Posts Tagged blogging events

Martha on my mind

At this very moment, I’m sitting on the floor, next to a pile of clothes, all of which I can’t wear tomorrow.  You see, I should be in bed resting up for an (exciting day that will start at 6am no less) but no, this is quite typical for me.

I have closets full of clothes, but nothing to wear.  I know, it’s the same song and dance for so many others, but I literally can’t wear most of these clothes tomorrow.

Why, you ask?  That’s because I’m headed to the Martha Stewart Show tomorrow, the blogger show to be a little more specific. (YAY!)  Why can’t I wear them? Other than my wardrobe being so outdated because I’ve been living in yoga pants for the past year, the show requested that we not wear black, gray or muted colors.

Uh, yeah, that’s my entire wardrobe.  I have every shade of black: pants, shirts, sweaters, socks–everything.  This shouldn’t be so hard, right! Rrrrrrrright.

I’m sure I’ll figure it out…eventually.

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Now back to the Martha Show, those that know me well should know that I love being crafty and creative.  I’ve always considered Martha’s recipes, crafts and projects the pinnacle.  At weddings, I used to be able to spot Martha Stewart inspired crafts or decor–I had every issue of Weddings from 2001-2004.  (Yeah, I got married in 2003, I just couldn’t get enough!)

Suffice it to say, I think Martha rocks.

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Today, I have Martha’s Pate Brisee memorized by heart.  If I’ve baked for you, it’s likely you’ve had it and never even knew it, but I bet a Martha fan might.

I’m an obsessive DIYer by choice, and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I see cards, paper goods and now, even websites, and think, “I can do that myself!”

Sometimes I can’t, but I’ll teach myself until I can.  I’m crazy like that.

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So, once the whole Martha Show started making waves about their upcoming Blogger Show, I couldn’t NOT go.  Many of my NYC-area blogging friends are going and it’s sounding like it’ll be a fabulous time.  I’ll be sure to update my FB status and of course Twitter with fun updates!

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that going to see a Martha Show is a dream come true.  Let’s just hope that I find something NOT black to wear.

And at this hour, that I get up on time!!!

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It’s Christmas time in the City (already!)

Just yesterday, we sat in a local restaurant and we listened to Jingle Bells.  Jack and I sang along, but it almost seemed so wrong, being so soon and all.  My goodness, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, right?

Too soon?  Who am I kidding?  We’ve been knee deep in Holiday excitement since August when we went behind the scenes at Radio City Music Hall.  Ever since then, we’ve had Christmas on the brain, but even much more last week with all the holiday-related events we attended.

Jack and I with Santa and the Rockettes at the Mom Blogger Christmas Spectacular Party in August

Jack and I with Santa and the Rockettes at the Mom Blogger Christmas Spectacular Party in August

IMG_2910On Tuesday, Jack and I had the opportunity to attend the Christmas Spectacular opening night.  Since we only had two tickets, when we were first invited, I toyed with the idea of just leaving Jack with his babysitter.  But then I realized that this would be Jack’s first Christmas where he’d somewhat understood what was going on, so I bit the bullet.  I took him to the show by myself.  Ok, so not totally by myself.  We sat next to my bloggy friends and their families.

We were seated pretty close to the front in some of the most unbelievable seats I’ve ever had to a show!  (Thanks, MSG!!)  We were so close to the orchestra and organist, it was like we were sitting WITH them.  UNREAL.

I thought for sure Jack would freak out, meltdown and do what his two year old self would normally do in a seated situation.  To my surprise, Jack sat still and was engaged for almost the entire show.  ALMOST.

Jack and I watched the Rockettes with the same child-like splendor and giggled at Santa’s playful scenes.  The biggest hit for Jack must have been the scene with the oversized toys dancing and that oh-so cute Ballerina Bear batting her eyelashes.

There were several parts of the show where the singers and dancers were performing right above us since the balcony seats were an extension of the stage.  It truly was an amazing experience, and one that I’m so grateful for.

Christmas SpectacularOrganist at the Christmas Spectacular

So, the whole night didn’t go smoothly.  When I said ALMOST, it’s like a switch went off right at the hour and a half mark, Jack got restless and bored.  He wasn’t as interested in the softer, more dramatic scenes and he made sure all the seats around him knew that.  We got up and walked to the back so we didn’t disturb anyone, but as soon as we got there, Santa was flying and there was all kinds of really great music.  At that point Jack wanted to go back to our seats…of course he did.

All in all, it was an amazing night, and one that I hope we can make a family tradition.  The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall is a show that’s perfectly suited for every family member, music lover and Santa and Rockettes fan alike.

We’re so ready for Christmas, but first, bring on the turkey!!

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Thank you to MSG for giving us an opportunity to enjoy a wonderful night out with the Rockettes.

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Calm before the storm and on the move

This morning, most of our friends and family back home are cleaning up after the big November Nor’easter. Even though we’re 350 miles away, we’re cleaning up after our own storm. I know, it’s not the same, but it’s been a crazy week for everyone!
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Our weather report is saying that we’re going to get hit with the Nor’easter this weekend, and if Accuweather is correct, I’ve only got a few minutes to write this post so I can hopefully beat the storm and go walk to do a couple of loads of laundry and grab some essentials at the grocery store.

So, yes, things have been insane around here. I’ve been attending event after event, and by the time I get home, I’m so exhausted from all the stimulation that I hardly have enough energy to do the dishes or cook dinner. Everyone does this sort of balance and yes, things could be worse…But damn, I’m tired.

In order for me to be able to attend these events in the city, we hired a regular babysitter whom Jack LOVES. She’s really great with him, he gets along great with her and the other little girl she watches BUT the main caveat is that she lives up in Jersey City. So, I do that walk up there by foot, even though on paper it’s 8 blocks away. It takes about half an hour each way, but on foot, with a stroller IN THE COLD RAIN, it sucks. So when I’m feeling baller, we take the $10 cab. Great childcare, even though it’s a trek, is worth it. Right?

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But aside from that whole babysitter situation, we’ve got the house hunting stuff going on. This journey is much more personal since it’s the biggest financial investment we’ve made to date. There’s so much to say about the house stuff…but I always feel that I need to tread lightly on this topic.

Let’s make this clear: I love city living. LOVE. I love being able to walk everywhere, even when I run out of babywipes at 10pm at night. I love having so much to do on any given day. I love being just minutes away and having four different public transportation options of heading into the City.

Yeah, I complain about the lack of amenities, but really, the tradeoffs make up for it tenfold. I’ll say it again, but I know many people who don’t “get” city living gasp at how we live in such a small space. EVERYONE does it here. Some people have less space, some people have more, but we’re all playing Jenga with our cars, kids’ toys, furniture and laundry baskets.

That said, when I’m told to “hang in there,” I’m like, for what? I love it here. I don’t want to leave!

I’ve GLADLY given up certain conveniences for proximity to everything. However, my personal sacrifice is much different than my husband’s. My laundry adventures aren’t as dire as the 1.5 hr parking chore that Jeff often endures every night. Yes, parking.

Sadly, we don’t have the extra $400-600/month to spare for a parking spot, so Jeff must circle around our neighborhood hundreds of times before he can find an on-street spot. And ultimately, Jeff’s parking debacle turns into a parenting debacle. All that effort spent on parking has interfered with Jeff & Jack time AND on our nighttime routine. And that, my friends, suuuucks.

So, as much as I don’t want to move, it’s clearly for the greater good. And that’s not say I wouldn’t love having a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. Just right now, I love havinghouse in cedar lake all the other stuff more.  (But I’ll still complain about having to trek all that way to wash laundry!)

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I’m so sure my tune will change in time. And no, we will not be getting a damn minivan when we move to the suburbs.

And that’s where I am right now…but the actual house hunt is exciting. Last week, we checked out 9 houses in the neighborhood we ideally would like to move. On a whim, we checked out one house in a totally different neighborhood, and guess what, we liked that one the best. I won’t say we loved it, but there’s potential to love it even more. We’re at a crossroads about this house, but more than likely, we may be making an offer…

Jeff’s worked so hard on making this happen!  A huge thank you to him on that and to my parents for all of their support and encouragement.

But hello, that particular neighborhood is much more remote than we realized. There was real deer in a yard close to the house we liked. Deer!!

As we drove around that neighborhood, Jack saw this man mowing his lawn. I never realized this, but Jack has never seen someone in person mowing their lawn. I guess we’re not in VA enough in the summer to see people doing yard work, so it was hilarious for him to yell excitedly about a man mowing his lawn.

So, yes, as much as I love the city and living so close to it, I want my child to know the joy of his father yelling at him to mow the lawn on a Saturday morning. I want him to have his own space to expand his own horizons. I want him to know how wonderful it is to grow up in a great community, just like we did. But lucky Jack, he’ll (hopefully) live less than an hour away from NYC.

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And after he mows the lawn, he’ll have his momma yelling at him to get dressed so we can take the train and go to Museum Mile and enjoy adventures in the City again.

Poor kid :)

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The conversation is changing

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about motherhood in general. I mean, besides my constant complaints…

Lots of cool stuff going on today–actually all of this week. As I’ve mentioned and tweeted about frequently, as a blogger and writer, I’m often asked to attend cool events. Today’s event is a rather cool one, and one that I’ve spoken about candidly, but have treaded lightly for reasons I’ll explain below.

I have such fond memories of my whole nursing experience. Ok, so maybe I might have wanted to punish a certain snoring someone because I was exhausted from all the on-demand nursing at 3 and 4am. But overall, nursing was just one of those things that worked out for me.

And if you know me or read this blog enough to know, nothing ever quite works out the way it should…

except my whole breastfeeding experience.

Ok, I vehemently take that back.

I might have pumped in a storage closet/defunct kitchenette for almost a year.

photo credit:  Roboto_san

photo credit: Roboto_san

Yeah…everything went smoothly for me except that.

As a full time work outside of the home mama, where I pumped twice a day was a small detail, right?

WRONG.

Oh so wrong.

Until now, I’ve never felt that I was one to preach to the masses about breastfeeding. Quite honestly, I know it may even make some of you, my readers, my family, my friends uncomfortable. I know this.

But that’s about to change.

Today, I was invited to attend the Bravado Breastfeeding Launch Event, which is geared to be an intimate event in NYC celebrating the launch of BBIC, the information arm of Bravado Designs. The event is described as being a roundtable filled with data and commentary where the BBIC will share their research and findings based on 17 years of expertise and as told by 80,000 moms.

As a  first time mom who read books, upon books about motherhood and how to be a “great” mom, I truly didn’t know nearly enough about breastfeeding. I have often referred to Kellymom, but obviously there’s so much more to know about the topic, which is why I’m so honored to have been invited to such a groundbreaking event.

From this event, I hope to share some new-found knowledge about breastfeeding on this blog, and perhaps, in print somewhere.

Mamas, no one should ever have to pump in a supply closet, dirty restroom or anywhere else that’s unsanitary. EVAH.

Stay tuned to find out what I leared at the BBIC launch event or better yet, follow me on Twitter or along on the webcast!

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Momma, mama, moooommmm, MAMA

Has anyone seen that commercial with baby Stewie from the Family Guy where he’s reptitvely saying, “Momma, mama, moooommmm, MAMA?!!!!!?”

Well, we decided that Baby Stewie is channeling a whole lot of Jack in that commercial. And Lois is so me.

It cracks me up that Jack can barely string together sentences yet, but he’s got that repetitive kid chant-thing down.

And when he’s not driving me crazy with chanting mama or another word over and over and over and OVER, Jack is otherwise as cute as ever. His verbal skills and vocabulary continue to flourish, which is a constant reminder that I really do need to stop dropping the Fbombs.

Old habits die hard.

A few of the cutest things he says though are “Patsy” which means pizza, the way he answers “yeah” to every question you ask and especially the way he says “thankyouyourwelcome” after you give him something. haha.

Thankyouyourwelcome is THE greatest. He understands that ‘thank you’ and ‘your welcome’ go hand in hand, but he gets confused because I say them to him all the time. Though he gets “it,” I guess I never really clarified when he’s supposed to say what and when. He’s cute nonetheless.

He’s become so much more adept with our electronics. He can swipe the ipod with ease and point and touch his little games when we let him play for a few minutes at a time. When did he become such a geek like us!?

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As usual, I’ve been neglecting Babyrific. Truth is, life has been chaotic to say the least. Every week, I’ve had at least 2-3 blogger events in the City. Sometimes, I’m invited to more, but I tend to decline the events that don’t fit the scope of Nextkidthing.com or this blog. It’s been exciting to gain more and more momentum, but sadly, I’ve also become so overwhelmed at times. But regardless of how overwhelmed I get, I count my blessings for being able to fulfill my creative desires and spend as much time with Jack as possible.

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Because I go into the city quite a bit again, often times, I’ll need a babysitter. We found a lovely college student to watch Jack for a few hours at a time at our house, but her availability doesn’t always work with the times I need. Jack loves her and has even mentioned his older cousin Ashley whenever he sees this babysitter. The babysitter is right about Ashley’s age, and I think it’s so cute how much he loves his older cousin that he sees similarities between the two.

On the days where I need help in the mornings, I had to find somebody more consistent. Through one of our community message boards, I found a really nice woman who does childcare out of her home. In Hoboken, babysitters and au pairs are more commonplace than in home daycares, so I found this lady up in JC Heights, which is the town right up the hill from us. The location, though close, isn’t the most convenient since I have to walk 8-10 blocks to get there. But after Jack’s first day there today, I’m crossing my fingers and saying that it’s worth it.
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We’re still super tired from an emotional weekend of traveling and saying good bye to one of our best friend’s father. Since we all went to school together and grew up together, our longtime friends ARE a part of our family. A kind and funny man that Jeff idolized for his wry sense of humor, Mr. Bill Stead helped raise 3 wonderful daughters, and one whom Jeff and I would walk to the end of the Earth for.

The weekend made me think in depth about our friends and family and feel thankful for so much– even those things that we can’t change or control.

Even the non-stop barrage of Momma, mama, moooommmmm, Mama.

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These are the days

Yesterday morning, before opening his eyes, Jack was already clapping his hands and requesting his favorite (but my not-so-favorite) show.

The kid wasn’t even AWAKE yet, and he’s all about Twist, Shout, Kiki and Marina. What the hell?

In case you’re not familiar, this particular show showcases some of the hottest moves for preschoolers. It even has Jeff dancing and singing about some damn “Loco Legs.”

;)

You guessed it; our sick boy is back to normal. It took 4 visits to the dr., 2 antibiotic shots, LOTS of tears and lost sleep, but he’s back to normal. And by normal, I mean he’s dancing and singing, screaming and jumping, too!

It’s good to have this craziness back.

For about a week, I had to cancel plans and dump our regular schedule of visiting the park for a few hours each day. No social interaction for a week—not including the nurses, doctors and people in the doctor’s office—makes for a loooong week. I guess I had a refresher of what the long winter indoors will be like. Let’s hope we find ways to keep busy with our local friends when it gets all cold again.

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Speaking of busy, last Friday was my one year anniversary of quitting my job. As I said on FB, what a year it’s been. One year ago, I never envisioned myself to be ___here___. Perhaps, I had totally different expectations, but I never visualized myself becoming totally immersed in social media and the blogosphere. It’s been an interesting transition, but a great one. I’ll have to devote a whole post to it later, but I love where I am. Love.

I love all the friends I’ve made, all the contacts I’ve met, all the events I’ve attended, all the cool experiences to speak of, but especially, getting to witness the little things with Jack each and every day.

Don’t get me wrong, some days with him obviously suck the life out of me, but the other days that are filled will kisses, hugs and snuggling, yeah, those are the days that justify all that doubt about me quitting my job and letting go of that chapter. Those days are the ones that make me forget about not being able to get those overpriced boots or declining that fun soiree that no longer fits in the budget. Those are the days where I want *maybe* 3 more Jacks.

These are the days that make me love this job so, so, much.

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It’s all about the bubbly

Well, not always…

When I’m not chasing Jack through the park or asking him to keep his clothes on (seriously), I’ve been attending a few blogging and media events. As always, I’m behind on posts, photos and updates, but I had to share this latest event.

Last night, I attended the Bubbles and Bubbly event hosted by Wisk HE, where I had the chance to taste some delicious champagne, get my bubbles read and yes, learn about bubbles and how it relates to laundry. It’s kinda ironic for me to be attending a laundry-related event with all the bitching I do about not having a washing machine! But I will…one day. And there’s still plenty of laundry to be done in the interim.
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Bubbles, it turns out, are important in sparking wine and champagne. Belinda Chang, the sommelier in attendance, advised us that we want to look for bubbles that “dance.” The more, the better, she said. The four different types of champagne that we tried were all equally delicious. Though I had to crack up that the “cheap” champagne was a $30 bottle. HA! You’re talking to a gal who thinks $20 for a bottle of booze is pricey.
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As for the bubble reading, my bubbles were plentiful. From that, I learned that I’ve been busy for the past few months (duh) and that time is on my side. Even better, I should be getting good news in early December…a house? a bag of $100 bills?
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IMG_1299After the fun stuff, we tested out the Wisk detergent on a grass-stained cloth. We did several experiments to learn that the wash DOES NOT need a ton of bubbles to work well. In fact, too many bubbles may leave soap residue, which could be an irritant, among other things. I’ll be honest, I’m one of those people that dump tons of detergent into the washing machine to make sure there are a lot of bubbles. But after the experiments, it was interesting to see that even with only a few bubbles, the detergent worked just fine. And truth be told, in some cases, the ingredients that create bubbles in soaps and detergents is usually not a good thing.
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Because of Jack’s skin and personal greener preferences, I’m big about seeing ingredients lists, not to mention we tend to use plant-based detergents as often as we can. Though, right now, we’re still working on a few bottles of a baby detergent that Jeff brought home from work.

All in all, it was a fun night to sip bubbly and meet a few other bloggers, some of whom were from out of town. I wish I could’ve stayed much longer to mingle, but I had to jet to attend the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower event. The highlights were definitely the bubbly, enjoying a night out and learning about the significance of bubbles. Oh, and I can’t forget: I enjoyed the car service that picked me up and dropped me off at the event, which was a Hybrid Lexus. It took 15 minutes to get into the city. Uh, awesome!?

*As a full disclosure, we don’t normally use Wisk, but will probably give it a whirl (on mine and Jeff’s clothes) since they gave us a bottle as part of the generous gift bag. Thanks, Wisk. Also, not all of the above photos are mine. The two that you can’t click on are part of the Bubbles and Bubbly set from LaundryHE.

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