Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Birfday Perfection

It started with a gathering of the most gregarious, gracious and gorgeous girlfriends a gal could ask for, table side over laughter, wine and a smattering of gifts. Let's not forget the most decadent crepes and chocolate cake created by the lovely hands of one Leah V. and a list of stories and memories that make every girls' night special.
Next came a fresh set of polish on my piggies and hands, plus a pair of shoulders finally relaxed and in their proper position beside my head.

Following that was a surprise, adults-only dinner over a mouth-watering steak, three cheese macaroni and a red heel cocktail that hit my sweet tooth just right. Dessert was not even required!

The next morning, I awoke to the world's most beautiful sound: the passion and excitement of my sons' voices and squeals wishing me a happy birthday. A bouquet of flowers and trashy magazines were tossed near my bedside, along with a card that featured the pre-schooler's latest handwriting skills and a big ol' pile of donuts that went straight to indulgence station.

That day offered the greatest gift of all: no worries, cares or obligations besides which little boy I was going to cuddle on the couch with next. We spent hours tossing in the covers, using our imagination, sharing recent experiences and at times, laying there in the quiet of our family, basking in all that we were thankful for. My husband and I exchanged many hugs that day, delighting in the fact we were able to remain in pjs and for the gift of the present. It was a day I will never forget, for all of it's extraordinary ordinariness, and for the way my heart felt in looking at the three men I love with my entire heart.

The evening ended over pizza and ice cream cake. With these two items, nothing can go wrong.

The next few days will put a bow on birthday week, with a fabulous group of colleagues baking from scratch, posting decor around my office, signing sentiments in cards, doing the donut and carmelita drop off and enjoying delicious brie over intimate conversation on a bit longer lunch. Not to mention a set of sparklers in the form of earrings and a headband to boot! Sunday, I'll meet with two neighbors who I have the luxury of sharing cul-de-sac with as we celebrate and catch up on lost time.

Does this sound like birf-day perfection or what?!

Thirty-four didn't seem significant to me when I thought about it, but if the past week has been any indication, it's going to be the best year yet.

I don't know how I got so lucky to be surrounded by such remarkable, thoughtful people, but I'm sure going to spend my nearly-halfway-to-fortieth year being incredibly grateful and humbled.

That and all the years to follow.

Thank you, my fabulous, wonderful friends and family, for making this year and all those to follow worth celebrating.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Now THAT'S Customer Service

"Seriously, just LOOK at the joy on her face - it was so priceless!" my friend and colleague said excitedly, the twinkle of a really good evening still alive in her eyes.

As we flipped through her montage of photos from the night before, she shared with me her experience in celebrating her daughter's fifth birthday. All day, her family had been playing up a surprise for her daughter, the anticipation nearly making the young girl burst from the inside out. Together they trekked to the mall where her daughter, thanks to a doting grandma, got to pick out a flouncy tutu, dinner of her choice and enjoy some time with her loved ones.
Then the real surprise came:

A trip to The American Girl store.

For all of you moms of young gals out there, you know this is a BFD. You might as well have said the words "Disney World" if your daughter falls between the ages of five and 12 and called it good.

Approaching the glass door, the family finds it won't open. A sign reads the store closes at 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, an hour earlier than the rest of the mall's patrons. As tears well up in the five year old's eyes, grandma tries to hold it together and mom comes up with a plan B, something miraculous happens:

An employee opens the door.

She lets her in.

She hears it's her birthday.

And the rest is magic.

The birthday girl got the entire experience from top to bottom, selecting a doll that looks just like her, taking her time to consider waves vs. straight hair, the perfect ensemble and whether or not now was the time to pony up and buy the horse. Doting and caring the staff never flinched, taking pictures at each station, helping her arrive at decisions that seem really big to a gal that's only lived five years to this day.

As she went to check out, her mom found her embracing the box that held her beloved new friend, her whispers and orientation to the family words that her mom will never forget.

So thank you, American Girl, for treating such a well deserving, remarkable young lady the experience of a lifetime (equivalent to that one chic flick where they shut down Tiffany's for Reece Witherspoon to choose her ring). You not only didn't have to, but you really proved you wanted to.

And that, my friends, you don't find every day. A rare gem. True customer service.

Now go buy a doll!

PS: I'm adding this to my "dammit I only have boys so I must bank on a niece to experience this" list. A salon and mani appointments for dolls? Sign me up....

Sucking In

Apparently he's practicing for swimsuit season...

That and the husband reports a cute nurse had just entered the room at his doctor's appointment.

This boy has it all figured out.

Taking Down the Pins

"We've been locked in this house for days - let's do something different!" I whined to the husband as we plotted our Saturday afternoon. Round two of snowpocolypse had rendered us indoors for weeks with two rambunctious boys, causing us to get creative. So we did what I anticipate our parents did in their fun teen years and hit the bowling alley:

The grandparents report it used to be a quarter vs. $40 to sneak in a game. And a charge for shoes when they are required? Genius business strategy alleys.

Nonetheless it was an awesome time full of laughs as Little Dude dramatically dropped his ball each time, the bumpers earning him a score much higher than his mommy's. Daddy got competitive, Papa enjoyed his lefty throws and Nana and the wee one chilled nearby and enjoyed some popcorn and entertainment.

All in all it was a wonderful experience to be back in the alley, despite losing my mojo and never bowling over a 100 (seriously - a 4 year old beat me?!). He didn't even use the dinosaur as a crutch this time...

So next time you need a break from the ordinary, go take down the pins and enjoy!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What It's All About

Teacher: "Lawson, what does love mean to you this Valentine's Day?"

Response: above

This, my friends, is what cupid's day is all about.

May your heart be this full this holiday and always. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Monday Momfessions - February 10 Week

1. For two weekends in a row, the kids may or may not have worn the same outfits. All weekend. I don't mean they match each other...I mean I loathe laundry.

2. Dressing children in winter gear is like wrestling alligators. I know because I have a client that literally wrestles crocodiles and have seen footage. Same.

3. The husband indicated I treat the wee one much like owning a small puppy. Need to get something done? Throw bright, shiny, generally shouldn't be playing with object in little one's direction that buys you a good two minutes to accomplish achievements. Guilty.

4. Squeak seems to be acquiring moves like Jagger. I'm curious if this is due to I only sing Drake, Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder and Boyz II Men as lullabyes. Let the scarring begin.

5. In taking Little Dude and his buddy to the Lego Movie, he requested that we moms sit several seats away. Really?! Does it start this early? Of note: both boys ended up on our laps by the end.

6. Squeak is waving, shouting "up!", cruisin' like a PT, taking the stairs and consuming toddler lunches at school. Again, really?! Does it start this early? Now seeking a way to stop time. Will pay you in warm smiles and hugs.

7. This week's BabyCenter bulletin has the best baby advice I've ever received: "When the clutter of the home begins to overwhelm you, remember three words: lower your standards." Well played, BabyCenter. Well played. PS: don't forget to hire Amy as part of this initiative as well.

8. On our next visit to the pediatrician, I'm going to recommend a frequent users card. I will offer to brand these said cards with my kids pictures and potentially photos of infected ears and sinuses.

9. Boys' feet begin to stink at age four. Proof available at our home.

10. Snow days at home where you're required to work with two children under five trying to knock down the study door like trying to enter a castle is not for the weak. Begin drinking at 5 a.m. on these days.

How are you and your brood, momma?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cleaning House

Whether you're a parent or a grandparent looking to add a bit of convenience and love to your baby collection, take a look and message me if interested:

Blue Bumbo chair - $10

Chicco KeyFit travel set - infant seat, stroller and three bases available;
(seat, stroller and one base is $100; $20 for each additional base and can be sold separately) 

Fisher Price Little Lamb Cradle n Swing - $40 ; soft, cuddly, vibrates and plays music; chair rotates

Sassy Seat jumper - $10

Boppy vibrating seat (plays music too) - $15

All nearly like new and ready for you! Message me if interested - thanks!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nine Months of You

Old man giggles that resemble something between a snort and a chuckle. Moves like jagger. A platypus crawl that gets you into all sorts of adventures. Tackling the stairs. Up, down, up, down and all around. Grunts when you're interested in something. Absolute adoration of your brother. Twelve month clothes. Sleeping 10+ hours at night. Racing with friends at school. Wrestles and tickles. "UP!" that sounds like my old swim coach as part of your everyday dialogue. A passion for food. Pots, pans and spatulas as toys. Less than thrilled with car seats. Moaning yourself to slumber. Momma's boy.

Just like I like you. Just like I love you. Fabulous, wonderful you.

L-O-V-E Lurve!

Seven days and counting!

It's no secret this Pisces is a sucker for Valentine's Day. Give love. Spread love. Take love. LOVE it!

Patterned hearts have lined my office door for well over a month. Conversation candies sit all sugary on my mantle. The cards have been selected (Lego Starwars for big man this year and a hilarious squirrel handing over his nuts to another squirrel for the husband - truth hurts). Dinner reservations made. Babysitter secured. And a few gift items on the brain:

A little peanut butter goodness from the boys

A sweet something for teachers and colleagues

A money is tight so I'll put my hands to work on your tired shoulders gift

An Etsy find I want you to tell my husband about - desire with two Ls with a heart in between or a M and a L, I can't pick when you tell my husband and point him to Maki Designs  ok?! ;)

Either that or just tell the mister I'd like approximately seven minutes alone without tears or insistent toddler requests.

I'm anticipating a much-needed date night, talking through 15 years of memories, rekindling a bit of romance and maybe even sporting something that doesn't contain spit up or dog hair.

We'll see...

Here's to a Valentine's week filled with more love than your little heart can handle.