And I did show my bosom before 3 o’clock.

(Although that’s mostly because I don’t care what people say, your boobs never go back after having a baby and all my clothes look borderline obscene now.)

Last week, Buzz and I took a vacation to Atlanta! Well. Okay. He went to a conference and worked hard all day and answered emails at night. I spent a lot of time napping in the air conditioned room, eating pita chips in bed, and quoting Gone with the Wind.

(And snapchatting my sister and friend, because I’m mature like that.)

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Anyway. It was all- around a lovely break, even for Buzz who had to work.

We had so much southern food, and it was sooo good. Like, cornbread with real corn in it. I KNOW, YOU GUYS. I didn’t know that was a thing.

photo (2)Our hotel was in Midtown, and it was gorgeous. Like way nicer than anything we would have stayed at. (Thank you, Buzz’s company!) Even though Midtown is so yuppie that I managed to go almost the whole time without hearing a single Southern accent, which frankly was disappointing.

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We were on the 11th floor with a corner room. It was gorgeous, and there were several afternoon thunderstorms that were soooo cool to watch.

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I wandered around Midtown a lot, because we didn’t have a car and after three hours of napping and Snapped marathons, I became convinced that Buzz was going to start poisoning me with arsenic so he could have an affair with a coworker. I mean, it’s the only logical conclusion.

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(Also, we needed pita chips and brownies and wine. Obviously I had to find a grocery.)

(I did.)

(Party in our room! Whoo!)

We also hung out in the hotel bar a lot, and I took a ton of pictures and generally embarrassed Buzz in front of his coworkers. Oh well. I’M ON VACATION SUCKAS.

The hotel bar was suuuuper cool, and I enjoy any and all hotel bars as a rule.

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(I look super wrinkled in that shot. I’m going to say it was bad lighting.)

The last day I had to check out at noon and Buzz still had to, you know, like work for a few more hours, so I went to Margaret Mitchell’s House to kill a few hours and a few hundred dollars THE BOOKS I NEED ALL THE BOOKS.

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(Seriously.) (Gone with the Wind and the Politics of Memory? I NEED THAT I USED TO BE I’M A HISTORIAN!)

I freaking love Gone with the Wind. I read it for the first time when I was 12, I think. I know my grandpa was living with us because I had the cheap mass market paperback edition with the ever-popular marital rape scene on the cover and he would have yelled at me. So I kept it hidden. And kept a list of the dirty parts. Because I was a 12-year-old pervert apparently.

Anyway. LOVE. I didn’t know that much about Margaret Mitchell herself, and it was a very interesting tour. Mostly because my tour guide was AMAZING and I wanted to take her home with me and have her be my best friend and make her say cute little sayings in her adorable Southern accent ALL DAY LONG.

(But alas, I didn’t check any baggage and I couldn’t kidnap her in my carry-on.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn case anyone is wondering, I now have a 75th anniversary edition of Gone with the Wind, an apron that says “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” and every quasi-historical book written about Margaret Mitchell EVER.

And a coffee mug. Because I forgot I was moving, apparently.

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We missed Squeaks and Buddy terribly, of course, but it was super nice to get away and (for me at least) relax.

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(Look at me all rejuvenated. And poor Buzz. Conference-pale and worn. Still adorable.)

 

 

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Daddies

I have been so, so blessed to have many wonderful fathers in my life. So many people don’t have even one, and I have had three.

The first, of course, is my daddy. He loves us so much- more than anything in the world except for my mom and my kids probably. He’s super into them.

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He would do and has done anything in the world for us, whether sitting by my bedside in the NICU for a month, being there for us throughout our childhood, working so hard to support us so that my mom could homeschool us, or watching my newborn son for me so I could get some sleep.

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Oh, and driving to Rockford to buy tickets to a Josh Groban concert from some guy we met on the internet. (Yup. No way that could go wrong.)

We danced to You Raise Me Up at my wedding, because it reminded me of all of our best times together.

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The second is my grandpa. He loved us and taught us so much in the time we had with him, and we will never ever forget any of it.

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Well. We could forget the atrocious “halloween costume” that really was just me wearing a unitard and jelly shoes.

(Bonus shot of my almost new house!)

The third is my husband. I was exceptionally lucky, I got to fall in love with my husband as a father. Not everyone gets that experience, and I highly recommend it. Well. I mean, I don’t recommend the whole tragedy thing. That’s just awful. But, I mean, it’s kind of cool to see what kind of person your life partner will be when charged with the care and soul of a tiny little person.

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From the minute I saw him cross Squeaks on Holy Thursday, I knew he was a good daddy. And I knew he’d be a good daddy to our children. Whom I wasn’t sure would exist,but still.

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And he is. He has continued to be such a wonderful comfort and gift to Squeaks and to me. And to Buddy, our newest baby.

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From the day Buddy was born, he knew Buzz’s voice. I remember being kind of mad, because I was the one that pushed him out and was almost dead from the effort. But everytime Daddy talked, his little head would whip around. Eventually I stopped being bitter and started thinking it was cute.

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I can’t wait for the rest of our childrens’ lives with him. I know he’ll be amazing.

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I hope all the fathers had a wonderful day yesterday, and to the fathers in my life, thank you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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I will never forget.

A little throw-back Thursday, y’all.  Because I’m tired from packing (basement almost done! whee!) (holy cow do I have a lot of books!) (it’s okay, I love them!)  (also I found my flute. Oops. Or, the physical embodiment of every failure I’ve ever made in my life.) (Anyway.)

This post was from the summer that we were finishing the house and were renting it to the people that summered with the Bushes. Yeah. Those Bushes. Like, 41 and 43. They were adorable and neurotic and awesome and, most importantly, didn’t really feel like the place was theirs and let me come and hang out and paid me lots of money for eating their food and falling asleep on their couch watching their seriously extended cable package (I didn’t know you could get those channels here!)…I mean, babysit. Yeah. That.

Anyway. It’s a tad dramatic, because I’d discovered wine but not prozac yet (oh, the way we were) but it’s true- I will never forget. And I got my miracle.

I get to live there in six weeks with my husband and babies.

11 Months

Dear Buddy,

You’re 11 months old today. As in, almost a year. As in, you’ve been here and a part of our family for ALMOST A YEAR. I cannot believe that.

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You, for one, seem to enjoy this whole almost-toddler thing. You aren’t walking quite yet, but you’re, like, thisclose. You can get yourself up on your walkie toy and get all over the house, even turning around, which is relatively new.

You may notice something about the pictures this month. None of them are of the front of your face. BECAUSE YOU DON’T STOP MOVING. And CLIMBING. And OOH WHAT IS OVER THERE THAT I CAN HURT MYSELF ON?

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Today you knocked over your sister’s yogurt bowl (spilling it ALL over the house. Like, under furniture.) Then you upended the table, and started chewing on one of the legs. When I took it away from you (you know, in case you impaled yourself and I’m a good mother like that) you scooted over to the folding chair and climbed up ON it, and tried to stand up. ON A FOLDING CHAIR.

Seriously, Buddy. I know I drank during pregnancy, but only a little. You shouldn’t be that stupid.

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But you’re not stupid, you’re so smart. You’ve figured out so much about the world, and you have so many likes and dislikes. You’re just a boy and those likes all involve MOVING SO FAST AND SO HARD and the dislikes are all safe, soft, quiet things. And peaches. You really hate peaches.

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You love pears and applesauce (as long as it’s not homemade, that made your face break out) and you’re getting better with textures. You love Cheerios, like, so much. And you’re okay with cheese. It’s okay. We’ll work on that. You can drink water from a straw now which, can I just say, PRAISE JESUS. I had to fight so freaking hard to get every single drop of liquid in you that you’ve consumed over the past eleven months and I really thought I’d have to come along on your honeymoon and spoon-feed you soupy oatmeal so you didn’t die of dehydration on your poor new wife.

But now! You can drink on your own! And I can stay home from your honeymoon.

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That’s silly, though. Because I’m not going to let you get married. You’re growing up way too fast, and Grandma Susan is totally right- I miss each and every stage with you, even though I love the new one so much.

I’m not really a baby person. I love you more than life itself, but the whole bottle, diaper, scream, wash, rinse, repeat thing isn’t really my idea of a good time. So I totally thought I’d prove her wrong and be all, “Bye, babyhood! See ya, pregnant suckas! I’ll be over here getting a good night’s sleep!”

But I’m not. I find myself wanting to stop pregnant women and tell them, “No, seriously, it will go so fast. You might not enjoy it. You might think it’s awful. You might wish you were dead.  Your hormones might make you think awful, dark things that you will never, ever speak about, not even to your husband. But when your little boy stops cuddling you during naptime because there are so many, many more things for him to do? You will miss it.”

And no one will ever, ever love you as much as I do. So you’re never getting married. That’s where I was going with that. Anyway.

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Let’s see. What else do you do? Well, today you pooped in the sink during your bath. That was fun for the whole family. Mostly because it required the whole family to clean it up. You love tubby time, though. I’ve put you back in the sink, even though you’re big enough for the bathtub. I can’t get the water deep enough in the bathtub for you to have fun without it being dangerous, but in the sink you can splash and play and have a gay old time for as long as you want.

Which is good, because you’ve also taken to playing with your food and then smearing it in your hair. And my hair. And all over the table. And anything else you can reach. So you get pretty frequent baths.

You have a few tricks all worked out. You do high fives, and can almost clap, and when I say, “How big is Buddy?” you put your hands up. That’s pretty adorable.

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You’re not crazy about a few things. Being held isn’t great for you anymore. If you’re tired, you’ll still cuddle. But I can’t get you to sleep by holding you anymore. Which means I’ve had to start putting you in your crib for naps. You’re doing okay with it, but it’s not great. I think the problem is that you still need a short morning nap, but you refuse to settle down for one. So you’re overtired and cranky by the afternoon and won’t settle down for that one. But as you REFUSE TO SIT STILL, I think we’ll just have to white knuckle this one for the next few weeks until your body catches up with your unbelievably active brain.

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You’re, in short, you, buddy. Just you. Just a little twenty-pound bundle of curious energy that I love more than anything else in the world.

I love you, honey.

Love,

Mommy

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Wedding Card Booklet: A Pinterest Not-Fail (What?!?!)

I know. My somewhat complicated relationship with Pinterest is well documented here and here. I love it, but it usually leaves me feeling untalented, uncreative and also kind of poor- who keeps that many cans of Mod Podge and spray paint around?

But when we got married (like, two years ago, I know, I know.) I decided to put together a booklet of our wedding cards with binder clips.

And then I got pregnant.

And then I didn’t do anything except gestate and care for the child for like the next eighteen months.

But dammit, I was not going to move a box of loose wedding cards. So I broke out the hole puncher (which I think must be the worst hole puncher in the world), and got to work.

You will need:

– Cards (any size, different sizes, doesn’t matter. I’m going to do one with Buddy’s baby cards too)

– Hole puncher (hand held)

– Binder rings (like these. I didn’t like the look of huge ones, but try to get at least 1 1/2 inch diameter or you’ll only be able to fit like three cards.)

Gather up all of your cards and get teary looking through them. Our wedding was so wonderful for us, you guys. It was amazing to be able to form this whole new family and sacramentally alter ourselves to be one person. Looking back at the wishes people wrote for us was amazing and made me so happy to think back on that beautiful day.

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If you have children, you’ll also probably come across something like this.

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And if you’re totally on top of things, you may come across the wedding card you totally meant to give your sister and brother-in-law eighteen months ago and kind of, well, didn’t even take the plastic wrap off. Sorry guys.

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Poke two or three holes in the cards (depending on how you want the book to look). This takes forever. I did one of those 52 Reasons I Love You books for Buzz last Valentine’s Day, so I wasn’t completely new to the idea of…I don’t know, using a hole puncher. Anyway, it takes a long time. And in case you’re one of those people that doesn’t thing ahead, like, ever, like me!, make sure you use a “template” card so that all your holes line up, even on the different sized cards.

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Then just thread them on to the binder clips.

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Close, and enjoy.

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We were so blessed to have so many cards that I ended up making three books, each with a card from the kids’ three sets of grandparents as the “cover.”  I keep our unity candle, the Mass program, and my headband on a shelf in our bedroom. There’s a bookshelf in the bedroom in our new home, and I truly can’t wait to have these displayed there with the rest of our wedding treasures.