Monday Mom Style – It’s not Right, but it’s Okay

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A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a black and white maxi skirt from Jane.com.  Last weekend, I received a black and grey maxi skirt.   I was a bit disappointed but as a busy Mom, I just thought it will have to do. The good news was the material was great and the fit was great too.  Two out of three isn’t bad these days.   I was originally thinking that the yellow necklace, also purchased from Jane, would look nice with the black and white contrast.  The yellow necklace still works  with the black and grey and it was a steal for$7.99.

I have been eyeing these type of skirts for awhile.  Such an effortless outfit for a Mom in the summertime. If you have a maxi skirt, tank and necklace you have an instant outfit for summertime fun.

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Summer Vacation- Friend or Foe?

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I feel totally bipolar when it comes to thoughts about summer vacation.  By the time June rolls around, I’m so done with the daily grind of school.  What’s the saying? Homework, books, teachers’ dirty looks?  I will start this rant by saying that I really do love summer. Coming from the Northeast, we LIVE for summer. It was usually short,  and if you blinked it was gone.  Now…………I have kids.  Not only do I have kids, but I have two wild and crazy boys who can make any long summer day feel like an even longer day.   I have all of these grand ideas at the beginning of summer.  I pick a couple of good camps for the boys.  We head to the library looking for cool summer reading and I even buy them a couple of cool summer outfits.   Here’s what I wish would happen. And, here’s what really happens:

Sleep in and have a quiet morning.  The kids get up earlier for some odd reason and immediately ask to watch TV or play video games upon waking. I fight with little people while I try to make the coffee.

Spend Hours in the pool enjoying the water – They whine and complain that the water is too cold or too hot.  They tell me if they had “cooler” pool toys they would go in.  I actually contemplate taking them to get some peace and quiet.

Have a nice calm lunch – By 10:00am, Vince has usually snuck in the pantry and raided it for anything that even resembles a cookie and has pretty much exhausted his sugar allotment for the day.

Boys sit down and get lost in a book – Reading ends up being  a negotiation to get more TV or electronics and they rush through it and ask me repeatedly when they can be done.  Vince actually screamed “I hate reading”, the other day.  Great response from the boy who won a spelling bee.

Boys would have play dates and occupy themselves for hours – Play dates become more reason to nag me about video games. ‘But Mom, we have to fix our Clan”, or “we have to play Minecraft TOGETHER”.

We could just relax at the beach – The boys argue, ask for lemonade, tell me I didn’t pack any goods snacks, throw sand, walk on the blanket (even though we tell them not to) and ask what we are doing later.

Enjoy Camp – A couple of years ago, Vince would refuse to go to camp.  They would have to hold him and I would run out of the building.  It was terrible.  Now the boys tell me how much they don’t like camp, how they miss me during the day, what kid bothers them or if I could please pick them up earlier.

Maybe other Moms are experiencing some peaceful summer days.  Here’s hoping for some pleasant memories sprinkled in with the arguing, whining and negotiating about video games.  Believe it or not it does happen.

 

 

 

 

Fifteen Dollar Flower Power

Fashion Friday - Fifteen Dollar Flower Power

Rushing through Target last week, I saw these flowered pants on the clearance rack.  I was curious because I have been seeing floral prints everywhere.  I tried them on.  They didn’t need any hemming or adjustment and the price tag read $14.99. That worked.

I wore them yesterday and both Vaughn and my Mom said they liked them.  That was surprising.  Vaughn isn’t always that keen on my bargain finds from Target.   My mom even said she would wear them herself.

The shirt was purchased at Closet Revival in Plano for $7.99 and my big yellow earrings came from Target as well, $2.99.  The entire outfit was $25.97!

 

Mother’s Intution or Just Plain Hours in the Field

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There is a saying I like that goes something like, “One hour in the field is worth ten in the classroom”.  It’s pretty safe to say that motherhood clocks many hours in the field.

I have had a challenging two weeks.  In two weeks, this family has had four cases of strep throat.  Yep, FOUR.  I only have three kids, so that means one kid got the dreaded illness twice.  That kid would be, you guessed it, the baby!  I have been administering antibiotics four times a day for basically two weeks.  Between antibiotics, pain medicine, and the numerous nighttime wake-ups, there’s been little room for anything else.

With Eve’s first go around with strep, I had a hunch she was sick.  She wouldn’t take a nap and then she spiked a high fever.  I picked her up and plopped her on my lap.  I did this should I bring her to the doctor or should I not bring her to the doctor sort of dance in my head.  With your third kid you try not to run in with every fever.  You optimistically hope they will just get better all by themselves.  Well, I got a whiff of her breath and a strange thing happened. I thought I smelled strep throat.  I wasn’t sure, but the smell was familiar.  I think I even mentioned to my mother that she smelled like it.  Must have been all of those other lovely cases of strep throat my boys brought home once or twice.  Luckily, I brought her in and sure enough she tested positive.  I was asking myself that night, was that my own intuition or just plain experience.  I thought about other funny things that mothers can predict long before they even happen:

Accurately predicting diaper blowouts – The morning of Eve’s baptism, she had trouble going to the bathroom.  Without being completely vulgar you could see she was a bit constipated. Christine looked right at me and said, “Yep, she’s going to have a poop explosion at the church”.  I didn’t disagree but hoped she wasn’t right.  As we were waiting to be seated at the restaurant, immediately following her baptism, I got a hold of smell so bad that I surely thought they hadn’t cleaned the restaurant appropriately.  Come to find out, Christine was almost spot on with her prediction.  We had a diaper explosion of epic proportions to deal with in the restaurant right before our meal.  Thank god it actually came minutes after the baptism.  Excuse the pun.

Sixth Sense that Something is going to go down at the playground – I’m a master at this.  I never intended to be a helicopter Mom but Nicholas was so bad I had no choice but to be the best “hovercraft” I could be.  That boy could clear a playground in five minutes.  I remember having this mother’s intuition thing the moment we would walk into a playground. I would see little girls playing with their dolls or boys playing with swords. If it were even a little crowded, I knew in five minutes I would be wrangling him out of there. Nine out of ten times I was right.

Deciphering Good yelling vs. Bad yelling – I can accurately tell you if all that yelling you are hearing from another room is happy yelling or mad yelling. I’m not even sure how I know.  I just know that all that screaming either means nothing or that someone is going to get a knuckle sandwich.

When Quiet is Bad –  It’s this weird uneasiness that a Mom gets when there is more than 3 minutes of uninterrupted quiet. You suddenly feel out of sorts.  Where’s the talking?  Where’s the banging? Where’s the child? This happened to Christine only once when Celia was almost 3.  Things were peaceful for a couple of minutes so she checked on her in her room. Celia had gotten ahold of a scissor and had chopped off  her bangs and stuffed them all in her Easy Bake Oven. These 4 minutes of quiet, left Celia with a head of hair that took a  year to remedy.  I had a little quiet once too.   Nicholas single handedly almost ate a whole box of  crayons while left coloring.    It only really happens once and we all realize how dangerous quiet can really be.

When Still is a Problem –  I always know when my kids are really sick.  It’s the only time they don’t move.  This past weekend when Eve was sick she laid in my arms so still. I had this feeling come over me that she may be nauseous.  It’s only when my children are nauseous that they lie really still.   Sure enough, Eve threw up five minutes later.  Come to find out she really is a Kinosian.

Motherhood teaches us so many things that we really would not know otherwise.   For me it’s not Mother’s intuition but the countless hours in the “field”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trend Report – The Cut-out Bathing Suit is the New Tankini

It’s bathing suit season. As exciting as this can be, bathing suit shopping is sometimes an extremely challenging task.  You have to find the right lighting in the stores.  You cross your fingers that the store you pick has the “skinny” mirrors.  You try not to go out for a big meal before your embark on this mission, yet you can’t be starving either.  It can be quite a process. More importantly,  I now have to find something fashionable enough, yet practical enough, to wear while at the beach with kids.  Lately, I have been seeing these beautiful cut out bathing suits while out and about.  I thought, gee this might be something good for the women in my age group.  It’s not a bikini, yet way more fashionable than a tankini.  I think I’m on to something.   So, that’s what I’m going with this season.  I’m going with something classy yet fashionable as I tote my kiddos around and enjoy the last of my thirties.  Here are some on my wish list

 

Some of my favorites  for moms would be the following.  They are all classy enough, sturdy enough, yet fashionable enough. I guarantee you will look better in these than a traditional old J.crew or Lands End tankini.

 

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I recently picked up this cute bathing suit from Zulily.com for $49.99.  It’s not technically a cut out but in the same family.  I really like it.

 

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Splurge Vs Steal

Recently, I noticed this beautiful flower statement necklace being sold at J.Crew stores.  I thought it was beautiful and would look so nice with so many colors, even black or white.  I thought the necklace would be an easy compliment to any color shirt or dress that I already had.  I didn’t, however,  like the over $100.00 price tag.   Since most of my shopping still occurs from Jane.com, how convenient that they had a “designer inspired” one being offered on their website for $17.99.  I scooped it up two weeks ago and I love it.  I plan on wearing it a lot this summer.

SPLURGE

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STEAL

 

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Funny Words That Describe How Mommies Feel at the End of the Day

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So, the girlfriends and I got to talking, and you know we NEVER sugar coat things.  Especially, not with each other.  That’s what makes our friendships so wonderful, we never pretend things are all peaches and cream on our end.  We have been moms for sometime now, with the first baby (Ava) arriving 10 years ago.  I’ll never forget that first gathering where we all packed up to drive out to see Christina and welcome baby Ava.  Of course we wanted to see the beautiful baby, but even more we had to know if we would ever be able to survive childbirth. Christina was the first to forge that battle.  Christina did a good job reenacting everything and leaving us thinking, “Oh no, that doesn’t sound so good”.   But, like a new mom I was talking to last week said, “You never really know how things are going to be until you go through them yourself”. The same is true when talking about the day to day goings on of being a Mom.

We have all had some pretty crazy days.  And, with most of my friends, our husbands travel……..and heavily.  I swear a whole blog could be dedicated just to that subject alone.   I will tell you that we have all received and sent some pretty funny texts at the end of the day.  I sometimes really look forward to seeing some of them or even sending out a colorful one or two myself.  It’s the little things like that that can get you through the exhaustion.   Or, maybe just laugh through it.

I will never forget the time that Christine and Victor were planning on taking the kids to Disney. Their kids were small.  It was a much anticipated vacation with Victor treating his family to first class seats on the flight by using all of the frequent flyer miles that he had saved up.  In typical fashion, Victor missed the flight.  This time, dragging his whole family into the unfortunate situation.   The first text I got from Christine was, “I’m so mad, we are going to miss the flight”.   Later, she texted me to tell me they had a grueling day ahead full of extra connections and long waits at airports.  All with two small children. The last text I received from her, very late that night was, “We made it……….I’m shredded”.  Shredded.  I honestly knew exactly what she was talking about.  What a funny word, but what an accurate word to describe what it feels like  at the end of the night dealing with the talking, fighting, whining, and constant entertaining that goes along with young kids.

Some of the funny, but true words said by all of us:

Vaughn – Bamboozled.  Love that one!  He has also been known to say “This is nothing but a goat rodeo”

Claire – Defeated, Deflated, Living on a Hampster Wheel, Claire also likes to say “I was beyond myself”

Christine – Barely Human, Crazed, Decimated,

Me – Strung Out, Toast, Wrecked

Trina – Unraveled, Brain-dead

Christina - One of my favorites, “I felt like who did it and ran”

They all make me chuckle a bit, yet they are so relatable.  What would your words be? When Vince was about 3 1/2 and he would get mad at something we did, he would answer us back using all the bad words he could possibly think of and say , “Shut up, you Stupid Slam Damn it!”   If all else fails and you can’t think of anything clever just think of that one at the end of the day.  Then, go pour yourself some wine.

 

 

Fashion Friday – Be a “Copy Cat”

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I recently went to a seminar where the presenter said, “It’s okay to be a copy cat, as long as you are copying the right cat!” I thought that was so funny and so relevant to my life.  I’m not afraid to admit it…… I’m a copy cat.  

Everyone used to walk into my house in Rhode Island and say, “Oh, your house is so nicely decorated, you are so good at decorating” .  My Mom always told me if I found something in a magazine that I liked, cut it out and then recreate my own version.   I still remember my Mom used to keep a manila file folder chock full of pictures that inspired her. Sort of an early version of Pinterest.  I followed suit and when it was time for paint, rugs or pillows, I just copied combinations that I liked from home magazines.  I wasn’t good at home decorating, just good at copying.

When it comes to fashion, I do exactly the same thing.  A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Rhode Island and saw my friend Devan. When I walked in Devan was wearing this coral shirt with a blue necklace.  I liked it immediately.  The color combination was so fresh and so funky for the spring.  Devan ALWAYS looks so put together and stylish.  I swear she has more style in her little pinky than I have in my whole body.

I flew back to Texas and harassed Devan, via text, about her outfit.  I was thrilled to know she was a fellow Target shopper. The shirt was from Target and it was $22.00! I was not able to recreate her exact blue necklace so I used what I had in my house.   

The shirt is a Mossimo special and only $22.00.  The necklace was a recent purchase on Threadflip.  Devan wore it with white jeans, so I wore it with white jeans. 

I copied the right cat!

 

Fashion Friday – It’s ALL about the accessories

My friend Christina would always tell me, “Bebe, it’s ALL about the accessories”.   When it comes to style, I tend to listen to Christina.  Actually, it’s her necklace that is featured in this post.   This week I am blogging about  Claire and her ability to “carry off” even the most inexpensive duds.  I have always intended to feature all of us, but as you know life with as many kids as we have tends to  get kind of busy.

Who says you can’t go to a beauty pageant wearing a dress from Charming Charlies?  That’s right, Claire recently attending the Mrs. Rhode Island and Mrs. Connecticut pageant wearing a dress from Charming Charlies.  Christina had recently bought this red dress for about $34.00.  Claire was looking in her closet and thought this would work for the upcoming pageant.   That’s another thing I miss terribly about being in Rhode Island……….having access to Christina’s closet.   It’s like walking into Carrie Bradshaw’s secret stash.

So, like only Claire can do she wore a dress for $34.00 and looked like a MILLION bucks.  It’s not about how much you spend, but how it all works together.   The necklace, that’s another story.   This beautiful necklace was WELL over the cost of the dress, further proving if you are wearing good accessories your outfit can really make an impact.   These rhinestone necklaces are super trendy right now and I happen to love them.  The necklace was purchased at Nordstrom.

Once a beauty queen always a beauty queen!  This look is simply beautiful.

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Another example of accessories costing more than the dress is this look on Christine.  No, she didn’t attend a beauty pageant but definitely spruced up a work outfit with some red accessories.   She told me her Ann Taylor Loft dress was about $40.00 and her Kendra Scott earrings were a little over $50.00.   Another examples of accessories making the outfit.

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10 Jobs I Have But Was Never Prepared For Before Motherhood

 

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Motherhood IS by far the hardest job a woman will ever have.  After almost 9 years in it still shocks me.  This past week was a very long one. I started thinking of the many hats I tend to wear and how I have had absolutely no training in any of them.  I went to college for the “real world”. I majored in Judicial Administration.  I have worked in Federal Court houses, near Wall Street and for numerous banks, big and small.   Why is it that I sometimes need to take valium in my own home?  Here are some of the jobs I have been thrown into simply just being a mother:

1. Director – I never intended to work in film, but I constantly feel like I’m directing little people all day long.  Get up, Brush your teeth, get your backpack, get in the car.  You know what I mean.  I’m constantly directing a movie. It’s called my own life.

2.  Crossing Guard – I hate to admit this but my boys are almost 9 and 7 and I’m still not sure they wouldn’t be hit by a car if I took my watchful eye off of them even for a second.  I’m still yelling, “You must look both ways, every time”,  way more than I would like.  Parking lots still make me cringe.

3. Nurse – I used to be so squeamish.  Not any more!  I think the actual childbirth experience preps you for the blood, vomit and bodily functions you will soon be cleaning up.  I remember before kids I would get nervous when they would take blood for me.  These days,  I can basically guide the needle in for them.

4. Chauffeur – I will admit it, I’m not the best driver.  I am constantly shuffling kids off in every direction.   I have gotten lots of practice driving around and with lots of distractions while I am doing it.

5. Short Order Cook – This one really kills me.  I am a good cook but never did I have experience this “I want it now” type of cooking.  I can make the perfect grilled cheese with just the right brown on the bread, with the crust cut off,  and with white cheese, NOT yellow.  I am constantly getting demands that aren’t even practical.  My four year old niece, Leah, specifically asks for her strawberries cut whole.

6. Referee –  I have no experience breaking up fights, yet that is something I do very frequently.   I would say maybe even daily.   I’m always assessing if there is blood or a broken bone.   If not, we carry on.

7. Toy Assembler – I actually still do break out in a cold sweat when the kids ask me to put something together.  Mechanical engineering is so far from one of my strengths it isn’t even funny.  But, when that coveted toy shows up and you are alone, you tend to figure it out quickly.  I have put together things that shock even me out of pure necessity.  I would say I am most proud of this acquired skill.

8. Private Tutor – I had no teaching ability whatsoever.  My roommate Kerri majored in education so she isn’t so stumped when they introduce mental math, rubrics and dioramas.  I, however, have said, “huh?” many times.

9.  Maid – I hated cleaning when I was single, now I’m constantly picking up clothes, glasses, food and toys………EVERYWHERE. I swear I spend most of my day just bending down.

10. Vigilante – Before motherhood, I think I believed most of the world was a good place.  Now, I size everyone up, analyze everything and would seriously make a citizens arrest in public if I believed for one second my kid or a loved ones kid was in danger.

I always tell my husband if you interview a woman that says she has stayed at home with her kids for any period of time, then hire her right there on the spot.  For we both know, she has more than enough experience. If you can stay home and navigate all this, you certainly are qualified enough for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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