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Happy Valentine’s Day – I Love You Anyway

February 14, 2017

This Valentine’s Day I’m definitely earning ‘Mom of the Year’ status. At least it started out that way. I had a Pinterest worthy moment this morning creating pancakes complete with festive Valentine’s Day M&M’s which my toddler quickly branded ‘disgusting’ before they even hit his plate. Even my little guy refused to eat (vigorously shaking his head ‘no’ at the sight of one).

In addition, rather than adorning my children in festive holiday themed frocks they went to school wearning Star Wars and mint green t-shirts.

I tried to make-up for my gross display of love in the form of pancakes by leaving behind some cute Valentine’s Day treats. Which, with my luck, will probably backfire. I’m imagining a few tantrums before dinner prior to me arriving home from work. Happy Valentine’s Day hubby!

But I did try. At least a LITTLE bit to be on board today.

As I flip through social media I realize that I may be the only person on God’s green earth bah-humbugging Valentine’s Day. But hear me out… I have good reason…

I’m f*&%ing TIRED. Yeah… that’s my excuse… I’m tired. Just tired enough to be dulled around the edges. Maybe because we had to change our son’s sheets in the middle of the night when he had an accident. Or that he came into our room in the wee hours of the morning to Darth Vader breathe on us until we were startled awake to take him to the bathroom. Or when we got him back to sleep and his brother cried probably because he lost one of his 15 pacifiers somewhere in his bed (kidding he only has like 4). Or when my husband’s not one but TWO alarms went off this morning. (For the record he NEVER gets up with the first alarm – honestly I could murder him).

Facebook and Instagram bombarded me with eloquent descriptions of unwavering love today. My lover, my soulmate, my best friend? UGH. I guess some combination of those things is true. We’re not ‘lover’ type of people. Too SNL skit-ish for us. My soulmate? I guess so (cue eye roll). My best friend? Well he’s one of my best friends for sure but I always think of that new Kay ‘Ever Us’ commercial – you know the one for the double stone diamond (insert type of jewelry here) for your best friend AND your true love which happen to be wrapped up in the same amazing human being?! Quite honestly if my husband did consider this gift, he’s also ask how much it would cost to split the diamonds so as to give one to me and one to his cousin, who is his true best friend.

So this Valentine’s Day I’ll tell the many loves of my life that I love them anyway, because I do. I REALLY do. With everything I am – in the middle of the night, through two alarms in the morning and when they call my cooking disgusting.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

-JLVR

 

working mom

St. Patrick’s Day #momfail

March 17, 2015

St. Patrick’s Day is a huge day for the city of Cleveland. There are A LOT of Irish here. So celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is a thing. A BIG THING.

Though my heritage is not particularly Irish, I grew up in a household with a three-day stretch of celebration – my brother’s birthday, St. Pat’s and my birthday. It was glorious. Celebrating was fun. Definitely something I miss now that I’m a responsible adult in the real world. (Watching drunk people clad in green out your office window isn’t quite as exciting as partaking in the festivities.)

Last year, my little dude was 6 months. His very first St. Patrick’s Day. I prepared for the holiday in advance and got him a cute little onesie to dress him in for daycare to show his St. Paddy’s pride. Granted, the onesie may or may not have been for a girl… debatable… but at least it was themed so check it off the list. Done and done!

This year? Not so much. Two of the three of us left the house yesterday, the 16th, with green on. My husband had a green tie and little dude had a green thermal shirt. Today, the 17th, one of the three of us left the house in green. I have on green pants.

We literally didn’t have a thing to scrounge up for the little guy to wear this morning. Barely a stitch of clean laundry in his current size and none of it had a hint of green. Worse still is that we didn’t even have a save, like sticker or anything to throw on his shirt. (I made the parenting decision that an 18 month old is still too young to responsibly wear Mardi Gras beads, especially ones adorned with little green beer mugs). The closest we could have come, if we would have thought of it, was some green self adherent wrap tape from his hospital stay that we could have wrapped around his wrist as a bracelet. (He does love a good accessory). But no dice.

Sorry kid, you’re our only one (for now) and just 18 months old but we don’t have our act together enough to get you out the door in anything festive. We promise to do better next year.

#parentingfail

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.

pinteresting

hostess gift as easy as 1-2-3

November 13, 2014

The holiday season is soon to be in full swing, as evidence by not only fall/Thanksgiving decor but Christmas (yes… it’s mid-November and it’s happening).  It can be difficult to find the time to prep yourself for a party let alone a little something for the host/hostess. Who has the time to get all Martha Stewart for each occasion when you’re spending your week ping-ponging from daycare to work to home for dinner/bedtime just to wash, rinse and repeat? That’s why I love having an easy go-to hostess gift. It takes the pressure off trying to come up with something inventive in an extremely compressed time frame. (Let’s be honest, half the time we think of bringing a hostess gift the day of the party!)

One of my favorite hostess gifts is kitchen towel wrapped wine for a number of reasons…

  1. Wine is a great gift
  2. Wine wrapped in cute kitchen towels is a greater gift
  3. Kitchen towel options are seemingly endless
  4. You can never have too many kitchen towels
  5. It’s SUPER EASY

The great thing about this as a hostess gift is you can find everything you need at a few stores and have all items on-hand in a go-to spot to throw it together quickly and easily. What you’ll need…

  • Pick-up some cute kitchen towels whenever you pop into TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Tuesday Morning
    • TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Tuesday Morning always have deals on cute kitchen towels
    • Be sure to purchase some seasonal or holiday towels on sale after the season to have on-hand for next year
  • If you have willpower, purchase some nice bottles of wine (or booze) ahead and have them ready to wrap
    • For me this is a lofty goal, the wine always seems to disappear… funny how that happens!
  • Purchase some twine, it literally goes with everything!
    • No need to match colored ribbons, etc.
  • Grab some tags that you can personalize with a note, stamp, etc.
    • I used some manila pre-strung shipping/merchandising tags that I purchased from Staples

The steps are as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Kitchen towels usually come in a pair, wrap the first towel around the base of the wine bottle you’ll be gifting
  2. Next unfold one side of the second towel, place the bottle of wine wrapped in the first towel along the edge, then fold the towel around the base of the bottle like you’re wrapping a present
  3. Roll it up and tie securely around the top with twine, finally top it off with a personalized tag

This gift is perfect for any time of year and occasion – from holiday parties to hosted gatherings, housewarmings, etc.

Super easy, wicked cute, and aimed to please! Cheers!

LV ♥

– JLVR

working mom

happy halloween

November 3, 2014

Luckily Dan V is still a wee one thus making Halloween a bit easier logistically speaking. The only two things we I needed to worry about for the holiday were a costume for V and candy for the neighborhood kids. My preparation was impeccable for one and quite lacking for the other in what worked out to be the best possible way.

Impeccable preparation – Costume

Halloween2.jpg

V is just over a year which made the costume decision an easy one. Specifically, he put on whatever we wanted him to wear as he’s still too young to have an idea of what he’d like to dress-up as. Last year after Halloween I purchased two outfits from Toys-R-Us on clearance for around $8 each – a lion and a pumpkin. Both incredibly darling. The pumpkin involved a hat, which we assumed V would rip off of his head immediately so we went with the lion because it had a hood (and therefore, no escape). He was not completely psyched about wearing the costume at first but after a bit of fussing decided to go with it (mostly because he couldn’t figure out how to get it off). He was absolutely adorable. Moral of the story – if your baby is young enough not to care about the costume he/she is wearing, other than not wanting to wear it, get something on a deal and run with it! It will save you time, money and most importantly your sanity!

Incredibly poor preparation – Candy

Having candy to pass out on Halloween night was apparently very low on my priority list because it completely slipped my mind until my husband mentioned something the night before. Luckily we have a 24-hour CVS just up the street from our home and on my route to work so I was able to swing in on my morning commute to pick-up sweet supplies. It was apparent I was last to the party. Almost all of the candy had been snatched up save for a few bags of the classic M&M’s, Milkey Way and Snickers which happily happened to correspond with a few coupons I had clipped and was also marked down to $1.88 per bag. I was able to score 6 bags for $8. Gotta love it!

Side note… it took me a minute to actually locate the Halloween candy since what was left of it had been moved to a few far end caps and a specialty display area because the CHRISTMAS display was up! Yes, it’s Halloween and Christmas is already upon us. I shit you not. It’s not even NOVEMBER YET! I mean, can I get a minute or what?!

Beyond our control – Weather

We had planned to sit outside with V and pass out candy to the neighborhood kids, since he LOVES seeing other kids. Then maybe walk to a few neighbors houses and say hello but not formally trick-or-treat. Mother Nature had different plans. It was windy, cold and rainy – a trifecta of nasty which unfortunately kept us confined indoors. We still had fun passing out candy and saying ‘Happy Halloween’ to the trick-or-treaters but it would have been awesome to take advantage of the outdoors.

All in

All in all a pretty successful little Halloween. My preparedness and lack thereof paid off. Getting costume options WAY early helped me save some money while avoiding the last minute holiday craze and buying candy WAY late saved me some dough. Definitely a few happy accidents. Till next year!