Ariel is Deserves a Defense

Right now, as I type this I hear The Little Mermaid opening credits playing in the girls’ room. It’s one of those movies they have on repeat as they play with their dolls and “ahh ahh ahh” along.  I know I am not the only one who is excited for the new version of The Little Mermaid. I also know I am not the only one who has been criticized for loving Ariel and the original movie.   

I remember having a discussion in one of my undergrad classes about Disney princesses. The discussion was about the cookie cutter princess, and we were trying to decide when they started to become more strong female figures rather than damsels in distress. I immediately offered Ariel as the first feminist princess. I was then immediately shot down. Collective groans, eye rolls, and even a gasp or two came when I said I thought she was the first step towards feminist princesses. How could I think the girl who literally gives up her voice for a man is a strong princess?

I was probably 20ish years old at the time, and I had not sat and watched the movie for years. I remember floundering a bit to explain. All I could think was that one: her muteness is part of the original story and two: in the first scene where we meet her, she beats up a shark. That wasn’t enough, though. In the moment when I hadn’t seen the movie in so long and everyone was telling me I was wrong, I couldn’t articulate why I felt like she was such a strong lead. I just knew that when I first saw The Little Mermaid at 4 years old, I wanted to be like Ariel. And my idea of being like Ariel was being spunky, strong, and independent. After class, another girl came up to me to say that she agreed with me. She told me she felt the same way, but she also couldn’t articulate why.

This 5, maybe 10 minute discussion that took place 15 years ago never left me. How could I, a woman who prides herself in her feminist ideals, have such affection for the girl who “gives up her voice?” How could anyone allow their daughters to love a princess who would give up her voice and family for a man? Every now and again I would remember and think to myself that Ariel deserved more. I knew she was a strong princess, and at some point I’d be able to explain why. 

I could not defend Ariel then, but thanks to my daughters’ obsessions with the movie, I am no longer so far removed from the film. I know now that I was not wrong about her being one of the first strong, independent princesses, so I will defend her now.  It is a gross generalization to say that Ariel gives up so much for a man. In actuality Ariel gives up very little. She risks her life for a chance to live the way she dreams for herself, yes. But give up her voice? No. She is bold enough to trade her speaking voice for a chance to pursue her own happiness. She uses actions to convey her messages, and a man just happens to be along for the ride.

We immediately know Ariel is not your “ordinary” princess because even before we meet her, we learn that she is defiant. She doesn’t care about the pomp and circumstance of presenting herself to a kingdom. Rather than being put on display in a giant clamshell throne, forced to sing and entertain, she skips out on her performance to explore a dangerous shipwreck.

We know it is dangerous because, as I mentioned in my English class eons ago, she gathers her treasures even while outwitting a hungry hunting shark. Rather than retreating home after narrowly escaping the danger of being eaten alive, she swims to the forbidden surface to try and discover more about her treasures. Then she rushes home to apologize to her father, but when he learns what she was doing her father reprimands her for going to the surface (again). What I find interesting is that the mention of the shark attack gets little to no reaction, but the danger of the surface sets the King off on a tirade. “As long as you live under my ocean you obey my rules.” Those rules include being ignorant of anything outside of “his ocean,” his world.

“If you would just listen,” she begs.

“Not another word!”

So far, in (less than) the first fifteen minutes of the film, we know that Ariel is daring, defiant, and courageous, but with a voice that is not heard. Try as she might, she cannot get a word in. I can understand how this can be seen as just an insolent teenager being shut down by her parent’s “because I said so” argument, but she isn’t disobeying her father just for the sake of disobedience. She is trying to learn about new things. She also tries to justify her actions but is not allowed to express herself. (How many of us have the same problem?)

Then comes the song. The beautiful, iconic “Part of Your World.” Interesting side note – the song is called “Part of Your World,” but the lyrics are actually “part of that world.” I think the misheard lyric attributes to the idea of Ariel giving everything up to be a part of someone else’s world rather than just that other world. Anyway, the song starts off sweetly enough, about her gadgets and gizmos, but then she desperately sings “I want more,” and she doesn’t mean material things.

Bet’cha on land they understand

Bet they don’t reprimand their daughters

Bright young women sick of swimmin’

Ready to stand

And ready to know what the people know

Ask ’em my questions and get some answers

Beyond just trinkets and objects, she wants to be taken seriously. She wants to “wander free” to explore the things she has not seen before. She wants to learn and “know what the people know.” And even more importantly she wants to “Ask ’em my questions and get some answers.” She wants to be able to ask and be answered! Not just shoo’d away, told not to think about it, just do what she’s told, and shut up. She believes that in this new world “they understand,” are less constrictive, and more open to “bright young women” who aren’t reprimanded for curiosity but encouraged. More than just dancing and sunbathing, she wants her turn to do and learn and love as she pleases.

It is important to note this all happens before she ever even lays her eyes on Prince Eric. We know right from the start of the movie that Ariel wants to be a part of a world different from hers. She lives in a world that is not her own but her father’s, where her personal voice is not a treasure. It is only there for performance purposes.

When she does see Eric, I cannot say I blame her immediate infatuation. She peers from the side of his ship – she must again be quiet as to not draw attention to herself – this is forbidden and dangerous. Ariel learns that this human is very much like her. He is humble and does not like to be put on display (in his case in statue form). We learn he does not want to be married off to just anyone for political purposes, but to “the right” person of his choosing. Also like Ariel, when faced with danger, he doesn’t cower and hide. He helps his crew gain control of the ship until it is impossible, he saves drowning passengers, and he risks his own life to save his beloved dog. He is not just a stock cut out of a prince, but a character with personality, so of course she is smitten.

If this movie was just about a girl who was willing to give up her voice for a guy, Ariel would have made her bargain with the Sea Witch right then and there. But she doesn’t. She does what most teenagers do and fantasizes about what could be, but she never considers making a bargain with Ursula until her father finds out about her crushing on a human.

From the aforementioned shark scene, we know Ariel has risked her life for at least some of the pieces in her human artifacts collection. Her last haul was only a few items, but her cavern is filled from sand to ceiling. Who can guess how long she has been collecting? But because she disobeyed her father, her collection of artifacts, her life’s work, are turned to dust and all she can do is watch. It doesn’t matter if she begs, pleads, and cries. A disobedient teenage girl must suffer and be silenced.

It is only after the work of her life is destroyed that she considers talking to the Sea Witch. Ursula insists “on land it’s much preferred for ladies not to say a word.” So far, we can see why Ariel does not value her speaking voice. Any time she attempts to use it, she is silenced, must be quiet for her own safety, or told it is not needed. In this world, Ariel already doesn’t have a voice. What difference does it make if she gives up what she doesn’t actually have?  At least now she has a chance at having her “turn” to “explore that shore up above out of the sea” and be “part of that world.”

Throughout the rest of the movie, we See Ariel and Eric reunite, and I appreciate the fact that Eric is not so easily won. We see that he does begin to fall for Ariel’s charming personality as she combs her hair with a fork, her adventurous spirit as she leaps her carriage over a cliff, and her unapologetic excitement as she blows pipe smoke in Grimsby’s face. But he is ever respectful, and even “Kiss the Girl” doesn’t really work until Eric is sure Ariel wants to be kissed (I am curious about the lyric change in the new film, and I applaud the writers for making necessary changes).

Certainly Eric’s chivalry and honor are beside the point here. Having two interesting and lovable characters fall in love with each other is really just a bonus happy ending to Ariel finally getting what she wants. As Sebastian points out, Ariel “traded her voice to the Sea Witch and got legs” (NOT Eric – legs). Because of that trade she is able to experience everything she sings about in “Part of Your World.” During the scene where she and Eric tour the kingdom she jumps, dances, strolls down the street, and more. Furthermore, her speechless communications with Eric were effective. He understands what she wants to see and do and assists her in all those things. He doesn’t tell her she can’t take the reins but hands them over and lets her guide their carriage. She doesn’t spend her time touring the kingdom trying to make Eric fall in love with her. Instead she uses the time to engross herself in and truly becomes “part of that world,” to which his falling for her just comes naturally.

And it is, in fact, Ariel’s voice that Eric loves. He wants his bride to have her own voice and not just be a thing on his arm. It is her voice that enchants him. He wants his future wife to be heard. This is what makes Ursula so clever. She knows that a good man (a feminist – yes they can be men too!)wants the woman he loves to have a voice. Ursula convinces Ariel that men do NOT want a talking woman because she knows that is only true of oppressive men – the exact type of men Ariel could never fall in love with anyway. (I am especially interested to see the lyric change in the new version. To me this manipulation is key, and I wonder how it is changed without taking away the fact that Ursula is clearly lying.)

Of course this is why the real drama occurs. Eric is cursed by Ursula and Ariel must save him yet again. She saves him from remaining possessed and marrying a squid, then she saves him once more from the Sea Witch’s magical blows. If not for Ariel, Eric would have been dead a few times.  Unlike many other past princesses, she is the one who does the saving.

I think we could take away the whole romantic element of the movie we would still have the same outcome. Upon his destroying her possessions and ignoring her voice, Ursula could have used almost anything to get Ariel to agree to her contract. But this is not an original fairy tale. It is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s story, which is a romance. That is why it is so important that both Ariel and her romantic interest are strong, feminist characters. While Ariel might be a bit naïve (or just flat out wrong) about the human world’s treatment of their daughters as a whole, the person she is willing to be with does in fact hold her beliefs that women are “bright” and worthy to “get some answers.”

I also think as adults we forget what it is like to be young and ambitious. That’s why it is so easy to dismiss Ariel as a silly teenager who is willing to give up her life for some boy. It’s easy to mistake her bravery for foolishness or her determination to be heard for insubordination. It’s easy because a part of us want her to be a silly, foolish, insubordinate teenager because gross generalizations are easy to understand. And why would a children’s cartoon have depth anyway?

The Little Mermaid is not a perfect movie. I am hoping that the writers of the live action film have taken advantage of the nearly 35 years between releases to help clarify Ariel’s strengths. Maybe they will clarify why she can’t just write a note to Eric, or at least have her marry as an adult. I hope the movie makes clear that Ariel did not give up her voice for a man. She traded her voice for a chance to live exactly how she wanted to live. That’s the amazing thing about Ariel. Even though her story is about a girl who is mute, she is not the silent, placid, cookie cutter princess. She finds ways to express herself and follow her dreams without a voice, the same way so many women in the real world are forced to – through expression and actions because we are often silenced by the world around us.

Ariel is a badass, and I am glad my daughters love Ariel as I did. We have the release marked on our calendars and can’t wait to see it!

DIY Dress Up Wardrobe

I haven’t blogged in way too long, so I decided to catch up with some of my favorite projects. The first being a wardrobe for all their dress up clothes.

My kids love playing dress up. Truthfully, love dressing the up too. Dress up clothes are so much better now than they were when I was a kid. I remember itchy, stiff outfits. But now the costumes are comfy and wearable anywhere. They had so many and keeping them in a toybox was not working out. I saw some dress up wardrobes, but I have to make everything more complicated than it needs to be by “making it my own.”  I also have the habit of thinking “that is too much money when I can just do it myself.” Normally I am wrong and I should have just spent the money, but with this project I definitely saved a lot. All in all, I only paid between $30 and $40 for exactly what I wanted. It is a lot less expensive than the wardrobes I spotted online and holds a lot more costumes.

I am a big fan of refurbishing furniture, so I almost always try to get non-fabric furniture from the Navy-Marine Coprs Relief Thrift Store or the Habitat for Humanity Re-store. The dress up wardrobe was actually a TV entertainment center I scored for $5! I painted it with paint I already had from other projects.

I used a shower tension rod for the clothes hanger. I attached a plastic door mirror to the other one side of the wardrobe, but that area would often get crowded with other toys so I moved it to across the wardrobe. (Those mirrors are cheap, not breakable, and are great or kids room – from the dorm sales at Target).

I moved the VCR shelf to the bottom compartment and although they were very thick and probably not a breaking hazard, I still removed the glass on the bottom doors. I put the foldable storage boxes the costumes were stored in at the bottom compartment to house accessories, and some command hooks on the side of the wardrobe to hang any other accessories. One thing I would not have done again is pay so much attention to the back. I used a pretty damask paper as a backdrop to the inside of the wardrobe, but you can never see it because it is so filled with costumes. Oh well. Maybe the kids will enjoy looking at the pattern when they play “hide and seek” and somehow fall into Narnia at the back of the wardrobe.

Back to School Blues

I have a cloth hammock that envelopes your entire body and can hide you from the outside world. Usually the second I even think of going on it the kids crawl in on top of me (they don’t ever do that to Matt, btw). I told them they couldn’t bother me because they’re all wet from playing on their waterslide. Summer vacation will be officially over and I just want to lay here and listen to their giggles and chatter while they run from the water to the tent set up from last night’s failed “camping” attempt. Really though, I don’t want them to lay with me because I don’t want them to see me cry. It feels like have been crying for days.

Alone time generally ends like this, but I’m ok with that right now.

Another school year is starting. Everything moves so much faster when you have little humans changing quickly right before your eyes.  You realize how fleeting time is, how they’ll never be this small ever again. How you are their favorite person but soon enough you will be an afterthought. The start of Kindergarten especially reminds moms that their baby is growing up.

 I said to Daisy “I can’t believe you are getting so big so fast! Kindergarten means you’re officially a big kid!”

 “Yeah,” she replied. “I’m going to miss being a baby.”

I am going to miss it too, princess. It’s hard to let go.

But I am not just letting go of one baby. Giacomo is going into 1st grade, and while he was in Kindergarten last year, because of COVID he learned virtually from home. I was there to help him navigate his lessons, learn new skills, apply himself in his schoolwork. So even though Jack is a “big kid” going into 1st grade, for me it feels like I am letting two of my babies go for the first time.

Moms have been sending their kids off to school forever. We all have the same worries. Will they make friends? Will they do well academically? Will they miss home? Will they get lost? Will they like it?  Did I send them in with enough to eat? Did I give them a big enough water bottle? Did I prepare them for bullies or awkward situations? Did I instill enough values that will make them be the kind, helpful kid? Did I make sure they know how much I love them?

These are anxious thoughts I knew I would have since the first time I left my kids to go to work. I was prepared for these thoughts. I saw them coming. However, I have NOT been prepared to let 2 children go at once. Even worse, I have not been prepared for the other massive fear I and so many other moms have. The fear of stupid COVID.

I know. I’ve heard the arguments before. “Kids only get mild symptoms.” “It has a 99% survival rate.” “Death in kids is rare unless there are underlying conditions.” Underlying conditions. Conditions like my youngest daughter’s, one that is normally manageable and changes her life in no real, dangerous way except for some medication, breathing treatments a few times a day, and a trip to the pulmonologist twice a year. She still is just as smart, as playful, as sweet, as curious, as silly, as innocent as any other child. Except now if she does get sick, her illness will be brushed aside with a handwave and “not really count” in the eyes of people who are uncomfortable with confronting something dangerous. 

Now, on top of my regular mom worries, I worry about the safety of my children. It is overwhelming. We seriously considered home schooling, but it isn’t feasible or fair. Jack and Daisy want to go to school, to make friends, to learn in a new environment from someone other than mom.  They are so excited, and I am excited for them. But when I think about handing them over and entrusting their safety and wellbeing to someone else, it is physically painful.

But I am trying. I am hopeful. I know that my children deserve to get back to normal, even if normal now looks a little different than it used to. And they are ready. They are aware and responsible. They are brave and eager. This year they will learn new skills, absorb new information, make new friends, and I will learn to let go a little more. I will miss them being babies, but I am so excited to see them showcase all the things they learn. And I hope one day, when they are sad to see their own babies grow and go to school, they will appreciate how much weight their mom had in her head when her babies skipped off to school for the first time, carefree and ready to take on the world.

Daisy Singing in the Rain

I think most of us are in agreement that this summer was pretty crappy weather wise. It was either a thousand degrees or raining. Most of us are glad it’s finally fall and some clear, crisp weather should be on the way. While she hasn’t specifically told me, I don’t think my Daisy is one of these people. Not only did she not mind the rainy weather, she enjoyed it. She’s sit and watch at the window and sing “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” but if I’d let her, she’d gladly play in the rain.


After the rain, the kids insisted that it was OK to “splash in muddy puddles.” (Thank you, Peppa Pig). They’d put on their raincoats and too big boots and try to see how high they could get the water and mud to splash up their legs.

Even better than the puddles was the rainbows afterwards. If not for their excitement, I’d have probably missed 90% of the rainbows. One of the perks of being a parent if rediscovering the everyday things we might take for granted with age.

Jack likes all the after rain fun, but playing in the rain isn’t really his style. He’d rather be dry and comfortable inside. Daisy loves the rain. She laughs and squeals and dances in the rain, singing her heart out. I love watching her outside. She loves the rain so much that if she hears someone in the shower, she demands on joining in so she can play in the falling water.

Daisy’s 2nd birthday was a few weeks ago. The plan was to have her party as our final summer bash around my parents’ pool. Her favorite movie is Hotel Transylvania, and the newest movie in the HT series is a summer vacation. I thought it was a perfect theme. Instead it rained. It was only fitting that my baby who loves the rain have her birthday party rained out. She still danced with a pink umbrella and ran out on the lawn in the drizzle. She didn’t care that I wouldn’t let her swim, but she did care when I saw lightning and tried to get her to come inside.


The other day it was raining as we left my parent’s house. Matt took Daisy and Jack to the car and me Daphne. Daisy, instead of going to the car, ran to the middle of the lawn so she could dance, spin, and touch the rain. I heard her singing to herself as she twisted her tiny hands around in the air, catching the drops. As we ran for cover, she was just enjoying the weather. Matt ran over laughing and scooped her up, but I wish I thought of taking a little video or a photo of her pure joy.


Right now, she is all joy and happiness. Her biggest concern is when her brother won’t share a toy or I can’t instantly pick her up because I’m nursing her baby sister.
Why don’t we all dance in the rain? I know we see those cheesy pillows and picture frames that tell us to, but we never actually do it. It must be nice to actually dance with abandonment without first thinking, I should just let go and not care that my clothes are muddy, my hair is wet, or what others see. Even when we do let lose, it’s a conscious decision to ignore societal norms, not a natural, childlike decision.

All I was thinking of was getting into the car and out of the rain. All Daisy thought of was the feeling of the raindrops on her skin. I hope she never loses this carefree part of herself. Of course at some point she’ll become more wary and cautious and care what people think, but I hope not too much. I hope she’ll always find joy in feeling the rain on her face, not caring that other people don’t like to get wet. My little Daisy, keep marching to your own beat. Keep singing and dancing in the rain.


Welcome Baby

It’s been 2 months since we met our new little baby. 39 weeks of being Team Green and wondering who would be joining our family. I painted my nails pastel pink and blue, made a gender neutral reveal shirt, and pulled out all the neutral baby clothes I had. Of course, the day of my c-section several nurses and even the doctor slipped. “Two boys and a girl will be nice,” and “So you’re having a boy?” I was a bit disappointed, not by the gender, but because I waited all that time and they ruined my surprise.


Then in the delivery room, Matt looked over the curtain to announce, “Oh! It’s a girl!” The staff laughed at their joke and teased if he was sure about that. So I was surprised after all. I saw our little girl and was amazed by how tall, alert, and perfect she was. She reminded me so much of Jack. It felt like meeting an old friend. I still didn’t know what her name was, though. I thought I’d see the baby and know her name, but it didn’t work like that. We were between a few names. Maybe she’d be Alice. Or Lydia. Lilly? Nurses and my mom thought she was another Angela or Angelica because she looked like a little angel. It took almost 3 days before we decided. She is a Daphne.

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Our perfect little Daphne Jean with her big, soulful eyes and tiny bald head is the perfect addition to our family. Jack and Daisy adore her. I have to stop them from kissing her too much. Sometimes they try to hug her a little too hard. But making sure the kisses and hugs are gentle is the best kind of “problem” to correct between siblings.

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Daphne is very strong. She was able to hold her head up quickly and tries to move while on her belly. We are lucky she sleeps through the night. But during the afternoon/evenings is another story. I have had to cut dairy out and she is on medicine. Anyone who knows my love of cheese knows how had it is for me, but knowing she is even just a little more comfortable makes it worth it. I’ll give up cheese forever if it means she isn’t in pain. She coos and laughs and makes me remember how sweet spending time with a baby feels.

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I forgot the smallness of a newborn. How their cries sound like little cats. How snugly their bodies are when they are curled on your chest. I am both joyful and sad, because this will be my last baby. My last snugly little smush I’ll nurse to sleep and watch grow.   So I am trying my very best to enjoy my life with all 3 babies. It’s overwhelming. It’s chaos. It’s never quiet, or clean, or relaxing. But it’s also never boring. Right now is one of the rarest of all experiences. They are all napping at once!

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I should be picking up toys and folding laundry, but I wanted to write about Daphne instead. The laundry never ends, and I figure I have at least a few more years of chaos before my house is in real order anyway. I just want my little squish to know that even while running after two “big” kids and constantly nursing her, I still wanted to write to my small blogosphere about her and how much I just adore her. I’m sure when she has her own squishes, she’ll understand what a feat this is!

New Baby Traditions: Baby Guest Book

When Daisy turned 1 in September, I went through Baby Box. I arranged some photos of my pregnancy and Daisy through the year, collected a few crafts we (or really I) made with her little finger and footprints, and saved my most favorite of her tiny newborn clothes. The whole process is very bittersweet. You love seeing your baby grow, learn, and become a real person, but miss the tiny baby sounds and snuggles of infancy and wish time would slow just a little. I did the same with Jack. Their boxes are very much the same, except Daisy’s has a notable addition I wish I had for Giacomo’s. When Daisy was a newborn, we made her a Baby Guest Book.

Daisy's Guestbooks

When Giacomo was born, I took photos of him with every person who came to visit. Those photos were taken with my nice SLR camera and are saved out in the digital world. I did the same with Daisy, but I took it one step further and made the guest book by taking photos with a Fujufilm Instax Mini I borrowed from my niece for an instant picture and having each visitor write a little message for her. Some messages were as simple and sweet as “welcome to the world. I personally loved when children visited and left doodles (including a traced foot) and cute messages like “nice to meet you.” Then there were the longer notes that brought tears to my eyes, and one day they’ll do the same for Daisy. My family is big, so the books filled up quickly and now Daisy has a tangible (not digital) keepsake from each visitor she had the first few days she was born.

Some notes for Daisy


I wanted the photos to be protected by a cover sheet, so I bought 2 small 4×6 photobooks from Micheals. I cut white cardstock to 4×6 squares and filled each page with a blank square. After each photo was taken, I attached it to a 4×6 square with photo corners. Because the Instax photo is so small, there was ample room for a message next to the photo. I knew Daisy was going to be a girl and her name would be Daisy, so I designed the book covers to reflect her name and added some daisy stickers to the pages. For this baby, I will make the cover after we are home. I’ll also add some colored paper and maybe some decals within the book.

Simple Supplies


I got the idea from one of my girlfriends. Her book is styled a little differently than mine, but anyone can take the guestbook and run with it however s/he wants. For example, my girlfriend used a pretty journal instead of a photobook so the person writing had more space (and lines) for a message. I went to Micheal’s yesterday to get the materials for the books, and there are TONS of options for personal journals and books that can easily be used for this, so head out and make your keepsake!

My Co-Sleeping “Problem”

The other night at around 3am, Jack crawled into our bed and wiggled his way between me and Matt. This isn’t unusual. He does this almost every night. Daisy sleeps in our room too. She’s always snuggled up on my left and Jack to my right. My husband and I can barely move.

We never planned on co-sleeping, but when nursing, especially a colic baby, it sometimes just happens. I didn’t expect to love it either. Before, the idea of cramping into a tiny space and barely being able to move sounded less than appealing. But now, I think of how I can snuggle their tiny baby bodies and smell their sweet heads uninterrupted as they dream.

Isn’t that weird how some things change? Everything changes from enjoying a cramped sleeping space to the meaning of songs. Their crawling into our bed reminded me of the (very famous love) song “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and how its meaning has completely changed for me. I remember when Armageddon was the blockbuster movie with the #1 love song sung by the main actress’s father. I distinctly remember an interview where Steven Tyler explained that he didn’t originally want to sing the song, but after seeing the movie and seeing his real life daughter cry to her in-movie father he was brought to tears and agreed to perform the song. When I was 13, I thought he just wanted to sing a song for his daughter’s movie. I didn’t realize how relatable he could see the lyrics as a parent.

Good Morning

I wake up to these silly faces every morning

This is intended to be a romantic love song, even the writer’s inspiration is a romantic one. I’ve heard it at school dances, on love song albums, and as many couples’ wedding song. But I think anyone who watches their baby sleep knows exactly what I am talking about. When my kids crawl into my bed, I watch them breathe and feel their little heartbeats while I snuggle them close, kiss them, and thank God for them every day. They won’t be sneaking in our room forever. Soon enough I won’t even be able to get a hug and kiss, or even a conversation without asking first. So I enjoy being cramped in my bed right now.

Sweet Dreams

And watch these sweet faces dream every night

But there’s a problem with thus and my big, silly, mom worry moves into my head. Baby #3 is coming very soon. Jack stays on my right and Daisy on my left. Where does #3 go when he or she wants to come in our room? Will I have to kick someone out? Will someone feel rejected? I only have two sides! I don’t want to miss any of them while I don’t have to. If you don’t ever co-sleep, this probably sounds ridiculous to you. I understand that. Before I had kids, even while I was pregnant with Jack, I knew we were not going to co-sleep. It was weird, and I liked my space while sleeping. But it just happened, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

PS – if you’re wondering how my poor husband feels about being squished in bed, I will not let him fool you. He’ll say the bed is too small and joke that he almost falls off the bed, but he’ll also panic if he wakes up and no one has crawled into bed. He’ll even offer to bring one of the kids in the room if they fall asleep on Jack’s bed together. This was my Valentine’s gift for him this year. The little mouse family are asleep in one bed with mommy and daddy mouse separated by little mouse babies. But at the end of the bed, their tails are touching. It was such a sweet reminder of our own nightly ritual. We know we can enjoy baby snuggles now because we always have each other anyway. My husband’s reaction to the gift was “we need to find a third baby muse to add to this,” so I know he is okay with it.

The Honeymoon is Over

We’ll be adding one more mouse to this soon

Welcome 2018

It has been a LONG time since I have blogged! So long, I am now close to 30 weeks pregnant! It has been a wonderful few months. After I learned I was pregnant again (SURPRISE for me!) My baby girl turned 1 (and I cried at her sudden change from infant to toddler). She’s now walking, saying a few words, and sings all day. She is looking more and more like her daddy and Jack is looking more and more like me, and I keep wondering who baby #3 will not only look like, but who will this baby be?


I threw Daisy an adorable picnic birthday party,

Daisy's 1st Birthday

we were an awesome Red Riding Hood group for Halloween,


Jack celebrated his 3rd birthday with a Lion Guard party, and Santa came to the house to see him and Daisy.


Also, around Thanksgiving I had my very first craft show! I have been registered as an LLC for some time, but this craft show was the first time Asterisk Gifts was publicly launched. Since then, I have been selling custom made shirts, ornaments, cups, potholders, and more from my Facebook Page (I am working on a website and Etsy page also).


All this wonderful craziness did have a downside. I realized I’ve been investing a lot of time in my family and my small business, but nearly none on myself. It hit me when I noticed how uncomfortably dry my skin had become. I haven’t even been applying lotion! I then realized I haven’t journaled, blogged, gotten a haircut, or even bought myself a tube of lipstick in who knows when.

I decided to make my New Year’s Resolution to be sure to take some time for myself. We lost 2 loved ones very quickly after the New Year. One of them, my husband’s grandfather, promised it 2018 will be a good year moments before he passed. I think it’s important to make his statement a reality by taking things a bit slower, appreciating our time here, and taking care of ourselves.


I finally wrote this blog, started my grateful-a-day journal, got my hair done, and for the first time since I started my business I made some things for myself.

So here’s to a wonderful 2018; I hope I can keep up with everything!

Mystery Machine Little Tykes Remake (An Eventful Summer)

It has been an insanely busy summer. We traveled a lot, and I spent a lot of time planning for a personal goal (I hope to have ready to launch in the next two weeks).  We went to New Orleans in early August, and a few weeks later we drove down to Florida and enjoyed the theme parks and Daytona.

New Orleans

Jack loved meeting his heroes, Mickey, Spongebob, and Shrek and Donkey. Daisy was less than thrilled about the characters, but had fun. We ended summer with Daisy’s first birthday. Oh I just can’t believe my baby girl is one!!


One thing I was able to do this summer in the craft realm was make this awesome Mystery Machine for Jack (and eventually Daisy). It was originally a pink and purple Little Tykes that my niece Myla long grew out of and donated to me.

Honestly, the hardest part about making this Mystery Machine was cleaning it because my hose was broken so I had to use a bucket of water. You have to take it apart to clean it well. All pieces come off easily except the tires. Instead of taking them off, I just tied bags around them.

Little Tykes Redo

After it is clean, just spray paint. For the tire wheels, eyes, and steering wheel, I sprays paint into a bowl and used a brush. Once all the pieces are dry, put it all back together. I made the Mystery Machine logo and flowers with my cricut and cut them from Oracle 651 vinyl.

Mystery Machine

Jack loved it so much he kissed it! So of course I dressed him up like Shaggy and had a mini photo shoot with it.

Jack Mystery Machine

Cute right? I hope your summer was wonderful!

Baby’s First Words

Sure. Say Dada first. It’s fine. I only carried you for 40 weeks. Stretched my skin, gained immense weight, and strained my back, knees, and hips to accommodate your growing body. My feet are bigger. My gigantic sagging boobs will never be cute and perky again. I only produce your food and comfort you while nursing. I take care of you all day and cater to your needs. It’s totally fine that Jack’s first words were Dada and BABA. And I’m completely OK with Dada and Jack being Daisy’s first words, too. It’s adorable how much she loves her brother, plus it’s mostly babble anyway. It’s not like after weeks of reinforcing the sounds “Jack” and “Dada” will stick and they really will be your first words. But it’s fine. I’m not bitter. Not at all.

I didn’t fool you? So maybe I’m a little bitter. Why do you both want to day Dada be said before Mama? What’s he do?

Besides worry way more than me. Buy and install baby proofing stuff throughout our house and our families houses. Jump up out of bed much faster than me when you cough in the middle of the night. Tend to every sneeze and ouchie with a hawk-eye. Have the magic touch getting you to fall asleep for naps and at night even when I swear you both bounce off the walls whenever I try to get you to sleep. Invent games to entertain you.  Make up silly songs. Show you how to squirt water with your hands in the bathtub. Wave from the ice when he plays hockey. Make you want to be just like him. Be so incredibly patient with all your needs. Never rushing you while you learn.

And help mommy with cleaning and diaper changing. And still tell mommy she’s pretty.

And not once, ever complain.


So fine, I’ll give him this. I can see why you like Dada. He is an alright guy. I shouldn’t be jealous. I still have those quiet moments that are just me and you throughout the day. Anyway, I can’t blame you both. I guess he is pretty great. I understand. I don’t know what I’d do without him, either.


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