Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Resolutions

Can you believe it's almost 2014? Good Lord, when did that happen?! Like everyone else on this half of the planet Earth, I too usually make the standard NY resolutions:

  1. Lose weight (lose last 10 baby lbs to be exact)
  2. Get organized (this is never ending for me though seeing as I'm so...ahem...particular about things)
  3. Learn not to procrastinate (at work, home, with difficult situations...)
  4. Spend more time with family and friends
  5. Save money -  in all seriousness, I did not realize having a baby was going to be so EXPENSIVE and therefore this resolution truly needs to happen. Like ASAP. Like, I have serious spending problems that are spiraling out of control (Starbucks every morning, say what?!)
  6. Manage my stress in a more healthy way

Etc, etc, etc. You know the drill. 

Rather than subject myself to the above resolutions that are so broad and unobtainable (hey, just being honest here) I have broken these down and added some more easily managed ones:

  1. Go to bed by 9:30 pm at least two nights a week
  2. Don't bring work home...weeeeelllll, don't bring work home two nights a week
  3. Starbucks only once a week (GASP-my local barista just had a heart attack)
  4. Sign up for one race a month. Ok, I love running. But I don't make time for it. My boss had this resolution last year and said it worked well for her and forced her to make time to run (hey, at least once a month!) and she's the busiest person I know. If she can do it, I can do it. Hell, you pay to race - don't want to waste money!
  5. Sit down with Sean and come up with a budget. Baby steps, right? We've never really had a budget before so this should be interesting.
  6. Be to work on time at least 3 days a week *** Cue the laughter*** So for 2012 the big joke among my friends was that I made the resolution to be on time to work at least once a week. I'm chronically late. I just am. In 2013 it was to be on time to work 2 days a week. Now I'm moving on up. I figure by 2015 I'll be on time every single day. Again, baby steps, people.
  7. Take more pictures! Life passes by so fast with Conrad that I want to be able to savor every moment (if I get brave I may add "upload all pictures" to this list..but lets not go overboard here).

And I think for now, that's certainly enough. I'll see how January goes and then perhaps move on from there.

What are your thoughts on New Years resolutions?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Five

Linking up this week with Darci & friends for this Friday's Five!


1.   Christmas of course! We had a cute little Santa’s helper on our hands. While Conrad didn’t understand the whole Jesus’s birthday, Santa brings presents, we all eat and drink a lot thing, he sure did like the lights, paper and bows, and Santa figurines. And we liked how cute our little elf was running around saying “Danta, Danta, Danta!”

2.   We finally got over a double ear infection so now our once fussy, crabby baby is now a happy little guy…as long as he’s fed! He must be going through a growth spurt or something because he wants to “eat eat” all the time.

3.   We had our first…poop in the tub incident. We thought we may have escaped it after going 14 months without one and BAM…there it was. Disgusting! I’ll spare you the details but it was no small feat in cleaning up and I hope to not ever have to do that again.

4.   Christmas pictures with my family. Since I did not get much time off for Christmas this week, we spent the weekend before with my family and then Sean’s family came to our house for Christmas Eve and Day. When we went to my parent’s house we had Christmas pictures taken with my parents…and this, by far, is my favorite one:

Santa?! I KNOW him!
Cousin cuties!

5.   New Years is almost here! We are spending NYE with some of our best friends; they are bringing over their two year old boy and after the kiddos go to bed we are feasting on yummy food and champagne. We’ve spent a lot of crazy New Years with this couple in the past and I have a feeling that this year will be much more low key since we are now…ahem…over 30 and have kids.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This Christmas week I'm most thankful for our Lord God, Jesus Christ! His unconditional love, forgiveness, and sacrifice are qualities that all, regardless of faith, should strive to have and I'm so blessed to know and be known by Him.

Especially now that I have my own little guy, I wonder how Jesus was as a baby and little boy. He was, after all, human! And I sometimes think about how Mary was as a mom...did she struggle with the same things we all did? I remember last year at this time, Conrad was only two and a half months old and I thought I would  go insane with all his fussiness and crying. I posted the following quote on Facebook and got about a billion "likes" and comments from all my fellow moms out there:

"I wonder if baby Jesus ever made Mary want to down an entire bottle of Pinot at 12 noon?"

HA! She was human as well and I'm sure had to deal with poopy diapers, breastfeeding, and sleepless nights! I mean, I know the song says "The little Lord Jesus no crying He makes" but hey, a baby's a baby.

All jokes aside, this Christmas was an amazing one and I'm so thankful for such a special birthday. I can't wait to someday tell Conrad the real Christmas story and have him understand what a precious gift we've all been given.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Feels like Fall

 When we bought our house one of the biggest things that attracted us to it was the huge yard and the abundance of trees. They provide great shade in the summer, privacy from our neighbors, beauty to look at...and lots of leaves to rake. I'm talking TONS of leaves. My husband and brother in law spent an entire Saturday blowing and raking leaves and it looks like they only did about a quarter of what needed to be done.

And we discovered that our little man LOVES his backyard and "helping" rake. We of course had taken him in the backyard tons of times to swing and carry him around but now that he can walk on his own he loves trampling around in the leaves.

What a good little helper!

 The Land of the Leaves!

Love dressing up in fall layers!

Fall play time at the park!

Is it beginning to look and feel like fall where you are?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

This week I'm thankful for my mother-in-law, Jessica. 

Yep, that's right, ladies! I love my MIL. She's probably the most selfless, caring, thoughtful person that I know and I strive to be like her! She's also an awesome cook and so creative! She's been an enormous help this past year with Conrad; despite having children 30 years ago, she is so knowledgable about current baby/child raising! She takes the time to research about foods, illnesses, allergies, toys, products, you name it! After Conrad was born, my mother spent about a month with us and then when she left, Jessica came.

I don't know of that many girls who could stand (or want) their MIL around for a month or more, but I definitely appreciated the help and support. Thanks, Jessica for being the best MIL!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ring! Ring! Anybody Home?

Yes, I recently fell off the face of the planet...for about a month and a half. I have no excuses except that life got in the way. There's LOTS of fun things happening in our household, including THIS GUY who is now WALKING! For the past month Conrad's been taking some tentative steps on his own here and there but this past week he is all out walking - no hand holding, no walker-toys, nothing! We are so proud and a little sad surprised it happened so quick...our sweet one is no longer a baby!

Work has been CRAZY! I'm booked out with clients all day every week which is a good thing but it sure is tiring. At night when I come home from the office or appointments with clients, I spend time with Conrad, cook/eat dinner, put him to bed, and then get right back to work. I appreciate my job to the fullest but it sure is exhausting!

We went to some beautiful fall weddings in NY this year - an especially gorgeous one was for Sean's cousin in upstate NY:

Halloween of course came and went and we had a cute little lion on our hands! Our neighborhood had a potluck block party, our first since moving here, and we met some great neighbors and showed off our little animal. Then we raced back to the house to meet the trick-or-treaters, but it started to rain so we didn't get many.

~~~ sorry, this pic is the best I could do as we forgot our camera! ~~

And now...Thanksgiving is almost here! I feel bad for this holiday, I think it always gets the shaft. There's already Christmas trees up at some local shopping centers and CHRISTMAS MUSIC ON THE RADIO. I'm sorry...what?! Here's what I have to say about that:

Morbid, I know, but it is entirely suitable for this situation at hand. Can I please enjoy my turkey first?

So, lovelies, that's what I've have been up to in Working-Mom land..not too exciting, I know, but that's life nonetheless. 

Hope everyone is well and ready to enjoy some pumpkin (or apple or pecan) pie!

Attempting to keep it together 24/7,


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

So this is a little really really late...but for Conrad's 1st birthday we had A Very Hungry Caterpillar theme!

I had been pinning, saving pictures, trolling etsy,  plotting, and planning Conrad's first birthday party since he was born! When he was about 8 months old I settled on the theme "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" as that was a book we always read to him and...well, let's face it, he was a little roly-poly just like a caterpillar! 

I loved the idea of basing the menu around the food items in the book - how fun (and easy!) is that?! Menu already planned! 

I made a caterpillar banner with the help of my mom and dad with paper strung together with burlap string and printed out the month by month pictures of Conrad.


Apples, oranges, plums, pears, and strawberries (complete with dipping sauces!) just like the book!

For the one slice of salami and once slice of cheese, we of course, did a meet platter, and incorporated the pickle.

I did a salad for the "one nice green leaf' and of course cupcakes, cake, and ice cream! There was also watermelon, lollipops, and pie...just like the book! It was all very easy and perfect for a party.

With simple print out tent cards and cupcake toppers, we carried the theme throughout.

The piece de la resistance was the cupcake caterpillar! My mother-in-law (so creative!) made the head with the eyes and antenna out of fondant and licorice and I made the cupcake body. She also made gluten-free cupcakes on the side (Sean can't have gluten).

And what birthday party is complete without the stats poster! I created this on my own rather than order from etsy to save money. My parents helped cut out the fruit shapes on the sides.

My one etsy splurge was Conrad's custom shirt and bib (I am NOT a seamstress) and I'm glad I did. He was so cute!

Happy Birthday My Little Caterpillar! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy 11 Month Birthday, Conrad!

So this is a little late, but I still wanted to share:

September 7th was Conrad's 11 month birthday - I can't believe our little munchkin is almost a year old!! In less than a month, we'll be celebrating his first birthday!

Dear Conrad,

You are a little tornado! You love to "talk" (you've learned to say "all done" now and still are "dada"-ing like there's no tomorrow). And boy do you explore everything. We've now had to put safety latches on the drawers and cabinets, and make good use of the baby gates because you are crawling and furniture walking up a storm.

You are pretty much on a no-baby-food diet (unless it's the pouches) and only like to eat if you are feeding yourself. Some new favorites are eggs, peas, yogurt, and waffles. And then there's the good ol' favorites like sweet potatoes, bananas, rice chex, and pasta. You are loving your sippy-cup more and more every day and we are starting to think about slowly weaning you off your beloved bottle. I'm scared.

Believe it or not, you've been sleeping from 7:30 to 7:00am lately! However, you have had a cold for the past two weeks and that could be why you are so sleepy. And you are SUPER CLINGY around me. Grandma says that sometimes babies get separation anxiety when they are about to reach a milestone like walking so I'm praying that's it and that you're not spoiled (because, bad mommy, I pick you up when you cry for me).

You LOVE snuggling and our favorite routine is when you wake up you come into bed with us with your bottle and we cuddle and play before we have to go to work. Those are the best and most precious moments of our days.

While we are excited for what the future holds for you and for your first birthday party, it's all come so fast and makes me sad. Don't grow up too quick, my litte boo-boo!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Daycare Woes

So, as many working mothers can I'm sure relate, going back to work and deciding on a daycare is the most difficult thing you can do. Some are fortunate to have family watch their little ones (like my sister!), some are able to afford in-home nannies (lucky!), and the rest of us have to do tons of research, interviews (although this is done with nannies too), and visits. Then there's the endless mind-games you play with yourself: is this the right fit? is he in the right environment? is he being well cared for and loved? Mom guilt goes on overload at this point.

We were fortunate to find an in-home daycare right on our street; Miss Farzaneh lives about 10 houses down from us and just happened to finish sitting for a family that moved away. Which meant that Conrad was the only baby and got her undivided attention! With his feeding issues, weird napping (aka, NO naps) schedule, and general fussiness, this was perfect. She is like another grandmother for him! He's completely spoiled because I'm sure all she did was hold him all day. However, now that he's older, this just does not fly. He constantly whines to be held at all times and freaks out when you put him down. We have a regular little prince on our hands!

While the undivided attention has been good, I'm starting to think that he'll need to be around other kids soon. And while she has lots of toys and interactive things for him, I'm always worried about whether or not he's being stimulated enough. She doesn't speak English very well (she's from Iran) and so I'm not sure how much learning there is going on. I know that at a year old, there's no big rush to "learn" anything crazy but it would be nice to know that they are reading books, singing songs, and other educational things once in  while.

There are a couple different daycares, both in home and not, that I've looked into. The issue is that they are more expensive (daycare in the DC Metro area is RIDICULOUSLY expensive) and not as convenient. And who knows if they'll actually be better?

Maybe I'll just quit my job and stay home. We'll be poor and have to live in a one bedroom shack, but I would be home with Conrad. What's a mom to do? I mean, who wouldn't want to be with this little guy all day?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Mashup: Weekend through the iphone

This past weekend was soooo nice because we were in town with no plans! This is a rare occasion in the Mc household so we took every advantage of it - did a lot of cleaning and organizing and even went to the local Reston Wine Festival with some good friends. And since Sean was going out on Saturday night, he agreed to be DD for us girls and babies during the day; and then my girlfriend and her son had a sleepover with Conrad and me! We had lots of girl talk and the boys had a fun time playing. Sunday was spent doing more cleaning and organizing and...FOOTBALL of course. Even though the Redskins weren't playing, Sean was holed away in his man cave watching all the other games. Fall has definitely arrived!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Finally taking some advice

Things have been more than a little crazy in our house lately so blogging fell by the wayside for a hot second. But....I'm back! And I'm sure all my lovely 6 readers missed me dearly ;)

Work has been super crazy but I must say that the meal planning I mentioned recently as well as hiring a cleaning person IS AMAZING. Why didn't I suck it up and do this before!? Like I've been saying with all things motherhood-related, why didn't anyone tell me?! I swear, I'm going to make a list so this doesn't happen to other new working moms. Or maybe they did tell me and my stubborn self thought "stop telling me what to do!" I'm thinking it's unfortunately the latter.  But now I realize all that well-meant advice might have actually had some sustenance behind it and I'm wishing I remembered it all.
There's so much pressure to be the best at everything (well, maybe this is pressure I put on myself) whether it's work, home, as a mom, wife, friend, or family member. I'd been feeling stretched a little thin and I'm learning to say "no" to things now - dinners out, projects at work, parties, etc. Someone once told me that it's ok to do this - glad I'm finally taking that advice as well.

Any other pieces of wisdom anyone can give me? I promise I'm listening now. :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rant: The one and only time I ever wanted to call a radio show

So I was driving to a client's house listening to a radio show out of L.A. on XM Radio. A girl wanted to prank her friend because she's apparently crazy (as I soon found out) by having the host call her friend acting like the daycare for her friend's daughter.

Ok, ok...if you're like me, at first you're thinking "whoa, that's nothing to mess around with"...but read on.

So the host pretends to be the principal of her little pre-school/daycare and informs the friend/mom that her daughter has been acting out, biting, hitting, and generally causing issues. Fine. Logical reaction of the mother (or what I thought would be logical) would be "oh wow, I'm sorry, what's going on, how can I handle this?". However, mother's reaction was:

"WHAT?! You're lying! My daughter is an angel! She never acts out! What kind of a teacher are you?! Are you saying I'm a bad mother?!"

I'm sorry...but what the F? How is that an appropriate reaction at all? The radio host then had the original girl call her friend as part of the prank and of course the woman goes off to her friend about the daycare calling. To make matters worse, the woman said she had meant to tell her friend that she noticed her daughter pulling her own daughter's hair and bullying her and so maybe the school was right.

You would have thought that the child's life was threatened the way this woman went crazy! She banned her friend from play dates (seems like the friend won out on this one) saying she was lying and blackmailing her daughter (does she know what blackmailing means?) and her daughter is a perfect angel.


Obviously, this woman is on the extreme end but it got me thinking about other times I've heard about this issue; there are so many parents out there that think their child can do no wrong and take it extremely personally when their children don't do well, act out, make a mistake. But who gets blamed? Teachers, day care providers, coaches, other parents. And then these kids grow up to feel so self-important and entitled!

It scares me for when Conrad goes to school or when he gets old enough for play dates. Obviously, all you can do is teach your child the best you can and hope it works. And children are children! Even the best parents in the world are going to have kids that make mistakes.

I know for sure when I was growing up if I ever acted out and an adult spoke to my mother about it, she wouldn't question the adult but would turn to me and say, "Well, what do you have to say for yourself?!" And chances are, I did wrong and had to fess up and change my behavior.

I SO wanted to call in the radio station and give my two cents but since it was via XM they didn't give the # nor did they have any follow up to it.

Am I the only one that feels this woman is crazy? Has anyone ever dealt with crazy moms like this?

Attempting to keep it together 24/7,


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy 10 Months, Conrad

So, me being a bad busy mom, I have only now gotten around to uploading Conrad's 10 month pictures. We didn't do 9 month pictures as we did the professional ones that same day and then I never got around to it. Woops.

That being said, I can't believe my baby is 10 MONTHS OLD! When in the what did that happen? I seriously blinked and he was 10 months.

Just for comparison, here's Conrad at 1 month!

Dear Conrad,

These last 2 months have been the most amazing time yet with you. Your personality is really shining through and I love that you're HAPPY now. The first several months were hard what with your GERD, ear infections, teething, hand-foot-mouth disease (yes! it's a real thing and made you miserable) but we just knew there was a happy, energetic baby in there some there despite all of that. And boy was there!

You love to dance to music and now wave your arms around when you hear a beat. You learned to wave and are a hit in public places (attention: single uncle, use this to your advantage!) and can be a big get that from Daddy obviously. You can stand on your own without holding on to anything and are SO proud of yourself when you do. And you are mimicking a lot now! When we tickle you, now you reach out to us and wiggle your fingers saying "thinckle, thinckle".

"Dada" and "Mama" are now in your vocabulary...although it's the latter only when you're crying but I'll take what I can get. You still like to fuss if all the attention's not on you...again, obviously from Daddy :) You love to flip through your books and "read" as well as take everything out of boxes, bags, drawers, baskets, etc.

At your 9 month check up you were 29 inches, 23 lbs, and HC was 46...all 75th %. Big boy here...because of:

FOOD FOOD FOOD! "Num num num" is constantly heard in this household. You are getting better every day about trying new things. Things we never thought you'd like. Broccoli, for instance! What the what? You still like sweet things best though.

We love you so much, are so proud of you, and are so excited for your next 10 months (but don't grow up too fast!).


Mommy and Daddy

PS: You also get about 1 billion kisses a day. We are trying to get them all in now while you aren't embarrassed. Although who would be embarrassed by these cool parents?

LOL...this was pre-baby of course. I just had to share this gem that I recently came across...circa 2009.
 Conrad, you're welcome.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Mashup: Weekend through the iphone!

1. Shopping on Friday night with Mom and Dad!
2. "Sharing" Grandma's sandwich on the boat
3. "My turn to drive!"
4. Hanging with Uncle Eddie
5. Wine on the back deck
6. Redskins game!
7. We found Daddy's old toy chest in the attic!
8. Beautiful sunset
9. Great-Grandpa, Grandpa, and Conrad