31 January 2012
30 January 2012
The big highlight of the weekend was driving down to NYC on Saturday to redeem my Living Social voucher at Aiden Anthony Opticians. Keith and Jasper may have had more fun eating at Japadog, going back to Danbury for a playdate, or meeting some greyhounds in Middlebury, but all I can think about is my new glasses. They should be finished and mailed to me by Friday, and I don't think I'll be able to wait. My contacts are bothering me so I'm looking forward to them on a practical level, but more importantly I think they look awesome.
Do you like how you look in your glasses? Some people can really pull them off...
27 January 2012
- If you live under a rock you may have missed this Colberty Tale. Amazing! Except why do old people have to hate everything new?
- Metallic wallpaper for a kids room...
- The Super Bowl is next weekend! If this insane dip turns you off, try one of these (actually) delicious looking alternatives instead...
- I'm totally jealous of this winter picnic, but not enough to have my own...
- Wouldn't one of these lamps be perfect for a small room?
- Winter is still in full swing (whatever that means these days), but for retailers it's over. So check out the sales, sales, sales! (Still not cheap, be warned.)
25 January 2012
I saw a lot of feedback on this speech from liberals who were mad that he didn't say exactly what they wanted to hear. I definitely didn't agree with all of his talking points, but I knew I wouldn't when I voted for him in 2008. I voted for him because I believed that he would move our country in the right direction and really get shit done. Has he succeeded? Not yet. Have I given up? Not yet.
Even though I would expand the role of government further than he outlined in areas like job creation and health care, it was refreshing to hear him talk about improving the role of government in America in a fundamental way. He wasn't talking about another huge stimulus package, but he stood by his conviction that Washington will need to play a large part in getting the country back on track. At a time when the debate seems to be between more government and less government, better government really stands out as the option of reason.
So for the rest of this term I'm looking for stronger policies (even if I don't 100% agree with all of them) and improved governance. I know that words are just words, but I was happy to hear the "let's work together" rhetoric gone and replaced by the words of a president who's ready to fight. Get to it.
24 January 2012
23 January 2012
But usually things are pretty smooth. He goes to bed easily around 8 and sleeps until anywhere from 6 (sigh) to 8:30 (yay!) This was not always the case, and I know there are at least a few people out there who aren't enjoying this same level of luxury, so I thought I'd pass on some of the advice that helped me through our darkest moments.
1. "We co-slept with each of them until they were around eight or nine months old, then we did end up letting them cry it out when we moved them into their cribs."
If you pour, like I did, over parenting books, articles, and websites, you might find two basic schools of thought about sleep. The first is that it's best to lay down the law and make sure your infant learns how to sleep on their own right away and through the night soon after. Otherwise they'll be in your bed until they leave for college. This view seems a little harsh to me, and also like a pain in the ass. Did they expect me to actually get out of bed to feed and/or comfort a baby in the middle of the night? Pass.
The other option is to co-sleep. According to the literature, this means sharing a "family bed," where you, your partner, your infant, your toddler, your 10-year-old, and pet lizard all sleep blissfully in one big bed. This option seemed a little hippy-dippy, but also kind of nice. Nice, until Jasper got a little older and started scratching and biting me and kicking Keith in the head throughout the night. That was not very cozy or restful at all.
So to hear that some families borrowed a little from each school of thought based on their own needs was a huge revelation to me. I loved co-sleeping, but there got to be a point where it wasn't working for anyone. Before this ridiculously simple revelation, I felt like we had spoiled Jasper beyond repair and that I would just have to resign myself to a life with no sleep. Post-revelation, I realized that we could move him into a crib when we were all ready, and didn't have to literally "go by the book." So that was step one.
2. "Go for the low-hanging fruit."
Once I was finally emotionally ready to move Jasper into his crib, I was kind of at a loss as to what to do. Let him scream all night? Comfort him whenever he woke up? The first option proved to be too much for our delicate sensibilities and the second turned out to be rather ineffective. So I asked a pediatrician what to do, and she told me to go for the low-hanging fruit.
We decided on baby steps, so to speak. Jasper still needed to be rocked to sleep, so the plan was to rock him until he became verrrrry sleepy, at which point I could set him in the crib where he would presumably put up a sleepy little fight and doze off seconds later.
That is not what happened at all. In fact, that's a lot closer to how things are now after weeks and then months of hard work. But I kept going for lower and lower hanging fruit until something worked. I won't go into the details of the elaborate routines I concocted, but the gist is that these routines got shorter and shorter as time went on, until I finally got to the short routine we have now.
It was nice to get him to sleep without having him cry it out every night, but eventually I did let him cry in the middle of the night. I was going through my whole song and dance every time he woke up until I realized that I could either let him cry or check myself into a mental institution. After about two nights of letting him cry himself back to sleep, he started sleeping through consistantly (with exceptions, like last night). It wasn't a tearless method, but I think it could have been much worse.
3. Talk (honestly) with other parents.
I love bragging about my kid as much as the next guy, but there comes a time in every parent's life when we need to hear that we're not alone for the more frustrating times. For example - in one of my darkest moments I actually took five minutes to list to Keith every child Jasper's age who I was absolutely positive had no problems sleeping, ever. Every kid we know that is Jasper's age made the list.
The next day I did the only thing I could think of - I wrote a frustrated plea for advice on Facebook, and was delighted to find something much better. Commiseration.
My Facebook support system can be especially helpful to me since most of the people we see socially (IRL) are not parents themselves. I'm not one of those "just you wait" people who scoffs at everything non-parents say, but there are times when it's just better to talk to an actual parent. Think back to your pre-parenting days. Can't you just hear yourself thinking "I would never let that happen"? Yeah, well...just you wait.
19 January 2012
I'm also a sucker for natural products, but ten years ago this meant I was stuck with super-emollient, non-foaming goop that came in terrible packaging and smelled like a hippie. Sad stuff. Fortunately those day are gone and even places like Sephora have gotten with the program. My heavy rotation looks like this right now:
caudalie foaming face wash, klorane dry shampoo, kiehl's dry oil, korres wild rose moisturizer, origins refreshing eye cream; click for sources
My favorite new discovery is the dry shampoo. If you've tried a dry shampoo before, forget about that because this is so much better. It makes my hair feel clean and gives it even better volume than right after a blowout. And now I don't even have to shower to use my favorite product! (But seriously, I shower regularly and this gets rid of the gross feeling I usually get when I shower without washing my hair.)
I also really like body oil because my skin is so dry. The Kiehl's dry oil is an old standby for me (it does smell like a hippie, but in a classy way maybe???) but I'm also totally into this one by Fig and Yarrow (best packaging ever) and this lotion/oil hybrid thing by Jao (worst packaging ever) (but also in a classy way).
Any other hot tips? I'm always itching to try something new and I'm about due for a shower...
16 January 2012
Tilda Swinton in Haider Ackermann
She looks amazing, like some bizarre alien wrapped in couture. The mixture of confidence, defiance, and self-awareness is perfect to me. She always has such a distinct point of view, which is so well manifested in this look.
There are gorgeous women at every award show who can't pull off their look, regardless of how beautiful their dresses may be. These women end up in frocks that are either age inappropriate, wrong for their body or personality, or just overpower them (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lea Michelle). Then there are women who can make a so-so dress look perfect because they're so fabulous (Angeline Jolie). Then there are the women who aren't necessarily big red carpet showstoppers, but know what they like and satisfy my infatuation with the 70's.
Kristen Wiig in Bill Blass
I can still appreciate a woman who can work it in the old red carpet standards (Lanvin and Marchesa) but throughout this awards season I'll have my eye out for a different point of view.
13 January 2012
My cooking has really gone down the tubes in recent months, though, and today I discovered that my noodle-doctoring abilities have gone with it. For lunch I made a big pot of ramen soup, spooned some out for Jasper, added some spice, and spooned some out for myself. I managed to add enough soy sauce to mine to make it edible, but Jasper found his to make better hair than food.
Fortunately there are plenty of decidedly more talented people out there doctoring ramen every day and telling us all about it on the www. Next time I'll let myself be guided by the pros - and maybe not try to do laundry and cook at the same time. Click on pictures for links.
12 January 2012
The best thing to do in times like these is redecorate, I always say! I'm dreaming of a space that will be cozy in the winter (if it ever comes) but light and breezy for the summer. My ceilings and windows are nowhere near as tall as these, which may be all the more reason to lighten things up and kick color to the curb for a bit.
10 January 2012
Well...it's January, so wedding planning has kicked into high gear. And while I'm not going to divulge too many details from our wedding, there are tons of ideas we couldn't use that another couple may want to.
Let's start with attire. I found a dress with zero problems. I saw a picture somewhere, found an awesome bridal boutique (which I'll probably have to talk about more at some point), tried the dress on and fell in love. Shoes, on the other hand, were (are) a much bigger battle. I knew I wanted something sparkly but that's it.
Here's the problem - I love flats, but I only wear them with a dress or skirt if it hits at least 2 inches above the knee or is floor length. My dress is knee length, so despite the fact that I may wobble a bit and I'll definitely tower over my groom, I chose an obscenely high platform heel. Ah well...