Monday, September 26, 2011

Going back in time

Tomorrow we are driving out to Steubenville, Ohio to visit our old stomping grounds. We have visited our school at least twice a year since we graduated, mainly because my younger sister, and now brother as well go to the same school. However, there is another reason we keep going back. It is a refreshing experience for us as well. In the past we liked seeing old friends still in the area, but now we know very few people (aside from my siblings). But we love the atmosphere, the Masses we get to go to, praying in the port. We like remembering this place and part of our lives that was so defining and building. It was also defining for our relationship. We spent our first year together here. It was a crazy tumultuous year, but it was a good one. We both had jobs in the sad town of Steubenville. We went to classes, put off homework, stressed over papers and tests. It was such a different time from now, it was a time of growth and development. Now when we return we feel more sure of where our lives are going, we have each other, the most precious thing gained from our undergrad. We have Lu, and now a new little one on the way. We are rejuvenated in this place, reminded of our faith and where we began. Visiting our school reminds us of all we have accomplished and all we have to be grateful for.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now for something completely frivolous

This is my new favorite brand of nail polish

It has tons of fun colors, nice bright ones. I painted my toes two weeks ago and they still look dang good and painted. Best of all, it's two bucks a bottle. Lu wanted her toes painted too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are you guys done yet?

I know in theory that most people have one or two kids, maybe three if they are really living on the edge. But I didn’t realize it in its realness until recently when we found out we are having a little boy. We have one girl, and now one boy, and a dog—we are the cliché American family! And man do I hate being cliché. Many people have asked us if, since we will have one of each, if we’re done. It makes me feel a little defensive of a possible little girl we would have had. If I was carrying a girl instead of a boy would she be somehow less since we wouldn’t have our one of each quota? Would people still ask if we were done, or if we are going to try for a boy next? We honestly have not set about building our family with some kind of formula in mind. So far we've taken a pretty laid back approach.

I don’t know if we are done or not. I don’t think we are. At some point after Lu we just knew we were ready for another baby. After this baby is born we’ll see what happens. I don’t think we are ‘done’ at two, but even if we want to have a third maybe we won’t be able to for some reason.

We love having children. It is beautiful and hard, and the most philosophical moments of my life have been watching Luthien as she learns about the world. I can’t wait to meet our little boy and find out who he is. I do not know how many children we will have. Our Catholic beliefs come into play as well since we believe that a huge part of marriage is geared towards raising children together.

One baby at a time is what we often tell each other when we start worrying or planning unnecessarily.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lu and her doggie

Baby Hammock

For some reason this whole having a baby thing has been on my mind lately. Maybe it's because my stomach now sticks out pretty blatently (we are getting close to the six month mark!), or maybe it's because since I don't really have symptoms of pregnancy early on I don't really feel pregnant until the babe starts wailing on me. And this little boy is kicking like crazy lately!

Anyway, I have been much more forward thinking this time around and one thing I've been interested in is baby wearing. We used this tactic a bit with Lu when she was really little. Usually Andy would carry her in the baby bjorn which worked great for him. I wasn't as comfortable in it. This time however, I want to still be able to do things like take Lu to the park and just keep chasing her around in general, so wearing this new one seems like a good option. So far I have two carriers. I found a navy blue moby wrap at a thrift store, so we'll try that one out. And yesterday I scored this beautiful thing:
I think it's a tad big on me, but I think I can altar it fairly easily. I never got used to the sling with Lu (Maralee generously lent us hers, although it will soon be put to use again for her new little one!), because she basically hated it. I'm hoping the little boy likes slings more. I can barely wait to wear this one it's so pretty! Boho Mama, that's what I'll be.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Troubles with baby clothes, the saga

I believe I've mentioned in the past how I have baby clothes issues. Don't get me wrong I love little tiny cute clothes, but there are three reoccuring baby clothes issues I encounter.

Issue #1: Extreme gender emphasis. Don’t get me wrong I love a little girl in a cute dress, but does every single piece of girl’s clothing have to be pink with sparkles on it? I am not a huge pink fan, and our babies tend to be pretty pink themselves, so I think the huge amounts of pink in girl’s clothes is nuts. There are so many awesome colors out there, but I find myself really searching to find colors other than pink (and the occasional purple accent).

Boys clothes are similar. We seem to think little boys only wear blue, black, brown, and camo (seriously camo?? Do we want to be telling a baby boy his job is to be a soldier?! Give the kid some time to, you know, learn to sit up). Baby boy clothes also seem to assume that every boy will automatically love sports, American sports, mostly baseball. I am totally fine if my son plays baseball, but he can decide if he likes it. I also am cool if my daughter plays baseball. How about a little title 9 in baby clothes?

Issue #2: Lack of creativity. This is a close cousin of my first objection. Baby clothes seem to be completely dictated by the gender of the baby, because it is the worst thing that can happen for a stranger to not automatically know your kids’ gender. Lu has been mistaken for a boy many times due to her mostly baldness (and my somewhat androgynous clothing choices for her) and believe me that little girl is confident despite these mistakes. These are what I like to put babies in.

Issue #3: Babies don’t need real clothes. I remember being given several pairs of newborn jeans when Lu was born, and I never used them. Putting that new fresh skin in jeans just seemed silly to me. Babies mostly eat and sleep, so I see no reason why they shouldn’t wear basically pajamas all the time. Lu wore onsies and sleepers exclusively until she was about four months old. She was born in the winter so little dresses were out of the question. Plus onsies and sleepers are super practical for an immobile baby. They are easy to change diapers in and easy to wash. I never bothered with little dress, jeans, shoes, or headbands because I was all about practicality for Andy and I, and comfort for Lu. Once babies start crawling I can see a need for tougher pants (like jeans) to keep their knees from chafing and for the extra wear, but I really didn’t like putting Lu in dresses until she could walk since they impeded her exploring. And she still spends much of her time in a tshirt and diaper.

We've been been somewhat creative and selective in our own baby clothes purchases to build a practical and colorful wardrobe. I know I have some weird baby clothes hang ups, and this isn’t to say we aren’t grateful for all the gifts of clothing we received. We are! I know lots of people love tiny, grown up clothes for kids, and getting their babies all boy or girled up. Personally I have always believed that babies are cutest when naked, so really anything you dress them in makes them less cute.

The Cheese

I have a problem with these guys.

They are just so dang delicious and I have been having serious salt cravings lately. Apparently this little boy is a big cheese ball.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When Andy proposed to me

Two years ago last Thursday (September 8th), Andy asked me to marry him. It was a crazy crazy time believe me. It came after a difficult and strangely joyous summer. We were really poor, poorer then we were even in college. I was four months pregnant, and I know people assumed we were getting married due to our little, growing love child. We just wanted to finally be married to each other.

Bonus, Andy managed to buy me a sweet ring while working at Starbucks. Here it is now (with scab)

Chicken Tagine

I very rarely have a moment where I can brag about my cooking. I made this
It's Moroccan, and Lu gobbled it up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I can only make art in 3D. I suck at drawing or anythign like it. But give me a ball of string and I can make something with it. My grandma taught me to knit and crochet and I have ever since. Although recently my artsy times have been a bit lacking. Crafts take a lot of time, at leas they do when I do them, and I haven't had very many projects in the last couple of years. And I miss it. A few months ago in a thrift store I spotted several balls of thick, dark green yarn. I bought them quickly. Andy and I had just found out we are having another baby and I started a baby blanket for him. The dark green made me wonder if he was a boy despite me instinct that this baby was a girl.

I've been slowly adding to my baby blanket, and finding out this baby is indeed a little boy has reminded me to work on it. Although for me this type of art isn't so much about the product, although I do love hand-knitted items. It is about the process. Somehow I find calm in the slow buidling of stitches one on top of the other. I love seeing my pattern emerge as I add to it. The movement of my hands soothes my busy mind.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Work and weird pregnancy hormones

They do not always mix well together. I have been full time now for exactly a month, a month today actually. My work itself is going really well. I have been getting good feedback and learning about my new projects. Lu seems to love her partime daycare. She gets along with the other kids, and her babysitter, Dorothy, just got a puppy.

But so far about once a week I have completely panicked. I get overwhelmed or feel like I am not doing well on a project, or that Lu is not getting enough attention, and I kinda flip out a little. What the heck? None of this is based in actual fact. Luthien is thriving, I have been getting good feedback on my work, and the house is actually pretty clean. Andy and I have come to the same diagnoses each time--pregnancy. How lame is that? I realize that crazy hormones are rushing through my body all the time, but I hate the idea that I don't have control over them. I mean of course I have some control. When I start to feel panicky, Andy usually has a little chat with me, then I take some down time to read or knit. I just hate not being in charge of how I'm feeling.

I think the more comfortable I become balancing my added responsiblities the easier it will be. But I am looking forward to this baby beign born for many reasons.