Monday, January 31, 2011

mommy tip

do you have a new baby? or are you expecting one? or maybe you are simply a person on the go. i found the greatest thing ever! Revlon Top Speed nail polish.
not my nails, but the color i've been using :)
 It dries within seconds and comes in lots of pretty colors. For the first 6 months of Meredith's life I wanted pretty nails, but had a hard time figuring out when I could paint, especially with her erratic nap schedule. Now, if I sit down to paint my nails once she's fallen asleep, I have full confidence they'll be dry by the time she's awake, even if it's a short nap. I highly recommend it :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Steppin' Out: 1/30

Normally, we have church right here in our little living room, which is basically the best thing ever. But, every once in a while we venture out to visit the church of a friend. This Sunday we drove up to Nashua with some friends and instead of church in jeans we actually got dressed up :)

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just a bonus family picture :)


to see some more people steppin' out head here:
 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Her 7th Month

This month, I decided to compile the little video clips I've taken of Meredith into her own little music video. The final product is long, but as her proud mama, I love every second. Please at least take a peek :)


Her 7th Month from Claire Traganos on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Friends

This is, at least, how I remember it.

Friendship...

I joined Facebook in the spring of my freshman year of college. Back then it was limited to just a handful of colleges. I remember checking, occasionally, the list of schools added, checking, occasionally, for my friends from childhood. One, in particular. It was a while until we became Facebook friends, but I was so glad to make the connection. It had been many years since we were last in contact and regret followed me throughout.

She became my best friend in 2nd grade. I remember vividly, peeking out the kitchen window of my new house, to the driveway down below and seeing her standing there. My new best friend. We had sleepovers, played house, rode the bus together, wore the (optional) school uniform.  We would walk home from the bus stop and talk for what felt like hours. We saw Titantic together, more than once. Best of friends. 

And then, 8th grade happened.  Middle school- I'm not sure there was a worse time of my life. Hormones were coursing through my moody body and I was growing tired of being unpopular. I'm not sure how conscious it was, but I started separating myself from my best friend and from others. Less friendly, less interested. Until suddenly, we weren't friends anymore. And then she went to a private school and moved away. I had severed one of the best relationships in my life and now, it seemed, reconciliation would be impossible.

Reconnecting on Facebook has been good and bad, for me. Good because I see she's happy. She has a beautiful husband and son.  Bad because we've grown up into two people I think would be very good friends. We both have babies. We both value our walks with God. We both treasure our families. We had something special and I botched it. Sure, there were extenuating circumstances that perpetuated the weakening of our friendship, but I'm the one that set it in motion. I'm glad to be reconnected with her, but in a way, it's a painful reminder of the poor decision my 12 year old self made.

 I'm linking up with Mama Kat today, writing in response to this prompt:

Social media is an amazing way to reunite with old friends. Describe a good or not-so-good experience you’ve had with it.

Head on over to read some other people's stories :)

 Mama's Losin' It


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's for dinner?

Split Pea Soup Tonight, as we prepare for yet another snow storm, we will be enjoying some warm soup and fresh baked bread. I have told you before how much I love my crockpot and this recipe has become a staple for us this winter. Just last week, when craving some crusty bread, I found this recipe. It is so delicious that tonight will mark the 3rd time I've made it. Throw all the ingredients in a breadmaker, if you have one, put it on the dough setting for the first round of rising. Remove dough from the machine and let rise twice on counter.

The best part about dinner tonight, though, is not that my lovely crockpot saved the day or that I get to sink my teeth into the fluffiest, yummiest bread on the planet. It's that we will be joined by two friends who just arrived in Boston today. They've moved from Atlanta (where I grew up) and I am just so excited to be reunited with these old friends. Their move has come as such an unexpected, wonderful surprise.





Wordless Wednesday: Smart

I must admit, the Kindergarten teacher in me is proud :)

    

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

sick

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Last night I think I got another badge on my mommy vest. Meredith woke up crying around 10pm, which almost never happens. I went into her dark room and felt that she had spit up, so I wiped it up and rubbed her back until she fell back asleep. A few minutes later she was crying again, and this time I thought I heard her choking. I ran to her room, but Chris beat me there. He picked her up as she threw up over and over. We turned on the light and her crib was covered. Apparently the avocado she had for dinner didn't sit well in her little tummy.

We changed her sheets, hugged her tight and then I nursed her for some hydration. I took her a long time to fall back asleep, but she did and seems to be feeling just fine this morning. I'm so thankful this bout was brief because seeing your baby sick is sad. Knowing how miserable throwing up can be, it broke my heart to think she was experiencing that feeling.  Seeing her sick, for just that little bit, also helped remind me how incredibly blessed we are with this healthy baby.

Friday, January 21, 2011

the best day

a blogger friend of mine is in the early stages of labor, it seems. i am so excited for her and it sends me back to my own day of labor. it was such an incredible day. the labor itself- i have never felt so strong, so powerful and so proud of myself as i did pushing out that little, squishy baby. the birth- holding my baby on my belly, beyond thrilled and in awe that this little life was finally in my arms. no longer a family of two, but three. that was an amazing day.










but then, so was my wedding day. i was so full of joy and anticipation. i was so at peace and enjoyed every moment. life with my love was about to begin. that was an amazing day.









but then, there have been some pretty amazing less life-changing days. Like the day we drove to Amherst and explored Northhampton.We were waiting to find out if I was pregnant. It was a simple day of shopping, driving and eating, but it was perfect.



Like the day we drove out to the Berkshires, freshly engaged. We wandered the Norman Rockwell museum and dined over Thai food in Great Barrington. The excitement I felt about being engaged to the man of dreams can't possibly be captured with words.





A day on Martha's Vineyard during our favorite vacation ever. We got fried seafood and drank wine from Dunkin Donuts plastic cups while watching the sunset. That is a day I will never forget.












And goodness knows that only scratches the surface. So many good days. It makes me happy to think about these, to know that there's no way I can pick my favorite day because there have simply been too many.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter 'Round These Parts

 Mama's Losin' It
It's Writer's Workshop today. I chose prompt #2:  A photo journal entry…show us what winter looks like in your town

But... if you want to see what my town looks like in the winter, see here and here. I decided I'd show you what it looks like inside my house in the winter. CABIN FEVER, yo.



 

 

i think the theme here is obvious: keep warm! hats, sweaters, blankets and hot chocolate. it's cold 'round these parts. we're inside a lot and bundled up like mad. 

how about you? is it cold where you are or are you going to make me jealous of your sunshiney warmth?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Snow

We are getting lots of snow here lately and getting even more on Friday. Not sure where it's all going to go!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mommy Thoughts

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This past weekend I read two things that really brought together a few things I've been thinking a lot about recently. The first is this article about Mormon Mommy Bloggers. I'm not a Mormon, but find myself oddly fascinated by many blogs written by Mormons. More than once I've started following a blog only to find weeks later that the author is a Mormon. They really do paint a beautiful picture of what being a mom & wife is like. I love seeing their adorably decorated homes. I love reading about their fun family traditions. I love reading about how much they love their husbands. But it's a fine line between enjoying a glimpse into their lives and feeling guilty or inadequate. Will my house ever be so pretty? Will I ever be so clever at coming up cheap, cute DIY projects?

And then, Design Mom (a Mormon!) linked to this blog (another Mormon?) on Friday. The post is an extremely well-written, vulnerable glimpse at those challenging days we all have as moms.

For some reason these two pieces have helped me sort through some things I've been thinking about. One the one hand, I love being a mom. It is fun, it is rewarding.Watching my baby grow, and explore, and smile makes me feel so full of love and happiness.

On the other hand, it is exhausting- physically, mentally and emotionally. It really is the hardest job I've ever had, primarily because it never ends. You don't leave your work at the office; you can't. Some days I just feel sad and lonely. I love playing with Meredith, but I can sometimes miss adult interaction. I can feel overwhelmed by getting simple things done around the house like laundry, dishes and vacuuming.

So I'm not sure that there necessarily a point to these thoughts. Just that being a mom is a huge blessing, but it is also the hardest thing I've done. I don't want to feel trapped by presenting it as all flowers and sunshine. I also don't want to be overly negative because mostly, by far, it's good. My hope is that this blog will be an honest journal of my life as a mommy.

Thoughts?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Steppin' Out: 1/16

Yesterday our big outing was... walking at the mall! It was us and a bunch of elderly people. We were totally lapped by a man in his 70s... and we loved every minute of it. Meredith and I are hopefully going to make this a daily (or at least multiple time/week) outing. Since our blizzard last week, there is no way to get out with the stroller.

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Me:
This outfit (sweater, jeans & purse) brought to you by the Target clearance section :)
Boots: Dr. Martens

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Meredith:
Dress: Gift from Pepe & Mama Dee, Dillards
Tights: Trumpette from Target
Hat: The Children's Place

This post brought to you my Harper's Happenings :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fort

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Growing up, my brother, sister and I loved to build forts. We always built a fort on Christmas Eve and "slept" in it as we counted he minutes until Christmas morning. Because of this, I was so excited to build my first fort with Chris and Meredith. Turns out Chris is an excellent fort builder. He did all the work while the girls such enjoyed the fruits of his labor. 

Wednesday's snow day was really one of the best days ever. We spent hours doing nothing and taking a family nap. One thing I've learned about myself since becoming a mom is that I'm not great at doing nothing. I am often multitasking while playing with Meredith. But yesterday I did nothing. For a good hour and a half Meredith and I simply laid under our fort, listening to music while she played with a couple toys. 

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Relief

For 9 months I grew a baby. For 9 months I dreamed of her face. For 9 months I prepared for birth. For 9 months I hoped for a safe, speedy, med-free delivery. And then, in the wee hours of a Monday morning in late June, my water broke. A mere 5 hours later my baby was birthed into this world, healthy and perfect and beautiful. Everything went as well as I hoped. Better even, than I had let myself dream.

But then, we got to our post-partum recovery room and um, wait? I have a baby? I am responsible for this baby? I have no idea what to do.

My hormones were raging. I was exhausted from labor. I was so incredibly in love with my baby and so incredibly overwhelmed by what to do next. How often should I feed her? Is it supposed to hurt when she nurses? Everyone says it shouldn't, but um, she's sucking on my boob a lot. We need some sleep. I can't sleep. Baby is screaming while Daddy tries to swaddle her. It's our bedtime, but she's not interested in that right now.

I remember sitting in the hospital bed through the night, unable to sleep, holding this perfect little miracle in my arms. I would watch and watch and watch out the window to see the sun rise. When the sun would start to peek out, then I would know it was going to be ok.
I knew what else would make it ok. My mom. Baby came two days early. My mom wouldn't be there until Tuesday night. I remember thinking throughout Monday and Tuesday, it'll be ok when she gets here. Hold it together until she gets here.

Never in my life have I felt such relief to see my mom, dad and brother walk through the hospital room door. Tears poured down my face. A weight was lifted off my heart. Help had arrived. My mom would teach me, show me, comfort me. She would reassure me that I could do this. She would hold my crying baby. She would help me not to worry.

And she did. For two full weeks she reassured, she comforted, she cleaned, she made meals, she took the baby between night feedings so I could sleep. She made me feel like a good mom. She made me feel like I could do it.

*Part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Smiles

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

sushi night :)

Last night was sushi night at our house. I kept it simple (and cheaper) with just making california rolls. Though as you'll see I made lots of side dishes like steamed edamame, shrimp & broccoli tempura and even some egg rolls. There was enough food to feed a small army. We ate until our bellies were full and our hearts happy.

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Do you like sushi? Do you ever make it at home? What is your favorite kind? I love spicy tuna, Philadelphia rolls and shrimp tempura rolls.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Little Letters

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Dear Weekend,
Even though I don't have a job that gets me up & out of the house each morning, I still love you.

Dear Blueberry Pie,
You might be considered a summer thing, but I love you year-round.

Dear husband,
You let me sleep in twice and did the dishes. Clearly, you win in the best husband in the world category.

Dear Mumford & Sons,
Thank you for the music that provided us with a quick family dance party and tunes to clean to.

Dear Airport Express,
Thank you for bringing music back into my daily life. You make things so much easier.

Dear ladies at Stop & Shop,
It was not nice of you to park in the infant parking spot, when you do not have an infant. You were the only bad part of my weekend. Which, really, isn't so bad. But next time, just park in a regular spot.

Dear Cinnamon Crunch bagel,
You were the yummiest breakfast. I could eat you everyday, but then I would be fat. Or at least diabetic.

Dear running shoes,
It's been nice to make your acquaintance again. Thanks for keeping me stable during our snowy jog on Saturday. How about we become bffs this year?

Dear new vacuum,
You make my house so much cleaner than the vacuum that came before you. Good job. And good job on being such a good deal. Two thumbs up for you!

Dear readers (yes, you),
You bring a lot of joy to my little life. Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. Happy Monday!

This idea thanks to Naomi.

Friday, January 7, 2011

my little jumpin' bean :)

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this is my first iMovie. i hope to make lots more, but since it's my first one don't judge!

Honeymooning

This time 4 years ago we were up in the air en route to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We spent a week laying in the sun, eating yummy foods, enjoying bottomless drinks and savoring the moments of our first week as a married couple. The thrill of waking up next to my husband combined with the surreal feeling that we had been doing so forever will remain one of my favorite parts of that week. It was a week in paradise with my very best friend. We got to explore, be lazy, talk, laugh. I think that's the first time I felt like an adult and I was so excited to have Chris has my partner. I really hope one day we make it back to that resort. It was such a special place to us- our first days a married couple.

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just landed in cancun!

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probably our favorite dinner of the trip

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we ate well all week. all-inclusive is so fun!

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we rented a jeep over on cozumel & spent the day exploring the island

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our last breakfast. this is one of my favorite ever pics of my husband :)

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sad to be heading home

Did you go on a honeymoon? Where did you go and would you want to go back? If you haven't honeymooned, where do you dream of going?

If I was made of money, I would love to go here one day:
Tahitian Escape