Monday, March 31, 2014:

For my momtreprenuers- you're welcome

Here is your billion dollar idea- make it happen.

Magnetic Toy Organization- listen it's important that we teach out kids to pick up after themselves.  But let's be honest, they stink at it.  Pre- bath time, I'll play along and even participate in several rounds of the "clean up" song.  But when the kids are asleep and a new episode of True Detectives awaits.... I want to push a button and have everything magnetically/magically go back in it's place (while you're at it, let's apply this same technology for emptying the dishwasher and putting away laundry).

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Gym child care is great, except...

On your way home from the gym your kids inevitably fall asleep in the car just at the very second you realize you're deliriously hungry which means you pull up to a McDonalds drive-thru and ambitiously try to order something healthy only to surrender to the fact that this might be your only "meal" in peace for the week so you go with the quarter pounder...with cheese.

Win some. Lose some.

(A version of this post originally appeared as a Facebook status)
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Friday, March 28, 2014:

Date Night!

No better way to spoil a romantic date night than by telling your husband that the expensive cheese plate he's having for dessert smells a lot like the milk-filled sippy cup you just found under the driver's seat of your car.
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What your coffee says about you...

Like trees, one can determine the age of their coffee (and the chaos of their morning) by the number of rings you can count.  Happy Friday everyone!

(Photo Credit: Kate Brochu)
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Thursday, March 27, 2014:

A mom without an iPhone

As some of you recall, this blog was originally called, "A Mom Without" and celebrated the vast improvements in parenting technologies that have made it SOMEWHAT possible for me to make it through an entire day of SAHMommihood.

In celebration of #TBT, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask the greater audience...  How in THE HELL did moms do this shit without iPhones?  Ok, fine, I've already asked this before.  And quite frankly, I ask myself this question after every filtered instagram picture I post of my kids...  


Since becoming a mom my priority list looks like this:

Kid #1
Kid #2

Ok, note, this priority list isn't necessarily the list I would follow if I was trying to escape a burning building.  That would look more like this:

Kid #1
Kid #2
Dog #1*
Dog #2*
(*Subject to lowered priority based on the number of times they've peed in the house)

Ok, I digress....

iPhone- From apps to, well, apps...this thing is responsible for helping me cope through my day.   My phone is the first thing I "put on" in the morning.  I honestly plan my wardrobe based on phone storage.  No pockets, no pone.  It's that simple.

Now listen, before you get the idea that I am one of those mom zombies, tech junkies, social media whores, people obsessed with their phones, let me promise you, that all in, I am probably on my phone for about an hour all day.  But this is what it does for me...

It connects me.

I work in a role that is, um, let me see, like living in a vacuum with a bunch tiny little drunk people whose main priority is to hurt themselves and/or others all while making a huge ass mess in the process.  This. is. my. life.

So for the :12 seconds here and the :30 seconds there and the glorious 8 minutes during a pre-nap feeding, I am keeping my sanity by reminding myself that beyond the confines of SAHMommihood, there is more to life than really great nursing shirts with deep pockets.

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Monday, March 24, 2014:

You know it's been a long winter when...

You honestly consider a "TIME OUT" when your toddler suggests we build a snowman.

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Karmama Moment!

So, I always remind myself that Karmama really is a Bitch, at least once a day.  But, I really thought that my two and a half year old had sailed through the hitting and the "NO!" phase when he didn't seem to participate when his peers were in the throws of the "terrible twos".  I have to admit, I thought that my warm nature and affectionate approach with positive reinforcement and redirection was the key!  Ahh, warm know-it-all-mom glow.

NOPE!  This weekend, while traveling and a bit out of our routine, our son hit my husband in the face...TWICE!  What the...?!

My husband was annoyed but we both chalked it up to sleep deprivation and travel which caused a ripple in his normally structured day.

Welp, today, wouldn't you know it.  Picked up my 2.5 year old from his "Time Out For Parents" program and for the first time ever...I MEAN EVER, the teacher said he had a really "rough" day.  Hitting, not listening, and time outs galore (I mean, seriously, the program lasts two and a half much trouble can one little toddler monster get into?!).

I am giving it one more day- in the hopes that he is fully recovered from our weekend trip.  If not, then I honestly will just sigh to myself, for the 100th time, "Karmama's a Bitch" and dive into parenting lit 101 for hitting.  Oh, and tantrums, like HOLY HELL, we experienced our first one this weekend!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014:

Sleep Deprivation Kills Brain Cells

A recent study suggests that sleep deprivation kills brain cells.  This same conclusion could have been established by simply interviewing women before and after they became a mom. 

Read more here:
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014:

The waiting game!

I recently auditioned for an opportunity that is right up my "beauty" alley and now I am keeping my phone in the palm of my hand like a sophomore in college waiting for the man of her dreams to text or call (FTR- he did. And I married him ;).

I've identified the one job that I'd be willing to sacrifice time with my family for. Not everyday, of course, but for the few days a month that I'd be required to be on set, absolutely.  

Throughout the audition process, as nervous as I was leading up to the "test", I knew I was in the right place.  As soon as the cue was given, my mind and body just operated on their own and there was no doubt that this was what I was meant to do.

Well, now I'm caught in the waiting game- nervously waiting with my phone in my hand- questioning whether or not I spoke too fast, did I cut off the main host (who was so helpful with feed back), did I pack too much information, did I establish expertise???

I really hope to come back with great news (and more info), soon!!  In the meantime, fingers crossed!!
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014:

Time for laundry!

You know you've been avoiding the laundry when you dump it out on the floor and it looks like this!
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Monday, March 17, 2014:

Big day for mom!

I am so incredibly excited about what I have on my agenda today!  I can't share the details yet, but I'm "interviewing" for an opportunity I've been gunning for since before I was even pregnant with my  nine month old!!

It's amazing how things work themselves out, especially when combined with a true passion and deep determination.

I've prepared my best and hope to put my best foot forward.  Ultimately I just need to be myself and hope that the decision makers see something they like!!!

Hope I have the luck if the Irish today!!!!  And I hope to share good news with everybody soon!!

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Friday, March 14, 2014:

What is Karmama, exactly?

A few folks have asked where the word "Karmama" comes from.  Directly translated from it's sanskrit roots, Karmama means, "judge a parent before becoming a parent, I dare you..."

I used to judge parents and criticize certain parenting styles that differed from my own parenting philosophy.  For example, I once saw a mom whose toddler was having a serious melt down on the dirty side walk of Jersey City.  She just sat there and did nothing.  Can you imagine....?!?!?!?!

Well, then I had kids and "karmama" caught up with me at the local park one day while my 18 month old freaked out- like literally lost his S-H-I-T- when it came time to get into his stroller.  In front of what seemed like every mom in the greater NYC area, I struggled to get him buckled and get the HELL out of there.  I was fumbling, dropping sippy cups and barter material (fruit snacks) everywhere.  I, no doubt, revealed how overwhelming it can be to manage your child's tantrum.

So the moral of karmama is that you don't judge another mother's way of handling a situation unless you want to find yourself in that same situation handling it far less gracefully :)

And that, my friends, is Karmama.
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Thursday, March 13, 2014:

Is it really cheating if you pay for it?

I have really unhealthy relationships...with my hairstylists.  I have a hard time speaking up- often shrugging off hair cuts/colors that I'm not a fan of and saying to myself, "better luck next time"!

The truth is, if I don't like how my hair was done, I'll just choose a different place next time.  If I'm feeling super corageous, I'll even choose a different stylist at the same salon- risky, because what if the first stylist sees me....AWKWARD!!

But do hair stylists take this personally?  I can't help but think I would which is probably why I'm so nervous about getting "caught" using someone else.

I'm sure most stylists are professional and would really consider it "cheating" perse.  But I'd love to know what they think when they see their clients with other stylists??
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Today is Thursday...a ME day!!

Thursdays are MY days!!  I have a sitter come at 9 and stay until 2.  And within that window, I do whatever I want to do!!

Watch the tail end of TODAY in the safety of my room, sip my coffee in peace and quiet (without having to lie to my toddler, telling him that the coffee I made an hour ago is "hot- don't touch!").  I'll get a mani/pedi, a massage and, today, a hair cut!

If I'm feeling motivated, I'll go to the gym or PureBarre...big "IF".  And I'll actually even schedule long neglected doctors' appointments!

Having this long morning to myself is so important.  I focus on me, my health and it truly makes me a better, more focused and engaged parent.  I feel like I can accomplish things that always seem to get pushed to the back burner during the week (weird, these things, like my well being, are sort of important as the primary care giver...huh, go figure!).

Taking time away from my children makes me appreciate how truly awesome they are.   TRY IT!!

Maybe it's just an hour or two when you run out and get a coffee.  Or maybe you splurge and get a much needed (AND EARNED) pedicure.  But do it.  You'll be glad you did!

The reality of the family NEEDS me to take this time to myself.  Why? Because around 1p, after I've splurged on myself, I'll realize it's time to go get groceries for the week. still have to be mom at "me time"  ;)
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014:

Take a chance on color as I was running late to an audition in Brooklyn, I realized I never put on any lip color.  And without a baby in site and no diaper bag to be had, I couldn't use my "go to" gloss- Aquaphore.

Thank goodness for Sephora!  I ran in and spotted a few shades- quickly swiping wands and sticks across the back of my hand.

Eenie. Meanie. Miney. Mo!

I took a chance on Christian Dior's Dior Addict in Incroyable.  LOVE.

Strangely enough, had I actually taken the time to consider....reconsider....repeat- my normal cosmetic selection strategy- I probably would have opted for something far more neutral and plain.

So!  Take a chance with color this spring!!  (Wow, talk about a cliche statement).  No, but seriously.  Go bright and pick something unexpected, wouldja?
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014:

Beauty Tip!!

As a mom of two young boys I find it exceptionally hard to take care of myself. My diet is a wreck, exercise is a joke, and the idea of actually putting on make up makes me groan (not only do I have to find time to put make up on, I also have to find time to take it off at night- no thanks!).

The one regimen that I can kind of get on board with is the following.  It's respectful of my time, makes me feel fairly put together and is simple to remove come bedtime.  

1. Start with water.  No, seriously....
Drinking your recommended oz's of water helps to build the canvas on which your make up will stay.  Moisturized skin- from the inside out- glows.  Water helps eliminate toxins, reducing dryness and breakouts.

2. Moisturize- I'm kind of obsessed with Obagi's Hydrate Moisturization.  It's thick and creamy but goes on beautifully without any heaviness.

3. Let it set.  This is a personal preference but I always like to give my straight moisturizers a chance to absorb before starting more layers.

4. Laura Mercier Radiance Primer WITH SPF. If you do nothing else, use this primer.  It is, hands down, the most versatile and valuable cosmetic I own.  It takes me from looking a little flat to dewy.  My only complaint, I wish I could buy this in bulk!

5. Mascara. Ugh.  Full disclosure, I hate mascara.  Rephrase, I hate the process of taking mascara off.  But, using mascara helps to open your eyes, giving the illusion of a full night's rest (*illusion*- ha!).

6. Night routine- when you're in for the night, take off your make up and let your skin breathe.  Use a nighttime moisturizer (I'm loving Regenica!).  

7.  Steep before you sleep!  Grab a decaf green tea w a lemon wedge.  Not only will this count as another water, but the healing and health effects of green tea are too wide to discuss here (did you know some research suggests it's anti carcinogenic properties prevent some cancers?!).  Just do it!

8.  And sleep.  Oh, that's right, we're moms...we don't sleep, we just lay with our eyes closed.
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Monday, March 10, 2014:

And today's morning activity...

The good news is that it's clean.

Laundry- 1 Mom- 0
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Friday, March 7, 2014:

Mom Google of the day...

"How to unlock steering wheel in order to turn key."

1. Use two hands to determine which direction the steering wheel "gives"- it will spring back.  The opposite direction will be stiff.

2. Turn and hold the wheel in the direction that springs while turning key.

3. Drive away wondering how on earth moms did this shit before iPhones.

4. Remind yourself to never let your 2.5yo "fix" the car.
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Thursday, March 6, 2014:

Over winter and

1. Over being sick, having a sick kid, and/or a sick husband
2. Over snow days that translate to canceled activities
3. Over indoor play dates (see #1)
4. Over winter coats, hats, mittens, boots
5. Over ice
6. Over snow that turns in to ice
7. Over dogs who hate snow and ice
8. Over horribly dry skin
9. Over being pale
10. Over realizing how badly I am over winter!
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014:

Trigger: Thank God He's Mine

Normally I write silly posts about the chaos that is parenthood.  Love my kids, love the crazy, and love the mom-com that comes out of our daily day-to-day.

That being said, I wanted to take a serious moment to acknowledge a charity that I have absolutely no involvement in whatsoever (why, bc I have a 2.5 yo and 9mo and no "me time"...I digress).

I stumbled upon this charity shortly after my first was born and I think about this charity often.  Here's why I care so much...

Project Prevention is an organization that offers money to addicts in return for voluntary & temporary sterilization.


Let that soak in.

Yes.  This charity gives cash to addicts (presumably for the purchase of drugs) if they agree to temporary sterilization.

To understand why this charity means so much to me, I'll take you back to when my first was born.

After the chaos of the delivery had started to fade, along with my epidural, it was just me and my baby boy.  We were in the relative quiet of our hospital room that we shared with another new mom and her son, coincidentally also named "Liam".  It was just the two of us on our side of the hospital curtain- my husband had gone home for the night.

I remember holding my baby on my chest, so light that he would rise up and down with my breathing.  So new that he would flinch and writhe unaware that he was no longer nestled inside me, but instead, swaddled tightly and safely in his Aden and Anais blanket.

I remember thinking to myself as I looked over the Manhattan skyline from my room...."Thank God he's mine...Thank God he found me", quickly returning my gaze to that little scrunched face with his tiny, furry features. 

I knew that, even at my worst, my son would be loved and provided for.  I acknowledged that most children resented their parents at some point, but I was hopeful, that if he was going to resent me for something, it would be my over-attentivenes, not my neglect.  I knew that he would be loved- overwhelmingly, immensely, and annoyingly so.  And I was so grateful that he had come to me.

The idea of him being born to a mother who couldn't care for him or worse, didn't want to care for him, literally made my heart hurt.  "What if that had happened?!  How lucky we are that he found his way to us" I would sigh in relief.

I knew that most of these emotions were due to the hormones coursing through my newly knighted "mom-veins", but the emotions were real and the "mama-bear" inside me grew stronger every time this thought would find its way into my head.  "Thank God he's ours."

We brought our baby home and very quickly fell into our routine.  The early days (and sleepless nights) evolved into playdates and mommy and me classes.  It was hard, but only because I was giving it my all.  I nursed him for a year, fed him mostly organic foods, spent time with motor skill development and language engagement- all things that most new moms do.  I worried about iron levels and poop consistencies, added sugar and sun protection.  

We spent a lot of warm days outside in the sun at the park near our condo.  And it was one of those days, when I had packed our lunch to eat at the park before nap time, that I saw a branded RV for a charity like Prevention Project.  So quickly I remembered how grateful I was that Liam was ours and it became clear that this was the solution to ensuring that no other baby found his way to parents who weren't ready for him.

This was the answer.  While extreme and arguably unethical (to lure an addict with money), it is the lesser evil.  If I enable an addiction in order to prevent a child from falling into the hands of unfit parents, I'm ok with that.

Why?  Because I'm not entirely sure where I stand on abortion and because foster care doesn't sound great and because the likelihood of a child being adopted after being born addicted and damaged to the drugs his mother couldn't kick, well, those chances are slim, at best. That's why.

And because, let's be honest, parenting is so so so so so so hard on some days (or perhaps at some point EVERYDAY).  I won't pretend to be perfect, I lose my patience like most moms have and I won't set myself up for failure by saying silly things like "I'll never...".  I'm sure I'll have regrets.  I might yell.  I might even swat (I haven't had to yet!), but I hope that 10-15 years from now, the memories of mom losing her S-H-I-T will be far and few between and justified in the "Yes I yanked you...out of oncoming traffic" kind of way.

What are your thoughts on this charity?? Am I missing a glaring moral issue? I encourage you to poke holes and bring up questions because I want to get involved when I eventually have the time to do so ("when", "eventually" being the operative words here).

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014:

That moment when you...

Finally have the motivation to clean the kitchen and open the door  to load the dishwasher only to realize it's full if clean dishes.  Better luck tomorrow!

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Monday, March 3, 2014:

No, but seriously....

I love playdates.  A lot.  Passive parenting is my forte and it's great to pass the time with an adult that I can actually have an intellectual conversation with.  But when we get to your house and it's super clean I a) feel like I need to police my son so he doesn't trash it and b) immediately decide that when I do manage to reciprocate and invite you to a playdate, it must be in the morning after I've been able to clean the night before.

If my house is a mess when you arrive, take it as a compliment because it means that I don't mind you seeing the daily chaotic reality in which we live :)
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