a flat-ie, really?

Posted by Shannon Marie
Growing up girls seem to go through all sorts of ups and downs when it comes to their looks and how they feel about themselves and how they compare to others. I'll spare you the PSA, but it's funny to think back about all the little things that you didn't like at one point or another and for most of us (I hope), those insecurities waned as we grew more comfortable with the women we were becoming.

Not the least of which is the bellybutton. One of the things that (unless you live in Hollywood, I suppose) just really isn't goin' to change. I can remember at some point realizing that I should be happy that I don't have (gasp) an outie! I can't remember ever being self-conscious about the particular part myself, but can certainly sympathize, especially when it comes to the 18 year (at least for me) right of passage: the belly button ring. Let's be honest, some people just don't have the button to be flaunting with all sorts of (tacky, I mean really, what were we thinking) jewelry. I certainly touted myself as one of those that could and (even though it was pierced crooked, yes, crooked!) wore my (tacky) jewelry proudly -- probably for longer than I should have...

You see, I'm sure at some point I thought about (or my Mom warned me about) the implications of what things would look like if (ok, when) I decided to take out the ring and I'm sure I ignored the thought (and my Mom). Oh, to be 18 again...

Flash forward 8 (plus) years and I found myself faced with the staggering (ok, total exaggeration) decision of when to remove said ring from said growing belly. I took it out much earlier than "necessary" -- i.e. what would have been recommended by the doc -- and decided that it probably wasn't going back in, well, ever. I actually can't remember the last time I bought any jewelry for it, anyway, and well, I just have this idea in my head that once I'm a Mama it just looks wrong! It's actually one of the only post-child changes I think that about. I will not be: wearing Mom jeans, flats for the rest of my life, cutting my hair short becuase it's more "manageable" or "letting myself go" anywhere but right back to the treadmill as soon as I can post-baby. Children change your life, sure, and I'm not naive to the fact that I will have less time and be spending money on other (and more important) things, but I'm still going to wear my heels and dress like a human being. No sweatpants at the grocery for me -- Stacy and Clinton would be so proud.

30 weeks in and I'm well, a little perplexed about my (now ring-less) bellybutton. Every woman complains about it and most likely dreads it and worries that it will stay that way, but it's another right of passage -- a pregnancy right of passage -- the bellybutton popping out. And, well, mine just hasn't. It certainly doesn't look anything like it used to but it's still very much not out. It's not an innie, it's not an outie, it's not an in-betweenie, it's a flatie? I still have time, but I'm just not sure it's planning on poppin'!

In the meantime, I'm just waiting (sometimes patiently, sometimes anxiously, sometimes nervously, always excitedly) for my little guy to come into the world -- and to see what this flatie has planned for the future!

Posted in

hiccup, hiccup

Posted by Shannon Marie
Amid all the nursery readiness (read chaos) that abounds in our household these days, it seems as if little man has developed a case of the daily (read multiple times a day) hiccups. His little nudges (read soccer goal kicks) are also getting ever so much stronger with each passing day. He hasn't exactly adjusted to my sleep schedule yet, seeing as he likes to be most active around 11pm, which means just as Mama enters that wonderful first period of REM sleep, Harper fights back. Ok, ok, so apparently I haven't adjusted to his sleep schedule yet...wasn't sure if I could slip that one by (wishful thinking never hurt anyone).

With each passing week (each day, really), I grow (quite literally, just ask my clothing, it's fighting back, too) more and more excited about meeting our little guy. It's hard to believe it's less than 4 months away -- FOUR -- man, how time flies when you are having serious back pain, trouble sleeping, the craziest dreams imaginable (you really couldn't even imagine them), insane cravings for sweet tea (and a new repulsion to water, yes, water -- heartburn doesn't discriminate), and peeing far more frequently than you'd think is humanly possible fun!

On the nursery front, the bedding is in! It looks even more precious in person. Adorable. Simply adorable. (I reserve the right to use "girly" type phrases to describe said son's bedding -- and any other nursery item -- since he is still a baby after all, realizing that I should probably use something like adorably masculine, but that just sounds silly, doesn't it?). I have managed to avoid the explosion of creature paraphernalia they like to call nursery bedding and decor these days, and opted for a much more modern looking approach. After all, why on earth would you only want your child to learn one animal? Monkey blanket and sheets, monkey bumper, monkey curtains, monkey rug, monkey lamp, monkey, monkey, monkey -- no, thanks. It's made things a bit more challenging, since we can't exactly go to the store, pick out our animal of choice, and poof, nursery is decorated, but it's made it that much more exciting (and creative) (and story worthy), so I'll stick with my plan.

I have found one little charmer, though, and realized a new found affection for owls, so I suppose I am not completely opposed to animals in the nursery, just not on every surface...

And, the clothes -- and hats, oh, the hats. He will be nothing if not a stylin' little boy.

Posted in

the truth

Posted by Shannon Marie
As amazing as pregnancy truly is, it would be a complete falsification to pretend as if there are certain things about it which are less than ideal. Husband and I are very fortunate to be able to say that the ups by far surpass the downs, since things have been so smooth thus far. But, for those of you wondering how these crazy pregnant women running around seemingly only talking about maternity wear (and the lack of options), breastfeeding, nursery decor, childcare, and how often they pee can actually truly be that happy (it's kind of crazy, because I really am that happy), here are a few of the things I have been missing...

  • Good sleep and cuddling -- the truth is I'm enough of a heater; I don't need to cuddle with one...
  • How easy it once was to do something simple like get in and out of the car -- even at 5 months, I notice my muscles and back singing a much different tune than my brain...

And, as little as I really craved alcohol pre-pregnancy, there's just no denying how good some of my favorites truly are. Like:

  • Seviche's mango caipirinha (pronounced caipirinha? I still have no clue, so I usually just point and say "cuh...that one")
  • El Mundo's mojito
  • A crisp glass of white wine, with
  • Sushi -- the really raw kind

Not a thing on the list compares to the joy I experience every day when I feel my little guy swimming around, but I'm nothing if not honest. Pregnancy will do that to you...whether you want it to or not...

You just may find yourself talking to a complete stranger about maternity wear (and the lack of options), breastfeeding, nursery decor, childcare, and how often you pee -- the good, bad, and indifferent -- just wait...


Posted in

the nursery

Posted by Shannon Marie
Husband and I had a bit of a conundrum when it came to the whole finding a place to put the baby after realizing we were having said baby issue. We had 2 whole floors of our house relatively (read completely, relatively just sounds better) unused. Stella and the junk that we have amassed enjoyed the upstairs occasionally (the former occasionally, the latter always). This wouldn't have been such a dilemma had the walls not been completely covered in wood grain (looking, of course not real wood) paneling, floors not been covered in carpet that had seen better days, and the entire room covered in said junk. So off to renovation land we went. I'll spare you the truly before pictures, since I'm really just too embarrassed to admit I let it look that way...

While it may not look like much yet, it's already come miles and miles and I couldn't be happier about it. My nasal passages will certainly be relieved from drywall dust and I get to decide how to accessorize this lovely little (first) find for the nursery.

Rye Crib Bedding

We have decided to splurge on only a few items in the nursery and this is decidedly one of them, but alas I fell in love, and it took mere seconds to imagine an entire room designed after it, and so the nesting begins...watch out check book (read debit card, do people really write checks these days anyway?)...


Posted in

what Harper wants, Harper gets

Posted by Shannon Marie

In no particular order...

  1. Biscuits and gravy
  2. Salad, particularly caesar
  3. 8-9pm bedtime -- early to bed, early to rise is an understatement
  4. Sweet tea -- yum sweet tea...
  5. Juice -- of all flavors and varieties
  6. Chicken
  7. HGTV -- he likes to tell me what nursery ideas work for him
  8. Food Network
  9. Biscuits and gravy -- not a mistake...he already wants it again...
  10. Flinstones vitamins -- but only the sour gummy kind
  11. Root beer
  12. Cupcakes
  13. Milk -- only orgranic, though, he's already a little granola...
  14. When Mama wears skirts, dresses, and anything else loose fitting
  15. Ginger ale -- first trimester


  1. Ginger ale -- after the first trimester
  2. When Mama wears pants -- except those fancy strectch maternity jeans
  3. Red meat -- usually
  4. Spicy anything
  5. Weird smells -- nothing in particular, he just knows when it's weird
  6. Eating late -- he's already on a schedule
  7. Rosemary -- can't explain that one...

Disclaimer: Harper reserves the right to add, remove, or switch any of the aforementioned likes and dislikes at any time. And he does...


Posted in

turtles and hamburgers

Posted by Shannon Marie
Let me set the scene: It's a cool (compared to the recent north of 100 degree highs), stormy Saturday morning and as we are waiting for the ultrasound technician to call us back, the Creed song "With Arms Wide Open" begins playing right around the part where he says "I just heard the news today...it seems my life is going to change"...totally cheesy, you don't have to tell me twice. So much so that we look at each other and think it must be a CD they play, but no, it was indeed the radio. Maybe we were just more aware of our surroundings; taking it all in, because our lives were in fact about to change forever. We were soon to find out the gender of our first born. Peanut, as we had so affectionately come to call the growing baby.

I fully understand that there are women, couples, partners out there that are able to wait the entire pregnancy to find out at birth whether the little bundle of joy is a boy or a girl and I commend them. For me, and Husband, that just wasn't cuttin' it. I wanted to know and I wanted to know like yesterday. If there was a way to find out at conception, I would have probably tossed the idea around. I do have to say, though, that waiting even those first 16 weeks to find out was amazing. The last week, however, was sheer torture, in every good sense of the word. Boy or girl, boy or girl, boy or girl. I dreamt of Husband shopping for girl clothes and was sure, positive, no doubt in my mind (until the last several days before the appointment) that I was indeed having a little princess. But, those last few days, I knew, just knew, that it was a boy. Now totally confused and just wanting to know one way or the other, we laid there waiting. Yes, Husband, too. It was a large bed. He was more leaning, me more laying.

Jelly on the belly as Husband likes to put it -- and we were off. Looking, looking -- just ecstatic to see little Peanut moving around in there and knowing that I could feel that little person inside me.

"Hey there, move your leg" the tech said as she gently pressed on my baby bump. And there it was, in all its glory -- the Turtle. Yes, the turtle. Our lovely ultrasound tech had explained that we would be looking for a turtle or a hamburger -- the former for a boy and the latter for a girl -- very scientific, I know. I'll let you think about that one for a second...

A turtle it was -- a little boy -- one that had apparently already discovered his "part." Unconscious as the action might have been. I just couldn't believe it. That strong feeling I had was right. And, we could finally call Peanut by his proper name: Harper Christian.

So, off we go into the land of boy-dom -- much more familiar to Husband than I, but every bit exciting for both of us. The nursery (i.e. upstairs of our house that has been gutted, is in the process of getting drywall, and will soon look like the cutest darn nursery ever in existence, thank you) is quite possibly one of the most exciting parts of this whole nesting business that I just can't wait to start on. Soon enough. Soon enough.

Until next time, here's little Harper maxin' and relaxin'. It's almost as if he knew that we knew who he was. This cosmic connection had been formed and he was just waiting to let us know who he was and now that he had, he just wanted to throw his hands back and chill...


Posted in

twelve weeks and counting

Posted by Shannon Marie
It's pretty amazing how quickly life can change. Quite astonishing, actually. One day you are reading your InStyle magazine deciding what new trends to follow (or not) for the coming season and the next you are lamenting over the inevitable shopping that is to come -- not because you are ready to tackle that list -- no, no. But rather, because the lovely little Peanut you have recently begun toting around has threatened to rip you out of your current wardrobe faster than a pregnant lady rips into a box/bag/container of your choice of whatever it is that she can finally keep down.

Such is life these days. It may not have been the smoothest ride thus far, but I wouldn't get off and wait in line for another if you paid me. Husband and I are in this one (wholeheartedly) all the way and couldn't be happier.

So, it looks like I'll be oogling a lot less of...

and a little more of...

And drinking a lot more juice "cocktails." And searching for a vehicle that a carseat can (safely) go in. And bridging the gap between "corporate professional dress" and "I would really rather wear PJs all day." And sleeping as much as possible before January. And a host of other things that we couldn't be more excited for!

But, don't think I'm not still sporting that same shoe collection. I am. Proudly and pregnant-ly.


Posted in

smitten with spring

Posted by Shannon Marie
The weather is fan-tastic out today, and we got to duck out of the corporate world a bit early. Double bonus! It is officially Spring in my eyes. And we all know what that means -- sandals, painted toes, sundresses, and well yardwork and allergies, but the first three more than make up for the last. Mmmhm.

Spring has sprung.

P.S. The carpet in me -- yes me, not my -- office needs a wee bit -- ok, ridiculously major amount -- of TLC, if you can't tell from the pic. Oh and it's pea green. Just sayin'.

Another wonderfully magnificent accidental effect of the change of seasons?

I'm pretty (totally) sure the pup needs some outdoor time, ummm yesterday. Yes, 'tis BoBo, minus all appendages and most of his innards.

And, plus, also, I get to take this lovely little thing for a twirl tonight. So excited.

LuLu's Go with the Flow Top

So, I'll leave you with my words of wisdom -- or peril, depending on how much you actually like me wink wink -- try to avoid ASTRO and ALF. Off to enjoy the sunshine!

Posted in

seychelles seashells

Posted by Shannon Marie
So, I posted a pic of these little lovelies yesterday, with a promise for an explanation. And so it goes...

And so it goes, and you're the only one who -- thank you Billy (Joel) -- knows. You will know, now, because I am going to try to put into words my inner struggle between the deep (deep, deep) seeded love for all things shoe related (just not flats) and, And, AND finding something to wear all the little lovelies with. I'm sure we could all agree that a good -- great, grand, wonderful -- thank you Billy (Madison) -- pair of shoes can make an outfit. Or your day for that matter. But there is nothing (and I mean nothing) worse than WANTing a new pair of lovelies only to reason with yourself that you don't have the status quo 5 outfits -- or any for that matter -- to wear them with. Yes, 'tis a hard time we (I) live in. What to wear. With the shoes.

My most recent struggle -- upon discovering a 30% off code -- was the Calvin Klein orange and tan and black numbers from yesterday. Swoon. You'd think with three, yes three, colors I'd have something something to wear them with. Three distinct possibilities. Or not. Which is where I landed. There's still hope. The wheels are still a spinnin', I can assure you, and when I come up with my 3 or 5 -- whatever that rule is -- outfits, I will want (need) them. Until then, I'll just keep a starin' at these.

Seychelles 'Joan' Wedge Sandal

full of FIGJAM

Posted by Shannon Marie
Somewhere between Operations Management, Accounting, and Six Sigma higher learning -- let's not forget a new career, chock full o' the things -- I seem to have filled my wee little head with so(ooo) many acronyms I often have a hard time remembering the easy ones. You know, the ones that you see all the time and every time you see them: you draw a blank? My main culprit? The HOV lane. Yes, the far left lane of many a highway designed to advocate carpooling. High -- got it -- then the hard part, Octane? -- darn, wrong again. My over-acronym(ed) brain just can't remember the O -- it's Occupancy for those of you who didn't know (or can't remember, like me!). High Occupancy Vehicle. You get to fly by the traffic in the other lanes, I'd assume is the point, in exchange for putting up with the passengers who have agreed (however reluctantly) to travel with you each day. What you do when you have to get across all the other lanes of traffic -- that have watched you flying by them -- to take your exit? Not so sure. I just know what it stands for -- High Oct, shoot.

'Tis the world we live in, I suppose, a world where fast food is (hopefully was) the standard and we can't get -- or say -- anything fast enough. In most cases, I'd agree that our advances are for the greater good. Acronym(ing) everything? Not so positive 'bout that one.

So, I'll leave you with my new favorite -- when I can remember it --

FIGJAM: Flip I'm Good, Just Ask Me.

And these lovely little things -- explanation to come.

CK remini cutaway platform shoe

the bolt aisle

Posted by Shannon Marie
As a semi-indulgent -- ok, slightly more than semi, say quasi? -- shopper of all things shiny, and flirty, frilly, dressy, and shoe related, I am fully aware the power that a store -- any store, just think of your favorite -- can have over a person. I could recount nearly infinite occasions upon which I planned to "window shop", to no avail. Internet window shopping -- P.S. -- well let's just say those stores make it way too easy to "add to cart". As if I plan to actually "remove from cart" and not "click to continue". Pfffhht -- 'tis a rant for another time.

Back to the power of the store -- the real one -- that you physically walk in to. As many occasions that I can recall involving said failed window shopping attempts, I can also name quite a few -- ok, I'll give him many -- where Dear Husband spent countless an hour sitting outside of a dressing room, wandering aimlessly, and/or/in combination with following along -- with little complaining to boot. He's a trooper, I must say. But with patience comes an inevitable, yet deserved, future price.

Touche -- the bolt aisle.

You see every home improvement store has one. The extent to which it goes on forever -- errr, I mean the selection varies quite a bit from store to store. With a resounding chest banging -- oops that's a gorilla -- high five, Lowe's seems to have the super, best, let's build something together, bolt aisle. I digress -- for it is not just bolts, but nuts, and screws with varying finishes and uses -- all wrapped up in lovely little baggies and carefully, if not painstakingly, positioned in sliding metal drawers with dividers worthy of my costume jewelry collection. Ah yes, the holy grail of trinket worthy, peruse for hours, pick up -- set down -- pick up again, MAN-dom. My love for all things shiny does not -- truly unfortunately for Husband -- translate to said bolt/nut/screw aisle.

And it is with great pleasure -- hypothetically speaking -- that I welcome the next trip to Lowe's. For I have learned -- just like my shoe obsession -- that it is not only about just getting what you need, but rather an experience -- albeit a rather excruciating one for Wife. I promise -- to try -- not to wince in pain next time. Totally promise.