Monday, January 5, 2015

Ode to My 2-Year Old

Aren't shoes optional?

There once was a time when you snoozed serenely in a swing.
You didn't have the hand-eye coordination to ransack anything.

Now you're two -- so chatty, spunky, and funny,
You've got lots of opinions and a nose that's always runny.

You can laugh and then cry in the blink of an eye,
Because I said, "mommy's phone is sleeping!" (you were onto my lie). 

How many times have we told you not to stand on the couch?
And please stop putting lint from the carpet in your mouth. 

I commend your effort for trying to put on your shoes, shirt, and pants,
But if we don't get this show on the road, sister... we'll miss music class. 

Remember how much fun we had at Tots and Tykes Yoga?
Then you found the fire alarm and soon it was over. 

Food is meant to be eaten, in case you didn't know,
Giving yourself a guacamole facial, again? I said N.O. 

You talkin' to me?
Last night I had the audacity to serve something green on your plate,
You looked at me, puzzled. Ketchup by the spoonful was the only thing you ate.  

You could live on hummus, crackers, and cheese,
Or whatever I'm eating, as long as you say "please."

Now that you talk, you sure have plenty to say: 
"No pigtail, mommy!" "Oh my gosh," and "no way!"

You seriously don't think you're getting these back, mom...

Honestly, what's really so bad about wearing a hat? 
And since when did you get so particular about our bath mat? 

Hurling your sippy cup down the stairs is getting kinda old,
Quite frankly, your antics are becoming a bit too bold. 

Buckling you into the stroller is a battle that's very hard to win,
One time daddy bribed you with bacon. (Yep, we'll try that again.)

Give me all of the snacks.

Nice knowing ya, living room... the toy takeover is hard to handle,
And I swear all the creepy dolls look at me when I watch Scandal. 

You're a busy little bee, always moving, running, jumping and more,
What's that sound? Oh, it's daddy snoring. He's out cold on the floor. 

Between bathing and books, bedtime negotiations last all night,
But when you snuggle up and say, "I love you," the world is just right. 

This Sandra Boynton gal must be raking in serious dough,
Goodnight hippos and Little Pookie... hello glass of vino.

It's not always chaos; being two is a wondrous thing,
Only you can get your rhythm challenged dad to dance and sing. 

You're the only person I would let sneeze in my hand,
There's simply no one else like you in all of the land. 

You're truly a gem, so smart and so sweet,
Now, put on your jammies... it's time to go to sleep!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Later, Lamb Swing

The day we brought my daughter home from the hospital, our living room turned into a version of a car lot for baby seats. Everywhere you turned, there was some kind of contraption that promised to keep babies happy or get them to sleep. And as a new parent, you'll try anything. We had the Rock 'N Play, the Rainforest Bouncer seat, and of course the My Little Lamb Cradle Swing.

As my baby grew, we had to retire those seats ... but the lamb swing continued to be a permanent fixture next to the couch. She hadn't used it in months, but for some reason, it took us a little too long to take it down and pack it up. Although it's enormous, and gets in the way of everything, taking it down was a reminder that she is growing up way too fast. Everyone always says the days are long, but the years are short. And I'm starting to believe it.

What was hard for you to part with? (Those tiny newborn onesies are a close 2nd.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Eat for Two

Muffins, gelato, pineapple, olives, pineapple AND olives, French fries, french toast, jelly beans …

Cravings are one of the wackiest parts of pregnancy. Suddenly, you’re obsessed with foods you normally don’t even like. Or you might wake up in the middle of the night, desperate for a double bacon cheese burger.  One day, just the thought of vegetables disgusts you. And the next, you can’t eat a salad fast enough.

I recently wrote an article for sharing tips for eating right during pregnancy. For the record, I ate way too many bagels and scoops of gelato when I was pregnant. You live and learn, clearly.) Check out the tips here:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer Hats, Headbands and Scrunchies

Yep, you read the title right ... scrunchies are back. Maybe they're supposed to be ironic, worn only by liberal arts college freshman, paired with high waisted jean shorts and unitards. All I know is, scrunchies are risky business. Remember, a scrunchie led to the demise of Carrie and Berger's relationship in Sex & The City? Regardless: wear with caution.

If scrunchies bring back bad memories of awkward middle school dances and food getting caught in your braces, take a look at a few of my favorite other finds for this season:

The Fedora: Still going strong. Why the pout, girlfriend?

Crystal & Pearl Headband: So pretty, it makes failed attempts at a bun look like you did it that way on purpose.

 The Wide Brim Straw Hat: Love this for the beach. Perfect for hiding hangover-face and bad hair days.

 Printed Wire Tie: This one takes a little more courage, but I say why not rock it?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Easy Mexican Feasts

I live across the street from a very popular Mexican restaurant that serves very strong margaritas. When the rest of you are sleeping, I'm being woken up by crazy, belligerent, drunk conversations outside of my bedroom window. One time someone was dressed as a Smurf. (?) So, it's basically always cinco de mayo around these parts. In honor of this celebratory day, I thought I'd share some of my favorite, easy Mexican dinners.

For entertaining: 
We're huge fans of the taco tray for hosting a big group. We make two kinds of meat, and create a huge tray filled with awesome taco fix-ins - cheese, sour cream, roasted veggies ... anything you like. Note the "we" mentioned here... that's because my husband does 85% of the work while I just eat a lot of guacamole.  

If you have a crock pot, this Martha Stewart recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Tacos is so easy and delish. You can put it together early in the day, and shred the chicken right before you're ready to eat.

You can also whip up ground beef tacos and sliced grilled chorizo to add more variety to your tray. Make spanish rice, refried beans, and be sure to warm up fresh corn tortillas and taco shells in the oven before serving. 

Guacamole is also a must, obviously. This Mango Pomegranate Guacamole recipe featured on A Cup of Jo looks ah-mahzing.  

And for drinks... you must try a Paloma. They're so easy and so good. Just mix tequila, sparkling grapefruit juice and fresh squeezed lime. Rim the glass with salt. I use stemless wine glasses to serve these bad boys. If you have something important to do the next day, don't have six of them. Ok?

For a weeknight:
Have you guys had Frontera taco sauces? They're so much better than the powder packets from our childhood. I buy them at Whole Foods, but I'm sure they're sold in other places. And if you're feeling extra lazy, get a small pre-made seven layer dip and use that to top your tacos, rather than buying everything individually. I have a five month old. Give me a break.

What are your favorite festive recipes?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Mom, New Normal

This post was originally written for weeSpring-- a great new website for advice on baby products and gear.

During the first few weeks after I had my baby girl, I kept wondering when life would ever feel “normal” again. Like all new parents, my world got turned upside down. Gone were lazy Sunday TV marathons, dinners out, nights of uninterrupted sleep, and feeling like I had some control of my life. Instead, I was shushing and swaddling, constantly checking to make sure she was breathing, and breastfeeding around the clock. My husband and I were smitten with this tiny person, but we were exhausted and overwhelmed.

All of my friends with older babies seemed so calm, knowing, and well rested. My sheer panic was a distant memory to them. So how did they get there? Would I ever be on the other side?

The good news is, YES. My baby is three months old and I’ve emerged from the fog. All the gadgets and gear I had no clue how to use are a no-brainer. I can change a diaper while cleaning spit up out of my hair with a wipe. And most importantly, I know my baby. I know the sounds she makes when she’s tired, her feeding patterns, and that she’s not nearly as excited about her jeggings as I am. But this is what I had to learn to get here…

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pregnancy Pampering

Pregnancy can be full of wonderful moments, but that doesn’t mean you always feel wonderful. Your back hurts, your feet ache, and you spend all day just waiting to hop into bed. When I was pregnant, I always felt like a deserved something for carrying around what felt like a watermelon that didn't let me sleep, ever. Whether it was treating myself to a little too much gelato or new makeup (because eye shadow never makes you feel fat), here are ways to ease those pesky pregnancy rites of passage and feel pampered in the process:

Indulge in a Massage: Massage is great for soothing pregnancy discomfort and boosting a mom-to-be’s mental well-being. Sip refreshing cucumber water, lounge in a fluffy robe, and then let the expert relieve sore muscles while you find your inner Zen. So take a load off and treat yourself to a prenatal massage. You deserve it, Mama!

Practice Yoga: Achieve ultimate relaxation (or let's be honest, just take a nap) in a prenatal yoga class. Especially designed for pregnant women, yoga will support your body as it grows and changes throughout your pregnancy. Aside from the physical benefits, meditation can work wonders on the wandering mind of an expectant mother. Although I was less than thrilled when I had to give a a total stranger a massage in class once, I always loved going.

Shop (But Not Till You Drop!)
So what if you feel like a beached whale? Find something to flatter your baby bump. If you’re not in the market for new maternity clothes, buy a pretty scarf or cool necklace you can enjoy now and after delivery. Treat yourself to something new that makes you feel good.

Go on a Date
When your baby arrives on the scene, you can say good-bye to dinner and a movie for awhile. Take advantage of this time now (even if you'd rather park it on the couch and watch an entire season of Downton Abbey) and have your hubby take you out on the town. Enjoy the low-key quality time together before life gets hectic.

Make Mocktails
Having to skip out on your favorite cocktails can be a real buzzkill during pregnancy. But you can still sip on something festive and delicious, sans booze. Get creative and experiment with sparkling water, fresh fruit and juices, flavored soda, even herbs and spices. Check out Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-be. Bring out the “good glasses” and toast to your little one on the way. Cheers!

Get Away
Take a “babymoon” to enjoy some quality time with your husband before baby makes three. Whether you stay local or venture out for some island time, a little pre-baby R&R outside of your normal routine is the ultimate way to pamper yourself.

Get a Makeover
Makeup doesn’t care how much weight you’ve gained during your pregnancy. From eye shadows to scented lotions, hit up your favorite cosmetics counter for a new stash of products and free makeover from a pro. You’ll need them to look camera-ready on the big day!