Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Speaking of Boy Bands...

These two have become quite the duo:

Number one on my pop chart for sure! 

Bonkers for Boy Bands

"So, where are you ladies headed tonight?" asked our server as he placed warm tortilla chips and salsa on the colorful table top causing our mouths to immediately water.

"New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees," we replied, waiting for him to gawk at our response. Instead we received: a blank stare. The kid was born in '95. Enough said.

So set the tone for the rest of our evening comprised of shirtless 40-something boy band wonders, songs we still knew every lyric to, tears shed over memories, screams of delight at the madness, awkward choreographed moves and awesome cheesiness all around.
Part of our concert crew pre-game at P&L

He's still got it!

Don't hate that Joey was so close...

Reliving our teen dreams


Needless to say we bought the t-shirts.

I'd do it all again. The 80's, 90's and The Package Tour. Cause this girl? Bonkers for boy bands for life! Even if they are a bit off key and goofy these days...

A Pop of Pink

To feel pulled together and sassy for my return to career land, I needed a bit of a pick me up, so of course I headed to Nordy's like any gal with a retail problem does and went home with this:
"Girl About Town" creamsheen shine by MAC
Deliciously pink lips.

Bright without being too obnoxious and compliment worthy. Swoon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Move Over, Passion Tea

Starbucks has introduced a new drink in town that this gal has fallen straw through lid for:

Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade.

I know right?! That's a lot of goodness in one name. And one cup. As far as taste, it's like a toned down Sweet Tart with smoothness over ice. Delic.

So although Passion Tea will always have a soft spot in my heart for the days it got me through colic, there's a new bev in town.


Monday Momfessions - July 21 Week

Ok, so it's Wednesday...I get some grace as I just returned to work, yes?!

1. If Adam Mansbach is up for it, I'm going to write a sequel to his book "Go the F to Sleep" and title it "Stay the F Asleep." It will feature all the shenanigans of my three year old and ancillary curse words of his parents. Next on our list to get him to sleep past 5:30 a.m. is this little number.

2. The large pump made it's last stadium tour at Sporting KC last weekend and has now been replaced (thank gah) by a super duper handheld from a dear friend. You know I rolled to NKOTB in style with a regular clutch housing the device, though it didn't save me the embarrassment of being searched by a man who was determined it was an explosive device I was housing in the freezy pack.

3. I may have made a minute by minute agenda for me and the hubs to successfully exit the house in the morning, shower our kids with love and still get to our career centers on time. To be fair, it's kind of working. There's that MBA at work...

4. The focus on post baby bodies is kinda makin' me bonkers. These articles cheer me up: There Is More to Motherhood Than a Post Baby Bod (tearjerker), Why I Work article, Kate Middleton article, and a few I can't muster up the energy to find right now. Perhaps we should create headlines showing support for these amazing women and parents on how magical, remarkable and challenging it all is, yes?! Your body is just the space where your heart is currently living, you know the organ doing all the work at this point and the rest of your life after birthing children

5. It's only day six and I want to curl up in a corner and begin rocking over washing pump parts and baby bottles.

6. Now that I'm back at work, some days start with tears and some with cheers. It's a very confusing process. I'm nearly certain my brain is no longer mine.

7. Holding your pre-schooler in a bear hug while he screams, thrashes and nearly loses his dinner over a haircut is not my favorite activity, mainly because it's messy and the emotional torture reaches a level eight. Then there is the gal who was cutting his hair that claimed he would look like a girl if he didn't sit still and get it cut. Suddenly, bear hug turns into mama bear on the poor hairdresser. As they say at Montessori, sad choices all around.

8. Once again, I don't know when you people clean your house. The monthly cleaner (best Christmas present ever) is going to have to pry the door open with her mop or something.

9. Another job for bribery: medicine for chronic conditions. If it hurts and it's something you have to do to the child daily for several months, he's getting Skittles - let's just face it.

10. Going out until 2 a.m. two nights in a row with two children means two weeks of recovery. That's a lot of twos for that math equation.

Hangin' in there - how are you doin' mama?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day One - Check!

Five a.m. rise and shine to warm showers and a bit of quiet time with the wee one. A 50's style housewife dress laced with color to exude confidence, togetherness, sunniness and a touch of "I kind of wish I were still at home." A onesie for Squeak that read "New In Town" just in case the rest of the babies didn't know. An unexpected smoother morning than anticipated...perhaps due to my incessant planning and line item agenda with expectations and roles. Lots of tears at the handoff. A meltdown for the Little Dude for Daddy who dropped him an hour earlier into an abyss of unknown that Skittles for breakfast couldn't even help. A drive to work with hard core rap to numb the pain. Arrival to the office to the most thoughtful team a gal could ask for. Hugs, questions, support, mommy gifts, a remembered computer password and only 1600 emails. A mostly productive afternoon and a quick lunch with dear friends. A transitional schedule for a week that meant an early pickup. Baby in one piece despite only sleeping five minutes (swaddle cold turkey time) and had a few smiles and play left in him for Mommy. Dinner rich with humor with the family and extra snuggles with Little Dude as he dozed off. Momma Strong workout and off to bed.

I'd say day one was a quasi success, wouldn't you?

Thank you to the incredible women I work with who know that streamers, Starbursts, empty frames ready to be filled with love and words of encouragement make coming back easier. And to my dear friends and family for their thoughtful emails, texts, calls and love. I don't know what I did to deserve you, but I'm going to continue to be grateful with a whole heart.

Day one - check!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The End As We Know It

The first of the morning's rays hung lazily between the slats of the blinds, sharp contrasts of light lining the photos and toys hung so thoughtfully in the nursery. Soft snores escaped beneath the cracks of two doors nearby, housing the slumbering gentleman that take up all the room in my heart. Meanwhile, the youngest of them slept soundly in my arms, the home where I anticipate we both feel we should be, serving as a soft place to lay his head until he was really ready to rise and face the day. I counted the wrinkles in his perfectly pudgy arms, laced like rubber bands, then met with tiny palms that pressed against my heart. The very heart he stole nearly three months ago when he entered into this world.

This morning was the last of our dawns that looked like many of the ones the twelve weeks before. The stillness, silence and peace that radiated within the four walls of that room, that house and in the confines of my heart echoing so profoundly, it could only be known as utopia. And though these moments will continue to exist, they will be rattled with conflicting priorities of "real life" and a career outside of maternity leave. Three parts heartbroken, two parts anxious and one part excited, the day had come to return to my office, laced with pre-school artwork, the grins of the gentleman and stacked papers that housed work I generally enjoy. Leave would end - leaving me with the battle of emotions such as the feeling of accomplishment and giving back to the world in the way business can cater to so well to the abnormality it feels to not be and grow with your children.

As the 24 hours tick away before the alarm sounds at 5 a.m., so I began to suit up in the armor it takes to go to war on the heart, the little solidiers' fingers I'm so used to having wrapped in mine no longer serving as a daily part of my army. Though maternity leave had not always been a walk in the park with long, colic-filled days, recovery from surgery, the unachievable strife for balance in a growing family, rediscovering one's partnership and working to understand high intensity emotions, it still served as a bucketful of memories I will ever preserve as some of the best I've experienced in this life. Nothing can replace the gifts I'd been given of time, creativity, friendship, support, experiences and endless amounts of love. No day had been boring or a strife, no moment surpassed as one that didn't hold all that I had dreamed it would be. Better yet, the bucket list had nearly been checked off from house projects requiring completion, KC sites visited, experiences with the kids had, trials with two attempted and best of all, the building of relationships so much deeper than I knew the foundation could even extend.

So though this is the end as we know it, may we look forward to the beginning we have ahead.

I love you dear Squeak. Thank you for giving me three of the best months of my life. Forever mine, forever ours, forever in our hearts.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Monday Momfessions

You don't even know what's happening right now with this posting a day early, do you?! I blame that I return to work this week and my hot messness begins...now:

1. The Medela has now been to a Sporting KC game. How proud the pump must be of its stadium tours. I think a t-shirt may be necessary.

2. Remember last week when I told you I felt like a badass for taking two kids anywhere on my own? Well, a few days ago I took them to my doctor's appointment then each to their own physician ones. Back to back. In different locations. Gold stars for sure, right?! Particularly since I had to literally hold the screaming Squeak while I paid my OB a visit. Not awkward at all....

3. I thought I was a nut job when I was pregnant re: germs, then I realized a whole new level when the hubs brought the flu bug into our home. Lysol, insane handwashing, barricades, meds and complete abandonment of the sick being ensued. Wife points? No way. But hey - the kids stayed healthy. Plus they still remembered their Dad after he re-emerged.

4. Running may best be done sans children lest you hyperventilate from answering the 4,000 legit "why" questions during your trek that will not be shut down until a true answer is provided. Bonus:  your heart rate is higher from pushing 50 pounds and surely you're burning more calories with your "one way boys are different from girls..." responses.

5. True to my helicopter style I made a cheat sheet for Squeak's daycare, describing in depth his quirks and likes. The hubs calls me psychotic. I call myself prepared. Ok, and a little psychotic. For the record, this one is only one and a half pages. Pretty sure Little Dude's was close to four...

6. Confession: sometimes if I rock in Squeak's chair to get him to sleep long enough, I feel like one of those Halloween statues our neighbors post at their front door during the season. That or completely insane. Perhaps I should move the rocker out of the corner...

7. Bribery was in high fashion in our home this week: Sour Patch Kids for daily medicinal intake and a whole box of M&Ms to get through the first half of the soccer game (I'm not kidding - the big one) are examples of this shameful strategy. A football may have been purchased at PBK while we tried to wedge a bookshelf into the back of my SUV as well.

8. I drove up to a McDonalds only to request to pay for a Minion instead or purchasing a Happy Meal. Yah, they did it. You rock McD's.

9.  The car required a regular checkup this week, so Squeak and I went to handle the business. Hendrick Toyota - your lobby is delightful. Big screen TV with the Today Show, donuts and free drinks plus great people watching? I was almost sad the car only took an hour. Though nursing in your ladies' room wasn't that stellar, it was like a mini vacation.

10. We have resurrected many of Little Dude's baby toys for Squeak to begin enjoying. And I didn't Clorox them. Rebel.

For other parenting empathy or laughs, check these out this week: Morning Translator by Honest Toddler (I cry laughing at the touching face part every time) and Episode 6 of "Conversations with My Two Year Old" - you'll totally identify with the leg bicycling part.

What are you up to these days, Momma?

Two Months of You

Stats: 23.5" height (75%), 13.2 pounds (75%), 16.5" head (98%)

Likes: gentle cheek and brow strokes when falling asleep, "severe" knee bends and bouncing from whatever adult is calming him at the time, sharing gazes with the smiling creatures on his kick mat, eating, spending time attached to mommy, angry binky sucking, white noise (along with a bit of country and rap tunes), shadows from the TV (shameful), sleeping...particularly swaddled in his own crib, personal chats with new faces, Nana's bicycles and baby talk, warm baths and milk (not at the same time...well, he probably would if we let him), being cuddled in a blanket, regardless of the weather and more

Dislikes: car and stroller outings, when goats at Deanna Rose try to eat his piggly wigglies, story time, when his brother gets a bit to close to his personal space, sounds of a certain decibel (read: brother movie impersonations or Mimi's laugh), doctor visits, particularly the weigh in and shots (can't blame him), Mommy's dairy cheat days, his hernia and clogged tear ducts, being toasty, Mommy's social schedule and to-do lists that require accompaniment and more

Tricks: "talking" with deep and meaningful coos, particularly with vowel sounds, a chirpy giggle that melts your heart, holding that big ol' noggin up for longer periods of time, ninja swaddling, bonding with plush animals and other smiling toys, growing three chins, pretending to be almost asleep then suddenly waking as if a fiesta is about to ensue and more

Firsts: Fourth of July, laugh, big round of immunizations, trip to Loose Park, Father's Day, chiropractic adjustment, move to crib, visit to Mommy's work, etc.

My apologies for the late post now that you're nearing the three-month mark, Squeak - we're just too busy soaking in every delicious, beloved moment with precious, amazing you!

PS: for all of those so kind to always ask and assist (gah bless you), the colic is much improved! We're down to crying for 1-2 hours a day and just "high maintenance (diva) vs. inconsolable!

Monday, July 8, 2013

For the Love of Jugs

Whoever the two moms are that created Mama Jugs in response to "an overwhelming number of friends whose love for their hospital water jugs was just shy of being creepy" are genius:


Seriously, how cute are these? They completely rival the hospital water cups we don't let a single family member put their lips to that by the way, Shawnee Mission hospital is making smaller. Not cool. Plus they are more stylish and don't scream "HEY I PUSHED A BABY OUT AND ALL I GOT FOR A SOUVENIR WAS THIS MUG." Well, I guess you get a cute little nugget of a newborn, but you know what I mean...

Cute, classy, just the right size, straw included, dishwasher friendly and BPA free, it's the perfect hydrating tool for chic mommas.

Grab yours today at the Sweet Pea Boutique (formerly Mady and Me in PV) at Park Place or visit www.mamajugs.com.


Note: be careful when googling...with a name like mamajugs, you can imagine the returns you get...

Monday Momfessions - July 8 Week

1. Frequently I'm asked how I get a shower in daily. This post pic is my secret.

2. Random places I've nursed in the past week: a children's farm, Toyota bathroom, farmers' market and guest bedroom of someone I didn't know. Now seeking motivation to continue this crazy train. In related news, Little Dude's favorite thing to now say when this is occurring is: "no one wants to see your boobies here." You can imagine where he learned that phrase (thanks Daddy).

3. When asked how old Squeak is, I keep saying almost nine weeks when he is more actually 10+. Denial much?!

4. Taking your son to his first baseball game can be nearly as heartwarming as your wedding day. The magic, lit up eyes and pure delight of a new experience is unmatched.

5. I secretly feel like a badass every time I take two kids anywhere and it goes successfully. Kind of lame, but small wins, right?!

6. Nothing says love like donning a swimsuit two months after birthing a 10-pounder in front of other grownups only to catapult yourself down children's slides you're uncertain fit your hip width. Not to mention being dumped on by a large bucket of ice cold water every few minutes. But hey, the kiddo is happy!

7. I think the grandparents are even tired of us. We can be an exhausting crew, truth be told.

8. Is it fair I'm slightly relieved Little Dude fell asleep before the fire-lighting hoopla on the Fourth? Males and fireworks tend to always lead to trouble in my experience. Unless it's the first date sparks kind vs. sparklers and M80s.

9. I held Squeak while performing two cooking duties this week that probably would not make the Mom hall of fame. No one was injured in said domestic food preparedness.

10. I'm terrified to return to work next week. I think I'd also be scared to stay home full-time as well. None of this makes sense to me. Why can't Moms ever win this battle? It doesn't seem as Dads are even thinking twice about any of it. Example: Victoria Beckham made headline news this week for sharing she feels guilty for working. Seriously, headline news? About 90% of the women I know should get some black and white time then too.

How's your summer going Mama?

Suiting Up

"Yep - I'm just going to run there - I'm sure it will be fine," I said, the revving up of cries beginning in the background.

"No, no - I'll come and support you. At least watch him," my Mom said as she heard my plan was to go swimsuit shopping, a task that generally should be done alone in self loathing in my opinion. Either that or grab your best, positive, spirit-fingered friends who surely will say something nice about your nine week post partum figure. Which is exactly why I was bringing my two month old - you know, to lecture him about the claw marks on my stomach and behind and alert him he owes me a coo or two during try-ons.

Two fistful of suits later and a favorite in mind I entered the dressing room with caution, electing to try on the one that struck my eye first. And wouldn't you know - it fit!

The perfect replacement for my miracle suit that is now peeking some skin through the sides due to chlorine? Stretching? Who knows what but seems not worth the price I paid only two years ago! It's a little flashy perhaps for a momma of two in the "girls" region, but overall a find with it's wild chevron pattern in all my favorite colors that covers up the bumps and lumps and fits comfortably in the seat. I wish I would've found it earlier in the season, but hey, it made it's debut at a kiddie party at Splash Cove yesterday. You know, for ducking under waterfalls and rescuing small children from water slides...

Just wait until those skinny workout queens get a load of this at the gym pool...oh wait. They don't need to mask anything because they have six packs. Me? I'm going to distract others with the pattern - this is my plan.

Suiting up to enjoy the rest of summer that's already nearing the end!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lust List

In two weeks we'll have two in daycare costing more than $2k a month. That's a lot of twos. Therefore, a gal must superficially dream and only dream:

Marc by Marc crossbody (nordstrom.com)

Goldenthread necklace with my boys' initials (goldenthread.com)

Custom chucks for Little Dude 

TOMS wedges in ikat (nordstrom.com)

Mac LipGlass in "underage"

That couch and rug

Lululemon pants

Oh, and a trip to the islands with Henry Cavill would be nice.

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?!

Girls' Night

Warm breeze. Rooftop overlooking the city. Culinary deliciousness. Wine and summer beers. Three teensy pups. Lotsa laughs. Things you only tell your pack. And the six best friends a gal could ask for:
Katie (hostess with the mostess) not pictured. Also disclaimer for L's behalf: she's wearing a strapless maxi dress, not catching rays in the nude.

Life is good.

Monday Momfessions - July 1 Week

1. On a trip to the farmstead today, I baited a worm. With a baby strapped to me. In Ann Taylor clothing. By myself. Boymoms unite!

2. Inappropriate places I've changed a diaper in the past week: on the floor of a DQ, a tennis court and the trunk of my car. Hey - a girl's gotta have her Blizzard, get her game on and hit the Farmer's Market.

3. On a quiet night before bed, I received the most remarkable compliment I've ever been gifted in life: "Mommy - you're the BEST mommy ever." I'll never forget it, hug and all.

4. Styling and primping of the hair has not occurred in two weeks time. Hey, it's summer, right?

5. A pharmacist girlfriend sent me some awesome research on nursing and alcohol consumption. It may be printed and posted in our kitchen pantry where there should be healthy recipes. Again, hey, it's summer, right? And my kid cries a lot...

6. Squeak's smile may be the most magical I've ever seen. It starts way under his third chin and lights up the left, then right side all the way to the twinkle in his eyes. I melt.

7. White noise is slowly making me want to drink due to it's frequency of play in this house. See #5.

8. Having the sweet neighbor boy hang out with Little Dude near the dinner hour after a long day may be one of the greatest treats ever as it gives me a mini break to focus on one kiddo and quasi prepare dinner. Guilty! Seriously, how do you other moms do it all?! #stillonalearningcurve

9. I've started score keeping with the hubs on child duties. This is NOT good for the marriage. I repeat, this is NOT good for a marriage. Must.adjust.my.tude.

10. I engaged in a 45-minute educational lecture and inspection session of "bottoms" (his own, not mine!) with my suddenly very curious son that challenged my clinical knowledge and made me wish I had called his Dad in for the shennanigans. What is with boys and their parts?! On a related note: I'm secretly concerned the picture I must host on my iPad for the pediatrician of Squeak's inguinal hernia will be sniffed out by the police and make me look like the crazy lady that should be jailed. Eeeek.

11. Bonus since I didn't post last week: I had the "9" dialed of "911" when attempting to create healthy waffles for the first time in a waffle maker. There may have been some smoke, unique smells and one undomestic diva that should never be in the driver's seat of the kitchen. But hey - Little Dude will be eating La Leche League waffles topped with applesauce each morning as an improvement over his Eggos and syrup. Baby steps!

What's new with you this week, Momma? May you have a wonderful Fourth!