29 January 2010

My Personal Stylist

I have a bit of a confession to make.

I dig celebrity culture.

Wait... is that an oxy moron?

Anyway, I like watching awards shows, seeing the red carpet fashion, hearing about celebrity gossip. Let's be clear though: I don't like how intrusive the paparazzi are. I like watching my favorite actors, actresses, and musicians at events and in interviews but I'm not so into the on-the-street, in-your-face confrontations they are obligated to endure as they're trying to just live their life (like buy some groceries, eat a meal, or even get their mail) and they can't because someone is shoving a camera up their nose.

Wow. I didn't know I felt so strongly about it.

Moving along...

I like following celebrities at events. The Oscars – I'm there. An interview with Barbara Walters or Oprah – totally. The red carpet of the Grammys – count me in. There's something entrancing about it – seeing all the beautiful clothes and shoes and accessories. Up until a few years ago I thought most celebrities choose their own clothes to wear to red carpet events. I would sometimes feel bad when one of my favorites would make a fashion misstep, get trashed for it, and end up on some "Worst Dressed" list. But then I found out that most celebrities employ the help of a stylist – someone who picks their clothes for them and tells them what to wear and when and where and how. And apparently, a top stylist can charge quite a hefty sum for their services and expertise.

I'm pretty lucky, though, because I have a stylist that works for me for really cheap.

Like, reeeeaaally cheap.

Like, so cheap it's pretty much free.

Do you want to hear about her?



Her name is Audrey. She's pretty new to the “Industry” - you might even call her a baby - but I think she's got some raw talent. And she certainly has a way of making her wishes known.

I will give you an example of our last “consultation”:

The other day I needed to run a few errands. I was dressed in my typical jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt ensemble. I had my trusty New Balance running shoes on –

they're comfortable and it's too cold for flip flops. Luke and Audrey were already dressed and ready. I stepped into the bathroom to put just a bit of makeup on – I try to do my makeup at least a few times a week because it makes me feel girly and feminine.

And because I'm worth it.

As I was applying the mascara to my eyelashes, Audrey came in wearing these high heels:

They're her favorite. She wears them all of the time.

Like, AAALLLLLL of the time. So, this was nothing new. What was new was she was carrying this pair of high heels in her hands:

The “why?” became clear very quickly when she set the high heels down right next to my feet and she said: “Shoes! On! ... Shoes! On! ... Shoes! On!”

I interrupted her (very loud and insistent) chant by saying: “You want me to wear these shoes?”

A resounding “Yes!” followed. Then I got a “Yay!” accompanied with clapping. I get applause when my charades skills come through.

Then I said, “But I don't want to wear high heels. I want to wear these shoes.” and pointed to my New Balance. (Or is it New Balances?)

She was not pleased. “No!!! Shoes! On! ... Shoes! ... Pease! ... Shoes! ... Pease!” (Just in case it isn't clear – Pease is toddler speak for Please. She hasn't quite mastered the L part.)

My daughter was basically BEGGING me to take off the practical and very comfortable running shoes and add a touch of glamor to my outfit. Because sometimes being fashionable means being uncomfortable. And it's worth the discomfort to look cute.

And you know what?

She can be pretty convincing.

She really did make some good points.

I didn't give in to her pleading though.

And this is why: Toddlers need to learn about boundaries and not get their way all of the time. I don't want to spoil Audrey. I want her to learn how to be told no. Also, I just didn't feel like wearing high heels while juggling the groceries and my two kids (and it doesn't help that it's icy and snowy and cold).

I think she understood.

I think the yummy-yums (m & m's) helped to soften the blow a little bit, but she understood.

Plus, I think she's got enough glamor for the both of us.

What do you think?

28 January 2010

Why Blog?

There are a lot of blogs out there. Has anyone else noticed this? Blogs are as varied as the authors that write them. I follow a few. The ones that I read regularly are of friends and family... and I have a few favorite blogs that have baking and cooking themes.

Lately I have been considering why I blog.

I blog because my husband thought it would be a good way to keep in touch with people who live far away... and I agreed... eventually.

I blog so my family and friends can see up-to-date pictures of our family.

I blog because I do not keep any kind of journal and, in a way, the stories and pictures I share here can stand in as a kind of journal.

I blog because I want to remember the cute, quirky, funny, sweet, silly, unique, spunky, and wonderful little things that my kids do... and I want them to know what they were like too.

I blog because, after all of these reasons, I just enjoy it. I like the process of experiencing little moments and then writing about them.

So now you know...

why I blog

(just in case you were wondering)

...and knowing is half the battle! (I couldn't help it - I am a child of the 80s.)

24 January 2010

Bonk! and a Couple of Firsts

We have been back from our extended trip to California for about a week. It is so good to be home with Adam - two and a half weeks is a long time to be separated. This week has been filled with just getting back into our life and normal schedule. I am a big believer in having a predictable schedule for my kids - when there is order and a flow to our day we all do much better. Luke is so young that he is resilience personified so it wasn't hard for him to get right back into life as usual. Getting Audrey back on her normal routine has been mostly good but not without it's challenges.

The biggest one: going back to sleeping in her own bed and bedroom at night. She's done well with her afternoon naps but she really loved the perk of sharing a room for the whole time we were in California. She got really used to sleeping next to me so we've had a few nights of her waking up and not wanting to go back to sleep on her own. One of our first nights back she was really having a hard time so we just brought her into our room to sleep for the second half of the night with us. Which might not sound like a big deal but Audrey is a very active sleeper - she does lots of stretching and shifting and moving and flopping and flipping and turning and rolling - which doesn't make for very restful sleep for Adam or me. We did learn one thing from that night - Audrey is cute even in her sleep. At one point in the night she rolled over and her head flopped against Adam's elbow and in her sleep she said "Bonk" - which is what she says anytime she hits her head but that she says it even in her sleep is just hilarious... and so charming. But why am I surprised?! - that's typical Audrey.

The first first: Luke can officially sit up unassisted! He's been doing pretty well with sitting with just a little support for the last few weeks but has still been fairly wobbly. He's not totally balanced all of the time but he's definitely improved to the point where he can lean forward and back a bit without toppling over.

It's crazy how much older he looks to me just because he can sit up on his own!

He's pretty happy about this new development too - the world is a whole lot more interesting from a sitting point of view.

The second first: Audrey playing in the snow.

Friday night we were hit with a pretty good snow storm. It snowed steadily for about four hours. Just in our front yard we had about three new inches. Watching snow fall is so peaceful... until you realize it means shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. Which is what I did Saturday morning while Adam was at school. As I was shoveling the sidewalk, Audrey came outside on the porch with Grammy. And for the first time she seemed really excited about walking and playing in the snow so Grammy helped her get dressed into her coat, hat, and boots while I finished.

When she came back outside she was so excited! It was cute how much fun she had just walking with me in the snow. So I decided to make a design for Adam in the pristine layer of snow. My tracks are on the inside - you can see on the top left where the snow got too deep for Audrey (it was up to her thigh) so I picked her up and carried her the rest of the way.

She thought it was so much fun to play in the snow. She didn't think it was fun that I wanted to take a picture where she was actually looking at the camera...

Audrey! Look at mommy! Please! Smile! C'mon, kid, look at me!

I try all sorts of goofy noises and goofy faces but nothing works.

Thwarted again!

19 January 2010


I have a brand new nephew. His name is Benjamin. (But Audrey calls him "Benjin" because Ben-ja-min is just too much for her little mouth.) He was born on December 27, 2009. He was adopted by my sister, Megan, and her husband, Marc, on December 28, 2009.

This is him. He's just a few days old in this photo. Isn't he cute?! His birth was one of the reasons we went to California.

We went to celebrate Christmas with my parents and my two sisters and their families. Adam only had a few days off of work, so he left on the 28th, but I had planned to stay longer because of my nephew's imminent arrival. His due date was January 11 so my return flight (with Audrey and Lucas) was planned for the 16th. But I guess Benjamin decided that he wanted to have a little more time with his new favorite aunt (ahem, me!) and he came 15 days early. Which worked out great because I got to have more time getting to know him and trying to help my sister in anyway I could... which wasn't as much as I wanted since I had my own two kids with me. But nevertheless, it was a wonderful trip. We were in California for almost a month! It was a great time for Audrey and Luke to spend time with grandpa and grandma and the other cousins and aunts and uncles that were there. I always feel so lucky and blessed to be a part of a family who actually like spending time together!

It was hard being away from Adam for that long - but we managed as best as we could with Skype and plenty of phone calls. I also feel blessed and lucky to have such a great husband who understood why it was important for me to be with my sister during this awesome transition.

My sister, Megan, is meant to be a mother. I don't know of anyone else who is more naturally suited to being a mom than she - and after waiting for so long and enduring so many heart-breaking disappointments and faith-testing trials, to see her holding her sweet Benjamin was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed.

This beautiful boy will be so, so loved and cherished. I am so glad I could be there for his arrival and the first few weeks of his life.

I love you, Ben! And welcome to the family!