Tag Archives: arnow

And the Best Costume Goes Tooooo…

3 Nov
The best darn "elly" in all the land.

The best darn “elly” in all the land.

Remington Arnow!

aka “Memy Aahhhno”

As a mom, there are a few things that I look forward to being able to experience with Remy, that I never really had the opportunity to enjoy when I was a kid. Halloween is probably the biggest one.

I was raised in a VERY conservative home, with parents who chose to have “Glory to God parties” instead of celebrating halloween. Yes. We were the family who passed out bible tracts and popcorn (cuz you could do that in the 80’s) to all the neighborhood kids who were dressed up, celebrating “satan’s birthday”. Cool, right?

Regardless of my own personal beliefs, my parents did what they thought was right, and I can’t judge them for our differences of opinion, or practice. But, I can choose to do things however I please with my own kids.

The year I found out I was pregnant, I had JUST started working for Dailey. In October, I was just out of my first trimester and not too many people knew me, let alone knew I was pregnant then, so I dressed up as a bank robber. My belly was my bag o’ cash, and no one really “got it”. I thought I was hilarious.

YEAR ONE:

Belly Smuggling Bank Robber

Belly Smuggling Bank Robber

The next Halloween, Remy was just 8 months of bubbling baby chub and I put some thought into our costumes once again. I found an amazing monkey costume and decided to become a banana tree… He was still nursing A LOT, so I had bananas in the appropriate place. Again, hilarious… to myself. I don’t have any great photos of my costume, but COME ON. Look at that face. A funny thing about this costume, was that my sister and our friend brought Remy to meet me in the office. With a BRIGHT GREEN WIG on, my baby still knew exactly who I was, from across the room. Mama baby bonds are pretty incredible.

YEAR TWO

Baby Monkey in his Banana Tree

Baby Monkey in his Banana Tree

This year, I decided to look for costumes in line with Remy’s favorite animals and liked the elephant costume best. Originally, Grant and I were both going to be elephant trainers, and he would be a baby elephant, but on Sunday, I changed my mind. He would be the trainer and I, once again, would be a food item… maybe it’s time to wean.

Here we are as a baby elephant and a bucket of peanuts.

YEAR THREE:

Baby "Elly" and his big ol' bucket of peanuts.

Baby “Elly” and his big ol’ bucket of peanuts.

I plan to continue this habit of mine for as long as he can stand it, or stand me. Halloween is becoming one of my absolute favorite days of the year.

***Thank you, Don Lupo, for the great pictures! 

New Mommy Must-Haves

11 Jun

When you’re about to have a baby, it seems that everyone has advise on what said baby needs to survive in the outside world. However, no one really talks about what the mommy will need to survive those first months of milky messes, dehydration, sleep depravation, and wardrobe malfunctions.

I managed to make it, as did so many of my friends before me, but as I watch my other friends who are becoming new moms struggle to perfect both their registries and homes in anticipation of their new arrival, I’ve decided to put a little list of mommy must-haves together. This is for you and your baby, because with the knowledge of these things in advance of having the baby, you will hopefully be a little more prepared, and you’ll be able to focus more on the importance of that new little lover. The list isn’t long, but I hope it’s helpful!

1. Water… all the time. WATER.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Keep Yourself Hydrated

This was my number 1, most adored accessory (besides my new baby, of course). Brita’s individual water filtration system. I was/am a breastfeeder, which means that hydration is/was key for me to produce enough milk to nourish my baby. The biggest cause in my milk supply dips were typically related to how much water I was drinking. This thing saved me. You can fill it up anywhere and unlike a normal reusable water bottle, it doesn’t matter where the water comes from, it’s super easy to clean. It’s available at Target, or on Amazon. The replacement filters are available at either retailer as well. Super easy. No excuse to not be hydrated! I still use mine and love it.

2. Nursing Tanks

Keep 'em Comfy... and Available

Keep ’em Comfy… and Available

If you’re going to be a breastfeeding mama, you’re likely going to be living in a nursing bra of some sort for the next year or so. I wish I’d have been prepared for this. You will need to have access to your boobs ALL OF THE TIME, and sometimes at the worst time, plus your old sexy bras aren’t going to fit for a while. I found that the best and easiest way to be able to nurse in public (and even at home, in mixed company) was to wear a nursing tank under every other shirt I wore. Here’s the reason; when you have to nurse and you don’t want to be overly exposed on top, or show off your awesome new “tiger striped” (or flabby) belly on the bottom, the tank covers your tummy, and when worn underneath another shirt, you can lift the top layer up, and lower just the top part of the tank to feed your babe, allowing you to comfortable hide part of your breast with the top shirt, while totally accommodating your baby. I also found this extremely helpful when the weather was hot and the Hooter Hider was just too sweaty and clunky. I mean, don’t get me wrong. The hooter hider was awesome at first, but as soon as my baby decided that he didn’t like having fabric over his face, and could reach out and pull, there was no point. Buy nursing tanks. You will thank me.

Scoop Neck or Low Cut Tops/Comfy Bottoms

When we got home from the hospital, I struggled with not having a thing to wear, once the baby was out of my belly and in my arms. My very wrongfully dressed arms. I came home with a baby (and what looked like a 6 month pregnant, postpartum belly) and realized that it was too cold to wear tank tops middle of winter (in Los Angeles, but still). All of my long sleeve shirts were too high necked and I had a hard time feeding the baby without lifting my shirt and starting at my belly full of swollen tissue and bloat. I had to cut the necks off of long sleeved shirts, so that I had easy access to the “feeding station”, and so that the middle-of-the-night feedings weren’t a total cluster necessitating a clumsy, sleepy-eyed, wardrobe change. If you’re a winter birther, get some low necked tee’s or thermals, so you can stay warm. If you’re a summer mama, who cares. Live nekkid (or in cami’s). Additionally, your pre-preg pants will be too tight for a while, and you’ll be wearing your maternity jeans for longer than you probably expected as well. Make sure to be well stocked on comfy sweats (not tight pants right at first, or you’ll expose your fancy new under garments) or lounge/pajama pants. Shirts with a low neckline are also optimal for feeding baby when you’re home, or don’t care about exposure. Camisoles and V-neck T’s become a must.

“Granny” Panties

Comfy Matters

Comfy Matters

Because the kind you’re used to, just aren’t going to work for postpartum things. Thankfully, my older sister, Nadia (mother of 3), knew what I would need and made sure I had them on hand. She’s also supplied me with massage oils and other fun recovery items, and that was really great of her, but the big ol’ granny pants? Those saved me.

Nursing Pads/Mattress Pads/Washable Surface Pads

Most people know about nursing pads, but make sure you have a solid, waterproof (or milk proof) mattress pad on your bed as well. Some people (not mentioning names) can have REALLY high milk supplies in the early months and end up having to wash their sheets almost daily… Or just living in what feels like purgatory for a while, because you just can’t keep up with all that laundry, so you sleep in old milk. We co-slept and my babe would drool milk all night long, in addition to the spouts I found attached to my body, that had a mind of their own. I ended up cutting an old mattress pad up, sewing a sheet onto it, and creating my own “waterproof sheet”, which resembled a washable puppy pee pad. I put it on top of my regular bed sheets, and the baby and I just slept on that.   It’s much easier to toss in with other laundry, than it was to strip the bed everyday. I wish I’d have made it in advance, but then again, I probably wouldn’t have been so leaky if that were the case (Murphy’s Law loves me). Anyway, “water stains” automatically void your bed’s warrantee, so if that’s a thing for you and you want to have the ability to make a claim on your bed one day, should you develop a good “taco” in the middle from all the snuggling, KEEP IT SAFE.

A Flexible Mindset

Breastfeeding does not burn calories for everyone in the same way. Not everyone who breastfeeds (or exclusively pumps) will loose their baby weight by doing so. This is a fact. If you’re lucky enough to get back into your old clothes in the first few months of your baby’s life, god love ya. I’m still working on that 16 months later. Some of us just hold on to weight differently. I’m convinced that all of the crash dieting I did in my 20’s taught my body to hold on to every calorie it could, because it needed to feed someone else. It’s primal survival for your infant. Anyway, all of this to say, be flexible if things don’t go as you expect. It’s ok! Your baby needs your body to produce milk, not to lose weight. For me, every attempt at exercise or calorie cutting, negatively impacted my supply almost immediately. Not the case for everyone, but this was the case for me and that’s ok.

If you had something that was imperative to your early motherhood survival, leave it in the comments!

My Hot Bloggy Mess

5 Jun
One Hot Mess; A Linkup by The Fike Life.

One Hot Mess; A Linkup by The Fike Life.

I dream about blogging all day long. In fact, I have written hundreds I witty posts in my imagination that will never be remembered when I actually have the time to write them down.

In my head, I’m awesome. Hilarious. So entertaining. Helpful when help is needed, be it child-rearing advice (because I’m such an expert) or a bubble of laughter. I’m your blogger. You identify with me and I with you. I drink belinis every night as I sit on my porch overlooking the wilderness, computer on my lap, thoughtful gaze on my face. I make your life feel more understood, and well, we inspire each other’s Pinterest boards, because my photography of normal life’s events is just so amazing. I’ve always got my laundry done, my kitchen clean, my roots bleached, eyebrows waxed, bed made, dinner on the table by 5:30, and nightstands clear of glasses and tissues, and I still have time to make my husband feel like the rock of my fortress. Also, my perfect toddler naps for hours on end, and sleeps a perfect 12 hours at night, waking up no earlier than 7:00AM. Of course, I wake up an hour before my family (since my family is on a perfect and predictable sleeping schedule) and have time for “me” as I get ready for my day, showering away the perfectly unsweaty night’s sleep, sipping my cuppa’ coffee, all while preparing for another glorious day.

I am perfect. No, I’m not. 

Living in my wild imagination is pure bliss, but when you’re living in my body, it’s exactly the opposite.

This is my guest room... not that any guests could use it.

This is my guest room… not that any guests could use it.

Computer is still on the couch opened to work emails about motorcycles (yes I work with motorcycles) not all the blogs I’ve bookmarked “to read at some future date”, I don’t have a porch overlooking the wilderness (unless you call West Hollywood “wild”), I don’t know exactly what goes into a belini (just that I love them and have to pay $14 for them at any local restaurant – thanks, WeHo) and I have a house full of clean laundry begging to be put away, dirty laundry dying to be washed (lest my dogs pee on the pile again), dishes in the sink and bathroom needing to be scrubbed. Floors, oh the floors… wearing socks that accumulate the hair of my two dogs counts as “sweeping” right? I party all the time too, but those parties (like the one I just had) consist of cleaning out the fridge and finally cleaning up the sticky salad dressing that spilled on the top shelf two months ago. It’s a blast.

Hooray for reality, transparency and hot messes.

I can’t count on consistency in my family’s schedule, but I can count on the fact that no matter what… baby’s up. Gotta jam.

Attack of the Killer Crows

28 May
Photo Cred: Vincent Bazen

Photo Cred: Vincent Bazen

Crows are scaaaaaary and when you’re on the receiving end of their wrath, they are a living nightmare.

Last Monday morning, I was on my way out to work. Grant was on his way to the library to study. Remy was in the house safe in the arms of his babysitter, getting ready for his first nap.

As I stood at my car, Grant called for me to come “look at the weird crow sitting by our kitchen door on the trash bag”. I sauntered over, as all self-proclaimed (but totally untrue) “animal whispers” would, thinking that this poor little crow was hurt or something. I mean, why else would he be sitting on the stoop by my kitchen door?

I approached him for two reasons; 1. because I’d left something in the kitchen and the baby was going down for a nap on the other side of the house, where the front door is and I didn’t want to distract the babysitter from accomplishing her napping goal; and 2. to see if he would move as I approached. I did not touch him, or even come close to touching him.

Apparently, what it did was piss off his mama.

Suddenly, my head was surrounded by flapping wings and a shrieking crow was trying to ward me off of her young. They must have been in the middle of flying lessons, and he found comfort on my trash (which of course, should have been sitting there in the first place).

I rushed into the house in a panic and slammed the door behind me. Our side door is a window paned door, so I watched as the crow “yelled” at me, beak gaping open and wings ferociously flapping.

Photo Cred: Mark Sebastian

Photo Cred: Mark Sebastian

Not wanting to be late to work, I got what I needed, and headed to our backdoor, thinking I would escape her wrath through the back… NOT SO.

I went outside and my scent must have carried, because suddenly, I was being chased by a big, nasty, PISSED OFF, mama crow. She swooped down to my head several times (see photo above, even though that’s not me) as I ran through my yard, down my side yard (opposite the side with the kitchen door) and when I got to the back gate, I remember that the gate was broken, and I had to run all the way back, around the entire house with an angry crow swooping down to my head, ruffling my hair, and screaming at me. My only options were to run like a lunatic, screaming, swearing and begging for my husband to save me.

I ran all the way to the street screaming and finally, with my protector husband close by, dropped down to my knees (in the middle of the street) and just started sobbing laughing. My husband was there screaming “Fuck You, Bird!!! Stay away from my family!”

If you know my husband, you know how funny this is. At that time, however, I was in tears and dear darling protector of mine flapped his wings so he appeared much bigger that the angry bird.

After the “attack” the crow sat our magnolia tree angrily pounding his (or her) open beak on the branches of the tree, with continued screaming, while ripping leaves off of the tree and throwing them to the ground. Our neighbor Molly said she was “trapped” in her house, and that the bird wouldn’t let her pass, so Grant had to escort her to her car… after all, the birds feared him. It wasn’t the only time he heard someone scream in fear, birds cawing, either. Our upstairs neighbor took to carrying an open umbrella to and from her car as protection!

For several days after, every time I walked outside, a crow would “caw” and I would crouch down… and a few times, I got warning swoops and one time, an extra low swoop to my head.

Thanks, Hitchcock. You’ve ruined me.

7 Quick Takes: People of Interest (MY interest, anyway)

16 Apr

1. PinterestFail.com

Ever geeked out on Pinterest, then immediately added new things to your weekly shopping list, so you could recreate the magic in your own home? After frustrations and contemplation at your own sanity, ever wondered how on earth the original pinner was able to accomplish their “thing” without it looking like a tragedy struck your kitchen? I mean, HOW do they get those beautiful pictures? Well, I joined the club this week.  In fact, my experiment was such a mess (it TASTED good, but was not 1/2 as pretty a process as it looked online and took over an hour to clean up after), that I went to work the next day blabbing my story and my frustrations all over the place. I even decided to start a new website called “F-Pinterest.com”. While talking to my co-workers about my awesome idea, one of the guys said, “It already exists. It’s called PinterestFail.com”, a much better name than my idea was. After discovering this bit of magic, I spent way too much time laughing at messes FAR worse than mine. The site was started by a girl named Jenna Cole, who tried (just like me) to get pretty crafty thanks to all of the DIY picture/blogs on Pinterest. She (and many, many others) succeeded about an many times as I did. Be entertained.

2. Wild Flowers Photography

Long, long ago, Joy and I worked with high school kids at a church together. She was a really great person, whom I adored, but I had no idea then how much more I’d adore her as we grew up. Joy has turned into the most inspirational and talented photographers/story tellers, I’ve seen. Her simplicity and passions show in every photo. Her family (mama of four) is a perfect picture of the love between her and her husband, Donny. They’ve been through a lot and have come out the other side smiling. There’s a calm and patient light that exudes not only from her photos, but from her person. She’s beautiful and wonderful, and her story is full of transparent humility and desire for only producing the best in her work, her family and herself. If you follow her Instagram, you’ll be inspired on a daily basis. Check out her amazing blog/website as well.

3. A Little Vintage Life

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this family, but the Wests are a traveling “nomad” family. Melissa and her husband run a cute little family business, traveling all over the place in their RV, with their 3 kiddos in tow. What makes them awesome? They travel around and search out thrifted goods, then sell them on Instagram. Their InstaSales are AWESOME. I’ve bought 2 blankets from them, and both did not disappoint me (one quilt and one afghan). Not only that, but Melissa adds a really special touch in the form of hand written thank you notes, that are included in each package and her packages are called “Happy Mail”. She also throws in some cute little vintage goodies here and there. I know it’s silly, and no, I don’t need the thank you note and extra goodies, but it makes me feel good to support someone who’s grateful for the business and who cares about her work. Plus, she’s a cool mama.

4. Blythe Fike

Blythe and I have known each other for what seems like a lifetime. Once upon a time, we were bandmates, and now, she’s the proud mom of FIVE kids… under 7. What (else) makes Blythe unique? She’s a blogger who talks about her faith as a Catholic, yes, but more importantly, she’s a real life mom who doesn’t sugar coat her challenges. And, she’s hilarious. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve laughed out loud while reading her blog. Mud covered, nakey babies just add to the perfect storm that encompasses their sweet family.

5. The Professor from this Story

As I sat at work today, I was just about to request the monday of my husband’s birthday off of work, so I looked ahead to my calendar for that day. Uh oh. I saw a calendar event from my boss; first day lunch with our new Producer. I actually thought “Crap. I can’t take that day off.” I asked my friend (and lucky me, my co-worker) about what she thought I should do and she sent me this. Thank you for the perspective, Trisha. Momentary lapses in judgement are easily remedied by friends who care. Thankfully, my boss supports my decision (best boss in the world).

6. The Law Student’s Wife

I’ve mentioned Erin before, but it’s time to check out her blog, and if you like food the way I do, sign up for her daily recipes. A kindred spirit, she’s the wife of a law student and she understands the “joys” and challenges that brings. What I love about her blog, is that it’s set up to delivery daily recipes that she’s created herself. There’s some unique flavor represented in her work, and many of the items are not very time consuming, which makes this busy mama happy. Her Pinterest is also really beautifully done.

7. Button Therapy

Two of our best friends are Eric and Haley Sanchez. They stood with us in our wedding ceremony and have been champion friends over the years, ever committed to their marriage and their daughter. They’re also committed to being ridiculously good at making things. Haley started Button Therapy some time ago, as her creative streak married her glue gun and old buttons together to form some great (and fashionable) jewelry. I love this stuff. The rings are probably my favorite, but she also makes so fantastic earrings, barrettes, headbands, and other stuff. She’s always posting sales on Instagram, so follow her there.

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