I need….

There are lots of things I want in my life.  I want a clean house.  I want a new king size bed (to replace the queen that gets super crowded with two kids and a husband in it with me).  I want to update my bathroom.  I want…I want…I want…

But there are things I need.  Things I need to do and learn.

I need to

  • Put away my cell phone and play with my kids.  They’re only little once and text messages can wait.
  • Make fun crafts at home with the girls.  I work so I only have a few hours a day to spend with them.
  • Spend less time worrying about cleaning and more time making messes with my kids.
  • Listen to my girls wants.  And whenever possible, do what they want instead of what I think is “right.”
  • Be a better mom.

Now the truth is, most of my friends reading this will read that last one and say “No, you are a great mom.”  I may be.  But don’t we all have room for improvement?  If we run ourselves ragged trying to do this and do that and make practices and cook dinner and everything else in the world, when do we spend time with those little people that we so greatly wanted and that we created?

This morning, as we got ready for daycare, I realized I was spending too much time worrying about what the girls were going to wear.  They didn’t want to wear this shirt or that shirt or those pants or those shoes.  Finally, instead of dictating what they were going to do I listened to them.  I listened as Little C said she wanted to wear her purple high heels (that match her Rapunzel dress).  Ok I finally said.  You can wear them.  She giggled in excitement and took off running to the shoe chest.  Little G asked if she could wear high heels too so of course I said yes, as I put extra shoes in a bag to take to daycare.  When I next turned around I saw Cinderella and Rapunzel standing before me.  The twins had changed not just their shoes, but also their clothes and put on dress up clothes.

“Mommy?” Little C said quietly.  “Can I be ‘Punzel at school?”

So today, I let my princesses go to school as princesses.  Step one in listening and being a better mom.

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I love clothes

Have I mentioned before how much I love clothes?  Like seriously LOVE them.  I have a closet full.  In fact, my closet was SO full at one point one of the rods broke and the husband and I had to actually tear down everything and redesign it.

However, I do not WEAR all of my clothes.  I have a few pieces, mostly in dark colors, that I wear all the time.  A long time ago, I signed up for Stitch Fix. I like Stitch Fix a lot because you receive 5 items in the cost range of your choice and returns are super easy.  You can read about a lot of my Stitch Fixes here.

However, if you clicked on that link above, you’ll see I haven’t written about a single Stitch Fix since July of 2014.  I am still receiving them.  I just haven’t had very many amazing boxes in about 8 months.  There’s nothing WRONG with them.  In fact, I think I keep a few items from every box.  But it hasn’t been anything to blog about.

Then I tried Keaton Row.  Keaton Row was a little different.  You requested look books from a stylist and then you would purchase what you liked from your book.  I purchased a few items out of my first book but I haven’t requested one since.  It seemed like too much work for me.  I like just getting a big box of clothes and going through it.

So, the other day I saw an ad for Front Door Fashion.  So I thought I would try it.  I took time filling out my profile and I was contacted fairly quickly by my stylist, Carson.  She asked some questions, asked to see pics of me, and then, as she put together my box, she even emailed me to see if I might like something she thought would look good on me but I had indicated I wasn’t a huge fan of.  I told her to send it on.

I am SO glad she contacted me to see if I would want it instead of skipping it because of what I said on my profile.  Today I received this box:

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It was a lot bigger than the Stitch Fix boxes I was used to.  It came UPS instead of USPS like the Stitch Fix boxes and a signature was required (so I had it sent to my work address).  I was even more pleasantly surprised to open the box and see this:

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Yes, the clothes are shipped inside a garment bag.  And are on hangers.  Which is a good thing because I recently threw out every extra hanger in my house.  I wish I had taken more pics as I unboxed but, quite frankly, I was so freaking excited when I saw the VERY FIRST dress that I just started throwing the clothes on my body.  So, when you open your garment bag, you have outfits which are put together for you.  There’s a handwritten note from your stylist (I like that personal touch) along with a packing slip.  I’m glad I looked more closely at it than I thought I would because each outfit grouping is listed separately and the stylist puts a note about each set.

Set one she called Pops of Color and it is the dress she ALMOST didn’t send me, along with a blazer.  It’s absolutely beautiful (please ignore my super white legs in these pics, I have not been out in the sun since October).

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Really, how beautiful is that dress?  And the blazer on top of it?  I wish I had ordered my box sooner!

The next set was called Pencil Skirt Perfection.  Pencil skirts are awesome because they show off curves so perfectly on everyone.  For this she sent a couple options.  The skirt, an eggplant colored tunic, a chevron infinity scarf, a navy blouse and a chain tassel necklace.  I didn’t get a pic of the necklace but I am already wearing it so obviously I love it.  Carson warned me the tunic looked a little scary on the hanger….she was right.  But on?  SO cute.

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That’s it with the infinity scarf.  Next I tried it on with the navy top and, as she suggested, I added the cream colored blazer that she sent with the dress in Pops of Color.

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She also recommended shoes for the outfits with a shoe card that was enclosed. I know I will be referring to her ideas all the time.

The next set was called Casually Sophisticated.  This is the only set that I had problems with but it wasn’t because of what she sent at all.  Enclosed were white jeans, a mint scarf (no pic but I love it), a Blue long sleeve top, a green short sleeve top and a belt (no pic again but again I love it).  The jeans were just too tight on me.  Here are two pics – the Jeans with both tops.

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My thighs look HUGE.  I’m working on making them smaller so maybe soon.  The jeans are going back.  I liked the green shirt but I have one almost identical in my closet so I decided to send it back as well.  The blue top, totally keeping.  I love it.  So, going back are the jeans and the green top.

Next is the Date Night set.  I was so excited to see this dress because I am a HUGE fan of Trina Turk.  I LOVE TT fabrics and designs and I always think the TT clothes look so fun.  This dress is totally fun.  She paired it with a very thin black cardigan which I originally thought “Oh, I have tons of those, I don’t need this one” but I loved the way it draped on me so it’s staying in my closet as well.

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And, believe it or not, there is still ONE MORE SET.  This is Blue is the New Black  Carson sent me a very cute skirt in a midnight blue color, a sleeveless top in Mist, a multicolored jacket and a dark burgundy cowl neck top.  Once I got these pieces on I wanted to have Carson come move in with me and take care of all my clothing needs for the rest of my life.  Ok, that’s a little dramatic, but I will DEFINITELY use her to style me for as long as she does this job.

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So, overall, my first trip into the world of Front Door Fashion was a HUGE success.  At least, in regards to the items I received and I want to keep….my purse, however, is probably going to be angry.  However, they do send you items based on your budget.

As a direct comparison to Stitch Fix, I feel like FDF has more top name labels.  The cost is more, but the quality is better.  I’d rather have a few higher quality pieces than a ton of lesser quality pieces that I don’t feel as good in.  SF gives style cards to show you how to style the pieces they send with pieces you may already have, which is cool, but I love how FDF sends entire outfits so there is no guess work.  If Carson says this looks good together, it looks good together.  End of story.  ;)

I do recommend both services.  I like how personalized FDF is but it is an expense.  I wasn’t surprised by the cost of any of the items in my box though (except the fact the belt she sent was only $15 and the infinity scarf was only $18, but those were, of course, nice surprises).  Now the only thing left to do is get a tan, slim down my legs a little, and send back the two items I’ve decided not to keep.

Not a bad day of shopping at all.  :)

The Ring Has Changed

When my husband proposed to me on his birthday in 2006, he did so with a beautiful diamond solitaire.  It was not huge.  It was, however, perfect.  He picked it out just for me, deciding what he thought most resembled us.  A perfect round solitaire.

Round.  A circle.  Much like a wedding ring.  No beginning and no end.  Everlasting.

We weren’t “young” when we got married but we weren’t “old” either.  We were in our late 20s.  We had both seen a lot in our lives.  I had gone to college and law school.  I had lived in a few different cities and states.  I had traveled enough that I didn’t feel the overwhelming desire to never be home.  He had gone to college.  He had entered the Air Force.  He had lived in far more places than I had (and, in fact, when we were dating, engaged and during our first 17 months of marriage, he lived completely across the country from me, in Alaska).  When we started dating people called us crazy.  When we got engaged, people thought we were insane.  I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times people told me we would never last with him living so far away.

But the truth was, the distance didn’t matter.  I mean, it sucked, but we had an end date.  We knew exactly what day he was coming home.  We had enough income (and vacation time) to see each other every 8 to 10 weeks, with me flying to him two out of every three times.  Those 17 months didn’t fly by, but they didn’t last forever either.  Then he was home.

Six and a half years ago, he came home.  4 years ago today I found out I was pregnant.  Less than a month later, we found out we were having twins.  Things changed because, well, things change.  We both grew up quickly because now there were two additional lives we had to take care of.

I look back at all we’ve been through and I think about that ring he put on my finger back in 2006.  It truly has changed.  The diamond remained the same but it’s no longer a solitaire on my finger.  Instead it’s in a new setting, surrounded by more diamonds.  Just like our life.  Our perfect little round circle has grown.

We aren’t perfect.  We fight.  There are days we don’t really talk to one another because there’s nothing to say.  But the circle is still there.  And it is still perfect.  It never ends, even if everything around it changes.

The ring has changed, but the diamond….what makes us US…remains the same.download

The Woman Wars

This isn’t about moms (well, not directly).

This is about women.

Seriously, WHAT is wrong with us?  Why must we beat each other down just to make ourselves feel better?  Why can’t we just accept other women’s choices and say “Good for her for doing what she wants!” Rather than saying “Oh My GAWD, did you hear what she DID?”

Now, if what she did was cheat on her perfectly nice husband, I might take part in that conversation.  I am not without a gossipy moment or two in my life.

But what if she did something to make herself feel better about herself?

Would you say something negative about someone if she got a haircut?  Or dyed her hair?  Or got a mani/pedi?

Of course not.

But would you say something about someone who had plastic surgery?  What if someone had a “mommy makeover”?  What if they told you that in confidence?  Would you then tell everyone you know and make fun of them?

I wouldn’t.  But apparently some people do.

Locally, someone had plastic surgery.  She had a few things tightened and lifted.  Nothing you would notice.  In fact, when I see her, I can’t tell.  But let’s face it, she did not have this surgery for me.  She had it for herself.  And you know what?  I think that’s great.

Also, locally, some people are whispering quietly about it.  “Did you know she had THAT done?”

Really?  Are we all so shallow that we think doing something to make oneself feel better is a sin?

I get my hair dyed to cover the grays.  Does anyone whisper about that?  I doubt it.  I get my hair cut ever 8 weeks.  Is that an offense worth whispering about?  Nope.  I had a pedicure over the weekend….the horror of it all.

You know what I would say if the subject came up between me and this woman?  I would ask her how she feels, how it went and where she got it done, just in case I decide in the future I want that twin skin tucked back in.  And if I had no interest in the subject, I just wouldn’t say anything.

Because THAT is the right thing to do.  gossip

Time for a Fix

A 21 Day Fix, that is.

I’m working on getting my extra weight off.  I’m working on getting healthy and eating healthy.  But it takes time.  It takes effort.  It takes a LOT of motivation.

The fact I’ve been seeing results by running and keeping a very basic count of my calories has really helped with my motivation.  But I’m one of those people who wants it now.  So I decided to try for some drastic results in the hope that I can keep those results as my new norm.  We will see how this works.

A friend is a beach body coach and she is doing a 21 day fix group, which I joined.  It looks easy enough.  You eat based on the amount of containers you are allowed in a day, not based on the calories because, let’s face it.  You can eat 1200 calories of pure junk or you can eat 1200 calories of healthy meals.  The number does not matter.  It’s what is IN that number that counts.

I have my cute colored containers.  I have my workout dvds.  I’m now just waiting for March 2 to arrive so I can start full force.

Beach body has been good for me.  I did insanity almost 2 years ago and I had amazing results.  But my fitness level is not up to Insanity right now.  So my goal is to do 21 day fix for 21 days.  Maybe a second go at it if I feel like I could do better.  Then I will once again try Insanity.

Shakeology has also been good for me.  A lot of people say shakes are not good for you and I agree that some are not.  Shakeology has been the one I have found that keeps me full and makes me feel better in general.  I add a few things to mine (for chocolate shakes, I add ice, frozen strawberries and a little peanut butter.  For greenberry I add ice, frozen strawberries, frozen pineapple and frozen blueberries).  They’re tasty.  They’re healthy.  AND they give me a TON of needed protein.  Protein is my biggest issue.  I cannot get enough protein.

I’ll update on 21 day fix as I go along.  This weekend I am planning out every meal for the three week period so that I can be ready.  At least breakfast is taken care of…shakes!

Miralax and Toddlers

I want to start this by saying I am not a medical professional.  I have never claimed to be.  I am, however, a mother.  So what I am writing here are things that I experienced first hand.  And if you are googling miralax and toddlers, I hope that what I write can help you.

Almost a year ago, Little C became constipated.  We were potty training and she had this uncontrollable fear of having a bowel movement on the potty.  So she held it.  She held it to the point that she would not eat, because her stomach hurt so much.  She held it to the point that she would get fevers, cry and be downright miserable.

So to doctors we went.  Four different doctors (including one specialist) instructed us to give her Miralax.  Half a capful once a day.  It would clear it right up.  But, they all told me, remember she needs this stuff and will likely need to remain on it for a VERY long time.

So we bought miralax.  Not long after we started the miralax, I wrote this post about how Little C was no longer as outgoing as Little G and it was causing her some issues at school.  Soon after, I wrote about how daycare was seeing a difference in Little C’s behavior, which we thought was because of a friend of Little G’s.  Then she started having nightmares.  She became obsessive about things – having to wear specific shoes every single day, having to have a specific blanket in her sight all day long, having to have her dolls lined up just so.

After these posts, Little C basically became that kind of kid.  She was quiet.  Thoughtful.  Not as silly as usual.  She was different.  Then, a few weeks ago I wrote about how she changed completely and became the silly kid she used to be.

A few days after writing that post I thought about what had changed.

Miralax had changed.

I had quit giving her miralax because I could not potty train her when she was using miralax (she never knew when she was going to go…It would sneak up on her and after many pairs of panties were ruined, I decided to drop the miralax and try again).

So I began doing some online research.  I feel like the WORST mother ever for not doing this research before.  Here is what I found:

There are actually forums set up for parents dealing with effects of miralax on their kids.  It’s scary.

Those are just a few articles that I found about the dangers.  I read many others that, frankly, scared the crap out of me.  The bottle itself warns against using for more than a week straight.  In adults.  The bottle does not give dosing information for children.  Because, until this year, there have been no studies about what it could do to your child.

I’m fairly certain I know what it did to mine though.  And no matter how hard it is to get her to use the potty, I cannot imagine myself putting her on that drug again.  I love having my Little C back.  Had I known the miralax was the culprit, I never would have given it to her to begin with.

Before Kids – After Kids

Before I had kids, I thought I knew it all.  I thought “I’ll never be one of THOSE moms.”

You know the type.  The moms who are consumed by their children.  The moms who choose their kids over their friends every.single.time.  The moms who discuss potty training and boogers like they’re talking about the new releases at the theater.

I am so totally one of those moms now.

Before kids – I would laugh when a friend with kids would say she couldn’t do something because little Jimmy had to go bed by 8.

After kids –  I stare at my watch when we are at the store to make sure I don’t miss the sleeping hour by even a minute because if they aren’t in bed at 8, they won’t go to bed until 11.

Before kids – I would roll my eyes when friends would turn down going out for drinks to stay home with their kids.

After kids – I avoid even being asked to go out for drinks because I’d rather be with my kids.

Before kids – I didn’t understand why someone would want to skip a party to take their kids out on some adventure.

After kids – I look forward to DisneyWorld and Disney on Ice and Chuck E Cheese like I’M the three year old because seeing the world through their eyes makes it much more magical and less depressing.

Before kids – I would judge my friends who didn’t clean their house daily because of the toys and mess of life with kids.

After kids – I pick up for thirty minutes every night but if it’s not perfect, it’s just not perfect.

Before kids – I would avoid conversations of how well little Jenny is doing peeing on the potty.

After kids – I want to scream to the world when Little G and Little C make it to the potty.

Before kids – I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to HAVE kids.

After kids – I can’t begin to understand why anyone would ever want to go through life without kids.

When you become a mom, things change.  Your world changes.  What was important is no longer because the only things that matter are those little tiny humans who need you.  It makes the world much more bearable to have those little humans around.

Even when they crawl into bed with you and steal your pillow.1653909_10103103672257773_2731889251803219421_n