Momnesia Monday – June 20

21 06 2011

It’s been awhile because we’ve been traveling a ton; leaving me with little time to post.  But time away from the blog has given me a plethora of topics to chat about.  Case and point: traveling light.  You’ll find that once you have a baby, there’s no such thing as traveling light.  Not only that, but you tend to give a crap about what you’re wearing and what else you’re packing because you’re mostly consumed by questions about your kid: what if I forgot this item? Do I really need to bring this? What else can I buy that will make this trip easier for baby?

This weekend we moved to Maine for half the summer.  While I know I can easily purchase things out here, there are just some things that I can’t live without…or, should I say, Kensi can’t live without.  Once we disrupt any routine, I know she goes anal retentive on my ass.  I HAD to bring her blankie and three books that help her go “night, night.” I HAD to bring her favorite toys (specifically, the ones that keep her occupied the longest).  I HAD to bring her eczema lotions because that stuff isn’t cheap and I wasn’t willing to buy it again out here.

While Kensi’s needs have grown exponentially, my essentials list has definitely gotten a lot shorter.  When it comes to traveling, I find it helpful to streamline the beauty regimen because that tends to take up most of the space in the luggage.  That said, here are my Top 5 things that every mom should bring on a trip that will keep her looking pretty and keep her back from breaking:

1) Tinted Moisturizer – I’m naturally tan, but even at my lightest, I need a skin pick-me-up.  The Jergens Natural Glow line has a lightly tinted moisturizer that also has SPF 20 that I use daily. It’s definitely a must-have.

2) A Multi-Purpose Concealer – As moms, we are all in need of something to hide those dark circles under our eyes, but with so many eye products out there, how do you choose? Working with beauty editors in my old PR hay-days, I learned that there really is no need for the different types of concealers.  You can easily find one puppy that does all the tricks.  I tend to stick to the mineral concealers because I think they are stronger than liquid.  I specifically am a fan of L’Oreal’s Bare Natural concealer because although it is a drug store buy, it feels like department store quality.

3) Eye Lash Curler – I always tell people if I got stuck on an island and was only allowed to bring 1beauty item, one would definitely be my Shuemera eye lash curler.  Enough with eye shadows, lash extensions and the 5 million different types of mascaras.  The cheapest and most effective way to brighten up your eyes is to open them up with a curler. 😉

4) Body Lotion with SPF – These days, everyone is hyper-aware of sun damage.  As far as I see it, putting on sunblock should be as routine as putting on your clothes.  However, the stigma with sunblock is that it’s gooey, thick and doesn’t absorb quickly enough.  That’s why I like Vaseline’s Aloe Vera lotion with SPF 15 that hydrates like a light lotion and protects like a strong sunblock.

5) Hair Leave-In Treatment – If you’re lucky to stay at a nice hotel, I just use their shampoo and conditioner (If not, you may have to add a 6th and 7th product into your bag).  No matter what type of hair you have, bring one product that can do it all – tame frizz, pump up curls, smooth fly-aways, etc.  There is a laundry list of products that fit this mold, so your product choice is up to you.  But, as you saw in my other items, you want to find something that is multi-faceted.  I use the Frederic Fekkai Anti-Frizz Silkening Creme because it gives my hair gloss without the afro.


Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

15 04 2011

My girlfriend Stacy once told me that as soon as her “momstar” status would hit an all-time high, her daughter then would throw her for a loop and she would be back at square one, trying to figure out her little angel all over again.  As I reflected on what she said, I totally saw the same pattern! One day I would feel like this parenting thing is easy and the next day, Kensi made me feel like “a momateur” (i.e., amateur mom).  In a nutshell, here’s how the last few months have hit:

Month 1: Most difficult month of my life.

Month 2/3: Easy breezey.  Parenting is not as difficult as I once thought.  Hosting Thanksgiving?  Easy as pumpkin pie.  Can I have a second helping, please?  Sure: Hosting Christmas festivities? No problem.  Brunch AND dinner for 10 adults + 2 kids + a baby who makes parenting look like a snap. Walk in the (wintery) park.

Month 4/5: What the hell was I thinking? Sleep Training Bootcamp kicked the sh!t out of me for two entire, sleepless months.  How does any one function on this little sleep?

Month 6: Mission Accomplished.  Happy baby who sleeps like a champ – 12 hours a night, three 1hr+ naps/day.  Kensi is more interactive as ever, and life is all good again.

Month 7: Naps become a nightmare!  I finally nailed down the 3 naps/day schedule, and girlfriend decides to switch to 2 naps/day…of course, she’s totally not helping me figure it out – a 30 minute nap here, a 2 hour nap there.  Sigh…time to begin Sleep Training Bootcamp – Part Deux! On top of that – teething troubles!

What is next for us?  I don’t know, but it definitely makes me realize that there is no “normal” when it comes to a baby’s development.  We have our up’s and down’s…and always hope for more up’s than down’s, but there’s no way to tell what we get next.  But, at the end of the day, I always have to remind myself that although my “mom stock” rises and falls, motherhood definitely gets better and better every day, so essentially we are always on the way up!

"Well, we're movin' on up!"


12 04 2011

On the “Today Show”, they mentioned a study that indicates moms with young kids were unhealthier than childless women.  I mean, really, does this even need to be explained?  Sometimes I wonder why they spend so much money on these studies when the truth is staring right back at our fat faces! Of course we are unhealthy!  We barely have time for our bills, household chores and kitchen duties, let alone time to take care of ourselves! 

I just came from the A&P where I had the option of buying beef tips and making a stew from scratch OR buying the Hormel beef tips in ready-made gravy.  No brainer decision.  And even when I arrived home, my husband pleasantly surprised me with a juicy Arby’s chedder roast beef sandwich, crunchy curly fries and a low-fat milke shake (lol)…all of which I downed in 4 minutes flat.  Did I feel bad?  Yes, but at least I didn’t have to cook that 4-minute beef stew.

Take (Me) Out of the Kitchen

Momnesia Monday – April 11

12 04 2011

When it was feeling like Antarctica this winter, I did a lot of online shopping to keep me and baby from getting sick…at least, that’s what I told myself when really my bigger issue was that I was addicted to online shopping.  I should start by saying that when I was working, I NEVER had time to go shopping on the web.  But because I was at home, I found myself on a daily-basis using one of Kensi’s naps to wander the web for deals.  I signed up for a lot of newsletters, store announcements  and discount sites in the beginning, but quickly realized that my inbox was being inundated with deals.  Everywhere I looked, there were 50% and “Today Only” discounts haunting my every click.  I had to stop looking…even if it meant that I was saving money, I had to realize I also was spending it.

In an effort to refrain from joining Shopaholics Anonymous, I scaled back the amount of discount clubs I belonged to and limited it to 3 family sites, 2 kids sites and 1 “Me” site .  So away with those Pottery Barn Kids sales and Bloomingdale’s “Private” events!  Away with trying to beat the ticking time bombs that are Rue La La, Ideeli or Gilt Groupe!  My new priorities were:

Groupon, Living Social, Planning Family – all great sites to get daily discounts on local and national restaurants, trips, museums and more!

Zulily and Totsy – kids clothing discounts that are PDC (pretty darn cheap)

Rue La La – OK, so I kept this after all.  I HAD to.  I mean, I just bought a Lily Pullitzer purse for $40 (regularly $250)!  Come on, mama deserves a brand new bag!

Back to another tip:  In order to limit spending on “savings,” create another email account and have all your “junk email” sent there.  See no evil, Pay no evil, right?  Since my blackberry only sync’d up to my personal account, I wasn’t able to constantly keep track of the sales that were invading my other junk account.  When I’d finally have the time to check my iPad or laptop, most sales were already over which left me with a full and happy purse.

The good thing about my shopping shake-up is that I now have more free time on my hands instead of spending time shopping for deals.  As mothers, we are good at budgeting and saving money, but sometimes it’s more important to save ourselves time.  After all, we barely have any time to ourselves as it is, so be sure to use it wisely!

Stuff My Kid Does – April 7

7 04 2011

Since starting solids, it’s like a rice cereal battleground in our kitchen.  The minute I take out the rice cereal box, girlfriend starts jumping in her walker like a kangaroo ready to pounce on her bowl of mush.  Two things I’m starting to work on:

1) Preventing the cereal from getting up her nose.  Kensi loves to slurp the food so most of the cereal ends up getting up her nose…and then she sneezes it out back into the bowl…and then I spoon her sneezed-out “snoatmeal” (snot + oatmeal) into her mouth.  There’s got to be a better way (see picture).

"Get in My Belly!"

2) Monitoring our piglet’s appetite. By the time Kensi reaches the end of the bowl, she already starts wimpering for more.  As soon as we finish, it’s all out tears (see picture – how can you say “no” to this face?).  The box tells me to start her on 1 tbsp serving + BM but I jumped ahead to a 4 tbsp serving because fatty wants more food.  She’s not hungry; she just wants to explore the act of eating.  I wonder how to end each meal with her just being happy with one bowl rather than bawling for another?

The impolite opposite of "Please, Sir, May I have some more?"

Momnesia Monday – April 4

5 04 2011
    If you haven’t guessed it already, I’m a lister.  I make lists for everything.  To Do lists and Grocery shopping lists are just the tip of this iceberg.  I make lists of lists for goodness sakes.  For instance, I wrote down a list of gifts I needed to buy and then sub-bulleted that list into categories (e.g., anniversary, birthday, etc.) and then arranged it by location (so I knew how to “chunk” my day according to where I’d be in town).  Anal much?  Well, yes, sometimes.  But when you’re a mom and what little memory power you have left has been depleted by your non-stop baby, you have to keep organized somehow. 

    So for MM, listen to your fellow lister.  Here’s a LIST some of my go-to products that keep me sane:

    1) The super old school weekly AGENDA – Well, this completely dates me.  But yes, I’m that gerry (aka – geriatric) that still likes reading newspapers and hardcover books and yes, I like writing in my agenda notebook.  Despite the fact that I already have a blackberry and duplicate the work, there’s just something about taking a pen to paper and checking off things on my endless lists.

    2) My “In a rush, running out of the house” QUICK-TEAR PAD – This pad is great when I’m out the door and have a couple of things on my mind that I have to jot down.  I like how it categorizes the different tasks so you don’t mistake a “correspondence” task with an “errand.”  Seriously, could they have spelled this out any more for you listing amateurs out there?

    3) The family wipe-away WHITE BOARD – This is more to keep the communication lines open for the hubs so he can take a look at the board and see what’s on my docket.  So when he asks me why the dishes didn’t get done, I can point to the board and just tell him: Well, I was cleaning and ironing his stank-ass laundry (while holding a baby on my hip), then buying groceries for the week (while baby cried in the store) and, last but not least, paying the oil, electricity, phone and cable bills (with baby on my lap).  That’s all.

    4) My “Welcome to the 21st Century” IPAD – Oh, my IPAD.  If it’s one thing that’s connected to me more than my baby, it’s my IPAD.  There’s a “notes’ section where I put the most random-est thoughts like a gift idea I had for my husband’s best friend.  Then I come back to it a week or even a month later to find that I was a complete genius for a fleeting two seconds, but obviously, my Momnesia mindlessness moved onto the next thing (i.e., probably cleaning the bathroom or something).  Thank you, Steve Jobs.

Stuff My Kid Does – March 31

31 03 2011

I wanted to start a category titled “Stuff My Kid Does” because there are times that I want to laugh out loud, cry like Kensi and/or smile because I’m so proud of the things my daughter does on a daily basis.  So this category is dedicated to all those moments – the good, the bad and the ugly.

For our first post, this theme might as well be called “Sh!t My Kid Does” because that’s exactly what it is.  A little upfront first: Kensi was on pure breastmilk until I started her on solids a bit ago.  I tried to make the transition easy on her tummy by giving her formula first.  Good idea, in theory…until she didn’t poop for almost 3 weeks.  I was scared, not because I was worried about constipation (i.e., she was not fussy at all and Dr was cool with it), but because I was more nervous for the giant blowout that would occur.  And that blowout was, indeed, explosive.  On the day of the “bombing,” let’s just say poop jetted out in every direction of the diaper.  It was so water-y, there were literal pools of poop all over.  What’s worse is that when I went to wash her, she thought that it was bathtime, so she splashed her poop all over the place as she stomped around in the sink.  Needless to say, clean-up was tons of fun.  The tally at the end of the day: 4 complete outfit changes, 4 outfits in the trash, 3 bathroom cleanings, 4 washes for Kensi, 3 washes for mommy. 

Here’s evidence of the bomb run:

And BOOM Goes the Dynamite