Bathtub

Both my kids are complete opposites of each in every way.

So naturally it would be that while I never had to worry about this with Dean, I’ve already had Dahlia poop twice during bathtime.

It’s all fun and games until your baby is swimming in a pile of brown chunky water.

Hemangioma update

What’s a “hemangioma” you ask? According to Wikipedia:

hemangioma is a benign and usually self-involuting tumor (swelling or growth) of the endothelial cells that line blood vessels, and is characterised by increased number of normal or abnormal vessels filled with blood. It usually appears in the first weeks of life and grows most rapidly over the first six months. 

When my son was born, on the top and bottom of his hand he had incredibly red skin. On his palm it was almost purple. It’s funny that my husband was so concerned about what other kids would think, and then we got his 15q13.3 diagnosis and the hand was the least of our issues.

We’re very lucky it wasn’t on his face, when that happens they can grow and impact eye growth/vision, etc. It’s faded quite a bit, just wanted to post a photo of how much it’s lightened up (I don’t have the time to dig through thousands of photos to find one from when he was a baby but just trust me…it was bright red):

My sweet little boy's hand and his disappearing hemangioma.

My sweet little boy’s hand and his disappearing hemangioma.

Decorating with Kids

Not my house. At all.

Not my house. At all.

For the first 3 years of my son’s life, we lived in 3 different homes.

In hindsight, that’s kinda stressful.

Our first home we lived in for quite a few years before having kids. I was able to paint, decorate, do all that good stuff to make my house look nice and pretty. I had vases, artwork, framed photos, shelves, you know…decor.

We then moved into the most ultra ghetto rental. Since I knew it was temporary, I didn’t do jack to decorate aside from hanging pictures that had been given to me (and I was too lazy to pack). There was no painting or decorating. I wouldn’t have had time to decorate anyway (or so I tell myself).

Then we bought a house when I was pregnant. Thank God for my friends Lacy and Kevin for helping us move, we would have been effed up the A without their help. I was useless. My legs were so swollen, I had to wear compression stockings (which isn’t fun to wear in June in Southern Cali) and I was just simply exhausted. My ability to do anything was diminished between a sh*tty pregnancy and all the work we did for my then-toddler.

I managed to unpack just the basics to survive.

THEN Dahlia was born.

THEN I returned to work.

And now it’s been a year and a half. My daughter’s room has a bit of stuff on the walls and I hung one whole picture up in our downstairs bathroom. My big win was that I recently bought nice fabric shower curtains.

I’ve realized, it’s just really, really, really hard to do “fun” stuff like decorating when you’ve got 2 small kids. The lack of time is obviously a huge factor. By the time I get both kids to sleep, it’s around 9pm. Lately I’ve been working on my son’s Halloween costume (he wants to be a garbage truck. If i could buy my way out of this problem, I would. Not a costume you can pick up at Target sadly.) I have just enough energy to wash the baby bottle nipples, which is thankfully easy since I use Playtex Drop-Ins and don’t have to actually wash the whole bottle. I might pop in a load of laundry, take a shower, then head to bed. So needless to say, evenings are out.

Weekends are spent on activities for the kids and/or catching up on all the household stuff that needs to get done during the week. I could be a full-time laundromat. I don’t know how people with 3+kids do it, with each kid laundry somehow goes up exponentially. Weekends are the only time that I can stare at my walls to think of potential colors since I’m not home during the weekday. Then I think “this house was freshly painted when we bought it, do we really need to paint?”. Well…yes…because my house was a flip and those cheap f*ckers used matte paint which is already dinged up and looks awful. And because we’ve got vaulted ceilings, I ain’t tackling that painting challenge on my own (which I couldn’t realistically do anyway, with the whole “2 kids” thing).

But paint colors aside, my biggest hurdle for decorating is that we’re in a “transition” period. You can bring a baby to an already-decorated house and organically modify things as your kid grows. But I’m already starting out now with 2 kids and all I can think of is “why bother putting a vase on that table, it’ll get knocked over” or “down the road I want to install bookshelves on either side of the fireplace but for now those spaces are used for kids toys and the stroller”. Even hanging up artwork makes me cringe, because when my son has playdates other kids get kind of rowdy, and last thing I need is for something to get knocked off the walls. I know how I want my entryway to look, but that’s cockblocked for a few years by the baby gate I have at the bottom of the stairs because it needs clearance to swing fully open. There’s a few “safe” places I can decorate, like our living room. But (and there’s always a “but”) the color on the walls is so God-awful that I want to paint it before I even attempt to hang anything up, and then we get back to the whole painting problem.

I already am rather ashamed to admit that while I had a creative side to me pre-baby, now I don’t know anything about decorating. I can spend forever on Pinterest, but then I end up thinking that grey and yellow chevron stripes are the only decorating options out there. It’s overwhelming to start with a blank canvas and really, just one shot to make it right (if it’s taken me this long to attempt it the first time, I’ll have to suffer through for another 2 years before I can fix it). I know how I want my house to look in say, 10 years when I can kiss playrooms and babyproofing goodbye. Until then, my house looks like the Target toy department vomitted everywhere.

My daughter is going to be one in 6 weeks. This is getting ridiculous.

Stitch Fix September 2014 Review

Disclaimer: this barely sounds like English, I’m exhausted today and it’s riddled with typos and horrible grammar. 

Last month I evaluated Stitch Fix (review here), a monthly subscription where a personal stylist picks out 5 items for you for $20 (which then gets credited towards any purchases you make from that box).

After I posted it on Facebook, I had an overwhelming response from my friends who told me that they’d take me shopping. I do have some fabulously-dressed friends (and heck, one of them does costuming for TV shows and movies, why am i NOT taking her shopping all the time?!). It seems my friends enjoy spending other people’s money on clothes.

So I decided to take them up on that offer (once I stop being broke from some of my recent purchases…I had to get a new wardrobe to compensate for this post-second-baby body) and canceled my Stitchfix account.

Their customer service is pretty amazing. They begged me stay by offering my next “fix” for free. Since it’s zero cost to me at that point, I agreed to it and modified my account to put a size smaller for everything.

I had to scramble to put this stuff on at work and mail out asap (you only have 3 days) the unwanted items because I was traveling that week. Since I don’t have time to model in front of the camera like apparently other people do, here’s just the picture of the little cards they sent. I tossed the prices so I’ll have to remember vaguely what they were.

Skip past the clothes if you want my final verdict on Stitchfix.

Collective Concepts Mondo Abstract Print Spaghetti Strap Tank

Collective Concepts Mondo Abstract Print Spaghetti Strap Tank

Collective Concepts Mondo Abstract Print Spaghetti Strap Tank, aka, Let’s Make Our Clothes With The Longest Titles Ever!

$70-ish

I actually really liked this tank top. It wasn’t my style, but the whole point of why I signed up was to get myself out of my tshirt/jeans rut. The problem is that it dipped WAY too low in the back and I have a beef with seeing the back of bras (straps are one thing, the hook/eye closure is another). It was too flowy to even attempt to wear sans bra. Oh and it was a SEVENTY DOLLAR tank top.
Verdict: totally sent back.

Creative Commune Chauntal Leopard Print Contrast Trim Blouse

Creative Commune Chauntal Leopard Print Contrast Trim Blouse

Creative Communite Chauntal Leopart Print Contrast Trim Blouse

$50-ish

I wanted to like this but it was just a plain thin polyester blouse. I feel like I could get the same shirt from Walmart for $4 on clearance.
Verdict: eff that.

 

 

 

Fun2Fun Holly Lace Detail Graphic Print Blouse

Fun2Fun Holly Lace Detail Graphic Print Blouse

Fun2Fun holly Lace Detail Graphic Print Blouse

$40ish?

What is the deal with non-fitted clothes? Like nothing that’s taken in at the waist? This tunic should be called “straight out of my mom’s closet”. It was so ugly. So ugly that if I see someone on the street with it, I’m going to walk up to them and give them a back-handed slap.
Verdict: don’t insult me Stitch Fix.

 

Kut From The Kloth Simmons Bootcut Jean

Kut From The Kloth Simmons Bootcut Jean

Kut From The Kloth Simmons Bootcut Jean

$30-something

Let me say, I love that striped wrap sweater in the picture. The price was a bonus. Best of all? That’s the exact same jeans I bought from Nordstrom for $54 but in black. SO happy. They’re way too long, but I’m height deficient and that’s par for the course. Going down a size was a good thing, it fit perfectly. Yay!
Verdict: booyah.

 

Pomelo Harriet Chevron Print Detail Dress

Pomelo Harriet Chevron Print Detail Dress

Pomelo Harriet Chevron Print Detail Dress

$64

SO happy with this dress. I would never, ever have picked it out in person but when I put it on, it fit like a glove. It even has pockets! I researched all of these items online to see what other people wrote, and this is clearly a huge hit for people because most folks have something called “boobs” and were unable to squeeze into it. Since I have the chest of a little boy, I was able to zip it up no problem. To find a dress that can cater to my mommy gut yet still be snug on top for my lack of boobs is awesome.
Verdict: hell  yes.

When I went to checkout and purchase just the two last items, it took the $20 free styling free credit and applied it to my clothes. That made me a happy camper. Then I went and complained how the dress had been $58 last year (according to other people’s reviews) and they reimbursed me another $6.

In the end, am I going to keep subscribing?

Nope.

It’s just not worth it. You can easily go to any store like Nordstrom and have a personal shopper pick out cool looks for you…within your price and range AND with the right size. For free. I’m not down with the mass amounts of thin polyester shirts they seem to enjoy sending.

After doing some more research, it seems that there’s a big debate about the markup on their items. Which makes sense, I’m not knocking a company for needing to actually be profitable. And they’re certainly growing. But…it seems that their stylists still all send the same stuff (hippie mom-ish things, from viewing monthly reviews) so I’m going to hit up my friends to have them pick things out for me instead.

And yet, I didn’t formally cancel this time. Stitch Fix lets you simply stop your subscriptions without closing your account. So…never say never.

 

“What’s Your Excuse” for not going to the gym? Because the gym doesn’t have french fries.

True dat.

True dat.

A while ago, crazy-in-shape working mom Maria Kang posted a picture of herself with her 3 kids with the caption, “What’s Your Excuse?”

This over course caused a million people to post lazy pictures of themselves posting their excuse, like sitting on the couch spraying whipped cream in their mouths.

Once upon a time, I was a gym rat. I didn’t look overly buff, but I went 6 days a week. I’ve had personal trainers on occasion too, when I needed to step up my game. I’m not a morning person and I realized that going to to the gym at 6am just meant that I half-assed it, which isn’t good enough when you’re lifting weights. But going to the gym at 10 or 11pm was fine for me, because I didn’t have kids…I could nap when I came home from work. And on weekends. And the only thing that kept me up at night was a snoring husband.

Things are a little different now. What’s my excuse? My excuse is that I can’t legally leave my kids alone at home while I go to the gym and my husband works in LA, so he doesn’t get home until 8:30 if I’m lucky (9ish otherwise). Because the instant I get home, it’s all about the kids so I can’t even put away laundry (maybe I can the day my son stops taking an hour of begging for him to eat). Because I don’t have a stay-at-home job like Maria Kang has…I once did, and I can tell you it makes a world of difference in terms of being able to be productive (at work, during breaks, I surf the web. Downtime at home means laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, napping to get more energy later, etc). By the time I have both kids in bed, it’s around 9:30. That gives me an hour to an hour and a half to get everything done that needs to get done. Washing pump parts, laundry, cleaning up, household administrative stuff, whatever. Then I hop in the shower (morning showers are out, we only have one bathroom upstairs and juggling our shower times with the kids is even more stress than an already stressful morning between two jobs, daycare, and preschool). Oh and as it turns out, the stupid effing 24 Hour Fitness near me closes at 9 on weekends.

Sadly, the human body and fat don’t give a sh*t what your excuse is. I’m grateful that breastfeeding helped me lose all the baby weight but I’m still a mushy sack of lard. I’ve been incredibly depressed over the diastasis recti (hey, let’s see how many people can ask me if I’m pregnant again!) and how awful my once-awesome legs now look.

So while I slowly save (and I mean, slowly…maybe when I’m 75 I’ll be able to justify the cost of a tummy tuck over all the home improvement projects and my kids’ college funds) I need to actually work out in the meantime.

It’s only been 2 weeks but I enlisted the help of a personal trainer because I wanted to really focus on this and have something customized for my problem areas. I’m grandfathered into my 24 Hour Fitness membership (49 bucks a year, can’t beat that) so I’m stuck with them. This is the first trainer I’ve had who has really focused on form, which is really good because I can very easily get sloppy just to crank out a routine. There’s not a whole lot I can do for my stomach other than stomach vacuums, but at least this will help with the rest of my core which is compensating because I have no inner ab muscles to support me.

I’ve got the motivation down and the workout down. Next problem: how do I get there? My time constraint is a legit problem.

The first workout the trainer has options that I can do at home (not ideal, but it’s doable). I’m also aiming to just suck it up and go on weekdays (when the gym doesn’t close ridiculously early) when possible. The real way to stick with this I think will be for me to work out at my company gym.

What? Your company has a gym, biotch? 

Well yeah, but it doesn’t have every piece of equipment that I’d want to use. Plus it can get packed. When I was pumping (today is only the second day I haven’t brought the pump to work) there was no way I could squeeze in the time.  And most of all, I’m a sweaty mess when I exercise. I can’t give myself a whore bath via baby wipes and expect to not look like a crying Tammy Faye Baker by the time I’m back at my desk. I don’t have an office anymore and I’m pretty sure my coworkers don’t want to sit near someone that reeks of nasty.

I’m also motivating myself by getting new gym clothes. My back is broader, so despite having useless teenie boobs my sports bras don’t fit anymore. My mommy gut makes it so that I need longer tank tops and my track pants, which were pretty low on the hip, are now not options either. I’ve somehow lost 2-3 pairs of exercise shorts (packed before we moved, I didn’t need them since I was pregnant) so I’ll need to get a few more of those.

Well this just sucks…I had this draft open to complete and in between then and now, I injured my tailbone pretty bad, right when I was getting into a good workout groove. Dammit. I WILL get this body back in shape!