25 August 2016


The most wonderful and rejuvenating stay-cation came to an end this week, and my spirits were so thoroughly bolstered that I was able to make it through a very painful day with this little Fox without melting down to tears myself.

I know he look adorable, but he is one miserable little man. His emerging teeth are taking years off my life. Or maybe red out of my hair. Or maybe both.

After he was born, I was deliriously happy. I want to have 10 more kids! But now I'm loath to talk about having more babies. Whose teething was worse: Eleanor's or Theodore's? I can't even remember because I've blocked all memories of Eleanor's little gum-shatterers.

Anyway, vacation was a careful balance of chores, fun outings, and relaxing. Matt got some stuff done around the house that'd been bothering him and I finally weeded the extensive flower beds surrounding our new abode; we took a day trip out to the game store we discovered on our sixth anniversary and bought some fun, new toys; we did lots of "sleeping in" (to the extent that parents can ever sleep in), reading, playing in the backyard, and grilling. And I finally perfected my vanilla minty cupcake recipe:

Matt and I went out on a fun date night to a delicious pizza place...

Followed by a "quick" jaunt to a bookstore, which has become a date night tradition of ours (we bought seven or eight books)...

Selfie with the Bro Fox!

And ended at a bar/restaurant that had the most amazing beer called Mackinaw Island Fudge on nitro. It. Was. Amazing. And I don't know how I don't have a picture of that beer. I did, however, manage to take a picture of my new clutch, which I am completely in love with, my first Coach purse.

It retails for $118, but I got it at a friend's garage sale for $15.

We styled the vacation to start and end half-way through the week, leaving us with two short weeks (good morale boosters), plus the vacation didn't have the typical "winding down dread" that most vacations do on Sunday night. The break, simply having Matt home for a few days and being able to get stuff done, both fun and work stuff, was so, so, so needed. Parenting young children can be really draining and this stay-cation is exactly what I needed to rebuild my spirits from the summer and power me through these last few days before school starts.

22 August 2016

Theodore Moves Out

I interrupt this vacation hiatus to bring you some exciting news.

Part of me was crazy nervous when we kicked Theodore out of our bedroom last night. When we kicked out Eleanor, she slept through the night for the first time, I got hospital-worthy mastitis, the car was totaled, and we conceived Theodore. All in the span of a week and a half.

But, at nine months today, he had reached that point where Matt and I coming to bed or rolling over woke him up. Which I've learned is the point when they need to be evicted. So we disassembled the crib, moved it across the hallway, and reassembled it in Eleanor's room. (Theodore was sleeping in the crib next to our bed - neither he nor I sleep very well when we are in the bed together.)

He slept through the entire night for the first time in a very long time. And we awoke to sounds of Eleanor entertaining him with a musical star stacker, sitting on the floor outside his crib. And I was not overly full, milk-wise. Ah, blissful (vacation) mornings.

18 August 2016

Craft Fair - Making Product

Sheep & Co is back, baby.

My sister-in-law is an official chewelry maker! She's been selling at Mom to Mom sales and, be it intentionally or unintentionally, she talked me into trying my hand again. I learned so much from having my shop and my previous craft fair sale; I'm going into this sale feeling super confident. The sale is in mid-October, so I've been working hard making product.

I've got hats, of course, and toddler-sized market bags. I'll also be selling the hair clips from my Etsy shop. I'm planning to make two baby blankets, toddler and girls shalls, and more of the wrist warmers that Eleanor loves.

I'm also going to make a few warm knit hats with animal ears and market them as halloween costume accessories. The sale I'll be doing is one of the largest in the area and they limit the sellers so that only two of each type of craft/product is allowed, so there will only be two people selling crocheted items.

I've also started brainstorming how I want my table will look, taking much inspiration from my table at the craft fair, as I think it looked really cute.

Lastly, I also plan to have a few copies of my book on the table! I'm excited to see how the sale goes because I've never had much success on Etsy. There are just too many other crocheters, and also because machine-made items will always be cheaper than handmade ones.

* * * * *

Matt has taken a few days off work for a bit of a family stay-cation, and I plan to stay off electronics and fully drink in the family time. I'll be back late next week!

16 August 2016

I care about pictures of myself

There was a photographer at the end of the 5K I ran over the weekend - my first ever 5K. Shocker, I wasn't exactly looking glamorous. I had just run 3 miles. I was running on a sprain. I didn't exactly put on any make up or do my hair before the race. I was wearing the unisex race day shirt. Theodore isn't even 9 months/39 weeks old yet, meaning I haven't been pregnant for less time than I was pregnant. There were girls there, running in their short shorts with only their sports bras as a top. They looked like they had just come from a photoshoot for Women's Health or Shape or something. But not me. I looked like this:

The look I'm going for is more internal beauty, good pride, strength, less dance crew on a fitness dvds.
So when I saw the photographer waiting at the finish line, I groaned to myself and promised to avoid her after the race at all costs. Which I successfully did. But I wasn't able to avoid the Facebook photos.

It was a terrible photo, guys. When I crossed the finish line, I felt proud yet humble, thankful, and totally elated - thanks to the endorphins. After I saw the photo, I felt humiliated, ashamed, and totally embarrassed. My heart sank. That's really what I look like? I thought I was doing so good! I haven't lost weight, but I can hold a squat for an entire song in Zumba! I can wear a 20-pound kid strapped to my back for a 5 mile hike! And that's what people see when they look at me?!

There were rolls of fat. My head was cocked at this weird angle that made my chin completely disappear into one giant column of uber-pale neck flesh. I was so disgusted with my appearance, part of me vowed right away that I would not eat until I dropped 40 pounds and I would not be seen in public again until I reached that weight.

It's a bad photo, I know! But it's blasted all over the Internet! I hid it from my timeline because even if that's what people see when they look at me, that's not a photo I want enshrined for all time.

I am so mad at the photographer for seeing the terrible "pose" and sending it to the church anyway. I am really mad at the guy in charge of posting them for seeing such shit and thinking "Sure, I'll just post all of them no matter what!" And I wish curses upon the head of whatever jerk tagged me in it. Has no one any compassion?! 9 months ago, I looked like this!

But no matter how amazing a job my lawyer of a husband did at tearing down the photo, there is still a part of me that is really ashamed. I hate feeling that way. So this morning, I took some time for mascara, eye liner, and lipstick. I put on my new shirt with my new necklace. I found good lighting, and I took some fair pictures. Pictures of me knowing I'm being photographed. Pictures of me from angles that flatter. These are the real me. Not that terrible mess a thoughtless jerk posted online.

15 August 2016

Sleeping and 5Ks

I have good news! Operation Theodore Sleep was a roaring success! Two days of regulating his naps and now he's back to sleeping at night! He wakes up two times to nurse, but falls right back asleep. He wakes up around 7am now, bright eyed and bushy tailed! The Doctor Sears Baby Sleep Book said babies his age nap for about 3 hours total, so I let him nap for 3 hours according to how the girls used to nap when they were his age. 10-11am and 2-4pm. I have to wake him up at 11am, but he wakes up by himself around 4pm and is always happy to fall asleep when I put him in his crib. It is glorious to be sleeping at night again.

I ran my first 5K on Sunday. I had been training for weeks. My goal was to be able to run the entire time (IE no walking). I was totally rocking it during my training, but somewhere over the last few weeks I sprained my foot and possibly my ankle. I finally went in to Urgent Care on Friday morning, after a night of pain and swelling, where I was encouraged to "take it easy" until "it doesn't hurt anymore," but I decided I was going to run anyway. I wanted to run my first 5K last year, but little did I know when I signed up, I was pregnant with Theodore! By the time race day arrived, I was way too nauseous to train or run, so I had to back out.

Throw back! This is still one of my favorite Eleanor pictures. That face! Little did I know this was only the beginning for my little fashion diva.
Anyway, I wasn't backing out this time. I still had the special running shoes I picked out last year. Sprain or no sprain. I babied my foot for the next two days and then ran on Sunday.

Spoiler alert: running on a sprain is a bad idea. By the end of mile 1, the pain was shooting all the way up into my glutes. I walked and limp-ran intervals for the second mile and ran the third. As much as it hurt, I was super proud of myself for pushing through the nerves and running my first race.

The girls were excited to see me cross the finish line. "Mommy work out!" They shouted. Abigail proudly held my hand all the way across the parking lot. It was adorable.

I plan to heal this obnoxious sprain and run another 5K in September. With this 5K, you actually dress up as a super hero. We happened to be going for a walk in the park two years ago mid-race when we were suddenly flanked by Superman and Batman. At that moment, I vowed that I would one day run in the "Supers 5K," and this year is my year. I'm already brainstorming my costume.