Our Beginning of the Week +1.

For some reason, I’d assumed leaving my kids to go to work would get progressively easier as they got older. For me, it’s proven to be quite the opposite. Watching my little guys fade out of view in my rear view mirror makes me teary almost every single time.

Coming off my long work weekends, I’m so eager to play with my buddies. I like to ditch my phone and enjoy being in the moment. I want to tickle my 22 month old and hear his deep belly laugh. I want to have zero distractions building carwashes with blocks. I want to lay with my boys while they fall asleep and admire the thick eyelashes they will never fully appreciate.

My whole world revolves around them. As exhausting as it is, I am completely soaking in this season of life.

I think it’s because of my work guilt that I let my kids completely take the reins on Mondays.

Thaaaaaat’s why we’ve ended up taking this little turtle with us on several beginning of the week outings. His name is Turtle…my boys are quite literal in the naming process.

Turtle wanted to swing recently, so he got his own swing and I spent a while pushing both my guys and a turtle.

After my boys were done swinging, my 22 month old stood next to me to help push Turtle. I snapped a few pictures, then went back to pushing Turtle and narrating the ride with lots of “WEEEEE! SO HIGH!” until I realized the little blonde in my peripheral wasn’t my child, but a little girl and her grandma. They were patiently waiting behind me to stop taking pictures of my swinging plastic turtle so she could have a turn.

My kids were in a playground tunnel, so I, alone, moved Turtle, and he sat down next to me on a bench.

I’m sure I’m on some neighborhood watch Facebook page, but I’m really into Turtle right now. He’s become a real beacon getting me through my work days.

I am lucky to love my job, but if Turtle joins the crew and makes an appearance in my rearview this weekend, I’ll probably need waterproof mascara.

Continue Reading

HBD Brian / Sure Hope I’m Pregnant for Swimsuit Season / Those Two are Unrelated

What would President’s Day be without spending a few Jacksons? Or Franklins? Or even Washingtons?

I perused President’s Day sales online last night, and snagged a couple swimsuits. This led me to firing swimsuit-shopping-in-February inspired questions that Brian never knows how to best respond to. In order:

“Oh my gosh. I ordered swimsuits. Ugh, I feel so fat. Do I look bigger?”
“When am I going to finally take those hardcore classes I have a pass to?”Wait, have you seen my Food Network Magazine? It was just right here.”

He treated them as rhetorical questions, although I was concerned about the magazine. I found it this morning. Don’t want to misplace the special pasta edition.

Thank goodness those swimsuits en route are black.

My in-laws visited over the weekend, and even though it was Brian’s birthday, I felt like I got a break! A new MIL appreciation comes with having kids. She grocery shopped, played with my kids, and helped with laundry, all while I was working. I even slept until nine one morning!

Leila and Mark helped us celebrate with a fun dinner. Let this not be overlooked: at some point on Brian’s birthday, his festivities included doing a massive pile of laundry, and I came home to fresh, folded clothes.

That’s very telling of Brian. Laid back, practical, and nice. Really, really nice. He will quietly do ANYTHING for our family (or friends), and his selflessness is underrated.

I had no idea how right for me that twenty three year old boy was when I met him, and even though it took me two years to recognize it (and change his name from “Brian Creepy” in my phone), I can’t believe I caught him! With a lot of false advertising (like shaved legs and clean hair), and the help of Morgan and Stuart Peterson, I caught him.

Happy belated birthday, Brian. You’re our bestie.

Continue Reading

I Either Smell like Aunt Linda or a Stripper

Ever since my family’s Park City girl’s trip a few months ago, I’ve been really into perfumes. That’s because my Aunt Linda, who is beautiful and always smells the way the glitter emoji looks, shared her latest dreamy scent with me. Here she is.

Now, I, too, smell like sparkles, even when trying to get everyone EQUAL cups and EQUAL drinks at lunch.

Have you read fragrance vocabulary? Whoa. Poetic people must always smell like my Aunt Linda.

“Its warm incense undertone lends it a dusky, somber quality, while the top notes reminiscent of freshly cut wood offer an interesting bright counterpoint. Although a beautiful and complex material, it is heavy and opaque, with a tendency to easily overwhelm other facets of the fragrance.”

That’s cool. My house has overwhelming top notes resembling a Costco box of diapers, with subtle notes of soiled ones, magnified by accords of bloated Honey Nut Cheerios that evaded the garbage disposal. The sweetness may give a robust floral fragrance.

I should bottle that up and call it, “Wednesday Mornings.”

In addition to Aunt Linda’s amazing perfume, I’ve been eyeing Prada Candy for a while. I’ve been second guessing it ever since I’ve had more than one stripper client rave about it, which seemed appropriate after reading it’s advertised description:

Prada CANDY is instantly seductive—pure pleasure wrapped in impulsive charm.

Definitely getting a different vibe than my “Wednesday Morning.”

Prada Candy, you’re a welcome addition to my mom-perfume curation.

Continue Reading

My Notes on Miscarriage

With pregnancy comes the first lesson of motherhood: you’re not in charge anymore. This bullet point was highlighted a couple weeks ago as I miscarried.

I blame my out of whack hormones, but I surprised myself with my emotions, and realized that I honestly have never heard miscarriages discussed (until I talked to my friends Melissa and Jessy) to calibrate my own situation. I know miscarriages are common, and have had several friends miscarry early in pregnancy…so how is it that I didn’t know what to expect?

Is it because I’m THE awkward friend that reroutes all uncomfortable conversation because I don’t know how to best respond?

Or, is it because I’m still that middle school girl that didn’t know my own female anatomy well enough to figure out tampon placement without reading (with panicked uncertainty) Tampax’s included instructions? (THREE exits down there?!)

I’m a girl! Help a sister out and talk about these things!

So, here is my girl talk contribution.

After navigating through past pregnancies with no major issues, this miscarriage was a mid-Christmas bombshell. Drastic hormonal changes paired with the emotions led to some inevitable tears, but since I was just shy of eight weeks, I felt silly for crying. It seems irrational to cry about something you never really had.

But, I did. I cried.

Because I somehow let the most fragile flutters of a new heartbeat inside of me slip away.
Because it was more painful than I had expected.
Because I’d become so attached to the idea of a new baby in the summer.
Because even several hours in, I frantically held on to the dimming hope that I wasn’t miscarrying.
Because the pregnancy had been planned and talked about for months.
Because I felt guilty that my initial excitement of a positive pregnancy test was tinged with the fear of a midsummer due date in Las Vegas heat.
Because I was due on a best friend’s birthday.

And then I cried because I felt dumb for being sad. I’ve already been blessed with two beautiful, healthy children, both of whom were being forced to leave me alone so I could cry about all these weird things that don’t make sense.

But, real life continued.

As I was curled up on my bed during a particularly painful hour, and still feeling first trimester nausea, my boys decided they were bored with their fourth show. They jumped and danced around (and on) me to some weird Tiesto electronic dance mix on Spotify.

There was also a unicorn mask involved.

I couldn’t keep from smiling. In that moment, I was so thankful to be the lucky mama that got the super active, super physical, chipped-tooth wild ones. Ain’t no time for crying with the active kids if you care about your drywall, you know what I’m saying?

We left the house, got hot chocolate, and walked around a Christmas tree lot on the side of the freeway. Nothing invigorates the soul like inhaling fresh pine and the occasional semi truck exhaust.

And then, we were all happy again. (In hindsight, it could have been the fumes.) I am beyond blessed to have these two little buddies. I can never fully express my gratitude for my kids. Just for those few hours, they knew the caretaker roles had reversed, and sticky little fingers would always find my hand to hold.

After about a week, I was totally fine. I was still disappointed, and still looked a little bloated, but I had leveled out emotionally.

I am learning to not hate the moments that sting my heart a little. Those cloudy moments make everything else look a little brighter.

Continue Reading

Christmas. Heart Heart.

Ahh, yes. The 26th of December. Possibly the second best day of the year, and unofficially recognized in my house as Holiday Hangover Day. We’ve loved being cozy in our home playing with new toys, napping, and picking at treats all day.

Brian and I both regret not having more silent nights this season and are making a mental note for next year. Holiday Season 2016, we over committed to…life.

After Brian’s surgery, a few weeks of working like crazy, fun social events, and festivities with my little guys, I took a quick day trip to Utah to see my sweet cousin Kourtney get married. I have a hard time believing she grew older than sixteen, but it’s what they tell me.

Nothing sweeter than a bride with her dad, especially this dad.

In my Uber home, I realized how unprepared for Christmas I was, and we were at T-36 hours with a loooong work day squished in there.

I relied heavily on Santa this year, “nice” status willing.

After a Christmas Eve parade and dinner, and leaving Santa a plate of unwrapped Hershey kisses (Gus explained they were Santa’s favorite), the babies were tucked in bed. I checked my Santa tracker because I’m still nine, and realized I had 10-40 minutes before Santa arrived…from Canada?? Who am I to question the efficiency of Santa’s flight path (and the most downloaded Santa tracker three years running)? That was a short window for me to complete the entire family’s wrapping and hop into bed before the big man arrived.

I LOVED waking up in my own house, with just my little family, and watching my kids light up. We have had some humble Christmases in the not-so-distant past due to my husband starting up his business, and I’ve felt extra blessed this season to not only have all our needs met, but have gifts under my tree that make my kids’ faces light up.

Like I said, nice list.

The magic really is contagious.

Continue Reading

December 2016 Theme: Feast or Famine

Feast or famine has been the theme of this December, and I mean that quite literally.

I am either feasting on Christmas goodies or at holiday parties, or I’m crazy busy and crazy starving at work. Saturday, I was fortunate enough to find my son’s flattened PB and honey sandwich in the bottom of my purse. I reminded myself that I love paninis.

I’ve also been experiencing the seasonal emotional instability that comes with Hallmark movies, and being moved to misty eyes after watching an angel get her first wings on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Hence, a momentary pause in posting. Busy + food on my fingers + squeegeeing a few tears, can’t type, you know?

However, I HAVE been in the process of submitting pieces to several online sites, with high (borderline unattainably high) hopes of being published, but—have I learned nothing from those Hallmark movies? Sometimes, things get mushy and Christmas magic happens. Ask Bella Hadid.

I’ve also been giving myself pep talks in preparation of embarrassing myself by posting “me” photos, all in the name of building enough of a following to get cracking on writing. My photographer buddy helped me with photos are more illustrative to writing, less portrayal of perfection, which makes me feel slightly less stupid.

We’ve been enjoying so much holiday excitement, I’ve hardly pulled out my camera so I can enjoy the moment without ruining that delicate magic with a mamarazzi flash. We’re all a little pooped, but are looking forward to a couple more visits to the big man before the season is over!

hometownholidays16sleepies

I’m not minding snuggly nappers!

Continue Reading

Oh, wait. Thanksgiving.

Ever since founding the Save Thanksgiving movement, I’ve felt it necessary to acknowledge Thanksgiving as an independent holiday, since it always gets overshadowed by Christmas.

So, I need to backtrack. I wrote a whole post about our Thanksgiving in Arizona with Brian’s side of the family, and it’s mysteriously vanished.

Is there some kind of exclamation point moderator and I overused them talking about all the fun things we did? Were people consumed with jealousy seeing pictures of my cute new niece Hinkley and report me somewhere? Did I accidently post my dazzling review of Brian’s sweet sister Kasey’s beauuuutiful home on Yelp? (5 stars based on the pebble ice maker alone. Let’s just say I stayed HY-DRATED during the trip.) I didn’t save a copy on my computer or in my brain, but I have to acknowledge it with a few photos and a moment of silence for the words you’ll never read.

img_9331img_9348img_9329img_9357
Turkey so good, we ate it for dessert.
img_9360

Gus loooooved his older cousins, who were so patient and tolerant of minimal personal space.
Gus loooooved his older cousins, who were so patient and tolerant of minimal personal space.

I could say, “It was fun!” blah blah, but more importantly, I had that “family holiday” vibe. I love that when I visit my inlaws now, I finally have that “I’m with family” feeling. It’s just comfortable. I like it.

Continue Reading

All is Calm, All is Bright

Brian had a little surgery today, and is the only person I know whose deviated septum was truly a deviated septum. We half joked about it for a year, but after being miserable from a 95% closed septum and our insurance spiking at the beginning of the year, he pulled the trigger on the surgery.

It’s a common procedure, but the poor guy looks pretty sad tonight.

For that reason, we fully decked our halls yesterday, the day after getting back in town from Thanksgiving. (That means it’s also decked with laundry.)

There was a sad baby, a timeout, tears, and an acai bowl splattered on the wall, all while Michael Buble’s “Silent Night” played in the background.

Amid the chaos, the little looks of pure wonder in their eyes while decorating the tree with horizontal candy cane ornaments makes me SO excited for this season.

img_9653

img_9631
img_9642 (Admiring décor with a bat is probably less than ideal.)
img_9616

img_9621img_9664

img_9658

Roscoe will be way merrier when he’s introduced to the NSYNC Christmas album.

Continue Reading

How Far Do You Walk While Preparing Dinner?

Do I know dinner time? Come on. I’m a mom. I’m the queen of this ish.

Studying the food on MY plate, which will always be eaten faster than the exact same food on THEIR plates.
Studying the food on MY plate, which will always be eaten faster than the exact same food on THEIR plates.

I’m only a few years in, but that’s enough for me to laugh hysterically at the thought of dinner being a leisurely meal for any mom with young kids.

Who forgot a spoon? Who spilled ? The sippy cup lid is the wrong color. Someone’s food is too hot and needs a little ice. A hurried potty run for the new man in undies. Why is the fridge door open? I need a knife to cut my baby’s food smaller. Someone needs more water…because it’s being used as a marinade on the spaghetti.

You already know.

So, exactly what would you estimate dinner time mileage to be? Should we require sports bras instead of hair nets? I asked Brian what kind of distance he thought we traveled during meals, but since his unenthused guess work could not qualm my curiosity, I wore a pedometer for five dinners.

Here are my results.

Night one: TACO SALAD
Steps: 399
Flights climbed: 2 floors, looking for what couldn’t possibly be the only clean sippy cup in our house, but was.

Night two: THAI CURRY
Steps:572

My son doesn't love when I get all "international buffet" on him.
My son doesn’t love when I get all “international buffet” on him.

Night three: SPAGHETTI
N/A. I lost track while cleaning up the kitchen bomb detonation spaghetti night inevitably is. I didn’t even get a picture of the upside down bowl on the floor with sauce splattered everywhere. I was crouched under the table waving a white flag.

Night four: BRISKET
Steps: 424

Night five: LETTUCE WRAPS, WITH A SIDE OF FRUITY PEBBLES
Steps: 488
I gave myself props for busting out a quick, light meal, but G only wanted cereal. It turned into Fruity Pebble lettuce wraps. I don’t foresee it being a Food Network feature anytime soon.

img_2141

In conclusion to this very prolific experiment, a total of 1883 steps were walked during dinner alone in four days. It can be assumed that my spaghetti night surrender would have made that at least around 2000 steps.

According to The Walking Site, an average’s person’s stride computes to about 2,000 steps per mile.

That means, I traveled at least one mile during 5 dinners.

Should we dump a cooler of iced Gatorade on the hostess of Thanksgiving dinner? If nothing else, I’m at least pitching Orange Theory a spin-off idea called “Kitchen Theory.”

Feel free to share this with any parent that needs electrolytes for dessert.

Continue Reading

Most Beautiful First Lady, Though.

Does anyone else’s face hurt from having a scowl all day today?

Regardless of your presidential nominee of choice, you have a little crease in between your eyebrows, right?
Because today was weird, right?

Either your candidate lost, your face was rubbed in anti-Trump everyyyything all day, or you were struggling to get your Canadian immigration papers together.

Luckily, America, there is Botox for these types of days.

vote

I was unsure of my vote until the eleventh hour, but I headed to the poll (conveniently right before dinner time) (alone) (hehe).

I told Gus I was going to vote. He asked, “A BOAT?!”
“V-v-vote! For the president!”
“Oh! YEAH! Row, row, row, mama!”

I am not completely confident in the candidate that I row, row, rowed my vote for. Regardless of who I supported in the eleventh hour, I AM confident that I would be publicly attacked if I voiced my opinion via social media. I AM confident that I would retaliate by tagging my attackers in unflattering pictures. Get outta here, Becky!

Continue Reading