p7-8, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Posted by Laura on May 20, 2013
I type my husband a message on google chat while the baby naps. He’s at work, but he responds right away.
Me: Where’s your brown coat? I’m sewing buttons back on your things for our cotton anniversary. :-*
It is a poly blend
I laugh out loud at this man and his funny way of viewing the world. It’s funny to me- to him, it’s normal, and I’m the funny one. He’s matter-of-fact, detail-oriented, literal. It’s hard to say whether he’s a good engineer because of how his mind works or his mind works this way because he’s an engineer. He’s a good match with my propensity to use made-up words, waving my hands around to convey my point. “You know, the thingamajig.” I’m grateful that after two years of marriage we are coming closer to the place where we are completely comfortable with each other. He can laugh at me and say he has no idea what I’m talking about. It’s okay. (I mean, usually. No one’s perfect.) We are alike in the important ways, sharing values and dreams and ideas about house floor plans, but the differences are often what make us a good couple. We balance each other, like twins on a see-saw.
Once upon a time, we marched around Bed, Bath and Beyond at 10pm shooting wedding registry items with our scanner gun. Soon we were in a huffy silence, tears threatening to spill down my face, because he loves down comforters and I think quilts are the coziest bedding choice. I remember wondering, with the desperation of someone about to say I do, how we would manage in life when our opinions were strong and opposite. Time has shown me that the answer is always balance. Give and take.
And sometimes, buy both the comforter and the quilt.
Happy second anniversary, honey.
An experiment in free writing, linked up with Just Write.
Posted by Laura on May 14, 2013
To all the moms who power through each day until bedtime, who shelter and nurture and pray and hope, who follow their guts and protect their babies, who persevere every day at the hardest and best job in the world:
Happy Mother’s Day. Rock on.
For those for whom today is a painful, difficult day- my thoughts and prayers are with you. Be gentle with yourself today, if you can. Life can be brutal but it has its beautiful moments. I hope the beauty finds you today somehow.
Posted by Laura on May 12, 2013
I redesigned my blog again. I know, shocker. I love the new look (until I get antsy again). If anyone is curious, I used the free WordPress theme Comet and chose the teal color scheme. I adjusted the background color to #7a756a, then made a header for free at Cooltext.com. I used Instant Eyedropper to find out the exact shade of teal the menu bar uses so that my header text would match. Done and done.
I’m feeling really proud of my garage sale shopping luck today. Check out our haul, all for $18:
Mary is pretty much set for clothes this summer! I just searched Craigslist for garage sales with baby clothes, and presto, two reasonably-priced sales nearby for us to peruse. Score.
Slowly, very slowly, Feedly is filling the Google Reader-sized hole in my heart. Blasphemously, I might even prefer Feedly’s Android app to Google Reader’s because it opens links in-app, making it easier to navigate from blog entry to link back to blog entry. Now if someone could just make it easier to comment on blogs from a smartphone, we’d be set.
You know you’re a bad bridesmaid if …
- You forget to send in the RSVP card on time and the bride has to email you to find out if you want lamb or sole at dinner.
- You don’t attend any showers or bachelorette parties, offering the lame excuse that they’re halfway across the country. You don’t even remember to send a card to let her know you’re thinking of her while she’s partying it up.
- You forget to respond to the bride’s email asking for your belated RSVP and she emails you again “just to check in.”
Not that I know any of this from personal experience, or anything… all hypothetical… (Sorry Viv!!)
That’s a Nissan Leaf with a “family” of guns pasted on the back, from rifles down to pistols. I find this car simultaneously hilarious and perplexing. The best I can guess is that the car owner believes in freedom from Big Oil and Big Government, but it’s not every day you find a gun-loving environmentalist.
Matt took a personal day from work yesterday and we knocked a bunch of stuff of our to-do list, including dental appointments for both of us (no cavities!), a twelve month checkup for le bebe, and purchasing plane tickets for a trip this summer, among other things. It felt pretty lame to spend one of Matt’s precious days off doing such boring responsible-adult things, so we squeezed in lunch out and a walk at our local nature trail. Mary loved having Matt home with us. She thinks he hung the moon.
Lest you think all is sunshine and roses here, I am currently listening to the dulcet tones of a baby skipping her afternoon nap and our house is nothing short of a wreck. But hey, TGIF. We are hoping to spend some time outdoors this weekend walking at a nearby state park. What about you? Any fantastic weekend plans?
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
Posted by Laura on May 10, 2013
1. SUNSHINE! Mary has been a handful and a half the last couple days and we have taken many a walk in the pretty weather. It calms both of us down so that we can face the rest of the day. Win.
2. Matt and I are really loving House of Cards. Well, I am, anyway. It’s dark and gritty and fascinating. Recommended if you want a show that keeps you coming back for more.
3. I wore this concealer at my graduation on Saturday, and when I was wiping my makeup off at the end of the day, Matt said, “Oh, you were wearing makeup?” That’s either really good makeup or a very smart husband. Hopefully both.
4. Picked up this darling from Target yesterday during one of Mary’s moods. I have been checking it out for weeks, stopping by just to make sure it’s still there, so I finally took the plunge and
asked it out bought it. Worth it.
5. My naptime read this week. I love Momastery, so of course I love its bookish sister. I borrowed my copy from the library, but I’m considering buying my own so that I can underline and exclamation point to my heart’s content. For example:
“I’d found my thing. Openness. I decided, based on firsthand experience, that it was more fun to say things that made other women feel hopeful about themselves and God than it was to say or omit things to make people feel jealous of me. And it was easier, too. Less to keep track of and monitor. So I decided to put down my guns, peel off my armor, and walk out of my bunker waving a little white flag.”
Right? RIGHT? Sigh of relief. She gets me.
Posted by Laura on May 8, 2013
Mary is happily pulling her board books off the second shelf and dumping them on the floor, so I grab my phone and check Instagram. I look up a moment later and find that she has crawled over to my chair. She’s pulled herself up so she can peek over the edge at me. She holds out a block with one hand, offering. Her eyes are big and round, her eyebrows raised. I take the block and smile, “Thank you!” She smiles back, proud to have caught my attention. I set my phone aside, out of her reach, and join her on the floor. We pass blocks back and forth. She piles them in my cupped hands until they overflow.
Linked up with Just Write at the Extraordinary Ordinary. Click on over to read more moments, freely written.
Posted by Laura on May 7, 2013
1. Oooh, a book!
(happily redirected to another activity…)
3. Five minutes later.
(quick babyproofing effort by Mom…)
4. Ten minutes later. She’s persistent, I’ll give her that.
Posted by Laura on May 3, 2013
I love a good linkup, don’t you? Joining in with Hallie today and sharing five things that are floating my boat right now.
1. Amazon Mom
I know I’m the last one to this party, but HALLELUJAH for 30% off diapers and wipes with Subscribe & Save. We cloth diaper most of the time now that Mary is out of daycare, but we still use overnight disposable diapers to cut down on diaper rash, and EVERYONE needs wipes. Especially after eating messy barbecue at a roadside stand (I speak from personal experience.)
I love this stuff!! The granules are fine enough to dissolve in cold water or milk, and it still tastes like the real deal. It’s become my go-to ingredient in my afternoon iced coffee pick-me-up. So much easier than chilling hot coffee or messing with cold brew systems. Easy trumps in this mama’s book. I stir in a couple teaspoons of vanilla syrup, give it a generous squirt of caramel sauce and we’re in business.
3. L’Oreal EverStrong Reconstruct Shampoo and Conditioner
I love how soft and clean this stuff makes my hair feel. I’m thrilled to be chopping off all my split ends tonight, and this shampoo and conditioner combo are going to keep my locks happy until the next time I can squeeze in a trim (I haven’t had one since before Mary was born, so it’s not looking good.)
4. Fisher Price Block Sorter
Mary loves taking the blocks in and out of the box, clapping the blocks together, chewing on the blocks, banging the blocks on the window, handing the blocks to me- the possibilities are endless with this toy. She has (many!) toys, but I think this one is her favorite. Some day we might even graduate to fitting the blocks through the lid.
5. Meijer Baby Food
These bad boys were on sale for 8 for $6 last weekend and we stocked up big time. Mary is loving Tropical Fruits but also accommodates Apple & Carrots and Pear & Squash.
Now off you go to Hallie to read about more favorite things! I love all the great product recommendations I’m finding, and you will too!
Posted by Laura on May 1, 2013
Yesterday was a big day for Mary and I. It was the first day of a new chapter of our lives: I am officially, completely, a full-time every-day stay-at-home mom.
I have been psyching myself up for this change for months. Yep, months. Staying home postpartum with Mary was not the happiest time in my life, and I know there were hormones and postpartum depression and brand new baby and brand new mom and YES, things are different now, thank God, but still. Still. I’m scared-nervous-excited-worried-hopeful. But I have a plan! Which always makes me feel better.
Step One: Find our Village
For the past month or so I have been scoping out Mommy-Baby playgroups online. We’re lucky to live in an area where there are lots of families and nice parks and things to do. Mommyhood was NOT meant to be done alone, I firmly believe. Mary and I were signed up for two playdates yesterday… mildly ambitious? Instead, we ended up here again:
Ugh, the doctor’s office, We’ve been here four times this month trying to ditch an ear infection. The good news is she’s on the mend. The bad news is we’re not playdate-ready just yet.
Step Two: Find Fulfillment
Being a mom is tedious. It just is. There’s only so many times you can change a diaper or spoon feed some yogurt before you’re just, GUH! I NEED FULFILLMENT! I think the trick is going to be listening to that need, calling it fair and legitimate, and working out a solution. Maybe I’ll craft or read during Mary’s naptime. Maybe I’ll look up a new baby game or activity on Pinterest to play with Mary. Maybe I’ll take a few minutes at night to write a note to a friend. There are lots of options. The only wrong choice is to pretend that I don’t need fulfillment. Yesterday, I worked on making decorations for Mary’s birthday party this weekend. Can’t show you yet, but look for pictures next week!
Step Three: Ride the Wave
Mamahood isn’t fun all the time, but the good thing about Mary’s age is that even when she’s unhappy, her mood will change for the better before too long.
Step Four: Listen to those who came before (i.e. Don’t reinvent the wheel)
I’ve checked out a book on stay-at-home parenting from the library. (Hi, I’m Laura, I overplan.) I’m always on the lookout for wisdom from other moms. It’s the main reason I read blogs. We’re in this together, am I right?
Posted by Laura on April 30, 2013
I’m typing this at the tail end of a long week full of stressful days. Our Christmas tree is still up, as are our outdoor lights, and I’m starting to wonder if the neighbors are going to stage an intervention to persuade us to move our decor choices into the New Year. I have three loads of laundry piled next to me on the couch. Two nights’ worth of dishes sit in the sink. You know what? I don’t care. We’ll get to it all. Self-care first. In the form of posting disorganized thoughts on cyberspace.
It’s North American International Auto Show season here in Detroit. I attended last year, but I think Mary and I will sit it out this year and try going when she’s a little older. The crowds are pretty intense for a baby. That doesn’t stop me from ogling all the concept cars online, though. I’m especially loving Ford’s new Atlas concept and the new Corvette.
Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah is playing on the TV as I write this. As frustrating as Lance is, and as sad as the whole story of his doping is, what really bothers me about this interview is Oprah’s interviewing style. We are about an hour into the interview and at this point Matt and I are pretty much just making fun of Oprah’s questions. Favorite quote from Oprah so far: “Third law of motion- what you put out is going to come back.” Although maybe that’s only hilarious to nerds like us? Hm.
I’ve subscribed to some awesome blogs this week, in case anyone is looking for more good stuff in their Google Reader inbox:
Mothering has been a hard, hard job since Mary started her new daycare. Sleeping is really tough for her when there’s stimulation about. That means evenings with her = overtired, crashing baby. Occasionally, though, after all the fussing and nursing, adorable things happen:
She’s sleeping on both of our shoulders, snuggled into the crevice between our bodies
Can we just take a moment to agree that Instagram is the best social media platform ever? I love it so much. No rampant ads like Twitter. No farms or vampires or whathaveyou like Facebook. Just straight-up beautiful slice-of-life moments served with a side of witty captions. Genius. You can follow me @spotofrain. I hope you do- I’d love to follow you too!
Matt and I are working our way through Elementary, the new Sherlock Holmes TV series on CBS. We’re really enjoying it! It’s gripping without being too dark, fast-paced while still devoting time to character development, and faithful to the Doyle’s legacy while still inventive (Watson is female, for example). I recommend it. I’m also watching Downton Abbey on my Wednesdays off with Mary- a guilty pleasure, for sure. What about you? What are your TV favorites right now?
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
Posted by Laura on January 18, 2013