Monday, April 30, 2012

Blissful Baby

I was worried that Ocoee would have a hard time in her new room today at daycare. I had a chance to stop in quickly on my lunch break to check on her. She was sleeping blissfully. All of the other babies had woken up to eat but she snoozed on!

Obviously she feels pretty comfy. I watched and soaked in the absolute peace and bliss of a sleeping baby.

Check out our new photo shoot here.

This weekend we had a few events which Ocoee did so well at. First we went out for a quick happy hour on Friday. Ocoee sat in a high chair at a restaurant for the first time ever and seemed pretty happy to be out with us. I left early and hubby stayed for a little social time. Ocoee was still in bed by her normal time, a win-win. Another reason I am a fan of happy hour.

On Saturday we went to a friends for dinner. When we walked in there were about 10 adults and 7 kids running around. We had to wake Ocoee up to head over since she goes to bed around 5ish.....when we walked in she burst into tears right was just too much for her. It was just a little cry fest and then she was eager to see who was all there. We visited for a few minutes and then put her in her peapod where she happily returned to dreamland until late that night when we left. At home she fell right back asleep. It was nice to be able to still do something like we used to and keep the baby happy.

She is really learning to roll with flow, which is an important skill.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Urban Farming!

Our house welcomed 3 new arrivals last night. Their names are..Cleopatra, Eleanor and Oprah....we chose to name them for powerful women...role models for our darling Ocoee.

Yep that is right, we took the plunge into urban farming and are now proud guardians of these adorable chicks. Wait...we are pescatarians, right? That means we only eat fish as animal protein...and yep, but we love fresh eggs! And these little beauties are going to be our own source of eggs.

My hubby has wanted chickens for years. I grew up on a farm and know a little about chickens. As a kid I would not eat eggs because I thought of the little chickens and their eggs as I happily eat eggs but never chickens. When I relented and told my hubby he could have chickens, he went full steam ahead.

My only criteria were, they can't smell badly and the chicken coop must be ghetto coops in this house! He agreed to clean their coop often and went and bought the lovely cape cod style coop for their future home.

We spent a lot of time researching, since owning chickens is even more tricky in Alaska. Turns out lots of Alaskans urban farm. I spent a lot of time emailing a FOF (friend of a friend) about her set up. She has young girls and that made me feel better since I want this to be a cool thing for Ocoee as she grows.

We set up the brooder (don't ya love the farming lingo) and last night picked them up. The guy on the phone we had talked to was always gruff and un-talkative. My hubby is quiet and not a big chatter, so I was surprised when the 5 minute drive to the chick sellers house turned into an hour trip. Turns out this gruff farmer is very loquacious when it comes to his chicks.

I am very excited to have the chicks. I love fresh eggs and we hope to handle the chicks a lot, so that they are pets. We introduced them to the dogs last night and held them close to our faces talking quietly to them. They already have personalities at 3 days old! We reminded ourselves to not get too attached since young chicks often die. But we are suckers for animals so...

It was actually a lot like bringing a baby home. We had to get the gear and were worried about keeping them warm. We had to prepare ourselves for live with chicks.

Also in my book club this month we are picking a book of our choice. I decide upon Chicken and Egg, a memoir that puts the chic in chicks! It has tons of recipes and I am excited to start it. I hope to bring a dish to the book club from my eggs on day in the future.

It makes me feel good to take a step towards my goal to live more simply. I watched an inspiring documentary I am on Wednesday. It made me think more about how things don't bring happiness. The title comes from a 18th century essay contest where the prompt was a question, "What is wrong with the world today?"

The answer from a entry, " I am."

Hmmm, I know I want to be the answer to what is right with the world today....still thinking how to do that.

Happy Friday


Thursday, April 26, 2012


Tomorrow Ocoee will have her first graduation- she will move from the little butterfly room at her daycare Hillcrest to the big butterfly room.

I am extremely sad to leave Ms. Renea her teacher, as I know Ocoee will be too. Ms. Renea loves all her babies and Ocoee thrived under the warmth of this love.

We have been spending a little time each day this week together in the big butterfly room. Ocoee spends some time in the mornings there as well so the transition hopefully will go well. The new teachers in the room are loving and kind, so I know Ocoee will be in good hands.

Just another milestone in the life of a baby. I don't know if in 10-20 years if Ocoee will remember the 3 months she spent with Ms. Renea-but I will. Hubby and I will be happy that she is just across the hall so we can join the groups of parents who still stop by to say hello. The first few months of a new babies life is so stressful and emotional, I don't think I would have been able to stay at my job if we had not found a place we felt comfortable. We are so thankful to have found Hillcrest.

We thank Ms. Renea for being a caregiver, educator and loving adult to Ocoee. She has given us so much advice. She truly is a fountain of wisdom.

This weekend is the annual cleanup weekend. Each family must volunteer hours as part of their enrollment at Hillcrest. I love this idea and wish we could require this in public schools!
We will go and do our part, and as Ocoee grows we hope it shows her the model for being involved in your community. We are all better when we help each other.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Job next year

Last week the best solution to my job situation worked out. My principal at the school I am currently working as a project manager offered me a part time social studies position.

For me this is the perfect. I can Stay at a school I love, teach, and still have a better balance of time with my beautiful baby. Our finances will be better and I will hopefully be better at the balancing act that is being a working mom.

Right now, I must admit I am looking forward to summer. We head home to Tennessee, and I can focus all of my attention on Ocoee.

Sometimes things just work out.


Monday, April 23, 2012

This, that and all of it!

Here is our little bambino, love bug, bugaroo, Ocoee Dael Fey at 28 weeks old. She is just a few blinks away from crawling, eats 3 meals a day of solids (purees), and babbles like a brook!

We had a nice weekend, very relaxing. On Friday we had the kids sale in Palmer from Bella Kids.  Afterwards I joined my book club for a great discussion of Snow Child by local Alaskan author Eowyn Ivey. The book deals with a difficult subject, infertility and yearning for children, in a beautifully written fiction story. The ladies of my book club, made some wonderful points and insights and we all loved the book. It touched us all deeply.

On Saturday we did our spring cleaning of the garage. We were making room for our chicks we will be getting soon and my hubby's new project the keezer, which will keep our mini kegs of sparkling water, homebrew and kombucha cool. Yes I am a lucky girl to have all my liquid needs satisfied by my home-brewing husband. If you have never tried kombucha or want to make your own check this site out.

We also had a chance to stop by our friends and visit. We returned some borrowed baby items and were amazed by how much their son had grown. He spoke really well and was a little bundle of energy. He very sweetly shared his toys with Ocoee and I think she loved seeing someone closer to her size. It was a nice glimpse into the future, since Ocoee will be doing all those things soon as quickly it goes by!

On sunday, we were upstairs in the nursery with baby. Hubby was playing peek a boo with baby while she sat in her crib, I was in the rocker close by. Ocoee leaned a little too much and slowly tipped over and tapped her head against the side of the crib. Literally I watched this in slow motion but didn't have time to grab her before she made contact. I saw that it wasn't painful and thought she might shrug it off, but as I pulled her into my arms she let out the worse cry ever.

I have never heard this cry but it crushed me. She just kept jerking her head and squeaking, completely devastated by the injustice of the fall. She seemed to be saying NO! this is not acceptable. I know her feelings were hurt more than anything but I was put on edge. I held her using the 5's and comfort techniques I have read work for pain in infants. She took a few minutes to calm down. I had a hard time sleeping and kept waking up to the sounds of a baby cry, only to discover she was sound asleep.......if this is the emotional response of being a mom, to a tiny bump, how will I deal with the real bumps and bruises her body and feelings will take in life. I chose to believe it gets easier, but my feelings are still as tender as hers when I think about it.

This morning though she was happily babbling and playing with her Sophie the giraffe while soaked in pee and with one leg stuck out of her crib.....happy as a bird with a french fry. How can you explain that?


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Love a deal!!

On friday I attended a sneak peak of an fun consignment sale sponsored by Bella kids.

The sale is at the train depot in Palmer. Check it out tomorrow or Monday if you are looking for some great deals on very gently used kids gear.

I got a few cute clothing items for Ocoee. Also scored a great Melissa and Doug wooden puzzle for $1. Another favorite was a box of baby legs socks. I love their legwarmers so I bet the socks will be lovely as well.

The event was well run and the owner, Samantha, put so much effort in to making it a success. I can hardly wait for the fall sale. I think I will consign my items then, saving me the hassle of a yard sale or craigslist.

As a eco-minded mom, the idea of hand me ups just makes sense. I can take all the money saved and plug it into little bambinos college fund.

The selection at the sale was impressive. Nothing seemed worn, damaged or stained. I love a good deal but also want quality so this sale was perfect.

Bella Kids is a fabulous way to get good gear and some retail therapy without breaking the bank.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Birthday parties! Bird Theme

Since I am rushed I will send you over to my friends Blog, FengSchwa, she has some great ideas for a bird themed birthday party, and her writing always makes me smile! Enjoy.

Check out the Mojito recipe below too.

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Thirsty Thursdays!

It is Thursday...and I am thirsty. This is the drink I will be making for my "Get Lit" book club on Friday. Tastes like spring!

Recipe: Champagne Mojitos



  1. 3/4 cup sugar
  2. 3/4 cup water
  3. 1 1/2 cups packed mint leaves, plus 12 mint sprigs, for garnish
  4. 6 limes, cut into wedges
  5. 2 cups light rum
  6. Cracked ice
  7. 3 cups Champagne or sparkling wine
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over high heat just until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large pitcher, combine the sugar syrup with the mint leaves and lime wedges and muddle well with a wooden spoon. Add the rum and stir well. Strain the drink into another pitcher.
  3. Fill tall glasses with cracked ice and pour in the drink, filling them about two-thirds full. Top with Champagne, garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The mojitos can be prepared through Step 2. Refrigerate the mojitos in the pitcher overnight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

surviving without hubby

Brodie is the man of the house when Hubby is gone.

My husband is my rock.....I am more like the sea, volatile one minute calm the next. I move and change directions often and the things that come out of my mouth...can be a bit salty!

Hubby on the other hand is calm, cool and collected. He chooses his words wisely and likes to be rooted in place. His beliefs are not easily swayed and he likes concrete things like numbers and facts.

I live on feeling and hunches.

So we ying and yang it up pretty well together. When I am mad I yell, he doesn't respond, I yell more....because I grew up where yelling was what we did.....we got it off our chests big time when we were feeling mad, sad, happy....heck anything, we yelled.

Hubby grew up where expressing yourself was quieter and often in the midwest just kept all that nonsense to yourself and kept on keeping on.

He is out of town. Just a quick trip but his absence throws my compass off. Me without him is like popcorn without truffle oil and parmesan....still ok but couldn't we spice it up a bit.

So when I got home yesterday....already in one of those moods to find that 13 year old first baby, had an accident on the floor, I thought yea this is one of those day alright.

Brodie on the beach in Homer, AK...salt water is one of his triggers for upset stomach. He learned this lesson the hard way.

Love, Guiness and Brodie....our furry pack!

Brodie often has stomach issues that leave messes for me to clean up. He has triggers and we have learned them...the problem is, like most labs, he loves to eat. LOVES to. He will eat lettuce, grass, anything we eat and even picks raspberries from the bush to eat. When we left our cabbage outside too late and it rotted on the vine due to an early frost....he ate that.

I am writing about surviving without hubby and really my dogs are a huge part of that. They keep me company, make me feel safe and Ocoee loves them. Dogs win out over parents already in her world. Yesterday after we cleaned up the mess we went upstairs to play. Of course Brodie and Guiness are always within a foot of me or hubby so they were right there in the nursery too. Ocoee sat in her crib, smiling and laughing as the dogs poked their snouts in looking and smelling her. She seemed to be playing peek-a-boo with them and telling them all of her secrets and stories from the day.

Hubby will be home late tonight, so in the mean time Brodie is resting outside and hoping to get past his, belly issues. We will all be rolling around on the floor later together, pulling closer to each other, waiting for our rock to be back.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Post partum...

So I looked up postpartum depression and the good folks at Wikipedia told me that it is a depression effecting women
(and some men) after child birth.

Here are the symptoms:

Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability.

So I am pretty sure that I am not depressed, but I have had several of those symptoms. I think I am going to coin a new term, called postpartum confusion. I am often confused. Why do I have to get out of bed? Why is there so much laundry? How can I get a 6 pack without working out? What should I do with my life? Do we want a bigger house? Where will I work next year or for the next 20 years?

And yes all of these questions flutter through my head all day, at 1000 miles per hour. So that leads to a little anxiety.

But then other days I wake up, baby smiles, my world melts, I skip out the door, kiss the love of my life on the way out, the sun is shining, my hair and outfit look good, and I think...I have it all.

Today is not that day. Today my hair is a genetic curse, my outfit makes me look pregnant (uh, thanks lunch lady for asking when I am due...even though I am pretty sure you were at my shower when I was 10 months pregnant!) Hubby was still asleep, as was love or kisses or smiles from them to wrap around myself like armor to protect me from the insults, large and small.

So is this postpartum confusion that causes the widely fluctuating emotions? Some days I have never been more purposeful and sure of anything in my life, other days I feel like a complete failure at everything I do.

The truth is a think we all are this way. We all have insecurities and fears that we mask and hide from each other. Why do we want people to think our lives are perfect? Are we afraid to admit it aloud that sometime life sucks...for no reason at all.

These little dramas are pointless because I have dealt with true tragedy and real horror in life, and never once was I thinking about my hair or the laundry when it really hits the fan. My husband thinks it is the human condition to be unsatisfied. I (the optimist in the relationship) thinks it is the human condition to Overcome.

So I hope to overcome this postpartum confusion and get my brain back along with my purpose. I do know I feel complete when I hold this in my arms.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Answers will come

Ocoee is embracing the spring weather....45 and sunny is spring here in Anchorage!

I am a self confessed control freak. I realize this and know that when things are out of my control I have to work extra hard to know...let it go. I have been working on this 'let it go' mantra a lot lately.

I am a teacher and my job has been displaced....which means in PR terms, eliminated. The district will decide on Thursday what job they want to move me to, 90%, otherwise I could get a job over the summer when funding happens. And I will have to decide if I want the job they offer me or if I would rather just stay home with Bambino. If no job is offered to me on Thursday I am going under the assumption that I will not be working next year since I can't sit around all summer thinking one will open up.

On one hand I think staying home with Ocoee would be the best thing that could happen. I love being with her and to be honest it is hard being a working mom. I know so many people do it and do it well, but I am pretty exhausted. To have the luxury of focusing on being a mom would be pretty amazing.

On the other hand, there would be some financial set backs in our life if I don't work. Also getting back into the profession of teaching when she goes to school or later could be a challenge. Retirement and tenure and all of those boring things that must be considered could be bumps in the road. I know we can overcome them....there is just the last issue.

I love teaching. I am a good teacher and have spent a lot of time and energy getting the education I have to try and make a difference in students lives. I feel good about myself when I am productive and contributing to the greater good. I also have worked and earned money since I was 14 years old in some way. The emotional roller coaster of letting all the old ways of defining myself go, and reinventing myself as a mom is challenging.

I am in a good place though. Either way I win, by continuing my career and teaching or by staying at home and raising my daughter....the most important job I will ever do. I am just happy that answers will hopefully come soon.

I know many moms have dealt with this same situation and different things work for them and their unique spot, but the emotions of guilt, love, excitement, hope and worry are all the same across the board. We all love our families and want to do what is best for them.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Dinner and a date

Tonight hubby and I are going out on a date. We haven't been out on a date in months. We went out when she was 3 weeks old and also in Hawaii when we had my mother in law to baby sit, but a real date with no has been several months. We used to do a date night once a week. We would switch weeks, taking turns planning the date.

Now days it is hard to leave the baby, we are tired, getting a sitter can be difficult....the list goes on and on. Thankfully last summer I bought season tickets to the Performing Arts Center, picking 4 plays to watch during the year. I knew these would force us to get out, and I am a firm believer that parents with a healthy adult life away from their children make better is after all about balance. So we try.

Tonight we head to the play, A Raisin in the Sun, and dinner. We have two excellent sitters that we use on a regular basis and luckily one was free for tonight.

I am thankful because I need a break. This week has been an emotional roller coaster for a variety of reasons and I will be happy to just enjoy my husbands company and a night out.

All on Friday the 13th! In Honor of the dreaded day of bad luck, check out these food superstition here. I always think superstitions are interesting. I grew up around a lot of cowboys and laying a hat flat on the bed is bad luck to them. My dear friend Sarah, would always go around taking my shoes of tables because this is bad luck to her Danish culture. I personally think it is bad luck to try to pet bears...but that is just me.

So happy Friday people! Enjoy.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

out growing things!

Check out an exciting shopping opportunity below! April 21-23, 2012 at the Palmer Train Depot in Palmer. A seasonal consignment sale for parents!

Ocoee seems to be outgrowing things every day. Some outfits she has have lasted for a long time, she wears them big and is now growing out of them, but many things she only wore once.

We were lucky to be able to get many hand me ups and I am a life-long thrifter so I have taken advantage of some of our children's consignment stores, such as Kid to Kid....just scored a pair of pink Carhart overall there a week ago! These will be great for fishing season coming up.

I am super excited though because a huge event will be taking place April 21-23, 2012 at the Palmer Train Depot in Palmer.

The event is being held by Bella Kids. It is a huge consignment sale for parents. People will be coming from all areas of Alaska. You can consign your own outgrown, gently used toys and kids gear or you can go and shop for things your little one will be needing soon.

I love that the event is local moms, which means local gear. In Alaska we have unique needs and why not get it for a good price since kids outgrow things so quickly. Plus I love getting a chance to socialize with other moms. They have the best tips on what gear you can't live with out and what gear you can skip.

Check out the website or like Bella Kids 49 on Facebook to get more info. I will be going on Friday night to preview the event and will report back how it all works. I am hoping to sell some of my own gear at the next one. Look forward to pictures and a complete scoop of the process.

You can also contact them at or call 907.841.0916 10am-7pm. Shop local and reuse....very green and eco-friendly!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

10,000 hits!

As of yesterday I officially am over the 10k mark with visits to this little ol' blog here. Thanks mom-in-law :)

I am a documenter. I believe it goes back to my journalism roots. I take photos, collect facts and write about what happens along the way. I love looking back at the past and preserving the memories for the future. That way if I go senile I can always reread this blog!

I am not sure if I share too much here on the blog, but if you know me I am an open person. I actually do have a journal for my little passion flower that I write the truly private stuff in, but the other stuff (an all encompassing word for the woes, joys and utterly chaos of being a new mom) I love to hash out here...with you all.

One last thing...I watched a movie last night via is the Angelina Jolie movie, In the land of blood and honey. I do not recommend this movie...avoid it! It was well written, directed and acted, but it left me haunted and shaken emotionally.....I am still bugged by it today, a small knot in my throat that I can't shake. There were scenes that ripped me apart. I wish I could have just not seen it!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Ocoee sporting her Easter dress with a real bunny in the basket!

Easter morning we did the basket in bed since we were all sick!

Ocoee's basket had some books, a new big girl cup, a juppy walker, new fuzzinbunz diaper, an cool egg Sarah brought from Germany, and some confetti filled eggs called Cascarones, click here to learn how to make them...or you can buy them on Amazon like I did.

We were sick on Easter. All three of us. Thank goodness we did an Easter egg hunt before on Saturday. Also we had a fun Photo Shoot you can see here involving a real bunny!

We are all slowly feeling better. Since returning to work, I have been the sickest and most run down I have ever felt in my life! I can't wait to be away from daycare germs, school germs and having summer to get healthy and revitalized again!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter weekend

Today was the most fabulous event hosted by my friend Shelly and her neighbors. About 60 kids all got together to hunt 3000 eggs in the deepest snow in anchorage history. The snow is falling thick and heavy as I type. Growing up in the south I find it amazing to have snow on Easter. The event was a fundraiser for kids kitchen here in anchorage.

Ocoee and I watched. Maggie, our friends daughter, would hunt eggs for Ocoee and then bring them to her. Such a sweet child! Kids and parents kept falling through the huge snow piles that have gotten soft due to our warmer temps. There was a mimosa bar for adults and good friends to warm up inside with after the hunt.

Before the event Ocoee and a friends daughter poses for an adorable photo shoot with their real pet bunny. Photos coming soon! Easter is more run this year than it has been in years.

As Ocoee was being passed around and loved on by my friends I felt overwhelming joy that she loves people and even though we don't have family here we are lucky to have such good friends. Alaskans in my mind are just the best kind of people. The kindness and openness we have experienced with people here has truly made this home for us.

Happy Easter weekend!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

6 months stats!

I love the series of shots above. It is pretty indicative of how Ocoee is on a normal day. She loves making faces, blowing raspberries and her variety of sounds is astonishing.

She eats 3 meals a day in solid foods. Her favorite is homemade peas with a little oatmeal cereal and yogurt mixed in. She is attempting to use a sippy cup, not much success there yet.

She has been rolling over for 3 months, has begun to inch worm around, and loves to bend and contort when she is in her bumbo chair, high chair or your lap. She just moved into her big girl car seat and is wearing a jacket instead of a snow suit for the first time.

Ocoee weighs 17.2 pounds....this is a little light due to her recent cold and her waning appetite, which has improved. Her weight is in the 50 percentile. Her head is still abundant in the 90% group along with her height of 27 inches, 90%.

She is growing well and strong. She had a complete meltdown when she received her shot yesterday. We tried to give her a bottle, I had a ice pack and none of that distracted her enough. She was so mad. Of course I had to yank her from her daddy to give her my love....I can't stand to have her cry and not be in my arms. I think in her mind that daddy is the fun one and I am the soothing one. So she did quiet down when I hugged her to me, but then she remembered the injustice that had happened to her and stomped her feet and really went at it. It was heartbreaking.

By the time 10 minutes had passed we had fed her and she was smiling and laughing again. This short term memory does my heart good.

We love our little girl with all of our hearts. She is this perfect little thing that has blown our world apart. Her smile is the highlight of my day.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Moving on up...

Ocoee has been pretty run down lately. She is fighting of her 3rd cold of this year. None have really gotten her down but this one seems to have her pretty tired. She is still eating well, no temp and sleeping lets hope this goes away quickly.

We did have some big changes this weekend as well. We are officially moving from her infant carrier to the Britax car seat. The Britax we choose because it has amazing safety ratings. We also have a Cosco (also received great safety ratings) for travel and my car....which is small, so it fits a little better. It is nice and lightweight at only 11 pounds.

I definitely had a love/hate relationship with her infant carrier. It was heavy, she was 10 pounds 1o ounces at birth after all, and our garage is small so the maneuvering was a challenge. On the other side, she could sleep anywhere...which was amazing.

With the new car seat she also has to wear a jacket now. For those of yo outside of Alaska, yes it is spring but that means temps from 20-40 and still a TON of snow to melt.

I think she looks awfully cute in her jacket....first jacket of her life. I have a bit of a jacket fetish so this thrilled me. I am not so much into shoes or jewelry but a good jacket makes my day.

Our little girl is growing up. But this morning as I plopped her in bed with her daddy for some snuggles I was reminded how little and delicate she really is. Her skin is so perfect and her hair puffs up like little baby duck fluff.

Tomorrow we go to her 6 month appointment to get all her stats. It will be interesting to see how much she has grown from last time.