Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

So it's the morning of Halloween and I have been up so early, you would have thought I was a kid on Christmas morning. No, I didn't have anything to do. I guess the smell of snack size candy must be floating through the air. Stella is going to be a lady bug tonight and will be joining fellow cutest baby club member, Jake Stone. He is going to be a spider. His mom and I didn't plan it but I thought it was really cute. We had a dress rehearsal this morning and she seems to be warm and toasty in it. I hid the candy from myself a few days ago because I had already eaten about five bags of Take 5. (For those of you who have never had one, they are heaven on Earth. It is a pretzel with peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate. Yup, you heard me and for some reason, I can only find them around Halloween.) Guess I better start combing the cabinets for those and the giant size bag of variety M&M's. Gee, I hope we have some candy left! Have a safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bloom by Arissia Bib Kerchief Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the winner of our Bloom by Arissia Reversible Bib Kerchief winner - Karen Foster! I know you and your little one will enjoy one of my favorite must haves! Way to go haute mom!


Haute Mom as a Guest Writer!

I was recently chosen to be a guest writer for my fellow Haute mom blogger The Mommy Chronicles! The piece I wrote is called "The Morphing of a Haute Mom". Hop on over to The Mommy Chronicles and check it out!

The Morphing of a Haute Mom

I had a great life. Life was so good that I didn’t think anything was missing. I was one of those married thirty-somethings who didn’t feel nature’s duty to have children. I would have been fine just living my grand old life with my husband parading around town.

I was a teacher of two kinds. I taught 7th grade and classes at one of our state’s universities. I worked so much I hardly saw my husband during the week but I didn’t care. I made money and money was our ticket to freedom. Having money to do the things I loved was more important than spending time at home.

I loved to go to concerts, run and ski. It was wonderful. I watched for familiar artists to come to town and get the best seats possible. I ran to be alone and escape. It didn’t hurt that it kept me in shape. I lived for ski season where every year I would treat myself to a new ski outfit and we would travel to perfect snow.

I loved to dine out. There was nothing better to me than eating a nice meal out. I liked to go places where I had to dress up. I loved good wine, cocktails, and friends to accompany me. I loved going to our favorite restaurants where everyone knew our name because we went there so much. The cocktails waitresses would bring me a drink without asking because they already knew what I liked. That was VIP service right there. I was haute.

In September 2010 I found out I was pregnant. I had mixed feelings. I knew I was at the age where if I was ever going to be a mom, this was the time. However, I had built a life that I did not want to let go of. I chose to embrace it. On May 13, 2010 my first child was born. Her name is Stella.

I have a great life. I never knew my life could feel so complete. I look at my daughter and can’t believe how much one person could love something so much. I look at my family at the end of the day and there is not much more I can ask for.

I love watching Stella discover new things. I loved watching her hold her head up, then roll over, and now, sit up on her own. I love that she has just discovered her voice, her laugh, and her hands. I am her teacher and can’t wait teach her all of the wonderful things the world has to offer.

I love to go to new places with Stella. I love to watch her eyes widen in amazement as she soaks in new sites and new people. I pass up chances to do things where I cannot take her. When I am away from her I get anxiety because I miss her so much.

I have cut back on working. I have taken a leave from one of my jobs to stay at home with Stella for awhile. This has been difficult for us financially but we are doing what we can to make ends meet by giving up a lot of the things we used to do. While money is extremely important, I would rather cut back on other things so that I can spend time with my daughter and as a family.

I love to order in. I don’t like to take Stella to restaurants where she is overwhelmed. I like her to be comfortable and be able to play or have some tummy time while her father and I eat. Better yet, now that she is eating solids, I love having her at the table with us watching and learning how to use her new found skills.

I love being in sweat pants because they are comfortable and I can get on the ground with Stella to play or lay on the floor while she does tummy time. They also hide my new found mom curves that are souvenirs from my pregnancy.

The other day I was taking Stella to lunch and I caught a glimpse of myself in her backseat mirror while I was putting her car seat in. I looked at my disheveled hair and my make-up free face. I looked down at my outfit; my plain shirt, sweats, and flip flops.

I realized then and there how much my life had changed. The old one was a faint memory in just five short months. I looked back at myself and realized one thing. I have done the greatest thing a human could ever do – I created, nurtured, and gave birth to a child. I am a mom and I am haute.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haute Halloween

Halloween has always been up there on my list of fabulous holidays. There is nothing like dressing up in costume and getting some candy as a reward. As the years went by, the Halloween parties got more fun and my costumes got a little sluttier. That's right. I didn't work out for nothing. When my hubby and I got married, we really got into the holiday and started decorating the house. Not decorating with paper cut-outs like the ones you used to tape on the inside of your window but decorations like nobody's business! Dead bodies, a graveyard, spiders, bones, lights, fog machine, you name it. People actually drive by our house and take pictures. We also got into the whole couples costume thing and always went all out for our seasonal Halloween parties. Last year we went as Ghostbusters and I was 10 weeks pregnant (and the designated driver).

Well, as you can imagine this year will be a little different and this Haute Mom is not only OK with this, excited as well! We have decided to bypass the Halloween parties (1. Babysitting is not cheap and 2. Our main babysitter is not available all weekend.) Stella is going to be a little ladybug and we are going to a baby party where the little ones will dress up and the haute moms will drink wine (thanks Stone family)!

I am a little confused at this Halloween etiquette now that I am a mom. I need to stay haute and don't want to commit any "Do Not's" on my first Halloween. First, can I take Stella trick-or-treating and eat her candy? Or does she need to be able to say "Trick or Treat" all by herself? Also, what's up with the pumpkin patch? We took Stella to get her first pumpkin and I had to stop and wonder if I had stumbled upon a carnival of some sort. Since when are there tickets, and games, and rides, and bouncy houses? What happened to the good ol' pumpkin patch? You know, the empty lot filled with straw or dirt and rows of pumpkins? And were pumpkins always that expensive?! If so, sorry mom! I mean the ones at the grocery store are so much cheaper but obviously, this haute mom will not get her daughter's first pumkin at the grocery store. Maybe next year...which is also when I plan on learning to sew so I can make costumes. No, that was not a joke. Anyone know what the easiest costume to make is? I may need to start on it now.
Stella with her first pumpkin ~ she found it right away and wouldn't let go of it!

I hope all of you and your families and a safe and terrific Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Moby Wrap Review and Giveaway

Haute Mom recently teamed up with Babes in Disneyland for a review on the Moby Wrap during a trip to Disneyland. Moby Wrap is one of my favorite must-haves for Stella. During the first six weeks, the Moby Wrap was the only thing that would calm Stella down during her crying hour. It was a life saver for this haute mom! I have used it at festivals, baseball games, and most recently Disneyland.

Moby Wrap, an award-winning baby carrier, was receommended to me by a fellow haute mom. It is a long piece of breathable cotton that you wrap around yourself (or the wearer) to create a warm, safe environment for your baby. It is light weight and easy to take along or stow away. Moby Wrap is made for babies to 35 lbs and is machine washable. It is one of the most comfortable carriers on the market because you can wrap it to your individual body shape. There are no staps, hoops, belts, or buckles to mess with. Some people may think it is too difficult to wrap but Moby Wrap provides an easy instruction booklet for the intitial wrap and all of the baby holds. I have even used the nursing hold to nurse Stella in public! The best part is that it is very affordable, starting at $39.99!

I have tried a number of different carriers and this is my favorite. Moby Wrap has generously offered to give one of our readers a chance to try this great mommy must have! One lucky haute mom will win a solid color Moby Wrap of their choice!




To enter simply follow this blog and and then head on over and follow Babes in Disneyland! Please leave me one comment when you have done both of these things. 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.

  • Visit Moby Wrap and tell me what solid color you would like to win.

  • Like Haute Mom on Facebook

  • Like Babes in Disneyland on Facebook

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

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

  • Join Haute Mom on Networked Blogs

  • Join Babes in Disneyland on Networked Blogs

  • Post the Haute Mom button on your blog

  • Post the Babes in Disneyland button on your blog

  • Blog about this giveaway and link back to Haute Mom

This giveaway will end Monday, November 8th at 9 p.m. (PST). The lucky winner will be chosen by Random.org. Good luck!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #17 ~ In the Heat of the Fight

For any of you other haute moms out there who read the gossip mags, divorce seems to be a common headline lately. Some of our long standing couples have been calling it splitsville, which is always a reminder that it takes more than money and nannies to make a marriage work. We all know that marriage is tough and that arguments happen.

The hubby and I got into one of our more heated arguments the other day. This was one of our first since Stella was born. In the past, I must admit that we would sometimes fight so loudly that our dog would shake. The dog is slightly more neurotic than she should be but that is no excuse. This was one of those fights. My hubby and I are both strong-willed and stubborn which is the perfect recipe for those loud, blown out fights.

We started arguing about a very common topic, money. Money then turned into everything under the sun including who does the dishes more (I do, of course). The thing that is the most troublesome is that Stella was awake and in my hubby's arms during the fight. I had to ask him to stop shouting while he was holding her. He stopped, but not right away. It broke my heart to watch Stella furrow her little brow and look back and forth at us wondering what was happening. She didn't cry but her eyes started to tear up. My dog was shaking.

I had to take Stella and remove myself from the room to stop the fight. For us, time alone helps us cool down until we can talk about things. I felt extremely guilty and sad that this had just happened. Not because of our fight but because we had just subjected Stella to this kind of environment.

So here is the dilemma. We are both stubborn people and get heated very easily. We are going to argue. How can I avoid this from happening? I remember my parents fighting and I can't say that it scarred me, but we all know that this isn't a healthy situation for children to be in. I am going to assume that since my dog can sense tension and anger, my little baby can. She was exteremely clingy and fussy the rest of the day.

What are some tactics that we can use when we are in the heat of the moment to prevent this from happening? Will having a rule of not fighting in front of the baby be enough? Does this happen to every couple, or are we shaping up to be bad parents? I know the dynamics of my husband and I. We have such a hard time stepping away from a fight when we are heated. I hope that our love and dedication to our baby will see that any argument can wait until there is a more appropriate way for us to discuss things.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Haute Giveaways!

There are some haute giveaways going on this week so have fun entering! Don't forget about my featured giveaway for two Reversible Bibs made by Etsy's Bloom by Arissia!

Stella loves hers!

Enter here

Here are some of the other giveaways going on around the blogosphere!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

UNlazy Sunday

Keeping with my theme of lazy Sunday, I had the very opposite of that today. This morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn, well, before that, and went and participated in the 20th CHOC Walk in the Park. Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC)is dedicated to the care, services, education and research of children's medical needs. They have a state-of-the-art facility and provide compassion and top notch health care to children and their families regardless of the family's ability to pay.

Apparently, Stella isn't a morning person.




CHOC has a long standing relationship with Disneyland (Walt Disney himself was on the original board of directors) which is where the walk took place. So this morning, Stella, the hubby, myself, and thousands of others took to the streets of Disneyland in a 5K effort to raise money. I was part of the Babes in Disneyland team lead by my fellow blogger Lisa Robertson and had a number of great family and friends donate. A big thanks to them!

Stella was very excited once she woke up ~ her first time at Disneyland!



Participating in the walk lead me to heavy thoughts about how lucky we are to have our health and have the health of our families. There were many children this morning wearing shirts that bragged about the number of years they had been cancer free. I saw families with signs dedicated to children lost. I couldn't help but feel choked up as I looked at Stella and thanked God for her health. Sometimes, I know I get so wrapped up in things that I forget to stop, look, and be thankful for what I have in my life. Events such as this one seem to always be there at the right time to force me to stop and smell the roses.

On the eve of this UNlazy Sunday, as we feel the anxiety of the hectic week coming on, don't forget to stop for a second and look around. Give your little ones a kiss on their sweet, sticky cheeks, and even your spouse. I figure, maybe I don't have so much to complain about...even though I am sure I will find something by tomorrow.

More pictures from the CHOC walk in the Park

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A First Time Award Winner Pays It Forward!

I have had a fantastic week thanks to two of my fellow mommy bloggers! Ramblings Of A Stay At Home Mom and Heard It From the Hills have both chosen Haute Mom as one of their award recipients! That's right, Haute Mom was chosen by two fabulous blogs to receive awards!
Awards given by Ramblings Of A Stay At Home Mom





Award given by Heard It From the Hills



In order to accept these awards there were only a few things I was asked to do, both were pretty similar:
  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass this on to 12/15 other great bloggers you recently discovered.
  • Contact the selected bloggers and tell them about their award.

Since one award asked for 12 blogs and the other asked for 15, I am going to pass these awards on to 15 blogs. I know there are more than 15 amazing blogs out there so this will be a little easier for me to do! :) So here I go with my new found task at hand and thanks so much to my two fellow bloggers! Make sure you check out their fantastic, award winning blogs too!

7 Things About Me
1. I LOVE the Dave Matthews Band, in a teen groupie kind of way.
2. I ski but don't snowboard.
3. Jeans are my favorite things to buy but I loathe trying them on.
4. My favorite cakeis Red Velvet.
5. I am afraid of heights, which can make #2 difficult.
6. I am a runner and yes, I actually enjoy it.
7. I make a mean Rocky Road.

And now, the 15 haute blogs who I pass these awards onto are (in no particular order):




The Mommy Chronicles

One Little Mister Mommy Blog

Photobucket


Photobucket





The Chatty Momma







Mom's Tree House
The Meditative Mom
Me, The Man, & The Baby
Be One Fine Day
Be sure to visit these great blogs. I know you will enjoy them as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Favorite Little Must Have Giveaway!

I recently found a small item to help Stella and I through this wet time period we call "pre-teething". It is called the Bib Kerchief and as I mentioned in my sneak preview, these are handmade and sold on Etsy by Bloom by Arissia! What is so good about the Bib Kerchief? The bibs are made for the drooly baby and have a snap close which is so much more comfortable for little Stella's neck than velcro. The bib is small enough that Stella can wear it throughout the day without it being bothersome! The Bib Kerchief is made with 100% cotton on one side and flannel on the other so it is machine washable and super absorbent. Better yet, I don't spend my day playing catch the dribble off of Stella's chin!


The Bib Kerchief is also made to be worn from three months to toddler, up to two or three years old. This, for me, was quite a bonus since most things I buy can't be worn for very long. The prints are stylish and the bibs are reversible! Stella loves wearing hers!


Let's get to the good stuff!! Blooms by Arissia is sponsoring our giveaway by providing two Bib Kerchiefs, both in gender neutral colors. The prints are adorable...on both sides!


To enter you must publicly follow this blog and visit Bloom by Arissia on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/bloombyarissia?ref=top_trail and tell me which item you would LOVE to have! Please leave me one comment when you have done both of these things. 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.

Be a HAUTE mom and start a trend! All the other mommies will want one! This giveaway will be ending Wednesday, October 27th at 9 p.m. (PST). The winner will be selected by Random.org. Good luck!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Giveaway Sneak Preview

This week I will be holding my next giveaway. The giveaway is from Bloom by Arissia and you can find her stuff on Etsy. I am very excited about this giveaway because the products are handmade so you know there has been a lot of love put into them for your precious babes! Keep posted for more details!

For now you can check out these great giveaways from Living Out Loud!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lazy Sunday...pudgy Sunday!

You may notice that I am always moaning and groaning about my weight. My sweet, skinny Taverniti pre-pregnancy jeans just stare at me from across the room now...waiting...judging. I have decided in this month of October, this oh, so much candy, time of yea,r that I am going to embrace my sweet mommy curves and enjoy the month of sweet treats! This lazy Sunday I am bringing to you a yummy recipe that will take your tummy to heaven with minimal work. Rocky Road Chocolate Cake cooks in the crock pot and is courtesy of Southern Living. It is delish and only 15 minutes of prep time!


ROCKY ROAD CHOCOLATE CAKE


Prep: 15 min. Cook Time: 3 hours 40 min. Stand: 15 min.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.



Ingredients:
  • 1 (18.25 oz.) package German chocolate cake mix

  • 1 (3.9 oz.) package chocolate instant pudding mix

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 1/4 cups milk, divided

  • 1 (3.4 oz.) package chocolate cook-and-serve pudding mix

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (you can use almonds instead)

  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Directions:

1. Beat the cake mix. next 5 ingredients, and 1 1/4 cups milk at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour batter into a lightly greased, 4 qt. slow cooker.

2. Cook remaining 2 cups of milk in a non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat. stirring often, 3-5 minutes or just until bubbles appear. Do not boil.

3. Sprinkle cook and serve pudding mix over batter. Slowly pour hot milk over pudding. Cover and cook LOW for 3 1/2 hours.

4. Meanwhile, cook the pecans in a nonstick skillet over medium-to-high heat, stirring often. 3-5 min. or until toasted and fragrant.

5. Turn off slow cooker and sprinkle cake wtih pecans. marshmallows, and chocolate morsels. Let stand 15 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly melted. Spoon into dessert dishes, and serve with ice cream, if desired.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Epicuren Baby Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all of you that entered my first giveaway! Epicuren is an amazing skin care line and their baby line does not fall short! Thanks to Living Out Loud for supporting Haute Mom and making us a guest host on your blog!

The lucky winner for this giveaway is #24 NICOLE!!
Congratulations! I know you and your baby will enjoy Epicuren!




Thursday, October 7, 2010

Haute Mom Dilemma #16 ~ Enough Mom to Go Around

As I sit here, waiting for my hubby to get home, I take a look around at how my life has changed since my first baby arrived. There are now swings and toys on the floor, flip flops rest where my Christian Laboutins used to, and sweat pants have replaced my skinny Taverniti jeans. A realization comes over me as I look over to who is sleeping next to me on the couch and that realization is that I had a child before Stella arrived. My first child is one that is sweet, timid, loyal, and an all around lover. My first child is needy, clingy, sensitive, and a mama's girl. My first child's name is Sierra, and she is our dog.

We got Sierra out of the pound over five years ago. We adopted her because my husband and I were at that point in our relationship where we were ready to be parents, but not quite that ready. The day we brought her home, we realized what a time commitment having a new dog would be. Soon we found out just how sweet our little baby was and relished in the joy of her greeting us when we got home from work or pouncing on us as though she hadn't seen us in years. I quickly changed my rule of "no dogs in our bed" when I realized how much she loved to snuggle...with me. In fact, we had to upgrade to a king size bed to fit our newest family member. I became so tied to Sierra I would cry when we went out of town. We went everywhere together - she was attached to my hip. I wondered if I could love anything more.

Well, I found out the answer to that this past May. Sierra was a practice period for what we have now. I look at Sierra, asleep on the couch next to me and feel a pang of guilt in my heart. Our poor dog has had to move over for something new. Sierra loyally follows me around the house, helps me change diapers, looks longingly at me when I snuggle with Stella. Every night she waits patiently on my side of the bed and snuggles in no matter what time it may be. She is such a good big sister; she took her older sibling protective role early in my pregnancy. She even knew the day the baby was coming; she perched on my big belly the evening my contractions began. I feel so bad knowing that she is probably starved for attention. I told my hubby the other day that we needed to get a babysitter and take Sierra out for some alone time. Just like we would an older sibling.

Isn't it amazing how your life and your priorities change? You start with these loving, loyal pets that quickly get swept to the side when the kids come. There is truly nothing more loyal than a family pet and I have to remember to try everyday to give Sierra some love and attention. We have been so that fortunate there have been no issues with Stella. Sierra is sweet, loving, and protective with her. I just need to remember that with all the craziness in our house, there is still one more person that needs a little love. I know there is enough of me to go around. And enough of you too. Go give your pets some lovin'.
Hours before my contractions!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lazy Sunday...well Monday

There is nothing that makes you lazy on a Sunday more than rainy weather and champagne drinking the night before. I have an excuse for not posting my Lazy Sunday yesterday...I really do. It started off the night before (they always do, don't they) when I headed out for my good friend's birthday. We had a babysitter in place and were all set to go. Fast forward to 1:30 a.m. The hubby and I are home after a fun night with friends and me ending the evening with drinking more than enough champagne out of a wine glass (there was no more wine, what do you want from me?) Stella is snug as a bug in her crib and I am looking forward to some buzzed slumbering. At 4 a.m. I awaken to a putrid stench that turns out to be our dog, Sierra, who decided to chase a skunk when she went out to do her bathroom duties; my husband is gagging in the hallway. Bath, more bath, stink, gag, bath, and I am sleeping in the baby's room because that is the only room close to smelling normal. Stella woke up nice and early that morning at 7 a.m., sweet.

On to more important things. This Lazy Sunday is not about food but rather something that has made it super easy for me to change Stella's diapers. Zootie Patootie Leg Warmers. Stella practically lives in onesie's because they are the easiest thing for me to keep her in, when changing 10 diapers a day. She's at the age now where she loves to kick her feet and suck on her toes, especially when being changed. My hubby has given up putting pants on her so I often find her in diapers when he watches her because it is too hard for him to get her pants back on (men!) Well now that the weather is changing, we must keep those little, chubby thighs warm and these are the perfect solution! I bought these on sale and got five pairs of the most precious designs. I dress Stella in her onesie and pull the leg warmers on; she stays warm and I don't have to struggle with the diaper changing. Genius! Works really well on a lazy Sunday when you are nursing the ol' champagne headache.

Stella Rockin' the Zootie Patooties

















They are one size fits all, so she can wear them for awhile and I forsee them being great for potty training. They are affordable! Boys and girls alike, they have super cute prints. Check out the Zootie Patootie website! http://zootiepatootie.com/

Epicuren Baby Products Giveaway ~ Last week!

Hi all you haute moms! This is just a reminder that the Epicuren Baby giveaway ends this Friday, Oct. 8th! Epicuren Baby uses all natural ingredients that are meant to calm and soothe your little ones while keeping their baby skin soft and clean! You will win one of each of their baby line. Thanks again to Living Out Loud for featuring us as a guest host and hosting all these other great giveaways! Good luck!

 
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