Sunday, June 23, 2013


Seriously, who can leave without spending at least $50 a pop? And sometimes that's just one small bag!

Damn you and love you Target. Thank you for all of your deliciousness.

Why's the WEEK Hafta END?!

The sun avoiding dipping behind the rooftops before 9 p.m. Trailing my ankles in the pool while our little superhero splashes nearby. Celebrating the two most amazing parents on earth for their anniversary and Mom's birthday over delectable dining. Girl time over sushi with smiling wee ones while catching Mom/Baby yoga on the wrong day, landing us at Peach Wave. Minimal housework. Tee time. Conversations with the husband while cicadas chirp overhead.

Now that's the way to bring in summer. Hope your weekend was spectacular!

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Night in Review

"Ok, so we'll see you around 10:30 - have fun!" we said to the sitter as we practically catapulted out the door, the cries of our colicky little one and couch leaps of our oldest growing quieter as we pulled out of the drive. We sat in silence for a few minutes, relishing the moment of calm, hand in hand as we worked to mentally adjust to "parents" to "spouses on a date."

Though a week night, I wanted to treat the hard working husband to a man flick and some grub on the town, all the while escaping a few hours from diapers and demands to do a little work on our relationship as well. Heading out south, he chose "Pig & Finch" as the restaurant of the evening and boy are we glad he did:

The service: personable, attentive, knowledgable and funny. The adult beverages: above average. The croquettess: to die for. Main dishes: equally as yummy. Fried donuts: can't go wrong.

In other words, it was delicious. Prepare to spend outside your budget, but much like Rye, it's well worth it.

With five minutes to spare, we paid our tab and shuffled quickly to the theater, me recalling exactly why I no longer wear heels and kicking myself despite wanting to make an effort for the hubs. Finding comfortable seats, we caught "Man of Steel" in the non-3D and settled in for a longer ride than anticipated.

The husband's review: loved. Mine: how many fights can seriously be in one film? Is it really more than two hours? What's with the slight cheesey aspect? How could Louis not know that's Superman in this day and age with just a glasses change - doesn't she cyber stalk? The action scenes and music: a few decibels too loud. And the chic that has to send Superman out to earth? She was not nearly sad enough. Silver lining: the dude who plays the hero is not just Superman, but super hot.

It was nearly worth it just for that...

So hit up Pig & Finch and AMC for your next date night at Park Place - it was a joy!

I Took Your Advice...

Thanks to the lovely lady pictured first who had the completely selfless and gracious idea to FLY in from Minnesota to spend the day with Squeak, I had the luxury of six hours to myself, tear and kid-free. One pedi, lunch with girlfriends and favorite ice cream later and I'm a new woman.

Thanks Aunt Mary, for being the kind of friend and aunt who understands and gives and loves with the most open of hearts. We love and appreciate you to the moon and back!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Monday Momfessions - June 17 Week

Whoa, getting this done on a Tuesday?! A new record as of late. Is the title driving you nuts yet? I have to keep it for it's catchiness!

1. Nearly this whole post can be dedicated to the following: pumping at Arrowhead Stadium. Three times. In a thunderstorm. Among many, many drunk cowboys and cowgirls. Please message me for details. It was humbling, awkward, sticky and inconvenient. Man, I love that kid. But hey, if grown men and women can consistently relieve themselves near the dumpster about 50 yards from my car, I figure keeping up with my lactation responsibilities is pretty acceptable around those parts.

2. Speaking of the Kenny concert, who are these rail thin but with toned thighs and biceped women with gorgeous carmel skin, perfectly coifed hair in the pouring rain and rockin' ensembles? Seriously. Who.are.they. Certainly not the overweight woman in the red poncho (me). And they were drinking beer that didn't look like it would add to their gut by 6 a.m.? I'm not just talking those teen to 20-somethings - there were some hottie bo tottie 40+s out there. Perhaps I should've spent less time looking at Eric Church and more time interviewing these gals on how they do it.

3. Discovered: an ultimate stress reliever is finding a sitter for a few hours, calling up the girls and hitting the pool. Uh-mazing. Even if the sunburn exists over one week later. Totally worth it.

4. Father's Day was slightly a fail in that the house was a disaster, we couldn't find the motivation to cook so Jack Stack order it was, the presents were half-ass and the hubs' wasn't right at all (no surprise given the golf dude was not super interested in fighting through the colic to help find the perfect pair of shoes so I just grabbed the nearest box because it said Tiger Woods) and Daddy had to do way too much work to make his own day happen. Luckily he caught a quick afternoon snooze to make up for it (see above). We'll knock it out of the ballpark next year hubs, we promise...?! He's so patient, particularly since outcomes are at about a 20% positive in this casa right now.

5. I let another stranger hold the baby. To be fair, this time it was at Learning Tree. Surely Squeak learned something educational from her in those few moments while I found a gift and paid. So really, it was good for him.

6. Dear Halo cheater swaddles: what the hell are those holes for on the lower sides except to have your child's arms escape from them and then get royally peeved?! I.don't.understand. Though notably, likely a user error.

7. Parents: what are your practices on talking to your children about death? Little Dude had a classmate lose a grandparent and also overheard a sitter talking about a deceased friend and now he's obsessed. I keep changing my story and must get it together! Mr. 9-yo vocabulary isn't falling for my various versions.

8. This week we are breaking out all the stops to provide Squeak some relief: chiropractic adjustments for him, starting reflux meds, removing some dairy for me, me taking probiotics and working to improve my diet and potentially moving him to his own room plus three new nursing holds. I was supposed to move him last night and am secretly using the excuse the shelves aren't up for the monitor yet. Maybe I'll go hide those for awhile...

9. I heard from nearly all my colleagues this week who were just checking in on how maternity leave was going. Either it was coincidence or something is going down. Enough thinking about that, right?! There's only a month left. Unbelievable. Pass the tissues.

10. Logging what I ate did not occur this week. Whoops! Perhaps that is why the scale is so angry this morning. Again, WHAT are those Kenny chics doing?!

What's new with you, Momma?

The Colors of Summer

"June Bride, please," my girlfriend said to her favorite nail tech, looking forward to a bit of sparkle and shine she could show off poolside. Meanwhile, another member of our posse went for a sassy purple on her toes for the same reasons. Like accessories, nail polish is therapeutic and genius: always fits and you can change it with your moods. Here are some of my favs for summer:
"Play Date" by Essie - for your more subtle summer days and add some silver sparkle at the ends for evenings

"Mojito Madness" by Essie - anytime this is on my tips, I get asked about the color.
Discovered from Style Scout's blog, it's the perfect shade of not to kelley, not to minty or putrid green
China Glaze's "Pool Party" - a discovery from my IA bff - the ideal and noticeable shade for
all summer long, hands and tootsies

"Bounce It's Me" by Essie - does this scream "I'm on vacation!" or what?!

"Turned Up Turquoise" by China Glaze - not, green, not blue, but bright neon fun
And if you're looking for some of the best salons to pop in and get your mani/pedi on, I highly recommend Blanca tucked away at CJ's Hair Design behind Kokopelli's on 95th and Nall for gel nails (hello - $22! and lasts at least two weeks!) and Stem Salon for toes (a proper, peaceful pedi that leaves your toes hydrated and beautified for weeks - $30).
Latest mani from Blanca (copying bff Katie!)

Happy painting!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Post Secret

"Oh my goodness, all three of mine were like that...right up to 18 months," the well-meaning Learning Tree shopper confessed, tears pooling in the corners of her eyes as she helped me gather my things and gave me an empathetic hug. This was a gesture I'd grown used to in past weeks, grateful for the sympathy, understanding and sisterhood of the colic. I suddenly felt as if I'd known her my whole life and needed her immensely, despite not even knowing her name.

It wasn't until this week though that I had fully understood their tears, but now it makes so much sense: the pieces of post traumatic stress of hours of hours upon crying with no way to make it better, wondering, worrying and slowly stepping into an abyss of insanity no matter how many one-block walks, hot showers or short-term sitters you can convince to rock, bounce and pacify your screaming baby. Then there are the moments of you clutching your stair rail, bawling equally as hard but silently as you dig deep to be grateful for this life you've created, hoping the neighbors don't see your weakness through the half-moon window. There's the arguments you have with your spouse, using words you'd never thought you exchange with actions of fury, surprising even yourself after hours of fussing with no solution begin to wear on your soul. The turning away of your older child as you enter the second half of the day of Bjorning, rocking, happy babying, etc., missing the recap of his day and what he's learned in pre-K. The downplaying you report back to your friends who ask how things are going with phrases like "he's a bit challenging during the day, but sleeps like a dream at night." Meanwhile, your house, relationships and pieces of you sink into a slow vat of quicksand that soon, no amount of fake smiles, trying to keep up appearances, social outings or Starbucks passion teas can make up for in your day to day. Finally, there is the guilt of all the things a mother should never think or say out loud as this too shall pass, the missed moments, even the tough ones when they're older and the blessing of having a lovely family at all.

But you know what, tonight, I'm going to go ahead and say it: I'm tired. I need help, on top of the generous amount of assistance I'm blessed with day in and day out. My heart is broken. I don't understand my new son except in the two seconds a day he shoots me the most gorgeous smile that lights up his entire face, corner to corner in the most adorable way. Our relationship is strained. All my relationships are strained. I feel helpless, hopeless and incapable of raising this tiny being who is sure to be great, but in the meantime, requires the significant amounts of patience, creativity and endurance that most days I'm unsure I'm capable of achieving. Some days I feel like a prisoner in my own home, unable to do anything but rock, sway, swaddle, shoosh, white noise, deep knee bend, pacify, soothe, sing and read to lest the squeaky wails begin, opening me up to more judgement and fatigue than I would've experienced on my own. He's never happy. I don't understand why he's never happy. And that makes me very unhappy.

Yes I've tried strategy X, Y, Z and yes I cherish every second, even the tough ones, for what a gift it is to have this beautiful being a year after trying and against all odds with so many struggling with infertility out there. I love my sons more than anything on this earth and plan to give them everything I have in this lifetime and beyond, but I needed just a second, a minute to share this post secret: I'm hurting. This is hard. And some days I don't know how the two of us are quite going to make it to those magical moments where it all ends for a few blissful hours of evening sleep and I watch as he dreams, the corners of his mouth turning into little grins and I know he's found euphoria on the other side. And while I wouldn't change it for the world as I spiritually appreciate this is the hand I'm currently meant to be dealt, I look forward to the hour where he rests peacefully in my arms, finds his happy place in life and feels like the amazing baby he is and was alway meant to be. Until then I'll rock, sway, swish, bounce and keep trying to fix you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finding Megan

This week I reintroduced little bits of my soul to my new life with a Zumba class, a one-mile jog coupled with a 45-minute walk and a few hours in the sun with the girls. It was heaven.

Sure, the run consisted of my breathlessly explaining to a three year old the exact location of our home every two minutes as he was concerned we were lost. At Zumba, I was by far the heaviest spandex clad gal and likely the only one brave enough to that much shaking while nursing (no, it didn't get dangerous but potentially could have). And at the pool, my pale complexion coupled with what appear to be tiger attack marks  were not exactly country club worth. But you know what?  I'd do it again. Because that's where I find pieces of namaste in the middle of all this beautiful chaos.

May you take a smidge of time to do the same.

Monday Momfessions - June 10 Week

Maybe I should just change this title to "Tuesday Tantrums" or something like that since I can't seem to accomplish it on Mondays, but alas, it's so fitting to being a Mom of young kids: everything is a day late and a dollar short, but hey, the children are (mostly) smiling! This week:

1. I secretly want to wear a tee around at times that says: "Don't judge: I just had a baby six weeks ago," to cope with the insecurity of my new, even plushier figure. I promise I'm trying really hard to embrace and have the attitude that the wee ones will only be wee for so long so I better appreciate it, but when things are too tight on the highest end of the spectrum in your favorite stores and it's pool season, it can be a bit daunting.

2. On a recent date with Little Dude, we visited the T Rex restaurant where one would not suspect there are really hot servers. But alas, our waiter was uber hot. I think I even blushed in front of my three year old. For shame. Maybe the overpriced food, long wait and battling the toy store on the way out isn't all that bad.

3. My heart is totally torn on when to move Squeak and his gassy self to his room. Feeding only once a night and as loud as your Grandpa, he is a good candidate for self rooming. But for some reason, I'm very attached to watching the rise and fall of his chest and knowing he's nearby as well as adhering to the AAP rule. But keeping them in your room for six whole months?! What's up with that? To compromise for now, I pried his co-sleeper away from our bed and it's freestanding a whole two feet away. Rebel.

4. Top secret: between colic and breastfeeding there are some days I feel as if I'm absolutely suffocating. Like plastic bag, prisoner in my own home, can't breathe and the walls are caving in suffocating. For this, I feel extremely guilty because if I'm gone for just an hour, I miss them already and wish I were back home with them in my arms. Is this confusing or what?!

5. Things I don't understand with infants: how to protect them from the sun in summer months (both eyes and skin), keeping bugs off them this season when they're too young to wear deterrent and how to keep them cool in the car. Also, how to fit all of you in a women's stall where there isn't a handicap one and your'e on your own, stroller and all. Help!

6. I ponder how I've not built up Hulkesque muscles from carrying my now 13-pounder around all day so I can accomplish at least one or two things. Instead, I find myself dialing a chiropracter and losing my patience waiting for that Sleep Number bed to arrive.

7. What are those Mom's secrets to always looking laid back, carefree and put together? Seriously, I want to know! I know there are a lot to outside appearances, but I swear, many of them with two young children just like me or even more seem to be pulling it off. Like "I just came from yoga then threw this on with my perfect skin on my size 2 frame in these gorgeous clothes and have well-fed, groomed and positively behaved children" good." Eeesh. In the back of my mind, I imagine their house is perfect too. Could I just get an ounce of that por favor?!

8. Major guilt of the week: I yelled at Little Dude for the first time (a true yell) and still feel horrible days later. Thank goodness for the art of apology and a three year old's unconditional love. Plus with his emotional intelligence, he never misses a thing, hence the quotes: "Mommy, this is where you should yell at Daddy," or "are you mad at everyone in the house because the baby always cries?" How did he get so much wiser than us?!

9. Instead of my priorities anchoring around house maintenance and brushing up on the great things I should be doing to enhance my children, it's been centered on: where will I pump at Arrowhead this weekend? And when can I sneak in one more day in the pool with the girls? Conundrum. Shameful.

10. With just squeak in the car, my R&B and rap playlists stay intact at acceptable levels while he is asleep. I would've never done this with Little Dude. Let's see how Squeak turns out - yikes.

Geez, this past week wasn't looking so hot but overall felt pretty good! What's up with you, Momma?

Bev Beauty

Though we didn't score huge finds outside of some delectable treats at Just For Her Expo, we did walk away with these little beauties.

Coasters with KC's finest and beloved places done artistically with this gal and her mom's photography. I'm happy to report they bring a bit of character to our neutral living room, sweat from drinks doesn't roll onto the wood and they are something you won't find in every home. On our coffee table sits the Waldo Pizza logo, a KU building, Plaza fountain and Loose Park. It's no surprise most of our memories came from the restaurant pics, but I restrained myself...gotta set a good example for the kids you know.

Perfect for gifts and adding beauty to your bev! Check out her site on Etsy.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Just For Her, But Not So Much For Me

"Yah, so we'll meet in lot five right at 4:45 to grab our swag, scope the map and get our shop on," I said excitedly to the girls as if we were a gang of SWAT members. The plan: to get out and get our girl on at the Just For Her Expo. The place: OP Convention Center. The promise: to be fantastically feminine and similar to Holiday Mart.

But I regret to tell you, it was not.

Not to be a negative Nelly, but JFH, you're not rivaling Holiday all. Granted I wasn't expecting the pomp and circumstance that is HM (one of my national holidays by the way) at half the ticket cost and from viewing the vendor list, but I was expecting just a tad more. Instead, it felt a bit forced, salesey and filled with vendors who agreed to sponsor or have a booth because their sister's best friend's grandma begged them. Most folks offering products were wellness based like essential oils, chiropractics or home repairs sprinkled with a few headband and cheesey baby T boutiques. Though we were appreciative of those that do work hard, their arts and what they had to offer, it just didn't align with what the JFH brand promises, though I won't lie I'm pretty pumped about the caramel cheesey popcorn and chocolate I left with (this is spot on with women). Other than that, just some coasters and a topical cure for headaches adorned my shoulder and we made it through in about an hour, filled with disappointment and a need for lettuce wraps at Houlihans. Up side: there was wine.

Holiday Mart. Come back. Please. To the KS side of things. We miss you, and JFH can't compete. Love and thanks, Not Enough Real Problems in Johnson County.

Maternity Mess Up

Or in this case, mess up literally means cleaning the mess up. In other words, keeping, tossing or donating to create a less insane place for this family of four to live. Not that tripping over lose socks, army men and baby seats isn't a blast now and then...

Two key items were on my wish list for sprucing and reducing while I'm on leave, which included the master closet and the playroom. Overwhelming, disorganized, cluttered and bananas, these two spaces needed an overhaul on no budget. With the help of two rainy days and my Mom the organizer extraordinaire, we made some dents:
Bins for sorting sizes (though I'm not a believer of keeping what doesn't fit, this is a
(ahem) "time of transition" for this Mama

Color coding and labels - plus you can see the floor!

Easy to find for your footsies
Ok, so it was nothing like D's fun and remarkable toss, but it felt good nonetheless.

The largest accomplishment in the playroom was separating out the boys' toys by age on their sides, and removing the crates of "guys" from our family living space where guests commence (though what guest doesn't appreciate a Tranformer or Ninja turtle up their arse when sitting in a chair?) and making them accessible and easy to put away for Little Dude:
Tubs for each genre of "guys" with a quick pick (for kiddos not ready to read) with packing tape over it for laminate

It's nice to see our living room floor again, despite soon it will be filled with push toys and bouncers, but hey, it's nice for awhile.

Next project: the study. 

There isn't enough word allowance in a blog post for that hot mess, so don't stay tuned.

Two maternity mess up bucket list items complete!

Bassinet for Sale

Our not so little lamb chop has grown out of this already given he entered this world as a linebacker, so this like-new piece could be yours for your little one to snuggle and enjoy! Check out the product details online and message me if interested. He's going to miss dancing with the lambs but enjoy your baby dreaming in its comfort. $60 and in good shape with all working features.

And so begins the ridding of baby stuff already...sigh. Heartbreak and a tinge of excitement!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rye is Rad

Have you hit Rye yet on your KC eating outings? If not, hop on Open Table today and secure your spot days if not weeks in advance. With it's unique, farm-focused ingredients, it's quickly become a hot spot for Kansas Citians and a new favorite of my own tum. With guests in town over Memorial weekend, here's a look at what we ordered:

  • Spiced caramel corn with roasted nuts
  • Whipped goat cheese
  • House salads
  • Fried chicken
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Pork chops
  • Steaks
  • Milk and cookies
  • Carrot Cake

Along with flights of delicious adult beverages. Although the words above seem ordinary, read the menu descriptions and experience it yourself and indulge in culinary delight. Plus the wind breezing through your hair as you gaze into a small pond, spotting a heron and sitting fireside? So relaxing. And the hip, minimalist decor inside? What you want in your home. Plus the servers were all kinds of awesome.

Rye=rad. Give it a shot!

Then hit Bier Station afterward with the most remarkable selection and unique concept of booze purchasing and enjoying I've seen (one of those wish I would've thought of it types). I don't think I've ever seen dudes get so excited as when they enter that place.

Looks like you have a date night or evening with friends on the horizon - enjoy!

Monday Momfessions - Week of June 2

Yah, yah, it's Tuesday...I get a pass since we have a colicky baby, right?!

1. No matter how many Star Wars books I read or clips I watch with my obsessed son, I just don't get it. Seriously James, why all the characters? That's a lot of pressure when I'm constantly being asked to confirm which are good and bad. Just.can't.engage.

2. You know your newborn is going through a growth spurt when your oldest says, "Mom - can you please put your boobs away and come play?"

3. Children's birthday parties can be...awkward. Strangers, having to climb through obstacle courses to rescue terrified children, watching your son pop a kid in the shoulder during the group picture, wanting to eat an entire pizza plus a cupcake meant for the children. You know, that kind of stuff. Good thing the kids love it so much and for the few darling daycare Moms I've grown to adore.

4. It's been decided: there is absolutely no point in cleaning up during the day. Sh*t just gets tossed seconds later, which can only lead to insanity. And not the Insanity good workout type...

5. To calm my husband who was trying to calm our hysterical child during a birthday dinner Saturday night, I waltzed right out of the restaurant with a glass adult beverage in my hand, marched across the parking lot and just handed it to him. Part of me felt like such a rebel just waiting to get a MIP while the other felt a bit like a rough around the edges, embarrassed Mom. This explains so much about the stage we're at in life.

6. I've ditched the showering daily and dolling up for same day hair and yoga pants and man, it feels good. I'll likely never get to do this in life again, so why not embrace it now?

7. Grandparents make the world go round. Period. In not so eloquent words: we'd be screwed without them and are incredibly grateful for all they are and do.

8. I have a short list of items where I feel I'm entitled to go completely Momma Bear on someone's behind. A close proximity quasi-stranger who I don't completely know or trust grabbing my child and claiming to know all the tricks to colic then walking 25 feet ahead and directly into my home without asking and then begging to stay and help late at night? Is one of them. Also the teen working at a kids' party venue that tells a child "big girls don't cry so stop crying!" is another. And this time it wasn't even my kid.

9. Dishes left for two days sink side no longer phase me in the slightest. Neither does, apparently, a diaper accidentally left on the fireplace. This is bad. Though the dog thinks it's good. Enough said.

10. I question when I won't need an entourage to get me anywhere public and on time with two children. I'd love to know this date and when I will earn this competency.

So what's going on with you Momma?