***If you have made your way back to Momsie, I am so glad you found us! We had some technical issues with the domain name so make note of the new web address. Another good reason to "follow" us and "like" us on Facebook so you can stay in the know!! Pass the word to people still searching for Momsie!***

Friday, July 29, 2011

Blind (Play)Date...

My sister, Lauren has been writing all kinds of good advice on here about how to make new mom friends.  The girl should know seeing she has moved 4 times in 4 years!  I am fortunate to have lived in Charlotte for over 20 years now so I have a lot of long term friends in town but we don't always have the same schedules or same age kids so its nice to make new friends as well.  I recently met a new friend for me and my son Sullivan.  He is my youngest so usually he just tags along on playdates with my older son, Oliver's friends.  I was happy for him to meet a little nugget just his size (and volume)!  

So I took a leap and met up with a complete stranger!  Kind of like a blind date!  I met Ashley through Momsie and you may remember her post, here.  We seem to have a lot in common at least through the internet and from what I could tell she was not crazy...at least no more than me!  We had a great time at Cotswold Toys & Co. and then headed to the lunch standard at this age, Chick fil a.  The only time I felt a little nervous was when Sullivan was trashing the restaurant and her sweet Branner sat there like an angel. She assured me this was just as act for me!  We were able to talk and compare notes on crazy boys.  We had plenty in common aside from motherhood too from trying to work out, training for a 5K, shopping, not getting to finish our lunch EVER, and blogging.  

So, I am living proof that meeting new friends is possible and not nearly as scary as you might think.  Go out on a limb and invite some new friends to lunch or the park, you will be happy to have another mom in your life.  Your kids will love seeing new faces too.  Thanks Ashely and Branner for making our first blind (play)date fun!

FYE: 7/29/11...Lemons into Lemonade


What better way to beat this southern heat than with a big glass of lemonade?  How about watermelon lemonade??  Or kiwi-melon, raspberry, or blackberry lemonade??  These are all easy drinks that your kids can help you whip up.  For recipes click, here.  Or if you are up for a little more complicated lemonade treat try this recipe for lemonade mousse!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Late Summer Buys...

Although school and the fall are looming right around the corner, summer is still in full swing and there are lots of fun things to buy for your kids (and yourself)!  The other day I received a great catalogue in the mail and I had to share some of the awesome things inside.  The company is called UnCommon Goods and it is full of unique gifts for everyone in the family.  Here are some things that would make great birthday gifts or would just add some fun to these last summer days...

Ice Pop Molds, set of six $10

Ice Pop Mold - Set of 6

Mr. & Mrs. Food Plates $12/each

Ballet Slipper and Sandal Socks set of six, $24 and $26 (check online for other styles for boys & girls)
Lucys Socks - Set of 6Tilly Sandal Socks - Set of Six

Constructive Dishware utensils, $18 plate, $15 (*my sons will be getting this for Christmas!)

Preparing for Baby: Things They Don't Tell You...

That would be "they" as in your doctor, your mom, and your friends who have kids.  Even though it seems as though everywhere you turn someone is offering up advice, there are some things that no one is going to tell you.  These will be the very things that happen to you and you respond with "Why did no one tell me about this?!"  Maybe its because we blocked it out or maybe we all just have a heart and realize that there is no good in scaring an unsuspecting pregnant lady.  Either way its not right so I am going to clue you in to a few of the not-so-pretty-things that no one talks about.

First, the physical aspects that come after birth.  Since you are already pregnant it is safe to say you have already experienced some uncomfortable changes in your body.  You have felt the pain of your hips or ribs spreading, you know to cross your legs before sneezing, and you have maybe even started producing breast milk.  After the baby is out you will continue to notice physical changes.  The biggest will be when your milk comes in.  This usually happens 24 hours or so after delivering.  How will you know when your milk has arrived?  You will wake up with large boulders on your chest.  The pain of rock-hard milk glands will wake you up a couple of days post delivery and they will continue to go into Dolly Parton mode every few hours for the next few weeks.  As for your nipples (my most hated word BTW) they will also become bigger to match up to your new D-cups.  Don't be scared of them, they will go back to regular size after awhile.

In addition to your "upstairs" area changing you will also notice things going on below.  My friend tried to prepare me for this with a subtle gift basket at my shower.  It was filled with witch hazel, mattress-size pads, and preparation-H...need I say more.  You can also anticipate some uncomfortable-ness when using the bathroom during the first few weeks, or possibly months.  During labor you may have a catheter but even if not UTI's and kidney infections are not rare post partum.  As for the dreaded "first bowel movement" the nurses will give you stool softeners in the hospital to prepare.  For most women it really is a non-event.  What isn't a non-event are the horrible gas pains that can occur a couple of weeks after giving birth.  I am not sure what is going on with the female body after delivery but it can be very painful so have some anti-gas medication on hand.  

Not nearly as uncomfortable but just as important to prepare for is the change in your hair.  Not only will you have a loose stomach, sore nether regions, and bags under your eyes, you will also be saying good bye to that great pregnancy hair.  No more thick, shiny tresses.  You will now have limp, sad hair.  At least I did.  It seemed as though overnight I lost the great hair brought on by pregnancy hormones and said hello to a sad mop on top.  Same for the pregnancy glow.  Sorry, its true.

The last but definitely most important physical change to prepare for is your change in hormones.  Obviously you know that your levels will change and things will begin to go back to their pre-pregnancy state but no one prepared me for how drastically hormones can affect things.  It happens somewhere around the third week post-delivery.  For me I just woke up one morning and felt on-edge.  And by on edge I mean a complete irrational, crying mess.  Not to mention the hot flashes.  If this is a preview of menopause then I am afraid...very afraid.  Of course if you are feeling more than just a little "off" tell someone immediately and seek professional help.  Post partum depression is no joke.

As with everything in the first few months after delivery these changes are temporary for the most part.  Slowly things will shift back to normal both physically and mentally, at least back to a new normal.  The bags under your eyes don't last forever and although some body parts never fully go back to their pre-baby position, they do at least de-flate, de-swell, or de-spread.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reminder...Place your Order with Thompson Poultry...

The next delivery date is this Saturday, July 30th.  Click on the picture below for more information including purchase/delivery info.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Advertising Reminder...

A new cycle of advertising will begin August 1st!  Now is a great time to get your ad up since we are being featured in the August issue of Southpark Magazine.  Traffic is up at an all time high which means even more readers visiting your site!  Advertising space will give you the opportunity to get the word out about your business and a chance to bring more potential customers to your website.  If you feel you have a business that would appeal to our readers please contact me to reserve your spot.  For more info on pricing and sizing click on the advertising tab above or email me at momsiecharlotte@gmail.com.

Girls Night Out: Painting With a Twist...

For mothers and fathers in need of a night out, here is a great idea for a unique night sans-kids.  Painting with a Twist is an art studio that lets you unleash your creative side while enjoying a relaxed atmosphere with friends.  And even better is you can uncork a bottle of wine (or other beverage) as you paint!  There are lots of options including private parties in which you can paint and socialize.  There are also family friendly sessions if you want to make it a family affair.  For more info visit their website because reservations are required.  

Lauren Alexander: Girls Just Want To Have Fun...and Keep You Healthy...

The next time your husband gripes about girls night, remind him that he should be thankful for your gal pals! They not only bring about much needed sanity checks but there is now scientific proof that we benefit from our girlfriends.

They actually help us stay fit! No, not because they honestly answer the question "Does my butt look fat in this?" But because some experts say that friends who commit to losing weight together are more likely to succeed. A husband wouldn't dare question our choice to eat ice cream mere hours after vowing to cut out sweets all together. But a friend who has made the same vow (and actually sticks to it) is the perfect motivation for you to stay on track, too. Plus, do you really want to hit the pool with your girlfriend and the kids only to find that dear friend has an amazing six pack and you're still sporting those last 10 baby pounds?

They make us a little less wimpy! Don't get me wrong they're still going to laugh at you for screaming at that spider. But studies have shown the people that avoid getting close to others may be at an increased risk for chronic pain. And some researchers even think that the lack of a support system can even heighten the body's response to stress. Like any of us need to feel more stress! So, whether it's 1 close friend or a circle of them, use them for support and you may find yourself more physically and emotionally strong.

They're (literally) life savers! A recent study showed that having a social network makes you 50 percent less likely to die early. In fact, refusing to build relationships is equal to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! So when dear husband says "You're not going to die if you have to miss out on girls night." You can argue, with science on your side, that you just may.

They get you through pregnancy! Well, that and everything else. But a new study found that a solid sense of community may play an even greater role in a pregnant woman's health than her socioeconomic status. They say that friends add meaning to your life and can help you fight anxiety through this pretty crazy time of your life. I can say from experience that this little fact is most definitely true. I had an over-the-top stressful pregnancy, with one thing after another raising my anxiety level. But with the lifeline of friends and family (and I guess the doctors, too) me and my sweet boy made it through safe and sound.

While some of this may be breaking news to some, I think we all know that friends are more than just someone to gossip and shop with. They are a crucial part of our life. They help us when the going gets tough and celebrate with us when the tough gets going. I say it's about time science backs it all up!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Day Trips...

If your summer has hot a lull it may be time for a day trip.  There are plenty of options near the Charlotte area and they all will provide an entertaining break from the pool and summer camps. Here are a few options 3 hours and under...

EdVenture:  Columbia, SC:  Distance from Charlotte:  90 min
The largest children's museum in the Southeast, EdVenture has 92,000 square feet of fun.  The museum is designed for children 12 and younger and has eight galleries, a library, store, and classrooms.  One of the coolest features is the world's largest child.  For more details about that as well as directions, pricing, and more visit their website, here.

Rural Hill:  Huntersville, NC: Distance from Charlotte: 30 min
Although it is not far outside of Charlotte this place makes you feel as though you are miles away. A peaceful, open space with trails, historic buildings, and fresh air.  There are also special events held here throughout the year.  One in particular that is sure to be fun for kids is the Amazing Maize Maze.  For more info visit their website, here.

White Lake:  Elizabethtown, NC: Distance from Charlotte: 180 min
Known for beach music, shagging, and the White Lake Water Festival it is one of the safest and cleanest lakes in the state.  White Lake has a small town family-friendly vibe and lots of entertainment for kids.  The lake itself has an amusement park, miniature golf, and water park. There are plenty of options for accommodations from cottages to hotels.  For more info visit their Chamber of Commerce site, here

Sliding Rock: Hendersonville, NC: Distance from Charlotte: 90 min 
For only $1/person you can enjoy a ride down a natural rock water slide.  Located in Pisgah National Forest, Sliding Rock has been a go-to for summer fun for years.  It has a 6-7 foot deep pool at the bottom as well as shallow river areas for little ones.  For tips on what to wear, hours of operation, parking areas, and more click, here.

A Day out With Thomas:  Spencer, NC: Distance from Charlotte: 50 min
Everyone's favorite train will be visiting the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer on Sept 23-25 and Sept 30-Oct 2.  For tickets and info about all of the other fun activities going on click, here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

FYE: 7/22/11: Bitsy Bug...


I stumbled across a great (semi) new site the other day and had to share with my fellow moms.  It is similar to Zulily or Groupon but is focused on just kid-related items.  So far they have featured deals for Stella Cove, which I mentioned here, and they have also had deals for Nordstrom, cool personalized gifts, and custom photo books.  All you need to do is register at their site:  Bitsy Bug and your daily deals will start showing up in your inbox!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Preparing for Baby: The 3 Friends You will Need...

Once you have registered you can breathe a huge sigh of relief.  You will (hopefully) have the material things underway so you can focus on preparing mentally.  The best way to do this is with an evaluation of your support system.  We have all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child and its the truth.  No matter how much you feel like you are ready for this new adventure and how sure you are that you and your husband can do it alone, you will absolutely need extra support.  Your "village" needs to consist of some very important friends so take a good look around and make sure these women are a quick phone call away...

1.  The Veteran:  This is the friend who already has children.  She can help you register, pick a pediatrician, and install your car seat in 30 seconds flat.  She also knows how to deal with your leaky bladder, swollen ankles and stuffy nose.  She has endured epidurals, catheters, and labor pains and she is happy to share all of her tips with you.  The Veteran will be crucial when you feel overwhelmed and sleep deprived.  She will talk you off the ledge with soothing advice from a girl who has been-there-and-done-that!

2.  The Preggo Buddy:  This is the friend who is going the distance and the nine months with you.  Whether she is someone you have known for a long time or just met at you OBGYN, she will be your new best friend.  Someone with whom you can share every symptom, fear, and excitement, the Preggo Buddy will be happy to talk for hours on end about all things pregnancy.  And even better she will have an instant playmate for your child!  

3.  The Girl From Your Past:  This is the friend who does not know exactly what you are going through.  She is still running fancy free with no children in sight.  She is your old going-out buddy who is still living the non-bump life.  Although you two are in different phases right now, she will be important for giving you a taste of your old life.  She can go through her relationship woes and go on spur-of-the-moment trips while you live vicariously through her.  She will also be the first one in line to take you out when you are ready for a night away from the baby.  And just think one day you can be "The Veteran" to her! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rah Rah Rah...



SCRA is now offering cheerleading for our popular South Charlotte Patriots Football Program!

We are a Pop Warner based program and take pride in our program.  We strive to teach the participants basic techniques and beginning stunting.  Most important, we teach them sportsmanship, team spirit, and confidence.  Our goal is for your child to have a good time while learning to be part of a team while continuing their education.  No experience is required!  


For more information, please contact SouthCharlotteCheer@gmail.com

Teachable Moments: Adrienne Patterson

I am going to get really transparent here.  (Some of you may be scared hearing that since I have already shared some not so pretty moments and been more transparent than you would like!)  A little background on a project I have been doing this summer. I started a group called Mommy & Me Missions that allows moms and kids to volunteer and serve together. My goal in starting this group was two fold. One I wanted to get more involved in local charity work and two it is extremely important for me to teach my girls how to give back.  The older they get and the more the see in the world around them I am acutely aware that we as parents have to work very diligently at teaching our kids how to think of others.  It is not natural to put others first or do for others, our natural inclination is to be selfish and my goal was to combat that natural instinct as best I could. 

So, we are halfway through summer and we have about 7 mission projects under our belt and I am feeling pretty good about what I am instilling in my girls and then it happened.  After an evening with friends our girls come downstairs with several American Girl catalogues full of magic marker circles around the dolls they plan to purchase.  Despite me telling my girls that it will take some time to save $100 for a doll with a $5/week allowance they are not deterred. They talk incessantly about the dolls, the outfits, the strollers…on and on and on!  (Side note: I think these dolls are ridiculously overpriced and for that much money why to they give them little buck teeth? Surely for that price they could have perfect little doll veneers!)  The following day the mom of the little friend they were playing with calls to tell me that her daughter shared more of the discussion b/w the girls and it turns out my precious Molly Scott came up with a “fabulous” plan to afford the beloved doll.  The plan?  Write letters to people asking for money for the poor then use that money to buy the doll!!!!!!  OMGosh, seriously?!? My child? The child of the missions focused mom?  I totally freaked out, this was exactly the selfishness I was trying to avoid and now not only is she selfish but a liar and a thief as well.  Total "I am a failure as a mother" moment.

Now before you start accusing my child of being seriously disturbed and heading for a future in prison for embezzlment, money laundering or blackmail let me tell you a few things.  My Molly Scott cares very deeply for people and this is not typical for her.  Just a week prior after visiting the Boys and Girls Club she was determined to go and raise money for those children and to buy them a “nice new building with games and candy.” She often shares her thoughts of wanting to give to others and praying for those in need so I did have reason not to completely go off the deep end over this comment. 

During school we have a portion of our day that we pray together and read the bible and just discuss things.  So during that time I asked her about her plan to get the money for her doll and she admitted she did say it.  Instead of getting angry at her God’s grace allowed it to become a wonderful teaching moment about honesty and how we have to fight our natural urges to be greedy and the dangers of how that greed can cause us to lose sight of what is right all in the name of simply getting what we want.  She listened and apologized and the next day was back on track for ways to earn money for those in need.  I know her heart is good and I know that she didn’t even totally understand what that plan of hers really meant…she just wanted the doll! (The stupid, buck tooth over priced doll…I knew she was nothing but trouble!)

As a parent not only are we constantly teaching but we ourselves are always learning.  We can try our best to teach them the basic skills of life…clean up after yourself, chew with your mouth closed, don’t hit, say please and thank you.  But the truth is, some of the biggest lessons come from how we teach them from their mistakes.  (I don’t think I would have thought to include in our daily school lesson “don’t write letters asking for money from the poor then use the money to buy toys for yourself.”)  We try as moms to ensure that they do everything right b/c it’s embarrassing when your kids does something really bad or wrong even if they are kids.  (Even writing this I wonder if people are thinking that if my kid is saying such things I am not the one to be heading up a Christian missions project!!).  But the bottom line is we don’t teach them to be bad or make poor choices, our job is to teach them to the best of our ability how to make the right choices.  If we can get past our shock and horror at some of their schemes and naughtiness we will find enormous teaching moments that might not have otherwise presented themselves.  I am pretty confident she learned a lot from this situation…if not then please do not send any money to her even if she says it’s for the poor!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Introducing the Guys: Lauren Alexander...

So my little family is coming up on our one year anniversary of moving to Seattle. It's almost impossible for me to believe it. I guess when you spend the first 6 months living somewhere in a postpartum haze time really seems to fly by. Nonetheless, the year has really flown by and I find myself often looking back at our early days here and how far we've come. One major milestone is that I now have a 14 month old who is thriving and growing and becoming a real kid! Gone are the sleepless nights, endless days, and a constant state of fear that I would screw it all up. (Well, I still worry about screwing it all up but you know what I'm saying.) Now he's on a schedule I can pretty much set my watch by, I have full nights of sleep, and I worry more about how long he's going to whine instead of how I'm doing in my role of "mom".

Another milestone I've come to is that I now have a really great group of girlfriends! We have playdates, we have moms nights out, we have a bookclub...I'm talking real, live friends folks! I honestly thought that when I moved here I was just too tired to get out there and do the "making friends" thing again. But I'm so glad that I did because they really keep me going when we're going on our 100th straight day of clouds and rain, Nash is teething, or I desperately want to see the newest chick flick. 

As us ladies have spent more time together we've slowly brought our husbands into the mix and I have to admit there was a bit of anxiety about this. Sure, I really enjoy spending time with the girls but what if they were married to a complete weirdo or jerk? What if the dynamic changed, and not for the better, whenever we brought along the guys? This wouldn't be the end of the world of course but it's always so nice to be able to have adult nights out and simply spend time having conversations that don't include "stop screaming!" or "no, no, no!". Todd and I used to spend so much time with our friends back in Boston and Charlotte before we had Nash and I think we both really miss that interaction. So when the ladies and I decided we should do an adults night out on the town recently I was filled with a mix of excitement (yea make up and high heels!) and anxiety (Todd, please behave).

This wasn't the first time the guys had met- we've had our fair share of birthday parties and family cookouts. But this would be the first time that there were no distractions and no kiddo to give you an excuse to leave a conversation. The ladies were nearly giddy with excitement to be out of the house without a highchair in sight. The guys, well, it was a little hard to tell in the beginning. I'm sure they were happy to be out but, unlike us stay at home mamas, they get out all the time! They don't have lunch while standing up in the kitchen, hiding from their kid. They get showered every day, leave the house, and have adult interaction on a daily basis- can't say the same for myself on any of those points. So dinner out isn't exactly the break from reality that it is for us. So while we sat there like a prom date, the guys casually talked and joked and acted, well, normal. It appeared that my anxiety was for no reason. Like my girlfriends, their husbands were down to earth, funny, relatable guys that had no problem making a conversation with each other. Insert sigh of relief here. This was exactly what the doctor ordered for us all- a kid free evening, a fantastic dinner with a view of Mt. Rainier (google it), and great conversation between us all.

Fast forward a few hours and there are 5 grown men, fathers no less, bellied up to the bar next door downing Irish Car Bombs (a hideous concoction of whiskey and Guiness beer) and laughing like they were long lost friends. This was the first time all night that I actually knew where the night was headed but I didn't care. I was just glad to be out on the town in my new city with my new friends.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Southpark Magazine!!

So exciting!!  Southpark magazine is doing a feature story this month on our Sarah's House room make-over.  I just saw the preview on their website and aside from the terrible pictures of me (can you tell I had no idea what I was doing?!) I am so excited about the article!  They did a great job relaying the story and I hope it brings more attention to Florence Crittenton Services.  I hope that I can begin planning the next room or project in the near future.  Thanks again to everyone who made this happen! 

Lemon Spaghetti: Kid Tested, Mother Approved....

Finding a meal that appeals to my entire family is a tricky little task.  My husband is like Mikey, he likes whatever but my kids are a handful.  My "good eater" is starting to not like meats, some fruits, and refuses applesauce.  My "picky eater" doesn't like, well anything unless its a Poptart, doughnut, or hot dog.  Or so he says...most of the time if I can bribe him to just try a bite he ends up liking it.  Problem is that the next time a meal rolls around its like he has amnesia and turns his nose up at the food.  I swore I would never be a short-order cook for my kids and I would demand that they eat what we eat but truthfully I am failing to follow through in that department.  

By fluke the other day my youngest tried some of the pasta I was making my husband and I for dinner.  I, of course had the hot dogs waiting in the wings but something miraculous happened.  He ate it and loved it!  He gobbled up a whole bowl and then to top it off my oldest came in and ate it too.  All we needed next was a pig to fly through our kitchen.  I would have never thought they would eat this meal but after tasting it myself I understood...it was soooo good.  I am forever grateful to Samster Mommy for bringing this recipe my way.  It is going on the small, but growing, list of family-pleasing meals.  

Lemon Spaghetti
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.
Peas & Prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) bag frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 ounces (1/8-inch-thick slices) prosciutto, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Directions: Heat oil in a large skillet over med-low heat. Add shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the peas and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in prosciutto and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and remove from the heat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Two New Ways to Stay Connected...

Thank you to everyone who is already following Momsie via Google and also those of you that are connected through Facebook.  I have now added two more ways in which you can stay connected with all of our latest news.  You will now find a box to subscribe to Momsie through email.  By entering your email address you will receive an email with the latest posts.  You can also follow us through Blog Lovin.  Just click on their cool/weird image over there in the sidebar.  

Just want to hook my people up and make sure you are always the first ones to be in the know!

FYE: 7/15/11...Little Black Dress Girl

Reading a book has become an elusive luxury since having children.  Gone are the days of leisurely reading by the pool and most nights I am too tired to keep my eyes open.  There is nothing I love to do more than lay on the beach with a good book but in the meantime I have discovered some blogs that are great for a quick read.  One of my new favorites comes from a girl that I am going to call "local" even though she does not live in Charlotte (nor has she ever I don't think).  But she used to live in Charleston (close enough right?) and she is a friend of my best friend and my friend is from Charlotte.  I say thats close enough!  

Anyways she is an amazing writer...the legitimate kind not a blogger mom that leaves out correct grammar and spelling most days.  And she is hands down one of the funniest people I have ever met.  Not because she tries to be, she just is.  After reading this latest post of hers I am even more convinced that she needs to write a book.  It could be based on her life.  So here is your (short) reading enjoyment for today.  I dare you to not get sucked into this story...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Preparing for Baby: Registry 101...

Note: LONGEST post ever written.

Pregnant?  Check.  Little pooch?  Check.  Bigger appetite?  Check.  A clue as to what you need for this baby?  No!!

We have all been there, pregnant for the first time and suddenly scared of having to register.  So many choices and even if you are a "researcher" there is just an overload of information.  In an attempt to simplify things here is a list to help you tackle your registry/shopping.

1.  REGISTER!  Its not that fun and takes a good chuck of time but do it.  People want to buy things for you and they need help knowing what you prefer for your baby.  Even if you don't end up keeping what they buy you can always put it towards store credit, a.k.a DIAPERS!  

2.  Where to register?  Most cities have these chains but definitely if you are in Charlotte I would go with either Buy Buy Baby, Babies R Us, and/or Target (I would do one of the baby stores and Target).  As for which baby store, they are pretty similar.  If you like Bed, Bath, and Beyond you will love Buy Buy Baby (same chain).  Babies R Us is sure to have anything you need as well.  Both stores accept each others coupons too but only if they are not expired.

3.  Carseats.  I personally feel like this is one of, if not the most important item on your list.  Obviously your child's safety is of utmost concern and they will also spend a lot of time in this thing.  In a nutshell anything made by Britax is going to be as safe as it gets.  It is one of the priciest brands but again if there is one area to splurge this would be it.  There are also great options from Graco, Evenflo, Chicco, and Safety 1st (just Google "safest car seats" and specific seats from each brand will be listed on numerous sites).  The main thing to take into consideration are the car seat laws (which seem to change weekly).  Choose a seat that will be able to grow with your baby.  I would definitely recommend an infant carrier for the first several months.  Your baby can sleep in it and not have to be disturbed to be moved to a stroller.  Choose one that is light weight for your own sake.  Down the road I would suggest the convertible seats so that your child can use it through booster-hood.  Just check the weight limits and go with a trusted brand that fits your budget.

4.  The big 6.  These items are the other things that I consider your most used baby gear.  If you are deciding where to put your money these are things that you won't want to leave out:

  • stroller:  Either the Baby Trend Snap-n-Go or Graco Snug Ride frame strollers are the way to go.  The easiest way to transport your baby is to pop out their seat, snap it into the stroller, and be on your way.  The baby stays asleep and you don't have to lug a massive stroller in and out of your car.  I may cause a ruckus here but I see zero point in the large travel-system strollers.  Once the baby is past the infant seat stage a lightweight umbrella stroller is the way to go.  That is if they will even stay in a stroller at that point!
  • pack n play:  Somewhere along the road you are going to take a trip or have house guests meaning you will need a portable bed for the little one.  Brand is not as much a factor as features.  Choose a pack n play that has the changing table and bassinet attachments.  This will be an extra spot for changing and napping during the early days.  No matter which brand you go with prepare to need a physics degree to open and close it.
  • papsan:  This little vibrating chair will be your newborn's second home for much of the first few months.  I was thrilled with my Fisher Price edition because it lasted through two boys and was easy to clean.  Pick one with a removable cover for washing!  As far as a papsan vs a swing...a swing is on my list of "things to borrow."  Some kids love the motion of a swing but some, like mine, don't.  We may have used our swing once or twice but I have friends whose kids lived in it. The papasan will definitely get used so maybe just test out a friend's swing before purchasing your own.
  • bottles:  Even if you plan to breast feed until kindergarten you should still have some bottles on hand.  You do not want to be stuck at 3 am with a screaming infant, no milk supply, and no bottles and in that case formula.  I would recommend Dr. Brown's simply because I have used them and they were miracle workers for my son's sensitive stomach.  Considering most newborns battle gas it doesn't hurt to get the bottles designed to combat it.  
  • Aiden and Anais swaddling blankets:  I am not a brand-freak but these blankets are hands-down my favorite!  They are made of a really light fabric and are huge compared to the swaddling blankets you will receive at the hospital.  There are all kinds of "miracle" blankets on the market but with these you really only need to know how to swaddle.  They are fool-proof because you can wrap and wrap until your hearts content...and they are happy little burritos.  
  • monitor:  Other than watching your baby eat and stare you will also want to watch them sleep.  You will definitely start to feel like a stalker.  For best stalking abilities you will want a video monitor.  The Summer Infant Slim handheld monitor is always ranked highly and although costly it will save you many unnecessary trips to the nursery.
Now, obviously there a lot of other things you will need but those are my top 6.  Once you have those accounted for its time to move on to these items:
  • bath tub:  I have gone two routes on this.  With baby #1 I bought the tub with toys attached, a neck cushion, and hammock.  He seemed to enjoy it but it did become bulky after awhile.  When he was old enough to support his neck I started using the Bumbo for his bath seat.  With baby #2 I opted for just an infant bath sponge.  This was much easier to move in and out of the tub, was very inexpensive, and he was plenty comfortable.
  • high chair:  I did not register for this just because you don't need it right away.   I waited until we started solid foods and then choose a Peg Perego for its good reputation.  Anything with wheels and a removable top tray is the way to go.
  • exersaucer:  Same as with a high chair you may not use this until the baby has some neck control.  Evenflo has a great selection.
  • play gym:  In the beginning your baby will spend a lot of time on the floor swatting at toys.  Play gyms are great for teaching them hand-eye coordination and it will give them endless hours of entertainment.
  • diaper trash cans:  Champ or Genie?  I vote Champ simply because you can use regular (cheaper) trash bags and the Genie requires use of their special bags.  We also have often just used our regular trash cans.
If you are breast-feeding:
  • breast pump:  Medela is the long-standing trusted brand.  They also make any attachment or accessory that you may need.  I would defintiely look into borrowing one or renting one from your hospital because you may not end up using it for long, or at all.  
  • Breast Friend or Boppy:  This is like asking Republican or Democrat.  People are definitely on one side or the other.  I won't reveal my allegiance but if possible test one out to see which is more comfortable for you.  Its totally personal preference.  Let your husband test it too bc it will be his pillow at the hospital.
  • breast pads, nipple butter, storage bags:  nuff said.  Oh, except about the pads I would suggest thin ones that don't make circular bulges under your clothing.
  • formula:  At least one can for emergencies.  The hospital will also send you home with some sample bottles.
   Other things I have learned along the way:
  • IKEA has great crib sheets.  They are $6 for a pack of two and are plain white so they will match any bedding.  You will want extra sheets on hand and these are great because they are super stretchy and easy to get on and off.  Plus you can bleach any stains.
  • Buy extra bottles if you are bottle-feeding.  You will wash more at one time but you will always have one on hand instead of washing between each feeding.  I suggest at least 8-10.
  • Lots of white onesies.  Yes its fun to buy those cute, tiny clothes but the truth is you will change the baby a thousand times a day and you will hardly feel like finding that matching shirt and pants.
  • Choose a sturdy, durable diaper bag.  I was given a Lands End canvas bag (the small size) and it is all I ever need.  The material holds up to abuse and it has room for all the essentials.  Buy Buy Baby has a great selection as well!
  • Keep a journal.  I kept a log of feedings, poops, pees, and milestones.  Although you think you will remember it all, you won't.  It helps when you are sleep-deprived and for when you start all over again with another baby.
  • under-eye concealer, dry shampoo, coffee:  Do what it takes to look presentable until you have rejoined the land of the living.  

  *If I have another baby I am getting the Nap Nanny.  It would be such a great, covenient way to let a newborn nap.  It is inclined so I am sure helps with gas and could replace the pack-n-play in the early stages when the baby can't move.

*A bassinet can be handy but it is also on my "borrow list."  Between the pack-n-play feature and just using the crib (even though they look so small!) this is not something to invest in unless you just really want to.

For all the other things on your list just do go with your gut.  Don't waste a lot of time stressing over which bibs or what pacifier.  Ask a couple of close friends what they used and then choose what you feel best fits your family.  This will be great practice for motherhood.  There will be so many times that there are too many options, endless questions, and lack of experience but at the end of the day you are now mom and will have to make those decisions.  Trust yourself and call it a day!

momsie: STYLE: Stella Cove

The pools and beaches are already crowded and I can't help but notice all the cute suits on everyone.  I have yet to purchase new ones for anyone in our family but after stumbling across this website I am itching to buy several.  Take a peek for yourself, you'll see what I am talking about!

I am dying over these little trunks...so Levi McConaughey!

I am planning to adopt the little girl on the left!  I love the cover-ups as well!

I didn't even post any of the women's suits but trust me they are just as great.  Check out Stella Nova and swoon!  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

'Round Here...

There are some new things going on here on Momsie.  First, please note the new tab up above titled, "Things To Do."  Slowly but surely I am making good on that promise to add a calendar.  It will be up and running by August (I hope)!   Also there is a link to BlogLovin' over on the side.  If you don't know what that is, it is a great site on which you can keep track of all your favorite blogs.  It will update you anytime a new post is written form one of "your blogs."  And one last addition, the email subscription box also on the side.  This is pretty self-explanatory, just another way to get email updates when a new post is written.  You may want to do this one instead of BlogLovin if you don't follow multiple blogs.

Hope the new features make the site better, let me know!

School is in Session: Adrienne Patterson

So home school is in full swing and while it has not been a disaster I will say that I have already mentioned to Scott that she, as well as myself, may have a learning disability!  Granted my foul mood this week might have influenced my thinking, but there have been grave concerns

While it is blaringly obvious to me that 25 cannot be the number before 51 and if yesterday was July 5th how could today possibly July 21st?  Really testing my patience here!  I have done some cute crafty things like putting 10 beans on a popsicle stick to help count by tens and she thinks I am pretty cool and creative for that but my joy in that is short lived as she is more interested in the design and shape of the beans than using them to actually learn how to count by tens!    Sadly she isn’t the only one struggling.  There was one exercise that asked you to sing “I know all my vowels, a-e-i-o-u” to the tune of London Bridges.  I got hung up on that for at least 10 minutes!  It is amazing how difficult it is to teach someone stuff you just know.  She couldn’t understand ‘before’ and ‘after’ when we were looking at a number chart.  When she asked, “what is before?” I couldn’t even explain it without using the word before!! 

I am learning that you have to be creative and you can’t get hung up on one thing.  The beauty of home school is if she doesn’t grasp something we can move on and come back to it at a better time. (A better time being defined as a time that I don’t have the urge to seriously question her intelligence and say ugly things) or even change things up.  However, I have already had some of my illusions shattered.  For instance, many home school moms talk about doing school on the go.  You know, if you need to grocery shop throw the reading book in the car and she can read aloud while you drive, take your math concepts and make them come to life as you grocery shop (if we all want bananas for a snack but this bunch only has 4 how many more do we need?).  Maybe their kids didn’t have severe ADD but she was dropping her workbook in the car constantly loosing her place, feeling car sick from reading and she was so mad about not being able to cruise the toy section in Wal Mart that she had no interest in my nifty produce word problems.  Other moms talk about home schooling with toddlers at home, YEA RIGHT!!!  Try teaching with a 3 year old in the room who never stops talking and will only yell louder if you ignore her and who loves to take the 100 beans and buttons you bought at math manipulatives and dump them all over the floor.  My 5 year old was actually not so bad but when I was trying to teach Molly Scott her vowels (which she couldn’t recall) it was not so helpful when Gracie breezed through the room and not only rattled off a quick A-E-I-O-U but also added, “and sometimes ‘Y’” Big sis was not impressed with her knowledge and proceeded to tell her to get out….good times for sure!!  Needless to say I am anxious for the younger girls to be in school so we can focus on just Molly Scott.

All in all it has been better than I expected but definitely not as easy as I had hoped.  Pretty par for the course of life I’d say.

Winner of the design POST Giveaway...

Congratulations, Mary Stewart McGinty, winner of the FREE design board courtesy of design POST! Mary Stewart had already contacted me about updating her master bedroom so this works out perfectly!  Now I can create a design board to help give her some inspiration for the room which will also help her narrow her choices and get the shopping done!  Her next decision will have to be, do I tackle this on my own (between raising my son and working full-time) or do I let Beth do the work for me??   Hmmm....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lauren Alexander: BFF's...

Do you ever take a moment to think about your circle of friends? Sometimes I find myself taking a mental picture of the girls who I count on as friends and it amazes me to consider the little network that keeps me going everyday.

I had an interesting childhood that took me from the small South Carolina town where I was born to the big and bustling city of Los Angeles when I was just five years old. Four years later we headed back across the the country for a short stay in Ft. Lauderdale and then we set down roots in Charlotte where I was until four years ago. Throughout these moves I found myself friends with little girls that I sometimes had very little in common with on a surface level- black and Latino girls, girls from a single parent home, poor girls, wealthy girls. Somehow when you're 5 years old you don't seem to notice the background of your playmate so much as whether or not they have cool toys and good snacks to share. 

As I left childhood and became a teen my friends were more of my own making versus whether our parents were friends or if we rode the same bus. I also found that my friends became more and more like me- a similar family structure, we wore the same kind of clothes, drove the same kinds of car, and dated the same kind of guy. This was what life was like for me from about Junior High through college. I can look back on pictures now and see that we all started to even look alike! God forbid anyone not wear the "right" kind of jeans or date outside of the acceptable circle of boys. Comfort was definitely found in knowing that I was just like my best friends.

As I continued to grow up and I left the comfort of my hometown and ventured (along with my best friend, of course) to college the novelty of looking and acting like everyone around me started to wear off. I always imagined going off to college and joining a sorority so I would immediately have a group of friends and feel that I belonged. Lo and behold, I got to college and couldn't have been less interested in joining a sorority. I suddenly felt a relief in knowing that I didn't have to make the "right" decisions anymore to be accepted into a group. I liked having my freedom to just be myself and not be a part of anything bigger. It kind of felt like the pressure of fitting in was finally off and I could do whatever I wanted! I was literally the only girl of my friends who did not join a sorority and initially it felt very isolating. But I just knew it wasn't for me and it felt good to make my own decision. College passed and the whole sorority thing proved to be no big deal to myself or my friends. I actually made friends on my own (gasp!) and had the best five years (yes, shocking I know, but I didn't graduate in four years) of my life.

Looking back now I see that the whole sorority thing turned out to be my first realization that a friend is not defined by how much they're like me. For so many years I sought out the person who I thought was just like me and I assumed we'd be best friends. But the truth of the matter is that I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of "me's". How boring would that be?! I don't need someone to agree with me on everything or always want to do what I want to do. I like the idea of trying new things, challenging myself, and stepping out of my comfort zone and that's what a real friend is for me.

Since I've gotten married and moved away from Charlotte I have managed to find the most amazing and assorted array of ladies that I proudly call friends. It's like the casting of an episode of Survivor- an Asian, a Southern Belle, the sporty blonde, a celebrity makeup artist raised as a Quaker, the type A ivy league grad, the child of a gay parent, a displaced Yankee living in Alabama...the list goes on. The point is that once I realized the world is much more exciting when you see it through another person's eyes I found myself surrounded by interesting, fun, and oddly similar other ladies. No two friendships are equal and you can't compare one to another. The friends I made when I had a learner's permit and zits are just as important to me today as the ones who talk me off the ledge when Nash is having yet another breakdown. I treasure every friend I have today and I'm so happy that I've been exposed to so many new and interesting people throughout these last 4 years on the move. No matter what our backgrounds are, the truth is that at the end of the day we're all way more alike than we are different.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Could You Go Vegetarian?...

I have often sworn to my husband that I could go vegetarian.  Now, keep in mind my "vegetarian" is a little different.  I will eat eggs...and bacon...and a burger if we are at a burger joint.  In fact I will eat most meat out at a restaurant.  I just hate the look, smell, and thought of raw meat so at home I could go without. So basically I would be an "at-home vegetarian" (minus bacon, I can handle cooking that).  Got it?

I do love some veggies though and summer is the best time of year with all the farmers markets and road side stands.  I could eat tomatoes like apples and I really do feel better when I am not weighed down by tons of meat and carbs.  I like everything a little lighter in the summer.  In honor of our first tomato picked from our garden I made this awesome salad.  It is for sure my new go-to summer side.  If you have a cook out I am bringing this so don't you make it!

c/o Martha Stewart


  • 1/2 pound country bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat grill to medium. Brush bread slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into large cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve.
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