Friday, December 8, 2017

lasts and firsts

i was 41 weeks plus a few days pregnant, and i'd tried all the old wives tales. we'd gone for a bumpy ride up the mountain. i drank that tea they say helps labor along. i was doing 300 squats a day and went on long walks. there's more, but you get the picture.

every time i'd do a load of laundry, or wash the dishes, or go run errands, i'd excitedly think to myself, "i wonder if this is the last time i'll do this thing before she comes." the last time i'll go to church with one child, or the last time i'll wash my hair before i have two kids. the last time i'll put fresh sheets on my bed. it was the most absurd, chore oriented countdown. in fact, the night before she came, after i finished singing teddy songs about trucks, cars, helicopters, and excavators, i had this gut feeling that this was the last time i'd lean over his bed, give him a kiss, and tell him that i thought he was wonderful before i had two kids. i ignored the feeling, (because i'd had it before around 38 weeks) but this time it was right. i woke up to contractions in the morning not realizing that i'd deliver her in a few short hours.

and now she's here. and i just keep catching myself thinking excitedly about all the firsts. my first time drinking a milkshake with two kids. my first time going out of the house by myself with two kids (it was less than a five minute trip to get a bag of sonic ice because i miss hospital ice right now). our first time reading bedtime stories-- with two kids! everything feels like i should take a picture. everything feels special. (except the miserable things-- my first post delivery poop {almost as scary as labor}, my first painful breastfeeding latch, my first time watching my toddler melt down because i can't give him exclusive attention the way i used to... etc.)

it probably sounds ridiculous to read (it feels a little ridiculous to write), but this is a crazy magical time for our little family. falling asleep and waking up to twinkle lights (the perfect soft light for middle of the night feedings). having friends and family checking in on me constantly with loving messages and presents. kissing my little boy to sleep, and then immediately cuddling my less than week old baby girl. watching my husband hold her and falling in love with him all over again. seeing her twitchy, newborn smiles. magic.

happy december, friends.

ps- i promise i'm going to announce her name soon- we've just had a really hard time nailing it down this time. xo

Thursday, October 5, 2017

things happening.

teddy doesn't say i love you. he crawls into my lap, snuggles his head into my shoulder, and quietly says "i'm next to you." then, after a little pause, he says, "i'm happy to be next to you." it is the best thing in my life right now. (he learned it from this book.)

the leaves on the tree outside my kitchen window are slowly changing colors and it reminds me of this time last year when we were remodeling this house and wanting so badly to move in. there's still so many things that need to be done around here, but i have to remind myself of how far we've come since then. (like we have a working kitchen and bathroom, ha.)

it's nuts that we'll have another baby here before christmas. the nesting hasn't kicked in yet, but i think it's going to manifest itself in early christmas decorating. i keep worrying that teddy's going to miss out on the holidays with the whirlwind that comes with a brand new baby, and he seriously would not even care a little bit if we didn't have a tree, stockings and presents. as long as i make sure he has plenty of race cars stocked in his toy room, he's good. such a reasonable little guy.

my incision has been hurting again on and off with my growing belly. anyone else ever experience that? if someone could just reassure me that it's not going to open up, that'd be great.

i started hypnobirthing. i'm trying to stay positive, but i'm a little worried that i'm sleeping too much during the clips. hopefully some of the stuff is getting through. it's so relaxing, i can't help it!

i'm still so anxious about how he'll feel about having a sibling. i get why people choose to have one child. i'm sure when she comes i'll be so happy about it.

the other day teddy said, "good day" to a cashier as we were leaving. he's an old soul i guess. i love this stage so much. so far, the twos haven't been terrible at all. (knock on wood, fingers crossed and all the other superstitious things, ha.)


Thursday, September 14, 2017

this time around.

i'm in my 31st week, and the minutes are creeping by at a glacial pace. so many things have been different this time around. the biggest thing (and i reaalllllyyy should've seen this coming more than i did) is that being pregnant with a toddler is exponentially more exhausting than it ever could've been with just myself.

when i was expecting with teddy, i remember towards the end of my pregnancy people would say things like, "bet you're ready for him to come out, huh?" i didn't feel that way at all. i didn't enjoy being pregnant, but i didn't feel an urgency to get him out of my body. i'd pat my belly and think, "you just stay in there until you're ready, buddy." he did, too. when they finally pulled him out via emergency c section, the doctor said that he was reaching towards my abdomen as though to say, "no, no! put me back!" homebody from the start.

this time around, i'm feeling a little more anxious for delivery. my belly feels heavier than i remember with teddy. the skin feels thinner too- like i'm stretching faster than it can accommodate. i get light headed and sometimes even see stars when i push myself past the exertion of an easeful walk which sounds dramatic, but it's true. teddy is starting to be too heavy for me to carry for more than a few minutes (happy we decided to buy a good stroller) and headaches have been a daily issue. i miss feeling strong enough to hold my little boy for more than a few minutes, or feeling up for a jog, or not finding myself taking a 3 hour nap randomly on a saturday. i don't recognize myself pregnant; inside or out.

this time around, my hormones are just bananas. i cry because teddy is getting too big, or because he's growing out of his clothes. i cry because we're out of butter, and i just made toast. i cry because i slightly scuffed up our hardwood floors. i cry because a tylenol commercial moves me. you name it- i'm crying. 

this time around, i feel like i've hardly bought anything. when i was expecting teddy, i was working at a charming baby boutique in salt lake, and would buy things every few days. most of the tiniest clothes i bought for teddy were gender neutral, so i feel like it's fine. i may or may not go on a crazy panicked shopping spree a few days before i have her.

this time around, i'm so much more comfortable in the role of being a mother. i remember when i was expecting teddy having anxiety that i wouldn't love him as much as i should, or i wouldn't be a good mom, or i'd be dying to get back into the workforce, and would regret the decision to start our family. of course i had no idea how hard it would be, that nights would pass where i'd cry quietly for hours because he was refusing to sleep, or how difficult breastfeeding would be, or how awful recovering from a c section would be, especially after moving states to a third floor loft-- but now i do. i've been so shocked to discover how much i love being at home with teddy, and how much better and happier a mom i am than i imagined (obviously i suck very much some days, but it's better than i thought i'd be so i'm putting it in the win pile). don't get me wrong-- having a second baby is so intimidating, and i'm scared, but this time around, i feel like i have enough of a heads up as to what i'm taking on that i can look forward to it more.

this time around, i get emotional thinking about teddy feeling replaced or overshadowed. does this get easier? i can't imagine it getting easier. he's been our whole world for 2 years, and i feel like there's a meteor coming his way and he doesn't have a clue. i can't wait to see what this little girl is like- i just kind of want him to myself without distractions for a couple more months than i have sometimes, you know? and i think he'd feel the same way if he really comprehended what was coming.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

at the beach with minnow swim!

we got home from our trip to maui and kauai almost a month ago, and guys i'm still going through the pictures and videos, trying to not notice how much bigger teddy looks this year compared to last. he enjoyed the ocean and sand 100% more this time, and no one got sick, so it was a basically bliss compared to last time. smiles all around. we even slept well. happy sigh.

several months ago i came across a small business called minnow swim, and you guys- they make the most beautiful swimsuits for babies and kids. i fell in love first with the simple and elegant design of the suits; they have soft sun-kissed color palettes, and the sweetest pattern options. i also love that the suits are ethically designed and made in california by the most darling mama, morgan smith, who started this company because she felt like she couldn't find swimsuits she loved for her kids. 

i felt so lucky to try this brand out for our beach trip, and can't say enough about the quality and gorgeous craftsmanship of the suits. each item comes with it's own little waterproof swim bag, and the material is high quality, durable, and really just beautiful to look at. 

(^ i had to share a picture of some of the floral designs. so good.)

we got so many compliments on teddy's little combination of the striped shorts and navy rash guard, and i kicked myself multiple times for not splurging on a pair of little gingham bottoms that have since been discontinued. i've been on a less is more rant lately, but that's how good these suits are, guys. i want to buy one for every year teddy will need a new one.

did i mention they have matching little girl options that are to die for?

guys. go look. go look right now. you're going to melt.

anyway, the most important part of this post is letting you know that minnow is having a LABOR DAY SALE (this rarely happens-- it being a small family business and all), and i'm telling you now to take advantage (run, don't walk!) because if you have a pulse - really - you're going to fall in love just as hard as i did, i promise.

20% off starting midnight tonight. 


guys. this brand is so good.

i'm already planning next years coordinating swimsuits for teddy and his little sister and it's making me just really happy.

big thanks to minnow for making the sweetest suits.
you made our trip to hawaii extra special this year. 


Tuesday, August 22, 2017


he's started saying, "oh my, excuse me" when he has gas, sneezes, or burps. it is the best thing in my life right now. i love this stage. i love it so much.

he's also in this crazy repeating stage. the other day i was driving, and i heard a thoughtful little voice say, "dat jerk" behind me. it took me a minute to realize that he'd just herd me mutter it to someone who was driving badly in front of us. parent of the year, y'all. you know where to send the award. whatever. it could've been much, much worse.

we've stopped letting him have his bottle. i think it's more heartbreaking than shots. (at least with shots he could have his bottle.)

he. loves. nursery. but only for the last 30 minutes when they bring out the toys. it's hilarious to watch him exasperatedly sigh and roll his eyes through the snack time, lesson time, and music time that comes before free play. and all he wants to do is play with the vehicles. a sweet little girl tried to get him to hold her doll and he just grabbed it by the head and threw it in the corner (he's lookin' to be an exceptional big brother) before looking her firmly in the eye and saying, "carsssss."
we're working on his people skills.

he's also started this new thing where anytime he stubs a toe, or smashes a finger, or trips on something, he runs to me for a snuggle and sometimes puts the affected area into my face for me to kiss. if someone would've told me five years ago that i'd be a parent that was down with kissing little sandy boy toes that had just been stubbed, i would've laughed, but here we are.

sometimes we watch the pixar movie cars, but he's most interested in the first and last race. he's started saying "ca-chow!" when he thinks something is really amazing. i always ugly cry during the last scene. my hormones have me all over the place lately.

he's transformed into the most affectionate little muddy toddler. gid and i are thrilled to have a girl, but teddy has made me feel so at home with being the mother of single, messy little boy. the thought of bringing another small person into the mix feels so disorienting when i imagine it.

it's starting to get cooler in the mornings and i'm equal parts mourning the end of summer and rejoicing in the fall weather that's on it's way.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

what i learned at church today.

it had been a rough day already and we hadn't even gotten out of bed. you know the kind of mornings i'm talking about, right?

sundays are tough for me in general, but this one was bad. we'd all had a tough night. gid is under the weather, teddy's 2 year molars are coming in, and i have a baby living inside of me who makes me vomit in the morning, nauseous during the day, and whose favorite time to kick box is from hours 2 a.m. - 6 am.

my gut told me we should skip church. my gut told me to go to our favorite breakfast cafe and order all the bacon they had available, but i convinced myself to slip on a dress, wipe the sleep from my dry eyes, and wrestle an agile toddler out of his pajamas and into a comfortable simple church outfit.

my belly was feeling heavier than normal as we walked into the chapel (2 minutes early, thank you very much!) and as teddy realized that we wouldn't be going to the room full of toys, he began to softly protest and whimper.

a woman who i've never talked to before sitting in front of us turned around with an eyebrow raised and said with a scoff, "what? how can he already be pouting? we haven't even started yet!"

there were so many things i wanted to say. i wanted to tell her that i'd gotten less than 5 hours of sleep for the past several nights in a row, and i was this close to serial murder status. i wanted to tell her that teddy is teething and shy, and doesn't like being in crowded places surrounded by people he's unfamiliar with. i wanted to ask her what on earth possessed her to think that making an obvious statement about the mood of my toddler was a good idea, when she could've easily just said "hi," or smiled, or literally just kept her head facing forward and done nothing. no, she felt like it would be a good idea to ask me, a young mother she'd never met before how a small teething toddler could already be pouting, while at church. hey lady- have you met a toddler before? what normal toddler likes church? (anyone who writes a comment about their perfect kid who loves church will be blocked indefinitely. get outta here.)

the hormones kicked in, and i went from "ugh sunday" to "someone get me a machete livid" in a millisecond.

i didn't say any of the things that were sitting on the edge of my tongue. i gave her a tired, thin smile, and said, "well, he's a little boy," and then smiled at teddy, completely aware that this strange woman was talking about him, and said gently, "that's just fine, sweetheart. sometimes i don't want to be at church either." the woman turned around irritated, as though my response was the height of rudeness.

any other day, i'd roll my eyes and move on. not today. i had a lump in my throat the rest of the meeting. of course this week was the one where gid plays the organ and we sit alone, and of course anytime teddy made a sound the woman would give side eye and whisper to her husband, and at one point tears just started spilling out of my eyes, not because of what the woman said or thought, but because i was that tired, and i knew we should've gone the non-church bacon route this morning! i knew it!!

i spent the rest of the meeting in my own thoughts, pondering the many, many times i've said something that i thought could be funny, and when it came out of my mouth, i realized it was just rude. i thought about how many times i might've been that person; the one who just really puts a dark cloud on your day for almost no reason without recognizing it. i thought about how skilled people can be at wearing masks, and how you really never know what kind of a morning or day someone's had, and how it's always a good idea to be kind no matter what. i thought about what a champ teddy is for tolerating church meetings and how proud i am of him. i thought about how in the future, i need to follow my heart when it tells me to get bacon instead of going to church. bacon never judges you, or scoffs at your emotional toddler. bacon feeds your toddler and makes him happy. 

always go the bacon route, alyssa.

i'll never forget what today felt like. i'll never forget sitting in a pew, back aching, belly kicking, tears streaming down my face, with a crying toddler begging to go see the room with the cars. i'll never forget how bacon has never sounded more delicious or righteous than it did today. and the next time i see a tired mom with a cranky kid in target, or at the park, or at the airport, or at church, i'll remember how much it means to have someone in your corner on a day when you. have. just. had it.

thumper's mom was so right when she said "if you can't say anything nice, don't say nothing at all."
anyway, that's what i learned at church today.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

two years old! (with a video!)

he's two, and i'm just over here drowning in pregnancy hormones thinking how much i love him, and how being a mama is so good and so hard.

hey teddy, if you're reading this i want you to know that i think you're the best kid ever. i love your puppy nuzzles and your scary growls, and how when you trip and fall you jump back up and say, "i'm okay!"

my favorite thing about our old house is hearing your little footsteps. hardwood floors get dusty, and i feel like i'm always mopping, but your little shuffle/gallop/runs make it so worth it.

i love how into reading you are, and how much you love being outside. there's a lot of kids who want to watch moana on repeat right now, but not you. no, you want to get as dirty and sweaty as possible, shove rocks up the rain gutter, and stay outside no matter how hot it is. moana's not bad, you know. you could give her a chance.

i love what a little homebody you are. you were that way when you lived in my tummy too. man, those doctors tried everything to get you out, and you were like, "nah, i'm good. i'll just stay here."

i'm just crazy in love with you, okay buddy? if i could choose out of all of the little boys in the world, you're the one i'd want. happy birthday.

my favorite parts of this (poorly made) video is how concerned teddy looks when he sees that the tractor toy candle is on fire, how relieved he is once it's extinguished, and how he still thinks cake is just okay. he had a tiny pinch of a bite, and then asked me for some sausage from the leftover pizza we had. it's fine- i ate the cake with no problems on my own.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017


she's moving constantly. i remember when teddy was around this size getting so worried when i wouldn't feel movement for a few hours. i remember getting lumps in my throat and putting sugary things into my body and then laying down as still as i could, and silently hoping for the tiniest flutter. not this time around. she's always on the move. no sugar rush necessary.

i have that condition where you're sick your entire pregnancy. when i feel myself getting sick, i tell teddy i need to go cough and to give me some privacy, and he waits sadly by the bathroom door anxiously calling out "all done??" until i come out with a forced cheerful reply that i've finished. it's heartbreaking to see him uncomfortable for me. such a protective little bear.

the other day a stranger was telling me how she missed being pregnant; how she felt so feminine and attractive and special and alive and womanly, and i just stared into space, thinking how much i love my babies even though pregnancy, for me, is physically and emotionally exhausting and uncomfortable, and how that's okay. i can be miserable, and still be thrilled to be expecting.

on the bad days i try to remind myself of when we wanted to get pregnant so badly the first time around, and i list ways it could be worse. it helps to soften the exhaustion and frustration.

sleep escapes me. i've never been a great sleeper (until around 2 am, when i suddenly get really good at it) but pregnancy really brings out the insomniac in me. it's hard to be motivated to go to sleep at a reasonable hour when my brain is so desperate to be alert during the rare hours of the night that i have just to myself.

lately teddy is on a breakfast meat craze. he's constantly asking for sausage, bacon or pepperoni. i'm half proud ('cause i love meat too, kiddo!), and half nervous for what's coming in his next diaper.

the past few weeks he's been more clingy than usual. he senses there's something coming, and it's making him uneasy. i've been clingier than usual with him too. neither of us are good with change.


ps- girl names are hard.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

things i'm grateful for today:

i'm writing this from bed, half typing, half watching teddy drift awake from his nap from the view of his nursery monitor. he's so happy to be home. i've told you what a homebody he is, haven't i? his best, happiest mornings are the ones when we've just come home from out of town the night before. he cheerfully inspects his things that we didn't bring, making sure that all his books and toys are in place. he sporadically runs to me several times during the day, wrapping his arms around my neck and smacking his lips on my cheek. home is his favorite, and it's starting to become mine too. he's turning me into a mama homebody.

my heart has been bursting the past few days. i miss my family so much during the summer months. on our road trip home (when i get my best pondering in) i was thinking how lucky i am to have a family that i miss, and not one that i can't stand.

we came home last night to our creaky old house, and as we walked in, i immediately noticed how much better the kitchen looks now that i've finally installed the hardware to our kitchen cabinets. (don't ask me why that was so hard to check off the list- it literally took 5 minutes once the pieces were ordered in.) gid also installed our dishwasher and fixed our dryer, although i think i'll still use the clothesline on sunny days. it's becoming a real home, and i get giddy and emotional thinking about memories we're making and will make. sure- it's small and tired, and has a never ending to do list, but i love this little house so much.

it's wednesday, and i need to choreograph some classes, and pick up some flowers and groceries from the market. teddy reminded me that we need ice cream. he's pretty perceptive about what's missing from the freezer. a homebody that loves books and ice cream? best kid ever.

gid brought him into bed with us last night around 3 am when we heard sad little cries coming from his bedroom. (he sleeps with us when we're out of town, and the transition back to his bed is always a little bit of a bummer.) i know work has been stressing gid out, and he's not feeling well, and he still stays cheerful and sweet, even when it's the middle of the night. this morning, while teddy and i slept in, he quietly got ready for work and slipped out early enough so he can come home to us as fast as possible. teddy's been asking for him constantly today.

so grateful for things like morning cuddles and sloppy kisses.

for small arms wrapping themselves around my neck, and requests to read books again and again (and again and again and again and again).

so grateful for family, and building homes and memories.
so grateful for gideon, and for my little theodore.
so grateful for the tiny baby growing in my belly.

so so grateful.

ps- 20 weeks along. due thanksgiving week. finding out what we're having in two days.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

things i don't want to forget.

in the mornings when he begins to stir, gideon quietly pulls him out of his room and slips him into bed with us. the early light is softer in our room, and most of the time teddy drifts back to sleep, but every now and then he army crawls to my side of the bed and wraps himself around me like an octopus- legs around my neck and torso and arms cradling my head. it's brutal for me, but he seems to find it comfortable and i've found it best to just wait till he's snoring, and then roll him off of my face and next to me. i'm sure i'll miss it someday, but man- claustrophobia.

he loves songs and nursery rhymes, and i'm blown away by how many he's picked up on. toddler brain capacity and development is crazy, right? humans are amazing.

he's gotten so affectionate. he regularly walks over to me just to cup his hands on my cheeks and pull my face close to his, or will rest his head on my shoulder and give it a reassuring pat before heading over to his next adventure. i remember thinking to myself during his first year that he wasn't much of a snuggler, and feeling a little bummed about it. so much can change in a year.

he still is very shy around strangers, and it's been tricky finding balance between reassuring him that he doesn't need to be scared, and allowing him to feel safe and validated in his instincts. i'm open to tips from parents with shy kids.

he's been in a toddler bed for a few months now. i transitioned him with the thought that it would give him more freedom to get in and out when he chooses, but he insists on waiting for me to come into his room, and then asks me to crawl into bed with him and pretend to be a mama bear, and then a mama pup, and then a mama penguin, and every other mama animal he knows.

we're still doing two naps a day and i can't decide if i love it, or if i'm over it.

a few weeks ago we were visiting a park by our house, and he found and fell in love with a small abandoned tow truck toy. he gets sad about having to say goodbye to toys (like any toddler), but this was different- when i wouldn't let him bring it home with us, he was devastated, head down low and quietly whimpering "towtrucktowtruck" the whole way home, and the rest of the week. he'd bring it up several times a day, and whimper woefully again to himself. anyway, after looking at every target and walmart in boise and meridian, i found it and bought it for him.

guys. when i handed it to him, his face lit up immediately and he hugged the truck (complete with small pats), and then hugged me tightly before grabbing my face with his free hand, pulling it up to his, and saying "kk yewww mama!"

he's never said thank you without being prompted. my heart melted into a puddle. that tow truck was worth every penny.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

you and i are making a deal right now.

hi. i'm so tired. i've been swamped the past few weeks and i've felt this major shift in my ability to be present with my family, so i took a break from screens and writing and everything else. it felt necessary and important.

here's the thing- i wish so badly that i could be effortlessly incredible at everything i do, but i can't and i'm not because i'm a regular human being.

i'd love it if preparing excellent material for my class at bsu was something i could throw together in my brain while i was falling asleep, and my collaboration deadlines never fell behind. i wish parenting teddy felt like second nature to me, and writing well on my blog took five minutes during one of his naps, and the thought of cooking a meal or cleaning my house didn't make me want to shove bamboo up my fingernails. i wish i was better at time management and wasn't interested in hulu or netflix or facebook or instagram, and could fit everything interesting to me on my calendar, but i can't.

and while i reeally want to be awesome at all of these little side things going on in my life right now, i want more to not be a mom who spends most of her time glued to her phone, or stressing about choreography, or checking her email constantly, or worrying that too much time between blog posts has passed, right? like, that person sounds like the worst, right? i can't think of any gig, or social media site that should ever be more interesting than teddy pretending to be a puppy, which he does 75% of the day lately.

and my instinct is to give up on everything but family- like, if you can't do it 100%, then don't do it at all. but that's dumb too, right? it is. and the crazy thing is, i know so so many people, women especially, who feel this way. like they're drowning, but trying really hard to look put together because they don't want anyone to know that they're human, and having a horrible day (or month, or year, or whatever).

so you and i are making a deal right now. i'm going to take it easy on myself, and so are you. we're not going to think degrading things about ourselves, and we're going to do our best to build each other up. we're going to look at our phones less, and give our loved ones more. because the internet is hollow and fake, and our people are real, and warm, and something we can wrap our arms around and feel something with. we're going to try to not eat garbage (all the time), and find one beautiful thing in the mirror every morning, and other shiz like that.

what are your tips for being more in touch with the things most important in your life?
i want to care more about the real things and less about the fake ones.

Friday, March 10, 2017

dear march,

i can't believe you're here already. i can't believe you're almost halfway over, march! the past few weeks have been so blurry, i know i'm usually hungry for that busy feeling, but right now having nothing to do on my list sounds pretty amazing. maybe that'll happen for me next month... (ha.)

dear teddy, could you slow down? please? just a little. you're killin' me over here, buddy.

dear semester, could you hurry up? i'm over you.

dear house, if you could stop having small break downs here and there, that'd be just greeeeat. 

dear plane tickets, why are you so expensive? 

dear gid, you're a rockstar. it's the crazy time at work and you're handling it like a champ. i admire you, and wish i was more like you. 

dear clouds, you send the softest, most lovely light into my little home.

dear weekend, take your time.

ps- i know i haven't written in weeks. I've been swamped, and promised myself to try not to let keeping up with writing here stress me out. thanks for listening. i'll be back soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

the perfect little t-strap. (discount code inside!)

one of my biggest goals for the new year is being more selective of the things that i buy. (not only for myself, but also for teddy and our home.) over the years i've caught myself buying things for the wrong reasons and then i find myself with a shocking amount of excess in my life.

so, new goal: only buy things that i love. i've noticed such a difference already. dressing teddy is so much more fun when i know that everything in his closet has been carefully and thoughtfully purchased. (it's made me love getting him ready for the day, and i know i've saved money by not mindlessly raiding online sales.) 

a few months ago i came across this small business called mon petite shoes, and they make the most beautiful shoes for babies and toddlers with simple and elegant lines and design. these shoes have soft soles, allowing little feet to grow and develop while still offering support.

i actually gasped when i opened my package from the mail. they are gorgeous.
(i think they're actually even better in person. i can't seem to take a picture that does them justice, and i'm always getting questions about them when teddy wears them.)

julie, the founder of the small business (nicest person ever, btw) began making these shoes for her two little girls in 2014, and since then her shop has grown to offer two darling styles in about a dozen colors. we have both the t-strap and the oxfords (both in the cognac color because i cannot even handle it). these shoes are handmade with love, which sounds cheesy until you've touched them with your own two hands and have convinced yourself that you need all of them. i dare you to buy just one pair, guys. double dare.

showing a little thigh, ha!
so going back to my goal- only buy what you love. when i slide teddy's chubby feet into these shoes, when i see him running with his funny little toddler shuffle in them, i feel like they're making already beautiful memories even more beautiful for me. they're the kind of thing i'd keep in a memory box- something for his kids someday to wear. i have zero buyers remorse.

also- i have a tiny pair of the t straps sitting in a box labeled baby #2, and i'm not embarrassed about it even a little bit. (also not pregnant, in case you're wondering. that box won't be opened for a while, ha!)

you can get yourself a nice little discount using the code happypear15! big thanks to julie, for making such darling shoes, and to her kind assistant jenn for being so lovely to work with. we love this company and these shoes so much!


Friday, February 10, 2017

real life.

i've spent too much time looking at screens this week. i can tell because i'm feeling quiet, lonely, and tired, and like my life is only okay. (which is ludicrous, because my life is amazing.)

teddy has started this new screaming thing. not cute squeals of delight. no. he does a blood curdling scream when he doesn't get his way. it makes him shake angrily, and sometimes he even throws himself onto the floor prior to, or following it. i tried ignoring it for a few days, and recently have started giving him 2 minute time-outs when he does it, which is showing slow progress. (now after screaming, he stops and quietly says to himself "no no no.")

i've been so off lately. i've been feeling achy, light headed, exhausted, and (heads up- TMI) my chest has been sore. i took one of my leftover pregnancy tests, and after seeing the clear negative still couldn't let it go. sure that i was peeing more than usual, i convinced myself the test may be old and went out to buy one of those early detecting pregnancy tests which also declared a clear negative. i spent the rest of the afternoon confused and frustrated by my disappointment. wasn't i just telling myself that teddy is driving me nuts and there's no way i could handle another baby right now?

there's nothing like two freshly failed pregnancy tests to make you sensitive to the abundance of darling baby pictures on social media. it's all i could see yesterday. and when i didn't see cute baby things, i saw beautiful pictures of thin pregnant women, or world traveling supermodels, or incredible white farmhouses, or professional dancers, and with every scroll of my finger i saw only what i felt i didn't have in my life, and it wasn't until i turned off the screen and cleared my head that i was able to acknowledge how ridiculous my feelings were, and that the pictures i'd been looking at were designed to make me feel that way in order to drive sales and clicks, and how stupid i was being to fall into the trap of comparing myself to that part of the internet; a fantasy land that is endlessly tailored, nipped, and tucked. i know this.

so no, i don't look like a zen yoga instructor on a strict diet of lettuce and chickpeas, and no, i don't live next door to my parents or my sisters (or anyone) who can watch my baby for me at a moments notice so i can fly to nyc spontaneously to watch hamilton for a night, and no, i don't have a nanny, or a cook, or a cleaning person to keep things at home under control while i go and pose for pictures taken by a skilled photographer that make me look like i casually have my perfect life together. i don't have those things; because that's not real life.

you know what i do have? i have a toilet full of pee right now, because i don't want to flush and wake my napping baby. i have a vase of dying sunflowers sitting on my kitchen table. i have a pantry with cookies inside and the thighs to back it up. i have a sink with dirty tupperware in it that i refuse to wash because i think that dirty tupperware is the worst. i have the most perfectly imperfect house that needs new windows, a new front door, and also has a leaky sunroom ceiling. i have an internet browser with plane ticket searches, an email my mom sent saying she and my dad are visiting next month, and several full online shop basket tabs open, waiting for me to commit and press "finalize order". i have a cable one bill, and a parking ticket sitting next to the computer that i still haven't paid because i like to wait until the last minute, because that's me living on the edge these days. i have two failed pregnancy tests in my bathroom trash can.

i have a sweet toddler who screams right now, and it drives me crazy. i have a husband who holds my hand, hogs the covers, is willing to clean dirty tupperware, and is the love of my life.

that's what's real. and important.
my little family is all that matters.

take that social media strategists.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

things i don't want to forget.

in case you haven't heard- utah and idaho are getting record amounts of snow this winter, and i. am. so. over. it. today when we rolled out of bed at 9:30 (thanks, teddy!) it felt extra calm and quiet, and i knew- i knew before i pulled the curtains open that there was a fresh layer of snow on the ground.

the past few weeks the snow has been irritating me, and i begrudgingly decided we should play in it for a few minutes this morning. teddy loved it. it improved my mood a little. getting outside is important.

it's time for me to buy a new pair of boots for him, and i'm a little devastated. he's growing too quickly.

thanks for the fun morning, sweetheart.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


if you think resolutions are stupid -i hear ya loud and clear- but just keep scrolling to something else, 'cause i like 'em.

i like the thought of a clean slate. the thought of starting fresh.
the thought of myself making goals to not eat donuts for all three meals.
(that one didn't make the list this year. hashtag priorities.) 

so here- take 'em or leave 'em.
my 2017 resolutions:


in 2017 i'm looking to majorly reduce the unnecessary things we have in our lives. those curlers that i haven't used in 2 years? DI. the box full of my 10 thesis drafts? recycling. (i have digital copies of them backed up, anyway. why am i so attached to them?!) i want to go through every item in this home with a fine tooth comb and really analyze the value it brings to my life. i'm hoping to be more selective about how i spend my time; say "no" to projects that i don't feel passionate about, and television programs that are obvious garbage. (all eyes on you, bachelor.) i'm looking to be more critical of what i buy, and decided to make a rule that i'm allowed to get anything that i want (within reason of course) but i have to be in love with it. i've bought too many dresses from anthropologie that were on sale and i only sort of liked, you know?


i've decided to dedicate 2 hours a day of undivided attention to teddy. no screens. no camera. no cooking. no laundry. no dishes. pure teddy. nap time is going to be exclusively dedicated to class preparation and collaboration deadlines, and once he's asleep, i'm allowing myself time to be all lazy and netflix and chill-y. i'm in the process of organizing a calendar that will help me rotate schedules to help keep our small house well cleaned and maintained. i'm happier in clean spaces, and have decided it's worth it to make a real priority. i also want to focus on drinking water first thing in the morning and with each meal, and getting 8-9 hours of sleep (and charging my phone in the living room instead of on my nightstand.)

chill out.

since having teddy i've caught myself getting swept up in bursts of anxiety (i talked about it in this post), and it's affecting my life in such a negative way. my last resolution is to go easy on myself. if i'm late on a deadline for a video collaboration (which i happen to be right now), i'm going to try to not hate myself for it. if the class i teach at bsu has an off day, i'm going to try to shake it off instead of convincing myself that i'm the worst teacher on the planet. if i step on the scale and catch myself heavier than normal, i'm going to try to look in the mirror and see something other than a number. when the week is taking forever, and i'm failing at the whole cooking/cleaning/getting out of pajamas thing, i'm going to remind myself that i'm doing my best, and if anyone thinks it's not enough, then they sound like a jerk who would suck to hang out with.
i'm going to try not to care about what people think, and i'm going to try not to endlessly compare myself to whatever i see with a pulse. i stress out too much over things that don't matter at all, and i'm going to try really hard to be better, because the people in my life (and me. especially me!) deserve better.

we might be a month in, but i'm starting my resolutions tomorrow 'cause i'm chill and i can.

happy 2017, people.

Monday, January 30, 2017

things i don't want to forget.

the other night around 3 am i heard little noises coming from his room, and after checking our video monitor, i realized he was sleep talking. he kept saying "go go go. mamma mamma mamma. go go go." that's a game we play where i hold him and run around the house and hide. (like a one sided hide and seek.) 

you guys. he dreams about me.

and he says "please" like "peas". do all toddlers say it that way? it feels like it's common, but i love it so much, and i swear i've never heard it as cute as the way he does it. sometimes it sounds like a request. sometimes it sounds like a dangerous warning. i'm a pushover, so i love it either way.

yesterday he brought me his mouse cookie book and after i read it to him, he thoughtfully took my hand, took me to the pantry, and asked me for a cookie. (and said please! how could i say no?!) then he brought me his fire truck book, sat on my lap, and just as i was about to begin, he hurriedly ran to grab his firetruck to join him for the reading.

like always, he needs a haircut.

every now and then he comes up to me and kisses my knee, or my shoulder, or whatever body part is easiest for him to reach. when he does this, i drop whatever i'm doing, cuddle him, and wonder how i got such a sweetheart. it makes the biting worth it.

have i mentioned the biting lately? it's not a good situation.

anytime we go out in the car, we listen to this album. his favorite song is "ophelia". sometimes when i'm brave enough, i put on npr to listen to the news and he conks right out, which makes me smile. i'm glad he's too little for me to need to explain current events to right now.

his favorite foods are pizza, toast, apples, and chocolate milk. he's in love with airplanes.

if i can't find him, there's a 90% chance he's in his teepee. he sometimes goes in there to hide hoping i'll come find him, but i think he also loves it to have some personal space. sometimes i wish i had a teepee my size that i could hide in. (i finally took the dead christmas wreath off of it, but it still has twinkle lights. those will probably need to stay on year round, right?)

the past few nights when i've put him to bed, we've been listening to this song, and he calms down, and runs his fingers through my hair. i know he's asleep when he's stopped.


Friday, January 27, 2017


i've been a worse version of myself lately.
maybe the last few weeks of snow storms has finally gotten to me.

lately my patience (the one thing i feel like i'm normally on top of) has been so thin. his cry bugs me. his constant playful head butts (yesterday he got me in the nose while i was rocking him to sleep and afterwards i could taste blood in my throat); things that i used to chuckle at are making me scream inwardly with frustration. i'm tired. sleep has been escaping me more than usual, and the combination of that with everything else going on has made me this swamp witch in pajamas eating cereal directly from the box and waiting angrily for my husband to come home. (and i'm sure he's loving coming home to me, lately. sarcasm.)

lately i've been doing that thing where you count to ten and breathe. it works most of the time. ben and jerry's helps (until i step on the scale). youtube helps too sometimes. i promised myself i wouldn't turn to screen time, but you know- desperate times.

lately it's starting to really get to me that my skin and hair have been so weird since i had him. i don't feel like myself when i look in the mirror. why don't i feel like myself? do i need to lose weight? do i need to chill out? shower more?? finish my new years resolutions??! all i want to do is binge watch mindless tv on one screen, and online shop on another. i'm pathetically missing my laptop- right now i'm writing on an ipad (because the desktop is too much work), and typing takes about 10 times as long with about 10 times as many typos. (am i seriously complaining about the number of devices in my home right now??? i'm the worst.)

i'm frustrated about the news swirling around right now. i'm frustrated about a post my friend wrote casually dismissing the women's march like she's the only person affected or not affected by it. i'm frustrated at so much division when the goal, always, is for unity. i'm frustrated that i never have all the right answers when i want so badly to know how to fix things.

i'm in a dangerous ironic cycle of wanting to replace things in our home, and also wanting to simplify and minimize the objects in my life to make room for things that matter.
things like little cries and painful head butts.

and those previews for the movie "a dog's purpose" are killing me. i sob so easily when i see them. what does that mean? do i want a dog? do i just miss my childhood dog so much it still hurts even though it's been over 15 years? (the answer to both questions is a soft and firm "yes".) my favorite commercial right now is that subaru one where the dad dog is trying to get the baby dog to sleep. that one makes me cry too. what's the matter with me?!

my parents are in new zealand taking a well deserved vacation and i miss my mom facetiming me for no reason. i hope when teddy grows up he notices when i don't facetime him.

this week was annoying and i'm over it. 

here's a picture of my ferocious baby bear.

he's not so bad, i guess.
happy friday.

Friday, January 13, 2017

naptime with ComfortCam (with a VIDEO!)

when we moved, a lot of things changed. we went from beige apartment carpet to creaky hardwood floors. we went from a third floor walk up surrounded by trees, to a single level surrounded by bright snow (at least for now). we went from sharing a bedroom with teddy to having our own space.

maybe i'll feel different with my next, but i loooovvveedd sharing a room with my infant. i loved it. i felt like i was more informed on how my baby was doing, and because the room had so much space, and also because teddy was an incredibly low maintenance baby for the most part, it really didn't feel like an inconvenience the way i imagined it would. i remember being able to sit up in bed only a few inches and being able to see his tiny belly moving up and down gently, and feeling at ease that he was fine.

after moving into our little white house, we let teddy sleep with us for a few nights, and then transition into sleeping in his crib (in his own room across the hall) by himself. every time i heard a noise either gid or i had to jump out of bed to be sure he was okay. there's a large window in his room; did we lock it? is it too cold? too hot? maybe there's something that's making a weird shadow or noise and it's scaring him? it drove me crazy.

nap time was almost worse, because the floors near our bedrooms are creaky (charming during normal hours, and annoying during naptime) and sometimes when i'd tiptoe to see if teddy was awake, i'd find him sleeping peacefully, and then would accidentally wake him up with the creaky floors on my way out. (mamma tip- don't let your infant get used to absolute silence when they sleep. creaky floors will be your undoing. i've been un-training him and it's made such a big difference.)

i shied away from baby camera monitors after reading horror stories about hackers getting into them and doing all sorts of creepy stuff. the world can be scary, and i'd rather wake up my baby with creaky floors than possibly have some digital peeping tom looking into my house, right?

guys, this image is in full color.
it made me realize how very very
 white our kitchen countertops are.

ComfortCam is a smart, wifi baby monitor that allows parents the capability to view their children at anytime from anywhere in the world. best part? the VERY best part?? they're "cloud free", meaning none of the media/images/videos are stored on any sort of server out in cyber space where they can be viewed and saved from an outside source. it's totally secure and private.

when the ComfortCam team reached out to me and asked if i was interested in trying out their smart monitor, i was thrilled just to avoid the creaky floor waking situation. you guys, 3 days after using it, i was hooked. the camera is easy to set up and connect to your phone (took me less than 10 minutes, and i'm a moron when it comes to this kind of thing.)

the application that you download onto your phone or ipad is easy to maneuver around, and the camera itself has infrared lights (for hd night vision), can pan, tilt, and zoom (no way for teddy to hide from me), duel speakers, and an ultra sensitive microphone (so i can hear him, or even talk to him if i want to).

biggest deal for me? the camera streams directly to my phone or ipad and not to some cloud. i can take snapshots, or record funny things teddy does (the other day he was doing mountain climbers in bed, and gid and i were watching on the ipad and trying so hard not to laugh too loudly in the room nextdoor). when we first started using the camera, i'd keep my phone on my nightstand and in the middle of the night, i loved being able to check in on him when i heard little noises to be sure he was okay. over the past several weeks, using the camera has made me feel more confident that teddy's fine in his own room.

sometimes he stares down the camera so hard. funny boy.

do you like how awesome i look in this picture?
i mean, super flattering, right? (ha.)

people, this is a product that we've loved having in our home,
and i'm grateful for the peace of mind it's given me.

here's a short video giving you a sneak peek of ComfortCam in our home:

thanks so much for such a great product, ComfortCam!

i hope you're having such a good friday.
happy weekend!

this post brought to you by ComfortCam

Thursday, January 12, 2017

being chill, and other things.

well, it happened. teddy turned on the oven without me knowing. i found it around 3 pm yesterday. who knows how long it was on. toddlers are dangerous, man.

ever since being home during the holidays, i've been feeling like i don't have enough pillows in my house. my mom has the best pillows, and there's always enough for, like 3 per person. trademark of a gold star hostess: high quality pillows in bulk. then again, she has an unreasonably large amount of scrunchies (you read that right- i'm talkin' the thick ones from the 90s) stashed in the guest bathroom, so-- you know-- no one's perfect.

mom, if you're reading this, you need to get rid of those.

teddy is growing fast and furious, and i get the feeling on a regular basis that he is the sweetest boy on the face of the planet. it makes me understand how people only want one baby.

a few months ago when we moved in, i was telling someone that i couldn't wait to get unpacked, buy all of the home goods we need (want), and finally have the house in order, and they laughed at me and said something to the effect of, "don't hold your breath," which offended me a teensy bit. ("don't hold my breath?! i will hold my breath! imma get this house done so fast you won't even see it coming!")

anyway, i'm realizing it'll take years and years before we have our house the way we (i) really want it. and for someone who's way more into instant gratification than she should be, that's annoying. whatever. this year, i'm going to be so chill- you won't even recognize me.

i'm still working on new years resolutions, and being chill is on the list.
(i'm already succeeding since i'm being so chill about finishing my resolutions though, so booyah.)

i started at bsu again this week, and reminded myself that this time last year, teddy was a six month old, and i was taking the class i now teach to try to get back into dance. life is funny.

there was this crazy blizzard, and now my sunroom ceiling has little water leak spots. it took me all night to paint that ceiling before we moved in.

freaking snow.
freaking cheap ceiling.

on second thought, i love my little house. leak spots and all.

but seriously i'll be painting over that as soon as the snow dries up.

happy thursday.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

midnight diary.

i'm wide awake. eyes open, breath calm, staring softly at the ceiling of the bedroom that i grew up in. this always happens. at home, i have such a hard time drifting to sleep. tiny snores seep out of teddy curled up next to me. was my room always this big? man, it seems spacious.

i think about all the things that have changed since i lived here. moving out of texas. college. tour. getting married. grad school. becoming a mom. a mom? how is that even possible?! how did i get here? 

my mind goes back to different memories from the room, and then to different memories from my life. like the first time a boy tried to kiss me, or that time i spent an afternoon crying because i didn't get a part in a play. i remember switching schools in junior high, not knowing anyone, and during my first day at lunch being invited by a boy to sit with him and his friends. it wasn't flirtatious. he just saw that i was alone, and felt sorry for me i think. i remember how the boy who reached out the invitation died a few years ago, and i never told him how much that meant to me; having someone to sit with on the first day at a new school. i wish i would've told him.

i remember my pre-teen and teenage heart getting butterflies, and then stomped on. the time the popular boy in school bought me 2 dozen roses on valentines day in the 8th grade, and then 2 weeks later forgot i existed (i probably should've said thank you or something...) or that incredible jerk who told me that every girl in our high school could stand to lose 10 pounds, and i took it to heart (and kept liking him! what the hell, alyssa?!) or that quiet boy who i had a quiet crush on, and never said anything, and then learned later, when it was much too late, that he had a quiet crush on me too, and how i wish one of us had more courage, or gosh, how the meanest people i knew were girls from church, and how ironic that was, and how i remember never wanting to make anyone feel the way they made me feel, particularly in a place that should always feel safe.

i think about how i really only had one best friend in high school and how she's getting her PHD at yale right now, (i don't have many close friends, but i do have excellent taste) and how grateful i am to have had such a good high school best friend. i remind myself to reach out to her (like we always do) and suggest getting together during the holidays. of course, i end up forgetting, and then wonder if subconsciously i'm avoiding spending time with someone who i think is so cool and accomplished because it will remind me that my life, while beautiful and not one i'd ever want to trade, feelblasé sometimes.

i think of how much it must've sucked for my parents to deal with kids in high school, and how much it's probably going to suck for me to deal with it too. i hope to myself that teddy is the kind of boy to invite someone sitting alone to his lunch table in junior high.

i pull the covers a little higher, look at the clock and tell myself it's definitely time now, time to go to sleep.

and after checking my email, facebook, instagram, and watching part of a documentary on netflix, i finally do.
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