Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Give Me A Break

Okay, everyone loves to "hate" the stars, and its silly to take this stuff seriously for more than 35 seconds - but can we please dispense with the come-on pouts while holding newborns? There is something uniquely exploitive about the photos in this issue. And the kid is only how many days old? Just when you think a starlet can't be any more vain, she blows the lid off your expectations. "My child - the newest prop for my glamor shots!" Wow.

Ten on this Tuesday

Hey! I just realized it was Tuesday. Here's what's going on with us right now:

1. My dear friend Kristen has a new blog! Check it out, it is a trip. I am sure it will consistently be funny, as she and her friend Julie are. And she's Stella's godmother, which makes her even more special to us.

2. Our Stella needs glasses. She has been squinting for a while now, and lately we've noticed that one of her eye was kind of lazy. So Eric took her to the doctor yesterday, and sure enough she is farsighted. I haven't seen the frames she picked out yet, but all I know is that they are pink. Lord help me with this girly-girl daughter of mine. I'll be sure to post photos when she gets them.

3. Eric is just getting over the flu. I haven't seen him this sick since Peace Corps. So sick that he was calling me on his cell phone - from downstairs. I feel like I neglected him because my mission quickly turned to keeping myself and these girls as far away from him as possible!

4. Today I have felt like Cinderella. Mindless tasks around the house that have to get done, but feel SO unfulfilling. I know the little things matter, but today I'm craving more!

5. It's supposed to snow tonight, around 4 inches I think. It was 60 degrees around noon today. The weather here is so unpredictable.

6. I went for a run around our local lake today, 2.2 miles. It was the second time I've actually made it the whole way since Meg arrived. Now, that WAS by myself, not pushing that jogging stroller. I'm still working up to that.

7. We're participating in a big yard sale this Saturday. Surprisingly, we don't have that much to sell, but we're still going through stuff. And I am the anti-pack rat. I hate clutter, but it's been hard to find stuff to get rid of.

8. Has anyone ever seen the Moosewood Cafe cookbooks? I checked some out from the library and have found so many things I want to try. Check them out.

9. When we tuck Stella in, she wants us to tell her what to dream about. Tonight it was baby turtles.

10. I am TIRED, really really tired. Not to complain, just a fact. I'm outta here.

Leave comments!

Friday, February 22, 2008

A new do, and a bathroom surprise

No, the bathroom surprise isn't something grotesque - get your minds out of the gutter, people - but it is funny. Have you ever stumbled upon this in your own bathroom?

It reminds me of the story of my father having a pig pickin at his house in Tick Bite, NC (seriously the town's name) with some heavy drinking going on. Well, somehow they got a hold of the poor pig's head and put makeup all over its face - THEN they put the head of the pig in the toilet. I am not kidding. When their friend Faye went in to use the bathroom, she lifted up the lid, and lo and behold that pig was sitting there! I saw photos of the pig in the toilet, with eye shadow and everything. Is this a testament to how red-necky my family is?

OK, on to the new do in our house. Is she getting ready to enter kindergarten or what? Look at our big girl and her bob:

The Best Photojournalist I Know

If you are into photography or if you are not (together that encompasses most of you) you will be astounded by the photos taken by Ross Taylor. Ross was an intern at the Anniston (Alabama) Star when I was a staff writer there in the early 1990s. He had just graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and was above and beyond most of the long-time photographers there. Ross went on to bigger and better things, and we lost touch until I bumped into him more than 10 years later at a party hosted by our dear friend Kristen Wall, a talented graphic designer. Ross' blog is good, but go to his website first. His stuff is raw, real, and emotional, without seeming staged or intentionally "in your face." You just get this impression that he's got the power of invisibility while he finds just the right moment and angle. He has won some tremendous awards and rightly so. I'm especially amazed by his Gary, Indiana, series and India series. Interesting to note they are not radically different in subject matter.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Seeking help on turning this boob-a-holic baby into a bottle-holic baby in the next few weeks - she's dropped several percentiles in growth (from 25th at birth to 8th now), and my gut tells me my body isn't keeping up with her hunger... so any advice on weaning from breast to bottle would be welcome here!

She HATES bottles, really anything else in her mouth at all.

Oh, and make that 18 pounds.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ten on Tuesday!

The Larson family 10 on this Tuesday:

1. Meg has her 6-month appointment tomorrow. I'm nervous about her weight gain, b/c Stella had some weight issues at this point, and we ended up in the hospital. Meggie also has to get shots, bummer. Wish us luck!

2. We were all kind of stir-crazy today. It was windy and cold, snowy but not sticking snow - an inside day. It was one of those days that I was counting down to bedtime. A little guilt there, but I'm over it.

3. Tomorrow's my personal weigh-in day - I've lost 17 pounds so far - and I'm nervous that I'm not gonna see those numbers go down any more this week, because...

4. Eric and I had a very indulgent date last Friday. We celebrated 8 years since he proposed to me. Complete with dark beers, appetizers, very rich entrees, etc. Worth every bite. And every moment out with my honey, sans kids.

5. We're gonna put our house back on the market after Easter. Anyone wanna move to Maggie Valley?

6. Stella currently loves the Olivia book series.

7. I'm totally crushing on the Aussie on American Idol. Have I mentioned that I love that show?

8. There's nothing I love more than leftovers for lunch, b/c I hate figuring out what to eat for lunch. So today I had some leftover chicken with mushroom sauce, rice, and asparagus.

9. I'm in the process of setting up online banking for us. I'm so tired of dealing with paper bills, writing checks, etc. It's a bit more cumbersome than I imagined but I know it'll be worth it.

10. Time to wake Meg for her last feeding before I hit the hay. Have a good week, everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Six months old, and cloth diapering, finally

First, let me apologize to my friend Erin for not posting about my cloth diapering system like I promised. She has a cult following on her blog and put out in cyberspace that I helped introduce her to cloth, but I've yet to find the time or energy to sit down and explain my system.

But before I get to that, let me introduce you to our SIX MONTH OLD baby girl. I think the internet gods played a trick on me, and I learned my lesson - never blog about your baby sleeping through the night. It only backfires, and they begin waking you at ridiculous hours once again. In her defense, our Meg is dealing with new foods in her belly, a runny nose, and us trying desperately to get her to take a bottle to give this mama a break. No luck so far on that one.

Without further adieu:

The one word to describe this baby is "alive." She is so alert, taking everything in, not wanting to miss anything. The other day I met my dear friend Toni for coffee in Asheville b/c we hadn't seen each other's babies yet. Her daughter Abby is about 2 weeks younger than Meg, and that peaceful, chubby kid just sat in her stroller smiling at everyone. Then there's Meg. She only wants to stand on my lap, practically bouncing out of my arms. She squeals like a teradactyl at random intervals, much to the dismay of some of the patrons. She claws at my face, mouth, hair, clothes, whatever she can get her hands on. She is very much a mama's girl, perfectly peaceful with Eric UNTIL she sees me out of those big old eyes, and then it's like he is physically abusing her simply by holding her. Drama.

Don't take this description as a negative one, though. Yes, she wears us out, but she is such a joy too. She is sweet and cuddly, loves her big sister, loves being outside and loves real food. It is surreal that six full months (and a few days) have passed since she came into our lives. It feels like she's been here all the while.

Now, onto cloth diapering. We used cloth with Stella for the typical reasons - wanted to be more environmentally friendly, also wanted to save money, and liked the idea of natural material close to her bum. It worked out great for her. I would say with Stella we used cloth 75% of the time, and disposables at night or when we were on longer outings. With Meg, we are using a bit more disposables, I think b/c Meg of course is dragged along whenever we do things with Stella out of the house.

We use two kinds of cloth, the prefolds and the fitted. I love the fitted ones. They function just like disposables, with velcro tabs for fastening. I have no link (for one reason, I forget the brand we have and they are all dirty in the pail right now, so I'm not digging one out!) but if you do any search on google for cloth fitted diapers, you'll find tons of choices. Then we just use the plastic covers, again can't remember the brand. (This is the lamest description ever, sorry.) Most of those were hand-me-downs from a friend whose kid was a year older than Stella. They are still working just fine, four years later.

Prefolds are also fine, just a little more work. With those we use snappis to fasten them, which are basically Y-shaped rubber things with Ace bandage teeth on the three ends. They just hook into the cloth and keep the diaper in place.

Now for washing - We have a big rubbermaid tub that sits next to the changing table. We pour a little baking soda in there every now and then to counteract the odor. When we take a wet or poopy diaper off of her, we just toss it in the pail. Then when we're down to 5 or 6 diapers, I just dump the diapers into the washer and do a rinse cycle on cold, then wash hot with detergent, then dry really well. I wash the covers but don't dry them.

I wish we were the family that used strictly cloth, but after one repulsive cloth diaper that I ended up throwing away in public b/c I couldn't bear to put it in my bag, I decided that was that. That was way more expense, and possibly worse for the environment, than just tossing a disposable. So we're more of a half and half family.

That's it from here, baby's crying...sorry this seemed rushed but hopefully got the job done. bye!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ten on Tuesday - becoming a tradition!

Hey! First, photos of the kiddos:

Here are Stells and her best friend Noa lounging on our floor.

Meg has the most intense stare. We think that in 13 years or so, Stella will be the back-talker and Meg will just glare at us.

Getting ready for her first bite of real food. She felt like such a big girl in her booster seat.

The child wailed when we took it away. Even better, she's been sleeping much better with a little more food in her belly. Maybe it's coincidence, but I'm not taking any chances. Eat on, little sis!

And she does love her big sis. Which leads me into my ten random thoughts:

1. Stella said the funniest thing the other day. We were taking a walk with my friend Brittain around our neighborhood when she said, "Meg loves her some big sister." Where does she get this slang verbage? I'm afraid it's from me, not her intellectual father.

2. The night prior to this walk, Brittain spent the night with me. We proceeded to drink 2 bottles of wine, and then one beer each b/c the wine obviously wasn't enough. Keep in mind, I haven't drank anywhere near that much since before getting pregnant - with Stella! I thought I was literally going to die the whole next day. Take it from me, it's not worth it.

3. I have to hurry now b/c I just realized only 8 more minutes until American Idol, my favorite show ever.

4. Meg slept through the night for the first time a few nights ago - 11 hours worth without a peep. She is changing so much, turning into such a bonafide grabbing at everything, squealing happy baby.

5. It was almost 70 degrees here today, in the mountains of NC in February. The weather in these mountains is so weird and unpredictable. I think the worst snowstorm in history here - the storm of 1993 as the locals call it - was late March.

6. Sometimes I dream of going back to school for nutrition. Then I remember that there's science I'd have to take. Maybe I just want to study food. But then I don't want the pressure of someone screaming at me for cutting my carrots wrong. Oh well.

7. Someone asked me today if we thought we'd have any more kids. When I said yes, she acted like I was insane. Reassure me that it's not insane to want three kids.

8. Stella fed a horse today straight from her hand.

9. We're going to participate in a huge street-wide yard sale on March 1st. We're hoping it motivates us to clean out some of our junk, I mean treasures.

10. Only 3 more minutes until AI! Gotta go!