Sunday, January 31, 2016

That List You're Not Supposed to Talk About

"So yeah, let me know if you need me to throw some waves in her hair. Or head for a mani!" I blubbered excitedly, plotting all the ways I could maximize this potential once-in-a-lifetime moment.

It's no secret that the boys are my world and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but it's also not so undercover that I have a wish list that runs through my head that I likely won't experience by not having a daughter. So when some of our closest friends needed a stand-in for their six-year old's first Daddy/daughter dance, we were beyond honored and jumped at the chance.

Ok, ok - I may have been trying to make it like a straight up prom. And their daughter played perfectly into the theme, requesting her mom throw open the doors to announce her arrival down the winding stairs to receive her corsage. There was taffeta, tulle, bows, jewels, curls and best of all, smiles. Maybe even some tears from one not-so-little lady...

Together they dined on macaroni and cheese, chicken cordon bleu and chicken nuggets. The Miss shook her groove thing to what the fox says and of course, the Whip Nae Nae. The "like a Daddy" dressed in his Friday night best and shot enough video to be her actual father. It was priceless. Truly a moment we're incredibly grateful for and one we'll not ever forget.

Meanwhile, I'm noshing with my six-year-old male, who announces he will NOT attend the mother/son movie viewing or bowling, b/c how B-O-R-I-N-G. Le sigh.

So here's part of the list. The one you're never supposed to make, admit and definitely not talk about. Queue the "so grateful for what I have and wouldn't change for the world" speech here, then read on to what I'll miss about not having a girl:

1. The school dance thing
2. The doing the whole wedding thing
3. Definitely, definitely being the mom of the new mom thing
4. Selling Girl Scout cookies
5. The everlasting bond through her adulthood thing
6. The mani/pedi with good conversation situation
7. In general, good conversation situation
8. The shopping thing
9. The little tutus and ballet shoes thing
10. The maybe quietly coloring in the corner or playing with a doll at a social event thing
11. Attending bridal, baby and tea showers thing
12. Of course the sparkly shoe thing
13. The snuggle and stuffed animals thing
14. The showing of emotions thing
15. The stronger, solid friendships thing
16. The "would she look a bit like me?" thing

Sure, they have the reputation of being sassier and challenging through the teen years - but I understand these. The clothes-free, grunting, pantry eating beings around my house can be very confusing with all of their silence. At least some girls shout their feelings so blatantly it gives you  somewhere to start...

So thank you, dear framily, for sharing your smart, beautiful, gracious and kind girl with us. She reminds us that she will shape our awesome sons to be at their best and gives this BoyMom an excuse to think outside the Under Armour and tennis shoes. May it have been as joyous for her as it was for us!

PS: I love you boys. And your clothes-less-ness. And your hearts and smiles. And I wouldn't trade them for the world...

Good as Gold

There's no shortage of gold shoes in this gal's closet given my affinity for shine and that it's an interesting neutral that goes with just about anything. I even thought I was a bit done with TOMS, their casual look not the most versatile for the majority of my life spent in business casual.

But then I found these and haven't looked back.

Comfortable, interesting, age appropriate and flare for any outfit, they're a great fit for almost any outfit. And your closet. Enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2016

And Then There Were 19

"Yeah, so L - if that tooth is still hanging out there, I'm going to come by Saturday and we'll do the string trick, ok?" my dear friend Katie offered, my son's eyes lighting up at the prospect of his front tooth actually leaving his mouth.

"Deal," he replied. And they shook on it.

Little did the two of them know them know the date would soon become unnecessary, the plot of the loose tooth creating it's own ending on a Wednesday at school.

On this same Wednesday, I met the crew at a nearby restaurant, an advantage to night showings while our house was on the market. I was immediately greeted by a black hole - one that hadn't existed that same morning - and shrieked in delighted while at the same time my heart did a little dip.

You see, it's not just the first tooth. It's not just treasure boxes and fairies and money under pillows. It's so much more.

It's a kiddish grin that looks a bit more grown. A temporary lisp that somehow made him sound even more mature. A space that was once still full with just a bit of early childhood that is core to so many memories.

One down and nineteen to go. But he better still be partially a mama's boy when the actual nineteen hits, or that hole will belong to this mama's heart...

Congrats buddy. May that fairy start you a killer allowance you've been dreaming of. And don't worry - Aunt Katie will be on speed dial for the next one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Monday Momfessions: November 23 Week

The Mommy's Sick?! Version:
1. The day you realize you're sick, the children will bounce on your bed to ensure that your capability to stand upright really doesn't exist. Arm, leg and possibly hair pulling may also occur. Potentially a tummy smack (aka: "big hug). Ensure a bucket is near by if nausea is your culprit.

2. You can hide out for awhile, but once the toddler recalls that you actually reside behind that closed door, he will immediately go into "Walking Dead" mode and groan, moan and bang until he can reach the Mommy flesh and blood to continue his lifeline.

3. Starting around age two is the perfect time to introduce Lysol spraying as a core competency. Hey - it's going to take a village to shlep this mess.

4. Sickness will not be a solitary recovery effort. Dogs, cats, small children and their toys will constantly be available as bed nurses. Daddy maybe not to much - he's curled in the fetal position downstairs. To be fair: Hulk Hogan and Seth Rollins have actually been pretty decent helpers. They're quiet, small and seem to like the SATC reruns as much as I do.

5. Visible sickness will require much education. If you can talk among the porcelain and tiles, prepare your 90-minute lecture for the students who have many questions.

6. A party will be thrown in your honor on the other floor of your home. Pot banging, play kitchens, John Deeres with backup noises, toolboxes and a full on wrestling match will be rehearsed at extreme decibel levels all in anticipation of your soon-to-be arrival to the main floor.

7. Your husband may say something like: "Hey! It looks like you're losing some weight though like you wanted!" This is not helpful, but is appreciated for the silver lining effect.

8. This same husband will be accountable for navigating three birthday parties when he's been off the circuit for a few years. And he'll flat out refuse music class. So go ahead and toss that $25 down the toilet, flush and then pray the birthday children received the actual intended gift vs. something from a passion party mommy attended last month.

9. You're brood will stare at you - be prepared. But don't look yourself - it's because you actually look like one of those zombies as described earlier.

10. When it's time to emerge, don't look around and panic. Simply delight that your beautiful family has been "making memories." Then slap on some lipstick, grab a bottle of bubbles, put on your booty kickin' boots and skinnies that fit better now and get back at it. Then schedule a mani and massage. You deserve it from all that laying around...

'Tis the season! Wishing you and yours wellness.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Get Your Shrub On!

"Shoot, I can't meet you at 10 - L has music and we have two kiddo parties to hit. I'm going to try and squeeze it in around noon!" I reported excitedly to my girlfriend via text, my fingers gliding quickly over the screen in anticipation of the event I had missed the last few years.

For several seasons, Mom and I attended the Family Tree Nursery Holiday Open House, the glitter and joy of the season lining every single wall with Christmas goodness. Little did I know until spotting the perfect potted plant on my girlfriend's front porch, that during this event they host a Holiday Container party.  Here, you grab a planter, stuff it full of green lush goodness, and sprinkle in some holiday cheer of ornaments, pinecones, birch and more. In the end, you walk away with an affordable piece that lights up your entire front porch and lasts until nearly spring. Swoon!
Even with the best laid plans, it didn't work for me to attend this year, courtesy of a nasty stomach bug. But thanks to one incredibly awesome friend, this little beauty will adorn our holiday porch:
Here's her work for art for her lovely home:
Thank you, A for getting your shrub on and for being the giving, thoughtful friend you are. We can hardly wait to plunk this container of goodness down among our already sparkling lights.

Stop by Family Tree tomorrow 11-4 and one of these can be yours. Happy creating!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pre-Holiday Fun!

"Oh I don't know. I'm not sure about that whole seeing Santa before Thanksgiving portion of the whole deal," I chatted to my husband over a boiling pot of spaghetti. The mister, an avid proponent of keeping holidays within their rigid boxes of timelines, just shook his head. But the kids had already heard the words "cookies" and "Shrek," so it was either go to the event or find 3,468 new ways to manage whining.

Mid way through the week, the desire to hang with friends and try a free kid event prevailed, and thank goodness it did. The Shrek Experience is an absolute blast! Located outside of the downstairs Dillards of Oak Park Mall, it's an interactive playground of imagination and holiday joy. Even the big man himself (not Santa), who is incredibly hard to impress, has asked multiple times to return. Stick it on your holiday bucket list!

High level, here's how it works, noting ours was the soft opening, VIP event (thanks S!):

You check in with some of the friendliest gals around. Poised and professional, they get you ready for what almost feels like a Disney-esque experience. In groups of eight or less, you enter, immediately placed with "Candy" who gives clear instructions and points children to iPads on the wall. Here, they receive strategies on how to fly a sleigh and even get some practice in, all the while the flashes of light and beautifully decorated walls dancing around them.


Next you go and have the flight experience. Unsure of what our "spidey sense" kiddo could endure, we perched near the back of the sleigh and awaited our adventure. The kiddos and adults were all smiles as we floated across star lit skies, delighted in the room's changing temps and cascaded down hills of ice, only to finally land in the North Pole. It felt authentic, unique and like a little piece of amusement park without actually moving. Even this motion sickness mama had no trouble!


The next holding room couples kiddos with more iPad fun, engaging them in building a gingerbread cookie. All I know is that our big guy walked away with a topless gingerbread woman with a lea, purple cowboy boots, floral shorts and pigtails. I'm not even going to ask...

Finally we land on the lap of Santa, who is joyful and fun and plays little tricks with the candy canes to capture that perfect smile on film. The walls behind him are glorious, feeling just as if you had entered his personal study just to share your wish list of the season.

Walking away with a candy cane, jump drive and the opportunity to donate was just a delight.

So go ahead and see your regular Santa, but add this one too. It's worth it...even 50+ days before the big day.

Happy pre-holidays!

Oh The Things We Found

Ok, ok, I'm ashamedly late on this - the texts from loyal readers reminding me they were waiting for my Holiday Mart finds post before the ventured out themselves - sorry! Perhaps you can have similar luck when you attend Holiday Boutique in OP in less than two weeks?!

This year, the Junior League gals brought their A-game again this year with a plethora of adorable booths, fun music and festive scene. Though parking was a nightmare with many closed streets and garages, valet was made easy and affordable (even for the gal who lost her valet ticket by end of night - eeeek). Here's what I walked away with:

Food! One can't attend HM and skip the cherry tasting session or
delighting in some dips!
Our first nephew's first Christmas souvenir
Edgy glitter in rose gold

Gotta nab the KC and Royals gear in the middle of all this excitement
Some glitter for the neckline too
My shopping buddy walked away with an amazing personalize platter, some gear for her tiny, darling frame and some KC stuff too.

Another great weekend of kicking off the most wonderful time of year! Two of two national shopping holidays - check, check!