Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Rock

Yesterday I saw The Rock.

Not this rock:
Or this one:

But the one where baby is up on hands and knees, rocking forward and backward.  The rock that means crawling is imminent.

I've got a mover on my hands.

On a related note (and I swear, I'm a good mom, really!), I left the nugget alone for like a second and I came back around the corner to find this:

No longer on the blanket, but just rolling around on the hardwood, happy as can be.

And just for some perspective, he wasn't even close to the blanket where I left him.  See that baby way over in the corner, nowhere near the blanket?

Yep, I've got a mover on my hands.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Product Review: Keratin Straightening Treatment

I've been meaning to get to this post for a week and a half, but you know how it goes when I have to rely on someone else to take pictures for me.  Either I forget, he forgets, the timing isn't right, the nugget needs me, yada, yada, yada...

Anywho, here it is.  The lowdown on the Keratin Straightening Treatment.

This treatment (sometimes known by its brand name counterpart, The Brazilian Blowout) aims to do as it says and straighten your hair...sorta.

I have been dying to have this done ever since Baby G was born.  I have naturally wavy hair.  Not quite curly, but definitely not straight.  It exists in such an in-between state that I cannot simply air dry and go.  I must blow dry and straighten with a round brush.  My hair is also long and THICK.  And this process take approximately FOR FREAKING EVER.

I would much rather have that 30 minutes with my child than sitting on my bedroom floor in front of the full length mirror, drying and pulling and pulling and drying until my arm feels as though it will certainly fall off at any second.

Enter The Treatment.

The Treatment typically costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $300.  This, I do not have.  But, for the love of all things good and wonderful, Living Social exists.  Not too long ago, they featured The Treatment as a $99 Daily Deal.  I snagged it.

Now the danger in this deal is that it was to be used at a salon I didn't know.  But I was willing to risk it.  So two Saturdays ago, I kept my fingers crossed that the stylist wouldn't burn my hair off and off I went.

**The salon turned out to be a tiny little hole with absolutely no signage inside of an apartment building.  Yep, I was terrified.  Although the stylist didn't burn all of my hair off, she did take some skin with her when she waxed my eyebrows.  I will not be returning.**

As for The Treatment.  Here are some before and after pics.
Pre-Treatment, after washing and air drying.

Post-Treatment.  I didn't have the patience to air dry, so this is blown dry.  BUT, without a round brush or any product.  Sorry for the crappy phone pic.
Friends, I've gotta tell ya, The Treatment was not the dream come true that I hoped it would be.  BUT, it's not all bad.

*My hair is obviously straighter.
*The frizz is virtually gone.  This, I love.
*Blow drying takes a fraction of the time that it did before.
*My hair feels silky and looks shiny.

*My hair is actually too straight at the ends, and there is still some random wave near my neck.  (According to the stylist, the aim of the treatment is actually to de-frizz, and not completely straighten.  So I was warned that only 95% of my curl would be removed.  Huh, you'd think they'd name it the Keratin Defrizzing Treatment.  But I digress.)
*Due to the too much straightness, I have to use a curling iron.  I may have replaced one form of styling with another.
*My hair gets greasy much more quickly than before.  I am not an every day hair washer.  By the time my every other day wash comes around, it looks as though I may have actually waited four days in between shampoos.
*My hair has a horrible smell every time I wash it.  Thankfully the smell dissipates as my hair dries. 

Overall, I'm okay with The Treatment.  Would I pay $300 to have it done again?  Absolutely not.  Would I snag another $99 deal in three months when this Treatment wears off?  Perhaps.  I think that my styling time has decreased, if only by a bit, and that was my goal.

My official word?


Monday, August 29, 2011

Mad Mama

Excuse me a moment while I irrationally vent about an inevitability of life.

The nugget had his 6-month well visit last Thursday.  All was well!  My chunk weighs 21lbs 2oz and is 27 1/4 inches long.  In case you're wondering, that would be the 94th and 75th percentile, respectively.  Yep, he's still a big 'un. 

He's healthy, happy, and developing right on schedule.  He is also now vaccinated against 3 more diseases.  Visit = success.

Fast forward to Sunday.  My baby is sick, having apparently caught the crud at his well visit.  Grrr.....
I know that this can't be helped.  The office has separate waiting rooms for the sick and well, so they do try and prevent contamination.  But germs are pesky little nuisances, and once you get behind the doors of the waiting room, we all co-mingle with those little bastards.

I get it.  It's a doctor's office.  That's life.

But I'm sad for my little guy.  He's doing an awful lot of coughing, and his nose is all stuffy.  I can hear the congestion rattling around in his chest and throat.  I wish there was a way to teach babies to clear their throats.  But as many times as I say "Ahem!" to Gabe, he just doesn't seem to get it.  (Kidding, of course.)

He's having a rough time sleeping, as I'm sure he's having a rough time breathing.  And there's just not a lot you can do for a baby with a cold!  Other than stay up half the night waiting for him to need you, and sleep fitfully the other half of the night.  Seriously, I dreamed about my sick kid when I did sleep last night.

My poor, sick baby.

Stupid well visit.

Vent over.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane's A Comin'

Since moving to North Carolina, I have gotten to experience a storm or two.  It used to be that when a storm was brewing, I ran to the store for this:

Now, I'm concerned with having this:
For these:

Ah, how times have changed.

In all seriousness, Irene is on her way.  We are far enough inland that we only expect some strong winds and heavy rains (wait...isn't that what a hurricane is?), but folks on our coast are looking at something a little more serious.

We're hunkering down, after a quick trip to the grocery store this morning.  And lest you all worry that I am no longer the (almost) ginger you know and is still on my shopping list.  ;)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Looking back on pictures of when  J and I first met...we were both a little skinnier.  After we fell in love and passed the jittery, twitterpated stage of new romance where you just can't eat, we settled into a more comfortable routine (i.e. one that included eating).

My weight has been such a roller coaster!

Twitterpated= lost weight.
Comfy in love= gained weight.
Tried to get healthy= bought an elliptical, lost weight.
Got pregnant= lost my appetite and puked my guts out, lost more weight.
**Insert maternity clothes here.**
Had a baby= lost more weight.  Never gained weight during pregnancy, and then lost 20 pounds by delivering.
Recovered from pregnancy= started eating again.  Gained weight.

I'm sitting about five pounds below where I was when I got pregnant.


If I were mannequin-shaped, these jeans would fit perfectly!
Jeans, we have a very serious love/hate relationship.  I love that you are casual, can be worn with just about anything, and in theory, are comfortable.  But I loathe how you refuse to fit my body.  Gain weight, lose weight, it doesn't seem to matter.  Somehow, you are just off.  The waist, the hips, the thighs...there is always some area that just isn't right.  (And don't even get me started on the length.  I'm quite sure I've never been able to buy a pair of jeans that didn't need to be hemmed.)

This makes me unhappy.

We seem to be in a never-ending cycle of home repair (this summer alone, we've had an HVAC guy, a plumber, and now a roofer hit us up) , so spending $100 on some new denim is just low on the priority list.  But oh, how I crave the perfect pair of jeans.

Does it exist?  Is there really a pair of jeans out there that will just fit me comfortably?

I believe them to be mythical.  But I want them to be mine.  Please advise.

**EDIT- after this post was originally written, the one pair of jeans that I had that semi-fit (as in, were the least uncomfortable of all my choices) were destroyed.  The friction from my thighs rubbing together finally did its damage, and a gaping hole now exists where denim once covered my leg.  DAMMIT.  To those of you women whose thighs don't touch?  I hate you.

And now I really need some new jeans.  Sigh.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Adventures in Baby Food

You all know how I try to be the less crafty, more law abiding, better looking version of Martha Stewart, right?  Well, in true Martha form, I decided to give homemade baby food a whirl.

I put my trusty assistant in his seat on the counter, put some JT on the Pod, and set to work.


It really is much easier than I anticipated.  I started simple, with pears and apples (two of the nugget's faves).  Fruits are cut, cored, and steamed.  Steamed fruits are popped in the food processor, pureed, and voila!  Baby food!  Easy peasy.

To be completely truthful, there was one difficulty.  The tricky part was removing the skins after steaming.  Apparently, it's best to steam them with the skins on, as removing the skin beforehand takes mucho nutrients away from baby.  But I powered through and peeled away all remnants of skin. 

I bought a baby food cookbook to guide me.  It is divided up into sections based on baby's age, and the recipes get more complex as baby gets older.  I've gotta say, some of the later recipes look so good that I want to make them for myself!  Roasted red pepper and goat cheese spread?  Yes, please!  The book is great for the early stuff, too.  You can buy it here

I like the idea of making Gabe's food, as I can buy organic, and know everything that is going into his mouth.  (Funny that I should care about the food that goes into his mouth, when I clearly have no problem with him ingesting copious amounts of pet hair each and every day- but hey, my kid probably won't be sickly, as he's already been exposed to all kinds of germs.).

Excited to try more recipes, and hoping that this endeavor turns out to be healthy for Gabe and cost-effective for my wallet!

Another Martha moment, for sure.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gabe- Six Months

My sweet Gabriel Clark,

I am writing to you on your half birthday!  I cannot believe you are already halfway to one.  It just doesn't seem possible.  It seems like we just brought you home from the hospital yesterday, but how can that be, when you are such a big boy?

You moved up to the big boy car seat!  Gone are the days when we could carry you around in your infant seat (and who would want to when you are pushing 25 pounds?!).  You sit up tall, and look so grown up.  I don't like this very much- it's happening too fast!- but I do like the groovy cow print on your new seat.  Your daddy noticed how big you look when you fall asleep in there, with your chin resting on your chest, like he used to do in the car when he was a little boy. 

You are starting to sit up.  You are very happy about this!  It gives you a better vantage point to see the world around you, and you love this.  You have almost mastered restaurant high chairs and shopping carts, which makes Mama's life easier!
In the high chair at IHOP
You like to eat.  (Considering your chunky physique, this will surprise no one!)  Fruits are your favorite- especially pears.  You also really like bananas and apples.  You're alright with the vegetables, too.  So far, you've tried sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, avocado, and squash.  You still really love your rice cereal, too.  I love how you open your mouth and pant in excitement, waiting for the next mouthful of yumminess.
You have two teeth!  And I'm pretty sure you're working hard on getting two more.  We have to keep a bib on you at all times to catch all of that drool.  You like this, though, because you think it's fun to put the bib in your mouth.  As a matter of fact, you think it's fun to put everything in your mouth.
Silly baby.

 You are starting to have a tiny bit of stranger danger anxiety.  You are clinging to me a little tighter these days.  Although I want you to know and love your friends and family, I certainly won't complain about the extra snuggles.  They are rare these days, because you are on the move.  My heart melts a little when you bury your "shy face" in my shoulder.

You are rolling and scooting, scooting and rolling.  Not crawling yet, but maybe we could call it creeping?  If you are on the floor and you see something you want, you will find a way to get yourself to it.  You can get those knees underneath you, and you can push up on those chunky arms, but you haven't quite figured out to do them both at the same time yet.  It's so funny to us when you use your knees to scoot while your forehead is flat on the ground.  So silly.
You are laughing.  Big, giant, deep down, belly laughing.  And Nugget, let me assure you that there has never been a sweeter sound.   Sometimes the tickles will do it- you are so ticklish!- but sometimes it only takes a funny look from Mama or a silly sound.  You are so much fun these days.

Gabe, my life is so full with you in it!  I love you more and more with each passing day.  Happy half-birthday, my sweet boy. 


First Haircut

We knew he'd have a head full of hair.  At my 35 week ultrasound, the tech could see it on the screen.  As I was giving birth, the nurse immediately commented on his locks after one little push.  He's got a lot of hair.

It didn't seem to matter how much blue I put on the kid, people were constantly mistaking him for a girl.  After his nightly bath, his mane was starting to get tangled.  Hair would constantly be in his eyes unless I tucked it behind his ears.  This, combined with a serious comb over a la Donald Trump, convinced me that the time had come.

And so it happened that at six months minus one day, Gabriel Clark got his first haircut.

My sweet little man looks like a big boy now!  And a handsome big boy at that.  Oh, my heart.

**On another note, I tried to tell J that since this one was big enough to be getting his hair cut, that must mean it's time to have another one.  Sadly, he did not agree.


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