Exhibit Two: Hip Shaking

>> Sunday, January 31, 2010


Exhibit One: Twirl Dancing


Triple Snow Threat 2010

Tripe Snow Threat! That is what the weather channel screamed for two days prior to this weekend. Phrases like "paralyze" the city, "dangerous conditions" were common over the reports. So of course we had to travel to Gastonia. But that is yet another post. Lily got to play with Morgan in Gastonia, but we were tied up. Aunt Tanya did send us a few pics of their sledding adventure!

We got back early Sunday just in time to let Lily frolic in the snow. She was very cautious of the snow. Do I like this? I'm not sure! But she was getting around pretty good. The snow was packed really tight so her lightness helped her walk around pretty easily. Unlike Mommy and Daddy who sunk directly into the ground with every step.

As soon as she got onto the ground she asked to go swing. "Swing Mommy Swing!" She trotted around back to the swing set.

Daddy is a much better pusher....
Whereas Mommy is more of a player.....
She started copying me and going "WWWeeeeeeeeeee" with every push. Too cute!
Her hair looks so blonde in the these pictures

Here she is walking across our yard. We got a good amount of snow. I would say at least five inches.
We didn't have a sled so we took out her bumblebee and pushed her around.

My beautiful baby girl is getting so big

Just for fun I decided to do a comparison of last January's snow storm. She couldn't even stand last January, and was barely crawling so I couldn't let her get into the snow. The only way she could enjoy it was in her swing and with the little bit I put on her tray. But this year she touched it, walked on it, and slid on it!

January 2009
January 2010
Just a little bit of a difference eh? I can handle a once a year snow flurry but I don't know how those northerners do it!


Impact Dash-Baby Steps

I am excited to announce a collaboration between Da Eads and Impact Dash. Some of you may have heard me talking about this but I have been holding out on making an official 'announcement' until the piece was in print. Something about seeing your name officially printed makes it way cooler. Am I right?

So how did this come about? Well my friend Erin over at http://salvagedgrace.com/ came to me with an oppurtunity for a website she was currently collaborating with. They were in search of a 'mommy blogger' to chronicle the life of a green parent. At first I was like...me green? But then I started thinking...well I try! I started recycling right after Lily was born, my new years resolution (which I am rocking out!) was to start using reusable bags, and I honestly wanted to use cloth diapers...I did. I just couldn't bring myself to do it! So hey what the heck right?! So started the journey of the a wanna be greener parent.

My new monthly column 'Baby Steps' will feature ways to make small changes as a parent that have a big impact. 'Baby Steps' is built on the idea that not all parents are part of the 'green movement' and are at a loss when it comes to beginning an environmental awareness with our children. Everyone knows the Eads family is not the symbol of green but we still try to make small changes to reduce energy consumption and waste. Usually this not only has an environmental impact but an economic one as well (hey I have to get Michael on board some how)! So this will chronicle some of the things we do and how we try and teach Lily what she can do. Because I have always stood by the belief that it is my responsibility to teach Lily and mold her into the a better person. My first piece centers around the idea that we always want better for our children and teaching and building these steps into their lives is a step in that direction.

I hope you enjoy!


ImpactDash was founded on the idea that an individual’s small choices can add up to have a huge effect. ImpactDash isn’t one expert’s opinions, but rather many voices tackling the issue of climate change in ways that we can in our everyday lives.

Baby Steps

As we teach our children life lessons, we learn a few ourselves.

Stephaine, age 2

Lily (Lil'E) and Mom, Stephaine

Honestly I was never into the ‘green’ movement. If it didn’t bleed red, white, and blue we didn’t support it. Sure, I recycled growing up but only because the military bases I grew up on gave bins and it required little effort. We never talked about why we did it or the side effects of not doing it. And organic food? If that existed in the Piggly Wiggly near Grandma’s house, I never knew about it. We grew tomatoes like good southern women do. Of course my mother sprayed them with a horrible concoction of toxins on a weekly basis. BPA wasn’t bad or even discussed, and cloth diapers were something my great grandmother used before disposables were available in rural North Carolina. We never learned, we never talked and we surely never acted on our environmental impact.

Then I became a mother. I cannot pinpoint exactly what changed. Hormones are an interesting act of nature. They make you do crazy things… like think about the future. Gone were the days of living in the moment and instant gratification. Now I could no longer just worry about my future, but had to consider what it meant for my daughter’s future. Whatever changed it was like a light switch flipped. Would the things that I love about the world still be the same for Lil’ E? Or for her daughter? I felt if we continued on the path we were following, it wouldn’t be. All of sudden I heard what everyone had been talking about for years. All of a sudden I cared.

I realized I wanted better for her. But don’t we all want better for our children? Yet when you ask the average mother what they wish for their children as adults, do you think the first thing they say is a cleaner planet or even sustaining our current state? Doubtful. You get cookie cutter responses of happiness, love, health, education, or financial freedom. I even asked my beloved hippie guru and she gave me the motherly response of ‘total bliss in what she loves.’ If the hippie mom didn’t give me the environmental answer, who would? Maybe that is part of the problem. Modern mothers are so wrapped up in the latest parenting trends, milestones, and new age discipline that we lose our way.

But when you want to act, and you really start thinking about the how, it is a bit overwhelming. Where do I start? What can I do? Do I have time in the midst of my life as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and the ten million other day-to-day responsibilities I juggle between home and work? There is so much information to process. It literally makes my head spin. But the answer is simple. We must. Because if we don’t act then we haven’t given our children the ‘better’ we long for as parents.

With the birth of a beautiful baby girl I am starting a journey to ensure she gets the ‘better’ I desire. It is a slow journey. One that consists of sifting through tons of information from every angle imaginable, then putting it in a language and form she can comprehend. But it is a journey I want Lil’ E to share with me. I want her to understand our impact, and that even she can make a difference. I want her to be greener than her parents ever thought of being, and to lead by example so that other children will follow. You may think this is a big dream to have for a 19 month old, but I am sure she is up for the challenge. After all she will have a partner to travel with.

Baby Steps is a regular column that follows everyday mothers in their attempts to make sustainable choices for themselves and their families. Baby Steps chronicles the joys and surprises of motherhood — with a green twist.


Rock On!

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lily is obsessed with music. I mean obsessed. She refuses to listen to talk radio or my new coveted audiobooks. It is to the point that she cries during commercial breaks. Sweetie I cannot help that corporate America has taken over the airways and MTV no longer shows music videos! I am sorry but I am not a miracle worker.

On her top list of jammable songs right now

1. Anything Lady Gaga but Bad Romance is a fav
2. 3 by Brittany Spears
3. Evacuate the Dance Floor by Cascada
4. Tik Tok by Keisha
5. Sweet Dreams by Beyonce
6. Anything Michael Jackson but Thriller and Startin Something are family dance favorites

So I reviewed her Top Five and realized that I should be very thankful that my child has no idea what any of these songs are about. If she did it might qualify me for the Worst Parent of the Year 2010.

But what can I say? The girl likes her club jams.

But the cutest is when the song goes off and she signs "more more" and then looks at me "more Mommy." And of course her dancing consists of spinning in circles until she gets dizzy and falls down. Aaahhh to be so easily entertained! But you would be surprised how long you can watch your adorable toddler twirl around and find it entertaining and laughable. I take it as an invitation to spin in circles with her and giggle.

Best part? That totally counts as exercise!


McFatty Monday

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

I got what everyone is raving about this week. I have heard such good things about this video so I got suckered in. Even better I suckered Michael into the doing it with me. Just the thought of Michael and I jamming out to this in our living room makes me giggle.
But he said he would do it for me. To keep me motivated. He already plays basketball a few times a week and I am suppose to be walking at lunch but the weather has not been cooperating. I am going to continue to walk a few times a week and try to do this at least three times a week.
We decided we would do it as soon as we put Lily to bed. It is only twenty minutes. If we can get her in bed by 8pm, do the video, we can be fat, plump, and happy on the couch by 8:30pm just in time to watch an 8 o'clock show on DVR commercial free.
That is my goal this week and to drink a lot more water. My new "strawwed" cup is helping with that. I notice I double my water intake if I drink it through a straw. Why is that?
Sounds like a good plan huh? Well you know what they say about plans.....


Flawed Life: Car Woes

My friend Brooke laughs at me because sometimes it seems we have the worst luck. 2009 was the year of the leaky ceiling caused by a pinhole in the bathtub, another leaky ceiling (right over the previously fixed ceiling) due to an overflowing toilet, exploding bowls and scared floors, falling in Kmart parking lots, and many other Eads mishaps. But it helps to look at the humor. Even if it is after the fact.

So yet another reason life sucks sometimes.

We paid off our "family vehicle" early last November. Not extremely early but about six months early. It was a plan to help up stick to our new 2010 budget goals. I was so happy to be down to one car payment. I saw breathing room from daycare payments, bills, and just life. We have been fairly lucky with this car and besides tires and oil changes had only dropped about 1500 dollars in maintenance on our 2003 Pathfinder.

My 2010 plan was to pay my car (you know the adorable, and gas efficient convertible that I bought a few months prior to Lily's conception) off by November 2010. This would be really early for this car. About 2.5 years early to be exact. That way when Baby #2 graced our lives we would be down to zero car payment and could shop for a larger family vehicle and maybe just maybe retain my convertible that I sometimes claim I love more than my stunningly handsome husband. But only during the months of April to September. The rest of the year he is number one in my book!

But alas the best made plan goes awry every once in awhile.

Once we paid off the car in November we immediately had to put it in to get new tires

:Cha-Ching: $1000

The week of Christmas it started messing up due to engine sludge (You are imagining those car commercials where the totally relaxed family is sitting on the couch chilling before WHAM! they get covered in sludge...that is us right now).

:Cha-Ching: $300

In January after only 900 miles the same problem arose.

:Cha-Ching: $2000

WHOOOOOAAAA! That is were I draw the line. I finally had enough. So we only got $500 dollars of maintenance done to try and solve the problem. With the agreement that if this doesn't work the car is going bye bye with a quickness. It is really not in our budget to get a new car this year, but that is usually the way it goes. We cannot keep dumping money into the clunker though. If I knew we could drop $2000 dollars and it run for another year or two it may be worth it but at this point I think we are spiralling down a drain of repairs.

Meanwhile we were down a car for a week. Carpooled for a week. All. Three. Of. Us. I think I should mention I don't like to talk in the morning prior to my daily caffeine intake. It was rough.

But while our car was in the shop and we only had my convertible to get us by. Once again. All. Three. Of. Us. In. My. Tiny. Car. I went to do my weekly Sunday grocery shopping. I gladly took Lily with me. Got her bundled up...it was raining! Got in the car. Stuck my key in the ignition. Turned the key....


Not even a click.


Well my battery was dead. But of course we didn't have another car to jump it off. Luckily our neighbor was home and graciously jumped the car off fairly easily. So I let it run for a while to get it charged up and ready to go.

Went grocery shopping. Came back out. Got in the car. Stuck my key in the ignition. Turned the key....


Not even a click.


I reach for my cell phone, fuming but almost on the edge of tears by this point thinking how we were going to be car less and get fired for not coming to work, and then become homeless....yes I know a bit crazy. But this all happened within a two week time span. A woman can only take so much.

But of course my cell phone was no where to be found. Oh wait yes it was...on the counter at home. So I unload Lily, consider taking the carton of ice cream out of the trunk and eating it right then but resist and head over to Papa Johns to call Michael.

By now it is pouring, my ice cream is melting, but Michael comes to get us with the neighbor. Thank god. It took about twenty minutes to get it charged up. Twenty minutes of a monsoon! But we got it started.

We took it to Advanced Auto and it ended up being a bad battery and nothing major just bad timing on this emotionally exhausted mom. And it was still under warranty through them so score it was a free replacement.

We finally got the Pathfinder back last week and we are back to happily commuting separately, with my cup of soda to keep me company. But I have to admit I miss riding with them in the morning. Just a bit....

We may have to do a carpool a couple times a week, just for old times sake.


McFatty Monday

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

I don't feel like I did that well this week but I did lose the pound I gained! Who hoo!

I generally just wanted to snack all week! I wanted crunchy, sweet, salty, basically anything I could get my hands on. But you know what the lesson learned this week was? If it ain't in the house you can't eat it. If you ain't got no money to go out to eat you won't be tempted!

Hey those are valuable lessons!


Day at the Park

We didn't do much this weekend. Mainly due to our car issues (post to come). But on Saturday it was mild and cloudy with a fall like feeling to the air so we loaded up in the convertible for an afternoon at the park. We didn't go all out with a picnic lunch. Instead we let Lily nap and upon her awakening we bundled her up and headed out. Sometimes it is these simple outings that make the best of times and the fondest of memories.

This is actually the first time we have been to this park in awhile. The last time she could barely walk! It was a whole new ball game this time around. She climbed on the playground and delighted in the slide. She explored and ducked under and climbed over all the playset had to offer. All the while showing no fear.

I wish I could say the same. But alas we both hovered on each side of the playset and waited for the dreaded stumble to which we dove to catch, or the wayward step that could lead to a jumbled slide.

To see the world through the eyes of a child! Everything is an adventure. And everything she does makes her seem a little bit older and a little bit wiser.
The independence she shows more and more each day.....
But then just when I think she is too grown up to let Mommy help her slide, just when she has pushed me away and said "No Help Mommy" or falls down and instead of crying now yells "I'm Okay!" she sees the swings and our baby past time is revived.

Her favorite thing on the whole playground....and of course Mommy has to help by pushing. And nothing makes your world more complete than bringing this kind of smile to your child's face.

That was a good day.....


Baby #2

>> Friday, January 15, 2010

Before you go jumping up and down about my announcement.....know that there is no announcement. No I am not pregnant, but I swear I am starting to wish I was. I have had FIVE people tell me in the past month about their upcoming pregnancies or their decisions to start a family. It is really putting a a bug in my ear. And I am envious...so envious!

But I don't know why?

When we had Lily I never ruled out another baby. Even after the miserably pregnancy and the sheer force it took me to just be mobile. For the months following her arrival I would reach down and touch my empty (although soft) belly and long for her to be there again. I would remind myself how my pregnancy was not an easy one, but to no avail. I swear sometimes I would feel a phantom baby move in me.

People would ask: When are you having another one? And my responses were "not until she is out of diapers! I cannot handle two in diapers!" or "we want a big family trip with Lily before I get pregnant again" or "when we can get the money worked out, aka a job that can afford two daycare payments" I always had an answer.

Now although those reasons still apply they just don't seem to matter as much. I look at Lily and she gives me a sly smile and a "I lub yyyeeewwwww" and I forget how hard it is to be up nursing in the middle of the night or to keep up with a running toddler. I forget how I cried for a month dropping her off at daycare as a newborn, or the lack of confidence you have that first year. It all melts away.

Then she smacks me in the face, and alas I am back in reality.......


Vote for our Family

Nicole Faby is hosting a Best of 2009 contest and one of our photographs were chosen! Please take a second and vote for us!

We are the second picture labeled "eads" Anyone recognize that handsome devil???

Here is the link



McFatty Monday

>> Monday, January 11, 2010

I started this week off so good. But I ended the week on a failure. That failure? Three boxes of Girl Scout cookies. They didn't make it through the weekend....and they were opened on Friday.


And I was so good all week. ALL WEEK! I brought my lunch, ate like an all star. The damn weekends kill me. So I gained a pound.

But I do have some brighter news...

I have been to the grocery store twice and used my bags both times. SUCCESS!

I have been sticking to my new budget hard core. Very impressive.

So although this week was a fail mainly do to those nasty girl scouts, they are the devil, I did do some good.


Buy Me Please

>> Saturday, January 09, 2010

See one of my resolutions was to stick to my budget. A very tight budget. So tight it is the second week of the year and I am feeling the pinch.

But then I am at home doing nothing on a Saturday night and I find these online....
I mean I have them for Lily. But alas no money in the budget. Any volunteers? Size 7 please :)

I love this website ladybugs and lillypads. Check it out!


Monkey Joe's

This picture perfectly describes how I feel about Monkey Joe's. But on the opposite end it shows how much Lily loves it. I really hate this place. I hate it even more on New Year's Day when I stayed up till four in the morning and loud sounds are the devil. If I died and went to hell it would be at Monkey Joe's with a nineteen month old.

But my niece loves it too. You can not whisper the words Monkey Joe's around her without complete excitement. It is sweet. No really it is. But I still hate it.

Lily loves it. Look at the completely happiness on her face. This was taken in the toddler jump house.
But you ask...what is it exactly you hate? Well it is the fact that I am fat and lazy and don't want to carry my 30 pound child up and down the slides. And the fact that there are five million kids everywhere and there parents are no where to be found so of course they are acting like heathens. And the way the slides make my underwear go straight up my cute tooshie. The list goes on...but this particular day the noise was killer too.

Oooohhhhh....now you understand.
But we do it for the kids. And we smile about it on the outside and act excited (especially while they are in the toddler zone and you don't have to carry them anywhere. )

Of course you can go up another slide...DADDDYYY!!
This miniature slide was the only one she could do by herself. So up and down, up and down, she went. A plus side to Monkey Joe's? The kids sleep for hours once you leave.

We did get to see Will, our friends little boy who we haven't seen since he was a few weeks old. Now look at him. Just as cute as can be.
He is seriously a good looking kid.
God's punishment to me will be for Morgan and Lily to both want Birthday parties there. And he will laugh at me for hours while I endure it.


To Our Brother: The Infamous Pillow

>> Thursday, January 07, 2010

Dear Kevin,

Okay before I begin I want to cut you some slack. You didn't buy the pillow. But Michael and I could never live with ourselves if we let you keep the pillow and not torture you about it. That is what big brother/sisters are for. I mean any self respecting man could not go back to his college dorm room with this gift from his girlfriend.....and live to tell about it.

So we had to rag you nonstop about it and then steal it to take to a NYE party. I mean we HAD TO! We did lots of things with the pillow.....

We danced with it.....
We kissed it....
We hugged it.....
We were ashamed of it.....
We gagged over its cuteness......
We fulfilled our fantasies with it....
We wished it a happy new year at midnight....
We even picked its nose....
But at the end of the night to make the pillow feel better after all the abuse it received....

Michael curled up and snuggled with it.
See that is what Big Brothers/Sisters do. We give you a hard time, all the time, but deep down we really love you and take care of you in the end.

Love Always,
Michael and Stephaine

P.S. I would wash the pillow before you sleep with it again.


New Year's Eve 2009

On New Year's Eve we traveled back home to Gtown for a "Party at the McCarty's." That has a nice ring doesn't it? We dropped Lily off at MiMi and Paw's and headed on over. This will be a post of pictures...which say it all!

It was no surprise to see Dave already blowing the damn noisemaker. Dave and the infamous noisemaker last year barely survived.
Halfway through the party Jenna broke her doorknob. And everyone walked on her floor.....and spilt champagne. It is a brand new house.....
She looked like this the rest of the night. She was a good sport though. She only threatened me once...for yelling. Okay twice I may have been a part of the duo that knock over a large piece of furniture. In her defense my face would have looked worse than this!
Me and the new Momma....first big night out since Joseph was born a few weeks ago.
Me and the SIL
Brooke and Paula
Flip Cup?
Paula and Seth
Sexy Face strikes again!
One of many of Michele and I's mini photo session.

Jen and Brookie bumping heads during a photo op
The Habichts

Bro and sis pic!
Preggo pic. I didn't have the heart to put the original up that includes Scott's big naked belly (yes Brooke's was smaller!)
Scott being...well Scott
Steve and Michele
Da Eads
It was so cold that night.
Dave and I getting the party started. Or at least I was....he was just an innocent bystander
Mini Photo Session....much much later into the night. We were determined to get a presentable pic of ourselves.
But Seriously...Michele and I struggle to get good pics together. It really is a problem. I think it is the face shape difference, or height or something. This is really a great pic compared to our normal. I mean I am not going to say that most of picture taking occurs sober so it may be a consumption problem more than anything!

This is Scott and I going head to head in flip cup. He is convincing me of his superiority.
What was that Scott? Photographic PROOF! It is not easy being an Eadsfest champ...
Sweet Victory! Look at his look of defeat!
Girl team meeting
GO GirlS!
Yeah...I am not sure what my deal is. But I did notice a trend of opened mouth pictures after midnight. Cheap champagne brings out my wild side :)
Flip cup....notice me messing up Scott's hair. Poor Scott I tortured him the whole game.

We had a great time! Thanks Jenna and Dave for hosting us! Even if by the end of the night Jenna needed a drink more than anyone!
Jenna Rocks!
And so does McGillicutty
But mainly just you....