Sunday, November 15, 2009

New House!

We have officially moved... and finally have the Internet hooked up. It only took 10 days. I can't find the cameras, so no new pics.

What a great decision! The house feels comfortable, like a favorite pair of jeans. Fits us just right. Even Lilly made the transition without a hitch.

Also, EVERYTHING is easier. Tim is home so much earlier and we are close to him even when he is at work! Shopping is even easier. Seems like we're 10 min or less from anything we could possibly need! Woo Hoo!

That's all I wanted to say...


Sunday, October 25, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Lilly's gestures right now...
pointing- at everything!
Waving hello and goodbye
Kisses- mouth open and smashed into my cheek
Arms up- Here I am!
Clapping- pat a cake

Growling- i want/like that
Raspberries- silly
patting mouth- bababababa she jumps her whole body to do this
Uh-uh-uh-uh!- Pay attention to ME!
Mmmmm- yummy

Real words...
Hi- Her first word
Mama- sigh
Dada- she said this months before mama
Papa- grandpa
fffff- woof, dog
Baba- ball, bottle, bubbles, boat
Nana- banana
Nnnnna- No

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lone Lonley Alone

Sometimes being a mom is a very lonely job... and yet I would kill for 30 minutes alone?

My Helper

Er, Master of Destruction?

Can't you see she is helping me pack for the move? Just look at all that packing material she's spreading around for me!



Ok, maybe she's just making a huge mess.
Especially when it sticks to her and she tracks it around the house...

But that's alright.

This mess kept her entertained long enough for me to pack up a few boxes.

Progress... kinda.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Did I Mention?

That Hubby cooks?

Mmmm... this was a tasty dinner.

We need to make it again soon. Grilled corn on the cob with some kind of Mexican saucy goodness. And that wonderful shrimp swimming in garlic and butter. YUM!

Roll Over

Hubby is funny. Real Funny.

Here's an example. We have been watching Mad Men. It's written by the same folks who wrote The Sopranos, so you knew it was going to be good. Anyway we were up late the other night and had just finished watching an episode. I mentioned how grateful I am to live with far less defined gender roles than our grandparents.

I know, I know this coming from the stay at home mom. who likes to sew. and bake. and garden....

But I DO work from here. Has anyone noticed the silence for the last month? Didn't think so, but anyway I have been working a lot. It isn't just about being allowed to work these days. The attitude is totally different than when my grandparents were growing their families. Hubby really respects what I do for a living.

Here's a couple samples of my recent renderings of designs.

Anyway. My recent work is really pretty off the subject.

The point is: Hubby is FUNNY. And it was very late. We were both feeling a little silly and sleepy.

I brought up how in a recent episode a woman's clever turn of phrase was compared by a man to a dog doing a trick. Hubby immediately suggested I roll over. HAHA!

I've been chuckling for days over that one :)

Here's a cute dog... She knows a few tricks :) Goof ball.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Waves and Curls

It is your destiny little girl...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Baby Races

Whenever we meet someone else with a baby Hubby always excitedly suggests a baby race. Nobody's taken us up yet. Well, Lilly has always had a lightning fast look about her. Maybe they're intimidated?

Speedy Newborn Lilly Jean
Another example

So the other day a bunch of people were commenting on a friend's Facebook photos. It went something like this... "I want to hug your baby *hug*"... "My baby wants to hug you *hug back*"

So precious... babies, puppies and balloon rides galore!

My warm and fuzzy Hubby continues this exchange with "My baby wants to challenge your baby to a knife fight."

This is why I married this man.

Yes, we're wierd

Sometimes Lilly gives kisses... Sometimes she just chews on my face.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Seed Bom!!

"Fight the filth with forks and flowers" -Richard of Guerrilla Gardening.

These are Seed Boms! Looks an awful lot like seeds pressed into nice bio-degradable paper. Oh yeah, in the shape of a grenade! Just in case they weren't awesome enough!

I haven't engaged in any guerrilla gardening yet but I love the idea of helping out the poor leftover and unwanted spaces in our built environment. A little snack or beautiful flowers would be the result of this "illicit gardening."

A bit more matte than shiny, but this is something I love!


First Notes

This morning Lilly and I went with Anna and Carson to First Notes.

First Notes is a music class for babies and toddlers. Miss Julie, the teacher, does a wonderful job! She engages the kids individually and the group as a whole with her voice and movement supported by a colorful series of props and instruments. Lilly was CAPTIVATED the entire hour!

One thing I'm loving about Lilly's budding personality is her fearlessness. We arrived as class was ready to start, so I plunked her on the floor while I took my shoes off. Lilly immediately took off and crawled to the center of the circle... checking everyone out! Lilly is an outgoing and fun little girl!

We had a blast singing, dancing with sheer scarves, ringing bells, riding in the parachute with colorful balls, rocking, and playing! Can't wait till next week!

Thanks to these folks for flickr pics... I didn't have my camera today :(

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nine Months Old!!

My almost-walking, 14 lb 6 oz, baby girl Lilly!

One sunny morning this week I decided we'd put Lilly in a cute dress and head outside for a walk... and I'd bring the camera along to see if I could capture some nice pictures. It's too late to ask Anna this time, so if I couldn't do it then I was out of luck! I felt a little pressure to get it right.

Here's the problem with pressure. I never want Lilly to dread taking pictures. I've been checking out photo blogs lately. The folks who capture amazing images always seem to be HAVING FUN!! The photographer is having fun... the people in the photographs are having fun! That's how I want to take pictures... Find something wonderful to do, take lovely photos to remember the good times had.

Oh! The Fall Leaves!! Endless Fascination!!
Lilly's fourth season!

I'm still learning to use the DSLR I got for my birthday... but THIS is why I wanted it sooo very baddly! Lilly is NINE MONTHS OLD! And I can take finally decent pictures to document the occasion!

Images I'd be happy to have in a frame

The old railroad bridge in Rockford.
I'm glad to have a shot of it before we move...
even if it's a bit dark and noisy.

I am by no means a professional photographer. I have a L O N G way to go before I can meet my goal of taking good exposures in any light. If anyone ever reads this you can feel free to tell me how to improve. But this is where I am right now in my learning process. And I have to admit I'm pretty pleased with myself!

I'm already a creative professional, so this may be a bit easier for me to pick up than your average joe. It's my job to communicate ideas with images. I understand composition and color and know how to use tools like Photoshop. I strive to use photoshop with a light and invisible hand. There are a lot of CHEESY photoshop effects out there.

Just because I can, doesn't mean I should.

A light hand for my sweet lovable little girl!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Whoooo Hoooo

We will LIVE HERE soon! Ahhhhhh!!!! So Crazy! Our offer just got accepted yesterday and I have already photoshopped new paint onto the house. Poorly... So sue me :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Seeds in the Field of my Mind

Becoming a mama has given me a new perspective on compassion. There is a saying in Buddhism that you should treat everyone like mother. The idea is that in the endless process of re-incarnation eventually everyone HAS BEEN your mother.

I'm her mother. I get it a little more now.

What is growing in my mind anyway? Is it this deep mama compassion?

I don't often take the time to "weed" it. It's a bit overgrown these days, but hopefully there are some seeds of compassion in the tangle somewhere. My mind just needs a bit of clearing to let the good stuff grow.

Here is what I should be growing... from

1. Meditation

Contemplating the innumerable ways in which others help us, we should make a firm decision: `I must cherish all living beings because they are so kind to me.’ Based on this determination we develop a feeling of cherishing – a sense that all living beings are important and that their happiness matters. We try to mix our mind single-pointedly with this feeling and maintain it for as long as we can without forgetting it.

2. Dedication

We dedicate all the virtues we have created in this meditation practice to the welfare of all living beings by reciting the dedication prayers.

3. Subsequent Practice

When we arise from meditation we try to maintain this mind of love, so that whenever we meet or remember someone we naturally think: `This person is important, this person’s happiness matters.’ In this way we can make cherishing living beings our main practice

Monday, August 17, 2009

Candy Colored

I left the city. No Really! I did! I got in the car and drove away... Crazy, I KNOW! Ms. Milkjugs got out of town. I took Lil to Kalamazoo area to visit with Michelle and check out the Michigan Fiber Fair.

It's such a treat to spend time with Michelle!

Funny side note:
I get PAID to make maps. The folks who write my checks clearly haven't been let in on my dirty little secret... a severely underdeveloped sense of direction.

Here's my defense for my Kalamazoo area wanderings... Lil was fast asleep for the first part of the trek. I listened to NPR. Sooo relaxing, life was good. Then the screaming began right before I got off the highway. In trying to calm her down I didn't figure out I'd chosen the wrong exit and driven the wrong direction for about 30 minutes.

Hubby teases me for good reason.

In the end even Lilly would say the trek was worth the anguish. The fiber festival was wonderful. We wandered the miles of candy colored yarn. Lilly loved the color, he people, the ANIMALS!

How is it possible to have curlier hair than mine?
Somehow these goats found a way.

Lilly and I with an angora bunny!
I loved the same things as Lilly. Plus spending the afternoon with Michelle! She just happens to be one of the kindest, most thoughtful and talented people to grace this blue planet. I love her!

Here she is holding Lilly :)

Michelle and I made big plans for knitting this winter :) Especially since we are moving within TWO BLOCKS of the coolest knitting store in GR, City Knitting! I got some goodies to use at the Festival. Lilly was gifted a lovely felt ball just for being adorable. I bought some delicious green yarn to make a scarf. It's hand spun, hand dyed... GORGEOUS! We also picked up a neat felted lavender soap scrubber. These would be great Christmas gifts!

Bales of freshly sheared wool...
should have taken a shot of the poor naked sheep :)

Michelle and her husband Jake have the coolest house and property. There are fields, a stream and wetlands. They are working on clearing out all the invasive species. They also have a couple barns, a fenced veggie garden and a wild and crazy German Shorthair who sprints like it's his job! How did i miss a photo of him?

Here's their house. It fits them perfectly!
Lillies! I notice all lillies now that my daughter shares their name!
Isn't the barn stunning?!!
Lunch plucked from Michelle's garden! YUMMM
What a great getaway! When Lilly wakes up from her nap I'm going to call Michelle to chat :) Hopefully we'll make plans to get together soon!

Love ya Michelle!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I have been CRANKY these last few days... surly and NO FUN to be around. Just ask hubby... I bet he'd have an eye roll for my outlook lately.

My mind is just out of control. I have been letting several useless desires get to me. Seeking alone time. Convincing the landlord to spare a lovely old tree. Failing. Watching the lovely tree needlessly die. Shopping for our own home (We decide the fate of it's trees). Dreading the start of school. Battling clutter and chaos in our house.

I've kinda felt like this...
whiny and irritable like my (maybe) teething daughter.

Last week we tried to get Lilly to sleep in her crib. I have been reading a book about healthy sleep for infants. Some ideas in the book were really appealing to me. The first idea was that Lilly could nap on her own. This was appealing because I could expect two whole hours during the day to myself! The second idea was that she needed an early bedtime. Also appealing because Hubby and I might get some much needed couple time.

Perfect! Ah-ha! She just needs to cry through a few bedtimes to learn to sooth herself and we all win. Lilly gets healthier sleep and we get some alone time! Yeah!

Easy ideas to get attached to. Sooo desirable.

Here was the reality after 3 days. Lilly screamed for 5 hours a day, was exhausted, cranky and clingy. I got much less done, no alone time... All the while feeling guilty and negligent. I was also pissed at Lilly for not following the rules. This anger keeps cropping up even though we gave up on the new sleep system.

It's been hard to get the idea out of my head that I deserve the alone time promised by the doctor who wrote the book.

Here is what we are back to now...

So snuggly and sweet... And I have time to blog while she snoozes. I just need to let go of the alone time idea and be happy with what I have. It's really pretty great.

We're trying to buy a house...

We like this one right now

This territory comes with a ton of hoop jumping, red tape to access my 401k, baby screaming car rides, waiting, hopes, desires and angst! Why is so much unhealthy desire attached to this activity? It's part of our culture to wrap up our identity in the homes we make for ourselves.

Will I really be happier if I owned these lovely stained glass windows, wood trim and hardwood floors?
I dunno, but they are awfully seductive...
Before we even walked in I was mentally arranging our furniture in these rooms. Grandma's table and chair set in the dining room. Our white bookshelves in the corner of the living room... The whole deal may just evaporate. We'll be stuck getting over the love of what could have been.

Tim starts school in the next weeks. I'm so attached to having him around to help out every day. It's hard to let go and just realize that I'm going to have to learn to be alone with Lilly most of the time again. It's just so daunting, but I can't stop it from coming, so I need to just stop worrying about it.

In all of these cases I have tried to control the uncontrollable or desired something impossible. It only makes me upset and unhappy and serves no useful purpose.


I'll let you all know how I fare.

Hopefully we'll be feeling more like this...