Sep 20, 2012

Children have IMPECCABLE timing

So, I keep wanting to write something, but I tend to wait for a *spark* it doesn't always happen but when it does, it usually strikes me in a situation where I say to myself "now THIS is what I should blog about" in fact tonight, one could say it projected itself right into my lap...

I should start from the beginning, so I started my new job at Saks Fifth Avenue last week. Needless to say I have learned that while I do consider myself to have a girly-side I am absolutely NOT high maintenance. In fact, in the ten days I have been there I have spent more time *trying* to put myself together and look presentable and as if I belong there, than actually working. Okay, with that-I'll get straight to example a. in making my point. So my VERY FIRST day on the actual selling floor, my dear baby Charli, peed on my shift-dress during my lunch break. Just by happenstance, I had a $7.50 black polyester dress I got on clearance from Target that was literally thrown in my handbag in the back of the car. Not even kidding, I hadn't even tried it on (lesson learned in that regard!) So I scrubbed my skin-in efforts to get rid of the stench, put on the slightly oversized, completely wrinkled monstrosity and went back to work m.o.r.t.i.f.i.e.d. On to my second point, tonight, as the craze of our everynight dinner and bed routine was beginning to wind down. I carried my dear, precious child to her bed, hugged her and as I lifted her off my should she projectile vomited...everywhere. Her, me, the floor, the bed...everywhere. Le sigh. Word to the wise, bits of dino-nuggets and cottage cheese do not clean or vacuum up easy or at all well. (jic you were wondering)Leading me to my third and final example, while at dinner with family a few months ago my toddler decides (of course in the one moment that no one else is speaking) she expresses her feelings about her taco breaking with a very loud "dammit" :::Facepalm::: All eyes are on me and I ask myself, really? now? how are they soooo good at such bad timing???

I have daughters, I don't have boys. (Sorry, for the stereotype, but come on if you have kids, you've been with men and well...)But seriously, how do they know? Grocery stores, weddings, church, family dinners. HOW DO THEY KNOW? And why didn't any of those parenting books ever tell me that children have impeccable timing?

Sep 14, 2012

First Day of Preschool

Another project I stole from Pinterest... what a cute way to remember each first day of school, and fun to look back on how these favorites change from year to year :)

On another note, Viv's first day of school was today. My BABY is in SCHOOL. WTF did the hubbster and I allow this "growing up" thing to happen?!  I was not the blubbering mess I thought I would be this morning, because she was so excited to be there and happy to be be meeting new kiddos. I felt a little blue when she ran off to start her day, but felt more proud of her than anything else.

Love this little face! Couldn't be more proud and happy to be her mama!

Sep 6, 2012

Are Chicken Nuggets a Vegetable?

I've heard every age comes with it's struggles, terrible twos, treacherous threes, fiesty fours...I get it. My issue is that there's no book or how-to, that's a reliable source, to assist moms to keep their sanity through any or all of the above growing pains.

Truth be told, every age does come with it's struggles, for instance 27 for me...waaaaay harder than 26 and my husband can attest to this, lol. Most people struggle with the big 3-0, honestly, I am kind of looking forward to it. I hope to be a little bit better of a human being by that age-but that maay be 4-0. But for now, I am still working on 27 and maybe that's why the ages 3 and 13 months seem so challenging. Maybe it's not about the child's development, maybe it's more about mine, not as an individual, but as a parent...(hmmmm that's kind of deep, I didnt mean to go there...but okay,let's see where this goes...)

Still, regardless of the age, what is with the power struggle? The battle of the bottle with the baby or the toddler tug of war with words. Why do I get crazy after being asked the same question ten times, the child is simply interested? How do I explain what is "in a pea"? And really, is that even a valid question? How do you make a three year old understand that a pea IS what is IN a pea...why was I not taught this? Why isn't a chicken nugget a vegetable? What makes meat a protein vs whatever is IN the pea (mom-thought interruption: and if this is the case WTF is soybean??) HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW??????????? Meanwhile the baby is practically breaking the {empty} cookie jar and banging on the floor with pots and pans as I pay zero mind or attention to the noise (yeaaahh, right!)

This scenario is a nightly routine. I have read and re-read various blogs, research articles, parenting "how-to-not tos" and they all say something different but none actually help me. I read one the other day that suggested that if my daughter doesn't want to get dressed and the natural consequence is no playground then she'll learn she doesn't get to go and to let her not get dressed, stay home, save yourself the argument. Okay, fine but what if it's not the playground??? What if it's the grocery store or the drs??? Who in their right mind allows a 3 year old to make the decisions that run a household and daily schedule??? WTHell. Do not misunderstand, I am all for options and anyone who knows my children can attest to their individuality and the amount to which they are encouraged to be independent HOWEVER there is a line and a bit of grey area in there that even the most black and white viewed individual (myself included) must comply with; if not we will only raise entitled, self-righteous, lazy brats [if you are gasping and you are a. a parent-let's call a spade a spade and b. if you are not a parent-when you do become one you will think this too and can remember this blog and feel zero guilt] and after working in higher education and with youth for a good portion of my early career, I can say it is MUCH more difficult on the developing parent/role model to deal with a child who is 2-0 that 0-2 even including the most memorable of shopping market meltdowns.

Okay, rant over. So the bottom line is, how do I deal? What do I do? I pray every night for patience and I beleive wholeheartedly that I am doing the best that I can and I also believe that in the end my girls will be okay and be beautiful strong women, but am I doing it right? Am I irreversibly screwed up? Are they? Will they be? I worry about these things every single day. And then the answer just appears before's "the man's fault" the same man who gave description to what's in a pea and who made meat a protein; who started the alphabet with A and not Q; the same MAN who doesn't have to field these questions bc they are of course, "mom" questions and yet again, the same MAN who tells me it's not okay to tell my children that "because mom said so" is not an acceptable answer to children. Well guess what,'re wrong and well, not to be mean suck. Why??? Simple,

Sep 4, 2012

This is a Mom-ocracy...

At some point I will write what I'm sure will be an enormously long post all about the Terrible Twos vs. the Horrible Threes. However, I'm pooped and though I am uncharacteristically going to attempt to stay up and watch one of my favorite old movies, I'm not sure I have enough energy (physically or emotionally) to write that all out tonight.

However, this evening while Kiki and I chatted long distance, lamenting and laughing over the daily power struggle that is raising a 3 year old, I was reminded of something we wrote and giggled over some time ago. It seems more applicable than ever now!And while yes, parenting is tiring, frustrating and often leaves questioning whether you really are the boss, I wouldn't trade one single (even the exhausting ones) second that the hubs and I have shared with our sweet peanut! Tough but worth it!

I am the boss though, right?
Um....guys? Right?!


Sep 3, 2012

Confused Yet?

OKay, to read all things non-parenting related, please visit Kiki and I at our respective blogs:
Stilettos, Starbucks and Spit-Up

Confused yet? Good, then our job is done here ;-)

My little cupcakes

As most parents, or at least I like to think what is most parents, I do my best to find the perfect recipe for parenting. 1/3 cup of empathy, 1/2 cup sympathy, 2 heaping full cups of creative and childlike play, 1/4 cup of redirection, 3/4 cup positive reinforcement, 1/2 cup of stern-not quite the fear of God but the fear of mom will suffice, a pinch of the lines in the sand have been drawn, and of course the rising agent for all children 18 tablespoons (1 added gradually each year) of priceless memories of fun times, great places, games, and conversations. Now, granted that this recipe changes sometimes minute to minute and admittedly sometimes (like a cake or two) no matter how well you *think* you have followed the directions, often you don't get the same taste. Well, no matter how much I love to bake this is a reality I have come to understand and accept that yes, in fact, my children have unknowingly little cupcakes. Some days they turn out fantastic, great tasting, great looking, piped just right, with the perfect balance of frosting and cake ratio, very ready to impress. Like yesterday, when my beautiful darlings played and giggled, they loved the beach, used their manners, turned to me in a quiet car and said Mommy, I love you. My baby Charli-bear kissed me over and over to the sound of a pattern muah, muah, muah, muah. And went to bed without even a peep. Goodnight, sleep tight. What perfect little cupcakes, too bad I'm not having company so someone can see how REALLY GREAT I am at this baking thing. Seriously, I could totally own a bakery. Then there are those days where you follow the same recipe, but perhaps the oven was on for just a bit too long or maybe the eggs and the butter didn't quite come to room temp. It is on these days that even in my best attempts, I would still rather flick myself in the nose then have to tell my toddler (100 times) that her sister is not a ragdoll and to keep her hands to herself, fight over cutting a sandwich in the wrong direction, step on one more damn lego, repeat the same answer to the same question for the tenth time, watch one more episode of Doc McStuffin, and seriously my dear one year old, must you continue to break my blinds!!! ENOUGH! Mommy needs a TIME OUT! Alas, silence, duped, I have been followed into timeout...(posing the question to myself, am I demonstrating time out wrong too???) Conclusion: hideous, dry, YUCKY cupcakes-more than likely the ones served at tomorrow's brunch -of course they are. I don't have time to make another batch! Granted, not all batches are one extreme or the other and sometimes there are a few in between batches that either look crappy but taste phenomenal (alas, the teaching, breakthrough moments that only a parent truly understands the meaning and rareness of) or the ones that if nothing else we can patch up with a little bit of extra sweet frosting and pretty flower on top (edible of course) that makes it look like we did okay on this batch (I'll refer to this as the "grocery store" if you're a mom-you get this!) Is this making sense? Do you get it? Or is it just me? I know I am asking for alot here, but I'm a woman and I have to admit-who settles for mediocre baked goods?

Sep 2, 2012


I'm not really one to get political, and I don't plan on writing some outrageous rant here (now or ever), but ohhhmahgawwwd I have to write at least a blurb about this. So, we recently purchased Postcards From Buster on DVD because we're big fans of the Arthur books... and *finally* got to watch the "controversial" Vermont episode. This originally aired in 2004 and then was immediately taken out of the show's rotation (all traces of the episode's existence were also ripped off the channel's website). After watching it, I'm not quite sure what all the uproar was about, unless you're easily offended by happy kids, parents that love each other, sugar on snow and sharp cheddar cheese.
The only thing I found even remotely controversial was the fact that Buster was hell bent on giving his single mother a cucumber for Mother's Day. Oh COME ON, you know you were thinking it too! #WTF #Gigglesnort #obsessivehashtags

Sep 1, 2012

A Very Happy 'Birfday' to You!

Birthday blessings to my dear husband Mike today! He is 34 years young, and doesn't look a day over 33! ;-) Viv took this occasion to paint Daddy a picture of his favorite team, the Red Sox! Of course, there also appears to be a green sock, but she claims that is a mustache. We love you Mike!

Aug 28, 2012


We're in full-swing dilly bean mode here at the Olmstead Homestead. By "we" I mean Mike, the Master Chef of the family. He's been wanting to try this for a few years now, and this was the year! They are ah-mayyy-zing! Just the right amount of garlic with a hint of jalapeno.

I would like to make some labels- any ideas name ideas? My suggestion of 'Big Mike's House of Dill' was sadly rejected.


Hello Friends,
Long-time-no-write, I know! Life, as we know it, sometimes has a way of shaking things up a bit. I can tell you  that many changes have occured since my dear Kiki or I have written here last. Some good changes, some sad but full of promise.
First of all, I accomplished next to nothing on my Summer Bucket List I posted months ago. I did drink copious amounts of iced tea, and got in a few books and BBQs, but that is where my checklist was folded into a paper airplane and flown into the recycling basket.
The biggest news of all is that both Kiki and I and our families have moved! I'll get to my story later, but first I have to confess to the fact that I was not wholly ready for the announcement that my BFF, My Soul Sister, my Partner in Crime and Fashion was moving to a different CONTINENT. Okay, I exaggerate- south of the Mason-Dixon Line does not constitute as a different continent, but I would be lying if I said it didn't feel that way at the time of said announcement!
On one hand, I was SO excited for my best friend and her amazing family to have this opportunity, and proud of them for having the courage to go! On the other hand,  I felt like I was grieving and selfishly wanted things to stay the same forever. But that is not what friends do... or at least not what friends- real friends  act upon. True friends, the kind that become family, act with love, support, and the knowledge that nothing really needs to change.
Any old who... as of late I have become not only very sentimental, but quite gut-wrenchingly aware of the fact that I am  blessed to have so many amazing people in my life. You've heard all about my hubs and darling daughter, but I'd like to take a minute to talk about the other loves of my life-  my bratpack.
It is very rare in this life, that we find a friend (let alone several) that you share such a bond with, that there are literally no words to properly describe it.   I won't even try, except to say that I assume it is somewhat comparable to the Blind Melon's tap-dancing bee finally finding finding her fellow bees (only with less wearing of tutus... maybe).

Yes, I know you probably have this stuck in your head now, and you're welcome ;-)

Cheers and thanks to friends who complete us! My family and I are so blessed to have you! <3

More later about my family's move!

May 3, 2012

" Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight."- Rumi

I've been asked, on more than a few occasions how I manage to be so happy everyday, not to mention  so happy on Monday mornings. I would like to say that being happy comes as naturally as breathing, but that is both untrue and borderline obnoxious. It took me a long time to realize that happiness isn't something that falls in our laps, nor can we expect to find it in places we go looking for it. Happiness, for me, has meant rejoicing in the small things. The sun on my face; laughing with my husband until my stomach aches; the sound of my daughter singing from her room in the morning; iced tea and flip-flop days.... little things to celebrate each day.

I had the opportunity today to take the afternoon off of work and spend it with my daughter. Not to go all Anne Shirley on you all, but sometimes a dandelion is the most perfect of posies ;-) Love her little face so much!

May 2, 2012

working mama, and worth it...

Disclosure: I do not take sides on the working mom vs. stay at home mom argument. To each their own. I, however, am a working mom. It's what I am good at and it's how I contribute and show my strengths best to my daughters. I won't criticize you -in fact I only offer my support. So I expect the same. Okay, so it has been a long time since I have posted and this is a much, much needed therapy session and I believe it will help me keep my perspective. Lots has changed since the last time I shared, that's the past and right now my family is still in a bit of a transition mode with only our third week of daycare under our belts, the (what I like to call) "daycare-germ-infectation" has well taken over and we have each had our share of the bug; mostly my poor charli-bear who looks like one of those snotty little kids I used to snark at parents for- in my pre-parenting, albeit-know it all years-lol seriously her nose will.not.stop. I can only carry so many damn tissues! okay moving on... So work is absolutely nuts! And B and I have been trying our best to come up with the best option for who has the (1) car and what days you do drop off and I do pick up, yadda yadda yadda. Any working parent knows exactly what I mean but keep in mind this is a new beast for us, the earlier referenced temp-live in dcp aka: my mom, has since moved out and about 2 hrs away so we are new to this wide world of daycare chaos. Granted it has given us (ahem, me) a valid reason to implement even more structure, a few more lists, and a master whiteboard calendar, complete with identified meal selections planned 2 weeks in advance to avoid randomized shopping trips. Seriously we don't have time for these anymore! Don't get me wrong we aren't the Von-trapps or anything and there is always room for fun (I'm a mom not a drill sargeant) and chaos still seems to seep in but this kind of structure is necessary for the Fowler baby-farm. But all of this combined with the fact that I am going to be traveling for 23 days out of the office to do data extraction(another beast I have never done before)-AND am in the mode of a whole new learning the medical model and this is absolutely terrifying for me...TERRIFYING. I usually keep CCC when it comes to work but I think my colleagues and my kiddos can sense I'm a little nervous and on edge these days. oh, and did I mention these new life changes have since forced me to start an intensive job search, yeah another time, another post, but you get the pic...oi vey. TO my point...taking into account all of the above and fast forward to yesterday am; it was my day to do drop off and me and my little ladies were heading across town (bc of course finding "affordable" trustworthy daycare has to be a 20 min drive) Charli was babbling away, Madster screeching out to connect with the town hounds, and I, consuming my copious amounts of Island Coconut coffee, without prompt the following conversation arises: Madz: Mommy are you going to work?" Me: Yes, hunny. After I drop you girls off at Ms. Lori's I'm going to work. Madz: Is Daddy at work? Me: Yep, he's working today too and then later, after you play and have your nap, Daddy will pick you up. Madz: Oh, okay. Mommy... Me: Yes. Madz: When I grow up can I be a mommy, and go to my office. Me: ABSOLUTELY! You can do be whatever you want to be and mommy is a working mommy; it's how she takes care of you. Just like Daddy works too. Madz: Okay, mommy. When I grow up I'll be a mommy with my work-office just like you do. :::::MELT:::::

May 1, 2012

Mama mia...

Worried about what to get dear old mom for mother's day now that the Association for Toxic Odor Control finally banned... er...since the store was out of the gi-NOR-mous bottles of perfume you usually buy her? Not to say Mother's Day is about gifts, but if you're looking for a trinket to show your appreciation, look no further! Here's a list (I told you we love lists) of things that I think would be just lovely :)
1. A Photo Book! How cute is that? These look fabulous and are easy to make on sites like Shutterfly, Picaboo, Kodak Gallery, etc. Some photography stores will do them as well.
(source: Shutterfly)

  2. Unique Mommy Jewelry
Sites like etsy have endless amounts of unique and customizable jewelry. I'm certainly not knocking "traditional" mom jewelry, but sometimes it's fun to go outside the box! Here are a few examples that have caught my eye:
I'm really digging this ring from CrystalBlue07 on Etsy! I've also seen similar items with children's names or birthdays in bracelet and necklace form too. Love, Must get. Coughhintcough

Uhh maaah gaaaawd! Yes, this IS a customized necklace made from a child's artwork. This is by Etsy seller Miavanbeek. Honestly, I'm tearing up just looking at this. I can't even handle how sweet it is!

I've seen a few variations on the mama-bird style jewelry, but thought this one by Etsy seller MenuetDesigns was just cute as a button! 

3. Go semi-homemade! If you have a digital camera you're ready to go one this one! You can easily turn any photo to black and white at a print-it-yourself photo kiosk! You can get mat board custom-cut at a frame shop to match any picture frame of your liking, but many chain stores sell adorable pre-cut multi-photo matted frames as well.                        (source: oxforddesigngroup)
4. Book a photo session! Is there a mom on earth that wouldn't appreciate a fantastic family portrait like this stunning one from Times Infinity Photography? And right now is the perfect season to book a session with a local photog for some awesome (and fun!) outside shots!
So tell me, what do you have planned for the various moms in your life? :)

**for the record, I was not paid or other compensated by any of the sellers mentioned above. They are all things I found on my own and am lusting after.**

Apr 28, 2012

Oh Mother Nature...

Oh Mother Nature... you win again you shady lady you! 

I should have prefaced my previous post by saying that the arrival of springtime in Vermont generally means that the minute everyone whips out the flip flops (which is at about 35 degrees) and pastel prints, we are hit with at least one more  snow storm. It's a cruel joke that nature likes to play on us every year. We fall for it every time, always hoping that this year will be the year the snow will melt for good in March. And I must say that this year we feel particularly hard after the 80 degree temps in both March and April!

Ahhh well, We shall go back to pinning barbeque ideas on Pinterest and continue our garden planning inside ;-)

Apr 26, 2012

Here Comes The Sun...

...doo doo doo doo. Here comes the sun, and I say, it's all riiiight! Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces. Little darling, it seems like years since it's been heeeeeere!Here comes the suuuun! Here comes the suuuuunnnn, and I say, it's all riiight!

Hello World! Long time, no type... I will spare you the boring details of how busy we've been being...well, human.
Spring at the homestead

Any old who... my dramatic and song-filled intro is in honor of the fact that the sunshine and warm-ish weather has arrived in this beautiful Green Mountain State of ours, and I am over the moon! To say that my family has ants in the pants due to the onset of slightly greenish grass and spreading of manure (oh wait, that one we could live without) is an understatement of gross proportions. In fact, my daughter has been so anxious for spring that she made a "birds nest" out of glow sticks and plastic Easter eggs, which she placed in front of the sliding glass door so that the sun would shine on it. She invited me to sit on it to help the eggs hatch, but I politely declined.

Getting back to why I'm actually writing... the sun has arrived! Time to make some warm-weather plans! One thing you should know about both Kiki and I is that we love to plan. We love lists, calendars, spread sheets, agendas, checklists, timelines, carefully color-coded day planners (okay that one is just me), you name it, we've likely labeled it and filed it alphabetically somewhere ;-) We're not uptight or anything, we just find that half the fun is in the planning stages, so this will likely be the first of many, many lists to come

For lack of a better term, we'll call this my spring/summer bucket list. Or since it's spring would it be a bouquet list? Ha! I slay me... I really do... ;-)

1. Make a small garden: I can't claim to have a green thumb, but have always wanted a garden of my own and decided this is the year! The closest experience I've had to having my own garden is having taken part in making one at work with some of the kiddos over the summer. It was a great experience, which I can't wait to replicate with my family. I haven't yet mentioned to the hubs that I would most graciously appreciate it if he would rototill a small area of our lawn, but I suspect it will likely go a little something like the scene in 'The Secret Garden' where Mary asks if she "miight have a bit of eeeaarth."

2. Beee-Beee-Quuee!: That was my awesome Bill Cosby impression, couldn't you tell? One of my fave things to do in the summer is barbecue! The food, the iced tea, the proceeding bonfire- and of course, the company. Is there a better way to relax and spend time with friends on a summer evening? The look forward to many, many laughter (and kabob) filled gatherings this season! I cannot explain the joy I find in having my child run around playing with the children of my dear friends. Viv and Kiki's eldest (2 months apart) have declared each other 'besties' and I would like to find every opportunity possible to get them together this summer.
Um, and can I just lament for a minute,\ that I searched for a Cosby Show B-B-Q photo and could not find What's a broad gotta do to find a pic of 'Combustible Huxtable' in his chef hat and apron? Yeah, I know #thirdworldproblems.

3. Prep for a 5K: This one is daunting. And by "daunting" I mean I'm "scared shitless." The department I work for is hosting a 5K fundraiser in the early fall, and I need to spend the summer learning to run farther than the mailbox without getting winded. Hey, I love to work out, but running is a whole different ballgame! I feel like you can work out with a personal trainer 6 days a week, but still not be able to run a mile! Please, send beginner running tips my way! I'm determined not to look like a total a$$hole the day of the race! Um.... and if you're in VT/NH and interested in running a 5K for an amazing cause, contact me!

4. Go to Storyland: So, I recognize that to many folks, having to spend the day somewhere that is full of wildly excited, sometimes over-tired, sugar-filled kids is their version of hell, but I'm pumped! a. fried dough abd b. how great is the smile on your kid's face when you've planned something super fun? Or as Dallas Royce ('Suburgatory') would say: "Ruhl fun! Ruhl fun, super fun, ruhl fun stuff!."

5. I like big BOOKS and I cannot lie: It's no secret in our household that we're all a little book-obsessed. I love finding series of books that leaves me feeling as though I have made a new, true friend. I want to spend copious, copious amounts of time reading this summer... in a hammock...with an iced tea. 
Copious amounts of time
My husband is a cabana boy uniform serving me iced tea
That's doable, right? ;-)
6. I just got a new camera so now the hubbster and I each have a nice one. Admittedly, Mike is an excellent photographer- much, much better than me, but I think it would be fun to work on our photography together. Eventually I would like to be able to take a really nice family photo. Here's a shot I took of our daughter this week:

So, what's on your spring/summer bucket list?

Feb 21, 2012

the potty dash!

Potty training..the mere idea of it ignites the senses of all sorts. It's a fear and yet an excitement all it's own. Like pregnancy and labor, potty training is an experience individual to that parent and that child, no two are alike. With that, like pregnancy and labor everyone has an opinion, and because we are women and feel the need to HAVE to share it, everyone always hears/shares it. There is advice about it everywhere you turn along with hundreds of books that help both the child and the parent survi..ah, excuse me, learn the best method for the pair.

Personally I found potty training to be a bit of a pain in the ass! Trying to remember to watch the clock or set the timer so that I can have the "let's just try and sit on the potty" battle every 1.5 hrs is like dragging your own nails on the chalkboard, an unnecessary self-inflicted headache. It's slightly less than my usual fun and quite honestly on the verge of obnoxious-to put it lightly. Admittedly, I would have weeks where I would be great with her and then that after one really long day at work and being quite preggo (never the two combined, lol) I would find myself not even putting in the effort for the fight, "just get me a diaper I don't have the energy." As I write this I realize how this sounds, but come on, tell me (in your mind) if you've been through it, that you haven't had these thoughts at least once or twice. Bottom line here, I realize I wasn't helping the situation but I'm hard pressed to say I was hurting it. We tried every type of bribe, at least all of them, and you can only exhaust the "but you're a big girl" phrases in such a variety of ways, honestly there are only so many you can come up with. For a while she was doing great and we got really close and happened. It is undoubtedly, mom's fault (never realized that started so early on in parenting btw, but I digress) Everyone warns you of the potty-training regression but most people, myself included, think nah, that's their story, not mine. She'll be different...WRONG! #epicfail

My daughter went through 5 straight months of complete regression; she wanted to be a baby just like her sister (well, of course, she was "getting all of the attention" :::Eyeroll:::) The pediatrician even said, don't even bring it up, she'll do it on her own (we weren't exactly buying his sell) but he was right! One day she just decided to do it and has been going strong since and we don't have to worry about the timer or the questions; of course we check in with her and car rides are always a little nerve wracking but she's doing really well. Thankfully, I've lived to tell the tale that even the biggest non-believer was proven wrong and it's totally true, your kid will not go to college in a diaper (although, with a beautiful little girl, I was starting to get okay with the'll keep boys

but! here's where the dash comes in, while my daughter is doing awesome at potty training I was (again) ill-prepared for the drama of the potty in public. Public restrooms have become a circus side-show. We have to visit EVERY ONE in each and every place we go. As a supportive parent you know you never second guess a potty-train(ed/ing) child when they say they need to go but this past weekend I spent close to 30 minutes in the potty at the local craft store. My daughter went in did her business and they realized there were 2 stalls not just 1, mistake! she had to visit both of them. She also recently discovered (after going into the stall by herself) the little trash bins, ladies, you know what I am talking about! These have to be the most unsanitary things in the whole bathroom (yes, toilet included). So, finally after having a ridiculous conversation to coerce her out of the potty and back to business in the store we get to the other side of the store only for her to loudly say "mommy, poop's coming out..." i.e. the potty dash!

If you haven't been there yet, you will, and when you do good luck, it's worth it, it's always worth it but nothing can prepare you for YOUR "potty dash."

Jan 26, 2012

I remember the absolute thrill of attending my first concert- The Beach Boys- at the Champlain Valley Fair circa summer coughletsjustsayitwasalongtimeago'causeI'moldcough. It POURED down rain, and our seats (2nd row, baby!) were not under cover. But faithfully we stood, my dad and I, so that I could see John 'Uncle Jesse' Stamos guest star on the drums. I've been particularly reminiscent of this in the past few days because we were able to get tickets to take Viv to see her very first concert (unless you count seeing James Taylor in-utero). We're taking her to see the Fresh Beat Band! She doesn't quite understand how, exactly we'll be seeing some of her favorite TV Characters in person, but she's excited none the less, and we are thrilled to be taking her. Of all the characters in today's line-up of children's programming, I have to say that the characters from the FBB are some of the less annoying of the bunch. Even IF 'new' Mirena is fooling no one, and Twist is freakishly tall to the point of distraction ;-)

Which brings me to the real point of this post... with quite the long and slightly roundabout intro... children's TV characters! Unless you don't own a television, you have to have been subjected to them at some point, even if just in passing. If you're a parent or caregiver, you likely find yourself singing various theme songs at any given time of the day or night like my husband and I find ourselves doing. There is a lot of children's programming out there that is witty, educational and that you don't mind your child insisting upon watching 127896239472 times.

And then there are others.

Here is my list of the top most annoying children's characters:

Um... what-the-dealie with the little bald Canuck?
Look, I like Canada, really. I mean, I practically LIVE in Canada, but c'mon! I know I am not alone in thinking it was kind of unfair of them to unleash such unapologetic whining upon the rest of the unsuspecting world. It's a conspiracy I tell you! It's revenge for Americans pointing out that 'Canadian Bacon' is really just ham!

I'm not sure I could begin to touch upon all the things that are off about this show, the least of which is a backpack that needs it's own episode of 'My Strange Addiction.' Oh, and BTW, are you the map? I wasn't sure the first 5 times you said it.
As for Dora herself, holy yelling everything you say, Batman! Not just yelling everything, yelling everything *three times!* I understand the purpose, and I'm glad she's good at following directions, but sheesh!. Maybe if we all promise to religiously clean the wax out of our ears she'll
Do you think Dora is annoying as ****? ...........Buena!
Barney [Bahr-nee] Noun, Plural-neys, Definition(s):
1. Big
2. Purple
3. Douchey
Sweet sassy molassy, he certainly serves as a fantastic reminder of why dinosaurs are best left extinct!
Plus, I think he's a drunk.

Yo Gabba Gabba:
I guess this show doesn't actually classify as annoying (at least for me, in the grander scheme of things). I love the guest stars and bands! However, it undeniably classifies as 'WTF?!'
One word: Muno.
That really should take no explanation, lol. Even if you've never heard of the show but were witness to the Superbowl commercial for Kia. You were likely one of millions who were left wondering why they had a giant studded dildo with a face parading around as a children's toy. 'Nuff said, eh?
Um... DJ Lance's.. lets discuss this unitard situation. Unitards in general, really, I discriminate against all unitards alike. I feel like homeboy could be just as effective in a nice pair of pressed khakis and a polo.
An open letter to Ruby,
You are not the boss of Max. Just sayin', bossy britches!
PS you are never going to get your 'Good Listener' Bunny Scout Badge. Ever.

Cat in the Ha
I know, I know, what issue could I possibly have with such a wonderful, classic character? Don't get me wrong, we love Dr. Seuss! Viv even had a Seuss-themed party last year! It's not the original story, or even original movie (the 1960's cartoon that is) I find to be obnoxious, but more of the PBS science field trip version.
First of all, could he BE more of a creeper? In each show he tempts Nick and Sally with some sort of cool field trip and then tells them in.every.episode. "your mother won't mind at ALL if you do!" Um, hey A-hole! On behalf of mothers everywhere, we DO mind! Stranger danger anyone?

If you're looking for some less nerve-grating options, here are a few that are Vivi, Mommy and Daddy approved:

The Bearenstain Bears (they have always been a classic)
Olivia (That is one sassy little pig!)
The Fresh Beat Band
Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends
Magic School Bus (really, this show rocks)
The Backyardigans
Angelina Ballerina
Thomas and Friends
The Wonder Pets (although I know most of the world will disagree with this)

So, what children's shows do you love/hate?

Image Credits,,

Jan 24, 2012

It's my sanctuary and I'm claiming it!

Pre-wedded bliss:
My bedroom is my sanctuary. As I arrive home on any given night my bed is neatly made and is screaming my name. I can get into comfy pjs, a new pair of socks and be completely enveloped in this cozi-haven. I snuggle into the is my sweet slumber

Wedded Bliss/Pre-babies:
Our bedroom is our sexy sanctuary. Two nightstands, two sides (albeit I don't get the middle anymore but love means compromise, right?) a love nest where we can come together at the end of our long work days and eat ice cream, watch a movie, or practice making babies.

Then practice became perfection (which as most know doesn't take as long in the sport of baby making) and the real babies arrived:
My sanctuary has now become the family bed. While our children do not sleep with us somehow, someway our room has become a catch all for every.person. in our family. Laundry, mail, spit up, diapers (yes, even the dirty ones) and all things child related have wound up in my once known as-sanctuary.

Present day-January 2012, 3.5 yrs of marriage, 1-2yr old and a 6 month old later:
When did this happen? How did this happen? (answer: all of the above) but seriously why can't the children have their space and I get my own? I mean they get the whole damn house. I, at one point, thought that I could have a house and have kids without people walking in and knowing kids live here (in hindsight I don't know if I even like this perspective...ponder this...back to reality). As a mom, I have voluntarily given up all the obvious things that non-moms know about i.e. sleep, body, modesty, eating privately in restaurants without people scowling at me with judgment; but then there is the list of things I didn't know about i.e. the ability to drink a glass of water without fingers in it, the privacy of going to the bathroom or taking a shower by myself, losing my hair *literally* due to hormones, and then my favorite my personal freedom of choosing my own scented fragramce and accessories (because for those of you who aren't aware, for the first 2 years you smell and look like baby vomit and breastmilk/formula, and if you are lucky) And you know truth be told I wouldn't trade any of it and on most days I don't complain about it. I can proudly where a vomit-scarf to work *uknowingly* (but really because I didnt realize it until I was walking into my office) But seriously, my bedroom?? Why that? I'm not fancy. I don't need spas or expensive lounges to relax I just want my nicely decorated and clean room with the comforter I purchased and the matching his/her sidetables to curl up into so that after I have fought hours of bedtime wars and cleaned a messy house and pumped my breasts for the 8th time, and worked all day... I can crawl into a made bed without having to clear it of your crap. And *your* refers to you darling baby # 1, adorable baby # 2 and you my loving husbandperson. All of you ARE guilty!

I don't want your mail, I don't want your stickers, take your empty bottles, and your dirty socks. Throw pillows are not dinosaurs and those fake flowers belong in my perfectly placed vase and NOT IN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL! I'm drawing a line in the sand. This mom is re-claiming her right to her room! Get on board and get the picture or get LOCKED OUT! and yes, this applies to said husbandperson as well. If you would like to join the ranks of the grown ups then please remove your crap from where we lie, if not I have the address of a comfy couch I can refer you too! **Smooches**

Jan 19, 2012

If you're anything like me, then you understand the never-ending battle between knowing that you need and want to do certain things for yourself, and the knowledge that doing anything for *you* will likely take away from your already precious little time with your kiddos.

Looking back on life before my sweet Vivi came into the world, I would leave work and meet my friends at the gym to workout or walk everyday. I love the natural high that a good workout brings, and found that when constantly active I was physically, mentally and spiritually at my healthiest.

I need that.

Yes, need.

But when my daughter was born, I didn't want to compromise any of my time with her; The hours between the end of work and bedtime are so few and fleeting! So for me, when faced with the decision to do something for me or to spend time with my daughter my mind races with the anxiety that she's only this age this one time! And the conflicting but you need to be healthy for her!

Don't misunderstand me, I think 'me' time is important for everyone and am not saying anyone should feel guilty for taking it. What I am saying is that it's not always that easy, and that isn't often acknowledged. After all, moms today are supposed to be able to do it all, right? < --- (lolz!)

Earlier last year I decided that something needed to change. I needed my old healthy lifestyle back, without taking away from time with my daughter.

The problem was, we live in the Arctic Tundra. Okay, okay, so not that far North, but believe me, Vermont sometimes feels like it! The ground is covered in ice and snow for like, 9 months out of the year, so the reality of running, biking, walking or really anything outside is just not feasible the majority of the time. We do have a gym, but holy heck is it expensive for a family pass; and any parent/child classes are always scheduled during the 9-5 workday (don't get be started on this, I'll save that for a whole other blog post).

So I decided to improvise! I dug out my balance ball and started from there. I researched home workouts and Pilates and turned my living room into LO's Gym every evening. Viv thought this was a riot! I quickly found that she was mimicking my motions and trying to exercise right along with me. As you can see from the pic I was able to snap of her (please do excuse the quality, it was dark and she was moving) showing daddy how "mommy does exercise," she thinks it's hiii-larious. She loves exercising right along side me (and daddy when he joins us!) Gradually I've started adding to my "gym" with small weights, resistance bands, and the pièce de résistance- an elliptical bike!

What has proven to be an epic win on the mommy-front is setting everything up in another room along with her easel and paints [Bonus: a yoga mat makes for a great washable drop-cloth!] I've made a circuit training cycle of 1. Bike a mile 2. Ab reps 3. Change easel paper 4. Leg reps, repeat! Who needs a fancy expensive gym? Besides, Viv doesn't mind my singing along loudly to 'Moves Like Jagger.' Well... at least not too much ;-)
(Again, please do excuse the quality, it was dark and I was biking)

So whether you're a parent or just plain busy but want to stay active, here are a few ideas for non-gym workouts:
  • Put on some tunes and have a mommy-kiddo dance party! Come on, you know you've been secretly saving that cheesy playlist for something! Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about... you know, the one with O-Town and Debbie Gibson on it. Vivi loves this! She gets to dance and get her wiggles out, and I get to spend time with her (albeit making a fool out of myself) and get a good workout!
  • Old-School Play: If you have enough space indoors, jump rope and hula-hoop it up! Who doesn't love to hula hoop? They even make specialty hoops designed for exercise!
  • During the warm months (as few as there may be) there are the obvious hiking, biking, swimming, running, etc etc. Also, try going to the playground! Only don't sit on the bench and watch, run around, climb, slide and swing with your kiddo.
  • If you have OnDemand (or just the internet), there are a lot of family-geared workouts that are short enough to hold your kiddo's attention, but long enough to actually be a good enough workout for you. My daughter enjoyed the 'Family Walk' segment the best, as she got to pretend to be in a marching band the whole time.
  • Make it a game: I don't have the FitDeck Junior, but after learning about it, I must have it! It's essentially a deck of cards with illustrations describing upper, middle, lower, and full body exercises. Each exercise has a kid-friendly name like funny names like the Inchworm and Flamingo. I think I would like to create my own version that also incorporates dance moves that we love.

So there we have it! And they've really worked! I feel great and Viv is having fun- what more could I ask for?

I would love to know what other people do to involve kids in your workout!

Jan 8, 2012

Are we bad parents?

So fittingly, last night after *literally* hours of bedtime wars with both my toddler and my almost 6-month old, we were finally lying down in quiet and my husband asks "are we bad parents?" :::silence::: The negative connotation of this kind of flips me, he didn't ask are we good parents, no the opposite, now I have to really think about this. My response to him at the moment was, "I don't know. I hope not, but I guess it's too early to tell." In my head I thought a zillion awful thoughts and scenarios such as "oh, geez this could scar someone for life. Me? Them? I don't want to be a *bad* parent what if I suck at this? What if I am permanently and utterly screwed up? What if my girls..? How do I? What can I? What if...uh, wait a second, now here's a conversation to kick start that blog of ours!"
Consider it my intro. I have two beautiful daughters almost three and almost 6 six months and a loving husband but our life is chaos, complete and absolute chaos. We have our ups and downs, struggles from all directions, a minimal sometimes seemingly non-existent bank account, two full time jobs, an endless number of appointments and meetings, my mother lives with us (we'll refer to it as a full-time, temp position) and a yellow lab; all in a two bedroom duplex and a stamina that is run entirely on caffeine, I should take stock in Starbucks and GMC [note to self for later]. Anywho, this is my life and it's a fantastic one. We constantly remind ourselves how lucky we are and that at 26 and 28 years of age we aren't supposed to have it easy. If we really want to get somewhere in life we have to trek through the rough stuff up a mountain to get to see and, more importantly appreciate, the view from the top. In a very quick nutshell, that's me, Kiki.
But back to the issue at hand, good parents or... bad? It's a daunting topic, no decent human being wants to be a bad parent but it's completely illogical to think at times that you are doing all the "right stuff" (yes, feel free to entertain NKOTB for a moment) back to the matter- parenting in 2012 is not what it was in 2002, 1992, 1985, or 1960 with one exception, parenting is not for the weak and any single person blessed enough to become a parent at arguably, any child bearing age, has the capacity to become a phenomenal parent as long as they are dedicated to loving unconditionally. It's not hard to do this when you have kids and actually most will confirm that it's pretty easy to do the loving part- it's a natural gift the hard part is remembering. While you always know and remember that you love your child it's a challenge at times to keep that in the forefront of your mind when your two year old uses every trick in the book to challenge bed time and ultimately throws a tantrum that makes even you, for a split millisec wonder if that child you hear screeching is being beat all the while you are in a whole other room in a separate part of your home not near the child whatsoever, knowing the last time you saw your precious dear she was lying in her bed saying "Aaamen-love you mommy good night." Hugs. Kisses. "okay, stay in bed" :::door closes:: parent exits. (for anyone wondering there is no issue here, none, no yelling, a seemingly successful bedtime routine, then all of a sudden the door shuts and something possesses your child to scream a scream so utterly alarming that if you didn't know better yourself you might think "well what the hell did that parent just do?? Should I make a 'call'? Are they okay???" immediately following the thought with "oh shit, that's my child, I am the parent! The neighbors are going to think I did something!" Not helping matters is the thumping of her feet as she is jumping and throwing her body to the ground because that is waaay better than the bed as she fights with all their might this idea of going to bed. I rush in-calmly [intended oxymoron]trying to settle the situation loud enough so that maybe the neighbors can hear the muzzling of calm cool connectedness from an adult (think the teachers in charlie brown) while crossing my fingers that they have been through this too and know exactly. what is going on. I keep my cool for the first hour but as we near hour three I pull out every trick I know until finally, I allow my thoughts reference an inappropriate adult sleep book (not to be mentioned here) and then walk in sternly and state We're done. No more ___, ___, and/or ___. (feel free to be creative) now. "just, one more hug, NO! GO TO SLEEP! If you get up one more time you're ...grounded!!! (uhh, she's 2??!!) I walk out going WTF, really? You couldn't come up with anything better than that??? What are you going to do take away her sippy cup??? Ri.diculous. In this moment, no I do not *feel* like a good parent I feel like crap. Mind you, and I'd like to make it clear there is absolutely no physical, verbal, or emotional reaction or action from parent to child, none. I have done nothing wrong but stood my ground and keeping in mind this episode plays out 5/7 nights a week having not mentioned at all the screaming infant who refuses to be put down or to sleep by anyone but mommy and that I average a shower every 2-3 days, and that odds are this episode will be repeated tomorrow I think the fact I/we still have any sanity left to have this conversation tells me yes, yes we are good parents. Damn fine ones if you ask me.

Jan 6, 2012


Hello there Interwebz, we have missed you! We've been busy wrangling the daughters we are referring to in our title (not to mention everything else that life encompasses). But, after about a year and a half, Kiki and I have decided to join forces and re-enter the blogging world.

Having both blogged in the past, we know there are a million "mommy blogs" out there chronicling fitness, crafting, cooking, wit, wisdom, life as a SAHM, etc. You name it, it's been covered. So why should you read our blog? After all, we haven't hiked Everest after losing 400 lbs between us; nor have we organized any sort of 'Million Mom Coalition for the Abolishment of Boxed Mac and Cheese'. We don't grow all of our own food or make our own fabric from the wool of our family goats (I don't care if this IS Vermont, the only animal allowed around here is our slightly ornery cat). And we've certainly never penned a cookbook on how to make an 8-course meal with 3 ingredients in a crock pot. Though now that I think of it, Kiki probably could pull that one off.

What you will find here is real-mom (and woman, and wife) accessibility and insight. We know that having a family and a career (um, and a life) means that sometimes making through the day is only possible by the grace of God and large amounts of caffeine!

Anywho... always perfect and put together we are not. Although it's always a goal. right? We are yoga-pants-wearing; binge-caffeine-drinking; cheesy-movie-loving (Steel Magnolias-whaaat!); extremely slightly neurotic; fashionistas-on-a-budget; wives and mothers who are making the most of every minute of our laughter-filled, sometimes flustered, blessing-filled lives!

Um, plus we're pretty hilarious sometimes. ;-)