The "Mom's Away" Calendar.

Friday, January 27, 2012

This Christmas my Little Man became obsessed with his Advent Calender. Obsessed. The kid doesn't even like chocolate that much, yet every morning he would jump with joy when he got to open a new door. I figured if I made him a "mom's away" calendar then he would have a little something every day to get excited about, and the bonus is that he will know exactly how many days are left until we come back. Each little envelope contains a mini skateboard, a sweet treat, and a little note with an inside joke. With this to look forward to each morning, I'm pretty sure the little guy isn't even going to miss us! I, on the other hand, haven't even left yet and I already feel like I've been away from my babies for weeks! Oh, and you know it had to be Paris themed!

Since I am going to miss you all too, I figured I would also leave you a little something something. Here are 6 links for the next 6 days. No peeking early ;).

  1. The funniest video that I have ever seen. For reals. Like, I might have peed a little, funny. (Oh, and I'm embarrassed to admit I've said like 80% of these things. I'm SUCH a dork!) 
  2. These are the best thing I have ever tasted. I have to stop buying them. I have a 2 bag a week habit, and so does my husband. Last week I went to Trader's and the ONLY thing I bought was 6 bags of chocolate covered pretzels. Yes, they are all gone. Someone has to stop making them. Please. 
  3. If I could live anywhere I would want to live here. Anyone want to loan me a few million dollars? Jenna Lyons will forever be my style icon. Word is she and the hubs are still living here together. Wonder if her girlfriend lives there too? Who can blame them? I wouldn't want to move either!
  4. This bedroom makeover on the cheap is awesome. Just goes to show what some talented friends, and an uber popular blog can do. 
  5. My new favorite recipe I make this about 3 times a week. I traded the chicken for beef broth (don't tell my hubby please) and it's as easy as it is perfect for those cold winter nights. 
  6. Leave it to my sister, who knows me better than anyone, to find the most AMAZING baby gift for my little bean. I cannot wait until he fits in it! (Does anyone else remember the day he died? I was 14 and was devastated!!!!!!!!!!)
So there you have it, a little pressie from me to open each day! I'll try to get a few pictures of our trip up while we are there, but if not, I'll see you next Friday!

Au Revoir!!!!!!

I've Been Shopping For This My Whole Life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Every time I tell someone that I am heading to Paris with my hubby, their first question is always, "what are you gong to wear?" "Oh, don't worry about that," I say, "I've been shopping for this trip my whole life." The truth is I really have. I am one of those people who has a wardrobe for the life I wish I had. Meaning, I have something that can cover every event that one could possibly attend, but the truth is most days are spent in my Lulu's, and most nights in my jammies. That doesn't mean I don't dream of wearing some of my most favorite clothes, nor does it stop me from purchasing something that is "timeless" because every so often I am able to break out of my daily uniform, and wear something that I truly love. This is what the next week will be, my personal fashion show. Or as my husband said,"You're not wearing all your gear while we are there, are you?" Yes babe, I am... and I couldn't be more excited about it! 

I figured I could create some virtual board of the dream clothes that I could be wearing on our trip, but isn't the real thing so much better? Oh, and as luck would have it, my dream wardrobe IS my wardrobe... so not only do you get to peak into my closet, but now I'm packed too! (Please excuse the wrinkly sheet ;))

The goal is to fit everything in this. Yes, it's a carry on. No, it's not clear if this is going to happen. We are there for 5 full days, so I'm hoping to bring only 3 pairs of shoes, 2 bags, and enough pieces that I can mix and match without needed a full Day, and Night outfit. Luckily, the weather looks pretty decent so hopefully I can leave the bulky winter coat at home. 

Now, on to the clothes!

Paris Day 

(Jacket Emersonmade; Sweater J.Crew; Pants Rag and Bone, Bag J. Crew, Boots Fiorentini and Baker)

(Sweater 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent; Shirt J. Crew; Jeans MIH)

 (Blazer J. Crew; Shirt A.L.C.; Shoes J. Crew)

Paris Night

(Jacket and Dress DVF; Bag J. Crew Collection; Shoes Theory; Earrings Gift)

(Blazer A.L.C.; Shirt American Apparel; Pants Joseph; Necklace H&M)

(Velvet Tuxedo Blazer: 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent; Shirt: Gryphon)

(Leather Jacket: Tory Burch; Silk Dress: Hatch)

I'm thinking of doing my hair like this:

And to top it off, this red/orange lip courtesy of Tom Ford.


What is your dream travel destination? Do you have anything you are dying to wear there?

And So It Begins...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yesterday, my Little Man and I talked all day about going outside after his nap to make a snowman in the freshly fallen snow. So much so that my Sister came over early so she could watch Baby Gray, keeping him warm during the big event.

As luck would have it, as soon as he woke up he heard that the neighborhood kids were next door watching a movie...

Can you guess what happened next?

I'm telling you, that kid couldn't get away from our house (err his mom) fast enough.

"What about the snow," I asked?
"Nah, later," was his response.

The following ten thoughts when through my head:

  1. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
  2. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
  3. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
  4. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
  5. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
  6. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
  7. I thought I had ten more years before this happened!!!!!!
  8. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
  9. I'm so proud of my little independent boy. 
  10. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Thank goodness for this little guy who still wants nothing more than to (eat) and cuddle with his mommy... for now!

P.S. It's somebody's UNbirthday today! That's right... baby gray is ALREADY 6 months old! Can you believe it? I sure can't. I guess that means I only have four more years until I'll be left building snowmen by myself. Dear time.... can't you please stand still.

P.P.S. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

En 9 jours j'arrive à dormir toute la nuit .... Toute la nuit!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Translation: In 9 days I get to sleep through the night.... THE WHOLE NIGHT!

Oh... and I'm going to Paris too.

Okay, okay... I'm actually unbelievably excited about the Paris part, like jumping out of my skin excited, but after 6 months of getting up with the babe, the prospect of 8...9....10!!!!! hours of uninterrupted sleep sounds equally as heavenly. What? You didn't think we were bringing the kids did you? Nope. This is one of those "husband has a meeting, and we just celebrated our Anniversary (8 years!) so why not spend 5 amazing days in the city of love, while Grandma and Grandpa get as much snuggles as they can possibly handle" kind of trips.

As in, it's going to be awesome!

But, the thing is, I haven't been to Paris in 14 years! I have no idea what to see, what to do. Alright, that's not totally true, I am literally copying the same (amazing) itinerary that my girlfriend used in October, but I would love to hear from all of you. What can't I miss? Where should I eat? What's overrated? Where are the funky little boutiques that are missing from every tour guide? C'mon party people.... I need your help! Oh, and while we are at it, what are some awesome travel apps? It's been a few years since I've traveled to Europe and even though it's only for a few days, I don't want to miss anything!

Of course, by "anything" I mean "anything that will get me to my hotel (which is in St. Germain) by 10:30 (at the latest) so I can have a much needed date....

With my pillow!

So.... Now We're "Those" People.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My husband used to tell a story about a guy he was in Residency with, who was so addicted to his noise machine that he absolutely could not sleep without it. One night when he was sleeping in the call room, the thing broke, and his mother had to bring him another at 3 am (let's overlook the fact that the dude was married with two kids, and it was his "mommy" he needed to save the day) so he could sleep.

We would all have a laugh about it, and would question how someone could be so crazy that he couldn't sleep without the sound of running water, chirping birds, or a rain forest somewhere in the background.

... and then we became one of "those" people.

You know. The sound machine people. Oh, and it's not just us... it's our kids too. I don't know exactly how or when it happened, but a few years back we became hooked on this, and last night when the one in our room broke, and within about 5 seconds I was on amazon overnighting a new one, while also purchasing a "back up" I realized that while there some things I can live without; a noise machine is not one of them. I also discovered that I am not alone in this addiction, when my husband spent 15 minutes with the noise machine app on our phone trying to get the right "tone" of white noise before he could go to sleep.

Yes, we are crazy.

It's just not us.

My kids, and my Sister all cannot sleep without this thing. When we travel together we bring three of them with us, one for each room. For someone who hasn't tried one it's hard to explain just what it is that is so awesome about them. It's not like they help you to fall asleep faster, and living on a busy street, you still hear noise in the background, but your actual quality of sleep is just SO MUCH BETTER. I swear this thing just lulls you from one sleep cycle to another. I am fully convinced this little humming machine is why my LM is such an awesome sleeper, and why baby Gray (despite the fact that he still wakes up once a night for feedings) as equally as awesome when it comes to napping, and going to bed.

The downside is, of course, that they can break. Which is why you need a back up. Or a mommy who can bring you one. Or amazon express delivery, which made my day by bringing us a new one, just in time for nappy (I seriously considered sleeping with the LM just to share his.)

I actually feel like I should bury the old one, I loved it so much. Look at it, all sad and alone in the recycling. RIP Sleep Mate.... you were a great companion.

Um... Why Didn't I Do This Before?

Friday, January 13, 2012

You know that scene at the end of Ghostbusters, when the cutest, chubbiest, roll covered "thing" begins to terrorize and destroy all of New York City? Yes, I'm talking about the State Puff Marshmallow Man. However, I could also be talking about Baby Gray, who will soon do his own version of "terrorize and destroy"covered in an equal amount of fat rolls, and even more cuteness. Yes, my baby who was once "slightly underweight" is now a fat-ass (and I say that with only love in my heart) and at almost 6 months weighs a solid 18 lbs. That's a full 3 pounds of baby deliciousness for every month he's been alive. This shouldn't be that surprising, but given that the past few months he's had some troubling stomach issues,* I couldn't be happier with that big belly, and equally as large thighs. 

Now, this kid didn't get this way on his own... he has had some serious help from the baby food department, as in this baby can't eat enough food!" I swear, most days this kid eats more than the LM. Actually, I'm pretty sure that some days this kid eats more than me. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but considering I'm not covered in rolls, I'm going to say that this is a win win for both of us. Plus, this time around I know exactly what is going in that little mouth. Why? Because, I've gone all GOOP in this hizzie and I've been making all my own baby food. You know what? It is sooooooooooooooooooooooo easy, and SOOOOOOOOOOOOO cheap, and my only question is "um... why didn't I do this before?" 

With the LM I was scared to death of making my own food. It was the whole "steaming" thing that threw me. I didn't want to lose the important vitamins and minerals in the bottom of the sauce pan, nor did I want to microwave everything in case those conspiracy theorists are correct and we are all getting cancer from our electronic devices, so I did the next best thing which was buy pre-made organic jars of baby food. Fine, right? Everyone does it. Yes, but I was constantly bothered by a few things 1) the jars were expensive, 2) heavy, 3) totally not earth friendly, and 4) that the expiration date was some three years down the road which meant their had to be something other than veggies and water that made this stuff stand the test of time. Well, either way, the LM loved it, he was fine, and now eats a variety of things that are not great for him, so as far as I'm concerned, no harm- no foul. 

But.... the jars were still expensive and inconvenient, which is why this time around I figured I'd do this my own way. How? With this genius invention below.... THE BABY BREZZA. (I seriously feel like I should be in an infomercial right now) People! This thing is awesome. It steams the food for the desired time, blends it, and makes food with nothing but the food itself. It really is "set it, and forget it!" The end result is food that actually looks like food is supposed to. Pears are whitish, peas are bright green, sweet potatoes are orange... and so on. Oh, and it's so chhhheeeeaaaapppp to make food. 2 pears make 6 jars of baby food. A bag of baby carrots makes 12, a sweet potato makes 10. Every time I make 3 trays of food for like 5 bucks, I think to myself this would be 20 more at the store! That's just crazy. The machine itself only cost 100 dollars and in one month it has already paid for itself like 2-3 times over! Plus, you get the added bonus of feeling all Martha Stewartish and you know your baby is getting only the best. I die. All you preggos, or momma's with little ones. Buy this.. use this... save it, because I've found that it is also great for making pesto! They really need to give these things out at the hospital (along with a breast pump.) 

This is the perfect time to mention my current obsession with EVERY baby product made by oxo. These trays are amazing, and are what I use to store the food in after I whip it up. Err after the Brezza whips it up!

Freeze extras in these. 

Feed baby with this spoon, which is so soft and totally scoops the food off from around their mouth. You people with with kids know what I'm talking about. 

And these bowls with a lockable lid are so amazing... I promise you can't find anything better out there.  Diaper bag approved. 

Fat baby agrees. Just look at that badonkadonk!

*Basically, we learned that he had a dairy allergy which was causing massive constipation which ultimately required a visit to the ER (don't even ask) which was easily cured with a formula change (not soy, still dairy based just with fully broken down proteins) and now this should be something he outgrows by age two. It only took 7 doctor visits, an ultrasound, an X-ray, and the stomach flu to figure that one out. 

P.S. The mohawk is back... some things just can't be tamed!

Current Lust Item... and Late For the Party.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Do you know how it is when you see what seems like everyone (and their Mother) wearing something, and when you finally ask someone where in God's name they got said fabulous item, you find out that you are so late to the party that not only is your size sold out... but even your wait listed size is sold out. Oh, and said item is ridiculously overpriced, yet still fabulous enough to haunt your dreams because 1) you wouldn't have paid full price to begin with, and 2) because of the above reason, they will never ever EVER go on sale?

No? You're lucky.

Yes? You, like me, must be currently lusting after these amazing Rag and Bone Jeans.

(close up leg detail)

Yes, they are leggings... yes, they are 300 dollars... yes, if you look closely you will see the fabulous leather detail, making them the most perfect riding- esque pants on the planet, and yes, they are "jeggings" making them equally as comfortable. Yes, you can still buy them unless you are my size or below. No, they are not worth 300 dollars, so you should not buy them unless you have an extra 300 dollars just lying around. I, unfortunately do not. This doesn't make me drool on the screen any less.

The true definition of a lust item.

Le sigh.

The Twenty-First Century Kid.

Monday, January 9, 2012

It never ceases to amaze me the stuff that comes out of my four year old's mouth. Specifically, when it comes to technology.

Things like,

"can you text X's mom and see if they can come to the indoor playground?"

"Will you Skype Grandma and Grandpa so I can say thanks for the {bottle caps} they sent me for my collection (more on this later) I really need to ask them for more."

"Can you please download this song to your phone? I really like it!"

and today, "Does Baby Gray have a You Tube? You know you can find anything on a You Tube? He should get one."

I probably shouldn't be admitting this, but the kid can work an iPhone better than most adults. The other day he asked SIRI to call his Dad to see when he was coming home for work.

Yes, I almost died.

I can't even begin to imagine what will happen when the iPad makes its appearance.

I still remember, in 1st grade, when our classroom received the first ever Macintosh computer. You know, the one with the little green blinking light, where you typed in Y or N? I didn't even get my first laptop until Law School, and until then I didn't even know how to type. (Should I even tell you that I still use 4 fingers to write?)

Now, I have to wonder if it is going to be the reverse for these 21st century kids. Will they know how to write cursive? Spell? Add? When we toured a school we are looking at for our little guy, we found that as early as 6th grade, all the kids get iPads to do their reading, and for online math games with their classmates at night. They actually promoted the fact that they had a library with "real" books as a benefit to their school, as opposed to just a virtual one. Yeah, I'd say it is!!!!

I can't even imagine what it is going to be like for these kids when they are our age? How are we supposed to keep up??? I guess I'm going to need to spend a lot of time at the genius bar at the Apple store asking how to understand my kid... forget about the calculus homework!!!

Note: The LM was very happy to hear that Gray didn't "have a You Tube." He told him "not to worry, you have to be 4 to get one."

Here is big bro showing little bro a homemade skate video we've been working on.

Yeah, cause every four year old need a highlight reel.

Twenty Twelve... The Year of the Patient Mum.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I am not usually one for New Year's resolutions. I generally eat pretty healthy (sans my minor baked goods addiction.) Exercise as much as I need, to to keep the body I want. Spend within my means. Be grateful for the things I have... and I try to have as much concern for those around me as I have for myself. It seems like most resolutions fall into these categories, and while I can certainly pledge to do any one of them, it just seems like making such a resolution would either be too easy or would only be so I can say that in the end I was successful. Where's the fun in that?

This year I figured I would do something hard. Something that only I would know if I was able to accomplish. Something that would really be beneficial for me, if in fact I managed to succeed at my goal. Something that needs to be worked on. Badly.

This year I will have more patience. 

This mostly will apply to my kids, but in reality it needs to apply to them, and everyone else I come in contact with on a daily basis. I admit it, I am not a patient person. Not at all. When it comes to strangers, I am typically able to hide it behind a smile (and sometimes a stink eye) but in my head I am thinking of all the ways I would 1) do it differently, 2) ram into their car if I could, 3) punch them in the face, or 4) call corporate headquarters and try to bring down the wrath of the big guys on them. Of course, I wouldn't do any of these things, and instead, I am only hurting myself while wasting (valuable) energy thinking only negative and toxic thoughts, which are ultimately forgotten, as is the reason for my annoyance, some 15 minutes later.

Well, not any more.

Whether I'm in traffic, line, on hold, or working with the sllloooowwweeessstttt checkout individual on the planet, I will try, try, try, to take a deep breath, realize that this will soon be over, and dig deep down to find the patience to manage any situation with a real (or close to it) smile.

Then there are the kids.

I love my kids. My kids are my world. I live for my kids. Sometimes (often) they drive me absolutely insane. Most of the time it is my fault. Why? Because I don't have enough patience. I usually try to do way to much in a day, and then freak out when I don't get something done, or when they inevitably meltdown. Now that there are two of them, I find that the meltdowns tend to be tandem, and at the end of a long day. A basic recipe for disaster. Sometimes I can go to my happy place (i.e. a nice glass of wine, after 6pm of course) and sometimes I react (a parenting 101 no no.) This usually involves sending the LM to his room, or trying to reason with a 5 month old about why he won't eat/sleep/poop/ stop crying, both things that really benefit no one. What I need to do is take a deep breath, count to 5, and think of the picture above (I might actually frame this in my kitchen.) This man, is in fact, living my worst nightmare, and somehow seems to be keeping it together (whether it's staged or not.)

This year, I vow to remember, my kids are only young once, these are the only ones I'm going to have, and in reality, this is as hard as it's going to get (fingers crossed.) Sadly, these boys are only going to get bigger, and more distant, and one day I will long for a time when my baby is literally spitting peas in my face, while my four year old demands that I watch every single move he makes while he

I realize Rome wasn't built in a day, and I can imagine that things will be easier when baby is again sleeping through the night (this will definitely be a post coming soon) but I fully recognize that this is a personality flaw that I have lived with for years, and there is no time like the present to start trying to better myself, for my kids, and for everyone I come in contact with.

Twenty Twelve... The Year Of The Patient Mum?  Stranger things have happened.

(Photo via Pinterest... that poor man)

P.S. I realize I have been a bit slack here on the blog. With the kids out of school, that nasty stomach flu, and now a family cold, I just haven't found a way to keep up my momentum. This whole not sleeping thing is killing me and I've been trying to sneak in a nap when the kids go down, hence my lack of time to write. I'm hoping this soon will pass, and I'll be back to my usual bloggy/chatty self. New week I'm hoping to get up some "baby centered" posts including some of my new favorite things, and also a great giveaway from What To Expect When You're Expecting. We also have much to discuss re: the upcoming Paris trip, and of course there is winter fashions for kiddies and mums, some new recipes, and I've still been meaning to share some personal posts including our birth story, and what my hubby and I have decided about whether or not we should try to expand this little family of ours again (hint: we're not :)) Bear with me... there is still much to come!