Friday, September 24, 2010

What a difference 10 months makes

I just got an email with this:
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Mr. O and Miss S. are best buds. They met about 8 weeks before O was born in our home birth class. We shared a mid-wife. They were born exactly 1 month apart. I never thought babies could have kindred spirits- but I believe they are!

They are the sweetest things together. Always have been.

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Even at little more than 2 months they were cohorts in pouts. Now, 10 months later, they are cohorts in walking, sneaky-ness, and crime. They are protective and caring of each other. It amazed me that these two babies can love each other so much!

I can't wait to see what pictures of them look like in another year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Workin' Hard for my Money

I have been working like a crazy person the last few weeks.

I have a major donor event in three weeks, two small trunk shows and my house looks like Christmas.

My Christmas event is already taking over my living room. I have decided that until I am a full time stay at home Momma I will just tell Miss S that Christmas starts in early September. Her birthday in October looks like Christmas. The linens and decor and Santa stationary indicates that the wise men are already well on their way to Bethlehem - or at least my humble abode.

So amidst all of this I decided it was still a good idea to plan a first birthday party for Miss S. We will take a day off, enjoy the sun (or rain!), hike around and ride the carousel. Should be good times.

I love work but honestly, I would rather be birthday party planning right now. So much more fun to plan for smiles and baby (or toddler!) giggles then it is to plan for black tie dinners.

I have a trick though to keep myself on track. I have about three fabulous pictures on my desk that I look at when I am ready to throw in the working Mama's Christmas towel.
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Snuggles always help everything!

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A cute baby and beer always help everything!

Working at home is hard. Working at home during busy season with a mobile baby who dislikes napping is hard. Working instead of birthday party planning is hard.

But I am slowly finding the balance to do it all (well all but maybe the never ending diaper laundry). And every little photo helps!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Luke Hike

To properly tell my weekend story you must understand two diabolically opposing things about my husband:
1. He has a map built into this head. No really. Like 97% of the time he can be in a strange place and not only navigate around but do so in such a proficient way you would think he grew up there. He takes one quick glance at a map and has every twist and turn of the street memorized. Very helpful most of the time.
2. He has absolutely no innate concept of distance.

My story starts four years ago when Luke and I were dating. We both enjoyed nature walks. Yes it sounds like a kindergarten field trip. We (OK I) don't like to hike hard core with backpacks, special shoes, food, or bug spray. We like to take 1-2 hour nature walks on new and fun trails.

Four years ago it was a really really hot summer. Like way too hot to be nature walking. We went anyway because- well- there was shade, it was early morning, and we would only be gone an hour. Armed with Luke's internal map we set out.

Seven hours later and about twelve very hot sticky miles later we were home. My feet were bleeding, my eyes were bleary, I lost no less than 763 pounds from sweating so much, and I couldn't decide if I was grumpy or content at my day.

You see due to Luke's lack of distance understanding a tiny side trail "shortcut" on his mental map turned into the longest long cut imaginable. We ended up walking over 5 miles on a busy street home. In 100 degree weather. With no food or water. But we had great conversation between my death threats. I may have known I would marry him that day. Or I was delirious and mixed up marriage with never speaking to him again.

I have spent the last four years of my life going on "Luke Hikes". Even when I looked like this:
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I love my husband. I tolerate his hikes. I thought having a baby was a great excuse to not take Luke Hikes. I was mistaken.

Fast forward to Miss S's 10 month-day last weekend. I was at a conference in the morning and Luke and Miss S met me afterwards. My conference was at a local college with gorgeous grounds and an out of this world botanical garden. We decided to walk up to the botanical garden.

Now according to Luke's map the gardens were up a pretty big hill but only about half a mile. Since I was in flip flops, nice jeans/cute top, the baby had no sunscreen and we were sporting the Bugaboo I thought that half a mile was reasonable.

So we set off. It was nap time and we crossed our fingers that Miss S would be lulled to sleep in the smooth ride on the sidewalk up to the garden.

We began the climb up past the football stadium. Luke assured me we were almost there.

We walked another 10 minutes and the sidewalk ceased to exist. Luke assured me we were almost there. At this point I was feeling very suspicious and asked Luke if we was SURE that we were almost there. Luke assured me we were almost there.

We passed the sign to the entrance of a state park. We were pushing the Bugaboo through rocky gravel on the side of the major highway. At least there was a barrier. Luke assured me that botanical paradise was just around the next bend.

Four bends later I lost it. We were not almost there. I had walked nearly 2 miles straight uphill with the baby (who was not napping) on the side of the road in flip flops.

We kept going. Why you ask? Well it was still better to get there, get water, nap the baby in the Ergo I discovered we had, and hopefully track down a quick snack.

We did eventually make it. The gardens were amazing. Luke remembered that we not only had the Ergo but we did have sunscreen for the baby. Two crisis averted (though still knowing we had them earlier would have been better). Luke napped the baby. I wished we had a real camera.
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The best part of the hike down was that it was downhill. Yes it was meant to be a nature walk but in fact ended up being a "Luke Hike".
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Happy 10 months to Miss S! She has now survived the first of many "Daddy Hikes". I will still try to get her out on nature walks to show her that a weekend walking trip does not have to nearly kill you.

We finished off the night with a baby who threw up in the car and margaritas. It was an amazing margarita.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Books & Covers

Today I judged a mom by her cart contents.

I was out grabbing a much needed bag of peanut butter M&M's (lunch) and baby wipes. In front of me in line was a woman on her pink-bejewlled-iPhone chatting about her 2 hour Pilate's session. She and her 5 carat (not kidding!) wedding ring unloaded the most unGodly amount of toys, junk food, and back to school supplies I have ever seen while her nanny tried to corral her 2 kids. Her balance was well over $1000 and as the checker rung everything up the woman continued to patter on with her awful grammar ignoring everything but her conversation.

I judged this mom.

Then I went home and wrote a check for $7,330.87 for party supplies.

You see, I throw a wicked party.
No really I do- it is what I do for a living. And it is my role in the Junior League. I even throw a great house party complete with themes, decor, signature cocktails, and occasionally beer pong.
I am a party animal.

Do you know what it takes to throw a party? Like a really really good party? It takes an amazing amount of organizational skills, people skills, and the ability to embody "grace under pressure". It takes a crazy mind that is willing to try anything and some big prayers that my ideas work.

I throw the kind of parties that cost at least $7,330.87 in rentals. And we don't serve dinner.
At least once a year I transform this:
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Into this (well this plus 450 people):
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This event had 15 restaurants serving appetizers (on compostable dinnerware), 5 wineries represented, 1 beer sponsor, a high end liquor sponsor, 70 designers, 4 lounges, 2 bear skinned rugs (faux of course!), a candy bar and a glowing ice sculpture.

So are you judging my opulence right now? I would be. Kinda like I judged Miss Big Spender at Target.

But you see that judgement of my event would be wrong. Unless of course you thought that I throw a wicked party- that is in fact correct.

For work I not only throw parties but my parties are expected to raise a boat load of money. So not only do I have to work with vendors- I have to convince them to sponsor my event and work for free (or at least close to free). Think fabulous wedding where the goals is to get people drunk and make money instead of just get people drunk.

The most important part about this event is what we do two days later. After this night of debauchery, we clean up that same drabby space and re-decorate it like a children's winter wonderland. We have two story gingerbread houses for decorating that make the room exude Holiday Cheer. Santa sits on an amazing throne surrounded by gifts and meets with each child who attends to take family photos. There is a full (organic) holiday meal served in the back two rooms and we have special cupcakes for dessert. Four stations of crafts allow the children to make picture frames for those Snaps with Santa, beaded necklaces and lacy angels. Finally we have these funky costumed characters to hang out with the families, and make balloon animals galore.

It is holiday chaos. I bet you want your kids to go!

The thing is- the kids who go are homeless. The charity I run provides some amazing opportunities for kids who grow up living in shelters with their families.

So my $7330.87 check for party stuff ends up raising enough money to throw these kids the only holiday party they will have.

That glowing ice sculpture helps pay for their college tuition, gymnastics lessons, math tutoring and sometimes it even pays for prom tickets.

People judge me, and my parties, all the time. I go from a Gucci dress (rented Gucci dress) on Friday to jeans on Saturday. If I were you I might judge that Gucci too!

While I was probably not wrong about that woman at Target I may have been. Getting home and doing my work bills reminded me to be a bit more gentile with strangers I see in the real world.

And the second thing she reminded me is that I need to find the time to bedazzle my iPhone

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting to Know You...

Since I JUST posted about coming out of hiding here are a few things you should know about me and the Fam!

1- I often relate things (a.k.a. post titles) to random songs in my head. 98.968% of the time the lyrics are dead wrong.

2- I have a super spunky daughter. She will make my life hell when she is a teenager. Case and point:
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"Payback is a bitch!" -Mama to YippyMama

3- The Hubs and I are pretty darn crunchy. We grow a ton of food in our backyard, we Cloth Diaper Miss S, we had a Home Birth, we compost, we shop local, organic when possible, and all meat around here is free range.

4- I drive a Lexus, we live in the burbs, DH commutes (on a train at least!) into a big city for work.

5- We have a huge and gorgeous redwood in our backyard- it's why we bought the house!
5b- Our house needs "stuff" done to it. We love DIY home improvement even if we kinda sorta stink at it! Evidenced by the kitchen we re-did ourselves:
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6- We are a prefect mix of kinda Yuppy (by dictionary definition at least) and kinda Hippy. Hence Yippy! Plus doesn't that just sound super happy.

7- I am a super happy person!
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(OK OK I know everyone is super happy at their wedding but um don't I look even more super happy than your average Jane??? Plus The Hubs looks great!)

8- We love love love wine. And food. And wine again.


In this great big Blogging world I have been a lurker for over a year. When I got pregnant I started to read all the Mommy (and Daddy) blogs attempting to glimpse into the magical world of parenthood.

Then I started to read some fabulous cooking blogs. Then design. Back again to parenting. Even flirted with some weight loss blogs as I was trying to loose the baby weight (still trying!).

I love to write, I love to read, I have SO many ideas swirling around in my head. I started this blog months ago and I now have approximately 97431790 post drafts. I never publish because as a reformed English major I am incredibly critical of the way my thoughts project to others.

I realized that is silly! Why?
1- This is a blog that no one reads- like not even The Hubs.
2- Isn't the point of a blog to just say it how it is.
3- Practice makes better and so my writing will continue to be a glimmer of its old self unless I do it and let it all hang out there.

So without further ado: I'm emerging from my hiding spot as a lurker. I will join in on this crazy e-conversation about life.

I know this is all very exciting and has totally made your day- just you wait there is plenty more to come!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bad Juju in Diaper Land- CuteyBaby Review

It is a very bad, no good, awful, horrible day.

Among: dying cell phones, Mac Guys who told me my data would transfer to a new phone (it did not), snot nosed baby, hot button political debate, I also had to deal with a leaky diaper.

Of all those things it is the leaky diaper that has my blood boiling. I love that we Cloth Diaper. It is so much easier, cheaper, cuter than those stinky disposables (yeah I actually think the gel on disposables smells bad). In our hectic house we need to KNOW that we can trust our diapers. Leaking is something we overcame when Miss S was a newborn and so pee dripping out the sides of diapers today became the straw that smashed the camels back.

I am not sure of the Internet-correctness of a scathing review but since no one is paying me for reviews I am going to let it all hang out!

I found this new-ish company CuteyBaby and bought a few diapers from them. They are some of the most adorable CD's I have seen.
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The company also had an interesting twist to the AIO (All-In-One for the diaper newbies) design. They have removable tabs for better washing and the "insert" is attached- again for ease in washing.

The first two sets I bought were too large for Miss S. That would be fine since well- babies grow! I really still loved the prints and the unique design so I bought some in the proper size.

Once washed the inserts did not fully fit inside and left about a 1/2" gap where her pee just leaked straight through. Plus the removable Velcro tabs are so strong that when I took one off to prep for the wash it pulled the opposite side of the Velcro up.

Just sitting on the floor Miss S leaked through a brand new diaper.

Which as I was staring at my broken cell phone, wet cat (oh yeah the damn cat fell in tub!), and hearing some ridiculous political commentary sent me over the edge.

After eating 4 (yikes!!!) chocolate peanut butter cookies I calmed down, stopped my facebook/twitter triad and realized there is a lesson learned; or maybe a lesson reminded.

Lesson: Next time I have the urge for darling pink diapers, I will remember that cute is not always functional!