Sunday, December 29, 2013

Over the Hills He Goes

video

Singing all the way!

Loud, proud and full of Christmas spirit, this boy did us proud again this year. Cool, confident and collected he was an old pro, a far cry from last year where we held our breath and I cried like a baby when he made it upstage and did his best. Those pre-school programs...tear jerkers I tell ya!

My what a difference a year makes.

You go over that hill boy, and may you laugh all the way!

Gifts for Giving - The Girls Version

Though Christmas is behind us (boo!), there are still those occasions for which you need gifts, whether it's a little pick-me-up for yourself or someone you love. Check out the fabulous things that lined our tree or were exchanged this year that are list toppers:

Monogrammed ring dishes for the girls (ArentYouCute Etsy Shop)

Monogrammed toiletry bags for colleagues (Sarah Janes)

Monogrammed hats from the girls (Etsy) 

A crocheted with love infinity scarf from the girls (handmade by JC!)

Delicious lotion from L'Occitane (L'Occitane)

A band of your children's birthstones to add to your collection 

A fabulous Chanel-esque layered necklace and monogrammed calendar

Emi-Jay hair ties for the daycare teachers

A Vera throw for your aunts and grandmas that adore Vera but have it all (Vera Bradley)

An amazingly funny read for parents of young children (Amazon)

A relaxing scent from Voluspa (Anthropologie)

A darling statue that reminds you of your priorities (Willowtree)

Don't forget the Madison tote, Nordy's gift card, LOFT gear, some sparkling scarves, scented candles and a darling momma bird bracelet too!

How spoiled and grateful are we?!

Ranging in all prices and perfect for the minimalist or glam chic, nab one of these and gift them today! And thanks to those that did the same for me...they are amazing and I cherish them!

Flulanta

This year, to really make the season feel the merriest of all, our parents splurged and bought us the greatest gift: togetherness! So we boarded a plane and headed to the ATL to officially kick off the season with our beloved bro and sis in law:

Only to have it mostly fall flat with the FLU ROUND TWO.

Like a firing squad, it started with Nana and took her down, leaving her feeling guilty and housebound in the in-laws gorgeous home, praying she wouldn't get them sick and Cloroxing their amazing abode. Next it went for my brother and his wife, leaving them bed bound for the day and enabling the quarantine mode as we were staying at their house for the long weekend. Finally it took out dear ol' Papa on a day he was expected to board his plane, then shared its love with the in laws themselved. Ay yay aye. Needless to say little celebrating or ugly sweater 5king occurred. However, there were a few pockets of awesomeness, such as a quick visit to the aquarium, a nice walk outside and lots of together time huddled in pajamas.





Because really, who better to be sick with than those you love?

Thank you to R&E for being stellar hosts for better or worse. And for being at your best when you're at your worst, particularly with four house guests, two of them under the age of five! We love you and miss you already.

And next time we come, let's have the city earn it's name of Hotlanta back vs. Flulanta, shall we?!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Seven Months of You

Movin' and shakin', bouncin' and rockin', you've entered the "get up and go" stage, stealing our hearts with your confident smile and grunts of determination.
 Toothless and brave, smitten with your brother, spouting "Mama" and "Dada" with no context, you amaze us daily with new tricks that serve as our treats.
From tummy to sitting, exploring books and finding that spoons are THE most amazing treasures on earth, you've ventured into new solid foods, adoring yourself in the mirror and even standing in your crib (gulp). Plus you're quite the world traveler, boarding your second plane ride, surviving an 8 hour car trip and navigating your way to your sixth state in seven short months.

Each day is a new pleasure getting to know you, even if it does begin at 1 a.m., 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. There's no one else we'd rather be with at that hour.

Love you little bear.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday Momfessions - December 15 Week

1. New list topper for oddest place I've nursed: a dolphin show. You can't make this sh*t up.

2. Speaking of public nursing, after our flu-filled weekend in Atlanta, I tucked away in a "private" corner of our gate to do my thing, cover, baby and all. The hubs and oldest walk away to grab snacks, leaving me with five pieces of luggage and a baby attached to my chest. Seconds later, this area becomes VERY public as a very full flight unloads about 12 inches in front of me. Really?! Welcome to Atlanta folks...we support breastfeeding. Le sigh.

3. Despite forgetting to displace Shelfton the elf each morning, I appreciate the dude. Compliance and attitude have improve tenfold since his arrival on December 1 for the four year old. The advent calendar as bribery ain't a bad tool either. Jesus would be so ashamed.

4. During flu season, it seems necessary to up your small wastebasket count up to at least the number of people in your household, because when one is going down, you're all going down. And you're going to need wastebaskets. Damn you wrong strain flu shot.

5. Now taking applications for those that can teach four year olds how to blow their noise. The combo of white noise and insistent sniffles are not adding to our cumulative sleep average of what is right around five hours a night as parents.

6. Squeak is becoming highly mobile. Mommy is becoming highly scared. I hadn't even figured out how to have two children with one immobile yet. Where's the grace on this learning curve?!

7. If it were appropriate, I'd ask one of the physicists I work with how exactly of the anatomy of a blowout works and why it's frequency is around three times a day. Then I've invite him/her to create the magic stain remover for these instances and ask them to run PDSA cycles on how to get to one or two outfits a day. This momma is not into laundry.

8. Teething is the devil. Enough said.

9. If you're going to nod off in a car while your pre-schooler is working on number 242 of his 437 daily questions, it's helpful to have a partner. He or she can nudge you in the ribs to keep coming up with slightly practical answers, even if there is a 10-second delay due to exhaustion. The pre-schooler doesn't notice as he is on to the next question and you got to close your eyes for five seconds. Everyone wins.

10. When determining who you will give your children to in your will, it's good to put the said couple through a test run. And try to give them the worst version of your family possible. Hey you who knows who you are: you passed.

What's new with you Momma - getting ready for this thing called Christmas?

Mug Shots - Fall 2013

Ok, ok, the school totally compensated for FORGETTING to take Squeak's three month photos. I mean, where was that kid anyway? Because I know he doesn't do the sleeping thing at daycare...









Forgive the pic of proofs situation, but I just had to share - said the prideful mom.

Family - guess what you're getting in your stocking this year?!

Girlsgiving

Beautiful smiles. Gorgeous souls. Lotsa laughter. Free flowing wine. And a menu even this undomestic goddess was comfortable preparing and was appreciated by all:
Apple and Brie Bruschetta from Cravingchronicles.com

Crockpot Chicken and Stuffing from Recipesforourdailybread.com

Sweet Potato Casserole from MyRecipes.com

Brownie Batter Dip from stickafork.net
And don't forget the green bean casserole...you know what that looks like.

This Thanksgiving and always, I'm indescribably grateful for the bond I share with these six. Girlsgiving with girls who are always giving. How lucky are we?!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Monday Momfessions - December 1 Week

After an eight hour car ride one way with two children under age five followed by a week of illness, I clearly no longer know what day of the week it is. Please accept these momfessions anyway:

1. On these frigid mornings when I leave my car warming out front while I assemble the posse, the thing I think about most getting stolen out there is my breastmilk. Not the new Highlander, but the breastmilk. Liquid gold people. Irreplaceable and uninsured.

2. After six costume changes thanks to illness that has struck our home, I went ahead and just wore a sweatshirt with no makeup to a holiday party. This gal o' glitter waved the white flag and gave friends the best version I had, including a kid with a big ol' chocolate stain in the middle of his sweater. Hey, at least I quickly showered.  None of my accessories contained bodily fluids. And I wore deoderant. I mean, it was Old Spice, but who has time to go to Target anyway?

3. At a particularly low point on our car journey over Thanksgiving, Squeak ended up on the floor of a restroom at a truck stop. A not well marked TRUCK STOP. At least I put him on his changing pad?! You know, the one he immediately scraped up so he could explore the "unique" floor around him. Augh.

4.  It crossed my mind to snatch the baby from his cars eat and just go ahead and nurse in the passenger seat while we trekked through the countryside at 75 mph. This idea was quickly squelched when visions of Grey's Anatomy, ER and too many Nicholas Sparks movies started to play through my head. Not to mention the 10 cops we saw just on the way up to the Land of 10k Lakes. Damn you families of the 50s who had it easier.

5. Visiting a family of 20+ makes for that break you never get at home. Best.babysitting.service.ever.

6. Allergic reactions in children may be one of the scariest things a parent can experience. It NEVER gets more comfortable. Props to the parents who have kiddos with significant diagnoses in these areas - it's a tough gig.

7. Pre-schoolers on steroids (for medical reasons) are slightly terrifying. Think the Hulk during his tantrum state and you have the scene of our Thanksgiving holiday with Little Dude.

8. TMI: I miss going sans brazierre at bedtime. Damn you, milk jugs.

9. Studying parenting must commence in our home. They are starting to out smart us. Example: "There is no way you are ever, never going to take this splinter out Momma. After threatening and explain infection in an uber dramatic way he responds with "Ok, well Ill just do everything with my right hand then." Alright then. Can't argue with that.

10. Don't turn me in, but most days I'm uncertain as to what a seven month old should be eating. Oh, and I totally mean to make my own baby food. Meantime, I want to thank Gerber, Ella's Kitchen and Happy Bellies in keeping us all upright.

How was your turkey day, Momma?


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

An "Eventful" Thanksgiving

A five a.m. start of this family of four's first eight-hour car ride. A caravan complete with mothers, mother-in-laws, sister in laws and a four year old who met his average quota of 437 questions per day in the first 90 minutes. iPad games, snacks galore, Christmas tunes, frequent stops and a lot of laughs.



Arrival in time for a delicious meal with delightful people. A family more gracious, kind, fun, engaging and inclusive than one could even wish for. Full bellies and full hearts.


A killer hotel suite, but wee ones up all evening. One hopped up on steroids making him more like the incredibly mean hulk than the sensitive pre-schooler that likes to love. The other starting to get "the illness" and crying for hours on end until Daddy tucked him the car around 1 a.m. and took him to the Mall of America. Apparently Black Friday shopping is the cure to tears. Marked in book that husband actually did the event. At 3 a.m. With an infant.



Actual Black Friday outing with incredible shopping karma, scoring the perfect boots, splurging on a mother's ring and crossing off half of my holiday shopping list. Plus a day of fun with three really fun gals who understand shopping strategy on a day like that day.


An urgent care visit for pink eye and a nearly cracked open skull on the kid front. Because what is a family trip without a little drama?

Beautiful crisp weather that meant a trip to Como Zoo and botanical gardens, catching sights and sounds of nature that was peaceful and enjoyable.



More eating: chips, guacomole and margaritas. Enough said.

Family bonding. Awe of the amazing, grown people the cousins have become. Gratitude for a large family with so many warm, interesting and supportive people that are a part of it.

A restful, relaxed breakfast with grandparents in remarkable health in their late 80s, a chance to visit with those we never get enough time with and a belly full of eggs and bacon before getting on the road.

Tearful good-byes and appreciation for all the magic each memory held during the visit. "Mommy - I don't want to leave here. Ever, never."Agreed.

Long journey home, complete with an allergic reaction. To what, we don't know. Benadryl, quiet rides, discussion of where the Elf on the Shelf will be when we return. Reflection on the beauty of the weekend.


A late return home to a wreck of a house. The comfort and warmth of a Sleep Number, twin and crib bed to each his own. Anticipation of the holidays to come.

Hearts full. Minds full. Souls full. All from a Thanksgiving that was eventful.

So thankful.


These Boots Were Made for Walkin'

And for being stylin'...

Thanks to Melanie Knopke, Style Scout extraordinaire, this woman of substance is now sporting a tall boot that is classic with a twist of trendy in the perfect shade of camel with black accents. Best of all: THEY GO OVER MY CALVES COMFORTABLY. No longer doI have to pretend all those cute boots were actually meant to scrunch, suffering blisters and looking a bit forced, for now these are fitted and fabulous. Easy to put on, perfect for skinnies and skirts, jeans and jeggings, this Sam Edelman Penny boot in wide leg is to.die.

Did I mention they are at a reasonable price point as well?

So thank you Melanie, for once again being available and having the perfect answer to my dressing needs. Because of your recommendation I was able to trot into Nordstrom on Black Friday and make these puppies mine, easily by-passing the rest, saving me time and sanity.

So ladies, particularly if you've got a little extra junk in the calf, reach for this Sam Edelman and make it yours today. And consider reaching out to Melanie for your styling needs - she's obviously a genius.

Dreaming of these for years. So glad they are mind today, these boots, made just for walkin.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Pinteresting Idea: Fall Mantle

The inspiration:

The actual:

Close enough, right?! I mean, for a gal with limited DIY skills, budget and time? And about that "S" that was supposed to be on the end...no one noticed. Plus, Hobby Lobby was out of them and I was out of energy to pursue the project any further.

So "thank" it is, and I'm thankful for it anyway.

The Boys of Fall

Despite there has been a bit too much of the boys of fall blaring across our 52 incher these days, it has been a delight when me and my sidekicks get out there and dive into the leaves:






Crisp, cooler air, the crunch of brush beneath their pattering feet and the golden light that hits just around 4 p.m. fills my heart with warm delight.

Fall and my boys: can't think of anything better.