Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkins With a Twist

I know, I know...Halloween is like, two hours away or something like that. But hey, that's how some moms between two jobs with harried houses and lack of sleep operate, yes?!. And you can still make it work! For example, we are assigned cheese for tomorrow's class parties and *wala!*

Kraft slices pumpkin style. I'm sure they'd be even more adorable with raisin eyes and a jack-o-lantern mouth, but we parents have a rule at going Pinterest and creating competition. We're all just surviving here people.

Secondly, with two kiddos with food allergies, we are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year:

Thanks to our bestest neighbors, we have a metallic teal pumpkin at our door and a sign indicating we have non-food treats available for the trick-or-treaters who can't have many of the goodies but sill want to participate in the Halloween fun. Learn more and support these families by visiting the food allergy site.

Other than that, the costumes have been laid out (uncertain if all pieces included), buckets ready to roll and candy secured.

Let's do this Halloween.

Tricks and treats to you and yours!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Yum, Yum, Gimme...Lots

"Seriously - they were TO DIE," my husband said, sounding remarkably like me and my girlfriends with his antics. He handed over a tiny slip of paper that contained 5 point font with the following inscribed:

With just 30 minutes needed to prepare these suckers from start to out of the oven, these doozies have been to a campfire, work event, school and a watch party. And for once, the hubby is right. They are to die for!

So pin this bad boy and whip it up this weekend. You can thank me later, just as I've been thanking K since it hit our countertop. The waist of my pants? Not so much. But hey - it's fall. Yolo.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Momfessions: Oct. 20 Week

1. Of note: Mexican jumping beans are a horrible souvenir to bring home to the children. Those things are friggin' annoying and can still be scavenged out of the trash due to their obnoxious sound by your wiser one.

2. The Little has mastered a death stare. I mean a straight up, sleep-with-one-open look that even caused my knees to wobble a bit. And I already partially raised one son. Oye.

3. It's official: children and husbands only start melting down and becoming extremely ill when Mommy is a six-hour plane ride away. Receiving this text during the prescription pick up does not instill confidence in how things are going, even when listed as "fine": "Jesus Christ. Lawson just locked himself in the bathroom at Target. We are a mess! Please hurry home!"

4. When raising a small destroyer such as ours, it's imperative to have extra budget money allotted to "other's items he WILL ruin." This may include things as chairs he tips and breaks in half, Spiderman balls he tosses into the bonfire and Nerf devices he snaps in half with his odd bear strength. While building up this fund, also consider a shirt in your size and his that just say "I'm so sorry."

5. A child that learns to buckle his own seat belt calls for a party. I'll bring the beer.

6. Don't feel guilty if your second child is not featured in family photos for a few years. A) He won't know for awhile, even if you do think that blank stare means he does B) you'll spend three hours preparing for it to potentially get one shot where one isn't falling off a rock, slapping his brother or removing his shoes. C) You'll be sweating trying to manage it all before the shoot even begins. Powder up, mama.

7. As usual, all things can be solved with food bribes. Flu shots, family pictures, going to school on a Monday, completing homework and stopping the tears. Just do it.

8. There will never be more excitement about a plane in the sky or an emergency vehicle passing than that of a 17-month old that can shout and form his mouth in the perfect surprised "O." Every.time.

9. The Little is still on a restaurant ban. Just ask the kind patrons of Panera on 119th street. Also the opportune time to wear one of those "I'm so sorry" tees.

10. There may be a point where "old lady" and "old man" become terms of endearment for your five year old and you just won't know what to do about. I don't even have the energy to explain anymore. Maybe he identifies with them because he's now obsessed with Yahtzee...

How's your week been, mama?

Shoppin' The Mart

"Oh my geeeeee! Tomorrow is the day!" I blabbered excitedly, perusing the Holiday Mart site as to which vendors would receive the majority of me and my Mom's money. Furiously scribbling a list, it was anticipated that sleep was not in the cards for the evening.

An annual tradition, Mom and I head down to Bartle Hall and delight in all that is Holiday Mart, an event hosted by Kansas City's Junior League that features hundreds of retailers with unique gifts and goodies to take home. It may even outrank the Nordstrom Anniversary sale if you can believe that...

This year they outdid themselves once again with booths and booths of loveliness from ensembles to personalized items, gear you can't find anywhere else and aisles and aisles of jewels. In short, it's a shopper's dream. And as always, I'm sharing with you my finds with some sloppy pics:

Some Christmas gear for the upcoming season

Chalk in your family abode details!

Yum, yum, gimme some! Cherry salsa went home with us too of course

Sparkles! And finally splurged on that Oragami Owl necklace that already
has a billion charms in it including charms for the boys, the mister, KS, writer, etc.

A ginormous, custom painted letter for above the Little's crib
And the biggest hit of the show: $15 bow and arrows! Kids of all ages
were going bananas for them. Each Mom had five strapped on her shoulder as she shopped

Did you hit the 'Mart this year? If yes, what were your finds?


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Gift of Alex and Ani

"Oh honey - it's gorgeous - I love it! And the meaning!" I swooned, immediately placing the thin bangle on my wrist, the charm dangling with glamour as I admired the new piece of bling.

Alex and Ani jewels are an awesome gift to give or receive. At just the right price point, they are comfortable and light weight, don't fade, have thoughtful meaning and can be paired with existing pieces or worn on their own. The collections are growing every month, and more and more places in KC are carrying them, including Nordstrom (because everyone needs an excuse to visit).

So far my collection includes a monogram or two for my boys and a lotus flower from a gracious friend, who knocked me off my feet with the little slip of paper that indicated the meaning behind it all. What a great reminder that far too often we don't share with others or take the time to reflect on... and right on your wrist! Sure beats those rubber bands you snap on yourself to recall things, huh?

So spoil a loved one or splurge on yourself and check out the hundreds of Alex and Ani options. It's a darn good option, dangling right in front of your face...and from your wrist.

Play Ball

The last few weeks have been all about the Royals, with social feeds filling up with #beroyal, witty tees being purchased, late nights with the TV up and fingers crossed and an overwhelming sense of pride resonating through KC. It's enough to bring even a mediocre sports fan to slight tears behind the eyes with the nostalgia of it all.

Meanwhile, in western Shawnee, we have our own game going on. It's called:

Catch After Dark.

Of this game, I'm the biggest fan. For each night the Big wraps up dinner, waits patiently as Daddy cleans the kitchen and Mommy tucks away the Little, then pops up just as I close the nursery door behind me and says:

"Mommy - can we play catch?"

And though the fatigue of the day has just begun to settle in and there are a million things to do around the home, emails to respond to and conversations to be had with the husband, the answer is always:


With a smile. With anticipation. With engagement. With love.

We trot out to the pavement, just the two of us, the glow of the moon and the coolness of fall evenings settling in around us. Gloves perched on our hands, we toss for nearly an hour, sometimes conversations rich, while other times barely a word in spoken at all. We trade positions, the ball's shadow barely visible in the darkness of the night, the "thwat" of each earned catch bringing satisfaction to the catcher. And in this hour I hear things I may not have ever discovered about my growing son if I'd not taken the time, answer questions that burn with curiosity in his expanding mind and delight in the feeling of unconditional love in a simple game of catch.

It is, perhaps, one of life's greatest delights. Even better than a championship for the home team I dare to say.For this home, this team member, and this champ stole all the bases and my heart in these moments and so many more.

Thanks for playing ball son. May there be many more games of catch after dark, for I never want this series to end.

Monday Momfessions: October 6 Week

1. Today the Big went to school in yesterday's uniform. And his brother's socks. He may or may not have showered last evening. But nobody knew, right?! And he felt very fratastic about it all. Some days it's about doing the best you can with what you've got. And what we didn't have was a clean uniform.

2. Related: the Little went to school on Monday with one shoe. One. Again - doing the best with what we got, which apparently does not include sanity or a tiny New Balance. Meanwhile a doting mother dropped her child and apologized profusely for forgetting shoes and promised to run home and drop off a pair back at school. Perhaps we could be friends because opposites attract.

3. When invited to jump at a child's trampoline party, choose your activities carefully. Momma ain't 25 anymore, which means a potential rescue from the styrofoam pit and things jiggling you didn't even know you had when trying the jumps. Don't even get me started on the bladder thing even my bff forgot to tell me about. Oye.

4. I totally blamed the Pop Tart purchase during this evening's grocery run on the Big and I'm not even a little bit ashamed. Can't wait for tomorrow morning's frosted, strawberry delight.

5. The Big's bunk has become my new favorite hiding place. For napping, reading and accidentally falling asleep in it all evening long. Move over, Sleep Number. You may have been replaced by a cheap Serta or something that's even twin sized.

6. One advantage of a five year old son turning into an amazing helper who is caring, has a heart of gold and likes to spend time with you is that he'll take the time to rummage through your closet, paint your nails and weigh handbag purchase options. It's like having your bff in a tiny male package for the short term. Perhaps with even more honesty, transparency and rationale when it comes to critiquing ensems.

7. Making the birthday party rounds on weekends is worth it for the energy release required for boys and the cupcakes. Oh, and bonding with the parents. But those cupcakes...

8. When attending social events with children five and under, please anticipate saying only five and under actual words to friends and guests. The rest of the time will include phases like: "stay away from the fire! where are your clothes? please take turns! where is your brother! no, no, no! i'm not sure how to work that nerf gun. let me help you with that juice box. please put the cushions back on the couch. please remove yourself from your friend's face, etc."

9. The Little has discovered how to flurburt bellies, with an affinity for mine. Well, at least that C-section pouch is good fun for someone.

10. Bullying incidents will bring out the mama bear in anyone. You may even find yourself mumbling secret threats, using the word "shank," and leaving anonymous notes. This will not help the cause or your street cred, but the uncontrollable force to protect and serve your children will win every time.

What are you guilty of this week, mommy friends?