Thursday, December 31, 2009


You brought me Gemma.

As a matter of fact, it was the morning of the very first day of 2009, when I felt just a little more hungover than I should have been.

A light bulb (okay, a blaring alarm and one of those fire drill lights) went off and that is when the possibility of , the reality of,  her, first began for me.

New Years Eve last year I was at some opening for a night club in D.C., in a short dress sipping on Midori Sours. Tonight I am at home with Gemma,  in basketball shorts playing peek-a-boo and watching Gilmore Girls. As much as I would like to be able to say there is no contest to which form of celebration I prefer, I must admit...I had a lot of fun last year.

But Gemma wins.

This was supposed to have been the year that I graduated from college and struck out on my own. Instead, I moved back home with her. For her.

I came home and anticipated her arrival. I hugged the belly that held my future and mourned the memories that held my past. I made plans and prepared and practiced....

And then she came and everything was flipped upside down. But in a good way. In a great way. In a challenging way. In a really hard, I can't believe my life is here right now, thank God this is really worth it, kind of way.

Finally the dust has settled, and while I am anticipating that I should never become to comfortable with motherhood (because obviously that is when everything changes again), I am feeling more confident in my ability to be her mother every single day.

I am making new plans for the both of us now.

Although it wasn't what I had expected or something that I could have conceived to be possible in my wildest dreams it has all been totally worth it.

2009 was the first full year I got to spend with my baby and that is what I will always remember it for.

Excuse me, I have a diaper to change. :)

The Other Santa

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy 4 Months Gemma!

Happy four months (and two days!) Gemma! December has been such a busy month for you and I and we had very little use for a nap schedule! Most of your napping was done either in a car as we shuffled from place to place or in your stroller while we shopped. At night, you have began sleeping with me from the beginning of the night. I am not sure how we got into this habit but I think it started somewhere around December 5th when you stayed overnight with Naunie Donna and Pap. I think you just don't want to let me out of your sight again. You have been sleeping for longer stretches at night and I barely notice when you wake in the middle of the night for a snack! Sometimes, you sleep as late as 11 a.m. You still go to bed incredibly late-12ish most nights.

You had really started to like your swing and then I accidentally threw the seat in the dryer and melted one of the clips. Until I order a new seat you are currently swing-less! Now that you are getting bigger we will be able to use your Bumbo more and you also got and Excersaucer for Christmas which you really seem to like. You also will hang out on your activity map now and you have really learned to scoot yourself around some. You are this close to rolling over but you haven't exactly gotten the hang of it yet. You have rolled over from your tummy to back though.

You have gained a little over a pound and a half this month, as of last Monday you weighed 12lbs and 5oz and you are just over 24" long. I was so sad to have to switch to formula but seeing how big and healthy and happy you are getting now makes me feel much more comfortable with my decision.

I am trying to keep your wardrobe up with this current weight gain. I have finally packed up those last few Newborn sized onesies I had been able to squeeze you into. I have also had to pack up some of your 0-3 month sleepers which is crazy to me! Most of your sleepers are 3-6 months now and you are wearing both 0-3 month outfits and 3-6 month outfits and most of your onesies are 0-3 months. You have also graduated diaper sizes and are now in a size 2! Your bottom half seems much smaller than your top half so I am curious to see if you have to start wearing two different sizes.

Your hair is still...interesting. It is growing in some places and falling out in others. Oh well, mama still thinks that you are beautiful.

I think I can finally say you will be my brown eyed girl with almost certainty. You still have a blue ring around them and some interesting colored specks, but you have brown eyes. This makes me happy.

Your personality continues to emerge more and more. You have a strange little baby laugh that is both adorable and creepy. You are especially ticklish and sometimes just cuddling will set you off! Your face lights up when you see certain people like Aunt Kate or Granddaddy. I swear that smile is so bright it makes me melt. You also have your moods where you don't love people as much and I understand. You have this huge, sad pout that I actually think is pretty cute too.

As I watch this you are kicking me and laughing and we are watching Gilmore Girls and I am really confused about a lot in life but I know that things with you are alright...better than alright, they are great. And because of this I know I will be fine...we will be fine.

I love you ...forever and always.


ETA: We are officially on first tooth watch 09-10! I forgot to mention you have become an excellent chewer/chomper/biter this month and you have also started this weird little vibrating hum that I think makes your gums feel better.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Okay, so I know I have a LOT to catch up with here, including but not limited too Gemma at 4 months, Christmas, and receiving my LSAT score (eek!) but I wanted to share a little bit of time sensitive information :)

As you all know I have been bow hunting for a while and today I got a recommendation for this site.

They are having a sale and there are a lot of bows for only 99 cents! Definitely, check it out.

I ordered this pretty bow for only $3.99!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Every so often I feel like I have so many things I want to do, so many ideas, that I don't know where to start.

I basically end up spinning my wheels and not getting anything accomplished at all.

I am definitely feeling that way right now.

I want to try recipes and crafts and learn to sew. I want to clean the house top to bottom and organize my pictures and delete all of those pointless emails once and for all. I want to find a job and a husband and make a new life for myself. I want to do everything.

Instead...I just...sit.

Any suggestions on picking a place to start?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Storms and Sniffles

Gemma and I are officially snowed in. This is what my car looked like as of 4 o'clock yesterday...and it snowed for another FIVE HOURS after this.

I am not sure if you can tell from this picture, but the Jeep is parked sort of sideways on a hill. Altogether I think we got right around 2 feet. That is a whole lotta snow. Here are a couple of pictures taken close to my house (I couldn't go far!)

I wanted to get a few pictures of Gemma in the snow but it was still falling and I was kind of scared! Maybe I will try today. I want to document Gem's first snowstorm. Well, it snowed on the day I took my LSAT but since mommy wasn't there it doesn't count =)

Another source of my hesitation is that Gemma is battling her first bout of the sniffles. Nothing major (or at least I don't think) but I still feel bad. I think we have the same thing and to be honest it is more irritating than debilitating. Hopefully we will be able to get out to make it to her doctor's appointment tomorrow.

I am going a little stir crazy in the house...I have been a Facebook-ing Fool and haven't had the motivation to do much else.

I might just have to get up and do it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gemma Meets Santa

And is so not impressed.

(Please excuse the black shoes! My daddy bought them for her and insisted that she wear them, even though they don't match. Oh, and while you are at it, excuse the beer sign in the back. We were in a reputable establishment, I promise!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Try Everything...Twice

One of my life's mottoes has always been to try everything twice. Well, not everything you know. You definitely don't want to try robbing a bank twice or smoking crack twice or voting republican twice (j/k!..sort of). Generally though, this serves me well as a motto, forcing me to get outside of my comfort zone and push my limits. There are many experiences that I have had and doors that have been opened to me because I have always pushed myself to just try IT, if nothing else for the life experience.

As for trying everything TWICE, I think it is important to give everything a second chance. People naturally are drawn to what is familiar so if something is brand new it can be sort of...jarring. Also, sometimes you just have a bad first encounter with a new person/thing/place/activity, etc. Imagine if you hated your best friend before you met her and then never "tried" with her again. That would completely SUCK. So in order to give myself the best possible shot of liking something (or at least getting something out of it), I have always tried my best to try everything two times (at least!).

Since Gemma was born my perspective on things has been shifting in both monumental and imperceptible ways. My "try everything, twice" motto has not been spared. Trying new things seems so scary, so risky, so... not worth it. The trouble with trying new things is sometimes you fall flat on your face and I don't want to fall with her in my arms.

That being said, I hope to raise Gemma to have and adventurous spirit. I want her to be open to life and what is has to offer. I want her to live fully and completely and have fun with it.

I think the best way to instill anything within a child is to lead by example. That being said, I think I need to put my brave face on, hold on to her a little tighter, and, once again, push myself to try everything...twice.

*This post is part of my participation in The Writer's Workshop at Mama's Losin' It.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

  • Last night I watched part of the documentary "What Would Jesus Buy", on the Sundance Channel. The documentary is basically about a comedic performance group that is touring the country encouraging Americans to stop shopping or at least stop shopping so much around Christmas. Their "act" is set up around the premise that they are a The Church of Stop Shopping and the message is expressed sidewalk preacher style. Here is the trailer if you want to check it out: One of the quotes from the movies is that we are not consumers but we are being consumed and I totally agree with that. I also agree with the movies assertion that the focus of Christmas has become the presents and it shouldn't be. It speaks to how many people, especially parents, feel the need to buy to show their love and I will admit I am somewhat prone to that myself. Off and on catch myself saying that I will change my consumption habits but I haven't. I really hope that I do soon because I don't want Gemma to be as materialistic as the society she is being raised in.
  • I also watched the new show,"The Sing Off" last night. It is hosted by Nick Lachey if that gives you any clue to its depth. The show is a competition (of course!) between different A Capella groups. My favorites were Nota and the Beelzebubs. The show come on again tonight at 8:00 on NBC, so if you are in the mood for something fun and light CHECK IT OUT :)
  • I cut Gemma's finger a little when I was trimming her nails. She was fussy for like an hour afterwards. It is just a small nick but I still feel terrible!
  • Lately I have been bow OBSESSED. I have been sorting through the sellers on Etsy and Ebay trying to find the cutest bows I can for the best price. I have also been thinking about making my own but I am not sure which approach is more cost effective.
  • I am sick and tired of being broke. Times like a thousand. It is starting to depress me and I really need a job.
  • I also need Clinton and Stacey. I can't find ANYTHING to fit my body anymore. And I think I have gained 5-10 pounds of the weight I lost after Gemma was born back. Blah. The sorority tee and too tight jeans look isn't working for me.
  • Sometimes, I wonder how similar my future will be to an episode of the Gilmore Girls...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Taylor Swift's New Hair

Looks really good, doesn't it?

Usually, I think she is a little creepy looking (no offense Taylor, if you are reading) but I think this is super flattering.

Whatta Weekend

Gemma and I had another busy yet not very productive weekend. In my old life I would have thought this was a "waste" of a weekend, but actually it was quite nice.

I don't even remember what we did Friday night, so I am assuming it was not very exciting!

Saturday was enjoyable (and slightly more memmorable!).

 My sister Kate and I took Gemma and Aunt Abby (my 2 year old half sister) shopping. It was my dad's 46th birthday so Kate wanted to buy him shoes. It was great to have sister bonding time but it possibly was not the best idea to bring a 2 year old and an infant to the mall only 2 weeks before Christmas! 

Here is Aunt Abby playing at the mall's Kid's Korner:

And Gemma taking a spin in Aunt Abby's stroller:

 Since I didn't have money for a birthday present (boo), so I baked my dad a birthday cake. He actually requested the same cake that was made for my uncle's birthday, just a week earlier, Paula Deen's "Grandma Hier's Carrot Cake". This cake is SOOOO good, and I am not even a huge fan of Carrot Cake. I tweaked Paula's recipe though, adding half of a can of pineapple and about a third of a bag of coconut (who ever said baking is a science?), and using significantly less sugar in the frosting. There is definitely a little work involved but the results are well worth it. Promise.

Sunday was are usual PJs and grocery shopping day. There is something about Sunday's that repel my body from real clothes. Usually, I will just clean Gem's up and throw clean PJs onto her...I wouldn't want for her to feel overdressed! ;) 

I am really glad we got to have this weekend of leisure because as the holiday's draw nearer our schedule gets more and more packed (who am I kidding, I MUCH prefer to be busy!)

So tell me, how was your weekend?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Reindeer Cookies!

Kelly's Korner's popular, "Show Us Your Life" blog hop is featuring Christmas cookies and treats today, and as Gemma and I are returning from a cookie exchange (part of the playgroup that I have told you about)I thought I would post about the cookies that I brought. They seemed to go over well.

I made these cute little reindeer cookies. (I will admit, his brothers were a lot cuter, this is one of the cookies from the pile I had left at home!)

I just used a pre-packaged peanut butter dough, the kind that comes in the bag, and prepared it by the instructions on the package. Then I rolled it into a log that I wrapped in plastic wrap and let chill for an hour. (After doing this, I realized that I could have used the pre-made peanut butter cookie dough that already comes in a log, but really, this was easy enough.)

After the dough chills for an hour you slice it and pinch in the sides just a little. Add the pretzels for ears, chocolate chips for eyes, a red M&M for the nose (the recipe suggested red hots, but I thought this would taste better) and then bake around 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes or according to your cookie dough package directions.

This was really a fun, simple, recipe and I got plenty of compliments on them. My only suggestions would be to put them on your cookie sheets assembly line style and to have the next batch ready when the previous one has finished baking as placing the eyes, ears, and nose is actually somewhat time consuming.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The True Meaning of Christmas

Has nothing to do with presents.

I know this.

You know this.

Honestly though, can't the presents be kind of fun?

Granted, Gemma is not to the age yet where she is demanding Zhu Zhu Pets, or a Wii, or whatever other "must-have" toy that the big kids are clamoring for, so there is very little pressure on me. I am sure the lack of pressure makes the situation much more enjoyable than it would be otherwise.

I am TOTALLY broke this year (I guess that is what unemployment does!) but fortunately I have been able to manage, through a few serendipitous events that somehow ended up with me having money in my hands, to put together what I think will be a pretty nice "Baby's First Christmas" for the Gemma Bean.

With some inspiration from Katie at My Story Is Not Over, I decided to share with you some of the presents (and deals!) I have gotten this year.

So Gemma's "big" present this year is an Excersaucer. I went back and forth on an Exersaucer vs. a Jumperoo vs. a walker. I knocked the walker out of the running early on (I have heard they are dangerous, my sister even said they were illegal in Canada!) and was down to the Exersaucer vs. the Jumperoo.

Eventually I went with:

An Excersaucer that was originally $69.99, on sale at Babies R Us for $59.98, but I paid only $45 dollars for it on clearance at Baby Depot!

I was still concerned that she would miss out on the fun jumpiness of the Jumperoo so I also got her this from Baby Depot:

This "Jenny Jump Up" was only $20 and it just hooks up to the door frame. I feel like I got the best of both worlds and I only paid $65 for both which is even better!

(I just want to insert that yes, I realize that I was/am totally over thinking this considering Gemma is too little to be interested in more than the paper, if that, but it is her first Christmas and I am entitled to a little craziness!)

I also got her around four or five other toys, one of my favorites being this:

Taggies ring stacker. Each of the animals does something (rattles, squeaks, laughs) and the bottom ring plays music. I think Gemma is going to LOVE this, she was trying to grab at it while I was wrapping it up. I got a great price for this too, I only paid $15 for it at Tuesday Morning. When I looked it up online to find the picture the price ranged anywhere from $25-$40 so again, I am really happy with my deal.

I tried not to go overboard with the toys and tried to get things that served different developmental purposes because I realize the function of the toy is what important and slight variations (elephant stuffy vs. giraffe stuffy) will be lost on her at this point.

I also got her clothes. While a lot of her toys were "close out" items, I tried to avoid getting clothes on clearance. It seems as if clothes go on clearance once they are out of season and what kind of sense would that make, if she can only wear them for a very short time?

I also am afraid to buy clearance clothes ahead of time (as in for next year during the appropriate season) because since Gemma is small-ish I think it might be difficult to predict her sizes for future seasons. I don't want to completely waste money if the seasons won't match up.

Is there a trick to buying clearance baby clothes that I don't know?

Among my favorite clothing purchases for Gemma were DARK WASH SKINNY JEANS (totally my style, be still my heart :)) and this really cute red vest that I can't seem to find a picture of online. It is really cute though. The clothes were buy two get one free so I got six really cute pieces for around $50 (okay, so this wasn't a GREAT deal but it wasn't too bad either).

I also got a few more odds and ends including a stocking and random fillers (bath mits, socks, teethers, etc.), a snow suit, and some books.

Does this seem about right for Baby's First Christmas? Is is too much or too little? Is there anything I forgot?

Oh, the joys of Christmas!

P.S. Look for a post dedicated to Gemma soon, I realize I have been yammering a lot about myself lately but we all know who the true star of this blog is! This whole mommy thing is becoming an old hat but I don't want to let myself take these moments for granted, She is really evolving and changing everyday in little minuscule ways and I don't want to forget what she was like "before," ya know?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Body

Does anyone remember that song? By Keith Sweat. I used to LOVE it. I guess it really doesn't matter if you remember the song or not because it is entirely irrelevant to the matter at hand.


Up to this point I have refrained from writing much about my "post-baby bod" and how I feel about it and that can mostly be attributed to the fact that I haven't really taken the time to really think about it.

Until recently that is. My dad surprised me by giving me some cash to buy myself clothes with. It was such a nice gesture as I really haven't bought much for myself here recently (single motherhood tends to have that effect.) Unfortunately, as I have gone from store to store shopping I have realized NOTHING fits. Literally, nothing. Even when I size up. Multiple sizes.

It is strange because as I have mentioned before I lost all of the baby weight and then some. So why doesn't a size 12 fit when I wore a 6 before (but my size 6 pre-pregnancy jeans fit fine?!?!). I am completely and totally stumped as to what is going on here.

Granted I have creeped up another 5 pounds (I guess that is what I diet of Pepsi, Pringles, and frozen French fries will do to you) but still, what is going on here?

I guess my issues are not really size as much as shape. I used to be so much...tighter I guess. Not just in my stomach but in my arms and thighs as well. Now I feel so, jello-y and blah. Like I said, I was a size 6 before so I wan't tiny (I know that isn't huge either, I was very medium) but I was so much sleeker. Although I didn't even realize it then.

I used to be really great at dressing for my body and now I have no clue. Is it even possible to hide the loose tummy skin or do you just have to embrace it?

And I know your body takes a while to return to "normal" but how long is a while? A year? 6 months? Have I reached my new normal already?

I really need some idea of what to expect here.

In case you haven't noticed, I am freaking out just a little.

And don't even get me started on the stretch marks.

How will I ever find a husband now ;)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

101 Days With Baby

So, my little blog here has come full circle.

Today, Gemma has been in this world for 101 days.

Time is a funny thing. As we all know retrospectively it flies, but nights spent pacing with a colicky baby crawl.

In the past 101 days I have become a mother and Gemma has become her own person

I can't believe how far we have come or how amazing it feels to have her in my arms as I type this.

All I can say is wow :)

Friday, December 4, 2009


I am taking my LSAT tomorrow!

And I do not have my Gemma tonight.

Needless to say, I am a little (insanely) nervous.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wondering What You Should Have For Lunch?

Follow THIS  link, enter your zip code, and let Lady Luck decide.

You gotta love the random things you find on the internet :)

 I found this while looking for ideas for making lunches at home. Do you have any suggestions?