otto makes me smile; otto is a stylish dinosaur

it's been official since the day he was born: my kid is my all time favorite person on the freaking planet. one of his favorite things lately is making up stories and lyrics to songs. he'll sit down with a deck of alphabet flash cards and make up a story for us using every picture in the deck "there was a Boy and he got an Xray and then he went to the park and lost his Hat and the Zebra ate his Pear..." geeeenius! adorabbbble! other words of excitement all drawwwwwwn out! for reals, he destroys me. also a constant source of awesomeness, he loves to dance party. pssst. this is one of our favorite songs lately: Islands: Creeper

ps. on the above, whoa, ok, video not appropriate for kids. that tar guy and wax guy? uncool islands, uncool. i thought it was a love song? nooooo. it's about breaking and entering. oh well, good dance jam. whatchagonnado?

so the chicklet was looking especially dapper recently on our photo-takin stairs...

on ot: button-up and jacket (baby gap), jeans (H&M), shoes (crocs).

random thoughts: he's so rad. he's gonna be such an awesome big brother. i was kinda hoping i'd have my baby on leap day but now i pretty much doubt it. i wish i had some dark chocolate almond bark right about now. or a big avocado. i have neither. meh. and my feet hurt. i'm tired. we need to sweep those stairs.

that's all i got. happy leap day tomorrow friends!


Baby Loretta's Corner

why I blog... today has been one of those days that remind me of why i blog. i do this site to focus my energy on the best parts of my day or week. to put my life in a perspective that reminds me that i actually am so blessed and happy even when i'm trying to be overwhelmed with the stresses of life. i looked forward to writing this post all freaking day today (a really long, kind of really bad day) because i knew it would make me happy and wipe away a few bouts of tears. 

tagline for blogging --> blog therapy because when you're pregnant wine therapy ain't happenin 

le sigh! now if the plumbing fairy would just take mercy and sprinkle some awesome dust on our rental's sad pipes i would stop wishing i could curl up on a bean bag chair with a jug of whiskey and goth out to Elliot Smith for a few hours... goths still goth out to ES don't they? 

so i want to share with you baby Loretta's corner of our bedroom. until we move into a larger space this summer, she'll be sharing our room with us which is just fine by me as we co-sleep anyways. unfortunately my POS5000 laptop decided to stop getting wi-fi so it had to stay put in the same corner we earmarked for the baby. but i think we built Loretta's space around my mini-blog-station in a way that's very sweet and functional for our needs during her first few months. 
the dresses on the wall are my mom's own baby dresses dating back to the 50s. 

what do you think of not having a changing station? we thought we could just use a towel on the foot of our bed. are we crazy?

related... then, on friday, my coworkers threw a surprise baby shower for me, the thoughtfulness of which would have been enough to melt my brain in the first place. they thought of all my favorite foods (broccoli cheddar soup, chicken noodle, veggies, special almond bark chocolate from the fancy grocery, red velvet brownies, root beer, cake) and balloons, flowers, streamers, a sign printed for little Loretta... it was just so beautiful and beyond cool. on top of all this, they made (made!) this beautiful crib/rocker for our family... 
made! unreal right? i mean, so unreal. i just love it so much. i have no words...

i wish i could showcase it better than this picture up against the fireplace does, but we have to move part of our sectional out of the living room (and into a bonfire) before we can fit the chair in, which is awesome by me because our sectional was cruelly and unusually murdered by our dog over the past few months since we moved here. it's dead. i'm excited to get it out and have this beautiful chair/rocker in its place!

thank you for sharing my happiness with me here. it really did put me in a better mental place just to focus on these little perfect spaces within our chaotic home. the imperfect stuff will hopefully be fixed soon. hopefully before Et makes her debut! Two and a half weeks left til d-day, i wonder if i'll make it? starting to have little contractions pretty frequently, eek! 




i jabber with wild abandon on here so this is about as close as i get to a wordless wednesday post, but this picture from ot's haircut on saturday is one of those "worth a thousand words" ones. so without further ado (ps. hope you're all having good weeks!)...
impressed? or soooo not impressed? or blue steel? haha!

oh, ps, if you don't mind. a vote? i used to be ranked a lot higher then i got all depressed and dropped the blog for a few months. anyways, if you'd click and then click the owl on the left that would be so awesome of you. thanks!
Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!


documenting the belly and the 3 week countdown left-to-dos

it's not that i hang out in the bathroom all the time, i just need to get a tripod and/or get over my camera shyness already. every time rob takes my picture for this blog i feel like a huge douchebag (do you guys feel that way, or do you all have tripods? what's the trick?). anyways, when i take my own pictures i can never seem to smile without looking like a scared douchebag, oh and always in the bathroom. super cool! but anyways, i wanted a real, honest-to-goodness belly shot and here's the best i could do. she's large!
the baby's corner of our bedroom is 90% complete which feels so nice to type out loud! just a couple of my mom's vintage baby dresses left to hang on the wall to spruce up the joint and then i'll share real pics. but here are some highlights...
otto's old baby toys and gifted baby toys laundered and ready for chubby hands
clearance valentine frames from target ($1.50 each whoot!) ready to be filled with sweet cooing baby pictures
basket of otto's old socks (were his feet ever that small?) plus gifted and thrifted socks laundered and ready for teeny perfect feet. i just remembered the curling foot reflex, ohhhh heart heart heart! i am actually starting to get past the panic and be excited for miss loretta to arrive.
a little diy decor thanks to a pompom garland tutorial by emily bilbrey which she guest posted at little big blog here. they aren't as scrappy looking in person, but when i do this again i will probably use about 30% more yarn. still, what a cute and free way to spruce up a baby's corner!

still to-do before little miss makes the scene:
- pack a bag for the birth center
- pack an Otto bag for the birth center (activities, snacks, jammies)
- install the baby seat in the van... it's thrown in there for now so rob can install it in a jam, but i'd like him to install it before the fact. it just seems like the "right" thing to do, although when i think about it, who cares? but whatever.
- clean the crap out of this house. it was fairly clean about a week ago but our week of ill plumbing sort of got us behind on laundry grrrrrrr about that! freaking grrrrrr!

omg is that it? it might be. wow. she's almost here and we're almost prepared. that's a pretty freaky thing to think about. then it'll be like, "hello! what do we do with you now? ack!" and we'll have this new person in our house. bizarre. but i'm excited to meet her. i wonder what she'll look like? i wonder who she'll be? it's the beginning of a new chapter. holy smokes.



mama steez, otto super steez

ok i think i've officially hit the point in this pregnancy where it just really isn't cute anymore. it looks like it hurts because... it... does. just being honest. i feel like violet beauregarde and it turns out i pretty much look like her too. when i got dressed this morning i thought i had some kind of pregnant-but-workin-it gwen stefani thing going what with the maxi dress and all. ha! then i saw the pics. egad. gwen stefani i am not. probably a wake up call i needed to have at some point anyways. not gwen stefani not gwen stefani.
on mama: sweater (thrifted), maxi dress (Lauren Conrad from a clothing swap), boots (Delia's).

we really did step out today. such a busy day! the little cheese got a much needed haircut which kinda made mama sad. we have this cycle where i try to grow it out over and over but it always hits this point where his bangs are growing straight into his eyes and no matter how much product we use, those stinkin bangs become a problem. i asked rob if we could maybe tie a "guy" hairband over his head 70s ninja style for a while and the answer was a resounding, "ARE YOU CRAZY?" so haircut it was! i swear every haircut makes him look a whole year older. ::sniff sniff::

then we went to Target to gift shop for a birthday party we attended this afternoon, then Goodwill just because we had 20 minutes and it's right by Target. i found 3 really cute salad plates that are old and yellow and totally made me happy so that was a nice $3 score. then to our friends' house for lunch of gumbo and cornbread with maple butter. amazing! somewhere in there a plumber came and fixed our old house's cruddy pipes for the 2nd time this week. we've been without decent shower and unable to do laundry all week, which has made a crabby "nester" out of me since all i want to do is keep this house clean and tidy! then said party. and now, finally, chill out time. maybe even head-to-bed-at-8pm-time. i think yes!

otto was looking especially dashing and hamming it up especially heavily today -->
on the bot: sweatshirt (preloved), button up (levi's), pants (gymboree thrifted), sneaks (vans).

this made me laugh. ot in his room earlier yells to me so we have this conversation from different rooms...

otto: can i throw this in the garbage?
me: what is it?
otto: it's garbage

haha! basically, "duh, mom" well i hope you are all having super good weekends. how is it the end of february already??!!



just a little to-do for valentine's day

things worth waking up 45 minutes early for (even on a workday)...

♥ eggs in a heart basket, love-ly cinnamon french toast, strawberries ♥
♥ toddler smiles ♥
♥ garbagey adorable goodies ♥
♥ art appreciation ♥
♥ sweet gifts from sweet boys ♥

a really short story about my flowers...

rob and i agreed to not do a thing for each other this valentine's day. that we'd just do a little breakfast for Ot and call it a tuesday. but late last night while he was out buying "study food" for his midterms which are this week, he spotted the clearance flowers at albertson's. so he bought nutter butters, soda, just horrible horrible stuff for himself to get through the tests, and then the $2 half-alive bouquet you see here. (how the cashiers must have been judging him, haha! some lucky lady has got herself a winner with this one!) anyways, after breakfast this morning rob was running the garbage outside and came back in with the flowers he'd hidden in the car. i was getting ready for work, so Otto came running into the bathroom to give me the flowers. i was like, "oh, Otto, these are so beautiful thank you so much, my little valentine!" and Otto says, "don't look at me, daddy found them outside."


anyways, it was a really special morning and i loved it and love my $2 flowers. i really do have a winner with that one. i hope you all had equally sweet little valentine's days. 



nesting and panicking

the. nesting. has. kicked. in.

i just want to tidy everything and have everything be in its place! an uphill battle in our house and plus i'm a terrible housekeeper. but finding myself changing sheets, doing all kinds of laundry, keeping up on dishes, and organizing the clutter in a way that i usually reserve for post-fight venting. (does anyone else do this? usually the only time i want to clean is if i'm super super upset, like after an argument, then i go all freaky mr. clean on the place). anyways... Ot and i have been hanging around the house today and in between cleaning and as-close-as-i-get-to-meal-planning we've...
candy land.
hat removal = crazy hair.
coloring books.
sewn hair braids a la mucho mucho bueno bueno (my version way lazier, but still love it).
and a bump shot just because.

and now Ot has agreed to an hour of "nap time" (i may have bribed him with those cookies) so while he plays quietly in his room i am taking this minute to jot everything down. it's been a great day, really. and the panicking is more proactive than anything we're really dealing with now. money-wise i simply do not know how we are going to make it through the summer. new baby. 6 weeks unpaid maternity leave. planning to move into a bigger space. rob's school doesn't pay in summertime and he'll be staying home so we don't have to start Et in daycare til fall. our savings can handle about half of this. the rest? the rest is making me sick to even think about. we'll tighten our belts. maybe we'll cash out rob's ira? maybe we'll take a loan? who am i kidding, no one would give us a loan! so... i just don't know what we're going to do. i guess we'll figure it out. i know others have it worse and figure it out and we will too. but it feels scary and i'm scared.

but instead of leaving you saying "geez, shut up you drag," i'll leave you with something Ot said that really made me smile today. psssst --> he's more fun than i am. when i asked him if he wanted to help me make the cookies:

"You can make them
all by yourself
and then when they're ready
i  can EAT THEM!
That sounds like a good idea."

 my love! and then not five minutes later he insisted on helping :)



Ot and Et {the new name}

in preparation for the addition of the little lady very very (eek, very!) soon, "Otto's Mom Blogs" is now officially "Ot and Et" 

you know Ot --> the cute munchkin toe head that makes my world go round.

well very soon you'll get to meet little Et too. Et is short for Loretta Cecille, a name we chose after much much ado. some of you heard about this name drama ad nauseum because choosing her name had me in tears many many times and i vented on twitter on more than one occasion. rob and i have the most opposite taste in names you could imagine. but when we settled on Loretta, after my grandma on my dad's side, and Cecille, after rob's sister and one of my favorite people in the world, well it just felt immediately right.

i wanted to share with you one of my favorite pictures in the world. this is my dad (when he was not yet two) with my grandma (such a fashionable dame)! she meant the world to me and so sadly she passed away when Otto was still a newborn. i miss her so much and am so honored to be able to name our daughter after this strong, funny, smart, independent woman who was such an inspiration to my life and such a loving grandmother always.



quarters and dimes and dollars

otto's piggy bank savings have been burning a little hole in his pocket lately so this weekend when we went to Target i told him he could take $10 to buy himself a new book or toy. i wanted to share with you guys our little counting money project because it was a really fun and easy way for Ot to participate in counting out his own money and to learn about coins.
this sort of evolved on the fly so you can see my crafty project lacks cuteness. also you get to see the dreaded state of Otto's room most days. i swear we clean before bedtime! anyways... all you need is a bag for the counted money, a plain piece of paper and a marker.

we started with the dollar bills and i explained to Otto that each one is worth one dollar. Otto can count pretty high so he had no problem counting the $6 in greenbacks that we put in the bag.

next we put all the nickels and pennies back into the piggy bank. we focused instead on dimes and quarters. so you can see we made a little puzzle, tracing 4 quarters on one side of the page and 10 dimes on the other. i told Otto that 4 quarters or 10 dimes were equal to 1 dollar and his job was to fill in either the dime or quarter side of the puzzle.
he totally got it right away. and each time he filled up a side we'd go back to the money bag and i'd say, "ok, there were $6 in here and now we're adding $1 so how many do we have now?" Otto counts on his fingers; it kills me. So smart!

so i know i'm not winning any curriculum awards here, but how easy was this? and fun! and it engaged Otto in counting, learning about coins, doing a puzzle, blah blah blah. 

bonus! Otto picked out a bouncy ball and some bubbles. summer toys! outside toys! and all on his own. we went through each aisle of the toy department and he would pick something out but then find something else he wanted more. so his choice evolved from a Cars set to, eventually, the bouncy ball and bubbles. and he was totally stoic about toys that were outside of his price-range which i thought was pretty cool of him. 

just all in all an easy project and cool experience and then the sun actually was shining that afternoon (gasp!) and we got to play with bubbles in the park.  


target made me...

target actually made me go on a target shopping spree. what a wonderful world.... kinda sorta. they sent me a blackmail letter saying that if i didn't use my target visa in the next 30 days they'd close it (because i haven't used it in a year). dear target, ummm, that was actually by design, see i'm trying to clean up our credit... but, if you insist...
so the plan was to buy summer dresses and cardigans that would work as maternity shirts and cardigans for now... and then actually turn back into summer dresses and cardigans after the baby comes. above picture is just what i wore today, yep, i'm secretly a bad news bear.
a bad news bear who shops in her house slippers and finds herself trapped in a 4' x 4' dressing room with a small, adorable spazz!
i have never had more fun trying clothes on in my life! and NOT because it's super fun to look like a circus tent. my kid = rad. all i gotta say. ps. cute "shirt" right?
so then spazzy weirdo starts playing with my tshirt. because that's fun.
oh, and i got a jacket too! my boss came to work in a 10,000x cuter (but kinda similar) jacket on friday and got me all jacket lustin'. and even though i can't button this guy, it's really super cute. plus the whole target blackmail thing, i HAD TO.
so the frontal view on this yellow "shirt" is maybe not the world's cutest. my belly button is beyond out of control this go around. i blame the gall bladder surgery, it left my bb pretty much deformed and then when it popped out it popped out in a really major way + crooked = embarrassing, for reals, but what can you do? answer: accentuate that sh*t, that's what!
wild thing. i think i love you! but i wanna knowwww for sure. come here, toss my tshirt around a while. wild thing, i love you.
ps. of all the spreeing we did today, this one, for whatever reason, kinda made me the happiest...
hope everyone's having equally delightful weekends. superbowl plans? and by that i mean what are you eating??? i am most excited for zebra cakes! and potato chip cookies a friend is bringing over. i don't know what it means, but it sounds amaaaaazing!

ps. i'm only feeling the wee'est bit guilty about the target spree. because truth is??? so irresponsible! we're trying to not spend right now. errrrk. but i really want to keep my target card, is the thing. i've had it since i was 19. that's 15 years people! i loooove my target card. it's really pretty. ok, i know that's dumb but i don't care. so now i'll tuck it away again and pay this off in the next few months and have a couple more things to wear for the next 5 weeks (which brings the number of things i can wear as shirts right now up to 7, so pathetic)...
otto, by the way, is the wind beneath my wings. i just can't even say how much sunshine he brings into my heart. what a weird little wonderful dude i'm raising. i hope - every single day - that i can be deserving of his awesomeness and be a good mom. i hope when baby comes i can find a way to be a great mom to both of them without taking away from either. i have so many worries about this, but in the end i know we'll make it work. and otto is so excited for the baby to come. that helps a lot. he has no reservations. i'm the one who stays up at night worrying about how it will all work out. 

but i know it will