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I love Jesus Christ and devote my life to following Him. I'm madly in love with my husband jon. I'm the mother of the most perfect babies in the world. I'm a Senior Sales Associate at my beloved Anthropologie. I'm a reader, thinker, lover, believer and traveler. I'd trade in the chicago skyline for the pacific coast any day. i love a good vino. i love my books. i'm creative as creativity goes but always wanted to be a painter. i prefer letter writing over emailing. And I always try to be a kinder person.

Friday, February 25, 2011

In other news...





Tonight after dinner, Judah was quietly sitting in his highchair and as I walked by, he leaned towards me and said "momma".

It wasn't one of those baby mumbles either...he knew who he was talking to :-)

It was like his little arms lifted me out of my rut with one sweet word. THIS is why I love being a momma!

Another moment of honesty...





I'm in a rut...

...I'm tired.
...I'm overweight and because of this, none of my clothes fit well.
...I'm money conscious (who isn't? Still...I hate it)
...I'm still dealing with that crappy haircut I got.
...I have too much to do, and every time I do something, it's like someone hits rewind.
...I miss time with my husband.
...I have no time for myself, and I want to be selfish every once in awhile.
...I can't see well because my eyes changed after Judah, and for some reason, it costs an arm and a leg to fix this problem.
...my sweet Judah's schedule is proving to be one that requires me to stay home more. I hate staying home more.

I realize in the big picture, my problems are lame. People in the world are dealing with much much bigger things. But this is currently MY rut...and it's making me sad and tired.

Motherhood is the greatest gift I've ever been blessed with. My children are my heart...I love every tiny thing about them. But there is no doubt that raising them is hard. I remember writing a blog way back while I was pregnant with Judah about how I didn't think having two kids would be hard...ha!! I obviously didn't know what I was talking about. Raising two kids is considerably more work than raising one. Boy was I the fool. And to think...my kids are easy when compared to others!

I'm sure the winter has something to do with my rut. I have no where to walk...my kids are pent up in the house...it's claustrophobic. I can only hope that my rut disappears with this stupid winter. I could use some California sun right about now.

Sorry for the excessive rant...sometimes you just need to get it out to make it better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

I've been a mom for awhile now...I think its about time I let you all in on some of my favorite baby and mommy necessities and splurges...in no particular order:

1. Triple Paste: Don't let anyone fool you, there is NO better diaper cream in the world. I've tried them all, and while I'm a fan of Aquaphor, I love me some triple paste to clear up the worst of rashes. Not only do they have diaper cream, but eczema cream too.

2. Carter's Onesies: Some may say that onesies are onesies, but they are a staple in our home for baby. They need to be soft, durable and fit well. I am head over heels for Carter's onesies. I stock up at every size.

3. Zutano Booties: These are a new find. Alivia basically lived in Robeez, which are great, but Zutano booties are soft, warm and NEVER fall off. I have them in two colors for Judah and he wears them every day.

4. Koala Lux Baby Blanket: I must have a million blankets for my kids, but this is my favorite. Its soft, not too heavy, but seriously warm. Its the perfect Spring, Winter and Fall blanket. Good for nursing or to just keep in the car. I love mine. Its overpriced, so don't ever get one unless you have a babies r us 20% off coupon!

5. Britax Car Seats: As a parent, there are just some things that are totally important not to skimp on. I like to consider things like cribs, strollers, high chairs and car seats investments. Back in October 2010, Alivia and I were in a terrible car accident. Our car was totaled, I had major bruises and whiplash, but Alivia walked away unscathed. From that day forward, I pledged my allegiance to Britax. We own the Marathon for Alivia, and the Advocate 70C for Judah. They are pricey, but the best. Having seen them in action through the worst possible scenario, I'll never use anything else.

6. Psycho Baby Boutique: For my locals, this is my favorite downtown baby boutique. Its totally overpriced but if you have some extra money to have fun with, this place is full of super cute, super unique stuff. They have an online shop too. Warning, its not a stroller friendly store, so bring your sling!!

7. Karma Baby Sling: I have a mad obsession with baby carriers. I've owned all of them except a few, but this one is my favorite by far. The fabric is soft and sturdy, and its enough fabric to make you feel like your baby is secure. It has a loop on them to hold a pacifier and a little pouch for anything you need to keep on you while carrying baby. And the patterns are super cute :)

8. Old Navy Fake Uggs: God bless those parent's that can afford to outfit their children in $100 Uggs, but I'm not one of them. Frankly, the idea of purchasing kids shoes at that price terrifies me! The link will only bring you to the Old Navy site, but they sell fake toddler Uggs every season. They are cute, warm and last the entire season. Alivia has lived in them since October and I stocked up on another pair in a size up for next year.

9. Baby Gap and Gap Kids: Okay...so this favorite is a bit broad, but here's the deal...I'm in love. I absolutely adore Baby Gap and Gap Kids, and before you start telling me your budget can't afford it, I beg to differ. It is on a very rare occasion that I purchase anything full price. The turn around at Gap is so quick, if you see something full price one week, it WILL be on sale the next week. Most times if you stop in the store, there will be an additional 40% sale prices (which are already pretty low). And if you shop often, you'll get 20% a regular priced item coupon at check out. You need to shop often and keep your eyes open. The best sales are in store, not online.

10. Playtex Sippy Cups: Sippy cups are a constant struggle for parents. I can't tell you how many I've gone through with Alivia...trying to find the perfect one. You can go from the cheapest crap to the fanciest stainless steel...I've owned them all. The one cup brand that I think it best is playtex. Both the first sipster and the older toddler sippys are the best. They don't leak, they are super easy to clean and the water never smells like plastic. I own them for both Alivia and Judah. We use them every single day.

11. Nursing Bra: I'm a nursing momma...I commit to nursing all my babies for at least 12 months. So when you basically eat, breath and sleep nursing...nursing bras are a necessity. I've been through many, but this one is my favorite. Its soft, no poking wires, easy to nurse with and enough support to keep my sagging girls from sagging past my knees. They are a bit pricey, but when you wear them everyday, you want something that won't fall apart on you.

12. New Mother, New Baby: This is another boutique for you locals. Its my favorite boutique in the suburbs. New Mother, New Baby is run by a lactation consultant who is awesome. They carry absolutely everything you'll need for breastfeeding (including pump parts), baby clothes, baby carriers, nursing clothes, toys and books. The best part? Its totally reasonably priced. They have a sweet little "Rest Stop" room with a glider, changing table and baby scale if you need a pit stop for your baby. They also offer a ton of amazing classes for mommies...from basic lactation consulting, to baby massage and a baby wearing class. Stop by sometime :)

13. Diaper Bag...errrr not: With Alivia, I always used an over the shoulder diaper bag. By the time I was done using a diaper bag for her, I discovered how much I hated it. When Judah came along, I purchased this Patagonia Backpack. Its just a basic backpack, but its smaller, fits everything, has a million little pockets for all the baby knick knacks and its light. The best part? Hands free. Wearing a backpack makes loads more sense when you're lugging a baby and toddler around. Patagonia is an awesome brand, so its durable, decently priced, and will make a great bag for anything else once my kids grow out of diapers.

14. Hannah Andersson Training Unders: These are a little pricey, but often go on sale. They are the BEST training underwear ever. They have great coverage, and extra padding down the entire middle of the underwear. From experience, it absorbs 75% of pee and contains the poop if an accident occurs. I've used them on Alivia since she started potty training. She still uses them (mostly because they still fit her tiny butt). They come in tons of patterns and colors for both boys and girls.

15. Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller: A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about my love affair with our new double stroller. This is the one. Ladies, I did the research. I tried them all out...I read all the reviews. This stroller is the best. It fits through every door, fits in the trunk, is super light and super easy to push. My kids adore it (Judah even sleeps in it! He never did that in our single stroller!). I'm in love...and if you are in the market, you'll fall in love too :)


For now...these are the favorites I can think up. As I run into (or remember) others...I'll add to my list! Hope you enjoy :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mourning the loss of friendships





Sometimes friendships are necessary to lose. It sounds crazy, I know...but when you come to a point where life pulls you in one direction and friends (even ones you love) go in another, it's necessary to choose. I've had to do this is my life.

It felt like a breakup. A bad bad breakup. I loved these friends, but it was in my best interest to move in the opposite direction, and if I hadn't, I don't think I'd be married to the love of my life with two unbelievable children right now. Life handed me a choice, and I chose the path less traveled. It was painful, devastating at times, but I don't have a single regret.

Fast forward ten years and the social network boom has made it possible to reconnect...see where our chosen roads have taken us...learn little things about each other all over again. There is an element of intense satisfaction in finding these long lost friends...and then there's the mourning. Watching them in relationships, wondering who they are now, seeing them get married, all those familiar faces...and not being a part of it. Satisfaction in seeing them so happy, and a mourning that you have lost your place in sharing that overwhelming joy with them. It's bittersweet for sure.

It's not likely that those friends will ever read this, but if they do...I'd want them to know that I still have love in my heart for them. I still want to see the best for them, in every area of their life, at every age. I'd want them to know how much I miss them and the good times we had...because there were so many.