Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Twist on Love

From a teen's MySpace (note she should really pull over too!)
"Mommy, Mom - look at this - I made it for you."

Insert obligatory eye dart to back of the car to briefly check out the latest craft from his car seat.

"It's a heart and here's a rainbow. Because I love you Mom." he says, holding his tiny pretzel twists in just the right shapes expectantly.

Needless to say, this twist on love was worth pulling over for...even if it did mean exiting 435.

I'd exit any day for a few more moments of that.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why's the WEEKend Hafta END!?

A morning full of errands, including clothes shopping, party prep and the costume selection. A birthday party for the bff "Bob the Builder" style. An evening with dear friends I don't see nearly enough and a new group of gals I'd love to add to my iPhone.  A donut date with my son and a set of elderly couples I'd invite to move in with us. Some running. His first soccer game. Tasty meals out. And the most gorgeous blue sky filled with light, fluffy gray clouds, accented with bright, colorful adirondack chairs accented with gorgeous, flat green glass. And ice cream - don't forget the ice cream.  All with the people I love the most.

Life is good.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sneak Pre-Boo

The costume has been selected and the joy is apparent by the frequency and location of wear. He's getting into character by going mute when the mask is placed, throwing out the web hands and double checking to ensure Spidey too wears underpants under his uniform (cause as you know, you gotta get all the details right). The best part:

He's never seen an episode of the show, the cartoon, movie or even read a book that contains the character he adores.

Ah, the power of peer influence.

See you on Halloween 2012! And many, many times before...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On The Town

To celebrate a one-of-a-kind gal who is gracious and sweet, hardworking, brilliant, gorgeous and undeniably a remarkable friend, we got the crew together and started with happy hour at Webster House:

Next we found our way to the new Aixois downtown, which has quickly become a place I desire to be every.single.weekend. If not just for the buttery goodness of their fresh, rich menu (hello the bread sat and dipped in that soup concoction), but for the urban feel of the atmosphere, the never ending rounds of wine and the friendly banter with the wait staff. In my previous life (BC=before children), I picture myself here catching a scone on Sunday morning and gasp - reading a newspaper. Or loosely holding hands with my husband while we say nothing at all. Tucked away in a gorgeous city building we take for granted, it filled that little hole that starts to grow from living in suburbia too long.

Relaxed, easy, reminiscent and filled with those I adore the most, it was an evening to cherish and celebrate, just like we do the birthday girl each and everyday.

 Cheers to a night on the town downtown! And to a birthday girl who certainly deserves it...

A Wagon Full of Love

My heart is full tonight as our gaggle of girlfriends just received a much-awaited call that one of our nearest and dearest welcomed her first and lovely daughter today. I can hardly wait to see how the magic has crept into their eyes and overflowed their souls with a visit tomorrow. It won't be long until this little girl is enjoying this:

Courtesy of 1pureheart blog
A present so deliciously thoughtful I'd add it to my "gifts to give" board in a heartbeat!

As a beloved instructor, our girlfriend received a red wagon full of children's books from her students to begin her baby's library. Each book is filled with majestic colors, animated titles, slick pages and an inscriptions of well-wishes one might not suspect a middle school child capable of leaving. It's a beautiful reminder of all that's good in the world.

Just like the little angel born today.

May the wagon of love be the best journey yet for this amazing family!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Straight and Skinny on Jeans for my Genes

With all this running occurring (up to 30 miles or so a week), one would think I'd actually be dropping some lbs and leaning out during this whole process. Instead, a growing appetite fed with an awful diet, coupled with an evil, weight-gaining prescription has left me, well, pretty much the same. A woman of substance complete with big ol' hips, thighs, calves and quads (not to mention other parts but I'm preparing to talk about jeans here people, so I won't go there). That's why I was super pumped to find LOFT's new denim fits this fall:
"Curvy Skinny" jean by AT Loft (photo by LOFT)

"Curvy Straight" by AT Loft (photo by Kaboodle)
Each pair is soft as butter, accommodates my curvy, genetic (ok, lifestyle choice) frame, is long enough and trendy and aligns with what's out there that many can't even get an ankle in let alone an entire leg. Available in fun colors and affordable, particularly with the coupon and sale days, it's the perfect addition to your wardrobe for fall.

That's the straight and skinny - happy shopping!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Against the Wall

“Why hello Mom and Dad – L and I were just having a little visit,” his teacher said, her eyes seeking ours cautiously as this was our first “your kid is acting up” conversation we’ve had since her start in his classroom. As we enter the play yard, balls flying in all directions and scooters blazing by, we catch site of Little Dude with his back against the wall, feet splayed ahead of him in the spot reserved for those that made “sad choices.” Playing it cool and casual while my mind immediately went to playground smack downs, scuffles over bikes or gasp – encounters with learning scissors, I attempt to look open and relaxed when she goes to bring up the issue at hand:

“It seems we really like to call our friends names lately – and not their first names. Rather, they tend to be names we only use in the bathroom. And for some reason, it’s escalated lately.”

Little dude, now perched rigid in the crook of my elbow, hangs on every word Ms. J is sharing, his head dipping a little lower as he thoughtfully relived his decision of switching Lance, Logan or Garrett with “Poopy, Poopybutt, Sassy Pants or Stinky.” I speak fairly to Ms. J, thanking her for her feedback and provided her some examples of what we’ll work on at home. Little dude studies my body language intensely, likely assessing the amount of trouble he should anticipate when he gets home. Simultaneously, I cast a “I freaking told you so” glance at my husband, the instigator of pet names at home that quite frankly, don’t vary from the very slang little dude was flinging on the playground.

The drive home is quieter than most, his tirade of ratting out his friends and sharing highlights of his day replaced with what I perceived to be a bit of shame or perhaps just fatigue. Trying to distract him with the positive parts of the day, he clung to his lovey in angst and retreated to a quiet place in his head. Letting him go, we went through the motions of a regular evening in our household, including dinner, snuggles, gratitude, bath and quiet time.

Here is where he addresses it, sharing the lessons of the day such as calling our friends by their names and that the bathroom is where we use words like “poop” and “pee pee.” I breathe a sigh of relief at the patience and consistency of his teachers and find slight gratitude in that he’s potty trained – you know, because boycotting those words could get a bit confusing.

Twenty-four hours later Ms. J reports this behavior has radically improved, the motivator of avoiding the wall and continuing to play ball enough to deter the potty talk. One trip to Target and swim lessons later, he starts to throw out the terms in a fit of fatigue and cry for attention, and we break out the whole “say it in the bathroom” lingo. Ten minutes later, we can’t find him, which was unusual as he’s generally attached to Mommy’s knee. Listening closely, I hear the pitch of his two-year-old voice muffled behind a closed door somewhere and go to find him in:

The bathroom.

Letting out all the verbal “poop” and “pee pee” and “stinky butt” terms that had apparently built up over the course of the day. One by one they rattle off his tongue in a stream of words that seem to pour out like a faucet in the very same room he had locked himself in.

And I too, find myself against a wall.

After all, they (and we) told him it was appropriate for a bathroom…

Well played, little dude. Well played.

It's Not June Bride...

But for those that don't schedule standing appointments with Blanca or have husband clearance to do so, it's close to the next best thing:
"Teenage Dream" by OPI -
Think thick, heavy coats and you have nearly the fabulousness that is June Bride, just with a little less shelf life. A teenage (er, 32 yo?) dream!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Party of Brew

Courtesy of squidoo

“I don’t know, I think he’s caught on by now,” our neighbor winked as we sat conversing on her suede couch, anticipating the arrival of the birthday boy. The room around us was filled with warm, strange faces and festive, Pinterest ideas in every nook and cranny. We swapped stories with our newest neighbor, providing her additional arms as her one-year old discovered the joy of Reece’s Pieces and glass marbles that lined the coffee table. In five years, it was one of the first neighborhood soirees we were able to attend, and we looked forward to getting to know those who lived within feet of us just a little bit better.

Delicious smells of barbeque, wraps, chocolate, sugar cookies and dips wafted through the air as I checked out each station of beer, each labeled with darling font in pristine metal coolers. Themed a beer tasting party, each guest was asked to bring a brew of a certain kind, ours being cider (yay!). The variety was fun and delicious, and to top it off, summer brew was available in a glass pitcher nearby. It was every beer lovers’ dream.

Adult drinking games were available in the garage, laughter was shared porch-side and friendly banter was shared well into the night. Simple, well-planned and filled with a slew of kind-hearted people, it was a delightful house party and we were grateful to be included at this party of brew for us two.

Definitely stealing the idea for the future!

PS: We are officially hosting the Ugly Sweater party again this year with the Cross family in December with several of the hubs’ home brews on tap. See you there!

Checkin' the List

One more bucket list item crossed off:
Team CHA CHA CHAs for Ta Tas (colleagues)

Four steep hills, a feeling of "holy hell this is harder than I thought" and a few minutes earlier finish than I had anticipated, the first 5k race is under the belt and it feels fantastic. So fantastic I had to reward myself with one of these:

Courtesy of 
Yah, yah, athletic goals shouldn't be rewarded with food, won't tell anyone, will you?

 Congrats and cheers to the amazing women and men who crossed the finish line today. May your victory be a piece of tomorrow's cure!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

They Will Survive

Courtesy of CBS
Just a friendly reminder today's the last day to donate to Race for the Cure, honoring the survivors and helping millions of others battle breast cancer. Thanks so much for considering!

Speaking of survival, if you have any spare positive vibes, could you send them my way tomorrow morning as I attempt to run my first 5k? Yikes! And of course MUCH more importantly, to all those there whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. For example, dear friend and survivor Jennifer, who I'm honored to support and run on behalf Sunday. Each day I'm overwhelmed at her strength, courage, fortitude and grace that make her the remarkable woman she is. She brings such a glow to this world and everyone she touches becomes a little better.

Thanks to all of you who give everyday, with smiles, hard work, strong character and more. You're what makes this place one awesome universe for all kinds of causes, including just living.

See you tomorrow...hopefully at the finish line!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Thoughts Exactly

"So, have you read it?" my friend whispered excitedly across the small linoleum table that sat cock-eyed in our lunch room, anxiously awaiting for my response and sentiments that is "Fifty Shades of Grey."

After admitting I read all three, likely due to my psychotic commitment to goals, I found myself struggling to provide my review. Then I stumbled upon this little beauty in the Star.

Well played, Cindy, well played. My sentiments exactly. At least on the whole book review part...

Keep in mind this will not, however, keep me from reading "Bared to You" or something like that. And I already snarfed some popcorn during "Magic Mike." So hey, I'm guilty as all the rest of them.

What can I say? This gal loves a good trend. Feminist or not.

Gettin' Restless

Courtesy of

"Soooo - you're here because he's not...sleeping?" the nurse asked curiously, perhaps even a bit increduously at a set of parents who were forthcoming enough to request a doctor's time for this sort of thing. After all, that's a big part of what kids do, right? Not sleep?

"Yes, that's the case," I said with confidence, the dark circles lining my eyes adding to my tone that I meant it.

Minutes later (yah our pediatrician rocks her throughput), Dr. D arrives, having already reviewed little dude's chart, the causations practically circling her head as she asked us a few key questions. One of which was something along the lines of rumpled sheets, the amount of time it took him to wind down, etc. Immediately my defense flew up, thinking she was going to head straight for the dreaded acronym of ADD, but instead I was pleased to hear her ask:

"Has you or anyone in your family been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome (RLS)?"

Why yes, doc, yes we have. My legs nearly ached in response just hearing the words. Couple that with wanting to punch myself in the face for not having thought of it before or bringing him in earlier and I was about ready to pop out of my seat...

One blood test later (go little dude for taking two whole viles with the distraction of a lollipop and one very charismatic nurse), we discovered his iron was low, an indicator for RLS in ped patients and were sent home with supplements and a dream. Oh, and a much-needed lecture on the tactics of three-year olds and how we could toughen up to aid in the behavior (admitted parent fail here - what can I say - I'm a softie with baggage).

Two weeks later our sleep situation improved with a dose of Fer-in-sol, nightly leg massages and some tough love (aka Ferberizing when your child actually gets it and can guilt trip the crap out of you), and now we exist as a mostly happy family once again. In fact, most evenings we average 1-2 wakeups and many of them none, getting back to what was our utopia for nearly the first three years of his life.

RLS - who knew?

No more gettin' restless with the restlessness-just back to rest. Marriage saved. Child saved. All is right in the world again.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

5 at 5 For 5 and .5

Today I accomplished something I never imagined I'd be capable of: running (ok, jogging) 5 miles. At 5 a.m. All in anticipation for a 5k this weekend (and the little .5 marathon in Oct.).

5 for 5 for 5....before the big .5.

I must say it feels pretty darn good.

High five!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Why's the WEEK Hafta END!?

 From meeting Spiderman to close ups with KC's finest animals, a late afternoon, outdoor swim, strategizing over a best friend's baby-to-be's digs, attending my first run club, pizza night with family, and out of town visitors it was a weekend to truly be grateful for. Hope your Monday is filled with the weekend's memories too!

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

With two boys down for the count with sinus craziness, I plan to take advantage of their hours of extra zzzzs with this little project:

I understand we're welcoming a reporter, a Mom of a 12 and four year old and from the looks of it today, a golfer and a gal that likes pink luggage. Sounds pretty perfect, doesn't it?

Now let's hope they're supporters of slice and dice cookies without any judgement...