May 30, 2009

The Spoons Are Winning

I went through my video archives last night and couldn't stop watching this one over and over. If your oldest child is a toddler, let me remind you that THEY GROW UP SO FAST. I can not believe it. The video of Noah and Carter and the great big cookie incident had me cracking up all over again. And my heart breaking all over again.

I like to read some of my older posts and feel what I felt then, try to imagine what angle I was taking at that time, and what I feel about it now. Some days I just want to feel. Anything. Sometimes I find that I feel the complete opposite now. Sometimes exactly the same, as in the post below, one that meant a lot to me and I wanted to publish it here again:


[ I had to take him for new shorts yesterday. He's growing. Taller and taller up my side. Offering to help me put away the dishes, giving random hugs and i love yous.

We weren't guaranteed that he'd grow at all. That he'd even be walking or talking. This little boy that is now a big boy and has a light and life that just pours out of him onto everyone he meets.

At the AEOF event the other night I prepared myself to be strong and listened to parents that I knew, the ones that are still in the midst of the storm, their child not better. I'm so often told we should be so proud of ourselves. You were so strong. You were so brave. You got through it. I don't know how you got through it. I opened the event program a few pages in to see the photo of Noah in his helmet, hand raised high in the air. And I couldn't stop the tears from stinging my eyes. I am not the strong one. I am not the reason for his miracle.

The Lion King has been the movie of choice lately at our house. I caught my breath the other day as Mufasa tells his son, I'm only brave when I have to be... being brave doesn't mean you go around looking for trouble.

And later he says even kings get scared.

I was scared. Somedays I still fight that fear. That this isn't over. And here everyone thinks I'm the brave one. That because I made it through the storm and had faith unwavering that I must still be so strong. I was only brave when I had to be.

I dry off the last dish. Noah has put away almost all of the silverware and declares that the spoons are winning. His smile flashes a spirit that is alive and peaceful and well. I am so thankful. We're winning, too.

Originally published June 16, 2008. ]

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May 29, 2009

Maiden Voyage

The change of scenery is nice.

I wrote the title and those words this morning in my bed as Ivy slept and the sun crept in
. Now I am outside cashing in on a double stroller nap with my camera, new laptop, an iced coffee with whipped cream, and fresh air.

Shhhh...

FedEx main just came next door and plopped down two boxes waking Ivy but I strolled her back to sleep. This is my time.

The new laptop is nice. This is my first post from it. I find that while it is convenient to take anywhere (as I am now in the living room with an awake Ivy crawling around) I am also more easily distracted and it is taking me forever to post this post.

I grew up in the theatre and after our last show everyone would finish signing each other's playbills and put on old clothes and strike the set. We'd tear down the wood trees, paper backdrops. Like starting all over but more violent. In a way. It was goodbye.

Then we'd all go together for pizza somewhere or to the beach and know that even though we'd spent the last several weeks inseparable we'd probably never see each other like that again. Unless we are cast in another play together. But it would be different roles and a different set.

I am easily distracted. I notice things like the leaky faucet in the kitchen and the crumbs on my carpet and my numb insides. Nothing's wrong, nothing's right. But something is around the corner. I can just feel it. I wish I knew if it was good or bad. Or just nothing.

Can I just live this moment, with nothing to look forward to and no regrets behind me. The right now stillness on the water. Coming from no where with no where to be. Can I be content in this. I want to be content in this. I need to strike the set.

End scene.

New scene.


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May 28, 2009

Three Dollars And Fifty Cents

She sits. When I want to photograph the boys and they are too fast or are too cool for that. She has a pose, she is my muse.


From the top of her silky head to the daintiest of finger tips.


We found this outfit and matching bloomies for $3.50 at Goodwill. The label is embroidered Made In Hawaii. Probably the closest we'll ever come to Hawaii.

She is the closest I'll ever come to such perfect beauty, here on earth.



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May 27, 2009

Here I go blogging from my phone again

Here I go blogging from my phone again. This time from my favorite spot on the couch in the living room. With the windows open and in line with a perfect breeze. I can see the sky from here and the clouds keep changing from fluffy white to thin shadows of an approaching rain. I'd love a good thunderstorm today.

There's no tv in here and I'm victim to a nursing baby gone to sleep. I am her human pacifier. So peacefulI can't see how it would be a good idea to move her or get up. I'll just stay here until Gray makes too much noise or a train goes by or my battery dies.

I'm thinking about the safety gates we need. Ivy has found the playroom - carpeted with Legos and mess and it's the one room we don't allow her in and it's the one room she crawls to the fastest. How do they know, at so young, to want what they can not have? She doesn't even know what's in there, but she knows she's not allowed. And so it is her only determination to find out.


Why do we still do this, when we're old, still doing wrong when we know what is right? Relying on some form of pacifier, living or lifeless, words or actions or feelings, to get through our days.

I know the answer. I just like to ponder, let it roll around in my hand, crawl to it and remember, sometimes.


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And Sometimes We Share


[Ivy & Sophie in the Freehand.]

Maybe we both like to chew on her a little.


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May 26, 2009

And I'm Not Even Made From A Secret Rubber Tree

I was super excited for Sophie the Giraffe to arrive. [Something I bought. With my own money!]

It's soft and cute and squeaky and looks like a dog toy and everyone knows how much babies love dog toys.

Ivy would rather chew on her toes. Or the smallest piece of fuzz she can find.



Or me. Mostly, she just wants me. Not to gnaw- she's learned not to bite the, ahem, breast that feeds her.

After a while she warmed up to Sophie and went to town on its feet and head. But soon it was in the background and it was I who gave her comfort.

She needs me like I need her. Like air, like water.


And me, I'm just fine with that.


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May 24, 2009

She's My Satellite


I left Ivy twice this weekend. For hours (it seemed, if you added both times up). I don't like to leave her ever. And it's not just because she is breastfeeding. It's because I always want her with me. Maybe need her with me. Sometimes I rest that on my attachment parenting style. Yet I acknowledge part of it is because I have worry in my heart and I need to trust she's safe with Daddy. She's like a security blankie to me in more ways than I can explain. I'm working through this. And working through knowing if this is something I even need to work through.

She is my heart. She is my lifeline. She is my moon and stars, sometimes it seems. She is in bed asleep right now and I miss her.


The days have been really good around here. I am always trying to simplify and reinvent my house, my self, my situation. It's going slow. Real slow. But it's going.

I feel closer to my little family. Closer to the Truth. Closer to what really matters.

I've got Ivy by my side (or often on my person) and I know my world most definitely does not revolve around her. But as long as I am in this world, I am in love with having her along for the ride.


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May 23, 2009

Monster

So I happened to look out the boys' bedroom window this afternoon and saw one of our "extra kids" standing barefoot in the street looking at what appeared to be a giant frog. (Random "extra kids" from the neighborhood seem to flock to my house probably because we have so many- what's one more? And I also feed them snacks and have lots of popsicles because I am very mothering.)

I called out to him and asked what he was doing. I was partly worried about him standing in the street and partly scared he was going to torture the frog. Are you going to hurt that frog? He was just trying to get it out of the street. So I told him I'd be right down.

I ran across the street and saw how really big that bull frog was and was all hang on- I gotta get my camera! And proceeded to call everyone else out of the house to come see.

Monster Frog:

I took a video of it after we got him to hop on the grass. You can hear Ivy's and Carter's infectious giggles. And my "extra kid" imitating the frog's whiny croak grumble he'd make with every hop. If you listen closely enough, you'll actually hear the frog. He made us late for a birthday party. But it was worth it.

Frog Rescue from Stephanie Precourt on Vimeo.



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May 22, 2009

Live From The Front Seat

Today is beautiful.

I'm home from a full day of driving and shopping and visiting my grandparents with Gray & Ivy. They are asleep in the backseat and there is no way I could interrupt the quiet. I say they need to finish a good nap. That means I need this time for myself. Even if I have to sprawl out on the front seat in a skirt one-finger typing on my iPhone.


The breeze is blowing, there's old Dave Matthews tinny in the speakers, and the sun is shining.


We're in the shade, but I can see the sun from here. In just a couple minutes the older boys will be getting off the bus and my moment will be over.

Today I could reach Gray more than I have since Ivy was born. Probably since he stopped nursing. Anyone that knows Gray is witness to the "about an hour" waiting period it takes to get him to warm up, to come out of his shell. He said this was a great trip we had. He got to see a dog with its head hanging out a window, another one in the driver's side like it was driving a car. These things made him happy. He opened up to me. He is finally, I hope, coming out of the darkness and into the light. As much darkness and light a three year old can experience. And that's more than one might think.

Aimee Mann is on now, and I hear the bus at the corner. Time to wake up. Time to leave the shade. And step into the sun.


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May 21, 2009

Yesterday Wasn't Weird

And it wasn't boring either.

We went to the grocery store and splurged on cherries.

We went for a walk around the neighborhood and counted robins. Then dogs. Then basketball hoops.

Gray told me he wanted to be in front because he didn't want to look at my face. (He did say it politely.) I said he was being a good leader and he agreed. Then he scowled and ran ahead and yelled Stop Following Me!


And I know just what he means.



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May 20, 2009

Sugar And Spice


She's my girl.




You Capture, Sweet

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Yesterday Was Weird


I really hope today is boring.


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May 19, 2009

Switched!

Last night I dreamed that I was at a hospital visiting someone that had twins but they were the size of Ivy now. And my Mom was there lying on the couch with all of them. I went to warm up the car when it was time to go and when I got back she had given back the babies but Ivy was mixed up with them and was now in the hospital nursery! I was a frantic mess and kept saying you have my baby! She's the only one with a cloth diaper!

And there she was, and she was also wearing my favorite yellow bow I always put in her hair. And when I woke up I was so glad she was right there next to me.

Those switched at birth stories always scared me. That was one plus about having a homebirth...

This morning I saw that I am mentioned in BusinessWeek.com regarding my recent review of the Ergo. There's some FTC things going on with bloggers and disclosing when our posts are paid or product has been given to us, etc.

I am not sure if I've ever come out and said it, but I don't intend for my blog to be a review blog. Occasionally I enjoy featuring something that I really like (sometimes it's given to me, sometimes I buy it myself)*. And if it turns out to be something I don't like or think you'd find useful, then I probably won't talk about it at all.

When it comes to babywearing, I'll be honest about what I think is most comfortable or safe, and what stage I think a carrier is best for or when and when not to use it.

I was speaking with complete honesty when I said the things I said about the Ergo. You can even ask my friends- it's not like in secret I'm saying anything other than what I've written here. Or that the product isn't really being used. I also did admit that I was hesitant to even try a carrier like the Ergo- I would not write nice things about it just because it was free. And you can ask my kids- they see me wearing Ivy in it every day!

If it had not been sent to me for free, I probably wouldn't have been able to purchase it and try it. Especially with having so many carriers already, I just wouldn't have been able to justify it. But I get many emails from first time babywearers wanting to know what to purchase early on, or if they have the money, would such an item be worth it? It is also a popular search term in my search box in my sidebar. So I am thankful to have the opportunity to try it out and compare, and then let you know what I think about it.


And I'm pretty sure I'm preaching to the choir, but anyway.

I keep this in mind with everything I might talk about here. I try to keep this a positive space as much as I can (except for the times I am lamenting about all the dishes in the sink.) And to that I just say I'm keeping it real. So deal.

*Updated to add: I want to be clear that if something is given to me, I will continue to do what I have done in the past and always let you know! If you are a regular reader, you already know I do this. But some newer readers coming from the Business Week article might assume I don't disclose.

Updated 5/20/09 to add that the author of the article left a correction in his comments. And today Business Week has featured my response on their site as well. For new readers I'd also like to direct you to a recent post The Story Of My Stuff.


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May 18, 2009

I Got Class

After driving to Michigan for burgers (I had a chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries if you must know) I told Erin that her birthday ice cream at Oink's was on me. That was until it was time to pay and they took cash only. Our ice cream was actually on her. Go me.

[Ok so my main reason for posting this photo was because I liked my bangs. And the fact that most of my face is covered by that hugenormous menu.]

Photo by Crooked Eyebrow


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Adventures In Installing A Carseat

Alternately titled: Um, that was easy. Or: Help. I can't get out of my car.

I was sent a really nice (reaaaally nice) car seat for Ivy. Britax let me know they had a brand new style out with super side impact safety features (the safest of all their car seats) called the
Advocate™ CS [$369], and, perfect timing- Ivy is ready to move out of her infant car seat.

Did they have something girly, maybe? Oh yes.


So, the car seat came and Safety is its middle name. We call it Ivy's throne.

It's been sitting in the living room for a week now, as I've put off installing it. Dreading it actually. Car seats are so confusing and fumbly and what if I can't do it right and despite all its awesome safety features I still put my child in danger because I don't know how to hook it up properly?


It just felt like a big mountain ahead of me.

But, alas, a nicely coordinated naptime took place (Ivy sacked out on Daddy's chest) and I snuck out to get it over with.
I even had the car in the driveway so I could see better in the sun. (And so that the neighbors could see my big fanny sticking out as I wrestled the lovely beast.)

I had already watched the video online and did exactly as it was instructed. Those LATCH things are pretty nifty I must say.
And then I was done.

Just like that.

I adjusted the LATCH straps and then I grabbed the manual again and triple checked that I did it right because how can it be that easy?

As I was leaning in to the car I stepped on my keys and heard the automatic lock click. I made a mental note to remember that, so that I didn't lock my keys inside. Then Gray climbed in and wanted to see what was going on. And he got a hold of my keys and went to pretend drive up front.

But in Gray-style he dropped my keys somewhere. And in my car there are many places for them to hide. So I am still in the backseat now leaning up front to see if I can find the keys in the cracks and see no sign of them. I try to open the door to go up front and I can't get out of the backseat. Child safety locks.

Grrr. I wonder who is watching and laughing. It's a sunny day. People are about.

I climb into the driver's side and find my keys under a pile of clothes. Of course. And go grab the Ivy girl for a test drive.

I love the side knob to make the head rest go up or down. Soooo easy. It also has the Click & Safe harness adjuster that gives an audible click to insure proper snugness. This car seat has extra side impact cushions and bells and whistles that keep Ivy safe as well as the other passengers. And the fabric is not only cute, it's like the softest thing you'll ever touch. And ok yes I'm still excited to have a car seat that has pink flowers. She is seriously now always riding in style.


Rear-facing, the Advocate CS accommodates up to 35 lbs which is quite nice as the AAP is now recommending children remain rear facing until age two. (Only until age 1 is required but if it's safer, we might be keeping her rear facing longer.) Forward facing, it can be used until the child is 65 lbs. This thing and I are in it for the long haul!



Please note that I took this picture before adjusting her chest straps (I started to second guess myself at where they should be positioned so we came inside and looked it up.) The black chest clip should be higher.

And then we filled out the warranty/recall card and actually stuck it in the mailbox (that's important.)


And now we're going for a ride. To Starbucks, of course.
After I find my keys.


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May 17, 2009

The Middles

Then & Now

I wrote a post about these two over three years ago.

Now they are both little brothers and big brothers, allies and worst enemies, and just like many things in life, realizing that sometimes the middle is the very best part.

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May 16, 2009

Not Far Away

Today my main goal was to install the new car seats we have for Gray and Ivy. If you've installed a car seat before, you know that it could indeed take all day. Or at least take all day to get the energy to even think about doing it.

But, hubby had to use my car for a big purchase he's making and so I'm off the hook for now. He's got the two middle boys with him since Noah wanted to play outside with a friend. And Ivy is napping. This is a wonderful moment in time, right here.

I am realizing it's kind of fun where we live in Indiana (might be the only time I admit this, so mark it down) because hubby's currently shopping in Illinois, not far away. And later tonight I'll be having dinner with friends in Michigan, not far away.

Too bad California couldn't be right next door. Or my favorite place ever, Colorado.

With all this quiet I get a glimpse of what it might be like in five or six years when all my kids are off busy someplace else outside or at a friend's. More naps for me (I hope?) Or even more years when they start crossing borders into the other states.

I'll blink and remember about that time I couldn't figure out how to fit their car seats in our car. How they never could clean up the backyard after playing, ever. And I'll probably even miss the crumbs a little.

And I hope someday where they settle is not far away.



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May 15, 2009

How Can Such A Beautiful Photo Have No Title?

I have no fun song lyric to sneak in.

No story really other than a rainy day and a big box.

And a precious baby child that won't stop growing! And being cute! And moving so fast! And growing teeth and strongwill!

8 months of Ivy LaRue.


I actually took this photo myself. But I had Beth do the editing for me.


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May 14, 2009

So, I finally tried The Ergo

After almost 4 years of serious babywearing and trying out pretty much every type of carrier there is, I have finally tried the Ergo.

And I like it.


A lot.

I was skeptical. I am not a fan of more structured carriers. I like traditional and freedom and pretty.


Ergo sent me the Organic Blue carrier with embroidery [$135] . And it is pretty.

I thought that I would only be comfortable wearing it on my back. It seemed awkward for the front.


Until I put it on.

So, I will go on record and say that YES. The Ergo is everything fabulous and as good as you've heard and then some.

I find that it is the first thing I reach for when it comes time to wear Ivy. (Which since she's popping through HER EIGHTH TOOTH right now. I wear her often.) I am wearing her in it now, for example.


Here I am nursing her in it at the zoo. (My hubby didn't even know that I was breastfeeding when he took this picture.)

I love that it's organic because she likes to ea
t it chew on it.

I have always been a big fan of mei tai carriers. This is the same concept, only with buckles and more support. With Ivy's girth (she's almost 20 lbs) I find this carrier to be quite comfortable and very easy to wear. Definitely one I do not have to adjust, ever. And very easy for her to nap in. (It's actually pretty much a guaranteed nap once she's in it.)

I find it easy to put her on my front by first buckling the waist part and then the back strap before putting my arms through. Then I just pick her up and pop her in. So, it is not a carrier that you can quickly do one handed. And as for the back, until she can climb onto my back on her own, I prefer having someone's assistance getting her in place. I can do it with the help of the couch or bed on my own, but right now she really likes snuggling up in my front anyway. And I don't mind that at all.

Ergo also sent along the matching front pouch and back pack- these things I thought for sure I'd never use but the pouch is perfect for my camera and I used it the first time I wore the carrier. (And I still use the pouch for my camera case!) And after trying the Ergo for the very first time, I enjoyed all the extra zippers and pouches and was pretty much ready to take off with no need for a stroller or bags. Have baby will travel!


I know this will be a carrier I'll be using until she is too old to be worn (whenever that is!) and would have totally used it when she was a newborn. I
do feel like it is more secure than my other carriers, more so now that she's all monkey-like and tends to lean back and grab at everything in sight.
A huge plus for me is the ease and modesty to breastfeed while on the go and/or in public.

Now, don't misunderstand- I will still use my ring sling and regular mei tai. (And I'm also nurturing a new love for wraps.) But the Ergo truly is now my first choice for long term wear as well as nursing and doing chores around the house (including cooking- while using caution- of course), a very good carrier for every day use, and an excellent option if you have a heavy baby or back issues while babywearing. I'd suggest it for any size Mom or Dad- petite or plus size- and have heard it is great for babywearing while pregnant.

Oh, and also very comfy for both Mom & baby while blogging at a computer.


My many thanks to Ergo.

(If you click on these links and buy, by the way, then I get some sort of credit. Just so you know.)


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May 13, 2009

like a rainbow




You Capture: colors


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Recaptured

Someday, when I have heaps of regret for not taking enough pictures or videos of my children, I hope that I will remember how I'm feeling today.

I'm willing the big brown eyes, toothy smiles, and the little bird voices to be tattooed on my soul, in my being forever. I breathe these moments like air, treasuring them so much that I don't even want to share them with anyone else. These are my moments.

I've learned that my heart doesn't discriminate the memories. It is shaped by the amazing moments in life just as much as the sorrowful. It plays tricks on me, turning the good times bittersweet when I realize they can't last just one minute longer. And the hurtful times bring joy when the weeping finally ends.

Just yesterday I had to look up Noah's story to see how long he has been seizure-free. There was a time that I was consumed with the hours, days, weeks from his last seizure. I never could have imagined years later I'd be sitting here trying to figure out how long it's been. I haven't forgotten one moment of that hardship and I don't need pictures to take me back there.

I am a different person because of it, but I am not still stuck there. I could never allow that to define me. I've taken pieces of it and unlike trinkets or souvenirs, I've not set it on a shelf to reflect on once in a while. To wallow in self pity. It's no longer something I feel I can use as my crutch.

Because I walk better without it.

What we went through, what we continue to go through, is very much real. Is very much life. And I've allowed it to nurture the person I've become, or really, am becoming.

The edge I stand on is never the same day to day. Where yesterday I felt like I was about to fall, and what was below seemed scary and unknown, today I see the excitement for the jump. For what lies unexpectedly ahead.

With or without pictures.


Originally published May 28, 2008

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May 12, 2009

Surprise! Girls Don't Use Inside Voices Either

I thought the boys were loud. Even when they whisper.

Ivy has got something to say, like, all the time now. And to all those people that said ohhh you're having a girl? Just wait for the drama. And I was like, um, my boys are pretty dramatic. I am sure I can handle it.


Yeah, those people? Might have been right. If I even step out of her line of sight or she doesn't get her way- oh my goodness HER CRY is pitiful and heart wrenching and don't even get me started on her 'tude.

It is the best.



And if you can't hear it at the end there- she turns her back and Pffbts me.

Oh, and as she watches this play back she is YELLING EVEN LOUDER at the screen.

(And I am totally noticing I need outlet covers for that wall...)

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May 11, 2009

Stupid Is As Stupid Does, Or Something Like That.

I left my purse at the grocery store the other night. And didn't realize it until hours later.

I'm actually pretty surprised I even figured it out that early. My mind hasn't been the sharpest lately, obviously, if I'm leaving my purse and money places.

My first thought was, at least I didn't forget the baby! I don't mean that as a joke either. I've known people to forget their baby (usually in safe places like the house or church only to remember quite quickly before they drove off -usually- so all was well) and I can't judge... because while I don't think I would EVER forget my child anywhere, with how I multitask these days, I need to watch myself.


I have five windows open on my computer screen right now. You all know the drill with the rest of the things I do everyday (I whine on about it too often) while juggling all the other things I have to do. I think we all can relate, if even a tiny bit.

Reader's Digest is sponsoring this post as they have a recent article: 7 Dumb Things We Do.

We're human. We do dumb stuff. Some people more than others. Lately I feel like some people.

Number 3 on the list is when we multitask, we get stupid.

So when at the grocery store it's not too much of a surprise I'd leave my purse at the register while I tended to Ivy, worried I was over the 20 item express lane limit, dropped my cell phone, and tried to fit my bags in the bottom of the stroller and on my arms.

Or yesterday when I'm shopping with the whole family at Kmart and walking along pretty carefree (I was having a good day!) and I run smack dab head on into the security detector thing that was as tall as me. Of course I let out a huge dramatic Ahhhh! So embarrassing.

I so need to slow it down. I need to PAY ATTENTION.

In the article, there are some "Mistake Proof Your Life" suggestions.

Such as SLOW DOWN:
Multitasking can cause our error rate to go up, as our attention becomes divided. It makes sense to slow down and do things one at a time. The slower approach may actually be more efficient in the long run.

I am sure it's more efficient for soul, mind, and body. I have a feeling that if I'd had a moment of slowing down and/or had more sleep (another good suggestion) then maybe my decision making skills would be better. Maybe I wouldn't bump into so many large objects. Or write borderline disrespectful things about my innocent and helpful husband on Mother's Day.

While multitasking probably has good intentions to begin with, I think it's (speaking for myself) a selfish habit. Because over all I think I'm giving less with the intention of getting more.

And that will have you landing on your face in the end every time.

“Reader’s


Post?slot_id=37580&url=http%3a%2f%2fsocialspark

[P.S. I do heart Reader's Digest- not just because they sponsored this post. I grew up with those little magazines in every corner of my house (especially the bathroom) as it's my Dad's favorite thing to read even to this day. Smiled when I saw one in their bathroom when I was over there yesterday!]


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May 10, 2009

Feed Me, See More.

For all my die hard feed readers out there, you might want to click on over and see my beautiful new design thanks so much to Beth of Ruby & Roja. I told her that I love it so much I want to wear it.

I am hoping to do a bit of blog housekeeping around these parts in the next week or so. Updating things like my FAQ and making a real About page and such. I am hearing that I need a media page, however I can't help but feel a bit braggadocios by listing all my awards and accomplishments here on the blog. Not that I personally mind when I see it on someone else's blog, but anyway. What do you think about stuff like that?

(And who knew that's how you really spell braggadocios??)

If you're a Mom or have a Mom, I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. You can read more about mine here at NWIparent: It's Mother's Day! Whoop De Doo! P.S. And thank you, Oprah.


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May 9, 2009

What Did I Do?!


I did good, that's what I did.




Happy Mother's Day to me.


I've posted an oldie but goodie over at 5 Minutes For Parenting today. I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day!


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One At A Time

Last night was a benefit for my midwife Lynda. She has stage 4 cancer. I wanted to take a photo of her, but just couldn't. There was a photo taken of us together, but I am not sure I will post it. It was really hard to see her that way.

This photo was taken just a few months ago- back in January. Holding Ivy LaRue, her 1,631st homebirth "catch." (This must have been Ivy's Tyra fierce eyes phase.)


This is Lynda. She is life. And light. And the most giving soul. She is not in pain. She is not in discomfort. She puts others before herself.

What I saw last night was only temporary. Who Lynda is, is forever. Will be remembered forever. And ever. I am so thankful that I got to be someone touched by Lynda's forceps (her hands!) and her ministry.


...We all want to believe that what we do is important. That people hang on to our every word. That they care what we think. The truth is, you should consider yourself lucky if you even occasionally get to make someone, anyone, feel a little better. After that, it's all about the people that you let into your life.
- John Dorian, Scrubs.


If you'd like to make a donation to support Lynda during this difficult time, you can do so via PayPal, payable to info@indianabirthchoices.com .

You can read my home birth story here.


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May 8, 2009

The Story Of My Stuff

Lately I've been offered some really great products and opportunities that I am just not able to turn down. Lots of things that I am going to be writing about soon (like the new REFRIGERATOR that I am being sent later this month) - things that are huge blessings because our refrigerator right now is older than the hills (ten year old hills) and is LEAKING.

And things like cute clothes for my kids and family trips to the zoo and so on and so on. And maybe even being able to spread the love and give some things away to you. These things are what I consider wonderful perks to having this space here online.

I try to keep this area neat and tidy with only my deepest thoughts and photos, but all that stuff IS part of my life. And if I'm being really real, in no way is my life neat and tidy like this blog. (Which by the way might be getting a makeover this weekend thanks to Beth. Not to be confused with the blog makeover I won along with a NEW LAPTOP last night. I'll get that makeover at a later date. However, I am so hoping that laptop comes, like, TODAY.)


Anyway. That's the story of my stuff for now.

Thank you so much for being a part of this. It's because of you I won the laptop, it's because of you that I am offered more stuff, and I'm realizing it's because of you that I want to come back here and write everyday.


Not because of the stuff. But because of you.


(I just got teary. True story.)


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I WON !


I won the Mother of All Blogger's contest!




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May 7, 2009

Let's Get This Party Started Right

I can't wait for Mom's Nite Out tonight! I've got all the goodies and prizes ready to go. If only I knew what I was going to wear... I still have to figure that out, but in the meantime, I've got a fabulous giveaway from Chic Tots to get the festivities under way!

Tonight at my Mom's Nite Out event I get to surprise one lovely gal with a Chic Tots Chic & Comfy sling and we also have one to giveaway here!


I always recommend a ring sling for any type of babywearer. They are my favorite first sling when starting out with a newborn and I love that they are adjustable and will grow right along with your child. I wore Gray in a ring sling until he was well over 2!

The Chic & Comfy slings by Chic Tots come in bright colors and patterns as well as simple and elegant styles- I'm impressed by how soft they are to the touch and at such an impressive price [$60-$75].

They also offer beautiful Chic & Carry wristlets designed specifically for babywearing and going "hands free". Attach it to the ring on your sling, your belt loop, or carry around your wrist. Check out the Mother's Day specials featuring a sling paired with the wristlet as well as some other beautiful items.

Chic Tots is offering 15% off any order when you use the code "mothersday"
.

Win a Chic Tots Chic & Comfy sling! Visit Chic Tots and let me know which sling or wristlet is your favorite.

Tweet about this contest linking to this post and you will earn an additional entry. Please leave another comment letting me know you did!

Winner will be chosen sometime after midnight tonight! *Congrats to comment #21 Stef!


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May 6, 2009

Say What You Need To Say

A turned back often speaks louder than words.



Life. We're either coming or going. Or both.



You Capture: Expression


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Mom's Nite Out Prizes & Details!

I hope you can attend Mom's Nite Out tomorrow night!

If you live in the Northwest Indiana area,
please join us at Evelyn Bay Coffee Company Thursday May 7 from 7-9pm for the main event!


Basically, this night is just to socialize and enjoy getting out of the house, with some nice little perks!

Evelyn Bay has couches, chairs, and plenty of room to mingle. This is a free event open to all Moms- so please invite your friends! Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.

Because this is part of National Mom's Nite Out, we do have some sponsors including some awesome things you could take home!

(And for those unable to attend or not in this area, keep an eye out here tomorrow for a couple giveaways that you can win here online!) Beth Fletcher Photography package


Sprout Prize Pack

Hallmark gift bag of goodies


Home Free Cookies Sampler

Museum of Science & Industry Family Passes
Build A Bear Workshop
Little Debbie Snacks
Laundry Drops
Wyndham Hotels And Resorts Spa Gift certificate

Coldstone Creamery
The Ultimate Mom by Maria Bailey
Precious Moments gift set
National Pork Board

There is also a special pre-event celebration going on at Butterfly Kisses Boutique in downtown Valparaiso, 5:30-7pm.

If you don't live in the area but would like to find out where you can participate in Mom's Nite Out across the US or online, please visit the Mom's Nite Out official site here.



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May 5, 2009

Ok, I Admit It. I Googled Swine Flu Symptoms.

Gray hasn't been feeling well and he was extra sleepy and warm and was moaning and whimpering and making all sorts of sounds and movements during his nap upside down on the couch.

I will always and forever be on seizure alert. He was making me a nervous wreck.




Possibly the only moment he has ever sat still.

I've thought all the hype about the H1N1 craziness was just that- crazy. I haven't paid attention or given it one thought. Which also means I had no idea what the swine flu really was. And here I have a sickly child on my lap and, well, what if?

So I Googled swine flu symptoms.


Only AFTER I called the pediatrician's and the very rude nurse was very put off by my very worried call. She assumed he had one of the viruses going around and it's probably not the virus you are seeing all over the tv.

And only then is when I started to consider it. Thanks, nurse.

I didn't make him an appointment and instead I went and got my hair cut and then wrote about it here.

(Gray woke up fine and seems to be doing better.) Nothing slows that kid down.


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May 4, 2009

Telling It Like It Is

It was still light out and only 7:15 but I put the kids to bed anyway. They were being ungrateful and disobedient and for their own good and safety, bedtime was the best option. Hubby is still at work. I spent the last forty-five minutes getting Ivy to sleep. She already has four teeth on the bottom and two big ones on top ready to come through. She lets me know this every time she nurses. Ouchity ouch.

I have towels washing in the washer and towels drying in the dryer. Dishes fill the sink and the dish rack (waiting on the dish towels in the dryer.) I don't have a dishwasher. (Well, you're looking at my dishwasher's words right now. Hi!)

I am not complaining. I am just telling it like it is.

I just want to sit down and eat my salad (spring mix with spinach and pears and glazed pecans topped with Gorgonzola cheese and balsamic, thanks for asking.) I want to write this blog post. I want to watch tonight's How I Met Your Mother. I want to finish up the laundry and dishes and hopefully go to bed with less setbacks for my morning.

Today I took Gray and Ivy to see my grandparents. We drove a half hour to see them and I am pretty sure we made their day, if not week. Just by going over there to visit. We didn't have the tv on. We didn't have anything to entertain other than the most adorable baby girl and the cutest three-year old boy that decided to really put on a show.

I had plenty to do here. I knew driving out there would mean I would have even more to do tonight. Naps were cut short and taken in the car instead.

But sometimes it's nice to do things for other people. Two hours of my day is more healing than any of the prescription medications my grandmother is taking.

Sometimes we need to do stuff we don't want to do just to make others happy. Maybe even just to be respectful. We could all use a good humbling and tap down a notch or three. And hey, I'll tell you a secret. You'll still get something out of it, too.


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Bunny Hop

Ivy is the first of all our children to actually crawl on all fours. And she does it in usual Ivy-fashion in the cutest of ways.


Ivy's Crawl from Stephanie Precourt on Vimeo.




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May 3, 2009

Left Behind

I was driving along a major highway from Illinois to Indiana and I glance in the back to find Gray MISSING!

GONE from his car seat.

(Maybe for a split second I freak and think the rapture had come.) I yell for him and try not to swerve off the road. I know he is in the car.... somewhere. His head pops up from the way back. And he starts to climb over the seats again and I'm like NO! Just what I need- someone to report a rogue toddler romping around inside a moving vehicle.

I am nowhere near an exit to pull over so I have him sit tight until I can get him all buckled in again.

I am sure this happens to every Mom, I tell myself.

This kid keeps me on my toes and tires.

Today we're heading up to Brookfield Zoo for the special Party for the Planet & Kite Festival. A few weeks ago Thermos invited me to be their Mom Blogger for the event. What an honor!

They sent us a bunch of awesome Thermos goodies- something for the whole family (including Ivy!)- and who knew how stylish and hip and eco-friendly they are? Their new focus is the importance of keeping everyone hydrated including the devastating and staggering amount of people without clean drinking water.
For more info check out Hydration For All and the worthy cause charity : water.

I'm looking forward to a much needed family day. And we'll be right at home at the zoo. I plan to take plenty of pictures. I'm always on the lookout for "babywearing" & nursing animal Moms and babies.

Gray has also been talking about this trip to the zoo all week. I'm so excited to share this special time with him, too. I really feel like I'm getting him more, finally. And I plan to really try to spend my day looking at things through his eyes.

He's got a great perspective from way down there. I hope I can keep up.


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