Tuesday, December 29, 2015


The Christmas season has always been my favorite time of year.  Being a kid at Christmas is spectacular, but having kids at Christmas far exceeds the joy I knew.  I loved reading Christmas stories, decorating the tree, and talking to her about Santa.   

Every year, we've taken pictures of Violet near the tree to send out with our Christmas cards.  We wanted to continue that tradition this year.  Let me just say that taking pictures with a toddler is hard.  Homegirl had to be bribed with the promise of chocolate to keep her from trying to stand on her head.  And you know what happens when you don't follow through with your bribe immediately?

This.  This is what happens.

After some tears and some chocolate, we were able to snap a couple of good ones.

Truthfully, Christmas morning was probably more exciting for Jon and me than it was for Violet.   As soon as Violet walked into the living room, she went straight to her new workbench.  This workbench is so neat because she can actually hammer and screw pegs into boards.  We could barely pull her away from it to open the rest of her presents.  When we finally did, she insisted on opening them while wearing her fox mittens.   And Lena totally slept through the whole event.

All day long we lounged in our pajamas, played with toys, read books, and just enjoyed our time with each other.  Really, every day with our girls is such a blessing and Christmas was certainly no different. 

Monday, November 30, 2015


Miss Lena Rose arrived a week ahead of schedule.  She was born at home on Wednesday, November 18th at 9:27 a.m. weighing 6 pounds, 9.5 ounces, 20 inches long, and she is just perfect with all ten fingers and ten toes.

Violet has been a pretty super big sister.  She calls Lena "Nee-na" or just refers to her as "Baby".  She is very gentle when she holds her, gives her sweet kisses, and tries to rock her when she's in her Rock 'n Play.  Most of the time though, she's off doing her own thing, trying to get away with way more mischief than before.

As for me, I've just been trying to adjust to much less sleep, which sometimes feels kind of like I'm collapsing into myself like a dying star.  So until my girls are teenagers and sleeping in, I just gotta drink some coffee and say kumbaya.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Our sweet little girl turned two a couple of weeks ago.  I know they say time flies, but man, it really does. 

Since we don't really know very many people here in Texas yet, we had a super low-key birthday party the week before her birthday with just a few friends and family members.  The weekend of her actual birthday, we put a halt on all baby-prepping and house projects to make sure and really focus on Violet.  We made cookies, we went to the aquarium, played in the sandbox, had dance parties, read lots of books, and let her cover us in about six dozen stickers.  Wanna know what happens when you accidentally shower with a sticker still stuck to your pregnant belly, but you don't notice because you can't see it?  It fuses to your body.

Here's twenty-four things about our sweet twenty-four month old that I hope we never forget.
  1. Violet still loves to hop.  A lot.  Up until recently, we'd let her jump on the sofa knowing that someday we'd have to put a stop to the fun.  Well, the fun police arrived a couple of days ago after she totally flipped over the back---luckily she didn't hurt herself!  We felt super guilty about robbing her of probably her biggest joy, so we bought her a little indoor trampoline.  I don't think Santa will ever top this gift.  We literally had to drag her from it crying to go to bed.  I don't know if that's a win or a fail. 
  2. She's learning words like crazy and she's talking in simple sentences.  At this week's midwife visit, which she used to just flip out at, she came over to me while I was on the table, tapped me to pick her up, and asked the midwife, "What are you doing?"  My midwife replied, "I'm measuring the baby.  Do you want to help?" to which Violet replied, "Okay!"  When she heard the baby's heartbeat, she leaned down and hugged my belly.  Mind blown. 
  3. She likes to sing, though she's pretty shy about it.  Tonight she sang herself to sleep to, "The Wheels on the Bus."
  4. "No.  Okay." means no and "Okay." means yes.  Swish are fish.  Fifles are waffles.  And all rabbits are called Bobby.  
  5. Her two-year molars are coming in.  For Violet that means when/if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she's up for about two hours and totally isn't interested in going back to sleep.  Reading, yep.  Playing, yep.  Sleeping though, no way Jose. 
  6. We went to feed the ducks (which are sometimes called gucks) the other day and Violet was eating more than she was sharing.  I made sure to make a mental note to not bring stale bread next time.
  7. Violet is so sensitive to the feelings of others.  On her birthday I got her a cookie in the shape of an owl.  She didn't want to eat its face and when its eye (just icing, mind you) fell off, she cried out, "Oh no!!!!!!" and I had to put the cookie away to calm her down.  This kid would not finish her dang cookie. 
  8. I used to have the hardest time getting her to eat meat, but no problem with vegetables.  Now it's the reverse.  Unless of course, it's off of my plate.  Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother making her her own plate.  And just because she eats something for dinner one night does not mean she'll eat it for lunch another day.  There's no rhyme or reason.
  9. Trader Joe's is her favorite because she gets snacks and stickers.   The snacks usually cover her and the stickers on me.
  10. Stickers.  She absolutely does not place them randomly.  She groups all the stickers of one kind together or she'll start a line of them---usually down my leg.  The other day she put forty-eight (this is not an exaggeration) fish stickers on her left foot.  Just the left foot.  It literally covered her entire foot.
  11. Getting dressed is a game to her.  For me, it's a challenge.  She  totally takes advantage of the fact that I'm pregnant and am moving slower.  She'll run circles around me just out of reach, while laughing.  It's diabolical.  
  12. She does not ever want to take a bath.  She also does not ever want to get out of the bath.  I don't get it.
  13. I think she likes to quiz us like she's the teacher and we're her students.  She'll ask, "What's that?" and when we answer correctly, she says, "Gooooood!"
  14. Her new favorite book is this little miniature sized Chicken Soup with Rice, but she just calls it "Soup with Rice."
  15.  At this time, it seems like she's left-handed.  
  16. She likes to draw circles.  And she gets really close to the paper like she's super focused on drawing the perfect miniature circle.  
  17. There's not much she won't hug, including play-doh snakes and cookie dough.
  18. She can count to twenty, but thirteen is three-teen and fifteen is five-teen.
  19. Violet is 2 feet and 9.5 inches tall.  So, if you're half you're height at the age of 3, she's already going to be taller than me.  A lot taller than me.
  20. Her hair is finally long enough for a tiny little ponytail.  I never thought this day would come. 
  21. She really loves to clap.  After hymns at church or songs at the library, she claps and says, "Yaaaayyyyy!!!"
  22. Before her nap, I ask her, "Are you ready for your nap?"  If she says no, it's usually a good sign, because if she says yes, she almost never naps.  It's like she's messing with me.
  23. Halloween was the first time she had candy and she went nuts for like 20 minutes.  So, it's probably also the last time she'll have candy.  
  24. She's just the best little person in the world and she's brought us so much joy these past two years.  We know she'll be the sweetest big sister and best little helper around. 

Monday, November 2, 2015


I've been cloth diapering for two years now and during that time, Violet hasn't really had any diaper rashes, but occasionally gets irritated skin.  I originally tried coconut oil and breast milk, but wasn't seeing amazing results.  Then I came across Sweet Knee, a small, family-owned business that began making organic skincare products after their own child experienced a severe reaction to a disposable diaper and no products, over the counter nor prescription, were healing him.  I purchased their Bun Glaze and Oatmeal Cookie Bath and was a loyal customer ever since. 

However, not too long ago, I got an e-mail from Sweet Knee, saying they were closing up shop to focus on their family.  I was incredibly bummed.  But then I found out they were selling their recipes to another family who wanted to pick up where they were leaving off---and that's how Nyme Organics was born!

When I discovered I could still buy my hands down favorite baby skincare product, I couldn't help but message them to say how much I loved, loved, loved their Bun Glaze.   And then they e-mailed me back offering to send me their Newborn Bundle, along with a teething necklace and bracelet.  I was super excited to try out the rest of their organic and gluten-free products.   

  As I mentioned before, I've used and loved the Oatmeal Cookie Bath.  Like many babies, Violet developed a little bit of eczema.  While I was breastfeeding, we figured out that she'd break out whenever I ate any gluten.  This bath cleanser was so great because it soothed her skin and was gluten-free. 

The Bluebird Castile Soap  and Hulababy Bar were awesome at bath time.  Both left Violet's skin feeling clean and moisturized.  The bar soap was actually permanently moved to our shower because I loved how my skin felt after using it.  I don't have especially sensitive skin, but I've found regular bar soaps leave my skin super dry.  The Hulababy Bar Soap left my skin feeling silky and has a subtle, refreshing scent.

I really can't praise the Bun Glaze enough.  It heals skin irritations and diaper rashes in less than a day.  I also used to use it all the time when Violet would accidentally scratch her soft baby skin with her razor sharp talons.  It was seriously amazing how quickly it would heal a cut.  And the best part is that it's safe to use with cloth diapers! 

Rubbit Oil was pretty versatile.  We used it on Violet to give her skin some extra moisture.  I rub it on my ever-expanding belly to help prevent stretch marks.  And Jon now uses it on his face after he shaves.  He said he liked it because it didn't irritate his skin or make him look oily. 

My new favorite Nyme product is On The Spot though.  Violet's skin around her mouth occasionally gets irritated.  Whether it's from her pacifier at night, drooling because of teething, or just because she has sensitive skin, I haven't been able to figure it out.  I tried coconut oil and didn't notice any improvement.  I started using a product called Boudreaux's Baby Kisses and it worked great, but when I noticed one of its ingredients was paraffin (a byproduct of crude oil which is linked with carcinogens), I stopped using it.  On The Spot is so great because it helps heal Violet's skin super quickly.  I've even used it on scratches with great results.  I'm seriously so relieved to have found this product.

Nyme Organics is generously offering The Polk Folk readers 15% off all of their products from now until December 24th!  Just use the promo code POLK15 at checkout! 

All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


How far along: 36 weeks
Due: Thanksgiving 2015
Gender: Don't know, won't know.  
Weight gain: about 35 pounds...good thing I don't have much more time left!
Bellybutton in or out: What bellybutton?
Sleep: Bleh.  My hips have been super sore in the evening and early morning.    
Movement: Big belly-moving shifts that feel pretty uncomfortable for me.  Poor baby must be getting cramped in there.  
Cravings: Macintosh apples
Food aversion: Red beans and rice.  I can't.  I just can't.  I got sick after eating it during my second trimester and didn't realize I had such an aversion to it until I made it again the other day for Jon's work.  It was so bad, I had to wear gloves.    
Feeling: Physically, I don't feel much different than I did three weeks ago.  Mentally though, I feel like I have a math exam coming up that I haven't been studying for.  It's coming!
Fun fact: Baby Polk weighs a little over 5 1/2 pounds and is about the size of a head of romaine lettuce!
Birth plan update:   I met with my high-risk doctor last week and he said my placenta moved where it needed to be, so I'm cleared for a home birth!  And a couple of days ago, my midwife came for our home visit to go over the details of what to expect and how to prepare.  I'll share more on that in a few days.  
Violet update:  Violet turned TWO!  And she's getting her two-year molars right on time!  So, that's awesome.  

Monday, October 12, 2015


As my belly grows bigger, the deadline to get Violet's big girl room together also draws nearer.  When we put together her nursery, we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, so we wanted it to be gender neutral.  This time around, we wanted Violet to have a more feminine space to call her own.

1 // 2 (similar) // 3 // 4 //
We like the idea of having a loose theme, so for Violet's room we're going with a woodland(ish) feel using violet (duh) hues.  Sort of a purple mountains majesty meets whimsical woodlands.  A lot of stuff is going to be recycled from her nursery----some wildlife prints, a faux deer bust---and some stuff is from around the house.  I plan to make some mason jar terrariums, maybe some fun wildflower garland, an old quilt, and her furniture is some that once belonged to both Jon's dad and my mom.

This weekend we started the painting process, but since we ran out of paint, it looks like it's going to be a two-weekend project.  It will take a few weeks to pull everything together, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


How far along: 33 weeks
Due: Thanksgiving 2015
Gender: Don't know, won't know.  
Weight gain: about 30 lbs...my midwife says, "maybe it's genetic," and I just nod my head and pretend it's not the chocolate milk. 
Belly button in or out: Just flat
Sleep: Not great.  It's probably just the universe preparing me for the months of sleepless nights ahead.    
Movement: Lots of dancing on my bladder.  All day.  Every day. 
Cravings: Macintosh apples, chicken pot pies, chocolate milk.
Food aversion: None that I can think of.  
Feeling: Large and not in charge.  Besides the throat burning acid reflux, I've been having sciatica nerve pain that could make a grown man week at the knees.  
Fun fact: Baby Polk weighs over 4 pounds and is the size of a pineapple.  And BabyCenter says our baby no longer looks like a "winkled alien," so that's a plus!
Birth plan update:   I go in for another ultrasound next week to check out what's going on with my placenta.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Violet is 23 months old, and I am in love with this age.  She is so much fun to be around, to play with, and to teach.  I love talking to her and hearing what she has to say---especially when it's pronounced like a toddler would.

With fall finally here, though here in Texas I think it's called "the second half of summer", Violet has also fallen in love with pumpkins, or as she calls them, punkins.  We end up coming home with a baby one every time we go to the grocery.  She loves to put stickers on them, line them up, say "ffoooooooouuuurrrr punkins!" and hold up her hand like she's showing four fingers.  I'm really excited to bring her to the pumpkin patch for a little birthday party in a few weeks.  She's probably going to go bonkers with excitement.

Favorite activities: Dance parties to deadmau5.  Playing in blanket forts.  Jumping on the bed, or anywhere really.  Singing her ABC's.  Drawing circles---really, itty, bitty ones.  Craft time at the library.  Wearing socks and boots (but only inside because it's still like 90 degrees here).  Going down the slide at our neighborhood park over, and over, and over, and over again.

Favorite song: Violet loves any interactive song.  Her favorites are "Itsy, Bitsy Spider," "The Wheels on the Bus," "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," "Twinkle, Twinkle," "Pat-a-Cake," "If You're Happy and You Know It" and she loves, loves, loves singing the ABC song.

Favorite book: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen is still a favorite.  She also seems to have fallen back in love with Bubble Bubble by Mercer Mayer and Big Sarah's Little Boots by Paulette Bourgeois.

Favorite foods: This kid is such a ridiculous eater.  It is so difficult getting her to eat meat.  I'm hoping this is normal toddler behavior.  Sometimes I'll make a plate for her and she doesn't want to eat certain foods (almost always meat), but if I pretend it came from my plate, she's asking for more!  Some current favorite foods are: boiled eggs, raspberries, pears, peanut butter, and cheese.

Favorite toys: Puzzles and stickers.  She's also likes making sandwiches (or as she called them "maches") in her play kitchen.  She's quite the little chef, too.  Of course I'd love a salmon, cheese, fried egg, pickle, jelly, and ketchup sandwich, Violet.

I should also mention (because it's kind of a big deal), Violet is napping again!  After over an entire month of no napping, I thought all was lost.  But, I kept going through the routine every day, and eventually she just started to fall back into the swing of things.  Thank God.  

And I should mention (because it's kinda the cutest thing ever), that when I tell Violet there's a baby in my belly, she says, "Awwwww," and hugs and kisses my belly.  That means there shouldn't be any sibling rivalry, right?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Several weeks ago, my belly started itching.  I didn't have a rash and my skin wasn't really stretched yet, so it wasn't just a normal itchy pregnant belly (if there is such a thing).  This was crazy itchy.  I couldn't stop itching.  Scratching was not offering relief.  I couldn't sleep for two days.  Two days of no sleep + itchy, itchy, itchy skin + wild toddler = slightly crazy mom.  On the second night of no sleep, I found myself googling my situation and realized it might actually be my liver causing this insane itchiness.  So, after waiting until a more respectable hour, I texted my midwife.  She sent me a magical recipe for a liver detox that changed. my. life.


2 cups of white grape juice
2 cups of apple juice
2 cups of cranberry juice
1/4 cup of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with the 'Mother'

Make sure and use juice with NO ADDED SUGAR.


1.  Mix ingredients together.
2.  Take 2-3 tablespoons every 3 hours, for a minimum of 4 times a day (ideally with meals).

Within a couple of days, the itchiness was completely gone.  Shut the front door!  After a couple of weeks, I stopped taking the detox.  If I noticed any itching starting up again, I resumed taking 3 tablespoons and it would again, quickly disappear.

I wanted to share this because a lot of pregnant women are prescribed medications, which always carry a risk.  Some women are even induced because the itchiness is so bad, which I totally get.  I probably would have started pulling my hair out if I had to go another night without sleep!

Hopefully this helps some other poor, itchy mamas out there desperate for relief!

Disclaimer:  This is not medical advice, just my personal experience.  You should still consult with your doctor or midwife about any pregnancy concerns.  

Saturday, September 12, 2015


ASOS Skater Dress in Leopard Print
How far along: 29 weeks
Due: Thanksgiving 2015
Gender: Don't know, won't know.  
Weight gain: about 25 lb.
Belly button in or out: Just flat
Sleep: Meh.  It definitely would be better if I wasn't waking up constantly to pee.  
Movement: Lots of partying is going on from bedtime until the early morning hours.  Hopefully this changes when the baby's born.   
Cravings: Pears.  I love pears.  And honey mustard, which is totally new because I've never been a fan.
Food aversion: None that I can think of.  
Feeling: Pretty good!
Fun fact: Baby Polk weighs a little over 3 pounds and is the size of a butternut squash!
Birth plan update: A couple of months ago I started having some spotting, which was nerve-racking, to say the least.  Though I'm still seeing my midwife regularly, I've also met with a high-risk OB (one who's natural birth friendly) to monitor things.  Turns out my placenta is low, but the good news is 90-95% of the time it moves where it's supposed to as the uterus grows.  If it moves where it's supposed to, I'm good to go with the home birth.  If it doesn't move, it's a total game changer.  I'll have to have a hospital birth, possibly even a C-section.  We'll know more in about a month, so in the meantime, prayers are appreciated.  
Violet update: Ever since Violet started talking a lot more, she hasn't been napping.  This is week three of mutiny no naps.  
Naps used to look like this----I'd lay her down and say, "I love you.  Night, night," and Violet would say, "Nigh, nighhhhhh," then fall asleep within about 15 minutes.  
Here's what naps look like now----I'll lay her down and say, "I love you.  Night, night," and Violet says, "Nigh, nighhhhh," then after about 3 minutes, she'll escape out of her sleep sack and and jump up ad down in her crib singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" or to her "Cinco, Cinco" for like an hour until she wants out and starts yelling, "Maaaammmmaaaaaa!"  
I've reached out to some other moms and it seems my chances are about 50/50 that she'll resume her naps.  I'm not really likin' those odds.   

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


At 22 months old, my baby girl definitely isn't a baby anymore.  She is for real talking now.  I've said before how quickly she's been picking up new words.  Now it's like warp speed.  She is learning new words lightening fast.  In a matter of a couple of weeks, her vocabulary has quadrupled.  It's nuts.

Violet has shown an eagerness to learn new words.  She hands me things to tell her what they are and then she'll try her best to repeat it.  Some of my favorite learning tools that she also loves are her alphabet puzzle, number puzzle, her bath letters and numbers, and her learning flashcards.  (Right now, she's only using the alphabet, colors and shapes, first words, and numbers decks.)

Some of her other favorite things are:

Favorite activities: Jumping all over the house.  And every time she jumps, she says, "hop! hop! hop!"  Impromptu dance parties.  She also likes to chat on her play phone.  Whoever she talks to must be pretty funny too, because she is always laughing.  And she loves to read under blanket forts, but it's even better if Neil's in there, too.

Favorite song: "The Wheels On the Bus" and I'm almost positive it's because she especially likes the part where the "people go up and down, up and down, up and down" so she has another excuse to jump.

Favorite book: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.  Violet is sorta obsessed with this book.  It gets read probably a dozen times a day, at least.  She also has a slight obsession with hats, so she really, really likes to wear a hat while reading it.  And ideally, everyone else in the room is also wearing a hat or two.  (I should mention, most things can be hats----shorts, towels, tupperware, etc., so no one has an excuse to be hatless.)

Favorite foods: Pomegranate seeds, cantaloupe, and cheese.

Favorite toys: Her puzzles, and she really enjoys coloring and stickers.

We make her sing for her supper!  Now that she's a full swing talking toddler, she's gonna have to pull her weight!

This is such a fun age...definitely my favorite so far!  I love that we can be silly with her and she is just as silly back.  It's so much fun to see how excited she gets when she's learned something new.  I hope she always has this love for life and learning.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


The first church built in Slidell in 1886.  Photo taken in 2013.  
Ten years ago, I was a freshman at LSU.  I'd come home to Slidell, a city just north of New Orleans, for the weekend to celebrate my younger sister's birthday.  Instead of birthday festivities, we were driving away from home, about 1,000 miles away, to where our nearest family lived, to escape one of the deadliest hurricanes in recorded history, Katrina.

My story isn't that noteworthy compared to many I know.  I wasn't there when the water came in.  I didn't witness the destruction of all of my possessions.  I wasn't rescued from my rooftop.  I didn't watch a loved one taken away by the water.  My loss was nothing compared to what many experienced.

A few days after Katrina made landfall, I had to return back home.  With zero cell phone reception, I boarded a plane headed for Baton Rouge hoping one of my friends got my e-mail asking for a ride from the airport.  Otherwise, my plan was to look for a police officer, or maybe a woman with children who'd be willing to drive me back to my dorm.  My first flight, I was the only person on the plane besides the captain and flight attendant.  Thankfully, when I arrived in Baton Rouge, my friend was there waiting.

About a week later, I was able to catch a ride back to my hometown, unsure of if my home would even resemble how I left it.  The drive that normally took a little over an hour, took six.  So many trees were down everywhere, it felt empty.  Without power, the darkness felt pretty eerie, almost scary like the scene from a horror movie.  And the smell.  The smell was a combination of death and decay, and it lingered for too long.

At home, we had one A/C window unit run by a generator and we ate MREs.  No trees fell on our house.  No water came in.  No one I loved or even knew had died.  We were very fortunate.

Over the years I've met people who shared their stories of loss with a numbness.  People who had to throw away their only family photos because they were saturated or covered in mold.  People who came home to the piece of land that their house once stood on.  People who witnessed what happens when evil preys on the weak during times of devastation.  People who were in the Superdome when the lights were out, when the toilets overflowed, when the children were crying because they were hot and hungry, when the women were crying because they were raped.  Bodies floating.  Newborns separated from their mothers when hospitals were evacuated.  Elderly in nursing homes left behind to drown.

Thankfully, that's only some of the stories.  Just a few even.  Most of the people I know, even those who experienced loss, can also share stories of the blessings they experienced after the storm.  Stories of those who opened their homes to the homeless and food to the hungry.  Stories of strangers who left their comfortable homes to camp in parking lots so they could help gut and rebuild a house or a church.  Stories of how the storm, despite being the most devastating time in their entire life, had restored their faith in God and in humanity.

Like everyone I know from Louisiana who has since moved away---I might be here in Texas, but today my heart is in Louisiana.

The pilings of a former home washed away by Katrina.  Photo taken 2013.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


How far along: 27 weeks---the last week of my second trimester!
Due: Thanksgiving 2015
Gender: Don't know, won't know.  
Weight gain: ...like almost 25 lbs (insert wide-eyed emoji) which leads me to believe my scale was wrong last time and that I must have a 20 pound baby in my belly
Belly button in or out: Not really in or out---more like it's flush with the rest of my stomach
Sleep: You know, not so great.  It could be our super uncomfortable prison mattress.  Jon and I recently ordered a new mattress and I'm pretty psyched about it.  
Movement: There's been a lot of kicking on my right side.   
Cravings: Strawberry kefir and cottage cheese have been pretty tasty lately.
Food aversion: I don't really have any aversions at the moment.  When I was pregnant with Violet, and for like a year after, there were a bunch of foods I couldn't even say without shuddering.     
Feeling: Pretty great most of the time.  I get some lower back pains occasionally and some unpleasant reflux at night sometimes.  Nothing really compares to how horrible I felt during my first trimester with Violet though, so all this stuff is just a walk in the park.  
Fun fact: Baby Polk weighs about 2 pounds and is about as long a head of cauliflower! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


It has been so incredibly hot here in Texas, going outside to play is pretty much not happening.  Seriously, I never see any of my neighbors, or kids riding their bikes, or people walking their dogs.  Some might call this a heat wave, but I'm gonna go ahead and call it like it is.  This is a heat tsunami.  Our outside time is basically walking to and from our car when running errands.  Of course Violet is at the stage where she wants to buckle herself into her carseat and I just patiently melt in the sun until she's done, because it's too cute to see the sense of achievement on her face when she's done.  

Violet is about 21 and a half months old now and she is such a little sponge.  She is fascinated with numbers, colors, learning her body parts, and just new words in general.  Poopall is purple.  Hawk is heart.  Gagoo is goggles.  And for the past two mornings when I asked her what she wanted for breakfast, she said, "Ummmm, eye pea (ice cream)?"  No, Violet, we're not having ice cream.  What else do you want?  "Ummm, ookie (cookies)?"  Ya can't blame a girl for trying though!

She doesn't like food on her face or hands even more than ever.  Any minor things that go wrong---her tower of blocks falls over, she accidentally tears a stickers, or she spills her bowl of frozen peas (at least she's eating vegetables, right?) it's like some biblical disaster has occurred.

Despite her toddler meltdowns---like when she flipped out because I put some bananas in the freezer---she's still the sweetest little girl.  She likes to feed her baby doll grapes, and share her banana with Neil, and give Jon all of her chicken stickers.  And all day long I get hugs and kisses, so I can't complain too much.    

Friday, August 7, 2015


How far along: 24 weeks
Due: Thanksgiving 2015
Gender: Don't know, won't know.  
Weight gain: about 15 lbs 
Belly button in or out: In
Sleep: Sleep is good!  
Movement: Baby does a lot of late night dancing!    
Cravings: My weakness is definitely sweets.  I can hear the mint chocolate chip ice cream (or "eye pea" as Violet says) in my freezer calling my name right now.
Food aversion: Ugh.  Sweet tea.  Sweet tea used to be my meth.  I could not say no.  However, it doesn't taste quite as good coming up as it does going down.  So, I think sweet tea and I are gonna take a little break.  
Feeling: 98% of the time I feel totally normal---minus the alien movement going on inside my belly.  The other 2% of the time I am having random nausea/throwing up and sciatic nerve pains shooting down into my hip. 
Fun fact: Baby Polk weighs more than a pound and is about as long as an ear of corn! 
Other news: We finally had an ultrasound done a couple of weeks ago.  Only Baby Polk knows his or her gender.  He or she was sitting up and even the ultrasound technician wasn't able to see.  It was so exciting to see the baby's fingers moving around and little baby feet kicking.  Sweet Violet wasn't too keen on what was going on though and was pushing the ultrasound tech's hand away!

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Last week, Jon's boss told him he had to go on a business trip to Connecticut.  Within a matter of hours, we decided Violet and I should travel along and make a little mini vacay of it.  I immediately began scouring Pinterest for tips and tricks on how to keep Violet occupied during our four hour flight.  Per the advice of the Pinterest gods, I had a new distraction activity planned for every 15 minutes.  I had post-its, Band-aids, Wonder Markers, pipe cleaners, an etch-a-sketch, a calculator, a DVD player (along with some annoying 90's sing-a-longs), tape, mini pom poms, a pill box (for opening and closing a million times), lots of snacks, a cereal necklace, Play-Doh, and hundreds and hundreds of stickers.

I had all this crap organized.  I was ready.  Then reality hit me in the face like a purse full of bricks.

So as we're going through security, Jon's bag tests positive for explosives.  Naturally they want to look inside and stuff inside tests positive for explosives.  (Obviously it just didn't occur to us to wipe down our stuff after playing with explosives.  We'll know better next time.  Un-bunch those panties TSA---this is just a joke.)  So then they sent for someone "official."  They used words like "interrogation" and told me not to have any physical contact with Jon.  Finally, it's determined Jon is in fact NOT a terrorist and we're free to go.

We make it to our departure gate with a few minutes to spare.  Just as it's time to board, they announce the flight is delayed for 30 minutes.  Then another 30 minutes, and another, and another, and another.  Turns out our plane's primary and secondary systems (not sure what they are, but they sound important) failed inspection and we were getting a new plane.

After about two and a half hours waiting to board, we are finally allowed onto the plane.  All the passengers are quick to buckle up so we can get this show on the road.  Then they tell us our second plane's smoke alarms aren't working and need to be fixed, but it'll only take 30-45 minutes.  (30-45 minutes really meant an hour and a half.)

So the smoke alarms are finally working and we're good to go.  Then they decide to change the flight crew.

We finally arrive at our destination four hours late.

For the next three and a half days we spent time with family.  It was nice to just relax and enjoy being outside in not-one-hundred-degree weather.  

On the day of our departure, we were nervous, but optimistic that things couldn't possibly be worse than our flight there.  But this is real life and poop happens.  Our first flight home was delayed, causing us to miss our connecting flight---despite our attempts to run to the gate with a backpack, a purse, a diaper bag, a carry on, a car seat, and Violet.  I'm not kidding, we missed it by 5 minutes.  FIVE MINUTES.  So, after an hour in a customer service line, we spent the night five hours in some Chicago hotel.

We finally made it home.  A day late and nine dollars short, because that's how much room service yogurt costs.

So, the moral of this story is, don't fly United.  And pack thousands of stickers, not hundreds.