Oh Winter…

You with your snow followed by balmy sunshine followed by snow, finished off with humidifiers, nasal suctioning, and yes, more ear infections.

I always have a vision that my winter will be filled with free time curled up by the fireplace that we don’t have, reading 19th century British literature, or at least not watching British melodramas that kill off key characters in swift and horrific ways.

All of that is but a fantasy, but…

we did go to the Outer Banks last weekend and do some kite flying on Jockey’s Ridge!

 

Okay. Sophia and Travis flew kites. Olivia and I stood at the bottom of the dunes with Leila in the baby car seat. I will not give you the details of that scene. Focus instead on what a glorious time that Travis and Sophia had flying kites…

Because really, the fantasy for every season actually involves blue skies and sand dunes, does it not?

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Favorite Things…Baby Version (Because we all go to baby showers)

Yes, even you men. Proven by my next door neighbors hosting a co-ed baby shower last weekend. There should be more of those.

As I was compiling the list I realized each item was a gift to me! What can I say…my best taste is in friends.

 Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper

 My sister gave me this after she used it for her baby and LOVED it. We can never remember the name so we started calling in Leila’s Manger. It fits somehow. Can I tell you how much I wish I had this for my first two babies? Key points: 1. it’s curved perfectly for a newborn -infant to sleep comfortably – my babies were always miserable flat on their backs when they were first born. 2. It’s light weight. Meaning: I can scoot it all over the house and instead of having to commit to where the baby is sleeping ( her room, my room,) we can change it up, even in the middle of the night. 3. It folds up. EASY TRANSPORT! Go ahead, take it out to dinner with you.

Slight Disclaimer: So, it’s been RECALLED FOR MOLD. I have not had a need to wash the cover ( I always cover it with a blanket anyways ) so I am not afraid of the risk. But if you can’t find it retail right now that is why. Keep your eye out for when Fisher Price fixes the mold issue and reinvents this treasure!

Aden and Anais Swaddles

 

Love these. Mostly everyone has caught on to these now so I just want to point out that YES Target has them! But they are actually a teensy bit smaller than the original ones. Case in point: the Target ones are not big enough to act as Pack n’ Play sheets, the others are.

Chewbeads

Cute jewelry made safe for your baby to play with. Yes, please.

PetuniaPickle-Bottom Diaper Bags

I received a Petunia Pickle Bottom bag six years ago for Sophia and this company became a favorite. But this latest style bag? Let’s just say that PPB no longer bothers putting babies in the pictures with their models. These bags can be used long after the baby is down to a diaper and wipe in your back pocket. I love how they look and I love how they feel on the shoulder – great size pockets, big enough for a laptop, etc. If you are in the Burg, Marty carries an assortment of these bags at The Carousel in Merchants Square!

Noodle and Boo Baby Lotion and Wash

Somewhere along the way  fragranced baby lotion became controversial. I have mourned this because there is so much of parenting that is not how I envisioned it in my Cabbabe Patch Days, can’t my babies at least smell good? Noodle and Boo products are  natural and smell heavenly. I’ve tried lots of products from high end to Baby Magic and this stuff wins by far. (They also have great products for pregnancy)

Trumpettes Socks

I have a secret dream of every morning opening a box and taking out different pair of socks that color coordinates with my outfit and actually looks like shoes. I live this dream through my baby. I love this company – and they have such a variety now to choose from for boys or girls. The packaging super cute too. Perfect shower gift.

 

I included a link for most of these but wanted to give a shameless plug to shop your local small boutiques and businesses, where each of these products was purchased with the exception of The Manger.  Yes Amazon has everything and we adore them for it, but we can’t let our cities lose their souls people. 

Now…add to my list! What are some great baby gifts you’ve given or received?

 

 

When I finally saw Les Miserables,

I watched the final 15 minutes standing in the back by the exit, holding a sleeping baby, ready to run at the slightest wimper. I chose my spot wisely- I could sing along without being heard and  do the dance/walk they do during the finale of the stage show without being seen. All I needed was the flag. 

And that epilogue…that moment Fantine shows up to take Valjean home… the “Take My Hand, and lead me to salvation” part? Tears rolled down my face, partly because it’s so painfully and truthfully beautiful, and partly because it took me back seventeen years  to when I first saw the musical in the Imperial Theater on W 45th St. and did not let out a breath until intermission. 

So what to think of the film version of a stage musical I know by heart?

Seeing their faces changed everything. 

You can’t replace the turning stage, the live orchestra, and being within feet of 24601…but impeccable film acting, intentional with every facial muscle, captivated me in an entirely different way.

Bravo. I will join in your crusade. 

What did you think? 

Snass

Snass is a mixture of snow and grass. In these parts we celebrate its arrival with full body ski gear and sleds. And we get really excited.

Well, most of us do.

I got her into her snass suit and she cried, whimpered and rebelliously fell asleep before I could take her out.

Her loss. A great time was had by all, and we have the snass stains to prove it.

What I learned last week…an abbreviated list.

1. The Breakfast rush at Chick Fil A really picks up between 6:35 and 6:50 am. 

2. If needed I can create six different outfits to be worn consecutively out of my wardrobe. (Minus points for pants being reworn but extra points for all outfits being This-body-held-a-baby-nine-weeks-ago-friendly.) This was a prior unknown since I left my full time job in 2007. Revealing of my priorities and depth of thinking, this was a source of stress.

3.The world is full of wonderful people.  Seriously. Whenever I am thrown together with a new group for a concentrated amount of time I realize this again and catch my breath. At the start of my first ,class we each gave a brief intro and background story. This is my favorite. I love hearing people’s stories, summarized. I think that’s why I like blogging – succinct storytelling. Emphasis on both succinct and story telling.

4. I am grateful for my church. In one class we spent some time examining our own churches, and our relationship to them. I always say that when it comes to church I grew up twice- first at a wonderful church in Virginia Beach and then here in Williamsburg where I continue to learn and relearn grace amidst authentic, remarkable people.

5. Always travel with an entourage. It’s just more fun that way.

(I hope that picture was Snap-Chatted across the Globe)

If Leila looks like she’s being held prisoner, it’s because she was. These two were the first in a brigade that accompanied me,  babysitting Number 3 in an on-campus apartment while I was in class, and, it cannot be overemphasized, adding to the  good times of the week. There is something so comforting about having familiar faces with which  to debrief classes, eat Panera, and collectively zone out the car windows  because it.is.just.early.

It was a good week – stretching, and affirming in so many ways. It kind of felt good to do something crazy and hard, if only, to remember that I can. We’ll see if I feel that way again in June…

Done! (Well, with that…)

 

This girl and I just finished a great and grueling week of classes…It was a wonderful week, only enhanced by the daily Bypass Road sunrise –  past the Hooters and behind the Cracker Barrel.

More to come, but for now I am looking forward to some of this

and a whole bunch of this

Onward!