Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Photos and Some Cheese

Family cheese
The holidays seem to be the time for family photos. Whether taking them for your Christmas cards or just an annual photo opportunity, photographers get booked up in preparation for some season’s greetings. I was never a picture person until we had Stella. Once we had our first child I realized it was important to share how our family has grown. So, in 2010, the holiday season family photos became a tradition.

I am not a very traditional person so I really wanted to capture our family in a way that was different than most family photos. I wanted to find a place that represented us in some way, without being too cookie cutter in location and pose.

I called a photographer who had actually taken a random picture of Stella at the beginning of the year; one that turned out beautifully. He was immediately my first choice for this year’s pictures, especially since we had our newest addition, Carter, to include.


And a little fun
His idea was to go to Disneyland and have a little fun while taking pictures. Being that we are there basically on a weekly basis, I thought this was a great idea.

Our family photos were a great success and I learned some things along the way.

Let them be natural! Our best shots were those caught off guard. Have fun!

Family photos can be stressful! I had extra outfits for both kids in addition to snacks, diapers, and all the other essentials that you pack on a trip to the Magic Kingdom. I was hot, sweaty and irritated until I realized that we were supposed to be having some fun. If hair was out of place or a bit of Disneyland goodness was caught on Stella’s shirt then so be it.

Photos are important. They can be expensive and a lot of work but I can’t think of anything more priceless then being able to look back at all the pictures of our growing family. Yes, if you are anything like every other parent, you take pictures all the time. But, someone (usually mom or dad) is left behind the camera. A complete family photo is a must, at least one a year.

So smile, and enjoy the “cheese”, with your family.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Sends a Strong Reminder

In the midst of the devastation on the East Coast, I have received constant reminders in various forms that we need to be prepared for emergencies. I hope that all of you who were affected by the storm remained safe.  It is actually all of you East Coarst haute moms that I have to thank. Your suffering was my reminder.

Working for the school district, I am aware of the steps that are taken in the schools should disaster strike during the day. Blankets, extra food supplies, and evacuation plans are all a part of the districts’ attempt to keep kids safe in an emergency situation.

Precious goods
But what if our kids are at home? Is there a plan to meet should we all get separated? Could we live at home for more than a day if roads were closed or stores were shut down?

There was a part of me that for many years felt that as long as our family was together, we would be able to take on anything. That is foolish.

I began to realize we needed to do more to prepare when I began hearing tips on the news about disaster preparedness. I started talking to my husband about water supplies, food and extra batteries.

So, we got emergency kits for our home and cars. I found some reasonable kits online that were ready-made. I went for these since, although more expensive, they came with most of the recommended supplies without me having to chase them down at numerous stores.

If I had more spare time, I would not have minded hunting down all of the recommended supplies, but — considering how long it has taken me to take this first step — I figured it was best just do it all now. Knowing me, I would take my time crossing items off and get caught without something important, like drinking water.

I feel better knowing that we are prepared for an emergency situation. As I told my hubby last night while I was purchasing kits, I hope that this is something we end up storing and never needing.
As a parent, it is our responsibility to make sure we can care for our families in any situation. Whether pre-made or homemade, it never hurts to stash away supplies.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Thoughts

Happy Halloween to all! 

I thought about posting the usual blog hop today - an extra spooky one - but when I turned on the news this morning, it just didn't seem right.

Stella's first pumpkin.
With all the devastation on the east coast, where many of you haute moms live, I just couldn't help but think about all of the families and children who will not be celebrating this holiday today.  If they are lucky to celebrate, I am sure it will be in a way that is drastically different than what they are used to.

There are so many events that remind me of the need to be prepared, especially now that we have two little ones. Every day I put it off thinking that I have time.  I wonder how many families experiencing the devastation thought the same.

I feel funny celebrating this holiday today; it seems so...unimportant.  At any rate, as you haute moms know, nothing squelches the excitment of little kids so we will, of course, be channeling our inner Halloween spirits.  Stella will be a memaid this year.  Last night she carved her first pumpkin (with a liittle help of course.)

Wishing all the children out there a safe and spooky Halloween!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Roadtrips: Are You Prepared?

This week we did the unthinkable.

We were warned against it by many other veteran parents, but we didn't listen. Nope. Instead, we packed the kids in the car and drove 400 miles to San Francisco to visit grandma and grandpa.

It may not seem like much to some, but for those of you that have done it, you know that this is no easy feat. A road trip with just two people is hard enough. I have been known to pack the entire trunk full during the days that it was just me and the hubby. Add two little ones on top of that and you can imagine. We bought a big SUV when we found out we would soon be growing into a family of four. It proved to be not big enough.

With Stella being in 2 years old and Carter being a mere 2 months old, preparation for this trip was a non-negotiable. And that preparation meant packing lots and lots of stuff. Aside from the normal kids stuff (the snacks, books, videos and diapers), I also started thinking about things that I'm not sure enough families think about: emergency things.

A worry wart by nature, I am always worried about driving with the kids. I mostly worry about my hubby's sometimes too aggressive driving nature and unsafe lane changes.

But some recent conversations among friends have led to another concern. When packing for this trip, I started thinking about the possibility of being stranded in the middle of nowhere. A broken down car on some desolate highway could be a disaster for a family. We tend to think that with our cell phones we are never out of touch, but even driving from southern to northern California, reception is spotty.

So I started packing bottles of water and extra food. I thought, sure why not bring some additional layers of clothes, just in case. I checked to make sure the car was well-stocked with First Aid supplies — going beyond just Band-Aids and ointment.

There are so many things to think about when traveling with children. It's easy to accidentally leave something important behind.

To put my mind at ease for the trip, and in general, I've decided that It doesn't hurt to always leave some emergency items in the car.

There are many roadside emergency kit checklists online that can help parents, or anyone, to increase safety, reduce stress and get back on the road faster. Check out this list by Consumer Reports, for an example, and customize it to fit your family's needs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! I am so enjoying time with Carter, our new addition who arrived two months ago today but I am ready to do some hopping! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!
Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.
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!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You're a mom but do you "own" it?

A recent video of parents “rapping” about their household has been circling Facebook. The message is simple: Kids radically change your life and you should own it.

I’m sure I have talked plenty about all the changes kids bring, but the “owning” it part is new. With a two-and-a-half-year-old and a six-week-old, I am finally getting ahold of this concept.

I don’t stay out late anymore. I always have wet wipes in my purse. I have replaced designer duds for those that wash easily. Unfortunately, I spent a good part of my first child’s infancy struggling to maintain part of my old life. And I missed out on enjoying my new one.

There is so much that goes into parenting that it is easy to wish for the simpler life you had before. When there was nothing to worry about but you and your significant other. The hubby and I still reminisce about those days, but we have realized that — although more complicated — our lives are so much fuller now.

Crumbs, endless laundry, and pajama time at 9 p.m. works perfectly for me. Getting dressed up means I have to put make-up on. Nights out are still fun, and as I said last week, much needed. But things have changed from frequent nights on the town to family time at home. My recent adult-only nights out have shown me one thing, the only thing I am missing out on are my kids.

I am a mom of two. And like I used to with my designer jeans, I am going to own it — in style.

Check out the video that inspired this post. Hilarious.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! After settling in with our new arrival (5 weeks old), I am ready to do some hopping! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!
Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.
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!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nourishing the Roots

I write a lot about taking care of my children. I have recently realized that I overlook something that I think most parents overlook: Taking care of the parents.

It is a known fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce. In fact, I would bet that that number is higher now. Between putting food on the table and focusing on the kids, I think many couples forget that they have relationships to nurture.

It’s so hard to make time for anything else but work and your kids.
Date night to a Dave Matthews Band concert
When I do find time, my dear hubby often encourages me to go out and do something on my own. He pushes me to get a pedicure, or take a girls’ night out, or something to that effect. Although this is important too, I have learned that it is more important to spend time alone with him.

Getting someone to care for both our kids (especially since our new addition, Carter, is only five weeks old) is outside of my comfort zone. I relax more when the kids are with my hubby. However, stepping outside this comfort zone is important if I want to make sure we get our couple time together. And so it is done.

While many of my married girlfriends are doing everything they can to get a night out with the girls, I plan on nights out with my man as my date. We go dancing, hit some concerts, or have quick, quiet adult dinners. I have noticed that our other friends, who do similar, seem to have more solid, satisfying marriages.

I will admit that not too long ago, I was one of those women who wanted out of the house without the hubby. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with this, I found that our relationship was getting the short end of the stick.

Like with any team, bonding is important. It is hard to do with kids in the mix. And it certainly doesn’t happen after a long night of dinner, baths, and bedtime with two youngsters. Make it a priority to spend alone time with your significant other, even if it is just an hour or two.

Your entire family will benefit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! After settling in with our new arrival (12 days old), I am ready to do some hopping! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!
Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.
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!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TV...Is it all bad?

We all have moments when we question our parenting. Since welcoming our second child, I have been doing this a lot.

There comes a time when we all fall into what I like to call survival mode. Whether it is due to a hectic schedule, new family members, or just pure exhaustion, all parents come to a time when they go against their better judgment and not make the best parenting choices.

One thing that I feel strongly about is allowing Stella television time. I try to be very conscientious about how much time I allow her in front of the television and what she watches. I want television time to be something that is a treat and not the main activity she turns to. Instead I try to keep her occupied with crafts, playing outside, reading, etc. Many of these activities require a parent to join in.

Because I am now taking care of a two-week-old boy in addition to Stella, I am not able to play with my daughter as much as before. While the hubby does his best to step in, he is not always able to. I have found that I have allowed Stella more television time than normal, especially when I need to turn my attention to the baby.

It is no secret that kids pick things up from television.

I was sitting with Stella the other night watching one of her favorite shows and feeding the baby. I was talking to Stella about what was watching on TV and it surprised me how much she had learned from the show. She was able to participate and give all the correct answers during the interactive parts. When the show was over, I asked her a few things about what she had seen. It turns out that she learned some good stuff (the episode happened to be about dinosaurs). This got me thinking; does television always have to be a bad thing?

There are about four shows that Stella is allowed to watch. We record a few episodes and leave them on our DVR and she picks from those when she gets TV time. I feel that all of the shows are age appropriate and have some type of educational component.

It turns out she had learned some things from these shows.

Why should children be any different than adults? We learn things from some of the shows that we watch, especially on channels like Discovery or the History Channel. Our children can gain some useful knowledge from the television, as long as we are monitoring what they are watching.

I know that television should not be the babysitter. I also know that we all have a time when allowing our kids a little time in front of the tube is the best that we can do. Instead of punishing ourselves about it, why not just make good choices when having to do it?

Here's my recommendation: Research the shows that are available to your kids and limit the TV programs to ones that focus on learning skills. If your child is older, have your daughter or son choose from channels that are educational. If possible, record shows on the DVR so that there is always something appropriate for them to watch.

I don’t feel great about letting Stella sit in front of the television, but I know that I can control what she sees. By learning how to limit what and when she watches, TV time doesn’t have to be a bad thing for us or our kids.

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! After settling in with our new arrival (12 days old), I am ready to do some hopping! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!
Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.
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!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! After settling in with our new arrival (12 days old), I am ready to do some hopping! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!
Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.
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!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olympic Mania - On a Toddler Level

I don’t know about everyone else, but I sure have been having fun watching the Olympics! I give up hours of precious sleep at night to watch some of the events that I love the most: gymnastics and swimming.
I remember watching the Olympics as a kid, but I don’t remember it being a huge event or a big part of my life when the Olympics came around. I think for Stella that will be different.
Stella in her swim cap
Since we try to not have the television on when Stella is awake, I had no intentions of introducing her into the Olympics this year. But I was watching swimming one afternoon when she got home — I was hooked on the event and didn’t turn the television of right away. She asked me what I was watching, and I started to explain the Olympics to her. Since she takes swimming lessons, and she was immediately interested.

Before I knew it, Stella was on the floor “practicing her kicks” while watching the swimming event. She informed me that she was kicking like her swim teacher taught her and doing it “fast” like the women on TV.

A couple days later, she awoke from bed for a drink of water (yes, she is in “that stage”) to find the hubby and me watching women’s gymnastics. She clapped and squealed with delight at the girls jumping and spinning.

It was at this point when I realized that perhaps it's not too soon to make the Olympics a part of Stella’s life. Even at 2 years old, she finds joy and inspiration in what she watches. There is plenty to learn from the Olympics, and it excites me that she is so into it. I have even found some ideas on how to bring the Olympics into our home with arts and crafts.

Stella now tells me she would also like to play volleyball where you “can hit the ball over the net and you can’t miss.” I am sure Misty May and Kerri Walsh only wish it were that easy. They sure make it look like it is. While our Olympians are an inspiration to us all, I glad I didn’t miss the message that their inspiration can never start too early.

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!
Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.
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!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

This week is World Breastfeeding Week! It is a the time to raise awareness and celebrate all you haute moms that are or have breastfed your little ones. There are some great companies out there that are helping the celebreation so be sure to take advantage of these World Breastfeeding Week promotions.

Mothers Lounge LLC a huge supporter of breastfeeding. They are giving away FREE carseat canopies and nursing covers this week! They are a must have for you little ones and always make great gifts.

Here is how to take advantage:
1.Go to www.carseatcanopy.com.
2.Click on "Shop Now" and select any carseat canopy you like.
3. Once you have made your selection, you'll automatically be directed to the shopping bag. Enter the promo code "BREASTFEEDING2012" and we will deduct 100% off the cost of the canopy - all you pay is the shipping fees!


For a free nursing cover follow these steps:
1.Go to www.uddercovers.com.
2.Click on "Shop Now" and select any nursing cover you like.
3. Once you have made your selection, you'll automatically be directed to the shopping bag. Enter the promo code "BREASTFEEDING2012" and we will deduct 100% off the cost of the cover - all you pay is the shipping fees!

  Remember: the promo code is "BREASTFEEDING2012" and you can use it more than once - just open a new browser window each time you do.

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!
Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.
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!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!
Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.

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!

Living Unplugged?

With the second baby’s arrival just around the corner (looking closer than originally thought,) I am in full nesting mode.

The deep cleaning and the piles of laundry are in effect around the house. I have taken a new eye to our home in attempt to transition from a toddler home to a newborn and toddler home.

One thing I noticed while doing this is all of the electronics that we have. Televisions, computers, cell phone chargers and iPads take up a good number of our outlets.

When I was pregnant with Stella, I had all of these visions in my head as to what type of parent I would be. Having strict limits on television, video games, and other types of electronics was always a part of that. As I look around the house now, I critique how closely I have stuck to the original plan.
And, I am slightly embarrassed to admit — I haven’t.

By no means would I say that I use television or other electronics as a babysitter. I am not the type to plop Stella in front on the TV so that I can cook dinner (okay, I don’t really cook, so that's a bad example). But I would be lying to say that I have never given her the option to watch something on the tube with me after a long day at work.

Stella knows how to work the iPad better than my hubby. She can scroll through the pictures in my cell phone. Obviously, she has been exposed to electronics — maybe a little more than I had planned.

We have friends that lead an “unplugged” life. They have no televisions or computers in the house. They are both doctors, so they do have cell phones, but that is it. Their two children have no access to television, computers, video games or the like.

This got me imagining living in an “unplugged” world. Could we rid of the televisions and electronics so that our children can live a media-free life? Could I?

As I thought about this, I saw both positives and negatives. A world with nothing but the imagination and creativity to keep the children occupied. Would they go into school being behind in the technological world; a world where they have to learn about technology in order to succeed?

It’s an entertaining thought and I give our friends and all of those parents that can manage this credit. But in the reality of it all, is it truly feasible and beneficial in the long run? As with most parenting topics, we can only answer this for our own families – and I sure would miss that DVR.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!

Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.
2. Follow one other blog.

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!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!

Haute Mom

 

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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

2. Follow one other blog.

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!

Monday, July 9, 2012

ECOSWIM Product Review and Bathing Suit Giveaway

Haute Mom has discovered something exciting and new for the summer season – ECO SWIM swimsuits by Aqua Green. These swimsuits are not only fantastic for moms but they are eco-friendly; how haute is that?

As a mommy of one, and in five short weeks, a mommy of two, long gone are my bikini days (for the most part.) The best part about these suits is the styles. No matter what your body type there is a swimsuit for you. Styles range from bikinis to one pieces that are form flattering no matter what shape you are in. Even if you are happy with your shape, we have all learned that a bikini isn’t always the best choice when chasing the kiddos around the pool. These suits will allow you to flaunt your stuff and still be baby-chasing friendly!

I personally felt comfortable in the Eco Basics Dress and the Eco Kini well into my pregnancy. Both of these suits will be right back on after the little one is born. They are comfortable and will hide all of my post-pregnancy spots well until I can lose that baby weight.

What makes ECO SWIM so different from other bathing suit companies? That’s where the eco-friendly part comes in. The company is doing everything that they can to reduce their impact on the environment during the manufacturing of these suits. This includes things like manufacturing in the USA (which reduces fossil fuels by 96.9 %,) making the swimsuits with recycled materials (including fabric, lining, and elastic,) and using recyclable materials in their packaging.

You get to be haute, comfortable, and save the planet all at the same time!

Because haute mom loves these suits so much, I am going to giveaway one swimsuit, winner’s choice! No matter how you feel about your body, I promise that you will find something to enjoy the rest of the summer in!

All giveaway participants must be a public follower of Haute Mom. Visit the ECO SWIM website and check out the various styles. Leave one comment telling me what style is your favorite, along with your email address.

For extra entries:
  • “Like” Haute Mom on Facebook
  • Follow Haute Mom on Twitter
  • Become part of Haute Mom's circle on Google+1
  • “Like” Eco Swim on Facebook
  • Follow Eco Swim on Twitter
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook page (leave the link in a comment)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (tag @Ktenny in the Tweet)
  • Share this giveaway on your blog (leave the blog post link in a comment)

  • I can’t wait for one lucky Haute Mom reader to experience an Eco Swim suit! The giveaway will end on 23rd at 9 p.m. (PST.) The winner will be chosen by Random.org and be contacted via email. Good luck haute moms!

     

     

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Family Fun on the 4th


    BBQs, block parties, and sparklers are all part of the red, white, and blue on the 4th of July.  No matter how your family chooses to celebrate, I am sure that there are traditions in the making.

    This year, we have decided to go the our city's aquarium for their 4th of July picnic and fireworks event. What better way to celebrate an already fabulous day then by spending it with the fish?  Stella is sure to have plenty to tucker her out for the night.

    The biggest challenge can be keeping the kids occupied and out of trouble until the firework spectacular.  Depending on where you live, the shows can start fairly late, 9 p.m. where we live (I hope I can make it that far!)

    I found some great 4th of July ideas to keep the kids busy and have fun while doing it!
    Disney's 4th of July Crafts for Kids

    Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July!

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy 4th of July! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends in between the BBQ and the sparklers. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!


    Haute Mom

     

    Our guest hostess this week is Kat from Mom Uncensored. Be sure to stop and let her know that you are following her as well so that she can follow you back!

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!


    Haute Mom

     

    Our guest hostess this week is Julie from The Naptime Review.  Be sure to stop and let her know that you are following her as well so that she can follow you back!

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Facebook: A Place For Our Little Ones?

    Facebook is one of my lifelines.

    My husband and I have family and friends who live all over the place, including overseas, and Facebook allows us to communicate and stay in touch. Facebook allows us to post photos of Stella (the way I see it is Stella is much cuter than my husband or me, especially since I'm more than eight months pregnant) and see what our friends are posting, too.

    I can regularly look at pictures of my other friends' children, and I enjoy feeling connected to all of my long, lost friends out there who also are discovering the joys of parenting. I even enjoy pictures of my friends who are not yet parents because it allows me to live vicariously through their adult-only experiences.

    All that is great, but sometimes I question some of the tagged photos I see on Facebook. I often see pictures of friends' kids who are tagged in someone else's photo. I wonder how the parents feel about this.

    When someone tags Stella in a picture what that means is that there are hundreds of other people looking at a picture of my daughter. Depending on their security settings, we could be talking about thousands of other people. People I don't know.

    I could be having one of my overprotective mom moments, but something about this bugs me. Is there a safety issue with having thousands of people have access to a picture of my daughter? Is there some Facebook etiquette where another adult should ask your permission before posting a picture of your child? Am I committing the same act by posting pictures on my own Facebook page?  Is blogging the same thing?

    Like other parental debates - such as whether or not to spank you child or whether or not (and what age) do you let children stay home alone -the camp is divided. Some parents want to protect their children from the dangers that can come with posting pictures of children on the Internet. Others think that photo sharing is a sign of the times that we all must learn to live with.

    For me, I just need to follow some rules for now. No pictures of naked Stella, no matter how cute her tush is. I also need to be aware of posting pictures of Stella with other children. A common courtesy would be for one parent to ask another if it is all right to post a picture, especially if those in the photograph are going to be identified with tags.

    It is unfortunate that we have to think about things like this, but it is even more unfortunate when a picture that was meant to be shared with friends and family ends up on the wrong hands.

    Just wait until Stella is old enough to have her own Facebook - I'm sure that's when the real worrying will begin.

    Does this belong on Facebook?


    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Please and Thank Yous

    Mind your manners. This was a phrase that so many of us heard growing up. From behaviors demonstrated in public, many of us question if manners are a thing of the past, especially with children.

    We have all watched enough reality TV and gone to places where children run free to have wondered at least once if some parents bother to teach their children manners at all.

    A comment from a stranger about Stella's manners prompted my thinking on this topic. It was a positive comment, after her swim lesson, when the desk clerk remarked on how nicely she asked for her snack. Stella had simply used the word "please." I found it curious that use of this word actually earned positive praise. In my mind, it goes with the territory.

    However, I have been around enough little ones (and some big ones) to know that many of our youngsters have not been taught manners. They ask for things without so much as a please or thank you; and they get them.

    Around our house, Stella does not get anything without saying please.

    It is never too early to start teaching your little one manners. As soon as they can ask for things, they should be taught how to ask for them. It shouldn't stop there. "Excuse me", "God Bless You", "I'm sorry" and "Your welcome" are also part of Stella's vocabulary. As is my personal favorite, "May I be excused, please?"

    I realize I am bragging about something that I cannot take full credit for. Stella's day care provider deserves much of the credit for Stella being a polite child. They are taught manners in that environment and those manners are imposed. However, the hubby and I have to do our parts as well. We have to enforce and more importantly, we have to model.

    There are so many times during the day when I come into contact with rude adults. Times that would prove to be much more pleasant if accompanied with a "Thank you" or a simple "Excuse me." I wonder if anyone ever taught those people manners.

    And I remember my role as a parent. Society will thank me later.

    Mommy is a sucker for manners...and she knows it.


    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!

    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!

    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Too Itsy Bitsy?

    I am officially in countdown mode with my due date just 9 short weeks away. Being pregnant, as I am sure you remember, increases your awareness of other pregnant women. Yesterday, we took a "quick" trip to Ikea where I noticed dozens of fellow preggies, of all shape and size, wandering around.

    There have been other sightings of pregnant women which I have noticed, and that is in the gossip mags. Yes, I read that smut. If you haven't noticed, many of our favorite gossip magazine have begun to capture the "pregnant styles" and watching "baby bumps" of celebrities. Is this a new things that I am becoming aware of, or has it always been this way. I love a cute pregnant lady. One thing I have not enjoyed so much, are all of the pictures of these pregnant celebs rockin' the bathing suits.

    Maybe bathing suits are not the right word choice here. I know it gets hot, and yes, pregnant women enjoy to splash around too. Lord knows I will be doing the same as my last weeks of pregnancy will be in some of the hottest months Southern California sees. I'm talking bikinis and thanks to Tori Spelling, the now famous preggie in a monokini. I would expect someone like myself to appreciate these women, for standing up for those of us with swollen tummies and wearing swimsuits that many non-pregnant woman wouldn't go near. But for some reason, I just think it's inappropriate.

    I have thought long and hard to my feelings on this matter to try to pin down exactly what bothers me. I think pregnant women are beautiful and being pregnant is something that we should be proud of. However, I have to say that we just seem to look better covered up. While I appreciate the fact the pregnant Kourtney Kardashian and Tori Spelling do us proud by looking fantastic in skimpy swim wear, I wonder if anyone really wants to see their big bellies. Photos of expecting celebs look much more attractive when wearing a one-piece or a cute, short sundress. And hello, you are mothers. Last time I checked, frolicking in a pool or beach with Stella was no activity fit for an itsy-bitsy bikini.

    Do I have it all wrong here?

    As I pull on my maternity tankini tight over by 31 week swollen tummy and head out to the beach, I think that most will appreciate the fact that I have chosen to keep the tummy under wraps. I guess in the long run, it doesn't really matter. If they look good and are comfortable sporting the skimpy gear, then more power to them. I just feel like I must be missing something by fostering less than positive feelings about the pictures of the pregnant beach babes.

    Is there a line that we draw with what pregnant women should wear much like we do with young girls, or maybe women who are carrying a few extra pounds. Does that "She should not be wearing that" thought count here (we all have those, admit it.) At the end of the day, just like everyone else, they have the right to wear whatever they want but honestly, I am wondering if anyone really wants to see it.

    Sexy or not?


    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!


    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Summer Is Upon Us

    Now that we are officially in June, summer is upon us.

    As a teacher, I am fortunate enough to have summers off, but I do understand the toll that having kids out of school can take. Some families may look forward to summer because it means relaxed schedules and spending time with the kids. Others families may view it as my parents did: A stressful couple of months of summer camps (which can be costly and difficult to plan around) to make sure the kids are safe while they are out of school.

    The signs of summer have reminded me how lucky I am to live in a city where there are so many different summer camp, day camp and recreation activities available on a daily basis to occupy youngsters. With the city's recreation programs alone, kids of all ages have plenty of things to do at relatively inexpensive prices.

    That goes for families too. Once the work day is through, our city has tons of ways to spend the remaining daylight hours as a family. We will have options like weekly concerts and movies in the park. There are also some evening nature walks at the local nature center. Our aquarium has just started their late night summer option as well. It is a discounted ticket to be used after 6 pm. We have passes to Disneyland but will soon be facing being blocked out for the summer - this is a good thing with high temps and even larger crowds!

    Since I am now 30 weeks pregnant, we won't be taking any family vacations this summer. I also have to keep Stella enrolled in her day care so that we don't lose our spot in the fall. Although I will more than likely keep Stella home once a week,I still want to be sure that we are not sitting at home all summer long. Let's not forget about the fact that we have no air conditioning either. I may sleeping outside in a hammock as my pregnancy progresses if the weather gets too warm.

    My parents never let me sit around over the summer. Of course, they had to find us a place to go since they both worked. I appreciate the fact that I never felt bored over the summers and only now do I realize the hassle that was probably involved with finding a place for us.

    What are your plans this summer? Aside from vacations, what are some activities that you do to keep the kiddos entertained through those long summer days?

    Stella will be continuing Saturday swim lessons.


    Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!


    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    I Wanna Getaway...Although Not As Much As I Thought

    All parents, as much as they love their little ones, dream of a getaway. This mom is getting one.

    For a brief one night, I will be jet setting to Dallas with the hubby and my brother to go see the opening weekend concert for my beloved Dave Matthews Band.

    As always, I have a tight chest of anticipation. While the hubby has been overly excited, counting down the days until we leave, I have been looking at Stella with a twinge of guilt and sadness — except for this morning when the devil temporarily inhabited her tiny body.

    However, I couldn’t pass up this chance to see one of my favorite bands and travel one last weekend before my doctor grounds me with the third trimester no airplanes rule.

    What is it about being a mom that ties you to guilt and sadness every time you have to leaveyour children? Am I the only one that experiences this? Many times, I cry half way to my destination. I worry and fret over whether she will be all right, knowing full well that she is in the best of care with grandma and grandpa.

    As I getaway, I know I will need to have my phone fully charged so that I can call and check in before the plane takes off, when we land, before we get to the hotel, around dinner time, and one last time to say goodnight. I will plan my events around what time I can say hello via iPad and see Stella face to face.

    Yes, I sound like a stage five clinger ex-girlfriend, but, what can I say, I am a mom.

    The best part about going away as a parent is the difference in emotion during the return home. Usually it is a feeling of dread with the thought of returning to reality. Now, it is pure excitement to see that little face that you have been missing while you are gone.

    It is healthy for all when parents get a getaway and luckily, we get to return to some big hugs and sticky kisses.

    Mommy and Daddy Date Weekend


    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!


    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!

    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Happy Mother's Day/ Happy Birthday

    Yesterday was quite the fitting Mother's Day as I shared the day with Stella and her 2nd birthday. With baby #2 due in August, I have done a lot of reflecting on how different my life has become. I once heard somebody say that having a child was like putting arms and legs on your heart and letting it run loose, and that couldn't be more true.

    The hubby had asked me if I wanted a "day away" for Mother's Day. Not that I would leave Stella on her 2nd birthday, but hubby said I could cash it in later. I have to admit, I did consider this at first. But then I got to thinking, what sense is Mother's Day without spending time with those that made you a mother? Of course, we all need a day off but it seems to me that this day should be a day where I celebrate my mother and my own role as a mother.

    With Stella waking me up at the usual pre-7 a.m. hour, we snuggled in bed for a bit and then went into the kitchen to make a batch of pancakes which was the birthday girl's special request. My parents were in town for Stella's big day, so we all got to eat breakfast together and spend some time as a family. Stella was attached to her grandma which I thought was sweet for the both of them. I did get a gift from her (thanks to day care) and a card (thanks to hubby) in between all of the birthday wrap for Stella. It was a precious little key chain (Stella had to correct me when I thought it was a bracelet) with her picture at the end. The mid-morning sun then prompted us to go on a walk to the park where we all enjoyed the slides. I got to spend some time in the shade while Stella enjoyed the swings with grandpa.

    I did take advantage of Stella's nap time with a little siesta. We went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner to celebrate a combined birthday and Mother's Day. Stella was an angel through an abnormally long dinner, and that was a gift all in itself.

    With wonderful days such as this, I feel honored to be a mom. It makes me grateful to have Stella as well as my own mother close to me. Maybe in future years, I will take hubby up on that "day away" but for now, I am enjoying the time I have at home with Stella, not just on Mother's Day, but any day that I have with her. I can;t believe two years has already gone by. I have a feeling I will be saying that ten years from now as well.

    Whether it involved sleeping in, a day at the spa, or some quality time with your kids, I hope all of you haute moms enjoyed your special day.


    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!

    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!

    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    The Sass Mouth

    I always knew the time would come. I had been fairly warned but like many unknown things, I did not know what to expect. It has reared its feisty and sometimes amusing head.the sass mouth.

    When I found out that we were having a girl, I knew that I had a lot of sassiness coming my way. Being a seventh grade teacher, I was afraid.

    Just shy of Stella's second birthday, a guest has arrived in our house and has fully unpacked her bags; the sass mouth. I don't know where she came from or what powers the phrases she spurts but it is shocking.and sometimes just down right funny.

    I should have known it was coming one day, not too long ago, when I was reading a text on my phone. Stella put her hand in my way and said, "No phone, mommy." The rest soon followed.

    I am very proud of my daughter. One of the things that most amazes me is the extension of her quick growing vocabulary. I am aware that she is in a mimicking phase (and for this I have to be most cautious) which I know is a contributing factor.

    On her current list of sassy things to say we have "Please stop" as well as "Move please" and my personal favorite "Stop talking please." At least she is polite. This is often accompanied with a hand in the face, a judging look down her nose or a furrowed brow.

    I have been putting some heavy thought into what exactly my reaction is supposed to be. Is this time to discipline or talk about "nice" and "not nice" things to say? Is there anything wrong with her being able to express herself, especially is she is saying it in a polite way? I know at day care, they are learning to stand up for themselves. Is this a part of her being able to stand up and speak for herself?

    The other night, she hit her head because she was crawling under the table. I had told her not to, of course but she didn't listen (she is almost two, why would she?) When she cried because she had hit her head, I told her that it was her own fault and that was why it is important to listen to mommy. Stella simply looked at me and replied, "It's mommy's fault." Sometimes I just have to laugh out loud.

    I have a feeling it is going to be a long next ten years. Ok, maybe fifteen.

    How can someone so cute be so sassy?


    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!

    This week we have Jessica from Mishaps & Milestones in Mommyhood as our guest hostess. Be sure to pay her a visit and leave her a comment letting her know that you stopped by!



    Haute Mom

     

    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.

    2. Follow one other blog.

    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!

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Time With Your Children: Priceless

    Working for a school district has some benefits. Last week I was off for a much needed Spring Break. Although I did enjoy a couple of days to myself, the time that was really priceless was the few days that I spent with Stella. I often feel guilty that she goes to day care five days a week. I know many children go to day care every day of the week but that doesn't make it any easier. Although I have been feeling financially restricted with trying to save up for my time off when the new baby arrives, the hubby and I decided that a trip out to Palm Desert was something that we should do.

    On a side note, Palm Desert is one of our favorite getaways. Back in the day, we would head out with a cooler of adult beverages and plenty of water, heading to the hotel with the best pool scene. Things, of course, have changed but as I looked around at what used to be, I was more than happy to head to the quiet pool with my water, Stella's milk cup and some Goldfish snacks.

    We have Stella in swim lessons but to see her enjoy the pool just for fun was a treat. In an attempt to spare other guests the view of me, six months pregnant in a bathing suit, I handed over the pool duty to hubby. I could not have been happier sitting in the sun, watching the hubby and Stella splash around in the pool. One day it rained so we stayed in our hotel room a good part of the day and played matching games, put puzzles together, and napped (my favorite.)

    As we prepare for the second baby to arrive, I am realizing how important my time is with Stella. Weeks shy of her second birthday, she has grown so much and each day I see her accomplishing some new task or speaking some new word. Many of these things come as a surprise (yesterday when I sneezed she told me "God Bless You Mommy") and are things I did not teach her. While this shows me how much I miss out on, it also reminds me how precious my time is with her.

    As always, there is never a perfect balance in life. In my eyes, being a career mom that can stay home with her children would be a dream but is not quite realistic. I figure that I am lucky to be able to spend days off with her when I can and even luckier to have realized that my time that I do have with her is priceless. So many people have told me to enjoy this time with her and it couldn't be more true. I know while there are things that I won't remember one day, these are the days that I will never forget.

    Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

    WELCOME WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP

    Happy Hump Day! It's a great time to make some new bloggy friends. I hope you join in on the hop! What better way to get over the midweek hump then to kick off your heels and check out some new blogs!





    Haute Mom












    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 hostess, Haute Mom and the guest hostesses. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can follow you back.



    2. Follow one other blog.



    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!

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    No Time Like The Present




    There was a good amount of time where I think I kind of fought being a parent. I was super excited when Stella was born but I can now admit that there was a part of me that didn't want to let go of my old life. Maybe I just didn't know how.

    I am one of those people that always seems to want more. My hubby says I will never be satisfied. I don't think this is a bad thing. I love my jobs, being with friends, and staying busy. I can never sit still. When Stella was born, I was still determined to maintain my "old" lifestyle by keeping both of my jobs and a social life. I could juggle it all. I was the queen of multi-tasking.

    Let's fast forward to the present; almost two years later. Things have changed. I am now five months pregnant with my second child and do NOTHING while I am at home except clean and give Stella my full and undivided attention. Work at home? No way. I do not watch TV when she is awake, I do not get on the computer, and I truly try to limit my cell phone game (darn you Words With Friends and Draw Something.) I have come to learn that the most important thing is to spend time with Stella. What little free time I do have should be fully devoted to my child (sorry hubby.) Some my disagree with me and maybe not all children need this. Stella's mood and behavior shows me that my undivided attention when I am with her is exactly what she needs and enjoys. The story times, the songs we sing, and the endless games of "matching" that we play is when we find her the most happy.

    I know that this isn't possible all of the time. Sure, there are dishes to be done, food to be cooked and so forth but when I do have down time, it does not need to be spent watching TV or reading or texting on the phone when I can spend quality time with Stella. Is it difficult to do? Of course it is. There are many things that go on in my mind including the endless lists of things to do. But, I have learned to tune them out. Because in the end, I am happiest knowing that although there may be dirty dishes in the sink, I spent an hour of my free time with my child. I won't remember doing the dishes but I will remember that time. And so will Stella.
    Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4