Tag Archives: mom blog

Monday Mom Confessions

23 Mar

“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

Every Monday, my friend Kristina posts her Monday Mom Confessions. I love reading her self-proclaimed confessions and have decided to link up with her and start posting them myself!

Since this is my first MMC, I’m starting light…

If you have a toddler, you’ve likely started waiting to stuff your face full of dessert until after bedtime, lest the smallest bite of something sugary keep your little monster up way past your “you time” at the end of the day. Missing my “me time” or “husband time” (on the few nights a week he’s home) makes me cranky, and with a budding baby in my belly, it’s more necessary that ever to get my perfect (and totally un-sleep trained) boy down for the night. Come on, I mean, it already takes a solid hour+ to get him to sleep, so whatever is left of the night is all mine (screw laundry). Sugar be damned.

Last night, we got some great news. Our home that we’ve been living in (renting) for several years was recently sold. Our new landlords bought the duplex under the agreement that they would be living in one of the two units… which are both currently occupied. We live in a beautiful, old building from the 1920’s that has two identical units. One of top of the other. We used to live upstairs, and now we live downstairs. Needless to say, we love our building, we love our neighborhood, we love our neighbors and we love living in the middle of the city, where everything we need is incredibly close by. People say LA has the worst traffic, but they just live in the wrong place. 🙂 Anyway, for the last 2 months, we’ve been waiting for the new owners to let us know which one of the two units they planned on moving into. We knew that LA’s rent control laws protected us (we’ve lived there longer than our upstairs neighbors), but that doesn’t mean that the new owners would follow the rules. We were just nervous. The idea of being uprooted just a few months before the new baby comes, and in the middle of finals for my husband, was terrifying.

On to the good news – Sunday night, the new owners came over to “discuss their plans for the house” and the end result is that we get to stay!!!! 

How does this relate to my MMC??? Well, in of the excitement that the new owners brought with them, we needed cake. Thankfully, we live within walking distance to the BEST bakery in LA (in my opinion), Sweet Lady Jane. Onward ho! We marched ourselves straight to SLJ for some cake… and 7:00PM on a Sunday night. Shoot.

Remy can’t eat cake at 7:00PM or he will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!!! Our evening of watching House of Cards will be damaged and a sour bedtime on a Sunday night, just leads to a rough(er) Monday morning. Waaaaaaaahhhh.

We walked back home with our cake in a togo box, and my excited little man cried when he only got ONE bite (mostly blueberry) of his triple berry shortcake, before bed.

But here’s the best thing – CAKE MAKES A GREAT BREAKFAST. Especially when it’s loaded with fruit (triple berry) and milk (lots and lots of whip cream frosting). Cake is a grain, right? We’re talking BALANCE.

Saving a piece for the little guy, while trying not to smear the goodness all over my face, took some serious self-control, but by some magical mystery, he was asleep by 8:30, woke up at 6:45 and didn’t get out of bed until 7:30 this morning. By 7:45, my little darling was hands deep in cake. For breakfast. He actually woke up saying “Memy’s cake! Memy’s cake time! Wake up! Cake time!”

Cake for Breakfast!

Cake for Breakfast!

The ultimate confession? He’s at daycare today. If he goes bonkers on a sugar high… He’s on someone else’s watch.

Lesson learned? Save dessert for breakfast. It won’t challenge bedtimes, and he’ll have plenty of time to burn off the sugar rush by nap time. 🙂

What Would You Do with $100?

13 Mar

Have you guys seen those awesome ads by Dollar Shave Club before?

I mean, if you’re like me, you go to Target for absolutely almost everything your home needs, and when your husband’s been a little too scratchy to kiss (you know what I’m talking about, don’t lie), you think of buying him a new razor as a hint gift.

Anyway, as I peruse the aisles, I am immediately overwhelmed by options. I know what razors he likes, but damn they’re expensive, so isn’t there another one that’s less expensive that he might like just as much? And then I think “I guess I’ll just have to sacrifice my face if I want to kiss my husband this week.” Because really, spending $24.0o on razors seems dumb and the cheap-o brands at normal stores are going to cut his precious face so, oh well. I just won’t kiss him for a few days, or substitute my normal skin exfoliant with kisses.

Then Dollar Shave Club sends you an email and says “did you know that you can save $100 a YEAR on razors that have the same integrity and quality as the ones at Target?” and you say “Whuuuuuuuhhhh???” (Plus, living in Los Angeles, that’s one less thing you need to spend $.10 on a bag to carry out to your car, when your arms are already loaded with laundry detergent, toilet paper, and a toddler, because Dollar Shave Club razors are delivered directly to your door once a month. And yes, in LA, we have to pay for every single bag that we use at a any kind of store, because you are expected to bring your own from home, and lets be honest, toddler = memory loss = I pay for bags WAY too often.)

Well, we signed up a while back and have been happily smooching since… unless he’s just too tired to shave, and then the face is sacrificed anyway. Oh well.

So then you think about it… WHAT WOULD I DO WITH $100 TO SPEND ON ME?!?

MY LIST OF THINGS TO BUY:

1. New size 8 toddler shoes for Remy.

2. Really good steaks for dinner and a nice bottle of wine for husband.

3. New hoodies for Remy (spring weather appropriate)

4. New rug for Remy’s room at Costco. You know, one he and the dogs haven’t peed on yet. 

5. New socks and underwear for husband.

6. New Storage buckets for the baby’s room.

7. New blender for smoothies.

WHHHHYYY???

As a mom, you know that the hardest person to spend money on is yourself. So, nothing on my list works, because none of those things are actually for me, they’re for my family, and of course I enjoy the things that help make their lived better or most organized, just as much as things for myself, but still… the question was “What would I do with $100 to spend on me?”

Here’s the impossible task, fellow mamas: Think of your own wants. (just for 5 minutes!)

I would:

1.Go to the Korean Spa for a full day of rest and body treatments leaving me feeling more like a piece of kobe beef, than a human (minus the whole being turned into a hamburger afterwards part)

2. Buy several new books (real books with covers and pages that aren’t on an iPad) that I’ll never have time to read, but will help me feel like maybe I will at some point (there are several books I FEEL like I’ve read already, because of how long they’ve been sitting around, but still.)

3. Buy a good, new, hypo allernegic, goose down pillow for myself. A really squishy, yet somehow totally supportive one.

4. Get a babysitter and go on a date with my handsome husband (to somewhere cheap, cuz babysitters are like, the highest paid people in LA kind of expensive).

So, thanks Dollar Shave Club, for inspiring me to think about myself for a moment, for saving my family $100 over the course of the next year… and for making my husband smoochable all year long.

Now, if only I could figure out how to have time for myself…

The Big Announcement

12 Mar

It’s been a while and I must say, I’ve been absent for a reason.

See, I’m a “heart on my sleeve” kind of person, and when there’s a secret to be kept, I tend to disappear. That doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped writing though, I’ve just been saving everything to my drafts folder. 🙂 So be prepared for an onslaught of updates as I start publishing everything that was missed in the next week! On to the big news…

Remy's Getting a BROTHER!

Remy’s Getting a BROTHER!

Introducing, baby #2!!!

After my last miscarriage, I wanted to err on the side of caution and get through the first trimester before announcing anything about our new little guy. Life’s become so crazy, that I’m actually half way through the 2nd trimester now, and am finally feeling better and feeling the little man move around in my belly makes me feel great. We just had our 20w appointment yesterday and the little champion is perfect. He’s measuring at 10″ already and you can already see his eyelashes, in all their in-utero glory.

Arnow Baby#2 Ultra Sound

Arnow Baby#2 Ultra Sound

Now that it’s out there, I can start posting all of those horrible first trimester posts, and everything else I’ve been wanting to share about life while expecting my new little boy, and simultaneously being thoroughly in love with my now TWO YEAR OLD boy.

Oh yeah, and I started this to anonymously post woes about 1st tri, while it was happening. 🙂 I only got a few weeks in, because morning sickness/life was just too much at the time, but for all of you who can totally relate…

10 Tips for Flying with a Toddler

19 Aug

Last month, I nervously researched “flying with a toddler” in about every Facebook group, Insta-hashtag and mommy blog I could find. What I found was that everyone prepares like mad, and just hopes to survive the few hours – or way too many hours – they’ll be mid-air with a squirmy-wormy, little monster on their lap.

I was the same.

Instead of making official “busy bags”, I packed a special backpack full of fun stuff for the flight, then a separate diaper bag, with all of the diapering essentials, sani-wipes, essential oils (who knows why), and medicines (Tylenol, Advil, Hyland’s Baby Vitamin C and Teething Tablets – again, who knows why). We were lucky enough to have only pee diapers on the plane, thank goodness, but we were prepared, just in case shit hit the fan… literally.

Anyway, we had a GREAT flight both directions and though that might be because I have an awesome kid, here’s my recommendation for flying with a toddler:

1. Get seats next to your partner (I recommend aisle and middle). This also means GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY!!!

We didn’t want to splurge on the ‘extra 4″ of room’ fees, or bulkhead seats, and got to the airport for both flights way too late to be too choosey, but having seats next to your partner is really great. That way, you can have more room on your laps, lift the arm rest between you, and just kinda share the wiggle. I also felt like having a window (which I typically prefer) would have made us feel too trapped and when little mister needed to walk the aisles for a few, or I needed to grab something from the overhead, and it would have just been a giant bummer for the person in the aisle.

If you’re flying solo, it’s probably best to try to get the aisle, so they can hang their legs off the side and squirm as much as needed too. Plus, kids seem to think that the rolling carts are pretty cool and flight attendants really like chatting with good babies. Any second that passes time in a positive way, means any time without tears.

2. Bring a stroller, but wear your baby! 

We almost opted to rent a stroller in Hawaii, but had recently purchased a BOB from our neighbors who were no longer using theirs. We paid $80 for it (what we would have paid renting) and it was a LIFESAVER in the airport, plus, we got to use it all over the place on our trip, and even more so at home. Best $80 ever.

I wore Remy in the Ergo, and put all of our carryon’s in the stroller, which was great, because we spent most of the time in the airport running to catch our flight (we’re TERRIBLE at getting to airports early). When you wear your baby, they basically pass you through security, and just check your hands for chemicals… which, duh. Why would a mom with a baby have bomb chemicals on her? I guess there are still bad people in the world.

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Baby/backpack wearing, travel fam.

3. Bring a packed lunch, and if you have time, buy more food at the airport. 

Airline food sucks and it’s not toddler friendly, unless your kid likes nasty roast beef and mayo sandwiches, or can chew almonds and stuff like that. Like I said, we are TERRIBLE at getting to airports when we should, so we weren’t able to buy food in advance of the flight, which meant that the snacks I packed were all we had… and the nasty roast beef and mayo sandwich that we all tried to stomach, but struggled with. My best friend had said “bring snacks, snacks, snacks, and more snacks” and she was dead on. We didn’t bring sugary snacks (god forbid it create a sugar high monster on the flight), but we brought all his favorites and didn’t limit how much he ate of them. Gold fish (organic, of course), organic peanut butter sandwich/cookies, fruit shreds, teensy fruit, and Plum Organic baby bars. All of his favorite treats, all healthy, and all we had for a very long time.

4. Talk to your baby about the adventure you’re going on and (try to) show them the plane before you board.

Remy was mesmerized by it. It was really cute.

5. Tylenol… My hero.

I know a lot of moms don’t give their kids Tylenol unless their kid is SUPER sick with a fever, but this is an important one to understand. Your baby can’t adjust the pressure in their ears yet by elongating their eustachian tubes, the way grown ups/big kids can. Chewing gum, popping your ears, all of that is a learned skill and baby’s don’t get it yet. I gave Remy some Tylenol about 30 minutes before take off, and 45 minutes before landing, so that his ears wouldn’t hurt too terribly… especially because he was sick with a double ear infection on our way home.

6. Nurse or Bottle your baby during takeoff and BEFORE landing. 

To piggy back on the Tylenol, if you’ve flown with a head-cold before, you know that the first decrease in altitude is the worst. On our 5 hour flight to Hawaii, we coasted at an easy 35,000 feet. When we first started to decline down to 10,000 feet, my head felt like it was going to explode. I was sick when we left for our trip, and I actually cried like a baby in pain during our decent. Not my finest moment, but I learned something important; the initial decent is the worst part and if you take care of your baby’s potential for pain or discomfort prior to then, you’ll have a much happier munchkin when your feet are on the ground again.  Nursing your baby on the way up, and again on the way down, in combo with Tylenol, will save your sanity, and your sweet little babe some unnecessary pain.

7. Book your flight during a nap or bed time.

Who knew I would have hit the nail on the head with this one, but it worked! My little guy was so tired just from the time of day, and so beat from all of the stimulation of getting onto the flight, that he slept for over an hour and a half each way on our flights to and from Hawaii. I booked the flights at nap-time in Los Angeles (1:00PM) on the way out, and 4:30PM on the way back, which also helped transition back to nap-time in the PST time zone (he, of course, also napped in the car on the way to the airport).

Nursed and Sleepy

Nursed and Sleepy

8. Pack toys your baby is not used to playing with.

For us, it was stickers and Play Dough. My guy is only 17 months old, so he’s just learning how to play with Play Dough, instead of eating it. It was a really fun part of our flight. We made bracelets and snakes… he loved it. Stickers were the other hit. We found these great “reusable sticker books” where you can actually peel the stickers off the page, and re-stick them somewhere else. The Despicable Me Minions were a lot of fun to move around from page to page, but I wish I’d have seen these Melissa & Doug ones too! So cute!!

9. Don’t be afraid of screens.

We all know that the recommendations for toddlers and using iPads/iPhones/sitting in front of the TV is “no screens until 2”, but that doesn’t include air travel. Sorry. DO NOT GUILT YOURSELF for doing what’s necessary to get where you need to go, if your babe is “under age”. We loaded up our favorite family movie “Turtle Tales” on the iPad and brought it along, just in case… Turns out, I like to sleep on flights, and that’s dumb when you’re holding a baby, so I needed a break from the busyness of play time, and “tur-lurs” were just the thing I needed. Remy had never worn headphones before either. Having them on his cute little head, monkey in arm, was just the sweetest thing to me, and most interesting (read “TIME CONSUMING”) thing I could have hoped for. Also, just pay attention to your kid and try to keep the amount of time you spend distracted from their needs (ie. on your airplane mode phone playing solitaire, or reading the latest tween novel).

Turtle Tales, Monkey, headphones and my Babe.

Turtle Tales, Monkey, headphones and my Babe.

10. Have Some FUN! Wear Matching Family Outfits! Be THAT Family!

This has nothing to do with the success of the flight, other than that it may help you keep a jovial perspective if/when things get rocky. 🙂

Once upon an unmarried time, my future husband made a jokey reference to wanting to “always match when we travel, like the Royal Tenenbaums”. So, for one of his wedding-day presents, I had matching black Adidas warmups made, with silly nicknames and the date on each of our jackets, and our initials on the pant fronts, for us to wear on our honeymoon.We looked like we were from the Jersey Shore. Hilarious. That started the family trend, silly as it was.

Thanks to so many modern brands realizing how fun it is to match your family, without looking like a moron, there are so many options for looking good while matching. My current favorite is Sly Fox Threads. Their designs are awesome, and they have mom, dad and baby clothes that are all awesome. Here’s a pic of my dudes in Maui, matching as my men should.

Happy matching in Maui!

My Boys in Sly Fox, matching in Maui!

The point is, be prepared, but relax and have fun with it. Traveling is stressful with or without a kiddo on your hip, so make the most of it by creating your experience as you go.

If you have any additions to my little list, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Happy trails!

Right This Minute

12 May

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Right this minute, I’m waiting for the phone to ring.

This has been the longest, most all-encompassing, and genuinely challenging year of my life (or at least of my married life), as my husband has fully switched over from musician to law student. While my son has made it the most rewarding, and my husband’s grades have made it promising, it’s still been a hard year. Not gonna lie.

I’m waiting for the phone to ring, with an exhausted and overwhelmed husband on the other end of the line, letting me know that it’s over (until the fall anyway, and minus the one tiny little class he’s taking over the summer – which is only one night a week).

Tonight, I get my husband back and my son gets his daddy.

Over the last year, we’ve struggled endlessly to make it through in-tact, and to get to the point when we could take a break. Back in December, we expected that break to come, but not even 12 hours after his last fall semester final, we were in a house inspection, with an insurance agent telling us we had to move out of our home right away, albeit temporary. That “temporary move” left us in a hotel for 8 whole weeks. Did I mention we have a baby that goes to bed at 7 and we were all in one room, or that it happened 6 days before our son’s first Christmas? That was anything but the break we wanted (and desperately needed) and we went into the 2nd semester with all of the exhaustion we left the first with, and more. It was a challenge to keep a happy face, and once that second semester started, it was back to the races. But this time, he never came home to study, because he couldn’t. When a single hotel room with a sleeping baby is “home” and your husband is in law school, you just say “Goodbye, baby! See ya in summer!” and now???? SUMMER IS HERE!!!!!!!!!

It’s nothing drastic that we/I want though. I’m most looking forward to just being able to sit on our couch, or front porch, with a glass of wine or a beer and just sit with him, you know… talk. Relax. I’m looking forward to our baby not having to say goodnight to him in the picture of our family on the wall, or via FaceTime, but to his daddy in person. I’m excited about coming home from work to find daddy and son playing and rough-housing around. I’m excited to make dinner after work for my family, and actually get to sit down together and eat it. There’s nothing crazy about what I want. I’m not looking for luxury here. I’m just looking for a moment in time, where it’s just us, and time, and more us.

You see, in our 8+ years, we’ve never had this. For the first 6 years, we had band practice 4-5 nights a week, and tours, and recording sessions, and something that always kept our evenings occupied. When we got married, I lived in a different state for one and a half years… so that wasn’t conducive to spending time together, except for the weekend visits once a month or so. Then we had a baby, and as I was healing up, we were learning how to parent exist as a new family, while completely sleep deprived, and he was still in band practice several nights a week. Then, I went back to work, while he started his pre-law school studies, tutor sessions and readings, while still working on music at night. Then, school started and “see ya later, daddio!” Now, it’s our first opportunity in 8.5 years to eat dinner together on a regular basis. To spend our weekends together. To live our lives as a family who sees each other. And, I. can. not. wait. 

I’ve been afraid in a sense, that something would once again rob us of “daddy time” but it’s looking like we’re gonna make it! In part, because I haven’t noticed anything wrong with our house, and if I learned anything last time, even if your walls are caving in, WAIT UNTIL AFTER BREAK TO CALL SOMEONE ABOUT IT!

I’m 100% the most proud wife on earth, because he’s accomplished so much and been a rock through the storm, but that’s not what this post is about. This is about a wife’s need for her husband and baby-daddy to be home for a bit. And, of course, the absolute excitement that comes with it.

Take-out has arrived (his favorite meal), whiskey is poured, a special gift is on the table, I’m off of work for a couple of days, and now I wait for the phone to ring. And wait. And wait…

 

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