Friday, July 29, 2011

Haute Mom Dilemma #50 ~ Temper City

I'm pretty sure she is taunting me.
Of course on my big dilemma #50, the topic would be this.   I have had the pleasure of seeing Stella's personality and character develop and she is...well...quite a character.  I have mentioned Stella's "sassy" side before but this side has grown more complex in the last week or so and "sassy" has turned into "temper".  In fact, acording to the report from day care yesterday, she threw her first temper tantrum.  Well, it was "a bit of a temper tantrum" according to her day care provider but I am pretty sure she was trying to spare me the magnitude.  I know my Stella and nothing she does is "a bit".  It is all or nothing with her.

Now, I wade into the "temper" pool and cautiously look around for any piranhas or gators. I have been a witness to the horrible scences of children throwing temper tantrums in public and swore "If I ever had a child who pulled that with me..."  I am now afraid that I am that parent, not by choice, and wonder if I should close all windows and lock all doors.  The best thing to do is ignore and walk away, not always realistic in public.  So what am I to do?  I can let her pitch a fit while at home but when I am in public and (god forbid) around FRIENDS this is not going to work for me.  I also, on the other hand, refuse to be the parent that gives their child whatever they want just to avoid these scenarios.  I guess it is going to be fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants as the temper stage starts to flare.  Please pray for me and hope that my little girl learns to handle her frustration and irritation in some other way.  How did all of you haute moms handle the little tempers on you babes?  And I use the term "little" loosely!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone is having a great week! Summer is in full swing and I know all you haute moms have some great stuff on your blogs. I am in serious need for some summer fun so I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and do a little blog hopping!


Haute Mom








This week, our guest hostess is Ashley from For the Love of Blogs. Check out the great stuff she had to offer!





Blog Hop Rules: This is a low key hop. After all...it is Welcome Wednesday, here to get the inspirational juices flowing and find other blogs we can stalk! Put those feet up, relax, and join the bloggy fun. There are a few rules though:

1. Follow the hostesses, Haute Mom! Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow the guest hostess For the Love of Blogs.
3. Link up your blog for all of us to love.
4. Make an attempt to check out at least two new blogs. Don't know where to start? How about the two blogs above you? If you love the blog, become a follower and leave them a comment letting them know.


So link up! You don't have to post about the hop...but you know how we ladies work, the more the merrier. We would love it if you would help us spread the word and help Welcome Wednesday grow! One of you could be next week's spotlight guest hostess!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Haute Moms Make Wine Too!

I have tons to share about my birthday trip to Napa. One of the BEST parts of the trip was visiting one my favorite wineries, Honig. Honig makes two types of wines, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. I love Honig because not only are these wines very drinkable with a variety of foods but they are affordable. Their wines have received a number of awards including "Best Sauvignon Blanc under $20"! I mean, part of being haute is being money savvy and it can be done with Honig. What haute mom sits around drinking $30 bottles of wine everyday, right?

The Honig winery is family owned, environmentally and family friendly. If you have ever been to Napa, you know that not all wineries are created equal in the kid-friendly department. Many wineries hosted Haute Mom so that I could share the family-oriented atmosphere that these wineries have adopted but Honig topped them all. I was graciously met by Stephanie Honig who showed me around personally and is a haute mom herself (3 little ones under the age of 4)! I was lucky to have a chance to ask her a few questions, mom to mom.

1. How did you get so involved with Honig? Did you being a mother have an impact of how family friendly the winery is?

I have been in the wine business since 1997 in various capacities but mostly handling sales and marketing for wine companies from all over the world. I worked with wines from Champagne, Burgundy, Tuscany, The Napa Valley (to name a few) and I also imported my own wine label from Argentina (where I grew up). I had also been studying for my Master of Wine and completed my Diploma for the WSET in 2004. When I married Michael Honig, who has been running the family business for 28 years, I organically became very involved in the business handling National Sales, International Sales and Public Relations.

Our winery has always been family friendly but Michael and I have become parents, there's definitely been a more significant emphasis on this demographic.

2. You are a career woman as well as a mother of 3, including one under the age of 6 months! What are some things you do to help you balance your family and your career?

It's great to have a career that revolves around alcohol because I definitely need a few drinks at the end of the day with 3 kids ages 4 and under...ha-ha. The truth is that our business life and our personal life are extremely intertwined. Our children come with us on many of our trips and participate in some events. I don't like leaving them for long so we find ways to have them close. Our 4 year old, has been an American Airlines Gold Card member since she was 2 years old. It's not easy and it's not perfect but my husband and I are always looking for creative ways to prioritize our family and do what's best for the business.

3. What are some things you do to find time for yourself?

We have been fortunate enough to find a nanny who is now like part of our family. She stays with the children when Michael and I spend time together without the kids. She also steps in when Michael is traveling and I'm home alone with the kids. My mom lives far away but we see her often and she gives me a few hours here and there. My in laws love playing with their granddaughters and they sometimes give us a little break on the weekend.

4. All moms need a little pampering to restore their sanity. What is one thing that you so to pamper yourself in your busy schedule?

I practice yoga about 4 times a week. It's great for both my mental and physical health. It makes me a better mom and business woman. I also enjoy entertaining and spending time with friends. Once in a while I get to squeeze in a massage or a pedicure but that takes a little more planning these days.

5. What would be one piece of advice you would give to busy moms trying to stay "haute"?

Take care of yourself! Being a mother is more fulfilling than anything I've ever done. However, it is important for any woman's self esteem to have adult interaction, feel challenged and do things they enjoy (regardless if women go back to the work place or not after becoming a parent). Aside from the business, I make an effort to meet friends, have date nights with my husband, be involved in a book club and an investment club. I don't think I've ever met a mom who doesn't struggle with how to balance her needs, the needs or her children and her profession. It can be stressful but it's also a ton of fun!

Honig is also part of the Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group which really focuses on the "big idea" of sustainability. They practice everything from using solar energy to installing bird and owl boxes to help keep the insects and rodents under control. For all of us with children, we know that taking care of the earth is most important for future generations and I was impressed with the amount of leadership and commitment Honig has dedicated to this.

A BIG thank you to Honig for not only hosting Haute Mom, but to Stephanie for taking time out of her busy day to show us her home and business. It is refreshing to find that there are places like Honig who allow us haute moms to enjoy what we love, without having to compromise being a family. We will definitely be returning to Honig with Stella and drinking plenty of their wine in the meantime! You should too! Us haute moms gotta stick together right?

Haute Mom Stephanie Honig

The main tasting area at Honig.  Plenty of shade and space for the little ones!

The "kids" cabinet complete with sidewalk chalk and puzzles!  Genius!

A separate "family-friendly" tasting area

A bird box in the vineyard - all but one were inhabited!

Friday, July 22, 2011

On the Road Again

As I sit in the backseat of our car and watch the dog sprawl out in the front, I can't help but think about my left leg that is cramping. That and, more importantly, the fact that we had such an amazing week in Northern California with my family.

Stella enjoys her grandparents so much. It is so apparent when she runs to them to give them hugs almost everytime they walk into the room. There were even a number of times she refused to leave her grandfather to come to me! We spent some time with my brother before he left for Prague and Hung out with my sister who won Stella's heart after she shared her make-up brushes. The weather was beautiful and we got out to enjoy some pool time and baseball games. Stella even had her first train ride into San Francisco for the ball game!

The biggest treat was being able to getaway for my 35th birthday (to Napa) and for a romantic night out for our anniversary yesterday. Not having to worry about who is watching your baby (and not having to pay) makes a world of difference! My hubby even surprised me with an iPad2!

Although we have been there for a week, it never seems long enough. I am sure my poor mom would disagree. I love having family close by and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm heading home with something missing.

Stella enjoying the pool



Our anniversary dinner

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone is having a great week! Summer is in full swing and I know all you haute moms have some great stuff on your blogs. I am in serious need for some summer fun so I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and do a little blog hopping!


Haute Mom








This week, our guest hostess is Me, The Man, and The Baby! This is a haute mom all the way from England who blogs about her adventures with her family of three!

Blog Hop Rules: This is a low key hop. After all...it is Welcome Wednesday, here to get the inspirational juices flowing and find other blogs we can stalk! Put those feet up, relax, and join the bloggy fun. There are a few rules though:

1. Follow the hostesses, Haute Mom! Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow the guest hostess - Me, The Man, and The Baby!
3. Link up your blog for all of us to love.
4. Make an attempt to check out at least two new blogs. Don't know where to start? How about the two blogs above you? If you love the blog, become a follower and leave them a comment letting them know.


So link up! You don't have to post about the hop...but you know how we ladies work, the more the merrier. We would love it if you would help us spread the word and help Welcome Wednesday grow! One of you could be next week's spotlight guest hostess!


Haute Mom Dilemma # 49~ Take Me Out to The Ballgame

After a wonderful adult trip to Napa for my birthday (with TONS to share), we are back in the bay area and have relieved grandma and grandpa of all babysitting duties. My brother left this morning to the Czech Republic and my heart feels a little heavy. Well, more than a little. What better to pick me up than a trip to see the San Francisco Giants play the Dodgers in their home field! A trip that was as easy as blinking...without a little one.

The tricky thing about San Francisco is the weather. Where it may be 80 degrees at my parents house (just 30 miles south) it can be a foggy and cold 65 degrees in San Francisco. To add a little more chill, the ballpark is right on the water. Dressing in layers is key and with Stella, a few blankets on hand will also be necessary. Additionally, while they allow strollers in the ballpark, they must be checked in if you want to go to your seats. My parents have season tickets and AMAZING seats but this puts up the question as to whether or not the stroller is even worthwhile. We normally take the train up and a stroller on the train may also be an additional hassle.

I haven't broken the good old Ergo carrier out recently but think it may be time. I used to easily carry Stella in front of me but since she is a walker, and well over 20 pounds, I have a feeling the "easy" may no longer be part of the scenario. The thing that I like about the Ergo is that I can always change it to carry her on my hip or my back if she no longer likes the front position. I guess I will have a little bit of experimenting to do. The best part is that the only diaper bag I brought is my haute, black, patent leather Tim and Leslie. No matter what happens, it will be a treat to see my hubby carrying that through the ballpark all night. :)

Ready for the game!




Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Will Wine...I am 35

Today is my 35th birthday and I am off to Napa with the hubby for a couple days of wine tasting. Stella is staying with grandma and grandpa in the Bay Area where we have been since Friday. After a seven hour road trip with my poor little walker (not as easy as it used to be) I am ready to relax and wine-d on down.



This is the first trip to Napa that I have taken with my husband and I am excited to visit some of our favorite wineries, many of whom are hosting us for complimentary tastings and tours. I have been welcomed by some wonderful people, one who is a fellow haute mom. I will be meeting her personally, and she is not only the owner of one of the wineries but has also agreed to do an interview for this blog! I can't wait to share more about the wineries when I return.


So, after celebrating with my family last night, I look forward to a very beautiful and lazy Sunday in the wine country. As always, it will be difficult leaving miss Stella behind but I know she is in good hands. Will the guilty feeling of traveling without her ever go away? I will have much to share when I get back as well as some words of advice from a fellow owner of a wonderful winery! Hope all of you haute moms are having an equally wonderful Sunday!




Stella made me a birthday cake at day care!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Haute Mom Starts Training



I bit the bullet and signed up for a half marathon! The new Disney half marathon in fact! Running isn't as smooth for me as it used to be so I have been looking for some structured (as structured as I can get) training programs. Check out what I found in this article I wrote for Disnayland Runners! Maybe one of you haute moms can do the same!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone is having a great week! Summer is in full swing and I know all you haute moms have some great stuff on your blogs. I am in serious need for some summer fun so I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and do a little blog hopping!



Haute Mom









This week, our guest hostess is Create With Joy! This is an inspirational blog that celebrates creativity in every aspect. Be sure to stop by and pay her a visit!

Blog Hop Rules: This is a low key hop. After all...it is Welcome Wednesday, here to get the inspirational juices flowing and find other blogs we can stalk! Put those feet up, relax, and join the bloggy fun. There are a few rules though:

1. Follow the hostesses, Haute Mom! Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow the guest hostess -Create With Joy!
3. Link up your blog for all of us to love.
4. Make an attempt to check out at least two new blogs. Don't know where to start? How about the two blogs above you? If you love the blog, become a follower and leave them a comment letting them know.


So link up! You don't have to post about the hop...but you know how we ladies work, the more the merrier. We would love it if you would help us spread the word and help Welcome Wednesday grow! One of you could be next week's spotlight guest hostess!

Haute Mom Dilemma #48 ~ We Are Family

Family is always that double edge sword; you love them so much but they sure can drive you nuts. No matter how we feel about our family growing up, the importance of family really does come out when you have your own child. Most of my family lives 400 miles away with the exception of my brother. It never gets old watching Stella interact with her grandparents, aunt, and uncle.

It has been weighing heavily on me knowing that Stella is about to lose regular time with her Uncle Jordan. He is moving to the Czech Republic next week to play in a European hockey league. This has been his dream for many years and as big sister, I am so happy and excited for him. There is a huge part of me that feels as though a part of me is going away and I ache that Stella will no longer have her uncle around on a regular basis.

As a first time mom with no immediate family nearby, I work to get over the fact that Stella does not have my family close. She does get to see my parents once a month and we all try to Skype on a regular basis. The thing I've come to learn is that family is all around and blood relation doesn't have to be the most important factor. Stella has "relatives" all around her and thanks to our fantastic friends, we have that same support as those with family close by. We sure will miss Uncle Jordan though (me especially). I guess a European vacation is in our future.

Stella and Uncle Jordan

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Haute Mom Dilemma #47 ~ We Know What's Best

I remember doing things as I child that I disliked.  Well, to be honest, some of these things I hated with a capital "H".  Going to certain lessons, places, and even select summer camps just had me filled with turmoil and anxiety. I vowed never to do the same thing to my kid when I was older.

Fast forward to the present day.  I just wrapped up Stella and my third "Parent and Me" swim class.  They start them as early as six months so I figured waiting until 1 year would pose no problems.  Stella loves the water and usually takes new things on fearlessly so I was super excited for summer to come where I could share this time with her.  We all know things don't always go as planned.

I checked out a bunch of swim schools and settled on one that had a great facility and no set times.  This meant I could go anytime I wanted, without having to commit to a specific time and day.  This was ideal for me.  The first class she seemed really excited and was loving most of it until they had us put them under water.  Nobody else seemed to mind that much except for Stella who was mad as a hornet.  To make things even better, they had us do it again...and again.  I was now "that parent" with the screaming kid in the middle
 of a lesson with four other giggling and drooling babies.  Great. 

She loves the wading pool
where she
 knows I can't dunk her. :)

I know this may seem a little harsh but the "level" for this class makes perfect sense. Ideally, the school wants the infants and toddlers to be able to go underwater, come up, and eventually turn and float on their backs.  This is the safest thing for them in case they ever (God forbid) fall into water.  Once Stella can achieve this (it may be awhile), she gets to move up.  My parents have a pool and we spend a lot of time on boats and near the water so I know that this is important which is why I chose to put Stella and all those parents with the happy water babies through more Saturdays of screaming Stella.

Today was the third lesson and she did significantly better although she is still protesting being under water, quite loudly in fact.  I realize that she may seriously hate these lessons but know that they are in her best interest and once she gets used to it, she will actually learn to love swimming.  I mean, while she screams, she does clap for herself.  That's gotta mean something, right?  It kills me to take her, knowing that she will utlimately be unhappy at some point.  If we quit now, I am afraid she will loathe the water and more importantly, not be as safe as she could be with these lessons. It is the best thing for her.  Boy, I have become my mother.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Haute Mom Goes Running

Running was and still has been one of my favorite ways to get some "me" time and stay in shape.  I know many people don't like to run but I found once you find your stride, it is quite addicting and therapeutic; like shoe shopping but better for the haute mom figure!  I have decided to participate in a half marathon event at Disneyland in January.  I figure since we love Disneyland so much, and I love running so much, it would be a perfect fit.  The only problem is I haven't run more than 3 miles since I have had Stella so it's time to ramp up my running shoes.  Running after a baby (and with baby) is world's apart from before.  I realized it is like getting back on a bike after many years, only this bike has square wheels and weighs about 20 pounds more. 

I have been asked to be a writer for a fantastic new blog called Disneyland Runners.  It is a community blog by and for both runners and aspiring runners who participate in Disneyland Resort 5K, half marathon, and marathon races.  Those of you who always wish you could can stop on by as well!  I will be posting a weekly article about running and everything associated with running.  My piece is called "Kelley's Healthy Habits". Is there something you would like to read about?  Let me know! My first post is up and talks about my experience with hitting that pavement again after having Stella.  For many of you, I know that you may be in the same position.  It's hard to stay haute after a baby but we can all do it.  Check out my own issues with getting started and let me know what you think.  Even better, share your own stories about getting back into something you loved doing after having your little ones!

Kelley's Healthy Habits: The importance of starting off slowly



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! Summer is in full swing and I know all you haute moms have some great stuff on your blogs. I am in serious need for some summer fun so I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and do a little blog hopping!



This week, our guest hostess is Haylie from The Ranting Housewife! She is a fellow haute mom blogging about life as a mommy and all the craziness that goes with it.  Be sure to stop by and pay her a visit!

Blog Hop Rules: This is a low key hop. After all...it is Welcome Wednesday, here to get the inspirational juices flowing and find other blogs we can stalk! Put those feet up, relax, and join the bloggy fun. There are a few rules though:

1. Follow the hostesses, Haute Mom! Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow the guest hostess - The Ranting Housewife!
3. Link up your blog for all of us to love.
4. Make an attempt to check out at least two new blogs. Don't know where to start? How about the two blogs above you? If you love the blog, become a follower and leave them a comment letting them know.


So link up! You don't have to post about the hop...but you know how we ladies work, the more the merrier. We would love it if you would help us spread the word and help Welcome Wednesday grow! One of you could be next week's spotlight guest hostess!





WonderDads Review and Giveaway

Most of us haute moms feel like we do everything and oftern times it can be stressful!  We all have wonderful hubbies, and I am sure that with a little push in the right direction, they could help us out with our little babes more than they do now.  I featured a website called WonderDads a couple of weeks ago and this site is going to help our hubbies do just that. 

Here is a bit of what they are all about from their website:

"(WonderDads) is the first media company expressly positioned for today’s Dads. Through our website, books, merchandise, and local events we inspire Dads to engage with their children and families. We work with hundreds of partners and stores that carry our products across the country to bring Dads the tools and ideas they need to turn them from parents into heroes. We create a community of engaged consumers ready to interact with the brands and services that reward them for being Dads. Founded by a Dad frustrated by the lack of useful resources geared specifically to today’s generation of Dads, and the fact that most kids have 30+ books and maybe only one or two is Dad-focused, WonderDads supports and celebrates the moments when Dads go beyond the usual, the routine and the mundane to do extraordinary things with their kids."

 
I was fortunate enough to do a review on one of their books and, with the help of my husband, tested it out.  I received ABC's for Dads & Daughters and was extremely excited because Stella LOVES books.  For a 14 month old, I am always amazed at how long she will sit on my lap and listen to a story.  This book was the perfect chance for Stella and daddy to do some bonding time!  The pictures are beautifully illustrated with fun objects that are familiar to all little ones.  Even better, Stella gets to learn the ABC's while reading.  My hubby was more engaged with the storytime becuase he felt like this was "their special book" to read.  And I got a few moments to myself.  Everyone is happy!

Thanks to the generosity of WonderDads, they have agreed to help Haute Mom host a book giveaway! To enter this giveaway you must follow Haute Mom publicly and tell me what makes your significant other a "WonderDad"! Leave one comment telling me this and include your email. You must do this before you complete any of the extra entries!

 
Extra entries – leave a comment telling me you have done each of these (or already have in the past):
 
-Like Haute Mom on Facebook
-Like WonderDads on Facebook
-Follow Haute Mom on Twitter 
-Follow WonderDads on Twitter
-Follow Haute Mom on Networked Blogs
-Tweet about this giveaway (leave the link to your tweet up to once a day)
-Post this giveaway on your blog (leave the link to your post)


Good luck to all you haute moms! The winner will be chosen by Random.org at the end of this giveaway which is Friday, July 29th at 9 p.m PST.  Enter and help your hubby become even more of a WonderDad!

 
 
 

 

 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Haute Mom Will Travel

Now that it's July, summer is definitely under way.  Our summer plans for traveling are less than usual but there are a few fun trips that we have planned this summer; both family and adult only.  I just got back from our first trip of the summer, a work trip that I was able to combine with a small family getaway.  Haute moms always see the potential in work travel right?  Well potential and a kind boss...

I always have been an overpacker.  The sole reason for this is because I never know what I am going to want to wear.  A one night trip can easily call for three possible outfits and at least two pairs of shoes.  Add your little ones clothing options as well and we almost need cargo van for me and Stella.  I know that I have to get used to traveling with a little one and it is a learning in process thing for sure. 

Stella enjoying her very LARGE and rather
 PRICEY bowl of morning fruit.
Some things I learned from my trip to San Diego:

  • Bring some of your own food for your kids - hotel food is expensive and they definitely don't have those healthy options readily available like you have at home.
  • Consider asking for a corner room - we brought Stella's Pack and Play and this was Motel 6 compared to the comfy king size bed hubby and I had for ourselves.  Poor thing had to stare at us all night because of the room constraints.  It was torture for her to sleep in there when we were close by in a bed of our own.  We almost thought about putting it in the bathroom...not kidding.
  • When or if you (haute mom) have to work, do not leave hubby in charge of packing up and getting ready for check-out.  I did this only to come in 15 minutes until check out time to find him napping with Stella and NOTHING had been packed.  I shoulda known better...

The next trip we are taking is in a couple of weeks for my birthday so Haute Mom will be traveling again and learn a few more things I'm sure!




 
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