Sunday, January 30, 2011

Here's to Hoping for NO Shadow

The month of January, especially these last couple of weeks, have been emotion filled times for the Bear home. We have been happiest just bundled up in bed together snuggling while we ignore the mess our little tornado makes. It's amazing how much of a wreck she can turn this house into in mere minutes. I mean, that is what we want to be doing and try to get as much of that in as possible. Unfortunately Monday-Friday ruins these plans with work, meals, laundry, dogs, etc. But we still ignore the mess as often as possible.

I confess that my mood and the constant headaches have led me to self medicate with diaper stalking. And, much to my bank accounts dismay, purchasing. A lot. I'll have to de-stash a bit to make room for newbies and prepare for anything I might have to buy this next week. *crie* This is a very emotional thing for me. The obsessive purchasing has gotten so bad that, had I any money left to spend, I would have started buying newborn diapers for a baby that is far FAR from being born. Seriously though, newborn everything is so smushy and cute. Please tell me there are other comfort shoppers out there reading this!?!

Lastly, I have a question. How many other babies out there are obsessed with Pillow Pets? I finally felt like Mad was old enough to keep hers in her bed. Usually when I check on her she is hugging it with her bum up in the air like the little stink bug that she is. She picked the turtle out, TWICE, all by herself, after ooohing and aaaahing over them every time we passed the kiosk at the mall. Generally I don't buy into hyped up items but these little loveys are worth it. She has slept so much better since I've put it in her bed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bone Tired

What has the world come to when I'm so tired and overwhelmed and, *ahem* ornery, that I have nothing to say? I don't even feel like complaining that my diapers haven't magically moved themselves to the dryer.

But, they should. I didn't pay that much for a washer/dryer to have the wet diapers just SIT there waiting for me to do something with them. Anyway, back to not saying anything slash complaining.....because I just magically found the words (I swear they were not there when I started).

Seriously though, it's been a rough couple of weeks and I know that I have no reason to let all of everything get to me but today I had a hard time remembering that. It may have been due to lack of sleep, or a whining dog, or insensitive men not realizing how much I need to hear that I am good enough and what I do is good enough....even when they don't really think so.

Or perhaps it's a toddler throwing food on the floor cackling like an evil witch (seriously!) while I wonder if the rest of my life is going to be spent in the kitchen making meals and snacks fifty billion times a day (can I get a hell yes from every mama who knows exactly how I'm feeling?) only to clean them up off of the floor while being hollered at, "eat, eat, EEEEEEAT, wee wee (please), eat," as the dog manically licks the discarded meal off of the floor only to throw it up later that night (and then, yeah, eat that too)? The toddlerness of my life is definitely NOT the cause of my rough weeks, if anything she and The Bear are the absolute highlights of every day, but it can make an exhausted mama feel even more so.

I know exactly what I need to do. Let it all go, focus on the good, more mama baby cuddles in bed, less sugar, more water, more yoga slash healthy meditation. Breathe in breathe out and acknowledge the good that is my life. Instead I drink too much coffee, got a scrip for the headaches, and am currently drinking wine and eating red velvet cake. I guess we all do what we can.

P.S. Despite my orneriness I am SOOOOO grateful for the, LONG overdue, Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Use the link to get to the PDF file of the entire release. And, PLEASE, read it. I am so excited about some of the suggestions and hopes she has for the future of breastfeeding support in the U.S. Like 18 weeks FULLY PAID maternity leave for mothers!!! Or mandatory breastfeeding education for any health care professional who comes in contact with mothers. And especially the end of formula companies advertising directly to consumers through posters and samples, etc. So, I'm really excited and I hope you all are too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Day in Diapers

On any given day this is how diapers, and outfits, morph as the hours tick by.

Morning means daddy does the first diaper change and so, because she sleeps in sposies (her bum is ultra sensitive to wetness and no other diaper can seem to keep it comfy dry through the night) and we have them around, her first couple of changes are into sposies. Sad face. I'm trying to wean us down to only one at night and cloth for every other change, even in the morning, but for now this is how it is. I just took one picture for 2 diapers because they are ugly. True story. Also note one missing sockie. She likes to pull them off in the night. Mornings are for jammies or nakedies.
Un-bleached prefold with snappi. Honestly, if I wasn't taking pictures it would have been this all day because we didn't leave the house. I'm in love with prefolds and don't know how I made it through the first year without them.
Film Noir Goodmama on the bum. One of my all time favs. Cushy cuteness. It should have a cover but I don't bother with them at home.
Carnival Goodmama ONE. We lost socks and shoes, the headband, and the skirt. Too.many.clothes.
End of the day pre-fold in a Thirsties cover, light purple. And Mad being adorably naughty trying to reach our cork bowl on the table. Babies standing on tip toes is the I'm amazed that the leggings lasted until pj time. That never happens.

The point of this? I love cloth. A lot. It makes my day way more interesting when I can actually look forward to a diaper change. Sometimes it's getting the perfect fit with a folded diaper. Sometimes it's seeing if I can make an outfit match every diaper change throughout the day. And basically her cuteness is magnified with a fluffy bottom. Regardless of the specific reasons Mads and I both love a cloth bum and if any of my friends or readers wants to make the switch or needs help please ask! It won't be long until you are wondering why you ever diapered with sposies (I still feel guilty about my night diaper confession)!

This was Mads as a newborn in her cloth. She looked so teeny tiny!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Decorating Around for No Reason

I wanted to brag share the pics of the wreaths I made for Valentines Day. Pretty sure The Bear is going nuts with all the Valentines Day crafts since it's the most awful and ridiculous holiday in his mind. But, I've got to stay sane and making felt flowers is doing it for me right now. Why can't cleaning do the same? My kitchen would really like to know.

The pictures range from kinda crappy to really awful because they were taken in bad light.....oh yeah and with my Iphone....but, lighting aside, the general idea is there. The first was for my sister. That is the worst of the photos, because the sun was glaring right at it, so you can barely see detail. Oops. The second is mine. It's mini and hanging on the inside of my front door. This was the first wreath I made with felt flowers and I love it just for that reason. The last was for my mom. I <3 all but the ribbon. I was just so ready to give it to her so I didn't want to take the next few days to think on other ideas for that space. Yuck to the ribbon but YAY to the earthy slash homemade style of the grapevine and flowers.

Monday, January 10, 2011


♥ my head hurts
♥ I'm tired
♥ I'm cold
♥ my teeth want to be brushed
♥ my head hurts
♥ shiz needs whoa
♥ laundry baskets!!! (like, I'm being attacked)
♥ messy refrigerator!!! (cue murder scene music)
♥ un-made bed!!! (blood on the bathroom floor)
♥ my head hurts (even more from the exclamations)
♥ the dog needs training....weeks ago
♥ I ate a cookie tonight
♥ more than one.
♥ I miss Mads when she sleeps


♥ I have a soft pillow to put my aching head on to sleep
♥ our blankets are warm and cozy
♥ Sonicare!!! (like a welcome home sign at the airport exclamation)
♥ our pantry is full of over the counter pain killers
♥ when cleaned this shiz will look, double whoa
♥ if I never clean it it's still pretty awesome
♥ laundry baskets are good for playing in with Mads when emptied (onto the floor)
♥ refrigerator full of food!!! (puppies being adorable exclamation)
♥ messy beds are still comfy
♥ headaches go away. almost always.
♥ my dog sleeps with/looks adorable with pillow pets. all on his own
♥ the more cookies you eat the less the calories count (?????right?????)
♥ Mad fell asleep in my bed and we snugged for a bit
♥ also, she looks like this.....

Look at me. Being all venty and positive in the same post. And have awesome punctuation skills that make tons of sense. All reasons why I read my own blog. I need to go eat some more cookies so I will hopefully have lost some weight in the morning.

By the way, if you're wondering, yes her tummy is exactly that sweet, her leg rolls beg to be pinched, she can accessorize her own hair thankyouverymuch so that's why it looks like I never do it. Cause I don't.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Mr. Bear and I were talking tonight about compassion. About the truest form of compassion and who it impacts the most. Those who are on the receiving end of compassion? Or those offering it?

All I really have to base my ideas on are my own experiences. And truthfully, as I said tonight, I am a happier more self satisfied person when I exercise compassion consistently in my daily life.

I need/want to get back to a place where I am this person more often. My own balance is off lately. I feel frustrated more often than I would like to (wait, would I ever like to feel frustrated???). I feel myself judging more and searching for understanding less. I feel that that the example I am setting for my child, who perhaps cannot understand yet but will someday, is not ultimately in harmony with the person I hope she will strive to be.

I'm struggling to think of a way to remind myself, when I make a mistake, that those actions aren't part of who I want to be and to correct them. So often I find myself slipping up or forgetting and then just moving on without rationally changing my perspective at that very moment.

So, I don't have all the answers but I am committed to making a change in my attitude, thoughts, & behavior towards others and just life in general. It's important for me to start behaving like the person I know I am inside. For the good of myself and my family. I don't think this part of myself is buried that deep but I have certainly lost track of her lately.

I was reminded this week just how lucky I am. I am loved by, and in love with, my two bears. They don't judge me for my mistakes but they encourage me to strive to be a better person. When I hold my daughter close I feel peace and love. When I struggle with life's great questions I have the wisdom of a loving partner to lean on. What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In Memory, With Love

Tonight it breaks my heart to write the things that have been in my mind since yesterday morning. Yesterday morning, when my sweet and gentle father called in tears to let me know that his youngest sister had died tragically in a car accident that morning. Her youngest child home from college, alone, at the house waiting for her to arrive.

Among the many people that love her she will be greatly missed by her 4 beautiful and incredible children, her husband, her father & step-mother, her mother, her 3 older sisters and, my father, the oldest of the 5. She was the baby and as with many youngest she was something special to them all.

Kristen Marie Gardner was her name and I will never forget her life. She had the ability to make me feel that years of distance meant nothing and that her love for me meant the she knew me. And she did.

My last memories with her, from just a few years ago, will always be held near to my heart. We talked and laughed. I scolded her, while shielding my eyes, for being naked too much. I didn't inherit the naked gene she and my father share being more like my mother and opting for full nighttime clothing. We drank wine. Oh how we drank wine. Kristen was happy to partake in wine offerings and one always had to consider her presence if bringing wine to dinner. But no one would appreciate it more and your evening would be filled with delightful wine induced laughter. We sat on rocky beaches and contemplated things that I cannot recall. I wish I could, at the time I didn't realize that it would be so soon that I would need to. She may or may not have caused me to trespass and lose my shoes at the same time. We walked down winding roads, shoeless & drunk, searching for the river where we spent what seemed like hours talking and partaking of her home grown herbs. She had wisdom to share with me from her life of experience. I was in need of a kindred spirit. She was never afraid to be herself. To live. To love. She was open about her regrets and it broke my heart then, as it does now. My God, how I will miss her.

My baby bear never met her though I know they would have loved one another. My Aunt Kristen was a crunchy mama herself and loved having, nursing, & raising her babies. Once again, in a different time of life, our hearts shared the same joys. The night before she died The Bear and I were talking about her children and how my dad loved them. It ended with me stating, "I know you would like her," and he would.

It's difficult to suppress the tears as I write these things. So much sadness yet so much happiness in remembering the woman that she was. I hope she knew that I loved her. I can't remember the last time I told her so.

So bloggers of the world, I hope you will all tell your loved ones you love them today, and every day. And I hope you will send my dad and his family any extra positive energy you have to spare. I'm not a religious person so I am encouraged to focus on the beauty that was her life and not on what happens now that she is gone.
Kristen and her big brother Don, years ago, sharing a drink and a picture.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cooking & Cleaning DID Wait

The house smells clean. Clean because it is actually super clean and clean like a Scentsy smell clean. I love both types. My baby bear is better after a couple days of a nasty nasty cold, though her nose and cheeks are red and raw from all the epic snot wiping, and sleeping blissfully in her bed. The dog is snoozing on the freshly cleaned couch, Mr. Bear is using him as an armrest. Christmas is 100% taken down (well, 99% if you count the garland sitting in the hallway upstairs where you can't even see so it's basically considered put away). The bathroom is freshly organized. The huge piles of holiday laundry, diapers and clothing, are soooooo close to being done. I'm in my jammies and slippers.

Basically life would be perfect if I were drinking a glass of wine, instead of bloating beer, and if the few loads of laundry, diapers AND clothing, would fold themselves. But it's worth it to at least have SOMETHING to drink (which makes me sound like an alchy, I'm not, I swear it was just one of those days/nights) and to have a perfectly clean closet with perfectly clean clothes. I won't focus on how, after our two week peppermint shake binge, those clothes all fit just a little worse than they were fitting pre-Christmas.

Tomorrow The Bear ends his two week, almost completely work free, vaca. That is nearly impossible for him and to tell you the truth I don't think we've ever spent this much time together without constant work interruptions. It's been incredible.

This week feels busy. Not because it is ACTUALLY busy but because I can't help but mentally fill it up with things I want/need to get done. I do have a couple appointments but I have a mile long list of projects I want to start RIGHT THIS MINUTE. That attitude usually exhausts me to the point of not completing a single thing. It's also the reason I have spray paint sitting in my garage and several frames sitting, NOT hanging, at the top of my coat closet. Maybe I should start with finishing what I've actually started before I start something new? Not likely.

Now it's off to fold the dreaded laundry and hopefully get to bed before the little one wakes and demands some middle of the night snuggles. Here's a random picture. I love her face to death and want to kiss it right now. This is also my favorite diaper right now. Doncha just love it?

Saturday, January 1, 2011


First of all...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 2010 was amazing, I couldn't have asked for anything more in my life, so I don't have any hopes for 2011 being a "new" beginning or something more than what the last year of my life is for. I'm going to love this year just as much as the last, and just as much as the next, and the next. Although I do believe this year will be special in its own right and I'm really looking forward to it.

Now, as the Christmas hangover has finally subsided, I can talk about the holiday without wanting to cry/vomit/crawl under 1000 blankets and never come out.

It was pretty delightful. Mad Mads was a bit overwhelmed but loved opening and playing with her gifts, even if it took a couple of days to get them all open. A kitchen, baby dolls and a stroller, a complete set of the Disney Fairies (from the new Tinkerbell) in large and small sizes (thanks to daddy!), and, my personal favorite, a doll with a sling.

She wears the sling everywhere while doing everything. She slings and pushes her grocery cart. She slings and "cooks" up meals in her kitchen. She slings and pushes two other dolls in the stroller with her puppy in a purse on the handle. Pretty impressive mama I must say.

My one gripe is that the sweet sling doll came with a bottle. I know it shouldn't bother me but I just wonder when this world will see that we should stop training our children that babies are fed with bottles. As if it's so absurd to feed them any other way. Some mamas use bottles and so they should be able to buy bottles for their babies to play with....separately. There is nothing offensive in that. I don't need a special breastfeeding baby doll, I just wish they would let the children, and parents, decide what type of feeding accessories they play with. Anyway, tangent over.

As far as my spoiled self goes, I was spoiled. The Bear is all things sweet and thoughtful, and yes I think it's romantic to spend 20 minutes with a sales lady to pick out the perfect can opener. Because that is the kind of thing I appreciate. Honestly he could have given me a lump of coal and I would still have the greatest gift in the world from him. Something that I get to enjoy anew every.single.morning. My Mads. And the gift of mothering her all day, every day.

I guess among other resolutions I would like to make, because it feels good to set goals, especially when I am setting goals that I intend on following through with, is to enjoy my mothering life more. To feel less frustration on hectic days. To laugh instead of scold when she does the many naughty things that she does. I love her, and I love my life. I don't regret anything in my past and I don't want to wake up tomorrow and regret not enjoying and appreciating my every moment with her. I want to be better for her, so she can learn and love the mother that I am. The way that I love my own mother and try my best to emulate her in all the mothering that I do. Ok, emotional tangent over!

I'm going to post some additional pictures from Christmas, like the one of Mads delightfully eating the pear I buried at the bottom of her stocking (our official stocking tradition) and the incident of her nabbing daddy's trifle leftovers and running away gleefully.



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