Archive for the 'useful parent stuff' Category

feeling like a good mom

dear world,

today i stayed home with V. yesterday when i picked her up from school, she was literally laying on the floor. the after-school care program teacher said she thought V was really tired. we took her temperature when we got home and it was over 101. 

today, she mostly watched tv. and to be fair, while we don’t usually let her watch much on the television, all i want to do when i’m sick is watch tv. i thought to myself, oh! i’ll get so much done, but she could barely hold her head up. i ended up sitting next to her most of the day. she finally started to perk up around 3pm.

at long last, the tv went on break. no more programs for at least an hour. she couldn’t decide what to do. painting? all the paints are on the sunporch and they’re frozen. play dough? frozen. something else? frozen. then she asked, well can’t we just make play dough? 

actually, yes.

fortunately, we had everything we needed to make play dough. specifically, purple play dough. we used the recipe found here and while ours didn’t look quite as awesome as hers, it certainly worked.

i substituted arrowroot for cream of tartar and i didn’t read all of the directions beforehand so rather than add water a little at a time, i dumped the whole cup in at once. this is not advisable. i had to add flour to thicken it up so it would stop sticking to my hands like glue. once we reached the proper flour ratio, i set her up with some cookie cutters and she went to town.

i feel like i totally nailed being a mom today. i managed to soothe my sick child and create play dough out of thin air (and flour and water and salt, etc). 

and both kids were asleep by 8:05pm. 

living the dream,



we are so grown up

dear world,

a couple months ago, i read an article in one of the parenting magazines about life insurance. it discussed the different types of life insurance, but also how much life insurance one ought to have. suddenly, i realized that if one of us was gone, we would literally not have enough money to care for our children.

i started investigating life insurance companies and eventually got overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices, companies, options out there. i randomly called a couple places. the first place left me on hold for too long. i gave up. the second place set me up with an appointment. this was back in early february.

now, 3 months later, my husband and i each have life insurance policies. we have set up a trust in case we both die in the same accident. we have a guardian for our children in the event of that same accident that takes us both out. we have wills. we have an executor for said will who is different from the guardian. t’s crossed. i’s dotted. we even have an umbrella policy in case we get sued by someone who could sue us for more money than we have.

i feel completely exhausted by my responsible-ness. and a little broke. making sure there is a good plan to take care of your kids should you happen to die is morose and expensive. but at least now it’s done. we just have to sign a couple more papers and we’re set for a good while.

the funny thing for me is as i was telling my mother about all of our planning, she said, well i’ll take the girls. and i had to say, no, actually you won’t. isn’t it counter-intuitive to assume that one’s parent will look after one’s child in the case of an accident? i mean, i’m not hoping my mother will die before i do, but isn’t that the way it’s supposed to happen? parents are supposed to predecease their kids. that’s why it’s so sad when i child dies first.

hoping i don’t ever have to use this insurance,


mommy moment of the week

dear world,

before i share my mommy moment, i need to give a little bit of background information. i get my eyebrows waxed. there, i said it. yesterday, i ate my lunch at my desk and took my lunch break to run up to the salon to get my eyebrows done. it’s a long story, but the person who does my eyebrows now is the sister of the person i really wish was still doing my eyebrows. but, she moved to chicago so here we are.

at the salon, the dryers were broken and somehow they had a shortage of towels. and she accidentally dropped a bead of wax onto my shoulder which was obviously not covered by a towel due to the towel shortage. she suggested putting an ice cube under my sleeve and hopefully the wax would just pop off, but i wouldn’t be able to do this until i got home since technically i was still at work. (to her credit, she did not charge me for her service.)

now comes the real mommy moment. i go to daycare to pick up baby N from school. as i reach over the gate to take her from her teacher, she starts to cry. oh, i thought, she’s crying because she wants her teacher and not her mommy. i felt a little sad like she loved her teacher better than me. and then i realized the actual issue.

she had put her arm right in the bead of wax on my shirt. now there is wax on my little girl’s soft delicate skin. and it won’t come off. i rule.

i tried a wipe. not working. i tried a paper towel soaked with water and soap. not working. they’re not allowed to use alcohol pads for injuries at daycare so we dug up some kind of wipe that had alcohol in it and finally, after many tears, i got the wax off so her arm could stop sticking to itself every time she moved.

and of course, i have to do all of this during the busiest time of pick up and not only are all the teachers wondering what on earth i’m doing to make my baby cry, but all the other babies’ parents are wondering the same thing. and i ruined my shirt.

paying a high price for beauty this week,


setting boundaries, home and work

dear world,

i read a post by be positive mom this morning about setting boundaries. she wrote, “the only boundaries set are the ones you create and keep.” i can’t think of a truer sentiment.

as i try to juggle work, two kids and finally scheduling time to go to the gym, i find that i have to draw the line somewhere. here are my lines that i try so hard to keep:

  1. no talking on the phone during dinner. seriously. it can wait.
  2. unless there is a situation at work, no work stuff between home from school and bedtime. after bedtime, go for it.

i think that’s about it. those are my boundaries that allow me to make space for my girls and catch up with my family at dinner. obviously things happen, but i have found that not having too many boundaries makes it a good deal simpler to stick to them.

keeping it real,


making the make-up switch

dear world,

after V was born, i felt like i needed a little something more than moisturizer on my face for everyday living. my mother introduced me to the bare minerals make-up, took me to the store and had the ladies show me how to apply it and i’ve been wearing it pretty much everyday since then. i’m nothing if not loyal.

recently, i felt like i should maybe try a different product. or a different manufacturer or just something different than what i’ve been doing for the past 4 years. everywhere i looked, i found this make-up called hello, flawless. how’s that for positive thinking?

last friday, after a terribly long week at work, i took a half day and went to the mall. i took my 15% off coupon and went to sephora to ask for direction. should i stick with what i have or move on? the woman who helped me pulled out two products, showed me how to put them on and seriously, my skin looked great! plus, this new make-up takes a 4 step process (foundation, concealer, warmth, mineral veil) down to 2 (concealer, powder foundation).

as a mother who needs every spare minute in the morning, this is revolutionary. and damn- that concealer actually hides the dark circles that have been living under my eyes for the past 6 months (4 years…). i didn’t think it was possible. i feel a little like a traitor and i still haven’t told my mom that i’ve switched away from her favorite brand, but i’m kind of proud of myself for trying something new and mastering a new make-up technique. (i know i can sound pretty girly, but i really only know the tricks people have taken the time to show me. i have zero creativity in the cosmetics department.)

maybe not really flawless, but feeling pretty close,


a better use of $40

dear world,

today, i am cancelling my wine club membership to apply that $40 per month to my shiny new gym membership. it seems a better use of the money, really.

here are my goals:

  1. go to the gym 4 times per week- twice on the weekend, after work on tuesday and before work on thursday
  2. swim twice per week and do some form of running/walking machine the other two
  3. sub out one of the above for a group class every once in a while (yoga, pilates, something else?)

i joined the gym on sunday and did 30 minutes on an elliptical machine. then, yesterday i went to the other location near my work with the full intention of doing my first swim for exercise in probably 10 years. i didn’t even bring sneakers because i though i might chicken out and just use a machine instead of getting in the pool. i found the gym. i found the parking lot. as i walked up to the front door, the first sign i see says “pool closed all week”. seriously? it’s posted everywhere at this facility. i had to go home because i didn’t have a back up plan. i felt crushed.

instead, i got up this morning and swam at the location closer to my house. MHM is on spring break so i could leave the kids home and not worry about it. i swam 900 yards in 30 minutes. i remember being able to do so much more than that, but for my first time in a long time, i feel satisfied by my effort. now, i just have to keep it up.

making time for myself,


lovely lashes

dear world,

15 Kristenas i read a magazine shortly after N was born, i found the best tip ever. it said, if you’re applying mascara on top of mascara (like if you’re dressing up to go out of an evening) wet your eye lashes before applying an additional coat. mascara needs something to stick to and this will help your mascara not get clumpy. bingo!

now, i know the magazine people meant this for people with social lives who leave the office or workplace for a night on the town, but as the mother of a newborn i’m lucky if i remember to take my make up off before i go to sleep at night. and let’s face it, at that moment if i could sleep for 5 more minutes or spend 5 minutes taking off my eye make up sleep was going to win.

now, when i neglect to take my make up off before bed, i’ll often take it off in the morning before i start again, but simply coating my eye lashes with a little water from the tap reduces those clumps like anything. and then at least i don’t look like i’m too tired to take my make up off.

They're Real! Mascarai also found a pretty great mascara and i’ve tried a bunch. i’m currently using benefit they’re real. the lady at sephora recommended it to me. she had kind of crazy eye lashes, but i think that’s part of their job description is to not look like the rest of us.

hope you find time to take off your make up,