Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pin me

I'm the latest to jump on the Pinterest band wagon. It's true. And I really love it. Considering I'm constantly saving pictures I see online in folders for home decor, gift ideas, things for the monkey, etc. this online repository is perfect for an inspiration hoarder like myself.

Behold a few of my favorites from this week.

I don't know that I could pull this dress off, but it's super cute. Turns out short dresses aren't ideal for bending down and picking up children.

I'm seriously craving horizontal stripes for when I'm no longer pregnant. Image from tumblr.


This little girl's room which is now serving as the color inspiration for Madelyn's big girl room. Minus the pink carpet. Does that go without saying? (From House of Turquoise.)

This kitchen redo from Southern Living.

I love so much about this photo. The under-sink baskets, the shade, the white. Love.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I've lost control

I've officially lost control of Madelyn. I imagine this is probably how you feel when you watch your naive teenager pull out of the driveway for the first time. Or when you become "that mom" with the screaming flailing child in Target.

A bit helpless. A bit bewildered. And lost in the wonder of why parenthood is so darn hard sometimes.

Exactly 48 hours ago Madelyn learned how to get out of her crib and nighttime has since become a disaster of EPIC proportions.

Last night it took a full hour and 15 minutes to get her to go to sleep. She got out of bed screaming and thrashing like a rabid animal every time I put her in, she kicked and shook the baby gate at her door, she spit and hit me, you name it, she did it.

I had no idea what to do and I found myself walking through what felt like the steps of dealing with loss and guilt. I denied it, thinking she'd tire and go to sleep. I bargained, promising her a milkshake if she would please-dear-God-just-go-to-sleep. I got angry. I fought back tears. I tried everything. I was at a complete loss and eventually just started praying for strength and wisdom and I listened to her cry in the other room. It was horrible.

Eventually I just held her door shut so she couldn't get to the gate and somehow she got back up into her crib and went to sleep. At 5:30 this morning she woke up saying "mommy get me, get me!" which was good because she didn't get out on her own, and in a moment of pure sleep-deprived weakness and guilt for maybe being too hard on her, I let her come sleep the rest of the morning with me.

I have no idea what's going to happen tonight. Obviously I realize it's time to move her to a big girl bed so we're working on that, but until it's ready we're going to have to tough it out together.

Being a parent is hard and last night was by far the hardest night I've had so far. Never have I felt so clueless or so infused with self doubt. I realize this is the first of many battles we will likely fight over the course of her precious life, and I am not naive enough to think that they're going to get any easier, but I do hope I can find within me some shred of inner confidence that I'm doing the "right" thing--whatever that might be.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Head Down

Work is insane right now. I'm sitting on the couch working, which I've been doing every night this week when Madelyn goes to bed, breathing through a rather difficult Braxton Hicks contraction.

Part of my job is planning large corporate events, the most important of which is next week in Chicago. I love this part of my job, though I'm becoming increasingly confident it is not meant to be done by someone who is nearing their seventh month of pregnancy.

I am trying so hard not to stress but I'm afraid the next nine days are really going to test that ability.

I'd appreciate your prayers, your patience, and anyone you know who may be fit to send to Chicago as a believable impostor.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mother's Intuition

Mother's intuition is a funny thing. When you're expecting your first child you worry you won't have it. Then said child arrives and after you get through the haze of the first few days (ahem, weeks) you seamlessly become the protective intuitive guardian you always hoped you'd be.

Then they get a little bit older and you're tested... Often, if your child is anything like mine.

Madelyn brings a joy to my life that I literally never thought possible. It's true when people say you'll never ever understand how much you can truly love something until you have a child. But as sweet as she is, my little nugget has the immune system of a ladybug. She gets everything. She had two bouts with pneumonia, RSV, and roughly four ear infections in her first 18 months of life. In this regard she's truly her mother's daughter. But what has completely blown me away is my ability to just know when something is wrong in a way that no one else can sense, not even her father.

For example, when she had RSV (a serious respiratory virus that makes it difficult to breathe) she wasn't exhibiting any symptoms whatsoever. Literally, none. Matt thought I had fallen off the crazy train when at 7:30 at night I wanted to drive her down to the urgent care, but I knew something wasn't right. And it wasn't.

I was tested again this past Friday night when she developed a cough unlike any of the other coughs I've ever heard. I know the asthma cough, the pneumonia cough, the "I just have a little post nasal drip" cough, but something about this cough sent a red flag up my spine. Now picture me on the phone with the on-call pulmonologist at 10:30 at night who quickly confirmed she had croup, yet another serious virus that attacks the throat making it difficult to breathe. Croup also gives you no warning before your child can lapse into respiratory distress, so you literally have to watch them vigilantly all night long. Obviously not something you want to ignore.

This intuition has one of the biggest surprises of motherhood. And even more surprising, I've never been wrong when it comes to her. Matt is truly an incredible father, but he will never understand when I base a diagnosis 100% on a gut feeling because he doesn't have it. It's a God-given gift to mothers--as long as we listen to it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A morning with Gwyneth

So I broke down and bought My Father's Daughter last week. I've been trying to really cut back on any extra spending but when I received an email from Borders for $30% off an item, and they already had it marked %50 off, that was a deal I just couldn't refuse.

I have to say, it has yet to disappoint. I spent Saturday morning making a few recipes from the book and we tried out another last night. It seems she can actually cook. But what I love most about the book are the gorgeous pictures and narrative dialogue throughout. In the beginning she talks about ways to safely and productively get your children involved in the kitchen, her bout with a macrobiotic diet which she now says was subconsciously her way of trying to heal her cancer-stricken father, and encourages you to clean as you go and drink while you cook (amen, sister).

The ingredients are, for the most part, simple and fresh. She is above all a mother, and her goal is to feed her children the healthiest food possible while still making the process enjoyable and tasty. The first thing I made (no surprise here) were the blueberry muffins- the most carby thing I could find within the covers. I LOVE them, and the only sugars in the recipes are maple syrup and agave nectar. They're dense and delicious, and include 2.5 cups of blueberries. Of course, Madelyn won't eat them. I have no idea why. I think it may be because I used frozen instead of the fresh blueberries the recipe called for making the muffins turn blue, or "smurf muffins" as Matt affectionately referred to them. Either way, that just leaves more for me and baby boy. Score.

So far I've made her standby vinaigrette which is truly so good I've sworn off store-bought salad dressing forever, her homemade turkey sausage patties, the smurf muffins, peach bbq chicken, teriyaki salmon and kale chips. The only recipe not in the book is the peach bbq chicken which you can find here along with a few other non-published yummies I plan to make one of these days. Strawberry shortcake sliders? Yes please.

It's been really refreshing to find a healthy cookbook with recipes that use very few ingredients, are truly easy to prepare, and come out delicious. And from a mom who could easily afford to hire someone to feed her family for her, but chooses to approach the process together with them.

You can find a few other recipes, including the blueberry muffins, here.

Eat up!

A day at the lake

Saturday we headed to our friend's lake house for a day out on the boat--an activity that made me physically nauseous as I'm the paranoid mother of a child who doesn't yet know how to swim. You can see by Madelyn's face she wasn't so sure about it either. But about an hour into the day she turned into a little fish right before my eyes- complete with her swimmies and requisite barrette.

This is how we started....grumpy pants...

10 minutes later...

And 60 minutes later....

I'd say that's progress.
© Living the Good Life. Powered by