Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cute Overload

We're on cute overload around here. I'm trying my best to get the nursery ready before Jane arrives, but that's probably not gonna happen. So in the meantime, I'm distracting myself with her cute little clothes.

And Matt is pretty cute too, even if he does make mean faces when I take his picture. After all, there's nothing sexier than a man balancing the checkbook.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I Learned After 5 Days of the Plague

1. When watching tv for more than 2 days, my brain cells lose their will to live.

2. No matter how hard I try, I always get food crumbs in the bed.

3. 5 days is apparently the exact amount of time it takes for my eyebrows to grow together. I've made my sisters swear that if I ever lapse into a coma, they will come visit with tweezers and prevent me from becoming known as "Unibrow."

4. I find it self soothing to moan "why me" softly when no one else is around.

5. Kleenex is expensive, so I've switched to a roll of toilet paper.

6. My stomach makes an excellent tray table for cups of tea.

7. The mail man talks on the phone with his wife every day when he delivers our mail. Her name is Veronica.

8. After napping together, Mabel and I begin to smell the same. Like moldy popcorn.

9. Matt is very patient.

10. I hate being sick. I double hate being sick and very, very pregnant. Thank goodness the plague is over. Now if we could just move this whole baby thing along...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I know I should be eating healthy.

I should be eating lots of things like this.

And I am.

But this was lunch yesterday.

And it was oh so super good.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Hola sweet readers.

I'm starting to receive those "hey, did you have the baby" emails.

So I thought I'd check in and let you know that no, there is no baby.

There is, however, a vast amount of sinus drainage, coughing, complaining, moaning, and rolling around on the couch while I dream of my former Advil Cold and Sinus days.

I'll be glad to have my immune system back.

And a belly button.

Back soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Springtime Inspiration

Head over to Jerusalem's blog and check out her exciting magazine feature in Cottage Style! Her house is just gorgeous, she's super sweet, and she's a fellow Arkansan. Plus, her whole house reminds me of spring. Beautiful!

Monday, March 21, 2011


I feel a bit like a turtle these days. Moving slowly, creakily, with short fat legs. But like a turtle, I creep along. I covered a lampshade in Jane's nursery, which considering my pace was a giant victory.

As they say here in the south, "Whew fellas. I'm whooped."

But life can't stop just because I'm huge. I gather everything in one spot and plant myself in front of the tv with an I Love Lucy marathon. A pile of unfolded laundry to my left. Bills to be paid on the floor to my right. A big glass of water on the side table. This is how I work. With as little movement as possible.

Mabel doesn't care that I'm doing my best. She doesn't care that my tendons are about to snap, or that getting out of a chair almost requires a forklift. All she knows is that I've seriously fallen down on my most important job: playing with her. She voices her outrage by slinging her toys at me, running across my bill pile, and knocking over the clean laundry. When all else fails, she stands in my face and barks. Loudly.

Some people play Bach for their babies cognitive development, but I let my bratty schnauzer bark repetitively within inches of my stomach. I figure Jane may as well get used to it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Everything is turning beautiful here.
And yet when I turn on the TV, I see Japan.
I see men in hazmat suits hold geiger counters over small children.
It seems like a good day for a little silence and a lot of prayers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't Catch a Grenade, Tie My Shoes

As I made an ice cream run yesterday, I listened to the radio. Bruno Mars was crooning his big hit, and as the lyrics piped out of my speakers, I found myself listening with a critical ear.

He sang about all the grand gestures he would make for his lady love and I found myself slurping a strawberry milkshake and pondering the situation.

"I'd catch a grenade for ya, I'd throw my hand on a blade for ya...."


In this culture of grand gestures, I find myself a bit skeptical. Women fantasize about men who do extraordinary things. We watch The Bachelor, where men whisk women off to exotic islands, propose with gigantic rings on cliffs overlooking the ocean and declare mind blowing eternal love. We immerse ourselves in fantasy books about sparkly vampires capable of superhuman feats and werewolves who burn hot and carry women like nap sacks through the woods.

But truthfully, women don't really need these things. Oh sure. We like giant diamond rings. We enjoy reading about cutie patootey teenage supernatural beings. But in the end, I think I speak for all of us when I say, we really just want a man willing to tie our shoes.

Let me explain.

I've gained 40 pounds ladies. I'm more than ready to give birth. I'm trying to work until my due date (which is nuts and I don't recommend by the way). I get little to no sleep. Needless to say, life ain't easy.

The other day, as I sat on the bed, tottering on the edge like Humpty Dumpty, I did my best to put on my shoes. I couldn't draw my leg up high enough, so I angled it out sideways, haphazardly shoving the shoe onto my swollen foot. Then came the hard part. The shoelaces.

As I perched there, sweating and panting, grasping at the laces with my leg jaunted out in an awkward position, Matt rounded the corner. He was instantly mad.

"Stop that! Why didn't you call me? These kinds of things are my job!"

He knelt down, pulled my leg out straight and tied my shoelace. Then he took my other shoe and put it on, tying those laces as well. As I gazed at the top of his head, I realized this was real romance. Women don't need other-worldly super heroes. We need men who will fill up our cars with gas and cook us dinner. We need someone who cares whether or not the taxes get paid, or the front yard needs mowing.

Who needs The Bachelor? Bruno can keep his stupid grenades. All I need is a man who considers it his job to tie his fat, pregnant wife's shoes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Shade of Blueberry

Everywhere I looked yesterday, there was purple.
Purple in the blueberry muffin mix.
Purple in the overcast, rainy sky.

And let's not forget these guys.

I found them in a bin at Lowe's, bulbs sprouting with no soil.
They were supposed to have been planted in the fall.
But I took a chance and threw them in some pots.
So far so good.
The world is turning a lovely shade of blueberry.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blanket Winner

And the blanket winner is: Trish (also one of my favorite blog folks). Trish, just email me at mabelsblog(at)yahoo(dot)com and I'll forward your info to Steph. And thanks again Steph for the super generous giveaway!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baby Blanket Giveaway and the Mommy Blogger Question

The lovely and generous Steph over at Pumpkin Love is letting me host a giveaway for this adorable, handmade baby blanket. It's about 2.5 ft x 3 ft, making it perfect for the car seat, swaddling or stroller. She made it herself, and it has great gender neutral colors (teal and green), so it's just perfect for a baby gift.

To enter in the giveaway leave a comment! I'll draw a random winner on Monday!

Secondly, I feel I must answer a question. I received an email from a gal who wrote, "Liz, I've enjoyed your blog for a while now, but all this baby stuff is getting a little old. Are you becoming a mommy blogger? Please say no."

Well. Hmmm.

Today I talked my mom. I said, "Hey mom, how are you doing?"

She responded, "The dog farted on my pillow."

Know what my very first thought was?

"That's hilarious. I must blog about it."

Why? Because as a writer and a blogger, my life is subject matter.

People who have kids, out of work husbands, and brand new houses blog about them. People with tiny apartments, peanut allergies and gardens blog about them. That's what a blog is. It's not fiction, it's real life. And my real life, right now, consists of heartburn, swollen feet and an unfinished baby nursery. I will continue to blog about Matt's cooking, our house projects and my book. I'll blog about my mom's gaseous dog, my sister who eats fried scorpions and the blue-haired woman down the street who walks her poodle while wearing a puffy jacket with the word "sassy" embroidered on the back. I'll blog about life. And sadly, for those who don't like babies, Jane will be a big whopping part of it. Hopefully that answers the mommy blogger question once and for all.

But back to the giveaway... don't forget to comment to win Steph's cute blanket!


Thank God for spring.

Every year I'm overwhelmed with relief that winter is leaving.

I watch the ground like a hawk, waiting for things to grow.

Watching while the world becomes springish.

Spring means longer days.

Flip flops.

Walks by the lake.

Spray painting.

Thank you God.
P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow for a baby-related giveaway!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nursery Update: A Place For Reading and Shelves That Will Never Move. Ever.

The search for the perfect nursery chair was gruelling.

I hate gliders. I hate the way they look. I hate the fact that eventually the mechanics look capable of pinching Jane's little fingers off. Plus, I battle vertigo. Gliders and I are not friends.

But we did want a big chair. A comfortable chair. A place where we could hold baby Jane, and then one day read to her when she's older. I also did not want to spend five kajillion dollars.

I've read so many baby blogs. I've noted the prices of what people spend on nurseries. They say things like, "This chair was expensive, but it's such a good investment." And then I check the price tag, my eyes begin to burn and I mutter, "$1,500 is a savings account, not an investment."

This one from Target suited the bill just fine. I can sit in it cross-legged and it folds out into makeshift bed (good for nights where she's sick and someone needs to be in there). Jane now has an official spot for reading.

In other news, remember those black shelves I hated? Well, I couldn't get away from them that easily. They've ended up at home in the nursery, and surprisingly enough, I like the way they look in there. Plus, they were free. Now THAT'S what I call a good investment.

But like any good Dad, Matt was worried about Jane pulling them over on her head. Or climbing them while pretending she's a treasure hunter scaling the side of a mountain. So he attached them to the wall with several sets of L-brackets. Let me just say, these puppies aren't moving. In fact, if the New Madrid fault line decides to go crazy and shake our house down, I suspect the shelves will still be standing, unmoved.
So we have a chair. And kid proofed shelves. We're getting there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Breakfast Nook Heaven

Image source: Serena and Lily

If I suddenly developed magical carpentry skills, I would build benches like these in our breakfast nook.

If I suddenly developed the ability to sew like the wind, I would make these pillows.

If I won the lottery, I'd just hire someone to do it all.

But I won't. I do, however, possess the ability, time and money to mop my kitchen floors. And fold laundry. But oh, what a beautiful breakfast nook.

Monday, March 7, 2011


There are squeaker toys in our house that Mabel isn't allowed to play with. She does not understand. Not only does she not comprehend that there's a giant basket full of brightly colored objects that she can't destroy, she also doesn't comprehend the whole concept of the nursery.

I find her in there, standing on her hind legs, eyeing said toys on the bookshelves, whimpering pathetically. She gazes up at me with big, sad eyes and says, "What is this room? Why can't I have these? You do realize that once they're scattered on the floor everything is fair game, right?"

Yeah. I foresee big bumps ahead.

And when I'm not washing load after load of baby clothes in the most expensive laundry detergent known to man (anyone else think this is a scheme to prey on inexperienced moms?), I'm writing thank you notes. And feeling so very thankful for the closet full of diapers, clothes, crib sheets, medicine, baby lotion and burp cloths. Matt walked into the house yesterday, sniffed the air and said, "It smells like a baby in here." Looks like we've officially entered kiddytown.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

BHG Update and Feeling Like a Winner

You know what doesn't make me feel like a winner? Walking/trudging on my mini-trampoline. I used to bounce buoyantly, swinging my arm weights, working off the extra calories with Fonda'esque exuberance. That was pre-pregnancy.

These days I just walk. With no arm weights. No bouncing. No spring. I do this for 15 minutes until I gasp, heft myself into a chair and yelp for someone, anyone, to bring me ice water.

Plus, the little coils are starting to squeak in protest beneath my great girth. I'll be glad for warmer weather so I can walk outside again.

But back to the topic at hand. My mini-trampoline does not make me feel like a winner.

But back in the day, THIS made me feel like a winner. I felt like a winner despite my gigantic granny panties, Elton John purple sunglass frames (with the lenses poked out), and wavy mullet. I felt it deep within my baby-soul. You can tell it by the expression on my face. That's a "dang, I'm stylin' today" face.

And now, many years later, despite my creaky trampoline and penguin walk, I feel like a winner once again.

Remember way back in the fall when I was asked to participate in the BHG blogger/craft contest? I won. I know! So exciting! There aren't any nailed down details yet, but it means I'll get to be in the magazine again this fall. So until then I'm trying to brainstorm some ideas. And don't worry. You have my solemn promise that despite my feeling like a winner today, I will not don those Elton John sunglasses with the lenses poked out. As for the granny panties, I make no promises.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Life is Boring

Most of the time I feel like my life is pretty eventful. Working. Commuting. Writing. Blogging. Church. Friends. Sometimes I feel like it's downright frantic. And then Rebecca sends me pictures from China, at which point I realize, "Nevermind. My life is boring."

Boring because when I go out for a snack, all I see is the friendly smile from the local Sonic waitress as she hands me my Cheddar Peppers with ranch and says, "Can I bring you extra napkins?" I do not go to the nearby Deep Fried Turtles, Sea Creatures and Scorpion booth on the corner. Like Rebecca.

You know that rhyme "She sells seashells by the seashore"?

I've got one for Becca.

She savors scorpions in Shanghai.

And Jon too.

So yeah. My adventurous little sister is roaming the streets of China eating scorpions. But hopefully not the seahorses. That makes me sad.

And apparently, in her free time, she enjoys spitting in death's eye.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting More Than You Deserve

Sometimes people do nice things for you. Sometimes they go above and beyond the nice category. Sometimes you're the recipient of so much love and generosity that a small voice starts floating around in the back of your brain.

"Psstt... in case you haven't noticed, you're getting more than you deserve."

That's exactly what happened this past Sunday.

Some lovely ladies at church threw a baby shower for Jane. There were cupcakes and hand made invitations in the shape of library cards. Swoon. There were vintage alphabet cards and flowers and a table set with an antique quilt (hand-made for the hostess by her grandmother).

There were frilly gifts.
There were practical gifts.
There were gifts that made me laugh.
And a few that made me tear up.

It was a moment where the reality of all this became very clear. I'm going to be a mother. I have no idea what I'm doing. But I now own lots of tiny shoes for a pair of tiny feet. This is definitely happening.

I also realized that even though I don't deserve it, I'm surrounded by women that love me. Women that have answers and advice and lots of love to give.

It was a beautiful day. I'm still a little overwhelmed by it all. There are no appropriate words to express my thankfulness.

But know that my heart is full. I thank God for you.

Oh, and my chauffeur, um, I mean Matt, also thanks you. Even though he wouldn't stop hamming it up in the pictures Mom snapped as we drove away.

We love you all.