Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Hair Saga

Unlike my well-groomed husband who pays regular visits to upscale salons, I institute a strict regimen of neglect upon my mane. Over the last year or two I've actually found that washing less, brushing rarely, and blow-drying nearly never makes my hair a much more respectable mass.

I have always struggled with having board straight hair. Although nice at times, it always slipped out of ponytails (even when using real rubberbands) refused to hold any curl whatsoever (even rag curls would be pulled out within a few minutes) and left me bored. A few years ago my hair turned a bit wavy. But not wavy enough to actually wear as wavy, just wavy enough to have to straighten. And it still wouldn't hold a curl.

Then I stopped blowdrying, stopped brushing, and went to washing only every three or four days. And I got this.

Cue the glorious trumpets.

But as it continued to grow and take over my entire being, my body decided to ravage my head with postpartum hair loss, I now get this on a daily basis.


So tonight I'm finally heading out to get my first haircut in who knows how long and I'm so excited I could dance a jig. I am beyond ready to part ways with the bulk of this mop. I'm ready for something that dries before midnight, especially in these single digit days this week is throwing at us. 

Glory Hallelujah, get off my head.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I've been wanting to write on here. I've been needing to write on here. Whenever I find myself in a funk or off-kilter Ryann-wise, I always find it rights me quickest to just blargh it all out here and get it out. So bear with me, please.

A few days ago, I had one of those moments that comes every so often and almost always unexpectedly. It's usually when I'm in the middle of something completely mundane and normal. Washing the dishes, walking to work, folding clothes. Out of nowhere the reality of Ryann's death hit sme so palpably that I literally gasp for breath and stumble. My stomach drops to my feet and I go queasy.

My brilliant, hilarious, daredevil daughter is dead.

This isn't supposed to happen in real life. It's not supposed to happen to people I know. It's definitely not supposed to happen me. No matter how well I try to describe the horror that slaps me across the face, I don't think that I will ever be able to actually relay it. Whenever these moments hit all I want to do is swaddle myself in a blanket with my computer full of photos and videos and let my mascara make a mess of my face.

Actually, that's a lie. What I really want to do is run to the park and push Ryann on a swing. I want to watch her laugh at Clif's awkward rollovers and send her in search of his ever elusive pacifiers. I want to walk her to her first day of school. I want to suffer through her learning her first instrument. I want to see her turn sixteen. I want to feel the ache of dropping her off at college. I want to hear about the boy and see her in white and watch her face change as they place that baby on her chest. My blanket and computer are pathetic.

I mourn for the people who will never meet her and so do not know to mourn. The friends who will never play with her, the teachers who will never mentor her, the husband who will never love her, the children who will never be born to her.

I hate these moments where I feel all the pain of that night in the hospital, the agonizing year and a half since, and the countless years to come, all in one blinding flash. But I never want them to go away. It's in these moments that Ryann is the most real. Where she's no longer dream-like. Where I miss and feel and remember everything.

I love you, baby girl.

Meeting face-to-face.
Mid-air slide dismount. Arms and hair flying.
Typical Ryann gusto.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sleep Update (with some eating thrown in)

Clifton has left no doubt that he's an early bird, just like his sis. We try our hardest to keep him in bed until at least 5:30am, but he often tries to start his mornings by 5am. My general rule of thumb is that he absolutely has to make it until 5:30pm and 5:30am for his bedtime and waking (although I judge his normal times to be 6:30am and pm). Once he makes it to that mark, it's up to him. I have spent a few early mornings with him grunting around beside me until the clock hits 5:30. However these days, Jared is usually able to get him to stay down until around 6. Blessed sleep!

All of this makes it sound as though Clif isn't a great sleeper, which couldn't be further from the truth. Most nights he goes down at 6:30pm like clockwork and he had been down to a single feeding a night! That was pure bliss. However, Christmas break threw him for a loop and he's currently demanding anywhere from 3-5 meals a night. So far, I'm happy to oblige, since it means more precious time to cuddle my little man, and he is quite happy to eat and get tucked back into bed all within 15 minutes or so. But if this continues, I'm afraid it signals that he has decided to reverse cycle, since he has a definite preference of eating straight from the source rather than a bottle. Oh well, I'm just happy that we're still going strong with breastfeeding. By this point with Ryann, we were nearly completely switched to formula. I am by no means anti-formula, but I am fiercely pro-breastfeeding. My goal has been to make it to 6 months, but ideally I would love to keep on well past a year.

A happy morning-Clif.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Treats

As Jared has pointed out to me, I tend to over-bake when I'm happy, nervous, or bored. This Christmas season has seen an overabundance of good eats. A selection posted below.

Christmas cookies made in chocolate, mint, cinnamon, and rum varieties.
Also made into homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. Pictures risen and baked.

Kristin's 30th birthday cake. Including chocolate, ganache,
whipped ganache, vanilla, pastry cream, and cranberry sauce.
And farewell cupcakes.
Lemon thyme, strawberry, and balsamic swiss buttercream.

I feel vaguely sick perusing all of these photos.

And yet I can't wait to make another birthday cake tonight!

I may have a problem.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas - Part 2

I suppose I shouldn't leave you hanging.

After Christmas mass, we headed back home, popped some artichoke dip in the oven for munching, started prepping food for dinner, and opened presents. Jared and my presents to each other will  have to wait for another post. I do believe we both knocked this one out of the park. Whee!

Lots of other treats were given, including gobs of chocolate, sad dry clementines (a tradition for the stockings (clementines, not the dryness)), books, scarfs, and gift cards. But as awesome as the gifts were, the main attraction was simply having an entire week of much anticipated family time.

Grampa Sherrick Sumner and Clifton Sumner checking each other out.
I do believe they're smitten.

Grampa Hiscock proved quite adept at teasing out Clif's giggles.

Waiting for food.

Some of the boys.

Mei loves playing with my phone's camera, although you would never know if from her look here!
And her lovely mother, playing with one of the Christmas popper's contents.

All in all, an entirely successful holiday filled with good food, safe travels, and family.