Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weekend Read: Magazines, Magazines, Magazines

This weekend I am committed to catching up on all my magazines that have been piling up over the past two weeks.  Due to my inability to find time to read magazines (and my previous post on reading more books), I have cut down the total number that I subscribe to but I just cannot give up some of my favorites.  I absolutely love Harpers Bazaar.  This is followed by InStyle, and Elle.  Every now and then I will throw in Vogue and Vanity Fair.  Though I love reading books, I adore getting lost in a hundred pages of fashion and (believe it or not) some great short stories.

Friday, April 29, 2011

How Much Do I Owe?

Let's go back to 1994.  I was a sophomore in High School and would make a steady income off of the neighborhood babysitting jobs at what I considered an amazing rate, $6.00/hour.  Flash forward to 2011 and what the hell happened?  I am now paying anywhere from $10 to $15 an hour for a 16 year old to watch my children.  And the term "watch" is used loosely.  Considering all three of my children are in bed within 30 minutes of their arrival, there is minimal "watching" that actually occurs.  After that it is a night of MTV, talking on their cell phone and eating my food.  I understand there are a number of factors that may have caused this increase (inflation really exists, I know), however, an increase of 150%?!  Regardless of what we are doing, there is always the additional $50-100 spent to ensure we are actually able to go.

The sad part of all of this?  I don't even care.  They could ask for $20 an hour and I would be willing to pay it.  Why?  Because if not for the babysitters, this mother would never get out of the house and would go insane.  End of story.  It is just too bad my FSA account won't approve my babysitting fees as a part of "Mental Health".

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One of My Favorites: Dr. Perricone High Potency Eye Lift

Thanks to total exhaustion and genetics, I have terrible dark circles and bags under my eyes.  Or at least I did.  I have been on the search for a great eye cream that would actually show results.  After trying numerous brands, I was about to give up when I came across Dr. Perricone's High Potency Eye Lift.  Ah-mazing.  When I made my original purchase I was extremely hesitant due to the price (yes, $95 for a small bottle of eye cream is a lot) but within a few weeks, I saw a noticeable difference in my dark circles and bags.  I have now been using it for 6 months and LOVE it.  Yes, it may be pricier, but it is a small price to pay to not look like I got hit by a truck every morning.

Oh How She Has Changed Me!

This week I had the opportunity to do something I had never done before and something I would probably never do if I only had my two boys.  I dined at the American Girl Store in Los Angeles.  I was a bit hesitant about visiting.  I just did not understand it.  A store about dolls.  How great could it be?  Apparently pretty flipping amazing.  I never thought I would be "that" mom but the second I walked in, you would have thought I was 5 years old.  I absolutely loved that they set up highchairs in the dining room for the dolls.  And obviously they needed those tea cups to drink.  Oh and the selection of clothes were just too much to take in.  My 11 month old and I were in pure heaven.  It finally had hit me.  All those things women say they will never do or embrace with girls, just don't have girls yet.  It is apparent that no matter how hard you try, you are sucked in.  I loved every second of our day and we will definitely be going back.  Only next time, we will bring Baby Girl's new little friend......

And she will probably wear her new outfit.....

You may think this is absurd, but what can I say?  I am officially the mother of a girl.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Designer Obsession: Elizabeth and James

When I want something that is going to be flattering, sexy and just plain beautiful, I always fall back to Elizabeth and James.  I must admit, when I first heard that the two little girls (okay, not so little anymore) from "Full House" were going to be fashion designers, I was a bit skeptical.  However, when I made my first purchase of their line, I was sold.  Now I have a slight obsession with their clothing as it fits my style perfectly.  Not over the top, one of a kind and always on trend without being too trendy.  Here are a few new pieces from the line that I have already emailed to my husband for Mother's Day ideas:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"One Minute Please"

My poor children.  They hear this phrase all the time.  Whether I am trying to empty the dishwasher, fold some laundry, or mopping the floor, they ask me to play with them and I will automatically respond with "one minute please".  The problem is, it is never a minute.  Once I am done with that item, I move right on to the next thing that needs to get done around the house.  I find that on the majority of days, I will spend most of it "doing chores" instead of playing with the children.

Sadly, I think I am not the only other mom out there that does this.  There is never enough time in the day to get everything done.  I take pride in having my house in order, dinner on the table and all the laundry put away before my husband gets home.  Not that he cares.  It is more for me.  That is what I do not understand.  Why does everything have to be perfect?  If playing with my children means sacrificing that last load of laundry, I am sure the world will go on.  For some reason I just don't always make that choice.

Well yesterday I did.  Yesterday I came home and my boys asked if I would play with them.  We went into the playroom and for over an hour, I played with my three children without a care in the world.  Dinner was not done on time, laundry was not put away and there were dishes in the sink.  And you know what?  Something amazing happened.  I heard "I love you mommy" more than I ever do when I am sweeping the floor.

Monday, April 25, 2011

What is this thing they call "Date Night"?

My husband is good at a lot of things.  Scheduling and planning date nights are not one of them.  And it drives me crazy.  I am his full time social planner.  The guy comes home from work on Friday to a fully planned and organized weekend that ranges from baseball games to dinner with friends to weekends away. He does not have to lift a finger and his social life awaits.  All I ask is that every now and then, he plans a night out for just the two of us.  You would think I have asked him to do the impossible.  I bring it up for days, weeks, months, and still I see nothing.  Finally I cave and plan something.  And every time I get so annoyed at myself because I should not have bailed him out.  So I am taking a stand now.  The guy needs to be responsible for something.  Maybe I should stop calling it "Date Night" and start calling it "Sex Night". I can almost guarantee "Sex Night" would be planned within an hour.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekend Read: The White Queen

King Henry.  Anne Boleyn.  Queen Mary.  Queen Elizabeth.  How I adore the Tudors.  And thanks to Philippa Gregory, I have been able to indulge my Tudor obsession through books like "The Other Boleyn Girl", "The Constant Princess", "The Boleyn Inheritance" and "The Queen's Fool".

If you have read any of these books and loved them as much as I did, I highly recommend "The White Queen", the first novel in Gregory's new series.  It brings all that I love from her books into an entirely new era, well before the Tudors were in power.  The "War of the Roses" has begun and I cannot wait to read the next novel, "The Red Queen".

And isn't this all even more appropriate with the Royal Wedding just days away?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Only in Orange County......

Only in Orange County would an Easter Kindergarten project be created in a Christian Louboutin shoe box.  Nothing like the Stations of the Cross and high end shoe fashion coming together as one!

I want to thank my friend who admitted to this story and after we finally stopped laughing, allowed me to post about this (and even provided the pictures!).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pour Some Sugar On It

Sugar Coating.  One of the expectations of Mommyhood.  It is almost as if the first line in the handbook when you have your first child is "From this point on, you are only to speak about the good times.  Do not mention to others the part of this job that sucks".  I would like to think that I am honest about the ups and downs of being a mother but when I think back, I sugar coat a ton.  It is just what we do.  And why?  It helps no one.  If anything, it sets new moms up for when they have their first child, see how hard it is for them, assume they are the only ones feeling this way, and therefore they must be a terrible mom. 

The reality is, Mommyhood is rough.  Take getting pregnant.  Yes, you have a beautiful baby.  But that baby comes with 9 months of not being yourself.  Even with my easy pregnancies, I did not love being pregnant.  Anyone who says they love walking around with an extra 25-35 lbs, swollen limbs, and unrecognizable pains is lying.  Then the baby comes and you spend that first week wearing pads, rubbing your nipples with cream, sleeping in 1-2 hour increments, and feeding a baby that just seems to always be hungry.  And this is when the baby is easy.  I am not even going to go into the strength a mommy needs for a colicky baby.  Your first three months are a blur, you are a walking zombie and right when you feel like you are getting a handle on it, your hair starts falling out and your hips just don't seem to want to move back.  But what is the response when someone asks this mother how mommyhood is?  "Amazing!  I love it!  They are such a good baby".  I have yet to hear the response, "It is hard.  I am tired, my boobs hurt and even though I absolutely adore this child, there are days I just want to run away".

You are now all probably thinking I am a terrible mother.  I don't think that I am, but there are definitely days when I think having no children would be much easier than having three.  But then they say "I love you mommy" and all the frustrations seem to melt away and life feels pretty easy again.  That being said, I still think it is not fair to other moms when we are not honest with ourselves and don't share our trials and tribulations with parenting.  There is no award out there for Super Moms, we are all just trying to do the best we can.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One of My Favorites: Timi and Leslie

Who doesn't love a diaper bag that looks nothing like a diaper bag?  Thanks to my sister, I was introduced to the Charlie bag by Timi and Leslie.  Though not one store in Orange County carried this bag, I was able to track it down it here and have it the next day (LOVE  The Charlie has all the compartments you can imagine, stroller straps, bottle holder, a clutch for your things and most importantly, it looks like a fabulous handbag.  This bag allows me to carry all the gear I need for three children without making it look like I am carrying my entire house with me (which, I usually am).  And, as a side note, it doubles as a fantastic carry on bag for my "mommy needs to getaway" trips.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Google, I am Grateful

Okay, I admit it.  Last week I googled the answer to a Kindergarten question.  Believe me, I do not think I am an idiot, but my confidence in myself as a good Catholic is slowing dropping.  My son goes to a Catholic elementary school and one of the questions on his homework was "In the 6th station of the cross, who wiped Jesus' face?".  Ummmmm, I HAVE NO IDEA.  My son immediately responds with "Veronica".  My initial thought was Mary.  Not sure why, but there are a lot of Mary's in the bible and I think my mind naturally goes to one of them.  He tells me that I am wrong and that it is Veronica.  So what do I do?  I run over to the computer and google it.  Just so you know, if you type in "Who wiped Jesus' face?", a long list of links to Saint Veronica will pop up.  My 6 year old son proved his 32 year old mother wrong.  The positive?  I now know google can help my child with homework when his mother cannot.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Insert Caffeine IV here

I used to hate coffee.  I thought it was terrible and could not understand why people drank it.  Don't get me wrong, for years I was still able to give a ton of money to Starbucks by ordering the "I don't really need the caffeine part but like carrying around a Starbuck's cup" mocha.  And sure, add some whip cream to that.  Not so much anymore.

I am not sure what happened but some time after having my first child, coffee turned from the cute drink I had in the morning to stay warm into a beverage so necessary in my life that you really don't want to talk to me until I have had my first cup.  At Starbucks, the mochas were replaced by grande drips or grande lattes with an extra shot for good measure.  At home, our empty counter top evolved into a place for both my Keurig and Nespresso machines.  And remember the days of being pregnant and saying "Oh no, I am not drinking coffee, I am pregnant"?  By child number three, that turned into "I think one cup...or perhaps two, will be fine".  Yes, I admit it, I drank coffee through my entire third pregnancy and I really did not feel bad about it.

And so here we are, three children and an addiction to coffee that I do not see going away anytime soon.  For all those people who I never understood why you "needed it", I am sorry.

Friday, April 15, 2011

College Girl is back! At Least for a Weekend.....

Today my husband and I are heading back to our alumni for a weekend away with great friends.  I plan on embracing these three days without children by being completely irresponsible.  I will drink too much, eat everything bad for me, indulge in kid-free shopping and have a blast with friends.  On Sunday I will return as the sophisticated mother that I am, but until then, cheers to college!

Happy weekend everyone!

One of My Favorites: Soft Joie Redmond Mini Stripe Long Skirt

Love, love this Soft Joie Redmond Mini Stripe Long Skirt.  Love the stripes, love how soft it is and love the length.  It is a recent purchase I made once realizing it will actually touch the ground on my 6 ft. frame.  It is extremely comfortable and can be dressed up or down.  Perfect for Spring.  And who knew Joie had a second line?  I didn't, but will definitely be keeping an eye out now. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Men, You Can Keep Polygamy all to Yourselves

With the success of the television series "Sister Wives" and "Big Love", polygamy is definitely getting a lot of attention.  I must admit, I have been intrigued by the wives who are actually willing to share their husband.  And what a gig he has.  Three (or more) women who raise his children, clean his house, do his laundry, cook him food and due to the rotation of intimacy, he gets sex every night of the week!  It is a dream come true for a man.  So I began thinking?  How come you never hear about women having three or more husbands?  Why are women not embracing this entire idea of polygamy?  I will tell you why.  Because it will make their lives hell.  Just imagine.  Not only would you have to clean, cook, and handle the sex drive of your current husband, but multiply that by three.  TERRIBLE.  I do not have time to take on more men.  One is enough!  Now another wife around here on the other hand..........I could definitely use some help with the laundry.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

As a follow up to my last post......

I did a little research and have found out that this invitation was from the Gollatz Cotillion and Social Programs.  If you would like more details, please take a look at this link.  It is Ah-mazing.  I also found out that someone invites you to participate.  If you are the individual who invited my son to participate, I am sorry for making fun of your invitation.  Also, are you trying to tell me something???

To the Young and Polite......

This is an invitation my oldest son (who is 6) received in the mail.  I could not stop laughing when I opened it.  What the hell is this?  First, I would really like to know who Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur P. Klapp III are and how they gained such importance in the dining world.  Secondly, this was sent to a child who would live off chicken fingers if he could.  He does not give a crap about which piece of silverware he should use.  I am just trying to get him to consistently wash his hands before he sits down to eat.  There is no way I could convince him to participate in this unless I could promise that the Lakers were going to appear while there.  Believe me, I am all for proper manners and etiquette, but do people really attend these things?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One of My Favorites: Tory Burch Five Pocket Denim Legging

There is only one thing I need to say about these Tory Burch Five Pocket Denim Leggings.  BEST JEANS EVER.  They are the perfect combination of fitting like a legging but still looking like a jean.  They are extremely slimming and are snug in all the right places.  I am currently contemplating a second pair just in case TB decides to discontinue them.  The only problem now is that I have given up wearing any of my other jeans in favor of these ones.  LOVE.

Remembering a Friend

April 12, 2007.  Four years ago today I lost a best friend.  I will always remember when I got the call.  I was sitting in the Reno airport waiting for our flight home from Tahoe when my other best friend called to say that we had lost her.  That day changed me forever.  I was 28 at the time and pregnant with my second son.  At that point in life, I had only lost grandparents, who had lived long, happy lives.  Death was something that did not affect me.  But this?  Losing a friend at 28 is not natural.  Your course is changed forever.  My mortality hit me in the face like a ton of bricks and my ignorance towards death was gone.  Those few days of the wake, the burial and the funeral are in my head so clear it seems as if they were yesterday.  Thinking about her makes me miss her more, and not thinking about her makes me realize that when someone is gone, life still goes on.  Neither of which makes me feel very good.  She will always be a piece of me and her laugh will never go away.  Four years and it is still hard.  We miss you RLI.  Always will.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mommy, What is a Pagina?

Did my 3 year old just say what I think he said?  Yes, yes he did.  Apparently my three year old has learned a few words from his 6 year old brother and friends.  When he first said "Pagina" I corrected him and told him it was "Vagina".  He corrected me and told me I was wrong.  So we will go with it.  This is a tricky one.  Pagina is not a bad word, but how do you teach the difference to a three year old between how this word should be used and how it should not?  Right now, I am just trying to get him to not say it.  This has been a rather tough task.  Here are my top three favorite situations in which he has used this word:

Going to bed: Mommy, what is a pagina?  What is a butthole?
My reaction: Laughing (I was totally taken off guard and I could not help myself)

Walking through my Orthopedic doctor's office with an extremely loud voice: "Mommy, girls have a pagina and boys and girls have a butthole"
My reaction: Running out of that office with him and his sister as fast as I could.

Eating dinner with his brother and friends. He gets mad at them and says "You are paginas"
My reaction: This was done under the context of being mean so he was sent to timeout and warned that he is not to call someone this again or there will be soap in the mouth (seemed to work for my parents)

I am now currently on "pagina patrol", hoping that I do not hear this again.  In addition to pagina and butthole, here are some other fun words that continue to come out both of my boys mouth that I am trying to get a handle on: underpants, underwear, boobies, poo, pee.  

Raising boys is definitely an experience.....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekend Read: Water for Elephants

I love to read.  Always have.  But who has time to read with kids?  I have put books aside for some time now to focus on the million other things going on in our house.  It is something I have really missed.  Recently I have committed to stop watching all the crap that I do (i.e. Housewives) and start reading again.  I picked a fantastic first read, which was suggested by my sister.  "Water for Elephants" was one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read.  It captured my attention from the start and I loved the way Sara Gruen gave a real experience of being in the circus during the depression.  And who doesn't enjoy a good love story.  If you are an animal lover, be warned that there are some tough parts throughout the book with regards to the treatment of animals, but don't let that deter you.  It is about to come out in the theatre starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon so make sure you read it before you see it.  The book is ALWAYS better than the movie.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I have him scared....

When I told my husband I wanted to start a blog, a real blog that did not sugar coat things, he was all for it.  He showed instant support, followed by the question, "What are you going to say about me?"  Oh he knows me too well.  He knows that me being honest means our marriage may not always be portrayed positively.  But what marriage would be?  If anyone tells me that their marriage is perfect, I just sit back and wait to hear about the divorce.  A perfect marriage is not possible.  To put him at ease, I will start off my blog by stating that I am married to a wonderful man.  He loves his wife and children and would do anything for us.  He can handle my insanity, never comments on my shopping and though we may have some full out brawls, I would never want to be married to anyone else.    And an added bonus to this man is that he is a great gift giver, as evidence by last year's 9 year anniversary present below: A signed pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes.  They are one of my most favorite things and (almost) too pretty to wear.

So whatever I may say throughout this blog, it is never with the intention that he is not the one for me.  Feel better hubby?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why "Juggling in Heels"?

Because isn't that what we do?  As a mother and wife, I feel my entire day is about how effortlessly I can juggle my way through pure chaos.  Some days I am phenomenal, a super mom I would like to say.  And I will beam in my success.  Other days?  Well, on other days, the wine cannot be opened fast enough.  As for the heels, I can promise that I do not know how to actually juggle in them, but the title is my metaphor for the struggle women go through on a daily basis to be a mother and wife but still stay connected to who they were before they took on these roles.  I love the feeling of throwing off my flip flops and putting on a great pair of stilettos for a night out with my husband or friends.  I am instantly brought back to who I am without titles.  If you have not tried it in a while, look past the comfort zone of your flats and sandals and wear some amazingly high heels the next time you go out.  It feels amazing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Here it goes.....

The Real Housewives of Orange County.  Oh what a show.  I really don't want to watch it but you almost cannot help yourself.  And every week I watch it I think to myself, that is nothing like me and my friends!  I mean, I currently do not have fake boobs and my hair is a dark brunette so right off the bat, I am not fitting the correct image.  But then, what is a real housewife of Orange County?  Hell if I know.  But it did get me thinking, maybe exposing yourself like that makes you more honest.  I have always loved to write, but between baseball games, school schedules, laundry, friends and family, there is no way the great American novel I planned on writing in college is going to be completed.  So, here we go with blog writing.  I will be honest and I will share the things I love, whether it is about my children, my husband or the hobbies that I still define as "me" (reading, shopping and dining).  Hopefully it is enjoyable, entertaining and you can all relate.  Welcome to the world of "Juggling in Heels".