Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Floral Design

I was asked recently if I am still doing floral design. The answer is yes-- but I am only booking a few dates a year through word of mouth.  I really love doing the design work but want it to remain fun.   And as you can imagine, with two littles my time is pretty limited. A few dates a year seem to be about perfect for me.  I can still be creative, work with brides (which I love) and be part of how two lives come together.  It's feel good small business. ;)

My friend Ellen (and more importantly, a former bride) has given me a nice little nudge to get this posted as she provided a link and review on her website-- (Thanks Ellen!)   As I have commandeered my business site with posts about my children, I thought I would put up a few wedding floral photos.  I will also feature a couple weddings in detail to talk about the designs in the next few weeks.   As I was posting the pictures, I started reminiscing about how we approached the collaboration and designs and I think it would be fun to write about.

I had intended to re-design my website during my maternity leave. . .but you know how that goes. If you wish to reach me about wedding details and possible dates please email me here.  


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Date Night

My cousin Jon happened upon some really great Twins tickets (2nd row!!) that he couldn't use.  He called Friday afternoon and asked if were interested.  My first inclination was to say no-- Matt was working. My second and fast following response was. . . "you know, that might be fun."

I had a sinus infection the last couple weeks that has largely defined my everything.  I haven't had an ounce of energy to do anything extra.  Parenting, cleaning, stories, work and The Wire have consumed my waking, yet foggy moments.  I was rounding the corner on the illness and thought about how cool it would be to create a memory with James.

James is, of course, too young to really remember this- but I took a picture.  In fact, I went out of my way to find the Best Buy booth to get this picture.  :)

A couple funny moments of the night-- when Nana came to pick up Daisy, James was pretty adamant about wanting to spend time with Nana instead of going to the BASEBALL GAME WITH MOMMY.  Now which would you rather do?  (The Caps should be some indication of which one I was selling).

The other funny bit was that since this was a "big night out" I thought it would be fun to get him a baseball hat.  I think I have mentioned this before but James' favorite color is pink.  So you can guess which hat he wanted.  We are pretty fine with letting him wear what he wants (he is rocking Daisy's bows lately) but at the end of the day I am a Virgo and constrained by matching.  Naturally, I wanted the blue hat that matched his clothing.  I won that one, but have kind of regretted that decision.  I generally embrace the "you let him dress himself, I seeeeee. . . . " school of thought.

All in all, this is one of my favorite Mom memories.

I think I am getting this two kid thing down.  Not to toot my own horn. ..  but. . . toot toot!

I can tell by the fact that I schlepped my kid downtown by myself on a Friday night without serious concern.  It's a little like the frog in the boiling water.

Now when I JUST have an infant, I think " Hey, well this one can't move at least.". . .

And when I JUST have a toddler I think "Hey, Two hands.  Who knew??"

I'm no octo-mom, but we are making hay. 

Parenting is awesome. 

Be Still My Heart

Well if this isn't the cutest thing ever.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Toddler Bed

James goes in phases as to whether he is keen with the bedtime routine or if it's an opportunity to see how quickly he can get the horns to pop out of his head.

Our bedtime routine is best when it isn't rushed.  We read for about 30 minutes and then I try to get him to read a book in his bed so that he can transition to the bed slowly.  Then I spend another 10 minutes or so going through his body parts kissing each one. 

each finger
his hair
his earlobe
his elbow
his eyelash
you get the idea.  

We are now in a bargaining phase where he often says "last one" or "One more".  He actually means nothing of the sort-- he means "let's keep going" but at some point the kissing gets a little ridiculous. 

Some times I can exit the room with no drama.  Often though, there is another 15 minutes of wailing about his water being in the wrong color cup, or that he has the wrong nummy -- he NEEDS the BLUE nummy. etc. . .

This week I caught two great photos of what happens after he finally goes to sleep.

Have I mentioned how much I love this kid? 

The Only Girl in the World

Deirdre got a singing monkey as a gift.  James has taken this opportunity to refine his moves.

In other news, if you remember about a year ago I was trying to teach James to say P-P-Poker Face.  Well friends, I may have won the music war in our house.  James now REGULARLY asks for Lady Gaga.

Now, we are jamming to Rihanna here, but any female pop singer is Lady Gaga in our house.

So I present: James jamming to Gaga.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Healthcare System

Many folks know that our household professions are healthcare related.  I work on the economic side of health care while my sweet (sleep deprived) hubby works as a provider.

As dorky as it sounds, many of our dinner time conversations are centered around the flaws and foibles of the 'system.'  I thought this was an interesting read so I am passing it along.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sibling Love

Well sir James finally recognizes that where there was one there are now two.  For the first couple months of Daisy's presence, he simply ignored her.  A lot of people asked how he was doing and I felt like there should have been more to report. Folks, we are now pretty excited about Baby Sister.

Here is my sweet gang reading together.
Yesterday in the car, Deirdre started crying and James kept repeating "I know, Deirdre, I know".  "There, there, There there."  Oh my God, my heart just about melted into a puddle.

I am feeling pretty happy in this little life I created.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Guys

Since becoming a big brother, James has seemed suddenly more boy.  He is very sweet with his baby sister and is often interested in feeding* and holding "it".   We are still working on the finer pleasantries.

The latest phases of boytitude have included Thomas the Train, Fake Falling/ Dying, and now Guys.  GUYS!

James was given a little space ship for Christmas that included a tiny Ironman and Wolverine.  He hasn't seen either of these cartoons or movies yet so he just calls him his guys.   "My guys are in the spaceship!"

It's pretty f'ing cute.**

*Despite James pure passion for food, he often shortchanges Daisy's feedings after about 5 minutes.  'She's all done!'  Is she?  Or are you all done?

**Not so f'ing cute: The guys and their accessories are tiny.  "Where are my guys?" I have not a friggen clue dude.  He's two inches tall.

Monday, May 14, 2012

3 Months

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I have been under the weather.  I thought I would make up with by posting a cute picture of Deirdre!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Despite being on my second kid, I have learned a lot about breast feeding in the last week.

I hit a crossroads with the boobs recently.  My pump started acting up and I was heading out of town for four nights.    So. . . it forced a conversation about whether or not I wanted to continue.

I am not sure if I will have another child biologically which takes away the cost benefit of pumping for me. . . * but I do believe there are nutritional benefits to pumping and I kind of like it this time around**.  

So shopping I went to buy a breast pump for my trip.  I started with the Avent model.  Now, the Avent model is $100 less than the Medela and reviews online seemed to show that customer ratings were pretty similar.***

I returned this guy-- here's why. 

  • The device promised to keep a constant pulse based on your preference, but the device I had varied greatly and made kind of a grindy noise
  • You can not control suction strength-- it's a one size fits all. I am not sure if my device was faulty or not- but I didn't produce much in the one setting it had.
  • There are a LOT of pieces to wash. I wasn't keen on this. . We do use Avent bottles at home so that would have been neat but the pieces are a lot to deal with.   I could probably deal with this in light of the 100 dollars saved but I wasn't sure if the device was working or not. . . and I had to leave the next day. . . so back to Tar-Jay it went. 
Other comments: I did call customer service and they were awesome.  They offered to fed ex me a new device overnight-- unfortunately I had a flight to catch and that wouldn't work for me.  Two thumbs up for Phillips though.

Next up the Medela Pump In Style

I'm in love.  The device is incredibly thoughtful. . . works better than either devices I had tried (the Lansinoh or the Avent).  The difference is really noticeable.  The bag is great, the bottles and cones are easy to clean, it's quiet and a snap to set up.  lovies. . .sigh.

I also experienced the joy of pumping in a bathroom stall while traveling.   :( I had a small hand pump from Evenflo that made my hand cramp. . . I decided to stop at Target in Nashville after my first day and upgrade to the Medela hand pump. . . also a huge difference in experience.   Just way. . .way better.   The price tag on all these pumping accessories was a lot (gulp) but I feel a lot more confident in keeping this up for a while.

I am still going to supplement with formula since Deirdre is a skinny one.. . . 80% height, 20% weight. . . and I am not producing as much during the day as she is eating in formula.  However, working from home makes it easy to pump and give her what I can!

*God knows I love me some Craigslist, so at worse case I can sell a new pump after I am done.  Or I can have a third kiddo.  (faulty logic, I know ;) )

**Feel less like a cow.

*** My first pump was a lansinoh which stopped working after about 4 months of use, so I didn't look at this pump again.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tom's Diner

I took my first trip for work.   I wasn't entirely sure how it would go but all in all, I would say it was a thumbs up.  I really like my gig.

I don't entirely love travel, nor do I entirely hate it.  This trip was no different- a  bittersweet analogy about the pro's and cons of being a working mom.  Love the full night of sleep and the job. . . dislike being away.  Not much happens around here without some degree of internal conflict.

There is a little bit of wanderlust in me that is satisfied by the adventure of navigating a new airport and city and were it not for the ache of home, I could be pretty happy globe trotting.   

I tend to believe that the rental car provides some sort of soundtrack to how my trips are going to fare. I present the first song from my first work trip. . . .  Tom's Diner.  A perfect embodiment of working mom conflict.

 This song practically screams "eh."


Great. Soundtrack. 

*After being home a night, I have to add that I really love spending time with my kids. James, Deirdre and I went for a walk, read books and worked on our body parts by kissing them. . .elbow, earlobes, foreheads etc.   You don't get that at the Courtyard.  A full night of sleep is overrated.