Sunday, October 21, 2012

{ this + that }

My laptop--the one I anointed with sweet potato soup--is in the shop. I feel kind of naked without it, which is actually a good thing to know. Means I've been spending too much time on it. While it will be oh-so-nice to have music again {we got rid of my huge, 8-year-old stereo system because we used it, like, once a month}, I like not being able to check e-mail and Facebook and procrastinate and waste time whenever I want to/feel lazy. Which is all the time. Because Mike's desktop is a relic and usually only boots up successfully after the third try, it's much too inconvenient to use frequently. So I'm doing a lot more living and a lot less staring at a screen. Good stuff. But seriously, I'm ready to download photos off my camera and write up a couple posts on life lately--because you can't do that without photos, right?

Still loving pumpkin spice lattes.

Lots of chilly + rainy days...though today was punctuated with glorious sunshine. Except for when we decided to go on an exploratory family walk. We only got partially soaked, and heard the most satisfying thunderclaps! There are a lot fewer thunderstorms in western Washington than there are in northern Idaho. Every time I hear thunder over here, I'm reminded how much I love + miss good thunderstorms. Maybe we should plan our next Idaho trip for thunderstorm season!

Slow cooked cinnamon pork loin with parsnips is what's for dinner. Our house smells so good right now! I've never eaten parsnips before, so I'm a leetle nervous about it...but pork smothered in nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves? Yes please!

Mike is currently watching an episode of Grimm on Hulu and I'm pretending I can't hear it. Lainie is napping on our bed. And I'm mourning my just-finished pumpkin spice latte.

Two nights ago, I dreamed I was pregnant with fraternal twin girls, and I was freaking out because Lainie was only 18 months old and I was going to have three girls under two years of age. I remember panicking and thinking, "I don't even know how to feed two babies at once!" I woke up so relieved it was only a dream!

I swear Lainie said "hi" to me twice in a row on Friday. Seriously. She may have been copying me, but she totally said "hi" after I did! Two times!

Really excited about the women's conference with Elyse Fitzpatrick speaking, coming up this Saturday.

Really sad that Mike will be gone this weekend for a whirlwind 30-hour trip to San Francisco for a friend's wedding.

Did you know Thomas Bagels makes pumpkin spice bagels during the fall?! For serious! SO yummy!

And with that, I'm going to close for now...happy autumn, y'all!

Friday, October 19, 2012

{ Look }

Five Minute Friday Look at you, all pretty in pink, fat little sausage toes and dimpled fingers and a gummy grin that splits my heart right open.

Look at you, less than four months old and over a thousand photos of you already sit in folders on my desktop, testimony to how you've won our hearts and become accustomed to the flash in your blue, blue eyes.

Look through those folders, and you'll see snuggles with Daddy; meeting grandparents, aunts and uncles; dozens of cute outfits; silly faces that make me laugh. But where am I?

In all that happy cacophony of baby pictures, I can think of two with me in them. And it makes me wonder: Someday, when you look back on your childhood, will you wonder where your mama was? I mean, you'll remember that I was there with you every day, but will you see it?

In my willingness to stay on the other side of the camera, will you know what I looked like during these exhausting months of new mommyhood? When you are a mama yourself, will you imagine you are the only one with crazy unkempt hair, stubborn pregnancy pounds, and a makeup-free face? Am I painting an unrealistic picture of motherhood for you, my daughter, by staying outside the frame?

It's so easy to do. But maybe today I'll wait for our little photoshoot 'til after Daddy gets home, and have him take a few snapshots of his girls. Together.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{ Nursery Tour }

Welcome to Elaina's room!

When you open the door, first you'll see this Beatrix Potter cross-stitch. A friend of my Mom's made it for Lainie. I love the baby mice lined up in their cradle!

Please excuse the tiny baby lying on the floor.

I *love* this room: the colors, the furniture, the huge window with an enormous tree right outside--it's my happy place!
The paint color is "Heavy Goose" from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. I am delighted with it; it's a pretty true grey, not too blue. The Jenny Lind crib is a $30 craigslist find. I made the curtains...iron-on hemming tape to the rescue.

Chelle made the quilt--it is so breathtaking!! I knitted the pink blanket. The pillows are from the living room and coordinate perfectly {don't worry, I take them out on the rare occasions that Lainie naps in her crib}. It's turning out to be quite convenient that I use so many of the same colors to decorate throughout our home. ;-) 

I swooned over that pink ombre material at Pacific Fabrics and decided to make the crib skirt--iron-on hemming tape again! The tiny chair is from a twice-yearly local vintage/antiques/craft fair. The little brown bear is my teddy bear, Retha. I got her the Christmas I was one year old.

The "You Are So Loved" print is from Katie Daisy's etsy shop, and was my springboard for the whole room. Originally I was going to hang a few paper lanterns in various shades of pink above the crib as a mobile. But Joanna made the "Welcome Elaina" banner for one of my baby showers, and I decided to use it instead. How often does a girl have a personalized welcome banner?!

I picked up the dresser at the same antiques/craft fair as the little chair. Love the color!! And it's the perfect size. The bin holding stuffed animals is a drinks bucket from Target's summer line; the teal basket holding diaper changing supplies is, too. I got the basket at Cost Plus World Market and use it for laundry. I wanted something non-cutesy, not babyish, and definitely not plastic and generic.

:: closeup of the dresser knobs--tiny gold pocketwatches! ::

When I got to the point of actually decorating the nursery, I had a little collection of things I wanted to put on the walls, but no idea how they would go together. Remember the cross-stitch Andrea made for me? Found the perfect teal frame at Target. The mirror and the knob-thingy are from the antiques fair. I made the "E" using leftover fabric from the crib skirt; the hook is from Pier One {I bought it a couple years ago}. 

Do you think Lainie has enough headbands? I don't want her to feel deprived.

When we had the get-together with Anna's and Chelle's families back in March, they threw me a little baby shower. Chelle made a couple buntings and sent them home with me. Now, one lives above the closet doors; the other is above the window {you can see a bit of it in the second photo in this post}. They add a sweet touch of whimsy--perfect little finishing touches!

This is the other side of the room. The dresser is full of Mike's stuff. The roll-top desk is full of my stuff.

One day very soon after we got home from the hospital, we realized we were in dire need of big muslin blankets for swaddling...and a bunch of other things from Babies 'R' Us. Mike stopped by on his way home from work--this may or may not have been the trip where I also sent him to Motherhood Maternity to buy nursing bras {poor man!}--and I liked how the blankets were packaged, all rolled up. So I started storing all of Lainie's blankets rolled up in a basket.

:: jar of rose petals, jug of pretty marbles, pot of moss, bird figurine--all from "shopping the house" ::

:: part of Baby Bug's extensive shoe collection ::

I saved this page from a Susan Branch calendar, hoping it would work in a nursery someday. I'm not crazy about the bright red frame; maybe I'll paint it if I'm ever bored.
There are a couple other things I haven't put up yet {a lovely "E" print from Andrea and a birthday cross-stitch from my Mom}, but with all the house-hunting hullaballoo they may not go up 'til our new house. So there you have it! Lainie's room. It's a sweet little spot for one sweet little girl. I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Friday, October 12, 2012

{ Race }

It's Five Minute Friday again, folks!


Five Minute Friday When did this life become a contest? A kind of race against myself? Do more. Faster. Be better at XYZ. Accomplish everything on this list today, and I win! Win what? Tired-and-crabby-Nikki? Great prize!

I treat so much of my life like I'm competing desperately in a competition, and almost always coming up short. The to-do lists never end. There's always another meal to cook, another load of laundry waiting, another errand to run, another book I ought to read. Am I living looking so far ahead at what remains to be done that I'm missing today?


So often my answer to that question is Yes. It breaks my heart when I stop and think about it. I don't want Lainie to grow up with a mama who is always rushing from one thing to the next, always trying to get more done and be more efficient and have more time and be a better parent--to the point where I'm not actually present in the present. I want to be here with her. I want her to know that life isn't a competition and she doesn't have to worry about winning because it's not a race. It's a gift.

So today I choose to play peek-a-boo and count piggies and spend as long as she wants talking and giggling and cooing with her. I choose to put down the running shoes and just be.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

{ this and that }

last week i spilled soup on my laptop.

it was really good soup too, this random paleo recipe with chicken and sweet potatoes and kale and peanut butter, so good that mike has told me like five times that if i ever want to make it again, he fully approves {and he never says that about soup!!}. moral of the story: don't try to eat lunch, answer emails, and play with lainie on the living room floor, all at the same time. otherwise you will spend the next hour scrubbing sweet-potato-orange goo out of the carpet, using toothpicks to scrape sweet potatoes out from under the keys on your laptop, and cursing your tendency to over-multitask. and then none of the number keys will work, so you can't log into your email or facebook or even log onto your computer, and even mr. computer fix-it husband o' yours can't make the numbers work. so you are relegated to using mr. husband's desktop computer, which has a host of issues of its own, plus it's like not portable and stuff, so you just aren't on the computer much for now. hopefully someday soon you will have a chance {and the stamina for a long car ride with a baby who doesn't like her carseat} to drive to the computer shop all the way in seattle to get your keyboard replaced.

that's my excuse for not blogging lately.

ironic because i've wanted to blog lots of times since paleo soup fell from the sky onto my technology.

it's fall. really truly fall. the air is crisp and chilly, the sunlight is gorgeously yellow, and i want PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. like, seriously, everything. must go through the comments on this post asap to find all the yummy pumpkin goodness i can. until very recently i hated pumpkin everything. i'm not sure what changed; maybe it was the pregnancy?? but anyways last fall i could.not.get.enough.pumpkin.spice.lattes, and the same thing is happening this year. {and salted caramel mochas. oh yes. but pumpkin spice lattes have the top spot, and not from starbucks--much more pumpkinny and not overly sweet if you get it from an independent coffee stand.} i still don't like pumpkin pie, but i'm all over every other pumpkin-related concoction.

we're dedicating lainie at church on sunday, and my whole family minus one brother is coming! {dratted weekend work schedules.} i'm excited to see will be a crazy couple days, but well worth it. mostly i'm excited for them to see little miss. she has changed so much since my parents were here in july...she wasn't even four weeks old the last time they were here.

we're househunting. like really seriously househunting...keep us in your prayers! it's a huge decision, not to mention an incredible financial commitment...and after consoling myself with the thought that we will most likely buy a short sale, so it will be months and months before the deal is closed and we have to move, one of our top contenders is not a short sale and if it happens, we may end up moving before the holidays. golly gee whiz, i should probably start collecting boxes! do you think mike will help me hang a couple more pictures on the wall here, or will he say we ought to just wait till we move??

buuuuut, on the plus side, i'm getting totally stoked about decorating and re-arranging and making a new nest!! driving around running errands today, i had this burning desire to go home and read "hidden art" and flip through domino's big book of decorating. and i'm seriously crushing on this many cool, do-able decorating ideas!

sometimes i just feel like writing all smalls. not sure why. i think i feel like i can type faster, keep up with my train of thought better. i never know how long i have before little miss will require my attention, so anything that gets the words out faster is a-ok in my book!

in case you were wondering, i'm a few weeks in, and i totally love cloth diapering. especially when i arrange the diapers in roy g. biv order. i never understood people who talked cloth diapers all the time, the internet forums--the great passion people have for, um, cloth diapers?? like, really? now i get it. i don't understand what happens when you start cloth diapering, but i totally get the passion. somebody should probably scan my brain.

and now i'm going to tackle the mountain of dirty dishes taking over my kitchen.