Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If the Shoe Doesn't Fit...

Dear Feet,

I love you, but you make being a Diva difficult. I know bigfootedness runs in the family, but unfortunately, it doesn't run in just about every shoe I love. In fact, I've pretty much stopped asking sales associates if they carry my size. They don't.

Dear Everyone Who Asks If I Avoid Heels Because Harley is Short,

It's hard enough to find cute shoes that A) fit and B) are affordable. I gave up on C) flat or low heeled, LONG ago. Plus, the truth is, the height thing doesn't really bother us anymore. You get over it after almost 7 years.

Dear Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack,

Bless you, bless you, bless you for occasionally carrying my size. I have scored with you twice this summer. You are FABULOUS.

Dear Target,

You rocked my size twice this summer too. And you're a bargain! Thank you.

Dear Bank Account,

The bright side of my shoe saga is you have been spared. I love shoes, but I don't buy a lot more than I do buy thanks to my walking water skis.

Yours in (shameful) massiveness,
Size 11

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Three Things That Make My Life Easier: Chapter 3

My kid is MESSY. Some days it seems I spend the entire day on my hands and knees sweeping... mopping... scrubbing the kitchen floor. Anderson is getting better, but there was a time when he loved to experience his food. And by experience I mean squish, squash, smear all food in his hands, then give himself a full body massage, starting with his head. I give you a taste of some of our messier moments.

I am a pretty clean person. Messy baby + clean Diva = not compatible. I know it's the toddler phase. Moreover, I know it's my new stage in life. I have consigned to put up with it. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean I can't do things to significantly curb the mealtime mess. Thus, I give you:

Three Things that Make My Life Easier: Baby/Toddler Feeding Edition

1. Bibbity Rinse and Roll Bib from Kiddopotamus
(the same geniuses behind the

Just look at this bib, people. It's rubber, so it's 100% waterproof, stain-proof, gunk-proof, stick-proof. When Anderson finishes eating, I run it under the faucet and hang it upside down to dry. Period. No washing, no scrubbing, no food still stuck in the cloth/embroidery/velcro/etc. even after you "clean" it. There are a lot of plastic (easier than cloth, right?) bibs out there, but many of them have cloth edges. The Bibbity is 100% easy-to-clean material and looks as good as it did the day I bought it. It's soft and flexible (unlike many plastic bibs), so it keeps its shape. It's comfortable for Anderson and has an adjustable neck so he can supposedly wear it until he is four.

As if sooo easy to clean wasn't enough, the other great feature is the huge scoop. It doesn't catch everything (how can it when my child is intentionally dropping and at times throwing food?), but it catches A LOT. I simply empty the scoop into the trash, and it's that much less food I have to sweep.

All that stir-fry caught in the bib, not the pants.

The scoop is dual amazing because you can roll the bib up into it. See?

Genius! Easy to store, easy to travel. I keep one at home and one in the diaper bag. LOVE IT. I get just about as many compliments on Anderson's bib as I do on Anderson's cuteness. (And I get a lot of compliments on his cuteness...)

2-pack available at Walmart for $9.87. (Babies R Us carries them too. I know because I bought mine there. However, they are mysteriously no where to be found on their website at this time...)

2. Ikea High Chair

Chair=$19.99, Tray=$5.00

I stressed about which high chair to buy. So many options. So expensive. Then Mindy pointed me to the greatest high chair in the world. And it was $25. Not only is this high chair exceptionally affordable, but once again we're talking 100% plastic, aka 100% easy to clean. Everything wipes down with a wet rag. The tray snaps off, and after a once over in the sink, it's spotless. (I've never tried, but since it is plastic you could probably throw the tray in the dishwasher.) It was uber easy to assemble. It is small and stores under my counter. I'm so in love with this high chair I've traveled with it. I remove the tray and stick the chair (legs in tact) behind the driver's seat of the car and go. If I need more luggage space, I remove the legs and it takes up less room than Anderson. It comes in blue and red, but I love the universal match-everything white. I never understood why people buy expensive, massive, La-Z-Boy recliners with big pads and cushions just begging to collect chunks and grime. I've used these high chairs, and I think they are a nightmare to clean and keep looking good. I am SO happy with my cheap, clean, EASY high chair.

Guess where all that rice is going? It's slipping right off the tray and into the sink.

3. TinyDiner Portable Placemat from Kiddopotamus
(They should start paying me, huh?)

Anderson was 5 weeks old when I saw Janae use this brilliant invention with her daughter Danielle at a restaurant. We were months away from table foods, but I ran out and bought the TinyDiner the next day. It's a portable placemat that sticks to the table. No dirty tabletop. No plates asking to be knocked to the floor. The food goes right on the mat. Remember that marvelous scoop on the bib? It's back, catching food again before it hits the floor. This placemat is made of the same 100% wipeable, 100% waterproof, 100% awesomeness rubber as the bib. I remember sitting in awe as Janae picked up the placemat, dusted the food onto her plate, dipped a cloth napkin into her water, wiped down the mat and was done! And just like the bib, the mat rolls into the scoop and slides right into the diaper bag.

Babies R Us $10.99. Walmart $10.88

Don't settle for mess, my friends. Go clean, compact, affordable... EASY!

More things that make my life easier here and here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Welcome Lincoln




9:21 PM

9 LB 1 OZ

21 IN

My sister Cheryl finally (six days overdue!) had her baby Tuesday. Lincoln’s safe arrival marked a joyful end of a long, hard journey. Cheryl miscarried three times in less than two years. We were all anxious during this 4th pregnancy. As my mom put it, “I will finally exhale when this baby inhales.” I think that’s how we all felt. Cheryl was a rock star and after 26 hours of labor, Lincoln made her dreams come true. He is perfect. And oh sooo cute. We’re all bonkers for baby. What a miracle.


I was fortunate to be in Charlottesville helping Cheryl organize and decorate her nursery Monday, time her earliest contractions Monday night, then join her minutes after Lincoln was born Tuesday night. I had to skip the laboring in the hospital part since Anderson was with me (not part of the original plan) and a 15 month old doesn’t exactly make the best labor coach. Anderson and I killed time hanging out around town and at Cheryl’s apartment. It got late, so I put Anderson to bed. About 20 minutes later my mom called and said, “She’s pushing!” then hung up. I paced the floor of Cheryl’s apartment. I hated missing it. I peaked in at Anderson, who was out cold in Lincoln’s crib, and reminded myself, “You can’t let him hold you back.” (Great advice Stephanie gave me so long ago!) I woke up my toddler, plopped him in the car and said, “Sorry Anderson, but we’re going to meet Cuz!” (Lincoln did not have a name at that point, so we’d been calling him “Cuz,” short for cousin.) Of course Anderson was not allowed in the L&D room (we may or may not have upset a few nurses as we tried to sneak by), so we hung out in the waiting room until Lincoln was born. Then my mom and I took turns gushing over Lincoln and sitting with Anderson. I pretty much fell in love with this little guy upon first sight.


DSC_0183-1 Anderson was a trooper. Despite being woken up and dragged to the boring hospital waiting room, he did great. He’s like me. He can’t miss a party.

DSC_0190-1 Waiting… waiting…

DSC_0195-1 Worth it!

The next day Anderson got to meet his cousin. They are almost exactly 15 months apart. Anderson is so excited to have a little cousin. Okay, maybe he doesn’t get it, but I am so excited for Anderson to have a little cousin.

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We love you Lincoln! Congrats Harris family!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I LOVE this holiday




Shopping, BBQ-ing, Friends, Swimming, Popsicles & Pies, Flag Ceremony, Ward Breakfast, More Shopping, Napping,

and then…

Dinner at the Capitol (it pays to know VP Joe Biden’s former aide who is now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speechwriter)

National Symphony Orchestra Concert featuring Jersey Boys, Aretha Franklin, Natasha Beddingfield & Barry Manilow!!

Fireworks exploding over Washington Monument


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We had a *near perfect 4th of July weekend.

*It would have been perfect had Anderson not had THE. BLOWOUT. OF. HIS. LIFE. during the pre-concert drink and mingle. Of course, it happens in the U.S. Capitol. Of course, his shirt is white. Of course, I didn’t pack spare clothes. Of course, the first time in months we’re this dolled up and feigning fancy, I am zapped back to motherhood reality to deal with, well, crap.

*It would have been perfect had our our above mentioned aiding/speechwriting friend’s 16 mo. old not swallowed glass after biting on a champagne flute. Poor Thomas was rushed to the hospital (hence no pictures with our hosts, the Tillemanns). Thomas is okay, but the accident caused quite the frenzy with Capitol police.


**More pictures for non-Facebooking Grammy here.