Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Oh right. I have a blog.

::tap, tap, tap::

Is this thing still on?

So things have been a little quiet around here. Let’s talk about why that is, shall we? But rather than droll on and on about how life with two kids is so busy (parents of 3+ roll their eyes at me), let me give you a glimpse into what the other night was like, for example.

Get home from work around 6:15pm. Throw my bags on the couch (laptop bag and breastpump bag) and toss the breast-milk in the fridge. Give D a big hug and sloppy kiss. He squirms away. Two-year-olds are too busy to be bothered with hugs and kisses.

Hubs and baby are upstairs, so head upstairs to say hello and love on the baby.

Discuss dinner. Chicken is already thawed in the fridge, so preheat oven and start washing squash. Hubs says he can handle it and sends me off to play with the boys.

A few minutes later, he says we need a few things from the store (milk) so after tossing the chicken in the oven and leaving the squash in the pan on the stove, he heads out for a quick store run. Says he’ll be back in 20 (which is exactly how many minutes are left on the timer for the chicken). No problem. Everyone is fine and happy.

I’m carrying the baby and see the hubs out the door. As soon as he gets in the car, I hear a “splash” on the floor downstairs. I run downstairs and see water on the floor outside the guest bathroom. Since that’s where we also keep the dog’s food/water, I assume D has gotten into it (for the 547th time). I  see the door is open to the bathroom (we try to keep it closed). I see the dog’s water dish but don’t see much water missing from it. Then I see that the toilet lid AND seat is up. Any guesses where the water on the floor came from? D’s toy balls and his shirt are wet. Grrrrreat. I can’t tell if it’s dog water or toilet water but I’m fearing the latter. And now he’s touching the iPad. Grrrr.

I put the baby in the bumbo and start the bath. D comes running (he loves baths). Strip him down, plop him in the tub, then run to get the baby who’s already crying. Oh and the squash is still on the stove, cooking, so I give it a quick stir. Run back upstairs with the baby to keep an eye on D in the bath. I check the timer for the chicken and see I’ve got six minutes left. That’s just enough time to wash D’s hair so I put the baby in his crib and wind up the mobile (it only goes for 3 minutes), wash D’s hair, then run downstairs to take out the chicken and turn off the squash while the baby is OVER IT and crying because he wants picked up NOW NOW NOW. I pick him up and we watch D play in the tub, trying to get him to say his letters and colors. Then I put the baby in the swing and get D out of the tub and into some clothes – not jammies – because he still needs to eat dinner and he’s just going to get dirty again. Baby is fussing again. He’s hungry and bored. Where is my husband? It’s been 30 minutes! (I also need to buy a ranch house next time.) D beats me back downstairs and is already playing with the iPad again (that I hadn’t had a chance to disinfect yet). I start getting the baby’s bottle ready when hubs walks through the door. He’s carrying a delicious case of pumpkin beer, so I’m happy (although I still yell at him for leaving the toilet seat up AND the door open which is why everything was a disaster to begin with). I take a beer and take the baby downstairs to feed him while hubs fixes dinner for D. Things are calm again. He takes Lysol wipes to D’s toys and the floor. I burp the baby and put him down on his playmat for a few minutes while we inhale our dinner. Then I take the baby and run his bath and put him to bed while D watches one of his shows. Once the baby is tucked in, I take D upstairs and read to him in his room for a bit. He’s been fighting us on bedtime lately and clings to me like a spider monkey when I try to put him in his crib. Bedtime is…a process. By this time it’s nearly 9pm. Hubs is washing bottles and putting away dishes. I try to help but our kitchen is small so I go down to the basement to start some laundry. Then we both grab something sweet (he takes a piece of chocolate, I make a glass of chocolate milk) and we sit on the couch and catch up on the news. A few minutes later, I start pumping and flip back and forth between the TV, work email, and social media (Facebook and Instagram) before we both head to bed around 10:30.

So there’s a typical evening in my house. Complete chaos until after the kids go to bed and then we spend at least half of our precious 90 minutes of free time cleaning up before collapsing into bed ourselves.

Alright, your turn. What’s your typical evening routine?







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Is anyone else as sick of my monthly update posts as I am of writing them? As I’m sure is very clear to anyone still checking in over here, this little blog has become less about writing and more about milestone updating. I have grand plans to create special baby books for each of the boys using these monthly update posts, so that’s why I still do them, but I realize they’re pretty boring to read (and write) and I haven’t had much time or brain space for much else.

So what else is going on?

Not much.

My days (and nights) revolve around these two little people and my boobs. Yes, my boobs. I can’t go longer than 3 hours without feeding or pumping or else things start to get uncomfortable. So outings are scheduled around them, and also depend on the weather. For example, yesterday was a balmy 59 so we went to the mall for a couple of hours before rushing back home because it was feeding time. (I haven’t been brave enough to try breastfeeding anywhere else.) But today? It’s raining and high 40s low 50s so we’re homebound, once again.

I would love nothing more than to just pack up the kids each day and roam around town, checking out different parks, having picnic lunches on a blanket in the grass, and putting the boys down for long afternoon naps while I tackle decluttering the house, room by room. Instead, I’m usually stuck in the house, feeding a baby, changing diapers, or trying to combat toddler meltdowns. It’s all we can do to stay on top of dishes and laundry, let alone set aside any time for additional cleaning or decluttering.

But even though things aren’t exactly picture perfect over here, I do have moments when I’m holding the baby, and the toddler is curled up next to me and I can’t help but think, “I created these two gorgeous human beings. How lucky am I?” In those moments, I try to soak up every peaceful second, as short-lived as they may be. Because when I sit back and look at my almost-two-year old, I’m reminded of the saying: “The days are long, but the years are short.” So enjoy every moment. And I’m doing my best to do just that. Everything else can wait.


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Two Things

1. After my last post, a few folks left some helpful words in the comments in regards to bottle weaning.

So the next day, we quit bottles cold turkey.  Just like that. We went from a morning and nighttime bottle to no bottles at all. It’s been a few days now and fortunately, everything is just fine. No big deal, really.

That’s the thing I seem to struggle most with as a parent. We get into a routine and before you know it, you’re supposed to change that routine and it becomes this big, daunting thing that I let build up in my head when really, it’s not a big deal. I did it when we moved D to his crib at 10 weeks old. I did it when I stopped pumping at 7 months. I did it when we started introducing solids. And then again, this time, when we stopped bottles. I worried he wouldn’t drink as much milk, but the first night, he sucked down 8 oz in a matter of minutes from his OXO straw sippy cup.  The next morning, pretty much the same experience. It’s almost as if he prefers the sippy cup because he can drink more, faster. Huh. Funny how that is. So now we can officially pack up the bottles. (Until next time!)

2. We’re interviewing nannies. Or babysitters. Or childcare providers. Whatever you want to call them. We’re starting the interviewing process for someone to come in and watch D two days a week while the hubs retreats to his office or goes out for meetings. We used to have this really great setup for the last 10 months where I worked from home one day a week so that the hubs could be free to go to business meetings. Well things changed recently at work and starting next month, I won’t have that option anymore. I was bummed at first, but this is also forcing us to do something we probably needed to do anyway. Now that D is so mobile and dropping his naps, it’s very hard for the hubs to get any work done during the day. When D does finally nap, he uses part of that time just to take a shower and fix something to eat. He barely has any time to work. And on the days I would work from home, I still needed to work, so he was still on daddy duty most of the time, unless he had an appointment or a call. So our arrangement worked for awhile, but lately, if I’m being completely honest, it wasn’t anymore. Still, I hate to lose my WFH day, but having someone come in to watch D two days a week will be good for the hubs. And good for D, because it will force him to interact with other people.

For anyone who has already been down this path, what types of interview questions did you ask? Any tips on what to look for or beware of? Any lessons learned the hard way to share? We’ve never used a babysitter before, other than my mom once or twice, so this is all new territory for us.

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Raise your hand if you love browsing home design blogs or Pinterest for inspiration? There’s just something about looking at pictures of  pretty interiors that makes me just a little bit more happy. Sometimes they give me inspiration for what I’d like to do in my current house, or better yet, our next house. Other times, I think they’re just pretty to look at even if I find them incredibly unpractical. Here are a few of those things.

Open shelves in the kitchen. Pretty right? But entirely unpractical unless you a) are a neat freak with ninja dusting powers and b) don’t ever plan to actually USE any of those dishes. I mean where does one even put all their neon, plastic dinosaur sippy cups?


Removing ceiling fans. I love the look of pendant and chandelier lights, especially in bedrooms, but you guys, I could not survive the summer without our ceiling fans. I big puffy heart love them. We have five in our house. FIVE. And don’t say “well just get a box fan or a tower fan.” No, not the same. If I ever remove a ceiling fan, it will be in favor of a bigger, better ceiling fan. Like this one. It’s a ceiling fan IN a pendant light! Win/Win.


Mixmatched chairs. I know that most interior designers tell you to resist the urge to make things too matchy-matchy. I struggle with this terribly. If I’m going to have end tables on either side of my couch, they must be the same. If I have two couches, they have to be the same fabric if they’re going to be in the same room. And when it comes to kitchen or dining tables, the chairs must be the same. The only exception is that the end chairs can vary slightly (say the end chairs have arm rests while the middle chairs do not). But they must still be of the same “family.”  This dining room is just too…jarring for my taste. But oh do I love that high ceiling and the wood beams.


Animal Print. Holy smokes has animal print been making a comeback or what? Particularly in the clothing and accessories fashion world. And as much as I WANT to be that girl. The girl that can pull off wearing animal print without looking like she just walked off the set of RHONJ, I can’t. Same goes with my house. The only exception to this would be if I had some sort of movie-star quality walk-in closet with dressing room. Only then do I think I could take the plunge with an animal print piece of furniture.


Gallery Wall. This one is hard because I WANT a gallery wall. But I can’t decide if I want a gallery wall because I love gallery walls or because it’s just the cool thing to do right now. All I do know is this: If and when I ever get around to creating a gallery wall, my frames MUST match. They don’t need to be the same size or texture but they must be the same color. This random frame assortment craze and then scattering them about on the wall is just too much for my OCD self. I look at an image like this and feel claustrophobic. Anyone else?


What don’t you love that’s uber trendy right now? Perhaps the word “uber”? Not that it’s trendy, but my husband makes fun of me for using it.

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1. Baby D is in a mama phase right now and I’m LOVING it! Yesterday he would only give me kisses. None for daddy. And if I left his sight, even when daddy was holding him, he’d whine. Only for a moment, but enough to let me know that he missed me.

2. My no-sugar diet is going well. So well that I forgot I was on it and almost bought cinnamon rolls at the grocery store last night, since they were on sale for $1 a can. Fortunately, the hubs was there to kindly remind me that I couldn’t have them. Then I kicked him in the shins.

3. The weather is getting nicer, which definitely puts me in a better mood. It’s supposed to be quite lovely out this weekend, so I have very exciting plans to do some spring cleaning around the house. (Did you sense my sarcasm?)  Surprisingly, this was the husband’s idea, so even though I’d rather take a leisurely stroll around the lake and picnic in the park, I’m going to take advantage of his motivation and have him help me get our house back in shape.

4. The only downside to this nice weather? Allergies. Typically, March is when I spend about two weeks fighting a sinus infection. I’m not sure how I managed to escape the entire month without one, but that probably just means it’s coming in April instead. Here’s hoping it doesn’t show up later this month when I have a business trip to Philly.

5. Speaking of my upcoming business trip, the hubs and baby are coming with me this time and if the weather cooperates, we’ll cross off another baseball stadium from our list. Best of all? The Cardinals are playing in Philly that weekend! Go Cards! I love baseball season.

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I don’t love Downton Abbey. There. I said it. (Please don’t thrown rotten vegetables at me.) I gave it a good go. I watched the first two seasons and started recording the third until I had time to watch it. I was finally able to steal a couple of hours the other night to get back into it and…nothing. I wasn’t intrigued. The plot line is slow. The dialogue isn’t funny or entertaining. It’s just…blah. It reminds me of the days I lived with my grandparents and my grandma watched Masterpiece Theater all the time. I hated it. I’m glad to see PBS has a hit show on their hands for once, but I’m just not a fan.

No love for Downton.

And while we’re on the topic of me not liking shows everyone else likes, I’ll also confess that I don’t like The Bachelor. Or The Bachelorette. Or any other matchmaking show. I watched the first couple of seasons of both and that was enough. I suppose I’ve just lost fascination with other people’s love lives. Actually, I guess that’s not entirely true. I still read all the sordid details about celebrity breakups and makeups in my US Weekly. But I still roll my eyes and skip over the stories involving reality TV stars.

Why is this guy always on my magazines?!

I don’t understand the appeal of Bethenny Frankel. I watch a lot of Ellen, mostly because it’s one of the few shoes that I can have on while the baby plays on the floor. No sex, guns, violence – a little inappropriateness now and again, but for the most part, it’s kid-friendly. Anyway, Ellen is a huge Bethenny fan and helped her get her own show, so she’s on there almost every other week it seems. And I just don’t get it. What’s her hook supposed to be? What is it about her that I should be drawn to? It’s not that I dislike her, I just don’t get why she’s famous.

“I don’t get it either.”

If you’re a longtime reader, you know I have a mild obsession with John Stamos. The other night, after an evening that included a 10 minute viewing of a Full House rerun and a glass of wine, I had a dream about Mr. Stamos. A very good dream that I’m certain my husband would not approve of, if I were to tell him. (And I have not. In my dream, I was also conveniently single, so that makes it ok.) Let’s just say I woke up in a better mood than usual.

“So…wanna makeout?”

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Five on Friday

  • Had lunch with the lovely Julie from I Like Beer and Babies. She introduced me to a new Irish restaurant in the Dogtown area of St. Louis called Seamus McDaniel’s. Neither one of us remembered that it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and that area of town goes WILD with the festivities, so it was crowded but worth it. We had buffalo chicken salads (not Irish), nor did we drink a “pint”,  but we sat outside and enjoyed the lovely 70+ degree weather. If only we could’ve said “to hell with work” and stayed out there all day.
  • Did you see what I just said? 70+ degrees? In mid-March? Amazing. Yesterday I saw snow flurries and today I was sweating after a brisk walk to my car. I think it’s going to get cold and nasty again this weekend, but I’ll take what I can get.
  • Last night I went to Time for Dinner again with one of my friends. She brought wine. I can’t think of a better way to be productive during a weeknight than drinking wine and cooking with a friend.
  • My friend Jen and her hubs and son are coming over for dinner on Saturday night. I’m in the mood to be slightly festive, so even though we’re having tacos and key lime cupcakes, the cupcakes will be GREEN. In honor of St. Patty’s Day. What’s great is I can use this exact same meal plan for Cinco de Mayo. Ha.
  • My child is obsessed with this Caesar’s dog food commercial. We’ve played it at least 30 times over the last week and it never fails to get this reaction from him.

Hope your Friday is full of giggles too.

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Ever since Marisa Mayer (Yahoo!’s CEO) demanded that all work-from-home employees now be present in the office starting this summer, the Internet has been ablaze with articles and opinions on the matter (most of them disagree with her actions). And since I have a blog, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add my two cents to the discussion.

Working from home, in my opinion, is a privilege. Unless you’re self-employed, then it’s just a means to an end because maybe you’d like to have a separate office somewhere but it’s more cost-effective to stay home. But if you’re a parent who’s trying to have the career, save money, AND be a present parent, then it’s definitely a privilege.

I don’t fully agree with Mayer’s decision, but I’m also not the CEO of Yahoo! and I highly doubt it was an easy decision for her to make. I also don’t buy that it was a decision based purely on the assumption that all of the remote workers were unproductive. I would speculate it had more to do with trimming the fat without forcing layoffs, and putting a very public focus on profitability for shareholders. And in the instances where productivity was the issue, I would fault bad management. Besides, if you’re a company trying to model yourself after the Yahoo! as it currently exists, you’re probably doing it wrong anyway. Ahem.

But here’s where even I surprise myself: I don’t think it’s a bad move to require employees to check into a brick-and-mortar establishment once in awhile.

It’s no secret that I have a moderately flexible work schedule. I’ve been with my current company for nine years now. I think I’ve more than proven myself responsible and have showed my dedication to my workplace. So shortly after I came back from maternity leave, I worked out a schedule that allows me to work from home one day a week. And that day is flexible depending on what I have going on in the office. I still have to get my hours in and I still have to be available and responsive, just like I would be at the office. But instead of taking a Starbucks break, I can go play blocks with my baby for five minutes. My husband is self-employed and works from home so he’s still in charge of things when I’m home, but if he has to go to a meeting, he basically gets one day a week to do outside-of-the-home things. One day a week doesn’t seem like much, but it’s made all the difference in my job satisfaction, and my husband’s satisfaction with our childcare arrangement.

I read a blog post today that dispels the fantasy that working from home is the greatest thing ever, and while I know some of the article was meant in jest, a lot of it was very true. Although I have to say that while I have worked in my PJs before, I still usually get up, take a shower, and get ready for the day like I normally would. I just don’t put on makeup or shoes, but I still wear a bra and clean clothes. Nor do I sit on my couch in front of the TV. I’m usually at the kitchen table in silence, with my phone and notepad at the ready, and my work IM open at all times. The baby and my husband are typically downstairs, or I will set up a mini desk near the baby’s play area if my husband needs to go out for a meeting. I take frequent breaks, but if we’re comparing productivity, I’d say I’m just as – if not more – productive when I work from home. Mostly because I know it’s a privilege and I don’t want to screw it up.

So here’s what we know. Working from home all the time isn’t really a good thing. But not necessarily for the productivity concerns Mayer cites (though I’m sure those exist). The isolation, the mom guilt, and the inability to escape your work are just a few. And working at the office full time, all the time, with no flexibility isn’t a good thing either, for a multitude of reasons (though for a lot of employees, they simply don’t have a choice. You can’t be a truck driver from home, you know. Or be a receptionist for a doctor’s office out of your living room.) But for those of us in fields that just require a laptop and an internet connection, a schedule that allows for both at home and in office work days is the best of both worlds. I wouldn’t want it any other way.*

Do you have a flexible schedule? Do you work from home all the time? I love hearing other perspectives and experiences on the subject.

*Okay so maybe I would want to win the lottery and live in a mansion on the beach and be a SAHM, but unless I can have it THAT way, then I’m perfectly content with how things are right now.

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Five on Friday

Wow, what a slacker blogger I’ve been lately. I’d love to give you a song and dance about this excuse or that but ya’ll could probably one-up me on the level of busy you’re dealing with in your own lives so I won’t bother. Instead, I give you bullets! Five of ’em. You’re welcome.

1. Did you know food brands still put MSG in their foods? I thought this was just a Chinese food thing. Or Asian food thing. NOPE! I found MSG in Cheetos. CHEETOS! I mean, sure, not the healthiest snack anyway, but MSG? Yikes. What’s up with that?? On the plus side, you can buy “Natural” Cheetos that come in a tan bag (made to look like burlap I guess? Because burlap = natural?) and they taste 1,000 times better than regular Cheetos anyway. So why do regular Cheetos even exist anymore, huh Frito Lay? HUH?!?!

2. Jessica Simpson is looking pretty good these days. How the woman designed and already launched her new maternity line is beyond me. It seems strange that she would already have a maternity line when her first born is only 9 mos old, but maybe she put the gas on it since she was expecting baby #2 so soon and wanted to wear her own stuff? I don’t know. But as much as I hate to admit it, her stuff DOES look pretty cute. There’s no way I’d ever wear heels like these models, and the prices are a tad high, but it’s nice to see a bit more choice in the maternity wardrobe world.

3. I wish there were an easier way to eat grapefruit. I have a grapefruit spoon but even that doesn’t keep me from splattering juice all over my keyboard, monitor, desk and shirt. And thanks to the dozens of tiny seeds lurking in there, my hands always end up sticky from picking them out. Why must you be so tasty and healthy and yet leave me sticky and frustrated, grapefruit? Why? (Apparently I’m on a talking to food kick today. Just go with it.)

4. My favorite post I’ve read this week.

5. This last week was less than enjoyable at work. Frantic emails regarding mundane tasks like invoices and vendor contracts. Things that need to be done but are a huge, giant time suck that do nothing but leave me drained at the end of the day. That, coupled with the less than stellar weather has left me feeling a bit more anti-social this week than usual. So I’m giving myself props that when I was invited to my friend Alyssa’s 30th birthday sushi dinner, I actually went despite considering bailing when I not only forgot my wallet at home, but also got caught in traffic, made a wrong turn, and was about 20 minutes late.  It was a frantic hour and a half but I made it, and I had a great time chatting with some lovely ladies.

I read a quote earlier this week that said, “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse.” How true that is for a lot of things in my life. It’s one of those “things that make you go hmmm…” (Hello 1990s reference!)

Happy Friday!


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I SWEAR my baby said “mama” last night. It was just before his bedtime bottle and he was getting cranky. We were playing on the floor and he was whining, reaching for me wanting to be held. My mom was standing there talking to me but my eyes were on him and I saw his lips go into the “mmmm” sound, twice. The way a mouth moves when it says “mama”. I yelled with joy! “Did you see that?! Did you hear that? He said mama!!” My excitement startled him but also made him happy. My husband argued with me from upstairs, saying I made it up. A few minutes later, as he sat on his dad’s lap whining again, I stepped closer and he whined “mmmaaaa” while reaching for me. The hubs heard it this time too. Take that, “dada”!

Speaking of “mama”, my own mom has been staying with us for almost 2 weeks. I don’t care who you are but 2 weeks with someone that doesn’t share a bed with you is a long time. I love my mom, but she hasn’t been herself this last year. She’s depressed, lacks confidence, and is hyper-sensitive to anything anyone says or does. She helped out by letting us have one date night, although we put the baby to bed before we left and he didn’t wake up while we were gone. She also helped wash bottles and did some spring cleaning in the kitchen and living room with me last Saturday, but as someone once known for being the best cook in our family, she didn’t so much as fix one sandwich for us while she was visiting.  Not that I think she should have to but it’s just weird to see her like this.  Fortunately, my husband was a good sport these last two weeks. He may not have been the most social guy with her but I don’t know many guys who could handle a mother like mine and not really say anything.

And speaking of how awesome my husband is, he earned super duper double fudge and caramel brownie points by surprising me with a massage appointment on Saturday at my favorite spa salon. Happy Saturday to me! I should probably treat him to an afternoon of golfing or something, right? 

In other news, my bestie now works just a couple of blocks from me and we had our first Starbucks meetup during a work day in years. There will be many more in our future, I’m sure, and it makes me so happy to have her so close again!

The hubs and I purchased our first baby gate tonight. I can’t believe it’s already that time. Our house is so not baby friendly. And baby proofing is expensive. As were all of the 12 and 18 mos baby clothes I just purchased on an impulse outlet mall shopping spree. I can’t believe it’s already that time too. Before I know it, he’ll be in toddler sizes. And that makes me want to cry.

Know what else makes me want to cry? The thought of an upcoming work trip that will keep me away from my boys for three days/two nights. I’ll be at the BlissDom conference, which I know will be fun, but I just can’t get over the fact that I’ll have to be away for TWO WHOLE NIGHTS. Thank God for FaceTime. 

And now that this post is just all over the place, tell me what you’ve been doing lately?



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