Friday, February 28, 2014

Ten Things

Ten [weird] things that pregnancy did to my body. Because no one tells you the crazy ish that goes on when you grow a human inside of your body. I'm here to reveal the real truths, you guys. Straight up.

1. You can go blind. When I was little I always really wanted glasses. I used to pretend that I had bad eyesight so that I could get glasses but I was bad at lying and so I never got glasses. Then I got headaches from reading tiny print in textbooks and got reading glasses. THEN I got pregnant and realized I couldn't see a damn thing. It happened all of the sudden, too; like one minute I was reading this far-away thing and the next minute it was super blurry and I couldn't see it at all. And so I had to get glasses. And I don't wear them very frequently because I'm not blind to the point of I'm going to cause an accident if they're not on my face, but when I do wear them I realize how much I really can't see. And also when I went to the eye doctor at the end of my pregnancy, she informed me that pregnancy will change your vision. WHO KNEW?

2. Your tolerance to spicy shiz will plummet. Evan is obsessed with spicy food. Like, he probably uses two tablespoons of Sriracha per one slice of pizza. It's sort of disgusting. I also like spicy food. But some point between my pregnancy and birth of Maddox, I can no longer hang. I use a pinch of anything spicy and I'm guzzling water like a camel (which, I know, makes it worse or something). I still really want to like spicy and use Sriracha and Tobasco and salsa and hot spices when cooking, but my tolerance is next to nothing.

3. No more allergies. The summer before I was pregnant with Maddox I found out that I was allergic to pretty much the entire world. I had an allergy test done and everything from trees to plants to cats and dogs to mold made me break out in hives. And then there were the mosquito bites. I should not have any blood left in my body the way I attracted mosquitoes. And my reaction to their venom was the worst ever and I still have scars from scratching/mosquito bites. Then I got pregnant. And I don't have allergies anymore. Seriously.

4. You never forget the way a baby kick feels. Sometimes I'll just be minding my own business and a gas bubble will pop in my stomach and suddenly I'm like, "Wait. I am not pregnant. How did I just feel a baby kick?" And then I get all paranoid that I'm like 20-weeks pregnant and don't even know it. Because that would happen to me. But I think it's sometimes a nice little reminder (even if it's something gross like gas...) because that is the number one thing I miss about being pregnant.

5. Your feet grow. My feet didn't actually grow, thank God, but they did sort of change shape. I can still fit into all of my pre-pregnancy shoes (Evan is very thankful about this) but when I was an ice skater I had boots specifically made for my feet. Fancy. Anyway, at Christmas when Evan and I went ice skating they did not fit. We had bumped out the skates in places where my bones stuck out so that my bones wouldn't rub against the skate and blah blah blah skater's feet suck. I went skating right before I was pregnant and my boots fit fine. So, chocking this one up to pregnancy.

6. You become a back-sleeper. I was a side-sleeper forever and ever amen. Until I was at the point in my pregnancy where they grasp your arms and shake you and make you sign your life away, promising that you will only sleep on your left side. Immediately, the second they told me I was not allowed to sleep on my back, that is all I wanted. It was the only comfortable position and even if I started on my left side, I would undoubtedly wake up on my back. I'm finally back to being able to sleep on my side again; but every once and a while I still fall asleep on my back and I remember how it's suddenly the most comfortable thing ever.

7. Your leg hair stops growing. I think I shaved my legs less than five times in nine months. I mean, I do that normally but it definitely grows when I am not pregnant. ;] When I was pregnant I didn't have any leg hair at all. None. It was amazing. And immediately after Maddox was born, that was the first order of business on the hormone agenda of "Get Larissa's Body Back to Pre-Pregnancyness." And I wasn't happy about it. I totally don't even understand this phenom because I was taking pre-natal vitamins and the hair on my head grew and grew and grew and grew. But apparently my body put all of the effort it wasn't using to make a baby, into growing hair on my head. And I'm totally okay with that.

8. Your fingers can swell. I pretty much told zero people this story because it made me sad but I'm telling it now as I look at my wedding ring perched on my skinny little finger. Because I was pre-eclamptic my entire body swelled up to like 15 times its normal size. Exaggeration, but that's what it felt like. And so I made my mom try to pull my wedding ring off my swollen fingers with some suture string. We iced the heck out of my hand and I sat with it elevated so all the blood would drain out of my arm and it would turn blue from being frostbitten SLASH loss of blood SLASH no circulation due to my ring. So she hooked the suture string through my ring and pulled and twisted and forced it up, up, up to my knuckle and she almost had it off but then she got scared that she was hurting me (she was) and so she shoved my ring back down. And that pissed my finger right off and it immediately swelled up even worse than before. Basically it looked like my finger ate my ring. And so the next day I had to go to the ER and have them cut off my ring. It wasn't a life or death finger situation, but the ER has a frequent flier ring cutting card and so we went. And they put this thing that looks like a flower cutting shear between your finger and the ring and then they turn this knob that just cuts through your ring. It was traumatizing and I couldn't watch. I couldn't even look at my ring because a cut-in-half ring just looks so wrong. So I put it in a safe place for safe keeping for the day that my finger went back to normal and I could have it put back together (FOR FREE! Thanks, ring insurance) and have it back on my finger. This is definitely something that everyone told me about but I didn't listen and so thus, I had my wedding ring cut off of my finger.

9. Sometimes you lose weight. I went to an appointment one week and lost six pounds. And I was secretly really excited because after you watch the scale creep up and up and up month after month and then bi-weekly and then weekly, you're all, "Okay, that's quite enough of that." But there's nothing you can do about it because you're growing a life and no one really cares how much weight you gain. (Unless you're being reckless, in which case your doctor might care.) But so I went to an appointment and the scale informed us all that I had lost six pounds. SIX POUNDS! That was weird and totally a one-time deal because the next appointment I gained most of it back but that was mostly due to the fact that I had a baby shower and then I ate strawberry pretzel salad and chocolate cake for every meal for like a week. But sometimes you lose weight. 

10. The second your baby is born you don't even remember what it was like to be pregnant. Seriously. I know that, "you forget the pain" or whatever nonsense. No. You don't. I will always remember staring at the ceiling tiles while I was hit with wave after wave of contraction and begging Evan to find the nurse to get me an epidural. I will always remember the first time I sat up in bed after my c-section and the feeling that I had just tore my incision open because of the sharp, stabbing pain that ripped through my abdomen. I will always remember how long it to me to be able to walk around the block without needing to rest. That being said, I would do it all again. I would do it every. single. day. if it meant that I got to experience this precious baby for even a minute. He was worth every ounce of pain that existed from the day of his birth and beyond. But even though I remember the pain, I can't remember being pregnant. I can't remember what it was like to not be able to put my socks on or need Evan's help to stand up. I can't remember what it was like to have like 25 more pounds tacked onto the front of me. I can't remember when none of my clothes fit and my feet were so swollen that I basically had to wear flip flops and it was winter and there was snow on the ground and I looked like such a teenage mom. I can't remember any of it. And that's the weirdest feeling.

So, being pregnant is really crazy. Crazy in the best way, obvi. Like, your body is growing a BABY. A FREAKING BABY YOU GUYS. It's going to come out a baby [A LIFE], not a horse or a squid or unicorn. A BAY.BEE. And so clearly, when your body becomes an incubator, it's going to freak the heck out and do some crazy shiz. These are the things that I noticed during my nine pregnant months. They may or may not happen to you (sorry if you still have to shave your legs and your feet grow three sizes). And these things, although weird and maybe annoying (glasses. psh. overrated.), gave me a perfect baby boy and I wouldn't trade perfect eyesight or the ability to drink a bottle of Sriracha in one sitting for this sweet, sweet baby boy.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eleven months//Dear Maddox

Dear Maddox,

Well, little love, here we are in the final countdown to your one-year birthday. These eleven months have sped right along and I'm sure the months will continue to fly past us until you are suddenly a teenager and then an adult and all the while I'll still be remembering what it felt like to hold your warm little body in my arms as I rocked you to sleep. Thank goodness for memories. Those things are saving my life.

You are rambunctious and wild and always on the move. You are never still for more than a second and that is obvious as I look at the toys strewn from one end of the living room to the other. You love when we chase you and the moment we sit down and get comfortable, you take off and squeal as we run behind you and scoop you up. You're incredibly fast and proficient at getting under the chairs and through small spaces. You taught yourself to climb the stairs in our family room and can sometimes go back down. Mostly you love to just climb up the stairs and then bang on the glass doors that lead back into the house. But you do really love to climb the stairs.

Your current favorite toy on the planet is anything with a light on it. Examples: The light on the dishwasher when it's running; the light on the stove when we're cooking; the light on the space heater; actual lights, et cetera. Anything with a light is your new best friend and you point and point until we acknowledge that yes, that is a light.

You love to point things out to us. If we ask you were something is, you look around the room searching for that thing until you find it. Then you squeal with delight and point and squirm out of our arms to go and touch whatever it is that you've just discovered. You love to point out the puppy and anything with a baby on it. Lights, too, obviously and also the windows.

You have four official teeth at this stage; and the cutest little gap in your top two. You absolutely hate when I try to look at them and you clamp your mouth shut and shake your head until I finally stop prying your mouth open. And these teeth have brought a very fun stage of eating to our meal times. You are officially over being fed and you much prefer finger food and feeding yourself. You love chicken and tuna but you didn't really like beef. Your absolute favorite food is mac and cheese and we make this for you several times a week. You had a bit of a growth spurt/teething episode where you didn't want to eat a thing and so we gave you whatever you wanted for a few days just to keep something in your belly. Whatever you wanted happened to be shredded cheese and bananas, but only if you can eat the banana like an adult. Meal times are mostly easier now that you can mostly eat what we eat, with a few modifications.

A few weeks ago when I was putting you to sleep, you were laying across my lap nursing and I was so amazed at how big you are. You were this tiny little infant who fit between my arms and hardly took up any space on my lap. Now you are practically a toddler. Your arms and legs sprawl across me and the rocking chair and I swear I can see them growing if I look hard enough. You don't love to cuddle and you would definitely rather be on the floor and go, go, going instead of on our laps; so when you do fall asleep in my arms, I stay there for as long as I possibly can.

You have managed to flip my entire world upside down and inside out, Maddox Oliver. Every single day is a new adventure with you. You are constantly learning something new (like how you can sign "all done" when you're finished eating) and showing off everything you know. You make us laugh until tears stream down our faces and we can tell that this makes you so happy. You are so easy to love and you have brought us so much joy and happiness. We are so thankful for these eleven months, where we learned so much about what being a mama and daddy really means. You have taught us about love and forgiveness and you have made us the happiest people on this planet. There are no words to properly describe the love that we have for you, but I hope that you know it when you see us smile at you and play peek-a-boo and kiss your soft little head. I hope that even though you won't remember these moments, that somewhere in your heart you will know that you were loved far more than I ever thought I could love another human being, every single moment of every day of your life. You are the best part of me and I hope that I'm doing this right.

I love you, I love you, I love you.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Ah, the great Throat of Death Sickness of 2014. I swear. Everyone and their mother has gone through this, have they not? If you haven't, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE. For the rest of the winter, do not go outside; do not interact with anyone. ANYONE.

It is literally the exact same thing as not knowing who the heck is a Joe Carroll Follower. ANYONE could be carrying this vile disease around in their pocket just waiting to cough in your general direction and BAM. You're minding your own business in the Target baby section and then suddenly your throat feels like your swallowing glass shards. (Just like how I was convinced that every single person in Season One of The Following was a Joe Carroll Follower and I could hardly watch the first season because terrifying.)

It's like that guys. Like that.

I mostly am a no-medicine-type-of-girl. It's pretty bad now that I'm nursing Maddox and terrified that something that I put in my body could end up in his and potentially hurt him. So instead I suffer through it and lay under a pile of homemade rice packs that are approximately 900 billion degrees because Evan warms them up for like 15 minutes. And I gargle with apple cider vinegar, which is my favorite thing on the planet but is so, so sour that it almost kills me but is seriously one million times better than gargling with warm salt water.

Anyway. I gave up. I got approximately five minutes of sleep in the past two nights. I've always been able to sleep like I'm dead when I'm sick. But apparently being pregnant changed that? I'm blaming it on pregnancy because I will write a post on the things that pregnancy did to me. WILD. It's wild.

This is the most random nonsensical blog ever. I am sorry.

BUT SO. I couldn't sleep. And I cried this morning. (That's how you know it's bad. That and when I'm considering performing surgery to remove my throat.) I cried because my amazing husband took yesterday off of work to be with Maddox so I could rest. And then today he had to go back to work and how the heck are you supposed to wrangle a wild 10.99999-month-old baby who is obsessed with the toilet and the light on the front of the dishwasher? I just didn't have the energy to chase him around and entertain him and try and get him to take two really, really good naps just so I could take two really, really good naps. And I cried because a day of rest did really nothing for me because on Day Two of the Throat of Death Sickness of 2014, I still felt like death. And that's worth crying over.

And so my amazing husband not only took me to the hospital and entertained Maddox while a nurse gagged me with a q-tip and a doctor kept calling me pregnant even though she meant nursing ("I'll see if that's okay to take while you're pregnant. I mean nursing." "You can take this if you're pregnant.") [and also maybe wasn't a real doctor because she said, "It's not swollen. It's just raw and inflamed." Oh, okay.] But he also took today off of work to chase around a crazy baby and let me sleep while my drugs kicked in.

And so now my throat only hurts a little. My ears still are achy but they feel less like they're being stabbed and more like they're just sore from being stabbed. Being sick is the worst.

We accidentally gave ourselves a four-day-weekend with this shiz. But next weekend is an actual four-day-weekend because of our very, very, very first wedding! Which is also reason number two why I forced myself to brave the walk-in clinic and take the disgusting horse pills.

I foresee coffee dates and pictures and dressing up and lipstick in my immediate future.

Friday, February 21, 2014

January Project Life

I'm sharing my January pages from my 2014 Project Life album. It feels so good to be in a new album and starting a new year. I'm starting fresh and clean and with a blank slate. There is nothing better.

This is my title page. I scoured the Google for 2014 pictures and then a few weeks ago Urbanic sold me that "2014 a grand adventure" card for $1 and I love it. It's an odd size and so I decided to just make myself a collage and then sew it together. And then I sewed all around it in the page protector so that it wouldn't fall out or move around. And that was next to impossible. Since this was an odd shape I decided to just put some pretty paper on the back side and then add a few pictures from NYE. (I definitely woke Maddox up to ring in the new year and he was not impressed.)

January 1 -- January 5:

Since this was a short week and I had already used half of the spread for my title page, I just decided to use a single page. All of these pictures represent our (or my) goals for 2014 (devos with Evan every day, dating, eating clean, reading before bed, more family time) and I journaled a little bit about that on the 3x4 card.

 January 6 -- January 12:

This week starts off the normal routine of my PL binder. I add the pictures to both pages in a way that appeals to me, not in any sort of order. The heart is definitely covering up some nakey baby who maybe had an overflowing diaper and had to be set down while I changed the changing pad cover and who maybe took off across the floor. Naked. I captured the moment for blackmail to send to Evan because it was about the cutest thing I've ever seen. I also made myself a microwavable rice pack because I am always freezing so I sewed up some fabric and stuck it in the pocket. I also included the sweetest picture of Maddox pointing to "the baby" (himself) when I was showing him my 2013 PL binder. He loves to point out all the babies and so we went page by page as he pointed to every single picture of a baby.

January 13 -- January 19:

Pretty normal week, a little low on pictures > hence the bath time photoshoot taking up an entire page. The chipboard heart is from one of my Studio Calico monthly kits, along with the card behind it. I used a photo dot to adhere the two together.

January 20 -- January 26:

This week was a photo heavy week since we took our monthly family photo and also celebrated a ten month old! I included a separate insert for his ten months and sewed it shut. I cropped up our family photo and filled an entire 12x12 sheet with it. I think I'll continue that tradition every month. The iPhone quality of that blown up picture is so, so bad. Definitely challenging myself to break out my real camera from now on.

January 27 -- February 2:

This was the week that I finished my quilt! (Hooray, hooray!) Maddox went down a slide for the first time (loved it) and also started getting some top teeth that ruined all of our lives. The bottom pictures turned out way darker than they should have but it's fine. We took them one morning when Maddox woke us up super early, so I suppose the darkness makes some kind of sense.

And that's that! I'm totally caught up to last week and it feels SO. GOOD. I was playing catch-up all last year and I'm determined to stay on top of things this time around.

/I buy most of my Project Life products from Amazon (except Hob Lob recently started carrying everything so LOOK. OUT.). My core kit is Seafoam. The pages are design A and I love them. I used a fine pointed sharpie to write on everything. I subscribed to Studio Calico Project Life kits for six months and loved it (Now I'm practically drowning in supplies but have this irrational fear of using my products. I need help.).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2/12 (a year of dates)

Date 2 of 12 was a surprise to Evan from me. I had no real reason to make it a surprise except for the fact that he probably wasn't going to be jumping out of his skin with excitement for it. Because we were painting pottery. Which is not exactly a manly man thing. Sorry, babe.

Also, side note: In college, Evan and I took a pottery class. It was our first class together and it was the best and worst thing ever. Best because I love art and hands on things. Worst because our teacher would whip something up and then get frustrated with us when we couldn't copy. And also the class was three hours long twice a week and we were required to spend an additional million hours outside of class working on our crap. Other best: We could make as many things as we want and get millions of extra credit points. I think I had, like, a 305% in that class or something ridiculous.

Anyway. Evan was not very happy with me for that entire semester. So you can see why I was a tiny bit nervous SLASH didn't tell him our date plan until we arrived in the parking lot of the pottery place.

But we had so much fun. We painted some mugs because I have been thinking about painting a mug since I decided on this date. And I sort of had an unfair advantage because I've known about this for a month and plotted out my design in my mind, down to the color. And then I sprung it on Evan and my poor, sports-loving, arts and crafts-hating husband had to come up with a design real quick like. But he did good. I'm so impressed. (I did triangles; he did stripes.)

It took us (well, me because I'm OCD) three hours to paint our mugs. You have to go over the glaze and over the glaze and over the glaze a million times before it is thick enough to look decent. And so I sat there for three hours painting tiny triangles on my mug.

The best part was just being with Evan and doing an non-routine date. We laughed the entire time and my heart was so full. I'm loving these dates and the time we purposely set aside to be together. Evan gets to plan March's date and he told me we're spending an entire day watching sports. I suppose that's only fair.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Three favorite photos from our weekend

I want it to always be the weekend. Always. It's unfair that Monday comes so soon. I'm forever asking Evan to stay home with us so we can cuddle all day long; but the real world keeps calling. Weeks fly by fast enough around here, but dang if I don't wish for the weekend when I get to spend all the time in the world with my two guys.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Celebrated Valentine's Day with a little family photo shoot in a random alley with some tires. How romantic of us. Also wore a skirt over a dress because said dress is so short. I mean, helloooo booty. Also, hello new favorite outfit.

I shaved my legs, curled my hair, did my makeup and wore lipstick for the first time in weeks, ya'll. Weeks. Had to document it or it didn't happen.

Also not procrastinating until the last day of February to get our monthly photo in. Also using my big girl camera. Pretty dang proud of myself over here. Pretty dang proud.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day Card

Here's the thing: I hate buying cards. I just don't understand why cards cost like $5. On top of that, there is always, always, always some obnoxious person in the card aisle taking all the space and reading every. single. card. It never fails. It's usually a mom and her posse of like 15 or so children who are screaming and throwing junk around and all I want is five seconds to get a card and get the heck out.

I got over that real fast when I decided to just make Evan a card for every card required holiday. It has kind of become my thing now. It usually involves some type of craft and typically a song lyric from whatever song I'm crushing on.

Anyway. Here's the card I made for this Valentine's Day. Since I don't have a daughter, Evan gets all of my girlie craft ideas. Sorry for him.

Also, my little helper. Card also applies to this little love.

I'm really, really, really trying to not need everything to be perfect. My oval of dots is far from perfect and is so lopsided. In a past life (aka, last year) I would have thrown it out and started over. This is me trying to embrace mistakes and errors and to be okay with the things that aren't perfect. Which is everything. If you were wondering.

I wrote an actual love note on the back and polka dotted the inside of my hand-made envelop because what guy doesn't love polka dots? Answer: Every guy loves polka dots.

The words are from the song, "Marry Me" by Train, which is so cliche and cheesy but it's like my favorite love lyric of all time, maybe. (Last year I used "Sweatheart" by the Lumineers.) [I also used this lyric in one of my favorite blog posts of all time.]

Valentine's Day is such a funny holiday, I feel like. I mean, I just don't need a day to celebrate love. Especially because a few weeks ago when I was working on my quilt, Evan got off work early and went to the store and bought me flowers, brought them to our house and cleaned up the kitchen and dining room so that when I walked in (it's the first room off the garage) I would see CLEAN and flowers (and also candy because let's be real) and then picked me up from my parents' house and brought me home. I mean, that means more to me than a day devoted to love and candy and flowers and chocolate.

But still. Any occasion to bust out my craft supplies and whip up a card for my love is fine with me.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from my little Valentine!

[I'm not above bribing with Kix to get this wiggle worm to sit still for one half second.]

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I wanted to be a mom my whole life. I wanted to have my own children and adopt children. I wanted my house to be filled with laughter and crayons and sippy cups and my fridge to be covered with pictures and spelling tests. I wanted tiny jammies with elephants and ducks and monkeys. I wanted the booties and the hats and the miniature things that make people squeal. I wanted the car seat in all of its 35 pound glory. I wanted the fleece blankets and the flannel blankets and the baby blankets from my childhood that my mom had stored in the attic.

But I wasn't prepared for the emotions. I wasn't prepared for my heart to stop every time I stood in the doorway to check on a sleeping baby and wait for the rise and fall on his chest. I wasn't prepared for the way my heart would swell and burst with every smile. I wasn't prepared for the way that his first laugh would split my entire soul in two and then just as quickly restore it. I wasn't prepared for the love my heart was capable of. I wasn't prepared for the feeling of an independent ten month old baby resting his head on my shoulder willingly. I wasn't prepared to hold my baby in my arms for the first time. I wasn't prepared to hear "mama" for the first time.

I wanted all of it but I wasn't prepared for any of it.

There's no manual that can tell you how your heart will burst one thousand times in the first minutes of new life. There's no manual that will tell you to prepare to be ruined and wrecked every single day.

My heart is tied up in the body of this 21 pound baby. This little man who prefers Kix over Cheerios and doesn't want to be rocked to sleep anymore. This baby who reaches for the things he wants, including people. This baby who hates having his feet covered. This little baby who crawls from room to room and loves to be chased. This little baby who gives millions of kisses to the baby in the mirror.

Every new thing. Every old thing. Every memory. Every breath. Smile. Laugh. Sound. Look. Pull of my hair. All of it. I feel it all in my heart. In this place that was awakened with his first breath.

I didn't know what it would be like to be a mom. But I am so glad for this chance to be one. If I only do one thing right, I hope that it's him.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

1/12 (a year of dates)

Having a baby and dating your husband is hard. There are baby sitters that need to be arranged and food to be prepared and naps to schedule around. There's a strict 7pm bed time (baby's rule, not mine) and a specific place where Maddox likes to sleep (his bed and only his bed).

It's not like we don't want to go out and hang out together. It's just that we rarely have time to do it with of busy, busy schedules. When we have free time, pretty much the last thing I want to do is spend 20 minutes combing the rat's nest out of my dreadlocks hair and trying to remember my makeup routine.

[Okay, it's not that bad. I try to be presentable a few times a week.]

But seriously. I am so pooped chasing around a very active and slightly ADD (in the best way//with his toys) ten-month-old. When Evan gets home from work I want to sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing. I want Evan to roll around on the floor with Maddox for a few minutes and to work on his arm muscles, lifting and tossing a not-so-light baby into the air and then again when he opens and closes his hands and reaches for the ceiling (which means again).

On another note, I don't really like to be away from Maddox. I love dating Evan. I love going to restaurants and doing things that we couldn't or wouldn't do with Maddox en tow. I love that. But I miss my baby when he's gone. Gosh, I miss him when he's 20 feet from me just taking a nap.

But it's not good for my marriage or my relationship with Evan to say, "I can't date you because I don't want to be away from my son." Or, "I can't date you because I can't get a brush through my hair so let's just order pizza and call it a night, k? Good date, babe. Same time next week?"

Not good at all.

So, we're hopping on the "12 months of dates" wagon this year and making dating a priority. And this is weird to me because before Maddox I was all about the dates. I mean, Evan and I dated each other like we had all the time in the world. Which, basically we did. And then Maddox happened and it was easier to do date night on the couch in PJs than it was to check off a list of 30 things to do before we could take Maddox somewhere else and go out by ourselves.

For Pete's sake, our first date after Maddox was born was on our anniversary, three and a half months after Maddox was born.

I'm one of those moms.

But I'm not going to be one of those wives.

And so. Evan and I are dating this year. Putting a high priority on dates and dating. And we're not just dating when the date rolls around but making each other a priority in the midst of life and work and Maddox and photoshoots and volunteering. Because those are the things that our lives consist of and I'm fairly certain that if we put zero effort into each other, we probably wouldn't see each other for a month. We're busy. And also tired.

But anyway. Our first date was last month and in true Larissa fashion I'm just now getting around to it. We dropped Maddox off with G + G and went to Catching Fire. I even wore a purse! (But only to sneak candy and drinks into the theatre.) I'm not really a movie person and so this will probably be our only movie date. We're planning on switching off on the planning and so I'm covering this month's and Evan will do March. And so on. I'm pretty excited to see how creative he gets because remember that one time at Christmas when he surprised me with ice skating? YES. THAT. Except for I'm pretty creative, too, so it might be a little competitive and it will. be. awesome.

About teeth part II

Remember that time that I told ya'll about how Maddox is such a good teether? Remember how he got his first tooth and I didn't even know it? And then all of the sudden he had two top teeth coming through and I didn't even know it? And I said, and I quote, "Throw the list of teething symptoms in the trash and burn it."

Open mouth, insert foot.

Things were going great! I found out that he had some top teeth on their way and about that same time my precious little baby who had been sleeping from 7 pm to about 7 am started waking up at 1. And then again at 3. And then again at 5. And then again at 6. And then 7 and was up for the day. This went on for an entire week. An entire week where I thought someone was breaking into my house at night and stealing my sleeping baby and replacing him with an infant because those parents were tired and wanted a full night's rest. For an entire week I rolled myself out of bed three or four or five or six times a night and fed Maddox and rocked him back to sleep. And then I got lazy and started shaking Evan awake when Maddox would get up. "Babe. The baby." And Evan would roll out of bed and walk the three feet to Maddox's room and bring him back to bed. Eventually I would just stay sleeping and Evan would wake up and just bring in Maddox and I'd wake up to this warm little cuddle bug curled up between us. "Oh! When did he get here?" I'd ask. Because one week of an infant sleeping schedule was enough for me and my sleep-loving ways.

And so. We fought those darn teeth for weeks. Maddox refused to even let me look at them but one night maybe we held him down to get a quick peek and saw THREE teeth popping through those sore little gums. I feel you, little buddy.

As of now, things are back to the way they were. He's sleeping through the night again and wakes up between 5 and 6 and we just bring him in our bed and all sleep until 7 or 8 when normal humans greet the day (I'm sorry. I can't trust you if you are awake before then. ;] ).

But seriously. Maddox put the stop to my bragging about his teething RULL quick.

These pictures are kind of confusing because he sort of looks like he's suddenly six feet tall. But I assure you that he's only like 29 inches.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I'm trying a lot of different techniques to usher in spring around these parts. I know that it's only February and spring won't arrive for at least another two months, but I am so, so ready. I made a new wreath for my front door out of spring flowers. I had a wintery one up but I felt like it was condoning all the snow business that's accumulating outside and I just couldn't have that. I also made lemon bars. If lemon bars don't scream warm weather, then I just don't know what does. We definitely ate the entire pan in record time because it just tasted like summer. And then we would walk by a window or open the door and realize that winter just wasn't budging.

Even baby Maddox knows something is up. He's just as sick of being cooped in the house as I am. I opened the front door and let him bang on the glass door for a few minutes the other day. It lasted exactly one minute before the cold air was seeping through and dropping the indoor temperatures to like negative six. So we went back to cuddling under blankets and I downed my 400th cup of hot tea.

I'll be in LA in a little over a month. Sunshine and warm weather, here we come!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bath time Baby

We have a bath time lovin babe on our hands. We still do kitchen sink bath time and I'm not looking forward to the day when he doesn't really fit anymore. He recently discovered splashing and so on the nights when he's feeling ultra rambunctious one of us has to hold his arms and legs while the other does a quick drive-by wash. It's a team sport and it's not easy. We've also recently been letting him roam around as a nakey baby for a few minutes post bath and it's terrifying. I contain him to his bedroom where no damage can really be done. I'm still slightly nervous for the day when he does do some damage because likely that will be the day that Evan is not home and I'm left with a mess. Because that's how things work around here, you know?

But really, there's nothing better than a baby after his bath. His skin is soft and smells like lavender and baby and we wrap him up in the softest jammies and flannel blankets and cuddle in his rocking chair until it's time for bed. Those moments are the very best way to end my day. And maybe I tell myself, "Just one more sniff," before I lay him in his bed for the night. And maybe just one more sniff turns into 300 more sniffs. But is there anything more intoxicating than the smell of a baby's head? I think not.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Project Life 2013

I finally, finally finished my Project Life album. I know, I know. A little late. (I talked about that here, if you're confused at what the heckfire I'm talking about.) But I'm the Queen of Unfinished Projects so this is kind of a miracle. I wanted to share just a few of my favorite spreads from my album. I put a ton of time and effort into this album and I'm so, so glad it's finished so I can concentrate on 2014!

I initially printed all my photos at home on my Canon printer. And I hated it. I stopped doing it all together when Maddox was born because hauling everything out and cutting pictures and trying to get as much use out of one sheet of paper just got too ridiculous. I totally cashed in on some Shutterfly and CVS deals and found out that it is way cheaper to have your pictures printed for you than to spend $30 plus on ink every month. So, that's how I do it now. And it's so much more enjoyable. I create a collage for my 3x4 pictures so they come out as 4x6 and then I just cut them in half.

I also had a subscription to Studio Calico but I ended that because I was drowning in supplies. I mean, it's totally fun to get new stuff every month but I figured I should use up what I have before I get any more. I also used the Seaform Core Kit (by my favorite blogger, again. Holler.) but I'm kind of sick of it (and almost out of it!) so I'll probably order a new core kit in the new few weeks to give this album some different patterns.

I made a layout for each week using pictures from my camera and phone (and some of Evan's, too!) to complete the pages. So, each week is two pages, from left to right (see Evan's birthday/Seattle layout below if you're still confused). I journaled about what was going on in our lives and included some of my favorite blog posts. Each week has a layout but I didn't try to keep certain days on certain sides or anything. I was mostly concerned with it looking good than having a chronological order to the pictures. For weeks where lots of stuff happened, I usually included a smaller page to house more pictures.

I love how flexible this project is. If you want to only document big events, do it. If you want to do every week like I did, do it. There's no right or wrong way to doing it. I thought that my life was pretty boring and nothing big happened but I am so glad that I documented 2013 weekly. When I finished the album last night, I flipped through the first few layouts, back when I was still pregnant. I read all my journaling and weird cravings and all the funny things I thought being a mom would be like. There was so much stuff that I had already forgotten and I was instantly so glad that I stuck through this and documented those moments that seemed so small and insignificant. But I'm the type of person who likes to look back and remember, but that technique might not work for everybody. PL is a document your life YOUR WAY type of thing. And I love it for that.

Here are just a few of my favorite layouts from 2013:

Maddox's one month layout. Maybe pink is a little girly but I love love loved the "you are so very loved" card so in it went. Most of the pictures are from my one month post and real camera but I have no problem using my iPhone pictures, too. (Bottom left and middle right are both phone pictures.)

Maddox's two month layout. Sometimes I would get Studio Calico cards and they would be so perfect for my life it was kind of scary. (The "you are so very loved" and this "everything here is wonderful" cards. Yes.) I machine stitched around the bottom left picture and kind of love that look a lot and have to literally put my sewing machine in a different room to keep myself from doing that on every picture. I kind of loving sewing paper a little too much.

This layout was for the week of our anniversary but our anniversary took up most of the spread because that was the main event/I didn't have other pictures. And again, that top right card says "Today. Tomorrow. Forever." It's like Studio Calico actually lives inside my head you guys. And had to include something sewn, so I put some confetti inside that pocket and sewed it shut.

The week of Evan's birthday/Seattle layout. We had a photoshoot for Evan's birthday so I included all the pictures from it. 

And the other side was dedicated to our Seattle trip. I added a 4x4 insert page to hold some extra pictures from our trip and sewed a little tab on the edge. (Again with the sewing.)

And here is that same page but with the insert flipped. That "Adventure" card was one of my proudest creative moments. I knew I wanted to use it for this spread but when I had 40 billion pictures to chose from I had to get creative with it. Since it's a clear transparency I just put it over a picture I took from the plane window as we were landing. I'm slightly obsessed. And the card that says "Seattle 2013" is actually a folded card so if you pull it out, there's journaling on the inside. Couldn't forget all our Seattle memories and stories!

Maddox's six month layout is another one of my favorites. I knew it needed something extra special because it was six months and so I cut up one of my sheets and used a 4x6 slot for the 6 month (glitter. yes. holler.) "thickers" with some patterned paper and on the back, as you can see below, one of my favorite pictures of Maddox and some confetti. I also stitched it shut so the confetti wouldn't fall out. I stamped the picture with "you're my favorite" but it looks a little messy in these pictures, not so much in real life.

This layout was for the weekend we went to the pumpkin patch. I wish that the two top pictures were in black and white (and maybe I'll go back and reprint them. Who knows.) but I love the two cards ("I will remember this day forever" & "there's no place I'd rather be than right here") and had to include them both in this layout. I felt like the pictures spoke for themselves and didn't do any journaling on this page.

This was one of my favorite techniques to include in the album. I did this a lot when I didn't have enough pictures to fill up two entire pages. I cropped the picture into six 4x6s and it basically printed in a 12x12 picture (in six different sections, obviously) and then I cut it up to fit the layout. I did this with a couple of my favorite pictures. But this one is by far my favorite. Sometimes cutting the picture up will cause you to lose an eye or an important piece of the picture, and it takes a lot of time and practice to get good at cropping the picture evenly. But this is one of my favorite ways to use the big pages and really make a statement.

And that's that. An entire year bundled up in my pretty little seafoam green binder. I'm already obsessing over it and looking through all 52 (plus a few more) pages and remembering the greatest parts of 2013. It was such a good year and I'm so glad that I stuck with this project. But, by far, the greatest moment was when I told Evan that I had finally finished it and he looked through the last few layouts that he had not already seen and turned to me and said, "Babe. I love it." I mean, what guy even cares about printing pictures? My guy. That's who. So, that made it all worth it.