Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Monday Momfessions: Labor Day Week

1. The Little has eaten chicken nuggets three nights this week. It's Wednesday. This is my current version of "doing my best." Poor Little.

2. The recent purchase of an inexpensive twin mattress to complete the new bunk has made for some excellent napping for mommy. Between the white noise, darkness and no one suspecting I'm in there , I'm like Waldo among all those delicious covers. Don't tell the husband...or any of those three men. We're still paying off that Sleep Number item and the rest have not discovered my hiding place. So much better than locking the bathroom door...

3. I'm starting a log to eventually contribute to that site that highlights creepy things young children say. This week's: "Oh yeah, Mom! I can take your picture and print it out so I can remember you when you're dead!" ... ... ... ...Well intentioned and out of context I'm sure, but yikes.

4. The Big refusing hugs these days at drop off nearly breaks my heart. It's quickly rebuilt with new, unsolicited "I love you Liam," to his brother.

5. Suddenly, the Big showers. It's genius. With such small mass to cover, it's in, out and ready to roll at bedtime. Less supervision required? Yes please.

6. Daddy's sometimes sarcastic vocab has landed him in the daycare dog house again. The big was chatted with about the word "demon." His response: "Well, my Daddy calls my brother that all the time!"

7. On my shopping or to do list: a book written on how to not imitate older brother doing raspberries on mommy's tummy by walking right up and just going for that nice, plump little roll with four very sharp teeth. Ouch. Perhaps he thought it was a hot dog. Warm roll of bread. A nude fruit rollup. Or maybe he is just that word daddy jokingly calls him. Or a vampire. One can only guess.

8. The restaurant ban has been reinstated. Tonight I singlehandedly had to apologize to two families who had salsa on their ensems, the server that had to clean the sugar packets, crayons and water off the floor and the unassuming patron who received a bit of a b*tch slap on the way out. This was within an eight minute window. Ban.back.on.

9. I want to kiss whoever invented the Swiffer sweeper. Not for it's delightful cleansing techniques, but for its ability to keep my 16-month old busy for nearly 80 minutes a day. Ok maybe for the cleansing techniques too.

10. I strongly desire to polish one of the boys' set of little piggies. It may be time for an intervention or a girl date with you and one of your daughters.

So what did you do to screw up your little ones this week, mama?

A Bang Up Job

"Um, I just saw you an hour ago in a meeting...did you get BANGS over lunch?!" asked a co-worker incredulously, this kind of activity far from the norm of running to Target or the closest fast food joint.

Given my three other coping mechanisms had met quota (current furniture arrangements are ideal, trying to lost some LBs so chocolate is out and consuming adult beverages on site is frowned upon, plus who has dollars for shopping?!), I went with the next best thing: change of appearance.

So yes I did get bangs over lunch, thank you very much.
It's likely they'll only last a week as they tend to complicate my three minute morning hair routine and require maintenance that I just don't have the tolerance for, but for now they're fun.

And fun is just what I need right now.

Thank you, Stem, as usual for the bang up job. They're a nice reminder to not take life too seriously and that things can change on a dime. Or a five-dollar tip...

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Silver Lining of Sick Days

"Yeah - if you could hook me up with a Gatorade, I'd be ever so grateful," I said to my husband groggily, my body aching from nearly two days of camping out in bed, not changing positions to avoid waves of nausea. My heart also ached from the sounds of my boys playing downstairs, asking for their mommy and the sound of familiar chaos that generally accompany weekends.

To top off a challenging three months of hormone whateverness (augh - womanhood), I managed to catch a little bug or bout of food poisoning in the middle of the night Friday, rendering me helpless over the weekend and canceling the last of our summer plans. Finally accepting that quality family time and crossing more items off our August bucket list was not on the agenda, I gave in to my body, who seemed to be saying "don't move an inch lest you feel as if you're on a cruise ship during the world's wildest hurricane." Even those magic pills I held onto from pregnancy and sea bands weren't strong enough to fight this virus. Water was not even my friend.

Le sigh.

So the days gave in to hours of "Sex In the City" - nearly 11 hours to be exact - followed by the movie. And though these sick days were not some that can sometimes result in reflective gratitude, I did find a little silver lining in there, which is:

I have friends like these.


Circles of them. Those that text and offer up soup when you're sick. Those that call in the middle of the night after a tough chat with their husband. Those that find solace in the circle in the loss of a child. Those that celebrate birthdays, entrance into grad schools and PhD programs and your children's birthdays. Those that can find room for a dance party in a living room. Those that spend sunny afternoons at the pool as you watch your growing families delight in the summer nearby. Those who offer hands to move, host events, help your extended family and don't judge you for asking such first-world questions such as "do I need bangs?" Those that share they are no longer in love with their career, the next step in their dreams and all the real things in between. Those you can ride in the car with and say nothing at all. Those that hug and say "love you" with each greeting and departure. Those that you don't say for years in between but at that first coffee it's like no time has passed at all.

It's pure magic.

And extra bonus: mine are not fictional.


So see, there is a silver lining to sick days: it gives you a moment to rest, relax and check out of the day to day to focus on what really matters and find gratitude that's always there, but sometimes hard to keep at the forefront when deadlines call, bottoms require diapering and cars need oil changes.

So thank you to my very own Mirandas, Carries, Samanthas and Charlottes. You know who you are and I love ya to pieces. (Note: not all are pictured here!)

And in sickness or in health - you are my life's silver lining.




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Here's To You, Milestone Moms

"Girl - are you sure you're going to be ok?! I'm here for you - any hour. I can't imagine. So awesome, yet so hard!" I said to my friend as she clutched my office door, her face paling as she counted down the days to her daughter entering kindergarten, her list of concerns and to-do list items growing the more she talked. I wasn't sure if there were enough hugs in the world...

Scrolling through your Facebook feed in the past week, you've likely been moved by the darling back to school pics, children clutching chalkboards, a too-large backpack weighing them down, some pics slightly blurry because the parent behind the camera couldn't hold it together.

Carry on, warriors. You're amazing. Strong. Loving. Brave. And your children are too. 

We've been thinking of you all week, wishing your family the warmest of transitions and new discoveries that bring magic and melt hearts. But in the meantime, if you need to cope with it all:
Dig into the mom basket!

How cute is this?! A colleague made this for another team member as she sent her oldest to kindergarten and her little to a new daycare on back to back days. It includes chocolate, lotion, a stress ball, Kleenex, cleansing wipes, candy, pencils, booze and a set of spiritual verses and sayings to get her through her week.

Swoon!

Can I count this as virtually making one of these for each of you?! 

So make one for your transitioning mama - she deserves it. And she may even share that beer with you.

Big hugs!

Oh - and if you're having a hard time understanding her, read this. But DON'T let her read it until she's healed a bit more :) 

In Form: Tracking Down the K Uniform

"Whoa, whoa, I have to WHAT?!" my oldest asked, his eyes growing bigger as he clutches the loose, silky lining of his basketball shorts. "You mean I have to wear HANDSOMES everyday?!"

And suddenly, the hopes and dreams of Montessori Kindergarten are dashed.

Missing the regular cutoff date, Big L starts kindergarten through Canterbury in early September. With this comes - you guessed it - uniforms! Not something I'd been privy too or was required to wear in my lifetime, I shook off the whole conformity feeling of it all and thought about how much money were saving and the ease of the mornings and got a little perkier about it all. And off we went to track down these items that fit the protocol and found:

Old Navy Flat Front Slim Fit Khakis

Old Navy Twill Pull on Khakis

GAP plaid shorts
Given our big guy is incredibly thin, these were the best fit for us, providing length with the ability to cinch inches at the waist. And the twill ones are incredibly light weight and easy to move in, not unlike the beloved squishy pants. Both come in navy. Paired with his red branded polo, we think he may even be quite dapper...

So use all that fast cash and savings and grab the rest of your uniform wear this month - it's not too late!

Monday Momfessions - Aug 18 Week

1. Shoe shopping with two boys under five may be equivalent to running a half. I know this from the amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into our attempts. It too should require training. And potentially earn a medal and cold beer. Or delicious pancakes. At minimum, a t-shirt.

2. I let my wee one wander Home Depot with bare feet. You pick that battle, fellow shoppers.

3. Sometimes...ok just a HANDFUL of times, the Little poos right as we're walking out the door and instead of dropping all items, removing baby gates, traipsing upstairs, sweating even more profusely, yelling at the dog, battling the diaper change and once again getting covered in the stuff, I let daycare do it when we arrive. There, I said it. The guilt...

4. Teething is the devil. Legit turns already slightly demonic toddlers into that which may require an exorcism.

5. If it smells decent, was worn only one day and has minimal stains - it can be reapplied in desperate situations. This also applies for bathing techniques.

6. I've lost count the amount of times I've used candy or food as bribery this week. Le sigh.

7. In a trustworthy moment, I will hand a potentially dangerous or swallowable item to one of the children in order to a) accomplish a quick task b) help turn their tears off c) keep them distracted so I can brush my teeth. I'm just holding my breath until this backfires. Or I get called on - one of the two.

8. Just when I was jealous of all the girls' frills and thrills, I knock out fall shopping in an afternoon with a pile of basketball pants, uniform wear, a few tees and polos and wa-la - we're done! Related: the Big wanted his toenails painted the other day. Best of both worlds.

9. My son claims to want to blow kisses to his friends. TOO SOON. And why are mine already wiped off?!

10. With the arrival of the new bunk bed, I promised to sleep on the bottom on night one. After 476 checks, he finally passed out and I stuffed a pillow under the blanket to potentially pass the midnight checks. At the 4 a.m. - busted. Lesson learned. Unforgiven for DAYS.

So, what shenanigans have you been up to, my mom friend?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Easy Like Saturday Morning

"Oh my gah, I'm so excited...this is the first time in nearly three years we have a Saturday with no plans! No sports, music, social outings, obligatory workouts, etc.! Spontaneity for the family - let's do this! Summer bucket list here we come!" I practically shouted, my husband starting to look alarmed at the gleam in my eye that starts to sparkle when it comes to weekend planning when he has things like yard work, naps or football on the mind.

Given this gift of undesignated time, we consulted our summer bucket list and did a few site checks, only to find our wish to hit the local blueberry and strawberry patches were too late, the last of the fruits picked just days before. Plan two involved water and the air was a bit nippy for that kind of thing. And plan three? Too early for snocones. So a new event was added to the list, the car packed and off we went to:

Lawrence.

Feeling a bit like Claire on "Modern Family" when she forced her fan into mini golf fun, I gambled with the children's fatigue, playing with fire as they'd been at Parents Night Out and off their schedule the evening before. Not to mention the little one holding on to a low grade fever and battling five teeth coming in once. But hey, once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk, and campus was calling our name.

The weather was perfect, a light breeze aiding us in carrying two 30-give or take pounds across the green of the campus, the memories of our regular routine as undergrads straining the nostalgic strings of our hearts. We marveled at what a difference 12 years makes as we clutched the palms of our little ones, an experience so different than sprawling out on a blanket without a care in the world, waiting for one another after class.


Hitting all the hot spots and explaining the history of the Campanile, Chi-O fountain and various educational buildings, we trekked through campus, avoiding the significant construction and slightly wishing the Unions were open for some gear. The boys took in the marble steps and long sidewalks, the Big asking questions and checking out all there was to see. Soon the popcorn, movies and late bed times caught up with them from the night before, so we decided to attempt some eating downtown.

One trip to Free State, the Mass Street Candy Shop and for mommy, some cookie shop with the best red velvet treats one could dream of, and we got our second win, enjoying the sites and sounds of the unusually quiet college town awaiting the arrival of students next week.


As the light snores of the boys trailed us home, the beer bread settling in our stomachs, we sat quietly and wondered as we always do why we don't make the trek west just 20 minutes more often.

It was, perhaps, one of the best unscheduled weekend days we've had. Easy like Saturday morning...Lawrence style.

Add it to your summer bucket list today!