Sunday, September 28, 2014

Five Diamond

"Um, yah...I've never stayed in a place quite like this before," I said slightly under my breath as our car pulled up, the mood lighting, quiet music and friendly faces reminding me of what it might be like to arrive at some exotic place like Hawaii. And though no flower boa was strapped to our neck, we were in fact whisked away via golf car to gorgeous rooms complete with marble countertops, beyond a Westin bed, view of swaying palms and cool waters, a couch for lounging and an inviting coffee kitchen that made even me want to take up drinking the stuff in the wee hours of the morning.

We had arrived!

Though our stay at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona was for work travel, each jaunt to the conference room left me wishing my husband was by my side, enjoying the cooler breeze in the evenings, treating me to a spa day right on site as he enjoyed exotic beers at La Hacienda, taking a dip in the pool, then ending the evening with a cocktail at the poolside bar complete with seaside spray. Each employee was kind, helpful and checked in with a smile and it seemed even our clients were at an extra ease at the resort, taking fewer phone calls on breaks but rather enjoying the warmth of the sun patio side. All food served was impeccable, the decor shimmering and updated and the lengthier jaunts more beautiful than the one before. The pool featured a waterfall, floating tubes, cabanas bigger than our queen bed and little umbrella drinks available at all hours.

In short, it was a slice of heaven for we corporate wanderers.

So although it won't likely be until well after retirement that a place like this will be possible on our own dime, I'm grateful for the chance to go while on the job. So save your pennies and do the same, won't you? And get a 90 minute massage and some guacamole at Hacienda for me! Oh and that really darling bracelet at the gift shop too...


Although "ladylike" is generally not a term used to describe me (said the gal that trips twice a day and sits in odd yoga poses at her desk), it doesn't mean my nails don't get to be...

I'm over the moon for this color for it's unique by neutral tone, easy application and long wear. It's not too much pink, brown or purple, but just right.

It's Ladylike.

No, literally it's called "Ladylike" by Essie. So fem it up and treat yourself today!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday Momfessions: September 22 Week

1. Tonight I violated the no shoes, no shirt rule that's so important to gas stations and made it "no problem," using Kenny Chesney's song as inspiration. To be fair, I gave the Big a piggy back ride and hoped his preppy school uniform would buy him some grace. After all, we were spending a whopping four dollars on Skittles and Gatorade in anticipation of five-year-old shots tomorrow. And no one stepped on glass or anything - bonus.

2. The amount of times I have to clarify with the Big "are you all buckled?" from the moment I just snapped them in to the one foot walk to the driver's seat may make me a very viable candidate for early memory loss. Will you please come visit me in the home and remind me of your name?

3. During a TSA search of my handbag last week, the following items were unearthed: shin guards, four pair of toddler socks, two diapers, a sippy cup, a small soccer ball, a whistle, Thomas the Train and half eaten granola bar. Can you say you've hit the mother load, literally?

4. I've hired my Big to become my own personal spider-killing machine. Genius or cruel? You decide. He seems fine with it...

5. Family lesson of the week: if a glow stick breaks, your eyes will stop stinging within 30 minutes and your vision will return. Assure your moaning child of this, pretend like everything is fine as you squeeze your eyes shut and hang tight. Then turn it into a valuable chemistry lesson while you're at it.

6. Using a two-blade on your child's hair who is already very thin with dark circles under his eyes from allergies will only solicit stares as if he should audition for a St. Jude commercial. Don't believe the hair dresser when she says she can do the same with that blade as she does with a fade with the scissors.

7. Speaking of hair cuts, the second child gets their soft little duck tail just chopped off by Daddy in the master bathroom. No pictures. No plan. No golden certificate documenting this monumentus event. Just snip, go and gratitude he's no longer sporting a unique rat tail.

8. Gah grant you patience until your five year old starts showering on their own and managing their hineys. When both occur, go out and celebrate. This is huge. Liberatingly huge.

9. When clients you haven't seen in awhile ask you how your children are doing and you indicate the second one is "hell on wheels," come up with a quick nice statement to follow up. They will pause and stare at you until you do. "Fine - thanks for asking" always works if you're at a loss.

10. The statement "ignorance is bliss" can sometimes hold true in parenting. For example, when your Big starts calling everyone he loves "old" as a term of endearment, when your Little still uses brute strength to sit on things when he's not getting his way, when you went ahead and took them out in public with stained clothes and when siblings start to brawl like a pack of WWF wrestlers are prime examples. Surely it can still be ignorance if you just ignore it, right?!

How are you and your families, dear friends?

Now That's Customer Service

"Excuse me Miss, what are you here for?" a shorter gentleman sporting a bow tie and clutching a clipboard asked me with slight interest, slight threat as he kept the other eye on the growing line.

It was the morning of the iPhone 6 launch, potentially one of the worst days for one's iPhone 5 to go on the fritz and become totally unusable. In short, this gal needed service, despite hundreds of people crowding the Plaza corners to obtain the latest and greatest. Expecting the worst as he shuffled through his iPad and notebook combo, I was stunned to hear him say:

"Please proceed to the wooden table on the left and they will take care of you immediately."

This was quickly followed by a suspicious look at my husband, assuredness that yes I knew him and he was not going to run off on the sidelines with a 6, then we were shuffled to the nearly empty store, their system of delivering the newest model all managed to the awaiting customers outside.

Within minutes, one of the laid back, friendly support dudes had me all set up, confirming my battery was part of the 5 recall and requesting I come back in an hour. Even better, with a quick search of my email address, he had an alarmingly awesome amount of information he needed to protect my phone, diagnose it, leave it in there care and return after a yummy lunch.

And again, all on the launch of the 6 day. Wowza.

Nearly two hours later I return to a fully juiced phone that held it's charge, all items reinstated, cleaned and ready to roll. Nearly hugging the device (attachment disorder), I thanked them profusely and marched past the six blocks of folks waiting in line to get reacquainted with my well-functining 5.

Did I mention they were handing out coffees and waters and remaining uber professional and friendly with all the line goers? Including the ones simply there to preach Jesus?

You go Apple.

So if you have a 5 and the battery is pooping out on you super fast, go get diagnosed and see if you're within warranty or part of the recall. And hit the Plaza Apple store. Perhaps a fabulous dude in a bow tie will be your superhero too.

PS: after that if you're hungry for cake, hit the Hen House on Antioch. That kind lady also upped the ante by cutting me fresh yellow and chocolate cake to assure me of it's deliciousness. And delicious it was...

Selfless Selfies

"Hi Mommy! You're sending me SO MANY notes...but I guess I like them. You'll be home in three days!" my five year old said breathlessly in the 12-seconds of attention he'll provide on FaceTime during one of my business trips. I giggled as he made faces at himself in the reflective app, focused on his mirror image and not at all stressed that mama was away.

Which is just what a traveling Mom can hope for!

Given leaving little treats and notes daily was beginning to be a bit much when I was on the road, I moved to sending him daily picture messages to let him know I was thinking of him and bringing home a small trinket from the town in which I was working (of note: I do NOT recommend Mexican jumping beans, thank you very much Phoenix - can you say up all night?!). He was also uber pumped to find a little notecard tucked under his pillow for my first night away, along with a countdown sheet posted to his closet.

Please forgive my "just awoke" look - 5 a.m. in Phoenix equals 7 a.m. in KC and this mama never seemed to get the pic done the night before.

But the beauty of it all is - they don't care. They just know you're thinking of them and they're loved.

So send a few selfless selfies next time absence is making the heart grow fonder. It's cheap, easy and fun. And best of all, it's the little thing that makes a big difference to the little things.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Monday Momfessions: Labor Day Week

1. The Little has eaten chicken nuggets three nights this week. It's Wednesday. This is my current version of "doing my best." Poor Little.

2. The recent purchase of an inexpensive twin mattress to complete the new bunk has made for some excellent napping for mommy. Between the white noise, darkness and no one suspecting I'm in there , I'm like Waldo among all those delicious covers. Don't tell the husband...or any of those three men. We're still paying off that Sleep Number item and the rest have not discovered my hiding place. So much better than locking the bathroom door...

3. I'm starting a log to eventually contribute to that site that highlights creepy things young children say. This week's: "Oh yeah, Mom! I can take your picture and print it out so I can remember you when you're dead!" ... ... ... ...Well intentioned and out of context I'm sure, but yikes.

4. The Big refusing hugs these days at drop off nearly breaks my heart. It's quickly rebuilt with new, unsolicited "I love you Liam," to his brother.

5. Suddenly, the Big showers. It's genius. With such small mass to cover, it's in, out and ready to roll at bedtime. Less supervision required? Yes please.

6. Daddy's sometimes sarcastic vocab has landed him in the daycare dog house again. The big was chatted with about the word "demon." His response: "Well, my Daddy calls my brother that all the time!"

7. On my shopping or to do list: a book written on how to not imitate older brother doing raspberries on mommy's tummy by walking right up and just going for that nice, plump little roll with four very sharp teeth. Ouch. Perhaps he thought it was a hot dog. Warm roll of bread. A nude fruit rollup. Or maybe he is just that word daddy jokingly calls him. Or a vampire. One can only guess.

8. The restaurant ban has been reinstated. Tonight I singlehandedly had to apologize to two families who had salsa on their ensems, the server that had to clean the sugar packets, crayons and water off the floor and the unassuming patron who received a bit of a b*tch slap on the way out. This was within an eight minute window. Ban.back.on.

9. I want to kiss whoever invented the Swiffer sweeper. Not for it's delightful cleansing techniques, but for its ability to keep my 16-month old busy for nearly 80 minutes a day. Ok maybe for the cleansing techniques too.

10. I strongly desire to polish one of the boys' set of little piggies. It may be time for an intervention or a girl date with you and one of your daughters.

So what did you do to screw up your little ones this week, mama?

A Bang Up Job

"Um, I just saw you an hour ago in a meeting...did you get BANGS over lunch?!" asked a co-worker incredulously, this kind of activity far from the norm of running to Target or the closest fast food joint.

Given my three other coping mechanisms had met quota (current furniture arrangements are ideal, trying to lost some LBs so chocolate is out and consuming adult beverages on site is frowned upon, plus who has dollars for shopping?!), I went with the next best thing: change of appearance.

So yes I did get bangs over lunch, thank you very much.
It's likely they'll only last a week as they tend to complicate my three minute morning hair routine and require maintenance that I just don't have the tolerance for, but for now they're fun.

And fun is just what I need right now.

Thank you, Stem, as usual for the bang up job. They're a nice reminder to not take life too seriously and that things can change on a dime. Or a five-dollar tip...