Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Frank Tank (better late then never)

So, it's been a while, but I've got a legit excuse.

 I was offered a pretty cool new gig just after I had returned to my old job from maternity leave. I had been working from home part-time at the old place, but couldn't pass up this new opportunity, so I scrambled to find some quality childcare, fired up my pump, and returned to the corporate world full-time. This is the first time I've had to leave one of my little nuggets full-time before they were a year old, and it has been a serious emotional challenge, but I'm doing my best to find balance in my life and have decided that part of that balance will include some occasional visits to HMD....because I miss y'all.

Since I am barely squeezing in the time to write this post, I realize that it is time to come to terms with the fact that the nursery, while I had big plans for its "completion" that involved diy roman shades, painting and some flea market scavenging, will need to be considered, for all intents and purposes, to be complete. So, it is with that foreword, that I present to you, the Frank Tank:

Sheets are from Dwell Studio. Bird Mobile from Bla Bla.

Lamp from Ikea, pillow from Etsy seller Robin and Mould, and fox from Bla Bla.

My painted rug! Came out kind of awesome if I do say so myself.

Sara Jane Studios print (also in love with this one)

A few more DIY's- My faux zinc letters and some homemade versions I whipped up of these prints .Smaller art pieces are greeting cards from Rifle Paper Co, and the giraffe is by Sharon Montrose.

I spared you pics of the changing table- cause it's nothing spesh- but overall, it's kind of cute. Not as cute as these guys though: 

Yes, that is a massive wound on his forehead, and no, they don't let me brush their hair. 

I'm back. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


This is what 13 hours of sleep looks like:
I returned to work two weeks ago and decided that waking up 5-6 times a night to alternately feed, binky and place Frank in crib, swing, bed, swing, etc- was not going to be very conducive to my sanity once I was actually expected to shower and pretend that my brain was operating at full capacity. I returned with a sleepless Frank in tow from a very last-minute trip to LA because Tia was undergoing a pretty serious surgery (What's Tia Doing, btw? Recovering- and doing super awesome :). The stress from months of severe lack of sleep, traveling alone with baby, stressing about Tia and my impending return to work, suddenly became more than I could handle. I literally walked in the door, put down the infant seat and my bags, and in a ridiculously melodramatic, but completely authentic way, fell to the floor and burst into hysterical tears. It was time.

The following night, I fed Frank at 6:30, calmly placed in his crib, walked-out, shut the door behind me, turned the monitor volume all the way down, poured myself a heaping glass of wine, rented a movie, and pretended that I did not hear him crying for the next 45 minutes. There were intermittent cries throughout the night- but I held my ground until around 4 in the morning. The following night, I repeated the previous night's bedtime routine. Only this time- he woke up only once- at 4 am, cried for ten minutes and slept until 8AM. It was glorious. I felt as if I had just returned from a week at a wellness spa.

There may be some of you who disagree with the whole cry it out thing, but for me- there was just no other way. I was exhausted- and what was worse- my little man was even more exhausted. He was irritable- he hated the car and the stroller, and he couldn't spend more than 5 minutes entertaining himself.

The changes in him were almost immediate. After just two nights on his new regimen, he was literally, like a different baby. Max calls him our new and improved baby (he even asked me what we did with the old one and I'm still not sure if he was trying to be funny). Frankie now happily goes for walks and lazily drifts off in his infant seat for naps while we stroll the aisles of Target. He plays contentedly in his saucer while I deal with his out-of-control brothers for considerable chunks of time and he smiles ten times as often as he did two weeks ago.

While he still has an occasional rough night and cries before naps- I'm doing my best to stick with the program. 

This is my motivation: 
If you are looking for more info on sleep training your infant or toddler- I highly recommend Dr. Marc Weissbluth's book- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It's the best. I'm off to get some sleep ;)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What's Tia Doing?

Let's see what Tia is up to, shall we?
Eatin' some corn dog with her besties at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Jetting off to NYC twice in less than two weeks and hittin' up some D&D

Dining with this handsome guy at Bouchon.

And, of course, because she's got to keep that bootie high and tight- she follows it up with a juice cleanse. What's Tia Doing? Eliminating, apparently. 
Sorry Ti. Love you. (if it makes you feel any better, the only thing I've eliminated this week were a couple dozen Girl Scout cookies).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lorax Love

The Lorax is one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books. I love it not only because it conceptualizes something like deforestation in a way that's easy for little minds to grasp, but also because of the classic Seuss syntax. The Lorax is chock-full of my favorite Seussisms, with ridiculous words like "Snergelly" and "miff-muffered moof"that I use quite frequently now

After watching the trailer several times daily for a few weeks now, the boys and I were chomping at the bit to see the big-screen adaptation. We went yesterday and were not disappointed. In fact, we kept the Lorax love alive by whipping up some truffula tree-inspired crafts as soon as we got home:

In honor of the Once-ler's favorite snack (according to the movie)- we snacked on marshmallows (against my better judgement). This was Max's idea.
I think the finished project came out pretty cute! Want to make your own Truffula Trees? Here's what you'll need: 

Cotton Balls
Paint & brushes- we ended up using acrylics mixed with water, but I'm sure tempura would do
Straws- paper straws would have been cuter, but Walgreens isn't that fancy. 
White cardstock 
Green construction paper

Marshmallows & fat baby optional.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bananas for Milk

The boys had taken a liking to Ryan's pricey banana Muscle Milks that he had been regularly buying post-work-out, so I decided to try my hand at a simple homemade version.

It turned out to be a super easy crowd-pleaser- and a great way to get the boys to down a big old glass of milk!

For each serving:
1 cup milk
1 banana
1 scoop Vanilla flavored whey protein

Voila- light and frothy, banana flavored goodness!
Check out Mini Meals on With Two Cats for more ideas!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Haute Links

An awesome way to showcase your bounty of Instagram pics! The Prinstagram poster- found via Effortless Style.
In light of my impending return to work- some insights on Mommy Guilt. We've all got it.

1 guitar plus 100 fingers = Awesome. Walk off the Earth cover of "somebody that I used to know" found via Super Swoon.

String Art from Honey and Fitz. Totally Doable.
Quick Fix for chipped nails- via See Jane.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Leopard Limbs

Y'all know by know that I have a serious thing for leopard- and although I realize it can be a little Mob wife at times- I just can't help myself. We all have our vices. 

I've been feeling torn, however, about the new leopard print jean trend, but after spotting them on one of my favorite new blogs, Brooklyn Blonde, I was sold on the look:

There are still two problems with this look. The first is the price tag. These Current Elliot beauties have a hefty $198 price tag, and we're spending all our cash on diapers and Gogurts these days. But then.....
I spotted these spotted legs via Kendi Everyday- just $23 from Target! So, just the second problem remains- do I want to draw that sort of attention to my thighs in their current state? Probably not, but for 23 bucks, I'm willing to find out!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mommy Musties

Some thoughts on motherhood...

I am a firm believer of the old saying, "It takes a a village to raise a child."  In this country, we pride ourselves on our independence. In our culture, living with one's parents after the college years is considered an embarrassment and purchasing one's own home is the epitome of achieving the American dream. This is all fine and good, but then, it's time to have babies, and our husbands go back to work and we are left all alone in our big quiet homes, looking at our fussy babies and thinking guiltily, when can I put you down and take a shower/go to the bathroom/read a freaking magazine?

This independence that we've worked so hard to achieve can sometimes leave us feeling isolated when we're raising a child. I'm certainly not qualified to make this kind of diagnosis, but I have a hunch that the prevalence of "baby blues" and mild post-partum depression are actually exacerbated by this sense of isolation. Way back in the day (and still today in other countries), there were grandmas and cousins and aunties a-plenty in the same quarters, all arms-extended and ready for hand-off when mom needed a moment to make dinner or finally clean out the hideous maternity clothes from her out-of-control closet. Now I know that having extended family staring at you 24/7 has its serious down-sides as well, but I'm just saying, being home alone with a baby, while it can be equally fulfilling and rewarding,  can also be totally overwhelming and lonely at times- especially if it's your first.

So- thank heavens for Babies R' Us and Giggle and and all  other purveyors of baby gadgets that, while certainly no replacement for Grandma, make raising babies a little bit easier (while never passively suggesting all of the things you are doing wrong). Below are a few of my newborn necessities - some trusted classics and some new to me the third time around- but all totally awesome.

baby essentials
1 &  2. California Baby Diaper Rash Calming Cream and Diaper Area Spray Wash. This line of baby products is my absolute favorite. The diaper rash cream has a subtle lavender scent and the Spray Wash is the perfect solution for poops that need more than a wipe, but less than a bath.

3. When the bath is necessary, pop 'em in the Puj tub. Unlike cold, hard plastic tubs or  flimsy mesh tubs- this super soft but sturdy foam sink insert, folds together easily and hangs flat to dry on a wall suction hook- taking up absolutely no room in a small bathroom. Frank, as you can see here- is never happier than in his Puj tub.

4. We are forever losing binkies in this house. My house is to binkies as socks are to the dryer- they just disappear, never to be seen again. Our paci of choice is the hospital recommended Soothie, and Wubbanubs, which are Soothies with an adorable little plush attached to them, make losing your binkies just a little bit tougher.

5. I have spent countless nights rocking all three of my boys to this awesome music box rendition of Cold Play's greatest hits.

6. The Marpac Sleep Mate White Noise Generator makes their room sound a little bit more like the womb- and is also great for drowning out noisy brothers in the hallway.  This thing travels everywhere with us.

7&8. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets are perfect for a tight, but incredibly light and soft swaddle for the first few weeks of life. Because the Tank certainly lives up to his name, we've upgraded him to the more Houdini-proof Miracle Blanket. We call this thing the "strait jacket" and little man's eyes start to close the minute I wrap his first arm.

9. The swing. I honestly don't know how mothers get by without these.  All three of my kids have spent hours sleeping blissfully in perpetual motion. 

10 & 11. I was pretty grossed out at the thought of literally sucking snot out of Frank's nose with my mouth- but after just one use of the NoseFrida,  I was a believer.  Lightly scented saline Boogie Wipes are another booger nose must for both the babies and the big kids in this household.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's Tia Doing?

Being an awesome auntie.
We were excited to spend some serious QT with our Tia, who took a break from her exciting happenings to come up and visit her favorite hell-raisers this past weekend. Alas, Tia and her orange pants were gone too soon, as she headed back to LaLa Land to get organized for an upcoming trip to NYC, among other things.

My dear Tia has A LOT going on right now- some of it awesome, some of it not-so-awesome- but as you can see, she manages to look hot no matter what.

Ti- I am routing for the awesome and I have no doubt we will get through the not-so-awesome. You are too awesome not to and I love you more than words. xoxo

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bright Eye-dea

*Someone* has decided that he will not, under any circumstances, return to his crib after 2AM.  I attempted, in vain, to convince him otherwise until 5:45AM, at which time, I caved and put that little dictator in bed next to me for a whopping hour and 20 minutes of sleep.

Needless to say, I am bordering collapse- fueling myself with Diet Pepsi and leftover Valentines cupcakes to prevent impending breakdown and total parental negligence.  But, despite my exhaustion, I've devised a relatively effective, 6-step formula to combat looking like a zombie, despite feeling like one- and it's all in the eyes.

First up, is the agua. While I am tempted to b-line for the coffee maker first thing in the AM, I make a point to guzzle a large glass of water first. A facialist once told me that dehydration is the number one cause of dark under-eye circles- as opposed to lack of sleep.

Secondly- if there is anything I've learned from my mother, it's that you shouldn't leave the house without lipstick on (sorry mom- I've failed you in this department) and that you don't skimp on eye cream. Tia bought me the icelandic relief eye cream from Skyn and it has been seriously put to the test with my current lifestyle- and so far- it passes with flying colors. It instantly depuffs and soothes. 

Next up is my double whammy brightening technique. Benefit Ooh-la-lift goes under the eyes, and Trish McEvoy's brightening stick goes on the inside corners, brow bone and cheek bones for a natural-looking highlight.

Another key to looking lively? Keep those brows from going cro-magnon with daily maintenance. Grandma Cath just bought me these AMAZING illuminating tweezers that have a little built-in flashlight and make it absolutely impossible to miss a single hair.

And last, but most certainly not least, are the lashes. Whether I'm applying mascara or not, it is ESSENTIAL that I curl my lashes for an INSTANT pick-me-up. My Shiseido lash curler is the ultimate miracle worker- I never leave home without it.
lighten up


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Haute Links

For those of you in need of a little last-minute V-day help- these free printables (available here via Creature Comforts), are pretty cute.
Also, this quick and easy diy cupid adornment will Valentize any little store bought cupcake. Bonus points for serving it in the nude. 

 Another love bug, and the cutest play kitchen ever by Lay Baby Lay.

Adele looked like a million bucks at the Grammy's. I'm off to find a matte red lip.

And then there is this coat.  Enough said. 

Happy Valentine's Day!xoxo

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

20 Minutes.

As incentive to get our post-baby bodies back into shape, the hubs (who always puts on a few sympathy pounds when I'm preggo) signed us up for a pretty swanky gym and I've been doing my best to get the most bang for our buck by hitting it up almost every day for the past two weeks.

Included in our membership is free childcare and a variety of classes for the big brothers and a fully operational nursery for the Tank. While I never would have dreamed of dumping off Max, or even Hud, at a gym nursery at 10 weeks old, I seem to have no problem handing over my third newborn to complete strangers, some of whom have braces.

  Although Frank has typically performed very well while under gym nursery care,  I still try and keep my total trip within an hour- mindful of the fact that there is only so much bottle, burp, poop, and contented staring that goes on before the Tank gets pissed if someone doesn't know how to handle him  properly when he's sleepy. Mr. F.R. Grump 'n Dumps needs his simultaneous swaddle, binky, bounce, twist and shush executed just so.

This gym also has a fully loaded locker room, complete with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi- and I've been eyeballin' that jacuzzi like a shirtless David Beckham since day one. However, mindful of my self-imposed time-limit, I have yet to sink into it's jet-powered goodness....until today.

Today was the day. I decided I would go light on the cardio and heavy on the locker room. I would hop on the treadmill for a quick 20 minutes, stretch, and then b-line to the locker room to leisurely soak, shower and then blow dry my hair as if I had some place to be.

After ten minutes with my bubbly Beckham and a quick shower, I was still on schedule and ready to make it happen with a round brush.....until...I heard my name on the flipping gym intercom. I was to report ASAP to the daycare. 

Now, when I check in my little nugget, I fill out a sheet that asks how long your kid can cry before they page you- and I always check 15 minutes, which is the longest amount of time listed on the sheet (I once considered penciling in 20- but then thought maybe I was a terrible parent for even considering).  So, assuming that Frank had exceeded his 15 minute time limit, I squeezed my still-sweating body into my clothes and, with mascara-smeared under eyes and my hair wet and unbrushed, headed promptly to daycare hoping not to give any indication that I am the type of parent who would pencil in 20 minutes of cry time.

I get there, and my little man is a little red in the eyes, but otherwise chillin' in his Graco Snug Ride. I ask, "I'm sorry- has he been crying long?"

"Not really- about 5 minutes."

"Oh- good," is how I reply.

What I really wanted to say was:

"Ooooh- five minutes? Was that an inconvenience for you, or did you not look on the friggin' form that I spent two minutes of my precious 60 minutes filling out? If you had, you would have seen that I clearly indicated 15 minutes as my time-length of choice for screaming- or do you really only put that amount of time on there to see who the bad-parents are and notify social services accordingly? Because if so, you can tell them I was about to pencil in 20!"

And that's it. If you're wondering what the moral of this story might be- well, there isn't one- I guess I just needed to vent. And, despite that fact that he partially foiled my me-time plans for the day, I wasn't even a little bit mad at my chubby little man- I mean, how could I be?

See for yourself- fat cuteness:

Well played, chubby.

Haute Links

Potentially a nauseating sugar overload, but these Brownie burgers are too cute not to try. Via Cupcakes and Cashmere.

I never tire of seeing the genius ways that people makeover their Ikea Rast dressers. 
Campaign hack from Little Green Notebook.

For the squirrel lover in your life- one of the many reasons I love reading Raising Colorado.

This Sputnik chandy in Darcy Miller's home (Tia's other boss!) makes me want to take a flame thrower to the Pottery Barn number I am sitting under right now. Featured in Architectural Digest via You are My Fave.

You know you're tiny when you make Mila Kunis look like a giant. Image from my fave new source of fashion insipration- This is Not New.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First Attempt

How many times have you stared at an abstract painting and said to yourself, "I can totally paint that"?Maybe the only difference between some of these artists and ourselves is that we don't paint that.  I've seen my kids bring home paintings from preschool that, if done on a canvas, would likely be hanging over my mantle. So, I decided to put my theory to the test and splurged on some painting essentials- a few small canvases, some basic acrylic colors and a few quality brushes- all-in-all, about a $35 investment. Here's what $35 and some determination got me:

While the picture doesn't really do it any justice in terms of color or texture, it certainly is no masterpiece, but I think it's a good start. Mostly, I played around with color mixing and composition and was pleased with the original outcome, but the longer I looked at it, the more I realized it's basically just a rainbow! 

You're probably wondering how I found the time to paint- but the truth is, total home destruction was taking place while this painting was accomplished over the course of two days, but real artists are messy, right?

Here's to painting #2, and complete domestic chaos.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What's Tia Doing?

With my return to work looming in the very near future and a 10 week old who has decided he will now be checking in with me every 2 hours at night, I need all the help I can get keeping HMD afloat- so it's time for another potentially regular installment I will be calling "What's Tia Doing?"

Whether it be going to exclusive parties, or meeting sexy Swedes, Miss Tia is always up to something fun- so WTD will share with you some of the highlights of Tia's glamorous, child-free life - so that those of us who consider finding time to read a few blogs with coffee without interruption to be our biggest source of excitement, can now live vicariously through her various exploits.

The month of January marked another year older for Ti McGhee and she spent the day in style at the infamously hip Parker hotel in Palm Springs.

Tia and her awesome BF- Mike. One day I, too, will walk through those orange doors.

"Hi, I'm Tia. I play croquet in miniskirts."

Tia wrapped up the month with a little sales dinner with her boss- who I think you may recognize:

Hob-nobbin as usual. Pic from Martha's blog post here.
Stay Tuned for more of Tia's adventures. What will that crazy broad be up to next?