Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Boxed Wine Besties to Winefest Warriors

Last weekend I embarked on a child-less, husband-less, girl's weekend. It was spectacular!

Unfortunately, the week leading up to my weekend getaway was anything but spectacular. Baby Sis was very sick with high fever, body rash, diarrhea, the whole nine. It was not pretty and we were not sleeping and juggling days off to stay home with her. By the end of the week she was back in fighting shape and wouldn't you know... Little C started in with the high fever Thursday night.

I called by girlfriend and gave her the sad news that I probably wasn't going to be able to make it because Baby Sis was just starting to get better and C was now coming down with what his sister had. And after what we'd just gone through with P-Nut, I wasn't about to leave Hubs alone to handle it all.

But then something wonderful happened. You see, all throughout the year of misery when Little C was getting stomach bug after stomach bug, colds, coughs, fevers, etc., we kept hearing how he was building his immune system. At the time I hated hearing that because it didn't help and quite frankly with as often as he was getting sick, I just didn't believe it.

Until NOW!!

He woke up Friday morning fever free! You guys!!! Fever. Free. He went to bed with 102 degree temp and woke up good as new.

I immediately called my friend and told her I was on my way and I hit the dusty trail for what was going to be much needed girl time and me time and... WINE TIME! My trip coincided with the Colorado Mountain Winefest where you can sample hundreds of wine made right here in Colorado.

First up? "Me time" on a four hour drive from Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado. Thankfully, it is a very beautiful drive through the mountains and of course I had my arsenal of good tunes to keep me company.

I arrived in GJ Friday around 5:30pm and my friend, K, had made a delicious dinner for me after the drive. I was seriously running on empty from the long week we had with the sick baby and having a home-cooked meal and a glass of wine to greet me was such a nice treat. 

We put K's daughter to bed (she's exactly two months younger than C) and left her husband behind while we headed off for a Friday night cocktail. We sipped, chatted, laughed, you know the drill when two gals get together.

Back story: K and I met at CSU. We worked together for the Provost of Colorado State, struck up a conversation one day and learned we had a lot in common and we have remained friends ever since. In college I'd head over to her house and we'd drink boxed wine for hours and watch ridiculous TV providing snarky commentary throughout. Now we both have kids and being that our toddlers are so close in age it has been a blessing to have K to call for seeking advice, to vent, cry, laugh and all the other things you do as new moms. 

Saturday morning we woke up, had some coffee, then laced up our sneakers to go for a run. K is training for a half marathon and she really wanted to get a run in before we imbibed in all the wine and food for the day. I am NOT training for a half marathon and I'm NOT much of a runner so I wanted to walk after an embarrassingly short amount of time. In true friend format, K did not run ahead even after I told her she could and we went on a lovely walk. 

Next up...


It was so freaking delicious and after stuffing our faces we were ready to head out to the Winefest! Talk about a fun day. We were in heaven sampling all the wines, tasting the food, people watching, listening to live music and this...

Check "grape stomping" off my things I never thought I'd do list! 

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend! It was relaxing and delicious from start to finish! I can't tell you how much I needed this little break. Of course I can't get enough of my two babies but I was in need of some time away and this was the perfect small escape. Next time we'll have to really get away so K can have a full break herself!

I feel so fortunate to have a friend like her in my life and I'm starting to think we need to make this Winefest an annual thing.


How was your weekend? When was the last time you had a girls getaway? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How do you cherish every moment?

I'm at Mile High Mamas today expressing how with two very young kids it often feels more like I'm getting through each moment than cherishing each moment.

Man, oh man, there are so many days that are trying, draining, and straight-up battles that I'm honestly okay if I don't remember. I got through them and I still desperately love my kids despite the hardships.

Sure I could do a better job of slowing down and I will certainly work on that, but truth is with two very young kids it is survival mode quite often and I can't beat myself up if I let one day slip by that I didn't cherish from start to finish. There are plenty of priceless moments and memories that weave their way into the chaos and they are magnificent!

So what about you? How do you cherish every moment?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

#12ThingsILoveAboutMe - September

It's that time again! This month I love my...


Not because they are beautiful aesthetically, I mean, they aren't terrible to look at, but I chose them because they allow me to do so many things. So many wonderful, amazing things that I take for granted on a regular basis.

My hands can be strong and powerful and conversely, soft and gentle. They are allowing me to type this post out. They help me at work. They help me to take care of myself whether its brushing my hair, my teeth, or applying my make-up or maybe supporting the weight of my body as I practice yoga.

My hands turn my favorite hobby of cooking into a visceral experience. Feeling the way the knife cuts through a soft, spongy mushroom compared to a crisp, wet onion. Dipping the tip of my finger into the hot sauce bubbling on the stove to take a small taste. The smell left on my finger tips from mincing garlic cloves is intoxicating to me and the sting from lemon juice finding my paper cut is surprising.

My hands are friendly giving hugs and high-fives to my besties. My hands mean business and are tough  mo' fo's when I need to send a gesture to an idiot driver. My hands are lovers as they caress the back of my husbands neck when I give him a kiss.

I also have Mama hands. To lay on my pregnant belly and feel a kick for the first time. To reach down and touch my newborn child as they are placed onto my chest.  To apply band aids, wipe butts, and yes, even to cup beneath the chin of child as they literally get sick in my hands.

But my favorite use of the Mama hands would have to be the very first time that oh-so-tiny hand wraps tightly around your finger. Nothing beats it.

I love my HANDS!! So many uses and so many ways they allow me to feel life around me. What a gift they are!

They're A-okay in my book!

Couldn't resist. ;)

What do you love about yourself this month? Shout it out with me here or on Twitter!

You are beautiful!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Just a bit of Brain Dumpin'

I'm exhausted
I'm exhausted because I have a toddler that is pushing any and all boundaries at home and it's draining me.
I'm in a rut
I'm hungry for change and I'm ready for a new challenge. But what?
I'm loving the cool, rainy weather we're having. I enjoy a beautiful sunny day but there is something so calming and lovely about the rain.
I'm wondering if we should have put Baby Sis in a long-sleeved shirt instead of short-sleeves today. It's chilly outside but will she be warm enough at daycare?
I'm loving my coffee. It smells and tastes so delightful and I'm eagerly waiting for it to kick in.
I'm wondering if there is a rule about wearing coral and turquoise after labor day? Anyone know?
I'm thinking about trying one last time to make zucchini and squash with dinner tonight. They keep coming out mushy when I roast them so I'm on to plan B. If they don't turn out this time, I'm forever bound to zucchini bread and nothing else.
So You Think You Can Dance finale is tonight and I can't wait!! I'm thinking Amy and Fik-shun are going to take it all. They are so damn good!
Master Chef finale is tomorrow night and I also can't wait! That is one show Hubs and I watch together and it has been a great season. I think Natasha should win but for some reason I have a feeling it will be Luca. We'll see.
I love how I think I will get to watch both finales when in reality they will be DVR'd due to the kids and it's anyone's guess when I will be able to squeeze in watching both shows from start to finish. I bet by Sunday I will have finally made it through them both but by then will already know who the winners are. Womp.
I need a good food magazine to read.
What are the kids going to be for Halloween?
I can't believe it's going to be Halloween before we know it!
I need to step it up in our office football pool. I didn't do so hot this first week. ::taps cheeks:: Pull it together, Kendra!

Need a brain dump yourself? What's on your mind today? Any finales you are excited to watch? For the love of Pete, how do you prevent zucchini and squash from getting mushy?!?!?

Have a great day!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mama and Baby Update - Month 8

Sweet Baby P-Nut is 8 months old!!!

What a fun age! I can't tell you enough how neat it is to see a personality starting to develop and shine through. Here are the deets:

  • Teeth: One on the bottom front is poking through and you can barely see the one next to it start to make an appearance as well. Teething has been a doozy for the Nut! The sleepless nights have been no fun for anyone! 
  • Talking: She is proficient at blowing raspberries and she does it all. the. time. She is also saying "da, da, da" now and even seems to be associating it with her beloved Dada. She loves to scream in a playful way and she also makes this loud "pushing" sound and gets a super scrunched up face. It is too cute!
  • Rolling: Whenever humanly possible.
  • Crawling: Going backwards is easy for her and she is slowly starting to inch her way in a forward motion now.
  • Standing: I feel it won't be long before she is pulling herself up to standing. She try's very hard and I know she'll figure it out soon.
  • Sippy Cuppin': She's got it down. With the hot weather we've been having I like that she will drink water when we are outside and it's hotter than Hades! We give her the sippy at every meal and we always have it with us in the diaper bag. 
  • Clapping: Clapping makes her so happy! She even knows when to do it. If she is just sitting there minding her own business and you say, "YAY" she will start clapping. 

Our little P-Nut is so strong and seriously easy going. She goes with the flow whether she's at daycare, at home, dealing with a rough and tumble toddler, swimming, running errands, visiting family, etc. She just takes it all in and doesn't make a fuss. 

However, she does have a bit of separation anxiety but it usually doesn't last too long. She is definitely a Mama's girl and if I go out of her sight she will whine or cry for a little bit before she realizes it's not the end of the world. Of course, I'd be lying if I said I didn't like it that she is so attached to me. It feels nice but I also don't go to her rescue with every whimper. I want her to spend time with her loved ones and get to know them too. Her big brother was quite the opposite and was very strongly attached to the Hubs so another reason why I am kind of loving it. ;)

Mama Update:
I have been having so much fun with P-Nuckle! She seriously is a joy and I swear compared to the all around force that is her toddler brother, she is a breath of fresh air. That is not meant to say Little C isn't a joy himself, just that the life of a baby is much less demanding than the life of a toddler. Does that make sense? I know it's all relative so this is just my personal opinion.

One thing that is new to me are Mommy Playdates. I never really organized or sought them out when C was a baby. One of the moms in P-Nuts class asked if I wanted to join her and her daughter (born three days before Miss P), for an unofficial swim class. It would be a small group of other working moms and we will get together maybe once a month. One of the moms used to teach swim lessons so she is a pro. I didn't hesitate and I seriously had a blast getting to know the other ladies and spending some quality time with my daughter. 

(Not the best pic. I wish you could see her super cute suit)
Lastly, I'm dried up. No more milk to give. It pretty much happened officially this week. Very bitter sweet but I knew at the rate I was going it was bound to happen. We are currently comfort nursing and I'm a-okay with that. It still provides us a lovely bond and I know that someday soon she may not even need that.

(I adore that she rests her foot here every time we nurse)

She has never been big into her paci and at first I started to think I WAS her pacifier but then I came across this lovely quote on Kelly Mom:

"You are not a pacifier; you are a Mom. You are the sun, the moon, the earth, you are liquid love, you are warmth, you are security, you are comfort in the very deepest aspect of the meaning of comfort... but you are not a pacifier!" - Paula Yount

If that doesn't put wind in your sail and make your heart sing, I don't know what will.

Happy 8 months, sweet girl!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Softy vs The Hard-ass

Little C is in transition mode at the moment and it isn't pretty. One thing we've determined about our little
man is how hard transitions are for him. No matter how big or small, if his routine is disrupted he is not a happy camper.

Currently he has been moved to the "big boy" room at daycare. He is now in a room with the "older two's" and the "younger three's." We are told he has been moved up because 1) his potty training is going very well and 2) he has become bored in the current room and due to his advanced vocabulary and learning skills he should move up. 

Of course we were beyond proud when we heard this and we were super excited for him to make the switch. Initially, he was excited too! They would start taking him to the new room for a couple hours at a time before one day they told us he'd be there all day. The first couple of days were a snap and he was excited to be there. Show and tell didn't hurt the situation and you could tell he liked the idea of being a "big boy." 

Then it really hit him that he would no longer be going to his old room that he had grown to love and along with it, the teachers and friends he had grown to love as well. He is only one of two kids moving up at the moment but the rest will join him as soon as the potty training piece is in place. Of course, C doesn't understand this and now the "big boy room" is not looking like much fun.

Starting last week we've had nothing but major meltdowns at daycare drop-off. It starts while we are still at home as he knows we are on our way to school and he immediately begins asking if he can go to his old room. Then we get to school and he begs to help me get Baby Sis situated before he has to go to his class. He of course stalls after getting Sis situated by insisting that he needs to give her one more hug after the 56 he's already given her.

Then the fun happens...

He starts walking toward his old room and I tell him he has to keep going to the "big boy room." Sometimes it's just crying. Some days it's crying complete with a dramatic body drop to the floor. But my all time favorite is probably the crying, followed by screaming "I DON'T WANNA", the dramatic body drop to the floor, and as the teachers are peeling his frantic body from the cold ground, he starts reaching out for me and begs "MAMA COME BACK."

It's like when we switched daycares all over again. Every day a battle and every day he is left crying and I leave him with such a terrible feeling in my gut. It is a feeling of confliction.

You see, on one hand I know that his little two year old brain can't grasp the fact that it is exciting to be considered a big boy and that this is a new adventure. A new room, new teachers and new friends. He doesn't understand that his buddies from his old room aren't too far behind him and soon he'll settle right back into routine.

I want to be the type of mom who lets him express his feelings and attempts to help him sort them out. I want him to feel validated for being anxious, nervous, and upset about changing rooms. I want him to feel comfortable expressing these feelings...

To an extent.

I only have so much of this "type of mom" in me before I'm ready to shift. There comes a point when I am over the coddling, because things aren't getting better and I want to snap into hard-ass. I want to tell him enough is enough! You are a big boy so it's time to act like one. Stop crying, pick your self up off the damn floor and suck it up! You think this is hard? Just wait until shit really ramps up buddy, what are you going to do then?

Of course I'm being dramatic and I would never talk to my two year old that way, but I am also being honest. I don't know how to draw the line between recognizing and validating his feelings to getting him to realize this transition is taking place whether he likes it or not and the sooner he's on board the better! For all parties involved.

So here are my questions: In an example like this daycare room transition should I be the softy and coddle or is it time for tough love? When is it important to let him feel all the things and when is it important to teach him that life ain't easy kid?!?! Lastly, did I already do damage by being the softy in the beginning of this transition and now that I'm ready to get tough, will it just make him more upset?

Oof. There is so much grey area with this parenting gig. At least I know this is a phase and it won't last forever. I only bring all of this up because I also know this won't be the last transition in his life and if he gets this worked up every single time, then I want to be able to help him as best I can. Whether I'm a softy or a hard-ass.