Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another Baby?

Now that my daughter is 20 months old, I get a lot of the "So when are you guys going to have another baby?" inquiries.

OK, that's a lie. Those inquiries actually started when I was on MATERNITY LEAVE. Seriously. I was like, HELLO? Do you see the tiny pink-clad person sleeping on the Boppy right here? She just came out! Give me a break, please. I'm still sore from labor.

Lately though, the baby issue has been on my mind as well.

It's noteworthy to mention here that I am an only child. As such, I don't really understand sibling relationships. The ones I see around me seem like a lot of drama for little emotional payoff. Since I don't have a sibling and feel like I had a pretty great life growing up with the full, undivided attention of my two loving parents, I always felt like I wanted to have one child. I would consider two, but really I was good with one.

My husband and I met when we were 29. Until me, he had given no thought to getting married or having a family. I am his first and only girlfriend and we got engaged after 10 months of dating. As such, I made sure to have the kids talk with my husband when we knew our relationship was going somewhere. I definitely want one child, I told him, so I need to know that you would be onboard with having at least one. I hadn't thought much about kids, he replied, but I can go along with that. So we were good to go.

Then, two years after we got married, we started actively trying to get pregnant and encountered difficulties. Understatement, much? DIFFICULTIES.

As our battle with infertility wore on, my husband and I started to get a little desperate. We went from wanting one kid to whatever we could get. Twins? No problem. Quintuplets? No worries...we'll just get our own TV show to make ends meet! LOL. And given the drugs and procedures we were trying, multiple births were a definite possibility. When I finally, miraculously got pregnant, we were actually very surprised we were only having one husband was convinced there was a hidden twin at the first few ultrasounds, especially because I popped out belly-wise early and why else would I be so big already? (Thanks, honey.)

Ultimately though, ending up with one healthy baby is the actual end goal of fertility treatments...not the Octomom freak show that you see in the media. And so I was very, very happy and grateful to be having one beautiful, much wanted, much loved baby.

And I'm sure I am biased, but my daughter was/is a wonderful baby. She's got gorgeous blue eyes and blond hair and other than demanding food loudly when it was time to eat (she doesn't like to miss a meal), she was the most easygoing baby ever. She rarely cried and slept ALL the time for the first few months after her birth, so she was easy to take anywhere and restaurants, to the mall, to friends' houses. She transitioned to day school without a hitch at four months. Now she is coming in to her own independent, strong, smart personality, but even with the occasional toddler tantrums, she is a gem of a kid. Really funny and smart and generally well behaved.

So now I find myself at the point where another baby is on my mind a lot.

In theory, I want another one...another beautiful, tiny, sweet little baby to love and sing to and carry around just like when my daughter was small. Because she really was not small for very long and now she looks like a little person, because that is what she is. She's not really a baby any longer.

My I-think-I-want-another-baby thoughts reached a fever pitch this evening when I visited a friend who just had her first baby yesterday (after her own battle with infertility). I went to the hospital and I held that tiny, gorgeous baby girl and my mind flashed back 20 months. My baby's tiny fingers. Her little feet. How she slept adorably all the time. Her little funny faces and movements. Her tiny button nose. How she fit into my arms perfectly, swaddled like a little burrito. Oh, it was magical holding that other baby and remembering my own. I think my uterus actually ached.

None of this is helped by the fact that my friend who was pregnant with me two years ago is pregnant with baby #2 now and another friend is trying to get pregnant with #2 right now. A little part of me feels they are moving on to the next class in Mommyschool and I'm being left behind. I want to go with them and have another beautiful baby too!

But then there's reality. And the reality is I found working full-time hours and being a mommy too stressful for me and was lucky that my company allowed me to reduce my work (and subsequently my pay) to four days a week after being back full time for nine months.

If I have another baby, I have no idea how I would have the energy to keep working and juggle everything, and I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom full time. I'm just not. I love being with my daughter and treasure the extra time with her that I have thanks to my reduced work schedule, but I'm not sure I could handle lacking in adult conversation every day. I drove my husband nuts peppering him with questions and inane mommy chitchat every day he came home when I was on maternity leave. He was like, you really need to go back to work honey. You need the social and intellectual stimulation. I need you to have it. I was like, what...poops and burps aren't stimulating enough for you as conversation?! But he was right.

Mostly though, I have continued to work because if I didn't, I would miss my paycheck. Because I like buying pretty things, and I'm used to having my own money to do so! I also love to travel and with one child, we can still afford to travel and it is easily manageable to do so. It was hard to take a paycut, but it has been so worth it to have every Friday off with my best girl. I don't think I could take a complete paycut to zero though.

So there's the part of me that wants another tiny baby to love in theory battling the part of me that thinks I couldn't handle a second baby in reality, along with the part of me that doesn't want our lifestyle to take the financial hit another baby would bring (our daughter's almost out of diapers!), and then there's the other two factors: my husband and my history.

My husband says he's good with one child. He was good before we had her and he's good now. Until recently, he had not seemed to waver in that viewpoint at all. He is such a great father and loves our daughter so, so much that I thought maybe he would change his mind and want to go for two, but anytime I've broached the subject with him, he's pretty set with one. She's a great kid, he says. One's easy to manage. We each still get time on our own. We're so tired now I don't know how we would make it with another, he says. And he's right. I absolutely concur on all these points.

Recently, in a moment of weakness (I think), he kind of said he had not closed the door completely on having a second child, and that surprised me. And freaked me out, because as I go back and forth on whether or not we should have another baby, it's easy for me to fall back on the fact that he is generally steadfast in being set with one child and that makes my decision for me. I told him that, and now he has reverted to his previous stance of one-and-done. But now, I don't know whether I should totally believe him. Now, I'm starting to get the feeling that if I were really set on two, he'd consider it.

The other factor is my history of infertility. I am so grateful that all I endured resulted in my beautiful miracle baby. I don't want to seem ungrateful or tempt fate. I got one healthy baby. I'm done. It is possible that we could get pregnant on our own without treatment, but it's pretty unlikely. And, if we did treatments again, they might be successful again...but maybe too successful and then we'd end up with more children than we ever planned to have, which would come with its own set of stresses. I am also about to turn 37, so what if another baby had health problems due to my advancing maternal age?

But my bigger issue/worry than all of these is my fear of failure. Ultimately, I'm afraid to really let go and want, really want another baby. Because if I do, if I decide I definitely want one, and commit myself to that journey, I risk plunging myself back down the hellhole of despair I lived in for over a year while I was trying to get pregnant the first time. I don't ever want to go back there. And I certainly don't want to go back there and have my daughter, the miracle baby I do have, suffer as a result.

Maybe it wouldn't be as emotionally hard for me if we tried again because she is here, she exists, and she lights up my life, every minute of it. But what if it did? And what if we decided to go for it and we didn't get lucky this time? How would I handle my disappointment then?

Or what if we did get pregnant and then I realized I really was good with one child all along? That I should've left well enough alone? That I can't handle the reality of two kids? That I was swept up in baby fever after all? How do I know what I really want?

I just don't know. But I think about it. A lot.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fashion Frustration

The teachers at my daughter's day school think I am NUTS. And not just the teachers she has now...all the teachers she has had since she started school at four months old.

Most people bring their four-month-olds to "school" in one-piece sleepers. Not me. I was excited for my daughter to get to wear all of her cutely coordinated outfits, complete with socks or tights and matching headbands.
First Day of School

Don't get me wrong...when I was on maternity leave and we were mostly hanging out at home (her continually sleeping, me catching up on reruns of The OC on SoapNet), I often dressed her in onesies. Due to spitting up or diaper explosions, she often wore more than one a day. However, when we met friends for lunch or went over to visit my mother, the Nana, or went for a stroll and window shopping at the mall, I put her in cute outfits vs. onesies/sleepers.

Hanging out at home on maternity leave

Having a reason to put her in cute outfits every day was probably the only thing I liked about going back to the office initially. It certainly wasn't dressing my still-carrying-25-pounds-of-baby-weight body, learning how to balance 50-60 hours of work with being a mommy, or missing The OC every day! And so I took pleasure in it...dressing her in pants outfits with matching sweaters and socks, Fair Isle sweater dresses with colorful tights and headbands, anything that was multiple pieces with matching accessories. My daughter was the best dressed baby in the nursery. She was a single-baby fashion show.

Some of my favorite looks for her

While her teachers looked forward to seeing what I put on her each day and always told me she looked adorable when I came at lunch to feed her, they still thought I was crazy. My first tipoff was a few weeks into her school experience when the school had a Pajama Day.

One of my daughter's teachers went out of her way to point out that Friday was Pajama Day. We're all wearing pajamas, Mom, she said, even all of us teachers. Sounds fun, I said. OK, so you're going to bring her in pajamas then, right Mom? she asked me seriously. Um, yeah, I responded, realizing that she was making a point to me, because my daughter was the one kid not already wearing pjs to school every day! On Pajama Day, I brought her in to school in one of her cutest one-piece footie sleepers...with a matching headband. I couldn't help myself. The next week we returned to all pajama-free fashion, all the time.

Fashion fun at school was all well and good when my daughter was immobile and eating only out of a became infinitely more complex when she started eating baby food, doing art projects, crawling/walking, and playing outside. More complex for me, anyway, in terms of laundry. While I appreciate that the teachers have more than one kid to feed, and I was still dutifully coming at lunch each day to help feed my daughter, it was mostly in an attempt to keep her and her clothes clean and food free. Orange food, which they seem to serve several days a week at school, became the bane of my existence. I began to dread doing her little laundry, which started to involve tons of Oxyclean, Clorox color-safe bleach, AND Tide...all at once on garments to get stains out.

This is the bib I sent to the school...
even the full arms don't seem to protect her clothes from stains!

Art was also annoying, because despite the teachers' claims that the paint was washable, a few outfits got ruined by this "washable" paint.

Why not give in and send her to school in her simplest, oldest, most boring clothes you ask? Because then the terrorists win! No, of course that's not why. I send her to school every day looking as cutely dressed as possible, because I love to dress her in pretty outfits. My daddy always told me growing up, "If you can't be sweet, be pretty" and I guess that stuck with me (I try to be both). I am admittedly high maintenance (see Why Glam-O-Mommy?). I always like to look pretty and I like for her to look pretty too! I care what I look like...why would I send my daughter to school looking like a ragamuffin? Some people do, but I just can't.

I love to accessorize her looks

As my daughter has grown and moved up into other classes, new teachers have led to new fashion challenges as being the backup outfit. It's always a great idea to have a backup outfit in the diaper bag in case of emergency. I always sent one along initially. At one point, the teachers she had changed her into the backup outfit provided every day...just because. Not because of an accident or any true emergency...just because they wanted to, which I got tired of, because it created double the laundry for me! So, I nipped that in the bud by NOT sending an extra outfit AT ALL, and suddenly my daughter was able to make it through the day wearing the same outfit with no problem!

Lately, I have been sending one again since she's in a different class. In this class, the kids sit at a table and get to feed themselves, which means they can get their own food all over themselves and the kids around them because they are learning to eat on their own, with or without utensils! And they go out to the playground everyday, which means my daughter dumps dirty sand all over herself at least once a day. Joy.

I don't generally go to see her during lunch anymore, because my daughter is at a clingy stage and if I arrive mid-day for a visit, it just makes her upset when I leave and makes more drama for the teachers. If I do go, I try to time my visit with the playground time so I can wipe sand off her a little, but mostly I just eat lunch at my desk or go out with coworkers.

But back to the backup outfit I'm frustrated because these teachers have started changing her into just HALF the outfit. One day I came to school to pick her up and found her in the top from the backup outfit and the rest of her original outfit, which did not match at all. That day, they changed her because her original top got wet during the day. Perfectly understandable, but couldn't they have changed the entire outfit so at least she would MATCH?!

Then, yesterday I came to pick her up to find her in the leggings from the backup outfit and the rest of the original outfit, which looked bizarre. When I asked why they changed her out of her jean skirt and into the leggings, the teacher said it was because she thought the leggings were more comfortable for her. It was a little jean skirt for goodness sake! I hate coming to school and finding her looking like a HOBO CLOWN because she is in mismatched garments! (And the shoes she is wearing NEVER match the backup outfit...that's Murphy's Law).

Despite all my comments so far, I really like her teachers...they are absolutely terrific with my daughter. I love, love, love them aside from the ongoing fashion frustration, so I just gently mentioned to them that when they change her into the backup outfit, for whatever reason (even the ones I disagree with LOL), could they please go ahead and change her into the entire outfit? It seemed like this concept had never occurred to them! And like they were cautiously trying to appease an insane person as they said, OK, sure, we can do that if you want. No sudden movements around the crazy lady...

I don't think I'm crazy though. Obsessed with my daughter's cleanliness and appearance, yes, I'll admit that. (Don't EVEN get me started on the fact that her face always needs a good scrub to free it of food/snot/dirt at the end of the day or the fact that hand-washing time always includes the teachers encouraging my daughter to run her wet hands through her hair which restyles her hair into a faux hawk most days.)

But you know, I don't always go straight home after I pick her up. Some days we have places to go together, and on those days, I have two choices: (1) take my chances on what she will look like/be wearing at the end of the school day OR (2) take a clean extra outfit in my car to put on her when I arrive and plan to scrub her face/wet down and comb her hair back into control before we go. Usually I opt for number two when we have anything major to do that I know of in advance. Other days, I take my chances on the school, which means we mostly come straight home!

OK, I can't resist putting a few more pictures of my daughter in her cute outfits

Oh then it's dinner time anyway, which gives my daughter one more chance to create challenging laundry for Mommy...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baby Making in the Infertile World: Not Glam

For most people, when you start to think about having a baby, you think romance and glamour. You picture soft music, romantic lighting, a little BOOM-CHICK-A-WOW-WOW, and two weeks later, your boobs have exploded and you're puking up your breakfast. OK, actually that last part is not glamorous at all, but I digress.

When my husband and I started trying to get pregnant, this is pretty much how we approached it. We went birth-control free, we had a little fun, and waited expectantly for the lines to show up on the little stick.

By the third month, I think the fun was over and I was starting to approach baby-making with all the romance, glamour, and vigor of a Four-Star General entering battle. After the Red Army invaded each month, I would allow myself a good cry and chocolate-fest (there's a lot of crying in this battle) for the first two days. Then, I would look at the calendar and plan our strategy for the month. I would share the plan with my second-in-command, Major Hubby ("OK, this month, we're going to attack every other day from days 12 to 18" or "OK, this month, we're going to place two days between attacks from days 11 to 19", etc.). Major Hubby would instantly forget the plan, so I had to give him a daily briefing on what was happening that day per the plan.

At the six-month mark of our battle, we visited my OB/Gyn, who had advised me not to wait longer than six months of trying with no result, but to come back and see him due to my advancing maternal age...of 33. Our test results were defeating...there was no way we were going to get pregnant without medical help. Apparently, my eggs were nice and cozy up in my ovaries and did not care to march down to my uterus each month, which was a shock. Since no ovulation=no baby, let the indignities begin.

It started with Clomid...a nice, innocent looking little pill that turned me from an emotionally fragile mommy wannabe into a RAGEAHOLIC GOING INTO MENOPAUSE. Seriously. I got hot flashes all the time (mostly at inconvenient times at work), began to sweat in completely unglamorous places, and felt anger of monumental proportions coupled with deep sadness multiplied by extreme bitterness. I unleashed this horribleness on my husband, parents, friends, coworkers, God, everyone.

After several months, we moved on from my OB/Gyn to a reproductive endocrinologist, who kept me on Clomid and added in a side of sticking a wand up my va-jay-jay every time I saw him to get a look at what the heck was going on inside me that was not resulting in a baby EVER. Totally embarrassing the first time or two I visited him...OK, pretty much mortifying every time it happened (which was A LOT) for the next five months.

In the end, the way this Four-Star General and her Major Hubby won the battle against infertility and made a baby involved the aforementioned rageaholic drug plus extra estrogen, "buttering the corn" while watching porn (poor hubby, see Bill Engvall), and more things being stuck up my va-jay-jay, from the hubby's swimmers to twice-daily progesterone caplets I had to insert like a tampon to make any potential pregnancy stick. Uh, definitely not romance and glamour.

The first time we did this, it didn't work and I was once again devastated. I had spent over a year fighting a battle that had turned me into an unhappy, constantly hot and menopausal person who was also 10 pounds heavier than usual (again, thank you Clomid). This General was ready to rip off her stars and give up. Major Hubby, who, bless his heart, had suffered many of his own indignities in this battle (see buttering the corn), did not waver. He gave me a little pep talk. He thought we should give it another try. This isn't how I pictured it, I told him. It isn't going to work anyway. I'm tired, I'm fat, and I don't want this to ruin Christmas, I said. The odds are better on the second try, he said. I think we should do it.

So we did it, on a Saturday morning, two days after receiving news via the va-jay-jay cam that we had one little soldier egg who looked primed to make the march to the uterus. One magical little trooper, ready to go. I didn't even allow myself to hope that our little magical soldier egg would turn into a baby. We did the deed at the doctor's office and went home and hosted a Christmas party for 15 people at our house. We celebrated Christmas with my parents, although I was mostly going through the motions at this point. We made no plans for New Year's because I had no hope of good news or a good New Year to come.

Sixteen days later, on the morning of New Year's Eve, we found out that we had won our battle. I was pregnant with our miracle child. It was one of the best days of my life. I cried and cried at the news (and had a chocolate-fest), but for once they were tears of joy. I went from feeling like the most ugly, unglamorous, bitter woman alive to feeling like the happiest, most grateful, most beautiful woman alive, because I was going to have a baby, finally.

My now-19-month-old daughter is a rosy-cheeked, blonde-haired, blue-eyed angel. When I was in my darkest hours, she saved me. Today, the often messy, decidedly unglamorous life I lead as a working mom, a life where my bed never gets made, toys are taking over every room in the house, and I spend entirely too much time doing laundry, a life that would surprise my formerly pristine self, is the best life I can imagine. I am a mother to a beautiful, whip-smart toddler. She is the greatest victory of my life and well worth every tear I shed and every indignity I suffered along the way to becoming her mother. So while babymaking in the infertile world=NOT GLAM, beating the odds and triumphing over adversity? Definitely glam.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Least Glamorous Feature: My Feet

I have large feet, always have. I passed through my mother's shoe size in the fifth grade and kept on going. For most of my adult life, I've worn a size 10 (!) shoe.

When you wear a size 10, shoe shopping is no picnic. The world is made for the size 7s and 8s of the world, shoe-wise. Lots of shoes that look amazing and kick-ass in a size 7 or 8 look weirdly monstrous and boat-like in a size 10. Especially if, like me, you live in high heels (but not the little spindly heels, they have to be a good-sized heel to hold all 5'9" of me up!).

So, imagine my horror as my feet swelled and my calves and ankles teamed up into cankles for the last two months of my pregnancy. I was literally down to my last pair of shoes--a slide-on flat that I almost couldn't slide my toes under at the end (they were only half on, really), so huge were my feet. Aha! I thought. This is where the expression 'barefoot and pregnant' comes from--you end up literally barefoot at the end! It was so bad that my boss took pity on me and let me work from home a few days a week for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. No one wanted to have to look at my huge, scary cankles and listen to me shuffle around the office with my feet half out of my shoes.

As the end of my pregnancy drew near, I made plans. "I'm going to burn these horrible slide-on shoes after the baby comes!" "I can't wait until I can wear all my pretty size-10 heels again!" "I'm going to buy pretty new size-10 shoes to treat myself for having to wear these ugly slide-on shoes for the last few months!" etc.

I brought the baby home wearing the ugly shoes. And I kept wearing them, probably for the first month or two of her life. Meanwhile, the first 25 pounds of baby weight came slowly off, my feet went down to normal, my calves and ankles separated into two entities, and I anticipated my return to Size-10 High-Heel Glory.

Then, I began trying on all my shoes.

And almost all of them DIDN'T FIT.

Horrifically, post-pregnancy I am now a SIZE 11! 11! 11! Nineteen months...nineteen shoe-stressed months later, I still can't believe it.

My husband tried to console me at first. You haven't lost all your baby weight yet, he said. You should keep the shoes for when you lose the rest of the weight and they fit again. So I packed 30-plus pairs of shoes away into a bin for nine months. I lost the rest of my baby weight. I tried them all on again. No go. Still an 11.

When you're a size 11, there is no such thing as shoe shopping. There's no, gee, I really need a new pair of sexy black heels, let's go find some. It doesn't happen. 99.9 precent of stores do not carry an 11 in store. Most of them don't carry an 11 online either and I have to try a shoe on to know if it is going to work for me anyway.

The one store in town that carries a selection of size 11 shoes is Nordstrom's The Rack. Shoe shopping is, what does The Rack have in size 11? Will any of these weird shoes available in size 11 work with anything I own? Why are there no sexy black heels in size 11 here?

Last fall, I got really desperate. I needed to find a pair of knee-high black high-heel boots, a staple of my fall wardrobe, to replace the pair I could no longer wear. The Rack did not have anything, so I took a chance and went to Nordstrom proper. No point in actually looking at any of the shoes...I just cornered a salesgirl and asked her if they carried any size 11s. Yes, she replied. Hallelujah, I said. Please bring me any and all knee-high black high-heel boots you have in an 11. She returned with four pairs of black knee-high boots. Three of them were flat boots.

The single solitary pair of knee-high black high heel boots were by Cole Haan--gorgeous, incredibly comfortable boots (some sort of Nike Air cushioning inside) that made my calves look slim, slim, slim. I loved them. They were The Perfect Boots. My luck is changing, I thought! How much do these cost, I asked. $249, the salesgirl replied. $249!!!!!! I swallowed hard, pulled out my credit card, and bought them. I've never spent that much on a pair of shoes in my life! But, as I reminded my husband, they were THE ONLY BOOTS IN MY SIZE IN TOWN. A town that is the SEVENTH LARGEST CITY IN THE UNITED STATES.

There is no glamour in having size 11 feet. And sadly, I think my daughter will suffer the same fate as me. Already at 19 months, she wears a toddler size 8 shoe, which is a few sizes larger than most of my friends' kids of similar ages. And like me, the tops of her feet are very high, so lots of shoes with straps across the top are a no-go because her little feet won't slide under the straps! All those adorable little sparkly ballerina flats for toddlers...she can't wear any of them. So now I'm stressed about shoe shopping for two. As if my size 11 issue wasn't enough!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Creating a Glam-O-Kid

While I love shopping in general, shopping for my daughter certainly has surpassed all other shopping on my list. Clothes shopping, toy shopping, book shopping for her...I love it all, but clothes shopping is the most fun. All the cutely coordinated outfits and matching headbands or bows, all the adorable things little girls can wear and get away with that if big girls wore them people would think they were insane. (You can't really get away with wearing bows in your hair past high school drill team. Sigh.) It's all just too cute and totally addictive.

I didn't lose the last half of my baby weight until my daughter was about a year old. So during that first year, every time I went shopping because I needed clothes myself, being two sizes up from my pre-baby state, I would try on a bunch of stuff, get discouraged by how everything looked on my new, larger, weird body, and then go buy cute clothes for my daughter instead. It's only been in the last nine months since I got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight and can fit back into most of my old clothes that I've enjoyed any shopping for myself...and even then, despite the return to my former size, things are just not in the same place they were before (they are in my midsection vs. my butt), and I haven't quite figured out how to dress this new, still weird but smaller body yet, and hey, LOOK! Gymboree is having a sale!

Since my daughter is under two, I am still completely in charge of her wardrobe, which I love. I worry that when the time comes when she starts making decisions about what she wants to wear, she's going to be a tomboy or get her fashion sense from my husband, who thinks that he only needs three pairs of shoes (one dress, one hiking boot, one sneaker) to get by in life and that every time he gets a new clothing item, an older clothing item must be stricken from his clothing rotation, even if the older item is still perfectly fine. I know it's a silly worry in the grand scheme of things, but I still think about how I will handle it if she rejects all my fashion sense. I want her to be her own person and I respect that she is not the same person as me, but I really hope she likes dressing cute and girly.

Right now, it's hard to tell if she's going to be girly at all. Recently, she and I flew to Alabama to attend a reunion of my dad's extended family. The reunion was held on my late grandparents' farm, which is still in the family. I've never been much of a farm girl, as you can imagine. Outside of shelling peas and learning to drive the tractor when I was 15, I pretty much steer clear of farm-ish activities. (I'm the only one of the seven first cousins who doesn't own camo or hunt. And there are three other girls. Seriously.)

My daughter, on the other hand, LOVED the farm. She spent the day running out toward the fields, collecting sticks, and riding on a mini tractor. Of course, she did all of this in the outfit I picked out for her.

I know, I know. White frilly socks and sandals for the farm. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking that I wanted all 59 of my relatives to think she was cute! At least I didn't put her in white tights, which was what I planned when I thought it was going to be chilly. What was I, Glam-O-Mommy, wearing, you ask? A white beaded top, black capri pants, and black gladiator heels...perfect for chasing after a tiny tot in a pink sundress who is making it her mission to find all the mudholes in the land. While this gave my sweet Southern family quite a chuckle, I assured them, this was nothing. I once climbed a mountain in Canada in heels to make my husband happy. At the end of the day on the farm, my daughter had never been happier...or dirtier.

But I got a ray of hope this week. My daughter has suddenly discovered the joy of wearing sunglasses. She has had a few pairs for months, but didn't like them and would never keep them on until now. One morning before she went to school this week, she put these on all of her own accord...note how perfectly they match her ensemble.

She's accessorizing! And striking a bit of a diva attitude, I might add. My Glam-O-Mommy heart is SO proud!