July 31, 2009

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da

Tonight I drove with the windows down and music playing that reminded me of outdoor summer concerts twelve years ago. It smelled like trees and mosquitoes and night. Did I ever tell you back then I had a convertible? Because I did.

I drive the same roads I drove before, but this night there is a baby sleeping in the back.


The other day I was rushing the excited kids out the door to get to the fair to ride some more rides and one of them did something very mean to another and it jolted our excitement. It made me yell. And I sent him to his bed and wondered what to do. How could I let him go some place fun when he just did something so disobedient?

Having several kids can get tricky when it comes to time outs and discipline. Often the others get second-hand punished. And me, too.

I didn't want to barter. I wanted there to be consequences. But I'm no good at this. This was a glaring example of how not good I am at this.

There was true remorse and repentance on his part. I believed it, too. And so we were off to the fair as planned, just a little later and a little less high.

The car radio sang to us the Beatles "...life goes on, bra!"

I drive the same roads, but it's different every time.


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July 30, 2009

And the seasons, they go round and round


I am working on a post with all the great photos from BlogHer and it's just taking so long. I want to gush about the beautiful people I was finally able to hug and meet. There are over 8000 photos on Flickr plus Facebook, etc. I'll get there.

When you go away there is that much more catching up to do around the house. Today I washed dishes and peeled carrots while watching Mad Men. I scrubbed the bathtub until my arms hurt and it still doesn't look clean. I sorted laundry, did laundry, folded laundry, put away laundry. Stole a nap while nursing Ivy.


I've got all the windows open even though it's the end of July. It reminded me of fall when I stepped outside to put a letter in the mailbox. The kids will need school supplies. It will be a bit more quiet around here in a few weeks again. I admit, I'm looking forward to it.

Within the past week Ivy has begun saying
uh oh, tickle tickle (with motions!), and baby, as well as some words she was already saying: Mama, Dada, nigh nigh and perfecting the daintiest of finger pointing while saying no no. Plus a whole other cute babbley language that sounds strikingly like itsyourbirthday over and over.

She is thisclose to taking her first steps. I looked at her today and saw a big girl. And it surprised me how so very right and okay this is.


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July 28, 2009

Fairly

She holds me hostage, at times. She is out and I slowly start to roll away and lashy eyes open, she leans in to me and grasps my shirt. Falls back to sleep. I wait a little longer. A train goes by outside my window. I check my iPhone. I sigh. There's more noise in words than that train pounding by.

I need to vacuum. Can't now. Everyone is asleep. Where does the time go?

Where
does the time go?

I sneak away and stop to watch her. She is an angel. I love her. I do this every time.



At the county fair we put Gray on one of the only rides that allowed his small size. Some sparkly motorcycles all in a circle. That ride took off and he gripped those handlebars and it put The Fear in him like I've never seen. He hung on for dear life. His face like he'd seen a ghost. But he did not cry. He did not quit. He just held on oh did he hold on until it was over.



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I Only Took Two Photos While I Was Away

... and neither of them are of people.

Wednesday night I stayed at the Doubletree in downtown Chicago because I would be getting up early to attend the KmartDesign styling session before BlogHer. I got a warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in, and pillows of affirmation on my bed.

That night ranks up there as possibly my favorite of the whole trip. Jenny (my friend I've known my entire life) came by after she got off work and we went to dinner with Esther & Jude.Then Jen hung out in my room with me & Ivy and we just chilled and talked and it was nice. She's not a blogger or a Mom, but she totally gets it.



The next morning we were off bright and early to the Sears headquarters where we met the designers and look! I had my own tag thing on the clothes rack like at a fashion show!

You can see photos they took here and they even filmed some of it- you have to see the video here at the kmartdesign.com site (I LOVE THIS VIDEO!), as well as a contest you really should enter- they are giving away 25 $100 gift cards- super simple to enter.


I still haven't had a chance to scour flickr for all the pics people took at BlogHer so I can show off some of the KmartDesign pieces I chose, including the jeans. Yes, jeans.


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July 27, 2009

I Brought My Baby To BlogHer Part Two

I'm afraid there has been a big misunderstanding.

When I was planning for BlogHer, I was excited about taking Ivy and showing her off. BlogHer is known to be very baby-friendly and at Blogher 2008 in San Francisco I remembered Julie and Catherine wore their babies at sessions and parties and I imagined something similar for us.

And for the most part, it was a great experience having my baby with me. I wouldn't have been able to attend otherwise. I wore her in the sling almost the entire time. Occasionally letting her crawl on the floor where she might have eaten crumbs from Social Luxe hors d' oeuvres and when I thought it might be getting too crowded, I picked her up. When I needed to nurse her, I found a couch in a corner and fed her. And when I had said my quick hellos, watched my friend win an award, I left without incident (and without swag.)

As for the actual conference, I did find it limiting to take a baby. Every single session I tried to attend was too full- I couldn't even stand in the back or the door way. If I hadn't had her with me, I might have tried to squeeze in somehow. I then decided to wait in line for 45 minutes to hear the last session I wanted to attend, and got a seat in the very back. Ivy napped and then nursed and when she wanted to get down and move around, I left immediately so that we wouldn't be a distraction (even though Jenny had told me beforehand she wanted her to make all the noise she could because it would be awesome. And then she said she was going to kidnap her. So I got the heck out of there.)

If there hadn't been a line to even listen in the doorway I would have tried to stick around once she quieted, but I couldn't get back in.

Yes, there is childcare. But I can't even leave my baby in the church nursery. That is not BlogHer's fault. That's mine. Also when I found that I had no cell phone reception in many areas of the conference, I was wondering if I had done childcare, how would they get a hold of me?

Even hanging out with friends was frustrating because I wanted to do things while she napped on me so that I could get the most out of whatever it was we were going to do but then there is a lot of waiting at BlogHer. Wating on people, in your hotel room, for the elevator. And it started to wear on me that I would waste a good nap just waiting.

The part where I started to feel like I was seeing things in a whole new light was after the parties.

I was a guest of Katja's at the Hanes party held at Rebar in the Trump Tower. It was a bar. When I first received the invite I immediately let her know I'd have the baby.
They didn't bat an eye at my bringing Ivy with me. The driver installed her carseat. The bar staff were incredible and brought her crackers to crush into their carpet. I sat with her on my lap in the back, on a couch. The Hanes people were gracious and entertained by Ivy's tricks. And then she slept in the sling the rest of the time.

In my head and heart, I want you and anyone there to know that I was thinking "blogger event" the entire time. I wasn't thinking "bar". I honestly probably wasn't thinking. Even though it was BlogHer weekend I was tired, and I was still Mom. I was me.


Looking back I am now realizing that maybe I should have thought it through a bit more and considered that while it was a wonderful gesture that they invited us both to come along, I didn't have to accept. Maybe they were outwardly smiling and sweet but on the inside thinking how annoying or inappropriate it was that I had brought a baby to a bar. Maybe they were scared off by what could happen if you upset a nursing Mom blogger.

That is not who I am.

Yes, I do nurse my baby in public but I don't wave my rights around like a gun. I know the right time and place. At least I thought I knew.

At BowlHer on Saturday night we had an absolute blast. In the music room there were mini concerts and plenty of room to chill and let the babies crawl around. Ivy was dancing and clapping and at one moment I turned and said this was the best moment yet. Only I didn't say it. I had to shout it. And I looked at Kim and asked if I was an idiot. If we had to shout to hear each other, what were we doing to the babies' ears?

The set ended and we took the babies out before the next musician came on. I felt like everyone was watching me and, although I am honest and make plenty of mistakes here on the blog, it seemed like in real life? I wasn't allowed to make any mistakes. Because shame on me if I just had a learning experience like any other Mother.

I started to question myself. On my way back to our hotel room I stopped in the Cheeseburgher party because I wanted to say hi to Isabel and Lindsay. I'm so glad I did because I also got to see Rick from Tiny Prints again and seriously if you were there this weekend you will agree with me at least somewhat that he was the happiest and most cheerful person there. He was taking photos and having a great time and I wished I could see the conference through his eyes. (And yeah, he was also my sponsor but that is a blessing that I basically just fell into.)

Anyway, as expected, their suite was packed. I made my way through with Casey & Emily and got my bag hat, burger, Dr. Pepper, with Ivy in the sling. I was able to say my thanks to the girls for the party, they were glad we made it, and then Ivy and I wriggled our way out to the hallway and back to our room.

By then, the weight of the weekend came crashing down. I was embarrassed if anyone thought I was being inconsiderate for bringing Ivy with me to a bar and concert. I didn't want to be thought of as some selfish nursing babywearing Mom that keeps her baby with her all the time no matter who it might inconvenience. All this time I had thought she was welcome. And I began to wonder about all the other times I might have given the same wrong impression. No event, no amount of friendship or networking is worth risking my reputation (and sanity), someone else's reputation, or my child's safety.

Next year I'll hopefully still be nursing her and so it doesn't look like I'll be going. It's just not the right season in my life to be doing these things. And if I hadn't already committed to another blogging event coming up next month, I wouldn't be taking her to that either, even though she was clearly on the invite with me. I'm looking at everything a bit differently now.

It's my choice to keep her with me at all times even if that means we have to stay at home. And I won't be moping around about it either.


Photo by Beth.


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July 25, 2009

I Brought My Baby To BlogHer

Here's a fun photo from the FABULOUS BowlHer event last night.

Beth, Sarah & Asher, Me & Ivy, Amy


I'm working on sharing my thoughts and feelings about bringing a baby to BlogHer. I admit I am torn, trying to be considerate for the women without children, the Moms that left their babies at
home to come to a conference in peace (only to see and hear other babies here), and those that chose childcare. And I'm thinking about the baby... and what it means for the little one. Is this experience fair to her? Is it selfish of me? Is BlogHer, and all that comes with it, really a place for babies? Let me think on it.


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BlogHer 09 So Far

Let me just tell you that this year's BlogHer is so different than last year's. And much different than I would have ever expected. Both good and bad, as is probably many things in life you look forward to.

First of all, I have to say I've had a blast hanging out with Beth and did you see how awesome a time she is having and who she met?

I wish there was more down time for me to just sit on the floor and hang out with many of my in-real-life and also on-line friends. Having Ivy and a too-packed schedule has been wonderful, but limiting. Hopefully today...

Apparently many women attending BlogHer this year are ONLY here for the swag bags (which really aren't that great if you're sitting at home all envious.) There have been tramplings and pushings and shovings come swag hand out time and I think this is so disappointing. Thursday night I didn't even ask for my swag bags. I didn't care, and I was too busy saying Eeeee! every time I would see someone I couldn't wait to hug. They were much more valuable to me than samples of laundry detergent and a pair of Crocs.

But don't get me wrong- the swag bags I have been given that had my name on them and were going to be mine no matter what time I made it or how long I stood in line, they have had some pretty sweet stuff in them. (Thanks Hanes & e.l.f.!)

I had been asked if I wanted to attend the Nikon party a while back and declined because it was not in the hotel and with Ivy, it's hard to be coming and going like that, plus it was ending late. I kinda just went with my gut feeling EVEN though it was Nikon. And everyone I talked to that heard I turned it down thought I was an idiot! Well... turns out it was meant to be because the Moms with babies that planned to attend were turned away from the party. Because they had babies. I don't think it has anything directly to do with Nikon, as I've heard that it was the restaurant's policy, but still. You know.

If I had gone and had been turned away? I would have probably cried.

Anyway.

I really wanted to attend one session in particular yesterday and the room was too small and filled to the brim with people, so I couldn't even fit inside to see or hear the panelists. I am hoping to arrive early to the two sessions I am determined to sit in today.

This morning we plan to head outside for a bit and hang out with friends and then come back for the sessions we want to see in the afternoon. And then, I think, more parties.

My experience so far really has overall been very pleasant. I have been able to finally meet so many of my favorite bloggers, my favorite readers, and I only wish I had ten more minutes with each of them, or just more time to sit down instead of passing in a hurry in the halls. I am not here for the parties, but for the people. So I need to remember that for next year. Less parties. More people.

The best parts about the BlogHer experience is what you just let happen, the little things that surprise you.

There was a moment Thursday morning as I awoke next to Ivy and we snuggled, and I thought back to last year with her kicking in my belly and knowing she was a girl, knowing I had so much to look forward to, I feel so incredibly wealthy that I get to love her. She's mine.

And she's all the swag I need.


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July 24, 2009

We Are Here.

I don't know where to start! I am hiding in my room right now- just had breakfast, got my swag bag, and came back up here to let Ivy nap for a bit. She's out on the bed, cutest thing ever. And I swear she had her picture taken more last night than EVER in her life. If you can believe that. She has been blowing kisses and waving hi and flirting and I am so glad I have her here with me.

Last night at the Social Luxe Lounge I set her on the floor and turned and she was gone. I found her at the feet of Chris Mann.

I'm going to try to get some organization to my room while Ivy sleeps- our roommates (Erin & Alice) are off to explore the city. (By the way, Alice is the first baby ever that Ivy doesn't try to tackle! They are CUTE together.) Then I'm off to walk around downstairs and finally meet Rick from Tiny Prints, and then we have lunch and sessions and eighty million parties tonight.

This is fun.

Photo by Liz Henry



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July 22, 2009

water works


Coming home from the water park hotel Great Wolf Lodge. Carter wailed and howled and grieved for one. hour. straight. I never would have taken a photo of the tears streaming down (and maybe a video recording) in a million years.

But people,
one. hour. straight.

And with a cameo role in this photo, Ivy's little toe.


You Capture: Black & White.




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Traveller


Three suitcases and three bags and we're off to the citay!


I'll try to upload photos here or on my flickr when I get the chance. But another way to keep up is to follow us on Twitter as well as search flickr for photos tagged "Blogher09" and see if you can find us!

I hugged Gray extra tight last night as I tucked him in. He's probably never looked cuter. And as always, I considered not going.

I would totally trade the amazing BlogHer experience to be with my kids, if faced with such a choice. But, thankfully, I am still going. I need this. And for their sake... they need this. Just moments ago Gray cut open the center of a brand new bag of cereal with scissors and it spilled all over the kitchen floor.

I can't get out of here fast enough.



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July 21, 2009

scrumdillyumptious



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July 20, 2009

When you wake Ring for Drake, Drake will bring your tray

I've been away on a little family vacation. I left my phone in the room and stole away moments to write in the dark as everyone slept to the hum of the air conditioner on the wall.

I started reading The Time Traveler's Wife. I have this thing where I put off reading books suggested to me until a movie is going to come out. Then I hungrily read the book before I see the movie. That's my rule.

At one point, on our way home, all the right songs played on the radio. The sky was blue patterned with cartoon clouds and the children napped in unison. I was physically and mentally high on no other substance but good things. Very good thoughts and very good things.

In just a couple days I'll be heading up to BlogHer in Chicago, my travel, hotel, & conference fee generously paid for by Tiny Prints. I have lots to prepare, and once I am there I have so many places to be and things to do and I know in a blink it will be over.

For me, this week is my time to live a little larger than I do the other 361 days of the year...

Thursday morning a car will take me to be outfitted and styled by Kmart Design in Chicago. Later that evening I'm set to attend the Social Luxe party, Crocs Party, and People's Party.
Friday I'll get my hair "did" by the Suave celebrity team and then whisked away by private car again to Rebar at the Trump Tower for a private Hanes Comfort party. Then we'll be on to the Method suite, e.l.f. makeover event, MamaPopRocks, & Type-A MOMfluence party. Saturday is BowlHer and the CheeseburgHer party.

(Get me now, holy cow! Would someone pinch me please?)


And of course there's the sessions and hanging out in my hotel room and late night hallway chats and seeing my favorite city and showing off Ivy LaRue finally in person (she will be with me the entire time), wearing some gorgeous Sakura Bloom slings as well as the rest of my entire carrier stash that I am bringing along to share.

Let me get fancy for a while, and I'll be ready to be the old me again.

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July 19, 2009

Softly, Mother

Eyes in the back of my head, fingers in my toes, food in my breast.

I'm prescribing stillness to a fast forwarding life. Not a pause, not idling. But being still. Lying in the grass, with no camera. Watching, and not recording. Nursing without an iPhone in hand.

Twittering to the world about how I'm living in the moment is not really living in the moment.


I've found it's just not possible to write it all down, even though I am doomed to continue to try.


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July 18, 2009

Don't Waste Your Tokens On That Crane Machine 'Cause Nobody Ever Wins Those Things


He got it on the first try.


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July 17, 2009

In The Rain

Hubby did the babywearing as we were off to a local outdoor concert (remember the Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors?!)

but this was in the sky....



So it's not like we didn't know we had it coming.

Soaked.

"You look like a wet cat," hubby laughed as we made the loooong walk back to the car in the pouring rain.


I had to ring out my skirt before getting in.

We missed the concert and went to El Taco Real instead.


I wasn't the least bit disappointed.



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July 15, 2009

Time. Thought I'd Make Friends With Time.

Noah made microwave popcorn and in a span of about two seconds, max, it smelled like moth balls and staleness and West Virginia, my Great Grandma Riddle's mobile home, cluttered with ceramic owls and rust-colored sofas and a murky fish tank.

Tonight we lay in the grass and I took pictures in the dark and the boys ran around like crazy people. Gray carried his little bug cage with a lightning bug in it, his hands smelling like a lightning bug (they have a smell).

Smells like my childhood summers.


Once, when I was a little girl I left my crayons in a pencil box in the sun on the picnic table. I burned my fingers in the colors... they melted and ran together. Made new colors. They were beautiful and naughty.

This is the kind of post you write to a soundtrack.

This is the kind of post I try to lasso time. This fleeting time. Time that slipped through a crack in the door long ago.

Gray wants to bring his bug cage into the house and I say why not. I had pickle jars with jagged holes poked with a steak knife in the lids, grass and sticks swishing and clinking against the glass, resting next to my bed. I wished for them to light up as I drifted off to sleep.

In the morning they would be "sleeping" or had disappeared.

Kinda like time.

A lot like time.




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July 14, 2009

the fru fru tu tu

Ivy

is

t e n m o n t h s o l d

today!
I can't believe it.

Can you, Ivy LaRue?


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Theme From The Bottom


Ivy's been wearing cloth diapers for about 7 months now. I thought I'd give you a little update since our maiden voyage post.

This is our current stash... If you click on over to flickr you can see more detailed photos describing each diaper.

At last count, we regularly use 11 Bum Genius 3.0, 1 organic Bum Genius w/snaps, and 2 GroBaby diapers with four inserts. I purchased all of these on my own, by the way. But if someone wants to send me some for free I might not say no. : )


Also on hand are several unbleached Indian prefolds and 1 Bumkins contour diaper that Bumkins did send for me to try. I do like it vs. a regular prefold and it works great with our Whisper Wrap or Thirsties cover.

My very favorite of all are the GroBaby. In our experience, they are the most absorbent and I don't even use the booster pad with it. She has never leaked in them at night (or day). They also make great swim diapers! (We used them at the beach.)
When washing, I do wash them with all the other diapers, but I hang dry the outer shell (it dries super fast). The soaker inserts do take longer to dry, so I usually dry them with the other diapers and then hang dry for the rest of the time. Something I like a lot about the GroBaby diaper is that usually you can re-use the outer shell a couple different changes just by un-snapping the insert and snapping in a new one.

My second favorite is the organic Bum Genius with snaps. This is an all-in one diaper. There are no inserts or pockets. I have found it to be more absorbent than the non-organic Bum Genius diapers. And I do prefer the snaps vs. Velcro closures.

My third favorite is the regular Bum Genius 3.0. They have been great diapers and are so easy to use. I do use the extra newborn insert for nighttime as I am more likely to have leaks if I don't. I have noticed the Velcro to be less adhesive over time.

My fourth favorite (and probably most economical) is to use the Bumkins Contour with the Bummis Whisper Wrap, which you can re-use a few times. The Contour diaper
does need a little extra drying time, too.

For storing dirty diapers, I have a large wetbag and smaller one for out and about. I don't always use them. Sometimes since I know I will be washing them right away, I put them in a basket and take them down to my laundry area where I have a basket or pile for them. If I know I won't be able to tend to the stinkies right away, putting them in the wet bag is best.

I wash with a cold rinse first, then wash hot (adding in Maggie's Soap Nuts) and then a cold rinse. I dry normally (except for the GroBaby diapers as mentioned above.)


I love Bummas cloth wipes as well as just regular baby wash cloths, and I throw in and rinse/wash with the diapers.

Even after seven months of washing diapers every few days I still enjoy it so much. They are fun. Diapers are fun! And pretty! And look at that cute bum!

What have I forgotten? I'll answer your questions and respond to your tips in the comments below.


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July 11, 2009

My Own Private Perfection

Yesterday I stood in a long line for one-dollar sub sandwiches and then ran into Kmart for the skateboard Carter had his eye on. I was waiting until payday. It was $13.

I got home and put out the sandwiches only to realize that I forgot to get one for Gray. Thankfully he doesn't eat the bread and I had the ingredients in my own sandwich and the rest in the fridge to make a pretty convincing mock-up. He never had
a clue.

I spent the entire day washing veggies and preparing food for the birthday party. It was one of those rare moments in time where I found enjoyment in every single task, and everything turned out exactly as it should. Even hubby had finished with
the grill just as the final dish was set out and our guests were ready to eat.

[Our plates and cloth napkins didn't match and I did have to wash the forks again before dessert. But I love the quirkiness. I wouldn't do it any other way.]


[The hot potato salad that everyone loved. I doubled this recipe and only had 1 packet of ranch so I added a packet of Tastefully Simple Savory Cheese dip as a substitute. Divine.]


[Carter read each card out loud. Really loud.]


[He asked for brownies instead of cake. I also served mini pound cakes with fresh strawberries & blueberries topped with whipped cream.]


Not everything was "perfect"...

I realized I forgot the candle when Carter said to me, "Now Mommy, you didn't forget my
candle now, did you?" And so a quick call to Mimi had that taken care of (she was already picking up the frozen pink lemonade I'd also forgotten for the punch.)

I did buy balloons. And forgot to 1.) blow them up and 2.) put them out.

When searching for the allergy medicine for a guest our hall closet
might have thrown up on me. I quickly shoved everything back in and managed to get it shut again, with a little shoulder/half body slam.

I totally cheated and copied our entire menu (aside from dessert) from Amy's birthday post earlier this week. Seriously, the punch and the potato salad I could probably live on. And maybe had for breakfast this morning.

I still have eleventymillion dishes to wash. I do not have a dishwasher.


I later found Carter outside practicing his skateboard. "I'm not really good at it yet, Mommy. I'm a little wobbly. But I'll keep trying."

Oh, kid... me too. Me too.


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July 10, 2009

Nekkid

[See. I don't always wear my baby.]


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seven on seven ten

When I was pregnant with you I ate green grapes and celery. Lots of celery.

We bought a new car right before you were born. And I remember that because right afterward we went to the mall so I could get a new pair of shoes. (Daddy got a new car = Mommy got new shoes. It was a fair trade to me!)
And then I think we went to meet friends and saw one of the Star Wars movies. I don't remember which one- they were all the same and I'm sure I could look it up but I'm not kidding anyone here.

I think we were most surprised with you, out of all our babies, because you were a whopper at almost 10 lbs. Especially since the Dr. guessed you were about 7lbs less than 24 hours before.

You broke your collar bone coming out and I'm pretty sure this will be a story you'll tell often someday.
You've taught me recently that if I make peanut-butter sandwiches or mashed potatoes (or both if it's a banner day) then I am the Best Mommy In The Whole World.

(The secret is that it's not the making of those things, it's the knowing that those things mean so much to you.)



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July 8, 2009

I love loving.

I love puddles that don't go un-splashed and those first few drinks from a can of a Coca-Cola.


I love skirts that go past my knees, the Eiffel Tower, and when my hair touches my bare shoulders.

I love chubby baby haunches, player-pianos, and the look in an eye.



I love the tippy tappy tapping of the keyboard on a quiet morning, new shoes, and muffins and real butter.

I love Kids Eat Free night, folk songs, and forgiveness.

You know, the simple things.



Ivy's shoes are part of the new toddler collection by the eco-friendly Simple®
, made with recycled and sustainable materials. They sent us this adorable pair (and we've already tested the eco-certified washable suede... the mud wiped right off and they look like new) and are offering 10% off your first purchase if you use code Simplemommy.


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Sometimes Being Late Is Right On Time

I am right on schedule to make us late for the park today, as usual. A rare moment of all my early bird children playing together nicely is a cause for me to sneak in some laptop time. In full view of a well-worn kitchen and laundry folded on my couch. Hey- it's folded.

Today I was supposed to be at a blogger event for Sears Holding Company/Kmart Designs but it interfered with me being a Mom. I did drive out to the cocktail dinner yesterday and it was so fun. It has me aching for BlogHer. I enjoy hanging out with other bloggers so much- especially the delightful and engaging people I was with last night. I was sad to say goodbye. I almost went to a late movie with Erica, Lori, Christine, & Gabrielle but I wasn't in the mood to be THAT Mom with her baby in a movie theatre ten o'clock at night.

I was already THAT Mom just by bringing a baby to the party where everyone was cherishing time away from their kids, and by letting her growl and fuss and throw pretzel sticks at the bus boy. Complete with me sitting in the middle of the room in my skirt and allowing her to crawl all over me and nurse and then trample on everyone's feet. (And try to take a bite of some feet.)

[Baby Jude's tasty feet.]

But her cuteness seemed to trump any annoyances.

[psst you might want to be following @kmartdesign for some goodies up ahead]

So, I would have loved to hang out late with the girls last night but I am so glad I got home in time to be a better Mom today. I seriously wish I was at the summit, and the Sears Holding Company was crazy wonderfully accommodating, but I just couldn't work it out with the four kids and my rule is that if Daddy can't stay with them, I don't go.

And we're already late for the park...



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July 7, 2009

Power Crawl And A Good Blow-Kiss

Ivy has this crawl that is like a freight train with no brakes. She was chugging along like crazy until I got the camera out. So I tried to bait her into doing it, and it worked. Until she tried to eat the bait.

Ivy's Power Crawl from Stephanie Precourt on Vimeo.



And she does tricks! Wait for it... wait for it... it's worth it. If you watch until the end she gives me a high-five and blows a kiss.

A Good Blow-Kiss from Stephanie Precourt on Vimeo.



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July 6, 2009

potato, potahto

I put Ivy in the church nursery yesterday!

Ok, the whole truth? I stayed in there, too.


It was the first Sunday I was scheduled to serve in there as a nursery worker and my main job turned out to be keeping Ivy away from the other babies. Even though she was the youngest and obviously the cutest (heheh just kidding) (oh no I did not just say that outloud) she was a terror. Thankfully everyone made it out alive and mostly unharmed.


I'm still kind of new-ish at our church, meeting people a little more as I go and when it was revealed that I don't even have a crib for Ivy at home, the other ladies looked at each other and were like, oh that explains a lot.

"That's not good." and "No wonder she's so attached to you."
And they gave each other looks and muttered I could never do that.

Normally, despite how comfortable I am about our parenting choices, this would have stung at least a little. I might try to laugh it off or defend myself politely and informatively.


But this day? I didn't feel a thing and I didn't say a word.

And my reaction, or non-reaction as it so happened, felt kinda good.


I didn't need to explain myself or rattle off the benefits of attachment parenting. These people obviously think differently and that's ok. That's
their thing. I do my thing. You do your thing.

How silly that I ever let myself feel anything about it otherwise.

It was awesome.



Ivy loved her first fourth of July, including the fireworks. Especially the fireworks.

We had such a splendid time that I didn't even
think about interrupting the moment by digging my camera out from the bottom of my bag in the dark and trying to get the perfect picture.

Who am I kidding? Of
course I dug out my camera and caught what I could of those moments of wonder.


It was awesome.


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July 3, 2009

Boom Boom Pow

[Boys live here.]

I can not believe that a whole month of summer vacation is already over. And next month school will be starting again. Boom.

I have something going on almost every single day of July. Including BlogHer. Boom.

And in two months this child will be one year old. Pow.


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July 2, 2009

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty...

I was so angry.

I had just gotten Ivy to sleep and the boys woke her up from how loud they were yelling and screaming OUTSIDE.

Scooping her up from my bed, I stormed down the stairs and gave her to Daddy so that I could run back upstairs with a mean mom face to punish the boys with an early bedtime.

All that time spent getting her to sleep, wasted. And when I was done it wasn't like I had time for myself or something fun to do. Nooo. I had a kitchen to clean up and things to put away and the garbage was full and so I let cabinets slam shut and moved about all loudly.

I took so many deep breaths I almost passed out.

Hurrying to get another load of laundry going before Ivy needed me again, my swift motions knocked down a lamp in the doorway and its glass shade broke in a bunch of pieces on the cold basement floor. I got angry about that- now I had to clean THAT up and it wasn't even something I broke on purpose or could have the joy of breaking.

I only had the joy of using my broom for the fiftieth time that day.

I heard the back door close and thought who is out of bed?! I rushed to find out it was just hubby, taking Ivy outside while he practiced his golf swing. He called to me and I huffily responded, What?

He pointed into the yard, where a large mother bunny sat atop the nest that's been there a couple weeks now. She went about her business, cleaning herself, tending to the babies, not minding at all that we were just feet away from her. So we sat and we watched her.

I had heard that the mother bunny secretly keeps an eye on her nest when we're around, but we won't see her. Maybe she knew we were safe. Maybe she saw me keeping the kids from poking lightsabers at the hole. Maybe she saw me checking every morning for fur on the nest, a sign the she had come in the night.

We sat and let the baby crawl and throw golf balls around and we watched the rabbit lay over the nest... I assume she was nursing the babies underneath. She let us observe her so long that soon it was too chilly to stay outside.
I still had dishes to wash by hand and four hundred baskets of clothes to fold and put away but I was no longer angry.

We left her to be alone with her family. And went inside to ours.


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