Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ventage Tuesday: In the Bag

This week the Ventage girls are discussing the contents of our trusty handbag (or diaper bag for those of us in that stage of life). I'll be the first to admit that before I started my job at Target, my go to bag was *always* the diaper bag. What was the point in moving things to a purse when most of the time I was going to need to have wet wipes, pacis, and fruit snacks in my possession anyway? But, the diaper bag doesn't fit in my red locker (and my under 21 coworkers would probably look at me weird) so I pulled a fun purse out of my closet and I've made a concerted effort to carry it with me.

Behold: the bag

(this ledge by the baby gate is where everything that must go out the door lives in the morning in the hopes that it will keep me from making dozens of trips in and out of the house. never works!)

And the contents:
1. Keys: to my car, and Karl's (both Fords so that can be a little confusing), to the house, 2 other keys that I have no idea where they go, a few coupon club swipey cards, and the key fob to get me into AJ's daycare. Oh, and an expired gym card.

2. EpiPen and Benadryl: Allergy mamas don't leave home without them. Thankfully I've never had to use the EpiPen, but it's there if we need it. There's also one at both of AJ's schools, one in our kitchen cabinet, and one in the diaper bag.

3. Glow Bracelets: What, you don't have glowsticks in your bag? Why not? I believe I picked these up at the dollar store one day last week and in an attempt to be green I told the cashier I didn't need a bag. And they've lived in my purse ever since. They'll come in handy in the coming weeks when it is too cold to go outside and I can toss AJ into the tub to play in the dark until the water gets too cold and his fingers get to shriveled!

4. Weight Watchers Record: So, yeah. If someone stole my purse they wouldn't not only know my (fake) weight on my drivers license, but they would also know my weight for every week for that past 16 or so weeks. Nice. But if I don't keep it in my bag I lose it or forget to bring it to the meeting.

5. Target Vibe Notes: There are some very "corporate culture" type things involved in working at Target. Lots of names for stuff and acronyms. It's kind of overwhelming and maybe sometimes I think it's a little silly because working in news is the opposite of corporate. But the one thing I will never blow off is positive feedback. My past workplaces bordered on toxic, so being in a place where I can walk past a whole wall of encouraging notes left by fellow coworkers and managers is pretty darn awesome. Those three notes were left for me in the past week by three of my managers. Warm fuzzies that will eventually make it to my project life album, but for now are hanging out in my purse,

So, there you have it. You now know more about the contents of my bag than my own husband who refuses to go in there even when I give him permission. Be sure to check in with the other ladies to see what Angie, Barb, Em, and Katrina are toting around day to day.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hello, Monday

hello, sleep deprivation. Not long ago I was celebrating Sam as our prize for surviving AJ's (still) terrible sleep habits. And then, we hit a growth spurt. Or teething. Or sleep regression. Or a full moon. Whatever it is, we're not sleeping. And it sucks. Nothing like having a 5 month old and getting less sleep than you did when said 5 month old was a preterm newborn and had to be woken every 3 hours around the clock to eat.

hello, snuggle bug. I'm thinking this whole "Mama has a job now and isn't always home for bedtime" business is sinking in for the bigger little dude. Suddenly he is all about the cuddle time. "Mama I nuggle wif lu?" is a constant refrain these days. My favorite was when he demanded to snuggle right after he walked out of his classroom. Asked me to sit down in the hallway and climbed into my lap.

hello, dragon drama. After AJ changed his mind about being "Ho Ho Santa" and "A Scarrrrry Monster" for Halloween he settled on "I be a draren, mama. And Sammy be a baby draren " So when it seemed he hadn't changed his mind on the costume for a few days, Mama went shopping and located both a "Draren" and a "baby draren" costume on Old Navy's website. Added a couple of items to my order to use a coupon code and get free shipping (see, I HAD to buy the cardigan for myself!) and checked "halloween costumes" off my to do list. That was on 10/13 in case anyone is keeping track. So imagine my surprise when today...NINE DAYS LATER...I received two emails from Old Navy. The first was a "yay your order shipped" email. The second was a much less enjoyable "Oops, we said we had that costume in stock when we let you purchase it NINE DAYS AGO but we lied and we don't have it." WHAAAAAAAAT? So now, I need to locate a "baby draren" STAT. Oh, but Old Navy was kind enough to offer me a coupon code for my inconvenience. Not even a good code either. Grumble grumble.

hello, family photo anticipation. Saturday marked our first official shoot as a family of four. Also the first time we've used a photographer I wasn't personally friends with before the shoot. So now, I'm just like every other client out there...waiting to see if the photographer was able to work magic in the midst of chaos that is 2 adults trying to keep the infant from crying/spitting up/drooling while also bribing the 3 year old to cooperate with fruit snacks. For the record: it is ten bazillion times easier for me to be behind the camera. No question.

hello, fall. We've had our pictures taken. We've been to the pumpkin patch. I'm getting shocked a million times a day because the air is dry. My skin is dry and my hair has permastatic. My little dude has a forever runny nose. It's getting dark early. I think it's safe to say fall is really here. Honestly? I'm kind of ready to hibernate. Bring on the long winters nap!  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday Confessions

Confession: I forgot to send my Grammy a birthday card. And I forgot to call. I am officially the worst granddaughter ever. My oversight is made worse by the fact that my brother remembered. That would be the brother whom I normally have to remind of said things. I bought a belated birthday card that says "I SUCK," and I do. The hardest part of this for me is that Grammy can no longer hear on the phone, so calling to apologize for not calling or sending a card on time isn't going to cut it. And all of this just reminds me that people we love get old.

Confession: I had cinnamon toast twice for dinner this week. Karl is traveling and my desire to prep real food kind of goes out the window. I cook for the little dude, try to clean up while he is eating, and then once he is in bed I scrounge up something for myself. Toast has been winning out this week.

Confession: I had to spell cinnamon three times before I got it right and the little red squiggly line stopped mocking me. What did we ever do before spell check? And why isn't there an autocorrect for typing on the laptop like there is on the phone. Though that might be a case of be careful what you wish for. Autocorrect gets me into enough trouble as it is.

Confession: I like sleeping alone. Really like it. Not that I don't love my husband. I do. And I appreciate a good cuddle. But when it's time to go to sleep? Get on your side of the bed and leave me the heck alone! My desire for space in the bed is why I can say with all confidence that I will never be a cosleeping mama. I understand the benefits, and we do room share for the first few months of baby's life, but I know myself and I know I won't get the sleep I need if there's a baby all up in my business all night long. It's bad enough when the little dude wanders in at 3am. I love you buddy but I don't really want to share my pillow.

Confession: I feel more self conscious when I'm trying to dress nice than I do when I'm doing school drop off in jeans and a hoodie. I made the effort this week and couldn't shake the feeling that people were wondering why I was "trying so hard." Maybe I'm just out of practice.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Makes Me Smile

  • yesterday's happy mail: a fabulous thank you card from a fabulous friend
  • an impromptu "why won't our boys nap?" playdate with a lovely neighbor
  • waking up at 3 am with a 3 year old cuddled next to me and no recollection of how he got there
  • hearing AJ hit the ground running (literally) this morning and that little voice "Hello, Mama!"
  • sugar free pumpkin spice creamer
  • those few hold out trees that are still full of blazing red and yellow leaves
  • an email gratitude chain and knowing my girls are having good mornings
  • skinny jeans and ballet flats and feeling a little less like a hot mess
  • Sammy wearing an outfit I loved on his big brother
  • a wave from one of AJ's non verbal classmates (and eye contact too!)
  • getting the trash out before the garbage truck hit our street
  • dinner plans with a bestie, even if it will be our last for a while
  • hitting the half way point in Karl's business trip and we're all still alive
  • a good forecast for our family photos this weekend
  • a running dishwasher and washing machine and 10 minutes to write this blog

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ventage Tuesday: Around Here

It's Tuesday again and that means another round of blog fun with my very favorite girls:

This week we're talking about home. I love having people in my home. I wish I could have all of the Ventage girls over for a cup of coffee every morning instead of doing our venting via email. The thing about guests though? It means cleaning. Unless of course your guests are the kind of friends who have seen you at your worst, and love you anyway. Then? Well then you invite them over for dinner and inform them as they walk in the door to NOT take their shoes off because you really need to mop the kitchen floor.

Not like I've ever done that before. Nope, never. Right, Barb?

So, without further ado, a quick look around my house, home of the unfinished project!

1. AJ and Sam's Room: My husband is incredibly handy. I love that about him. What I don't love is that he travels a lot for work, and I'm working weekends now, so this project might not be done until AJ graduates high school. Eventually that board and batten will be white, and AJ's bed will go up against the wall, and I'll update the art, and Sammy will move in, and...and..and..you get the idea. Unfinished.

2. Dining Room: I love that we have this family photo gallery. Up until this summer the gallery was just a couple of frames full of pictures of our little family of three. Then, Sammy arrived. And I bought more frames. And Karl demanded we hang them even though I haven't printed photos. Empty frames on the wall. Unfinished.

3. Living Room: Not going to lie, my living room looks like this for at least a portion of every single day. AJ is not good at putting his stuff away. We're working on it. Add in the addition of huge baby entertaining type stuff and it makes matters worse. Be glad you can't see much of the carpet. It's awful. Toy organization? Unfinished.

4. Laundry Room: The ultimate in unfinished projects lives here. Is anyone ever caught up on laundry for more than a couple of hours? If so, I'm not sure we can be friends. I love my laundry room. I love the color. I love the custom cabinets Karl painted. I hate what goes on in there. Unfinished.

5. The Guest Room: With all of our family living out of state, it only makes sense for us to have a place for them to stay when they come to visit. This room was my mom's home away from home for nearly three months when Sammy arrived. But when they're not here? It's the room where I can work on stuff and then close the door and nobody has to see it. Currently this is where I am attempting to reorganize the bins of AJ's old clothes so that we can reuse them for Sammy. Have I mentioned I'm working weekends? Yup. Unfinished.

So now that I've aired my unfinished dirty laundry (literally) on the internet, I guess I can invite you all over for coffee. Just know I probably won't have time to clean before you arrive!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hello, Monday

(Should I call it Good Night, Monday since it's almost bedtime? Are there rules?)

Hello, sick day. Nothing like hitting the ground running only to change plans abruptly when a certain 3 year old starts his day by vomiting all over his unsuspecting mama. The good news is he wasn't really sick. Just dealing with a hacking cough (allergies) that caused him to cough himself to an upset tummy. Funniest moment of the comedy of errors that was my morning? Taking a photo of the pukey little dude passed out with his head on the toilet seat. Here's hoping he doesn't wind up in that same position on his 21st birthday.

Hello, uninvited guest. There's a mouse in my garage. Actually, one of my neighbors has suggested that the mouse is probably not on a solo mission. The thought sends shivers down my spine. I'm fairly certain if I didn't have to drive AJ to school tomorrow I might just refuse to go in the garage until Karl returns from his business trip.

Hello, goodbye. What do you do when the person who's lived a couple of miles away is now moving a couple of hours away? What do you do when there will be no more "Karl is out of town come eat dinner with me" phone calls? My current strategy is to pretend it's not happening, but I'll be honest, I'm not so good at pretending.

Hello, UPS. The doorbell rang and scared the crap out of me at 8pm. Who knew the men in brown were in the road that late? In that unexpected delivery: Two cardigans, two tanks, and a lovely pair of brown boots. Add that to my haul from my Barb driven shopping adventure from last week? Well, let's just say my Ventage girls are rubbing off on me. And I fully intend to blame them when the man in brown returns next week with another package.

Hello, 20! I weighed in a few hours early today since Karl's travel schedule will keep me from attending a weight watchers meeting this week. My reward for not just taking a break from the scale this week? TWENTY pounds gone. 1/3 of the way to my goal.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ventage 5: On Fashion

Disclaimer: Me writing a fashion blog post at this time in my life is laughable. I am knee deep in Momville, often unshowered until after noon, covered in spit up or something else unsavory, and wearing something that is either stretched out because I wore it while I was pregnant or a tad too tight to breathe comfortably. I'm at a stage in my life where I'm very uncomfortable in my own skin (working on fixing that) and I often feel like it's a waste to spend money on myself when my life is spent at home with littles who love me regardless of how I look. Not to mention, it's so much more fun to spend the time and money finding cute things for them to wear.

BUT, I have these friends, the Ventage Girls. And we're kind of known for pushing each other out of our respective comfort zones. So, over the past few weeks we've been discussing fashion (among other completely hysterical and random topics) and it's been fun to see how everyone is making their closet work for them. So today we're all sharing our "top five fashion must haves." For the other girls (Ang, Barb, Em, and Katrina) these lists are things they actually own. I'm approaching this list a little differently and presenting 5 things I'm looking to include in my new "Stay at Home Mom of Two Cute Boys" fall/winter closet.

1. Cute Ballet Flats: I may not like the rest of my body these days, but my feet never let me down. And while back issues preclude me from wearing heels, I can rock the flat. Lately I've been filling the bottom of my closet with Mossimo Supply Co. Ona flats from Target. They're cheap (cheaper with my team member discount!) and fun (leopard print anyone?) and they make me feel better about retiring my flip flops for the long winter ahead.

2. Unique Jewelry; I haven't worn much in the way of jewelry lately, primarily because of grabby little hands, but I really want to add a few new necklaces to my collection. This one from Lisa Leonard is beautiful and I love that her pieces have stories behind them.

3. Funky Outerwear: I live in Wisconsin. It's getting cold and it's going to stay that way...until April (if we're lucky). And since my new schedule involves transporting the little dude to and from two different schools five days a week, lots of people will be seeing me all bundled up this winter. I think this means outwear is a good investment. Right now I have my eye on this peacoat from Old Navy. Not sure I can pull off the yellow, but that hot pink is mighty cute too!

4. Jeans that fit: Jeans are something Angie is passionate about and I agree. I've spent the better part of the past year living in jeans with an over the belly panel, and while they were comfortable at the height of my baby belly days, I am happy those days are over. I don't have a link to share for the jeans I have in mind, because that's going to take some work. I imagine I will kiss a lot of frogs before I find the prince that will make my post baby butt look great. I might even venture away from my beloved boot cut in favor of a pair of skinnys to pair with long sweaters and tall boots this winter!

5. Boots: Yes, my list starts and ends with shoes. I'm okay with this. I'm thinking these from Target look warm and cuddly but also fashionable. I'll probably be trudging through snow at some point this winter and these will work better than ballet flats on those days.

So what's missing on my list? I'm always open to suggestions, as I find my way to a new and improved closet, so if there's a must have on your list that you wouldn't mind sharing I would love to hear it!