Monday, December 16, 2013

Makeover

Every once in a while, a girl needs a makeover.  Hell, every once in a while, a guy needs a makeover too.

You just get to that point where you hate all of your clothes/shoes/makeup/bedding/furniture/food in your refrigerator/socks in your sock drawer.

Yes, sometimes I hate my socks and need new ones.  Okay, it only happened once. But I really did decide that all of my socks were gross and felt the immediate need to throw them all away and buy new ones.  $25 dollars and many new pairs of socks later...I felt like a new woman.

This time, it was makeup.  After having a baby, and nursing said baby for a year, I just didn't look the same anymore.  And I felt like my makeup wasn't working.  And I thought that I looked tired all the time, though I really was not tired.

One day I was feeling like I looked particularly pale-momish-tired and...as if she read my mind...my friend Kristin posted about her favorite makeup: Mama & Mou

It was a sign.  The last time I went to a makeup counter, had my makeup done, and bought a whole new regimen of makeup was when I turned 18. My best friend's mom gave me an awesome gift, a makeover at a makeup counter and a gift certificate for a bunch of makeup.  Yep, that was the last time I did this. 12 years ago.  It was time for an overhaul.

So I visited Kristin's friends at Smashbox this weekend and was THRILLED! They did an amazing job, I have all new makeup, I look much less pale-momish-tired, and I feel like a new woman.

Do it.  Give yourself a makeover.  Even if it's a sock makeover.  Because we all know there is truly no better feeling in the world than all new socks. Or makeup.  Or shoes. Or anything.

Take time for yourself.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Food continued

She loved pita yesterday.

Today...hates it.

Kids are weird.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Food Food Food

In my long tenure as a parent (1 year, 1 month and 10 days) I have learned one thing.

Your life revolves around food.  And food can be your best friend or your worst nightmare.

I have never in my life thought more about what goes into my body, and my child's body. And often on my body as there is almost always Mollie food somewhere on my clothes.

When we first started feeding Mollie solid foods, she hated them.  She wouldn't take oatmeal. Didn't like the spoon.  Hated all of the first foods (avocado, banana, apples etc...)

She would push the spoon back into our face and scream until we gave her milk.  I thought this kid would drink only milk until she was 18.  Until we discovered hummus.

Yes, my kid loved hummus.  For a solid 2 weeks this was the only food she would eat.  I had carefully researched baby food recipes.  Investigated the healthiest foods to feed your child.  Discovered the best 'brain foods' for babies. And she hated them all.  The kid only wanted hummus.  So, while that wasn't really the plan, we decided to just let her have it.  So we sent her to school with milk....and hummus.

Finally she started branching out beyond the hummus (which was good because her breath was getting a little nasty) but still never ate most of the typical baby foods.  She was thrilled when she could finally pick things up and feed them to herself.

In my opinion, it's not that she ever hated the other foods, I think she just hated that we were feeding them TO her. She wanted to feed them to herself.  Girlie is quite independent.

Fast forward to Mollie at 1 year, 1 month and 10 days old. She's still a weird eater.  She still only likes to eat things that she can feed herself (unless it's yogurt...in which case she loves it so much she will let us feed her).
One day she will love something. (i.e. vegetables, pita, mac and cheese, eggs) and the next day she will throw it in my face.  I'm sure this is totally normal but it is beyond frustrating.

I'm also trying really hard not to influence her food tastes. Unfortunately, her father and I are somewhat picky eaters.  Well Jeremy is far picker than I am, but still, there is a decent list of foods we will not eat (tuna, mayonnaise, tarragon, cold chicken, white sauces, any kind of cold deli salad/pasta salad).

So, in the hopes that she will not hate all of these foods, we are still feeding them to her.  And one by one, it turns out she hates them too.
video

Anyone have any a great toddler friendly recipe?

So far this is her favorite food of the day - Butternut Squash Souffle Bites.  (Though now that I'm posting it on here she's totally going to start hating them)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Citrus Lane

I love getting packages in the mail.

Maybe it reminds me of my years at summer camp where my mom would send me packages filled with fun stuff.  I would sit and eagerly await the mailman. He would stop by the cabin, I would watch and wait, hoping that today would be the day I would get a letter or a package.  My mom sent lots of letters, and often sent packages. Sometimes she would send a stuffed animal, other times it would be a fresh pair of pajamas, sometimes, if I was really lucky, my mom would mail me a Mylar balloon.

The balloon was always my favorite package.

My mom is an identical twin and sometimes my aunt would also send packages to me at camp.  One day the mailman arrived and I had TWO packages in the mail.  I nearly died of excitement.  This was basically the greatest day of my life.  I opened the first box. I vividly remember pulling out a pair of red plaid pajamas shorts and a balloon.
I squealed with excitement.
Pajamas AND a balloon.
This was a good day.
A great day.

And then I remembered that I had another box waiting for me from my aunt and I couldn't contain myself. I ran over to the other box and tore into it as feverishly as I had the first.  I opened the second box and pulled out something that looked awfully familiar....a pair of red plaid pajama shorts. And then a balloon.  The same balloon.  And the same red plaid pajama shorts.

Yes, my mom and aunt had unknowingly both sent me packages at camp, filled with the exact same items. For a moment I thought perhaps this was a joke, but then I realized that no, this was a twin moment.  And they had simply sent me the exact same things because when it comes to certain things in life, their brains are interconnected.

And so I proudly hung my two identical balloons to the post of my bed.  And folded my two pairs of red plaid pajama shorts and put them on my shelf.

Wrote them a letter saying thank you. And letting them know they're weird and interconnected.

And then wondered when I would get my next package.

The point of this story is that I still love getting packages.  And I think it's the residual effects of my life at summer camp.  And so I am obsessed with Stitch Fix.  Personally styled clothes, delivered to my door in an adorable package? SIGN ME UP.

And now, I am obsessed with Citrus Lane.  Citrus Lane delivers monthly boxes with stuff is tailored to your child's age and stage of life.
Last month we received a bunch of fun stuff including a cool tug boat bath toy

Some cool baby utensils....
Reusable snack bags

Anyways...if you're looking for a fun holiday gift for someone with kids, I highly recommend a Citrus Lane subscription.  It's a pretty fun way to try new products and hearken back to the days of being a kid and waiting for the mailman to arrive.  Okay, maybe that was just me.

If you click the link above you can try it for $10 off your first month!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hanukkah

We are currently in the middle of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.  This is not one of our more significant holidays, but is another reason to celebrate, and more importantly, eat.

We decided to skip gifts in my family this year and instead we "adopted" a family in need.  We have a lot, and we certainly don't need more, so it seemed most appropriate to help others in need instead of filling our homes with more stuff.  Plus, it's really fun to shop for people.  Especially kids!

But if you really feel like buying us stuff....because ya know, it's the giving season...
Mollie really wants this

Kara really wants this

Jeremy really wants this

Last night I was supposed to have a meeting but it was cancelled so I ran home and decided to make latkes.  It may be a minor holiday. And we may be skipping gifts. But we cannot skip the food people.  That would be criminal.

So we made latkes. And lit the candles. And I attempted to sing, until Jeremy pleaded for me to stop.


And we reminisced about the prior two Hanukkahs in our home.  My how things have changed!
Hannukah 2011

Hannukah 2012

Hannukah 2013


And for your viewing pleasure....a verbal representation of Hannukah 2012.  Let's just say I like 1 year olds a lot more than 6 week old babies.
video

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pie School

A few Saturdays ago we were getting ready in the morning while the baby napped, and Jeremy was watching the Kare 11 morning news.  He heard them announce a contest.  I love a good contest.  And this is my kind of contest.  You enter via email and the first 25 people receive admission to PILLSBURY PIE SCHOOL!!!!

Oh yes, you heard that right. 

Pie School.

And...we won.

Basically my dream come true.  

Winning a contest. A contest which involves baking.  And a contest where the only requirements are...email your name to XYZ email address. 

Jeremy thinks that the average person who would be interested in this activity likely does not have a smart phone, or a readily accessible iPad or Computer and thus it likely took them a long time to boot up their computer, log into their dial up modem, sign into America Online, type the email address, and enter the contest.

Not this gal.  I screamed...ENTER THE CONTEST, ENTER IT NOW!!!! WE NEED TO GO. 

Screamed at the top of my lungs. 

So we entered the contest.

And got in. 

And I was almost as excited as when I got to see Oprah live.  Almost.

We went to pie school.  And we learned to make pie in the Betty Crocker kitchens.  It was a really cool experience. We are now pie masters.

Keep in mind that I absolutely love to bake.  If love to make things for other people.  I really don't ever want to eat it, I just like to make things for others.  

I find baking to be one of my favorite stress relievers.  Fortunately, working out is my other favorite stress reliever.   My coworkers call it 'stress baking'. They like to find reasons to stress me out so that I will bake for them. 

Well, given the previous description of how much I like to bake, I'll let you guess whose pie is whose below.

Pie #1 - Pumpkin

Pie #2 - Salted Caramel Pecan
See the first pie, with it's wilted, burned crust and it's under filled center?   
And then the second pie, with the perfect crust and lovely filling?

Yea, mine is the first one. 

Turns out the husband is a pie master.  Either that or he is excellent at following instructions and I am terrible at following instructions. He listened intently as they told us how to make the pie.  I looked all around, trying to figure out why Betty Crocker's likenesses look younger and younger as time passes.

Well the pie aficionado has now made a name for himself far and wide. You better put in your pie orders before he becomes famous and sells his pies for hundreds of dollars.  Feel free to email him and put in your order today... 


p.s. the salted caramel pecan pie was amazing and really simple. Here is the recipe

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Support

When I was pregnant, a friend of mine suggested that I sign up for a "new mama" group at a local place called Amma Parenting Center.  I didn't know much about it, but eager for advice, I went online immediately and signed up.  I never looked into the details, didn't know what I would learn, but if a mom thought it was a good idea, I figured I should listen.

Smart idea Kara, smart idea.

Amma has classes that start nearly every week so you can start a class shortly after your child is born.  I started when Mollie was just 2 weeks old.  

A group of brand spankin' new mamas. Some brand spankin' new babies.  And a whole bunch of exhausted, confused, happy, scared, stunned faces.

We spent the next 6 weeks getting to know eachother, crying to eachother, learning from eachother, and  reminding eachother that we were not alone. 

I don't know what I would have done without the support of my Amma Mama friends. 

And now, our babies are all 1! And they're walking! And playing! And so we decided to get together to celebrate.

We have come so far! It's been a crazy year and those first 3 months were insanely hard. Thanks to my Amma Mamas, I knew I was never in it alone.

Amma babies 1 year ago....

Amma babies at their 1st Birthday party...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas

So, my family does not celebrate Christmas because we are Jewish.  I have many Christian friends, I love them very much, I think Christmas sounds like a lovely holiday, but we do not celebrate it.
No biggie.
It's an extra day off work to enjoy some Chinese food, a movie and relaxation.
No, I'm not sad that I don't celebrate Christmas.
No, I've never been sad about it.
No, we don't put up a Christmas tree.
Nope, not even a white and blue one.
No, those are not intended for the "Jewish families to celebrate Christmas" as so many people have tried to convince me.
Yes, I do eat Christmas cookies when my friend Stacy makes them.
Why? Because they're delicious and if there's one things Jews do celebrate...it's delicious food.

Because we do not celebrate this holiday, there are some things that I will never understand. And will always need to phone-a-friend to explain the reason for various Christmas traditions. Just because I don't celebrate the holiday doesn't mean I should be ignorant about it's meaning.

Last night...the phone-a-friend Stacy was brought in to explain the meaning of Carmen Christmas.
Look at the stocking on the far right
And we decided...it was a typo.  She could find no reason why the stocking would say "Carmen Christmas".  Is that true? A typo?


And the most recent "Thing I don't understand about Christmas"

Why might someone want to decorate their toilet like Santa or Mrs. Claus?  I mean, sure, it's a good deal, 60% off. Woo hoo.  But I don't really want to dress my toilet us as anything but...uh, a toilet.  Seems like it does a pretty good job just as it is.  As a white porcelain bowl.  I don't think Santa wants what is goin' in there. 

I'm just sayin'. 

Maybe I'm missing something.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

12 monther

Inspired by a blog that I follow, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about my sweet little girl at age 12 months.

Mollie Cate is just over 12 months old and oh, what a personality she has.  I don't think I realized how much personality people have, right from the start.  Mollie is sweet, and lovable. She loves tight hugs and kisses on the cheek. She will try to kiss you back but she just opens her mouth and tries to suck on your face.  She just learned how to blow a kiss and it will melt your heart. 

She is sassy. Very sassy. She will tell you what she wants, and what she doesn't want.  


She has some party tricks.  She claps along to 'If you're happy and you know it', she knows all of the hand and body motions to 'The Wheels on the Bus' (i.e. wheels with her hand, bumping up and down & the wipers back and forth).  She knows how to hide her face when you say 'peekaboo'. She knows the sign language signs for milk, food, sleep and all done. 


Mollie has two main facial expressions: skeptical and happy.  The first expression comes directly from her father. 


She babbles "dada" all day long. It started as "dadadada", an ongoing chant.  It has evolved into "dada" as she points at an object.  This object may be a random man in a store, a vase, a diaper....they're all "dada". Jeremy thinks that all of those things just remind her of him. I disagree.


She is feisty and she can hold her own. The boys at daycare know they can't mess with MollMoll. She is not delicate.  She's sweet but tough.


Moll's interest include: her dog Stanley, cookies, corn tamales, cell phones, her small red wagon, whole green beans and shoes.  Mollie is not walking yet, but she took her first steps on November 13.  She took three little steps forward into our arms and Jeremy and I screamed so loud we scared her into thinking she did something wrong.  Nothing wrong little girl, just growing up too fast.


She loves her red wagon. Love, loves her red wagon.  Every night she takes her cow dressed in a tutu, and Monkey wearing a Mollie shirt out of the wagon and climbs in. I think she would prefer to sleep in her red wagon. 


MollMoll has an awesome tush.  She's going to hate me someday for writing this, but the girl has the most amazing little tush.  Her teachers at daycare taught her the "Jump Jump shake your booty" song and she can do the booty dance on command. It's amazing.  It's viral video worthy. 


The girl is sweeter than pie if she loves you.  She's cold as ice if she's scared of you.  She dislikes the amazingly sweet music teacher at daycare. She is mildly obsessed with my friend Debra. 


She naps with her tush in the air and sleeps so hard her knees and cheek are red in the morning.  She has never been the world's best sleeper, nor the world's worst sleeper.  She's an average sleeper. Average sleeper but an above average eater.  That's my girl.

So that's a little bit about our girl.  She's a pretty cool kid if I do say so myself. If she wasn't my daughter, I would want to be her friend. 


Linking up with my friend Kristin today!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Getaway

Thanks to my amazing parents, we were able to take a little trip out of town last weekend with our friends.  We purchased a trip at a benefit for the local Children's Hospital. After Mollie's trip to the hospital last year, I was willing to donate my life savings to these people.

So we purchased a trip to the Napa Valley in California.

And it was lovely and amazing.

And I brought home a souvenir.
Very tall chef
Yes, I purchased a very tall chef in Napa.

Why you may ask? Well, because it's not every day that you see an extremely tall wooden chef statute.  And when you find one, it seems like something you should own.

I mean seriously, doesn't Marcel (that is what we named him) just make you laugh? The 'stache. The spots on his apron. The fact that he is actually, literally, half my height.  He's awesome!

And so I informed Jeremy that we needed to buy the extremely tall chef.
He looked at me and his eyes said:
How in the hell are we going to get this thing home?
Why do we need a very tall chef?
I know she's going to expect me to carry this thing for the rest of the trip.
Where are we going to put the very tall chef in our child-proofed home?
This is a total waste of money.

And then he shrugged his shoulders and handed me the credit card. He too understood that we needed the very tall chef.

And so we purchased him.  And he was too tall to fit in our suitcase. And I took him out of the box to try to fit him into the suitcase, only to find that he wouldn't fit and then the box fell apart. So we had to hand carry Marcel all the way back home.
Through check in.
Into the TSA security lines.
Hand inspected by the TSA.
Rattled and almost decapitated by the carry on baggage conveyor belt.
Carted through the airport.
Rested under our seats during the flight (he was so tall that he had to sit next to the window seat)
And finally...safely home to reside under the cow artwork in our kitchen.

Feel free to visit Marcel, the very tall chef, anytime.  Maybe he will whip up some cookies for you.  A very wise purchase.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Now THIS is customer service....

I need to share this outstanding customer service experience because I think that all too often we focus on negative experiences. As my mom likes to say, "praise the positive".

I ordered a pair of winter boots for Mollie on Diapers.com

They were too small so exchanged them for a larger size. (which, by the way, was the easiest exchange ever)

We received the new, larger size boots a few days later but they still did not fit her feet well (girlie has big calves like her mama).

I sent an email to Diapers.com customer service to return them because it wasn't allowing me to do it on their website. 

This was the response:

Hi there Kara,

Thank you so much for your email. I'm so sorry to hear that the little Robeez shoes did not work out for your daughter! Online shopping for clothes items can be quite tricky, can't it! No worries on the return Kara. I'm sure that you're exhausted by all of the back and forth so I'm going to ask you to donate them to a local charity. In the meantime I have gone ahead and refunded your credit card which you should see process in just 5-7 business days.

I do hope this helps Kara, and I'm happy we were able to score some good karma points together! Hopefully you will find the perfect pair of shoes for your daughter soon! :) If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at 1800.DIAPERS or via email customercare@diapers.com....yes, we never sleep ;)  We look forward to hearing again from you in the future!

All the best,

Lauren
Customer Care Ninja
Diapers.com, A Familyhood Site



Wow.  What a classy response.  I will do just that.  The boots are on their way to a little girl who needs them. You can be sure I will be a Diapers.com customer for a very long time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday

Today is my baby girl's 1st birthday.  And oh, what a year it has been! Instead of going on and on about how much I love this kid, because really, I really, really love this kid, I'm just going to share a bunch of my favorite pictures from the past year.


Mollie Cate Frank, named for Jeremy's maternal grandmother, Mollie, and my uncle Chuck (Cate).

In labor....forever

Debra was trying to entertain me between contractions

My Auntie kept asking when the baby was going to arrive....yea, we didn't really have an answer
And then they informed us that I would be having a c-section.  A calm but anxious Jeremy suited up for her long awaited arrival.

Jeremy carefully watching the nurse take Mollie's first tests

The new grandparents

A very excited Dad



She still makes this face...but now it happens after we take away a toy

My first time seeing Mollie

The anxious friends and grandparents waiting outside the nursery
Our first family picture.  I have absolutely no idea why we decided to get so dressed up.  We were sleep deprived.

Just chillin on a stool

Mollie and her great grandfather, the day she was born

Mollie and Rachel (aka the mother of her soon to be best friends)

On our way home....holy sh*&, what do we do with her now??

Mollie's first time meeting her BFF/Auntie Steph

Lindsay comes for a visit!

Hey Margot...we're TWINS!

Mollie's 2nd trip to Florida

Hanging out on the beach with Dad

Sometimes this was the only way to get some rest

Best buddies



Cabin weekend with friends....Margot is not sure she likes having Mollie in her bed

Stanley did it

Mollie and cousin Tessa


Another one of our many ways to get her to calm down and rest

Moll and her great grandma
Auntie Robyn with Moll and her future cousins

Baby Boom.  Mollie and our best friend's babies. All 5 of them were born within 3 months of eachother.

Papa is the best napping spot

Play time with her family

Another new friend is born!


Mollie's cousins