesting that my child would DIE if she fell asleep before i could feed her? i started sobbing and told her to get out of my room and not come back. 

my nurse came in and i blubbered what had just happened. she told me to keep trying, but not to worry about her. then when she left, i heard nurse meanie yelling at my nurse about how i told her i hadn't tried nursing her all day and that the baby couldn't latch. which wasn't true. and my nurse knew it. 

around 7am, bella finally gave in and nursed for 45 minutes. while she was eating, the lactation consultant came in. i recounted the last few hours for her.

lc: "i am so PROUD of you! good job standing up for your baby. welcome to motherhood"

(by the way, this isn't a statement 
about nursing vs bottle feeding.
 it's a statement about ignorant,
 pushy night nurses who are on
 power trips and trying to take 
advantage of tired, new mommies)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

how it all happened, part 2

i started having this reoccurring dream. i live on the beach (in a house. a house on the beach) and the wall facing the ocean is all windows. i'm standing in the living room, looking out at the water and the waves start building, and getting bigger and bigger. then i'm outside, standing in a huge crowd of people, in the grass where it meets the sand, and i'm screaming, yelling at everyone to run as the waves reach over the height of the building. that's usually all i remember. 

some interpretations of this dream are:

"Tidal waves or tsunamis suggest that you may be in a period of 
emotional upheaval. Anxiety,stress, and unconscious materials may be 
coming to the surface and affecting your daily moods."


 "Dreams of impending disaster generally indicate that the dreamer 
is feeling out of control. In the case of the tidal wave, this out-of-control
 feeling is often combined with the need to make a fresh start.."

which seems about right. emotional upheaval. feeling out of control. something that is supposed to be natural, that all women are supposed to be able to do, and i can't. i have no control. and it's a very emotional thing. have you ever seen a baby? have you ever seen MY baby?! 

of course, at the time, i just thought, never. i will never ever be able to have a baby. in a world where people strung out on drugs, living in squalor, rife with disease and no personal responsibility, are able to procreate (sometimes several times), and i, fiscally and  socially responsible, healthy and who WANTS a child more than anything in the world, can't. it just didn't seem right. it didn't seem fair. and of course, if you have ever been waiting to have a baby, you know that there is a lost murphy's law that says 

if you want a baby,
every woman in the world 
will be pregnant.

it's true. everyone around me was getting pregnant. but not me. 

we got accepted into the program at the hospital. that's where we pick up. so i go in for my first appointment. 

i tell them, "PCOS. we already know. we had tests."

do they care? probably not. because the office lady didn't know how to use a computer, remember? and there is no lab work.

so after some very awkward, and sometimes painful, tests, the verdict iiiiiis...........

"unexplained infertility"

whatever that means. i think they're saying, "we don't know what the hell is wrong with you and are processing WAY too many people today to REALLY care. we'll just pump you full of drugs and hope that something catches." 

so we get started. drugs, blood samples, etc. at this point, i was so desperate, that the idea of taking medication didn't seem like a bad idea. looking back, it might not have been the BEST decision, but it resulted in the best possible scenario, so i won't lose sleep over it. 

my first "cycle" was late. by 2 weeks. so naturally, we start thinking i'm pregnant. then one morning, aunt flow knocks on the door. and i welcome her in, with a little disappointment, but also a little hope, because that means we have something to track. until 8 am, when i have bled all over everything and am starting to feel light headed. i call the hospital, and they tell me to come in immediately. but not to drive myself. and hurry. so joel comes home and takes me in. 

i have to say, i kept telling him it was no big deal, i just needed to lay down. he INSISTED i call, and then that he come and take me in. i was in a little pain, but i was in "suffering for the cause" mode. stupid ::palm to forehead::

turns out, i had some ruptured cysts. and after a day in the hospital, and an interaction with an ignorant doctor (he said, "i got in military med so i could do cool stuff in the field, and i get stuck in OB. all military wives do is get knocked up." yes. military wives are the only ones who get knocked up. and creating life is SO not cool), i'm sent home feeling a little blue, both in the face and in the heart. 

more drugs. and failed ovulation tests.

we pass the "cycle starts here" mark on the calendar, again, and head in to get more drugs. i get the standard blood test and go to work.

the doctor (not the ignorant one. a really nice one. who has seen me cry no less than 3 times) says, "wait until tonight, if i don't call, take it (you're not pregnant), if i do call.......well. we probably won't have to worry about that"

i go about my business, spending the next 4 hours in a pool with other people's blessings, laughing and playing, when i want to huddle in a corner and sob. after work, i avoid my co-workers, because they don't know what i am going through and all they want to talk about is their latest unprotected romp, resulting in a possible "scare". and that hurts. 

i shower and get dressed, and hear my phone beeping. joel, probably, calling to tell me he's ready to go home. i check my message.

"hi justine, it's dr. sympathetic-shoulder-who-thinks-this-is-futile. um.....well.....i don't know how this happened (uh duh. you are in the medical field. you don't know how this happened?) but....well......congratulations. YOU'RE PREGNANT!" 

stunned silence.......................................................................


i crumple to the floor, in disbelief. but i am hesitant to get excited. it could be false. i've already had so many scares-a chemical pregnancy, ruptured cysts, lots and lots of drugs.....i can't start thinking now after all that, that this could possibly be real. 

i tell joel when i pick him up. and he doesn't believe it either. so we don't talk about it. we don't tell friends. we don't buy baby stuff. we don't even talk names. can you imagine? almost 2 years of waiting, we're finally there, i am SO excited, but i have to keep my lips sealed. for almost 6 weeks! 

at 10 weeks, we're sitting in the bowling alley on base, during a squadron function. my BFF who has the most precious little babies ever, comes over and says, "we need to talk".

you know how the story goes (if not, read that post i just linked to). we're pregnant too! and due on the same day. 

we slowly start telling people on mother's day. "happy mother's day!! you're going to be a grandma/great grandma!" 

at 12 weeks, we feel "safe enough" to tell all of our closest friends. and then the rest of the world. 

bring on the vom. because the first 18 weeks is full of morning sickness. that lasts all day. but i welcome it. because........


birth story, coming soon! don't worry, it will be the disney channel version. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

how it all happened, part 1

the waiting is the hardest part. i mean, it's all hard. but the uncertainty that comes with the slow movement of time is what really gets to me.

when we talked about having our first baby, we decided that we wouldn't tell anyone. it was really joel's idea. his reason was, if something happened, it would be hard to tell people. it made sense. because people are nosy. or they genuinely care. but answering the questions can be hard.

so we didn't. we kept it quite. for almost 2 years. and it was heartbreaking. right at the end of that time, i decided i needed a friend to confide in. so i told my closest friend. and i cried. and i felt a little better. but i still wasn't pregnant.

then i got a little depressed, which isn't exactly an aphrodisiac or anything. i got bitter and it was ugly.

every month, i calculated and charted and recorded. every month i waited. and waited. and then i would be late and i would get excited. i would psych myself out and think that every twinge of nausea meant i was knocked up. that if i felt bloated, or hungry, or craved something, i had myself CONVINCED that i was pregnant. then i would take a test, and it would be negative. and that was the frustrating part. because when your "monthly visitor" doesn't come for 3 months and you're still getting negative pregnancy tests, something is most likely lying. and as much as i hate it, the chemistry of pee is pretty well figured out. so my body was a lying, teasing wench.

i went to the doctor early on after having been off of my birth control for about 5 months. this was when i knew something was wrong. i broke down. because i knew something was wrong, but the doctors said i had to wait a year. because most people will get pregnant within a year. but when every month is off, a year is a long time. 

so i got another opinion.and in the first visit he said, "poly cystic ovaries. i know it" and he took some blood. his office was a little closet in an old building and he claimed he created the first at-home pregnancy test. which immediately qualifies him, right? i looked it up. it's true. he is this little old asian man who wears glasses so large that he looks like a cartoon character. he is hunched over and the florescent bulb in his exam room is half out and flickering. and his wife is the office manager, but she doesn't know how to use a computer.  it's all a little odd. but i keep going because he promises a pregnancy.

then a year comes, and i get accepted into the infertility program at the military hospital, and into an infertility study, which means everything is free. 

to be continued.........

bg baby! and we have steps!

so, you all know i have been getting crafty, and even tried to promote my new stuff by hosting a giveaway (my first). but now, i have decided to get a little bit serious, so i am launching my "line" (that sounds so serious! and so very project runway of me) through a new moniker-BG Baby Boutique.

why the name change? well, there is already a bella ballerina out there (i probably should have checked that earlier......). so without further ado, here is BG Baby Boutique!

i am starting to create boy themed things too, so be sure to check back often! and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
i have nothing else to say. i think i can only use one type of creativity at a time, and right now all of my attention is focused on creating cutesy things for my "store". i put it in quotes, because even though i am really selling this stuff, i feel like i am faking it. it all kind of feels pretend. even at the bazaar, when people came up to me, i felt like i should give stuff to them, rather than sell it.

don't get me wrong, i have lots of confidence in my products. i believe they are worth what i am selling them for. i just don't take myself seriously enough to believe that i am a legitimate vendor. i know. lame. i need to have more confidence.

but i think that will come with time. i have filled a few orders, and with each bit of interest, i feel more....legitimate.
and now to something that IS in fact interesting.

bella has started walking! WALKING!!! at 9 months, 1 week, she took her first 3 steps. she is taking a few steps every day and has gotten up to about 5 before she falls down or reaches her destination. it's all pretty exciting. though....slightly terrifying. because this opens a whole new opportunity for her to hurt herself. and escape diaper changes. and grow up!

i have tried to catch it on video, but it's hard to video when she is walking to me. here is one where i got about 3 steps out of her, but the angle is bad and i sound like a tyrrant, forcing her to walk when she is tired, but i swear, i'm not. she does it usually on her own, but i was trying to catch it so i could show my mom. who then saw her walking on web cam the next day. 5 steps. so. whatever. here it is-

Monday, September 20, 2010

and the winner is........

#13 -torie over at life with rylie! congrats girl! i'll be emailing you soon!

True Random Number Generator 13

today is my sewing class. i'm a little nervous. and i need coffee. i hope i don't stab myself with a needle.
and our pictures were posted (finally) from our beach trip last month. here are a few for you to enjoy! thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway, and i promise posts will get more soon as i get some sleep.....or maybe not.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

sleepy sunday

alright, today is the LAST day for the bella ballerina giveaway.

other than that, i don't have much to say. i'm tired. yesterday was fun, but EXHAUSTING! i got 3 hours of sleep the night before (which really isn't new.....) and didn't get much last night, so today is a sleepy, sleepy day. naps all around!

i have a lot of thoughts in my head, so hopefully this week, i will be able to sort some of that out. AND i have a sewing class this week, which is pretty exciting. i will be sure to post some of my disasters creations.

in the mean time, i'll be watching thintervention and imagining myself actually doing those workouts.........::nom nom nom on my cookie::

aaaand it's time to fold clothes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

how bazaar, how bazaar

today was the first annual, operation homefront georgia bazaar.

we woke up at 6am (an hour late!), lugged all the tutu's, bow's and frames out to the orchard, and set up shop! i don't think i would call it a success. i sold one tutu, and probably $40 worth of hair bows (not too bad!). but then i turned around and spent that, plus some. i probably should have just traded products with half the vendors, as they bought from me, and i bought from them. i guess that's where the term "swap meet" comes from.

it was fun, to say the least, and i learned a LOT. and in the end, it was for a good cause, so who cares if i made a ton or broke the bank (which is closer to my reality).

bella was fantastic most of the day, and just hung out and attracted some customers. she even modeled a little.

and the best part of the day was the "donation only" starbucks table that moved in across the "hall". they were like 5 steps away. daaaaaangerouuuuussss!

we scored a bit of swag and met some pretty neat people. so i want to take a second to give a little shout to some of my fav's!

for great cloth diapering accessories, check out sweet baby eve! sarah is combining with gentle moms to offer home cloth diaper parties, where you can view different brands of cloth diapers and see which ones work for you! she makes some CA-UTE cloth wipes along with wipes cases and a cleanser spray. awesome. awesome. awesome.

ever heard of gigi hill? me either. my friend just became a rep for the purse company, who started on the west coast. all i can say about these bags is....i HAVE to have them. they are durable, full of pockets, and A-MAZING. they have several prints to choose from, and several different finishes. it is mostly home party based, with pretty great hostess benefits.
rachel and erin over at boop a doop fashionz have some of the cutest tutu dresses i have seen, crocheted headbands and hats, flip flopz, and LEG WARMERS!! i have a love affair with leg warmers, and they have some pretty adorable ones.

tete de frommage has some of the most awesome jewelry i have seen! my favorite item was her guitar pick earrings. her materials are unique-washers, nuts and guitar picks, for one! and she has some stunning photography too!

of course, my favorite vendors are always the ones that offer baby stuff. because, duh, i have a baby. so i meandered over to me and my monkeys boutique, right as they were shutting down. i actually was able to meet janie before the bazaar, when we were all dropping off our applications, and she has been making baby clothes for FOREVER. her kids are grown, and she made pillowcase dresses for them. and you can tell. her stuff is quality, indicative of years of practice. and it's of course super cute. this is where most of my "profits" went. but it was worth it!

can you see my dilemma? how could i NOT spend all the money i made (which wasn't much anyway)? there were several other vendors, offering all kinds of things and i wish i could have spent more time walking around, checking things out!


tomorrow is the last day to enter for your chance to win a fun and fluffy tutu of your own from bella ballerina!!

there aren't many entries, so head over and check it out! keep in mind, for little boys, i can make a frame, so don't let that hold you back from entering! (tutu's also make a great gift!)

contest ends sunday night at 11:59 pm!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

creepies, crawlies, and screaming. it's been a full day

i'm scared too, sweetie.

**caution the pictures in this post ore not suitable for those who suffer from arachnophobia. or for those who don't like creepy crawlies**

why are the babes and i scared?? because while i was cooking dinner tonight, i saw THIS out of the corner of my eye:


which is why it is under a bowl. because i don't do spiders. or bugs. or anything that has more than 4 legs and is smaller than my fist.

duke on the other hand......

duke was very interested in all things......creepy.

currently, the spider is STILL under that bowl. on the floor. in my hall way.

and yes. i do walk as far away from it as i can when i HAVE to walk past it. like up against the wall, all cop style. because spiders can jump through glass. we all know that.

in other, less chicken skin inducing news, bella had her 9 month visit today, and like anything that involves my child, it was entertaining.

first, the stats:
-weight: 18lbs 12 oz (50th percentile)
-height: 28 in (76th percentile)
-head? huge. (97th percentile!! i forgot the actual size....i just remembered thinking, good gawd, where'd that big noggin come from!?!? she must be smart.)

and mostly, she had a breakdown about 30 minutes into sitting in the office. question-why do they make appointments, just to have you sit (with a BABY) for 30 minutes in a tiny room with no toys?

at the end of her appointment, she needed to have her hemoglobin levels checked, so we headed to the lab, where another little girl was having her finger pricked too. the little girl was in hysterics, screaming and crying and yelling "NOOO!! I'M SCARED OF NEEDLES!!!!" after about 10 minutes of listening to this , the lab tech had the mom bring the girl back out to the waiting room so we could go in.

so, the mom asks what we are having done, and if her child can watch, you know, to reassure her that it won't hurt.

does anyone else think this is a terrible idea? that's what i'm thinking. like, when babies feel pain, they cry. and the tech is about to stab her with a NEEDLE. so, 1+1= your kid getting more freaked out.

but i say yes, because i am hoping that bella, for ONCE in her short life, will do what i want her to do.

does she?

that's a big NO. capital N. capital O.

at first, it was all good. she looked at the girl. smiled. giggled a little. then the tech stabbed her. and bella looked at the girl for a second. blinked. and then SCREAMED!

all i know is, as we were walking out of the clinic, i heard the little girl screaming. from the waiting room. and then from the parking lot. i'm not lying.

a few more days to enter the bella ballerina giveaway!!! don't miss it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

wordless wednesday......kinda


Don't forget to check out my current giveaway!


and because i'm NEVER able to be completely wordless.......

bella just took 3 steps.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

9 months. and a giveaway!

bella is 9 months old!


it's true! she has been alive as long as she was in utero.

last year this time, i was so excited to be back on the mainland. we had just come to georgia after spending a MONTH in NC and we were on a high. we had just moved into our apartment, which then, at 1300 sq. ft. felt like a mansion (our condo in hawaii is only 670 sq. ft.). and i was 6 months pregnant.

now, i miss hawaii and our apartment is old news. and i have a 9 month old.

like i talked about yesterday, it took me a little while to be excited about my baby. but all good things take time. and she is great.

per usual, here is where i gush about how awesome bella is. pull out your airplane barf bag now.

bella bean,

this has been a big month for you, little girl. we've done a lot of travelling, including your very first ever beach trip. hopefully, this will be the beginning of a life long love affair with water that both your mommy and daddy share. this prospect looks good.

you have become an expert couch walker and have even mastered the art of moving between the couch and other furniture. this is pretty cool and also a little terrifying. because this means you are getting close to.....walking.

you have 6 teeth. do i need to say more?

we have started telling you "no!" when you do naughty things, like eat dog food, and you sit back and laugh at us. it would be infuriating if it wasn't so cute. but mommy starts to wonder if i will have my work cut out for me with you. you have such a determined little mind and nothing i do seems to stop you. well, other than picking you up. i mean, i am still bigger than you. remember that.

but you make me laugh, especially when you try to crawl THROUGH me. and instead of getting frustrated, you just keep on pushing your head against my shins. keep that determination through your life and you will go far.

you also learned to climb an entire flight of steps. quickly. somewhat like you had been doing it all your life. fortunately, we don't have any stairs, so mommy doesn't have to worry about you hurting yourself, but you navigate different levels like a pro.

i love that you are so strong and quick to learn. we have started teaching you sign language, and already you recognize the signs for "more", "milk" and "drink".

you are the most amazing kid ever. seriously. i love you so much. i say this a lot, but i really do mean it. you are so sweet and snuggly, laying your head down on my chest. i love laying on the floor with you, and having you crawl over and give me your open mouth kisses, though i have to admit, occasionally i fear you are going to bite me. you don't do it a lot, but when you do....well, let's just say, we need to stop that habit real quick.

you are a joy to be around and everywhere we go, people smile at you, laugh at you, and comment about how you "should be the gerber baby". you sure are a beautiful little girl (i like to think you get that from me) and you just get cuter everyday.

and you are such a daddy's girl. your new "trick" has been, mommy asking, "where's daddy?" and you point at him. he is the only one you will point to. and you smile so big when you do it. when he walks in the door, you smile and kick your feet and laugh. you squeal in delight when he tosses you around like a little rag doll. you love your daddy and he loves you.

you love your mommy too, just in a different way. more in a mommy=food way. when you are hungry, you will crawl over to me and sit at my feet, arms stretched up to me and whine "AmaammmaaammmmaaMMMAAAMMMaa". and then you toss your head back and go "MUMMUMUMUM". oh boy, do we have a lot to look forward to.

i know you love me. and i hope you know just how much i love you. which is a lot.

and in honor of bella's 9 month birthday, i am hosting a giveaway. my FIRST giveaway. i know, right?!

as you know, i have been getting crafty and started making.....things. like these!

and i want to give some of it away. so here goes:

1 lucky reader will win a tutu!

mandatory entry:
*simply go to my shop and pick your favorite colors! then come back here and tell me what colors you would choose.

that's it! easy peasy.

extra entries:
*"like" my shop on facebook. then come back here and tell me you did.
*follow this blog and leave a comment telling me you are.
*tweet about this giveaway and link back here! then comment telling me you did.

don't have or know a little precious girl who would love a tutu? it's ok! tell me so (as your mandatory entry) and if you are the winner, i will make you a frame!

be sure to leave your e-mail in one of your comments so i can contact the winner.

thanks for participating and showing some love!

giveaway ends 20 september at 11:59pm and the winner will be chosen by

confession (and a teaser)

i have a confession that i just now feel comfortable sharing.

when i was pregnant, people would always ask, "are you so excited?!", "i bet you just can't wait to see that little baby!!", and "isn't it just so amazing!?"

of course i would answer, "oh, yes! we can't wait to meet her." and i always said her, or it, and never bella or bean or pea or any other cute nickname. but on the inside, i was thinking, "".

don't get me wrong. i wanted a baby more than anything. we had tried for a while to have her, and we were over the moon that we were going to start a family. but other than getting fat and hurling and being tired and YUCK all the time, i really didn't connect with the fact that there was a BABY growing in my uterus. i KNEW she was in there. because that's what the doctor told me. but emotionally, i didn't feel like there was anything different happening. i didn't even buy any baby clothes, because, i mean, hello, i didn't HAVE a baby. we didn't even have the nursery put together until she was due. and really, it didn't come together for another month. not because we didn't have the space, or the money, or were busy. i just didn't have that inspiration.

confession #2-in the hospital, after all the doctors and nurses and my family went away, and i sat there holding my baby, i looked at her and thought, "is this the right baby? i think they might have mixed it up with another one." terrible, right?! i looked into her eyes (or more like her screaming mouth) and thought, "what. have. i. done?" and not in an, "oh no, i'll never sleep again" way, but in a "you have been dating for 2 years and you realize you really don't like the guy at all but you are picking out china patterns with his mom" kind of way. i kept thinking, i carried this baby for 9 months. we just went through this traumatic experience together, shouldn't i just be like, THISISMYKIDANDILOVEHERSHEISSOFREAKINGBEAUTIFULICANNOTCONTAINMYSELF! without using proper punctuation because i am so excited that everything becomes a run on sentence, a la middle school girl at a justin bieber concert (whoever that is?).

but i wasn't. i put her in the bassinet, and sat in the bed looking at her. for like 1 minute. because then i realized i was really tired and just wanted to sleep. and i had a giant cheeseburger in front of me that was getting cold and i hadn't eaten in 36 hours. so i called the nurse (gasp!!!) and had her taken to the nursery. and i didn't feel bad about it.

confession #3-i didn't "FEEL" connected to her until about a week after i brought her home. until then, i just kind of felt like she was his little vagrant holed up in my living room, leaching onto me every 2 hours and keeping me awake all night.

no one can ever deny that i love my child. she has taken over my entire life, and i couldn't be more proud of her or thrilled that she is mine. but it didn't happen like it does on tv. it wasn't a hot and heavy summer love. it was a slow cooker on low. we had to get to know each other. we had to learn to live with each other, and to accept each others flaws and quirks.

now. well, now is a different story. i am borderline obsessed with her. because she is amazing. quite possibly the coolest kid ever. sometimes, i feel sorry for other babies, because mine is that awesome.

but it wasn't always like that. and no one warned me that it might be that way. which is why it has taken me 9 months to admit this. that's right. tomorrow, TOMORROW my baby will be 9 months old.


which means be SURE to come back tomorrow because i have something exciting going on.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

blame it on the cows

babies are great for adding humor to an otherwise not humorous situation. take this week for example.

we got home from the beach last saturday, and spent saturday and sunday with my dad, step mom and niece, who so graciously drove into town for the night so they could see bella. we took the babies to the playground, went to eat, took them to another playground, took walks. the babies played and had a good time.

monday and tuesday were business as usual and joel returned to work. tuesday evening, we got the call that joel's grandfather passed away. while we were in hawaii, joel's grandmother passed, and he wasn't able to make it to the funeral, so he wanted to be sure to make it to his grandfather's. it would be a quick trip, but we packed up the car, drove 10 hours up, stayed less than 24 hours and turned around. on the day of the funeral, joel got a call that his other grandmother passed away that morning. we got back on friday, and on sunday, he will drive up to charlotte for the memorial service, coming back sunday night.

when it rains it pours.

before i get into the funny part of this story (yes, there actually is one), let me say, joel's grandpa (his fathers father) was a pretty amazing man. sitting around before and after the funeral, i heard stories of his time fighting in world war 2. in the army, he fought in 3 countries, proudly serving his, during one of the most devastating wars we have known. they didn't have much money, but he sent every penny he made home to his wife. when all was said and done, they had 11 children, losing one in childbirth. he lived humbly, but worked hard all his life.

joel's grandma (his mothers mother) was a strong woman. the wife of a preacher, she raised 6 children. she had a stroke in the early 2000's and made a very strong recovery. she was a sweet woman. i have only known her since her stroke, but from what i hear of her before, she was pretty formidable. i know that she will be greatly missed.

both had a lasting legacy of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and on the day of his death, joel's grandpa became a great-great grandpa.


**warning. this part of the post contains pictures that are not for the weak stomached. read at your own risk. seriously. i warned you**

time for funny. because, with a kid like mine, there isn't a dull moment. it's true.

as you know (or maybe you don't) i have made all of bella's food since she was a week shy of 6 months. i've been lucky to be able to stay at home with her, and have made it a point to make or prepare everything she eats.

vacations have been no exception. but this weekend, i made the executive decision to just buy some jars and feed her that, because it would be too hard to make or find food that was suitable for her to eat on the road.

thursday morning, we get up and get ready for the funeral. joel's extended family live in the country. they live in kentucky on rolling hills and farm land, and it's beautiful. but, with farm land comes livestock, and whoever said country air smells good may have had a deviated septum. or a nose filter. driving through the country to get to the town for the funeral, we drove through an area that reeked to high heavens. both of us were gagging and making funny faces while rolling down the windows and gasping for air. the smell didn't really fade much until we got into the town. we stopped at a gas station so i could get some coffee (no starbucks in the country, you know) and when i came back, joel looked at me sheepishly and said, "uh, i think we may have a problem with bella".

i walk around the car to the car seat, peer in through the rolled down window and i see it. the culprit of the stench we had blamed on the poor pigs, cows and chickens. poo. and not just normal poo. lots and lots of it. puddled around her legs. splattered around her feet. on her hands. in her hair. on her face. i'm not even sure how it got everywhere, because it looked like she had rolled around and splashed in it. keep in mind, she was buckled into her car seat, so this scenario is highly unlikely. nonetheless, she is covered from head to toe, and the smell is unbearable. and she is sleeping peacefully.

we clean her off, and now sit through the funeral, joel in a suit and tie, me in a nice dress, and our baby, practically nekked. it looked like we just picked up a homeless kid off the side of the road and brought her with us. the impromptu bath in the sink didn't do much good, and i can still smell her.

and of course, people want to hold her. and carry her around. people are carrying my stinky, poop baby around with them. i was mortified.

we get home, get her changed and bathed, and most of the rest of the evening goes off without a hitch. until i sat her down for dinner and noticed she was a little....stinky. again. i take off her pants and sure enough, poo. all over her. up her tummy, up her back, down her legs. all over.

here's where i have to step in. we have cloth diapered her since 6 weeks and have NEVER had even the slightest smidge of a leak. not once. no explosions, no dribbles. nothing. until now. but this isn't a little bit, either. this is like, full on biological warfare type poo. filled the diaper and left puddles on the floor, type poo. i actually threw away one of her diapers, and if you know about cloth diapers, you know they aren't super duper cheap. but i wasn't even trying to salvage this one. that's how bad it was.

i washed her car seat, her clothes, her diapers, and any other piece of material that may have possibly come into contact with her, and pack her up. saturday morning, we leave and our 10 hour trip becomes a constant, "::sniif, sniff:: you smell that!? again!?" pull over, change the baby, wipe down all surfaces with our new bff-lysol wipes, get in the car and drive. rinse, repeat.

my only consolation from this is, while i was cleaning her up at the funueral home, joel (who is gagging and almost puking at the front of the car) says to me, "you are a strong woman. i could never do what you do". that made it all worth it.