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Archive for June, 2013

Name Change?

So, here’s the thing…

I’m a little worried about how I’m going to balance everything (motherhood, career, stitching, shopping, drinking wine, matron of honor-ing) in the coming months, so I’m thinking I’m going to make a change.

A name change.

From Mer’s World to…

Tales of a Working Mom!

What do you think?

I need some sort of tagline to go with it though… any ideas?

So far, I’ve come up with:

… Everything from suits to sippy cups

… Balancing career, kids, and chaos

…Stories of shopping, stitching and sippy cups

Any of those grab you? Any other ideas?

I’m also going to move to MWF posting schedule. I’ll develop a new Facebook page that you can like and follow for all of the updates and new posts!

But, worry not, you’ll find the content the same. Just a different name, hopefully a different look and lots of the usual babbling that I normally do!

If you typically find this page from my personal page, be sure and like the new Facebook page when it’s developed, because I’m going to try and build a little distance from my personal page and the new blog! Realizing that’s more and more important with Maddie in our lives!

And, one last question for you-

What keeps you reading? The Maddie updates? The snarky comments? What topics do you really like and what is ‘eh’ to you?

Regardless of the answer, thanks so much for reading and all of your support during this crazy time in our lives!

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Friday Favorites: Ottoman Edition

So, I really, really, really want to redo my living room.

Like, drooling over magazines, pricing furniture in different stores, ready to schedule delivery ready to redo my living room.

But, I have a few issues (well, more than a few, but let’s focus on furniture here, shall we?!):

1) It’s got to be rugged.  With 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 infant and a husband, we are talking like military-grade fabrics.  Plus, one of the things I love about my couch is that it sits in front of a huge picture window that gets afternoon sun, which means that it’s got to hold up to fading…

2) I can’t quite decide on what the final product looks like, and I’d like to do a few pieces at a time, rather then redo the entire room.  Ok, well that’s kind of a lie.  I’d really like to take all of our current furniture and haul it to the curb today with a sign that says ‘FREE’, but realistically, I’d like to only have to buy 1-2 new pieces at a time.

3) I can’t find a dirt colored rug that I like!  This is substantially harder then I thought!  It has to be dirt colored, because our dogs have not yet learned to wipe their feet, but also light enough that it won’t be so obvious if I miss a day of vacuuming Croix’s super light dog hair…

4) There has to be enough storage to ‘hide’ some of the ‘kid clutter’ at the end of the day.  I’d like a space that we can pick up quickly at the end of the day (after Maddie’s bedtime!), and enjoy without stepping around tons of toys!

Oh, and we are getting ready to start daycare and have’t won the lottery, so price points have to be balanced with quality…

But, I found this ottoman on Pinterest and I’m seriously thinking about giving it a try!

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(Source)

Our Joann fabrics has a new section of indoor/outdoor fabrics.  I’m thinking of heading over there to see if I can find a rugged fabric that is fairly neutral that might work.  I also want to head to lowes and see if I can find slightly taller ‘legs’.  I’d really like to be able to put a basket or two under the ottoman- one for toys and one for blankets!

What do you think?  Am I crazy?  Ever tried something like this? Did it work or was it a complete disaster?  Any ideas on where I can get a wood pallet?

Happy Friday!

Traveling With An Infant- Airplane Edition

I love to travel and I’m really hoping my daughter has the same desire to see the world that I do… but, for the first time in my life, I hesitated when buying plane tickets.

My credit cards were ready to thank me, but my traveling spirit was pissed, so I went ahead and pushed the ‘CONFIRM PURCHASE’ button.  Ok, that’s a little dramatic interpretation, but let’s go with it.

And, then I panicked.  That is not a dramatic interpretation.  That’s the honest truth.

What was I thinking- traveling alone with an 11 week old infant.  I blame the wine.  Once again, must not drink wine and make decisions.

But, in the end, we both survived the trip and had a great time.

Here are some tips and thoughts for you new moms and future moms-to-be (and for those grandparents that insist on a last-minute visit!).

Note: We flew JetBlue BOS>BWI and Maddie traveled on my lap.

1) Think about your daily routine and how you can adapt it to a new place.  I didn’t have most of my usual gadgets (MamaRoo, Swing, toys, books, etc), so I had to get a little creative with what was available.  I realized that I can change a baby just about anywhere, and that sometimes a blanket on the ground is a better soother then a swing…

2) Think about what you really NEED versus what makes life easier… this was a tough one, cause lord knows, anything that makes life easier for a new parent should be in the *NEED* column.  But, I managed to narrow it down to this: Pack & Play crib, umbrella stroller, changing pad, diapers, bottles (3), formula (ready-made and powder), pacifiers, swaddle blanket, burp clothes (3), clothes.

3) Plan ahead- can you ship things ahead? Can items be purchased when you land?  I saved a lot of packing space by planning to purchase diapers, wipes and formula when I landed (ok, honestly, I mentioned this to my dad ahead of time and he went out and got it before we got there!).  It saved on things that I had to lug through the airport and I wasn’t stressed about packing enough to make it through the entire visit.

4) Borrow items if you can.. my parent’s neighbors had a baby a few years ago and had an infant car seat that we were able to borrow.  You can easily gate check one, which I would have done if Brian would have been there to give me an extra hand, but this worked out just as well, and gave me one less thing to deal with!  Same with strollers and cribs/pack & plays.  Think outside the box a little on this one and you might be surprised.  There are also mom groups all over facebook that can lend assistance or help if you are traveling to a location you aren’t familiar with!

5) Plan on wearing your baby through security (which means you also need to plan on carrying or pushing your stroller!).  It makes it so easy, I didn’t have any problems, and Maddie slept through all the checks.  However, I would practice wearing your baby- doing things like bending over to fold up your stroller, sitting down (in a narrow chair, to mimic an airline seat), and taking her in and out of your carrier or wrap.  I felt quite clumsy the first few times I did it, but by the end it was fine.  Wish I would have ‘practiced’ a bit more to feel more comfortable!

6) Take a deep breath and realize that at some point in the trip, your child will have a temper tantrum, and just do your best.  I traveled with my diaper bag (remind me that I owe you a review on it- I HATE IT!), which has two end pockets.  I stuffed the pockets with a bottle, ready-made formula, diaper cloth and pacifiers.  It made it super easy to grab the items when Maddie started to fuss and I didn’t have to rummage through my bag.

Here are a few products that I LOVED for this trip:

InfantTravel

1| Moby Wrap  2|Uppababy G-Luxe Stroller  3| JJCole Pacifier Clips

 4|TMSoft White Noise App  5| Similac Advance Formula

A few notes on the products and why I love them:

1| Moby Wrap 

This was the most comfortable baby carrier for me.  Maddie is old enough to ‘Hug Hold’ and did great going through security, waiting for the flight and sitting through most of the flight in this.  It was light enough that I was hot by the end of the flight, but not uncomfortable.  I also found it easy to wear, even when I had her sitting on my lap or eating.  Definitely practice moving around in it and getting your baby in and out easily.  My only complaint was that I had a hard time bending over to fold up the stroller, put my shoes back on after security (wear flip flops or slip-ons!), but I think that would be the case with any carrier!  A final note, I strongly advise wearing a tank top with a light weight layer over… anything more and I would have been sweating buckets!  I wore a Bravado nursing tank with a light weight cardigan- made security a breeze and I was comfortable at the airport and in the plane.

2| Uppababy G-Luxe Umbrella Stroller

LOVE THIS!  It’s a splurge for an umbrella stroller, but worth every penny.  First, it reclines far enough back, that you can use it with a 3 month old, which meant that I didn’t have to bring my big, bulky stroller with me!  Second, it folds easily and stands up, which makes it manageable to maneuver while wearing your baby in the airport.  Third, it’s lightweight and has a strap that allows you to carry over your shoulder.  I actually wore both the stroller and diaper bag on my shoulder, while wearing Maddie and felt OK.  It has a lot of the features of the Vista and Cruze I love, but in ‘travel size’.

3| JJ Cole Pacifier Clips

I love these.  They are sturdy, they hold on to just about anything and they come in cute designs.  I only traveled with one, and I wish I would have had at least two more.  Pacifiers are an important part of our ‘soothe’ routine, and I was always searching for one.  I wore the one we had clipped to the Moby Wrap for travel and it was so convenient to have it right there if Maddie started to get fussy.

4| TMSoft White Noise App

I forgot to throw in the Sleep Sheep, but this white noise app works in a pinch.  There is a FREE lite version, but I splurged on the one that is $1.99.  My sanity is worth that much (but probably not much more right now!).  It has both a hair dryer and a vacuum sound that settle Maddie immediately.  Save yourself some packing room and let your phone do double duty.  I missed a few calls and text messages, but it didn’t run my battery down like crazy and it got us through the entire trip with minimal fussing at bedtime (other times, not so much!!).

5|  Similac Advance Ready-To-Feed Formula

Formula is expensive, and ready-to-feed versions even more so, but it was so worth it to have a few bottles available on the plane.  It made me feel confident that I could feed Maddie (and avoid a huge meltdown!) in a matter of seconds.  I opted to just bring along one of her slow-flow bottles, and poured it into it and we were all set.  I used the slow-flow to try and help her ears during take-off and landing (the only times that she fussed, if she fussed at all!).  It forced her to drink and swallow more, which (I believe!) helped her clear the pressure.  Pack one more than you think you will need, because you might find that eating patterns are a bit off.  I definitely threw away more than I would at home, since I didn’t have a fridge available, but the convenience was worth it!

Note: I didn’t add a picture of our pack and play, but this is the one that we have for travel that I really like: Graco Pack n’ Play

Other than that, I would say check a bag if you can bring yourself to pay the fees (or fly JetBlue, your first bag flies for free!).  It will make life easier getting through the airport.

And, as tough as it sounds, relax.  I was a lot more relaxed on the trip home (having survived the trip there!) and Maddie was a lot more relaxed as well.  I think babies are sensitive to your stress and anxiety, especially when you are wearing them.  I tried to be kind and polite to the people around us, and in turn, they were equally polite and understanding- even when Maddie started to fuss.

Let me know if I missed anything, or if you have any special tricks… I’m already thinking about booking our next tickets!

XO, Mer

Holy Wednesday…

An hour with a screaming baby while your parents have friends over for dinner feels like an eternity.

The week before you start back to work flies by so quickly.

Someone told me before I had Maddie, that ‘the days are long, but the years are short’…

Obviously, we haven’t had a complete year to get real perspective on that, but I can tell you that these have been some of the longest days and shortest months of my life!

So, I thought I’d share some pictures from our weekend…

Then I realized I left my camera at home!

I’m really not making a great case for Brian to upgrade my current camera to one of those fancy ones… given that the last few trips I’ve not taken it and ended up using my iPhone camera (which by the way is the number one camera used around the world, so I know I’m not alone!).

The truth is that we snuck away to my parent’s ‘mountain retreat’ for some rest and relaxation.  Reality: HOLEEEE SHIIIT.  Traveling with an infant is hard work.  Taking an infant out of their normal environment can be tough.  And, every time I plan a trip back to Frostburg, someone important to me dies.

So, it didn’t really go as planned.

There was a moderate amount of resting.  Well, in reality, I passed out on my parent’s sunroom floor on Monday I was so tired and have never felt so old and uncomfortable, as when I tried to get up…

All in all though, minus the sadness that kind of hung over the trip, we had a good time.  Maddie got to meet lots of people (and got showered in gifts. Again.), Momma got a bit of a break with two extra sets of hands, and the challenge/victory of traveling with an infant was a good ego-boost.

I’ll do a separate post on travel tips soon, but for now, I’ll leave you with the few photos I had on my phone.

I’m off to grab another cup of coffee and sit on my deck soaking up the early morning sun before it gets crazy hot!

XOXO, M

What I love about visiting my parents- they spoil us rotten AND they have a sunroom with bar service!  Mango Tango drinks served nightly with a side of fussy baby and lots of floor time!

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I loved this quick afternoon nap with Grandpa…

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And, I know you all wanted to see my father in his bathrobe (that it looks like he stole from one of their cruises…), but isn’t Maddie’s expression great?!

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And, who looks more tired after our week of travel?!  Pretty sure you could fill those bags under my eyes with some designer shoes and handbags- and still have room for some cosmetics and other accessories!

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TGIFF!

Oh yeah, you read that right, TGIFF. You can edit your own vocab for that second ‘f’!

It’s been one of those weeks.

Motherhood is tough, exhausting and has brought me to tears more than once this week. For all you bloggers out there who babble about the bullshit of it being the sweetest moments of your life, I think you need to get a life. More on that later, though. When I’ve had a few glasses of wine and can let me thoughts on early motherhood fly. I’m hoping what everyone says is true- that the memories fade to bliss over time!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the ‘Madster’ to pieces, so much so that I washed all of her new clothes from Gigi immediately, with the jeans that she peed all over, and promptly turned them all light blue. I need a laundry fairy in my life real bad…

Yesterday, while traveling, we had quite an adventure- having her strapped in the Moby wrap, sound asleep and trying to figure out how to pee, pull up my pants and wash my hands… With a crammed full diaper bag, a stroller over my shoulder and a sleeping baby strapped to my chest. Oh lord, honestly, I cried more than her. She slept through the entire trip with only one little peep as we started the decent.

Now we are at the GPs, while Maddie gets maximum attention and Momma fades into the background with her wine and iPad for a mental break! One I didn’t know I needed until I got here!

The blog has been quiet this past week, cause Brian’s been working hard, I’ve been working hard, and the Madster is working to make chaos!

My hairdresser asked on Tuesday if ‘I’m loving motherhood?’…

Truth: I’m more exhausted, more emotional and more stressed then I can ever remember. My jeans button, but not comfortably, my energy is lagging and I’m freaking out about going back to work full-time.

There I said it.

I love my daughter, I love seeing my husband as a Daddy, and I’m looking forward to all of our adventures to come… But, I could use a few more hours of sleep, fewer hissy fits, and a few pounds to melt away…

So on that note, I’m going to enjoy watching Maddie get spoiled, while I enjoy a few quiet moments, a laundry fairy (who is already working on the blue clothes!), and a big old’ glass of wine on the deck.

To all you Mommas out there, I raise my glass to the amazing job that you do, however you do it and whatever you do to make it work for you.

XOXO,
Mer

A recent picture…

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