Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Houston, We Have a Roller

Front to back, back to front. Here, there, everywhere as Dr. Seuss would say.

Coupled with wild grunting, superman strength, some mild frustration and obsession with the new trick, it's quite a stunt. Even more fun, the first time he attempted was for a party of 10.

Way to go buddy - you know how to make an entrance with milestones. It looks good on ya.

May the world from your new view bring you all the magic you've been imaging in that off the charts cranium of yours!

Nail Candy

How fun is this for fall?
"Peace, Love and OPI" color by OPI
Because everyone could use a little peace, love and OPI...

And manicurists report it looks good on every skin tone. Happy polishing!

Monday Momfessions - September 23 Week

1. On a recent trip, I bonded with a young Mom of a two and four year old boys. I mentioned to her she gave me a glimpse into my future and she said something along the lines that it takes a special lady to be a BoyMom. I immediately adored her. This love was further deepened when our airplane did a skip upon landing and her son shouted for all passengers to hear: "WE JUST HIT A BODY!" Soul sisters this gal and I are, I tell you. Soul sisters.

2. Once your son turns four, prepare for the whole "growing up" shennanigans to occur. I was disinvited to popsicle time at school because "his friends would say 'why is your mom here' and laugh." Shortly after in a cuddle attempt, I was asked to remove my hand from his tummy. Too cool for school=noted. Also noted: so begins the era of a broken heart.

3. Nursing in front of stranger's children can mean awkward party of 3+. Leave it to the Mom to explain than role play accordingly. For example, if the Mom says something silly like "oh she's dressing like a ghost with her baby" regarding your cover, just go ahead and say "boo" for effect.

4. Using your neighbor's wonderful child as a playmate so you may accomplish maybe one task of your outstanding 5k on your list is pure genius. Bonus points if he's older and knows how to play with young children (thanks N.C!)

5. Planning and hosting your child's birthday, although delightful, will require a four day recovery at minimum. Consider it a college hangover but with lots of little pieces and parts to remove and assemble, continued 6 a.m. wake up calls and lots of thank you notes to write.

6. Despite I had been without husband and one child for nearly five days, within twelve hours I needed an hour to myself and hit up the pedi bar. This can't be good parenting.

7. When your child dramatically chokes like he has whooping cough over and over again as a means to "finding his voice," you may just get asked if he's well enough to board an airplane. Depending on this said child's behavior, you may choose your answer carefully, regardless if he's sick or not. I'm just sayin' there are options at this point...

8. Having surprise family visitors in town means that every few hours you have free hands to do things like go to the bathroom alone, eat a semi-warm meal for 10 minutes, wear clothes without stains and meet some of your basic needs. Note: INVITE THEM TO VISIT MORE OFTEN. Oh, and they're pretty fun to hang with too.

9. It's true you forget absolutely everything you learned from your first child. I'm pretty sure our pediatrician's nursing line is going to ban me soon if I call to ask about fevers, solids, colds, crying or basic rashes one more time.

10. Though it can be obnoxious, those dang people were right. It's all going too fast. That second one? Like lightning. Rolling over, eating food, outgrowing clothes? Make it stop!

What's going on with you, Momma?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Notes for the Nomad Nurser

"So, you're going to quit nursing before your first trip, right?" my colleague asked, her face certain that my answer was to be yes given the nuances of what it takes to lug the ol' pump, deal with airport security, smuggle milk between the borders and find a way to duck out of a room of 50 people you're responsible for while trying to conduct a meeting. Instead I replied with:


Though it's far from a science, if you're a required nomad nurser like myself, here are a few tips that may be helpful:

1. Request a refrigerator in your room from the hotel with your reservation: generally it's a $25 to $50 charge and completely worth it rather than asking the kitchen staff to save you a spot in their fridge. It saves you time from hunting down a hotel manager and the awkward walk back into the space where Marriott prepares their food. Some really rockin' workplaces will even cover this charge for you as part of your travel duties to the company.

2. Bring a family member or friend: this is only for the super duper lucky/blessed/spoiled! Particularly if you are going to go more than two days and your ol' friend the Medela is only going to do 70% of the work your baby does, it's a treat to have your child around to take on the duty, even if it is only once or twice a day. This will help avoid plugs and infections, plus you'll get to sneak in some time with your wee one on the road.

3. Plan, plan, plan: make your pumping schedule and stick to it, asking for help from others if needed. For example, in my job as a facilitator, I've asked two trusted clients to take over the room during the two 15-30 minute periods where needed and made this during times where I generally won't be missed. Know where you're going to pump and what you're going to do with the milk afterward so it can be a quick and seamless process. Try to keep to your schedule as you would at home or work. For example, this is about every three hours for me with the ability to push to five without too much detriment to my supply. Also, have a plan if your plane is delayed or late and work it accordingly (carry on your pump or have a hand held as backup!)

4. Prepare for TSA to make you blush: despite millions of women lugging the big black bag around and through x-ray machines, you will still get stopped and searched or perhaps even shouted at over a line of passengers of "WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS BOMB LIKE MACHINE YOU'RE TRYING TO GET THROUGH LADY." I suggest creating your witty responses now or challenging them to sample the product they are so concerned about. Know the airport rules, and if you're taking the white stuff across the border, I highly recommend keeping it on ice with you. TSA agents will open up the storage devices and run little strips over the milk to ensure it doesn't contain...heroin or something? Bombs? Who knows. They are required to wear gloves and feel free to watch them like a fox. Some passengers may gaggle, so prepare awkward for comments for them too. Might as well make this fun.

5. Pack your cleaning supplies: bring your bottle brush and some dishwashing liquid or wipes for your particular pump parts if available. Hotels generally don't have microwaves in rooms anymore, so plan for some handwashing. If you're in a super rush between pump sessions, do a quick rinse and place the parts in your mini fridge to help ward off the milk spoiling in your absence until you can get to them.

6. Pump...anywhere: ensure you're backup battery is charged and prepare to pump just about anywhere. Closets, bathrooms, cars...you wouldn't be the first momma and it makes for great comparison stories among friends.

7. Nurse up and down: if baby is with you, find a window seat and tuck away and nurse him on the ascend and descend to help their little ears.

8. Have a backup plan: traveling and nursing is stressful enough, so have a backup plan. Whether it's as extreme as heading home when a snafu occurs or you have formula on hand for your caregiver, having a plan B gives you an inkling of peace.

9. Eat, drink and be merry: stay hydrated and snack just like you would as a nursing momma at home. This is easy to forget on the road, so pack accordingly or hit the hotel/airport snack station often.

10. Don't forget your pads: avoid the super soaker and grab your Johnsons so a wet blouse isn't the scene of your board meeting, but your strategy and agenda as it was planned.

11. Find the perfect nursing bag: if you're anything like me, you get tired of that boring ol' black nylon bag anyway and figure if you're going to all these efforts, the damn thing should at least be cute, so find a tote that works for you. In it, supply everything you'll need for nursing, including: storage containers or bags, cleaning supplies, the pump itself and extra parts, hands-free bra, a snack for Mom and cold storage and sanitizing wipes. Use this daily on your trek to work too!
My current "perfect bag" by Vera Bradley

The supplies: pump, wipes, extra storage, frozen storage,
bottle brush, sanitizing wipes and dishwashing soap 

And don't forget, if anyone gives you sh*t on this journey, just record their antics and put it on YouTube...you'll get all the support you need from other nomad nursers.

Safe travels and happy Moomy duties!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


There is something so significant about four...

Perhaps it's that in viewing photographs from just a year ago, barely a trace of that toddleresque child remains. Instead, a young boy stands before us with more unique features and traits, a boatload of wit, critical thinking beyond years, wonder, magic and a whole lot of fun. In these moments, I find myself wanting to stop time, yet in the next breath, am met with even more remarkable lessons, experiences and love from him than I could have ever known. In short: he's the greatest gift that life could have ever handed us.

We love you, big guy. May four be all your superhero heart has been yearning for and more.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Momfessions - September 1 Week

1. Last week I sported poo on my dress for half a day before I received the red alert from a colleague. POOP. On a dress. All day. In a professional environment. Like a straight up yellow stain front and center. At least it nearly matched the stripe on my dress. Who knew I'd be wishing it was actually breastmilk on my clothes?

2. Little Dude has a new "talent" called selective listening. At first he was given the benefit of the doubt as I lay awake at night pondering the use of his ol' eardrums and when I'd call the doc, then I noticed it was only Mommy directed. "WHAT?!" To every.single.sentence. Sometimes with a smirk. Between the corner of annoying and frustrating, I'm having a hard time finding Love and Logic street. Now I have two of them in the house with this "gift?" And one on the way? Awesome. Again, why one has girlfriends.

3. A colleague of mine and I have reached a new level of intimacy in our relationship bound by understanding, motherhood, humility and now, maybe some humor. The girl rescued me while I had a mini meltdown over a broken pump. It wasn't the hospital trips, ambulance coming to our house that week and all of us having the flu that sent me over the edge, but the pump. The point in which she intervened may have involved me only in a hands-free bra, Spanx and tears. She deserves a promotion.

4. There is absolutely nothing better than a wee one that chooses to snuggle in right under your chin, heart to heart, and stay awhile. Can't we keep them like that forever?!

5. I'm convinced children under the age of 15 are not competent in nose blowing. There should be some kind of class.

6. On my Christmas list already this year: more than two or three hours of consecutive sleep. Not complaining, just stating. I'm talking to you, Santa.

7. Crappy Pictures is speaking my language. Add them to your read list now.

8. There are certain things I get all looney bin on with the second child. This week: when to give him solids and if I'm going to freshly prepare those said solids or not. Why do I create these issues and obsess? The child is not going to ask me if he was exclusively breastfed until six months or not, gah.

9. When I see other mothers in public balancing one or more children and doing and saying all those things I do, I want to hug them. Smile at them. Help them. Applaud them. Then I get to a restaurant where I'm actually by myself, with girlfriends or my husband and I want to run from them. I find this very confusing.

10. My 4 month old stretches from my shoulder to hip with no problem these days and my oldest turns four in two weeks. No one asked me permission for any of this. Harrumph.

What's going on with you, Momma?

All Of His Bags Are Packed...

And he's ready to go...at least the majority of his heart and mind I suppose.

Papa is Orlando bound! He's accepted a new position that embraces his many talents and gifts, makes his heart smile and brings goodness to the world. Though we'll miss him dearly on our weekly restaurant runs, neighborhood drivebys and long, lazy weekends, we look forward to seeing him once or twice a month and many times over on Facetime.

No matter what Little Dude says (tear-filled eyes whispering: "I don't want Papa to go!") we're rooting for you, Papa - cheers to your new adventure!

PS: we'll take real good care of that Nana when she's here in the ol' KC!

Our Cure for Cradle Cap

Coconut oil!

Just spread about a tbsp on baby's head, leave it on for 10 minutes (might I also recommend taking deep breaths and pretending you're on an exotic beach somewhere), run a fine-tooth comb through his hair, then a gentle bristled brush and wa-la - cradle cap begone! Our practice is to use it daily and wash it out every other day with gentle Dove body wash.

This literally worked OVERNIGHT and was a nice substitute for the olive oil that left him smelling like your local italian joint and tended to run into his temples and eyes. We much preferred this over Aquaphor, Baby Oil and Cetaphil cream too. Little Squeak went from alligator scales and lots of questions to fine hair that even moves in the breeze - hair! Who knew the wee one even had some?!

So gentle, smells delicious and is even working wonders on his eczema. Grab a jar at your Walmart, Whole Foods or Trader Joe's today and prepare for your own miracle in a jar.