This will be a quiet weekend aside from welcome William and Lindsey back from MN where they've been for spring break. But it was a fun week (or so) in blogging. First, you guys really love your face wash. My sister was so thrilled to have you guys checking out her shop and getting your own damn good products. She worked a triple (nights) last weekend and then got to work. The first wave went out yesterday! And all the sweet words on the childbirth post here, in email, and on Instagram were so nice (all of you Moms out there ready to give birth in the next few days/weeks... makes me all weepy!). I'm glad that post resonated with a lot of you!
I keep seeing commercials for at home non-UV gel polishes. Do they work? She gave them a try. Now we can just buy what she tells us to.
I got the above flowers from Bloom2Bloom. As always, they're beautiful (and come wrapped in brown paper and raffia just as you'd like your flowers to arrive). They're extending a coupon code HUNT25 for 25% off your Mother's Day bouquets!
anders, 4 1/2 months: since i hold him more often than anyone else, i love getting the chance to look at him when other people are holding him. in this case, across the table.
parker, 3 years: he and gracie have a definite love-hate relationship. in one instant, he's cuddling her, in the next he's yelling at her for begging, for not dropping the ball, etc. he takes such an authoritative tone with her, i can't help but laugh (quietly). i guess it's something to do with him being the youngest (save for anders, who barely speaks yet). he needs to boss somebody around.
this time of year is a funny one, predictable, but funny. i end up shedding the layers and dressing in outfits that are not warm enough for the day. especially because the days can begin at 40... even if they end up around 65 by the late afternoon. i also get sick of cooking and suggest we go out for dinner every single night to which steve says, "let's just do peanut butter and jellies!" (he's better at saving... sometimes... than i am. but he also doesn't cook dinner so...) who wants to be inside at 5--the warmest part of the day--to be putting a dinner together?! if it's sunny and the least bit warm, parker, like a moth to the flame, is in the backyard pulling every last game, ball, tool, swim floatie, bat, golf club from the shed and they become strewn about our backyard haphazardly. and then the rains come and we stare longingly out the windows at the dark day, hoping that by some miracle (it always seems like one) the clouds will part and the sun will make itself known. yesterday it did just that. rainy, cold, dreary and then came the afternoon sun. we left home to be in it. we had to!
p.s. indeed this is the jean jacket to end the jean jacket search. i've returned many before but this one's staying with me! it came the other day and i haven't taken it off since. 40% off sale going on now too with code TODAY.
p.p.s. could anders' cheeks get any rounder????
i love an opportunity to get these three behind the camera. we usually end up laughing quite a bit and i usually end up wishing i did it more. i tell them to do random silly things, they laugh at me and think i'm crazy, and so it goes.
so... rack room shoes! they have some seriously fun styles right now--as you can see we particularly enjoyed browsing the converse/vans lines. what can i say--we know what we like! they also have puma, nike, nine west, steve madden, and more. and wedges (i like these), sandals, pumps... lots more. now, a note about rack room shoes: they have an everyday "buy one get one 50% off" promo on all styles and a ton of member perks like coupons, exclusive discounts, and rewards. so maybe you want to check it out as you head into warmer weather!
The spring of 2011 before I gave birth to Parker, I remember driving home listening to the radio. Windows Are Rolled Down by Amos Lee came on and I had a moment. Loud music plus driving plus the anticipation of big life moments do that to me. I didn't really know what was in store, though I knew this growing belly wouldn't stick around forever but soon be replaced by a baby and what would that be like? Feel like? Both literally and figuratively? There's nothing particularly unique about that, but it certainly felt big to me.
A little Carmody history: I have three older sisters, all of whom had, by 2011, given birth at least once. I have a mother who gave birth to the four of us, and who had always talked about those births in a really beautiful way, verging on casual and cool and matter-of-fact. One sister is currently an L&D nurse, another was a birth coach for several years. My Mom started the local La Leche League chapter back in the 70s. My father delivered my sister Kate in their home bedroom in 1980 (the doctor should have, but wasn't there on time!), and, before that, was the first man at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital to be in the delivery room with my Mom in 1971 when their first was born. I am telling you this because all of it, and more, is what paved the way for me to view birth as something exciting, natural, something miraculous and transformative, something that shouldn't be feared. A woman's body is amazing! Do I sound like a total birth junkie?! I am.
Before I go any further, let me be clear: birth, both natural and not, both at home and at the hospital, both c-section and planned or spontaneous, is all very beautiful to me. There seems to be a lot of shame in the parenting world and I do not want this to be another post to add to the cacophony. All birth results in what is perhaps the greatest moments of one's life. That moment in which you lay eyes on your baby for the first time and feel such inexplicable love for one you've only just met. It is an intensely magical moment to me. So, let this not be a post that makes you feel badly for your medicated birth or your c-section birth. With that said, I can only speak to my experience, which were two natural births (Parker's here and Anders' here) that I happen to be very fond of.
I do, however, hope this post can serve as a bit of a primer, if you will, for those who are interested in birth, who might fear birth, who are about to give birth, who aren't sure what steps to take to have the birth they'd like to have. Many of you will be neither interested in it, nor need this information, but maybe (I hope) it'll help one person even a little bit. It's not earth shattering, but more of a regurgitation of what I learned leading up to my own birth experiences, what I found very useful, mixed in with some of my personal experiences. I'm not an expert, doctor, nurse, medical professional of any kind, birth coach, midwife, or doula; I'm just a woman who really loved giving birth (and finds the whole thing to be fascinating). It goes without saying, but be sure to seek the advice of a medical professional when giving birth; this post should not be a substitute for the advice they give you. I'm simply sharing what worked for me.
I'm doing Friday links on a Thursday because the weather is too nice to be in front of the computer for one more second! Three-day weekend for all! (Oh wouldn't it be nice if it were that simple?) Here's a picture from earlier in the week of Anders all folded up nursing. I love it. This weekend, we have plans to take Nathaniel to breakfast (his birthday is today! Happy birthday Nathaniel!), and be outside a lot.
Now for some links...
You might've noticed, the emoji keyboard got diversified (and many of us saw aliens all over our Instagram. I did not understand the sudden interest in alien life. Now I get it.)
I ordered this and I am really hoping it's the one to end the search. I've bought and returned more jean jackets than I care to admit (I never feel like it's the one!). 30% off with code APRIL right now.
so, i'm 30 now. whomp whomp. what's that even mean? i don't know, i don't know! but it feels like some imaginary threshold has been crossed in which i can't just grab any old bottle of face wash or moisturizer that looks pretty at cvs. rather, i should actually crowd-source, use google, read your blogs, read the labels to come up with the solution. figure out what the women who know better than me (so all of you) are doing. when my sister kate (a woman who definitely knows better than me, and four years my senior) told me she was making her own face wash and getting all sorts of compliments on her skin i thought, "you're so crunchy," promptly followed by, "give me some." i got it early february when my skin was super dry and looking blah. between the post-birth hormones and the dry winter air, my hair and face needed a change up and a serious drink of water. prior to this, i was using the burt's bees royal jelly face wash with coconut oil at night but my cheeks were still rough with dry patches, so that wasn't cutting it. i needed something damn good! (chuckle chuckle.)
so my sister sent me her face wash and i started using it right away. it was in a baby food jar and she had a little white stuck on label that said damn good face wash. the prototype if you will. after month one, i told her she needed to be selling it. the girls at her work (who she was giving it out too) had been saying the same thing. now, i've been using it for two months and love it. it's coconut oil based (so, unless it's extremely warm, it's a solid.) thus it's totallydifferent than other face washes i've used but that's probably my favorite part. it removes all my makeup and, because it has so much coconut oil in it, doesn't leave my skin feeling dry at all. in fact, it basically moisturizes at the same time. after washing, i lightly pat my face dry with a towel to keep the oil on my face. it's got baking soda in it which slightly exfoliates too. it's got a lot more than that too (raw honey, bentonite clay, etc.), all of which kate knows a lot about and i just take her word for it and keep asking for moooore. it's not drying my face out at all. and what's more? i feel like around my eyes and the tops of my cheeks looks... refreshed? dewy? like i'm drinking enough water without actually drinking enough water? i don't know. i never really saw big variations in my facial skin (aside from breakouts and what not). i thought skin was just skin, but i think this makes me look healthier. my target argan oil by acure ran out so now i'm using her oil too (which includes argan, plus some other awesome things). and her toner (which she makes on her stove--rose water, calendula, chamomile infusions. see? she just knows things.). all made with the highest quality ingredients you could basically eat though, why would you? (don't eat it.) all the ladies in my family are using it now and loving it.
it's all really damn good. i'd be blogging about it whether or not she was my sister. (in fact, she's a total pain in the ass and i really don't even like her so you know i'm telling the truth.)
that was a joke.
lucky for you, she decided to open up shop and sell it. you can read more about exactly what's in each product and what it's good for under item descriptions too. now go and have yourselves a damn good day!
she's being generous and giving a 20% off code through the 22nd: DAMNGOODTALES20.
p.s. i'll tell her to check in on the comments today if anyone has any questions, so feel free to ask.
garnet hill has the loveliest selection of bedding and bath stuff, did you know? (i do happen to know as i bought their sheets for lindsey's old room way back in the day! we loved them!) anyway, for quite awhile, i've browsed the web for a pure white duvet. white bedding is bright and airy and if you get tired of it, switch out a throw pillow here, a sham there and you've got a change-up. my hesitation was always having it get dingy. i want it to remain right-out-of-the-box brightest white. do tell me, knowledgeable white-duvet-owners: do you periodically use bleach in the washing cycle?
anyway, garnet hill's washed linen bedding is a whole new level of loveliness. i love it. i love that it's got a casual look to it (wrinkles! but these ones are totally allowed!) while still being really pretty. and, might i add, also really soft. linen can verge on the rougher side sometimes, but i assure you... not in this case. apartment therapy said, "this is a splurge that is worth it" about this bedding and apartment therapy, i agree.
we also got some new bath towels and a shower curtain from garnet hill. we were in dire need. if i told you that some of our bath towels still floating around this house were wedding presents to steve and shannon would you believe me? well, you should. dire need. (they were married in 1990.) it feels like we hit the jackpot with these ones. they're so soft, so plush. the shower curtain is also that washed linen but with a cool frayed hem. between the bedding and the bath towels and the shower curtain, i'm basically living in a fancy hotel. but i still have to do the laundry. riddle me that.
and p.s. impromptu baby photo shoots look really fabulous on white bedding backgrounds. reason enough!
this post is sponsored by garnet hill. thanks so much for reading.
We went to Ikea the other day and Anders got us the "You've-got-a-Scandinavian-name" discount. 15% off and free meatballs for life!
This weekend, we're going to friend's house for dinner and otherwise living outside because it's mid-60s and sun!! I will be outside all weekend long. No cooking, no cleaning, no nothing but standing in the sun and breathing outdoor air. You?
I saw these shoes in this month's Vanity Fair and... they're really pretty, plus have arch support.
This is spot on. I just got Lindsey some of those pencils in #28 in her Easter basket. Throwback!
These are the cutest. Anders needs all of them!! (Fine! He wants them! And who am I to deny him!)
I already instagrammed this, but it's worth mentioning here: High Beam really is one of my favorite things ever. I go through phases with it (I've had the same bottle for years. We're in a good phase right now.) It just makes me look... alive? I put it on my brow bone, lid, and cheek bone. When the light catches it, I'm like, "oooooh Bridge! Look at you! So luminescent!" Small joys.
Everyone warns, when one bemoans the passing of time, "Oh, wait till you see how fast it goes with number two!" Well, they're right, those witches. Anders is fourmonthsold. Last night I was lying in bed, next to him as always, trying really hard to go through the motions, as though I were presently doing them, of what it was like to get in bed, nurse, and cosleep with him only a few months ago when he was a brand new baby. Did he coo? How close did we snuggle? What exactly were his sounds that woke me up to alert me that he was ready to nurse again? What did his body feel like in my arms? Even though I've only just experienced it, in some ways it feels like quite awhile ago and also a bit hazy. Did I take enough pictures? Did I enjoy it all? When did his body become a bit more cumbersome to nurse while holding him and walking around the house? Last month or the month before?
I had this moment a few weeks ago, panic-stricken would not be overstating it, where I was absolutely heartbroken that I hadn't asked Steve or my Mom to get any video of his birth. Why didn't I have you to do that? I asked through tears. It went so fast! There was no time! they both told me. And it did, there was none, they're right. I am feeling the infamous Mom-guilt. I'm looking at my phone, I'm reading emails, I'm cooking dinner, I'm folding laundry, I'm wanting to have some alone time, I'm doing something, no matter how productive, that takes my eyes off that perfect baby. Wishing none of that existed and there was just this quiet little world in which there were no distractions, perfect contentment, and time stood still for Anders and I. Oh wouldn't that be lovely?
Even so, there are so many sweet days, sweet moments, when the beautiful heaviness of having a baby is lifted and replaced by an overwhelming feeling of blessedness. I cannot look at him without being in awe of his perfect eyes and cheeks. I tell Steve no fewer than ten times a day, "He is so beautiful." The moment I lay eyes on him, his mouth opens up wide, in this enormous smile and he makes this little giggle-grunt sound. Sometimes, I'll be nursing him on the couch, and, without noticing, he's stopped nursing and is staring up at me. He'll do this for ten minutes straight, taking me in, studying my face or listening to my voice so intently. The look on his face communicates such pure love. When I cuddle with him and get my face really close to his, he closes his eyes and smiles as I kiss him. If he is restless at night, I put my arm around him and his head in the nook of my arm, and, if the moonlight is just right, I can watch his face as he looks around the room until his eyes get heavy and he's asleep again. He is, simply put, one of the sweetest people I know. To know him is to love him.
So, I'll attempt to loosen my grip on this sleepy, sacred time, and glide through it more gracefully than I sometimes do. And Anders will continue to babble and cry and giggle and need me, while I need him too. One day at a time.