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Pretty In Pink

This past weekend was the 11th annual Nevada Women’s Expo. I had never been before, but had always wanted to go. Turns out, I finally got my chance – but not exactly in the way I had envisioned or planned.

I have a friend with whom I keep in touch through Facebook (yes, we all have those friends – the ones we never physically see or get together with, but we know intimate details of their lives from reading their posts). Out of the blue she sent me a message asking if I might be interested in being a makeover model for a woman doing a showcase at the Women’s Expo. Umm, YES! I see all those makeovers on TV and always (secretly) thought how fun it would be to take part in one, and then reality would appear and remind me saying “yeah right, who do you think you are?” Well, reality took a slap in the face on this one because your’s truly got to be a model for a day!

I had been complaining (yeah, I do that occasionally) about my hair being too long and needing to get it cut, just hadn’t gotten a chance to call and make an appointment (because picking up the phone and dialing takes so long you know… ha!). So, this makeover opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. I was going to get my hair cut, my makeup done and get to put on an evening gown to feel absolutely beautiful. It was going to be a full glamour makeover. Being the only woman in a house full of boys – Bring It On!

I spoke with the woman doing the makeovers and we talked about hair style and about the time requirements (meeting at the department store to try on dresses, what (un-godly early) time we had to be at the Expo on “show day,” etc.). I met her a few days later so she could take my “before” picture. Then last Saturday I spent three hours at her salon while she cut about six inches off my hair (it was loooong) and added some color to the ends. Let me say that I never color my hair. Once (maybe twice) in college I got hi-lights, but other than that I am au naturale – and I like it that way. I do actually really love the color of my hair (thanks Mom & Dad).

So, just this past Saturday was the makeover / fashion show / glamour day at the Women’s Expo. I was excited, I was nervous, I was exhausted (the night before was Zack’s school fundraiser and a few of us turned it into an overnight girls night – and I didn’t get to bed until after 2am. It was a TON of fun, but I was tired… and I knew I’d be). 8:25am I showed up at the convention center, coffee mug in hand. There were five of us models all together. I think we all had the same feelings – what did we get ourselves into? We head into the expo hall and walk all the way to the back, past the stage where we would be making our runway debuts, through some curtain walls, back into the “work” area where they stored extra tables, chairs and other what-nots, into what felt like the frozen tundra which was the bathroom where we had to sit, on folding chairs, in horrible fluorescent lighting, with no heat for six hours! Showtime was until almost 2:30pm, so yes, six hours.

We all expected we would have some down time, and I think we all brought a book to read or something to do, but literally it was freezing. No heat. Just cold. At one point I asked an employee of the convention center if there was any way to get some heat back there. She told me they had tried before, but the heat didn’t come back this far (what?!) and they have actually had issues with the pipes freezing in the bathroom (where, shall I remind you, we sat for six f***-ing hours) because they couldn’t keep the temperature above forty degrees. Great.

Well, long story short, we all survived. My toes were frozen (which was probably a good thing because I couldn’t feel how much my feet hurt in those heels I was wearing – I’m pretty much a flip-flop girl), my fingers were turning blue and I was too cold to pee, but dammit I looked beautiful! My hair was all curled, my makeup done (and I don’t ever really wear anything other than chapstick or the occasional eye liner and mascara – so I couldn’t wait to scrub my face when I got home), and I was wearing a beautiful, strapless, floor length fuschia gown with ruching on the top and a slit down the side, with the most gorgeous bracelet, earrings and necklace – I felt like a Princess!

Pam5A The show went well, considering it all, we all looked stunning, and I was glad it was over. I couldn’t wait to go sit in my car and blast the heat while driving home. People asked me if it was fun. Fun wouldn’t necessarily be the word I would choose, but I’m happy I did it – check that off the list! It was a good experience and now I can say most confidently that I feel pretty in pink. Pam1A

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I Will If You Will

Yes, bedtime again. The boys are both in their beds, lights out, humidifier, sound machine and glow buddy all on. I used to be SO great at getting those boys in bed and walking out of their room no later than 7:00pm. Not sure what has happened over the past month or two – other than Brayden being sick, and Brayden being extra particular (yep, he gets that from me…).

I finally have them both quiet – well, semi-quiet – and just about comfy-cozy. Zack is tucked into his bed and Brayden and I are rocking in his chair with a blanket and the puppy dog he got from his ER visit a couple of weeks ago. Brayden is actually just about asleep, and I’m just about to put him into his crib, tuck him in and give him one last “I love you, sweet dreams” kiss.

Whack! (Zack slams his arm down over his covers)

I whisper as sternly as possible, “Zack, shh be quiet and go to sleep.” And Brayden whispers an echo, “Zack, be quiet.” Okay – time to start the “quiet down” process again. We’re almost there, Brayden’s eyes are heavy and almost about to stay shut for the night. He’s breathing slow and deep, and his head just starts to slip off my shoulder onto puppy dog. I whisper into his soft little ear, “Okay, ready to go in your crib?”

Whack! “Mommy?”
Ugh! “What?”
“I love you.”
Now what Mother doesn’t love to hear their child say this? “I love you too now stop talking and go to sleep. Good night, sweet dreams.”
“But Mommy…”
“Stop talking!”
“I will if you will.” Oh no, he didn’t just say that did he?
“Don’t you talk back to me!” Yes, I did – I got a little peeved. “I’m only talking to tell you to be quiet and go to sleep.” Deep breath… “I love you, sweet dreams.”
“I love you too.”

Brayden, luckily, stayed pretty still and quiet so getting him into his crib was not too difficult. I figured he was tired after a long day of school and playing out in the sun, hell I would be!

Bedtime was saved. 7:20pm and I walked out of their room (and came directly to my computer so I could capture this before I forgot). It wasn’t the worst bedtime. It wasn’t the best, but it could have been better. I managed to stay calm and regain positive energy and love (that’s what it’s all about anyway, right?), and the boys are now happily tucked into bed, hopefully off to sweet dream land, all comfy-cozy. sleep baby sleep

Ode To Inspiration

It’s Tuesday. It’s been a week since I’ve posted. I don’t know how some of you Moms out there do it? – posting every day, or even multiple times a week? Maybe you just don’t sleep? Maybe you have older kids? Maybe you’re just a little more motivated than me? What ever the reason – you inspire me. I read your posts (it may be a week or so after they get posted) and I really do smile, laugh, agree and comment when I get the chance. I’m bad at that – commenting. I wish I was better. I have grande intentions of reading your blogs every day and posting wonderful, meaningful but fun comments… and then life comes and smacks me in the face. Bam!

Anyway, you do inspire me. You inspire me to keep on pushing though, to keep writing, to keep the creativity alive. You inspire me to share my moments – whether good, bad, ugly or beautiful.

This post is for you
For all of you whose blog I once visited and liked
And perhaps even have left a comment or two or more
For the times you have clicked on my blog
For the comments and smiles you have reciprocated back to me
For writing with honesty, passion, humor and emotion
And for giving me a place to go read without judgement
Your blog keeps me going
Even if I visit it less often than I’d like
Your blog is in my mind, in my vision
I think of it, I think of you
Thank you for writing
I promise I’ll visit again soon.

 

Gather ‘Round Snugglebugs

Yesterday was President’s Day which meant Zack had off of school. Brayden’s school was also closed, but he doesn’t usually go on Mondays anyway, so it was a “normal” at-home day for him. I usually dread school holidays because it means both boys at home, all day, no break. I was counting on the weather being sunny and warm (I should know better than to believe the weather man) so that I could send them outside to play in our wonderful backyard. Nope, I was cold all day just looking outside at the cloudy, overcast and windy day.

The day wasn’t so bad after all. I got myself up out of bed (mainly because I had to pee and I just couldn’t hold it and not think about it any longer to stay cozy and warm under the covers), and pattered over to the kitchen where I made sure my husband knew I was up (not awake, just up) and needed coffee. Good man he is. The boys were both still in jammies, munching on dry cereal, watching Dora The Explorer (not my favorite show or first choice, but every now and then something new on TV does keep them quiet and self-entertained).

I always get a warm “Good morning, Mommy!” when they see me. That alone puts a smile on my face and almost makes it enough to wake up without needing coffee… almost. Yesterday morning was no exception.

I cozied myself up on the chair with my feet up on the ottoman and a blanket covering my legs and torso. Halfway through my coffee and I’m starting to feel a bit more like a normal, living person. Zack comes over and scooches his way up on my lap, half on me, half squeezed between one of my legs and the arm of the chair. I’m glad it was comfortable for him, probably because he’s still so little, because that did not seem comfy for me. I wrapped one arm around him, the other still holding my coffee. We sat for a while, until Dora was over and my leg started falling asleep. It was nice, cuddling and snuggling with Zack.

Brayden wanted his turn, and how could I resist? He climbed up on my lap where Zack had previously been, and like a cat, took a few minutes to get situated, but finally found his cozy position. I didn’t expect Brayden to sit very long on my lap. He usually gets antsy and gets up. 45 minutes later, we’re still snuggling. 🙂

Yesterday was a pretty good day. A lazy, cozy, pajama morning with cuddles and loves from both my Snugglebugs. Yes, yesterday was a pretty good day. 100_1843

Infinitely Inevitable

You know that saying from old Mr. Murphey? You know, Murphey’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will.” Well, this post isn’t necessarily about things going wrong, it’s about things that happen at the most in-opportune time (and I will pre-apoligize for the swiftness – a.k.a. short – of this post, as I’ve been writing on some other things instead of my blog – but when inspiration calls, I answer :)).

For example:

I change Brayden’s diaper. He’s all nice and dry and clean with a brand new Elmo just under his cute little belly button. I barely have enough time to wrap up the old diaper, put it in the trash and wash my hands, before I find Brayden standing in the corner of the play room, grunting. “Are you going poop?” “Yes” he says between pushes (yes, sorry, this is essentially a Mommy blog so there will be talk of poop and such – you are offically fore-warned). “Why didn’t you poop before I changed your diaper?” I ask – as I do every time. He answers with a very definite “Cuz.”

It’s five o’clock and dinner is on the table. It’s well-balanced, complete with a colorful vegetable and all. I am very proud that everyone’s plate (including mine) looks beautiful and delicious. Brayden is buckled into his highchair on my right, and Zackery is scooched up to the table on my left. First bite. Yum! Second bite… and Zackery is half off his chair, still chewing. He gives me “the look.” I know this look. It’s the look of I have to go potty, Mommy. I ask him, “number one or number two?” He holds up two fingers (he can’t speak because he has food in his mouth – at least I have taught him good enough manners to not talk with food in his mouth). “Okay, go.” ….. I am done eating, and Brayden is nearly done. Zackery – well, he’s still on the potty, reading his Lego magazine (catalog). Like father, like son (sorry, Hon).

There was one more example I had in my head, but as it would be, I have forgotten it! Ha, pretty fitting I guess considering my post. Well, I guess until next time… Happy Friday everyone! May you also cherish (and laugh) at the little discrepencies in life that remind you to enjoy the little moments. 🙂

Mama’s Got a Free Day!

Oh yes, today has already been a great day, and it’s only 9:36am! Both boys got dropped off at school (happily, I might add), checks were deposited into the bank, a quick run to the grocery store for milk, all before the bell rang at Zack’s Kindergarten. I even finished my coffee – without gushing it down my throat – and ate half an apple (the other half I am enjoying now). I’m dressed in clean clothes (as opposed to the clothes I sometimes sleep in from the day before – I know, don’t judge), and I even have a teensy bit of motivation to take a walk later today in this gorgeous pre-spring weather.

So, what will I do with my “free” day? Well, for starters I get to write! YAY! Writing makes me happy, fills a space inside me so that it doesn’t get filled with junk. Then I’ll finish preparing for a meeting Will and I have on Friday for our taxes – yeah, that’s not so sexy sounding, but none-the-less, it’s important. After that, a quick 15 min aqua-massage at this new self-automated spa (more on that later) before it’s back to reality and an afternoon of kids.

I must say, the days when I get a true break, I am so much more prepared to deal with the boys. It’s amazing how such a simple thing of free time (which isn’t always so simple to attain), can have such a grand impact.

Cheers to a happy, healthy, harmonious day! 🙂

Love Them Big

Brayden’s better. Phew! He still has a bit of a cough, and still has 7 more days of antibiotics and breathing treatments… but he slept through the night last night! Yippee! I am so happy his night went well, because when he sleeps, Mommy sleeps. And when Mommy sleeps, it is just so much easier to function during the day (after, of course, I have my coffee).

I know when he starts feeling better because something in him switches from being the completely lovey, snuggling, I-just-want-to-sit-with-Mommy boy, to being a little more energetic (both physically and verbally). The last two days have been tough emotionally – for me. I know every child goes through an “I hate you” phase (I’m pretty sure I topped the list for the number of times I said it to my parents), but boy does it sting when it’s your little two-year old, and all you want to do is take care of him and make him better. Probably doesn’t help that there has been huge gaps of necessary sleep in our house (for everyone), and that darn little thing called PMS, but still, it hurts when your child says nasty things to you. Makes you want to cry – which I did.

I am counting on today being a better day. I’ve had my (first) cup of coffee, I’ve showered and washed my hair (mmm, smells like rosemary and mint!), I’ve eaten breakfast, and Brayden has taken all his morning medicines. Toys are precisely scattered on the floor, Mickey Mouse is singing on TV, and hey, I got to sneak away for twenty minutes so I could write this really quick (well, I almost got through this post without having to get up).

I want to say, thanks to my husband for bringing me a wonderfully tasty mini lemon tart (one of my favorite sweet treats), thanks to Zackery for making me feel better two nights ago when all I wanted to do was cry my eyes out, and thanks to my best friend for giving me a card with a giant hershey’s kiss! I accept all your acts of kindness and cheerfulness. 🙂

Parenting is hard. I know that. I believe it’s the hardest when they actually need you the most – like when they’re sick. My boys are great boys, but sometimes they will say or do hurtful things. I know not to take it personally – I just keep having to remind myself. Someday (in a really, really, really long time from now – that will seem to come much too quickly) they will not be so little anymore. So while they are small and young, I will love them big, with all my heart, every single day… even if it makes me cry.

Popcorn and Pita Chips

Yes, that is exactly what I had for dinner tonight. Oh, and one piece of cauliflower that I stole off of Zack’s plate to make myself feel a tad bit “balanced” at the dinner table. Popcorn, pita chips and cauliflower.

Brayden is sick again – really sick. We spent about four hours today between the doctor’s office, going to get a chest x-ray, back to the doctor’s office, and then to the pharmacy to get his  prescriptions filled (which took two huge paper bags for them to put them in – I felt like I was stocking up for the end of the world or something… but no, it’s all for my little boy). He has bronchialitis and RSV. At least it’s not pnemonia again – which he’s prone to. And at least he is happy when he’s sick. That makes it a little (a teeny, tiny little bit) better. The poor guy is so tired from barely sleeping for the past two days. The last time he got solid sleep (more than 20 min without waking in a fit of coughing) was Monday’s nap, where he slept a good hour and a half. He was so tired he fell asleep on the way to the doctor’s office this morning, and then I felt so bad having to wake him up. But again, the poor guy smiled through it all.

I’ve been bribing him with M&M’s to take his medicine. It started with the tylenol a couple days ago for his fever. He used to love the stuff (which I’m not sure is entirely a good thing), but now he just says “yucky!” I don’t blame him – liquid medicine has never really tasted yummy to me. So, he gets one plain M&M after each round of medicine… until today, when I had to give him one after the breathing treatment at the doctor, another after the motrin at the doctor, another after his chest x-ray, two in the pharmacy while we were waiting for his prescriptions to be ready, four more in the car while we were waiting for Zack to get out of school, one so I could take his temperature, one after his nebulizer, one after his antibiotics, and two more at “dinner” (his consisted of one bite of cauliflower – which usually he would eat a whole head of – and two pieces of popcorn) with his final (um, final for the next four hours) dose of motrin. I brushed his teeth twice tonight in an attempt to scrub off all the sugar.

Needless to say we are a little exhausted in this house. Even Zack seems extra tired, and I can understand why since he and Brayden share a room and Brayden’s been coughing for most of the past two nights. I’m surprised I’m actually functioning enough to write this post… I guess I couldn’t let a good title like that go to waste. 🙂

I’m hoping Brayden sleeps tonight – so that the rest of us can too. I know he’ll be fine… it just might take a day or two for everything to really kick in so his little body can fight this off. In the meantime, I have a very cool excel spreadsheet I created to keep track of all his meds. Not too happy about why I need it, but glad I have the skills and the mindset to create it. With my lack of sleep the last thing I need is to forget what to give him when. I really hate dosing him up on all kinds of medicines, but I honestly tried the homeopathic and essential oils route and it just wasn’t doing the trick like it usually dose.

Okay, before I start rambling in my sleep here… signing off. 🙂

Super Saturday

Well, it’s Saturday – did you guess right? I mean, the title is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. I can’t think of a snazzy title, so it’s going to just remain at “Super Saturday,” which in fact it IS.

Today’s been great. I got out of bed about 7:30 – WAY earlier than I usually do on any weekend day (but I heard a big thump and thought I should get up and see who fell off of what). As the boys had their breakfast in the kitchen, I snuggled with a cozy corduroy blanket on the couch, enjoying the coffee that Will so wonderfully prepared for me (I made it easy for him when I bought a Keurig last Christmas – no excuses now!). I watched a couple of cooking shows on Food Network (Barefoot Contessa and Giada – two of my favorites), and got inspired for what I’m planning on making for dinner tonight (a variation on Giada’s risotto with kale, bacon and leftover chicken).

After a nice warm shower where I actually washed my hair AND shaved my legs – I know, right? – I left the house ALONE to run some errands. Went to the post office to mail a copy of my book (was inspired to send one to the 100th person who liked my Facebook page – and after I received a book from my fellow blogging Mom friend, Kenya G. Johnson, for answering a question correctly in one of her posts… which happened to be about movies and the answer was Mater in Cars2 – and after having read her entire book last night… yes, I was again inspired), and bought a dress for a black-and-white formal banquet next weekend where my husband is getting an award for work. (So proud of you Will! All those late nights are paying off.) I’m really excited we get to be all dressed up like real adults!

I came home to a quiet house with Brayden already asleep for his nap (honestly, I was not expecting this to be the case – but I was happily wrong). Zack and Will were playing Lego’s on the floor. I made myself a yummy grilled cheese and avocado sandwich, then plopped myself on the floor with a map (the instructions) to help Zack re-build (for the bazillionth time – yes, I just made that word up) all of his cars, trucks, jeeps and other imaginative Lego vehicles.

Now, all three boys – this includes Will – are at the park and I, once again, felt inspired to write about my perfectly super (and have I mentioned, inspiring) Saturday. All I hear is the tumble of the clothes dryer and the clacking of the computer keys. The sun is shining inside the house, I’m happy to have the house to myself for a bit, and I’m happy to just BE happy.

Practicing Patience

PatiencePatience is a virtue.” Whoever said that must not have had kids – or maybe they did?

The past few months I’ve been telling myself that I am practicing patience – for many reasons (the first one being the most obvious in the plain fact that I have two young boys who don’t comprehend the idea of urgency, as in do it now – unless it is of course something they want, need or have to do, see, eat or grab).

The second reason being that it’s not the “right” time to start my business (Love & Mommy Hugs). It’s kind of crazy, because I’ve had this passion, this calling digging inside me for quite some time and to have to stuff it back in doesn’t seem fair. But I stop, take a moment and remind myself the WHY of what I’m doing.

I’m a stay-at-home Mom. I love being a stay-at-home Mom. I (hate is too strong a word) often sometimes resent being a stay-at-home Mom. There are so many things I want to do. So many people I want to help, to inspire, to heal. I want to do it NOW! (I hear that a lot, so it’s really okay if I say it too). Then reality strikes and whispers in a soft scream “patience, my dear.”

Yeah, yeah, patience. Here’s what I have to say to you, Madam Patience: I will wait my due time, but in the meantime I will prepare myself so that when the time is “right” (and when is anything ever the perfect right time? I mean, really?) I will be ready to pounce into the world with all I’ve got. I’ll be ready to speak, ready to lead, ready to share. I challenge you oh mighty Patience… okay, feeling a little over-dramatic right now but what the heck, it’s my blog. I can pretend I’m all that. *wink* *wink*

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m glad I’m home every day with Zack to help him do his homework, and to be proud of how much he is learning. I’m glad I get to play Thomas and all the other fun, imaginative things that Brayden comes up with daily. I’m glad I get to capture cuteness in both my boys on a regular basis with a billion pictures of exactly the same pose. I’m glad I remember the why of becoming a stay-at-home Mom. But sometimes I just get antsy that I want to get my stuff going. I don’t want women to suffer through what I went through. I know there’s a need and I know I can be part of the solution.

Patience. Yes, I know… patience.

To top things off, today as we are driving home from school at approximately 3:08pm, stuck behind the usual line of cars pulling in and pulling out after picking up their own kids, inching forward one by one until it is our turn at the stop sign, properly stopping at a safe distance from the halted school bus down the street letting it’s one last child out and waiting responsibly until that one child reaches the open door of his house, greeted by no one other than I can assume is his Mom or Dad…. Zackery has to pee. What?! “Mom, go faster I really have to go and I can’t hold it!” To which I calmly (well, I was freaking out inside but didn’t want to let on that I was afraid he was gonna pee his pants) replied, “Just hold it 2 more minutes, be patient.” 🙂

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