Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Pinteresting Idea: Fall Mantle

The inspiration:

The actual:

Close enough, right?! I mean, for a gal with limited DIY skills, budget and time? And about that "S" that was supposed to be on the one noticed. Plus, Hobby Lobby was out of them and I was out of energy to pursue the project any further.

So "thank" it is, and I'm thankful for it anyway.

The Boys of Fall

Despite there has been a bit too much of the boys of fall blaring across our 52 incher these days, it has been a delight when me and my sidekicks get out there and dive into the leaves:

Crisp, cooler air, the crunch of brush beneath their pattering feet and the golden light that hits just around 4 p.m. fills my heart with warm delight.

Fall and my boys: can't think of anything better.

Dreaming of Dinner...

is not something I ever do...unless it's prepared by by one of my uber talented girlfriends or a restaurant I fancy around the block. However, when I received an invite to attend a meal prep party complete with wine while assembling, I was in!

Easy, convenient and fun, our MOMS group met at Dream Dinners last week in an effort to swap kid stories while knocking out some recipes to prepare us for the upcoming month. Before we arrived, we each had received a cheerful call from the owner and several email reminders, making it quick and thorough in picking our recipes in advance and paying online. For just $84, we took advantage of the introductory offer that gave us six meal options that could feed a family of four. Here in the Choate house, that cannot easily be done if at all with our grocery purchasing, so it felt like a steal. Upon arriving we were paired with an employee who showed us wear to place our personal items, where our spot was in the fridge (which could also store we pumpers' stash), how the process worked and most importantly, corked our wine and showed us where the appetizers were. And then, we were off!

For even the most undomestic diva like myself, the stations were easy to get through with little to no critical thought. With color coded labels, large fonts with the recipe and all supplies at your fingertips, it was a breeze. Mingling with the moms and sipping on some white in between made it even more of a treat. Hell, if I had a set up like that at home, this momma would spend far more time getting grub on the table. Complete with convenient packaging, easy to follow directions, nutrition information and great taste, they truly ended up being dreamy dinners.

Best yet: my biggest requirement before Thanksgiving will be to warm the oven, toss them in, then watch happy bellies fill around the table.

Dream Dinners: do it!

PS: the December menu looks amazeballs. I mean, merry and bright or something like that...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday Momfessions - November 10 Week

1. On a recent visit to Legoland, I decided the most obscure place to nurse undercover was a colorful bench near a quiet theater. This plan worked until...the movie emptied out, a line for a ride formed nearby and the frickin' Chima dude himself decided to stop right in front of me to take pictures with all the needy children, who also requested autographs. Parents: you're welcome for the photobomb of the mom doing her milk thang in the background and the need to develop your speech on the true use of breasts. Enjoy.

2. Bedtime quote from Little Dude when asked what he was grateful for: "loving you." Writing this down and bottling it up, my friends.

3. PS: this same dude claimed he hated me and threatened me with an imaginary sniper weapon seconds later, so don't get too melty.

4. Post not-so-secret: if I can button 60+% of buttons on a onesie, Squeak goes to school in them, rolls and all. This isn't a fashion show people. Plus, who has time to shop for men who gain ounces every week?!

5. PS: why are there so.many.buttons anyway? Baby clothes designers: please come out with more onesies that zip. Then cal it the 3 a.m. line or something. Moms will rejoice and pay you back in dividends.

6. Picture day may give me as many palpitations as working in healthcare, running five miles or anticipating Holiday Mart. Please see Crappy Pictures' post to learn more. Let's just say there may have been a chocolate and monetary bribe as well as a near serious threat to a teacher to make it all happen.

7. We've reached the "doesn't even pass the sniff test and I'm too tired to care" laundry status at the Choate house. Gah help those poor boys.

8. "Home Alone" has been discovered in our home. And rediscovered. Rediscovered. And rediscovered. I almost care that it has the words "jerk, disease, shut up and buttface" in it, but then I remember I have to cook dinner with a six month old on my hip and I suddenly forget. Or maybe don't care. Perhaps just survive. It's one of those...

9. Recently Little Dude has been invited to a streak of princess parties. Is it fair to ask one of these said princesses to host mine though I'm nearing the mid-30s mark? Except when I book them I'll ask them to bring real jewels and booze in their little treasure chests. And as long as I'm trending with the under five crowd, I might as well purchase those fabulous sparkly Uggs they have with the bows. Swoon.

10. The fam has already been placing dibs on who will be accountable for the children when our Black Friday shennanigans begin. Though my shopping plotting has already begun, I'm also leaning toward giving others the idea I'm out shopping while really I sleep. And sleep. And sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

What are you up to these days, Momma?

A Sneak Peek

We just can't help it...

The outtakes 
We're already getting in the spirit, starting with informal photo shoot with Daddy behind the lens in attempt to throw together our family holiday card.

We had a whole eight minutes of laughter and glee before the slobber, tears and head first fall overs began. Pretty impressive in this house.

What about you - have you turned on the Christmas tunes yet?!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monday Momfessions: November 3 Week

1. This morning began with a warm shower. For Squeak. From his own body. Twice. At least he thought it was entertaining.

2. If I see one more tweet, pic, headline, post or reference to celebs looking fabulous two weeks postpartum, my head may explode. I mean good for them, but can we switch the focus to hours of sleep achieved, breast milk, which swaddle you like, how you feel about your partner and friendships and the overwhelming love you never thought possible? What - that won't sell mags? Got it.

3. Two weeks ago marked what I truly believe will be my last airport pumping ever on a business trip. Now taking proposals for party names to celebrate this event.

4. People without children keep coming up to me and whispering that I look pretty good for having just had my second child as they have heard it's hard to bounce back after number two. Since they're whispering, I immediately disbelieve them, right?! Or at least tell me the secret...surely that's why you're whispering...

5. It is humanly possible to obsess about formula and breast milk around the clock for more than two weeks straight. Dreams included. Conspiracy theories welcome. Psychosis warranted. Nuts.

6. True confession: I may have shed a tear or two that daycare forgot to take Squeak's three month picture on pic day. Milestones people! And they were affordable! Forget to feed or diaper the kid, but please, pretty please slap on that cute velure outfit and catch a photo.

7. For Halloween I wore a shirt that read "Mom of Boys" and meant it. Guns, wrestling, constant activity, superheroes, Angry Birds, playground brawls, sports, sports, sports and smells...oh the smells. It can be straight up scary being a BoyMom sometimes.

8. Stranger danger: I  handed my baby to a parent I barely know at a soccer field the other day to manage what Little Dude was trying to get through. It takes a village people...but perhaps I should get better about relying on the village people I actually know.

9. Besides the requests for water, hugs, love, monster checks, sock removals, closet shutting, light flipping and lovey finding, "Mom, I have a booger," has become part of a bedtime stall tactic. Creative. Oh, and disgusting.

10. New favorite place for hide n' seek: under the bedcovers. You can totally catch a two minute nap. Aggregate that over a few hides and you could even get in 10 minutes.

What's going on in your home these days, Momma?

Fright Night Delight

A baby's first...yoda?! Buckets full of goodies. Adorable costumes arriving by the hundreds on our doorstop. Crisp fall weather. Neighbors with vivid imaginations. Carvings and candelight. School parades. Streaming moonlight. Supportive grandparents. And a whole lotta fun. Cheers to another happy Halloween!

PS: a trick for allergy parents...make a game of dumping your child's bag when you return from trick or treating and go through and pick out the peanut, etc. ones together and talk about why it's not safe for them to eat. Then, have a stash of "safe" candy they can choose from to replace each unsafe piece they had to toss. They'll enjoy the control and get to enjoy a treat they can actually eat. Take advantage of candy donation opportunities post-holiday through pre-schools, etc. to save your waistline too.

The Skinny on Jeans

"Good gah you can hardly find a pair of 'normal' jeans up in any place," I complained to my girlfriend on the phone, who clearly did not share my woman of substance issue but listened with empathy as any good gal pal does. I had been mourning the change in GAP's long and lean cuts and the fact I wasn't sliding into anything close to what I was before baby number two when my super shopper Mom stumbled upon these:

 The skinny leg curvy fit from INC sold at Macy's. Affordable and with just the right amount of stretch, we women of a certain size can enjoy the skinny jean without feeling like an imposter. Good for the bootylicious, decent length and all out comfy, they have been a wonderful addition to my ensems. The look good with flats, heels and the occasional riding know, the ones that actually fit over your calves. When is someone going to invent those for the rest of us anyway? (Curse those women that still have an inch left in their Hunters).

So friends, add these to your holiday wish list and forget the frump or plump and get the skinny on these jeans. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Scoop on Our Stuff

In an effort to simplify our growing more complicated by the minute home, we'll host a large sale in spring. To start the purge early, we're inviting you to take an early gander and make the mostly designer stuff your own before the alleged garage sale begins. Please leave me a comment if you're interested in any of the following or had something on your list you were looking for...chances are, it's in our pile!

  • Top of the line beer brewing equipment
  • Professional free weights
  • Pottery Barn rugs
  • Pottery Barn duvet covers
  • Throw rugs
  • Home accessories 
  • Lamps, lamps, lamps
  • Frames galore 
  • Fisher price baby swing
  • Original french Carrolle and Ginny dolls (some signed by designer)
  • Breyer horses
A dog and a cat...kidding. Kind of.

Holler to get the scoop on our stuff - we'd love to give it a new home!