Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fallin' For R+F

"Just give it a shot - see if it helps. And if it's not working, there is a 60-day guarantee," my friend said, her tone non-pushy, her voice hopeful for what the product could do for Little L's cheeks.

And lo and behold - it worked!

Rodan + Fields "Soothe" product has become a staple in our home, used twice daily on the Little's open sored cheeks, a product of eczema not well controlled. Despite our best efforts to manage his intake of dairy, the likely culprit of his flaky, red, oozing cheeks detracting from his baby blues, the skin condition continued. Though less intense with the removal of cow's milk and cheese, the occasional ingestion at school or home tends to make for a rouged look within 24 hours. And to think our doc thinks with enough exposure it will improve? She's not going to be happy at our 15-month visit next week when she finds out our "high on the charts" boy is still taking toddler formula due to low dairy. Eeesh.

A three-step process, R+F "Soothe" includes a gentle wash that immediately removes irritated, dry skin, then is followed with two moisturizing creams that take away redness within hours. For our little guy, it returns his baby soft skin nearly to normal within three days, leaving us free of answering "What's wrong with his face?" question we're so often asked. Though meant for adults with dermatological conditions such as rosatia, this kit has been a rock star product for our home. And gah have we tried it all, from coconut and essential oils, expensive, prescribed lotions, herbs, etc. Soothe seems to be our answer! A gal pal even uses it on the occasional red tushy due to diaper rash.

Before
After
And don't even get me started on their "Redefine" product. My girlfriend knew what she was doing when she left me that little treat to use for a week too. Holy glorious. A very low maintenance gal when it comes to beauty products (minus my attachment to MAC), this skin care plan blew my mind. I literally felt like my face almost looked better without makeup and Mr. Wrinkle seemed to shrink a bit within a week! Plus my skin felt smooth and glowy - swoon! It's definitely going on the ol' Christmas list...

So save your pennies and make your case with the hubs on a per month ROI basis. Plus show him your stuff when you're all radiant and youthful looking from it's use. Then slap on a bit of their self tanner and call yourself gorgeous. And don't forget the magic lip stuff they have. I don't even remember what it was called but my goodness a girl could get addicted to it.

R+F - a new love! Message me to connect you with my friend in the biz - she's the best!

Monday Momfessions - The "Bachelorette" Version

Winning "Mom of the Year," last evening, I chose to totally ignore my children and give them "quality time" with their father to prioritize none other than: "The Bachelorette" finale. Therefore, this week's Momfessions are dedicated to the beloved, although be it trashy, reality series. Judge all you want, but sometimes a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. To be fair, I think I changed a diaper in there and wrangled a tantrum, but I'm not sure as I was digesting Andi's comments in between.

1.) I'm curious as to where Andi obtains all of her backless items. Sure she looks amazeballs in them, but the last time I wrangled one of those up it was slightly fuzzy and red and I'm pretty sure I was illegally dancing on top of a bar. Yikes.

2.) During the "ask" of Andi's father to propose, part of me really wanted ABC to run the song "Rude" by Magic in the background.  Especially when Nick asked. #teamjosh

3) If Chris Harrison suddenly retires and his job is open, I'm totally applying. Surely the travel is negotiable. Either that or the whole crew is going to have to travel to exotic places - darn. If that role doesn't work out, I'm going for the limo driver. A) the car is cool b) oh the things you could learn c) you're mysterious but in the game. Baller.

4) Pretty sure Andi should go ahead and get that restraining order out now against Nick. Hello - he had the crazy eyes from day one. Really neither are men who I'd pick for her, but again, no one asked me. Except for DP, who still owes me as our bracket manager for winning the whole thing.

5) I still wish Neil Lane was one of my besties. I imagine us sipping mimosas oceanside when he knocks on my condo door and asks me to try on some of his new products.

6) Tonight I shall write my proposal to be on the next "Bachelor" to try to win my soul mate, Chris's heart. I don't even know if he's next in line or if my husband will mind, but it seems worth it. Even with that whole Iowa and homemaker stuff he has going on.

7) Anytime Grumpy Cat makes an appearance, I'm all in. Way to go ABC. And yes, we've been practicing the frowns with our Bachelorette cult at work. We noticed. Of note: she still looks pretty - even frowning. Damn her.

8) For a short moment, I was pretty sure Josh was going to pull a Tom Cruise on the couch move at the "After the Final Rose" event. It made me slightly nervous.

9) On my goal list: mastering the Andi ponytail with no stylist. Ha - right.

10) Andi and Josh's little caramel babies are going to be ridiculously cute. GAP should go ahead and secure them for an ad now.

So what did you think of it all and how'd you do in your "Bachelorette" bracket? Cheers to another season!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gettin' Private

"Yeah, I don't know the secret sauce to getting him confident in the water," I said to my friend, understanding and a potential solution brewing behind her eyes.

Her answer: private swim lessons.

For months we had tried lessons at our gym, the result being a cold and frustrated mommy from what felt mostly like play time in the water. At the end of each session, we generally ended up with inconsistency and little skill, making that statistic of never learning to swim by first grade sitting in the back of my mind. There's very few swords this mama bear chooses to die on, but learning to swim so you're safe, confident and can enjoy summers with friends and having it as a lifeskill is one of them.

So with the goal of getting the almost 5-year old to put his face in and maybe move his arms once in awhile (to be fair, those Puddle Jumpers, which are awesome, are no help), we set out for our first private lesson.

And I'll be darned if that girl didn't have him diving with his face down and floating on his back within 20 minutes.

You go girl. And you rock it boy.

And days later, he applied the skills at a child's birthday party!

These private lessons? Worth every penny.

Let me know if you want a referral and thanks to D for getting our little fish started. We can't wait to see what he does next!

#NSale

"Mom - national shopping holiday - let's do this!" I said, the excitement of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale already growing in my chest coupled with the dread I hadn't taken the plunge on a card to go early. With the date set, online catalog previewed and a daddy for children secured, we were off. So what did we find?!

Given the monthly daycare bill doesn't quite equate to "go ahead and nab what you want at the Nordy's sale," I walked away with two things:

Louise et Cie Lo-Azalya flats
Just kidding!!! What IS this item Nordy's?! Or should I say Justice?!

Nadri stud earrings



Way too practical for the sale, I know. Darn kids...

Now if money were no option, there was a slew of items I would've gladly handed over the dolla dolla bills for, such as:
Marc by Marc messenger bag in cement

Michael Kors Brandy watch
MK aviators


Not to mention a bag full of boys' shoes, a fabulous Tory neutral tote, a few Nike this and Adidas that and a Northface item in each color.

Once again you've knocked it out of the park Nordy's. Love ya, girl.

One more week to shop!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Monday Momfessions: Week of July 14

This week is for the BoyMoms out there:

1. We have a new carpool. It includes anywhere from 1-5 roly polys who make the trek from daycare to pre-school. I'm unsure of their names as their heads are always buried in my son's palm, but they are quiet and don't demand food, so I welcome them.

2. I laughed when my oldest stuck one of those long lighters between his legs and said: "Look Ma - a light up penis!" This is a) not the appropriate reaction as he WILL do it again...next time when the neighborhood is over or our preschool parent friends who still might believe we're ok parents b) I was so tired that evening I was letting him use it as a sword (don't judge) c) it's likely still every man's dream to truly have a light up man part. I mean, they saw it in Magic Mike and just won't let it go...

3. By accidentally purchasing them similar toothbrushes, potential sharing could be occurring. Ew.

4. A friend of our Big's drew of picture of "Lawson's Mommy," the sketch featuring a set of "fat arms." Big L is still mad at him for it, all on his own, and this is why I love him. I get the feeling boys will almost always have their moms' backs. Or in this case, their fat arms.

5. The amount of nakey time is increasing around the household. I'm not sure if it's kosher to let a 4-year old sleep in the nude, but hey, it makes him happy. Also if we don't have guests over, why not at the dinner table once in awhile? Of note: please knock before dropping by the hours between 5-7 p.m.

6. There may be no limit to how many shoes or booties I have to endure the smell of on a daily basis. Gah help me. Also, I hear the bar chart on this only grows taller on the stickiness to frequency ratio. Today's instance after Keen removal: "Mommy - just SMELL it. I'll smell yours!" P.U.

7. Flirting with girls already exists. Those two have game. They are one and four. This week two classmates have confessed to me they are the Big's girlfriends. One has confirmed her marriage to him. Again, gah help me.

8. In the moment there was an ounce of silence in our home this week, the following occurred: a) a toddler had scaled a gate to the top of the stairs b) a preschooler was writing in permanent marker on a table c) a toddler was drinking out of the dog dish d) a preschooler was attempting to suffocate the toddler in a loving manner. In other words, silence is not golden if you have boys. Or maybe just small children in general.

9. If your husband once lovingly slaps your behind in the kitchen and it is spotted by a son, that too will soon magically become a love language of your boy. And it will be awkward.

10. Hitting, grunting, demanding, screaming, cold staring, arm crossing, boycotting and incessantly pointing all mean the same thing to boys. "Mommy - take care of it. And do it now."

And though there are slivers of moments when I'm at a friend's daughters dance recital, sitting at a salon where bitties are getting their toes done or weeping over that dang father/daughter date night thing on YouTube, I wouldn't trade my boys for the world.

They're my boys. And I'm their BoyMom. And they are the best things that's happened to me yet.

So, moms of boys, what odd things have you found in their pockets this week? Or have you been too busy at the ER?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Family, Friends, Food, Fun and Fireworks: The Fourth

"Mommy - what state are we in now?" the oldest asked, the iPad balancing precariously between his knobby knees. Ten minutes had passed and the highway stretch was still within miles of our home, but his little heart could hardly contain the excitement. And we agreed - getting to MN quickly to see our family we'd been missing for months was something worth speeding about:

Nearly the entire Esslinger crew

A fabulous aunt who takes little boys swimming by 7 a.m.
A great aunt fun enough to take him on his first bumper car experience
Brunch with a lifelong friend


Sister relaxation time 
A brave little dude who survived the log ride
The Choates and Esslingers with beloved Grandma and Grandpa
Little L sauntering up mid photo shoot to have a moment with GG

Boys getting rowdy at the falls
My big boy made it to the fireworks
The little entertainer

And master of the fork


Glancing at the sky upon our arrival with a big note of thanks, we quickly settled in with our rock star mini travelers and made friends with my aunt's deck and caught up on new times, the boys immediately taking to the trampoline and wandering her beautiful backyard. Day two meant a mani and pedi get away for me and the sis followed by several trips downtown to beloved haunts and ending the day at a unique and tasty restaurant with the fan. The fourth started with a delicious brunch of secret syrup and catching up with lifelong friends, then enjoying an evening of first time sparklers and gorgeous displays upon hilltops that lit up the sky. Our last full day included Big L's first time at an amusement park complete with a deep dive in the log ride, and ended with a big bash at our aunt's with the chance to share laughter, joy and stories until the night grew a deep navy. Each of these nights also contained some marvel for me, wondering how I got so incredibly lucky to be part of such a loving, fun and truly caring family and finding celebration and joy in each minute of it.

The final morning included the tradition of catching breakfast at Grandma's, the familiarity of the calm pond, same bedspreads, familiar kitchen and smell of toasted bread filling every crevice of my heart. And pulling away? Broad smiles, waves out rolled down windows and intense gratitude and sadness in our departure.

May your fourth be as filled with family, friends food, fun and fireworks as ours. Boom!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Big 4-0

No, not me, silly. These two!:
June 22, 1974 - Wedding day for John and Roxanne
The most amazing, selfless, remarkable, wise and loving parents a girl and her brother could have. And now they are celebrating 40 years of marriage together, setting the bar on what love looks like through thick and thin, in times of awesomeness and near despair and with the many ebbs and flows that come on the journey.

When asked the about their secret to making it to this milestone anniversary, they shared:

I honestly am not sure if there is really  "secret sauce" when it comes to a happy, successful marriage and will never claim to be experts, but a short list of characteristics that may make a marriage likely to last could include:   

 1. Agree on common values-- about child raising, finances for example
 2.  Respect-  demonstrate this by making big decisions together
 3. Honesty-  don't' deceive or withhold important information
 4. Communicate--- often; and listen (seek to understand, especially to understand intent)
 5. Be human-- admit when you have made a mistake and apologize, sooner rather than later
 6. Be realistic-- there is no such thing as a perfect marriage
 7. Promote the importance of family to your offspring and come together often

And you know what? They live this. 

It's all coming together now, their awesomeness, their love, their fearless in navigating as something as wonderful and challenging as marriage.

May we all find this kind of love and friendship for 40 years and more.

Congrats Mom and Dad - this is truly something to celebrate and be proud of!