***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!***

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Southern Women's Show (*Giveaway*)...

If you weren't able to go to the Ideal Home Show fear not, the Southern Women's Show is on it's way!  Starting on Thursday, Sept 15th and running through Sunday, Sept 18th, the Southern Women's Show is one of Charlotte's most anticipated events.  It's no wonder considering there is fabulous food, fashion, and art all under one roof.  Not to mention the celebrity guests and presentations put on by leading experts!

This year Former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager will be speaking.  You can catch her on Thursday and then hang around for a spa treatment by Votre Vu French skin care.  Or head over to the Costco exhibit where you will have a chance to win $30 to shop the show...they will choose winners every 30 minutes all four days!

Oh, and did I mention the firefighter fashion show.  Um, yep!

So if you would would like to win some tickets rather than buy them here is your chance.  I have two, 4-packs for a giveaway.  All you need to do to be entered to win one of the 4-packs is leave a comment under this post or on our Facebook page.  Let me know what you are excited to see/do at the Southern Women's Show.

Winners will be chosen by random draw and announced on Friday, Sept 9th at 8:00 am!!  

For more show information click, here.

Adrienne Patterson: New Resident Advice Columnist...

While home school might be a daily adventure for me I am not sure it garners quite enough entertainment value to blog about each week.  So in an effort not to add boring to the list of adjectives used to describe Beth’s amazing blog I am going to branch out a little. 

If you know me, or have read any of the things I have written on Momsie then you are well aware that I am not in the running for parent of the year.  In fact I might be more fit for the race of which parent can send their kids to the therapist couch first!  But amidst my failures, mistakes, mishaps and embarrassing moments I have managed to birth 3 amazing daughters and make a bit of headway in bringing them up fairly decently.  As any mom who has survived a particular stage in childrearing you come out feeling like a hero.  Not based on how well you parented during that time but based on the fact that you are still standing at the end of it!  Regardless of how you faired the storm you can now be the one who says, “been there, done that” and pass along fair warning or good advice to your fellow moms heading down that path.  So in that vein I will spend some time just sharing what I have learned in my nearly 8 years of parenting. 

On my mind today are all us mom’s getting back into the school routine.  While I am home schooling my oldest my younger two are still going to school (Kindergarten and 3K) so I am still one of the many dreading fixing lunches, homework, early mornings and car pool lines.  As many of you are heading back soon, or like me, have just completed the first full week we are quickly reminded of how lazy and slow moving we became over the summer.  Suddenly alarms are blaring in our ear at ungodly hours of the morning and we are struggling to wake up irritable munchkins and attempt to dress, feed and prod them out the door all before 8 am!!  Definitely not enjoyable but there are a few things I have learned that might make your mornings a little bit easier…

1.   Do as much as you can the night before or even a whole week in advance!!  I know that might sound crazy but last year in the midst of fighting my oldest about clothes and lunches I decided that I needed to take the bull by the horns.  Each Sunday evening we would pick out all of her clothes for the week and lay them out.  We were each allowed to pick outfits (ensuring she would NOT wear the ratty Hello Kitty Tee more than once a week!!) and then as for what day she wore what that was up to her (this little bit of freedom went a LONG way!).  If you can’t manage a whole week at least do it the night before.  Same was true for lunches.  While I would prepare the main dish (aka cold sandwich or Luncheable) I would empty all our snacks, juiceboxes, yogurts etc. into bowls or areas of the fridge where the kids could easily reach them and their job while I fixed breakfast was to fill up the rest of their lunchbox.  Again, they love some responsibility and the feeling that they are in charge of their own lunch AND it keeps them busy while you fix breakfast!

2.   Get up at least 20 minutes before the kids.  This one really stinks but it is so well worth it!  I have found that our mornings go so much more smoothly if I have had a few quiet moments to myself to get my coffee ready, pray and just wake up.  On the mornings when I have hit the snooze one too many times I find myself having to rush, which is truly impossible if you have children because the word ‘hurry’ actually translates to ‘slow down, become uncoordinated, forgetful and distracted’ in kid language.  It’s much better to have had those few minutes to yourself so that your smile at carline is genuine not that plastered on smile that says…”we fought all the way here, I’m wearing sunglasses b/c I am already in tears and it’s not even 9:00 yet, I wish they could come to school 40 hours a week!”

3.   Have a routine!  I cannot say this enough when it comes to kids.  While they may complain they actually thrive in a routine because it is predictable and familiar.  Find a routine that works for you and stick with it so that the morning flows smoothly.  Some school morning routines in our house include no TV, not coming downstairs until you are fully dressed and having extra toothbrushes downstairs so that they can brush and head straight out the door.  Anything that you can set in place that prevents chaos in the morning is worth the effort!!

4.   Plan your breakfast meals.  My older girls prefer a pretty big breakfast so I can’t really get away with granola bars or pop tarts.  While I struggled for a while with this I finally found a few things that allowed me a few more minutes of sleep and provided my kids with a decent breakfast.  Usually one or two nights a week I will pre-make some breakfast items, some great ones are muffins, biscuits or cinnamon rolls make the night before (just store them in a gallon zip bag and warm them up the next morning), whip up pancake or waffle batter the night before so all you have to do the next morning is pour it in the pan.  You can also precut some fruit, keep instant oatmeal on hand, as well as yogurt and the yogurt drinks and cereal is a no brainer (IF your kids will eat it).

5.  Go through and organize backpacks the night before.  I know this should be common sense but when you have little ones who don’t necessarily have homework every night you don’t always think about their backpacks.  But I can’t tell you how many mornings I have opened it up only to discover that they did indeed have some type of assignment or the teacher sent a note home asking for me to send in a white tee shirt for their special craft that day.  (Seriously I thought it was going to just be full of macaroni noodle crafts and some scribbles they called coloring!)  Get in the habit of emptying the book bag right when they walk in the door and have it ready to go for the next morning.  (Side note: I don’t allow my kids to open their bookbags in the car on the way home from school.  Mean and anal?  Nope, it just never fails that in their excitement to show me that macaroni craft the permission slip for tomorrow’s field trip falls under the seat!

I hope that my first round of advice is helpful as you navigate the day with your little ones, no matter where you are headed.  I want to pass on anything helpful that I can so lets start with some things that are on your mind.  Having trouble getting your child to sleep?  Looking for ways to entertain your children in the car?  Not sure how to introduce your kids to the idea of volunteering?  I want to know which topics you would like advice on so send us an email at: momsiecharlotte@gmail.com.  (Label the subject as: "advice") We will let you know when your question will be answered so you can make sure to check back for some tips!  Stay tuned each week as I dole out my best advice, one mother to another!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lauren Alexander: From Girl Talk to Food Talk...

As you all can tell from my posts, I greatly value my friendships and the time I get with my girlfriends. But right up there on the list with friends is also good food; Ideally, I'd like to eat good food with good friends. So in the interest of keeping things fresh and new I'm going to transition from girlfriend talk to food talk! I don't pretend to be a chef of any sort or even barely much of a cook. But I do appreciate a good meal and if it's one that I have to prepare for my family then I want it to be easy to make and able to be eaten by everyone in the family.
As I've gotten older I've found myself open to trying new things that I swore I didn't like. And I don't mean that I thought I didn't like escargot and here I am eating it all the time! No, I mean, that for years I swore I didn't like tomatoes and when I stopped acting ridiculous and actually ate them I found that they're one of my favorites! Same thing with seafood. I swore up and down that I couldn't stand the taste of fish. And lo and behold I could eat it nearly every day now. I think with the combination of growing up and moving around I've become more open minded in general and don't find myself shutting something down as quickly as I used to. This has served me well across the board and especially with new foods.
When it was just Todd and I, I would spend a whole afternoon shopping and preparing new dishes. I never shied away from a recipe that called for 15 ingredients and 20 steps. I kind of liked the challenge and the thought of eating such a delicious meal. You want to know when that all changed? Yeah, when I got pregnant and couldn't stand the smell of almost any kind of food, especially all types of meat. I would find myself running out of the grocery store praying I wouldn't puke. That's when Todd went on an unintended diet and take out became the norm. And that was before the baby was even here! Once Nash was born then it really got ugly. There was no more "dinner time" only "uh, I think there's some milk and pickles in the fridge". It was months before I felt like I could get back in the kitchen and actually prepare and serve a legitimate meal. And that was when I realized that my days of elaborate meal-planning and 15 ingredient recipes may just be over.
And that's what brings to my new posts. I want to share some recipes that I've found to be tasty, reasonably easy, and not served from a take-out container. I'll keep it interesting and try to challenge each of us to try some new things. I'll also give feedback on changes I would make the next time around or maybe something I'd add to kick it up a notch. A little warning- If you're a real food connoisseur you may be a bit disappointed by what is to come. These meals aren't meant to be served at a 5 star restaurant. They're only intended to impress the little critics at our dinner table each night.
I hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Charlotte Bloggers...

Last week I was invited to go to a blogger brunch hosted by Southern Shows.  It was my first chance to get together with local bloggers and it really made me feel professional.  To think that a great organization like Southern Shows would plan a networking event and include me just made my day!  The point of the brunch was to help connect some local bloggers and I am embarrassed to admit that this was my first opportunity to even hear about Charlotte blogs.  I read plenty of blogs that are written by women from all over the US but never any from Charlotte.  It seems pretty dumb now that I think about it but I am happy to now have a handful of great new blogs to read from women right here in Charlotte.  

So, I want to know who else out there has a blog that they would be willing to share??  I love reading about other moms and their lives.  It would make it even better knowing that these moms are right here in my city!  Share your site with us- just send me an email letting me know the link and I will pass it on to all of you!  I will also be posting about the new blogs I am reading soon but I'd love to have more to add to the list!

Friday, August 26, 2011

5 Things...

1.  Plaza Fiesta is a little off the beaten path but really is a great place to take your preschool and elementary age children.  It is located across from Carowinds and is visible from I-77.  Plaza Fiesta is a large indoor playspace that has three-levels off slides, tubes, and nooks.  It is set up so that children cannot get past the door attendant without their parent.  Wristbands also ensure safety in case you lose sight of them in all of the equipment.  *Bring a pair of socks!

2.  Summer is officially over for some of you but there are still some great outdoor family activities going on.  Tonight there are two different locations showing outdoor movies:  Symphony Park at Southpark and John J. Delany Dr. in Ballantyne.  Both locations will offer treats and additional entertainment.  Enjoy the evening weather and some quality time with your family while watching Rio or Tangled (Southpark and Ballantyne).  For more info click here for Southpark and here for Ballantyne.

3.  Southern Shows will present the Southern Ideal Home Show beginning at noon today and various times throughout the weekend.  If you are not the winner of our 4-pack giveaway you can also head over for FREE Friday night.  For ticket pricing as well as a $2 off coupon visit their site.

4.  Charlotte's oldest mexican restaurant is reopening it's doors at a new location.  La Paz decided to leave what has been their home for 17 years and head over to a brand new location at the Metropolitan.  You can still enjoy their famous margaritas and great food and now at an even cooler location!  They are doing a soft opening the whole month of August.

5.  Want to expose your inner celebrity?  HGTV's Design Star will be holding an open casting call here in Charlotte.  Although auditions are not until Sept 23rd you may need this head start to complete the very in-depth application!

Enjoy your weekend in our fabulous city!  Hopefully Irene does not bring us any bad weather!!

Winner of the Southern Ideal Home Show tickets...

Congratulations Ryan Redford, winner of the 4-pack of tickets to the Southern Ideal Home Show!  Hope you get some great tips for your master bedroom redo...and a chance to meet Mr. Giddings!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Burger News...

I am going to need us all to collectively hold hands and pray to the burger gods that this little rumor is true.  Word is that In-n-Out Burger could be moving east!  My stomach growls just thinking about that!  Growing up partially in California meant I got to experience a lot of great things and top of the list is In-n-Out.  You read about celebrities racing there after awards shows and if a burger is so good that you are willing to go in a $5,000 gown then you know its goooood.  Reports are that the burger chain is moving to Texas and expanding from there.  We aren't that many states away so surely they will want to come share the love?!  If you know anyone in Texas tell them they better eat their weight in burgers to convince those In-n-Out execs that east coast chains would thrive!

Preparing for Baby: Be Like Tory Burch (and me)...

Would there be anything better than having a best friend who happens to design super cute high end clothing??  Well my friends I think I may have an in to a new BFF who does just that.  I was reading my O Magazine the other night and came across an interview with Tory Burch and one of the questions was "What was your best gift to yourself?"  Here answer was this:

I've been writing an ongoing letter to my children since they were born, full of  recollections of their childhoods.  I've filled two journals.  It's a great thing to do as a mother-you forget a lot as you go along, but reading over what you've written brings all the memories back.

I, too have kept journals since my boys were born chronicling all of the milestones.  It's as much for me as it is them.  I kept track of my first son's eating and sleeping habits as well as when he got his first tooth.  It helped so much when it came time for my second and I had inevitably forgotten when and how things happen.  I write it as though I am writing to them so that one day they can read through and see what they were like and exactly how I was feeling about them each step of the way.  Well, maybe not exactly how I was feeling on some days but I don't really write on those days.

I am so excited to see that Tory (we're first name basis now) does the same.  Surely we would enjoy each other's company.  She could bring her boys over for a playdate, we could sip coffee, discuss reality tv, and I could borrow her clothes!  My gift to all expecting mothers is to buy a journal and start writing in it while you are pregnant.  Write about your feelings about the bundle on the way and the changes in your body.  Write about your labor story and then continue writing after the baby is born.  It is one of the best things I have ever done as a new mom for me and my kids!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Southern Ideal Home Show (*Giveaway*)...

Giveaways are back!  With the school year starting back up it is high time to reward you mothers for surviving the summer with some free loot!  Today's giveaway comes from the Southern Ideal Home Show.  If you have been considering any type of remodeling, building, landscaping, or decorating project this show is for you.  All kinds of experts come together under one roof to offer tips and products.  The Show will begin this Friday, the 26th at 12:00pm and run through Sunday.  For more ticket and event time information click, here.

John Gidding, host of Curb Appeal: The Block, one of HGTV's most popular shows will be on hand Saturday, August 27th.  He is an architect, interior designer, and major hottie. I mean hey, it never hurts to stare at a cute guy while he helps you decorate and upgrade your home!

There are also going to be other special guests as well as a chance to win a stainless steel grill and outdoor refrigerator....just in time for these late summer days.  Maybe you will gather enough tips and supplies to get started on a patio to go with it.  I am picturing spring cookouts already!

So if you want to go see what it's all about here's what you need to do:

Leave a comment under this post letting me know what home project you would like to tackle

"Like" Momsie on Facebook

Become a follower of Momsie

After you do one of those things you will be entered for a 4-pack of tickets.  You can plan a girl's day/night or grab your husband and your home to-do list. Winner will be announced on Friday at 8:00am!  Goodluck!

Local Business: Charlotte Acupuncture....

Charlotte Acupuncture Wellness logo acupuncture charlotte nc infertility fertility alternative pain

When I birthed this blog, ok that sounds a little graphic.  When I started this blog, I wanted the focus to be on local people, places, and things.  I wanted to help you all find things right here in Charlotte that would make motherhood a little easier, cooler, and more convenient.  So in light of that this post is about a great local business.  

At first glance you may not see any connection between acupuncture and motherhood but I promise you there are a few.  If you have back pain during or after pregnancy or because of the children you have to lug around acupuncture can help.  If you have ever been walking and suddenly had a lightening bolt of pain in your hip, acupuncture can help.  If you have ever tried to lay down at night only to be kept awake by a running to-do list, acupuncture can help.  How about period issues after labor?  Or fertility issues while trying to get pregnant? Lack of energy, digestion issues or stress?  I am sure some hands are raised!

I have always heard people rave about acupuncture but I never really put a lot of stock in it.  I just couldn't see how poking yourself with tiny needles could really solve any problems.  I have been a firm believer in Western medicine only and I prefer good ole medication.  So for me to now want to rave about this business is pretty big.  I will have to devote another post to why I went in the first place but I can say that my issues have significantly improved and that is after only 2 treatments.  TWO!!  I am not lying and I can assure you it is not in my mind.  My results have been enough to motivate my husband to go for his chronic back pain.  Now, for a man to go get treatment for something instead of just complaining about it for years on end, is HUGE.  My results have been that good.

Charlotte Acupuncture has a great staff and the entire process is smooth and easy.  The specialists are very knowledgable and walk you through each and every step.  I leave feeling encouraged and relaxed and most importantly happy with my results.  I cannot get high enough on this soapbox...if you have ever considered going to acupuncture for your condition do it!  And go to Charlotte Acupuncture!

*These opinions are strictly my own and I was given no compensation for this post.  In other words I am for real when I say I love this practice!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Advertising Reminder...

A new round of advertising begins September 1st.  If you have a business or service that people need to know about contact me at momsiecharlotte@gmail.com.  There are plenty of options from ad space to offering special discounts.  I can also do product/service reviews.  For all information on pricing, sizes, and options visit the advertise and reviews tab.

Lauren Alexander: Thank You, I Think?...

I've found that among fellow moms there tend to be two groups- those who are supportive and those that just can't help themselves. I'd like to think that the latter is made up of people with good intentions but poor delivery and timing. However, sometimes I'm not convinced they're not just trying to get in a little dig. Either way, read the following and tell me if you find these to be as annoying (and sometimes downright offensive) as I do. 

Your son/daughter isn't ____ yet?!  Insert most any milestone here- sleeping through the night, crawling, walking, talking, etc...Us moms are very aware of where our child stands and having you point it out doesn't do anything but stress us out (and probably tick us off).
WOW! He/she is so small/big! We have eyes and we are quite aware that our 1 year old is wearing his 6 month onesies still or that our powerhouse 2 year old is sharing clothes with big brother. This isn't necessarily offensive but hearing it gets old much like when we were pregnant and our belly size was endlessly commented on.
Can I have your babysitter's number? Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a mother like thinking you may lose your most prized possession- the babysitter. It's completely fair to get a recommendation and "borrow" your friend's babysitter but just make sure you remember who had her first (and that your friend knows where you live, if you know what I mean).
It's so cute how you let him/her wear whatever he/she wants to. Ok, so maybe the little one still has on his/her pjs...at noon. Or you weren't going anywhere without the rain boots...and it's sunny. But us moms know how to pick our battles and silly clothes are theleast of our worries when a stage 3 meltdown is on the horizon.
Man, that's quite a set of lungs he/she's got! The kid is loud, we get it. But having you follow up the little one's 100th scream of the day with this little comment does little to lower our blood pressure.
How often do you go to the gym? Well, if by "gym" you mean clean the house, chase the baby, pick up the baby, and run errands...then everyday. Not every mom has the boundless energy you may have. Or a gym may not be in the family budget. It's not inappropriate to ask by any means (hey, mama could take it as a compliment!) but maybe asking your bud to join you for a walk or on a guest pass to your gym is bit less intimidating.
Our family ONLY eats from our garden. Well, how nice for you! Mine, on the other hand, eats ONLY from the freezer. Listen, if you can find the time and energy to garden and sustain your family than bravo! But not everyone shares your passion. Maybe you should bring your homegrown fruits and veggies to share at the next playdate instead of a lecture.
You have a dog? We thought about it but they're just so dirty! There is nothing dirtier than a toddler. Nothing. And look at it like I do, they're cheaper and more of a time saver than a vacuum!
You should really read more. It's such a good way to wind down. Ohh, thanks! I never think of ways to spend time alone, in peace and quiet, doing something just for myself. It's not that us moms don't want to read more than the directions on a box of pasta. But when it comes down to it, it's really hard to make the time (and stay awake, too!). Invite your friend to join your bookclub instead. This could give her the incentive to not only read but an excuse to get out of the house each month for the discussion group!
You look tired. This is just the all-star. Oh wow, I look tired?! Guess what? I am! No mom needs to hear this. We're all tired on some level. Either we have a newborn who never sleeps. Or a toddler who has learned to climb out of the crib. Or a preschooler who's suddenly afraid of the dark. In any case, we're all going on less sleep than we'd like and to have you call us out on it is just miserable. What I'd rather hear is, "How about I take the kids for lunch and you can just relax." Now that's more like it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mom Questionnaire: Stacy

Happy Monday!  Thought I would start the week off with another edition of the Mom Questionnaire instead of waiting til Thursday.  Call me crazy!

Name:   Stacy Conder        Age (optional):  33             Number of kids: 2

What was the biggest surprise to you after having a child(ren)? The biggest surprise for me was probably how much the sleep-deprivation affected me. I knew I'd be tired a lot, but I didn't realize how much it would affect everything-- my short-term memory, my mood, my patience level, my appearance, everything. Unfortunately I just don't function well on less than 8 or 9 hours of sleep (I actually think I need about 10 to feel and look well-rested... if my husband lets me sleep in on a weekend, I can literally sleep until noon!!).

What would you say has been your worst parenting moment? There have been plenty, I'm sure, but there is one that sticks out in my mind. When my oldest son, Vincent, was about 3 months old-- it was my first day back to work, and I was very stressed out and emotional. I got him all bundled up and set him in his carseat while I got my work stuff together. I put him in the car and drove across town to his babysitter's house, and then when I went to get him out of the car, I realized that I had forgotten to strap him into his seat!! I burst into tears (and thanked God we made it there safely)...needless to say, it was not the best start to my return-to-work.

Your best? This may not count as a parenting moment, because I actually did not have kids yet, but an honest answer for this is the day I married my husband, Ed. (I know, it's really cheesy... but it's true!) He is such a hands-on dad, and is so great with our boys. He is my voice of reason when I'm neurotically freaking out about the virus going around at pre-school or what to do for one of the boys' birthday parties, etc. He really just enjoys every moment he spends with the kids, and it makes me enjoy them even more too.
Best parenting advice you have ever received? My mom told me recently that she would give anything to go back, even just for a week, to when my brother & sister & I were little... she said she was so busy trying to manage 3 young kids and work full-time that she didn't really stop to enjoy her time with us, and it's all a blur to her now. Her advice was basically every time you're tempted to say "no", say "yes" instead...to one more book, one more song, one more question... to enjoy my kids, and to try to spend quality time with them, every day. It's so easy to get wrapped up in catching up on housework, laundry, emails, or bills on the days I'm home from work, but they'll only be little for a short while. So I try to keep my focus on them as much as possible, reading books, playing hopscotch, or even just snuggling with them for a minute longer at bedtime.

What has changed the most about your personal style since having kids? I have somehow become okay with going to run errands without makeup, no shower, hair in a greasy ponytail. The pre-kid me would be horrified at this... I really should try harder.

What is your day-to-day beauty regimen? I use SPF 30 moisturizer every morning, and tretinoin (retinol) every other night, along with a good moisturizer at night. That's about it (again, it wouldn't kill me to try harder!!).

What is your favorite beauty product and why? Loreal Sublime self-tanner... I am naturally very, very, very pale and this self-tanner gives me a pretty natural looking tan year-round. I love it!

If you could have back one luxury from your pre-kids days what would it be? Sleep!! Lots and lots of it!

What is your favorite kid-friendly activity to do with your kids? Having playdates with my friends, whose kids are around the same age. Sometimes we'll meet at someone's house, or the pool, or a park, or even Carowinds. It's fun for me and the boys, win-win!

Your favorite thing about raising kids in Charlotte (or whatever city in which you live)? Being from Ohio originally, I love that we can be outdoors year round (for the most part). It's only way too hot or way too cold for a brief part of the year, and the rest of the time there are so many fun places to go in Charlotte-- strawberry-picking and walks on the Greenway in the spring, the Knights games and the YMCA pool in the summer, the Panthers games and the parks in the falls, and enjoying the occasional snowfall in the winter.

What word do you use way too much on any given day? "That's one." (We use the 1-2-3 Magic system for discipline- they get "that's one", then "that's two", and then it's time-out. Fortunately, they know by now not to go past "that's one" ...most of the time, anyway.)

Celebrity mom you can most see yourself hanging out with? Tina Fey. Based on my experience reading Bossypants, I would spend the entire time with her laughing outloud!

If you could have one super power that would help you be an even better mom what would it be? The ability to pause time, so I could catch a nap here and there. Seriously, I miss my sleep!!

Favorite part of being a mom? So many little things... every morning when Graham, my 2 year old, snuggles in my arms for a few minutes before he takes off and becomes a wild man... and every so often when Vincent, my 4 year old, says, out of the blue, "You're the coolest, Mommy" or "I love you so much Mommy"... those moments are just incredible:).

Friday, August 19, 2011

FYE: 8/19/11...Foster the People...

I hope you can hear this over the pitter patter of my little heart!  I have a weakness for two things:  California and musicians.  (And my husband and kids, did I not mention them on that list?  weird.)  Anyways, this band captures both as they are from Los Angeles and they play fun, upbeat music.  Perfect tunes to help motivate you to start exercising, or in my case dust off that C25K schedule...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mom Questionnaire: Your's Truly...

I couldn't resist an opportunity to answer these questions myself.  Look for even more mom's answers in the coming Thursdays!

Name: Beth   Age (optional): 32 (I seriously had to stop and think)  Number of kids: 2

What was the biggest surprise to you after having a child(ren)?
How much life changes!  I was so annoyed all through my pregnancy by people telling me how I would never sleep again or how I should enjoy my free time.  I just thought it all sounded so negative but now I know!  I get why people want to share so much advice bc you just aren't prepared for how much your life will change.  I thought my life would be exactly the same just add a cute little baby to it.  Ha, ha

What would you say has been your worst parenting moment?
Wow, there so many to choose from.  The time I accidentally locked my son in the car and the fire department had to come get him out.  When I forgot my diaper bag and had to change him in a puclic restroom using toilet seat covers as wipes.  When I yelled at my youngest son and my older one said, "that scared me."  Yeah, not my finer moments but the real doozy was when I was unloading groceries one day from my car and I told my son he could play in the yard.  After about 5 minutes it dawned on me that I hadn't shut the gate and we live on a very busy road!  I went flying out of the house and see that at the end of my driveway there is a car pulled over and a woman is standing there with Oliver.  She said she was driving by and saw him standing there and was worried.  Through my panic and embarrassment I said thank you and carried him up the driveway.  I made sure to shut the gate but as soon as I did the lady yelled up to me, "Hey, is this your dog too?!"  Unfortunately he hadn't made it back in either...I still cringe thinking about that day!! 

Your best?
I take the time every night to take one last peek at my kids before I go to sleep.  Seeing them so peaceful helps me sleep better and reminds me how innocent they are...that helps me start each day on a new foot.

Best parenting advice you have ever received?
I actually took this from an episode of Oprah when Toni Morrison said "does your face light up every time that your kids enter a room?"  It really made me think about how often I am caught up in the day-to-day and forget how my mood may affect my kids.  I try to put a big smile on when they come in the room now and its amazing how they notice.  My older son, Oliver usually gets up grumpy (like mother like son) but if I greet him with a big smile in the morning he immediately brightens up.  You can just tell it makes them feel special that just their presence makes you smile.

What has changed the most about your personal style since having kids?
Before kids I was forced to shower daily for work.  Now I love that I can stay in pjs until 10 am if I feel like it.  I spend most days in work out clothes whether or not I actually went to the gym or not.  But I have notcied that I am more productive if I shower and dry my hair so I try to do that as much as I can.  If I am going out with adults I take probably double the amount of time to get ready as I did in college.  It is such a treat for me to actually do my hair, put on make up, and pick a cute outfit that I lock myself in the bathroom for as long as I can!

What is your day-to-day beauty regimen? 
Face lotion with SPF, tinted moisturizer, mascara, and blush. I also cannot live without chapstick and my eyelash curler.  I wish I could rattle of some product names but honestly I have always been a drug store cosmetic girl.  I always put on perfume too bc it just makes me feel more put together. 

What is your favorite beauty product and why?
My flat iron!  No matter how crazy my hair looks after sleep I can run the iron through it and it appears as though its clean or at least just not the hair of a homeless person!

If you could have back one luxury from your pre-kids days what would it be?
Leisurely Saturdays!  My husband and I always torture ourselves on Saturdays listing off what we would be doing if we didn't have children.  Don't get me wrong I love our family time together but it was so nice to spend an entire Saturday eating out, watching tv, or strolling through the mall without kids.  No schedule.  No tantrums.

What is your favorite kid-friendly activity to do with your kids?
Taking them on a bike ride on the greenway by my house.  Its nice to get out some stress while exercising and they love the scenery.  

Your favorite thing about raising kids in Charlotte (or whatever city in which you live)?
I really love everything about Charlotte, minus the fact that it is not close to the beach!  I love that there are different little areas of the city.  I can take the kids downtown, out to Ballantyne, or the Myers Park area depending on my mood.  Imaginon is awesome, there are parks everywhere, Discovery Place is great, and you can easily find a storytime or music class somewhere near your house.

What word do you use way too much on any given day?
Stop whining, stop screaming, stop spilling, stop hitting, stop being loud, stop throwing, stop bugging the dog, stop touching my stuff, etc.

Celebrity mom you can most see yourself hanging out with?
Reese Witherspoon.  Her kids are older than mine so maybe she would have some tips for the next few years.  She just seems so down-to-earth and normal.  I wouldn't mind borrowing her clothes either!   

If you could have one super power that would help you be an even better mom what would it be?
The ability to have the last word.  My son is in a phase right now where everything I tell him to do he has to have the last word.  I wish I could give directions and make it impossible for my kids to talk/whine back.

Favorite part of being a mom?
Hearing the funny and sweet things they say.  Seeing two little people that are a perfect combination of my husband and I.  Realizing all that my mom went through for me!  

Preparing For Baby: Saving Your Dough...

As I have mentioned before, the first thing guys think of when they find out they have a kid on the way is finances.  One of the last things on a girl's mind when she finds out she has a kid on the way is...finances.  Of course we all have that fleeting panicky thought of "Can we afford this?!" but that quickly gives way to thinking of how the baby will look, how we will look pregnant, and what shall the name be.  The truth is it's hard to calculate exactly how much a baby will cost because you most-likely won't know if you are breast-feeding or formula feeding until the baby arrives.  You also won't know how many diapers your baby will go through in a given month and who knows how many doctors appointments your child might have.  

Those are things that will be adjusted as you go so you just have to assume they will be equal to at least another grocery bill or Target trip per month.  And with a financial advisor for a husband I would be in serious trouble for not at least mentioning the importance of saving for college.  *If you need a good financial advisor to help you set this up I know someone.  But there are some financial aspects for which you can prepare.  Here are a list of some things will inevitably sneak into your budget...

  • Eating Out...Hopefully you will be fortunate to have friends or family around to cook for you during the first few weeks home but even this help will eventually die out.  Just because you have made it through your first 4 weeks home does not mean you are ready to saddle back up to the stove.  Some days you will be too tired others you will forget to take out the meat to thaw.  And most days you will just not feel like cooking, instead you will be dying to just get out of the house and see other non-cooing humans!  On these nights you will thank yourself for stashing some cash for emergency take-out trips.  I would venture to say this fund is a little more important than the emergency room fund.
  • Pedicures...Never underestimate the power of a good foot rubbing!  With a new baby around a lot of your own needs will go unnoticed and that includes your feet.  To walk into a place where it is quiet, soothing, and stashed with wine will feel like you have just escaped Survivor Island and walked into The Ritz.  Save some money for this little slice of heaven for at least a once/monthly treat.
  • Starbucks...Do I really need to explain why?  If so then here is what I want you to do.  Stay up all night tonight and then try to function tomorrow like normal without any caffeine.  Let me know how that goes.  
  • Store-roaming funds...It may be when the baby is 6 weeks old, maybe 2 days old but at some point (and many thereafter) you will find yourself strolling the aisles of a store.  For me it is usually Target.  Its usually evening time and my husband has taken one look at me and said, "You need to get away."  Instead of hopping a flight, which I would consider if I weren't too tired to pack, I head to a store where I can roam, stare blankly at things, and just be alone.  I avoid the toy section, run past the diaper aisle, and linger as long as I want in the shoes.   Most of the time I just push a cart so I simply have something to lean on but others I actually buy something.  Whether it's a candy bar, new make-up or a card for my husband for giving me the evening off I am always in need of some extra cash for these trips.
  • BABYSITTERS...Even if you have family in town you are bound to run into a night when your usuals are out of town, the kids have driven you to the edge, and the only light at the end of the tunnel is that 15 -year-old boy across the street.  Hey, all he has to do is sit there while the kids sleep and make sure the house doesn't catch fire.  He has watched the dog before.  He would probably be happy to be paid in Doritos.  Its worth it!  Hand him a $20 and get out for awhile.  (This may or may not have happened in this house on more than one occasion.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adrienne Patterson: Morals Now, Math later...

So we are officially in full on home school mode here at the Patterson home and just two weeks in I have already questioned if this is truly going to work at least once each day. When school registration rolled around I was beyond tempted to sign her up (and don’t think I didn’t threaten) but alas I resisted and trudged forward in this valiant attempt to do what is best for my child. Isn’t that what good moms do…the best for their kids no matter what the cost? Sometimes I selfishly want to scream, “But what about what is best for me??!!” In the end though we come to realize that what is best for our kids is what is best for us. While it may be difficult, I am a firm believer that God uses our children to build our own character and to shed some light on the areas of our own life that need change and growth. I am currently learning that I need A LOT of growth and improvement in the patience and holding my tongue department!!

As we have fought our way through counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s or figuring out how to count money (she may just have to stick with a debit card!!) and differentiating short and long vowel sounds I am learning something else as well. While math and English are greatly important the greatest lessons I am teaching each day are those in character and morals. Eventually she will figure out nickels and dimes and how to spell, read and write but there is no guarantee that she will figure out how to love without condition, to be patient in the face of adversity or how to serve God above all else. In fact these are the things we have to be absolutely purposeful in teaching because as people we are not naturally wired that way. Our gut reaction is to yell when we are mad, to always strive to be right, to put ourselves first and to seek to meet our own needs ahead of anyone else. Sadly I have probably reinforced this gut reaction more than teach the opposite BUT I am learning each day that my reactions to her oppositional, bratty, defiant difficult attitude are some of the greatest lessons I will ever give her. Even greater still are the times when I know I have royally screwed up but I am able to demonstrate humility in admitting to her that I was wrong and asking for forgiveness.

When I begin to doubt this whole homeschooling idea I think of the real lessons she is learning with me and I am re-energized. I will be the first to admit that I have doubts as to whether I can produce a scholar but God daily reminds me that I can produce a child who knows that it is okay to mess up, that we are destined to fail many times but that at the end of the day we serve a God who loves us unconditionally and covers us in His grace. Because of this I am able to push forward in the face of difficult days and demonstrate this same love and grace towards her. Those are the lessons that an authentic life is truly based on and I am grateful each day for the opportunity not only teach her but to also be taught myself!

The Posh Closet Consignment Sale...

Mark your calendars for Sept 14th and 15th.  The Posh Closet consignment sale will be going on and you are sure to find some great things!  They only sell clothes and diaper bags and because they only accept high-end brands you are guaranteed to find great clothing at a great price!  For even more info click on their ad over in the sidebar.  Here is an alphabetical list of the only brands they accept:

Abercrombie - Alphabet - Amanda Remembered - Anavini - Anita G - Appaman - April Cornell - Attitude Pie - Auroluz - Austin & Ashley - Axel & Hudson
Baby Gassy Gooma - Baby Nay - Baby Lulu - Baby Sara - Bailey Boys - Banana Cabana - Beaux et Belles - Be Mine - Bebemonde - Beetlejuice - Belle Ame - Bella Lillie - Berlingot - Betsy Johnson - Bettie Terrell Big Citizens - Big Fish - Biscotti - Bobby Mack - Bow Peep - Boys ‘n Berries - Burberry

Cach Cach - Cakewalk - Catimini - Carriage Boutiques - Castles and Crowns - C'est la vie - Chabre - Charlie Rocket - Chatti Patti - Cherise - Chez Ami - Chicken Noodle - Claire & Charlie - Clayeaux - Confetti - Corky & Co - Cottontail Originals - Crewcut/J.Crew -                        Cupcake Originals

Da lil guys - Danica and Dylan - Deux par Deux - Dogwood Boys
Egg Baby - Elebini - Eliane et Lena - Elle 
Fantaisie Kids - Feltman Brothers - Flapdoodles - Flaphappy - Florence Eisman - Floriane - Freidknit Creations - Funtasia Too

Gap & Gymboree- no tshirts unless they are part of a matching set

Glorimont - Gordon & co - Gossip Girl - Greggy Girl      

Hanna Anderson - Hannah Banana - Hannah Kate - Hartstrings/Kitestrings - Haute Baby - Haven Girl - Highland Porch - Hollywood Baby - House of Hatten  

Icky Baby - IKKS  - Imp Originals - Indygo Artwear - Isabel Garreton - It Jeans 

J. Crew - Jacadi - Jack & Teddy - Janie and Jack - Jean Bourget - Jottum - Just Ducky
Kanz - Kash Ten - Kate Mack - Keedo Clothing - Kelly’s Kids - Kids by M.E. - Kenzo -          Kissy Kissy   

Laura Ashley - Laura Dare  - Lavender Blue - Le Cirque - Le Top - Lili Gaufrette - Lilly Pulitzer - Lipstik - Little English - Little Mass - Little Threads - Little Zazzy - Lola et Moi - Luli & Me -                     Luna Luna        

Maria Elena - Marie Chantal - Mary James - Marese - Matilda Jane - Me Me Me by Lipstik - Me Too - Mim Pi - Mimi & Maggie- MiniBoden - Miniman - MISH MISH - Misha Lulu - MIS-TEE-V-US - Mom and Me- Monday’s Child- Mulberribush - My Vintage Baby    

Naarjtie - New Potatoes - No Added Sugar

Oilily - One Kid - Ooh La La Couture - Oopsy Daisy Baby - Orient Expressed           

Pampolina - Paper Wings - Patsy Aiken - Peaches n' Cream - Persnickety - Petit Ami - Petit Lem - Petite Patapon- Pink Ginger by Plum Pudding - Planet Sea - Plum Pudding/Marmalade - Pollilops - Potato Saks - Pottery Barn                                                                                                                        

Ragsland - Ralph Lauren - Remember Nguyen - Room Seven - Rosalina - Royal Child - Rubbies - Rosetta Millington
Sarah Louise - Secret Wishes - Seven for All Mankind - Sew Blessed - Shrimp & Grits - Silly Goose - Sister Sam - Sir John Sophie Catalou - Sophie Dess - Sorbet - Strasburg - Submarine - Sucre d’orge -      Sweet Angela - Sweet Potatoes   
Tea - Tralala - Three Mommas - Trish Scully - True Religion - Twirls and Twigs 

Victoria Kids - Vive La Fete       

Will’beth - Wish Upon a Star      

Za Za Couture - Zackali - Zuccini - Zutano

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