What Keeps Me Going

Fridays on this space are dedicated to sharing what keeps me going... A moment, a photo, an event or a memory that stands out against whatever might have gone wrong or felt dark in the last seven days.

In an effort to keep myself from sounding like a broken record, I will try and be brief. This week is the easiest one of all for me so far. What kept me going was the incredible sister time I was blessed with last weekend. While I missed the third piece to our puzzle, in these days of sister separation, I will take what I can get!
Doesn't she look like fun?

Watching Addie with her "Emie" always makes my heart smile. Not just because it means I am getting a break, but because they love each other SO MUCH.

Most of the time, I can't say I understand what they are doing, but I rest in the comfort that I don't need to. Their time is just for them... In their own world.

And of course, what sister time would be complete without a little pretend beauty shop? Em has the best hair ever. Seriously. I love playing with it.

Update: Em & Nathan are officially on their journey--they arrive in Dominica today. Let the adventure begin!!! 

I would love it if you joined me in sharing what keeps you going! Leave a comment to let me know you're participating and each week, I will include a list of everyone who is playing along.

**Special thanks to my dear friend, Katie and my ever faithful dad for sharing their thoughts and stories last week. Kisses and hugs...


Before I had Addie, I fantasized about all of the arts and crafty things we would do together. One of the activities I couldn't wait to try with her was painting. For some reason, this has camped out in the back of my mind and stayed there until yesterday. Why I waited so long to introduce her to this form of creativity, I wish I could tell you. Nevertheless, it was so much fun to set up an easy little space and get our paint on together.

She was so serious about the whole thing. Never disturb an artist at work.

Sometimes my arm or brush would obstruct her view. She'd calmly say, "Excuse me, Mommy." and gently guide my hand away.
I mean, serious.

And look at the finished result. Love, LOVE it! My, we're good.

Mommy magic

I think one of the best things about being a mom is the strange ability we have to magically heal our little ones. Whenever Addie has an "owie" or a "boo-boo" she announces that it exists, points to it, gives me a sad little frown face and then waits for me to kiss it. As soon as I do, the pain is gone, she's good as new and already running off in another direction. Man it feels good to have such incredible healing powers. And I never even went to med school.

Even with kids who have an actual injury or are chronically ill, there's nothing like having Mom there to give the comfort and love that Dr.'s can't. We heal in our own way. To this day, when I'm sick or don't feel well, I just want my mom. It doesn't matter how sweet Curt is to me or how much chicken soup I have, there's always that little voice in the back of my mind saying, I wish my mom was here.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if those powers could translate into other areas as well? Now that I've kind of gotten used to this ability I never knew I had, I find that there is a deeper sinking in the pit of my stomach when there's a problem I can't fix. When my sister is packing late into the night miles away and I can't drive over and help. When I'm talking to a loved one who is hurting so badly and there is nothing I can do or say to make her feel better. When someone I care for is very ill and my prayers are the only medicine I have to offer.

I once asked my mom what the hardest age was to parent. She said that the older we get, the harder it is and parenting adults is definitely the most difficult. I didn't understand why and she explained that once we were grown, she couldn't swoop in and fix everything for us anymore. A broken heart, a lost job, a friendship ending... those are things moms can't kiss and make better. She just had to stand by and watch us struggle, offer whatever support she could and trust that we would be OK.

Well, crap. I so wished she would have said 6 months is the hardest so I could wipe the sweat from my brow and know that it's all downhill from here. But I will say that having this token of wisdom does help me to savor these moments I have with Addie when I am The All Powerful Healing Magical Mommy. I can take the pain from your boo-boo's! I can turn your tears into giggles! With just one kiss and a bit of snuggling, all of your fears, hurts and worries will disappear! ...If only for this short while.

Brighter day

This morning we woke up to a dreary, cool and rainy day. My heart sank a bit as I was hoping for some weather that might lift my mood, rather than give me another excuse to wallow. But my silent prayers were heard and while I read to my beautiful girl and put her down for a nap, the clouds lifted. I walked out into our living room and kitchen to see gorgeous light streaming in through the windows. Oh, I am so grateful for the sunlight and the way it can change everything.

So in this lighter mood of mine, I would love to share the first pictures of our favorite summer indulgence... the Lexington Farmer's Market. Thank you, "Uncle Bip" for serving as our resident photographer on Saturday and capturing these fantastic moments.

Of course, Addie was permanently attached to her "Emie".

Ice cream for breakfast? It's organic... why not!

Daddy gave a boost so Little Miss. could see all there was to see.

Just what would that be? The brand new pavillion that adds so much ease and charm to the once quite chaotic space.  

Pretty soon, every inch of this walkway will be filled with farmers and goodies crammed right next to each other. Or, as I like to call it, heaven.

And the trip wouldn't have been complete without some live music as well. This kid was unbelievable--Addie thought so too.

Not only did we have a great time, but I was so encouraged to see all of my favorite vendors with products and prices that didn't scare me. Maybe we can afford the local meats I've been wishing for. Yes, it was a good day.

I need a minute

It finally arrived. My sister and her love are headed off to have the adventure of their lives... Well, Thursday they leave the country, but today they left me. I know I have been so spoiled to have one of my very best friends living so close by. I have completely taken for granted that I can call or send a text message any time of day and nearly always find her. With one sister already living 760 miles from here, watching this one walk out the door to move two days worth of travel away, was really very hard.  

Rationally, I know this is not a big deal. We are in a globalized world and we will be in contact just as frequently as we've always been, just in different ways. She is coming back to be here for the birth of her niece in just a few months. (Crap, I'm having a baby in a few months!!!) This is not permanent. She is not dying. This does not have to be dramatic. Except that it does.

I held it together really well for the actual goodbye. I gave my hugs, blurted out my unconvincing words of encouragement and "It'll be fine's...", smiled, waved, watched them walk to the car and closed the door. Just when I thought I was free and clear of a total breakdown, my face contorted and the tears started flowing. Dammit.

That is where I am today, right here, in this moment. Sad. Feeling that knot in the pit of my stomach, homesick feeling. I just need a minute to feel that feeling, let it wash over me, acknowledge it, allow it to run its course and then I can move on. Then I can remember that we had one of the best weekend ever and that just because we won't see them as often doesn't mean that even better times aren't just around the corner. (Do I sound convincing? Yeah, I don't quite believe me yet either.) 

Em, I hope you are ready to have the most amazing time of your life. Get ready to eat fresh foods, run new trails, minister to bright faces, kill really big bugs, meet inspiring people, find a new way and discover... Take more pictures than you need to, record videos of everything, write, write, write... Sew, sew, sew... You have so much love following you and waiting for you at home. We are here, praying for you, flying on your coattails, living vicariously through your courage and your light.

Nathan, oh my goodness, your brain is getting ready to be so full! (I can only imagine that Med. School is The Melting Pot's Big Night Out for your mind.) I am so proud of you and am blessed to call you my brother. This is what you have always been called to do. Study hard, learn all you can, do your best to enjoy this time of just being a student. Don't forget to take breaks and experience all things local. We are cheering you on and have nothing but the greatest confidence in you.

Most of all, take care of each other.
Love, love, love you!

If you are wondering what in the heck I'm talking about, take a moment to check out Em & Nathan's blog about the adventures of attending Ross University Medical School in Dominica. They're just getting started, but as of Thursday the journey begins. Stay tuned. It's gonna be good.  

What Keeps Me Going

Fridays on this space are dedicated to sharing what keeps me going... A moment, a photo, an event or a memory that stands out against whatever might have gone wrong or felt dark in the last seven days.

This week is a tough one for me. This morning I was thinking about what I would write, and while I know there were many beautiful moments, I felt somewhat downtrodden and unable to pinpoint something specific. Then, it happened. I packed Addie up for storytime and drove to our local library. In the parking lot, when I unbuckled her from the car seat, out of nowhere she looked right into my eyes, smiled and said, "I love you, Mommy!" I almost broke down in tears, hugged her so tight and replied, "Oh, I love YOU!" Then she said so sweetly and quietly in my ear, "I love you, too." Mercy. That girl.

For some reason, this week I have been in a bit of a funk. I have questioned my ability to be a good wife and mom. I have wondered if writing is really a good fit for me and if I'll ever see it evolve into anything deeper in the future. I have felt guilty that I'm not contributing to our family financially. I have simply felt like I'm in a sort of limbo, floating around without much direction.

I'm sure hormones are partially to blame. And while I'm pointing fingers I might as well take it out on my sister who is leaving the country in 6 days, thus wreaking havoc on my emotional stamina. But I think the real issue deep down is that for so very long, I always held my career as such an important part of my life. I planned my next steps and held tight to goals that I was able to achieve at a much younger age than I ever thought possible. Then I let it all go. I let it go to give my girl all that I could and to reach for dreams that most of the time seem too high in the sky to touch.

Some days I tell myself that this staying home is only temporary, and that eventually I'll find my way back to my career. I'll have validation from people who aren't related to me and feel like I'm contributing again... both to our bank account and to the community. Then Addie does what she does. She sings the cutest song in the universe or she laughs at herself, then says, "Oh, funny." She pulls me down and hugs me from her seat in the shopping cart at the grocery store or she points to my growing tummy and with a bellowing voice shouts, "Big belly!"

She pulls me out of that selfish place to remind me that no matter what the future holds, what's really important is right now. Not missing a minute of her quirks and her growth. Just being with her day in and day out. Making sure she knows she is loved. Even if it means we have to cut our spending way back and even if I sometimes feel like compared to friends and moms who work, I am super boring and uninteresting... It really is all worth it.

The importance of right now is a lesson I am taught by my two-year-old again and again. Every moment she opens my eyes to this truth is a moment I hold as humbling, sacred and precious. They continue to keep me in awe of her and how much she has already and will continue to teach me. So often I worry if I'm doing a good job of raising her... Most days I know I'm doing the best I can. But on the days I question myself, I can rest in the comfort of knowing that in many ways she is also raising me.

Once again, thank you my girl for your brutal honesty, your loving manner and your sweet sweet words. Thank you for showing me as always, that even in a week laced with the scent of poo, both literally and figuratively, our life is blessed and oh so good. You make me a better person and I love being your mom.  

I would love it if you joined me in sharing what keeps you going! Leave a comment to let me know you're participating and each week, I will include a list of everyone who is playing along.

**Special thanks to Jamie, my sister Kate (who can be found here and here), and my dad for sharing your moments last week. Kisses and hugs...

The Food Inc. blues

Last night I finally sat my butt down and watched the movie that so many have told me about. PBS aired Food Inc. as part of their POV series and let me tell you, it was difficult to sit through for so many reasons. Food has been on my mind a lot lately, not just because of pregnancy cravings, but because it has always been the biggest indulgence for our family. We like going out to eat, trying new things and really, we just love good food.

One of our biggest goals this year is to finally get on and stick with a budget that works for us and our hopes for the future. The area I have the most trouble with and will have to cut back on is groceries. Believe it or not, I am in much more danger of overspending in a supermarket than an outlet mall... And if it's someplace like Whole Foods or a Co-op? Forget about it. After seeing where our food comes from and how it is all processed, and knowing how expensive organic produce, free range chicken and grass fed beef is, I am feeling a little discouraged. Not hopeless, but discouraged.

There are so many issues at stake here... How are we treating the animals we eat? How many unnecessary chemicals are we ingesting every single day? How has that impacted Curt's and my health and how does it impact Addie's growth and development? How does the way we grow and process food effect the Earth? What does this teach our children about food, where it comes from, nutrition and responsibility?

Then there are the really ugly questions I want to pretend I don't have... If we make the changes I feel we should, how will this impact our lifestyle? What does our world (or more specifically, our freezer) look like without bags of frozen Tyson chicken breasts from Sam's? How much work is it going to be for me to find foods that I know are responsibly grown? How much more will that really cost? And finally, the worst one... Am I really willing to make the sacrifices necessary in order to do what I know is the right thing?

I know that change doesn't have to be all at once and there are gradual things we can do to start moving in the right direction. Thank goodness our Farmer's Market is getting back in full swing again. We usually buy as much produce from there as possible anyway, so that won't be too much of a strain (at least not during the summer). We are going to expand from just herbs and tomatoes this year and try for more vegetables in our garden. I have always wanted to go in with another family to buy a half or a quarter of a cow from a local farm so maybe now is the time to find a partner. (Any takers?) I'm doing a much better job of meal planning in general so our grocery lists are getting shorter and we're already beginning to save money.

I think it becomes so easy after watching films like Food Inc. to only see the parts of what I'm doing that are wrong, rather than rejoice in the things we're doing right. I know I will always find a ton of room for improvement in what we do regarding food consumption in our home. I suppose for now, the best thing I can do is keep asking the tough questions and try to find some honest answers, while remembering that even the biggest change happens one step at a time. And the first step is always the hardest.

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Oh, and if you haven't seen Food Inc. I highly recommend that you check it out... just make sure you're ready.


Yesterday we had a bit of a scare when my lunch didn't quite agree with me. I called Curt and he flipped out, telling me to call my midwife. He was/is certain that if I end up catching this nasty ick, I would surely end up in the hospital. It seems the nurse at my midwife's office concurs. Thankfully, it was a false alarm and I am still ick-free. But the drama of the fear has lingered and if you'll pardon the expression, I am pooped!

Really, I think that being the family caretaker through two illnesses has finally caught up with me. This mommy is tired. After cleaning and disinfecting and wiping and washing and throwing out the meal plan to come up with bland ideas that won't upset tummies, then preparing said meals... Whoa. I almost fell asleep right then.

I almost never take naps while Addie is having hers. That is my sacred time to get things done, when the house is quiet and I can have a moment of peace to concentrate and accomplish. But it seems I have finally hit a wall and need to rest. So many times I fight against what my body is telling me and push through sleepiness in the name of crossing things off the to-do list and keeping our home together. Not today. No arguing here. I will simply take the hint, lie down and fall asleep to the sounds and smells coming in our open windows... and hope that along with my exhaustion, the fresh air will melt away the lingering scent of Lysol.

From black to green

The past seven days have been so overwhelming, I feel like I'm still trying to catch my breath. As soon as Addie was feeling better, Daddy came down with whatever she had and it was a doozy. We have been on a sort of family lock down, which creates some nice bonding time but also leads to a touch of the crazies. Yesterday I think we hit our peak, but after promises that today would be better and a good night's sleep for everyone, things are looking up.

One way my spirits were lifted this morning was seeing the tiny sprouts shooting up from the egg carton Addie and I planted veggies in last week. This may not seem like a big deal, but let me assure you it is. You see, when it comes to plants, I kill everything I touch. Even the plants that are supposedly indestructible somehow end up dead in my care. Anything alive in this house (aside from the people and cat, of course) are strictly due to my husband and the fact that I stay as far away from the green things as possible.

As someone who loves fresh produce, herbs and flowers, this breaks my heart again and again. I have tried to garden on a limited basis with very mixed results. Most of my herbs don't make it and last year I think we got a total of two tomatoes off of three plants. This spring and summer I am determined to turn my black thumb to a green one. My real hope is that Addie inherited her father's knack for growing things, and that the two of them will override my curse.

So far, so good. Last Friday, Addie and I broke out the gardening kit my parents gave her for Easter and filled the egg carton with potting soil. She used her sweet little fingers to make holes in each nook and sprinkled the seeds in the right spots. Then I helped her cover them up and feed them with water. I was very pleasantly surprised at how well my girl handled the process and she was so proud that she did it nearly all by herself.

Now comes the frightening task of keeping these gems alive... I think as long as I have my amazing little gardener along with me, she and I can learn together and find success. Oh, I hope so!

Awesome giveaway--Don't pass this up!!!

Have I ever told you how much I love Natalie's Sentiments? I love her perspective on life and motherhood. Every time I head over to her space, I know I'm either going to laugh, feel a pang of understanding and connection in the pit of my stomach, see something pretty, get a great idea for decorating or crafting, OR find a fantastic giveaway.
For our Mother's Day pleasure, Natalie has put together an incredible giveaway opportunity to win FIVE items in various categories for THREE winners. Are you excited? You should be. Get on over there to see all of the jewelry, hair accessories, purses and more that await you or the mommy you love. The winner will be announced on April 21st, so there's not a moment to lose! And if you happen to beat me and become the winner, you can thank me later. Best of luck!!!

What Keeps Me Going

Fridays on this space are dedicated to sharing what keeps me going... A moment, a photo, an event or a memory that stands out against whatever might have gone wrong or felt dark in the last seven days.

Surprisingly, this week was filled with little things that kept my spirits up amidst the endless poo and ick. All in all, I am amazed with how well Addie handled the grosstastic drama and how much I was able to get done in spite of it. When I stop and think about each day, there was this sound that kept humming and swirling in the background, provding constant comfort and reassurance that all would soon be well... The ever faithful sounds of what will henceforth be known as Fred and Wilma.

I have never named an appliance before, but after the past four days, these two certainly deserve an upgrade from such a common stature. When we bought them, I secretly wondered if we were being a bit extravagant and just following a silly trend. Never again will I have any doubts.

Fred and Wilma, you gave me strength when I thought I would crumble. Not once did you complain when I shoved mounds of stinky, stained, disgusting linens in your face and you always did your thankless job the first time around. Fred, you took out every speck of ick and never made me pre-wash by hand. Wilma, you added lightness and fluff to what was once drab and garbage worthy. You were the heartbeat of our home this week and I will always love you for that.

Because of Fred and Wilma's diligence, Addie and I were able to focus on the normal parts of our days and getting her better. And better, she is! Yesterday afternoon we finally made it outside to enjoy the warm and sunny weather. I don't know if there was ever a time I loved seeing this face more...

I would love it if you joined me in sharing what keeps you going! Leave a comment to let me know you're participating and each week, I will include a list of everyone who is playing along.

**Special thanks to my dear friend Katie, my sisters Emily and Kate (who can be found here and here), and also to my dad for sharing your moments last week. Kisses and hugs...

New Mom Tip #4

It has been a long while since I've done a "New Mom Tip". I think when I first started them, I wanted to say things that weren't going to be in any pregnancy or parenting book. Nothing trite or obvious, just sharing a few little tidbits I had never really thought of until I learned them the hard way.

Yesterday was a learn the hard way moment, leading me to New Mom Tip #4: Never do the post sickness clean up until you're really sure the sickness is over. Yes, yesterday I fell victim to thinking my girl was all better only to find the poo-splosion heard round the world when she woke up from her nap. Did you feel it? Wednesday around 3:30 PM, EDST? That was us.

I had to carry my girl at arm's length to the bathroom I had just scrubbed from top to bottom and clean her poor little poo covered body. Sigh. I had to do yet another load of icky soiled laundry. Double sigh. In the grand scheme of things, not that big of a deal, but man was I served a nasty blow to the ego. The part of me that thought I had life all under control again. The part that thought a bottle of bleach could really fix everything and put us back on track. The part that has been aching to take my babe outside and enjoy this gorgeous weather, but has instead stayed in with the windows open, encouraging her to rest and keep taking sips of clear fluids.

Later on, I redid the bathroom floor and found that the rest of the room was still good to go. Again, not so bad. Oh, but it would have been nice to bask in the glory of a clean home for more than an hour. Perhaps today will be the day. We shall see.

note: You can find my previous New Mom Tips here, here and here.

The sweet smell of bleach

Today our little bug is feeling much better. It seems that the worst of this illness has indeed passed and she is getting back to our version of normal. In fact, this morning was the first time in three days that I didn't have to strip her sheets as soon as she woke up. Progress.

I wouldn't say, however, that we are fully back in the swing of things. Just to give you a little bit more of what actually happened yesterday: Addie and I were sitting on our couch (that we haven't quite had for a year) calmly reading a library book together. Suddenly she coughed this weird little hack, then about five seconds later, tossed up everything in her stomach (which is apparently enormous) all over me, the still new couch and the library book. Oh so awful.

Stunned, I ran with her to the bathroom where I stripped down to nothing but a bra, my only unscathed piece of clothing. Somehow, Addie managed to get off with barely a drop on her. With a scared and crying girl who may or may not get sick again and a couch that was severely in need of a serious cleaning, I realized quickly that I needed help. I ran through the house, still in only my bra (if any maintenance people in the area witnessed a naked pregnant woman frantically prancing through her home covered in vomit, I apologize), grabbed my phone and told Curt to come home NOW.

I think some of my husband's colleagues thought his wife must be a total worthless slacker for not being able to handle baby puke on her own, but really this was a disaster of epic proportions. If she had gotten sick anywhere else, I could have done it alone, but I think it was hands down the worst possible place in our house for that to happen. Later on last night when we crashed into bed and recapped the day together, my sweet hubs agreed that I absolutely needed help and did the right thing. Thanks, babe.

We made it through the day without another episode (of vomit, that is--her booty had a much rougher time), and an exhausted Addie slept all the way through the night, thank heavens. With that dreadful incident and her illness behind us, this mommy is in major clean-up mode. I think there's just something about vomit that makes me feel like the whole house is a nasty gross mess. Will it ever feel clean again? The answer must be, yes!

Never before have I felt comforted by the smell of bleach--these days I rarely use it--but today it surely is my friend. Our glorious neighbors have loaned us their brand new steam cleaner, which has already taken on the couch cushions and Addie's bathroom floor. Said cushions spent several hours out in the sun with many coats of Febreze getting totally detoxed from any trace of icky smell left behind. I have emptied our arsenal of air fresheners and scented candles and nearly every window of our house is open. More progress.

There is still much work to be done before I'll be able to sit down, relax and feel like the germs have left the building. At this moment my very best friends are a box of latex gloves, the many different forms of Green Works we have acquired and my ever faithful Soft Scrub with Bleach. Next up, the kitchen. See you tomorrow... I'll be the blogger that's sparkling clean!

Grosser than gross

I think I can safely say there is nothing worse than having a sick babe. We are recovering from our first really bad projectile vomit incident this morning. Thank God Curt was able to rush home from work immediately and come to my rescue. Now with many loads of soiled laundry cycling through, the couch cushions freshly scrubbed (thanks, dear hubby!), Pedialyte flowing freely and the air mattress set up on the living room floor, all that's left to do is wait for wellness to find our girl again. Until then, I will be lost in a land of snuggling/cleaning/desitin-applying/disinfecting. Hope to be back soon!

Grown-up midnight snack

For those of you who may not know him, my husband is a pretty big dude. He's 6' 4" tall and I would still categorize him as a "growing boy" mainly because of all that he eats. Something that has never ceased to amaze me is that every night around eleven you can bet he's hungry. Usually he has a bologna and cheese sandwich or a Boca burger and he eats on his own.

These last few weeks, my pregnant body has started to pick up his crazy nighttime snack habit. When he wanders into the kitchen with an, "I'm hungry!" my growing tummy starts to growl and I want some of the goods as well. The trouble is, bologna and cheese is not my #1 choice for nutrition or taste at this stage in the game.

So what is there to do? Make a cheese and cracker tray, of course! In about 5 minutes I can whip up this tasty little treat and it looks pretty too. Nothing fancy really, just some cheddar, swiss and Laughing Cow cheese along with a few different types of crackers and a small bowl of strawberries & dried apricots in the middle to mix it up a bit.

Yummy. And it adds a little bit of romance to the midnight snack. With a glass of fake wine on the side (for those who are curious, that's about 1/3 sparkling apple cider and 2/3 Perrier), I can almost imagine that we're out under the stars having a late night picnic. Now, instead of scoffing at my man's bottomless pit of a stomach, I'm rather liking this little change of pace. Just a few more months left to enjoy these stolen moments together before they are filled with late night feedings and diaper changes. Cheese anyone?

What Keeps Me Going

Fridays on this space are dedicated to sharing what keeps me going... A moment, a photo, an event or a memory that stands out against whatever might have gone wrong or felt dark in the last seven days.

I feel like I can never say enough about how much I love watching Addie connect with beloved people in my life. Last weekend we took her to Indianapolis for Easter and to celebrate her birthday with my family. Saturday we went to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis (first time for Addie and it had been years since I paid a visit) for a bit o' fun.

It's always nerve-wracking whenever you take your child to a new destination... museum, theme park, what have you. What if they hate it? What if you spend all this time/effort/money planning the event and they are miserable, don't have any fun and make you wish you just stayed home? Sometimes that is certainly the case, but when you find success, man is it sweet!

Thankfully, this outing can go on the list of triumphs. Addie loved it and I have to say, all us grown-ups had a good time too. My favorite part of all was seeing her play at the exhibits with my mom & dad. The joy she brings to their lives is so apparent in their eyes and faces... makes me want to have more kids. And oh, how she loves them right back!

The Chihuly glass exhibit was easily my second favorite part of the trip. If you get the chance, go check it out. Amazing!

Addie thought so too...

But the real prize of the weekend was watching my girl hunt for eggs with her Pepere. I tell you, it's enough to make this ball of hormones nearly break down.

What a weekend of memories we created. Definitely enough to keep me going for quite a while... or at least until the next Indy trip.
I would love it if you joined me in sharing what keeps you going! Leave a comment to let me know you're participating and each week, I will include a list of everyone who is playing along.

**Special thanks to my dear friends Jenn over at Raising a Kid & Lee, my sister Kate who can be found here and here, and also to my dad for the inspiration you shared last week. Love to you all!!!

The Pregnant Slap

I think it's been pretty clear from previous posts of mine that I am not really a fan of being pregnant. Except for that small window in the middle, I don't feel well, I don't look well and I just want it all to be over. Some women handle it incredibly and glow the entire time, swearing they never felt better. Others glide through the discomforts as though they were only little blips along the way.

Whichever category you fall into, or if you're somewhere in the middle, there is likely one part about pregnancy I think we could all agree that we hate: the wildly rude unsolicited comments received from aquaintances, strangers, or even people we love. Really, it's amazing.

When I was pregnant with Addie one woman told me that I hadn't gained an ounce except for in my belly and my nose. My nose! WTF??? Who says that? I gained about 50 lbs. with that pregnancy and towards the end, anytime I saw someone I knew, I heard something along the lines of, "You're still here?" "When are you going to have that baby?" or "Are you sure you aren't having twins?" Forget the agony of carrying around all that extra weight, my swollen legs and ankles that resembled tree trunks, feeling like I had a bowling ball between my legs and the excruciating itchiness from the growing rash all over my extremities... Those remarks just about sent me over the edge.

This time, I'm only 21 weeks along and it's already beginning. As is typical in second or later pregnancies, I started showing really early. The question of twins came up when I was barely even 10 weeks. Last weekend, someone said to me, "Are you sure you're going to make it until August? That's quite a beach ball you have there already." I have only gained 6 1/2 lbs. since my first midwife appointment.

Ask any woman you know who has been pregnant if they have been the recipient of such words and they will undoubtedly bombard you with stories of crazy crap people said right to their faces. It will shock you and some of it will probably be hilarious. But let me assure you that in the moment, it is no laughing matter. If there is not some sort of law prohibiting pregnant women from carrying concealed weapons, there should be. If I had something of the sort at my disposal during those horrible moments, there's a good chance I'd be writing this from prison.

No pregnant woman should have to deal with such rude and blatant disregard for tact and politeness during a time when we are most vulnerable. Enough is enough!!!!

To combat this growing problem, I have come up with a grass roots solution: The Pregnant Slap. Now I am not a violent person. In fact, I am strongly against all forms of violence, especially that of a physical nature. When I say "pregnant slap" I'm not talking about physically hitting people. I am talking about a swift jolt to the ego... The emotional equivalent of when a dad smacks his teenager in the back of the head muttering "numb skull" after said teenager has done something incredibly stupid.

The sad thing about having such ridiculous atrocities said to you, is that when it happens, you are in such shock that finding an appropriate come back is nearly impossible. We end up standing there, mouths open, eyes wide in utter disbelief. Then the person who verbally jabbed us walks away without a clue that they have just wounded the soul of a soon-to-be mommy. No more.

With the help of The Pregnant Slap, when someone says to me, "Wow! Look at that belly! Are you sure there aren't two in there?" I can simply reach into my purse, grab one of these lovely stickers and without a word, attach it to that person's arm, chest or whatever body part is within my reach. Then, I walk away. Enough said.

No words, just a quick and easy way to let someone know that they should have kept their yapper shut. Really ladies, imagine the revolution we could start! Wouldn't it be lovely if a roll of these stickers was included along with the pamphlets and books you receive from your OB at that first prenatal appointment? Pretty soon, people would see your gorgeous round tummy and the only words they would dare say outloud would be, "My don't you look beautiful!" Ahhh... imagine it with me.

Clearly, this is a fledgling idea and has a long way to go before truly taking off. But in this exciting beginning stage, I feel that the possibilities are endless. We could even make some that say, I just violated a pregnant woman's personal space, for whenever someone touches your belly without permission.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Would you buy these for yourself or a friend? More importantly, would you use them? Lets put our heads together here. There's got to be a solution and I'm dying to find one before I'm out of my childbearing years. Perhaps true and meaningful change lies within The Pregnant Slap. Who's with me???

The dress

A while ago I talked about an impulse buy I picked up at "Oh, Bobby!" From the moment I saw that fabric, I knew exactly what I would make with it: Smocked Sundress by, Heather Ross. This was the first dress I ever constructed for Addie and I wanted it to be perfect.

Even though I totally bit off more than I could chew with my plans for handmade birthday gifts, I couldn't put this project on the back burner. No matter what, it had to get done. So, despite my sister's warnings that it was a bad idea to put such pressure on myself, I sat down one night last week determined to finish the entire thing that evening. Then everything went wrong.

The tension on my machine was off, the thread kept breaking, I couldn't get the elastic smocking to come out right and I ended up putting the sewing machine needle through my left index finger. Yes, you read that correctly: I crammed a needle all the way through my finger. It hurt. Curt was in the other room working on taxes and he kept hearing my vile cursing from the dining room table. (Shouldn't he have been the one swearing up a storm?) When the needle incident occurred, I got really quiet and tried to slip silently into our bathroom to mend my wound. About a minute later I heard him call out, "Did you hurt yourself?" Oh, he knows me too well.

Nearly in tears, I called my wise sewing sister for some comfort as I was fully ready to quit. She talked me through the issues and gasped with appropriate horror at my injury. I re-wound my bobbin per her advice and once again, was off. With only a few small hitches and an allowance to complete the dress the following afternoon, I did it!

The result? Better than I imagined. I LOVE this dress. Most of all, I love that Addie loves this dress. I had her try it on the morning of her birthday and when I had to take it off to pack it for our trip, she threw a fit. Secretly, that made me really happy.

Oh, and for an added bonus I threw together this matching hair clip. It has already been lost a few times, but one of these days she will have them both on at once.