Monday, June 29, 2015

Let's Go Royals!

"First, I'll have a burger. Then a hotdog, popcorn, nachos and a pretzel. Next I'll have a ..." Similar to his mother, the child anticipated ballpark gourmet almost as much as a hometown win at our annual trip to the game.

Decked out in our gear (I had to make the investment in a woman's jersey - I mean, how cute is that?! And to go back and monogram it someday with "BoyMom?!" Swoon.), we loaded the car with nearly 15 bottles of water given the hundred-degree heat, some snacks a few Shandys and left anxious and excited for a Royals win.

Well, two of us...

The day had already been packed with sports, swimming, errands and a large Mexican meal, so he needed just a bit more time to rally. The bonus of this meant some bonding time with the Mister over ice-cold brewskies and bright orange fingers from a rare indulgence called Cheetos (maybe not the best choice with that new white jersey, but hey - YOLO.)

Ready to roll, we parked near the Chiefs stadium, following the floods of the crowd of the sold out game. Feeling the energy, we navigated the the streams of people, already flushed from the anticipation of what the next nine innings held and likely the warmth of the sunny day. Finding our seats, Big L discovered he needed a bit of a height advantage and chose Daddy's lap.

Together they talked for hours, delighting in every last detail of the game, learning the ins and outs of base stealing, local cheers and how to read the scoreboard. At home run time, he was tossed in the air among thousands of fist pumps from the strength of his Daddy's forearms. And me? I taught him the importance of choosing a song and knowing all the cheers.
It was so much fun, we missed our opportunity once again to check out the Little K, our son choosing the opportunity to catch a foul ball vs. bouncing around with a crew of sweaty peers.

Homers, Hosmers, hotdogs and handholding - it was an incredible evening. And we got to celebrate Father's Day for this guy:
Life can't be much better than this.

Check another one off the summer bucket list and let's go Royals!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Care For a Wowbutter and Jelly?

"Mom - it was so amazing. We made puppy chow today. With stuff that really tasted like peanut butter! Or, that's what my friends say..." our oldest gabbed on, perhaps almost as excited about this food as when he anticipates the large menu of ballpark goodness before a Royals game.

Immediately intrigued, I happened to pick up from school that day and ask his teacher what all the commotion was about. She quickly propped open a nearby cupboard (perfectly organized and labeled I might add - those Kindergarten teachers!) and whipped out this:
Wowbutter! It's claim to fame being "it's just like peanut butter but better." As a peanut butter lover I was skeptical, particularly noting that the stuff was mostly made from soy, but a quick lick from a plastic spoon left me delighted. And very relieved.

A few months ago the "food bullying" and feeling left out for having a food allergy had started for our near six-year old, with friends peer pressuring him to "just go ahead and try it," or licking their fingers after Reece's cups and rubbing it in that this journey into goodness wasn't going to be an option for him. Luckily he's a beautiful blend of compliant and a pleaser, but the pleaser part can be tricky sometimes, because you just don't know the moment he may give in. Now, he has options.

And Wowbutter and jelly sandwiches. Nearly daily.

The tub sits proudly on our counter and is constantly requested, paired with crackers, vegetables or sometimes just grubby little fingers. Found in your local grocery store, they also come with easy-to-read labels indicating it's peanut-free and GMO free, given it looks remarkably like the creamy stuff.

So peanut allergy survivors, delight! And give your kiddo a taste of the good stuff. Happy snacking!

Friday, June 5, 2015

When National Donut Day Goes Too Far
"Oh yeah - it's your fourth favorite holiday," my husband says, his words slightly jumbled together at our attempt to have a conversation before 6 a.m. "Go and have yourself a sprinkle donut the size of your head."

The thought of purchasing the rings of death began to circle in my not-yet-functioning brain, the result of waking to each lightning strike overnight that shook the entire house. Would I go Fluffy Fresh? Make the trek to Lamars? Swing by Yos? Cheat and just grab Hostess?

National Donut Day is not the one in which you cut corners, so alas it was decided: Fluffy Fresh it is. Even if you do have to write a CHECK because they don't accept cards. (Note to husband: I have no idea where the $11.47 went to). Lamars would have been ideal, but it was 25 minutes out of the way and well, that place on HHI managed to shut down, regardless of having the type of gooey goodness I still dream of five years later.

And so it became that at 6:50 a.m. a white box in which dreams are made of entered my car with the anticipation of sharing with my colleagues. Knowing my boss may consider making this same move, I shot her a quick text:

"It's national do it day! I'm going to celebrate accordingly."

That's all it said.

Luckily I took a moment before pulling out of my parking space to realize how this could have been interpreted. Damnit fumbling fingers and voice texting. This could definitely land me in HR. Do it day?! Really?!

A career limiting move for sure.

Luckily my supervisor is the kind of rockstar diva who understands where I'm coming from and let me send a recovery message before quickly sending me donut emoticons. And then we shared the story with tears streaming down our faces when the sales team got it.

Gah bless her. Especially since a text attempt last week ended similarly in that it appeared I was doing drugs in the employe lot.

Maybe the lesson learned here is: quit texting your boss. Or at minimum proofread first. Or maybe it's to at least have a donut first...

Happy D day!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pickin' at the Patch

"M-O-M. It's been raining for dah-uze! What are we supposed to do?!"

This was day one of this thing people call "summer." Kansas City had seen it's fair share of gray skies and cool temps. Meanwhile trips to Monkey Bizness, the gym and mall walking with the elders were getting, well, stale.

That's when I remembered the darling pics of my boss's daughters pickin' at the patch. The strawberry patch that is!

If sweet berries, fun in the sun, engaging with some of the friendliest folks you'll ever meet and an experience outside the ordinary is on your list, visit Wohletz Farm. Pick for hours, straddle tractors, watch the roosters crow and smile a whole lot. Then head west a bit further and spend some time in Lawrence. And when you get home, whip together this delish little number:

Your family will thank you for the memories and fun you had, along with the delectable dessert.

Happy picking!

Hitting the Bottle

Wow, this mama has been off.the.grid. Sorry about that! It may largely be due to...

Sleep! Glorious, wonderful zzzzzs!

For some, sleep comes easy. But as you've heard me whine, sleep is not my strength. In fact, you may have witnessed my TV debut post media relations today where I went as far to try melatonin in a bottle. Fail.

But my friends, there is an answer! And it comes in the form of little brown bottles (not to be confused with beer, though I think there is a high probability if done in moderation this could also couple as a solution). And if Fox hadn't cut out all the slightly intelligent parts of my interview where I promoted these guys, I wouldn't have to put it in writing, but I digress.

Essential oils have literally changed my life, at least when it comes to sleep habits. I'm confident they will take me further when I'm ready for a health overhaul, influencing allergies, weight, headaches, stress and more. Engaging with oils has meant more than seven hours of sleep for me each evening, with only about a 30-second, single waking in there. This is nearly a 70% improvement from what I'd been experiencing in the land of nod. Here's what I'm doing to support sleep:
  • Ambien in a Bottle: 20 drops lavendar, 7 drops Vetiver and coconut oil
  • Balance
  • Serenity

Apply these oils to my heels and take in a deep sniff and I'm good to go. Cleaning up my habits such as avoiding screens at least an hour before bed and playing white noise is a perfect marriage. When I'm ready to take the plunge, diffusing these in our master will certainly knock out that quick 4 a.m. waking that just won't go away.

We've also ventured into the respiratory blend for the wee one with many sniffles and lavender for moments that require more calm (ahem - an entire day of travel coming up).

I've only dipped my toe in - there are so many options and mixes that can improve health and avoid the cost and influence of over the counter medicine. And though I'm a proud supporter of these (I am in healthcare after all), I was more than happy to shed my sleeping pills and their side effects and limitations for these that are affordable and gave me my life back.

I'm a believer, for sure. Holler if you want to sample anything I've got or I'll connect you with K, a dear, no-pressure friend who cares about you as much as you do about yourself.

I can't wait to see what's next for oils for me and my family and for you. How there is so much power in a little brown bottle, I'll never know, but I will continue to hit it.

Because dang, it's good.

Happy oiling!