Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I don't understand why some folks aren't into Halloween.
I mean, there's fun, creepy stuff....
Dressing up...
(My dad's birthday!)
And you get to ask strangers for tons of free candy.

Last year, my pals and I took a road trip on Halloween. You better bet we dressed up!

We certainly didn't try to freak out people we passed on the road. Never. 

Year before last year, Buddy and I dressed up to give out candy.

Me as Dorothy, Buddy as Dobby. 

I have a little something for LC to wear, but Buddy said he'd like to opt out this year. Too much doorbell action for him.

All that's to say--- I love Halloween.
I guess I do understand the hesitation towards really getting into the spirit. After all, those monsters can be scary!  But honestly, I'm finding that there are plenty of monsters in my life right now. Even without Halloween.

There are monsters in my closet. 
All of those clothes that I still cannot fit into haunt me each and every time I glance in there. All of this asparagus, salad, and lean protein makes no difference. My weight just won't budge. I know it's ok. I just had a baby--- blah blah blah. But I'm uncomfortable. All this extra padding just isn't me. I feel heavy. Dumpy. And just plain uncomfortable. However, I guess I'll just be uncomfortable while my hormones are all wackadoodle from being a milk machine. Baby's needs trump my need to clear out the closet monsters. 

There are monsters in my head. 
Never before have I doubted myself so much. There is so much advice out there - expert parents, Dr. Google...I just can't escape it. While it's oftentimes requested and warranted, it's confusing to sift out what seems right. Baby should sleep on her back - back is best! Be sure to put baby on her tummy - tummy time! Don't overfeed your child. Make sure you feed your child enough. Babies should sleep 10-12 hours a night - sleep begets sleep. But don't let your baby sleep too long. Keep your eyes peeled for signs of sickness. Just let her cold run its course. Baby shouldn't have diarrhea. Diarrhea is normal for some babies. It's ok for the baby to cry-it-out. Don't let your child cry too long or they'll feel abandoned.

Sometimes it's just too much. 

There's a monster in my bedroom. 
It's the tiniest monster I've ever imagined, but I don't want her to leave. She can stay. I know I have compared LC to a dragon in the past, but I think she's more of a monster right now. She leave a path of destruction wherever she goes (see my living room and car for proof...). She makes noises that wake you up in the dead of the night (noises which my supersonic hearing pickup on no matter how exhausted I may be). Definitely a monster.
But have you ever met a monster than can do tricks?
Mine can. :)
She knows how to smile.
But she can't roll over yet. We're working on that.

Happy Halloween from Lydia Claire!

At 17 weeks old, LC....
- Loves to look around
- Chews on her hands
- Drools constantly
- Had her first sickness - thank you daycare
- Loves to smile and laugh

At 17 weeks as a mom, Janell...
- Feels more confident going out with bae
- Has given up on LC's baby book
- Had her first sickness in 11 years - thank you daycare

Photo by Jessica McCravy Studios

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I've always thought it was so corny when parents would post those three years ago today my life changed drastically status updates for their kids' birthdays or whatever. Phew. Well, duh. You had a kid.

But seriously, ya'll.
Three months ago, my life changed drastically.
I can't believe that it's already been three months. It's been the longest, fastest three months ever.
And I seriously can't believe just how drastically my life has changed.

My nail polish is usually chipped.
More often than not, my clothes have spit up on them.
I can't remember the last time I had a seriously clean house. Well, actually I can. It was June 30...
I'm perpetually running late for work- just can't tear myself away from her in those sweet morning hours. 
I've become crazy efficient with my morning routine. Ready, car packed, some chores done, and waking up baby by 6 a.m....

It's so true. Life changes so much with a kid.
Let's just talk about the fact that it's suddenly October - my birth month! Since Adam and I share a birthday, it's always been a big deal. We celebrate the whole week! That means parties! Daily gifts for Adam! Great plans for Oct. 2!
Well, I just realized that our birthday is on Friday.
We haven't celebrated.
I haven't gotten hubby anything.

I'm not sure if it's baby brain - another phenomenon I scoffed at but now know to be real - or that baby is just on my brain, but I can't remember anything these days. Important stuff, guys. Like the car seat. Yep. And that totally becomes a problem when you pick up your child in the afternoon and have no car seat in which to put the little tyke.
At least I remembered the kid...

Surprisingly, though, I don't forget mascara.
It's something I always find time for. Mostly because I look like a creeper without it.
Marathon = wore mascara.
Labor = wore mascara.
Errday = mascara.
All that's to say that I'm digging this Younique kind. It makes my lashes look nice and full - something they're not on their own. You can definitely go all tarantula eyelash with this stuff, or you can use sparingly and just look awesome. I'm having an online Younique party, so you can look at the stuff by using this link:

Fast feet.

Anyway, at 3 months, Lydia---
- Loves to suck on her hand
- Kicks her legs all the time
- Shares lots of smiles
- Sometimes tries to talk when asked questions
- Still sleeps through the night
- Has an adorable bald spot on the back of her head
- Hates tummy time

At 3 months as a mom, Janell---
- Loves making her girl smile
- Enjoys shopping with and for baby
- Can't decide what baby should be for Halloween
- Gets excited every morning when baby wakes up

Always with that hand... 

Monday, September 28, 2015


Oh Facebook.
The great black hole of time.
The gateway to all things nosy.
It's where I spent a lot of  this past summer.
And where I continue to spend a good bit of time in the dead of the night.

I have to admit, though. It's a habit (addiction) that I wouldn't mind shaking. I hate how much I wanna check it, how much joy I get seeing a red notification, how delighted I am by all those "likes" and comments.

Most of all, I hate how seeing all those pictures of smiling groups of happy people out having fun make me feel. Yes, that's jealousy creeping in. I wasn't invited?!? No one told me about this outing?

Now, never mind the fact that I've never really been a group outing person, never one for late nights. But having a baby and the consequent amount of time spent sitting and feeding sweet bae has led to this fear of missing out. FOMO.  And it's intense.

But why? I mean, there's really nowhere I'd rather be. I tried going out with this child once. Once! That's all it took for me to learn that the house if the best place for us right now. However logical I know it is that we are better off at home, I can't shake the FOMO. All those people just look so happy in the pictures. They look like they're having a good time hanging out. Eating. Talking. 

Really, it's ok. I know it won't be long until I look back at these intimate moments - just the two of us.
Her sweet gaze.

Her tiny hands.
That precious smile.
Her wanting, needing me.
It won't be long until those are but memories. And we'll be running around from piano lessons to cross country practice to Zaxby's (high hopes for this gal!) wishing for some downtime at home. I know, I know. 

But the FOMO is real. 

Speaking of FOMO, I've been missing out on this ridiculous mascara. Everyone was talking about it, but I just ignored them. Until now! My neighbor is a Younique representative, and so I asked her about this 3D mascara. Lemme just go ahead and say that I feel silly for not trying it sooner.

Since I'm a mascara junkie, I wanna do a full review about the product on my blog. Look for that soon. Maybe even a video of me trying to not poke my eye with the mascara wand! 

In the mean time, feel free to browse all of their products. They have a 14 day Love It Guarantee, so no big deal if you get something and don't like it. Just send it back!

Now that's a face I could look at all day! <3

Friday, September 18, 2015


I didn't realize how consuming a baby would be. She's taken over my free time. Her toys dominate my living room. Her tiny clothes and blankets comprise the bulk of my laundry. She's even managed to take over the blog - well, in topic at least. I turned into that person.

But I'm ok with it.
It seemed to happen naturally - I write about what I experience.
Happy moments.
Terrifying moments.
Even moments containing mistakes of mammoth proportions.
Like last weekend.

It began back in May. Adam began a weightlifting program at his gym in preparation for a competition. We knew that it would be difficult for him to travel with his gym pals after welcoming sweet bae into our lives, but he trained anyway.

Somewhere between sleep depravation and sheer exhaustion, I encouraged him to register for the weight lifting competition in North Carolina

Now for some, this wouldn't be a problem. Babies often love to fall asleep in the car.
Not our girl. If you can count on something, it's that this will ensue when you strap her in:


We packed our bags and prepared for a 10 hour drive to North Carolina. Well, Adam and I packed our two small bags. And then I filled the rest of the space in the car with baby stuff. I think I carried a majority of her belongings... (now I understand minivans). We got up early and hit the road with our screaming child in the back seat. Much to our surprise, she fell asleep after only 10 minutes. AND, to top it off, she stayed asleep. Color me surprised because she giggled and slept off and on for the entire trip. We made the drive in 9 hours - seven hours driving, two hours feeding baby.

The weekend was grand. Adam's sister made the drive to us so that we could spend time together. We went out to eat, got to talk, and cheered Adam on during his lifts. Sweet baby girl was even awake and happy to see her daddy win second place in his weight class! It seemed like a magically perfect weekend, just prior to my return to work. Easy driving. Happy baby. Good memories.

Quality time with Aunt Jamie.

How we spent the majority of the day.

Sunday, the next day, we were slated to make the journey back home. Our day didn't start as early as I had hoped, but it was ok. We got the car packed, baby fed, and struck out. After a mere hour into our journey, we stopped. Baby was crying and mom needed coffee. Adam wheeled into a grocery store that housed a Starbucks and headed inside. Thirty minutes later, her returned with our coffee. Seriously.

Family selfie just before heading out. She wasn't impressed.

With a full baby and caffeinated parents, we headed back out.
Not many miles later, we found ourselves trapped in a car with a very unhappy child. She was not into today's trip. There's just something about my screaming baby that unnerves me. I cannot carry on a conversation. I cannot make rational decisions. I sometimes get short with Adam. LC's crying fits really bring out the worst in us. So as the baby is crying and I'm undoubtedly mouthing something mean to my poor husband about how we should have left earlier or dressed her differently, the speed limit changed. One little sign flew by our loud, tense car at 79 miles per hour. And right past that sign was a mean ole North Carolina State Trooper.

Yep. Mean ole man had no compassion for us, either.  Didn't even care that we looked completely sleep deprived with a bawling child in the back. With our very expensive piece of paper in hand, we pulled back onto the highway- at a very controlled speed, mind you. :) Since bae was still quite upset, we pulled off again. Pitstop number 3, counting our friendly po-po encounter. While I fed Lydia, Adam went and found us some food in a grocery store. We ate. Stretched. And marveled at how few miles we'd gotten behind us.

Soon, we pulled out again. Baby fell asleep. Things were looking up.
And then I made the biggest mistake of the whole trip.
"Hey, why don't we take a detour and stop at Clingman's Dome? We can hit the Blueridge Parkway. It doesn't look far."

It was gorgeous.
And baby was fast asleep.
But it was a big mistake for 2.5 weary travelers.

Scenic pull over, of course.

And then it went on forever. I thought we'd never get there! But we eventually did. Up the curvy road to the Dome. And then it began raining. And traffic got heavier because everyone in the world was apparently trying to see Clingman's Dome as well. When we finally found a place to park - half a mile away - Lydia woke up hungry. It started to rain. And we, of course, began fighting. It had been quite a day, and we were still a good 5 hours away from our house. With baby fed, we got out of the car and started walking. Baby was covered, but she got upset with it started raining more. With Clingman's Dome just around the corner, I presume, we turned around and headed back to the car. Crying infant in hand. Ugh.

The closest I've ever gotten to Clingman's - this after three failed attempts. 

So, back down the mountain we headed - along with a kajillion other people because who wants to be up there in there in the rain? Traffic was heavy. We were tired, hungry. And the car needed gas.

And then everyone slowed down. Of course I began complaining, but then we saw why. Probably the only redeeming point to our adventure.

For real bear just walking around!

The rest of the trip is a sad, sleepy blur. At one point, I do know that there were two gals crying in the backseat. Poor Adam.
Bless his heart, I mean.

But we made it home. We had fun. We made some bad decisions. But LC's first road-trip is one that we will never forget. For certain.

And finally... how baby slept the last night at the hotel: 

She didn't mind it at all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Breaking the Silence.

I love Harry Potter.
When I finished the series, I felt like I had lost my closest friends --- even shunned from one of my favorite places and schools. I just get so caught up in that magical world, what with all the potions, spells, and strange animals. How could you not?

Out of all the animals in that series, I tend to fancy the dragon the most.
Able to easily take command of most situations.
Difficult to escape.

Maybe that's way I sometimes feel like my darling daughter is a miniature dragon.

Able to easily take command of most situations.
Difficult to escape. 

Yep, very dragonesque.
Many nights and naps have me feeling like a brave adventurer.
My methodical rocking or numbing silence having lulled babe into a sleep - then having to escape without waking her. I know what one false move can lead to...

Remember these?

Not actually at nap time, but the reaction is the same. 

Until my time trying to escape from my tiny dragon daughter, I never realized how loud I was. In the dead of the night, as I creep back to my side of the bed, I feel like the entire house echoes with my creeks and pops. First my big toe, then my knee, followed by my ankle. When did this happen???  Surely I haven't always been this rickety!

While I'm busy falling apart and making old lady noises, darling dragon daughter is busy growing and changing. Many times I wake to look at her and baffle at how she seems to have changed overnight. Just amazing.

I'm trying my hardest to be quiet, and she is finding her voice. Yeah, she's been pretty vocal from the get-go, but this kinda vocal is much cuter. We spend a lot of the day talking. Sometimes I ask her questions and she responds! I'm pretty sure she can already say "eeew" and "ah." This, of course, is in addition to her ever favorite "waaaaaa." Can't leave that one out.

At 9 weeks old, Lydia Claire---
- Is ticklish
- Has an adorable gummy grin
- Still refuses a bottle
- Definitely prefers sucking her thumb/hand to a paci

At 9 weeks as a mom, Janell ---
- Is so in love.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Is this it?

It's taken a while - nearly 8 weeks, to be exact - but I think we're there.
That once mythical place in parenthood that I thought only existed in the minds of other, seasoned parents. That spot where it is fun and there are fewer tears.
We're finally there.
I think.
Given, we may be in a totally different place tomorrow or the next day, but right now--- we're there. And I like it.

My sweet little sleepy, squishy baby is coming alive. She's talking to me, smiling at me, and loves to play. It's baffling how one little person can change completely from week to week, but she manages to do so.

I love making her smile. :) 

Second favorite thing to do - play on her mat. I'll let you guess what her favorite thing to do is. ;)

At first, I was petrified to take this little punk out anywhere. I was trapped. But she's calmed down, I've braved up, and we've taken on the outside world quite a few times. We've been out to eat, gone to get groceries, and even just walked around the square shopping. Honestly, I'd almost rather take her with me now than leave her at home! This must be what all those folks were talking about - parenthood being the best thing ever. It has to be because those first weeks - eek!

Our first restaurant outing - Mexican!

On a walk with Buddy. Sidebar - she's not a boy. Nope, she's not wearing a bow.
Yep, she's wearing blue. But there's a flower on her shirt! 

At 8 weeks old, Lydia Claire ---
- Still hates riding in the car
- Loves to stare at the birds on her play mat mobile
- Kicks her chicken legs all of the time
- Adores being worn (Boba and ring sling)
- Enjoys bath time
- Now wearing 0-3 month clothes
- Has started sucking on her fingers/hand
- Will NOT drink from a bottle (uh oooooh!)

At 8 weeks as a mom, Janell ---
- Loves wearing baby
- Covets baby cuddles
- Wishes baby would take a pacifier
- Never has time to fix her hair (ponytail!)

One of the hardest things about the first couple months of parenthood was breastfeeding. I thought that would be the easy part! Wrong. I wrote about it here, but it's presented a big issue. Well, two big issues. I may have carpal tunnel in my thumb from scrolling on my phone while she nurses, but that's another story. ;)

Baby girl refuses to take a bottle. Cue mom's panic. Eek! We go to daycare soon! She'll starve! They'll kick her out! I'll have to quit working! We'll all starve!!! Yeah. Bless Adam's heart for enduring my panic. However, it is a pretty serious issue. It's been 1-2 weeks since she last had one, so I have no idea what's going on! Dr. Google has told me lots and consequently scared me to death. Anyone else experienced this?

Classic baby in a basket photo. Still no bow, still not a boy. Just a naked baby.
7 weeks

Classic baby in a suitcase photo. Everyone does this, right?
8 weeks

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Oh. My. Goodness ThisIsHARD.
Again, no one told me anything about how hard owning a baby can be!  She cries. She poops. She spits up. Then she cries again. And now Adam is back at work. Y'all. He's the pro at putting her down for a nap. I stink at it----and little girl knows it.

Our first day alone was, well, ok.
Then came our second day.

She wasn't the only one crying.

Our  morning started off pretty good. Wake, eat, nap. Pretty routine. I used that time to gather our things for a much anticipated visit to my old school, Ben Davis, and get myself somewhat ready. Remember, I don't have a lotta clothes to choose from, so that cuts my gettin' ready time down significantly. ;) She woke up again - time to eat again! Then we got in the dreaded car. I have never met someone who detests riding in a car more than my little girl. She cried the entire 25 minute drive to school. Once I picked her up, all was well. She had a great time, in between crying spells, being loved on by those ladies. I even learned some tricks of the trade from them on how to calm her down while I was there! Between all the love and all the crying, LC was worn out, so she snoozed on the drive home. HALLELUJAH, some peace and quiet!

And then our afternoon.
Once she woke up, we were at odds for the remainder of the evening.


And then she decided to pull my hair! ;)

I simply could not get this little girl to nap again. Mama needed a nap, too!
So when her daddy finally walked in the door, I graciously handed her over.
And I hate how easily her settled her down for a brief nap.
Hate, but love.
Love, really.

I'm worn out just thinking about it again....

While growing a baby is hands-down the most challenging thing I've ever done, it's pretty amazing. To see how much she has changed is remarkable. And I love it.

Hating her bonnet her great, great Aunt Johnnie made her.

At six weeks old, LC ---
- Hates riding in the car
- Loves to smile at her daddy
- Enjoyes baths and diaper changes
- Still fits into her newborn outfits
- Loves morning snuggles
- Gets hungry when mom tries to eat

At six weeks as a mom, Janell ---
- Eats faster than she ever has before
- Consequently hasn't truly tasted her food in six weeks
- Loves morning snuggles
- Can almost wear her wedding band again (!!!)

So, speaking of changes, it's time for me to make some changes as well. I'll be working to change my diet and exercise routine next week. While I've had the best time eating whatever I want and sitting all day, it's time to get after it. This one pair of mom pants is getting old, so I guess I'll try to fit into some of my other things.

In the past, I've really liked following the Paleo diet, but while being a milk factory for baby, I need some carbs. Mmmm, how I love carbs. :) Anyway, you're welcome to join me as I slowly (and I mean slowly) work my way back into an exercise routine, running, and healthy eating. Lemme know if you wanna be my support buddy - believe me, I'll need it. Not sure how strong my sugar withdrawals will be. ;)

In other news, LC went to Tennessee this past weekend to meet some of her family! 

Meeting her great grandaddy for the first time

Hanging with her great grandma

Taking a break with her Uncle D

Stay tuned for more pictures of crying LC next week! ;)