Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy New Year

Yup, I know it’s February 1st, but this is my new year! January 1st is too close to the holidays, my kids are still home, there is Champagne to drink, chocolate to eat, fun and indulgence to be had—so I have a hard time letting go of the holiday-feel and jump-starting something new. I mean we only took our tree down around January 10th…

Plus I need a minute to reflect on the year, to think about what we accomplished and how we can do more—or less… I would love for 2016 to be the year of LESS. Less stress, less commitment, less racing, less time feeling frantic. But LESS only makes me crave MORE!

I find myself thinking about “more” a lot. How do I get more work in a day, how can we fit in more activities for the kids, how can I book more jobs or events, how can I cram more appointments in one day? Honestly MORE can be too much for me… I am worn out from the MORE.

But at the same time MORE is the goal right? MORE time for friends and family, more volunteering, more helping Liam with school, more time for Connor, more playdates, more fun, more adventure, more enjoyment.

Maybe this is the year of LESS becoming MORE? Maybe it’s a year of BALANCE? The notion seems impossible, I feel like I’m more likely to look out my window and spy a unicorn dancing on a rainbow than achieve a balanced life. But you know what? It’s February 1st and it’s a sunny 64 degrees outside, so it appears that anything is possible.

So I wish you a Happy New Year—and even though I am late to the party, I hope you’re rocking your resolutions, because we’re all capable of transforming the impossible into achievable, we just have to try. And that’s the key, believing we can do it makes it happen.

I don’t think it’s going to be easy, in fact I think it’s going to be pretty hard, but today I took an important step—I took MORE time for myself to write in this blog. And while it may not be my best work, it actually happened for the first time in way too many months and it feels amazing to shake off the cobwebs and breathe life into this blog again.

That’s my resolution—turning aspirations into reality. Well, more or less….

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Egg on My Face

I have horrible blackheads on my nose and I have tried everything for the better part of 25 years to get rid of them and nothing has worked... I used lotions and potions, that strange metal tool with the holes, spinning brushes—you name it, it didn't work for me.

So the other day I went to Pinterest in search of a natural remedy. I was surprised to find that many said to use egg whites... I was curious, and I happen to have a hankering for an omelette so why not. 

Here is my before picture—my nose pre-egging:

Now all of the pieces I read said to brush on three layers. So I used a basting brush because I couldn't think of another way to "brush" it on... And yes, I felt completely ridiculous...

I did the first layer and was more than a little shocked to feel it start to tighten, then I did a second and a third layer—keeping them very thin or the egg white would start to run off the tip of my nose (a little gross, but true!) It tightened right up, similar to how a Bioré strip feels. Now, some sites said you could peel it off, but I could not get a grip on it. It was kind of flakey at the edges, so I just washed it off and you know what it worked!

Here is the post-egg pic:

OK, so I still have blackheads... I am not saying this was a miracle treatment, but man it really did work. And it only took about 10 minutes total.

So hey next time you are enjoying some eggs, save a tiny bit of the whites and treat yourself to a beauty moment.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Smile Baby Smile

Oh picture day. That beautiful time of year when your child’s image is captured for yearbooks, mouse pads and mugs.

Unless these are their pictures….

Liam. Sure his hair could have been combed or at least pushed down. {Remember when we all got little black combs to perfect our look pre-photoshoot? While there was surely the risk of a lice outbreak afterwards, our hair was flawless. Anyway, back to Liam.} Like I was saying the coif is not cute, but hey we think this might be a keeper. I mean why tempt fate to get one that’s worse than this grimace-y beauty?
But seriously, how did he get so grown up all of a sudden….

Connor. Well this is just, it’s just…. wow. I think they tried to make him pose but he was not getting it—at all. And the “duh” face is so not his jam. This kid smiles all. the. time. It makes me wonder if they even said, “say cheese?” Because this little boy is an expert.

But it’s really the class picture that seals the crazy. The hand on the hip, the tongue out, it’s too much—pretty sure there are a lot of parents laughing around town right about now and we are happy our guy gave them a chuckle or two.
Verdict: retake at the end of October, so stay tuned…

And there you have it—a snapshot into the elementary school life of the Mumford boys.
Please note: The fact that they are wearing pretty much the same shirt was not planned...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Summer Recap

Wow, it’s pretty much October and I am still reeling from the summer… I feel bone tired, wrung out emotionally and physically drained from trying to make this the best summer ever for the boys.

After all, this marked the first time that I have ever been able to really spend time with them—like since they were born—and it was a mix of excitement and terror with a side of complete overwhelmed-ness.

Back in NYC, each summer we traded daycare and school for full-day camp. So over the last couple of months, it’s been a crash course in what makes these two kids tick. And man, they gave me quite the education…

I have learned that lack of a schedule is not freeing, it’s down-right frustrating while over-scheduling leads to crankiness and meltdowns. And if you go to the Minions movie, your three-year-old may stop speaking with words and only communicate via Minion-ese, leaving the six-year-old to translate—it’s been about several weeks now, I am anxiously awaiting the return of language to this house.

They are also hyper-drive experts, moving insanely fast when they are in destroy mode, instantly demolishing a clean house, anything edible—and oh yeah, my sanity. But they slow down considerably if there are toys that need to be picked up or peas to be eaten. So there's that...

Their excitement can be ignited by one look at each other, and the results is either magic or mayhem, there is no in-between… But their laughter is seriously the best soundtrack I have ever heard, the fierce way they protect each other is inspiring and the simple ways they show kindness and love when they think no one is watching left me feeling grateful—so grateful that I was there to see it, to see all of it, the good, the bad, the stressful and the beautiful.

So was it the best summer ever? Well, it was the toughest few months in full-time mother mode, but even with their worst behavior, there were moments that were simply breathtaking and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Summer of Independence

I haven't been around lately because not only are we sweating our way through all the hottness, we are working toward independence here in the Mumford house. I have lit a match and started a revolution and I carry my banner of hope through every room, proclaiming parental freedom.

We started with Connor. The week between the end of school and July 4th we went into lock down with pants down—that’s right we potty trained. The first two days were a blurry mix of anxiety, crying—his and mine, OK mostly mine—pee, frustration, poop and lots of laundry. But by his 3rd birthday on July 6th, he had nailed it. Sure there have been a few accidents, but I no longer worry about him, he knows when to go and goes…
Independence from Diapers: Check

Next up Liam. We are tackling the “helplessness.” The never-ending asking us to do things for him, from getting his shoes to cleaning the playroom is over, starting now. We are working very hard on this, starting small and gradually building confidence and self-assured-ness to be more pro-active and not so reactive. One thing we have done is give him chores, which he is starting to earn a weekly allowance—to buy Legos of course….
Independence from Asking: Work in Progress

Last up: me. My goal for the summer is independence from self-shaming. I need to make healthy decisions, but why is it so hard? It so delicious to eat ice cream and sleep in, but I need to build my stamina to keep up with the boys. And fitting into my clothes is good for my self esteem and wallet, so fruit and working out in the morning BKW (before kids wake) are on the agenda with the occasional treat, because I mean, come on, a little chocolate has to happen.
Independence from Bad Choices: Work in Progress

PS: For Connor’s last challenge of the summer, we will be phasing out the BOBO! So be on the lookout for a crazed post about pacifiers in the near future.