Monday, April 30, 2012

No 7 Year Itch Here

7 years ago today (April 30th, 2005) this was us...
And 2 moves and 2 kids later...this is us today...
 I can't believe we've known each other for 13 years, been married for 7 and parents for almost 5.  Time sure flies when you're having fun and are still in love.  I never would have expected this mysterious Sigma Chi I met in a bar, who is completely opposite of me in almost every way, would be my future hubby.   

If you are in love with your hubby when you get married (which of course you should be), watching him as a Daddy will make that love beyond words.  My man is the best Daddy in the world, and pretty darn sweet and caring to me too:)  He's not perfect.  I'd be lying if I said we never disagree or that he has no flaws or annoying habits.  He does.  Plenty of them.  Marriage isn't perfect, it's work.  But we both agree that it's worth the work, because our love is real (all the realities of it and all), we have made a beautiful family and life together, and we want to keep it healthy, nurtured and strong.

If I had to give advice to another couple just starting out their life together, I would say:
1. Let that person be their authentic self.  Don't stifle them or try to change who they are.  It won't work.  Give them time to do what they love.  Then they won't resent you.
2. Be friends first.
3.  Have humor in life.  You'll need it.  Laughter is the best medicine when just about everything is going wrong.
4. Respect & Trust each other.
5.  Communicate.  Don't let things fester.  Talk it out.
6.  Accept that no partner is perfect.  That doesn't exist in reality!  Let some things slide.  It will release anger and stress that might build up in your relationship.
7.  Coparent.  Always be a team.
8.  Don't bad-mouth your spouse to friends or family.  Eventually (hopefully) things will blow over in a fight, but your comrades will only see the negative pictures you painted over and over again.

Happy Anniversary, Babe! xoxo

Don't forget to vote daily!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kid Couture? What do you Think?

Today the NY Times came out with an article titled "That Dress is So Preschool", about the rise of designer kids lines.  It's all the buzz on twitter today, amongst bloggers and the rich and famous. 

Here's the link to the article.
Lee Clower for The New York Times; photographed at shootdigital

I was completely shocked and appalled by the prices.  I was also completely disgusted that parents would throw money away on such frivolous items, especially when so many people are suffering in this struggling economy.  I can just think of so many other uses for such decadence, even if they have money to burn. 

Spend it on their perfect prep school, their college fund, sign them up for cool activities, have the children pick a charity to donate the money to, buy school supplies for their school or a struggling school, just don't light a match to that money (aka buying babies and little kids couture!). 

The article goes on to say " children should be children and not little brand ambassadors or, in the current parlance, “prostitots.” She said: “I can’t bear advertising on children. And why would a child need to have anything remotely sexy? To me, it’s unethical.”

I couldn't agree more! 

Such an article made me think of yet another current controversial topic...this...

 Am I a hypocrite for tivo'ing this?  Believe me, B will not be a pageant kid, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy the sheer ridiculousness of it while I run on the treadmill. 

It seems like parents are exploiting their children more and more.  Such topics also make me think of this famous family

Are kids just the new accessory?  ::gag::  Not to this girl. 

What do you think?

Don't forget to vote daily!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

PYHO: My Dirty Little Secrets Vol 1

I just finished Confessions of a Scary two days!  I'm a big fan of her very blunt stance on parenthood and all things mommy.  I'm a regular reader on her blog, and I just loved the book.  I could relate to just about everything she confessed.  If you haven't picked up a copy, or in my case downloaded the ebook, you really should do so!  Most of you are mommies or mommies-to-be, so I promise...YOU'LL RELATE! 
I haven't been asked to review her book by Jill or any of her staff.  I haven't been given a copy for free.  I was just freaking stoked by it.  Take it or leave it. 

Anyway, onto my weekly PYHO, with fab Shell over at Things I Can't Say, another of my most fav blogs! 

Confessions of a Scary Mommy got me thinking...what are some of my dirty little mommy secrets?!?  Would I be brave enough to share them with the world like she has?  Could others relate to my own embarrassments?  Perhaps I'll try it.

Here are my first five (I'll start slowly, so as to not scare you all away):

1.  I like my MIL!   I know, gasp-worthy.  I feel like such a traitor to daughter-in-laws everywhere.  I try to join in when people discuss their in-laws, but I'm a fraud.  I have nothing negative to add.  Not only do I like her...I love her!  I know, I'm one of the lucky ones.  My MIL is generous, sweet, caring, and great with my kids.  I have trusted her with both of my LOs for their first year, and I'm grateful for her.  Although I often wish my mom was closer, I'm glad I have my MIL for those bits of mom to daughter interaction I so desperately need at times.

2.  I don't change the kids sheets as often as I should.  I HATE doing it, almost as much as I hate putting the laundry away (now that really sucks!) Recently, the only reason I changed T's sheets was because I was getting sick of staring at the yellow ring forming around his favorite position on the bed.  ::hangs head:: Those pull-ups aren't all that reliable.  Oops. 

3.  I sometimes use my kids as an excuse not to socialize.  I could probably swing it, but sometimes I just want to go home and relax.  Plus, how much fun is "happy hour" if you can't tip a few back because you can't exactly drive tipsy to pick up your kids from daycare.  Ummm...kinda frowned upon.

4.  I throw away ALMOST everything that T brings home from school.  I many freaking drawings of what looks like potato heads do you need to keep?  I have a small plastic bin that I keep the special pieces in.  But, let's face it, the special stuff is few and far between.  Most of the time, into the trash it goes.

5.  B is attached to me at all times.  As much as I adore my little princess, sometimes I want to peel her off my body, sit her whining butt down, ignore her as she tries to climb up my leg and run screaming down my cul-de-sac yelling "I'm free, I'm free, woo hoo". 

I'm certainly not perfect.  There's more where that came from.  What are your dirty little mommy secrets?

                                     Don't forget to vote daily!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wordless Wednesday: Fun With Walker


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TAT: What's in my Bag? bag that is. 

I can't remember the last time I actually carried around a purse.  Sad, really, but true.  I have to admit that I got a small thrill out of Melissa's newest choice for her weekly Toddle Along Tuesday.  I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with US Weekly, and one of their weekly columns is "What's in my Bag", where the mag takes a peek into the thousand dollar bags of the rich and famous.  I find it fascinating, and look forward to reading about the celeb bag contents weekly!  Although my bag is definitely not as's what this mama of 2 carries around in her baby bag.  Yes, ALL of this crap was in this bag! 

Meet my Kate Spade diaper/work bag. 
  A look inside ~ View #1
A -  A plethora of random toys and teethers for the amusement of B whenever needed.  I just realized I had wayyyyy too many in there!  I cut down a bit. 
B - My most favorite gum, sugar free Extra dessert flavors, Strawberry Shortcake.  Great for curbing appetite or sweet tooth.  T likes it too.
C - Bib - of course it's purple!
D - Baby bow.  You never know when you might need a bow.  lol.
E - Boogie Wipes for my snotty (and teething) kiddos.  I have to admit I tend to use them as well.
F - A hair band for impromptu workouts or changes in hair style. 
G - Back-up snack for T-man.  Fruit snacks are always a slam-dunk
H - diaper changing mat that came with the diaper bag...purple...of course!
I - My blackberry.  Hopefully soon this will be an iPhone

View #2
A - Dollar bin vanilla scent (which I am obsessed with) hand sanitizer.  This is good when my 4yo insists he doesn't need to wash his hands because he "swears" he didn't touch anything in the bathroom.  Not a fight I choose to fight.
B - Wipes.  I tried the reusable container but the wipes dry out and it's too bulky.  Sorry environment.
C - exta pair of socks for me (don't ask)
D - My water!  It's camelback or bust for this girl.
E - my Tiny Diner (obsessed!!!)  If you don't have NEED one! 
F - Touch-up makeup (lip gloss & Oil control blotting papers...I can't live without them!)
G - My wallet
H - Diapers...size 3's (at least 3)
I - Work badge
J - A quick sun hat for B...just in case.
K - Aerobics schedule for my gym
L - My iPad ('s also a Kate Spade case that matches).  I use it to control my ppts while I teach, and I read it at the gym on the treadmill.
M - gym pass
N - travel toothbrush and toothpaste
O - Make up bag
P - Formula holder turned Snack trap (oops...needs to be refilled!)

What's in your bag??  Link up and share your mama knowledge!

Don't forget to vote daily!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Monday, April 23, 2012

Milestone Monday & A Product Rave

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your families.  I know we did!  Hubs completed a triathlon on Saturday, and the kids and I did our best to be the most awesome cheering section we could be, despite the fact that we were blocks of ice.  It was sooooo freezing and spitting rain the entire time!  I commend Hubs for going through with it because not only was it a frigid and rainy day, but he was also sick!  Way to go baby! 
Sunday we spent time running errands and doing little projects around the house.  We put together this fun little plastic piece of heaven for B and took about a million boxes of baby crap over to my SILs house.  I love to declutter, don't get me wrong, but it was also a bit sad to let it all go.  I'm glad, however, that someone else will get some use out of our baby items, especially the plethora of clothing!

This is the Fisher Price Learning Home and I'm already loving it!  It was a present from B's Grams and Granddad, and I have to say 100% worth the money already.  I could just imagine myself, as a little girl, doing some amazing imagination play with this bad-boy.  I'm hoping B gets many years of use out of it.  HERE is the link to the house!  I was so impressed with all the cool things it could do, with only 3 C batteries.  There is a light, mail slot, shap sorter, clock, address that says the numbers, a ball shoot, doorbell, window that goes up and down, a cute radio, a swinging door and all of these items talk!  Highly recommended!  Amazon (aka one of my obsessions) gave it 5 stars!   I couldn't agree more! 

Besides our new piece of plastic, B is also doing a few new tricks.  She is now pointing to things, saying her version of "thank you" (sounds more like tay do), and has begun to climb
The most amazing thing about B's stair climbing is that she ALREADY can, with no coaching whatsoever, slide on her belly down the stairs.  It took us forever to teach that to T.  I'm thankful she seems pretty timid when it comes to the stairs. 

B also is going through massive teething, acquiring 3 new front teeth all at once.  It's great fun. ::insert sarcasm here::  She has been up repeatedly the last few nights crying out in pain.  Tylenol is now our bff.  The top right one is already through the skin, so hopefully that will ease some of the pain. 

Finally, B has switched from the duckie bath to the big girl bathtub.  T & B have begin to take baths together on some nights (not those when T has sports...aka...too many nights).  They're having a blast.  T even taught B how to blow bubbles.  It was hysterical! 

We also said goodbye to the baby carrier this weekend, finally!  I'm so glad I don't have to lug that huge monstrosity around anymore!  B is in her big-girl carseats now, in both cars, sitting backwards.  She's only 17lbs 9oz, so we're waiting a while longer to flip her around forward-facing. 

T has been practicing his baseball skills frequently with Daddy, and going to practices 3 nights a week.  We're very busy!  His first game is in a week.  It should be interesting.  I'm just praying for warmer weather, as freezing in the cold watching 4-6 yo's try to hit a ball sounds less than appealing.  Then throw in a 1yo squirming around...and I'm going to go bonkers.  I have to also admit I've been using T's baseball time to spend quality time with B and hit the gym.  I'll miss that.  ::sigh::
T also told us this weekend that 3 girls at school want to marry him, and he thought he'd try "eenie meenie minie moe" to pick which one he'd end up with, but it's "not working".  Great buddy, good plan!  That's my boy! 

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's Got to be the Hormones, Right?!

So I'm weaning B, and my body is basically saying a big "F-U" to that idea.  I'm breaking out like a teenager (I'm not kidding, I have like another chin growing right now), cramping like all get-out, and a freaking hormonal mess.  I'm praying that my emotional ups and downs, and admittedly a bit of depression and overall yuckiness, is, in fact, that of my hormones changing as I stop BF.  I'm hopeful it'll all iron itself out over time.  If it's not...all I have to say is...oh crap! 
Exhibit A:
Yesterday, I picked up T-man from daycare, and all was going smoothly.  See HERE for why I'm praising the whole "going smoothly" thing.  So, I was feeling pretty confident about how our night would go.  T seemed like he was in a good mood, and when I checked his paper I noticed he miraculously napped that day.  Could a smooth temper-tantrum-free night be in our future?  Until....T told me he had something special to show me in his backpack from preschool.  I handed the backpack to him and he pulled out 3 adorable handmade bracelets.  Yes, I do think bracelets made from pipe cleaners and uncooked spaghetti are swoon-worthy, so sue me.  (see...hormones again!). 

T then went into his explanation of his artwork.  "This one's for me, because it's orange, and I like orange" (understandable).  "This ones for Brynleigh because it's so small and cute" (I get that) "And this one's for....(wait for it) Daddy" (ummmmmmmm....)  "I didn't make one for you because I forgot you were in our family" (shock, sadness, hurt.  Hormones?!). 

Instead of just shrugging it off and telling him it was no big deal, I pouted.  I seriously pouted.  I'm in my 30s, a mom of two, a molder of minds...and a big fat B.A.B.Y.  I also didn't let it go later.  When he would ask my opinion or ask me for milk, when he hugged me goodnight, I would make a comment like "oh, you remember me now, huh".  Shame on me.  He's fricking 4.5.  Get over yourself.  Seriously. 

So, hence the title of the post.  Please tell me it's my raging and changing hormones that I can blame for this immature and irrational behavior!  Or...just lie...because you might bring out the scary hormonal crazy-person again, and she's a fricking mess.

On a positive, less bitchy, note...I had an absolute BLAST at book club last night.  Although we do discuss the book, kinda, it's mostly just a bunch of my mommy friends that get a chance to just be women for a night, have a few drinks and some laughs and enjoy time away from our kiddos.  We discussed this book...
which I highly recommend!  It's very disturbing, but also thought-provoking and powerful.  The book has already been made into an indie-sized film, that I'm dying to see!  Click HERE for the amazon reviews. 

Next book club selection is this...
It sounds smutty and raw!  I'm excited to start reading.  Click HERE for amazon reviews.  The next book club is at my house.  Anyone have ideas for a smutty, dominatrix-esque cocktail I can serve my guests?!  I'm all about themes, as you know :)  

Happy Reading! 

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

PYHO: The Emotional & Physical Pain of Weaning

I bet many of you are wondering what ever happened with my milk struggles a few weeks back (okay, maybe not...), and if we are still going.  I am happy to report...we are...but we're hanging on by a string (maybe that's just me)!  B turned one on Saturday, and I lugged my pump to work up until the moment she turned one, hopeful we'd make it.  I now how zero frozen milk bags.  Saying that makes vomit rise to my throat.  I can't believe that huge frozen stock of 15+ gallon bags is now gone.  However, I am so incredibly thankful I had the forethought this time to stock up.  Without it, we would have never made it.

The day of her birthday party was my last "normal" day of BF.  Ever since, B has showed decreased interest and patience in BF sessions.  For me, that's been a difficult pill to swallow.  I'm trying to be strong.  I'm trying to convince myself it's okay.  I'm still sad. 
Now, in the essence of full disclosure, in the past few weeks B has been drinking a mixture of BM, formula and whole milk, however, in the first 365 days of her life, she NEVER went 1 day of her life without breast milk.  This fact makes me very proud. 

Breastfeeding is not a perfect feeding solution.  There have been many ups and downs through our journey.  I struggled with the latch, pain, engorgement, leakage, cracked nipples, letdown issues, low milk supply, NIP issues, biting (yup!) the works.  But, I wouldn't have it any other way.  B and I have an incredible bond, and I attribute some of that to our closeness while breastfeeding (the rest is probably the whole she lived inside of me thing...).  It's a quiet time for just the two of us.  I do take pride in the fact that the majority of B's growth and development came directly from my own body.  I may not be a cloth diapering fool...but I have always been a BIG proponent of breastfeeding.  It happens to be one part of mothering that is very important to me.

Will we continue?  I don't know...  I guess that burning question is what prompted me to write this post.  I'm struggling a bit with this, okay, I'm struggling a lot.  I've been keeping my concerns pretty quiet to those around me.  My internal struggle has been difficult.  The painful breast pain due to lack of pumping and less BF sessions is equally difficult.  Ouch!  I can just feel my hormonal changes occurring as a result of weaning.  I'm an emotional wreck. 

Am I tired of lugging the pump and being anti-social at work?  YES.  Am I tired of being the only one who can feed her?  YES.  Am I a bit freaked out about stopping?  YES.  Will I miss the closeness and the comfort it give her?  YES.  Do I think transitioning will be hard on both of us, both physically and emotionally?  YES.  Do I think it's time?  YES.  Am I deathly afraid?  YES. 

Right now, I don't have a clear answer.  Ideally, I'd like to continue to feed in the morning and at night.  However, due to our early morning schedule (all four of us are out of the house before 6:30am), it's difficult for me to get her interested in eating before work anymore.  I lose the battle between sitting quietly with me and her love for cheerios.  ::sigh::  So...if I want to prolong BF a bit (preferably until I'm home with her in June) I'll have to continue to encourage her to feed from me at least once a day.  This is the reason for the dilemma.  I truly don't think my body will let me only feed her at night.  If anyone knows any different, please leave a comment!  I would love to hear if 1 time per day feeding worked for someone.   For me, that would be ideal.  A girl can dream.

I was also very inspired by Mama Foosa over at Growing a Foosa to take an artistic photo of me feeding my munchkin.  Aside:  If you don't read her blog, you should!  Unfortunately, I have two strikes against me 1. I'm completely and horribly unphotogenic (and Mama Foosa is gorgeous in every and 2. my camera sucks!'s my attempt...thanks hubs for the help!

Thanks for letting me Pour My Heart Out.  Now go pour out yours, and link up.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Monday, April 16, 2012

Brynleigh's Secret Garden 1st Birthday

B had her first birthday party on Sunday.  When I first started planning her party, it was a bug theme, given I've called her buggie since she was in my belly.  As I began shopping for the decor, the bug theme evolved into a flower and bug theme, and B's Secret Garden was born. It was the girlie birthday party I always dreamt of throwing for my little girl.  I am a sucker for themes, and this was no exception.  Here are the highlights:
This chalkboard was hung on our door.  I also had pinwheels and balloons out there, but I forgot to take pictures of them
 This basket was filled with seed packets, and was by the door for each family to take on their way out.  It said "Thanks for fluttering by to celebrate the birthday of our little sprout"
Pictures of B from month to month
 Dessert table
 Dirt cake (thanks MIL!)  So cute!
 The food and the amazing tissue followers (thanks T, for the help, they came out great!)
 My fruit kabob flower pots
 Bees for the kiddos.  I also made P,B&Js and had keebler granola "bug bites" in snackpacks
 Buggie crackers
 Kiddie favor bags
Love the spring flowers with the lemons and limes in the jars (I just kept my pasta jars for a few months)  I got the hanging/sparkly flowers from Hobby Lobby
B's seat for her cake smash
 I was most in love with my banner.  Her name now hangs over her closet, as I couldn't bear to throw the whole thing away.  I loved it!
Loved how these cookies turned out. 
 More tissue paper flowers
 This was a garden stepping stone (ladybug).  I had the party guests all sign it, then it'll go in our garden.
 B's cupcake cake.  Yes, I made it...or I tried.  :)  Purple ones were yellow and the pink were chocolate. 
 You can see her onsie in this picture (thanks Etsy!)
 Happy Birthday to you...
Brother helped blow out the candle
Cake smash time.  B showed no fear! 
Present opening 

Gift from Mommy & Daddy
 Mommy and her girl (yes, I'm wearing toddler sunglasses, and they fit! lol)
Hubs, sweet birthday girl and me
 The gals, and B with tired eyes.  It had already been a very eventful day.
I have a ton more photos of family, friends, more present opening, and lots more cake smashing...but I've probably already bored you (if you're still reading).  Thanks for checking out our Secret Garden.  I hope one day B will appreciate it:)  Right now, I had a blast planning it for her!  Happy Birthday, sweet girl! 

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory