And Bebe

Slowing Down

February 7, 2015

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When I was around 6 months pregnant with Fox I was asked something along the lines of “What’s the biggest risk you need to take over the next year?” I looked down at my big belly. Slowing down.

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A few months ago I got a nail in my tire. I don’t have time for this shit! Fortunately, I have super fancy tires called “run flats” which means they keep running, even when they’re flat. After a week or so of running flat I managed to find 30 minutes at the end of my work day to take my car by the shop and have my tire fixed. Slow down, eh? That thirty minutes gave me time to think about how  it is that with a packed calendar (coupled with a deep-seated sense of urgency to LIVE! LIFE!) I don’t even have time for little emergencies, much less the dreamier images that come to mind when you say the words “slow down” like I don’t know … breathing, meditating, gardening, getting a massage, laying out in the sun, or taking a nap.

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Yesterday I found myself at the doctors office with a sick baby. And apparently I had left my phone at home. It gave me time to think about what slowing down really means. It takes just as much practice and discipline to slow down as it does to get shit done. And it’s not as glamorous as you might daydream – taking a deep breath is important but slowing down is literally making space in your calendar to live life. And I’m not talking about scheduling a massage, or a workout, or even a vacation.  I’m talking about scheduling NOTHING because sometimes living life looks like a sick baby with a weird rash on his tongue in a doctor’s office.

I have time for this. 

5AM

January 10, 2015

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Friday, January 9th, 2014
It’s 5AM. Fox is still waking up in 2-hour intervals and after getting him back down at 4AM I am up. I try to clear my mind, find gratitude, mentally flood my body with relaxing light, and go back to sleep. But after an hour of listening to my baby breathe (which aside from hearing him laugh is one of my favorite sounds) I was really up.

I unload the dishwasher and make some hot lemon water. It’s a chilly 61º in the house – we like it cold when we sleep. Sleep. My eyes start to water as I wrap my hands around my mug – my bottom lashes serving as a flood gate holding it all in. Lots of people wake up at 5AM – this is totally fine. My neck loosens its grip around my throat. I think I’ve convinced myself for now. I open my laptop to do some work. I’m choosing 5AM.

By 10AM I’m melting down. Everything feels pointless. I call my mom.

“Well, honey. I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know why he’s wired this way. Your brother used to wake up in the middle of the night sometimes but he would just quietly play with his toys in his crib and fall back asleep.”

Okay. Tonight I’m letting him cry it out. He can cry all night long. It’s either that or I’m running away to Australia.

Saturday, January 10th, 2014
It’s 5AM. Fox is stirring. I brought him in the bed with me when he started crying at midnight. It’s always like this. During the day I make big plans to kick the habit – no really this time. But that baby is my heroine and maybe tonight is the night he’ll sleep for just a little bit longer. So it’s 5AM and he does this thing where he sits up and slams his head back down. This time, as his hard skull crashes into my brow bone, I have a sort of flash back to his birth – I will never forget the feeling of his hot fuzzy head coming out of my body. My eyes are burning – the same sensation you get when you’ve stayed up too late reading. I might cry. Beebs – you’ve gotta take the baby.

The next time I look up it’s 8AM and the house is silent. Jeremy and the baby are asleep on the couch. My eyes are still burning but in this moment I can clearly see the point of it all.

Throw Up

December 24, 2014

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Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fear or anxiety pertaining to vomiting. This specific phobia can also include subcategories of what causes the anxiety, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching the action of vomiting or fear of being nauseated. (via Wikipedia)

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When I was around 14 years old I became a little nauseated and it didn’t go away for about 5 years. With that, I became irrationally terrified of throwing up – especially in public. Every place I went I was sure to know where the bathroom was just in case I needed to throw up. (I never once threw up during this time period). I went to the doctor once or twice – they suggested that I had an eating disorder (I didn’t) and prescribed me some over-the-counter Maalox that I’d carry in my backpack and sip on throughout the day. I can still taste the chalky cherry flavor. I would only eat certain foods that I knew wouldn’t make me feel gross – like brownies, milk, and frozen waffles.

Even after the nausea went away I was still so repulsed by the idea of throwing up, or even seeing someone throw up, that I avoided staying too late at parties with alcohol. In college an acquaintance of mine let his friends pay him a dollar to throw up on him. The concept that someone would accept a dollar to be thrown up on didn’t disturb me nearly as much as the idea that someone would actually PAY money to throw up. In fact, I was just asking Jeremy if he was there and he kind of laughed and said “No, but I saw some of the video.” Of course there was a video.

When I was a teenager and we were all still living at home my brother used this fear to his advantage by making dramatic dry heaving noises in his throat when he wanted me to go away. It worked. My brother is a sideshow performer as a profession and funny enough, his name is Donny Vomit. His acts include The Human Blockhead, fire eating and sword swallowing. We lived together in a little apartment near campus when he was learning how to tame his gag reflex with a coat hanger before he graduated to swords … I all but moved out.

Both times my sister was pregnant she spent all 9 months throwing up multiple times a day, every single day. I remember at the time praying to a God I didn’t even believe in to please, please, please not make me sick if I should one day find myself pregnant. I felt really crummy at times, but not once did I throw up during my pregnancy with Fox. Thank you, God.

A few months ago I came down with a really vicious stomach virus. Every time Fox would nurse and I would let down the rush of endorphins would make me go cold, bust out in sweat, and start excessively salivating. I would have to hand him off to Jeremy and go puke. There have been a few times in the past when I’ve pushed down a stomach bug with distraction and sheer will – the kind of will this sleep deprived mama doesn’t have. So there I was throwing up into the toilet and reminding myself that I’m a warrior mama – that I labored and pushed a baby out of my body. That I got this… but really I had no choice. I spent the whole night sick. It was also the first and only time Fox has ever slept through the night.

I use to worry that my extreme fear of vomit would keep me from having a baby – because babies throw up. Fox has had a couple of stomach bugs that usually result in me holding and comforting him as he empties the contents of his little clown-car stomach onto my chest. (So now here I am being thrown up on and not even getting paid a dollar for it.) I try to reassure him, “It’s okay, mommy’s got you.” After he’s done he’ll cry for a little bit and then go limp – he’ll get this almost euphoric expression on his face. I’ll stroke his hair with my hand and check the temperature of his forehead with my lips.

I wish I could end the story there and I want to tell you that I’ve conquered my fear. That letting my baby throw up on me is better than Christmas – but it’s not. It’s sad and gross. In the moment I’m a super cool, warrior mama with only my baby’s comfort and well-being in mind. Truly. But after I’ve got him changed and am in the shower washing his puke out of my cleavage I get a little scared… Is he going to throw up again? I think I heard him cough – is he throwing up? Is he okay? Am I going to throw up? I think I feel a little nauseated… But all I can do is line the bed with towels, cuddle my baby, and make secret bargains with God.

Some Gratitude

November 27, 2014

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It’s common knowledge by now that happy people are grateful people, right? And it’s true. I know that when I’m in a shit mood and want to have a full blown pity party for myself I’m the opposite of grateful. I find anything and everything to be upset about. At 5AM this morning after a night of cuddling and nursing a coughing baby (who is on his third ear infection in just two months) I began to cry. Not just because I haven’t had more than 30 minutes of consecutive sleep all night but because it’s been 10+ months of not really sleeping every single night. That’s when all of pity’s friends began to show up – guilt, anger, loneliness, and shame just to name a few.

So around 6:15 I asked Jeremy to take the baby and I got one glorious hour of solid sleep. I woke up insanely grateful – which is both timely and appropriate given the holiday.

FOX
I am so incredibly grateful for my healthy and happy baby. He’s napping in my arms as I write this post and I keep taking breaks to put my chapped lips to his big fuzzy head and inhale. He makes me grateful for life.

JEREMY
I spend a lot of time studying self-improvement basically so I can be more like Jeremy. He’s really good at just living. The description of being good at living life, for me, conjures up an image of a shirtless and spontaneous Matthew McConaughey – surfing with a perfectly rolled joint hanging out of his mouth … but that’s not what I’m talking about, and that’s not Jeremy. Jeremy is really good at living a life that isn’t the bohemian adventure-sporting fantasy. He’s good at living the daily grind – and for that I’m grateful. (Though, I wouldn’t be mad if he wanted to get me buzzed and go surfing together… just sayin’.)

MISS TAYLOR
This morning when I started thinking bout what I’m thankful this year Miss Taylor kept coming top of mind. Miss Taylor is Fox’s babysitter. She loves him. And he loves her. I am so grateful for all the wonderful ladies who take care of Fox when I need to take care of myself and my work.

BRAID CREATIVE
I had no idea how much purpose my work would give me when Tara and I decided to launch Braid a little over three years ago. This year has challenged me in so many ways, and my work has kept me grounded and certain when my confidence has been shaken in other areas (like growing into my new role as a mom). For that I’m grateful.

BOOBIES
I’m grateful that I can take off my shirt and make everyone in the room (everyone in the room being Fox and Jeremy) smile. I am so incredibly thankful for the ability to feed, nourish, and comfort my baby with my own body.

MODERN MEDICINE
I believe things like essential oils, chiropractic adjustments, and meditation are great tools for healing, but today I’m especially grateful for antibiotics and vaccinations.

MARIA
Maria cleans my house once a week. Some weeks she’ll clean out my fridge and change my sheets. Other weeks she’ll sweep the front porch and water my plants. If Fox is home and crying she’ll pick him up and calm him down while I get his diaper bag together. I am so thankful for her.

MY MOM AND DAD
Last week I asked my mom and dad how often they think about dying. Apparently my dad thinks about dying once every 35 minutes and my mom considers it maybe once a month. I’m grateful for my dad because he’s been reminding me that he’s going to die any minute now for the last 30 years. I’m grateful for my mom because she’s never going to die.

I’ve got sweet potatoes on the stove and green beans that need trimming – otherwise, I’d go on and on with all the things I’m grateful for. Actually, I think I will.

Happy Thanksgiving. XO

The Love Well Handmade Fox Bandana Bib

November 20, 2014

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I pretty much had a baby just so I could name him Fox and dress him in 100% organic cotton Love Well Handmade leggings. But these days just changing his diaper is like trying to change a diaper on a crocodile (he rolls with strength I did not know babies possessed) – so getting him into really cute leggings is nearly impossible. That’s when I pitched a bandana bib to my friends Jonathan and Candice – the masterminds behind Love Well Handmade. The idea is that it would be easy to snap on, catch all the excessive drool that comes with growing teeth, and would give my baby some instant style without a lot of effort. Love Well told me they would create it if I designed it – the only requirement was that I had to use the geometric Love Well Handmade signature heart in the design (challenge accepted!). And of course, the design was inspired by my little Foxy muse. This bandana bib is reversible – check out the fun flip-side here.

You can buy a Love Well Handmade Fox bandana bib for your little cutie too! My portion of the proceeds are going straight to the ASPCA to help save endangered animals worldwide, and another 5% will go toward providing clean water to kids and families in the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua through the efforts of Second Mile Water.

WANT ONE? 
I’m giving away one of these bandana bibs! All you have to do is:
1. Repost either of the images from this blog post to Instagram and do the following:
2. Hashtag #lovewellstyle
3. Mention @lovewellhandmade and @andkathleen
4. Tag a friend that might like one too (who knows! maybe we’ll send them one too!)

We’ll pick a winner at random on Friday, November 28th.

P.S. This post is NOT sponsored or affiliated in any way. I just love collaborating and creating with my friends.

P.P.S. This bandana bib will be carried locally in Oklahoma City at Collected Thread, Stash in Norman, and Shop Good – they should be in stores by Thanksgiving. Please support handmade and local this holiday season!

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