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New Year’s Eve at 7:00PM?! YES PLEASE. 

31 Dec

Yo mamas (and papas)! Guess who just hit the lotto on how to do New Years Eve at 7, instead of waiting up till 9? THIS GUY.

Netflix FTW

I have not once let my now 3yo stay up for New Year’s Eve because, well because I can barely keep my eyes open myself and really need a little downtime sometimes. And also, because it’s late! And 3 year olds melt if they’re up too late! Couple that with getting to pop some non-alc bubbly and you’re talking sugar rush before bed. Not. Into. It.

But, he’s 3 (almost 4) and I’m starting to feel guilty about not letting him party like it’s 1999 2016. I mean, at what age is he going to be like, “you’re lame for never letting me understand New Year’s Eve”?

So, in my tired haze of returning from our holiday travels at midnight, with a baby who decided to rage until 3:30am (cuz, thanks for that), as soon as the baby went down for a nap, I popped my sleepy self onto the couch with Mr. 3yo and turned on Netflix… AND THEN I SAW IT!!!

2017!

Wait, WHAT?! We can do NYE any time we want?? NETFLIX SAVES THE DAY!!! (again, and again with these guys).

So, there you have it. Ring in the new year without having to disrupt your whole rhythm and still get to sit on the couch with your partner watching (dare I say) a whole movie before smooching it out at midnight… or 10:00pm. 😂

Happy New Years (EARLY)!!!

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 An Open Letter to My 40th Birthday

24 Jun

Dear My 40th Birthday,

When I was young and oh, so naive, I was afraid of you. I was so afraid of you in fact, that I used to say “I will ‘go out’ right before I turn 40. I mean, what’s left to live for? I don’t want to get old and 40… 40 is just young enough to not be old, but any longer than that, and it’s all down hill.”

Yes, I said those words. Over, and over, and over again.

Now, you and I are joining hands together in just a few days time. I will meet you, My 40th Birthday, and instead of being afraid of you, I will welcome you with very open arms.

You see, every year has brought me more and more of what I wanted in my early life, while I was still dumb and afraid of you. I spent my 20’s looking for love and career and being broken by failed promises. I figured out my career and met my husband shortly before I turned 30, got married at 35, started our family at 36 1/2 and completed our family at 39. Sure, I have more wrinkles and more financial obligations. Sure, it will never be practical for me to make leather journals and aspire to sell them like a true Gypsy in farmer’s markets just to earn enough money to sleep in someone’s spare room. Sure, I don’t crash diet every other week, and I’ve got lots of extra padding now. But, those wrinkles are from 40 years worth of memories; laughing with my husband and kids and squinting in the sun. My more practical job has earned me the ability to have a nice house of my own and care for my family financially. My padding? It’s proof that I’ve held 4 babies in my body and 2 babies in my arms, and that I’ve been able to sustain those babies in good health for their first years of life.

I no longer want to “end it all by 40”, I want to start it all more intensely. I want to be able to handle more and accomplish more and be present more and provide more and enjoy more.

My 40th Birthday, you are just the beginning of my life. I welcome you.

Love always (or for the next 10 years anyway),

Stephanie ❤

3 Times it’s OK to Gossip First.

9 May

We all know it’s not ok to gossip about someone else, especially when meant with the purpose of hurting them. But, what about the instances when it’s actually better to gossip first, which might actually save someone from being hurt?

Here are 3 times is MORE than ok, in fact, it’s ADVISED to gossip first.

  1.  If you are thinking about starting a sentence with “I don’t want to offend you, but…” and planning to follow it up with “are you expecting again?” maybe just do your due diligence and GOSSIP FIRST. Ask someone else! Go ahead! Ask other people, if your co-worker who is a mother of a 10 month old and still breastfeeding, is pregnant again, BEFORE you ask her yourself. I promise you, it will save her from feeling that the world sees her as large as she sees herself.
  2. If someone is looking a little pudgy and you’re really hopeful they’re pregnant. GOSSIP FIRST. Chances are, someone will know and even if they do know and don’t tell you the truth, it’s better to ask around, before you ask the person directly. Because #donuts are a thing too, and not all pudgy tummies are carrying an extra set of arms and legs.
  3. Just don’t ask anyone if they’re pregnant ever. Because, if you do, you’re basically just saying “hey fatty, what’s good!”

Ok, I failed. There aren’t 3 times it’s ok to gossip first. There’s one and only one.

Do not ask someone if they’re pregnant. Ever. If someone IS pregnant, you shouldn’t have to ask. If they’re really pregnant, you would know the answer without asking. If they are pregnant and you don’t know about it, it means it’s not time for you to know! Please, for the love… DO NOT ASK anyone if they’re pregnant. Unless, of course, you like hurting people’s feelings.

PS. If you absolutely have to start a sentence with “I don’t want to offend you, but…” just be forewarned. You will offend them.

Disclaimer: The person who asked this question was not intending to hurt anyone’s feelings, but even a well intended question of this type, can still be hurtful. You never know how someone feels or sees them self and pointing out flaws can only intensify and already sensitive situation. Lesson here? Be kind and be thoughtful. Questions without forethought can be dangerous. Xoxo

Monday Can Kiss It

2 Nov

Pretty sure nothing feels worse than leaving the house so early in the morning that you weren’t able to see/nurse your baby, just to sit in so much traffic, you’re actually late to work, BESIDES hearing your older son say “mama, I still need breakfast!” as you’re hustling him out the door.

If ever I’ve been optimistic, all optimism left my body by 7:30AM today. Seriously.

I packed everything up last night, had it all set and we were ready for this morning, as we went to sleep at 9. Pump packed, just add ice pack. Clothes set aside, just find pants in the morning. Snacks/traffic-style breakfast items packed, travel coffee cup clean and ready for brewing. Kid’s backpack packed and ready to go, just fill water bottle in the morning. Slow cooker dinner items set aside and ready, except for meats, which would be added in the morning too. R-E-A-D-Y… or not.

Couldn’t find my pants in the morning, kid watched too much TV while I got ready, and sure, he had a banana and string cheese, but I DIDN’T MAKE HIM BREAKFAST, so he ate dry cereal on the way to school in the car. And of course, the baby; asleep, unfed and uninterested in bottles still. #momguilt See ya later little guy. Hope you don’t starve all day. I’ll be home by bedtime.

Then to top it all off, traffic was terrible. Go figure. It was so bad, that as early as I left, I still got to the office later than I should have. This is going to be much more of an adjustment than I expected it to be. MUCH MORE.

If you see me before noon, don’t ask how I’m doing… just expect that I’m still shaking off the chaos of the morning and am feeling like a terrible mother. Asking me how I’m doing will likely open a can of worms that you don’t want the answer to. So, just be nice and say “it’s nice to see you” or “good morning” and accept my scowl as a kind “good morning, it’s nice to see you too” for now.

I’m sure I’ll return to my happy self soon. This can’t/won’t last forever. But, the mom guilt is strong and until I figure out how to have a giant commute on top of everything else, just hang tight cuz I’m trying to hang tight too.

QUEUE TOTAL MELTDOWN: While pumping in the super fancy closet/storage room for one of our clients, my brand new, fancy Madela Freestyle Pump, jiggled itself off of the table, and facedown onto the floor, breaking the screen. Now, none of the fancy features work, though as it is, I was manually pumping one side, while electric pumping the other, since for some weird reason, the suction wasn’t working BEFORE the fall even. As I bent down to pick the motor up, I spilled milk ALL OVER my legs. Like, ALL over, and the floor. and the everything, every where. #isitnotmondayanymoreyet?

Monday Mom Confessions: The TV Edition

13 Apr

“It’s impossible to do everything right all the time.  Admitting that is freeing – and it’s also encouraging to other moms in the midst of intense seasons.”

~ Kristina Slaney; FamilyWorkLife.com

You’ve heard it a thousand times; “you’re a bad parent if your child watches TV before they’re 2 years old.”

I call bullshit.

If my son didn’t start watching TV before he was 2, I would still be un-showered, un-kept, and totally disheveled. Did I mention that I also have a full time job? I don’t think they would appreciate the “homeless” version of myself that I would have been, if I didn’t introduce the TV to my son at an earlier age.

Let me back up.

I started out completely against screens before 2. Then, my son recognized Elmo and I had no idea how. I had never shown him the crazy red muppet and somehow, Elmo was his buddy, his pal. My early talker (late walker), requested this “lovable monster” so many times a day… So I caved and turned on Sesame Street. He squealed with delight.

After a few minutes, I turned it off, because I felt the motion of the show was too fast for him still. He cried and cried. Sorry, buddy.

Showering pre-TV: 

Before the introduction of TV, my son sat in the bathroom with me every day while I showered. I would haul his high chair into the bathroom, load him up with books and a snack, get in the shower and leave the door open. I spent my showers freezing my butt off as the cold air hit my warming skin under the hot water. But, I did this every day from the time I went back to work, at 14 weeks post partum, until he was 15 months old, and learned to walk. No longer did he want to sit in his high chair and read books. My showers got shorter and colder and more stressful, resulting in days of “oops, I forgot to rinse the conditioner out!” and “I’ll never shave my legs again” and “did I actually use soap today?”  I would literally cram a shower into 1.5 minutes, trying to stop him from climbing out of his highchair the whole time.

I had to do something. I need about 10 minutes to shower in the morning. 20 if I want to get completely ready for the day (no more makeup or hair drying for me at this point). So, I introduced him to the TV and he loved it (duh).

We were very selective on the shows we let him watch and timed everything in a borderline obsessive manner.

We looked for “slow animation” shows that weren’t totally brain destroying and things that would occupy his senses without overly stimulating them.

Here’s our list of first shows:

  1. Turtle Tales: Sammy’s Adventures: This is a great movie about humans rotting the earth/water for sea animals, as told my an old man turtle (Sammy), as he relives his adventures with his best friend, Ray. The story is sweet, the music is good, but the animation is SLOW and mostly takes place under water, so it has that delayed movement feel to it. This is still a favorite movie for Remy, except now, he screams “SHARK!!!! SWIM AWAY SAMMY!!!!” as he watches it. This is available on Netflix or to download on iTunes, if you need it on an iPad for travel purposes.
  2. Jonathan Bird’s Blue World – Turtles: A common theme, Remy loves turtles. All of the Blue World TV shows are awesome, educational and beautifully shot. Remy calls Jonathan Bird, “Rocka Bird” and knows more about turtle life (including their mating and egg laying/hatching) than I knew at 37 when we first discovered the show. Another favorite episode is “Sully the Pilot Whale“. There are a ton of other videos here as well: Rocka Bird on the Youtubes. A nice thing about this, is that it’s YouTube based, so you can watch it on any device you own.
  3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood : The Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood legacy continues with this cute little animated tiger, named Daniel. Every episode has a “lesson” and a cute little 1 line song to go along with it (songs like, “Keep trying, you’ll get be-et-ter!” will be used in our house for as long as it takes Remy to continue to try to do something himself, instead of always asking one of us to do it for him). Super slow animation and really sweet nostalgia as you hear the theme song, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” play. Available on Netflix, PBS Kids App (if you don’t have it yet, you need it), and the PBS Kids channel on Roku/AppeTV.

So, there you have it.

Now, at slightly over 2, my son knows how to use a remote control, knows how to sit and watch a show and yes, my showers are longer and better, and I can actually “park him” when I need a break, or need to do the dishes without him wanting to be picked up or played with. He watches several other things now too, like Dora the Explorer and The Cat in the Hat, among others. Sometimes I even let him watch TV on an app on my phone, while we snuggle away the early morning hours, when my pregnant booty needs just a few more minutes of sleep!

Mama needs a break sometimes and this is our way of ensuring his safety, while making sure I can still function/don’t smell bad.

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