Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Who Needs Boo Baskets...

When you can have boo beers?!


Happy Halloween week!

Fall Bucket List: Painting Pumpkins

"So yes, just grab a pumpkin, some paints and plan to enjoy the park afterward with the rugrats," I giggled into the phone, talking with one of the beloved moms that meet monthly in our informal group to connect, share stories and well...drink and vent at times. Because, although parenting is frequently sunshine and rainbows, it isn't always, so having a network of gals who gets it is survival 101.  Queue the MOMS group here...

As lunch grew nearer on Saturday we were met with a nearly perfect fall day, the glow of the sun cascading through the thinning leaves, temps requiring just a sweatshirt and the sky the color of azure in the crayon box. Running late of course, I was met with the prepared mom set first, a picnic table laid out with a drop cloth, crafting supplies and delighted looking little faces in smocks. Gleeful, they decorated their pumpkins for nearly 20 minutes (a marathon for toddlers), then sent off to play for hours among the monkey bars, slides and perfect nooks for hide and seek. Meanwhile we settled in for a motherly chat in between watchful eyes and swing pushing, talking solids, diapers, pre-school woes and more.

All in all, it was a delight.

Thank you Moms, for your influence, stories, support and love. And for really crisp, fall days that remind you what life is about. Oh, and for understanding why a diaper needs to be changed on a picnic table due to unforseen circumstances. You gals are the best!

If you're interested in connecting with us, please message me - we'd love to have you!

A Place to Play

And create boundaries from bounding pups, sword-thrashing older brothers, curious cats, vicarious neighbors and the not so graceful grandparent or two.

Plus, it's a great barrier from all that dog hair that likes to hang out in the shag rug. Blech.

It's the jumbo foam playmat from Verdes, the perfect play place for the rollers and shakers but not yet crawlers as a way to provide a place to roam a bit larger than their kickmat. Easy to clean, configure, store and lay on any surface, it's affordable, safe and fun.

So thank you Buy Buy Baby, for keeping me on your mailing list and featuring this little product. We adore it! Even Little Dude finds it just the right surface for Ninja Turtle fights and castle guy battles.

Get down on your knees and play and make one of these mats yours today!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Monday Momfessions: October 14 Week

1. Shortly after delivering my 10-pounder, I questioned one of the OBs on the longevity of the "skin apron" that had magically appeared at my waistline. Her response was that she generally tells patients that what you have left at six months post partum is what you are left working with. So...I have one week to go all six pack on these abs. Sh*t.

2. "Friends": you provided no warning that four could potentially make three look like child's play. Holy cats. I don't know if it's the Claritin, if a nap is needed, or this is just part of the development journey, but I think Momma needs to fork over the hundy and hit up the "Love and Logic" seminar taking place at the OP Convention center next month lest we all end up in calm corner in the fetal position.

3. Note to self: at least hit a dim light before the big morning embrace with your wee one. This will prevent you from having to change your "I actually tried" outfit due to an escaped diaper in the night. Hey, at least it wasn't poop on the dress this time, right? Right?!

4. If you ever wanted to know the number of times you could forget to secure storage to the bottom of your pump parts before dispensing in a day, go ahead with 100%. It's possible and I have a ruined keyboard and pair of jeans to prove it.

5. This weekend marked a few changes I may not have been quite ready for: lowering the crib for rolly mcrollerson, trekking the infant swing down to the basement, installing the johnny jumper and hanging a whole set of new hand-me-downs in a larger size into the closet. These are things I used to get a bit giddy about given the sense of freedom and restoration behind it all, but something about knowing this is our last kiddo and it's all flying by makes for a small pang in the heart. It did not help at all when a colleague placed a four day old, full head of dark hair, caramel skinned, bow-wearing newborn in my hands last week. Ay yay yay. The surgery is scheduled people: don't get too excited. The cost of daycare and our sanity is still at stake here. The positions at Team Choate have been filled and we feel complete with our amazing boys.

6. A 40-minute standoff over a jacket can happen. And it won't be until you get to school that you finally get to the core of the issue, which was that a hood was required to be Ironman at recess. Why didn't I think of that?!

7. I didn't know that shoe tying and name writing could bring one to tears. Watching the sense of accomplishment, pride and concentration on Little Dude's face during these moments of aptitude warm my heart in every little crevice. So proud of how he's blossoming these days!

8. Oh Nosefrida, how you tempt me with all the sniffling occuring in this home. But alas, the conjured images of potential unwanted bodily fluids reaching my mouth stop me every.time.

9. I'm just going to go ahead and ask again: HOW do you people keep your house clean? Apparently I can't even make it into my own bed anymore at night as witnessed by my face planted in my laptop in my child's bean bag chair for three nights in a row. Awesome parenting.

10. Before there was Nana doing errands, there were highwaters. Thank you Nana, for helping one four-year old save face at pre-school. Mickey undies, two mismatching socks and highwaters may have officially sent our sensitive kiddo over the edge. Thanks to you, we can put a few less pennies in the "couch" fund this year.

What's on your mind these days, Momma?

Tickets - Secured!

A gal knows she has issues when a) she begins dreaming of the glittered halls, delicious samples, tinkling music, rows of accessories and the potential of monogrammed items three days before the event b) her boss knows EXACTLY why she is requesting a half-day on Friday and lists it as one of her "national shopping holidays."

That's right - it's HOLIDAY MART TIME!

Secure your tickets today and text me when you get there. I'll be the gal with a glass of wine in her hand, a bit ol' grin and a list half checked off.

Happy shopping!

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again

When the promise of 2014 is on the horizon and plans are already in the works for that annual girls' trip, the potential of taking the kids to Disney for the first time, workout and personal goals and business trips that are ready to be marked in pen:

It's time for the MomAgenda! So grab one and get marking! RSVP just received their shipment (I opted for the teal this time but was torn between the orange too) and rumor has it that Statements won't carry them this year. Of course you can always find them online too.

Happy planning to you supernerds like me who still enjoy the touch of to-do lists and social outings scribbled on paper!

Fall Bucket List: Pickin' at the Patch

Lower temps with a brisk fall wind, cider donuts worth waiting patiently in line for 45 minutes, mazes you can get lost and found in, bounce houses galore, places where boys can climb and roam to their hearts' desire, gorgeous orange pumpkins sprouting in every corner, leaves starting to change color, bumpy hay rides past spooky houses and so much more. Plus lots and lots of smiles, even from the wee one who can't quite participate in all the fun yet.

Thank you, Louisburg Cider Mill, for a tradition we look forward to every year. It's good to be back. And we can't wait to carve your pumpkins!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Five Months of You

 Head, shoulders, knees, toes and even some woes, you're more perfect with each passing day. Breezy and beautiful inside and out, you make even a trip to the grocery store to find garlic fun. Rolling, grinning, supermanning, grasping, pulling, shrieking, deep throated giggling, grunting, sweet potato and bannaning, lighting up at your brother, traveling, belly sleeping, daycare partying, teething and flirting are your fortes.

Thank you for five months of fabulous, wonderful you.

Fall Bucket List: Aiming for Apples

"It's here, just around this bend," I said, taking in the beautifully painted countryside and home, watching as families scattered across the lawn enjoying a fall afternoon. As we pulled into the Cider Hill Family Orchard, Little Dude began rattling off his expectations of how we'd spend our time there, starting of course, with the ducks:

Among the leaves blowing gently across brick paved sidewalks, gravel roads kicking up dust, the smell of campfire and cider, shouts of children's voices as they swung high in the air, kettle corn baking in the sun and laughter of friends and family, we found ourselves enjoying the property's nooks and crannies. Chatting with the owner, she made light conversation with the kiddos, convinced her husband to take us on a hay ride and even let L head into her personal backyard to pick the last of the apples as their harvest had nearly been depleted due to frequent visitors.

Apple picking: a check on our bucket list and a whole lot of delightful memories to go with it. Quiet, relaxed, affordable and full of fresh air, it's a family treasure for the fall, even if you only have a few hours between naps. A-plus in aiming for the apples!

Monday Momfessions - October 7 Week

1. With my return to work travel, Little Dude has decided to retaliate with a few bathroom incidents here and there. In other words, he's sh*tting on the idea of his mom doing this whole work on the road situation we have going on. Point taken, my friend. Point taken.

2. Things are starting to get a bit dire up in here with the sleeping situation -or should I say lack of snoozing situation? You know it's bad when the hubs and I take turns like those wind up pop up toys and say "which one is that?!" in reference to one of our squacking children at any hour. We likely look as creepy as those toys with our catawompous hair and dark circles. Good thing those boys are innocent and cute and we've worked at our jobs long enough for our colleagues to be cool that we've given up hope on looking pulled together.

3. Virgin territories where pumping or nursing has occurred in the last two weeks: hay bales, FedEx copy room, airplane, hotel public restrooms and a gym. It can be done. Message for confidence, details and insane comments people will say to you as you pursue these avenues to feed your infant.

4. Watching movies with our four year old is like hitting the theater with your grandmother. There is a loud, incessant, clarifying question every 45 seconds that is key to their entertainment and enjoyment of the flick, even if it is the 178th time they have seen it. Try to look at it as another teaching or engagement moment with your loved one...and bring booze.

5. Reaching the season where coats, mittens, hats and warm socks are required nearly makes me want to hole up all winter long and just park ourselves in our home with books, games, television and creative adventures. Then I remember I like my sanity. But really, where is the LEAN process for getting children in and out of fall and winter gear?! Not to mention finding the damn accessories on any given day or hour.

6. Sophie - seriously. WHY did I not think of her? More than 20 bucks a pop and loved and adored and found in every home of children under two? Damnit. She's been a godsend with the pearly whites wreaking havoc in our home.

7. Our oldest has been informed that if he sticks his tongue out, a bird will snatch it up and fly off with the thing. Don't judge: they use this at school. And it's Montessori. For the record, this little white lie is totally working.

8. I've already started redecorating Squeak's nursery. I can't tell if it's because he's my last baby and I'm already starting to panic that it's parading by so quickly so I'm using my only method of control of keeping him tiny, or if I truly was sad that it wound up so differently than my original vision. I'm going to go with B and my sudden loathing of primary colors.

9. Though we're awfully proud of Squeak's new rolling trick, we do wish he'd continue to master it during the day. Buddy: we don't want an invite to the circus every 20 minutes through the evening, particularly when your biceps turn to rubber and we suddenly have to rescue you. Choose a side man - we all gotta conform someday.

10. "Mommy - you fell asleep on the page again!" is a phrase heard a bit too frequently in the evenings these days. Aye ya aye.

How is your fall kicking off, Mama?

Also, big thanks to Breanne for the shout out this week - I'm glad you're having some mommy moments with your new amazing daughter!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Embarking on my first business trip away from Squeak, this momma needed a little pick-me-up in the form of a mani:

Mimicking one of my besties, it's baby doll pink with gold sparkles on the ring finger. Not exactly fall, but sometimes just what a gal needs to get through a week. And thanks to the meticulous work of the technicians at Stem Salon, it's been long-lasting and quite enjoyable.

You deserve a bit of pampering yourself, dear friend...go get painted!

National Homemade Cookie Day

"National Homemade Cookie Day" is likely the hottest appointment that's crossed my Outlook calendar this year, hence I gladly accepted. Chalk it up to a team of all gals to recognize this ever-important holiday and celebrate it with all our might. Here's what I concocted along with my favorite little chef:

And boy were they a hit! Delicious, gooey and of course easy to make, they were a bit like a freshly made apple muffin spread with a caramel/cinnamon frosting. Perfect for fall and easy to drop off to the much appreciative pre-school and daycare teachers, this one is worth pinning and taking to one of your many fall events. Plus they have applesauce as a main ingredient so surely they're somewhat healthy, right?!

Happy baking!