April 30, 2011


I'm a celebrity!

So, this happened.

In today's Times newspaper. (It's the best photo I could take in my excitement. You can click on it to enlarge.) I'm tempted to close comments now but let's just roll with it.
  1. It's awesome!
  2. I hope it brings more people to the show!
  3. It's hilarious!
Do I think I am a celeb blogger? I'm posting this on a Saturday. I wrote most of this post in my head while hand-washing my dishes.

If I was a celeb blogger I would have had a dishwasher sent to me by now, right? Well, to be honest (and probably really drive my point home) I did have a dishwasher offered to me and then after they asked for my "stats" I never heard about it again.

But who really cares about that? That's not why I am here. I have perfectly good hands to wash dishes and give me a chance to think up blog posts. That ad is spectacular, and all in fun, and made possible by my awesome local sponsor Albert's Jewelers.

Ann believed in herself and I believed in her show and someone believed in me along the way. This is it right now! and I am loving every second of the ride.

Come to the show! I'll even autograph your program!

April 29, 2011

Liver spots

The street lamp glows. My hands on the wheel, and the shadow of the rain prints liver spots up and down my arms.

I have to run into the store, fifteen minutes until closing. At the stoplight I notice, and everything I am feeling all in one burst sprays over me: dread, excitement, anxiety. I'm not ready. Maybe I am. But then maybe feeling ready is actually trickery and this confidence is going to knock me off my feet and oh my gosh I am really doing this? My piece is the worst of the whole bunch. And I am the director. I am the director! So I get a pass. Right? But it works, it fits, I think it's meant to be? I think it doesn't even matter, because it's totally happening. Remember when I was little and I wanted to do this? Remember what I went to school for and didn't finish? Am I kind of feeling this really strange gratification of my own work? Are we allowing this now? Is this what having talent feels like? This is it.

But this is not just it. This is going to lead to more. This is already more than it.

I buy non-glare sheet protectors and envelopes and stamps. The store is closing.

Tonight is our official "dress rehearsal" and dare I say I feel ready? I feel so super lucky to be able to hear all the stories again before everyone else. What a privilege.

Thank you for all your encouragement along the way. I can't wait for you to see the show- whether you are in the audience because you got your tickets right here or because you'll get to see it online. I do hope my passion for it makes so much sense when it's all said and done. And even if it doesn't, I get it and it gets me and that means more than I could ever write or speak in any language.

[for funsies]
like listen to your mother on facebook
like blogher, LTYM's national media sponsor, on facebook
friend albert's jewelers, LTYM valpo's local sponsor, on facebook
like this post at the bottom down there and share with all your friends

April 27, 2011

Small Style: Here, There, and Everywhere


First, can I just say that I am so excited to be photographing outside again.

Which way are we going? Or coming from? Things are still in full swing. In a blink I'm in Vegas with Jeff minus children (our first time together away after kids!) Two blinks it will be my show.

In the between times, we have been stepping from moment to moment. Ivy's choice of duds for this week's small style is a perfect representation of my "right now". That is Gray's new shirt that she claimed for herself. He didn't seem to mind. These days, I am just happy if they are dressed. Truly, that's a bonus.


jacket: gymboree
tee: trunk ltd via the mini social
pants: chatti patti via zulily

Linking up with Small Style at the awesome Mama Loves Papa.

Look what I can do

I can build Legos

Gray had a whopping ten dollars burning a hole in his pocket and so I promised him a trip to the store to buy Legos. I hadn't told him we'd first be canvassing the entire town with Listen To Your Mother posters and cards. Eventually he found a small box of Legos he wanted but then hesitated: this was morning-time and his brothers wouldn't be home for a few more hours. He'd have to wait that long to build them.

I told him I would build it for him.YOU KNOW HOW TO BUILD LEGOS? His eyes popped out of his head right there in aisle 27.

I was like, huh. I can drive a car. I can birth babies. I can make breakfastlunchanddinner magically appear and then later the mess disappear. I can read. I can write. I can do math sometimes in my head. I can make milk and sustain a life for far too long. But oh, LEGOS? Wow.

It was about time I did something that impressed him.

Oh, and... the winner of the netbook is Cariann. I seriously was overcome with the heaviest anxiety when it came time to submit for a number on random.org. The comments here all made me wish I could pick who needed it most or give one away to everyone all Oprah-style. So, I took a moment to pray (for real) that whomever was meant to win it randomly, would. And for those who are still in need, I pray that you will be taken care of in another fun way, too. I hope you all understand!

April 26, 2011

world travelers

I'm writing right now because the windows are open. And there is good music on the local college radio station. (Elliot Smith, "Angeles") And the kids are eating Easter candy together quietly in another room.

"I have a two-cent penny!" Noah shows me what looks like a penny, but it says 2 cent euro or something or other and I tell him to save it. For when we go to Europe someday.

He scrunched his nose. Pushed his glasses up higher. Not believing we'll go. I, however, have big plans for us to go to Europe as a family. Some day.

"Well maybe I will just take my own family when I grow up..." his voice trailed off as he went to put real money in his new bank.

In my own little world I imagine that everyone has been to Europe, or will go someday. And how sad if not. But I realize that, yes I've been to Europe twice (namely Switzerland for, like, a few hours and France two different years. Two very different "me"s) but I have never been to New York City. I have never been to the Grand Canyon. (Although I feel like I have; I watched a lot of Brady Bunch.) I have never been to our country's capital. I have never been to Mexico.

But also in my own little world, I know I will go to all of those places, eventually. I've never been to Las Vegas and Jeff and I are headed there very soon. So, see.

Am I in my own little bubble? Have you never traveled? How far have you gone from home? Where is the best shopping Vegas? What should I wear k thanx.

April 25, 2011

to disappear

She won't color with crayons. It must be marker, especially Sharpie acquired by way of kitchen stool to counter to cabinet to stash. Whatever is bold-er, what stains. What bleeds.


Fever for the moment; hangover of regrets.

She is just like me.

Someday she'll want to put everyone on her back and save them, and then wonder why she can't lift her roots out of the ground, why she isn't light enough to fly away from it all.

[comments quieted]

April 24, 2011

Ivy's new hair & Easter outfit

easter hat

Ivy got a hair cut the other day- it's a cute little page-boy style. It was about time we did something with all that mullet-y baby hair that was still hanging on at the bottom. It's adorable, and I think she wanted to look like her brothers because she told the stylist to keep cutting "it's too bigger!"

easter outfit

At the kids' salon they had these cute hats for sale and wouldn't you know my friend Liz makes them. I thought it would be just perfect for Easter Sunday. The rest of her outfit is by baby sara via Zulily and the blue dress underneath is from Target!

We've been attending Living Hope for the past few weeks, in case you were wondering. The kids love it. Today there is even an Easter egg hunt before service. I've had a pretty exceptional weekend, trying to distance myself from my inbox and to-do list and also? The sun is out. What a great day.

April 22, 2011

I AM A LIAR: a tale of the time my kid called me out in public

Along with the little man that I'd like to climb into my phone and answer all my emails and sort neatly into folders, I also would like:

An app for the word that is on the tip of my tongue, and that train of thought I just lost. Oh, it just makes my stomach ache! And these eight open browser windows are NO HELP as to what I was going to do next. Whatever it was, was awesome. Now we may never know. Or I will think of it in the shower tomorrow.

I AM A LIAR: a tale of the time my kid called me out in public

It was all over toilet paper.

Busy grocery afternoon and I had put Gray in charge of the toilet paper. Don't let mommy forget! He was on it.

But we passed a display as soon as we entered the store and Ivy points "TOILET PAPER!" And I said, oh thank you, Ivy!

And Gray was pissed PO'ed.

Right there right next to an older lady sizing up a Top Round Roast he loudly growls "YOU LIED. YOU ARE A LIAR. You said I was in charge of reminding you and you let Ivy remind you instead. YOU LIED"


Gray might be small but he sure can pack a punch. Everyone was at attention. Honestly, I was disarmed and speechless, I actually searched that lady's eyes for mercy and she threw me a life raft, Oh, I remember she said with her brow and a whisper.

I don't think I said thank you and I wish I had. It was one of those moments where the room started spinning and I closed my eyes. Soft answer turns away wrath was all that rang in my head as I gently wheeled my cart to the side and leaned into Gray firmly.

Quiet down, you are still in charge of the toilet paper Ivy is only two she just wanted to help and also that wasn't even toilet paper it was paper towels, so see? You still get to remind me about the toilet paper. Pee Ess don't even think about asking me to go to the park now.

We shop in eerie silence.

In the car we are almost home and he shouts TOILET PAPER! Did you forget it mommy? And I said, no, it's in the back. I remembered just fine. Thank you.

Every day I think it's getting better! And it also isn't. Every one of my kids is going to do something like this and each time it still hurts like the first.

April 20, 2011

Small Style: The Mr. Sun, where did you go? Edition

mr. sun?

I left lovely WARM New Orleans for this? It's cold and rainy here every single day with only clouds up ahead in the next week's forecast + beyond. At least we have umbrellas and wellies. And tap shoes.

I've got a big meeting with my show's major (local) sponsor Albert's Jewelers this afternoon and we're setting things in stone and print and paper and wow did you know it's only like, two weeks and two days away?

My boys are so proud, taking my post cards to their teachers. Seeing my posters hanging around town. This is amazing. This is a whole other kind of sunlight.


On Ivy for this week's Small Style:

mr. sun dress: misha lulu [psst there's a fab misha lulu interview & giveaway at modern kiddo this week.] 
re-purposed pants: tag you "r" it via etsy
tap shoes: hand-me-downs

Linking up with Mama Loves Papa's genius Small Style as always.

Live from my bedroom: UNCUT!

They practiced all day, then sat us in those teensy tiny yellow Little Tikes table chairs and put on a show. Noah played guitar, Ivy on drums, Gray as lead singer, Carter as special effects and art direction.

Video by yours truly via my iPhone (how awesome that it sends it straight to YouTube for me?) (Must record more videos.)

April 18, 2011

Steak Penguin

I pushed the cart, stocking up for my trip out of town for a three days. I buy enough for just in case I am not able to come back for like, another week or two. You know just in case.

Gray asks me, O Great Mother Encyclopedia, in the freezer aisle, Do penguins have fur?

I half-pay attention and (off the top of my head) explain they have a special kind of feathers that keep them warm and help them swim fast.

I suggest that he would actually make a great penguin someday. He was absolutely insulted. Ew! GROSS. I will not be a penguin. They eat FISH! And I didn't think he was going to talk to me the rest of the grocery trip he was so offended. (Which would not be such a bad thing.) (He talks a lot.)

Trying to smooth things over, "Well, you could be the penguin that eats only hummus and vegetables. I am sure there are some penguins that are allergic to fish. You could be that penguin. (This makes the most sense anyway since Gray is allergic to everything.) What about that?"

I'll just be a steak penguin. With A-1 if they have it.

April 17, 2011


So I won a ticket to Mom 2.0 from the fabulous gals at Modern Kiddo.

I heard that Windows was going to be giving away seven laptops and netbooks at the conference breakfast-- my HP mini only works if it's plugged into a power source at all times. So it's like a laptop on a leash (which was a total bummer at the conference because there were like, no outlets to be found)-- and I knew I was going to win one. I was wrong. I won two.

As I was getting ready to check out of my room I happened to give a look-see over my twitter replies. Truvia had tweeted at me that I won an iPod Touch. I didn't even know I entered to win one.

That is winning.

No. Wait.

What's really winning is that when I got home, there was a package of one thousand beautiful, luscious, glossy postcards for my Listen To Your Mother show waiting to be opened. (Show details on the back, but you can see all that here, too.)

April 16, 2011

Where Y'at?

I'm so glad Rachel caught this moment on the sly. 
At the opening keynote, me + Meagan + Polly

New Orleans is fun. I absolutely and completely understand now why- after all the years I've visited family in Louisiana- I was never allowed to come here when I was younger.

It's been such an easy conference. I am so impressed by the Mom 2.0 Summit. The size makes it so un-overwhelming. I am also in love with my Club Suite at the Ritz. Thanks, Sara! We have our own private lounge with "four meal presentations" throughout the day and huge glass jars filled with homemade cookies of every kind in the hall to our room.

Last night was my "free" night when I'd promised myself not to make any commitments so that I could come and go wherever. I ended up catching dinner at Cochon (best part of my trip!) with Jodi, Gina of Forty Weeks, Elina of A-list Mom, and my friend Amy Wilson (who has a book that I want to give to many people I know. I am just in love with it. The best way I can describe it is that it's, like, what so much of Listen To Your Mother is about, for me. I wish she could come read a chapter or three in my show. So. It's called When Did I Get Like This. ) Oh yeah, and then Amy and I did end up on Bourbon Street. I got hit in the head with beads.

It's been really nice to take a breather from mothering and writing. Last week was Tough. With big deadlines and feeling like an awful parent. So, this is a much-needed getaway from it all. (And it's also been super cool that Noah has been texting me while I've been away!)

Speaking of deadlines, I was published in the Times on Wednesday if you want to check it out here's the web version- Easter gifts: creative alternatives to candy. I posted a pic of it in the paper on Facebook if you want to see. It's so much cuter in print.

Here's some other things I've mustered up elsewhere this week-ish:

Bedtime Stories at NWIparent (remember when I said I wanted to read to the kids more? We haven't missed a night since!)
Working From Home: how I do it (or rather how I don't?)
I am the Opposite Of Extreme Couponing
What I'm watching: Best shows about parenting
Also, did you hear I'm going to Vegas, baby??

Anyhoo. I fly out later this afternoon. Such a good time and I'm ready to get home again.

April 15, 2011

The Happiest Mom: I know her!

I've known Meagan Francis for several years now thanks to The Chicago Moms blog way back when. The moment I met Meagan I found her to be the source of the most beautiful light. Especially since at the time I felt quite alone among the Chicago peeps with my crunchy ways. But Meagan? She had homebirths and a whole bunch of boys and then a girl, like me, too. Hanging out with her is so easy. I love that.

Last summer Meagan and I had a chance to hang out for a couple days and she shared with me a top secret sneak peek at her new book The Happiest Mom. Earlier this year we roomed together in Grand Rapids and could have easily stayed up all night yapping away. (Actually I think we probably did.) And then we ordered room service for breakfast and gabbed until check out.

I'm so excited to see her again in New Orleans this weekend for Mom 2.0 and Meagan is also a featured speaker in my Listen To Your Mother show. Whew.

So, now that you have some sort of introduction, I'd like to share a little Q&A about Meagan to celebrate the launch of The Happiest Mom. (Available in book stores and online now!)

Me: Have you always been a happy, glass-half-full kind of person or is it something that you had to work on?

Meagan: Except for a melancholy phase in Junior High, I've always been an optimist. But actually, the optimist in me can sometimes lead to overestimating what I can pull off and has led to a lot of motherhood angst. After all, just because it's possible that I could  juggle a heavy work load, keeping up our home, and raising good kids all at once doesn't mean it's healthy to actually try to do it all at once. I have to continuously reign myself in so that my optimism doesn't get in the way of common sense and lead to burnout.

And of course, I've struggled with sadness and down feelings just like everyone else, particularly during the year after my second child was born. I have always known that I'd rather be happy, though, and have tried to choose happiness whenever I can.

Me: I know you use a more attachment parenting approach while at the same time hating the label. How does your parenting style make you the happiest mom?

Meagan: I think the parts of attachment parenting that work for me also make me happy because they feel right. For example, I knew from the moment I brought my first son home from the hospital that there was no way I could put him in a crib to sleep. It just felt foreign to me. That doesn't mean co-sleeping is all sunshine and roses, but then, neither is crib-sleeping. I chose the style that worked for us fully knowing that there would be some obstacles along the way.

Same thing with extended nursing. It's not like I get up every day and sing "I can't wait to nurse my hair-pulling two-year-old today!" In fact, sometimes I want to duct-tape her arms to her sides (oh wait, did I say that out loud?)

But overall, I am happy with my decisions because I know they come from somewhere deep inside me, and feel really right--not like what somebody else thinks is right.

Me: How does it make you crazy. (Oh, is that just me?) :)

Meagan: Heh...well, in addition to feet in my face at night occasionally and the hair-pulling-while-nursing thing, I think there's this expectation that if you choose a parenting style outside the mainstream, you aren't ever allowed to complain about it. I mean, just because I've chosen something and am overall happy with it doesn't mean there aren't days I wish I could just put my kid in a crib at 7:00 and be done for the night the way a lot of my friends are able to. I just tell myself, I can always change thing up if I need to, or if the feeling lasts. For example, I've been feeling pretty frustrated with nursing Clara for a month or so, mostly because I think night-nursing is getting in the way of either of us getting a good night's sleep. So I am working on making changes. It's not like once you've made some counter-cultural choice that's it, you're locked in. The beauty of motherhood is that you can really make it your own. Wait, did I answer the question? 

Meagan with her lovely (and handsome!) family

Me: What is the first thing to come to your mind that has you thinking I wish someone had told me... ?

Meagan: I wish somebody had told me that I was the right mom for my kids. That I didn't have to mold myself into somebody else. That most of what I needed to know about being a mom was inside me the whole time.

Me: I tend to be disappointed by (what I see as) failures instead of the really awesome mom moments. I think we all should brag a little more about times we rock this motherhood. Can you share something you think you've done well as a mom, something you're proud of?

Meagan: You are so right. One thing I think I am really excellent at in general is apologizing, admitting I'm wrong and starting over--especially since I came from a family where parents would never ever apologize to their kids or admit failure or wrongness in any way. It takes guts to do it and it hasn't always come easily! I used to really dig in my heels to try to assert my authority and "rightness." But you know, I mess up too, and I think it's a great gift to show my kids that adults aren't perfect and that when you screw up, the loving adult thing to do is to apologize and ask for a do-over.

Me: Just for fun, what was your favorite baby carrier during your babywearing days?

Meagan: I always loved a simple unpadded ring or pouch sling (like the Maya wrap or pouch) when they were little, and graduated to an Ergo by the time they were four or five months old because I felt like it gave me more freedom of movement. Oh, how I loved that Ergo!

Get to know (and grow to love) Meagan even more at her blog thehappiestmom.com.

Win! I've got two copies of The Happiest Mom to giveaway. It would be awesome if you'd like The Happiest Mom on Facebook and leave a comment here to enter (but really, only a comment here is necessary to win!) Two comments will be chosen at random next Tuesday night after 11:59 PM. 

April 14, 2011

Small Style: Up and Away!

I am off to NOLA! I should arrive airplane to airplane to taxi at the Ritz late this afternoon and will be slipping into my party dress as the festivities start tonight. (Thanks go again to Sakura Bloom for being such an awesome fairygodsponsor to me.)

Pray I make it to the airport in time! And that I make all my flight changes! And that the kids have the best time apart from me for a couple days! (Keeping it real, I think we all need it.)


Small Style- On Ivy: French tee & Balloon skirt from Misha Lulu's new spring 2011 Paris line (ooh la la!) and Kenya shorts from the Africa collection.

Linking up with the official Small Style at Mama Loves Papa as always.

April 12, 2011

Field Trip

Art museum

I went on a field trip with Noah's class today. We sat together on the bus, and a little girl joined us. She was quite chatty. She was a close-talker. Which was great because she goes, "my voice sounds funny because I have a sore throat." Also, every neighborhood we passed she knew someone that lived there. That's my old babysitter's. She had a waterbed.

I wanted to keep her. I wanted to keep them all.

Fourth grade. The turning point. It was for me and still is for kids today. In the art museum there were some Impressionist pieces with female nudity. I watched the boys shuffle and whisper to their friends. And just guess when they got to pick one painting to write about where they chose to sit?

Also tonight, in Target I needed shaving gel and the boys asked what it was for and I said for shaving my legs and then Noah covered his mouth while gigglewhispering to Carter something something shave legs hehehe. I was wondering when this was going to start.

Then, in the car, he said what's under there? And I said under where? 


Yep, it's started.

April 11, 2011


She wipes pan. Breakfast plate, while dinner cooks.

She knows that supper pot, so helpful, will be burden. Thankful, and  worn. I loathe you. But thank you (hiss I hate you.)

The children have ice cream. Four more bowls. To clean.

Mommy why are you whispering?

Take care of yourselves- but need me!

She washes, she phone calls, she sets she folds she battles she finds

sigh sigh sigh

Fuller in the arms, hips round. I'm still breastfeeding, she excuses. Still breastfeeding. It will fall right off someday. Soft.

Remember cones next time.

They eat alone, together. She hides to breathe, to, the defeat in her eyes. Pleads. Let them only remember my victories.

[comments closed]


Ivy says "lasterday" when she means "yesterday" and really, I think her version makes more sense.

Lasterday was pretty awesome. Beautiful outside, we had a great  breakfast together but had a late start so we didn't make it to church (we did visit a new place last week and plan to go back again.) I busied myself with lots of vacuuming and laundry and grocery shopping. Though you can't see evidence of it all today.

Then hubs grilled lunch/dinner (linner?) and I later took off for Chicago; two nights in a row its bright toothy grin greeted me. I attended my first Poetry Slam at the Green Mill. I can't imagine it will be my last. So awesome.

Today I have so much to do that I don't even know where to start so here I am, sitting at my computer. Of course. I keep pep-talking myself, if I can just get to May 8. Most things taking up all my energy right now will be over by May 8: Listen To Your Mother stuff, New Orleans trip, Easter, Listen To Your Mother rehearsal,VEGAS TRIP, Listen To Your Mother SHOW.

Oh yeah, and also in between all that? My writing gigs and life with four kids.

One thing at a time.

Right now? I think I'm going to just join Gray & Ivy under their dining room table tent for a while.

Stuff will get done. It always does.

April 9, 2011

Sometimes I Fall

Last night was the first table reading with my Listen To Your Mother cast. I had been looking forward to this night for so long, pretty much since auditions. I couldn't wait to hear them read their pieces again, and even better now have others hear them, too. Somehow it was even better than the first time.

We were able to meet in a private room at Uptown Cafe (my favorite.) (Also, they have been so good to me!) It was strange when it was time to leave. Like, I didn't want to open the door and release the spirit flowing in there, just between us. But how exciting that we are going to fill a huge theatre with that spirit, with our stories.

I just can't wait for Ann to hear who I've chosen, and then I can't wait for you all to hear them, too. Hoping video won't take too long to be put online. Because I just think you will be blown away. Seriously, after each person would read, the next reader didn't want to follow! This whole time I've been trying to think of a way I won't have to read because honestly? I have nothing on these talented writers. And most of them aren't even "writers". That's it.

That is it. And I love it.

I don't even feel worthy to be on stage with them. But I guess being the producer and director people will understand and make an exception, right? Right.

How is it I get to be doing this right now? Somewhere along the lines I said a small yes to something that has SNOWBALLED into this HUGE YES. Every step of the way something has been provided, worked out, confirming that this is meant to be.


Also, it's too late anyway, the show must and will go on even if it was a no. But it's a yes.

P.S. As we were leaving Uptown and headed to our cars together, I remembered I had to run back in to do something. I turned and tripped full force on the sidewalk/curb, hurdling myself into a grated railing. And, as I tried to catch myself on that railing, my arms went THROUGH the slats in the rails. OMG. Like, you can't even make this stuff up. I just sat there in a crumple on the sidewalk. In front of my cast. We just had this awesome moment together, and then they watch me make the most graceful of exits. Urgh.

P.P.S. Today is going to be a good day. I am going to clean the kitchen and try on clothes for NOLA. Heather heard about my trip and brought a whole bag of jazzy things to the table reading for me to borrow! Jeff's golfing this morning, Jimi Thing is on Pandora, I'm about to make a latte-with-an-extra-shot drive, and tonight we get to have dinner at Crofton's.

[In the meantime I am so sore. I only scraped up and bruised my knees and shoulder. And dignity. Eh. Sometimes I fall. And sometimes I don't. And most of the times I am just bumbling around somewhere in between]

April 7, 2011

Oh snap.

Ivy's legs hung far over the arm of the rocking chair as she nursed. "Ivy, you are such a big girl!" Jeff told her, "Big girls don't have nah-nap."

And she pulled off and exclaimed, "YES WE DO!".

(I swear she also did three snaps in Z formation)

I took the kids into the Memorial Opera House to pay the rest of the deposit for Listen To Your Mother. I explained that this was where Mommy's show was going to be. Carter so sweetly asked, "Is it a knitting show?"

I sidled up to Jeff this morning and said remember how in my blog post yesterday I said that I wasn't going to buy any new outfits for my trip to New Orleans? Did you notice how I didn't mention anything about shoes?

Small Style: keeping it real

 small style

While Ivy probably has enough outfits to wear something different for every Small Style from here on out, there are many repeats in her day-to-day wear. I am mindful of any new pieces I add to her ever-growing (and out-growing) wardrobe. The beauty of being free to mash-up patterns and colors is the expansive possibilities!

Here you'll see the sweater from last week, the Tea Collection shirt from my blog's header (among many other photos), and her Rosemary's Cuppa handmade skirt. Those Tea Collection capris are perfect for under almost all her dresses and skirts, and I'm so happy with how versatile these Converse tennies have been- they really go with everything.

small style keep it real

Also, Ivy's cute "ballerina" pony tail? That is the result of her hair being in pig tails the past few days and thus now quite un-brushable without a proper hair washing -and - we had no time for a bath today! Like I said, keeping it real!
As always, loving the link-up for the official  Small Style here.

And, just a reminder: links in my posts (including some of the above) might be affiliate links.

April 6, 2011

a whole other animal

She also plays them with my ginormous knitting needles.

My intention with having lots of books, crafts, and musical instruments placed about our home was to just make those things accessible- not pushed upon my kids, but made readily available if they so fancy to dabble. Of course the mood strikes Ivy only when I am on the phone. But she is getting quite good.

Things have been exciting around here the past couple days. I have been on a writing deadline, show deadlines, as well as just trying to keep the household in (albeit slow) working order.

Then I also found out that I won a ticket on Modern Kiddo to attend next weekend's Mom 2.0 Summit in New Orleans. !! I've never been to that conference, and it's no secret I am absolutely wishy washy when it comes to blog conferences. Depending on my mood, I'm either so not into it or I am ravenous to attend. I have separation anxiety and can't leave the kids or I see it as an excellent opportunity to be apart MUST GO NOW.

I think because this is extremely last minute, I am not over thinking and just basically rolling with it. The fabulous Sara of Self Made Mom and 2 Moms Media offered to let me room with her at the Ritz. The rest of my way is being generously gifted by Sakura Bloom, who wants no big mention or exchange (I seriously love them) but I want to casually add that they do have a beautiful affiliate program if you are interested in joining and would like their ad on your site.

(And now I am going to go off on a little side note here, about advertising. And maybe I should start by saying I think I am totally not the person to give advertising advice, but anyway, this is my experience: I have been contacted from time to time about joining a bigger ad network, but I can't even begin to measure the value of the relationships I have with many of my advertisers, especially Sakura Bloom. Not only can I be in control of the ad content, but I have developed real friendships within the "partnership". Maybe I'll learn next week at Mom 2.0 that this is the wrong way to do things, but for me - and my blog might be unique in that I am of a different style and opinion and not applicable to other bloggers so- it has been the right way. And I don't mean that there is an either/or - ad network or not. I think obviously both are not one size fits all. It's about the whole package. The stuff that might take longer to see a pay off, the stuff that makes my heart feel good. This is my language... this is what makes having ads even possible at all, for me.)

Anyway, all of that to say... I am still waiting to hear if Jeff can even be home with the kids on Friday. Something about not knowing, and not having much time to prepare has me sensing a confidence I haven't felt in a long time. Like, so what that my greys are showing and I have sister-wife hair (no offense to any sister wives that might be reading this) and I have no new outfits to wear nor do I plan on buying any for the trip. I am almost being forced to not stress about those things (believe me, I have for past events) and must go on with myself like it's no big deal. And I am finding that the idea of this self is just as much the whole package as being primped and polished. You'd think I'd know all this by now but like I said, I'm a little slow moving. But at least I'm headed in that direction. (And hopefully to New Orleans! I should know for sure today!)

ed. to add: I am going!

April 4, 2011

April FOUR

 April ONE

I've been posting these monthly photos for one whole year now. I kinda can't believe that I have kept it up. But I'm so glad I have. Looking at photos of my kids makes me happy.

silly faces

I used to take photos of my kids on the first of every month, now it's on the fourth. Four for four... get it? You can see past month photos here.

April 3, 2011

"Continued Breastfeeding" : straight from the mouths of babes

synchronized chalk drawing 
 [synchronized chalk drawing]

This morning Ivy and I had a talk about "nah-nap" (what she calls nursing). Basically I was asking her why she likes it so much. I mean, she is two-and-a-half now, and I am trying to figure out her plan for our breastfeeding relationship. So far, I kinda feel like I'm always on tap, her personal keg. And a mom can start to feel used, you know? 

She can speak very well for her age, and she said I just love it! And I asked her what it tastes like. It tastes like... (her smiling eyes looked upward and she thought for a minute) it tastes like flowers!

We giggled and no, I do not think my breast milk really tastes like flowers, but I think that is her way of saying it is all unicorns and rainbows. And I love that I can hear that in her own words. Like, maybe this is how your newborn would describe it if he could, you know, talk. You know, when they flutter those eyes in complete and utter pleasure... maybe she's speaking for nursing babies (and toddlers) everywhere. And that's kind of awesome.

I am  joining this month's Carnival of Breastfeeding, theme: extended nursing.

Please visit the other participants:
Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC: Old enough to ask for it
Karianna @ Caffeinated Catholic Mama: A Song for Mama’s Milk
Judy @ Mommy News Blog: My Favorite Moments
Tamara Reese @ Kveller: Extended Breastfeeding
Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: The Highs and Lows of Nursing a Toddler
Christina @ MFOM: Natural-Term Breastfeeding
Rebekah @ Momma’s Angel: My Sleep Breakthrough
Suzi @ Attachedattheboob: Why I love nursing a toddler
Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl: My Hopes for Tandem Nursing
The Accidental Natural Mama: Nurse on, Mama
Sarah @ Reproductive Rites: Gratitude for extended breastfeeding
Nikki @ On Becoming Mommy: The Little Things
The Artsy Mama: Why Nurse a Toddler?
Christina @ The Milk Mama: The best thing about breastfeeding
TopHot @ the bee in your bonnet: From the Mouths of Babes
Callista @ Callista’s Ramblings:  Pressure To Stop Breastfeeding
Zoie @ Touchstone Z: Breastfeeding Flavors
Tanya @ Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Six misconceptions about extended breastfeeding
Jona (Breastfeedingtwins.org): Breastfeeding older twins

April 2, 2011

redemption day

Things about today that made up for a lame-o spring break week:

breakfast with the fam at Le Peep
awesome playlist on Pandora while I organized the playroom
$1/skein yarn sale at the knitting shop
another store's employees gushed over my bag & suggested I make more for them to sell (!!)
feeling flattered about my knitting talent especially knowing I won't/don't want to sell
grocery shopping peacefully by myself
sweet walk to Dairy Queen after dinner
all of us excited to try a new church tomorrow
actually reading to the kids at bedtime again (I need /want to do this every night)

April 1, 2011

Telling stories about telling stories

I am a ball of nervy nerves. I hate to admit it, I do. Last night I apologized to Jeff for being so anxious about all that needs to be done for Listen To Your Mother - and I didn't want him to think I had any regrets or anything, nor did I want him to think I should shuddup because I brought this all on myself. He doesn't think any of those things.

I don't know how to neatly wrap an example in words but I have judged others in the past for similar stuff. As I am in the midst of all of this- pursuing something that means a lot to me- I need to let out some stress. And I need to get over the fact that some people will think, duh, you did this to yourself.  Tune me out if you need to. But I'm trucking on. And sometimes lying on my back, hand thrown upon my forehead, whining. But I'm on my way.

(How this production and all it involves is so similar to motherhood, among other things, as a whole is uncanny.)

So, I am asked over and over and over and over and over again about the show. What is it about? How did you get involved?

There's a story about its story. And I tell it. Over and over. I used to be kind of embarrassed and light about it. But each time I tell it it's like building my muscles; I am Rockstar about it now. And I might even be so bold to just tell people: Buy a ticket. You'll get "it". Stories: tell them over and over, grow stronger, they build muscles.

Fist pump.

There is some awesome news today about the Listen To Your Mother's national sponsor: BlogHer. Wow this is big. I feel so much confirmation for getting my BlogHer ticket already. I'm excited to also have an incredible local sponsor for my show- Albert's Jewelers. And of course, in case you didn't catch it, tickets are on sale (and selling fast!) now.