Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why Are There Scissors In Toddler Doctor Kits?

Dear Kids Dr. Kits,

What's up with the scissors? I know why a doctor would use them, but my three-year-old thinks his doctor is going to give him a quick trim at his next appointment.

Him: "Mommy, do you need a check-up?"

Me: "Yep."

Him in a little singsong/casual voice as if he does this everyday: "Let me check your heart." [Grabs stethoscope]. "It's good."

He returns to the kit and comes back with an otoscope. "Now let me look in year ear." [Looks.] "Yep, that's good, too."

He returns to the kit and comes back with the scissors. "Now let me cut your hair." [Starts cutting my hair.]

Me: "You know doctors don't give haircuts, right?"

Him: "Yes they do."

Guys, and I mean all y'all because every kit contains scissors, you have an otoscope in the kit and scissors were the best ninth medical device you could come up with? Call Welch Allyn and have them brainstorm for you. Or just add some band-aids. They take a lot less explanation.

Best,
annie

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Everyone Stop Telling Me To Enjoy This.

Today I read another post about cherishing these days that are so long. I teared up. And then I wrote this.

I walked out of Target with my two little boys in tow the other day, the baby screeching happily about something fantastic, and my three-year-old happily holding a Spiderman-branded item he'd talked me into buying like he was a damn Enron executive selling employee stock. I know, like only a mother can, that his fierce negotiation skills do not lead to a good place.

Anyway, on this walk out, we passed a woman in her fifties. I saw her smile the nostalgic smile I've seen so many times from similar women. I gave her my standard Cheshire cat grin back. You know the one, ladies. It says, "Yep, my life is pretty awesome right now, in case you couldn't tell, but I know you can because you wish you had these years back! I've got two little cherubs who make the cup spilleth over."

But then I remembered my day. Normally I don't work on this day, but I went for a few hours. WHY? For a meeting. Because, truly, sitting in a meeting talking about calories on menuboards sounds one JILLION times better than spending those same three hours being defied. It sounds better than cooking and then cleaning up a mess. It sounds better than listening to a three-year-old beg for TV and then getting mad when he doesn't listen.

Some people plan to go back to work full-time when their kids are in school. I'm not one of them. I plan to quit and get some time back for myself while they are in school!

I wiped that smile off my face.

I read the same posts you do. The ones that scream that this is all so fleeting and implore us to cherish these sweet, tender moments before they are gone. Here's a thought, though. A lot of people said the same thing about high school. Then they said it about college. I look back nostalgically on those times. I have the appropriate pictures filed in albums to remember them and, thanks to facebaook, I relive them every Thursday now as well. However, I would not ever choose to rewind the years to that point. It was truly once-in-a-lifetime, because it is meant to be only once-in-a-lifetime.

I don't want to leave my family for the first time or live in disgusting off-campus housing ever again. I don't want to be able to easily attend a party and then go to class the next day. I don't want to walk to parties in 10 degree weather. These were awful times that would have killed me had they continued!

I hope, truly I do, that in 15 years when my kids are almost grown I will not be sad. I hope I will remember that this muck I'm in right now is hard and stop any incipient tears because the day is formidable when every second is devoted to entertaining/battling/teaching a small child. And it truly is every second of 13+ hours which doesn't sit well with me. I need time to recharge and a few hours a night aren't cutting it.

Will I miss this when he tells me he's off to see his friends or go golfing with his dad?

I'm not so sure. I think I will revel in my newfound, lost ability to sit down and read a book at an hour other than 10pm. I think I'll enjoy a few moments to pay bills, check email, or review a deck without my presence being demanded in the other room while my guilt builds. I think I'll delight in running to the store without convincing anyone of the need for clothes for such an excursion while simultaneously filling a huge bag to the brim with snacks and diapers.

I'll miss the hugs and high voices, the questions and admiration, the curiosity and unbounded energy but I know there will be new things like intelligent conversations and friendship to fill the places we've moved past.

I want to move on because a few more years of this will kill me.

Have we all been mistaking those smiles at Target from our predecessors for nostalgia when they are could very well be joy? We're going home with our kids while they are headed back to read a book and eat something other than string cheese.

Monday, March 16, 2015

eShakti Fashion Review and I Love Birds.

Ok, it's time for a note from our sponsors! And by sponsors, I mean the retailer who gave me clothes to write about. I'm easy. Clothes, cute flats, or pretzel M&Ms and you've unlocked my heart.
 
A new online retailer, eShakti, asked if I would choose an article of clothing from their line and write a review. This is somewhat ironic given a previous string of posts I wrote about why I could never be a fashion blogger, but I thought,"Ummmm, you're going to send me clothes to write about? Sounds like a dream."
 
I googled eShakti before committing and finding other bloggers raving about their clothing, felt safe and secure. As I said, it doesn't take much. I happily obliged.
 
eShakti's point of differentiation in the online fashion space is customization. Now, in a world where the toothpaste aisle is overwhelming and Stitchfix has capitalized on womens' desire to look great without deciding how, I wondered if this site would dish up another long list of choices I didn't feel like making.

 
My over-optioned brain, that will burst one day in front of a Coke Freestyle machine, was thrilled that eShakti provides customization within a framework. Clothing can be tailored to taste, but there are not enough choices to make you close your browser and vow to wear homespun for the rest of your days.


Huge news: they just added PANTS. The ability to customize every measurement imaginable on a pair of pants is life-changing for someone who is just barely 5' 3''.
Bird, bird, bird.

Ok, back to my review. When it came to choose my piece, I was only overwhelmed in so far as I could not decide what to try. Top? Dress? Jacket? I perused the website and found some birds. Has anyone else noticed bird prints everywhere? I've been wondering for months if I'm bold enough for birds and can now confidently report that I am. 

I chose their standard size, included my height so the shirt wouldn't double as a dress, and got to customizing. My bird shirt was shown with cap sleeves, but I chose three-quarters from the eight sleeve-options available. I really just wanted to maximize the number of birds on my person. Go big bird or stay home.

Sadly, my bird shirt is no longer available, but there are several other adorable avian options like this tunic, this dress and this cute striped bird dress. If you choose a dress, there are four custom lengths from which to choose! Honestly, I may make this the summer of the bird and get the striped one. Or I may get this vintage chambray dress. Or perhaps continue my stripe-obsession with this sunny striped tunic. Too many [good] choices, with such short nap times to make them.

The quality of my bird shirt was a really nice surprise. You never know what's coming when you  order online, but the stitching is impeccable, the seams line up nicely, and there is no bunching or fraying. Overall, it looks much more expensive than the $40 they charge.
All nos for the office, but the biker bird look
on the right is a personal favorite of mine.

In my last post about my new life as a fashion blogger, I said I would wear my new shirt to work and casually stop by the cool kids area for an opinion. Well, I did. I tried on lots of different options and ended on, what I call, the "professional bird," because at the end of the day, my feathers don't lie. I'm a professional bird and if you're going to go bird at the office, the rest of you should compensate.
Then, I went to work and got so involved in the day's events that I FORGOT to swing by the twenty-somethings and mine for compliments. No worries, though. I don't need anyone else to reinforce my winged fashion decision. It's a good one.

I highly recommend trying this out. Spring is about here which makes justifying some new wardrobe pieces easy. eShakti is stylish, high quality, and affordable and until April 11th you get 10% off your order with the code justalittletart (clever, huh?). The small print is down below. What are you waiting for? Let me know what you love and go for!


Teeny Tiny Print:
Code has to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box.   It is not case-sensitive.  
Code can be used any number of times until the validity period. 
It can be combined with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.
This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
Not applicable on previous purchases

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Things You Shouldn't Leave At The Office.

Just this afternoon I arrived home from a day in San Francisco. A group of us traveled there on the prowl for great new flavors and ate at seven restaurants in just under six hours. It was not for the weak-of-stomach.

Before I left for this trip, I left my power cord at the office. While traveling, I stopped at two airport stores and even left a restaurant on the culinary tour to run across the street to a RadioShack (who knew those still exist?) to find a charge. Alas, Microsoft does not supply their cord to just any retailer so for 36 hours, I rationed my power like it was butter and WWII was raging.

A power cord sure is an annoying thing to leave at the office.

You know what else is? YOUR KIDS.

While I was away my husband managed (ie: parented) our children on his own. I arrived home much sooner than expected because another ice storm is upon Dallas and we moved our flight to a ridiculously early morning hour to beat it home.

Back in Dallas, I had time to go to the office, grab my power cord, check on a few things and then head home to see all my boys.

A few days a week, our little guys attend school at my husband's office. It's super convenient and has lots of perks since the parents are always milling around and can pop in at any time to see what's happening. Today was a school day.

At home, I puttered around waiting for them to arrive from work/school and assumed it was taking a bit longer because the storm was starting to whip up. I heard the garage door open and ran over to give my three-year-old a big hug. My husband walked in and my face dropped a little bit. I love him, but I wanted a three-year-old hug and squeal. I quickly there were no screams of, "Mommy! Mommy!" and no accompanying scamper.

"Where are they? Did you leave them in the car?" I asked.

My husband's face dropped and he said, "Oh my God. I left them at school."

I laughed and shoved around him to go get them out of the car.

"No, I'm serious," he said, "I totally forgot. I thought they were here with the nanny. This is my worst nightmare. Oh. My. God?"

"GO GET THEM NOW!" I screamed and off he went.

I'm not mad at my poor husband, who feels terribly guilty about the whole fiasco. In fact, I feel bad for him. As a mom, I know where my children are the same way I know when I'm hungry. It's just part of me. How do dads parent without the ability to feel their child like he or she is an extra appendage?

Bless all their hearts. And when you, Mom, are running through the streets of San Francisco, seeking out a power cord, remember that your children are a much, MUCH worse thing to leave back at the office.