June 2010

Posted by Fitz

People tell you so many things when you’re pregnant with your second child, and none have rang more true to me than how the arrival of a tiny infant will make your first born seem so grown up.  I will admit that I put no stock in these comments, thinking it would be difficult to change my perspective of my Bean, who I kissed goodbye through tears right before my delivery and kissed again just several hours after.  What could change in such a short amount of time?  At first nothing seemed to be different – she was my Bean, plain and simple.  Five weeks later, however, that all has changed.

My perspective on my beloved Bean has grown slowly.  First, it was a quick comparison to how grown up her painted toenails seem in comparison to Sweet Pea’s barely visible ones.  Then, I found myself staring at her feet and hands, wondering when they got so…substantial.  Kids’ hands, not baby hands…made for running and creating and trying to give me very painful, yet so-called bootiful, ponytails after dinner every night. 

What really changed my lens about my Bean, though, just happened last night.  Sweet Pea has fussy time at night, and the three of us who aren’t fussy have a tendency to look at each other like, “What do we do now?”  The Bean is always careful to make sure her little sister has her paci (and tells her to “Be nice!” when the baby spits it out), but last night she turned my heart into mush.  She took her giraffey, the buddy that she prizes above all other things, and laid it next to her sister for comfort so “she’d feel all better with a friend”.  Add that poignant moment to my peak hormonal state and I’m not ashamed to say it took a good fifteen minutes for me to stop crying.  In that time, my Bean grew from my little baby to my best big girl.  It was one of the most wonderful, touching moments of my life.

Oh, and Sweet Pea stopped crying immediately once she had the giraffe.  She must have been blown away, too.


Posted by AVM

So much time is spent saying “No” to our children, it’s nice to have a day where you say nothing but “Yes.”  I have a co-worker who took her two children to Disney World and before she left she told me, “I want them to have the best time.  If they want ice cream for breakfast, I’m going to let them have it!”  That always stuck with me  – I just thought that was such a cool thing to do.  I know that in our house it’s a lot of: Please don’t touch the baby.  No, you can’t have cookies before dinner.  No, we can’t go on the swings, it’s bedtime. . .and it’s dark out.  No, you can’t wear a wool sweater today, it’s 89 degrees out there (this was literally last week’s argument).   A lot of that – and I feel bad and guilty that our days go like that sometimes.  I really need to work on that in some way.  But sometimes there really just is no other answer but, “No.”

This weekend we took Lovey and CeeCee to a little local amusement park.  It’s a place I’ve been going since I was a kid.  I’ve been there with my family, as a teenager with friends, in my 20s on dates, with my husband, and now I’m taking my own girls there.  I love this place, even though the paint is a bit chipped and the awnings faded – to me, it still has all the charm it ever did.  When we decided to take the girls, I said to my husband, “I’m just going to say, ‘yes’ all day!”  And so we did.  “Yes” meant that Lovey ate crap all damn day. . .cotton candy, ice cream, a candy necklace, a sugary frozen lemonade, french fries, etc.  We won her prizes, fed quarters into any game she wanted to play, let her get an airbrushed butterfly “tattoo” on her arm, and let her ride the rides as often as she wanted.  It was a great day, and she laughed and squealed all day long.   I know we can’t have days like that too often (plus the sugar will kill all of us), but this weekend, it was just what we all needed.  She can’t wait to go back. . . and neither can I.

Posted by Fitz


My cousin Caitlin is super cool and hip, so when she and her husband showed up to visit my girls with gifts in hand, I’m not going to lie – I was excited.   Along with a much needed bottle of champagne and an adorable Melissa & Doug toy for the Bean, she brought us this little music box that I think is the coolest thing since sliced bread. 

Made by Tree by Kerri Lee, the music box is simple perfection.  It is only 4 inches wide and 8 inches tall, but packs a lot of style and craft into its small package.  Ours is a lovely, soft sage green and plays Hush Little Babv…turn the knob to hear the song, and read the back to make sure you get the lyrics right. 

This is such a creative gift for a new baby, and one that we’ll treasure for years and years to come.  Cait, this is a public thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness – we love you!


Undersea Kingdom Party

Number of times I've been invited to a party themed "Undersea Kingdom": 1

Posted by Duff

Number of would-have-been-work-days that I’ve been a stay at home mom:  70

Number of children I have: 2

Number of times I clean the high chair each day : 5

Number of times I clean the kitchen (daily): 3, sometimes 4

Percentage of days The Dervish gives me a hard time about getting up, eating, dressing, or leaving the house: 94

Percentage of days Atticus awakens early and raring to go: see above

Number of days  both children have napped, and at the same time: 2

Number of days The Dervish hasn’t gone to time out as day stretches into evening: See above

Number of antibiotic courses started and/or completed: 5

Number of times I thanked my lucky stars I didn’t have to call in to work to care for a sick child: See above

Number of times The Dervish has tried, unwittingly, to off  her little brother: 435

Number of times per day when at least one child is crying: 7

Number of times per day I’m now certain that two is enough children for me:  (there is sophisticated calculus to be done here, and I can’t do it. It’s greater than 7)

Number of days I’ve missed my former job: 0.25 (Though I do miss many of my former colleagues)




Posted by AVM

There are a few moms I need to give a shout out to because they really rock. I am inspired each day by the effort and passion these ladies put forth. If you haven’t heard of these fabulous moms who are starting revolutions, the time has come for you to be inspired by them too.

Anonymously known as Mrs. Q, this mom and teacher started a “school lunch project” where she decided to eat exactly what the students were eating in the cafeteria every day to raise awareness about what garbage we allow the public school system to feed our children in some districts. Each day she blogs about what she ate, and she is gaining notoriety for it. Her project is going to move mountains, and she rocks because of it. Check out her blog Fed Up With Lunch.

New mom Sherry Petersik and her husband moved from NYC to Virginia, bought a fixer-upper (an understatement) and began blogging about their DIY house renovation step by step. What has evolved is Young House Love, a blog that is a breath of fresh air. Sherry’s style, sass, and great writing has become a brand all its own. Check out the incredible before and after photos, how to design with a very limited budget, and the rest of their story which makes you want to be their next door neighbors and best friends.

In 2003, this corner of the world was shaken hearing about the adopted sons of Vanessa Jackson who were starved and tortured for years while the state’s social services agencies did next to nothing. I have thought about those boys for years as their images were in the news constantly when the story broke, and the visions of those poor emaciated children were impossible to erase. Oprah recently spotlighted the story and updated the world about where these boys were now. Amber Parrish and her husband were the angels who took them in and adopted the boys after their many years of heartache. She gave them a home, real parents, and a place where they know they’re safe, loved, and cared for. Since I saw this, I can’t stop thinking of Amber and the love she showed for these boys, and what it took to rescue them from their nightmare. She is what “mom” means. She is selfless. She is a rock. I want to be her. Read all about the boys’ story here.

Tell us about a mom who inspires you. Spread the love!

Posted by Fitz

Silly me, I forgot about all of the clueless things that people say when you have a new baby. It’s almost like their brains vacate their body, and they feel it is their DUTY to bring up things that are at best inappropriate and at worst, plain rude. I’m compiling this list in the hopes that you’ll add to it so we can circulate it around the world and get one step closer to world peace.

In no particular order, here are some of the things I’ve heard in the aftermath of both The Bean and Sweet Pea’s arrivals:

1. “Oh, another girl! So when will you try for that boy?”

2. “Isn’t that a really popular name? I guess you’ll have to think of a nickname so she’s not one of a million in school.”

3. “Are you breastfeeding?”

4. “How much weight do you have to lose now? It will take a while, right?”

5. “Why did you spell her name that way?”

6. “Won’t those painkillers hurt the baby?”

7. “I don’t care if holding her all day interrupts her night sleep, because I get to go home!”

8. “Are you breastfeeding?” (Yes, it’s on the list twice. For a reason.)

9. “Are you disappointed that you didn’t have a boy this time?”

10. “Girls’ soccer is good too, I guess.”

What gems have you heard? Share them below!

Posted by Fitz

Photo credit: blog.ganconference.com

I had an Oprah “Aha!” moment last night, and have to share it with you: my main purpose in life is to feed people. My day at home goes something like this:

1. Feed Sweet Pea shortly after midnight, then again before anyone else is awake
2. Make coffee for my husband so he can stay awake at work
3. Try to wrangle a few bites of a healthy breakfast into The Bean before she starts her merry day
4. Feed Sweet Pea again
5. Find something for myself to eat
6. Figure out what’s for dinner, then prep
7. Feed Sweet Pea again
8. Cook dinner, bargain with The Bean to have more veggie bites, manage to eat a few bites myself
9. Pack lunches for The Bean and the husband for the next day
10. Feed Sweet Pea again

Before you wonder why I’m doing all of this myself, this is a job I like. Food is love in many ways to me, and I enjoy preparing meals for my family…I just didn’t realize how much of my day is consumed by it! At least I have some evidence to show to myself that I am busy, even when I’m feeling less than productive. And I have a happy, healthy family to prove it.

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