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#MamaStyle

01/15/2016

Belle

I feel really good about my outfit today and thought I’d photograph it. Excuse the terrible photo quality. I did these with my webcam since my phone is gone and the big camera needs a charge.

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I built my best capsule wardrobe yet this winter. I am so pleased with how everything mixes and matches, and how no matter what I wear I feel great. Every single piece fits my body and life so well. Today I’m sporting an oversized gray sweater (hand-me-down from a friend), long sleeved black T (old from Loft), black compression running pants (old from Old Navy), grey knit legwarmers (clearance from Old Navy) and slip-on Skechers (clearance at TJ Maxx). The outfit is warm, comfy and perfect for a day of running around with my mini-me!

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I think it is especially important for Mama’s who stay home to keep a sense of pride in how they look. Just because we spend all day with a snotty nose tyrant does not mean we should feel poorly about our look. Getting dressed each day is a few minutes of time just for myself and sets us up to have another excellent day!

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I should also take a moment to update on my nose. I am so thankful for the amazing plastic surgeon and feel it was WELL WORTH all the hunting to find the right one. He did beautiful work. I will go back to him should I ever have more cancer removed from my face. I also had a dermatologist appointment yesterday for another spot on my shoulder (not cancer thank goodness) and to do a full-body check. She was so pleased with how my nose is healing and called me “a great healer who will live forever!” Such a nice thing to hear after all the medical drama of the last five years!

What is your favorite outfit this season? Would you be interested in reading more about my winter capsule?

Robbed

01/13/2016

Belle

Yesterday Sabine and I went into the city to meet our friends. We went to the famous NY Public Library (stunning, can’t wait to go back without toddlers in tow so I can drink in all its splendor), watched ice skaters and the zamboni machine at Bryant Park, rode our third NYC carousel at Bryant Park (fantastic small carousel that played music from my favorite movie, Amelie) watched some street performers and subway musicians, and then went to the train show at Grand Central Station.

Toddler meltdowns aside, it should have been a wonderful day with my friend and our kids.

But wasn’t.

Instead this cold January day was ruined when I was robbed on my way into the city.

I see so many parents on the train ignoring their crying kids while they tap away at their cell phones. I totally get it: sometimes there is nothing you can do to calm the savage beast and the only way to preserve self is to direct your attention to a handheld device. We have all been there. For the most part, though, Sabine is an excellent traveler and really enjoys the 45 minutes of play time with Mama. We sing songs, look out the window and strike up conversations with kind strangers. Trains are fun and so is my kid.

You won’t see me with my cell phone out unless I’m checking directions or Sabine is in dire straights and requires Curious George, stat. Otherwise I keep it tucked in my diaper bag, purse or pocket. Yesterday it was tucked safely away in the pocket of my diaper bag while we played hand puppets and Sabine flirted with a very cute young man across the isle.

At Times Square we stopped to switch from the 1 to the 7 train. As always, I reached for my phone before boarding the next train to confirm the directions and what did I find? Nothing. Someone had reached into my diaper bag while I was playing with my kid and stole my phone. Had I been one of the million parents ignoring their kid while playing on their phone I would still have my overpriced device.

I am livid. I have been focusing on being the change I want to see in the world the last few months. I help people down the stairs, hold doors, pay fares, give genuine compliments to people and tip the street and car performers. It makes everyone’s day better and, I believe, ripples through the universe. It helps me feel a sense of purpose when I am otherwise feeling very lost and confused. And what does the universe hand back? A robbery. Someone took my phone that was filled with amazing photos and videos of my tiny human, my dying cat, and my family. They took the phone that held our lists and appointments. They took my phone that held my period tracking, something I have never been able to do because I have never had a regular cycle. They took my phone that I use to navigate, call my family and text my friends.

I have tried mightily to find happiness here. I wake up each day with fresh perspective, ready to tackle NYC and make memories that will last. And then this. I feel sad for my child who has to grow up in this very fucked up world. I feel sad for the people who are robbed that already have very little. I feel sad for my family for this additional financial burden (we are very strapped for cash with our two sick cats). And I feel sad for the person who for some unknown reason chose to steal from the mom who was playing with her child. Fuck. You.

Meowy Christmas

01/06/2016

Belle

 

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Taking your own family photo is not an easy task. What you can’t see here is that I forgot my tripod so the Professor stacked a bunch of big rocks and logs up to make one. There is also a pony tossed aside in the bottom left corner, you see me holding the remote and only Sabine’s eyes are all the way open. Real life, people. Real life.

 

I am so behind on my holiday posts! We drove to Alabama for Christmas this year. Four days of driving for five days of visiting. It was nuts but we did it and Sabine loved her time Nana, Pappy and Aunt and Uncle.

Our drive went surprisingly well. In the past, we never do more than 7 hours of driving in a day but this time wanted to test if we could do 10 hours. We left NYC at 5 a.m. and drove 2.5 hour increments and stopped at planned stops. First Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then at a big playground in Virginia, next we stopped at the Roanoke Star and took a mini hike. Our last stop was our hotel in Bristol, VA and we got in just in time for dinner, which was at Cracker Barrel. It worked out great and there was ZERO crying.

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We also decided that on this trip whichever one of us was not driving would sit in the backseat with Sabine to play with her. She was thrilled with this arrangement and would cheer, “Back seat! Back seat!” everytime we switched drivers. Having a parent with her the entire time made the biggest difference.

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Another big change were the car activities I brought. I raided the Melissa and Doug section at the children’s museum and stocked up on stickers, crafts like this princess tiara and wand, and a new Water Wow. Then I spent a ridiculous amount of money on cheap plastic princess dolls that Sabine was THRILLED to play with. The princesses took many naps, ate many pretend snacks and even did yoga. When did my baby girl turn into such a kid? And of course, in addition to toys we had copious books and lots of videos that we checked out of the library. Each day of driving ended with a marathon of Curious George or Sid the Science kid. Not ideal but whatever gets that last 2.5 hours without any crying!

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You can’t really see it here, but we used an IKEA lap desk as a work surface for Sabine to play and craft on while in the car. It worked beautifully! 

 

The second day we only had 5 hours of driving time left so we were able to sleep in late, take our time getting ready and be on the road at 8 a.m. We stopped once at Jason’s Deli for lunch and then drove he rest of the way to my parent’s house. It is so exciting to know we can do a 10 hour day now and means driving to Kentucky in over day over Spring Break is totally possible.

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Christmas was a blast, too. This is the first year Sabine really understood what was going on. We spent the month of December reading Christmas books and talking about all the traditions and she was over-the-top excited to meet Santa when we went in NYC.

 

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Sabine in her Christmas dress. :) 

 

On Christmas morning she was thrilled to wake up to all her presents – tons of books, a few puzzles, legos, a tiny doll house, tool box, umbrella and new shoes. Her grandparents absolutely ate up every minute with her and she ate up all the extra attention. There was some pretty intense post-holiday letdown once we returned to NYC and she realized the grandparents were not coming over!

 

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My brother, sister-in-law, Sabine and I after we stuffed ourselves on Christmas dinner (beef tenderloin for the carnivores and marinated tempeh for the veg heads).

 

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