Mommy Dating

I’ve dated a LOT of Moms.

It’s true.

I’ve picked up Moms in parks, on the subway, in doctors offices, at the gym, in locker rooms, at preschools, elementary schools, even online.

We make eye contact, assess, exchange cute banter about current situation, talk about the kids….feel out the chemistry.

We exchange info, someone promises to reach out….maybe we’ll run into each other again.

Sound familiar?

(It should.)

You hangout. Things progress. You have fun. The kids aren’t as obnoxious as others you’ve seen, so that’s a plus. …. Or maybe they are, but you like her enough to let it go. It’s good to be open and accepting , right?

You hangout, you text, you laugh, and you don’t stress about the state of your house when you’re together.

Things might happen fast. You share spirits away from the home base. You call it a “Mom’s Night Out” to keep it simple, you remind yourself It’s just an excuse to get out of the house- no pressure.

You end the night with laughs and promise to do it again soon. You hope it’s not awkward the next morning at playgroup.

Congratulations, you’ve made a new Mommyfriend.

When you’re away, with regular friends, with coworkers, with family, you describe what you did over the weekend, how you had such a blast with your MommyFrrr…..

wait.

That sounds unfair, untrue, and so so annoying.

She/they are more than that! You’ve been through the ringer, they’ve seen you in good times, but more often in bad, they’ve held your hands, poured you a drink, listened to the crap (and there’s a bunch of it!)

It just can’t be. They’re more. You’re become more, together.

Since the beginning of time… Or at least, since I’ve became a “Mom”  I have grouped new friends, made post baby, without relation to my life before baby as a “Mommyfriend”

But that was then. In the beginning, when I was new to the game. The term worked. It helped lighten the reality of what I was really doing (dating for friends in same phase of life/realm of existence).

So here I am 6 years deep, with almost all of the many life complexities worked out (psych!)  thanks to the help of my new and not so new Mommyfriends.  The camaraderie is evolving and deepening.

You get to a point when you need to ask.

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Are you?!

Gulp.

Can we 

Be friends?

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Summer with Kids Survival Plan

It’s almost here.

So many emotions.

I just, I don’t know…

It’s just such a complicated relationship.

I love…

I loathe…

For weeks I have been having bi-polar-menopausal type reactions to the onset of summer vacation. En serio.

One minute I’ll be jumping for joy that the temporary end of pick ups and drops, homework, projects, packing lunches, snacks, backpacks, and additional miscellaneous parental responsibilities are in site. No routine, no rules, lets get wild kids! The world is ours for the taking! Free range play or bust!

And then, like clockwork, the heat flashes.

Days upon days with all.the.kids.at home.with me.all.day.every.day.

No, no, I’m excited.

Really, I am.

I mean, I will be OK… it will be GREAT.

F.

Here’s my plan. Join me.

We’re in this together.

The Summer Survival Plan of Attack

1) MOMMY CAMP. My brilliant/superMom friend has been organizing a week of “Mommy Camp” for the last few summers. One Week, 5 days of easy/affordable activities for parent(s) and their littles. You don’t have to sign up, or commit. She sends the schedule for the week, there’s a point person per day/activity, you can come and go as you please. Activities include: Lake Days, Children’s Theaters, Playgrounds, Museums, Zoos. The best part(s) your kids play with the other kids, you get to catch up/meet new friends, it’s easy, and you get to explore and experience where you live! Make it happen.

2) Always Find Water. Pool, lake, spray parks. It’s hot, your hot, their hot. Water anything. Endless entertainment.

BathingSuites, Towels, Snacks, and for the really littles- the best floaty in the history of the world  —>

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Stern’s Puddle Jumper (Amazon)

3) Pretend to have your Sh!# together Summer Binder.  My children will be like 3 grades ahead of your kids by the end of the summer. Oh yea, you just wait. I am going to Pinterest the summer away with educational activities, reading challenges, and science experiments.

Kids will spend 20-30 minutes “working” and “creating” in their flawless Summer Binders that I made with blood, sweat and tears for them. They will love it, me, and relish in their summer creativity…sigh…. Probably not. But I’m going to try.

Some seriously cute ideas and printables on this creative Mom’s site.

And my littles are most excited about the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Challenege

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4) Let other people entertain them.

I found a great list of stores that offer Kids workshops. Check it out HERE.

Museums, gyms, and indoor play areas usually offer free events and/or open play times.

I’m a big fan of local activity blogs- KidFriendlydc.com and http://redtri.com/

….and when all else fails, when it’s so hot your sticking to each other….

4) Go to the Movie!

$1 Kids Movies @ Regal Theaters 

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You can see documentation of my summer anxieties and excitements with oodles of educational/somewhat cute/not so annoying summer ideas on my Summer w. Kids Pinterest Board 

…and friend BeyondDomestica on Facebook and Instagram! Follow and share your Summer Survival Plans. Please, I beg you. We’re in this together, right, RIGHT?!

Don’t leave me alone with them!

How many weeks until school starts?!

Dah!

Just one of those days

I stayed up too late working on one of the many projects that I am convinced will solve all of the issues in my world.

I wake up to the sound of the bathtub being filled. That can’t be a good sign.

BabyDaddy walks in tells me baby is going in the tub and her whole crib is covered in $h!t and he has to go to work.

Down one adult.

Fill 2 bowls and 1 tray full of organic whole everything cereal and bananas… is this healthy enough? I survived on frosted flakes and fruity pebbles, they’ll be fine.

Friend pulls up to drop off her 12 month old, I completely forgot about that. Pull it together, you only have 3 kids, she has 4.

Little girl runs to the bus stop. I pray to the free-range-parenting-goddess that she will be ok and that the neighbors won’t call child services.

Miracle babysitter shows up to watch babies while I go “co-op”/watch 3 year olds at little boy’s preschool.

My house is a mess and will without a doubt be spotless when I return, miracle babysitter is a lifesaver. How does she do it? She must think I’m a mess of person. I wish I could pay her more. Guilt.

I kiss 1 of the 2 crying babies goodbye and rush to the door. 8:50, I got this.

No keys.

Frantically run around the house looking for keys.

Babies crying. Everyone is looking for the keys.

No Keys.

Call preschool. I’ll be late.

Miracle babysitter helps me look for keys. Babies crying. Whole bag of whole everything organic cereal being shaken wildly by my wild baby all over the floor. Poor miracle babysitter will have to clean that. I would have left it for days.

Call MamaFriends who live close. Get a ride to preschool. Get a ride home after preschool.

Cancel appointments scheduled for the afternoon.

Search the house over and over again.

Shake every shoe and boot.

Empty every drawer.

Clear out all the kids toys.

Ransack each room.

Go through the trash bins and the recycling with a spatula.

Dissect the couch.

No keys.

Car is locked. Look through every window. No Keys.

They might be in-between the seat and the door. I’ve done that before.

Call a locksmith.

$95 later, the creepy locksmith opens the car.

No Keys.

Creepy Locksmith shuts the door, car locks again.

I scare the creepy locksmith into opening door again. If I disappear, it’s the creepy locksmith.

….or the UPS dude, he’s odd.

Search the ENTIRE house again. No Keys.

Search the ENTIRE car in the 200 degree crazy humidity filed car. No Keys.

Little boy on his 2nd (5th) cartoon. Is this going to hurt him later in life? Once in a while is ok, right??? Is it really once in a while darlin? Is TV my parenting crutch? I suck.

Call creepy locksmith’s friend who can get new keys without towing. Quotes me $235, F!

BabyDaddy has to text the dude a pic of his license. Baby Daddy unreachable.

The Dude says if he doesn’t get license by 4, he can’t send someone out until tuesday. F!!!!!

Frantically calling BabyDaddy.

Convince the Dude I am not trying to steal the car, he says he’ll send someone.

Googling ways to DIY replace keys. I’m scrappy, i can do this on my own! You can order keys on amazon? huh.

No. be smart. trust a professional.

I can’t believe I’m about to spend $330 to replace my lost key.

Walk to get girl from bus stop.

Tell her my ordeal with the keys. Asks her if she’s seen them.

“Yea Mom, I hid them in my room from the baby.”

……….

Frantically call the dude not to send someone out.

About to lose my mind.

she’s a kid. she’s a kid. she’s a kid.

Deep breathing Mama, deep breathing.It worked out. It worked out. It worked out.

Hit the reset button.

Throw the kids into the car after a long sit down about other peoples things, the importance of communication, money, etc etc.

We’re going to the pool.

Kids don’t listen when it’s time to leave.

One kid gets grounded.

I threaten no dinner for everyone. Did I really just say that? I’m a barbarian.

In the car. With the keys. Finally. Order takeout.

Drive home filled with traffic and arguments about big sister “not having a butt” and how little brother “smells like a butt” this goes on a very long time. Where do they learn this stuff?

Keep it together.

Get to restaurant. Nowhere to park. Baby is naked in her car seat. kids in wet bathing suits.

Park car in front of many parked cars. Run in to grab food in skimpy bathing suit cover. Car running. AC On. I’m officially failing parenthood today…while looking like a trashy heifer.

I don’t get arrested for leaving kids in the running car and the kids didn’t take the car, so that’s a positive.

Finally home to my crazy mess of a house.

Inhale food.

Throw kids in quickest bath ever.

Grounded one goes to room/bed.

Little one is tucked in. I need to read more books at night. Maybe if I don’t they’ll think it’s a luxury? I need help at night. No, i just need to keep it together longer. come on, you can do it.

Decide to rock baby to sleep, that makes everything better. You can see her little face forming into the non-baby face. It is like I’ve never seen her before. I need to savor these moments more. She is so amazing and these moments are so fleeting. I lay her down peacefully, I’m about to shut the door…

The phone rings.

Baby is crying.

Grounded Kid is whining.

Little boy is calling for me.

The Best NapTime Workouts for BabyMamas

So….

Memorial Day Weekend….

a dreaded weekend for most females with little babies/toddlers/kids(?)

Especially me, especially this Memorial Weekend.

Why?

Because alllllll winter I convinced myself that I would workout, eat like a bunny, and be all zen like so that I could look like this by the summer.

UNSPECIFIED - JULY 27:  Medium shot of Bo Derek as Jenny, wearing bathing suit, running on beach.  (Photo by Warner Bros./Getty Images)

So that didn’t happen.

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OK, OK, a bit dramatic. I’m all about girl power loving your body, look what I grew and made sh@$. But Ladies, you know what I’m sayin- the struggle is real. We gotta stick together.

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Here’s the thing. I love working out!….at a gym. Plugging in my tunes, the infiltration of endorphins, not having my kids around, being miles from the unfinished laundry, or piles of dishes- it’s a glorious. Historically, it has been my most successful way to get in shape post baby.

But with baby’s more demanding nap schedule and the endless pick up and drop off times,  I just can’t swing it.  I’ve recently (as in last week) turned to the good ole’worldwideweb. Surprisingly, for this non-runner, it’s been a really helpful tool to workout and re-motivate.

A friend recently told me about a series called ‘Bikini Body Mommy‘ (I know, I know… don’t judge my the name) it’s actually a really great way to jumpstart any kind of fitness/weight loss journey. Briana, the BBM, is personable, real, and is right there with you sweating it out, and modifying positions and exercises when she’s tired. It’s free and quick, all of the workouts are about 15-20 minutes.

I have also been doing additional workouts when I have the time (and energy). The workouts below are SUPER quick and can be done with no props.  I use water bottles for weights, or increase the reps if there is a resistance band needed. Do 1 or ALL! They may be short, but you will FEEL IT.

NapTime Workouts

First and foremost, a celebration that you have a few minutes of freedom. GET IT GUUURRRLLL!! 😉

WHOLE BODY

CORE

ARMS

BOOTY

Best of luck ladies, best of luck.

Done with pregnancy? Bring on the sideburns.

You think you’ve experienced it all.

The months of morning sickness, the weight gain, the exhaustion, the complete metamorphis of your body , childbirth, recovery from childbirth, breastfeeding… WOW, you are amazing! Go you!

And then a few months later, when you’re juuuussssttt starting to get your groove back. You notice something. 

You’re in one of your famous 2 minute showers washing your hair when you realize there’s a big clump of hair in your hand. If this is your first  you think, WTF is this?! And/or, like me, if you’ve been down this road before, you curse  yourself for not remembering this part; you curse your parents for bad pregnancy genes, and then you cry for that little ounce of self confidence you have left; for the end of your pregnancy mega-hair… this  part, the final chapter of your pregnancy experience, is happening. There’s no turning back.

For me, it’s always the same. I lose the mega-awesome-thickness and a whole bunch’a hair right around my face line, ear to ear. No hiding it.

  

Oh yea….my hairstylist LOVED the challenge of highlighting a semi-balding emotional wreck of a woman. 

But why?!?! 

In a nutshell ( or so I tell myself)

You have mega-awesome pregnancy hair when you’re pregnant because your body is clinging to every nutrient it has. When baby is evicted, your body gives all nutrients to baby through your breast milk and since you haven’t lost any hair in months, it makes up for it in the months after. In case you were curious, weightloss just make it worse…sigh… 

It’s like a big laughable mother lovin metaphor. You give it it all. Really. ALL. 

Hairspray and hats help, I guess.  I wish I could tell you a quick fix… Sorry, there aren’t any. Just time…and f’ing patience. 

Someday we’ll laugh about this.

Ha.

Ha.

Ha.

Over and out.

Love,

Sideburns

Entryway Makeover DIY

My entryway is finished.

FINALLY, a finished project.

54 square feet of serenity.

The 1970’s’esque entry had sliding doors in front of the ‘mini’ closet and on top over the shelves. And, Yellow.  Yellow trim, yellow interior doors, white paint with a yellow undertone. Yellow. Lots and lots of Yellow.

Below is the ONLY picture I could find (midway through hallway construction craze) where you can see the door and ‘the yellow’. Bummed that I didn’t take any before pics…perhaps because the start of this project was a bit how they say, impulsive.

Whatever, it was needed!

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The story of ‘The Hallway’ which turned into the Saga of the Hallway, Stairs, Entryway, and Doors…is coming. Probably in another 2 years, which seems to be my going speed.

For now, lets start with that one 6′ x 9′ foot area of my house that is FINISHED. WOW. Feels good to say and type that word! 54 sq feet done, only 1,946 more sq feet of house left!

We started with an entryway painted a white with a yellow undertone and all of the trim was yellow (think mustard had a bad day yellow) and sliding mustard yellow (barf) doors that always came off track were once here.

One day I got mad at the mustard doors and took (ripped) them off. Personally, I’d rather have nothing/bare walls/bare rooms than something I don’t like. I had some random cubbies/locker thing that I found on the side of the road (notice a trend here) and that was good, for awhile… but with the endless hallway construction, the kids, the dog, and the endless stuff this room/entryway became so cluttered and unusable, something had to give. It needed serious help.


-VISION-

Fresh, clean(ish) while still holding true to the house’s “Country Whimsical” feel, with a bit more uniformity throughout.


The Result….

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Walls (Flat*), Ceiling, and Trim (Semi-gloss) ALLLL…. are  White Dove by Benjamin Moore

(I’m obsessed)

(and if you live in an old house, you should be too!)

*Flat…boy, do I love flat. As I mentioned in my last post (DIY Window Painting) “More Gloss More Problems” i.e. you can see a lotta problems and yes, the walls in my 100+ year old house have problems. So my beloved Flat sheen helps make those ‘problems’ transform into ‘old house charm’.

The wood wall is a compilation of  2×10’s and random wood that I had in the basement.

I bought hooks at the hardware store and painted them in some primary colors (yellow, red, blue).

I did leave the top sliding doors so that we still have at least one place to shove things before people come over 🙂

I also replaced an old (and dark) tiffany style flush mount light with an awesome industrial style light (seen below) from IndiLights on Etsy ($50)

Old Light
New Light!

The Mirror ($30) and Mail Holder ($19) are from HomeGoods.

I ended up spray painting all of the outlet and light switches with Rustoleum’s – Robin Egg

Same color for the Coat Knobs which are actually curtain rod ends screwed into the wall with drywall screws!

(I know what you’re thinking… “Wow, this woman is definitely in the trenches of mamahood, those knobs look like boobs.” I also realized this- after I installed them.)

And the little Chair was rescued on the side of the road. I decided to give it a fresh start with some purple love.

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TAKE THAT YUCKY GRUMPY YELLOW! 

 2.7% for the win!

DIY: Painting Windows = Awesome

 Painting windows and/or any kind of glass border is great for many reasons and AMAZING for one reason. 

“The Anna Method of painting windows is sure to fulfill the needs of manicure pickers everywhere!”  

Yup, that’s right. What makes painting windows amazing, is this-

When it dries.

You get to Scrap it off like nailpolish!

As an avid nailpolish picker, this brings me mucho joy.

Don’t judge . Don’t you remember the joys of picking the dried Elmer’s glue off your hand as a child? Flipping awesome.

I guess before you get to experience this joy. You should probably do the following:

1) wipe down surface with damp rag 

2) sand any rough spots, wipe down again.

3) prime.

4) paint! It’s recommended to use a “gloss” type paint on windows in trim. 

—- my rule of thumb for gloss is, “more gloss, more problems” 

Gloss is not forgiving. 

New house/windows can go high gloss. For my old and weird house we went semi-gloss (Benjamin Moore White Dove) (swoon….)

 
You could use painters tape, or try to cut a really close edge. Orrrr…. You could paint it quickly (because you do things in 30min increments anyways)  and have the joys of picking that sh%* off. Glorious!

 P.S. In Classic Anna fashion this was the closest tool I could find. I would NOT use one this flimsy or big. Grab yourself a 2″ scraper and get at it!

….your welcome.