Saturday, March 24, 2012

I Now Believe

My husband is a gifted story teller, I will give him that.  He's been likened a bit to Jim Carrey in his ability to do voices, facial expressions and wild body movements that usually wrap up his audience in laughter, unless we've heard the story before (which for me is often 1000 times).  But I will hand it to him, he's got a gift. 

The best stories are the ones from his childhood.  The day their neighbor climbed a 30 foot palm tree and got bit by an angry rat when he stumbled upon its nest.  Or the time he and his friend Donnie got back at a thug in high school by throwing a huge Big Gulp across the quad and instead of it landing on the thug, it hit the thug's girlfriend who was Miss Thug, serving as double payback.  I listen and laugh and for the most part believe his wild tales because knowing him so well, they are actually quite believable. 

But I'm always a little suspect when he tells me things from when he was a little teeny tiny kid, like under 5.  He claims to remember being in his crib at the age of 2, and recalls what it looked like and felt like to be in a crib with vivid detail.  Hmm hmmm, sure okay.  It's common knowledge that the Howe family can exaggerate just a bit (it's true!).  The ring dinger of all of his childhood stories though is how he tells people over and over that one day at the age of 4, his parents took off his training wheels and he started riding his bike, with no help or prior practice.  He just took off.  Remembering my own painful experience of learning to ride a bike, and having just gone through the same experience with Taylor almost 2 years ago, practicing with her for weeks before she could ride on her own, I was to say the least, doubtful that his story held any grain of truth whatsoever.

Monday night Syd, who is 4, declared that the next day he was taking his training wheels off, and NO, he did not need the buddy bar.  So Tuesday came, and when Art got home from work Syd asked to have his training wheels taken off and so we obliged.  We walked across the street, set him off, and then this happened...     
The kid just started riding.  Just. Like. That.  Instantly he was off and balancing himself like it was his job.  After we all sorta just stared at shock and amazement and gave a round of high fives, Art turned to me and what did he say?  "See!  Now do you believe me!?!"  Yes, I do believe you now that you took off riding just like Syd.  But I still don't believe the whole crib business.
Congratulations buddy!  We are so proud of you, and your daddy is not surprised in the least ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Neon, iCozy, Alissa & Ordinary Coats

Hi friends, and happy Thursday! I am still busy working away at all things Neon (you can get glimpses of what I've been working on if you follow me on Instragram user name fourflights), so in the mean time I wanted to just check in and say hi, as well as introduce you to my friend Alissa from Rags to Stitches.  She just created and launched a new line of iCozys for your iPad.  If I had an iPad you'd bet I'd own one of these cuties.  Alissa recently did a photo shoot to launch the new line and we wanted to share some photos with you.  Stay tuned for a giveaway soon!   Oh, and one last quick thing, you know how much I love my Grandma Tita and how much she meant to me right?  Well I wrote a little piece about a coat of hers that was passed down to me.  An ordinary coat, but with extraordinary meaning to me.  Please go on over to Outside Voice and say hi :)

I'm Alissa and I blog over at Rags to Stitches.
I also have a handmade shop and I'm so excited to share with you the launch of my brand new iCozy!!
As you can imagine I've been so excited about today for the last couple of months.
Designed with your lifestyle in mind...
The iCozy has a fun and vintage feel.
Girly from top to bottom, the iCozy is newly adorned with vintage lace is still lined with multi-functional minky fabric.
4 brand new colors, each with 3 vintage lace color options.
No more digging through your purse to find all your iPad Accessories, now you can carry them all in your new iCozy.
The new design features a pocket along the back, allowing you to take your iPad charger and earbuds with you wherever you go.
Each iCozy comes padded and lined with a multipurpose minky fabric.
Need to clean your glasses? The front of your iPad has finger prints?
Clean it away with out worry of scratches with the versatile, minky lining.
Whether you're going to coffee with a friend or carpooling your kids to soccer practice, your iPad will travel in style.

Are you as in love as I am?
I really, really hope so!
This design is near and dear to my heart.
So head on over to the shop and snag your iCozy as quantities in each color are limited.
All photos taken by the lovely Katie of Katherine Elizabeth Photography

Monday, March 19, 2012

Prepping for Zombies

Did you guys know I'm pregnant?  Yes, I am, in case you missed it in every single one of my previous posts for the last 2 weeks.  If you haven't noticed, I like talking/writing about the pregnancy and can somehow relate this pregnancy back to everything, including television shows and how the shows I watch are causing me to have those psycho crazy dreams that one only has when you have the flu or are with child.

I promise that soon, as in next week, I will start talking about other things besides this pregnancy and may even have an amazing DIY project (or 2) to share with you that is not pregnancy or baby related.  Yes, it's true, I am hard at work this week on creating about 10 DIY's (psst, hint: NEON yo!) to post next week between this blog and my other blog, which is leaving me minimal time to think of really fascinating subjects to write about besides, well, this pregnancy. 
So does anyone watch The Walking Dead on AMC and/or Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo?  Well I watch both.  And it's screwing with my brain. For the last week I've been having those crazy dreams where you can't tell the difference between your dream and real life.  They haven't really been nightmare like, just creepy and unsettling.  Last night I dreamed we were sitting in a cafe trying to act like the world was not coming to an end, when a few zombies walked in ready to attack.  We casually helped the waiter kill them with a broom and a chair and then we all went back to our business. 
My natural worrisome tendencies thrive off of these shows and I spend idle time at night in bed plotting escape routes and bug out plans in case of Armageddon.  For the record I don't really think that Armageddon will come in the form of flesh eating zombies, really I don't, but the idea is quite fascinating to me and obviously is to many others based off the continued success of these types of shows/movies (28 Days Later, I Am Legend and of course Night of the Living Dead are my favorites).  I do in fact think that something along the lines of Contagion could happen, and of course the uber creepy Children of Men, while may not be likely, is a shit scary concept if you ask me.
Anyhow, I'm rambling here a bit but the point is I'm a sucker for a good Armageddon type of movie or show, always have been, always will be.  They tend to haunt me for days and completely freak me out yet I always come back for more.  Ever since I saw the Day After on November 20, 1983 I have been hooked.  By the way, I was 7 years old when that show aired and I saw it.  Seven!  Why on earth I was allowed to watch a show about nuclear war at 7 is beyond me, but that's besides the point.
So when I discovered that a reality show existed about people that prepare for Armageddon, in whichever form they think it's going to happen, I was all "sign me up!  DVR that thing!"  I've been watching it now for a few weeks and I still can't tell if these people are completely insane or completely brilliant.  Only time will tell I guess.  The vast majority of these "preppers" all live in rural country areas, or they have a "bug out plan" to escape to a secluded country area, completely stocked with supplies so they could be self sufficient and as they say, "live off the grid."  The extent that these people go to prepare is at any rate, impressive.  
Art for the most part thinks I'm insane, but has agreed to follow along with a couple of my plans to "prep" including: investing in a water purification system to turn our pool water into safe drinking water and stocking up on canned and dry foods and fire wood.  He stopped me at gas masks and a drum full of oil.

Overall he sits and mocks these people that prep and plan every spare moment of their day.  But last night as we were watching the season finale of The Walking Dead, and the group got split up during a zombie swarm, he turned to me and in all seriousness said "See, they didn't have a bug out plan.  They should have had a bug out plan so they could be prepared in an event like this."

And just like that, boom!  Fiction collides with reality.  I guess someone was paying attention after all.

Do any of you watch these shows or is it just me?  You guys think I'm completely nuts right?

images 1-3 via AMC; images 4-5 via National Geographic Channel

The Girls Need Your Help!!

Hi friends and happy Monday!  I'm running out the door to take Syd to preschool, and I'll be back with a proper post later today.  One that involves zombies from the Walking Dead and bug out plans from Doomsday Preppers.  Anyhow...

Until then, the girls need your help.  Desperately.  After preschool drop off I'm running to the mall to hopefully pick up a bra that will support the new pregnancy girls.  I thought about posting this question on Facebook, but then for obvious reasons, pulled back and thought of course, I'll ask you all for advice!  You're such a wealth of information and infinite wisdom.

So here goes, what should I do about a bra during this in between stage?  I'm going to get measured, but I'm sure I've gone up at least a cup size, at least.  None of my bras fit anymore.  I came home from a nice birthday dinner last night to realize that at some point one of my boobs had literally fallen out of the cup and was just hanging there.  It was still contained within the dress obviously, but contained with no real support if you know what I mean.  Sorry for the visual.  At least I was wearing a jacket because that could have been really awkward sitting across the table from my friend's husband.

So I need to move quickly here.  I don't want to go into nursing bras right away, I still have 5 months till delivery and the thought of walking around wearing a nursing bra just sounds awful.  I also don't want to invest in a nicer bra that I'll probably never wear once I deliver and the girls go back down to their natural state.  At night I'm wearing the soft cup American Apparel interlock bra but it's just not supportive enough for day wear.  I'd like something similar that will allow me some forgiving room for fluctuating cup size, but with more support.  Or just a nice and comfortable cheap bra would work too.  I just need recommendations please! 

I'll have my phone on my so please send in any suggestions on affordable transition bras that I could get today!  The girls, and I, will be forever indebted to you.
Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fantasy World

In this fantasy world where I sometimes live, I am able to juggle my life with perfect balance and ease.  I can mother two children and nourish and nurture the one on the way that's happily growing away in my belly.  I can cook meals, keep my house clean, and of course I can run two blogs successfully.  Wait, this sort of sounds like I'm leading up to a goodbye doesn't it?  But I'm not.  I love this space, just as much as I love my new space, and I'm actually really excited to get back to the basics here.  To let my hair down a bit here and not have to feel like I'm trying to fit all the things I love into one place.  I just need a bit more time to figure out how to fit it in, but I'll get there, I always do somehow :)  Thanks for your patience along the way my friends.  

So to answer some of your questions, no I will not be letting go of Four Flights of Fancy.  I am here to stay.  Sure I may not post as frequently as before but you can't get rid of me that easy!  And all my style posts will now be over at the new blog. 

Speaking of which you guys, what gives?  Only a small teensy tiny portion of you have gone over and subscribed at the new space!  I am trying to not take it personally and realize that you all have just been to busy leading your lives to go on over and officially subscribe, but a girl can only take so much before she starts to look around and feel a bit lonely at her party.  So please (yes, I am not above begging), go on over and SUBSCRIBE!  You can do it via RSS feed or through Bloglovin oh yeah! 

So while I still try to figure things out a bit here with juggling two blogs, I thought I'd share a bit about what's been going on with us the last week just to catch up.  Oh, and I loved reading all of your comments on this post, some of them had me cracking up!  So glad I didn't offend anyone.

1. Last Friday Miranda and I visited the Hatch Showroom in Downtown LA where I interviewed the owner Kay Sides.  We had a great day and lots more pictures coming up soon, along with the interview, on the new blog.  It's for a series I started over there called Insiders: Behind the Lines, which gives you a peek at the people behind the scenes in the fashion industry.  

2. This pregnancy is exciting in a way like my other 2 haven't been. Hard to put into words, but at any rate it's been fun watching my midsection grow and I'm getting anxious to start feeling the little flutters of a baby moving around in here!

3. After our interview, we enjoyed lunch at the Nickel Diner and Miranda ordered this cucumber soda which was delicious!  I'll have to track it down.  It's the perfect flavor for spring and summer.

4. I myself enjoyed a small glass of wine for the first time in 16 weeks.  My doc feels completely comfortable with me having a glass of wine per week, so my inaugural glass was a Rombauer Chardonnay.

5. We had my parents over for dinner the other night, and this is my dad learning how to wash dishes from my mom.  He just retired last week and I'm not kidding he had not idea what to do.  The man's been spoiled his whole life!  Ladies, we need to make sure we teach our sons how to wash dishes.  We'll have more grateful daughter in laws down the road I'm sure.

6. Hooray, I'm finally feeling better and I hit the gym again for the first time! Just some walking and bike riding, but it felt good to get the body moving again. 

7. The weather has been nothing short of glorious these past few days so on Sunday me and Maddie relaxed a bit outside while the kids played and Art continued his work on the garage. 

8. And finally, a new DIY is up on the other blog.  An ombre seed bead necklace perfect for spring!  Please go check it out!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Was It Planned?

{I'm procreating with this man again; now that's scary}

The question I've been asked the most often after telling people we're expecting is "We're you planning it?"  Naturally I guess that's a fair question all things considered; my age, the space between this pregnancy and our other two kids (5 and 7 years), and the fact that we had told most people that we were pretty much done having kids.  But what cracks me up the most is that people figure it must have been an 'accident'.  At age 35 I think I have it pretty well figured out how you get pregnant, and how to prevent it.

I know more people that I can count on my hands, grown women mind you, that have had an accident baby.  Now I know this probably sounds condescending, and apologies if it does, but it boggles my mind how you can have a woopsy pregnancy as a grown up.  There are 4 common ways that I know of, that cause adult married couples to have a woopsy:
  1. The breastfeeding as birth control myth
  2. The having sex too soon after a vasectomy situation
  3. The rhythm method as birth control option
  4. The "we had a much needed date night and got a little too tipsy to remember protection" situation
Let's talk about the first misconception; that as long as you're breastfeeding you can't get pregnant.  While it may work for some, it is not a full proof 100% successful method of birth control for all.  The problem is that each women's body is different, and for some, all you have to do is breastfeed twice a day and you're covered, while for others you have to breastfeed 8-10 times a day to get full protection.  And any light reduction in bf'ing can cause a hormonal shift and leave you no longer 'protected'.  Not to mention the fact that there is always that tricky time frame during breastfeeding where you suddenly get your period back that is kind of a mystery. You don't know exactly when your period is going to come back, and so that small window of opportunity is up for grabs, and if you happen to unknowingly have sex during that time frame, bam, you wind up pregnant.   

Number 2, isn't it common knowledge now that vasectomy does not equal instant protection?  There's that waiting period, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it's a good 6 weeks, where your husband's little guys can still be very much active and travel the distance to indeed pregnant you?  Point being, continue to use protection until you've had the guys tested to confirm the shooting of blanks. 

The rhythm method as birth control is in theory a good means of prevention, and I admit to using a rough version of it.  And by rough I mean I'm paranoid and only consider about 5-7 days out of the entire month that are truly safety zones.  The other 25 days in my mind are risky.  But even when we practiced the rhythm method, I always knew that there was a chance of me getting pregnant, that this method of birth control was not the most effective foolproof way to prevent a baby.  I knew!  So to practice the rhythm method and then claim to have an "oopsy" is hilarious to me.  Ahem, but I'm sure it happens ;)

Oh and the last one is probably the best way to have a woopsy baby.  A baby bred out of love, a glass of Pinot and commiserating over why you don't have sex enough anymore.  This indeed happened to my best friend's sister with her 4th child, and while it scared the living daylights out of them for 9 months, she gave birth to a son, after 3 girls, and they couldn't be happier.

So no, this 3rd baby for us was not an accident.  It just took me a while to warm up to the idea of having another baby.  It took me a while to feel ready for another child.  It took me a while to realize that our family was indeed not complete.  But even if it was an oopsy baby, we'd still be happy just the same.  

*Disclaimer - I know the most careful and well intentioned people still have accidents.  I by no means am trying to poke fun here, although I guess it kinda sounds like I am.  So apologies in advance if I offend anyone ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Introducing the Launch of For the Love Of!

Oh maw goodness you guys, I feel like I've already birthed a baby.  And in some ways I guess I have.  The new style blog that I've been going on and on about for months is finally up and live!  I am exhausted and excited to finally see it come to fruition.  Now that the site is finally up I can go back to focusing on getting content up there and here.  Thanks for your patience as I go through hormonal changes, morning sickness and new endeavors.  I can't wait to get back to my state of normal. 

I named the new blog For the Love Of and will incorporate all things style related that I love, not just fashion.  It would thrill me beyond words if you came on over and said hi, and well, of course subscribed :)  Here's a little sneak peek of what I've got posted up on the site so far. 

A new and ridiculously easy DIY featuring these fantastic wooden geometric beads.

I'm also sharing what I wore to Blissdom - part 1.  I've gotta say maternity fashion has changed in the last few years and I've been having fun dressing the bump.


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