Monthly Archives

December 2014

working mom

just because it’s easy doesn’t make it right

December 23, 2014

It’s easier not go get a real Christmas tree. You don’t have to travel to the tree farm, strap the tree to the car, drive it home, bring it in the house, set it up, decorate it, water it, take it out to the curb after Christmas, or sweep up the fallen pine needles. But isn’t the extra effort required worth the reward of having the smell of the live tree in the house as well as the memories you make with your family to get the tree and decorate it together? Isn’t the beauty and magic it brings to your home during the holiday season worth sweeping up a few needles?

This is our first holiday with a toddler and we’re still working on determining our traditions as a family. This season we picked out a real tree together and decorated it. We also went to visit Santa with some friends. And we walked around the lighted garden of our community. But we didn’t bake any cookies. We didn’t go to lights at the zoo. And we didn’t even pick-out our little guy’s Christmas outfit, my in-laws did.

It was manageable to do some of it but it would have been far easier to do none of it. My husband and I literally had the discussion that we can’t just not do something that we feel is a great tradition or fun activity just because it’s easier not to. It will ALWAYS be easier not to. So we resolved to make the most of our weekends together as a family, especially during the holiday time which can be so enchanting.

uncategorized

online retailer + free shipping = winning christmas

December 22, 2014

There never seems to be any time, at least not any time available during actual retail hours. It’s hard to find time to shop when you’re balancing work hours and demands let alone adding a baby to the mix.

That’s why online shopping is winning this working mom’s Christmas. I should specify, online shopping WITHOUT shipping fees is winning this working mom’s Christmas.

My favorite go-to retailers include…

  • Amazon – Not just Amazon, but Amazon Prime. It’s my go-to for literally anything all year round and gets even better during the holiday season. Great, large selection and free two-day shipping. Can’t beat it!
  •  L.L. Bean – I have an affinity for L. L. Bean not only because they’re based in my home state of Maine but they also have the absolute best guarantee on quality. Plus they offer free shipping without minimum order.
  •  Zappos – Free shipping and fantastic customer service for returns or exchanges.
  •  Target – Hit or miss on free shipping, but always has the pick-up in store option. Most times you can find items cheaper online than in the store. So you can shop from the convenience of your home at any hour and swing by the store to pick-up.

Shopping at any time of day from basically any device is an absolute dream. It frees me up to do all of those other holiday things like decorating, getting a Christmas tree, baking (or think about baking), visiting friends and family. etc.

– JLVR

NOTE: Any online retailer that offers a gift wrapping option is icing on the cake! Especially if you’re shipping directly to the recipient, the few extra bucks is worth it!

motherhood

my heart will never be the same

December 16, 2014

Though we planned to have Baby V, I didn’t know if I was truly ready. That said, I think I’m missing that switch. The “really truly ready for motherhood” switch. The longing and desire to be a mom just never kicked in. I used to worry that there was something wrong with me. I used to worry that I wouldn’t love this tiny human when he/she arrived. I used to worry that I wouldn’t be a good mom. I used to worry, worry, worry… about me. Now I worry for him, in all the good ways that I get to worry because I get to be his mom. My heart will never be the same in the best kind of way that I never could have imagined.

grass is greener

there’s no crying in Target

December 15, 2014

When I was newly back to work I ran to the Target down the street on my lunch break to pick-up some essentials for Baby V. Thankfully it’s close enough to my office that I can make a quick run midday rather than having to stop on my commute home further delaying precious cuddle time my little guy. While snatching up some essentials (if you don’t have the Target Mobile Coupons – get ‘em!), I heard a woman chatting but didn’t hear anyone responding. I peeked around the corner to see a chubby little half asleep babe snuggled in her bucket seat. Her mom lazily strolling the aisles and chatting with her as she looked through a clearance rack of clothes. I literally had to fight back tears. Here I was running through the store snatching up a few items before getting back to the office to begin the second half of my workday and these ladies were having a leisurely shopping trip together. I really missed V in that moment. Some days being away is easier than others.

working mom

LOFT sale – style that baby bump

December 10, 2014

Time to style that baby bump for work on a steal! Get over to the LOFT.com to check-out their sale – 50% + free shipping! They have some awesome maternity staple pieces which are on my MUST HAVE list for anyone expecting.

Don’t forget to dress up your style with a little bling!

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Happy Hunting!

LV ♥

– JLVR

routine

morning routine 12/14 months

December 9, 2014

Quite honestly one of the best things about little Dan V getting older is that he’s becoming more predictable. Yes, things fluctuate and change here and there but as a whole we’re figuring out more regularly what makes this guy tick. Our nights and mornings are so much better for it.

We made the switch from formula to milk around the 12 month mark and anticipated a fight. V seemed to be none-the-wiser. Formula, milk, whatever – he’s on board to drink it. We also began to go down to two bottles a day. One in the morning and one in the evening before fully getting V off of bottles altogether.

I was terrified that V was going to throw a fit in outrage. But we removed the evening and morning bottle between 12-13 months from our routine and he didn’t balk at all. He also seamlessly switched to sippy-cups and hasn’t looked back since.

So now for our morning routine, it goes a little something like this…

  • 5:30 – I could get up and go for a run (the operative word is could)
  • 6:15 – Dan IV gets up for his run
  • 6:15 – I make a cup of coffee then jump in the shower and put on my make-up
  • 7:00 – IV finishes his run, brings breakfast for Baby V upstairs and jumps in the shower
  • 7:00 –  I open the door to V’s room and say ‘Good Morning!’
    • He’s normally stirring and opening his door is just the kick he needs to get up and start his day
  • 7-7:10 – We cuddle in the rocking chair in his room to wake-up
  • 7:10/15 – Diaper change, get dressed for the day
  • 7:15-7:30 – Play and have a sippy-cup of milk and cup of blueberries in the bedroom/bathroom while IV and I finish getting ready
  • 7:30 – IV and V say ‘buh-bye’ to me as they head downstairs for socks, shoes and coats then out the door to daycare

There you have it, our typical morning routine to get the boys out the door and to daycare on time. As our routine shifts, I’ll be sure to post the different nuances. Personally, hearing routines of other parents has really helped us employ different things and determine what works for our family.

– JLVR

P. S. In case you missed it, check-out this post for morning routine 8/9 months.

newbie mom

pumping fail

December 4, 2014

Dan V was a little over one month when my sister-in-law got married.

I thought I was so prepared. I had tried to pump while I was home to get some milk for him that day knowing I’d be involved in wedding activities as a bridesmaid. I even had my dress altered so that I could pull the straps down from the top to hook-up Dan V or my pump – whichever! I was prepared.

That day began with hair appointments and promptly went downhill from there. Next thing you know I was shuttling my brother-in-law and husband over to my soon to be brother-in-law’s house to prepare for the festivities of the day, then I needed to hand-off the baby to my parents, from there it was off to get ready and hang in the bridal suite with the rest of the maids and the bride-to-be…. etc.

In all of the craziness my breast pump was left at my in-laws house, a 30 minute round-trip from where the reception and hotel was located. We were still getting acquainted and all, not attached at the hip yet – me and the breast pump that is. I hadn’t really begun to rely on it yet since I was still on maternity leave and breastfeeding V. So it just kind of got lost in the shuffle.

I thought “It’s OK, no big deal. I’ll be able to get together with the baby and breastfeed quickly, WE GOT THIS.” Get together with the baby? Breastfeed quickly? Ha! I mean I haven’t had a baby before but I had been to and in a wedding before, I should have known better! Not surprisingly a session with little Dan V did not happen.

I’m so organized, how had I omitted this very crucial piece of equipment?!

I’m not even sure the last time I pumped or breastfed that day, it all became a blur. After the ceremony we took pictures in the church and rushed into the limo for photo sessions around town. During pictures and on the limo thereafter I realized that I was in big trouble, really BIG trouble. I was literally bursting out of my dress. I was almost in tears, I had no idea what to do! My chest was hot to the touch and rock hard. I kept picturing myself standing in a hot shower and hand expressing with literally no time to do it. Either that or I was going to begin leaking through my bridesmaid dress as we were being announced into the reception. Either way = wedding ruined. (I clearly overestimate the impact my presence makes for emphasis really).

Thankfully two twenty-something boys, friends of my brother-in-law, came to the rescue. They stopped by my in-laws on the way to the wedding and dropped off my coveted pump. I have never been happier to see them. They were my heroes!

Not even 5 minutes later… there I was, standing in my hotel bathroom hooked up to a breastpump while carrying on a conversation with my Pinot Grigio sipping Mom.

It. Was. Glorious.

The rest of the evening was a fantastic celebration of a beautiful couple – without the distraction of a bursting bosom. We ate and drank and were very very merry. Later that night as my husband promptly passed out in our king size hotel bed while I spent a few extra minutes in the bathroom pumping directly into the sink.

Some things change, some things stay the same.

LV ♥

– JLVR

working mom

thankful

December 3, 2014

In a meeting the other day, as we were getting to know one another and discussing our home lives – a few of which contain tiny human babies – the leader of our discussion said the following…

My friend announced he was going to have a baby and I gave him two pieces of advice… 1. Never get up in the middle of the night and                     2. Never change a diaper.

After listening to my team members gasp then turn to look at me wide-eyed and open-mouthed waiting for my response, the first thought that popped into my mind (and consequently out of my mouth) was “Oh… we’re so not going to be friends.” This comment then prompted further explanation on his part, the gist of which was himself digging a hole.

Personally, I cannot think of a more ludicrous statement to make to a working mom. It’s 2014! That old school thought process is just not going to fly.

Luckily, I have the pleasure of being married to a truly ridiculous human man. For all of the things that drive me insane about him I can emphatically say that I’m thankful we are in this life together 100%. We created Baby V together, he and the responsibilities that come with him are no more my husband’s than they are mine. Whether getting up in the middle of the night or changing diapers, making the family dinner, taking V to daycare or tucking him in at night – we’re in it to win it together.

I’m thankful that my husband sees us as equals and wants to participate fully in all aspects of our lives together (with the exception of cleaning our bathrooms). I’m thankful that he is more excited for and proud of my career achievements than I am. I’m thankful that his love for our family is truly unconditional.

He does so much for us. I’m very lucky to have him as my true partner.