Thursday, February 28, 2013

Four Down, Two to Go

In an effort to pump myself up for the 48 hours I have left of being "on," I'm starting the 5 a.m. day with this little ditty:

Let's do this Radiology Directors and have some fun too, shall we?

Four down, two to go. Pretending I don't have heartache from missing my family and that the three bowling balls I'm carrying in front aren't weighing me down. A little JT is good for that...

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Frequent Shopper

"Those watermelon sour patch kids are REALLY good...but you know there's chocolate over there too, right?" the gal behind the thin plastic counter shares, her dark hair falling over her glasses.

"Do I look like I need chocolate?!" I slightly hiss with a half-smile to my girlfriend who I had dragged along at 8:30 p.m. through the mall just to hit a candy shop. To be fair, I'm the size of a house, so her helpful comment actually made perfect sense. By the way, the measure of a true friend is one you can drag through a set of stores more than once just to grab sweetart lego blocks, gah bless her.

After grabbing an Angry Birds egg of sweets for a certain little dude's souvenir, snagging a few chocolate covered oreos and even contemplating purchasing a reusable cup with the store's logo due to my growing affinity, my total came to nearly $20. For candy. But all my favorite treats nonetheless. A total preggo cliche.

But also totally worth it.

Of all the shops in this amazing mall we've been attached to for now nearly five days, Dylan's Candy Bar is the one I've frequented the most, though Nordstrom is a close second. Rows after bins of delectable goodness that you can mix and match at 12 dollars a pound. In other words, every girl's dream. Particularly if this said girl is eight months withchild. Like Mr. Bulky's on steroids, Dylan's Candy Bar is now on my top five list.

If only they had a frequent shopper card, surely I would've earned some sort of prize by now. Perhaps a pound of Swedish fish and chocolate covered gummy bears?

So come see me in Houston -  like 50 says, I'll take you to the candy shop!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fight the White: Funville!

A quick peruse through Facebook indicates Kansas Citians have had enough of their nearly 20 inches of snow, particularly those with hard-to-wrangle youngsters who are tiring of finger paints, snowmen and even cookie baking with their parents at home. So once you're plowed out and ready to fight the white, one suggestion is to pay a visit Funville, a free exhibit currently hosted at Crown Center.

Practicing fire fighting skills

Securing his football career

And even trialing his basketball moves

Wooden fronts resembling vet offices, a crawl tunnel, kitchen, racecar and more, this low-key fun can buy parents anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours of good, clean fun. Plus there's the chance to hit the candy store, aquarium, catch the fountains, pose with a Lego guy or catch a performance at the Coterie. Might as well as long as you're there, right?

Funville: an inexpensive treat and a break from snowville!

Happy Burchday to Me

"So really, I can get it? Really?!" I said to my husband, who responded with something that sounded like a test of want vs. need, but what I interpreted as a "yes." Between the gifts of a hard year's work resulting in a bonus, gift certificates from loved ones, several months of fun money tucked away and a hijacked birthday, this little beauty became mine:

My first piece of Tory!

Half the price of most of her bags, a roomy tote that can alter to fit my ever-changing lifestyle (read: psuedo diaper bag) and a piece you won't just find in K.C., I fell head over heels from the moment I passed it by in the Houston window. I know it sounds a bit superficial and frivolous with a baby on the way and in "these times," but I'm going to take a minute to do a happy dance on this find.

Happy Burchday to me!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Un-Compliment Compliment

"I mean, I get it, they mean no harm...and might even be trying, but seriously?! Not a compliment," I said to my girlfriend as we giggled over the things people say to preggos. Here's my PSA on this topic so far with nineish more weeks to go:

1. "Wow - looks like your son is going to be a big boy!" while staring at your belly. Unless they have x-ray vision, this just makes a preggo feel fatter than she already does.
2. "I seriously have to figure out how to go on maternity leave - three month vacation! You're so lucky!"  Generally spoken by those that have not experienced it for themselves, therefore don't know the nitty gritty. Invite them for a week of it and see if they ever call it a vacation again.
3. "You look ready." Interpreted by preggos as: a) you look uncomfortably large b) your expression reads as you may murder someone c) you look tired as sh*t d) you just don't look all.
4. "You look like you're going to pop!" Again, is there a fat joke tied to this or what are you insuating?
5. "So when are you due, like today? You look like it!" Seriously, I get it. I'm fat.
6. "I have no idea how you're going to manage it all. You're crazy." Me neither, but do we need to talk about it?!
7. "Things are going to get overwhelming - what about only having one child?" Uh, a little late for that my friend.
8. "Jessica Simpson was HUGE - she weighed 200 pounds!" Some of us have already peaked there, my friend.
9. "It looks like all your weight has gone to your butt at least." Um, that's NOT reassuring. There is a reason I've not peeked into a three-way since this whole thing happened. Thanks for the heads up, or should I say bottoms up.

The un-compliment compliment - mean no harm, take with a grain of salt and know people mean well. Or just don't know what to say at all. And love them anyway.

Then call your preggo friend and vent about it. She'll totally understand!

Hours O' Fun

"No seriously, I think he'll adore them - he's really into figurines and using his imagination lately. And how nice that these are actually sans some type of weapon of superhero cape for once!" I said to my Mom as she perused the toy aisles, searching for yet another way to spoil her grandson.

Little did she know she'd be spoiling us too...

This "Soccer Guys" toy has lent us hours of productivity, from cleaning a kitchen to *gasp* folding multiple piles of laundry without Spiderman deciding he needed to take a couple out over and over again. For hours he'll play, naming the teams the "49ers" and "Rock Chalks," and going over strategies quietly, demanding the referee be replaced and two men be sidelined with yellow tickets for their foul behavior. The small plastic ball makes it's way between the goals, the men in jerseys numbers called as they plot their next move to earn points. With a 30 pounds of laundry tucked beneath my hip I marvel as I walk by, his legs swing contentedly mid-air as he stares in concentration and admiration, his only request to turn on ESPN soccer for some inspiration.

Portable. Affordable. Imaginable. Packable. Not technical. Delightful.

I'm in heaven. BoyMoms - snatch yours up today!

Happy Hearts Day

"Oh delightful - does that say 5:15?" I muttered into the darkness, having just fallen into my sixth round of what has become the usual 90-minute sleep rotation.

"Yep - it sure does," said the hubs, his morning messed with the awakenings of his family that generally didn't fall this early in the hours. It didn't help we had gone to bed angry with one another the night before, a rare occurrence in our home, the fatigue and emotional uncertainty still standing like a brick wall between us.

With hardly a word exchanged, we went through the motions of what tends to be the three most challenging hours of the day, my mind idling between wanting to give the spouse an out for not recognizing my favorite holiday and holding it as ammo in the future (awesome wife and Cupid behavior). Little dude was on a bender, not quite understanding the difference between Valentine's Day and Christmas, tearing open his cards and demanding to know where the rest of the presents were. Apparently we missed this lecture and my wisdom on gratitude was not coming easily as I stood in all my largeness, half naked and dripping from my cold shower in the garage as I tore through bags to unearth the card we had purchased for him the day before.
Adoring his heart-shaped pancakes
Thank you Nana and Papa!
Preparations for the school party (cheese)
I know, I know - if you're a mother of a 3-year-old and have been with the same guy for 13 years, it's not wise to have expectations. But REALLY?! Come on, universe...

Hours later I spotted the hubs' Valentine and customized chocolate unopened, leaving my heart to feel a bit closed and bargained via Skittles for little dude to get in the car with promises to see him at his party later in the day.

The hours improved with deadlines looming, attention shifted to putting out fires at work and anticipating a Friday off the next day. It grew even brighter watching the flowers pile up at reception and hearing of others plans for the evening. And best of all, a springy, gorgeous bouquet, an extraordinary large card and a tasty box of chocolates arrived completely by surprise for little ol' me, a token of friendship from a beloved friend. Then came the pre-school party, alive with funny antics, dance moves, tasty treats and the annual dumping of the Valentine's (to my delight there was only one Pinteresty one in the whole stack this year!) 
Lucky in love to have a friend like Sarah B!
Bag o' love pre-schooler style
Getting ready to party
Circle time fun

Goofy Valentine
We wrapped our day with a heart-shaped pizza by candlelight, some classical music and an excessive amount of chocolate. Not even by nine I was in a mumu and headed down sleepy lane.

Our idea of a romantic dinner this year

Because there can never be enough chocolate

So blessed and thankful for our loved ones
Not quite the Valentine's I imagined, but flawless nonetheless, my heart full of gratitude for the two men I share my home and my entire heart with breathing softly nearby. Plus there was that colored paper heart created by little dude...stealing my heart with it's jagged lines, loose colors and the proudest face a boy could muster. Now THAT's a Valentine.

Here's hoping yours was filled with the type of love, friendship and togetherness that makes your happy heart burst!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Making a Statement

"Oh my gosh, this is perfect - it's sparkly delicious and will go with everything!" I squeal as a few glances are stolen our way at the local cafe. I had just unearthed the perfect statement necklace from my dear friend Leah, who knows just how to spoil a girl rotten. Immediately I thought of all it could go with and found four uses for it within seven days of owning it:

And the best part?

I can be nearly eight months pregnant and it still fits.

Thank you Ms. Leah for helping a girl to shine - it makes the perfect statement!

Cupid's Round the Corner

It's no secret Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday, my office filled with pink and red poofs, the kick I get in my heels when the week approaches and my constant asking of "what is your love story and how are you celebrating this year?" Perhaps it's the Pisces in me, but regardless if I was tucked in with a glass of hot cocoa, riding solo with the girls, dating "some guy," to now married to my love, it's a day I cherish and anticipate annually. Though the color pink and 80's love songs are a part of my weekly life, here's a glimpse at how I'm honoring the holiday this time of year:
A pinteresting recipe to spoil teachers, colleagues and friends (

Sweets for my sweets from the scrumptious Laura Little's

A baby mani heart even my 3yo son appreciates (cupcakesandcashmere)

Valentine's true to little dude's taste dropped in the mail and ready for pre-school swapping
Some cupidesque decor for the mantle and sprinkled throughout the house

Plus there is a much-anticipated date night ahead for Saturday, while Thursday means a fun afternoon at the pre-school followed by a heart-shaped pizza by candlelight. And if our little Valentine is REALLY good, there may be a cupcake date on his agenda for the evening. 

Most of all we look forward to celebrating the love we share - so raw, priceless, unedited and cherished it can't be measured in anything but gratitude. Now that, my friends is what Valentine's Day and all the ones in between are about.

With Cupid around the corner, how will you celebrate?

Saturday, February 9, 2013


But still not ashamed...

On Flipping, Leaping and Climbing: The Journey of Organized Sports

"I don't know honey, I don't think he'll go out there," the hubs said as I began to assess whether he was a) unsupportive of putting little dude in a "girl heavy" sport that is gynmastics b) didn't want to give up Monday night football to attend c) thought this  may be a replay of our soccer season (if you could call it that).

 "I know - but it's always worth a try, right? We just need to support him emotionally in whatever he decides and I've prepared him all week. Plus, his friend from school is in there - maybe that will be some motivation," I said as we piled into the car, our son thrilled to be wearing shorts in the 30-degree weather for his first trial at gymnastics.

With no expectations or pre-conceived notions we enter the gym, tiny bodies clad with shiny leotards filling the lobby alive with activity that can only be the speed of what three to five year olds bring. We wait cautiously in the stands as he drives his Matchbox cars along the bleachers, him glancing up every so often to catch a glimpse of a child flipping off the high beam, catapulting on the bars or dancing across a trampoline. Slightly intrigued but not ready to commit, he refused to remove his shoes and focused on waiting for his class mate to arrive, certain he'd find comfort in the familiarity and bravery she'd bring to entering through that door.

And arrive she did, full of energy, support and laughter, the perfect pal to spark the fire that meant stripping off his kicks, grabbing her hand and entering the sweat-filled dome that promised fun, technique and an energy-release so desperately needed after even a full day of pre-school.

For an hour he delighted in following orders, carrying bean bags across his head, trotting backward across the trampoline, diving into a pool of styrofoam cubes and climbing a rockwall as if it was the refrigerator at home. Teen coaches helped him flip over the bars, him exiting only once requesting a drink, then finding himself gathered close to his classmate, feeding off her passion and excitement for something she looks forward to every week. The whole way home he chats how he wants to come back, his favorite parts and of course, questions if J will be there next week.

In other words, we thought - aha! He's sold! Parents unite on a sport that isn't too organized, burns energy, is fun and he enjoys with people we know that is affordable!

Then week two came...

Forty-eight hours before he began protesting, indicating he did NOT want to go to gymnastics, despite bribes and the comfort J would once again be there. Not deeply invested on whether he go or not (he's three - we have our whole lives ahead to pressure him into things that really matter) we did at least want him to try, anticipating it was his touch of anxiety getting in the way and that after arriving early and reminding him what he loved about it, he'd head on out.


Thirty minutes later, his classmate confused and unable to convince this boy to get on out there, two spindly legs wrapped tightly around his Momma as if he were trying to survive a tsunami, we decided to pack it up and head home to play Transformers. And let me tell you, THOSE plastic dudes were flipping, bouncing and catapulting just fine.

This is when I began to attempt to wrap my brain around: what is the secret to organized sports or general activity? Is there a magic age? A certain kind of a child? The right blend? At times it made no sense to me at all that this child who played nearly six hours of sports daily inside and on the lawn of our home, begging to dress and romp with others around whatever ball he had in his hand, would suddenly protest when it involved a group. A child who delights in the Fit Kids program at school, his teacher advising we never skip his passion so strong. A boy who plays golf, football and soccer so well that adults stop and request our number for when he gets a bit older to serve on their team specifically. And while I have no qualms about taking direction from him when he's ready (or even supporting him if it turns out to not be his thing), at times I long for the outside organization of those activities to secretly relieve a bit of the pressure that is consistently on me to keep his intense and constant level of energy and focus working and preoccupied on the true physical drain of an activity or sport that at times does just the trick. In other words: Saturday morning swim lessons helps wear a boy out!

From the emotional flipping, leaping and climbing of the world of organized sports to the physicality of it all, we will wait. Wait to see which direction his heart goes. Wait to see where his mind decides to take him on his journey. Wait and watch as he does the most important thing a child should be doing at this age, which is learning through play, testing limits and exploring his curiosity, feeling the love of his home and trusted parents as he experiences this world one little bit at a time. Because if we think it's a lot to carry on our shoulders some days, imagine what it's like at three!

Flip. Leap. Climb. Love. Support. Authenticity. Care. Patience. Unconditional. Whether you ever become a little athlete or not...

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Trend Train - Colorful Pins

I'm totally falling for the colored bobby pin trend:
Alihenrie blog


My version today matches the royal blue, yellow and orange stripes that line my tee. There's just something about it that makes you feel the joys that were the first or fourth grade again, all the while being in your 30's and having a lazy hair day that seems a bit more forgivable with a pop of color.

What trends are you falling for these days with spring right around the corner?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Reaching Linebacker Status

"It's poundage exceeds that of some of those damn players that have been displayed across our screen all day," I said to my husband as he worked to stifle a laugh. "Seriously - I might as well go all Chiefs up in here if I'm going to weight this least I'd be making more dough."

"Yah, but you'd play for a sucky team," he replies, coming over to pat the bump and half-smiling as he made an additional comment that seemed to center on naming our un-born son after a man in tights.

Though I'd been bashful toward the measuring devices and not once asked for digits at the OB's office, something about today inspired me to go ahead and step on the cool metal scale tucked in the corner of our bathroom, the dust collecting along it's edges an indication of where its rank currently stood in our home. Perhaps it was the alarming email I received from Baby Center today indicating I was never going to sleep again and to anticipate gaining on average 11 more pounds at this point. Talk about a Debbie Downer. Lighten up, weekly Baby Center updates.

Or should I say Jessica Simpson moment? Because girl, people were giving you a hard time about your stats, but let me tell you, JS got nothin' on this mama. You just waddle over here when you're starting to feel like a beached whale with your number two so you can find some peace within yourself. Plus, it will give me a discussion buddy to talk through this since this is all very new to me given I pulled a Kate Middleton through nearly 30 weeks with little dude, leaving me still pounds lighter at delivery from where I started (and NO, it wasn't worth it).

What? You didn't think I was going to talk about the Super Bowl from the title, did you? Because unless it involves Cheetos, half a veggie tray and two large plates of lasagna, I saw very little. Which is probably got me in this situation in the first place. That and the whole "creating a human inside a human" thing I got goin' on.

Regardless, now accepting scout visit for linebacker positions because friends, I've made the stats. It may not be in lean muscle and height, but stats nonetheless.

And I think that counts for something...

The Way to Start a "Birthday Month"

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy for they are the charming gardners who make our souls blossom." - M. Proust

Classic Cup Cafe on the Country Club Plaza. A sicilian omelet that produces a smile from belly to cheeks. A smattering of gifts that shamefully spoils a girl. And the best friends this same gal could ever ask for in this journey called life.

Now THAT'S the way to kick off a birthday month...