today is thursday. and it’s going to be a beautiful day.

what a crazy and exhausting week it has been so far! thanks to all of you who have kept my family in your thoughts and prayers lately. i wish health issues didn’t exist- that everyone could live a life without getting sick. and i wish my family lived down the street, so we could all be together right now. or at least that airfare wasn’t so expensive. but here we are…. and here it is… and we’ll get through it, by golly! so thanks for the kind support. it means so much. i’m so grateful.
in other news, it’s been 80 degrees here the past few days. i baked a chocolate cake the other day that i am slowly finishing all by myself. and we drove around a neighborhood in falls church virginia last night that still has christmas lights up! i want to be friends with people in falls church.
also, we’re back on the search for a new home. and it’s making me pull my hair out. is it just us, or does anyone else struggle with making the decision between living in the district or moving further out? do we want to stay on capitol hill where rent is expensive and space is limited, or do we want to move further out (and by further out, i mean…. further out), be more of a suburban family with the promise of a big yard and maybe even a parking spot (oh! just the thought of not having to haul a car seat and groceries and everything else that comes with life for blocks at a time because the closest available parking spot at the moment feels like miles from your actual home. be still my heart!) and where does one find floors like these? because carpet seems to be winning these days in practically every home we see.
we’re heading on a road trip soon and baby girl’s relationship with her car seat is making me nervous. people always tell us if you want to calm a fussy baby, take her for a car ride. but the car seems to be the one thing that makes our baby girl scream and scream. do you have any magical tips for babies and car seats?! and do you maybe wanna share them?!
today is thursday and it’s going to be a great day. i woke up and felt it. house hunting, health issues, crying babies in cars aside, it’ll all be wonderful. and we’ll all get through it. xoxo
p.s. candice took this photo when we went to france last summer. thanks for always letting me jump in front of your camera, candice.
  1. Saara

    Oh, I also want to find floors like that. Just keep a strong and open mind and you guys will find a nice home, I am sure of it! And that picture is absolutely amazing!!

  2. MY 3 month old, Jones, has also decided that he HATES his carseat. I have no advice, I just wanted to commiserate…it's awful, right?! He starts screaming the second we put him in the seat until the second we take him out…screaming like someone is physically hurting him…it is miserable for all involved!
    If you find out a trick to get this to stop, please let me know! (Just thought I'd let you know that you're not alone–seeing your post made me feel a bit better about my child's carseat woes!)
    Becca

  3. keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers hun. xoxo!

  4. have a great roadtrip and I hope the little one will enjoy it at least a bit :)
    and, I love the picture, soo cute!

  5. You can see what a fabulous dancer you are by that photo…beautiful! We made the same tough decision lately, and were lucky enough to find a single home (cottage) in an urban area, not too far out, with parking and a yard. It's a tough decision, but don't give up on too much–there are always compromises, but you will find it!

  6. Linka

    Those floors are beautiful! My heart definitely goes out to you city folks. I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY but I couldn't imagine raising my son there. I'm definitely a suburban gal! Good luck on the house hunt!

  7. when we took our little one on long trips it helped to have someone sit in the back with her – she wanted entertainment!
    obviously you can't do that on errands and things, but it might help for your road trip?

    good luck! and your photo just motivated me to get going this morning. thanks!

  8. kirby

    naomi!

    everyone eventually does the 'district or not to district' dance around here. we left barrack's row about 2 years ago for a washer/dryer, parking, bigger apartment (you know the drill). it was hard leaving but we're only one stop out on the metro (and right next to Costco!)And we went with carpet (which I hated but LOVE now). Good luck on your search, I know you'll find something incredible :)

  9. Speaking as someone who lives in a DC suburb, it's a case of the grass being greener. It's not really substantially cheaper than the city, traffic is HORRENDOUS every day of the week, so if you commute you can kiss half your day goodbye. There's always construction on the roads and property taxes are sky high. I'm just over the DC area in general I guess.

  10. Emily

    Good luck with the house search! We live in Silver Spring in an apartment, but there are fabulous houses around here and in Bethesda. Thanks to the Metro and neighborhood festivals you don't feel that far out of the District. Plus it's really safe and has everything you need right there. Good luck!

  11. Kelly

    Love the photo!
    I am someone that lives FAR out and I'm not going to lie, it's tough sometimes. But you can go into the city when you want. And I love my garden, yard for my pups, running trails and 5 min commute. So, I guess it's all about trade offs.

  12. loving that photo. and loving that you bake/eat entire cakes by yourself because that is definitely something i would do/have done.

  13. Rachel

    Silver Spring, MD. Just sayin'…

  14. Health issues can be horrible, but I'm glad everything is looking up! I'm a youngin' but when I look for a house I would really love to be in the suburbs. I grew up in the suburbs and really want to raise a family there I love driving and a large backyard it's the best. So jealous its been 80 there! It's warming up slowly but surely in NY but it's def. not 80 yet!

    Fashionable Collections

  15. Annette

    We ended up moving further out and on the weekends it is wonderful! We have a great school that we walk our son to everyday which makes my heart happy. Thankfully I work downtown which is nice so I get to be around city life. I say that to say no matter what you will make it work as ultimately it is your family that makes the home.

  16. Abby

    This is my first comment (and it's such a weird one too as I am not a mother) but maybe your baby gets car sickness?

    http://offbeatmama.com/2010/09/car-seat-rules

    Good luck with everything else too! I've been reading your blog for around a month now and congratulations with how successful you've made it!

    Also, did you know that Beirut is playing in DC in June? I saw them in Prague last year and it was ah-mazing…:)

  17. That photo is fabulous!

    Sending good thoughts to you and your family.

  18. Trina

    We moved from Fairfax county last summer up to anne arundel county in MD, near Ft. Meade and we LOVE the change! It's so much quieter up here. Seriously the best kept secret in the DC area! It's clean, it's quiet, there's yards and beautiful people without all the craziness of the district. My best friend just moved out to our city (odenton, md) from 116th street, and she is also in love. :) But it's a quick jump on the 50 to get to New York Ave. It's brilliant! And oh my! Homes are SO nicely priced out here! Seriously, its the best decision we ever made. We are all very happy here and my two little girls especially. Good luck!

  19. Trina

    That's 16th street, not 116… Oh also, we have hard wood floors! Not as pretty as the ones in the pics, but still.

  20. I tried to do the suburbs but it just didn't take for me. It was lovely with all the space and other moms. But for me, I am a city girl. I just am. Good luck – its a stressful but fun decision to have to make. And your decision doesn't have to be final.

  21. mary

    love that picture!

    good luck with the house hunt! i'm sure that would be a very difficult decision… but you are blessed to be able to make it! remember though, that with carpet, there will be far fewer bangs and bumps when eleanor is learning to crawl and stand up. but i know what you mean… wood is delicious.

    for the car ride, try baby einstein music. it also helps us if someone sits in the back seat so baby isn't all alone. hope it goes well for you!

    mary

  22. colleen

    i do the whole – stay or move out further (although my struggle right now is not quite as extreme, manahttan or brooklyn) – and I also grew up in Northern VA (Vienna) so I very much understand the appeal. however, i usually err on the side of stay. if i were moving to d.c., i would probably make an effort to live in the city based a lot on commutes, time-saving, etc. think of how easy it is for you, and the baby, to see your husband during the day and pick him up at night. you save so much time on commuting and get to use it on meaningful things like lunch, getting home at night for a reasonable dinner, spending more time together, etc. just a thought from a girl who grew up with her dad commuting into d.c. everyday and eating dinner at 9 (i got hungry, yo!)

  23. Liz

    loved this post! what a great way to welcome a new day. I can't get over how amazing the photo is. Happy Thursday!

  24. For babies in car seats, my sister has always used a silky blanket for them to hold. They rub it on their faces, and it calms them right down until they're fast asleep. Hopefully that can work for you too :)

  25. Chelsey

    Consider Old Town Alexandria. My fiancé and I have lived there for about eight months and we absolutely love it!! It feels like a quaint small town, but still offers tons of great restaurants and shops. And, it's very pet-friendly!

  26. j.

    Yes, definitely. My baby tends to get hot so easily in her car seat. Dress her lightly. Don't cover her with much of a blanket (unless its very good) and make sure the blanket she has draped over her seat is thin and airy so light and air can pass through. But do cover her, because sunshine in the face equals more crying. Hang a car seat toy. Mine is still young to play with hers, but she loves to stare at it and smile at it. Play good, calm music in the car and sing out loud so she can hear you. clip her binkie to the seat so you can reach back and pop it in her mouth at the ready.

    And, if all this fails, when we have been headed for longer trips in the car I wait until she is ready for a nap and put her in her seat rather than crib to fall asleep. Wait til she is out and then move her.

    Best of luck!

  27. Alexis

    I have a 3.5 year old and a 5 month old. When your daughter gets older you need to MOST DEFINETELY INVEST in a poratble dvd player for her. It is a MIRACLE when it comes to long road trips!! With the baby, there is not much to do. My son Paul was great on the way to my family with a 5 hour road trip, but was horrible on the way back. He seemed to do better when his daddy tried to tell him (from the passenger side) that he was fine. My husband would play with him (or atleast try at an akward angle) and we gave him toys that would distract him. Then sometimes the pacifier worked. But after crying for awhile he would finally fall asleep. Take lots of breaks on the trip to get her out, it'll make her feel better. She's probably bored just staring at the back of the seat. That's the only advice I can give with carseat issues. My son only had the issue on the way back home because he knew how long he was going to be in there. But for errands he is fine, no crying at all. But I have friends who's babies scream in their carseats as well. So you are NOT alone. I hope some of this helps!

  28. Nice picture! Perfect. I hope next week treats you better.

  29. Kelsey

    love the photo. france looks amazing!! xoxo

    kelseyannesmith.blogspot.com

  30. Rhianne

    I have been wishing very similar things lately. I hope you figure everything out Naomi.

  31. j.

    I meant "don't cover her with a blanket unless its very cold". Not good. Darn auto correct.

  32. City living is where it's at. The more young, progressive and intelligent people who stay in the city and don't flee to the 'burbs, the better!

  33. I would definitely move farther out with more space!
    I grew up in Alexandria, with a huge yard in a great neighborhood, with the city still SO CLOSE. It was a great balance and going into D.C. every weekend became such a treat. It was a great to place to grow up, I definitely recommend moving to the suburbs (especially in that area, the neighborhoods are so nice!)
    now I'm missing it & want to go back!

    good luck with your decision!

  34. Ashlee

    Good luck house hunting- if it's an old house you usually can rip up the carpet and refinish the wood floors that are underneath. I have 3 kids and having a yard saves me all spring/summer/fall.

  35. hanner

    you know what i think about you moving… ;)

  36. I have lived in both the district (Columbia Heights) and in Falls Church within walking distance of the main "downtown" area. I loved Falls Church!! There are actually quite a few neighborhoods right off of N. Washington Street with big townhouses. Falls Church has amazing Peruvian restaurants and Vietnamese food. Have you considered Del Ray? It's a lovely, quaint little town tucked next to Old Town Alexandria. Here's a link:

    http://www.delraycitizen.org/about.php

    There are amazing old bungalow's and old homes with wood floors and character. PLUS amazing shops all within walking distance.

    Good luck on your hunt!

  37. amber

    this is what i needed to hear! i have been having a rough week, just for different reasons than yours. funny thing is i, too, woke up feeling that this was going to be a good day. so cheers to having a good day!! :)

    p.s. LOVE the floors in the link!

  38. I live in Alexandria. Old Town/ Mount Vernon are literally ten minutes MAX from the metro, which is awesome. Traffic is never that because of the George Washington parkway. However, they are right. It's not really that much cheaper than DC. But the houses/apartments are bigger. Hope this helped!

    Veronica

    P.S. Love having a chic blogger so close by. Makes me feel like all the action isn't in NY or LA!

  39. We've taken a lot of roadtrips and had a great time with our diplo-baby but it definitely takes some practice. Things we swear by:
    1. HAaving a mirror on the back seat headrest – it means you can see her and she can see herself, which is fascinating to them
    2. Pacifier on a clip so that you can reach back and put it in
    3. Bottle of water and bottle of expressed milk (or formula) at the ready – i can actually feed by reaching back from the front seat now
    4. Extra time in your itinerary – you will have to stop more than you're used to, and sometimes will have to stop by the side of the road during a random meltdown. But if you're zen about them, and feel like they're just part of the trip, they're much more enjoyable for everyone involved.

    Drive safely and have a great time!

  40. FeeMail

    How did you jump that high :)?! Amzing picture…

  41. J

    This is unrelated to moving (although I am trying to find myself an apartment next year in DC and entirely overwhelmed), but where did you get those pants in the picture? I've been looking for ones similar and have no idea what style they are or where one finds them. Would really appreciate knowing :)

  42. Emily

    still keeping your family in my prayers!

    haveyoumetemilyblog.blogspot.com

  43. Amanda

    I live on the outside of DC…not too far out but enough that I was able to buy a place on my own and not have to sell any limbs. It takes about 20minutes to get to the closest metro but there is also the bus about 10minutes away, which saves on parking costs and tolls. It was hard to decide between a chic bachelorette apt. closer in and the house but it works for me. I love my yard and my bike trails, and I'm really going to love the silver line once it finishes. Hello 5minutes to metro!

  44. savy

    Floors like those?!? Gorgeous! Probably hiding underneath all that carpet…

  45. Kait

    You have the right attitude about the troubles you're dealing with. Keep your head up! Your family is in my thoughts.

    I hear ya on the struggle of that close-in/far out decision. We've been struggling with the same thing – to stay close in (Arlington) or move out further (Vienna, Annnandale, Falls Church City). Over the past year that we've been looking, we've pretty much decided we'll deal with smaller and pricier to remain closer in to DC (in Arlington), and not move further out. We don't want more than a 30 min commute into DC.

    Are you guys still looking to rent? I'd say, as long as you're renting, stay in DC. You always have that option to move out later because you're likely only committing for a year at a time. When you want to buy, that's the time to think about moving into the 'burbs. Or maybe try Arlington – I think Arlington is perfect – it has the city feel with cute shops and restaurants AND parking AND yards… and the commute into DC is easy as pie. Have you spent much time in Clarendon? It's darling. It's like a mini DC and the metro is right there making it super easy to get into the city. That's where I grew up.

    Remember growing up in Utah and running around outdoors? I want that for my (future) kids and that's why DC isn't an option for us in terms of our "forever" home. My husband and I grew up in Arlington and loved having a yard and neighborhood we could run around in. And while growing up, Arlington changed and grew and became more like a city too, so we get the best of both worlds now. Plus, to your point, I can't imagine lugging groceries and that infant car seat for blocks to get to the front door!

    Good luck on your house hunt – we put our seventh offer over the past year in on a house yesterday with our third agent. We know we've finally found the right agent and our fingers are crossed that this is the right house too, but we know not to get excited until it's final now. Let's just say… we know how NOT fun the search is around here! I feel your pain. In the end, it's worth it to be in this area though!

    As for your decision, good luck on that too. Remember family is what makes a home… not the house, so whatever you decide will be home no matter what in the end. :)

  46. girl, i know what it's like to want to stay in a more desirable area but if you're going to buy…buy a house you have to live in, that has everything you love or else you'll always resent it. don't settle just cause it's closer to a bunch of stuff but something you wont have to put a lot of work into, that is perfect for your growing family and has everything you want. or else you'll have a lot of headaches and you'll be stuck with something you never really loved.

  47. Shamini

    wow
    this picture is so so nice
    am so loving it
    xoxo

  48. amy

    I'm glad you're back and feeling rejuvenated! I can commiserate on the frustrations of house-buying, although we live no where near Washington D.C. (South Dakota)!

    I am fairly new to the blogging world, but have been following your blog for a while now. I am about 7 months pregnant and am always looking at your photos as inspiration to keep myself looking half-way decent. If even once a week I can achieve the cute, fun looks that you had (and still have) going, I consider myself a success!

    Thanks for being my inspiration!

    amy @ Glass Confetti

  49. Sammy

    you can find floors like that in richmond :) not too far from where you are either!

  50. Some I need to wake up to a day where even though things have been hard it will be a wonderful day! Thanks for being an example to us all.
    Good Luck with house hunting, baby car ride, and health!!!

  51. Jessica

    Hang in there. House hunting is fun but it gets stressful and dissapointing all at the same time. Especially when you don't get what you want and your this close to getting it!
    We just bought our first home last year and it was built in 1915…just what a wanted, a beautiful old piece of junk…it needs mounds of work.
    Let me tell you though even out here in california, I swear you see more carpet than beautiful floors like the ones your dreaming of. You just have to rip them up and make them pretty yourself. Most houses that have carpet probably have hardwood underneath that you can refinish yourself. If not you can rip it up and lay laminate, that is what we did temporarily. ugh i hate carpet!
    I wish for 80 degree weather here…still showering!
    Happy thursday:)

  52. I love that picture! So adorable!

    As for homes…I might suggest Arlington. I live here (in an apartment) but there are so many interesting quirky homes where you can have parking AND still walk around town to restaurants and have more of a city feel. I <3 it. Old Town Alexandria is also precious.

  53. Jessica

    another thing I can relate too: Parking and a yard….I would take carpet any day if it had parking and yard, thats what we did! Once little E is old enough to send out into the backyard on those warm sunny days, you will not regret having a yard…especially for kingsley!
    and you can always take the carpet out!

  54. Nicole

    Nice pointed feet! Are you a dancer?
    Stay strong =]

  55. good luck with your search! we've lived in NW and now in NOVA and we really liked both, but i think when we have kids we want to stay out of the city.

  56. keep hanging in there! you're in lots of prayers. oh, and not to be a downer… but my little elle hates her car seat. she always has. hates. screams. always. she's 18 months, and i think i'm giving up on her being one of "those" kids who can manage a cross-country road trip:) that being said, she's bad on planes, too… and your eleanor was good! maybe there's hope? good news? my iPhone + youtube started to become a lifesaver (distraction) once she was old enough to hold it!! :) good luck!

  57. Julia

    Hi. I don't think I've commented before, but keep your fingers crossed on the house hunting! I'm a new home owner in a neighborhood very close to Falls Church, and there are so many charming neighborhoods close by that are more affordable. I've found that my commute to D.C. isn't really that bad (It's a fact of life around here I guess!). I would have loved to live in D.C., but having a yard that backs up onto park land has been great. Can't wait to see what the future holds for you!

  58. After making 3 separate offers on various Cap Hill homes and no luck – it was time to get aggressive! I know how competitive our neighborhood can be, but it's lovely and charming and worth the fight. I started stalking the real estate sites 27/4, and the moment our perfect home came on the market (knowing it could be the one and realistically affordable) we had our Realtor make an appointment that day. We brought the contract with us, expecting to make an offer and did so on the spot. We offered a bit more than they where asking with the with the comprise that they cancel their open house that Sunday (we knew they would get a better offer during the open house, and that had to be avoided). They accepted our offer and the rest is history, it was a bold move on our part but it worked out perfectly. Buying a house can be so stressful, take it one day at a time and don't be afraid to make a bold move. Wishing you lots of housing luck, family health and quiet car rides! :)

  59. A road trip is just what got our daughter to be relaxed in her car seat. It helped if one of us was sitting with her in the back, but she ended up sleeping most of the time, since we were driving without making stops (like we would going to the store). I think your girl will do well!

  60. becky

    You sure do rock those chinos! Beautiful surroundings!

    I can't offer any advice about moving or about babies, having done neither, really, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. So sorry to hear about your family's health scare—I hope that, whatever it is, it can be fixed or maintained or further prevented. Medicine works such wonders these days. Thinking of you! xx

  61. Allison

    I live in Del Ray, Alexandria and I have floors like that! Check it out!

  62. Hi there!

    Sometimes people cover beautiful hardwood floors with carpet. It's pretty common here in South Carolina. Especially in older homes. It would be something to ask your home agent about. Good Luck!

    SarahTateandHoward.blogspot.com

  63. Rachee

    Our 6 mo old was the same. She hated her carseat! We put a bunch of toys that hang from the bar and that seemed to help. We also propped her head up on a baby sized neck pillow and because she could see out better, she was much happier. Maybe that might help?

  64. beth

    praying for you and your family, and hoping you have a wonderful roadtrip with no screaming. and that photograph is wonderful. makes me smile. happy thursday :)

  65. MamaQ

    i feel like i can relate on almost every front. but today WILL be a good day. (wish i were there enjoying the 80 degree weather right now!).
    okay – maya was a screecher in her carseat. but if mike was driving i would sit in back with her and just lean over her seat, lift up my shirt and nurse her. there – maybe everyone thinks i'm crazy, but it was the only way to calm her down on the drive. good luck on the roadtrip!

  66. Jenne

    omg, I love that photo !

  67. Lift up a corner of that carpet and see what's underneath! In older homes, there are beautiful floors hiding under there sometimes.

  68. jessa

    We travel as musicians for our income, so baby is in the car a lot more than I would like. That probably helps, but when she gets upset on long drives it seems to soothe her just to have me sit back there and hold her hands or be near her. Also entertaining her with various items helps distract her until we can stop or she falls asleep :) I think she is comforted most by having me or daddy there to touch and talk to her though. Blessings on your travels!

  69. Alie

    I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet but we use a mirror for the backseat. They don't know yet that it's really themselves, and our little guy will just laugh and smile and giggle at "the little boy in the mirror".

  70. Emily

    Glad things are looking up! Wishing you luck in your househunt.

    My daughter hated her car seat. Car trips (even to Target or Walmart) were filled with screaming. On long enough car trips, she'd scream enough that she'd eventually pass out. I felt like an awful mom just letting her scream like that. We took LOTS of breaks and tried to give her extra cuddles and attention when she was out of the car. I also sat in the back with her and "played" with her but it only made her madder that I wasn't holding her and it made me sick. The good news is, she's better now that she can face forward and now that she'll watch dvds when we're driving for hours. Good luck!!

  71. JenLynn

    I live in Arlington where rents are still high. But I love the city and being so close to it, I can't imagine ever living in the 'burbs (I say that now!)

  72. Hang something colorful above her in the car. From the back seat handle above the door. It will sway and my baby was always facinated by it, (even on a marathon 14 hour drive).

  73. Mandy

    Such an amazing picture, really beautiful! Love your outft!

    MENNEPEN

  74. Chelsea

    super cute photo!

    conrad cried in the car every single time we got in the car for the first 6 months. it was hell but i got used to it and it started not to phase me after a while!

    xoxoxo
    Happy thursday!

  75. Chelsea

    ps, when he was one year old and we got to turn the carseat around, it changed his life! He was the happiest guy in town!

  76. Prayers for continued good days for you and the familia are on my agenda today.

    Contentment and goodness comes from wanting it bad enough.

    You seem to! That's why you're so good.

    xx{ish.},
    Mae Lu @ thereafterish.!

  77. house hunting seems to be the most difficult thing ever nowadays, not in dc but over in new england, and i'm so glad to hear that i'm not the only one who finds it kind of stressful.

    wishing you lots of love and get well wishes for you and your family!! reading about your adventures always seems to make me smile :D

  78. Liza

    I love your blog so much! The first picture is darling by the way. I will continue to keep your family in my prayers. Health issues suck. Good luck house hunting!!

  79. My husband and I moved from Rockland County (30 min from NYC) to CT a year ago. 1 month after we moved in, we were expecting a baby boy. Fast track 1 year, I LOVE living here. Our yard is huge, the air is clean and you can actually see the stars at night…and especially with a baby, moving out to the 'burbs was the best choice we ever made. Having the additional space (house-wise and yard-wise), is awesome! You can always take trips into the city, and when you do, it'll be more special since it's not an every day thing. Hope that helps! Good luck!

    -Jen

  80. Have you changed the straps? Loosened, tightened, messed with them? She might be uncomfortable? Also try really loud music in the car…worked with both my babies:)

  81. Just found your blog today… through that "Top 25 Mom Blogs" or something like that. I just randomly clicked on a few. :-)

    Anywho, love your blog… and you're LDS… too cool! :-D I'm definitely adding you to my Google Reader, so I can keep up with you guys. I love seeing all the baby and "new parents" posts, as we're expecting our first in three months! WOO!

    And you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope everything is okay! :-)

  82. analise

    Look at those pointed toes! Your dance teachers would be proud.

  83. kristin

    There was a cute carriage-house for sale in Eastern Market last week. Priced nicely with lovely finishes and big enough for a little family!

    Check it out:
    https://sites.google.com/site/516archibaldwalk/

    Good luck, hope to see you and Kingsley out soon!

  84. the beauty of this photo is only surpassed by the beauty of your positivity. well done!

  85. Hazel hated any restraints of any kind the minute she was born. Almost 2 years later she STILL screams bloody murder the entire trip.

    I find the first months after a new baby to be hard. It's such an adjustment, but does get better! Hang in there, my friend!

    Such a gorgeous beautiful amazing photo

    PS-I vote further out;)

    xo
    Jen from Windy Ridge

  86. Briauna

    I had my baby about a week and a half before yours. This is #3 for me. My babies hated their car seat too until now! If your baby likes to be swaddled then here is the perfect solution. I found it at Walmart of all places. It is a swaddle blanket that can go with the car seat. The brand is by summer. There is a slit in the back that you can put the leg buckle through. Plus it has velcro tabs so they can't wiggle out and undo the swaddle.

    We recently went on an 8 hour trip to Arizona and my baby only fussed for about 5 mins after I had to put him back into his seat after feeding him. Being that tightly swaddled he zonked right out and slept pretty much the entire time. It really is the best discovery I have made with this baby. I wish I would have found it 2 children ago.

    Good luck!

  87. i spent my high school years in woodbridge, virginia. dad worked in DC and commuted in to the pentagon every day, and as a family we went into the city every weekend to play tourist. (and sometimes after school i'd go into the city with my then-boyfriend so he could skateboard everywhere he wasn't supposed to, ha!) our house was really beautiful, and we had a backyard! a garage! it really was perfect for our family. all my old friends who still live and work up there live in virginia and work in DC. i think you guys could be really happy if you made that choice.

    also! i've been absent from the internet lately, but did i see you mention on twitter that you were considering seeing beirut at the norva? i'll be there! will be in norfolk for a month! would love to see you. hope everything continues to get better for your family, naomi. happy thursday. xo

  88. Briauna

    I should have also added that the combo of the swaddle blanket and the pacifier can't be beat. But, of course that depends if Eleanor takes a pacifier as well.

  89. Carolyn

    Our little one hated the car seat too and that made car rides, less just say, a little less than enjoyable. The only thing that helped her was a pacifier, so we would have one person sit in the back with her to make sure that she had access to it. I know that some people hate pacifiers, but I have to say, I came to heart them.

  90. preethi

    Hi there – this is totally random, but we're friends with your husband (my husband's brother, Ben, is good friends with him from NYC) and we've been meaning to get in touch with you guys after we saw him last summer. In any case, we live near Rosslyn and really love it here – it is a great compromise for the city/suburb question. If you're interested in this area, I'm happy to answer any questions.

    Also, our little 6-month old son used to fall asleep in his carseat all the time, but now just doesn't love it. If he gets really sad, then turning the radio on a static station for some white noise is usually helpful. Annoying, but helpful.

  91. Rebekah

    For the car they make these baby mirrors with music and lights on the side that you can turn on with a remote from the front seat. That really helped my little one. Music can also help because when they get too much stimuli (like under the bathroom fan) it kind of overwhelms their brain at that age and they just get kind of quite and stare. (Sorry I don't know the baby mirror maker but a good baby supply store should have it) Good luck.

  92. my little baby girl did the same thing with a car seat…until I put a blanket over it (over the entire seat). She started sleeping everytime we got in the car. Then, when she got a little older, she wanted a toy that wouldn't fly out if she batted at it. Bright Starts makes a great one that velcros to both sides of the car seat bar. Good Luck!

  93. Lori

    Your car seat issues may not be as bad as mine were but I dreaded going anywhere for a long time. My boy screamed as if we were killing him and my nerves couldn't handle it. It broke my heart. We took him on a 4 hr trip one time and he got so upset that he refused to eat or sleep. We kept stopping to calm him down but when we got back in it started right up. On the way home I sat in the back and nursed him out of the carseat. I know, mother if the year. I just couldn't do it. Anyway, we tried everything so I have lots of ideas. I know she's a bit young but when we were able to face him forward it helped a lot. And, like everything else related to parenting, they outgrow it. Maybe try putting her to sleep then slipping her in and traveling during naptime. We did that too. Good luck! Driving with an inconsolable child behind you is horrible!

  94. Amanda

    My baby was the exact same way – life gets better when they can face forward, but it's a tough year of trips in the car. Here are a few things that we did that REALLY seemed to help!
    1. Feed her immediately before you put her in. {My husband would be loading the car and I would be nursing and then we would rush out the door.}
    2. Have someone sit in the back with her. She honestly did better with my husband in the back because she wasn't tempted by my boobs.
    3. Have a toy attached to the handlebars…someone mentioned the Bright Starts – that's what we used. http://www.amazon.com/Bright-Starts-Hop-Along-Carrier/dp/B000ZG2JH6/ref=sr_1_3?s=baby-products&ie;=UTF8&qid;=1303401330&sr;=1-3 She loved making the frog play music and before long, we had the tunes memorized.
    4. This white noise cd SAVED us! http://www.amazon.com/Crying-Out-Loud/dp/B00000DAN0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid;=1303401385&sr;=1-1-catcorr One of the tracks is a vacuum cleaner and we would put it on repeat when she started crying and she would almost immediately stop. It does get a little annoying hearing the vacuum over and over, but in my opinion it was much better than hearing her cry.
    5. When all else failed, we acted as stupid as humanly possible in an effort to entertain her.

    Just remember than a road trip with a baby takes longer than one on your own. Make as many stops as you need and don't feel stressed – I felt like that always stressed her out more.

    GOOD LUCK!

  95. Luisa

    Oh this photo is stunning! I think it's one of my favorites :)
    I love it.
    Hopefully you'll find a new home soon and Eleanor will be a happy baby in her car seat when you leave for the road trip.

  96. One thing that I have found for a baby in car seat is the toy bar that can hang from the handle. It doesnt have to be elaborate, usually a mirror does just great! So you could probably just make your own! Anything that hangs that they can get their hands on is usually nice too!
    Good Luck!!

  97. Regan

    you really need to look at houses in arlington. they ALL have hardwood floors and pretty decent lots plus you could still be under 5 minutes away from DC depending on where you live. plus the public schools are some of the best in the country. once you go out to fairfax and alexandria the schools get really big and not quite as nice.

  98. LAC

    She might not like her car seat! Though it won't be as convenient (because you won't have a carrier) you may want to try switching her to a convertible and keep it rear-facing. A LOT of babies don't like the way the infant restraint confines them. Worked for my best friend's baby… she went from screaming non-stop to almost exclusively sleeping in the car.

  99. LAC

    Also, the new AAP guidelines recommend keeping children rear-facing until 2 years old, not 1! Rear-facing is safer no matter what their age and a lot of parents can't wait to turn their children forward-facing at one but it's not ideal w/r/t safety.

  100. Libby

    My daughter isn't really a car seat fan either. But when she's back there screaming, I just turn up the volume on either an instrumental/classical type cd or one from the Primary Children's Songbook. It may take a few minutes but it always calms her/and me down.

    Good luck with the road trip!

  101. What a great photo! And great attitude! I'm glad you're staying optimistic! It reminds me of this quote:

    “Our happiness depends on
    the habit of mind we cultivate.
    So practice happy thinking every day.
    Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit,
    and life will become a continual feast.”

    -Norman Vincent Peale

  102. Leticia

    here are my little two cents, whatever they are worth.
    1. buy a house with a big yard. kids need running space. believe me it's the kind of thing you CANNOT skimp on. it's for sanity reason really. it's a proven fact that kids who play outside are smarter!
    2. car rides with baby. try and make it as positive as possible and by that I mean, sit by baby and play with her. josh will look like a chauffer but it's that or screaming baby. i don't know if you are breastfeeding or not but I even nurse my babies in the car. car stopped of course. :) my 9 mo. old didn't like her carseat for a while and i found out she needed the straps loosened up. we also bought her one of those interactive toys that plays music when she hits it. good luck! and you're right, today is going to be a beautiful day!

  103. Our little man Rhett also hates his car seat…but it's getting better. :) I hung ribbons from the handle and burnt the ends so that they didn't fray. He loved playing with them.

    Good luck finding a home! My husband just got hired with edward jones so were trying to figure out where to live and find a house. Any suggestions? :)

  104. Our little man Rhett also hates his car seat…but it's getting better. :) I hung ribbons from the handle and burnt the ends so that they didn't fray. He loved playing with them.

    Good luck finding a home! My husband just got hired with edward jones so were trying to figure out where to live and find a house. Any suggestions? :)

  105. TV

    We have floors like that in the South of France. But I guess that would be MUCH further out… I hope your family is getting better and that you chocolate cake was as satisfying as the slice I am eating right now.
    Best of luck for your house hunting!

  106. My husband and I have lived in DC for six years. The reason we don't own a house is because I refuse to move out to past Dulles just to be able to afford property. Stick with the city life and renting while you can – I know I will miss the city when we eventually leave.

  107. Amazing picture ! You seem enjoying my country ! ;)

  108. Erin

    Trust your gut on where to live. Obviously, city life means paying more for less (in terms of space), but you get the culture and atmosphere of living in a city. If you honestly want more space, and don't mind strip malls, driving everywhere, etc, then go for the burbs. Schools are important to consider, too, since you'll have to deal with that in a few years. If city life means private school, can you swing it?

    This weekend we visited my husband's brother & wife in Kansas City. They live in a faaaar out suburb, and have a huge house that was almost exactly the same price as our 2 bedroom walk up condo in Chicago. While their space is nice, I wouldn't trade the lifestyle for anything. We'll be in our condo at least a few more years, since there is room for a baby. The only thing that could ever make us leave the city is schools, but hopefully we can sort that one out when the time comes! Good luck in your search, and just trust your feelings on what you want (hopefully you & your husband want the same thing, too!).

  109. Kari

    Maybe this will be of no help, but perhaps? My youngest sister used to cry and cry in her car seat… we were cleaning it out one day and their was a poky piece of plastic underneath the pad. Once we got that figured out she didn't mind anymore.

    wouldn't it be lovely if it was that simple a fix?

  110. Jazmin

    Sometimes the problem with the carseat is the carseat. They're design is so hard on baby's spine. This big chiropractic association(their official name is fleeting my mind right now.) has been trying to get these manufacturers to take a second look and try to remodel the infant seat.

    Anywho, sometimes all it takes is trying a different carseat.

    Both my boys hated the infant seats. With my first I assumed it was the car he hated. With my second after speaking with our chiropractor, I switched him to a convertible seat around 5months(though he was 25lbs and needed to be switched soon ;p). It helped, and the screaming stopped.

  111. Oh I used to nanny for a little one who hated being in the car sometimes! Rear facing really helps!

    We are also on the hunt for a place to live in D.C. we are relocating to hill in about 3 months and it is so stressful finding a two bedroom! I can only imagine how difficult it must be to find something to buy which it seems like you are doing. If you come across any good places to rent please let us know! We will keep our eye out for you too!

  112. My little guy hated the car seat as well. It sometimes helped to have dad drive and mom sit in the back to read stories, sing silly songs, retrieve the binkie (although my kiddo didn't really like the pacifier), give a bottle, etc. I also got good at the leaned over nursing when all else failed.

  113. Oh wow, I love that picture! I hope you enjoy your Easter & good luck with house hunting!

  114. As a product of Kensington, MD, I can vouch for it's great school system and easy access into DC proper. I spent most of my high school years hanging out in DC (which was great)and when I moved to Bethesda for a few years in adulthood I loved being so close to the city…

  115. I am in love with your whole outfit. You pull it off so well :)

  116. I'm from Falls Church, I'll be your friend! :)
    I live by McLean and DC is just a subway trip away! I love the city, but I also love the peace that comes with living outside of the city. It's a perfect balance, where we live. I can visit anytime I'd like (thank you, smartpass). Good luck with finding a home!

  117. house hunting sounds sooo fun! can't wait until we're at that point. :)

    amazing picture!

  118. Our daughter – now two – also hated being in her car seat. We kind of secretly (sometimes not-so-secretly) hated parents who said their babies fell asleep in the car. I always sat in the back to read to, sing to, and entertain our daughter (our best trick was to always carry around a bottle of bubbles to blow in the car. This worked most often) but sometimes it just didn't work. We ended up just avoided long drives (like, nothing over a half-hour) for a few months. As soon as she could sit up on her own (at around 5 months), she loved going for car-rides and would fall asleep in the car. They're all bunched up and hunched over in the infant carseats…it's awful. Hang it there! It will get easier to get around soon. For now just enjoy Eleanor's little-ness; it passes way too quickly and soon you'll feel nostalgic about these days and you'll wish she would stop growing!

  119. Kalen

    Everly hated her infant car seat. As soon as we changed her to a convertible car seat (she was 3 months old) – she loved riding in the car. Problem solved. We got the Britax Marathon and it will last us until she's 4 years old. Once they can hold their heads up, babies seats can be adjusted so they're not so far back, too. Read your manual to see if yours can be tilted forward some. Sometimes older babies hate the infant car seat because they want to look around and it hurts their neck to keep lifting their head.

  120. I'm sorry I have no answers for you… but I do have a question.

    How the heck do you jump so HIGH in your pictures?!

  121. ahhh! house hunting! yes, so discouraging. we live in southern california and we want to buy something but it is so so expensive. we constantly have the battle of buy something very tiny for our family of four by the beach or move further inland and have a yard. decisions! good luck with yours.

    and yes, it will be a wonderful day. just make it through one car ride with baby at a time. :)

  122. Taryn

    Our 2nd baby screamed in his Graco snugride. We moved him to a Britax roundabout when he was 4 months old and he was a completely new baby! No more miserable car rides.

    So I would suggest moving her to a convertible car seat. Good luck.

  123. Check out the City of Falls Church, not just Falls Church proper. It's the best mix of suburbia + urban-ness. It's within walking distance to shops, restaurants, parks, the library, and the metro (easy commute to downtown). And there are lots of families with young kids. After living in cities for 6 years, it was the perfect transition for my family.

  124. Hi There Taza,

    My wife showed me your post today and I wanted to let you know that I know exactly where you can find floors like those!

    Appalachian Woods (about 2 1/2 hrs drive from DC) is a company that specializes in reclaimed lumber. We currently have a bunch of ancient heart pine beams we could saw up to make you a new antique floor. With a little stain and maybe some hand scraping of the edges you could get what you're looking for. Check out our site: http://www.appalachianwoods.com
    Call us! -TOM

  125. my 6 month old son hated the car seat and screamed his head off as well, especially when he was much younger. what i found to help the most was swaddling him in the car seat. the "swaddleme" brand has a little hole in the butt area of the velcro swaddle made especially for this so you can still safely buckle them. once we started doing this he snooozed through all his trips or cooed quietly! it was a miracle!

    once she gets older, putting a few toys or lovies back there with her should help. we have also found that moving baby boy to the bigger combination car seat has helped. it sits a little higher so he can see more, and he seems happier :)

    try the swaddle! i hope it helps!

  126. Lulu B

    Fantastic picutre. Life sounds like it is out to test you at the moment and by golly has it done the same to me as of late. But what doesnt kill you makes you stronger , keep your head up and keep smilling xx :o)

  127. Lori

    I know all babies are different, but my second son HATED the carseat. At the time, one of my friends told me he'd probably start liking it better around 3 months and a week after his 3 month birthday, we took our first car ride with NO SCREAMING. I hope it's that way for you too.

  128. The only thing that calms my car-hating kids is nursing. Since one should ALWAYS be buckled and one's baby as well, I perfected the "lean and feed." Sitting in the back,next to baby, with my seat belt on, pop a boob in baby's mouth. If you stick a receiving blanket under your ribcage it hurts less. NOT comfortable, but neither is listening to a baby scream.

  129. Whoops. One more thing, we lived in Germantown Maryland and LOVED it, but there is the pain of commuting.

  130. Falls Church is further out without being WAY out. If you are semi-close to a metro you can still feel a part of the city life!!

  131. A couple things, which may have already been said…

    1. If you are breastfeeding she will be able to smell you in the car and want to eat and/or be held by you. Dip a blanket or part of her clothes in breast milk. She'll be comforted by your smell being so close to you.
    2. A mirror that attached to the handle of the carseat.
    3. Toys that dangle down for her to try and reach up and grab.

  132. Jenny

    Let me know if you need a Realtor in the 'further out' area! I'm licensed in Virginia and would love to set you up with a search for homes in the area. We would love to have you all close to your favorite BBQ spot, Willards! :)

  133. Hilary

    My best advice on the car seat issue is to invest in some ear plugs. Some babies just aren't big fans of cars. Maybe a mirror or something strapped onto the seat she's staring at would help too. Or one of you could just sit with her in the back and entertain her. That's what we had to do for a while with my first. I hope you figure something out, because I know how tortuous car rides can be with a screaming baby. In the meantime, the earplugs really do help!

    And by the way, I will pray for your family. I hope it all works out for the best.

  134. Okay… my baby girl HATED her carseat, she only liked being carried and snuggled. What I did helped {didn't totally solve it…} but I got a baby safety mirror in the back seat {hung it on the head rest} and hung toys from the handle bar of the carseat. She LOVED both of these. We also got a "sleep sheep" with rain/water/white noise sounds to play. And lastly, when hubby and I were together we would have one of us sit back there and put a hand on her to comfort her, along with a pacifier. Totally helped! ;) Best of luck.

  135. Ashley

    You all are definitely in my prayers.

    I just started working in Falls Church. I know it's not the District, but I could still see you all taking your evening walks around the neighborhoods. :)

  136. about $10 will get you a toy bar that goes across the handle of her carseat. We had one with mirrors and a frog that sang + lit up. It really helped. Otherwise, ditto to those who said to sit in the back with her if you can.

  137. Cait

    maybe she gets car-sick? I used to hate riding in the car when I was little because I always would get car sick and have to stare at the road wherever we were going…

  138. Liz

    Both of my kids HATED their car seats. My only suggestion is patience for the parents because we never figured out how to help them like the car! They just had to grow out of it. :(

  139. Whenever we take our baby places, one of us always sits in the back with him to keep him entertained. It is worth it for a happy baby in the car! Good luck!

  140. I love your positivity. I hope your Thursday really was awesomesauce!

  141. M

    I don't know if you have ever checked out fairlington in arlington, but it is a fabulous historic ( registered as a landmark) townhome community. It is beautiful and calm, yet really close to shops and stores and just off of 395 so the district is about a 7 minute drive.

    I love it here and I have original 1950s hardwoods :-). I pay $1950 a month but have seen some go as low as $1750. Good luck in your search!

  142. This pic is beyond amazing. Hope the house hunting goes well, no matter where you choose to go!

  143. Good luck with the car seat! My daughter cried every time I put her into her car seat. Then, one day, out of the blue, she stopped crying as much. Then things got even better once we installed the convertible car seat; it's as if her biggest complaint was not being able to sit straight up. Go figure.

  144. I love your blog!
    I had a little girl shortly before you and I'm glad to see that others are exhausted!
    As far as the car seat put a mirror if you already don't have one on the seat facing her. My little girl loves to look at her self.
    And believe me that carpet will look mighty nice when she starts crawling and rolling everywhere!

  145. Oh… Or dowload reliant k's sleigh ride video, pop in a nuk Bonnie( it's the o my brand that they can keep in) and have her watch that. I swear it's a child soothed.

  146. Bron

    Sounds like you have a few stressful things happening in your life right now, but it's good to see that you have a positive outlook on things. Don't let go of that!!

    P.S. I love your blog!!

  147. Sharon

    What kind of car seat do you have? We switched our baby from the Chicco Infant carrier to the Britax Marathon and she was so much happier because it seems roomier and she's higher up (it has an insert so you could even use it for newborns). We also have the mirror, and now she's closer to it which makes her smile!

  148. jlc

    I so pray that you guys can find somewhere closer to Utah or closer to Florida so that you could have family there.

    <3

    Follow your heart…

  149. Lauren

    If you are looking to move further, further out from DC, be sure to check out Warrenton (it's where I am from, so I'm a little biased). It's Southern Northern Virginia and absolutely BEAUTIFUL. But if you love the city and don't want to drive far to get there, I suggest finding a place with easy Metro access!

  150. colleen

    If we had stayed in DC (we moved to new york this winter), I could have never switched to the suburbs. We lived in noma, which isn't the most convenient, so we probably would've moved to the hill.
    I'd miss the freedom of walking places (husband grew up in bethesda, there is not walking unless you live in the immediate "town" area) too much. also, I did have to reverse commute out to the suburbs and yes the traffic is so mindnumbingly awful. That's a huge quality of life downer.
    Have you guys looked at senate square? it's where we lived, and like I said not the most convenient location (but getting better), but there are w/d in units, parking, dog friendly, lots of amenities.

  151. If you nurse, teach yourself how to nurse her while she's int he carseat. It's sort of a lean-over-tuck-up-under-the-ribcage maneuver, but . . . LIFESAVING.

    Otherwise, at least sit in the back with her. I haven't sat in the front seat in ages, haha. But my boy used to scream his head off and now we have a pretty good time singing songs and being silly together back there. =)

    Also, Old Town Alexandria is spectacular if you can afford it.

  152. Move to Fairfax! We live in some townhomes across the street from George Mason, its almost all professors and younger families, we love it! Plus they just opened a new frozen yogurt shop across the street from Mason :-) They have lots of dogs in our Townhome complex and an area they let the dogs run :-)

    For our son Judah (he is 4 months) my husband actually just recently got into a car accident with my car. So I have a rental, Judah normally loves the car rides, but I guess this car was to quite and he would SCREAM. I was losing my mind this week so I decided to roll down the windows like a half an inch so he can hear some outside noise (and put on a quite radio station, I put on 91.9 the christian one) and sure enough with in mins he was asleep! I think it was the outside noise, plus they said that babies when they are over 3 months they know that you are up front and they just want to be around you.

  153. Rudi

    Sorry for your troubles,
    BUT LOOK AT THAT PERFECTLY POINTED FOOT!

    love, rudi

  154. My second baby hated the carseat–and still does, to this day, at four and a half. Kids who hate carseats just hate them. I wish I had some tricks, but I've tried everything and none of it works. Have a great trip, crying baby aside!

  155. I LOVE this photo!

  156. Hey! I just found your blog :). I love it! You take some amazing photos. I love this picture haha.

  157. Tania

    Have a wonderful roadtrip, am praying for your family, and as for the carseat, my daughter was the same way until she was about 4 months old. Especially if we ventured out at night….oh the screams! More than a few times I resorted to breastfeeding her while she was safely buckled in her carseat (my husband driving)–I am not even kidding. The things a mama does! I did attach a carseat mirror to the back seat's headrest and think that helped a little.
    Honestly, though, I think it just takes time. As babies get older they are able to regulate their emotional state better. Now at almost 8 months my baby girl is fine in the car–unless it's naptime, and even then it's seldomly all that bad. Just some fussing before she falls asleep.

    That probably was no help, right?! Try to plan for lots of breaks. I bet she will surprise you and it will be much smoother than you expected. Good luck.

  158. If you ARE considering moving out to the suburbs… my former landlord is about to put her place up for rent. It's a large townhouse (huge by DC standards) near 236/Backlick Road in Annandale, with a nice fenced-in backyard that faces the woods. I think she's looking to rent it out for around $1700-2000/month. The house is fantastic and it would be a great place for a family, although I suspect you'd hate the location after living in Capitol Hill (I did).

  159. haylie

    Spouse and I live in Laurel, MD. He works in B'More, I go to school in DC. We like our apartment well enough, but I'm really not a fan of the suburbs and am super envious of your district life! We moved here from Portland, where we lived right downtown. It's been a tough adjustment. I'd say stick to the city, lady… the 'burbs are not for city lovers!

  160. haylie

    Addendum: All that being said, I do love looking out my window at the Patuxent river and watching herons and hawks flying overhead. And I would love a yard… I think what's tough is having an apartment in the 'burbs, like we do. A house would probably be much easier. The end!

  161. Rachael

    It's pretty cool you saying about looking about in Falls Church and all that, since I used to live near there!
    I guess you just have to decide where to move that will best suit your lifestyle. I can't really say which would be best for you, but I'm sure whatever you choose to do will be the best decision.
    As in car seats…I've never had a baby in my car, but I've had toddlers. And for me, they've pretty much been fine. As long as you have a binky (or pacifier) at hand, hopefully it'll go okay!

  162. it's totally true that you don't get into the city as much when you move to the suburbs, but somehow i never seemed to mind when i lived in crystal city. we were so close to the city but had a yard and a nice house and PRIVACY. haha.
    but that being said…you know our vote! :)

  163. misie

    wow – this post is quite the popular one!

    i'm right there with you on the exhausting week – and all the emotion that goes into support, strength, putting on the happy face. we get through it though and hopefully come back better on the other end. *fingers crossed*

    good luck with the house search – you guys will find that perfect place – no doubt. there are some great little places outside the district [or so i've heard]. back when i lived around there shirlington was super cute, falls church – definitely, i like glen echo but it's kind of an odd place but so much natural beauty. can't wait for the updates. hang in there!

  164. I say you move out to Portland where you can get the house (and the floors), the yard along with a cool downtown vibe only minutes away. Tix from Portland back out East isn't too much either, so you can go back and visit friends, family, etc. often (I'm heading out to Manhattan in a couple weeks through a great deal).

    You could even buy our house, since I'm ready to move back to Orange County. We're coming up on the anniversary of our 5 year plan (moved out here after my hubs earned his MBA at Notre Dame), which the agreement was to head back South. Even more of a selling point is that our Orenco Ward is literally the most talented, smart, amazing, inspiring congregation in the world!

    Well, in any case, hopefully your decision making process becomes clearer and you're able to trust in the direction you guys take from here on out.

    Dude, it seems like you guys have been making a-okay decisions thus far, so don't sell yourself short on your competency in the matter. ;-D

    Good luck!

    Taryn

  165. You are so inspiring <3

  166. Ha! I think you might have been driving through my neighborhood in Falls Church! By the end of January I was curious about all the lights still being up, by the end of February quite fascinated, and really it gets to the point where I've stopped noticing it.

    Good luck with the house hunting! My fiance and I just bought our house in December and were really nervous about the whole experience, but we found a great realtor who walked us through everything and found us an amazing little mid-century modern home (I had no idea these existed around here!) that we never would have found on our own. And we're getting married in our own back yard in June!

    It will all come together in the end. :)

  167. AllyM

    I may have just read most of your blog. Your baby is adorable. I cant even get over how cute she is. love you blog. I'm your newest reader:)

    xoxo
    http://www.allymullin.blogspot.com

  168. just started reading your blog and i love your pictures. just wondering if there's any way to follow you in google reader? didn't see an rss link anywhere.

    christine

  169. Great pose!

    Is there a chance that under some carpet lies beautiful wooden floors?

  170. Happy Easter to you and your lovelies! Marta xx

  171. vicfree

    Just some friendly advice based on my own mistakes when I was your age (and lived in the DC area!). When you are looking for a house, make sure it's in a good school district. It seems so far away now, but it will come quickly, and it will be heart-breaking (and a pain in the neck) to move once you have put down roots with your young family. Sadly, unless you can afford private, I think that rules out DC. If only they had kept Michelle Rhee, that might not be the case, but oh, well…

  172. Kasey

    my house will be for sale as of May 1st;-)
    Hardwood floors everywhere…old…charming….
    but it's outside of chicago.
    call me.

  173. Bonny

    Thankd for posting the pictures of the floors. We're rippin out our carpet and layin dark floors, and I couldn't decide what to do with our staircase banister, but after I saw the one in the pictures I told my husbamd that is what we're doing. Yeah.
    My girlfriend has problems with her son in his carseat, and she has all these cool things attached to the back of the seat to keep him entertained. I'll have to ask her where she got them. Good luck with the house hunting, that's a hard decision I wouldn't want to have to make.

  174. Bonny

    PLEASE!!! tell me where you shop at!! your style is to die for I love it! xoxo :D

  175. Autumn

    even when our lives have so many blessings they are still so stressful!

    i can't wait until we get to buy a home :)

  176. I can't believe people are recommending places like Arlington, Fairfax, and Old Town Alexandria– they are much more expensive than Capitol Hill. So are the nicer parts of Falls Church for that matter. You might get a little more space for the money but I speak from experience when I say it is definitely not worth the quality of life decrease. Especially if you work in the city– every ten miles out is an extra hour you spend commuting during rush hour. And even when you're just out and about running errands the constant gridlock will drive you crazy. Northern Virginia is just too crowded and expensive and not a nice place to live anymore.

  177. When I was little I would scream my head off when we were in the car. Years later my mom figured out it was because I am very motion sensitive, and I was getting sick every time she put me in the car seat.

    I don't have any advice on how to help a baby with car sickness, but that could be something to look into!

  178. Caity

    I'm not an expert on babies or carseats, but I have a tiny little half sister and I remember she used to be terribly fussy in the carseat. I would sit in the back next to her, and let her suck on my little finger (clean hands of course…I have no idea why she liked that, but she loved it!), and sorta keep her company and it always managed to calm her. Anyway, I'm sure there are other more practical and better options/ideas, but I thought I'd throw my own odd thought out there! Good luck!

  179. Caity

    In fact, I'm sure a pacifier would do that same trick, haha. It is what they are made for after all. Also, perhaps if you don't want to sit in the back, and if your car allows it, you might be able to push your seat all the way back so you can kinda be in the front, but a little in the back as well. Maybe seeing her Mama or Daddy's face will help keep her calm?

  180. julie!

    Our son HATED his carseat! He screamed the entire time he was in it. I was so nervous b/c we had a BIG road trip coming up for the holidays (it was 13 hours and we planned on driving it all in one go). He was about 4 months old at the time.
    I sat in the back with him and amazingly enough, he calmed down. Also, and I know this is difficult, sometimes we just let him cry it out. We'd try to give him a binky or toy and if he refused, we just let him cry until he fell asleep.
    After this trip, he was a champ in the car. I think he figured out that he was safe, we were close by and eventually we were going to take him out again.
    Good luck!

  181. julie!

    o, and one more note. The times we did let him cry, I would always hold his hand or rub his tummy, give him some physical contact so he knew he was safe and I was close by.
    It helped.
    You'll do great!

  182. love the picture! so adorable. i really like that you show you aren't perfect on this blog. this post let me know i am not alone. you are in my prayers.

  183. Brooke

    just a random question- i am in the process of growing my bangs out. any tips on how to make the process more bearable? thanks!

  184. Minnie

    My tip for the car seat is get baby girl used to it in the house, away from scary car noises.

  185. hi! i'm a seventeen year old, christian girl and i have been religiously reading your blog for about a year now. i absolutely love everything about your life; your gorgeous clothes, your wonderful family and adorable puppy, and especially your faith in jesus christ, despite how hard it is to do that in this day and age! you are my style and religious icon! :) but anyways, that's not why i'm commenting! i'm commenting to answer your house hunting problems- come live in mclean, virginia! it's where i live! we're about fifteen minutes out of dc and all of my friends' parents work in dc. we're basically all the families who don't want to live in the hustle and bustle of the big city, but still like to go there a lot. i go to georgetown about every weekend with all my girlfriends just to shop AND we have tysons corner, THIRD BIGGEST MALL IN AMERICA WOOT WOOT, another ten minutes in the opposite direction from dc. and i work as an intern on capitol hill every wednesday and i can assure your the commute isn't that bad at all, only about an hour! which considering traffic could be much worse so i consider myself blessed in that regard! so yes, we have it all. come live here, i love it!

  186. jlc

    Joyeuse Paques!!! To my favorite blog family!!!

    Finished up a 7 page research paper all on Eleanor d'Aquitaine… and couldn't help but think of you guys <3

  187. Kym

    I will be keeping your family in my prayers. As for the car seat business :)… My son had no car seat problems at first, but suddenly around 2 months, he would SCREAM. So I put him in his seat when we were at home. After a few days, he got used to it again.

  188. KB

    I would say move to Hillcrest. You can find a house for less money and more space. You would be just a bridge away from Capitol Hill and still in DC. I like to call it the Brooklyn of DC ;)

    Also we've got those beautiful hardwood floors you were talking about.

  189. Unfortunately, I think this is a problem for anyone living in a city! Lol. I went back and forth when I lived in Portland, OR. Did I want to be closer in but pay more and have less space or have a longer commute but pay less and have more space? It's all a toss-up. Which do you value more? Space or time?

  190. leigh

    Put the radio on an AM station and the white noise may sooth her. It worked on both of my boys. Good luck!

  191. M

    When I first moved to DC I wanted to stay only in the district. But then the husband (who was the boyfriend at the time) moved into arlington (near the east falls church metro stop) and I fell in love with the little brick bungalows, proximity to the potomac and adorable neighborhood eateries (lost dog cafe??). Plus as long as you stay inside the beltway its super easy to get to all your favorite places in dc.

    Good luck with the road trip!!!

  192. I love that picture! I am going to Paris this July and having fun browsing through your archive posts about your trip. Have a great day!

  193. April

    I feel your moving pains. My fiance and I are looking too. I really want to move to an affordable area where other young couples/families live. I want my kids (to come in a few years) to have a similar childhood to what I had (neighborhood wide flash light tag while the parents had a BBQ). Do these places still exist? I love being close to the city but am beginning to wonder if its worth the cost… I love the Rockville/Silver Spring area. It would just be a far commute for the job I have now, in Vienna. I love Alexandria, but its pretty pricey (we are looking to buy). If you find a nice neighborhood, let me know! We are lost!

  194. Alex

    i live pretty much 50 feet from east falls church, in arlington! i'm a freshman in high school, and i've been following your blog for quite sometime. you are amazing :) and youu know… i sure would love a new family to babysit for here in the arlington 1st ward ;)

    much love xoxo<3

  195. Hiya…oh no.. don't leave DC… My husband and I lived in Arlington (like a mile from the Pentagon) and it was nice..

    well.. not as nice as when I lived in Del Ray Alexandria.. but alas…

    We wanted more space so we moved this past December to Springfield.. yes, Springfield. (blek)

    While YES.. it's quieter and less active.. more surburbian, you can't just dash to the store or to a yummy ice cream shop around the corner. It's a trek.

    REALLY think about that before you decide… (plus I've lived vicariously through your experience in DC… I would LOVE to live in DC.. to experience it all like you have!)

  196. My husband and I just had that same housing debate last summer… it was a tough one, but we bought a great rowhouse in Petworth (that has parking in the back and hardwood floors!). Our neighbors are fabulous, but yet we're still walking distance from the Metro to go "downtown" so it was perfect for our soon-to-be growing family. You'll find something you love and that is perfect for your family soon, but in the meantime you guys will stay in my thoughts!

  197. classical music always worked for our "car screaming babies"…it actually calmed all of us down ;}

  198. Sum

    Love the picture. I'll pray for better days for you! :)

  199. I feel ya on the car seat thing> We have a road trip to Santa fe coming up (6 hours) Yikes!!! Maybe drive at night?

  200. Trisha

    My family lives in Woodbridge, which is just outside of DC. Most of the homes there have beautiful wood floors and nice big yards! Also, the schools in that area are great!

  201. Ah, I'm struggling with that in Florida! To stay on the outskirts, commuting to work, but SOOOO close to family, or moving closer to work, and visiting family on the weekends… I just love getting to see my parents and sibilings randomly throughout the week though, so I'm leaning towards sticking with the commute. It always feels like a little vacation from all the craziness when I go home… it didn't feel that way when I lived in the midst of the hussle.

    As for the carseat, Elle eventually just got used to it. Although, still there are days (at 14 mos old) when I go to put her in she's literally jumping out and clinging to me so she doesn't have to go in… but, I think that's more to do with the fact that we had her carseat front facing, and now we've turned it back to back-facing after reading an article stating you should leave it back-facing until your child is 2. She's not happy about it… but she's safer.

    Sorry for the book!

  202. Eliza

    My kids did not enjoy their infant car seats. Once I moved them to the Britax Roundabout they were so much happier–they weren't as scrunched and they were up higher so they could see out the window.

    That's my recommendation! My son was older, probably 9 months by the time I moved him up to the convertible seat, and my daughter was probably 5 months. Most convertible seats are safe from newborn on up. (and Britax is the best IMO…) You lose the convenience factor of the infant seat but I like the convertible seat for so many other reasons. Plus those infant seats get heavy after a while.

    good luck :)

  203. I'm with everyone who mentioned Arlington. Have lived here since college, and it really is the best of both worlds. Further out and the lack of family time due to commutes really x'es out the big house. Smaller house, close in, my kids are thriving (though I only have 2, so it works), we see daddy every day (I have friends far out who don't see dad much during the week), schools are awesome, taxes are way better than DC (when we got married and Hubby moved from DC, paycheck automatically went up, plus property taxes are some of the lowest in the entire region). I could go on. But moving is a personal decision, maybe a big house is more important than easy access to the city (honestly, most friends further out hardly go into the city, and for me, I love the option of hopping in for a few hours for any reason, and it's not an all day affair). Good luck with everything. :)

  204. Budhegt friendly home in the district near metro + big yard+ parking spot+ the floors you've shown = renovated house in Brookland. Besides you'll remain not too far from Eastern Market, and you'll be so close to Takoma Park vintage boutiques. And there is a cupcake boutique opening at 2701 12th Street in the next months… Check it out!

  205. You are so beautiful.
    As is your family!

    I am sure you'll find a place perfect for your small group.

    In the meantime, seeing as I'm only 20, and without a child (thankfully), I can't say I have any cures for the babe, but I do hope you find something soon.

    I had a pacifier that always shut me up as a kid.
    Maybe she just needs something like that to occupy her while she's on the go?

    Or, maybe, if you take Kingsley, he'll help calm her down?
    (That is, I don't know how the little bullie is on trips.)

  206. I have the same jacket!!!!! Its lovely right????
    Well i lived in DC for six months and its an amazing city (i studied there for a semester).
    You are really blessed with your family and friends, all your pictures look amazing.
    Congrats.

    Greetings from Texas =)

  207. Hey! So, the solution is Frederick, MD. 40 minutes from the city.
    http://dc.about.com/od/marylandneighborhoods/a/Frederick.htm

    I grew up there, I moved from the East Village to live downtown and manage a local restaurant. It's young, artsy and awesome. Top chef restaurant, amazing late night pizza and pretzels, great burgers…and that's just the food. Try out some public schools that consistently churn out Ivy League and Top 50 college kids (like me) or art students (my high school offered about a million artistic classes). A 1.5 acre park in the middle of the town for puppy and baby. Basically the town is awesome and you could easily get that cheap and beautiful housing you crave. There's a liberal arts college right off the downtown portion of town (named one of the Top 50 neighborhoods in the US) and there are some beautiful homes nearby. Whatever you decide, you would love, and "further out" of DC really isn't so bad…I had that NYC experience too and trust me, for everything you think you are "giving up" because you are moving out of DC – you will LOVE! Especially in Frederick :)

  208. lauren

    when we came to seattle, we were so confused as to why a city on water had carpeting in every affordable apartment. and moving to the UK hasn't made it easier. the scottish love carpet. in their kitchen. and their bathroom. i don't know why. but we managed to find the ONE place in glasgow with hardwood floors. you just have to be patient. finding the perfect place can be frustrating, but always worth it to hold out for something amazing. nobody likes to live every day in a place that doesn't make them happy.

  209. Nina

    That is a fanstastic photo. And I know how you're feeling when all the stresses in the world seem to come on at once. But it seems like you've got the right attitude. Just marching through it!

  210. Emily

    The carpet floors is something so strange to me! I don't think many houses over here in Belgium have them. Most have stone/wood/other alternatives, but no carpet! Of course finding a nice old wooden floor isn't easy here either!

    Good luck on your hunt!

  211. Lindsay

    We live in Capitol Hill, but we live on the edge so our rent is cheaper and we have a parking spot. But, we're still within walking distance of everything! As long as I'm on the metro line, I feel that it doesn't really matter how far out I am. Anyway, good luck with the hunt!

  212. Loni

    So at first I was looking at this picture, and I was like "wow! look at that extension! And her toes! So nice a pointed! Regular people can't do that in a picture."

    ….And then I realized, you're not "regular people." You're a dancer. And a great one, by the looks of this picture! :)

    Wish I had baby advice for ya.. I hope your car trip went okay!

    <3. Loni
    silentmusingsofamind.blogspot.com

  213. My guy hated the car seat. Screamed any time the car was not in motion, which is hard when you're just out and about and stopped at every block for an intersection. He was in a super cozy Britaz carrier, and it wasn't until I put him in the Britax convertible car seat at about 6 months that he stopped crying. I chalk it up to him hating the super cozy carrier, those head rests are so safe and so secure, but he must have felt to claustrophobic is my only guess.