You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2011.

Hangers

When we moved into the new house, my mom came to visit and with her, she brought some random odds and ends. One thing she brought with her was a set of new clothes hangers. At first, I thought it was just another item that she was trying to get rid of so she brought it to us, but when she started raving about them I learned that she had bought them specifically for me, because she loved them so.

I promptly put them in my closet and forgot all about them until yesterday.

You guys, these hangers? ARE AWESOME. They are thinner than your standard hanger so your clothes lie flatter and closer together in the closet (great for maximizing space), and they have a velvet covering that actually keep your clothes on the hanger. This is one of the reasons I swear my closet always gets messy; the clothes fall off and end up on the floor of the closet. So annoying! But, no more!

These aren’t the exact hangers she bought me (I couldn’t find them online, as it appears they are distributed though a wholesale business), but these are pretty much identical. You can buy them HERE. But, my mom found them at Homegoods and again at Marshalls, so I bet you could find them (cheaper!) there.

Hurraw!

My dear friend Megan recently became a stay-at-home-mom, but in her spare time has been working with Hurraw!, a lip balm company. She was raving about them, and then because she’s so sweet, she sent me some as a gift. I love them!

Hurraw! has a great philosophy: “All natural, vegan, raw premium fair-trade ingredients, super smooth, not draggy, not sticky, not sweet, not too glossy, not too smelly, never grainy, long-lasting, no melting in a back  jean pocket.” Hurraw! Learn all about them HERE.

From my limited time using them, I would say they are right on the money with their claims. And with 18 varieties to choose from, there is one for every taste. Megan, knowing me so well, included the Chai Spice and it is FABULOUS, and I also really enjoy the lightly tinted Black Cherry. Most balms cost $3.79, which is a great deal. If you were a Bonne Bell Lip Smacker fan back in the day, you will love these – because they are worlds better both in ingredients and taste, while still being whimsical.

T-Shirt

The Women’s Perfect V-Neck Tee from Old Navy is just that — perfect! Lightweight, flattering, and just the right amount of stretch: not so much that it sticks to things you’d rather it didn’t, but not too little that it flops around on you. Currently available in seven neutral color, it’s a great basic to have in your wardrobe. Paired with skinny jeans, a cardigan and ballet flats and you have a perfectly easy on-the-go outfit. I just bought two the other day, but at only $8.50 a pop, I might go back for more.

 

And that’s what I’m loving right now!

- So, we moved! Two weeks ago! The actual move itself was as chaotic as you would imagine when closing on two houses in one day. We were up past midnight the night before packing up the truck, were up before 5 a.m. the next day to finish up, clean and officially leave, sat through two closings, signed our lives away, and became second-time homeowners. (Well, really first-time for me, since Michael bought the first house before we were married.)

We were rushing to get everything out before the 9 a.m. closing, so I didn’t have much time to sit and reflect on leaving the old house. It was probably better that way. I did cry once, though. As I did our final walk-through, I told Owen to say “Bye, bye, room!” He waved and said, “Bah, bah, oom!” and I got weepy.

But! The new house is everything we wanted and more. We were hesitant about it at first, but are so glad we made this decision. From the quiet cul de sac to the hardwood floors to the closets…oh! The closets. And my favorite feature, a laundry room. (You may remember that in our old house built in 1900, to access the laundry you had to first go outside, then through a bulkhead to walk down steep stone steps into the basement. That was awesome in times of rain. And snow.) From our first day here it has felt like home, and I think that says it all. I plan on doing some before and after photos as we make updates and decorate, so that should be fun.

- In an attempt to get even more vegetables into Owen, I’ve been making green smoothies. I make a big one and we share it. He loves it, I love it, and they’re so good for you. Basically, it’s any type of milk (regular, soy, almond), any type of fruit, and a handful of spinach. I SWEAR, you cannot taste the spinach. At all. It just makes the smoothie green. But the health benefits are super high I feel good about him drinking it. Today’s was milk, half a banana, some mango and a handful of spinach. Delish!

(We happened to be playing in the dining room when I snapped this pic, hence the cup on the floor.)

- I’m disappointed with that new show Up All Night. I wanted to like it so badly! It’s about new parents! And they don’t get any sleep! And hey, I get that! Great show concept!

Only, it’s not as funny as I thought it would be. And as much as I like Maya Rudolph, I feel like all she does is sing in an annoying voice. So…there’s that. Luckily, The Good Wife came back with much awesomeness, as did Glee.

- We left behind in the old neighborhood a…colorful…neighbor. She deserves her own post, but if you didn’t see it back when I posted it to Twitter a few weeks ago, here is what she put in her yard the day after the hurricane. And yes, the doll is more than three feet tall. With an American flag. In a flower pot.

…to be continued.

O Baby,

It’s time for your quarterly newsletter already. How is that possible? I swear, we were just celebrating your first birthday. The time since my last letter to you has brought such change — you are no longer a baby, that’s for sure. You are a toddler, and an active one at that.

You took your first steps about a month ago, but still aren’t full-blown walking. You totally could, though. You just don’t want to. If we barely hold onto your finger, you are walking all over the place (and telling us you are, “Wak, wak, wak!”), but the minute we let go you stand for a moment, then lower yourself back to the ground. I’m not discouraged by this, because I have learned that you do things at your own pace and then once you do them, you take off like a rocket. For now, we continue to watch you crawl around, pull yourself up onto and climb over everything like a monkey, and “wak, wak” when you feel like it.

Your walking might not be off the charts right now, but your talking is. You have so much to say! Every day you’ve found a new word, and if you haven’t completely learned it yet, you at the very least repeat what we say with shocking accuracy. Yesterday you walked around the yard with me and pointed out all the pretty “fow-ers” You also know all your “people” now, and sometimes like to list them off for no reason. “Mama. Dada. Dog. Nah Nah (that’s your auntie), Mema, Gaaah pa, Gaaaam ma, Oma…Dog.” You like the end with Dog. I think one of my favorite things you say is cheese – “chzzzz”. You enjoy saying it and always laugh.

Speaking of laughing, oh baby, you are such a happy kid! Strangers always remark on your infectious smile and outgoing personality. I joke that it’s a good thing you weren’t born to shy parents, because you force us to talk to so many people each day. Everywhere you go you make friends, young and old. You say hiiiii and blow kisses at the speed of light, one right after the other. “Mwah, mwha, mwhamwhamwhamwhamwha!”

As you come into your own, you’ve become very demanding. You want your milk cup AND your water cup on the high chair. You want to eat your oatmeal with a spoon, not have it fed to you. You want bread “breaaaaah” at every meal. You about a week away from becoming a loaf yourself. You use your words pretty well to tell us what you want, but if you can’t, you point at “THAT!”, or resort to screeching until we figure out what you need. The screeching? Mama does not like the screeching. Apparently this is common for around this age? I don’t care, knock it off, ok?

You do enjoy so much now. You love to go to the playground and swing or walk by the river. You love to go shopping and ride in the cart. You love walks in your stroller around the neighborhood or by the beach. You love the ocean. You love your blocks and your books and riding on your tractor. You still love Elmo. And kid, you LOVE your Dada. You may still be a Mama’s boy, but the minute you see your father you shriek with happiness and delight. In the morning, you crawl down the hallway to find him, calling “Daaaada! DADA!” And Owen, I can’t tell you how happy that makes him.

You sleep through the night now. Like, really sleep through the night. Thank you! Naps have been tricky lately as you transition from two to one, but over the last few days I’ve taken the advice of other moms and pushed your morning nap closer to lunch. It seems to be slowly doing the trick, and I hope in another few weeks you will be back to napping normally. You are completely night weaned, and now nurse only about twice a day – once before nap and again before bed. It’s a comfort thing for you that you’re just not ready to let go of completely, and that’s ok.

For the sake of keeping record, I’m guessing you weightabout 25-26 lbs (you were 24 at your one-year visit) and are about 32 inches tall. Your hair is golden blond and your eyes, while darker, are still hazel. You have a ton of teeth, maybe 10? It’s hard to keep track. You’re still working on your molars, though.

You are my light, my heart, my world. You are my monkey, my O-Baby, my Owen.

I love you, little boy.

Love,

Mama

Sometimes being a stay-at-home-mom sucks. There. I said it.

Now let me clarify.

I am blessed and fortunate to be a SAHM. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and I am so thankful I am in the position where I am able to be home with my child, especially when there are so many mothers who want to, but are unable to be.

But.

Sometimes, it sucks.

I didn’t have an illusions about this job. I knew that it would come with challenges. Most of the time the challenges aren’t so bad. My day with Owen is usually fairly easy, happy and fun. But every now and then he throws me a curve ball and it takes all I have not to run for the hills.

As per usual, Owen’s biggest challenge is sleep. It’s one area he just never gave to me easy. First he never slept, then he sort of slept, and while he finally made it to sleeping ALL the way through the night, he’s decided that it’s time to screw with naps.

The rational part of me knows this is a developmental stage that will pass just like the rest of them, but when I’m IN the stage — deep in the trenches covered in mud — it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Lately, he is sloooowly working from two naps down to one. I’ve read this could take a while (fantastic), as for some time, two naps are too much, but one isn’t enough. He really needs to get to one solid nap in the middle of the day, but we’re not there yet.

So basically, he’s exhausted by 10 and will nap, but when he’s tired again around 2, he fights me for an hour, screaming and crying whether I’m holding him, rocking him, or if I just put him in his crib and walk away. After no afternoon nap, he’s a PIA the rest of the afternoon, often crashing by 4 and leaving me ragged. He’s been going to bed at night early, let me tell you.

Typical for this age? Yup. Will take some time to get to where he needs to be? Of course. But doing it alone? Whoa, boy.

I have SO much respect for single mothers. The ones who have to do everything because if they don’t, no one else will. My mom did it and while I always respected her before, since becoming a mother myself she is pretty much Superwoman to me.

I’m not saying I’m like a single mom, but for eight hours a day, I do this parent thing alone. This isn’t a dig on Michael. He works hard all day to provide for us and he trades his Work hat for his Dad hat before he even finished unlocking the door. When he’s home, he’s home. And I love him for that.

But sometimes, when I’ve already had a DAY and there’s still cleaning to do, groceries to buy, and oh yeah, a kid to take care of, I look at the clock and it’s only 11 a.m. and am wistful of those days in an office, where when the work day was done, it was done.

This feeling is only a tiny fraction of the time I spend being a mother. The rest of the time I could pinch myself for being so lucky — lucky to have a thriving, beautiful child, a lovely home, a wonderful husband. But I think this feeling is worth talking about because no stay-at-home-mom, not even the ones making wreaths out of dried spaghetti and candle wax on Pinterest love it all of the time.

Well, maybe the ones who make the wreaths out of nothing but air and glitter. Because those women are amazing.

 

We are in the dark ages at the new house…no tv or internet until Thursday! The agony! No, not really. Well, sort of.

I can’t possibly tell you all about the move from my phone app, so until we are back in the digital age, tell me the best new fall show I’m currently missing. I will have lots to catch up on!

Miss you guys, can’t wait to tell you all about the crazy neighbor we left behind, and the fact that I now pee in three different bathrooms daily just because I can.

image

Goodbye, lovers. See you in the new house!

Yesterday, reader Rachel said, “I’m having trouble packing for a one-week vacation with a toddler in the house…how on earth do you pack a whole house with a toddler around?!?”

Well, it’s been an experience, that’s for sure. But we’re making it through with equal parts creativity and crazy — and a dash of humor. Here’s my tips on packing to move with a toddler that go beyond “pack when he sleeps”, because, yeah. Right.

Give them someplace “off limits” to play.

In our house, this is the Tupperware cabinet. To be honest, this is never really off limits, because it’s safe, easy to clean up, and will keep Owen occupied when I need to do something like start dinner. He tears through it like the Tasmanian Devil, but no harm comes from it. By letting him “unpack” that cabinet for me today, I was able to pack up a lot of the kitchen.

Let them have their own box.

Owen is totally enthralled by the amount of boxes in the house right now. “Box! Box! Box!” has become his word of the moment. He loves them so much, that any time I would put something in a box, he would take it out. Not very helpful. The solution? Give him his very own, of course. It’s taken residence in our living room and has become a fort of sorts. He sits in it, crawls in and out of it, and puts toys and books in it.

Let them watch a little TV.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have a problem with Owen watching a little Sesame Street. I’ll put it on in the afternoon so he can wind down a little before napping. Usually, if he watches more than 10 consecutive minutes that’s a lot, because he’s much more interested in his blocks and books. But, if a song comes on, he’s into it, and I’m guaranteed enough time to eat something, fold some laundry or, you know, use the bathroom alone. If you add his box into the mix, well, I might even get fifteen minutes. Whoa. And if you would never dare let your child watch some TV, well, more power to you. You must have one of those genius toddlers who practice a foreign language while mastering how to play the harp.

Accept help.

I would love to fancy myself Super Mom, but let’s be honest, I only have two hands. There’s no shame in accepting a little help so when a friend offers to move some boxes for you or your mother-in-law offers to take the kid for a few hours, let them. That’s what grandparents are for, after all. My MIL took Owen for about five hours the other day and I managed to pack almost our entire upstairs without having to worry about what Owen was up to. And when he came home from grandma’s he was exhausted. Another plus! I also got to sneak in a little zen time for me.

Take a break.

I think this is the most important step of all. Packing a whole house can get overwhelming, so giving yourself a breather is important. It’s also important to make sure your toddler is getting enough attention and isn’t being neglected because of the big task in front of you. Try to keep their routine as close to normal as possible, and make sure you’re doing something fun together each day. Yesterday, I packed all morning, then put Owen in a stroller for a walk to the park. We played on the swings, took a walk by the river, and met another boy his age. He was happy, I was happy, it was all good.

In the end, it’s going to be a bit chaotic, but you’ll get through it. I hope.

A week from today we will officially be living in our new home. I’m excited about it, for sure, but the next seven days are going to be ridiculous. Our current house is sort-of packed. We’re making good progress, but it’s certainly not done. And we need to be — soon — since Saturday and Sunday will be spent not here packing boxes, but celebrating my cousin’s wedding in NYC. When we return, we will have exactly two days to finish, load up the truck and be ready for 9 a.m. Wednesday, when we turn over the keys to the new owner.

I’m having mixed emotions over the whole thing. I never put too much time or energy into decorating or making it “my own”, because I knew we were rapidly outgrowing the space and wouldn’t be here too long. This house was Michael’s before it was ours, so while it is mine too, I never felt a strong attachment to it as a space. In that regard, I am ready to leave. Our new home has much more space and some really lovely touches, and I’m excited to live there and begin making new memories. And for the first time, I’m really excited to decorate. (Thank you, Pinterest, for aiding in that addiction.)

But, I love this place because it is our home — the place where we came back to after getting married, where our first baby came home from the hospital to. Since having Owen, my emotional attachment to the house has certainly gotten stronger. It’s where he took his first bath, spoke his first word, had his first birthday party, took his first step. It’s where we became parents. There are a lot of firsts here.

I will miss this house for the memories it provided, for the love it embraced, for the family it sheltered. But I’m ready for our next chapter.

Pass me a box, it’s time to go.

{Source}

And the winner is….

Chelsey! She makes a strict budget each month. Bet she’s going to save a lot in the coffee area for a while! Chelsey, please contact me ASAP at tlmoments (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing info so we can get your chai in the mail!

Thank you to all who participated in the Mocafe Giveaway. I hope to bring you more in the future!

This past weekend the weather was lovely and we were all itching to get out of the house. We live close to where we went to college, so we loaded up the car and headed down to spend some time on the quad. We didn’t realize until we arrived that it was freshmen move-in day.

Immediately I was hit with an overwhelming wave of nostalgia. As I sat on a blanket with my little family, I realized that exactly 10 years ago that weekend, I was  one of those freshmen, wandering the quad with a map and an air of confidence masking what was really nerves and fear.

I started to blow bubbles for Owen and thought about how quickly time goes by. A group of girls in very little shorts and very strappy tank tops walked by us in a giggly mass and I realized that, whoa. That’s me — a decade ago. I wanted to stop those girls and say hey, breathe it in. Remember it. Slow down. (And also? Don’t drink punch out of a bucket on the floor at your first ever frat party tonight. Just a heads up from me to you.) Before you know it, it will be you sitting here, looking at the former you, and reminiscing.

No, I wouldn’t change it. Not any of it. I wouldn’t go back. How could I, when it’s all so good?

We had Kodiak with us too, and he tends to draw a lot of attention. A couple wandered over to us asking to pet him, and we got to taking. They cooed over Owen and told us they just dropped their son off at his dorm for the first time. It goes so quickly, they said. I mentioned how it feels like just yesterday that Michael and I were walking across this quad together hand-in-hand on our way to classes, and now here we are with our child. We met here 10 years ago, I told them.

We met here too, they said. Thirty-three years ago and counting. It really does come full circle, they told us.

The nostalgia isn’t sad, it’s comforting. To know that some things will never change, even when everything else does. There will always be a girl on the quad blowing bubbles, spinning around, hair on her shoulders, skirt twirling in the breeze. (That girl lives on every campus after all, does she not?) Only this weekend, I blew the bubbles instead.

One day it will be us dropping our son off on his first day of college. Maybe even on this very campus. And then one day, it will be his turn to let his little birdie fly from the nest.

I hope that giggly group of girls have memories like this one day. I hope they come back to that very quad and remember.

I hope they didn’t drink the punch.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 236 other followers