Monthly Archives: January 2013

Never Again

Last night, in the middle of our bed time ritual, mini Gwinn’s face nuzzled against my neck just seconds before I put him in his crib for the night. The monumental realization hit me: he will never be this small again (not that 27 lbs. is small for a 14 month old). We will never have this night again.

I think all parents, particularly moms, have this epiphany at some point. It may spur the “let’s try for 2.0!” thought in some, maybe bittersweet thankfulness for going through the last round in others.

This past Sunday I shattered my phone (so for those that haven’t gotten text message responses or called with no answer, you now know why), and without the assistance of Facebook, have almost effectively been cut off from society completely. This has given me even more opportunity to immerse myself in the every moment of my little Fox. If anything, from last night’s realization, I took away the message to invest in his moments. The big stuff, like walking on his own, is obviously grabbing my attention. But his precious peals of laughter? The crazy phrases he says when I’m only half- listening (two days ago he said, “Ok guys!” what the heck, kid?!)? I don’t want to miss any of him. This is the last day he will be this age, this small, and at this point of development. And, I have to tell you, interwebs, he is such a cool toddler. He wears his sunglasses, willingly, at the park. He says funny things, like, “Ta da!”. And while I realize that I can’t eagerly await his every movement or sound, I can be present for him, no phone in hand, no TV in the background, more often.

That’s a concept I’m taking into my marriage, too. Captain Laser Pants is a rare man (for more reasons than his imbibing of orange soda and bizarre dance moves) in that he talks to me, like REALLY talks to me. There are times, for instance, when he is fresh from the gym after work (somewhere between 8-9 PM), and I am exhausted, but he wants to tell me about something he heard on the radio, or something from his work day, and I struggle to listen to him. Again, not that I can be 100% absorbed in my husband every second of the day, but when he wants to talk, I want to be present for him. He’s amazing and deserving, even if he is monumentally forgetful, and he is mine. My boys deserve the best of me, even when I’m tired or distracted, because never again will we be at this point in our lives as a family.


Gang! Check out this lovely post on The Mommy Stylist. I feel a little special right now, not gonna lie.

The Mommy Stylist

By Kristin Hull

mom fashion, fashion mommy, budget shopping, cheap shopping, mom style, mommy stylist

Mom, Bethany Warren, recently sent us some photos of an outfit she put together based on our suggestions. We think she did a great job and wanted to share her success with you so that you may be inspired to create a similar look. Bethany’s entire ensemble was less than $90 and consists of versatile pieces that will work with all kinds of outfits. See the cost breakdown below.

Note: For the full-length picture, Bethany couldn’t find her hat, a problem I’m sure many busy moms can relate to. So, we’ve included a close-up shot she took of herself a few weeks earlier. Either way, we think she looks adorable!

  • Matching hat/scarf combo is Calvin Klein from TJMaxx, $15.

  • Red plaid shirt is Mossimo Red from Target, $12 clearance.

  • Blue t-shirt is Gap Outlet, $8.

  • Jeans are Vigold from TJMaxx, $13.

  • Boots are Madden Girl from Victoria’s Secret, $39…

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People I Love: Part Two – Mom Friends

It is possible that CLP and I created a monster.

Since birth, mini Gwinn has slept with a beautiful, hand knit blanket that was a gift from my sister’s mother in law. Literally, every night, he has been wrapped up in it and snuggled into the soft yarn of the blanket. He loves it. For fourteen months it served him dutifully, taking beatings in its constant trips across the floor as he crawled with it, traveling to Minnesota and Tennessee and home again, the many washes (on gentle cycle) from the spilled milk or the middle of the night accidents, and many other tortures such a delicate blanket should never endure. Now that he is a destructive toddler, mini Gwinn felt it necessary to deconstruct his blanket, string by string. It now has a gaping hole, smack in the middle of the blanket. Captain Laser Pants and I have had many worried nights that he may find himself stuck in the blanket, twined in the yarn, an obvious death trap waiting to happen. We decided, a mere two hours before bed time, to search frantically for a similar knit blanket at Target. Of course, being my child, mini Gwinn had no interest in the baby themed fleece blankets on clearance, nor did he feel particularly drawn to any knit blanket under $50. Finally, after racing through the domestics aisles like I’m on Super Market Sweep, I found a dark brown, cable sweater knit blanket, similar to his basket weave blanket (more in feel than style, obviously), on clearance for $19. He gave it a good squeeze with his chubby hands, and I rushed to the check out to make it home in time for bath time.

We settled in after his bath, snuggled in the new blanket (yes, I’m a bad mom, I didn’t wash it first, but I didn’t have time to, and couldn’t wrap my child in the blanket of potential death), and had his night time bottle (only one of the day, I promise). As soon as I put him in his crib, he EXPLODED in tears. Like, fits of howling screams and shakes accompanied by a river of heart breaking tears. I let it go on for ten or so minutes, mainly because he NEVER cries anymore, and I couldn’t handle it. We went downstairs and listened to his cello song (Bach’s prelude from Suite 1 for Unaccompanied Cello) three times. He so sweetly laid his head on my chest and his little hands on my arm and sank comfortably against me. When it was time to put him back in his crib, though, the same horrifying “DON’T LEAVE ME IN HERE, DEVIL WOMAN!” screams started again. I waited for fifteen or twenty minutes more and then couldn’t take it. I made him another small bottle and went into his room. With mommy magic I pseudo- stitched up the gaping hole with excess yarn, and as soon as I picked him up with the blanket against him, he cooed in delight. He polished off the four ounce condolence bottle and fell asleep immediately.

CLP was shocked that he had developed an attachment to the blanket. Given that I had my own blanket and passy (pacifier) til I was five, it didn’t come as a shock to me that he would have grown attached to his own, but still.  I wasn’t expecting this kind of reaction.Thoughts?

Anyway! Onto the second post about people in my life that rock my socks: my mom friends.

E-Wizzle: With your little guy the same age as mini Gwinn, and with having met you when they were both still lying on their backs due to immobility, I feel like we’ve been walking the same lines for a couple years now. You amaze me! I don’t know how you work full time, rock at being a mom full time, and seem so serene always. When I felt most lonely, you walked into that library meeting room with your little guy and -bam!- friendship. You are so graceful and kind, and you do this craziness called motherhood with poise. Thank you for being such a fabulous, wonderful friend.

Lu Lu: If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were my sister from another mister. Your dry, sarcastic humor pairs beautifully with your parenting style, and little Pippi is all the cooler for it. She is going to grow up to be one rad chick thanks to all your awesomeness and sacrifice you’ve made for her. Thank you for being such a fast, trustworthy friend. I love that I can confide in you on my bad days, laugh with you on the good days, and play video games with you once the sun (and son) goes down. You are such a seriously cool woman and I am so happy we are in one another’s lives for this wild season of life.

Tay C: You are so brave. And strong. And beautiful, and funny, and such a wonderful mom to Cball. That first step into friendship, remember the diner? That was awesome. I felt like we both needed someone to reflect back to ourselves: I can do this. You are fearless in your approach to new things and people, infinitely creative, and your mothering instincts are enviable. Your encouragement, your perspective and your friendship are huge blessings in my life. Even if you and I hadn’t been surprised with our little bundles of boys, you and I would have crossed paths and been friends, I just know it. Thank you for your friendship and the love you’ve brought into our lives.

I love you three ladies! You are encouragement on the hard days and light on the best of days. Thank you for your friendship, I am honored!


People I Love: Part One

Today was a pretty awesome day. My dermatologist told me I’d only have to take Amnesteem for another month (we originally thought it would be 10-12 months, instead it’s just 7! YAY!), AND mini Gwinn said “hewwo” while he waved to his accordion. Yes, my kid has an accordion. He’s that cool.

So, anyway, as promised, I’m starting a series on amazing people I love/ am so grateful to have in my life. This serves a few purposes, one being that it is a way to display kindness. There isn’t enough of it in the world.

Let’s begin!

Dear Bresus,

As far as friendships that I never saw coming, I am a major fan of ours. I must admit, when I first met you, I was wary, given that you were friends with what’s her name from CLP’s long long ago. But now? I am beyond grateful that you are in our lives. Time and time again you have gone above and beyond and have been an outstanding friend to one crazy mama. You are generous, funny, and smart. I envy you, sometimes (successful career, living the urban life dream), but it quickly fades into pride for you in all you have accomplished. One of my favorite things about you is this dichotomous representation in your personality of a tough lady with a major nurturing side. Everyone that truly knows you is happy to have you in their corners, and I am happy to say that I fall in line with them. Your cooking skills? Rad. You and the Viking? Super cool. Your ability to be funny, loving, accepting, clever and giving? Priceless.  I dubbed you “hot pants” a while ago, but “Bresus” is much more suited to who you are- you have saved our family from crises enough times that you officially deserve a cape. By the way, I’ve forgotten to tell you, but mini Gwinn LOVES his Holy Grail rabbit. Like thinks it’s the bee’s knees. Plus, who is so cool as to give Monty Python gifts for Easter? HELLO, BRESUS.

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend.

Love Always and Big,

Warren G


Get Skinny Workouts Ad Nauseum

Hey! Happy late Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, etc! I have been super out of the loop lately. There have been so many ideas on my mind, but finding the time to write seems increasingly impossible with mini Gwinn wandering everywhere and getting into everything. Seriously. This morning he was slamming a cabinet door into the oven just because he could. It kind of happened overnight, but now I have a wild child toddler, and I’m a busy B (yes, “B”, not “bee”.).

I digress. This topic has been weighing on my mind for weeks, literally. It has bugged me so much that I finally locked mini Gwinn in our computer room with my coffee so I could sit down and knock this one out before I adventure out to the gym. Get ready, it’s not gonna be pretty, but let’s hope I get the message across.

If you’ve ever walked by a magazine rack at the grocery store or looked at Pinterest for more than thirty seconds, you’ve seen those absurd “do this lame workout for seven days and watch the pounds drop!” claims, all accompanied by an image of a ridiculously toned/ skinny chick in a bikini or less. To anyone who will be duped by this, please read these words carefully: that chick did not do this lame seven day workout to look like that. No one did this lame seven day workout and immediately looked amazing. Please, put down the Prevention magazine, stop pinning those “inspiring workouts and words” to your fitness board, and take a few steps back from this entire concept of “get fit quick”. Just like getting fat doesn’t happen over the course of a week, getting fit doesn’t happen in 168 hours.As harsh as it may sound, dough doesn’t transform to granite over the course of a week, or sometimes even eight weeks. It takes a lot of time and a lot (I mean A LOT) of sweat to melt fat and gain visible muscle tone. While a week’s worth of working out will make you feel better, give you more energy, increase your appetite (that is a good thing!) and help you sleep better, it won’t magically give you a bikini body for next week’s vaycay. Your best you comes from dedication to improving your health, not attempting to mimic a rail thin model’s body or society’s idea of “beautiful” (unless you happen to fall into that naturally, and if you do, yay for you!) .

In that same line of thought, I have to admit that I was under the impression that “diets” had fallen out of favor with the gen pub. I could not have been more wrong. Seriously, my reaction to seeing “follow such and such celebrity’s three day smoothie diet to fit into your skinny jeans”pins/ magazines was, “HOLY CRAP DO PEOPLE BELIEVE THIS STUFF?!” If all someone consumes is fruit smoothies for a weekend, s/he may fit into skinny jeans, but s/he will put those on to run to the nearest McDonald’s to indulge in a Big Mac.  Healthy consumption of lean proteins, veggies and lots of water as a way of life, not a temporary starvation diet, will be a better fuel for working out/ health improvement. It makes me sad when I see women who are desperate to feel better grasping at hollow ideas for health.

I’ve heard of many women starving themselves and then running on the treadmill for forty five minutes. If anything, this teaches your body to store up any calories consumed because it thinks it will never be fed AND has to endure major cardio. That’s pretty much the opposite of what any (good) personal trainer would tell someone.

My advice: 1. Learn your body fat percentage, not your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI doesn’t tell much at all about your health. By that same token, your weight doesn’t tell you much about your health. How much fat you’re carrying around? That’s WAY more telling. Gyms will measure your body fat percentage for free. Check out what the numbers mean at Health Check Systems.
2. Eat. A lot. a 130 lb. woman looking to lose fat and maintain/ gain muscle tone should consume at least 50 grams of protein a day. I say “at least” because dietary professionals will suggest as low as 45 grams a day and as high as a 1 to 1 ratio of pounds of weight to grams of protein. That seems impossible to most women, especially given the fact that the average woman consumes around 20 grams a day. Protein will keep you fuller for longer than simple carbohydrates and give you the energy you need to build muscle/ lose fat. Vegetables and chicken, vegetables and fish, whatever your poison for meat- this combo keeps you full. Avoid simple carbohydrates like the devil (this includes: bread, cereal, rice, cupcakes, cake, cookies [my weaknesses], etc). If you just can’t live without grains, try quinoa and oatmeal, both complex carbohydrates that take longer for your body to break down and keep you full longer. Kelly the Kitchen Kop gives insight with an interview from Dr. Davis on the dangers of modern wheat and other genetically modified grains. I’m not pushing “anti-carbohydrates”, veggies have carbs too (say what?), I’m pushing “anti-genetically modified grains” here.
3. Don’t limit yourself to cardio. Weight lifting and body weight/ resistance exercises are going to help you burn fat more quickly and efficiently than just cardio (unless you are morbidly obese). Another myth to these crappy “get skinny quickly” workouts is that you can target weight loss to fat in certain areas of your body, like “7 Days to Lean Arms!”.  If that were the case, all my body fat would be in my boobs and my thighs would look like pillars of marble wrapped in skin. While you CAN target muscles during workouts, you can’t target fat, which is why mixing up a workout is paramount to actual fat loss/ muscle gain. The best fat burning technique I’ve tried- interval training. I’ve pushed this on other blog posts in the past, and I’m pushing it again. My current fave? Turbulence Training, as seen on the Greatist.

I suppose what I’m preaching here is the opposite of what many women do, which is “starve and go easy at the gym”. I say, spoil yourself by eating a ton of yummy, healthy food, and abuse your body like crazy at the gym. Go at it until your clothes are soaked and you can barely walk out the doors. These three day diets and seven day fitness routines aren’t going to cut it; quick fixes NEVER do. Dedication to fitness and a true lifestyle change in how one approaches food will result in a total health and body transformation. It’s pretty obvious I’m no personal trainer or health expert, but I am passionate about my personal health. This makes me seem like a self indulgent psycho to some, but my health matters for the sake of my family (and my sanity). If you’re anything like me, when you feel better, everything seems better, more accomplish-able, less insurmountable. Plus, I’m a lot less likely to Hulk out on someone when I’ve burned all my excess energy (read: rage) at the gym. It boils down to the fact that I just want people I care about to be healthy and happy.

So, in the coming weeks, or whenever I find time to sit down and write a bit, I’m going to start working on the reverse side of “Being Kind is Hard”. Every post for the next several weeks will include a glowing review of someone I love in my life. It will serve as a very public way (with his/ her consent) to display my appreciation, and hopefully spur kindness in myself and others.

❤ to you!