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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Mama's Nest

Your Attention Please!!! Tuesday, October 31, 2006 |

Please vote for Xavier (New Mama's Nest) in The Pink Diary's cutest costume contest...
(leave your vote in the comments here from November 1-3)

• 1 Chirping

I_Need_Some_Space Friday, October 27, 2006 |



• 8 Chirping

What Are You Into This Month? Thursday, October 26, 2006 |

Steph wants to know what I'm into this month so here we go...

The Book I Am Really Into (or one you want to get into!): The Omnivore's Dilemma (I think this should be required reading for ALL Americans)

Magazine I Really Liked: I just finished reading the latest Mothering Magazine and my trusty Vegetarian Times

TV Show Worth Watching: I'd like to say I don't watch much tv, but thanks to Tivo... I'm addicted to Gray's Anatomy, I think it's the grown up version of My So Called Life.

Movie I’ve Seen (In or Out of a theater): The last movie I watched was Failure to Launch... embarrassing I know! it was kind of cute though...

The CD I Can’t Stop Listening To: When I can get Xav's African Playground CD out of the player I've been loving Lily Allen

The Candle I'm Loving: Not big on candles but I have this soybean candle "Nutcracker" - it just smells like Christmas

Blog I Am Always Visiting: Everyone on my blog role of course and my hubby just got me hooked on The Cool Hunter

What I'm Most Looking Forward To Next Month: Gearing up for the holidays... Thanksgiving, Christmas, Xavier's 1st Birthday and our 4th Anniversary

I'd love to hear what you're into too - let me know if the comments if you post!

• 3 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday-Mommy's_Little_Monkey Wednesday, October 25, 2006 |

• 44 Chirping

Funeral Monday, October 23, 2006 |

We went to a funeral today. David's great Aunt Dorothy, passed away on Friday night. Despite living very close, I'd never met her, just her husband - David's Grandfather's brother - who is an amazingly sweet man. I have been to exactly one other funeral in my life, for a friend who was killed in high school. I've been to a lot of wakes and viewings, but I've had a rule of thumb that I "don't do funerals". I know this is probably insensitive to say, but dead people freak me out. And while I believe in heaven and can not imagine the glory that awaits us there, death in general is difficult for me. I faced it head on for the first time when Xavier was so sick, but even then it was clouded by distance and hope.

Anyway, back to Dorothy. Like I said I'd never met her. She had her own issues and reasons for staying in. And so I learned about her from talk and stories from family members and formed somewhat of an ambivalent impression of this woman, who I was related to but did not know. She was moved from her home into hospice care awhile back as it grew harder for her husband to care for her. We heard she really wanted to meet Xavier and kept meaning to take him by... but never made it. I feel guilty about that. And sad. I don't think really knew how serious it was, if we had, we would have been there long ago.

So at her funeral today, with family and their friends, I couldn't help but noticing how pretty she was and really wished that I had met her while she could meet me back. I moved out into the hall as the service began, so that my little song bird wouldn't disturb anyone, but I stayed close enough to listen. Through the partially closed doors I learned all these things about Dorothy I'd never known. She was born in Yonkers, New York, which for some reason I found wonderfully fascinating. She moved to Alabama and became a southern girl, where she met and married her Archie (for over 60 years!). She loved children. Had tried and tried again and again and again, to have children of their own. Dealt with the loss, picked up the pieces and moved on to enjoy each other. There was much more, and suddenly she became so real to me. I loved her before because she was family. But now I knew that despite her flaws, I could have, would have liked her too.

It puts a lot in perspective. And today I took extra time out to embrace my little family and our new life. This whole circle of life thing, the old and the new is pretty incredible. And as for death, I think I'm starting to understand that too.

• 3 Chirping

Sweetest Day Saturday, October 21, 2006 |

My dear friend Steph, reminded me that today is Sweetest Day. I'll have to admit that while the day has beautiful origins I'm one of those people that believe it's just a ploy to get us to spend more money on cards, flowers and candy. Valentine's Day I'm down for... this one not so much. Regardless, my darling husband has to work all day so it's just me and my miniature sweetheart.

Maybe we'll celebrate after all- a mama and babe date day? And just what would a date with a 10 month old baby boy consist of? A long nap, some special soy yogurt, a stroll to the park for a ride on the swings and maybe, just maybe a trip to the book store, all topped off with another painting session... I think I can handle that.

• 4 Chirping

Real Beauty? Thursday, October 19, 2006 |

I stumbled across this video, Evolution, put together by The Dove 'Campaign for Real Beauty'. It makes you wonder what "beautiful" really means.

• 4 Chirping

Xavier Pollock |

I should start by saying my dear husband is an artist. I like to think I have a bit of a creative streak myself- photography is my forte but I've always loved to paint. We experimented a while back with marker drawing, but that was just a mess and I'm not ready for the eating of crayons, so painting it is. I'm very careful (read: neurotic) about what passes my babe's lips so even though the craft store's finger paint boasts about it's non-toxicity, the thought of Xav swallowing a mouthful made me a bit uneasy... Solution? Dig out the nanny archives and my trusty finger paint recipe. And boy was it a hit! The glory of paint squishing between your fingers (and toes!) and the joy of seeing pink flesh become a sticky, multicolored mess... ahhh, I love these moments!
Here's my secret finger paint recipe if you'd like to try for yourself-
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups cold water
food coloring (or bright fruit -blueberries, beet juice
, etc)

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove and cool.

After cooling, divide the finger paint into storage containers depending on how many colors you want. Stir a few drops of food coloring to each container and you're ready to paint.

*For little guys I like to let the paint sit over night so it comes a bit gel-like. You can always reheat to melt down if necessary.

• 13 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday - Little Man, Big City: X at Millenium Park Wednesday, October 18, 2006 |

• 26 Chirping

5 Minutes of Fame Friday, October 13, 2006 |

Click on the image above to read my "exclusive" interview at 5 minutes for mom. Yay me!

• 9 Chirping

It's Snowing! Thursday, October 12, 2006 |

October 12 and it's snowing outside! What happened to Fall?! Our winter coats still need to be dry cleaned from last year and more importantly my camera battery isn't charged. I'm not ready for winter - the getting dark at 4 o'clock, bundling up, shoveling walks and runny noses! At least I didn't think so...

the look on my angel's face as he saw his first snow flake quickly changed my mind... snowballs...hot cocoa...Christmas lights - bring it on Winter!

• 13 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday - Piano Man Wednesday, October 11, 2006 |

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Looking back Monday, October 09, 2006 |

It's weird looking back at where you've been - who you were. This girl and I are worlds away... I miss her sometimes... Pieces of her at least. There are parts I am grateful have been remolded or left behind. And my goodness to think then, what I thought I'd be doing now!

If isn't too vain to say, mostly I'm proud, in spite of it all, of who she is today:
Woman, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Friend

Here's me on my 16th birthday-

• 10 Chirping

Mil - kaaa Sunday, October 08, 2006 |

David and I woke this morning to our little sleepy head singing... "mmm-ka", "mmm-ka", "mmm-ka". It took a few seconds before David said, "He's trying to say milk!" I used our nursing sign and asked, as I often do, "Would you like some milk?" (To Xavier, not David) To which he happily replied, "MMM-KA!"

He learns to say milk before Mama- what can I say, my boy likes to eat! Our new word was further confirmed while in the shower... I'm holding X, getting us wet when he tells me, "mmm-ka" and helps himself to the goods.


In other news... It's a boy! I think Xav stumbled upon his boy parts for the first time a couple weeks ago during a diaper change. But this morning, in same said shower, playing on the floor while I washed up... he REALLY discovered things (ouch!).

He's going to love the fact I'm sharing this some day, isn't he?

• 7 Chirping

The Test Saturday, October 07, 2006 |

I guess it depends on how you look at it as to whether I "passed" or "failed". The test was negative. Sure we're not at all ready yet - financially, emotionally - and Xavier is still very much a baby himself. But after a few days of feeling off and thinking, that, just maybe... there was a part of me that secretly got all lovey and excited. And while I thought I'd feel relieved, there was, in truth, more than a twinge of disappointment.

I'm excited to see my belly grow again... to make it to, and through the uncharted waters of those 3 months we missed out on the first time around... excited to experience the healing I know it will bring... excited above all to witness the creation of a new little life - again.

Yet, I know I need to enter without expectation, which in itself tells me that I am not ready. So, in time... our time, God's time, we'll know when.

• 5 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday: Mama's Little Punk Rock Boy Wednesday, October 04, 2006 |

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Revisiting a New Mama Moment Sunday, October 01, 2006 |

You know how when you start taking a new vitamin your, uh-hem, pee can look a little fluorescent? I just popped my daily prenatal vitamin and remembered a funny little story...

Shortly after Xavier was born I went to our natural store to get a new bottle of vitamins. They were out of my normal brand, so I decided to try something different rather than do without. I "carefully" read the directions and took 1 tablet 3 times a day with each meal. After a few days I grew concerned as I noticed the milk I was pumping for X looked like it was glowing! I re-examined my vitamin bottle and discovered that thanks to my new mama/nicu brain I had it all wrong - I was only supposed to take 1 tablet a day... just 1! For almost a week I'd been taking almost 3 times that! Thankfully, X wasn't eating yet so my milk was discarded (just in case) and I've lived to laugh about it!

Anybody else have any silly new mama moments they'd like to share?

• 6 Chirping