Mommy Mondays- Initiation

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Feeling a bit better.

Because I am a writer by trade and by brain, I have chosen Monday as the day that I will take a short break from reviewing subscription boxes and talking parties and stuff to write a bit about life as a mom, toddlerhood, family stuff, life stuff, basically anything I feel like doing a little babbling about. If you just want box reviews, feel free to keep scrolling, they are down there!

*In addition, this post contains mentions of toddler bodily functions and the related wrath.

In our lives as parents, my husband and I have been extremely lucky on so many fronts, and I do not take that for granted. We have a healthy, sweet boy who will be two in April. And while I would never trade his general healthiness for any amount of sleep, we were lucky on that front, too. He has been a great sleeper most of his life, sleeping through the night beginning around eight weeks old, and, besides the occasional week here and there where a cold or upset tummy would wake him up, he has generally logged 11 straight hours a night. I have watched friends who struggled with colicky kids or kids who just aren’t good sleepers, and I felt genuinely bad for them, while in the same breath feeling so thankful for my solid eight hours every single night.  What I didn’t realize is that I am now completely spoiled.

Enter the holiday hell of 2013. We left our home in Colorado to spend six days with my husband’s parents in the Bay area on Christmas afternoon. We got to their house after D’s bedtime on Christmas night, and he fell fast asleep in his travel crib right away, leaving us to sit upstairs having a glass of wine and settling in. We went to bed a couple of hours later.

We woke up around 1am California time to our son making unfamiliar noises. We both jumped up, and Mike scooped him out of his crib. Our baby had vomited. Not something he does often, but hey, we’d been on a plane and he’d had juice for the first time ever (a small, watered-down bribe on the flight). It was surely just a one-time thing.

Over the next few days, he would throw up about a gazillion times. Oh, and he would also poop his pants approximately a million times in various explosive manners. He would cover both of us in things we never expected to be covered in, including one incident that involved me getting in the shower partially clothed at midnight, a veritable double baptism that I consider to have fully initiated me into real parenthood. Throughout and because of all of these violent excretions, D woke up no less than five times a night. Every single night. We were away from our home, all three of us exhausted and sharing a bedroom that was now semi-rancid, sleeping on a futon, no diaper pail or changing table in sight. I do not remember being that tired when our son was a newborn; I couldn’t possibly have been. I shed many tears on that trip for various reasons, but mostly because I was broken by worry, running on absolute empty, and not even slightly in control.

Following a flight where we took turns holding our ticking time bomb of a toddler while he slept peacefully, we arrived home incident-free.  We entered our house, greeted our dogs, perused a few holiday cards, and then watched and listened as our sweet, blue-eyed son filled his diaper and the leg of his pajamas and then walked directly to his changing table to request some new clothing and possibly a once-over with a power washer. We laughed at his perfect timing and felt so much relief at avoiding an airplane horror, and then we suffered again all night as he woke up every single hour.

His stomach bug ran its course, and he had one healthy morning and afternoon explosion-free. But that night he again woke up several times, this time with a steadier digestive system, but plagued with high fevers. The next day, the pediatrician told us to wait it out. That was five days ago, and our first night of more than five hours’ sleep was last night. He slept well, woke up at five ready to play, and seemed totally fine.

Then today, before I even knew what was happening, he was running a temperature of 103. I called the doctor, and she said to keep waiting it out.

I guess I’m not sure why I’m revealing all of this. Maybe it is to explain why I have been a little MIA for the past two weeks. Maybe it is to seek a little sympathy from the other moms out there (because seriously, holy hell). Maybe it is just to get it out of my system and try to sort out what to be insanely worried about versus what’s totally normal for a toddler with a virus. All I know is that there have been times throughout the last two years, including during my late pregnancy, when I have become acutely aware of why so many people (used to?) have children in their 20s instead of their late 30s, and this is one of those times. I’m tired and worried. I’m completely worn out, annoyed with the doctors who don’t seem to realize that my particular child is the most important center of the universe, and sore from constantly lugging around the sickly 26-pounder who normally insists on walking. But mostly, I am something I didn’t realize I was and apparently have been this entire time, and that is a real mom. Shit got real, (literally) but, even unemployed,  slightly chubbier than my fighting weight, and covered in baby vomit shrapnel, I’m still the luckiest person in the world. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to slam this glass of wi–Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Unbound Box Review- December 2013

So, after doing my first review for Pleasure Pantry, and realizing it was not quite our thing, we decided to switch to another adult subscription box.  I really wanted to have one in my line-up, but I wanted it to be classy, and the Pleasure Pantry box was maybe for a younger crowd.  So, after poring over the list of adult boxes on My Subscription Addiction, we selected Unbound. That was last week, and our first box already arrived!

Unbound is a quarterly box that contains adult toys, lingerie and other items to spice up your bedroom life. Our bedroom life usually consists of playing Rock Paper Scissors to decide who is getting up with our early-riser toddler, so anything is an improvement. Unbound is $65 per quarter, or you can buy a year membership for $220.

What is below this image will contain adult content.

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Unbound came packaged discreetly in a plain brown box, though the return address did say Unbound.  I don’t worry too much about that, though.  The inside box was simple and classy looking. I knew it was going to be more our style.

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The packaging was great and all the items were neatly inside, and there was a handy information card, although they were all frozen from being out with my mailman in this 7 degree insanity we have going on in Colorado. Poor guy.  Here are the details:

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Maia Wicked Wireless Contour Egg (with AA battery included): ($70) According to the information card, this is a 10-speed  “buzzing silicone bombshell” Well, alrighty then. Sounds good.  This toy comes with a remote control for wireless use, so it is a guarantee that men will love it. 🙂 This item alone is worth more than the box, so nice deal.

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Bijoux Indiscrets Mimi Nipple Covers: ($7) As anyone who has ever breast fed a child might, I laughed a little at these. They are actually very pretty, but it might take me a few glasses of wine to think that they will look lovely on. Well, bring on the wine, I guess.

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PicoBong Toy Cleanser: ($5) Body-safe and alcohol free, I am all about making sure everything is clean.

OOO Condom: ($1) Unbound includes a condom in every box, a very classily-packaged one at that Nice.

 

All told, this box had a value of around $85 for the $65 price tag.  Not bad! I am very impressed with the Unbound box. It is a little more grown up and definitely more in tune to married couples. Tired, busy married couples.

Mommy Mondays- Make Me Over, Someone!

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Photo courtesy of Birds N Bees Tees

Because I am a writer by trade and by brain, I have chosen Monday as the day that I will take a short break from reviewing subscription boxes and talking parties and stuff to write a bit about life as a mom, toddlerhood, family stuff, life stuff, basically anything I feel like doing a little babbling about. If you just want box reviews, feel free to keep scrolling, they are down there! 

While I have never been as trendy and fashionable as my best friend, I have always had decent taste in clothing and shoes. I have had my share of cute haircuts and great makeup days, and have even been called a fashionista, but lately, I am in a giant rut. While part of it is being unemployed, I also have this feeling that I am losing touch. I had been trying out wearing just the tiniest bit of makeup, thinking I looked natural and fresh. Then my dad took a photo of me and about eight of my girlfriends on Thanksgiving. What appeared on Facebook mere hours later (my 76-year old father is a Facebook addict) was shocking. While most of my friends are sporty and not full-makeup girls, by comparison, I looked washed out and chubby and old.

I guess that is the other part of it. I have 30 pounds to lose, and I am struggling right now.  At 6’1″, 30 pounds is this weird amount because it doesn’t make me obese, and I still wear regular sizes. Instead, it is just enough to make me feel constantly crappy about myself without ever feeling like it is an emergency to fix it. And it is all about food. I am active, work out regularly, and for the most part am fairly fit. Fat-fit.  I keep committing myself, only to get sidetracked and worn out and fall into patterns of eating crap that I have no business touching. I know I’m not alone.

I guess part of me was just waiting until I lost 30 pounds to start really taking care of my appearance again. I leave the house most days be-ponytailed with yoga pants and running shoes to cover my big butt and big feet, respectively. I avoid my hairdryer, bite my nails occasionally and mistreat my skin. I am too old for that. 40 is not far away, and I need to get it together. So here is what I looked like right before I got pregnant, just over two years ago:

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And then, here is a photo I took of myself this morning.  Granted, I have a cold and and I am still in my pajamas, but I’ll be honest, the finished product does not look much different than this lately.

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Frumpy-Mom-City! I need to get out of my rut, and while losing weight is a solid 60% of that battle, I need to figure the rest of me out, too. Without waiting for the weight loss to magically make me a supermodel. (that is what happens, right?)  I made a cut and color appointment for this week, have sworn off yoga pants and running shoes unless I am actually working out, and am getting back to a little more makeup in my life. And guess what, my blowdryer and I now have a daily appointment. Eat right, move more, and do the things to yourself that that make you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror. My husband and son deserve to have the confident, happy me around, but honestly, so do I. For Christmas this year, I give myself the gift of de-frumping, de-chubbing, and becoming the cute mommy I am supposed to be. How would YOU make over this frumpy mommy? I’m in your hands.

Bespoke Post for November

I decided to go ahead and go for the Bespoke Post November box. The one I am defaulted to is the Refresh box, which is a nice-looking dopp kit full of deluxe size samples of great men’s stuff. My husband has recently been lamenting the loss of his “goodie bag” as he calls it, and is in need a of a great new dopp bag, so this will be perfect for a Christmas gift, and it will be like a whole nother stocking filled with all of those goodies.  I am excited to get it, and I know he will like it for his many work trips. This is what the contents of the box will look like:

I wish they would do one for women!

Up until recently, Mike has never been a product guy, but I got him the PopSugar Summer Men’s bag this year, and he puts on the moisturizer that was in there every day. I swear I can see an improvement in his skin. We Colorado-dwellers need moisturizer, male or female! I think he will enjoy trying this stuff out. So, yay for a Bespoke box in November!

Oh, The Insanity

I took this photo when Mike and I were at a football game a couple weeks ago. I was peeing while I took it; I’m classy like that. It was written on the inside of the stall door at about peeing-level. It made me laugh so hard, because, honestly, this is a pretty permanent solution to a temporary problem, amirite?  It did make me look right away though, and yes, there was some TP. Phew.

Now on to more important things, most notably, how I am a slacker and have not reviewed anything yet.

I am not sure how things can seem so out-of-hand busy when I am not working AND the boy is still in school most of the time. Job hunting has been taking its toll on me, and I am still waiting to hear on one offer. (Cross your fingers.  Right now!)

I WILL start reviewing boxes here soon.  I lied on the boxes I said I was going to review last week, but I swear, I will start with November boxes and review with gusto. I’ll be looking at PopSugar, ipsy, Citrus Lane, Bespoke (maybe, if it looks like something good), and Bike Loot (my husband is going to get that one as a surprise, but not until after I open it and dissect it for review purposes). I will also purportedly be getting the PopSugar Neiman Marcus Box in November.  swoon.

The PopSugar Holiday Luxury Box goes on sale today, too, so I will have that to look forward to in December, as well as the start of Sparaj, which I am SUPER stoked about.  That box looks right up my alley.

So, yes, I guess I that this means I am more focused on the Soap Box portion of this blog until November, because, honestly, my ipsy and PopSugar boxes for October are already old news. (but I still love them!)  But until November reviews, you can just count on more babbling from me as I try to sort out what the hell I am doing with my life.

Happy Halloween to everyone tomorrow.  Mike and I dressed as the Blues Brothers and D was a policeman. We did it a couple weeks ago for Trunk or Treat at D’s school, but will probably dress up again tomorrow night for a trick-or-treating gathering at my best friend’s house. Having a kid makes these holidays so much more fun! Even when they refuse to wear their tiny police hats. 🙂

Stay warm everyone, and always make sure there is TP.

Tomorrow, a review of the Favorite Things Party I hosted at my house last weekend.  30 tipsy women bearing gifts.  It’s a must-see.

The Soap Boxes and Subscription Boxes Inaugural Post

Welcome to my new blog, where I will be reviewing subscription boxes along with discussing everyday things such as being a working mom, trying to get and stay in shape, my awesome family and friends, the occasional recipe or kitchen anecdote,  and the ridiculousness that tends to be my life on a fairly regular basis.  This week, I will be reviewing the PopSugar October 2013 Box, as well as a couple others that are headed my way, such as ipsy and Citrus Lane.

The way I approach my subscription box selections is that I allow myself $200 per month for monthly subscription boxes.  There are one or two that I almost always get, like PopSugar, because they are my favorites, and then I will switch out on some others, getting some for a couple or three months and then switching up to something new to try. If there are special edition boxes, such as the holiday box being released for sale by PopSugar and Neiman Marcus this week, (check the PopSugar site on 10/16; it will sell out quick!) I do not count those in my $200 per month budget, but I don’t always spring for the purchase either. It depends on if I’m feeling lucky.  Or rich!

About me…
I am a recently laid-off mother of a sweet 18 month old toddler boy, D, and the wife of an awesome guy, Mike, who is suspect of subscription boxes, yet approves of the abject pleasure they seem to give me, so allows the box obsession to continue. Both of these boys are the loves of my life.  I am currently in the throes of job hunting, so my life is in a bit of turmoil. I have been a professional writer for over 15 years and need this outlet to be writing about something fun whilst being out of the rat race.  But even when I get back into the rat race, I promise to regale you with my stories and reviews. And wine.  I just decided there will be wine here in some capacity. And wicked humor and posts about how I mess up at everything. (in no way related to the wine) Please join me.

Cara