Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do you glow?

Do you know about The Glow?

I know I've heard about it before, and I've read about it several times in the last week or so via other blogs. I haven't explored it much, mostly because the description of "The Glow is a glimpse into the world of inspiring and fashionable moms" sounds like it might make me feel pretty bad about myself.

But ...

I read this quote from the most recent featured Mom, Christina Hutson, via Simple Lovely: “There are many things I wish I could do better as a mom. At this moment, I want to gain more patience and understanding that my children are just children. When they get a bit loud, or sneak that piece of candy, I can’t get too upset. I must learn to remember and teach myself that they are still only little creatures."

It seems pretty spot-on to me. Patience is the thing I lack the most and (try) to work the hardest on. I'm not a very cosmic-minded person (does that even make sense?), but I choose to see a lot of annoyances in my life as lessons in patience. Apparently I need a lot of those lessons.

Also, from my brief viewing of the pictures on The Glow, it inspires me (and hopefully you, too!) to have nice pictures of you taken with your child. If you are the primary photographer in your family, it is absolutely worth the money to have someone take pictures of you interacting with your children. You will treasure the pictures forever, and so will your children. And, if you happen to look like an "inspiring and fashionable" Mom, even better ....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It goes a long way

This isn't kid-related, so much as mommy-related.

I had a doctor's appointment last week and was fortunately able to pawn my child off on an unsuspecting grandparent. Ha! I had two people in the building comment on my hair looking cute. I don't say this to boast, but rather to share the conclusion I came to ...

It wasn't my hair. It was my lipstick.

My hair has looked the same for, oh, let's say 8 years. I don't think I had a particularly good hair day, though people do comment on my curly hair from time to time (you always want what you don't have. The hair is always greener??). I digress. The point is, I was actually wearing lipstick that day, and a kind of bright red color at that. I think people noticed!

I was inspired by this video (by previously mentioned favorite Jane Marie at The Hairpin):
The Guide to Bold Lipsticks (it's funny even if you don't want anything to do with lipstick).

I am a huge fan of chapstick. Not the Chapstick brand, per se, but really plain ol' Burts Bees is my absolute favorite. I wear it all the time. I've recently branched out to their tinted version - which I also really like - but even their darkest red tints don't show up that much on me.

So, I dug through some old random make-up and found a red color that I thought looked pretty good (based on the recommendations in the video: I was dressed to go out and already had a full face of make-up on). I have been wearing it here and there and always feel more put together, even if it is just running around town. So, my friends, my advice is that lipstick can make a mom, new or not-so-new, feel pretty good about herself.

Secondly, and in the same vein, I think a scarf does wonders for a new mom. Most outfits look much more put together with a scarf and it takes no time at all to put on. Yoga pants and a t-shirt? Momdrobe. Yoga pants and a t-shirt with a colorful scarf? Whoa! Look at that gal who clearly has her shit together. (Forget about the unwashed hair - they won't notice).

So ... lipstick and a scarf. They are good things.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reporting live from Sadnonapville

Yep, I think the naps are done for. Barring any illness (which I'm seriously not wishing for, but at the same time kind of am), I don't think there will be much more afternoon napping in our house for the toddler set. For the mom? Well, that's a different story, but I think it is generally frowned upon to leave your 3-year-old with free reign over the house and a comatose parent 'supervising'.

I've alluded (ad nauseum) to our nap battles and I just finally had to accept that it (mostly) wasn't worth the fight. I can't even remember the last time that Ellen took a nap at home, which is saying something.

I had been taking her up to her crib (she still sleeps there at night, which will need addressing later) and she acted sleepy and yes, was truly tired, but she would just get a 2nd wind about 7 seconds after I left the room and she would bounce and talk and sing for at least 45 minutes and then would be so wound up she wouldn't sleep for anything.

So, I had to choose: was the sleep more important or was it more important for me to have quiet time away from my child? I can't force sleep, but I can enforce quiet time, so that won.

I am working hard on trying to enforce "quiet time". She has to stay in her bed and read quietly until I tell her it is Ok to come out. I am aiming for an hour, but she reliably lasts about 40 minutes at this point before the whining really starts. Openly looking for suggestions on how to make this work better - please fill me in! Also, I really truly hope that she will one day realize it is OK to fall asleep during quiet time if needed, but she is so stubborn (I blame her father) that I am not holding my breath.

She is still kind of a crabby-puss in the late afternoons, but it isn't as awful as it used to be when she skipped nap and bedtime is much more reliable. She goes down between 730-800pm and sleep comes not long after. This is really how I knew that we were probably truly done with the nap - she can make it through the day (pretty well) and bedtime is much better. I would really like to get her to stretch her morning wake-up time from 630am (on a good day) to closer to 700am, because I still think she is deficient in sleep, but I'm hoping that will come with time.

Oh, and another complicating factor is that she still naps at school 4 days a week. They have to nap, and I know she wakes up earlier than most kids most days, and it does kind of muck up our bedtime routine on those nights. They still have nap NEXT YEAR at school, too, which I can't even imagine how that will work.

So. It is what it is. I'm trying to see the silver lining in the fact that we can get out of the house in the afternoons. Also, everyone kept telling me to keep her in her crib as long as possible (which I'm all for) except I'm willing to bet those people's kids were still napping when they transitioned to a big bed. This one will be .... interesting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another good read

I thought this was a cute post on Motherhood Uncensored - Kids Talk the Darndest Ways. Kind of like my post a while back about taking note of the cute things your child says. Read through the comments, too - good for a laugh when you need one.

Is anyone else having trouble getting a jumpstart on the year? I'm trying to revel in the calm after the holiday storm, yet it seems like I'm not accomplishing much and that's driving me crazy. Add on top a girl who never ever (ever ever) naps and I'm, shall we say, adjusting.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Good read (and recipe)

I've linked to the Dash and Bella blog before - great cooking stories with kids. I happened across her blog tonight and her latest post is great - wonderful writing, really perfectly capturing a split moment in "mom time". And, french toast to boot!

Take a few minutes to read ... a few more if you're going to cook. (Then invite me over).

Dash and Bella: STAY