Posts Tagged ‘things I love’

Kiawah 2014

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Oh, the beach house. Why can’t real life be like the beach house?

If you haven’t been reading for years, the beach house belongs to the uncle of one of my friends. He allows us to borrow it once a year for a long weekend. It has 6 bedrooms, each with their own private bath, a huge kitchen, 3 wine fridges, a fully stocked (with alcohol) butler’s pantry, every TV channel ever, a deck and private pool, and beach access to an always deserted private beach. Everything about the beach house is nicer than my own house, including the dishes and beds and beach toys. There is a planter full of herbs that grows on the deck, so if you need fresh basil for dinner it’s right there. The towels and sheets are color coded to the bedrooms, so the cleaning service can put them all back in the right place when we leave. I imagine the beach house is what life is like for celebrities every day.

This year we went from three kids at the beach house to SIX kids at the beach house, ranging in age from 2 months (Linc!) to five years (Evan!). The number of adults actually fell. The weather wasn’t very good and I only made it down to the actual beach once and I drove alone for two days each way to get there AND my car broke down 10 miles from Kiawah…but it was still an amazing vacation.

The beach house is lucky. It turned out my car just had a dead battery, the baby slept through the night, and my often-missing husband even made it to the house for a very brief visit. It was so great to see my friends and talk about life and jobs and changes and babies. We’re already planning for next year’s trip (and saving up for a nanny, since we’ll have 6 actual kids, rather than 3 and 3 babies). I can’t wait.

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Having kids at the same time as your friends works out well.

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The pool was pretty cold. They did not care.

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We try to buy a gift for the owners every year. This year we bought a huge crab pot, so next year I can fit all the lowcountry boil in it.

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So much foooood.

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There’s an old fashioned pharmacy/soda fountain in the shopping center on Kiawah

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The beach was a little bleak without the sun, but it wasn’t too cold for the kids.

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He really wants to learn how to surf

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He was really good at boogie boarding though!

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Linc likes the beach for about 5 minutes.

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The “O” has a sad face in it, because Princess Sadface had a meltdown about…something. We still aren’t sure what.


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Then she cheered up.

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Couch naps, not just for babies!

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Caramel apple pie. Recipe coming soon.

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Caroline LOVED that there were lots of people who let her help in the kitchen.

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Eating cake in her jammies. It was both early for cake and late for jammies. Vacation!!

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He’s not actually that grumpy, he just makes that face.

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Helping with important work. Or maybe playing games.

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Reading to Baby Jesus.

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The appropriate way to eat chocolate ice cream.

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Linc is almost exactly the same size as his 4 month and 6 month old baby friends. FAT BABY, OLD MAN FACE.

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Last morning at the pool

 

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Goodbye beach house! See you next year!

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All The Perfect Little Pieces {Win $100 from Mustela and BlogHer}

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014


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My baby is amazing.

It doesn’t matter that he’s my third baby, and I’ve already done this newborn thing twice before. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2am and I’m exhausted. It doesn’t matter if his tiny fingers are ripping all the hair out of the back of my neck. He’s an itty bitty miracle.

When I’m nursing him, the hairs right behind his ear gleam like they’re made of copper. It’s the only time I am really sure he’s going to be a ginger, since the fuzz that grows in a perfect imitation of his father’s hairline on top of his head is white-blond. When he’s sleeping he makes sniffling snorfling noises and says “mmmmm” and “oooooo” and “eh eh eh eh eh” when he’s having mysterious baby dreams. I can no longer sleep without those noises, or I wake up in a panic that he’s TOO quite or TOO sound asleep. I cover his chest with my palm and feel every rib at once as they move up and down with his breath.

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His ears are like tiny monkey ears on the outside, covered in a light layer of fur, and seashells on the inside, pearly pink and smooth. I can’t stop touching them while he’s sleeping in my lap, because I know in just a few weeks poking him is going to wake him up. When I’m feeling stressed, I smooth the tiny M that Linc gets between his eyes or the lines on his forehead or the little creases he gets by his eyes. His baby skin is so soft, but so incredibly sensitive.

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I first heard of Mustela a few months ago when I was photographing a newborn for a client, and I couldn’t stop smelling their baby. Then a friend suggested it when I mentioned Linc’s cradle cap was acting up. Now I’m the one recommending it to friends for all stages of motherhood. The 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash is a tear-free, soap-free gel, specially formulated for the delicate skin of babies, but is great on the older kids too. It rinses very easily from Caroline’s hair and truly is tear-free, so there’s no more fighting when it’s time to wash it out.

But our real favorite is the Hydra Bébé Body Lotion. It’s so thick and smooth without being greasy, and absorbs very quickly even on just-washed baby skin. My hands are softer than they’ve been in years just from applying it to the kids. And I have been applying it to all the kids – on Caroline’s eczema-like rough patches, on the rash Evan gets from wiping is face on his sleeve, and on poor sensitive Linc, who gets a new case of baby acne or cradle cap or heat rash every day. They all love the lotion and you should see Linc smile when I’m rubbing it into his adorable chubby baby cheeks.

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Mustela has been trusted by parents for over 60 years and is developing new ways to protect skin both today and in the future. All their products are hypoallergenic and free from parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, EDTA and chlorphenesin. I feel good using their products on every inch of my little miracle for years to come.

You can learn more about their in-depth research, testing methods and science by visiting their website.

Mustela and BlogHer are giving you a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift card. Just leave a comment answering the question, “What is your favorite newborn moment?”  

And don’t forget to check Mustela out on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Sweepstakes Rules:

 

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1.     Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2.     Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3.     Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4.     For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. 

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 10/7/14 – 11/30/14.

Be sure to visit the Mustela Bébé brand page where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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My Week(205) in iPhone Photos

Monday, October 6th, 2014

This week (the one we’re in, not the one in the photos) is International Babywearing Week. In the last 2 months I’ve been totally brainwashed by those sneaky babywearers, who got me with their pretty patterns and fabric geekery and adorable selfies. I promise I’ll take pictures of other stuff one of these days, but since THIS week is IBW, I can’t promise it will happen soon.

Sunday:

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He’s a jumper, not a toe-dipper. He does not get it from me.

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Pretty in Pink

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Vacation baby sleeps on the couch

Monday:

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I don’t think this qualifies as “baby” wearing

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He’s frowning because this is NOT the pool with the gorgeous view. He still loves the actual floaty.

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That’s my kid hugging my best friend’s kid. FEELINGS.

Tuesday:

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We were supposed to leave at 7 am. Oops.

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So of course this is what happened on I-95. More than an hour parked…

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…which lead to some car nursing. PARKED. WE WERE PARKED.

Wednesday:

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Vacation recovery day. I just stared at this for 12 hours.

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FOXES. I’m not sure I’m going to keep this one, but it’s so adorable

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A sea monster to eat your baby!

Thursday:

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My baby bump is still there. It’s just tied on to the outside.

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She thinks she’s “sneaking” apples for a snack. OH NO DON’T EAT THE APPLES.

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Floor nap success!

Friday:

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Sweater weather

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This one is called Ahoi and Caroline says it’s her’s.

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They would walk for hours if the sun didn’t set so early

Saturday:

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Great Grandma brings the best presents

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Caroline thought Brutus needed to be put to bed

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I’m not keeping this one, even though Linc seems to like it.

It’s officially fall here in Connecticut, although I am resisting turning on the heat for at least a couple more days. It’s gorgeous and my photography is getting busy again and there are way too many fun things to do. We also got (what I’m calling tentative) confirmation we’re going to be staying in Connecticut for at least a little while longer, so I can just enjoy my friends and my life and not worry about starting over somewhere new. Although Hawaii is going to start looking pretty good when they come fill the oil tank.

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Oh My Stars (Baby Boden Giveaway)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Poor third baby got almost no new stuff. I literally got his crib yesterday, one day after his 8 week birthday. It’s not even out of the box yet.

So far Linc doesn’t seem to mind. He just hangs out and smiles and eats and sleeps. Ok, and sometimes he screams his head off, but that can usually be quickly fixed with a clean diaper and a snack. Then he’s back to smiling.

And what goes better with an adorable chubby baby than an adorable baby outfit?

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My favorite people over at Baby Boden sent Linc and me one of their new Baby Boden gift sets to celebrate becoming the newest ginger bebeh. They come in sizes from newborn up to 6-9 months, include a gift box, jammies, hat, bib and blanket, and would be perfect for a baby shower…or as a special surprise for a new mom who wasn’t really expecting much for her third child :)

This is why Boden is one of my favorites: how cute is all this stuff they sent?

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The fabric is SUPER soft and the blanket is very generously sized. But the best part might be the hat.

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From now until October 12th you can take 15% off your Boden order using the code BABY.

Would you like a chance to win a Baby Boden gift set for you or to give to your favorite new or expecting mama? Just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite Baby Boden item. 

Giveaway is open to those with a US shipping address and winner may select the Baby Boden gift set of their choice. Winner will be chosen from eligible comments using Random.org in 2 weeks. 

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New Mom Advice: Get A Thing

Monday, September 15th, 2014

When I was pregnant with Evan oh those many moons ago, I first discovered blogging. I mean, I “discovered” it the same way Columbus “discovered” America, since there was already an entire world of people who were like “Nice going, you found this big giant thing that’s been here for a long ass time”. But for me, it was all new and exciting. I wrote words on the internet. Then I moved up to pictures. I found other people’s words and pictures. I blogged and blogged and talked about blogging and read articles on blogging and read actual blogs and when I found one I liked I’d stalk their archives back to the birth of their children and I know more about some of those people than I do about my own siblings’ lives.

Blogging was My Thing.

My Thing kept me connected to people when I was too tired to get off the couch. It gave me something to think about when I couldn’t think about my crying baby any more. I learned the shorthand and the big players and the culture and made friends who I still talk to literally every single day. The internet connected us but I’ve now hugged them in person and slept on their couches and can’t wait to see them again.

If I could give pregnant women one piece of actual, helpful, universal advice, it is to get A Thing.

Obviously your baby will be Your Thing, but there is a lot of busywork with babies. You are up with them in the middle of the night, you are trapped on the couch feeding them, you are so so so tired you can’t even sleep. You need A Thing you can read about and think about and learn about and talk about. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find other people who share Your Thing and also want to obsess about it, so you’ll never run out of ways to waste your time. Even if Your Thing is something you can’t really do as much as you’d like, you can still obsess about it online. Like running. There are about fifty zillion ways to learn about running that don’t actually involve running.

Here is a brief list of Things you might try: blogging, photography, baby wearing, cloth diapers, knitting, crocheting, breastfeeding, scrapbooking, gardening, knitting, couponing, crafting, cooking, conspiracy theories, tv, computer games, video games, puzzles, art, eBay, Etsy, painting, sewing, puzzles, running, paleo, cross fit, hair, make-up, monthly subscription services, fashion, YouTube, nail polish.

Any of Those Things have a million deeper levels and sub-levels. Not just cloth diapers, custom-made WAHM diaper covers. Not just Etsy, handmade baby moccasins. Not just running, long distance marathon training. Find a Facebook group or forum about Your Thing and dive in. Don’t worry, you will never know more about your thing than ANYONE else, so just start somewhere.

Most Things are going to cost you a lot of money. Even if they seem cheap and harmless now, there is a collectible version or a new version or a fancier version or an exclusive version and you WILL want it and you WILL find yourself spending what previously would have been a crazy amount of money on it.

Try to find a way to get involved in Your Thing in real life too. Meet-ups, conferences, swaps, or even just one friend you can have coffee with. But even if you just have internet friends from Your Thing, they will easily become real friends (just not in-person all the time friends).

You can have more than one Thing at a time, but it’s best to focus on one and then let it become less intense while you move to another. I still tweet, but Twitter isn’t my go-to Thing. I can still knit, but I don’t hunt down a babysitter to go to the weekly knitting group. Photography will always be A Thing (your thing can often lead to an actual business), but the forums aren’t holding my interest they way they used to.

Clearly blogging is something I still love and do regularly (well, semi-regularly) but it is not longer my thing. Currently, My Thing is woven wraps for baby wearing. For real. I’m just now discovering baby wearing goes far beyond the Moby and the Ergo. Waaaaaaaay beyond. Insanely beyond. I’ve joined four different Facebook groups and formed a real-life wrap group that meets every other Friday (which was easy to do, thanks to mama friends I met through Stroller Strides, which was My Thing a few years go). I can browse the Facebook swap group any time of day or up at night with the baby and there’s new stuff to look at that I can google and learn about fiber content and warp and weft and brands and makers. It’s INSANELY boring to anyone who doesn’t care but right now I can’t get enough.

So tell me what’s Your Thing? Just don’t make it too interesting, I don’t have time for much more.

 

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