Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Easter photo essay

I'm gonna get me some EGGS, y'all!
Heading out

Where to look, where to look...
Flowers

You guuuuuys, this "egg" is shaped like Hello Kitty. Really?
Hey

It's where?
Looking

Over there?
Where?

Ah ha!
There it is!

Hmmm...
Scoping

I'll take THIS one.
Garden

And THIS one!
Filling the basket

What is with all the paparazzi?
Hunting

I KID, I KID!
DAHAHA

Think I'll count my goodies.
Counting her haul

Mmm...PEEPS!
Her first peep

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Steppin' Out {4-23-11}

Last month I tried on a Libertine dress from Target's GO partnerships with high-end designers. It fit great, but it was too short. Sadly, they didn't have the size larger for me to try, and I lamented about it later that night to Heather. Turns out that she had just bought the size larger but didn't like the way it fit once she got home and was planning to return it.

Score!

It was perfect to wear to my friend Kelli's baby shower today.

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Even though Em was staying home to nap and hang out with Brent, I changed her out of her pjs before I left. Oh, yes -- we had a lazy morning 'round these parts.
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Em wasn't in the mood to stand still and pose with me, but Brent was able to snap what might be my new favorite picture of Em.
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Hope you've all had a great weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hair raising

Long-time readers might remember when Em was wee and looked like this:

Dressy
Probably one of my top five fav pics of her, by the way.

Obviously I thought she was the most adorable little honey bunches of oats, but I anxiously waited for that bald little head of hers to sprout some luscious locks.

I swear, it feels like she went from that to this overnight:
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I adore her hair, and I never have to do a thing to it. She just wakes up with these soft, bouncy ringlets. In some light, it looks super red.

She has streaks of natural highlights.


Her hair is loooong. When it's pulled straight down, it's about an inch above her waist.
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I can do fun things with it.
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Or I can just let it flow.
In her Tiny TOMS

There's no question that I'm jealous. I wish I could take her into my stylist and say, "Do this to ME!" I doubt the Follicle Fairies have enough magic dust to make it happen, sadly.

I took her to a casting yesterday, and they asked if they could cut Em's hair to her shoulders if she booked the shoot. I gave them an emphatic "Noooooo." I wasn't that surprised, given that the casting was for a national haircutting chain, but in my mommy-fied mind, Em is already an "after."

Also, at 2 1/2, Em has yet to have a haircut.

For one, I'm still giddy that she has all this gorgeous hair after being bald for so long. Also, it's not like she has any split ends or styling damage that needs to be cut. I'm also scuuuurrrred that we'll lose those waves! I don't know if we'd lose them all if we cut too much, or if the length is just weighing down other waves higher on her head and I worry for nothing.

Obviously she's going to need her hair cut someday, and in all likelihood, maybe not that long from now. The "what ifs" are lingering in the back of my mind.

Yeah, I know -- these are the silly, first-world problems that keep me up at night.

I love long hair on little girls, but I've also always been a big fan of bobs, like Rebecca's sweet daughter Fable has. (She happens to be just three days older than Em.) It's stylish yet age-appropriate.

I know it's just hair and it'll grow back, but I'm just so smitten with Em's at this very moment.

Maybe it's time for just a trim, which won't make my head explode. That is, until Em freaks out at the sight of the scissors and leaves an Em-shaped dust cloud at the salon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stomping grounds

I was fortunate that along with my wonderful husband and his amazing family, I inherited Brent's group of friends from college. They welcomed me with open arms, and some of them were integral in our early courtship.

When Nicole, whom longtime readers may remember as Brent's groom matron in our wedding, invited the large circle of friends together this weekend along the Central California coast where we all went to school, we immediately said yes.

We arrived earlier than the rest of the group and killed some time at the San Luis Obispo's Children's Museum. It was definitely smaller than big-city kids museums, but still lots of fun.

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Later, we strolled along the creek, where Brent and I strolled on our first date. By coincidence, the next day we had brunch at the same restaurant where we started our first date.

This called for spirit fingers, of course.
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While the group spent a lot of the weekend exploring in smaller groups, we gathered the entire bunch Saturday night for a BBQ at Matt & Nicole's parents' vacation home in Pismo Beach. There were five kids amongst our group of 20, and they kept plenty busy.

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Matt is going to be a great father someday. He kept the kiddos entertained with chalk games...
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...and cookie decorating.
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As hectic as it can be to travel with a toddler in tow, the weekend was just the family get-away we needed.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Go to sleep, little baby

Em is a good kid.

No, Em is a GREAT kid.

She has a wicked sense of humor. She's courteous. She is so much fun. She's smart.

Sometimes she's too smart.

Bedtime used to go so smoothly. Bath, books, a song or two, then down for the night.

Then she started complaining and protesting and stalling. She'd throw her United Nations of stuffed animals from her crib to the ground -- or worse, shove them behind her crib because she enjoyed the ride when we had to push the crib from the wall to retrieve her pals.

She'd remove her PJs, then complain about standing there in her diaper.

She'd ask for repeat performances of the dog shadow puppet her dad does so well. She'd ask for me. Then Brent. Then me.

The whining. The crying. The "I WANT DOWN!"

It was annoying but not so bad when this went on for a half hour. Then over time it grew to an hour. Sometimes two. And recently? THREE.

Not that all over her requests went on for three hours, but the time it took to wind down and finally fall asleep was extending to three hours.

I chalked it up to teething. Then a fever made me think it was an ear infection. So off to the pediatrician we went.

Em's ears were fine. Her top molars aren't poking through yet. When I lamented that it was just so strange that Em's sleep had gotten so bad, she asked how long this has been going. I told her all I mentioned above, and, well, yeah.

Our toddler is too smart for her own good and has us wrapped around her little sleep-postponing fingers.

It was time for us to sleep train Em again and give her the tools to soothe herself to sleep. As the pediatrician said, there's no medical reason the gal just can't go to sleep on her own after we've gone through our bedtime routine.

For the past five nights, before placing her in her crib, we calmly tell her, "No crying. No yelling. No screaming. Just sleep." Then we help her repeat it back to us -- twice.

She treats it like one of our fun nursery rhymes or songs, a twinkle in her eye and a slight smile as she says it.

It's worked. It's WORKED!

She's not pulling the crap anymore. We've stopped going in her room at her beck and call.

It's been lovely, and now I wonder how calm, reaffirming mantras might work in the rest of this parenting thing.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Steppin' Out -- 4-10-11

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Me:
Dress, Target (from ages and ages ago)
Tank, Target
Shoes, Target
Belt, Kohl's
Necklace, Stella & Dot

Em:
Shirt, Baby Gap
Sweater, Pumpkin Patch
Leggings, Target's Circo brand
Shoes, Payless


Also, check out Em's braids...
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...compliments of her DADDY. I have yet to master the art of the pigtail braids, yet somehow he has.

I shouldn't be too surprised. The man crocheted me a king-size afghan blanket for our first date anniversary, after all. Gender-stereotypes went out the window long ago.

These pics were Sunday evening, right before a pizza date with Josh, Jami and the kiddos. We had a great time, but these weren't the outfits I was hoping to share with you this week.

Friday night was our fifth wedding anniversary. We had an extra special night planned -- a dinner at an exclusive LA restaurant, and our first overnight away from Em. She was to stay at my in-laws' while Brent and I redeemed the gift certificate we won for a local boutique hotel.

Thursday evening, however, I felt hints of sickness. By the time I hit the sack, a few hours earlier than normal, I was a mess of chills and fever. I hoped I'd awake feeling better, but come Friday afternoon it was clear I had to cancel our celebration. I couldn't muster the energy to celebrate, and I certainly had no appetite for the decadent meal we had planned.

Instead of the perfect dress I bought for our big night out to go with the perfect shoes I already had, I spent the weekend in my Maroon 5 fan club t-shirt and the stretchy black pants I wore home from the hospital after we had Em. (What? They're COMFORTABLE, y'all!)

I finally started to feel more like myself by Saturday evening, but that was no guarantee so it's not as though we could simply postpone dinner and the hotel by one night. We'll celebrate in style soon, though!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Always in our hearts

Two years ago our dear friends Heather and Mike Spohr lost their sweet Maddie.

Em was just over six months when Maddie passed away. Up until then, when we'd put Em down for the night, we didn't dare enter her room. The fear of waking her and having to soothe her back to a peaceful slumber didn't seem worth the risk.

Hearing about our friends losing their 17-month-old baby girl changed that, though. From that night forward, we've crept into Em's room to watch her as sleeps.

We stand over her, often laughing at whatever strange pose she's taken -- tush in the air, arched backward like the letter "C", an appendage out the slat. Regardless the pose, Em always looks so peaceful. No tantrums, no demands for snacks, just a cherubic little girl.

Each night as we watch, I think about the Spohrs and their loss. Hearing horrific stories that involve children has always been heart-wrenching, but the way those losses touch you after you become a parent? And when they happen to families you know and love?

You ache on their behalf.

You want to take away their pain.

You want to rewind the clock and give it all back to them.

You curse the universe and ask why such a beautiful family and why such a beautiful little girl.

We stand over Em in her bed, wondering what adventures await her. Two years later, I wish that just a few miles away, the Spohrs were able to do the same.

Heather, Mike, Maddie, Annie, and your entire family -- we remember, and we love you. You're always in our hearts.

Later this month we'll join the Spohrs' team in the March for Babies. You can show your support through the Friends of Maddie or March of Dimes.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Steppin' Out Saturday -- 4-2-11

Going to make up my lack of mid-week posting with three, yes THREE, Steppin' Out ensembles.

Saturday evening we stopped at my in-laws' before meeting our friend South African Ballerina Jen for dinner.
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Me:
Dress, Old Navy
Leggings, Target
Boots, Old Navy
Elephant necklace, Forever 21

Em:
Shirt, Baby Gap
Overalls, OshKosh from Target
Shoes, TOMS

Sunday I co-hosted a group baby shower while Brent took Em to the 3rd birthday celebration for Clara, the daughter of our friends Cat and Adi. The invite asked guests to come in princess (or prince) clothes.

Since Em doesn't have any princess gear, I was planning to throw on one of her many tutus. Then I remembered that her Uncle Tyler had sent a plethora of gorgeous dresses while he was studying in India. So we sent our little Indian princess.

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Our Indian princess

Me:
Dress, Old Navy
Shoes, Ann Marino
Purse, Ann Taylor Loft
Necklace, Claire's

Em:
Top & skirt, from some exotic Indian locale
Shoes, Payless

Em spent most of the birthday party in the bounce house, which wasn't ideal for the macguyver-ing I did to get her skirt to stay up. It's too large for her, so I pinned it to her top. I packed a back-up dress, which she changed into halfway through the party.

Before we headed out to dinner Sunday night, I changed from my wedges to boots. Em's new ensemble is seen below.
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Me:
Dress & boots, Old Navy

Em:
Dress, H&M
Boots, Payless

Phew! Busy weekend indeed!