Friday, March 21, 2014

Coming Home

Yesterday I came home to domestic bliss:
Yep, you're seeing that right. A perfectly reorganized close done by none other than the infamous Amy. It was the perfect surprise to the end of an already long work week, the freedom of actually walking through a closet without tripping over mismatched shoes, baskets piled to the ceiling, clothes that need laundering and gah knows what else.

My friends, my closet has a FLOOR. I've not seen this square footage of it in more than two years. Again, borrow her, but don't steal her. So grateful. So moved. So appreciative.

Next up came the dark surprise in our kitchen: the new fridge! "Darth Vader" as big L so fondly calls it, adoring its new gadgets and taking advantage of what is called an ice maker. Again, I don't spend much time in the place where one preps food other to gaze into the pantry while eating Oreos, but I can appreciate the smooth texture, large, versatile shelves, LED light and *ta da* an ice maker and water dispenser (something my husband and I have never had). Bonus: a certain four year old who has more demands than a camel in the desert can help himself to the H2O.

So while I didn't appreciate mr. fridge eating a significant chunk of my bonus and savings for Mexico, I can appreciate him nonetheless. Plus, I guess it's mandatory to keep things like milk and butter cool and our old fridge just wasn't doing that.

To put a bow on it, our little family perched on Daddy's homemade table, consuming grilled hot dogs and way too many cookies. It was bring on the spring bliss.

May your day have been this kind of happy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


All this talking and plotting for Squeak's first birthday has my tummy in knots with excitement. The goal was to keep it simple, then this happened:
MayDetails on Etsy
I fell head over heels in love with this set by MayDetails on Etsy. The files arrive several weeks back, including the invitation with his customized silhouette. SWOON!
Squeak's invite to feature post event
I nearly wept. Then I started fretting over my lack of crafting skills and how I was going to actually print and cut all the items. But meh - surely I'll figure it out.

Loved ones. A smash cake. First year memories logged. Slideshow. Tasty treats. Balloons. Pictures. Sentiments. And hopefully lots of smiles.

Let's not forget the fabulous dude at the center of it all:

It's all happening so fast, I figured why not pause and make a big ol' bash of it all. After all, he's worth it. Let the countdown begin to the milestone!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Momfessions - March 17 Week

1. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we visited Sears while Squeak consumed a bottle of milk on their carpeted showroom floor. It wasn't even green or anything. Hey: a family's gotta do what a family's gotta do when the fridge breaks down. Though I'm not winning Mom of the year, I did, however, manage to get the kids green shirts. Ok, ok, Nana picked them up, but I washed them and put them on them. Points?

2. While attending a child's birthday party at Sky Zone this weekend, it took every ounce of me not to pretend L was scared and needed my assistance. Man that sh*t looks fun.

3. Traveling for business sans the Medela was perhaps one of the most liberating experiences of my life. Of note: laying near the pool in a business suit for one hour all to my lonesome was equally freeing.

4. In the past two weeks, we've been to the doc office three times. I'm fearful I'm being added to the "mildly psychotic/frequent flier" list. To be fair, we ended up with Influenza A and an ear infection. That doesn't stop the providers from looking for the crazy between my two ears.

5. For one iota in the 2.5 second drive between daycare and pre-school, I was so fatigued and tired of fighting Squeak in his car seat I considered doing just one latch. I then immediately assumed this was the moment we'd be rear ended and I would never forgive myself. Damn you, Murphy's Law.

6. Recall when I shared that dressing Squeak is literally like wrestling an alligator, then consider my husband shared if you distract him at the head, you can use your long arms to whip his pants on his legs. Genius. And again, just like the alligator. Now perusing YouTube croc tying videos to see if rope for his hands and jaw could be beneficial.

7. Did you know that two itsy bitsy pieces of white enamel can equate to a natural disaster in an infant's world? True story. It's like  a seven up in here.

8. Babies that toddle like Frankenstein are funny 100% of the time. 100-percent. Get video.

9. For us, banning the topic of kids on a rare date seems like a good idea until you become that couple that is cleaning their silverware or staring blankly into space. Let's hope the empty nest stage brings us some content the two of us can share. Oye.

10. I have a conspiracy theory that my husband did some Pavlov work with Squeak in my absence as the kid won't snuggle at bedtime anymore. If this is the case: he will pay. Sweet smelling little baby heads, particularly on my last one, are a day's absolute delight.

So, what's new with you, Mama?

Sunday, March 16, 2014


As I go to tuck myself in to my uber comfortable Sleep Number bed well before 11 p.m. and fire up the DVR, I notice I'm covered in baby food, unshowered and still in last night's PJs. Although these are signs of a well-worked Sunday of being a mom and decluttering rooms in the house, I had that inkling of a feeling that seemed to resonate with the words: "yuck, old, tired, ew, oh who cares, dammit JLo and really?!" As I was thinking these thoughts and entering the emotional death spiral, I began to pack my purse for returning to work in the morning:
Betsy Johnson "Stud Muffin" crossbody

And realized... friends still see me this way!!!

A trendy, funky, bright, studded, obnoxious, character-filled thing with flowers for a lining!

Thank gah for girlfriends. For pink bags that erase purple ones under your eyes. Delicious little gifts that remind you of the gal that is always at the root of your core. And perception as reality.

May you have a little something that reminds you of that too.

10+ Things

"I don't know where to start," I stammered, my heart picking up pace but my body remaining rigid as my husband and I stared blankly at the mounds of things that surrounded us.

Early spring had sprung a wintry mix day, rendering us to the indoors, which means we had no other excuses to avoid the house projects that were piling up around us. One of them being to begin listing all the Craig's List items from the basement, as well as create a rowdy playroom area and P90X station. While it all seemed like a grand idea, it was overwhelming. Like drive to Casey's gas station and begin eating chocolate and drinking soda while rocking in a corner overwhelming.

So instead, we broke it into small steps: 10+ things a day. Toss or donate. Live simpler. Enjoy abundantly. Doing the math made me excited: this could mean 3,500+ fewer things in our home by New Year's Eve!

So it began and with renewed passion I cleared the sink area in our master bath, instantly meeting the daily quota with the tossing of old nail polish. Then came a quick clean sweep of flops and shoes I knew didn't qualify as appropriate footwear anymore. Plus a few baby items with too many stains to make the cut.

And just like that, nearly 100 items were gone.

If only weight loss were that "easy"...

I've decided that if items toss exceed 10 in a day, it doesn't count toward the next in an effort to keep the momentum going. I can only hope this drive continues as the days get longer, the sun peeking out and happy hour on the porch calling my name.

Here's to less stuff at the Team Choate house in 2014!

PS: let me know if you're interested in any of the home decor you've seen in our home over the years. Likely it's being prepped for the garage sale in April!

Leave Behinds

When the littles have to be left behind, I like to leave a little something behind:

A simple, daily gift that brings them joy and reminds them that I'm thinking of them. Ok, and serves as bribery to be good for Daddy and fills a void of Mom Guilt while I'm on the road.

And don't forget to FaceTime when duty calls and puts you in another state - it makes it all a bit more tolerable. Unless, of course, your child is at the height of separation anxiety (ahem - 10 months) and only turns into a pile of disastrous mush at the sound of your voice. Throw your face in there and it's curtains.

Speaking of being on the road, my first big trip in 2014 wasn't half bad:

Palm trees, temps in the 70s for two days with an hour long lunch to catch some rays to fill the vitamin D and soul deficiency. A "Bachelor" finale watch party complete with red wine, Girl Scout cookies and hilarious commentary from some of the best colleagues around. Dinner on an outdoor patio with the greatest of men - dear ol' Dad - including a tour of his beautiful apartment. A successful meeting with fascinating content and  travel buddies that seemed to be more fun than ever before.

Then there was returning to these faces:

Yah, it may have been Orlando, but nothing beats them.

So next time you're on the road, leave behind a little something for the leave behinds, including a meal or card for the mister. They'll appreciate it.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

10 Months of You

Glowing. Growing. Going.

Ten months of fabulous, wonderful you.

Cruising. Obsession with the dog dishes. Tiny inklings of two bottom teeth finally breaking through. New classrooms. An affinity for wrestling under the covers. Absolute adoration of your brother. Longing for Mommy. Ballet points. Avoidance of sharing. Eating. Eating. Eating. Waving. Saying "dog." Then yelling at her for stealing your food.

Glowing. Growing. Going. And we're loving every second of it.

Splurging on Spring

"Look at you, channeling spring with your bright colors today!" noted several colleagues passing in the hall, my bright blue and yellow nearly causing them to want to pull out their shades.

And though shopping is no longer on my agenda much and online just isn't for me, my few Target and Nordy runs have me wanting to splurge on some spring items:

Threshold pouf from Target - adds a pop of color to a living room and serves as wrestling partners for little boys

Chevron TOMS from Nordy's - so bright and cheery

Ranaculas in a vase from Target - get that spring feeling growing

Chevron skirt from Dillards - add a bright shirt on top to welcome spring

Rainbow flops with a touch of sparkle - free those toesies

C-tote bag - monogrammable!

Sally Hansen's Airbrush legs - for your first leg reveal of the spring

MAC's new lip gloss for spring - slap it on and you'll be fine

Inkjoy's latest pen with colored ink - add some spring to your step at the office

Northface's bright white fleece - cheery even for those cooler spring days

Asics running shoes - to start on that "about to wear a swimsuit" phase

And this is just the stuff I've seen in passing...gah knows what else is out there in that delicious land of retail therapy.

Here's to more 50-degree days and a little splurging on spring!