Jan 30, 2013

Gonna Have a Good Time!

My baby is a year old and loving life.  I realize I am completely trite- but how is Dell Harper a year old?

It seemed like yesterday I was trundling into the hospital, wrapped in a fuzzy cardigan and wool scarf, buoyed by my freshly polished red toenails and blown out hair (the joys of a scheduled c-section), after a sleepless night of quaking with nerves and anticipation.  I remember turning to Morgan before the doctor began the procedure, laughing and joking to staunch the chalky white pallor showing on his face.  Then the incredible, breathless wonder at meeting my darling girl, tiny and wrinkled, but already her own little self.  Subsisting on the rhythm of my baby and the hospital, the groggy, peaceful joy of holding and staring at her miniature hands, knowing that I will protect and love her with every ounce of my being.

Now 19 pounds, ten inches, and a year later, my teensy mewling baby is a cruising, laughing, passionate little person who loves to play all day long. She is about to walk any minute, and her arrivals and departures are announced with the slapping noises of her hands on the hardwood, crawling at top speed, invariably with a sippy cup of water hanging from her mouth.  Her life is filled with playing with her ball-popping elephant, Little People playsets, wooden puzzles and stacking cups, listening to toddler radio, and chasing Buddy around the house.

So we had a lovely little party, with family and godparents, lasagna and carrot cake (thanks, Mama for making the delicious cake).  Dell Harper loved her presents, but was most impressed with the balloons and carrot cake cupcakes.  It was a fitting way to celebrate the most exciting year of our lives, and the wonderful mundanity of daily life with our sweet, funny little girl.

Happy Birthday to Dell Harper!!

Jan 22, 2013

Skincare Secrets

For the majority of my adult life, I have had awful skin.  I went on Accutane twice in college, yet never had completely clear, blemish free skin.  I was terrified when I got pregnant, envisioning what havoc those hormones would wreak on my face, chest and back.  I was pleasantly surprised to see my skin clear up.  I think quitting smoking definitely helped my skin, as I have remained relatively blemish free since having Miss Priss.  

I have also drastically simplified my skin care routine into something manageable that I will actually do everyday, instead of becoming super overwhelmed and falling into bed with a made up face.  Also, I don't go for expensive products.  Drugstore products have worked just as well as prescription for me.  My face is oily in my nose and chin area, and dry everywhere else.  I'm prone to blackheads, and super pale, so the smallest blemish or broken blood vessel shows up like mad!

I started using Cetaphil when I was on Accutane in college on recommendation of my dermatologist.  It is the best basic cleanser for a great price.  I just wash my face at night, and splash with cold water in the morning.

Once or twice a week, depending on if I am a little broken out, or feeling greasy, I use this mask, which is normally 2 for 1 at Walgreens.  It is awesome!  Bright green, and tingly until it dries, after fifteen minutes about half my blackheads are gone, and my pores are teeny.  I follow it up with a slathering of oil free moisturizer. 

About one a week, I exfoliate using whatever scrub I have in my bathroom- right now it's a Roden and Fields tub that I have had forever.  A facialist recommended Biore pore strips to me last year (I hadn't used those since high school), so they have made it into my rotation a couple times a month.  Also, I keep face wipes next to my bed, for those nights when I am too tired to wash my face (which happens with embarrassing regularity).

Per my mother, always starts with warm water and rinse with cold to shrink your pores.  Per Martha Stewart, never use fabric softener on your towels, because that s the only body exfoliator you need- a rough towel after the bath or shower.

So that's me- simple and inexpensive are key for me to actually follow through and take care of my face.  What about you?  Who has a Clarisonic?  I do long for one of those, but fear it will be regulated to my gadget drawer with various fancy hairdo implements that are never used.

Jan 21, 2013

Checking In and Some Guilty Pleasure

Hello, lovely readers!  If you are still there. . . I have been avoiding my computer like the plague.   Reveling in my lack of chains shackling my ankles to my desk, and a view that is something other than industrial gray, stacks of files, and fluorescent lit tedium.  Of course, I am dealing with a new kind of tedium, but one that is quite delightful.

She is eating sweet potato gnocchi with a sage and brown butter sauce here.  I was beaming with pride.

In other news, I have started watching a wee bit of television.  My dear friend Anna goes through stages where she becomes addicted to television.  We had to stage a Felicity re-run intervention one year in college, and Scrubs also presented a problem, as it apparently came on during prime going-out time Thursday nights.  Anyway, Anna, you might have to call me and stage an intervention yourself, because I can't stop on Tuesday nights.  The cheese includes Hart of Dixie (it's just so cute and charming, without any base of reality), Happy Endings, The Mindy Project, and Cougar Town.  That is a solid 2+ hours of tv.  And cheesy shows at that!  But I just can't stop.

I have tons of recipes to share, but I have to watch tv.  I'm sorry.

Jan 9, 2013

Year in Review Part One

 Obviously, this was a big year for my family.  Looking through my photo albums, I am just shocked at how much everything has changed (such a cliche, blergh, but so true).   I gave birth a week after Simonne's shower- I am HUGE!  Elene and Simonne both had little girls as well- in February and MArch respectively.  Dell Harper will probably be in the same preschool class with both girls starting in August.

I'm about to go all maiden great-aunt on you, but look how small she is!  I can't believe how much she has grown.

Also, check out the bags under my eyes.  It's incredible how you forget those first couple months of zero sleep.  I went back to work when she was about ten weeks old, and I cried a lot.  It got better though, and I managed to appear like a normal professional thanks to a lot of planning and getting stuff ready the night before.  Oh, and a good quality pump.

Miss Priss had her first Easter Egg hunt (in a downpour, but as we just attended for the photo op, it was no biggie).

We celebrated her first Mother's Day down at the beach with my family- lots of firsts there- plane ride, Florida, seeing the ocean, dipping in a pool, wearing a bathing suit, and ROLLING OVER!  Who would've thought how thrilled I would be to see someone roll over?  It's nice to be getting out of the "my-dog-is-more-accomplished-than-my-child-stage".

 We came home to this.  Renovations were in progress, so we promptly decamped to Charleston for Virginia's wedding, and bridesmaiding.  Dell Harper was traveled out but we all managed to survive.
 We returned to live at my parents house for about six weeks while the kitchen and family room were torn apart at my little stone house (much to Buddy's delight, as he loves my parents' dogs and land).  I'm just realizing that I never showed y'all the result.  A house tour is forthcoming, I promise!
Morgan and I celebrated our third anniversary with a delicious meal on the porch overlooking the field where we got married.

And in June, Miss Priss attended her first birthday party for the triplets' first birthday.  She was entranced with all the action.  And already it's time for her first birthday in a couple of weeks.  HOw can this be?

So there you go- a massive photo dump and rehash, with another to follow.  I have been in a cleaning and organizing frenzy, readying my work space for my new stay at home and work from home gig.  I'll have an outpouring of house pictures and recipes as soon as I get done nesting and adjusting.  This week has been absolutely lovely, poopy pajamas and double ear infections notwithstanding. 

Jan 2, 2013

The End

My last day was supposed to be Monday.  My office still looks like this.  I'll be back when these shambles are in order.  If you don't hear from me in a week, send reinforcements and snacks!