Sunday, June 21, 2015

Daddyhood Sure Looks Good On You

(pic taken just a short while after Raven was born)

There have been many moments in our courtship and marriage when Matt has melted my heart--watching him become a dad two months ago (and live up to the fullest measure of that title ever since) has put them all to shame.

Daddyhood sure looks good on this man, and I love him more and more every day for it.

Happy First Father's Day, Matt--so glad that Raven has you to measure what all men should be like.

Our little girl is the luckiest!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

8 [Unexpected] Things I've Learned From 8 Years of Blogging

On July 12th, I will have been blogging for eight years. EIGHT YEARS, readers! I can hardly think of any other hobby I've been consistently working on for that same slot of time. Sure, I still play the piano, read books, and enjoy dancing. But--let's be honest--I only play the piano a few times a month at best, I haven't actively worked on improving my reading ability in years, and the last time I worked on my dance technique, I was still single.

Blogging has been one of the few constants in my hobbies, and I can clearly see now that it has had some totally unexpected repercussions in my life.

8 Things I've Learned From 8 Years of Blogging:

1. How to take a much better photo
I have to include photography as the first item because it was the most unexpected and the lesson with the most payoffs (literally). Around 2011, I discovered that blogging (for some people) was a paid profession, and one thing almost all of those blogs had in common was gorgeous photography. I've always loved taking pictures, but for me,  a "good" picture before was one where I looked good (or whomever I was taking the picture of)--I never stopped to consider anything else like composition, lighting, background, etc.

The interest really started when Matt permanently joined my life picture (because he had some background in photography), and since finally purchasing my own DSLR in 2013, I've never looked back. Now, not only are the pictures on my blog a lot more interesting to look at (in general), but I've also managed to start a small photography business on the side. My photography is still not where I'd like it to be, but it is a heck of a lot better than when I first started (as shown in exhibits A, B, and C).

2. Blogging for others makes for a much more interesting journal for myself
One great thing about a blog is it's like having a journal that's accessible wherever you are (complete with pictures). Growing up, I used to be a big pen-and-paper journaler, and for a long time, I felt guilty that blogging made me stop writing things down like that. But then, when I look at my actual pen-and-paper entries, I realize that blogging makes me a much better record keeper--for one, because I'm trying to make it interesting for others, the entries are much more interesting for me too when I look back at them.

Take this comparison--for my very first official date, this is all I wrote in my paper journal:

"Saturday was the dance! For our day activity, we went to the first session of conference (which was really good), then went to go see the movie "Signs," then went to Wendy's for lunch. It was really funny, because the guy's parents had to drive us everywhere. The dance was wonderful--while the guys went to the priesthood session, Liz came over and did my hair and Hannah did my makeup. I wore the navy blue bridesmaid dress I wore at Sarah's wedding. Everyone (especially David) kept telling me how gorgeous I looked." (and then there's a little more about me trying to make an ex jealous at the dance, but I'll spare you the details of my immature self)

Although the entry is kinda funny and all, I don't know if many would find it interesting besides me (and even I was getting distracted reading it).

In short, blogging has made me care more about including details, presenting things in a more interesting way, and has made me more adventurous in general. (If you know people are going to be reading about your life, you start to live it in a way that will make it more interesting, both for yourself and for your audience.)

In short, I love going back and reading old blog entries, whereas I almost never go back and read my old journals.

3. Take (and include) pictures of the everyday events (and not just the milestones) 
Because I've always loved to take pictures, I was always pretty good at getting pictures of the big things--dances, birthdays, parties, girls' camp. But the everyday stuff? Not so much. 

Blogging changed all that. My favorite blogs to read were often just little snapshots into other people's everyday lives, complete with pictures of the hot beverage they drank that morning and the flowers on their windowsill. It was blogging that made me find beauty in the everyday things, and now, looking back, many of my favorite pics and entries are of the seemingly "everyday" things--that are now no longer a part of my life.

Isn't it funny how what we consider our "daily routine" today will be nothing but a memory even a year or two from now? Because our "everyday" life is changing so much all the time, I am beyond grateful to my past self for documenting those seemingly miniscule little details.

4. Number of followers isn't everything (unless you're trying to make money)
This lesson was a long time in coming and a bit of a hard one to learn. You see, when I first learned that blogging was a thing you could do for profit, I was all over it--it's most of the initial reason I got into photography in the first place and did a lot of research as to how to make my blog more interesting to a general audience.

However, I hated the feeling I got when I poured my heart into a post or into a sponsorship, only to be disappointed when the traffic didn't match my expectations. (The day I discovered the Stats button in Blogger may have been one of the worst in my blogging life, I realize now in hindsight.)

Basically, I finally reached a point when blogging for profit wasn't what I wanted--I realized I wanted to write to ultimately please myself without having to worry about the numbers. And even though a part of me would still love to make money doing this, I realize that for me, it's better this way because blogging can forever remain my happy hobby rather than my forced job.

5. However, caring about gaining more followers (at least initially) made me a better blogger
Okay, okay--I know I just said that the numbers don't matter. BUT, it was the pursuit of numbers that got me to read up on blogging things such as templates, html, including photos in every post, etc. Now, when I look back at my first few years of posting, I cringe at the awkward placement of the photos and the weird spacing of some of the paragraphs. In fact, I think I'm going to make it a goal this summer to go back and reformat all my old posts to make them more accessible.

The biggest changes I'm glad I made?

- including a photo in every post
- making all my photos large (if side by side) or extra large
- writing more creative essays and less journal-like logs
- including more details
- writing events more like stories and less like summaries

6. It's easier to blog consistently than to blog sporadically
Oh man, this is one I'm definitely in the middle of learning (again) now--since pregnancy really took its toll on my blogging habits, I'm having a bit of a hard time getting back to posting regularly. My goal is to try and post three times a week for most of the summer because the above lesson is all too true--the second you stop blogging regularly (whatever that means to you), the easier it is to just not blog at all.

And I definitely regret now the fact that not much of my pregnancy was documented due to my not posting.

7. What works for someone else may not work for me 
One of the biggest tips most big bloggers tell the latest up-and-comers is that they should have a definite blog focus and that they shouldn't do long posts. "People who read blogs don't want long posts," they write. "They want a tiny snapshot into an idea that they can read in 30 seconds' time before they rush off to their next appointment."

Perhaps it's the fact that I'm so long-winded that I never got much of a following, but eventually I just had to own the fact that I like to write long posts. (This very post is serious evidence of that.) In the end, because my blog has evolved from trying to please the stats and traffic gods to creating meaningful content, I do things my own way. It's cost me followers, but ultimately, I'm much more pleased with the result.
8. Inspiration can come from anywhere
In the days when I was regularly blogging five times a week, people would often comment to me, "I don't know how you do it--how do you think of so many different things to write about?"

And I would tell them--when you're in the habit of blogging regularly, you're constantly on the lookout for ideas. And you quickly learn that those ideas can come from anywhere--other blogs (esp. other blogs!), books you're reading, a funny comment you heard in passing, the beauty of the vegetable patch outside your front get the idea. Eventually, because you're always looking for it, inspiration just seems to come in greater and greater droves until you're finally forced to start keeping a "Things to Blog About" list to keep them all straight.

I'm still trying to work my way through that list.

Well folks, I don't know what the next 8 years will bring in my blogging habit, but I sure am grateful that you've been here for this particular part of the ride.

What unexpected (or not unexpected) things have you learned from blogging?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Baby Raven: Two Months

Well, my baby survived her two-month shots today like a champ--she cried for about twenty seconds, and then promptly started looking around again, observing her surroundings. She was asleep ten minutes later. Hallelujah.

Side Note: I am almost positive the shots were just as hard for me as they were for her.

But the good news about doctor's appointments are that we get the most up-to-date information about our little fuzzhead, and I never get tired of everyone telling me how perfect she is.


Quick Stats:

Weight: 11 pounds, 6 ounces (45th percentile)
Height: 23" (71st percentile)
Head Circumference:  15" (26th percentile)

The doctor also told me that her head shape is excellent--many babies start to have misshapen heads as a result of them favoring one side over another, but we've been monitoring her closely on this, and her head shape is just about perfectly round (something that a LOT of people comment to us on).

Physical Appearance:

Raven's eyes are still blue and could very well still stay that way since they've been overall getting lighter instead of darker. Her eyelashes are starting to get REALLY long and have a definite curl to them (something mine have NEVER done on their own), so we're pretty positive she got her daddy's genes on those (hallelujah!). The most noticeable change in her appearance is how much she's really starting to chunk out, thanks to her voracious eating habits. Besides the fact that baby rolls are adorable, I'm all sorts of relieved about it because it means that my milk supply is more than adequate.

Raven's hair is also slightly getting longer although she does still have several patches in the back that from far away look like bald spots. She is also sporting a pretty awesome mullet due to the fact that the hair at the nape of her neck is darker than all the rest of the hair on her head (not to mention longer). 

Milestones Reached:
  • Started giving her first "social" smiles (instead of just smiling because of gas or something)
  • Has slept 7 hours straight on quite a few occasions (and regularly sleeps for at least one 5-7 hour stretch at night, which we are grateful for)
  • Discovered that her hands belonged to her and started sucking her thumb/fingers
  • Can sit in a Bumbo chair (supervised) due to her excellent neck control

What I Love About This Stage:

The fact that Raven smiles so much now has got to be my absolute favorite thing about this stage. Before, we would occasionally catch her smiling in her sleep or right after a particularly juicy toot, but she never really smiled otherwise. Now, if you can get her to focus on you (which she's getting a lot better at doing), she pretty much will always respond to your smile if you are smiling at her. I know this a typical milestone for this age group, but it really is just so much fun! My favorite moment is when Matt or I go and "rescue" her from her bed when she's just woken up and has started fussing for us to come and get her--her exuberant grins when we reach for her just make your heart melt.

I am also really appreciating that Raven is still little enough that I don't have to watch her *too* closely all the time. Because she can't quite grab things yet and try putting them in her mouth, she's pretty easy to take care of. She's also a lot more content than before to just lie on her back (or in a seated position in our arms or in the Bumbo) and just take everything in (whereas before, she would pretty much fuss all the time unless she was being held or sleeping).  

Other things I am in love with at this stage--

Her arm dimples. Oh, and the smoosh-able-ness of the rolls on her thighs. This baby is just CUTE when she is chubby.

Things I Don't Want to Forget:
  • How Matt sings out Indiana Jones theme music as he goes to rescue the baby from her bed after her nap
  • Debating for weeks whether or not she had Matt's eyelashes until one day, the curl and the length was undeniably not anything coming from me
  • The way Raven likes to rest her upper hand on me while she's nursing (and how once, about a month and a half ago, she actually placed her hands on my chest in a perfect sign for "I love you" for the whole duration of the feeding session)
  • How Raven reaches up and pulls on the top of my shirt when she's hungry and impatient to be fed (and then how she smiles at me when I catch her doing it)
  • The sound of pure relief and bliss coupled with a little bit of anger and frustration that comes out when she finally latches on and starts eating after being made to wait a little while for one reason or another (usually a diaper change)
  • The knowledge that Luvs diapers are the best at preventing blowouts (and that some types of Huggies are even worse than the cheapest generic brand)
  • The night she made the sound "ow" right when I was about to change her and freaked me out
  • Filming Raven in her Hunger vs. Sleep battle (when she's getting hungry but sleep is just too powerful to let her fully wake up)
  • Her little bobble-head motions when you put her against your chest to burp her and she'd much rather see what's going on in the rest of the room
  • The way she has started licking everything, especially me and/or my shirt

It is so much fun being the mom of this cute little bug. She brings a lot of joy to our lives, and I just can't imagine how she wasn't in our lives before.

Happy two months, Baby Raves!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Body After Baby: Two Months Postpartum

It seems like the last month went by really fast, and it makes me freak out a little inside to know that my baby is already two months old. (FYI, Raven will get her own little update after she has her doctor's appointment on Monday, in which she has to get all those dang shots. It will be awful--for both of us (the appointment, that is, not the post)).

But, today has been reserved for my two months postpartum update on how well I'm doing (or not doing) with the goals I set for myself one month ago.

Losing weight postpartum has been an interesting process--I quickly learned that I need to strike a delicate balance between trying to lose the weight and also trying to take it easy (not to mention keep up my milk supply), so even though I now know I won't see results as quickly as I thought I would, I'm still pleased with my progress.

(And I know that the pictures don't look that different, but I have still noticed changes--the fact that I didn't have to absolutely squeeze myself into these same black capris, for one thing)

Just so you're up to speed, my goals were to:

*lose 5 pounds
*lose 2 inches from my waist
*lose 2 inches from my hips
*start running (or doing a run/walk combo) at least twice a week
*take the baby out for a walk a few times a week
*start doing some light weightlifting

Now for the accountability part. *Gulp*

--I did, in fact, lose 5 pounds exactly. (Yay!)
--I did not lose 2 inches from my waist OR hips, but I at least lost a little mass around both.
--I did not start running. (A fact I can directly blame the weather for, as literally every time I planned to go out, it started pouring/hailing/throwing around lightning everywhere.)
--I sometimes took the baby out, but it wasn't even close to a few times a week. Maybe it would average out to about once a week? Yikes. (This one was partly because I dread going outside the apartment because of the hundreds and thousands of box elder bugs literally right outside our door. It freaks me out every time.)
--I did start some weight lifting (just some arms stuff) about twice a week after I hit 6 weeks.
--Not on the list (but something I've been doing): going to the gym once a week to attend that hip-hop class, which I now love and only partly feel awkward about

I'll admit, I'm pretty bummed I don't already have my first run post-baby behind me. When I was pregnant, I couldn't wait to get back into running, and I thought that once I hit those 6 weeks postpartum, I'd want to be out the door every other night to start running again. And it's not that I haven't wanted to, but the weather really did mess up my plans several times (and I can't stand running on the treadmill at the gym), and the other nights were foiled by either Matt having to leave to take care of church responsibilities or me not feeling up to it.

I'm determined to remedy the non-running situation ASAP, especially because I want some of my postpartum goals to include decreasing my mileage time, which is hard to measure when I don't even know my current speed. So I guess those particular types of goals will have to wait until next month's post.

But enough rambling: now for the stats!

Quick Stats:

Weight Right Before Delivery: 190 lbs.
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 140 lbs.
Current Weight: 158 lbs.
Goal Weight: 130 lbs.

Measurements at One Month Postpartum:
Weight: 163 lbs.
Bust: 40"
Waist: 33"
Hips: 41"
Thighs: 24"
Arms: 12"

Measurements at Two Months Postpartum (aka, Now)
Bust: 40"
Waist: 32.5" (hardly anything--boo hoo!)
Hips: 40"
Thighs: 23" (super stoked about this number--usually my thighs are among the hardest areas to lose any inches from)
Arms: 11.25" (I love weight lifting because I see results almost immediately--this almost-one-inch loss is after only four 15-minute weightlifting sessions over the past two weeks)

I think my biggest challenge for this next month will be that after I do start running again, I'll need to watch my diet much more carefully because running makes me SOOOO hungry all the time, and I'll need to try and balance out all my calories with the amount I need to produce milk for Raven. In the past, I've rarely lost any weight the first month after starting to run (because of the eating thing), so I know the next month will have some challenges for me.

My plan for the next month is:

Exercise: Continue going to the gym for a group aerobics class at least once a week and doing some strength training twice a week for 10-15 minutes, and then my new goal is to fit in two 30-minute run/walk sessions per week.

Diet: My doctor discouraged me from counting calories, which is, in the past, my surefire way of losing weight relatively quickly, so I'm going to try her advice and just focus on making sure more of my calories come from wholesome, filling sources rather than from empty ones. This is something I generally try to do anyway, but I could be much more vigilant about it, especially since I have SUCH a weakness for baking sweets and carb-loaded breads and muffins all the time. My one surefire rule I want to adhere to this month is that I want to mostly only drink water throughout the day and allow myself just one cup of a non-water beverage a day (like milk or orange juice). I've been having milk or juice with almost every meal, so if I can do this one thing, I'll easily save myself around 350 calories a day (or more).

Goal Stats for Next Month:

By next month, I would like to be down another six pounds, and we'll see if I can knock off two inches from both my waist and hips for real this time (now that I can start doing some light core work).

Also, if any of you are runners and moms, what was your mileage like soon after having a baby? And how many sessions did you try and do a week?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Raven's Big Debut (aka, Raven's Baby Blessing)

In my religion, we believe in giving children a special blessing (usually when they're infants) in front of the church congregation. It is partly to formally present the child into the church as a child on the church's records, and it's also a way for the child to receive certain blessings by virtue of a priesthood blessing. Basically in our culture, a baby's blessing day is an important day, and it's often a day celebrated with family and friends. 

 (Grandma and Dad helping Raven get ready)

We felt so fortunate that we had over 70 people come from out of town to celebrate Raven's special day--all of Matt's siblings and families, many of my siblings and their families, as well as much of my mother's family as well as some close personal friends. One thing that was said in Raven's blessing was that she would be blessed with a knowledge and a promise of a loving, supportive family that would be there for her throughout her life.

I'd say that her family is already making good on that promise.

That promise of the support and love of family (both immediate and extended) is a gift I also have enjoyed throughout my life, and it is because of the example I had growing up that makes me determined to "show up" to the important events of those nearest and dearest to me.

In fact, I wrote a post about that very thing about a year and a half ago.

With pregnancy and having a newborn, I haven't made it out to as many events as I did before. But Sunday was a good reminder to me that it's important to show up for those important milestones in your loved ones' lives--even if you don't even get much of a chance to say much to the person being recognized, the fact that you showed up to show your love and support sometimes means just as much as anything else.

We were so grateful that so many people turned out to show their love and support.

It really was a beautiful day.

Now, on to more pictures!

 (Raven sometimes gets overwhelmed by the fact that we are kissing her face off every two seconds...)

 (Here's a picture of all the priesthood holders who stood in the circle for the blessing. At one point, they were all wearing white shirts and ties, but the second church was out, many made a beeline to go change. 
The only reason Matt's even in a white shirt himself is because I made him keep it on until I'd gotten pictures.)
(In case anyone was wondering, Raven's beautiful dress was made for her by her very talented great-grandmother)

Congratulations on your big day, Baby Girl--
you bring so much joy to so many, and I hope you always know how much you're loved by your family here on earth and your Father in Heaven.

So glad that you're ours forever.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The New Year's Resolutions I Didn't Tell Anyone About

(What?! You kept a secret from me?!)

Most years, I can't wait to post my New Year's Resolutions on the blog--I usually spend weeks thinking about my "Big Focus" goals for the new year, and I make sure to post about them so that I'll keep myself accountable. And even though I haven't been perfect about keeping all my resolutions every year, and even though I sometimes wonder if they really do make a difference, I can say for a fact that looking back, I have incrementally improved my life little by little through the setting and posting of New Year's Resolutions. In recent years, I have made huge strides in running, eating less meat and more produce, living a more minimalist lifestyle, and actually doing something about the items on my life's bucket list because I have chosen to carefully choose and then blog about New Year's Resolutions.

This year when the new year rolled around, I was five months pregnant and not sure what the new year would bring, so I kept my resolutions low key and quiet. But now, as we are coming up on the halfway point on 2015, I'd like to clue you all in on what I've been working on, even if the goals might not be as impressive as in years past.

1. Read 5 books off of the Newbery Awards list, 5 books off the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list, and 5 books off the 100 Most-Recommended Classics list.

Every year (just about), I set a goal related to reading. Since it's important to me to be well-read (and since I have bucket list items relating to the 3 book lists mentioned above), I set the goal of 15 books off these lists to make sure I was making progress towards my longer life goals, but not making it so that I had no time left to read any other books not on the list. I think five books off each of these three lists is a good balance. 

How I'm Doing at this Resolution: Not great, but I do have a plan going forward to remedy that. So far, I've only read three out of fifteen books (and am in the middle of another one), but I have planned out many of the books going forward that will count towards the fifteen, and I made a list the other day of 10 ways I can fit more reading time into each day and plan to start incorporating some of those ideas soon.

2. Work my way back into running and sign up for at least a 10K by the end of the year.

How I'm Doing at this Resolution: Since running my first marathon back in 2012, I have set running goals each year as well. Because of my pregnancy and then delivery recovery time, I have yet to make any progress on this goal. But my 8-week follow-up appointment with my doctor is tomorrow, and I should be cleared to start running from thereon out. It will be difficult to work it out with the baby, but I'm hoping to sign up for a race sometime in October or November. 

At first, I wanted to challenge myself to sign up for another half marathon (since that was the last length of race I trained for), but since I didn't know how my body would respond to having a baby, I decided to go easy on myself (but still set a goal that was challenging enough that it would require planning and careful execution). When I ease into running again, I might try and set a time goal for my 10K, but it's much too early to be able to tell for sure on that.

3. Finish the Old Testament.

How I'm Doing at this Resolution: I've been going through the Old Testament at an embarrassingly slow pace, and I'll admit, I'm eager to be finished with this goal so I can focus more scripture reading time on the books that are a bit easier to understand and to get through. I'm currently at the very end of Proverbs, so I have a good chunk left to go on this goal, unfortunately. I worked it out the other day, and to finish by the end of the year, I basically have to average two chapters a day for the rest of the year. Here's hoping I can keep that pace up...

4. Index 10,000 names. 

A few years ago, I started really getting into genealogy and family history, but since hitting a lot of dead ends, some of the exuberance has worn off. So, for this year, I decided to take a step back and do some service in other ways (namely, by indexing family history records to make them accessible for other people). For more info on what indexing is all about, click here.

How I'm Doing at this Resolution: I started off really strong on this goal and had indexed almost 4,000 names by the time the baby was born, but since she's come, I've only indexed a few batches. I need to get back into the habit of indexing about 40 names a day in order to stay on track with this goal, but if I course correct now, I should easily be able to complete this before December.

5. Set monthly goals related to a different focus.

How I'm Doing at this Resolution: This was the one resolution I actually did blog about (January's focus = spending freeze, February's = walking challenge, March = non-procrastination), but once again, I took a break when the baby was born. Now that I'm more out of survival mode and more into the routine of being a stay-at-home mom (for the time being), I think I'm ready to start back into this one. I'm still tossing around a couple different ideas for this month (so I'm a bit behind for June), but by July, I should be fully invested once again for sure.

So there you go---nothing too big or fancy or crazy this year, but I knew that my REAL resolution for the year would be to embrace my new role as a mother and to soak up every minute of it that I could. And as for THAT resolution--check and check. 

All the rest is just icing on the cake :)


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The 8 Commandments of Baby Hair Accessories

When we first started telling people we were going to have a little girl, almost every woman I talked to (okay, at least 50% of them) said something to the effect of: "Oh, you're going to love dressing her! Little girls are just so much fun to accessorize."

I thought the whole thing a little odd at first--like somehow this was the grown-up version of playing with paper dolls or trying out different outfits on Barbies.

Then I saw Raven in her first bow, and I'll admit--my heart melted just a little (or a lot). 

Since she doesn't have a lot of hair to play with and those long dark lashes that I'm hoping will grow in (courtesy of her daddy's genes) haven't quite come in, it was like the bows and the ribbons and accessories gave her that extra little feminine edge (plus it meant that fewer people would mistake her for a little boy).

And I'll admit--it's been more fun than I'd thought.

BUT, we've had to set some basic ground rules about hairbows and other head accessories (a sentence I never thought I'd need to utter):

1 - Thou shalt not make the babe wear a bow whilst lounging about the house. We want Baby Girl to be as comfortable as possible, and we're also slightly worried that if we leave those ribboned hairbows in too long, she might end up with a permanent indentation in her skull or a ring around her head where no hair grows. (Seriously, I've seen/heard of babies where it's happened. The hairless ring, anyway.)

2 - Thou shalt not put a bow larger than 1/6th the size of the babe's face upon her head. The flower bow above illustrates the largest we'll ever get when it comes to hair accessories (so as to avoid comments about how our baby's accessories are big enough to be picking up satellite t.v....or wavelengths from space.)

3 - Thou shalt, while in public, make sure the babe looks reasonably enough like a girl. Although I think Raven is absolutely adorable no matter what is on her head (or not), I finally was forced to stipulate that without the presence of certain accessories and dressed in certain colors--like the bright green above--I could see how someone might mistake her for a delightful little boy. Hence the reason I made an informal rule that when we're out in public, I will do my best to make sure she looks like a little girl.

4 - Thou shalt remove the bow immediately when the babe sleepeth. After Raven pulled down her bow around her neck in her sleep--TWICE--we decided that, for safety reasons, bows are meant for babies who are awake.


5 - Thou shalt place the bow slightly off-center on the forehead for the most flattering look. (See, even Raven balked when we tried to break that rule--"Mom, the unicorn/Cyclops/that one Star Trek guy look is SO over.")

6 - Thou shalt offer the babe a binky, breast, or knuckle immediately after placement of the bow so that she associates positive things with hairbows. (Okay, let's just be honest--it's because she hates them being put on and we're trying to distract her.)

7 - Thou shalt share the adorableness with all. When a particularly hilarious hairbow is tried out, pictures must be sent to her daddy immediately so we can all have a good laugh together. When the hilarity is just too much to handle (like with the bonnet in the top picture), Mom and Baby must walk to Dad's place of employment to show her off. That kind of ridiculous cuteness just must be shared in person.

8 - Thou shalt not have the mother and babe wear coordinating hairbows, despite Daddy's urgings that it would be "funny for moms to wear the same bows as their daughters and in the same proportions to their own heads."

Did we miss any Hairbows-for-Babies Commandments?
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