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May 26, 2013

design :: happy little triangles


Just some happy little triangles playing dress up with my current favorite colors.

I am a huge fan of color and design, which I'm sure is not a huge surprise. I'm trying to take some time each day to challenge myself to work on my own design projects and explorations. Even if it's just a little playful fun, it feels good to get some ideas out of my head. So there will be more of this kind of stuff to come, I think. For now, happy little triangles.

May 16, 2013

lily :: 8 months


8 months!

Nicknames: Little Squish, Lilyput, Baby Girl, Peanut, Pumpkin Pie

Lots of milestones this month - heck, this week! You cut your first tooth, your bottom left central incisor. I felt the tiniest sharp point poke through your gums last Friday, and it's slowly working it's way out. Teething has been rough on you. It's hard seeing you in pain when you are usually so happy. We do our best to comfort and soothe you. Luckily, the bouts of screaming, crying pain are somewhat short-lived. But they are fierce. You get relief from gnawing on the hard plastic spout of your sippy cup and your teething watermelon slice. We've given you Tylenol in the evenings to help you sleep, and a couple times during the day when you've been really fussy.

You are a tough cookie.

You made forward motion this week! You have been scooting backwards and zig-zagging from butt cheek to butt cheek with a downward dog in the middle (no other way to describe it!) and on Mother's Day, you made a couple little crawling strides forward. Now you are officially crawling all over the place and your daddy and I are trying to figure out the best way to make your play areas safe without covering every square inch of space with bubble wrap and plush cushions.

You are also easily pulling up to standing when you grip our fingers. You push yourself up to the bridge position on your hands and feet. It's only a matter of time before you're standing and I would very much like to bury my head in the sand that you're getting big enough to do these things.

You're trying new foods, and feeding yourself well. You love banana and mango puree that I make. You also like avocado, peas, black beans, yogurt, and your little snack puffs. You are not a huge fan of meats yet, but there's no rush. You've tried shredded chicken and ground turkey. You also stole a couple little licks of my chocolate ice cream cone at Stew Leonard's and I thought stars were going to explode out your eyes.

Your hair is getting thicker and I feel like you're start to look a little bit more like me now. I especially see it in these pictures. 

You are becoming more and more of a daddy's girl by the day. You light up, grin and giggle when he comes in the room or you see him when you come home. He plays peek a boo around the corner and you think it's the best thing ever. I am so glad you get your days together.

Tuesdays are becoming a favorite day for me. Daddy packs you up and you pick me up at work and we go have a picnic at the park. If the weather isn't good, I come home and we snuggle and I give you your bottle. It's a wonderful break in the middle of my day to get to see you. You have no idea what you do for me, kiddo.

Your favorite toys seem to be your Green Lantern from Tek, your Easter Bunny from Auntie Kerry, your football, and anything hard and plastic that comes in contact with the hardwood floor. Daddy thinks you're going to be a drummer. I heartily agree.

You spend most days barefoot.

In the past couple days you have discovered the upper screechy register of your voice and let out these ear piercing short bursts. I try really hard not to laugh, and I'm pretty sure we owe our downstairs neighbors a few plates of cookies and some earplugs.

With each milestone, we see the little baby disappearing and the toddler you'll soon be emerging. It's exciting and scary. It isn't hard to believe you're getting so big and independent because we see it every day. I think we're doing a good job with you. I think we're enjoying every little step as best we can. We go to bed at night feeling exhausted but full of love and happiness that you've given us.

You rock, little lady.


May 13, 2013

family :: our weekend






When Sean asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, I told him nothing. Seriously. I didn't want gifts or flowers or cards. I just wanted a nice day with him and Lily, hanging out and enjoying our togetherness. Sundays are a gift. It's the one day of the week we're all home and together. I mean, I also asked for Dunkin Donuts coffee and breakfast sandwich in bed and pizza and wine for dinner, which I got, but just having the day to do whatever we wanted or nothing at all, that was my wish. I also asked Sean if he wouldn't mind taking some pictures of Lily and I throughout the day. I try to take "selfies" of us, but I wanted some pictures of me being a mom, hanging out with my girl, doing the mama and baby things we do. He took all of these pictures, and they're the best thing ever to me. The first one, especially, is just us. Every morning, we snuggle in bed after nursing, and sleep just a little bit longer, together.

I love my family. I am one thankful lady.

May 11, 2013

to all mothers


I am going to be shutting down in a few minutes to spend the rest of my weekend with Lily and Sean unplugged, but I wanted to take a moment to wish all mothers a very happy weekend. Those who have gone from this world, giving us stories and memories to pass on...to those who are growing new life, eagerly awaiting the arrival of their precious baby...to those who will take a child into their home and their heart, making their own special blend of family...and those who live with love and caring and kindness and hope in their hearts...

To all of you, my message is simple. You are loved. You are appreciated. You are amazing and the world is a better place with you here.

Happy Mother's Day, today and every day.

May 10, 2013

mother's day :: all i really want

I think these e-cards are fairly universal, not just for mothers, right? Visit Sweet Relish to see more of these cards, have a laugh, and share with your friends and family. The more these cards get shared, a donation of up to $10,000 will be made to Shelter House, a community based non-profit organization serving homeless families and victims of domestic violence in Fairfax, VA.

In the spirit of these cards, I came up with a few of my own.

All I really want is for my cat not to walk across my face at 5am. 

All I really want is for dinner to make itself. 

All I really want is the ability to teleport my commute.

All I really want is to beat Level 30 on Candy Crush. 

"All I really want is my mom to stop taking so many pictures of me."
What do you really want for Mother's Day? Or any day, for that matter?

May 8, 2013

People = Beautiful

I came across this article in my Facebook feed this morning, and it made me feel physically ill.

Long story short: Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries purposefully excludes "fat, unattractive people" from his clothing store/brand by not carrying XL or XXL sizes. Robin Lewis, author of The New Rules of Retail, says:

"He doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people. He doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they're one of the 'cool kids'."

Just stop it. Are you kidding me? No, just.....no.

I will try to control the steam coming out of my fat, unattractive ears and keep this response brief and to the point.

Hi Mike,

I am addressing you as Mike because I don't think you deserve the respect to be addressed as Mr. Jeffries. Slapping "CEO" in front of your name does not excuse you from being an asshole. And I do think you are an asshole. Not because I would never be deemed "thin and beautiful" by your standards. I am a few months shy of turning 30 and am comfortable in my skin. I gave birth to a beautiful daughter 8 months ago, and I am at a point in my life where I can see idiots like you for what you are: power hungry and insecure. If you were confident in the quality of your brand, you would not need to fall back on such shallow "marketing" tactics. Instead, you go for "shock value" and "exclusivity", which is fine, except you're doing it wrong.

I went through hell as a chubby kid, ridiculed by fellow cheerleaders, stuck in the chorus line of my town ballet school, feeling like "the fat kid" in a size 8/10 in a sea of 0/2s (many of whom wore your brand). I was lucky enough, however, to come out on the other side unscathed, thanks to being surrounded by the most loving and encouraging family and friends a young girl could ask for. But it took me a while to get here. Many men and women are not so lucky.

Many of these kids and adults have parents who criticize, friends who compare, or significant others who berate. They develop eating disorders and unhealthy addictions to weight loss pills. They are never made to feel good enough, to the point where they stop seeing themselves as good enough. This stays with them for life. It affects their relationships, jobs, friendships, and if they become parents, their own relationship with their children. It affects how they see the world and everyone and everything that they experience.

So, you see, Mike, it's about more than looking cool and hot. You are doing some serious damage. You are killing us. And it makes me sad that you think this is ok. And it makes me sad that even if there's a slight chance that you see this, it will make no difference in your mindset. Because you have shown us that you are an asshole.

So I am going to combat you and your "marketing" plan. I am going to do everything in my power to build up my daughter, to raise her so she never feels the sting of a low self-esteem, to give her the tools to be able to see through the shallow standards of people like you to the beauty underneath. I am going to encourage her and her friends to hold each other accountable to treating each other and those around them with respect and human dignity, and to never settle for friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives or anyone who does not love every single ounce of their minds, bodies and souls.

Because, Mike, thin =/= beautiful. Being a person = beautiful. We are our thoughts. We are our ideas. We are how we love. We are how we care for each other and ourselves. We are the goodness that we put into the world.

We are not our fucking khakis.

Sincerely,

Shannon
Woman, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister and Size 14 Kohls Shopper 

May 3, 2013

lifestyle :: just keep swinging


We've started taking afternoon walk/runs together as a family, now that it's been warmer and we have a jogging stroller that can conquer hill, vale, and possibly deep sea diving. We seriously transform and roll out. We have been frequenting the beach area, or public park set next to a gorgeous stone mansion set in a wooded area full of hiking trails. Most places around here are pretty nice and very family friendly. There are areas for dogs to romp freely, picnic areas, and always - always - a playground. Lil can't do much yet on a playground, but the girl can swing. And she loves it. She knows before the first push that something awesome is about to happen. And she giggles. And I melt. And then she swings, breeze in her little tuft of hair, evening sun setting behind her. She shrieks with delight and her mouth in frozen in that wide open, gummy grin. Not a care in the world.

I love these evenings together. It's so nice to get outside, breathe fresh air, and leave any problems of the day behind. Lil giggles and babbles away as the stroller skips over rocks and twigs, hits a little pothole and her little feet are kicked out in front, bouncing and free. It has become a nice family ritual that I think we all really look forward to. 

But man, those swings.

I think that's the best part. We don't just walk/run and then get into the car all stinky and go home. It's a breather. We wind down. She laughs. We take turns swinging next to her, which she thinks is hilarious and the most amazing thing ever.

Simple joys at their finest. Have a great weekend.