End 2011

I'm back from my unintentional intentional blogging break.  It's been an overwhelming and lovely few weeks.  Nate's been out of school and we traveled to St. Louis with both kids for (what was one of my favorite of all time) Christmas.  The baby is as dreamy as ever and I'm trying to enjoy the quiet and post-holidayness but struggling to balance it all.  I've been trying to carve out some quiet time to write and dream for 2012 but it's just not happening so I'm going to throw in the towel and PHOTO DUMP!  Who's with me?   

Pre-holiday preparedness complete with Nora's gorgeous stocking, a surprise shower of SNOW (we still have some in our freezer!) and Nate's bear suit on Nora Kate:
We had a Christmas in Little Rock before we headed out of town: 

NK and MK:

Ahhhh... a familiar site...Keeping Christmas classy with the nursing cover.   Still nary a bottle to pass this babe's lips.  I tried not to even think about it over the break. 

Hitting the road and stopping in BOOMLAND...which, clearly, is THE home decor fireworks gas station of the Midwest.  This is, apparently, my BOOM pose: (Also, for the record, both children were AMAZING on the six hour drive there and back.  Karl and I kept looking at each other wondering 'could it really be this easy?'  AND IT WAS!) 

Hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa's on Christmas Eve morn.  NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER. 

First Christmas without MY grandparents.  Tribute:  

Blacklight batting cage in my uncle's basement.  Pitching machine on SLOW. 

Mylee rolling up to Christmas... she wandered around like this not allowing anyone to speak to her for a solid 30 minutes... (WHERE ARE HER GOD DAMN CIGARETTES AND HER BLOODY MARY?) LOVE HER. 

Nate and Karl waiting on presents on Christmas Eve: 

Nate's idea for Reindeer Food: Four marshmallows, captain crunch, and (you can't see) a cup of sugar: 

Christmas morning with Big Daddy Finn (McMissile, British Intelligence) and Baby Finn.  He wouldn't sleep in these pajamas so Christmas morning we told him he wouldn't get any presents until he put on his Christmas jammy jams.  It's a cruel, cruel world he lives in. 
Looking forward to 2012...


Nerd Christmas.

Karl found a new app. 

(The beginning is Nate saying "Is it REAL?" and me assuring him it's just pretend.  HA.) 


I suck at Christmas.

Though I do love CARDS!! 

Here are some photos from our Christmas Card Photo Shoot (b/c I'm the type of person who arranges Christmas Card Photo Shoots.  Yep.  Sure am!  I own it and I love it.)

Aren't we so cute you're vomiting all over your computer screens right now?!?

(Photography by my friend Cara Beth!)


it is time

To put away Psycho Pilgrim...

..and admit that it's Christmas time...

Cue Bloodbath Manger scene. 


What's Andy's girlfriend's name? he asks


Additional notes from the field:  

A.  Nate says 'lasterday' to refer to anything that happened in the past.  It's starting to fade and he's beginning to say yesterday and last year (occasionally in reference to hours before) and that's a bit sad.  I'm going to miss creative, made up words and his skewed concept of time.  

B. Karl and I have recently become obsessed with Parks and Rec on Netflix (which, by the way, WHY DID NO ONE SHARE WITH ME HOW HILARIOUS THIS SHOW IS?) and, since we only have one television, Nate currently requests "the show with the blond lady" before bed; last night he referred to it as "Pecks and Rock" (which he thought was HI-larioius.   As did I.)  

C. There is snow.   I can see it.  RIGHT NOW.  OUT MY WINDOW.  It's not accumulating but it's there.  In December.  Cue tears and space heaters and staying under the covers until the last possible minute.  Stay away seasonal affective disorder!  I've been a happy girl this year!   


12-4 good buddy

(Posted on 12-5.  DAMMIT!  NEVER ON TIME ANYMORE) 

I can't believe Nora Kate has been on the outside for two entire months.  I went to the grocery store tonight and had to run through the rain to get inside and all I could think (STILL!) was THANK GOD I'm not pregnant anymore.  Terrible, right?  I'm not a pregnancy hater but I'm very, very glad to have my regular (reformed?) body back.  (Like so glad I considered jumping in a big, freezing puddle just because I can.)   

Let's discuss Nora Kate.  As mentioned in the previous post, Nora has had ONE successful bottle in her life (sometime around 2 weeks; she downed it and we were all 'oh good she'll be fine' and then we NEVER gave her another (sheer laziness) until last week... which was a disaster.  

I can cook a meal like this.

Despite her resistance (or maybe because of?) she has MOST DEFINITELY become my little accessory.  

Here are SOME of the places NK has been in her short little life.  (This is probably the closest I'll ever get to a "Dear Baby" post.)

Day 2: The driveway.  (Cue: Dr. Suess' 'Oh the Places You'll Go!')  Your first time in the daylight, little girl!  

Day 5: The Pumpkin patch. The most stressful part was the twenty minute car ride.  Mama no like the car.  You were great; she was not.  (Newborns are SERIOUSLY quiet.  And it was the first time I couldn't really SEE her and had is-she-breathing panic.)   
Day 8: First trip to Gigi's house!  Get familiar.   We plan to leave you there often. 

Day 12: First trip to Purple Cow, local kid-friendly haunt.  Get familiar.  We plan to buy you $4.95 Kraft mac-n-cheese there (that we could easily make at home).  WHAT?  THE HAMBURGERS ARE GOOD. 

Day 13: Community Bakery for your first donut hole and chocolate milk morning.   Get familiar.  I plan to sleep in as many weekend mornings as possible whilst your father takes you and your brother OUT OF MY HOUSE. 

Day 14: First carpool line experience.  Get familiar.  (No explanation necessary for those reading at home, right?  Carpool line = amazing.)  (It's important to also note this was the first day I drove in perhaps a month or so.  The car felt ENORMOUS.)  This is also the day I took Nora Kate in to meet Nate's teachers and a room full of three year olds - WHAT WAS I THINKING?  GERMS!  GERMS! 

Day 15: Karl took this day off work.  DO NOT get familiar.  It doesn't happen often but we had a lovely lunch date at the same restaurant we went to the day before you were born.  We ordered the exact same meal (labor crab cakes!) but this time Nora Kate was in the sling and not in the belly.

Day 16:  The heat broke this day.  You and I snuggled in bed ALL DAY LONG.  Let's put this in the GET FAMILIAR category, shall we? 

And now that you've been alive for TWO WEEKS let's ramp it up shall we?   The following is a SMALL SELECTION of places we carried you.  I wrote them all in my 5 year calendar; to share them all would be ridiculous. 
Day 17: Your first Book Club.  Get familiar but not TOO familiar as soon this will be one of mama's nights out without child.  (See: TAKE A BOTTLE please because mama needs a bottle of a different variety.) 

Day 18: Karl's company hosted a fancypants dinner for his former boss.  LOVE said boss.  Wasn't going to miss it.   Slung you up and passed you around the table to all his bosses.  Do not get familiar. 

Day 19: First Razorback game (on tv but at friends house).  Get familiar as your daddy will force you to wear Razorback gear and do dumb hog-calling spirit fingers before your first birthday.  ALSO, first Cardinals game watching at different friends house.   GET FAMILIAR (clearly) as there's nothing dumb about baseball. 

Day 22: FIRST DAY OF WORK!  TAKE YOUR THREE WEEK OLD TO WORK DAY!  Hooray!  I nursed you through our morning staff meeting.  I'm working on an entire back to work post.  I go in to the office two days a week right now.  It's been amazing.  It's a strange business bringing a baby to work but, so far, awesome.  I think you guys will be entertained with some of my babywork stories.   Day 22 you also went to your first Little Rock Tweetup (a social group of my twitter friends).  Because your mama is a big NERD.

Day 23: Your first photo shoot.  OWL HAT!  AHHH!  THE CUTE!! Get familiar.  We like cameras. 

Day 24: Halloween Party at Karl's office.   AHHH!  THE CUTE!  AHHH!  EXHAUSTED.  

Day 25: World Series GAME SEVEN w/ friends.   CARDINALS WIN the World Series 2011!  Get familiar as they will win several more Series in your lifetime.  CLEARLY.  

Final pitch.  Pay no attention to that baby down there.

Day 28: Trick or treating all over God's creation.  Your brother was a Jedi; you were a pink skeleton.  NEIGHBORS.  FRIENDS.  CANDY.  Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired.  

Day 32: First pedi visit at one month old.  Get familiar as I'm sure you'll see her many times.  I have to be honest, this was more like a social call than a doctor's visit.  Your pediatrician declared you perfect and we sat and talked about Nate's adjustment and her son's college applications (Karl's been coaching her son in basketball for years).  

This is also the week of Nate's croup and my infection.  Wonder why we got sick?  MAYBE BECAUSE WE WERE RUNNING AROUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE. 

After that, no worries, we started to get into our routine and only did this: 

Hearing test.  More work.  The Park.  A college basketball game.  Chili Party.  Ice Skating.  Turkey Day.  Homeless dinner (2).  Birthday parties (2).  Christmas Picture Photo Shoot.  Craft Nights (1).  More Eating Out (too embarrassed to tell you how much).  (Note to parents-to-be that like to eat out:  Take that baby out to eat while they're still teensy and restaurant white noise makes them SLLEEEEP.)  More work.  Holiday Parade. 

If you didn't think I was crazy before, um, you now have my permission to think it.   


storage wars

Fun times in the attic.  Sigh.  We need a basement. 


Adding another human to our house has made me MANIACALLY clean and throw/give things away.   Seriously.  I've taken no less than 7 full bags to the Goodwill in the last two weeks.   Karl is teaching me his wise, minimalistic ways. 

We bought a pre-lit tree for the first time ever (versus the real tree we normally get).  I feel a bit like I'm cheating at Christmas but it was SO EASY.  I'm all about easy these days.  Currently, it's lights only sans ornaments.  I stick the baby in her swing, set it in front of the tree and plug in the lights.  INSTANT MESMIRIZATION.

I had my six-week post birth appointment with my midwives yesterday (at 8+ weeks but whatever!) and everything was fine.  The baby is a solid 13 pounds and 4 oz and she goes to her pedi next week for Vaccinations: Round 1. 

Speaking of NK, bottles are poison to her lips.  So, uh, we're working on that.  We've tried a VARIETY of bottles.  No luck so far.  Pros:  No pumping!  Cons: Someday I will need to go somewhere without her.   I'm working on a dedicated NKisms post.