Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And the Winner Is...

onlinesociologydegree.netHaute Mom received another fabulous award! Thank you to OnlineSociologyDegree.net who awarded us as a Top Blog on Parenting Babies. They have decided that this blog is an excellent resource on parenting for their students. Thanks to all you haute moms out there who have given the advice that I am sure helped us get there!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lazy Sunday - Easy Dessert with the Holiday Leftovers

This is a day late but I couldn't help but share this recipe that is perfect for Lazy Sunday.  The thing I like about this is that it uses stale croissants which we always seem to have on Sundays - the last two lonely croissants left over and stale from the week.  What better way to use them then in this easy dessert that is as delectable as any holiday dessert can be!

The recipe is courtesy of  British chef Nigella Lawson and serves "2 greedy people".  Love it!

 Prep Time : 25 minutes


2 stale croissants
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; I use a cast iron oval with a capacity of about 500ml/ 2 cups for this.

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over medium to high heat.

Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Keep looking but don't be too timid.

Take the pan off the heat and add the cream - ignoring all spluttering - followed by the bourbon and milk. Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs.

Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes.

Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thrifty Thursday (on Black Friday)

Through all of this holiday shopping madness I have decided to continue to focus on good deals that can be found online for Thrifty Thursday.  There were so many of them today and I am especially excited for this new "Cyber Monday" hoopla that I have been hearing about.  Until I actually figure out and sort through all the great stuff that can be bought online all from the comfort of your own home, I have one thing to share that I think is a very haute, creative idea.

Chunky Bling is a new company that sort of found Haute Mom and has one of the neatest ideas around.  Jewelry is the name of the game for Chunky Bling and it is right up the haute mom's alley.  Watches, bracelets, necklaces and rings can all be found on Chunky Bling but the one thing that sets them apart from others is the "Build Your Own Watch" feature.  All of the jewelry items are funky, beaded jewelry and they even have a super cute Christmas one.  You can choose the face of your watch and the style of the beads for the band and you have a hip watch that looks like a beaded bracelet.  I love it because I am not a watch person - but I would totally wear one if it looked like a bracelet. 

The best thing about all of this is the price. The items are very affordable (between $10-$35) which is perfect now that I am a mom.  I don't wear a lot of my nicer jewelry very often because they get pulled, tugged on, and scratched but I still want to be able to accessorize.  They are made with materials built to last including Swarovski Crystals.  I think that when Stella gets older (much older), and wants to start playing around with accessories, this would be perfect for her.  I love the versatility and the price; they allow you to create your own pieces for that Christmas or New Year's outfit that you will be wearing.  I plan on buying a few for some of my favorite haute moms as a fun Christmas gift.  You can find the right piece for any type of personality.

Whether you are buying for yourself or as a gift, I would check this site out.  Again, this offers a fun, hip option to accessories without breaking your wallet or being afraid that the pieces will get ruined.  Save your Tiffany's pieces for a special occasion and wear Chunky Bling day to day!  I received a ring from them that is fun, fashionable, and durable.  It is a perfect piece to accompany a festive outfit or doing some shopping while looking haute at the same time!  Check out Chunky Bling and have fun shopping!

My Chunky Bling ring in Swarovski Crystal -Ebony!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks Week 4

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Although this is normally my Lazy Sunday post, I decided that what better day to give my last week of thanks than on the day that inspired it all!  When I think about how much my life has changed since Stella was born, I think back to all of the things that have helped me along the way to being a haute mom.  I have given thanks to my friends, my family, and to the roof I have over my head.  As I look at all that I have, there is one more group of people that I would like to thank.

I am thankful for my fellow mommies.  By fellow mommies I mean my other mommy friends old and new and I also mean all of you out there who I have never met.  Some of the kindest words and notes of support have come through on this blog, from others that I do not know.  I look forward to seeing many of your comments and your supportive cheering from the sidelines.  It often overwhelms me how many of you are faithful readers and have become mentors to me through a simple thing as a blog.  I have made wonderful contacts with many of you even though you are on the East Coast, and some as far as Canada!

When I started this blog, so many of you stepped forward and have blessed me by giving me awards, and featuring me on your own blogs.  With something that started off simply as a journal of my experiences, I found the best support through strangers where the only link we have is blogging and mommyhood.  The power of being a mommy never fails to amaze me, and the network of bloggers has done the same.

I dedicate this post to all of you, whether I know you or not, who have unselfishly given me five minutes of your time to write words of encouragement.  I especially thank all of you who visit me regularly and who make me smile when I see a comment from you on one of my posts.  You have provided support and made me laugh during the hardest of times, and continue to do so.  Know that you have touched the life of a stranger all the way in sunny California just for reaching out.  For this I am thankful. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you...from my family to yours.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #22 ~ Attention All Shoppers!

Stella enjoying our seats with daddy.
I must say that I really have ventured out since my earlier Haute Mom Dilemma posts.  I recall being a brand new mom, nervous to bring my baby girl out in the world where germs and judgement waited.  Since then, I have taken Stella to a number of different places that have helped me be more comfortable with handling my bundle of joy in public.  I accomplished a 5K charity walk, took Stella to two MLB baseball games, Oktoberfest, and on Monday night, took Stella to her first NBA game!  She has loved each and every one of those things and has even fallen asleep in the loudest of times
Clippes beat the Hornets 99-95!

 The one thing that I still have a difficult time with is taking her shopping and I'm thinking I need some serious help since Black Friday and holiday shopping is right around the corner.  So help me out here.  The issue I have is how one can sprout enough hands to hold baby (or push baby in the stroller) and push your cart, hold items to purchase, carry your bags, etc. There must be a magical product that is out there that I am missing, and no, do not tell me it is my hubby.  I'm not a fan of shopping with hubby sometimes...as I am sure many of you know what I am talking about.

Last week I went to Target and Trader Joe's all in one day and I felt like Stella and I should win a mother/daughter award.  I wore Stella (in my Ergo) into Target and was able to push the cart around with no problem but the whole checking out, paying thing was kind of difficult because she was in the way of getting things out of my cart.  I also haven't figured out the whole packing everything in the car thing.  I don't like leaving her in the car while I unload bags and return shopping carts but I also don't feel safe with her sitting in the cart while I unload in the middle of the parking lot.  Which is the lesser of two evils?
I swear, I think only moms think this way, or maybe crazy ones like me.  I'm sure I will be posting on my first Black Friday experience should I choose to participate.

Here is to Stella's first Thanksgiving tomorrow and wishng all of you a safe and happy one with all of your loved ones!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winner of the Chic Monkey Boutique Giveaway

Congratulations to the winner of a $25 gift ceretificate from Chic Monkey giveaway ~ #5 Meggan Taylor Columbo!  She won $25 to use towards a pair of her own soft sole shoes for her baby boy, in the design of her choice.  Meggan is going to be a first time Haute Mom VERY soon so I know she will be able to use these!  Thanks to everyone who entered and don't forget to enter our haute, environmentally friendly ReUsies giveaway that's going on right now!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lazy Sunday ~ Giving Thanks Week 3

On this truly lazy Sunday (I am still in my pajamas), I am reflecting on my week and trying to put it into perspective. There have been a lot of stressful things that have happened, where at times, I have not felt thankful for anything. I have found myself upset, defeated, frustrated, and alone. I wondered all week what I was going to write today. This is a far cry from last week when I had a million things I was thankful for.

Like always, things happen for a reason. There always seems to be things that come along at the right time to give a little sign that life isn't so bad. This happened twice this week and has helped me get back to being thankful once again.

I was invited to a fundraising event for an organization called Children Today. My friend from college invited me at the last minute, and my husband and I were able to donate a gift basket from our sporting goods store to auction off for the cause. I almost didn't go, but decided a few hours of adult time may be just what the doctor ordered. At the event, I learned more about what Children Today does. They offer child care and preschool to homeless children. I found myself donating money to give a child a birthday party, and buying books to give to the children in their program. This was heartbreaking and that evening, I found myself getting choked up. I could not imagine being in a situation where I could not provide food, shelter, and needs for my child.

Another friend of mine from college, and a fellow blogger, invited me to a blogging event yesterday for Nintendo Wii and the American Heart Association. The lunch happened to have a guest speaker on Asset Based Thinking. While I am reserving the details for a post dedicated to this event, I must say that the main message here was to change the way we thought about our problems. The speaker encouraged us to think positively about our problems and look at them as opportunites instead of negative things that weigh us down. Sounds like a little poke in the ribs from the highers that be, doesn't it?

So today, I am simply going to be thankful for what I have. I may run the risk of sounding materialistic but stick with me. I am thankful I own my home and it provides a roof for my family. I will always and forever want a bigger house but I need to stop and just be thankful that I have a home that I own. I am thankful that I have a job to go back to and that I am not in the group of the thousands of people that have found themselves out of work. I am thankful that I have enough money to buy basic necessities for my family. Money is one of those things that everyone feels like they always need more of, but I can buy food, diapers, clothing, and pay my bills. For that I am thankful.

In a time of difficulty right now, where I am personally struggling with many things in my life, I know that I am more fortunate than many. I have a healthy family (week 1), am surrounded by amazing friends (week 2), and have the basic necessities in life that so many of us take forgranted, and that so many in this country struggle for. This haute mom has had her smack in the face for the week and has been reminded that things could always be worse and when looking at things from a different perspective, I need to be truly thankful for the simple things.

Thank you to Masy Bunnell and Lisa Robertson for your invitations that have allowed me to be thankful for what I have.

I think I learned
to appreciate and treasure each day,
because you don't know
how many you're going to be given.
US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

When I started counting my blessings,
my whole life turned around.
Willie Nelson

Friday, November 19, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #21 ~ Sick Party of One

I've gone 6 months with a happy, fun, HEALTHY baby so to my surprise, Stella had a 102 degree fever early Wednesday morning. I knew one day Stella would fall ill but hoped I wouldn't be having to put the nurse outfit on anytime soon. You can't prepare yourself for that tug in your heart when the little one isn't feeling well, can you?

Stella had her 6 month well visit appointment on Tuesday and received her last set of vaccines for the next three months. She is never a happy camper after these visits (why should she be) but this one seemed a little worse. I knew it was going to be a doozy the moment I saw our nurse. Bless her heart for trying, she didn't seem to have graduated on the top of her nursing program if you know what I mean. She also moved about as quickly as a sloth. Then I found out she would be returning to give Stella her shots...great. After a PAINFUL (physically and mentally) round of shots, that seemed like it took longer than my visit to the DMV the other day, Stella was hysterical. Not the usual crying of dislike but hysterical like she maybe will have night terrors about this with the nurse as the dark shadow. I knew it would be time to batten down the hatches.

Stella seemed to be content the rest of the afternoon, and I left for work that evening feeling confident that maybe the doctor's visit had been the worst of it. I later put her to bed in a mood slightly more sour than usual but figured maybe the night with dad babysitting had been a little irritating for her. About an hour later Stella woke up and could not be consoled. She didn't want to be held, she didn't want to nurse, she just wanted to cry. I finally got her back to sleep to only be faced with the same thing about two hours later. It was then when I realized she had a fever. My friend told me that when Stella had her first true fever I would know and this couldn't have been more true. I pressed her hot little body against mine while my husband took her temperature. It was 102. I made my first middle of the night call to our pediatrician only to be told to give her some Tylenol and blame the shots, or her teething. We decided to put Stella in bed with us and with fear that my hubby was going to smother her in the middle of the night, I made him go sleep in her room. At least he got some sleep that night while Stella and I had our first mommy-baby up all night slumber party. Can we just talk about the things that are on in the wee hours of TV land...

Having made it through the night, I was relieved to see that the fever had gone down by morning. I felt like I had gotten my first initiation of the many nights in the future where I will stay awake to care for my baby girl. I do wonder if I did what I should have done by giving her Tylenol. I am not a medicine taker myself but don't know if my own philosophy should be applied to my 6 month old. I also now wonder if I should have followed an alternate schedule for her vaccines or if a fever would have happened either way. Any thoughts haute moms?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thrify Thursday ~ ReUsies Giveaway

As a new mommy, I am always in awe of the amount of trash that gets generated in my household. I am not simply talking about diapers (but yes, my green friends, I am strongly considering making the switch to cloth now that Stella is 6 months old), but just trash in general. Paper towels, kleenex, baby wipes, BM storage bags, and zip lock baggies fill up the trash cans on a daily basis. I would like to say that part of my hauteness is that I am environmentally friendly, or at least try to be, but I seem to be having a difficult time now. I want to find products that are easy to use, clean, and hug trees all at the same time. The other side of this is a time issue. I barely have time to keep up with laundry much less add more things to wash to my daily list of to-do's.

There is a product that I am enjoying that has cut back on some of the waste my family is generating; they replace zip lock bags which I know is an item that will be in my house for many years to come. ReUsies are these reusable bags that offer an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic zip lock bags. Why do I like them so much? You can wash them by hand, in the dishwasher, or...get this...the washing machine!

Stella's diaper bag is filled with little plastic zip lock bags containing pacifiers, teethers, bottle nipples, and usually a snack for me. Now that I am getting ready to return to work, I will be taking my lunch which requires more zip lock bags. Let's fast forward to when Stella is eating table food (2 more months according to her doctor on Tuesday) and more little bags will be needed. Not only is this generating garbage but plastic bags are not cheap! ReUsies come in two sizes, are inexpensive ($6.95-$8.95), and lead, BPA, and phthalate-free as well! ReUsies are the perfect solution and a well deserved star for this Thrifty Thursday. Not to mention they are versatile and come in a number of fun prints (this haute mom can never resist).

Check out some of the items I've stored in mine!

The best part is that ReUsies has generously offered to host a giveaway for all you haute moms out there! One lucky winner will receive both a sandwich and snack size bag in the print of your choice! Here is a chance for you to save money, lower your garbage production, and look haute while doing it!

To enter you must follow Haute Mom publicly and tell me why you would like to win a set of ReUsies! This is required and must be complete before you do any of the extra entries!

Extra Entries - leave one comment telling me you have done each of these.

-Subscribe to the ReUsies Newsletter
-Visit ReUsies and tell me which 3 ReUsies designs you like best
-Join Haute Mom on Networked Blogs
-Like Haute Mom on Facebook
-Like ReUsies on Facebook
-Change your Facebook status to mention your giveaway by leaving a link
-Follow ReUsies on Twitter
-Follow Haute Mom on Twitter
-Tweet about this giveaway by leaving a link to my site (up to once a day)
-Blog about the giveaway on your own blog - leave me a link
-Grab my button and add it to your blog – leave me a link

This giveaway will end on Friday, December 3rd at 9 p.m . PST. The haute winner will be chosen by Random. org. Good luck to all of you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Haute Mom Stays Cool

This week has been one of those weeks...and it's only Wednesday. In order to save some money, I am getting rid of our seven month old, leased car and buying a four year old used one. This haute mom loves her car, but we will love the $400/month savings and extra cargo room more. Although this is a wise choice, it has sent me on a wild goose chase of errands and paperwork. I have been back and forth to banks, AAA, the DMV, and back to banks, AAA, and the DMV. And that was just in the last two days.

Normally in these types of situations I get flustered, and now with Stella as my wingbaby, it can be really difficult. She was a total trooper and this mom was able to stay cool through it all. I have to share one thing that made this possible and that was her new stroller. I have been using the Chicco Travel System up until now. I love the system but sometimes find it too big and bulky. Maclaren recently sent me the Quest stroller that claims to be "the lightweight sporty solution" and it filled every promise!

I am absolutely IN LOVE with this stroller and I have tried three strollers already (the Chicco is the only other one that has been lucky enough to make the cut). I am not picky (well, not THAT picky) but I think a stroller is supposed to make your life easier, not more difficult and I haven't found on that truly does that...until now.

Some of the reasons why I love this stroller:
  • It's lightweight like an umbrella stroller and weighs in at a little over 12 pounds

  • It has a carrying strap, so when it is folded (in an umbrella stroller fold) you can sling it over one shoulder

  • It can be folded down with one hand (many others claim the same but we know that unless you have Hulk hands, it ain't happening)

  • There are 4 seat positions so Stella has been able to be comfy no matter what her mood is

  • The seat is removable and washable. You all remember my diaper blowout dilemma right? Problem solved!

  • It is water resistant and comes with a raincover
  • It offer a UV protected window so that I can see Stella without having to risk her exposure to the sun

  • It is appropriate for 3 months and up - and can carry up to 55 pounds. This stroller has a very long usage period. Most of the other stroller where a car seat is not needed start at 6 months. Stella still can't sit comfortably at 6 months in her Chicco stroller without being in her car seat.
  • It is DARLING! I have the Cath Kidston design which is a vintage-inspired edition in red with white dots.

Overall, this stroller fits every need. It is durable, but has the convenience of an umbrella stroller. There are plenty of storage pouches, a basket and it is every but as comfy for Stella as her big Chicco. Although the cost is higher then the average umbrella stroller, I would tell any new mommy to register for this one as her main stroller. It can be used early on with the bells and whistles of a travel system but has the ease of an umbrella stroller which is so important when running errands on your own, like every haute mom does. And there are some super haute designs to really express your inner mommy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Stylish Blogger Award!

I just want to thank Emma's Lunch for awarding us with a Stylish Blogger Award!! It is so nice to receive awards, especially from our fellow bloggers. It is much appreciated and thanks for thinking Haute Mom is stylish!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lazy Sunday ~ Giving Thanks Week 2

I have the chance to write this post in the blessed silence of an early Sunday morning. I have a good friend at work who used to describe these morning too me, explaining that she used to tip-toe downstairs at 5 a.m. to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee before work, using every muscle possible to control her movements so that she doesn't make a sound. For she knew that even the slighest creak would wake a child, husband, dog, which would then wake another, crashing down into a domino effect of craziness. I never fully understood this, until now.

Today, I am thankful for friends. I know this seems kind of generic but this post is for a certain category of friends. Not the friends who are there for convenience, the ones who only call or come around when they need something or when there is nothing better to do. Not the friends who are one-sided, those who never call you or invite you places, but instead do nothing for your friendship until you reach out to them. And not those who I like to call "frenemies", the ones who use you to gain some advantage, use your ideas, or talk about you behind your back. I am thankful for true friends, the ones that are so special that they can part the clouds on a rainy day.

As I have gotten older, I have learned about all these different types of friends, some the hard way. Gone are the days when I traveled with an entourage, where only one or two in company was a true friend. I have experienced drama, backstabbing, let downs, stolen dreams, and people hanging on to my coat tails and learned that some people never change and it is best to let them go. As I think about my true friends, I realize that part of getting older means that people get let behind, sometimes for good reason.

My friends now are the ones who I know will be here for life. I can call on any one of them and they will be there for me. It doesn't matter how long I have seen or talked to them, we can pick up as though we lunched the day before. It doesn't matter how busy they are, they will take the time out of their day to help me, be there for me, or inconvenience themselves for me. These friends call or text me randomly to say they are thinking about me, Stella, and that they miss us. Sometimes they send a message about something that made them think of me and it was important that they share. They never use the excuse "I've been too busy" or "I didn't get a chance" but they keep their word out of respect for our friendship. These friends make me feel supported, loved, and special. It is comforting to know that there is a small, secluded group in my life that will always be around helping me be the best that I can be and picking me up when I fall.

I wish that I could list these friends, but many know who they are. Perhaps, some people reading this would be surprised to find out they would be on this list, and that shows me the true selflessness of their friendship. Some of these people are from my college days, others from the work place. Many of these friends I have know for years, and others, only since my haute months of mommyhood. It doesn't matter how long they have been around but what matters is that they are here to stay. Thank you to all my friends who are there for me through thick and thin and have helped me through this next chapter of my haute life. For you, I am truly thankful.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #20 - Solid Food Funky

It's hard to believe my baby girl is 6 months old today! I have been diligently tracking every milestone and photographing every moment (no, literally, I take three or four pictures of her a day). Our most recent milestones have been sitting unassisted and solid foods! I started Stella on solids around five months but have been working hard to be consistent with her solid food feeding. I began with rice cereal mixed with BM as suggested by my pediatrician. Stella took to it right away and now our biggest challenge is feeding her fast enough so she doesn't get frustrated! She loves it (although I don't know why, the stuff tastes like cardboard!)

The whole solid food thing is one of those areas where everyone has their own opinion. I received the information sheet from the American Academy of Pediatrics that offers guidelines for starting your baby on solids. I have read that you should try to give your baby veggies before fruit. Dr. Sear's suggests starting your baby on foods that have low allergy rates and are similar to the taste of BM or formula such as rice cereal, bananas, avocados, and pears. Well, help a mother out here. Which is it? I am assuming that all this mixed info basically means that there is no one way to do it. I think I am going to try bananas next because they are easy and I have a hard enough time staying consistent.

Speaking of easy...I also have been wondering about the jar food/homemade food issue. I used to think that jar food had all this extra, yucky stuff in it, but after reading the labels, I have found that some are impressively simple. Is it worth it to make your own baby food? Is it even that much cheaper? What's the best way to freeze homemade food? Or is it an endless toss up debate like the cloth vs disposable diapers?

And...let's talk diapers. Stella has had a change in her, uh, diaper dirtying schedule. Her solids have come less frequently since starting solid foods, if you know what I mean. And her solids have been more liquid. Oh heck, enough with the coyness, there is no haute way to talk poopy diapers. Her diapers have been horrible! She doesn't poop everyday and when she does - LOOK OUT! We are talking outfit changes here. I have begun to measure them by the number of wipes it takes to clean her and it is up in the 15-20 wipe range. Horrific! And the smell is less than desirable. Some have said this may be due to teething but I can't tell if that is the culprit or if it's her new diet. Either way it is M-E-S-S-Y (insert mom holding her nose with plastic gloves on).

Luckily, Stella is still nursing and I still have a couple weeks before I return to work so there is time to work the kinks out. What have all you other haute moms done or learned along the way? I love feeding Stella with her little bib on and rice cereal everywhere but I definitely need to learn some tricks of the trade.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #19 ~ Leaving Baby - The Final Installment

So less than 24 hours ago I was in Boston and now I am back in my role as mommy. The grandparents are on their way home to San Francisco and the only remnant of mommy's trip away is my beloved backstage pass to the Dave Matthews concert. One of the things that is most comforting is how quickly mother and baby can come back together without a hitch, as if they were never apart.

I left off with trying to figure out how to get my pumped BM back to Los Angeles. I pumped all day Wednesday and packed my BM in a lunch sac filled with Ziploc baggies of hotel ice. I store my BM in the Medela storage bags so I already had those with me. I was able to fit five bags in the lunch sac, surround them with the ice. I then put the lunch sac in the dry clean bag from the hotel and tied it up. My homemade package was tucked neatly in my suitcase. I got to the airlines and the Grinch-like American Airlines employee checked us in and threw my suitcase on the conveyor belt. My hopes immediately diminished - Operation BM was not looking so great. I had called American Airlines prior to leaving and they assured my that there were outlets on the plane which would allow me to pump and at least bring that BM home with me. This was NOT true and the flight was agony. The good news is when I landed, my suitcase was completely dry. Operation BM was a success and I was able to bring almost five bottles worth home.

Overall, my quick trip across the country was a good one. I missed Stella terribly but know that the night away was good for all of us. I intend to write a few letters to both American Airlines and TSA about this situation. I know they have to do what they can for security but moms who BF should not have to deal with this in any situation. In the meantime, I will not be flying without Stella, and I think she is happy about that!

Winner of the Moby Wrap Giveaway!

The Moby Wrap winner is # 21 ~ Michele from http://foundgiveaways.blogspot.com/!I know you will enjoy wearing your little one comfortably in the solid color Moby Wrap of your choice!! Congrats to you and on behalf of myself and Babes in Disneyland thanks to all of those who entered, tweeted, and blogged about the giveaway! A special thanks to Moby Wrap for providing our winner with the best baby carrier out there!

Be sure to check out our current giveaway on Soft Sole Shoes from Chic Monkey Boutique and keep reading for a bunch of great giveaways lined up! I can't wait to share them!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #19 - Leaving Baby Part 2

It is Wednesday morning and I have been away from Stella for over 24 hours. Yesterday I snuck away in the early morning darkness to catch my flight to Boston. I stole a couple kisses from my sleeping baby and disappeared into the night. I felt sad on the way to the airport but with the craziness of checking-in and airport security, my mind was filled with other thoughts. I had a video of Stella laughing on my phone and decided it would be helpful to watch her while I was waiting for our flight to board. BIG MISTAKE. I immediately started crying. Not sniffly crying, like when you get choked up about something but CRYING like when you are PMS-ing and you see a Hallmark or Folgers commercial (Remember that one where the college son comes home and surprises his family on Christmas morning? Yea, I have goosebumps right now.) My brother walked up to us and said he saw me and thought, "Oh, oh. Something just happened while I was gone and I am not going to say one word." The tears were flowing while I boarded, during take-off, and still three hours later when I was landing in Chicago for our layover. Once I checked in with my parents, and they sent some pictures, I finally was able to relax. I am sure the beer I had during lunch didn't hurt either.

I went wandering through the airport looking for a place to pump...yes, and dump. According to American Airlines I am not allowed to carry breastmilk on the plane unless I was traveling with a baby. TSA did say I could take milk on the place but it would have to be frozen. Since I didn't happen to bring my freezer with me, I decided I was going to have to dump this liquid gold until I could figure something else out. Since airports aren't exactly private, I chose to wait to pump on the plane. The nice flight attendants allowed me to use the back row and once they figured out how to turn the outlets on I was good to go. (Did you know there were outlets under each seat? I didn't. Pretty cool though.) Thanks American Airlines flight attendants for making it the friendly skies!

After checking in to the hotel, we went to a nice dinner and then partied like rockstars at the Dave Matthews concert (enter teenage fan scream here). I love Boston! We were able to have access to the backstage area, the VIP lounge, and also had amazing seats. It was a great time! After the show I checked in on grandma and grandpa who assured my all was good on the homefront.

Fast forward to now. I am getting ready to pack up and head back home. Who thought it would go this fast? I am so excited to get back to Stella and feel very fortunate having my family to take care of her while I was gone. It was a good test for me, and for her. Looks like mommy and baby passed. Now, I am off to go formulate a plan to bring home some breastmilk. I am actually considering packing it in my suitcase in bags of ice....Hmmmmmm.
Here are a couple pics from the side stage viewing area:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #19 - Leaving Baby Part 1

Haute moms, I need you now. Please come in full force and bring your haute powers. I am leaving my baby tomorrow for approximately 40 hours and I am feeling a little, well, panicked. This post is labeled in parts because I know that there will probably be a number of entries in the next 40 hours where I will feel the need to blog. My flight leaves in 12 hours and I feel like a brick is sitting on my chest. Oh wait, that may be Stella sleeping.

I have a favorite band. Not favorite like, "Oh they are really good" favorite but FAVORITE like 14-year-old Justin Bieber "aaaaaaaaahhh!!!!" favorite. The band is the Dave Matthews Band and I have seen them eight times, since I became pregnant with Stella. Stella has seen them six times in utero. Overall, I have seen them over 50 times.

For that reason, and a small work venture, I am flying from California to Boston to see the Dave Matthews Band...backstage passes baby. You know it would have to be big for me to leave Stella behind. I even thought about bringing her but figured logistically, that would be unfair to her. My parents, as mentioned in my last post, will be taking care of her. I have to pack and do some things because our flight leaves at 6 a.m. but can't stand to put her down long enough to do much of anything.

On a separate note, I called American Airlines (had to because they cancelled our flight - argh) and talked to them about traveling with my breastpump and pumped milk. They told me that I was not allowed to travel back with the milk I pump while I am gone. Apparently, having my baby with me is proof that it is real milk but traveling without a baby means it could be anything. The kind lady did tell me I could check the milk in for an extra baggage fee. Gee thanks. Um, what exactly am I supposed to do? All of you pumping moms out there know the stuff is like gold! Can this really be the rules?!

Well, I will keep you posted but for now I am going to pack, starting with my travel pack of kleenex since I am sure I will be blubbering all the way to the airport...and to Boston for that matter. I hope I can clean myself up long enough to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams, being backstage at a Dave Matthews concert. I keep telling myself to be strong, kind of like the end of the Karate Kid when Daniel-son is trying to get up off the mat. I know I can do it - send me some haute vibes ladies.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lazy Sunday ~ Giving Thanks Week 1

I have decided for the month of November and in the spirit of Thanksgiving I was going to spend my lazy Sundays reflecting on all the things I can be thankful for. It is sad that I actually have to set time aside and force myself to be thankful but I guess that's life sometimes. I do know I get bogged down with things that are wrong and that I want to fix so I think it is important for me to remember that there are plenty of things in my life that are RIGHT. Who knows, maybe it will become a new way of thinking for me!

As I sit here on this perfect lazy Sunday, I feel very thankful for many things. We had our first professional pictures done today as a family and spent a beautiful morning in a park, smiling, laughing and enjoying our surroundings. Now, I sit here and blog as Stella sleeps soundly on my chest and my husband cleans the house. No, that is not a typo.

This week, I am going to be thankful for my family. I know that is fairly general, but it almost has to be. I am thankful for my husband who has the biggest heart, and lives his life everyday doing the best he can for me and Stella. We have our ups and downs, as most couples do. but he is always by my side, supportive in anything I want to do, and let's face it, he is cleaning the house right now. He has willingly picked up many "wife" duties since we had the baby and does them with pride! I am also thankful for my parents. They live about 400 miles away, on the outskirts of San Francisco, and are on their way here to take care of Stella for two days. My dad, who was not a hands on father, is so in love with his granddaughter it brings tears to my eyes. He offers to take her when he visits so I can eat, shower, rest, etc. I am so sad that, in a couple of days, I will be leaving Stella for two days and one night but am comforted knowing that my parents will be the ones watching over her. I also have two siblings that I am thankful for. My brother and my sister have both been parts of my life and even bigger parts of my daughter's life. I know that I can count on either of them to do anything and to be there for me no matter what. Lastly, I am thankful for Stella. I never could have imagined how one little human being could change our lives so. I feel like I put little arms and legs on my heart and named it Stella. She is so precious and beautiful and becoming a mom is the greatest role I have ever experienced. I am thankful every day for her health, her safety, and her being.

There are so many other things I can be thankful for and each week I am going to focus on one. I think this Thanksgiving will not only be a special one now that Stella is here but also because for the first time in a long time, I am going to spend it the way it was meant to - truly giving thanks.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

That's right haute moms - Thrifty Thursday is back! I know I haven't posted one of these in a few weeks but to be honest, I have been waiting for a really great deal to come along! I finally found one in a great little place called Etsy. For those of you who aren't familiar with Etsy, it is a site where people can buy and sell things that are handmade. If you saw my Bib Kerchief giveaway, those were made by an Etsy seller. You can find great items from furniture, to glassware, and of course baby stuff!

I recently received a pair of shoes for Stella on Etsy. I have been having a difficult time with putting shoes on her because all of the shoes seem so uncomfortable on her tiny little baby feet. Frankly, I don't like the red marks that all of her shoes leave on her because none of them fit right and I have all different kinds from Riley Roos to Robeez. These shoes are not cheap either! I definitely like the soft sole shoes since she is not walking yet but I still haven't found ones I love...until now!

Chic Monkey Boutique makes Soft Sole Baby Shoes (among MANY other things) that are as comfortable as socks or booties but with a sole on them. Stella fits into a 6-12 month size and they don't fall off like some of her other shoes but there is still plenty of room for growth. When I take them off of her, there are no red marks or signs that the shoes are rubbing or pinching her feet. Want to hear the best part? They are only $19.95! For this price you can buy a bunch of styles in darling patterns so your baby can be as haute as you are! The sizes run from 6-12 months to 18-24 months which means Stella will be wearing these for years ahead.

Check out Stella wearing her Soft Sole Shoes in Miss Kitty Tuxedo!

What's the best part of this Thrify Thursday? You guessed it! Chic Monkey Boutique is going to give a $25 gift certificate for a pair of Soft Sole shoes (or any other Chic Monkey product) to a lucky Haute Mom follower! So check out Chick Monkey and start making that wish list!

To enter you must follow Haute Mom publicly! Go to Chic Monkey Boutique and leave me one comment telling me which Soft Sole shoes you would put on your wish list! This is required and must be complete before you do any of the extra entries!

Extra Entries - leave one comment telling me you have done each of these.

-Follow Chic Money Blog

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-Like Chic Monkey on Facebook

-Follow me on Twitter - www.twitter.com/ktenny

-Follow Chic Monkey on Twitter - http://twitter.com/Thechicmonkey

-Tweet about this giveaway (you may do this once a day)

-Join Haute Mom on Networked Blogs

-Visit Frills and Fireflies and leave a comment about an item you would add to your wish list

-Post the Haute Mom button on your blog

-Blog about this giveaway and link back to Haute Mom

This giveaway will end Friday, November 19th at 9 p.m. PST. The winner will be selected by Random.org. Good luck!

Haute Mom Dilemma #18 - Working Mom

I happened to glance at the date today and realized that we are already into November. My heart sank. I am scheduled to go back to work on December 7th, almost one month from today.

I have worked two jobs for the last five years. I teach 7th grade (this is my 11th year) and I teach at a state university in the evenings. I have always been lucky enough to take a leave of absence or some time off with my jobs without having to worry about losing them. I took advantage of this when I had Stella. I have been off since April 2010, almost seven months. I had always been told by many who know me that I was going to be one of those moms that can't wait to get back to work after having my child. I am not. Not even close. I enjoy being home with my daughter and teaching part-time in the evenings has been perfect for my husband and I, except financially. After much discussion, we have decided that in order to achieve our goals for the future (paying off our debt, being financially secure, buying a bigger house, having more children) I need to return to work in December.

I will be leaving Stella in the good hands of our nanny three days a week, and my husband will stay home twice a week and then head to work when I get home from my day. This pulls at my heart strings, but I have to remind myself that many moms have to go out and face the work force with their little ones in the care of others. Many of those moms returned to work far sooner than I have had to.

One of the reasons why I waited to have children was that I was unsure how being a teacher would affect being a parent. As a teacher, you spend hours giving attention to your students, practicing your patience, and often times, doing some parenting. I want to have energy and patience when I get home, and I am still concerned with finding the balance between the two. For this reason, I have decided to interview for a position in my district that would take me out of the classroom and put me into an office-type environment. I would still be involved in education but not directly with students. I will be looking at slightly longer hours, but I also will have a little more flexibility should I need to be there for Stella. I have many mixed emotions, but at this point, I think this is the best move for me and my family. I interview on Monday.

Either way, I will be returning to work on December 7th. It may very well, involve some tears. I will be leaving the group of SAHMs and joining moms in the work force. I do find it important to have my own career - this is one of my haute qualities. I don't want to have to start over in three years when Stella goes to school. I hope that I am not doing it at the expense of my child, but I know there are worse things than being a working mom. For all of you who have been working, whether it be from home or out in the world, I have the utmost respect for you. It is tough. For all of you stay at home moms, realize how lucky you are to be in a situation where you can be with your children. Whichever one you are, stay haute and wish me luck!