Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Andrew has been taking a bottle in the middle of the night for many months. As "the middle of the night" inched closer toward morning over the past few weeks, I came up with a "brilliant" way to get him off the bottle. If he wakes up after 5, instead of giving him a bottle and trying (usually fruitlessly) to get him to go back to sleep in bed with me (why won't he snuggle???), I'd just get up with him and start the day. That way, he would no longer associate waking up in the night with being given a bottle. Not sure what I'll do if he wakes at 4:58, so this plan may not be completely thought out.

The other kids didn't use bottles, so I have zero expertise in this area. I'll report back on how it goes, but for now let's just say we are oh so tired. I am a night owl, so a 5 a.m. wakeup call is particularly grueling.

Sleep deprivation (and grief brain, baby brain, and menopause brain) are taking a toll.

Tim and I were in the yard with Andrew yesterday. Tim mentioned having little luck cutting back our liriope using gardening shears.

I held up a finger in a Eureka-like gesture. With enthusiasm and certainty, I said, "I know what you can use! Carrots!!!!"

Ugh. Last I checked, scissors and carrots were not the same thing.

If you want to feel better about yourself, I'm hare all day. Ha! I just saw that typo. I'm leaving it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Stitch Fix Reveal!

My latest Stitch Fix was a winner!

Let's take a look at what I found in my box.

1) Dear John Bayley Roll Cuff Bermuda Short: $68.00.

Basically, white denim shorts. No photo. I needed new long-ish shorts, and white would have been a good choice, but these were too tight. Also, too expensive!


2) Market and Spruce, Amberley Cut out Detail Top, Teal Green: $48.00

While on paper, this would be a great choice for me: striped, bright, soft, long, fun detail in back, I HATED this shirt on me. Margaret and I both had this visceral reaction to it. Perhaps it's the way it clung. Or how it reminded me of a shirt I had during a particularly rough patch in middle school. Or, perhaps b/c Margaret said, "It looks like it came from Kmart." Now, you KNOW I am not a clothes snob, but if I could get this from Kmart (or Walmart, or Target) it would be a lot less expensive.  I was surprised not to like this shirt on me.


3) Finn and Grace Karyn Off the Shoulder Knit Top: $28.00

Please pardon the black bra. I specifically requested a shirt to show off my shoulders. I wanted to see how this trend looked on me. The answer: while I like my shoulders a lot, this baggy lump of ugh did nothing for me. Maybe it would have been better in black or royal blue, rather than tiny red and cream stripes. Margaret, who would look gorgeous in a potato sack, asked if she could have it. Because it was priced reasonably, I said yes. She had better wear it!

KEEP, but not for me.

SOOOOOO, why do I consider this Fix a success?

4) Pixley Ellie Printed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse, Cobalt, $48.00

This dark blue shirt with swans on it is unusual but very flattering. I thought for sure it was a NO-GO until Margaret insisted I try it on. I like that it's not something I'm going to see in every store. I also love the flowiness and the length. Cute with white jeans. I hope we have some cooler spring days because I want to wear this one a lot. If I become The Swan Lady, so be it.


5) Wisp Ryenne Jersey Dress, Blue: $84

I was hoping for a cute summer dress that could be super casual. This fits the bill. The shape is really flattering, and it is long enough and roomy enough for me to wear on any given day. On the floor with Andrew, my underwear won't be showing. It's loose around the tummy, so a big Taco Bell meal won't be an issue. The fabric is a fun batik pattern and is flowy and soft. Also, it shows off my aforementioned shoulders without looking dumb. I plan to wear it with Birkenstocks for casual, silver flat sandals for a little more dressiness, and wedges for church.

So, I'm keeping 3 out of 5 on this FIX. Because I kept just one item, I can take $20 off the total (my "styling fee"). Considering I cannot stand summer clothes, I think this went very well!

STAY TUNED! As promised, I ordered Tim Stitch Fix for Men for Valentine's Day and we scheduled it for next week. Ha! I can't wait! I wonder if he'll look like this guy:

Monday, April 17, 2017

College Spring Break or Mid-life Spring Break?

The past 5 1/2 years have worn me down, the past year has threatened to do me in with exhaustion, and the past week, Spring Break, didn't do much to help.

When you live where we do, Spring Break locales are often exotic: Aruba, Turks and Caicos, Mexico, London, Italy. Social media lets you know what fun/sun others are experiencing as you brace for another "Staycation" of dental appointments and haircuts.

In 18 years, we have not been on a family Spring Break trip, but I was determined to make it happen this year, despite Tim's confusion about whether or not Spring Break "is a thing."

We would fly to FL and stay with Tim's parents. The only big expenses would be the jacked-up holiday airfares and the cost of a dog-sitter. We'd take a friend so Margaret would have a teen companion.

The first snag hit when we reached the ticket counter in the wee hours. Andrew was supposed to be a lap child, but I forgot to bring any ID for him. The other times I'd flown with lap children (many moons ago) this was not a requirement. The reason for the ID was not to make sure we weren't kidnapping him, but to make sure he was under 2. If we purchased him his own seat, they did not require any ID at all! Unfortunately, when I offered that up as a solution, the flight was overbooked.

So we scrambled. I frantically texted Tim to tell him NOT to park the car and to run home and get Andrew's passport. He didn't get the texts, and we lost 20 minutes. By the time he reached the ticket counter, the agents were trying to help us connect to someone, anyone, who could prove in writing Andrew's age. I called the pediatrician's office, but the switchboard didn't have access to his files at the early hour. Tim tried to get into our health insurance account, but he didn't have the passwords available. Our insurance card had his name, but not his D.O.B. We re-set account passwords. We waited on hold. We made progress, but our time window was closing.

The agents said if we didn't leave immediately, we would not make it through security and onto the plane.

Finally, we split up, and I headed with the girls to the terminal and our flight, leaving Tim behind with the baby. I would have stayed with the baby and tried to straighten out the mess, but I had no idea where Tim had parked the car, and we were afraid the solution might include running home for the passport.

Tim struggled with the insurance website and finally found the info we needed, but by that time it was about 10 minutes too late to board the flight. I hate to think that if we had been calmer and more focused, we likely would have all made it on the flight. Or, if I'd just grabbed Andrew's passport...

Tim ended up having to take Andrew home, get the passport, get a ride to a DIFFERENT airport, and board a later flight to Florida. By way of Milwaukee. It was not an auspicious beginning to our trip, but Tim and Andrew were troopers. Oh, did I tell you it was Tim's birthday? Happy Birthday, Tim.

The 3 main days of our trip were enjoyable, or as enjoyable as they could be while sharing a room with a 5 am riser/wailer. I had forgotten how vacation with a baby/toddler is never truly a vacation. The weather was beautiful. Andrew enjoyed playing with his birthday toys from his grandma and seeing a digger and a trash truck in the neighborhood on their morning walks. The girls went shopping. Tim got to play tennis with his dad. I met some lovely ladies who had read my book, and connected with an old friend. We went to a beautiful local beach and reminded ourselves that next time we would schedule more than just an afternoon for the soothing power of sea and sand.

The night before our departure, however, I started feeling sick. Tim, his parents, and the girls played dominoes, and I tried to keep a low profile. Soon, however, not just my profile was low. I started vomiting, my heaves waking the baby. Curled up on the bathroom floor, I prayed it would be limited to me. In the night, as I dealt with simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea, the others started to fall.

Margaret's friend.


The was no way we could get on our return flight. We couldn't do that to ourselves or others.

Tim made some calls and got us new flights for the next day. He and his parents stocked up on ginger ale and saltines. I was in and out of sleep/vomiting/pooping myself.

I was unable to care for the poor girls.

By afternoon, Tim started to have diarrhea, and his mom felt off.

Andrew showed no signs of illness, or slowing down. Margaret, head down, listlessly handed him crackers as I rested my face on the cold floor. Tim slept a bit. I checked on Margaret's friend every few hours, looking for a thumbs up in the darkness. We willed the hours to pass, and limited our movements to pushing Andrew's toy cars to him and contemplating the pros/cons of taking a sip of water or eating a popsicle.

I looked around the carriage house, feeling guilty that we'd turned it into a biohazard site in just a few short hours, longing to be home, but not sure how to get there. Wondering how hard my in-laws would be hit.

In the morning, after two flights, we made it to D.C.

The next day, Easter, half of us made it to church. We canceled Easter Dinner, but were able to enjoy the beautiful day.

I know some college Spring Breaks are riddled with vomit, sleeping on the floor, and watching the sunrise after being up all night, but I didn't think our first (last?) family one would be the same.

Hope YOU had a good Easter. He is risen!

Here are some happy photos from the trip. Note: We got lots of great pics of the girls, but we don't post without their permission.

Beach Fun:

 Blue Jays outside our window:

Yarn leading to hidden Easter Baskets:

First Easter Basket: 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ghosting in Babyland

Have you heard of ghosting?

It's a dating practice where one person just suddenly disappears with no explanation. It seems inconsiderate and more than a little shady.

  1. 1
    the appearance of a ghost or secondary image on a television or other display screen.
the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

I'm not sure if I've ever been ghosted. There was that time right before college when my boyfriend started avoiding my calls, but he eventually had the guts to show up on my front porch and break up with me, probably prodded by his mother into doing the right thing.

As parents of a newly minted toddler, Tim and I both feel the pull toward ghosting. No, we can't leave our home or relationship with no explanation, but we do disappear without a word sometimes.

A few weeks ago we were in the small living area of our house. Tim and Andrew were playing on the floor, with Tim clearly in charge of childcare. I had my back to them as I sat at the dining room table a few feet away.  At some point, I heard whiny cries from Andrew, turned around, and saw no one. Tim was gone. I soon found Andrew stuck under the couch.

Later, I was like, "Dude, what happened to you?" Tim said he had gotten really, really tired and withdrew to take a nap, saying nothing to me.

I'd been ghosted!

Now before we judge Tim too harshly, I'll admit that yesterday I said, "I need to run and go pee," before Tim drove Margaret to school. I deposited Andrew in Tim's arms and ran up the stairs. Once in the bathroom, I started thinking that a quick shower would hardly take any time at all. By the time Tim hunted me down to hand back the baby, I had peed, showered, and dressed.

One of the biggest challenges to having a baby at this stage in life is that we have experienced at least 10 years of some degree of personal freedom and now it's gone. I feel the pinch the most when it comes to my writing and personal hygiene. Tim feels it at work as he must rush to come home and relieve me, and he misses running and playing on a soccer team. Oh, and sleep. We both miss sleep.

I ghosted Tim recently when, after pulling into the garage after an errand, I just stayed in the car. And stayed. I may have dozed off a little. It's just so tempting to try to carve out a little more alone time when we can find it.

After almost 25 years together, our relationship has a lot of give and take. These days we just have to be able to find the other person in order to give back the baby and take a break.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Andrew is ONE!

We celebrated Andrew's first birthday last weekend. 

Family came in from Cleveland on Friday. 

On Saturday we hung out:

Then went to D.C. to see the sights and catch the kite festival:

On Sunday we did a little decorating, and welcomed grandparents and cousins:

Andrew opened his presents and played while we caught up:

Then, it was time for the CAKE SMASH!

He was so quiet and tentative at first, but I think he did a fabulous job! Yummy.

While Daddy gave Andrew a quick bath in the tub, the rest of us ate cheesecake in honor of our friend whose heavenly birthday was Sunday.

Then, the clean bean was ready for hugs from mom and more playtime:

Happy Birthday, Andrew Luke. We are so glad you are here.