Saturday, March 30, 2013


"Yep - doing great - hanging in there! Getting excited! A bit uncomfortable, but good!" have become key phrases to the empathetic and thoughtful folks who like to ask: "How ARE you doing - feeling ok?" So although I try to spend each waking minute delighted in my last pregnancy, anticipating all that is to come and really cherishing our final moments as a family of three, admittedly there are moments I let my mind wander to what I'll do quite immediately when the 10-month journey is all said and done. You know, besides surviving, marveling in the magic with my boys and being over the moon grateful for these amazing gifts in life. When I do the wandering, here's where it goes:
Wrestling and having hard core pillow fights and dance parties with this guy

Sleeping on my stomach. Or maybe just a bit of sleeping in general. 

A tall glass (or two) of prosecco...or a beer. Let's just go with an adult beverage in general, shall we?

Reigning in my germaphobia (scarred from flu/respiratory infection during this pregnancy and limited drugs). We're going to be sick the first 1.5 years of L2's life anyway!

Having an actual date or conversation with my husband. Oh - and friends. Maybe even some colleagues and clients. Somewhere on this journey I lost the ability to make small or even regular talk.
Wearing regular clothing and shoes!!! I may have an Office Space moment with my maternity wardrobe...
Leaving work at work - right where it should be, piling up for 12 weeks to concentrate on what matters most in life
Not having to hoard snacks in every sack, bag and room I own or chugging inappropriate amounts of water

What's one of the first things you did sans baby in the tummy?

Tour de "Spa"

"Welcome! My name's Lori and I will be your maternity coordinator today," she said brightly, her years of experience and warm soul lighting up her face. My husband grabbed my hand tightly, a gesture I had missed over the past few months, and I was delighted to see that a look of what appeared to be excitement lined his cheeks for nearly the first time in this now 9-month journey we'd been on to bring L2 into this world. You know how men are: stuff doesn't get real until stuff gets real, you know?!

Freshly painted walls in soothing colors mixed with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee, jittery legs of anxiously awaiting family members, low lighting, spotless dark woods and bright, friendly faces hit my senses, making the new Shawnee Mission Birthing Center feel more like a girlfriend's home than a hospital. The hospital's recent ads ticked through my head as well as several friends' experiences in the last year, and although the word "spa" kept coming up and sounded good and all, I couldn't turn off my pediatric improvement portion of my brain (eight years in the biz) and immediately began asking curiously about continuum of care, referrals, neonatology, medical procedures and more. Without missing a beat, Lori answered thoroughly, professionally and calmly at my level, giving me the utmost confidence I could just show up, trust this institution completely and get 'er done. Now that's my kind of birth plan.

After marveling at the size of the rooms, exploring the almost comfort of the pull out beds for Dad and giggling at the track lighting of the spa tubs and talking through their philosophy of keeping family educated, informed and together, I fell in love.And when Lori flippantly responded to a woman who paid me a comment near the elevator: "Girl - that's gonna be one BIG baby," (while staring at my stomach) with words loud enough to hear: "Don't you just HATE when people say those types of things?!" I fell in love with her too. I wish the woman was qualified to deliver this guy because she seems like my perfect partner for the job.

Papers signed, hard questions answered and completely at ease, we went to return to our busy day of managing a sick child, hours of meetings, preparing for Easter and tending to our home when suddenly they caught our eyes:

The newborns. In the nursery.

And like the Grinch of third trimester, my heart grew 10 times bigger in that very moment, marveling at their fuzzy heads, scrunched faces, football-sized figures, little button noses and tiny fingers and toes. And despite the endless hours of kicks, heartbeats, hiccups and wishes, it finally became real for me too.

I can't wait - for any of it. To have an amazing experience at the new birthing center. To go through the battle of labor with my life partner. To hold my second son in my arms for the very first time. And to experience even more love than I ever thought possible.

So thank you Shawnee Mission for creating that moment...and walking us past the nursery. Stuff just got real for Momma too. And I liked it.

PS: The bathrooms are pretty spa-like - a girl can't help but notice the tiles. Seriously - they're nicer than the four-star hotels in which we frequently stay for work! Note to self: spend a little time in there at some point...strobe light bathtub and all...

New Fixtures

"Yes - that's perfect...a touch of transition in an Ethan Allen hand-me-down home," I said, eyeing the price and dumping it into my cart, satisfied.

Our quest to simplify and create cleaner lines in our home will be a slow and arduous one, but a few saved pennies at a time, patience, persistence and visits from Brad (contractor) will eventually get us there. Here are two new fixtures in our home:
Edgemoor pendant from Home Depot for over the kitchen table

ANOTHER basketball hoope (this one reaching seven feet) for the...entry way? Kitchen?
You can imagine which one I'm more fond of and the other merely a survival/productivity tool...but a BoyMom's gotta do what a BoyMom's gotta do.

What's on your list for spring cleaning or creating new ambience in your home?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Boy and the Belly

Day two of being cooped up indoors, beautiful snow falling around the warm walls of our home and a three year old at his wits end, jumping from activity to activity resulted in a jelly bean bribe for this mini photo shoot:

Life's gonna be good with three boys. Counting down!

Anticipating Easter

Kansas over spring break of course means a sudden snowstorm, so to combat the winter blues, we began anticipating the Easter holiday right around the corner:

Bonding with the Bunny (which has resulted in asking for "basketball guys," which don't exist, so Mommy had to get creative and order a cake topper?!

Crafting eggs

Plus the mantle is themed, decor spread through the house, chocolate stuffed in corners, Starburst jellybeans being eaten by the bag full daily and talk of what the holiday is all about. We can't wait to spend next weekend with our family and friends and wish yours to be a heartwarming one too!

Bag Your Vote

As with son #1, the birth plan was created, things organized at home (quasi at work), diapers purchased, furniture erect and then came the obsession with...the diaper bag?! Perhaps it's my adoration of things in general you sling over your shoulder (hello-handbags) or my brain's way of losing control as the time grows nearer, but this non-net surfing, quick to make decisions gal gets a little crazy over choosing the right one. Here's where I've narrowed the pick to:

Rebecca Minkoff's Marissa diaper bag: an item I've stalked since I received the positive sign that is now half price!!! Still not a steal, it's functional and views even better in person. A touch of sparkle, functional, easy to clean and tote - swoon! A little torn between the gray with teal trim and the navy, but the navy stole my heart originally. Still pricey.

JJCole bag: well priced, functional and organized, easy to clean and a tad bulkier than the rest. Excellent price point.

SkipHop bag: lightweight, functional, lays nicely against the body and across the shoulder and is a fun bronze color, looking a bit more purse-like; good price

SkipHop Studio bag: large and organized, a bit bulkier but great price and like the bronze and navy; the handles look really cheap (inexpensive was too nice of a word), but overall functional and cute

So, given this is the LAST thing I should be thinking about or focusing on as the date grows nearer, what's your vote? Hey - we're snowed in and it's likely you're doing other mindless activities, so thanks also for indulging in mine!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Over the Bump...Er, Hump

Just when the third trimester was about to take me down, overwhelmed with the magnitude and heaviness of my body, the loss of my patience and personality, drowning in preparations, plans and deadlines for work, not to mention car seats needing installs, house projects updated and no sleep to be had, an old friend posted this little gem:
Baby Bosch Highlight Film from Megan Amideneau on Vimeo.
Now how beautiful is that?!

Perspective granted. So many gifts ahead. Life overflowing with gratitude and abundance.

Just when I thought I was over the bump, this little number brought tears to my eyes and got me over the hump. Cheers to the beautiful Bosch family!

Husbands, Please Note...
A short list of things to avoid spurting toward your wife who happens to be carrying your child:

1. "Why are you acting like such a pscyho?!" Extra points of evil if you mutter under your breath in another room.

2. "Whoa - that's a whole lotta belly." Extra points if you say so before her eyes are truly open at 6 a.m.

3. "The two of you are eating us out of house and home!"Bonus points if he tries to control your diet in any way, shape or form during the 10-month period. 

4. "You've done this once before and it wasn't THAT bad, right?!"Bonus points of evil if your wife had hyperemesis, complications and a horrific multiple-day long birth.

5. "Seriously - I can't get comfortable at night anymore! You're keeping me up with your insomnia and constant attempt to find a good position." Bonus points if he snores and never wakes to pee or walk your other child back to his bed during his night wakings.

6. "Look buddy - you could parachute in the size of Mommy's undies!" Extra points if this grown man will still keep his special pair that has holes in them for gah sake or if your child repeats this to his pre-school teachers.

7. "Wow, my back REALLY hurts and I'm SO tired." Extra points if he has a near flat stomach and actually got more than two hours of shut-eye.

8. "You so hired a doula because you want her to replace me and think I didn't do a good job last time, didn't you?" Extra points if he spent the first six month saying this was a great idea then suddenly changed his mind once his insecurities set in. Or maybe it's that he doesn't have to deliver the thing himself. That or he's dreaming of the bill we'll have to pay postpartum. 

9. "Oh sure honey, I....zzzzzz." Note he pretends to fall asleep vs. providing a 30-second shoulder or foot massage. Bonus points if you catch him reading his iPad 15 minutes later when he thinks you're asleep.

10. "I don't need to go to any of your appointments except the gender one, right? They don't do anything there anyway and you end up having to wait forever - it's boring." Extra points if he thinks working or listening to Dick VanDike scream on the TV takes priority over OB visits.

11. "I'm not going out to get ice cream - it's freezing outside!" Bonus if he just polished off your hidden cherry filled Twizzlers you required to get through another hour.

These are not necessarily from my own husband's mouth, mind you. It was...a friend of a friend. I swear...

So what is your helpful hubby saying these days?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Value of 3s and 5s

3.5 years: our son has officially been on this earth, spreading magic, joy and more love than we ever dreamed humanly possible. We even implemented the "half-birthday" in honor of such an amazing dude.

3 to 5 weeks: until our second son arrives, a concept so mind boggling that only my body has caught up, but the excited nerves are rising to welcome our new little nugget we already adore.

350 hits: the average number of hits a little ol' blog post receives every time I dump my thoughts onto this electronic site. Eternally appreciative that you choose to read.

I'm one grateful gal. And in more than 3 to 5 ways.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Great Closet Clean Out

"Yah, so let's theme it like 'Sex and the City' and have signs on hand, lots of girl love and of course, adult beverages!" we giggled over lunch, plotting our much anticipated Saturday afternoon together. For six years, D had been lamenting over her closet, torn between wanting to tidy up and curl up with her t-shirts from the 90s for all of their memories and comfortable goodness. Her past year torn by grief, sacrifice and sprinkled with some gratitude, the time had come for: the great closet clean out.

With the "rules" laid out in advance, some talking off a cliff and a check in to see if she was pscyhologically ready, we dove in.

And dove in we did.

The requirements were simple:
1) Toss: stains, those that shall not be repaired, ill-fitting, that which is completely outdated for our hot 40-something friend, that which hadn't been worn in more than a year or that which just wasn't acceptable for the public eye.

2) Keep: those with extreme sentiment, sassy, well-fitting clothes appropriate for her age and style, functional, useful items for her active life and that which made sense for spending endless amounts of hours doing accounting work in front of a PC.

D approached it like a rockstar, tearing through try-ons, growing excited about her recent weight loss and being open to feedback and comments from her three very different girls. As the piles of hangers grew, we shared phrases like "you're too hot for that!" or "I think that's a bit matronly," to "I'm NOT parting with that - nonegotiable" to "I just wore that yesterday" to make our decisions. Items of note included a red crepe suite, many elastic waistbands, a denim jumper and overalls and a sparkly ensemble there just weren't words to describe. Carrie Bradshaw herself couldn't even pull those bad boys off...

C and D2 perched nearby, their fingers working madly over keyboard keys and hems as one took inventory for donations while the other furiously folded. Soon the tally became nearly $800 dollars and C's car took on nearly 10 lawn sized bags of clothing goodness to help women in need.

There may have been a break in there that included freshly baked chocolate chip bars, hummus, shrimp cocktail and a few beers...

As the rain fell outside her bathroom windows, so too did years of holding on to things when she'd been dreaming of letting go, freeing up her closet for her new ideas, new life and well, new...clothes. Even her husband was astounded, doing frequent drive bys with a look of disbelieve coupled with humor. Leaving her with a pile of hangers we departed, hopeful her brave, productive afternoon was all she anticipated it to be for such an amazing, deserving Mom of three, wife extraordinaire and girlfriend for life.

So next time you or a friend are ready to take the plunge and purge, don't call Bravo or rely on yourself, call your genuine gal pals. Because we could all use a little help from our friends.

Proud of you D!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Wheels on the Highlander...

Do much more than go round and round. And don't even get me started on the other features it has!

Out of the blue, this little beauty became ours overnight: a 2013 Toyota Highlander with five miles etched on its digital odometer, the interior like butta and that new car smell emanating from it's metal walls that are now working to keep our growing family safe on the roads.

It's perhaps the most luxurious item we've ever owned (hubs has never had a new car and I one in our driving lives), with things we never even dreamed of like all kinds of automated gadgets (seats, Bluetooth, trunk, back up cam, etc.), a third row of seats, touch screen appliances, eight cup holders, a walk through with pilot seats to the back and so much more.

I may have had to have a little cry about it when I pulled off the lot, overwhelmed with gratitude and disbelief that she was ours. And maybe, just maybe, a bit about that whole car buying process (holy whole day, negotiating, research-laden, way out of the comfort zone of a people pleaser process!)

And no, I didn't look back once at out trusty little Volvo as I pulled away (though I think I caught her glaring at me despite she'd just been detailed in that handy cam I just told you about).

Perhaps it sounds a bit cheesy and superficial, but it gives me quite joy to start off each morning with her, the smooth ride, iTunes pounding through speakers that work and adjusting the mirrors that hold my little nugget's bright smile as I drop him at pre-school. The only drawback is that it's crossed me to the dark side of fretting over marks on the leather, giving me slight palpitations at having to place a bag on the seat of gasp - a drink in the holder - so opposite of the breezy car owner I used to know. We all know how that turns out with two children in tow...

By the way, she needs a name...what do you have in mind?

XXXX the Highlander - perhaps the first car that stole a bitty piece of my heart. Now off to the highway...

A Bash for Baby

"So, what's a sip n' see?" my gal pal asked as we swapped a stroller from one Mom vehicle to the next in the light drizzle of a Friday night. "Oh - it's a way to celebrate generally a second born and invite guests to indulge in adult beverages, eat some tasty snacks and stare lovingly at the darling new baby!" I shared, extra excited for attending one of my best friend's the next day.

Whether it's your first or fourth, it seems the rules have gone by the wayside on how and when to celebrate welcoming a wee one, making space for creativity, celebration, support and most of all love for all the deserving mommas in the world. In the past week alone, I've had the privilege of attending a few:
A "sprinkle": generally for a momma on her second or more child, particularly if the expected arrival is of a different gender than the first, complete with low key snacks, generally no to few gifts and a time to get excited with friends

The theme for this baby girl was for each of us to build a scrapbook page for her baby book-so fun!
The lovely Momma herself!
 Next up was a sip n' see for baby Caroline and her amazing Mommy, offering light, tasty brunch fare including a dazzling pink punch, warm conversation with family and friends and lots of oogling at the perfect, precious baby girl:

The ladies of the morning
Delectable and darling cookies
The best pals a gal could wish for in life
Finally, an event that stole my heart...a surprise "sprinkle" for me and Liam hosted by a group of gals I'm thankful for daily for their thoughtfulness, support and golden hearts:
The hostess' with the most pulling off a surprise luncheon at The Tavern

Burp cloth cupcakes so realistic looking you could eat them!

Baby boy balloon

The spycam - aka monitors - one of our only "needs" for son #2!

Hip decor

My loves

The scene for the sprinkle surprise

More loves!

So whether it's baby one or baby four, a bash seems to be in order. Big or small, elaborate or low key, it seems every new life deserves a celebration, right?! Or at least an excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of sweets and hang with the people you love the most in anticipation of a wee one you're going to cherish immeasurably. 

For more ideas on ways to celebrate baby, check out gender reveal parties and visit Pinterest and let the creativity and celebrations begin for you and yours!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Winter Wonderscape

With Wonderscope! Another fabulous way to escape the piles of snow that now serve as our only scenery in KC, the local children's museum is a treat. At a decent price and hours of fun, our MOMS group ventured out this morning to scope out the wonder:
The ball room, complete with obstacles

Mia flips through a mag patiently in the waiting room
While Lawson enters her pet patient's information

Until he realizes Mia is actually the vet so gets top priority

Water play, complete with protective gear
His first diaper change attempt in preparation

Henry does the shopping for the crew

Another visit to the ball room (shocker)

Scanning the produce

Then ending at Fritz's (where we actually let them sit together)
The perfect start to a wintry Saturday! Add it to your "I've been cooped up and am barely surviving" list...