September 30, 2010

Ivy's New Shoes

new shoes
One Ruby Lane mary janes bought thru Zulily



miss thang
One Ruby Lane boots bought thru Zulily


I paid only $4 total for both pair (including shipping) thanks to an awesome sale and using referral credits!

jig


By the way, this Misha Lulu dress (one of my faves) was free through referral credits at The Mini Social.


(Matilda Jane green dot knee socks were a birthday gift from Love, and purple dress is a handmedown from Tarjay, I think!)


luv my boots


I know I'm not a fashion/deal/whatever blogger but I do love to dress my daughter in high style on a tighter than tight budget. And take photos of it all.



yeehaw

*If you sign up for Zulily or The Mini Social thru my links, I get $10 in referral credit if you make a purchase someday.


September 29, 2010

Flesh Colored

two left feet
looks like I have two left feet/ feels like it most days too



Today I wanted to post a photo of Ivy's new cast, I wondered what color she would choose...


We got to the doctor's office, and they ordered new x-rays (I was annoyed) but-

they found that her arm was not broken.

look ma, no cast
look ma no cast!

After moving it about without the soft cast on and pulling on my dress and opening the door knobs and pulling herself up with both arms onto the exam table and chairs... the Dr. came to the conclusion that her arm is probably just fine.


wonderivy
Wonder Ivy!

I'm ashamed I let my guard down- I didn't demand a second opinion in the first place, as I would have in the past, and was truthfully almost frustrated they had to take new x-rays (think: cha-ching) But I'm so glad they did.

I should know better than that. I've just been so tired lately, all my instincts are jumbled and I'm not being very responsive. But this was a very good reminder. A second (actually 3rd and 4th opinion) saved my Noah.

Duh, you'd think I'd remember important stuff like that, but no. My mind no worky.


Yesterday I wrote what I wrote and felt what I felt and it was very real. But, so, I got it out and now what? I am going to do something about it.

run and play

So lately I've been feeling all sorry and sad about the boys not having enough room to play ball in the backyard without it constantly going over the fence, or I'm shrilling out the window for them to stop yelling (for real? They are outside! If kids can't yell outside...?) so as soon as they got off the bus I told them to eat a snack and we drove to some place that did have room and space to run and kick and yell.

lifed

If we don't have it here, no more wasted time waiting, we'll go to where it is.

And we'll run and kick

and yell and

live.



September 28, 2010

Bedtime Stories

I curl up and tuck my bare feet under me, squeeze tight my eyes and try to think about bedtime as a little girl. If I had a routine, it included the tiny trial-size perfumes on my brass vanity, I'd smell them, and their lids clink. And sometimes I'd peek into my closet at my Guess? jean jacket. Shut the door and smile and feel lucky.

Bedtime is exhausting here, and I finally get them all to sleep and then my mind races about what they think about before they drift off, and I wonder, did my words and actions blanket them softly, or scratchy?


I clean up half-heartedly, but I don't even really give that much. I haven't the energy to be more than a blob. I give myself quiet time, but then I feel guilty, and wasted. I'm tired but too selfish to sleep.

I stay home all day with my kids, and then all night. And I know better, to cut myself some slack but seriously, I'm not any good at this. If this is what I am and what I'm going to do with my life, if this is what I'm going to lay it all down for, I want to at least be a little good at it.

What is my strong suit?
I can't keep the house clean enough, stay ahead of the laundry pile, I try to make good meals but sometimes they are pitiful, including the ramen noodles they had last night.

When do I get to punch out?

And what do their hearts feel, when they see their life-less mother, that's let herself go, on the inside and the outside,

does that bring shadows to their bedtime

like it does to mine?


September 27, 2010

the patient

the patient

This was our weekend, pretty much. Lulu wanted her mama and how could I not oblige?

She's doing great. We see the orthopedist tomorrow and I suppose she'll get a real cast on. I hope we can still fit her cute BabyLegs over it because we have several to rock out with her outfits. Might as well have some fun with it, right?

Nothing stops this child. I am either sprinting to catch her from jumping off the couch/kitchen stool/ottoman/coffee table or holding her in my arms. She's On or Off. And both modes greatly involve me. I am tired.

I spent the whole day yesterday watching movies on my laptop (Paper Heart, Sunshine Cleaning, Super High Me) while knitting with her in my arms or at my breast. I was also nervously awaiting the news of my best friend's new baby being born so I knit three baby hats and one and a half pairs of hand/wrist warmers.

KNITS

(I did decide to take orders if anyone's interested.) (The aqua blue pair is my first "sale" for Ordinary Sarah if she approves of the color!) (The single gray ribbed fingerless glove is a new style I'm experimenting with and will be up for grabs.)
(Also, I did make this "shorties" version for Kara, my haiku winner!)

Favor? What movies (old and new) do you love and think I must see? I am always looking for something to watch while I knit. I love independent/romance/dramas/documentaries/feel good stuff, that sort of thing. Any recs?



September 25, 2010

Ohhhh look at yourself, Ralph.

My Mom used to say that, in place of a sigh, with heavy shoulders, Ohhhh look at yourself, Ralph.

What a day.


Yesterday tricked me all over. It started out like a banner day.

After the boys got on the bus I had this energy to go on a long walk with Ivy & Gray. So we set off and it was a beautiful morning. We watched frogs jump in the pond. And we got back and had a snack, then settled in with my knitting and Ray LaMontagne on Pandora, hanging out, and then I
did let them watch a show while I cleaned up the kitchen.

I had just emailed back some friends about meeting up at a park and let them know I was having a super chill day and wanted to stay in and relax.


That was when the crying happened, and Gray reported that Ivy fell asleep on the arm of the recliner and then fell off. She was holding her poor little arm, and so I nursed her and she went back to sleep for a bit, but awoke and whimpered and pleaded, "put a bandaid on it, Mommy!" and I knew.


I gathered what I could together and tried to figure out the plan, and all the while she kept convincing when she tried to move it that she needed to be seen right away. Because our doctor isn't very closeby, it would be easier for us to just go to the ER.

And for real, that sucked, because Ivy was born at home. We haven't had to go this route yet and I didn't know what I'd be getting myself into. You just never know.
And I wasn't in the mood to deal with that, or be on the defense. This very situation is was what hospitals are for, and I hoped they would just do their job and leave us alone about our parenting & health choices.

And I hate that I felt myself go to those worries, but anyway. It really worked out. They treated me warmly and respectfully. Even in a kind voice and with a smile the registration nurse said "I assume you don't immunize?"


They gave Ivy the rock star treatment, let her sit on my lap for the xray, and they even gave her stuffed raccoon a real splint all bandaged up.

Oh yeah, she fractured her little arm*. :(

lulu and her broken arm
covered up with an old leg warmer with a bone on it- how cute is that?

We'll go for her cast next week.

She couldn't wait to show off to her brothers, literally dancing in a circle singing, "Look at my boo boo! Look at my boo boo!"

I am her main man, her comfort and am thankful she finds relief in breastfeeding right now. So, my night was spent with a crick in my neck, holding her and nursing, and loving that I am totally aware of how awesome my children are.

What a day.


*edited to add 9/28/10 after visiting the orthopedist and getting new x-rays, we found out her arm is not broken, and she's moving it just fine now!



September 24, 2010

EXTREME CLOSEUP!

mercy

I'm desperate for people, for the whole world, to extend mercy on each other before judgment, but I find I can't even afford it for my ownself.


I have four kids. I repeat: I have four kids. I am still breastfeeding. A lot. Kids have homework. I keep track of where they are. I cook all our meals. I have no dishwasher. My husband works late more often than not. I'm still figuring out who I am and who I want to be while at the same time raising four other human beings. (Um, that's wild.) I'm tired. Really tired.


Do I want your sympathy? No. But maybe I do want it from myself.



September 23, 2010

the age of innocence

age of innocence

This morning Ivy was playing with 'Coon and smiled as wide as her cheeks would reach, "he likes nah nap" and she pretend-nursed her stuffed raccoon and was delighted.

It made me so happy because the innocence was so overwhelming, so good. So natural. It filled the room.

And I suddenly thought, dear God please don't let anyone- adult or child- ever shame her if she pulls up her shirt to breastfeed a doll (or sometimes a tall block of Legos, or a tea cup) if I'm not around.


She's two, but already I can sense that tug of what is naturally right and what is society-perceived right. And am anxious, sick! at the thought that someone's words, or pierce of a judging eye, could tarnish her virtuous intentions.


This is all she knows, and whether she is nursing a toy or in twenty years nursing a real live baby, I want her to always feel that inborn connection, and to never feel shame for doing something so natural. And so right.


September 22, 2010

#sarcasm

I made the genius decision to allow Gray to start planning what we'll do on his birthday in two weeks and two days. It all started with him wanting to go to the zoo. Can we go to the zoo on my birthday? And I was like, sure! That would be fun. Why not.

Great! Can we see the hyenas first when we go to the zoo on my birthday?

You do know that when planning anything with any distance in the future, with a child, that is all you're going to hear about until that space of time has passed and it is, indeed, now time?

Then we'll see the penguins second.

Every day it's something new. Can we still go to the zoo on my birthday? Yes. He sees I'm making eggs for breakfast. Can we have eggs for breakfast on the morning of my birthday? Yes, Gray, we can have eggs. We have eggs every day. We would be having them on your birthday any way.

Can we see the penguins second after we see the hyenas first, when we go to the zoo on my birthday?

Can we have bacon on my birthday?


Can I bring cupcakes to the zoo, on my birthday?


Can I wear my alligator shirt when I eat eggs for breakfast and bacon for lunch and cupcakes for dessert at the zoo, on my birthday?


Yes.


Yes.


Yes. I told you yes yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. You don't need to ask me every day until your birthday.


Which is only 2 weeks and two days away.


Yay.

September 21, 2010

whimsy

buttons - toes

There are things my heart wants to do
but my head says no, sorry. Or, that doesn't make sense for you right now but if it makes you happy maybe just maybe someday, ok?

And I say
ok, head, I'll just write them down for now.

little legs

This is not like a life list in any way because these are things that I most likely wouldn't or couldn't ever do. They are frivolous, vain, or - as enriching as some of them could be to my journey- they are insignificant to why I am here,

yet,

sometimes I think about them nonetheless.


gathering



I want, before I cut my hair short (if I ever cut my hair short), to have dreads.


I want to have an unassisted home birth with a perfectly healthy baby (and me) as the end result. I imagine it would be a boy and his name would be Soren or Fallon or River.

I want to, someday, when the mood strikes, drive somewhere impulsive, a spontaneous roadtrip no matter who is in the car with me. Probably ending at an ocean. With my feet in the sea.

I want to go to a church that doesn't have a building. One that meets somewhere different every week, maybe at a big park, at someone's house, on a big farm, in the middle of downtown, at the beach, wherever we meet.

I want to get my nose pierced but for it not to be a big deal.

I want to go back to school (like a real school) to learn French fluently.

I want to own an apartment in Paris, France and stay in it often.

buttons


[This was Part One of what could become a many part-ed series on my many part-ed whims.]



I'd love to hear what you sometimes want to do even though you know you never will.


edited to add: I know there's been some comment issues lately and I've changed some settings and hope you're able to comment again!

September 20, 2010

Arf

irescuerovernoah

In highschool I had an English teacher that would yip and arf! at us for no reason. No one liked her. I loved her. She was the joke of many of mine and Jenny's fabulous chunker notes we passed to each other. (We shared a locker; that locker's tales alone deserves its own blog.)



irescue rover

irescueroverALL

These tees were sent to us by a really cool organization supporting animals in need called iRescue Rover. The purchase of one of their shirts can feed a shelter dog for one week, and more.

irescue rover

Know a dog lover? Scroll through each style available. So artsy, so creative, for both adults & kids & of course dogs.



September 19, 2010

For a minute there.

lulu day

She turns two


and we had a party.

It went great. I just finished washing the dishes. We didn't use one paper or disposable product. :) Well, aside from the cupcake liners but they were eco-friendly.

She blew out her candle, with the perfect and softest and sweetest "fwhew."

I held other people's babies this weekend.

I don't know what I feel about that? Hubs and I even talked about new names we like. But, we say that knowing. Knowing. Bittersweet knowing.


September 18, 2010

hello, yellow in my life

yellowfriends
Ivy's cheek- right there you see it? I kiss a thousand times a day


the pack of Tiny Size Chiclets while I shopped for yarn
all by myself

friends at our table eating cupcakes

yellow flowers from Beth

daycupcake

[storebought] strawberries & cream frosting ohmy

all six of us laughing in the bed this morning

playing in the rain barefoot

yellowtips


living life barehearted

and free.



What good things are you saying hello to?



September 17, 2010

The Straightjacket For Babies

gray in boots
[gray in his boots, wrap carrier stretched across the floor]

We got to the babywearing info meeting and pretty much instantly the sight of babies and Moms all sitting in a circle on the floor sent Ivy into a
frenzy.

She had an audience! She was the star! She began galloping around the circle, pummeling bouncy balls at peoples' heads, and practically body-slammed a 6 month old. (Sadly, none of that previous sentence is an exaggeration. It is all true.)

I literally grabbed her by the back of her dress and tried to sit her in my lap, enticing her to nurse but would you believe it this was the one time ever in the history of ever she didn't want to breastfeed?

So, into the mei tai she went. She wasn't happy about it, but I couldn't restrain her any longer. It was that or leave.

I'm glad I stayed.

Most times I use the sling for comfort or to keep my child close while I tend to other things, or for safety and travel, or to nurse on the go, or to get her to nap, but I'm finding more and more with Ivy now two years old, it is also to restrain her at times I am unable to do otherwise.

Like I said- we were in what probably would have turned into an out of control tantrum moment (in front of a huge group of Moms I'd never met before, of course) and my instinct was to pack up all our things and RUN FOR THE DOOR! But- I tied her up, and soon(ly) she was calm(er) and in several minutes she was asleep.

ivy in the mei tai babywearing

I was able to visit a bit, take a couple photos here and there, and honestly, have a breather. I love my children, you know that, but sometimes it's such a relief when they are still and sleeping. And tied up.

(You know what I mean.)


Viva la babywearing!


Italic

Marvelous Babywearing


love this fall-y photo by my friend So Fawned, back-carry in the Ergo


I'm absolutely delighted to be guest posting at Marvelous Kiddo today!

And it's all about Babywearing In Autumn.

(please stop by and say hi.)



Just a little bit ago I was folding my really old mei tai and sling I used to wear with Gray all the time thinking that:

1) I can never part with these

2) Someday I will photograph Grayson wearing his baby in one of these slings. I just know!

3) Do you think I'll still have a blog then so I can post the photo of my grandchild in the sling?

4) I sure hope so.


babywearing Gray circa 2007


I'm actually off to a babywearing gathering at my local library today. I am bringing my big stash of slings and carriers to demonstrate and can't wait to meet some new babywearing mamas. If they let me, I hope to take a bunch of pictures of them and their babies!

One last thing- a super helpful babywearing tip that I forget to mention because it has nothing to do with carriers or how you wear them: bounce and walk.

Once you have your baby all wrapped up or slung or tied up or buckled, get moving. Bounce them a little, walk around, they will get comfy and adjusted and will likely fall right to sleep. If you just stand there looking in the mirror or looking at them thinking they just hate this thing, they just might hate it or all they'll want to do is try to eat.

So, bounce and walk.

And enjoy!

Have any other babywearing tips you want to share? Leave them in the comments below. Also, feel free to ask away if you have any babywearing questions. I'll be glad to answer them in the comments. If you aren't able to leave a comment, you can email me- stephanie.precourt (at) gmail.com.

Want more? Nosh on my super huge post about babywearing: Adventures In Babywearing 2.0



September 16, 2010

I Am Super Mom

An oldie but goodie (that I have no recollection of ever writing, so)...



Last night hubby came home and took the baby from my arms. They snuggled up and took a little nap.


And I hopped in the car and went to the Starbucks drive thru.




I was back home within ten minutes, but it was a breather. I was then able to take more time for myself and ate dinner in quiet with no one strapped to me or biting my leg.


I allowed myself to be ok with the fact that I felt like a failure one day, refused to feel guilty for doing so, and then realized that I am super mom. My children tell me so all the time! The proof is hanging on the fridge, scribbled in scrappy spiral notebooks, and sparkling in their eyes.

I am Noah, Carter, Gray, and Ivy's Mom.

And that is super.


Originally published October 1, 2008.

Photo by Beth

September 15, 2010

Ivy LaRue, today you are TWO!

two


big two
strawberries & cream frosting


two
so big


Happy birthday, Ivy
the life of the party


ivy is two
every day with you is better than the day before



Ivy's birth day: Ivy LaRue Makes Her Debut.

Ivy's first birthday: Ivy LaRue, Today You Are One.

Happy two!

So happy.




September 14, 2010

Don't all come at once, now.

Ivy's birthday invitation

Ivy turns two tomorrow.

We're having a small family party for her birthday this weekend- as much as I'd love to throw a huge soirée, my grandparents can't be around too many people all at once, and with our four kids plus six other cousins all under age 10, you know.

But I really wanted to show you the adorable invitation, not necessarily meant to invite an extra hundred people to celebrate, but if you showed up with food and gifts I might not turn you away...

I've been feeling more than overwhelmed lately and not everyone I needed to invite has email, so I couldn't send an e-vite, and the thought of going to the store and buying invitations or the supplies to make my own and then figure out the price of stamps and how much do they even cost these days? 42 cents? 44 cents? really how much do they cost? so I took the super easy way out.

I had a few dollars in credit from a gift certificate I'd previously used for our holiday cards at Tiny Prints, so I got to work. I only needed about 10 invites, and they will mail them directly to your guests, so I didn't even have to lick an envelope or go exploring for stamps.

And I love how they turned out.

This post is in no way sponsored- I used some of my gift certificate + my own money if you really need to know- it's all my own doing and love for Tiny Prints. They always have some sort of special and discount easy to find on their website, and there are benefits to liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

*edited to add: I just saw Zulily has a special until Friday- buy a $50 Tiny Prints gift certificate for only $25. If you aren't a Zulily member, you can sign up through me!


And again. Ivy is turning two tomorrow.

It goes so fast. <---- also a real peek at what 1 hour after home birth in my bedroom looks like.

Two. Tomorrow.


September 13, 2010

to knit • à tricoter • a lavorare a maglia

hand/wrist warmers for Julie
hand/wrist warmers with vintage button "ring"

Julie asked me to knit her a scarf (I think it's called a "Stay Put Scarf"- I've already misplaced the pattern) and I had enough yarn left over to make her some fingerless gloves.

stay put scarf open
scarf open


stay put scarf looped
scarf looped

(See below photo for how the gloves look on a hand... if I had a hand model, I'd have her wearing them while both hands cupped a mug of hot cocoa or something, you get the picture. And I guess I need a neck model, too.
)

knittingpeace
hand/wrist warmers knitted for Sarah, fall 2009.

It's really the time of year to start thinking/creating/shopping handmade gifts if you want to have them all ready in time for the holidays. I'm almost positive we'll be 100% handmade with our gift giving this year, which absolutely excites me!

I've also been thinking about my large arsenal of yarn and vintage buttons and how I could possibly make a few simple items like the hand/wrist warmers and maybe some other fun patterns and maybe sell them?

And I guess I might be seeking out your [free] opinions. Would they be something you'd like to buy for yourself or as gifts? (I have a more unisex/men's version that is all ribbed, too.) Would $20-$25 a pair be too expensive?


I was thinking about making mismatched pairs like one orange & one pink, or one robin's egg blue & one red, and of course matching pairs in all sorts of awesome colors and neutrals, etc. And the buttons could be an accent near the wrist, or on just one hand as a "ring," or no buttons at all.

Also. Are you giving handmade this year? Do you have any awesome (and affordable) suggestions for handmade gifts for kids? Maybe even simple things I can make myself? I wrote about simplifying the holidays last year and hope to do even better this year.

Just some thoughts for now.

I guess in the meantime I could start taking orders (Julie's was for trade in her shop... hello! I should probably use it to give a gift to someone but I really want to keep for myself, and I'm pretty sure I'll be sending her fabric of my own to use!)

I'm always knitting for other people so the next pair I start on today will be for moi.


You can keep up with my knitting shenanigans on ravelry- I'm BabywearKnittery.




September 12, 2010

A favorite photo from this weekend.

popcorn fest
Ivy's happy, just covering her ears in the arms of Daddy at a [kinda loud] concert yesterday.

We've been busy. More here.



comments closed.


September 10, 2010

I'm leaving now.

2apples


You know, most days I feel like I'm broken beyond fixing, like, I'm really no good at this - whatever 'this' is - (in my head it's: life/family/friends/worship/repeat)


1apples

But then I catch a sun sparkle on top of the trees as I drive a wind-ey road

or I hear my children laugh true laughter

or I feel good for no reason at all

instead of feeling bad for no reason at all


or like when Gray, riding on the end of the grocery cart (like you're not supposed to do) and snacking on a treat from the deli lady, smiles and says with feeling! "Ah, this is the life."

3apples

Those moments I feel like I just might be doing okay.

Well, really more than okay.

I'm working on shedding old skin, rough and tough stuff, rebellion that protects the breakable inside. I'm working on it, like, all the time now.


4apples

I'm not even close, but I'm, let's just say, I'm on my way.

(For me that pretty often means I haven't left the house yet

BUT I will be very soon.)



September 9, 2010

some days it's everything

all four, near dusk
nearing dusk, Carter's letting his mohawk "grow in"
(so handsome)


Last night Carter suggested that he might be getting too old to call me Mommy anymore.
"Do you think it's about time for us to start calling you 'Mom and Dad'?"

Noah's response (I loved) : "Nah, I tried that once. It didn't sound right. How about when we're teenagers we'll stop saying Mommy?"

Then later after his shower he walked out of the bathroom with his towel around his waist and my heart went boom (and then poof squish from the explosion.)



I sat on my bed with Ivy between my crossed-legs and I combed out her wet hair. I can't even begin to tell you what a treasure it is to sit and comb my daughter's hair, straight down her back and then it curls up again. It's such a small thing, but not. Not at all. Some days it's everything.


She is such the only girl among men. I keep meaning to mention how she calls her swimsuit a Trunk.



One night before school started up Jeff told Gray he'd be the man of the house again, and should help keep watch for Mommy. Later he told me he really wished we had a pet buffalo to take care of us, in case some bad guys came in our house, 'cause he's not very big, but a buffalo is.


September 8, 2010

(and still breastfeeding, too)

ivygray
(this photo has nothing to do with breastfeeding, I just loved it.)


One week from right now, she will be two. My baby, my youngest, will be two years old.

I am farther away from baby in my belly, from childbirth, from new-born life, and am holding heavy in the toddler/child/tween stage now.

I say Ivy has completely skipped age 2 and moved straight to 3. We have conversations. She has opinions and can
express them.

The other morning she got up in my face (that's her way) and made sure our eyes were looking at each other, and she said, "oatmeal, Mommy?" and so I made her some oatmeal (just plain oats cooked in water with a sprinkling of cinnamon) and when I started to put it in a regular white bowl, she said, "No, mama. A dipprent bowl." (her f's sound like p's)

She wanted a different bowl, her yellow bowl.

She asks for "NahNip" or "NaaaNap"- if I'm caught sitting down anytime
anywhere she mistakenly sees that as an open invitation to come feed. She would totally nurse all day long if I let her.

I don't really think about it, not in the way that I think "look at me, I'm so awesome, I am still nursing my baby/child." But I do feel happy about it; I don't desire to stop nursing any time soon.

I have had horrible allergy issues lately and was advised not to take certain medications because they could cause my milk to dry up. And some would see this is a perfect opportunity to finish and be done with it. And I'll be honest the thought did cross my mind for a nanosecond. But I know she is not ready to wean, and (although I am looking forward to having my body back all to myself completely), I am in this season with both feet and all my body. And heart and mind. (And sometimes really worn out breasts.)

As sure as I look out my window and see autumn smiling back at me, I know well how the seasons visit and depart all too soon. However, if you really stop and get to know them and breathe deep in... they can be such polite guests- arriving on time, and, always knowing when to leave.



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