Long before having children I discovered Tea Collection, and I fell in designer love. Simple patterns and prints that were feminine but not frilly, and seperates that fit together without feeling matchy-matchy. Jocelyn was born and I kept my eye out for the opportunity to splurge, and I have found many.
I am not one to spend a lot on everyday clothes for the girls--not with the way they like to roll in the dirt or spill black bean soup. But special occasions are special and usually call for something more inspired. Inspiration has hit me (and the girls) many times throughout the last year and a half, as you can see in past posts: here, here, here and here.
A few weeks ago I was honored to be included in a group of parenting bloggers and local media to attend the Tea Collection's Fall Open Studio and catch a sneak peek at their new line. This was a great opportunity to interact with their designers and founders, and learn about the inspiration behind this new collection. If you are familiar with Tea, you know that they pick a destination for each season. Walking in, I could see right away that their choice was near and dear to my heart: Mexico (where I spent my honeymoon and discovered I was pregnant with Jocelyn).
I nibbled on carnitas and sipped margaritas and listened as the two founders talked about how the company started and how they take their staff to each destination to learn about the culture. From flowers to Frida Kahlo, and luche libre to street markets. It's a bit of a departure (I believe) from their past collections. In past seasons they've used different prints but kept the same style of dresses and tops. They have stretched themselves and embraced a new fit, for both children and women.
The children's line is available now and the women's line will be available in August. I spent nearly ten minutes staring longingly at various items in the women's line, and I'm so excited that they have expanded beyond the few sweaters and tops that were available last season. Keep an eye out because you may see me enjoying my Tea here soon.
A special thank you to Nuala and Michelle from Tea Collection for inviting me to this great event!
Recently a teacher at Jocelyn’s daycare suggested that potty-training should be on my to-do list before September (when preschool starts). To which I replied like a distracted teenager, “Uh-huh,” and continued what I was doing. Many of Jocelyn’s friends have been potty-trained for months, but I have always felt that it would be easier the older she is—and by easier, I mean that it would be easier for me. Call me crazy, but I have not wanted to hear every five minutes that she has to pee. At two years old, she might have been able to tell me that she had to go, but I would need to be there to pull her pants down and then back up again. That is just tiring.
So she’s been in pull-ups for about six months now, and she uses the potty before bed, and occasionally throughout the day. I’m okay with this because I don’t mind diapers. I prefer them to accidents and (I figure) the longer we wait, the less poo I will have to clean off her pants.
This brings me to the diapers. I may not mind diapers, but I do mind the price and so I’ve learned to shop around. I stock up when there’s a sale, and I try different brands. Although with Jocelyn it has been tricky. She was born with an aversion to dairy, which manifested itself in an ongoing diaper rash, only to be made worse by Pampers [I don’t pretend to know anything about the formula that goes into a diaper, but they changed something, causing diaper rashes that bordered on burns)]. I may be exaggerating a bit, but it was the first time Jocelyn was able to say she had an “owie.”
Aja’s butt is friendly to every brand.
A few months back I decided to try out Safeway’s Mom to Mom brand of wipes. They were inexpensive and did the trick. This is important because I don’t usually do reviews on papoe, but a few weeks later I received an email about trying out the Mom to Mom diapers. I figured it was worth talking about; I’ve used their wipes, and I have two butts to clothe in nappy pants.
Aja is still growing her behind in a pair of size 4 diapers. They worked great and I had no complaints. Jocelyn’s pull-ups were like a good pair of back up pants. They weren’t as stretchy around the sides as the Huggies, and don’t have the adhesive tabs, but we didn’t have any leakage problems. My main concern going in was a possible rash flair up, but her butt remained clear. No leaks, and the ease on the wallet make it a very good option.
I will now stop talking about butts.
As a thank you for reviewing the Mom to Mom diapers, I have two $25 Safeway gift cards to give away. To be eligible, please leave a comment and tell me about a time something was suggested to you, to which you responded, “Uh huh.” Please note: you are not required to buy diapers or wipe any butts with your gift card. Damn, I talked about butts again!
Winners will be chosen (randomly) one week from today.
Rather, it’s trial and error. Or, a game of Connect Four where you plunk down three disks in a row, Bam Bam Bam, but keep getting blocked from winning, every time.
Jocelyn is not a morning person. This is something that I know well myself, but the soul of a toddler cannot be soothed with a brewing pot of coffee. If she wakes up on her own she is pleasant and cordial, like the dutiful daughter that exists in my dreams. This morning, Khary woke her up with a nudge, and she began screaming. Crying. But the kind of crying that involves more yelling and shrieking and sucking in air than actual tears.
Our reactions vary depending on the sun’s magnetic pull. The morning routine dictates that Khary dresses the girls while I get ready for work. Then we switch. Her tirade had yet to cease when I entered the lion's den, and I just didn’t feel like yelling.
I looked at her sprawled out on the living room floor. Her nose was scrunched like she had just sucked on a lemon and she squeezed her eyes, trying desperately to shoot tears directly towards me.
I was calm but firm.
“You can be happy or you can be quiet!”
I walked back into the kitchen.
She got quiet.
Could this be the miracle cure for toddler tantrums?
I can be sure that this won’t work tomorrow. If I wrote a parenting book it would be called: This Will Only Work Once. When All Else Fails, Go Back to Bed.
I’ve mentioned before that I'm skeptical of parenting books and parenting trends. There was an article on The Bump today about wacky parenting trends, like never saying no, or biting the baby back. I read them and laugh and, quite frankly, judge. To each his/her own, right? I often shrug and I want to ignore them all together. But it’s like a giant turd that I don’t want to look at, yet it’s my daughter’s first, so I want to take a picture. Motherlode is beginning a book club, of sorts, where the topic is parenting books. My first thought was, no thanks. And then she explained her first choice: “TORN: True Stories of Kids, Career and the Conflict of Modern Motherhood,” an anthology of essays by 47 women exploring how they navigate the need to nurture and the need for work.
I’m a working mother. I nurture. But I don’t really feel conflict—not in the way that many parenting articles try to cure. I have had to adjust since returning to work full-time, and it has been hard, but it’s the small things that are hardest: going to the store, trying to run simple errands between leaving work and making the daycare cutoff. I miss the girls, and I occasionally stare at their pictures above my desk, but I know that they are cared for each day, and they are taught and inspired and encouraged. They bring their new vocabulary and their new ideas and new skills home, and I feel like it’s worth it. At times I wish that I had savored my part-time-work-at-home status a little longer—my ability to have a leisurely breakfast and then take the girls for a walk. But I’m not looking at it as a choice. I didn’t choose work over my children. I chose work AND my children.
It’s questionable whether I’ll even find the time to read TORN, but I will certainly follow the chain of comments on Motherlode to determine if it’s this modern take on motherhood is really modern or just a familiar story of biting babies back.
Do you read parenting books? If so, what do you feel you’re gaining as a parent? If not, why?
Thanks to Trop 50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 fabulous wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to help grant a friend's wish!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” -Dr. Seuss
In the many months that I've been doing this little thing called blogging, I've gotten to know a few other blogs, and bloggers, and bloggers who blog about blogging or not blogging. Through it all, I've been encouraged and supported, and so now it's my turn to say, hey, these (five) chicks are awesome.
Andy from Crazy with a side of Awesome Sauce writes about her life, sex, two crazy furry felines, and music, among other things. She also is an amazing photographer, and she claims she has talent behind the mic. Her love of karaoke is one of the things that made me take notice, so much so that I even gave her a shout out on her birthday. I won't put my Thirty is Dirty picture up for just anyone, but Andy deserves it. She's crazy, and awesome, and saucy.
I've mentioned Erin from Mixed Mama Project before, and one of the reasons that I'm writing about her now is that I hope she'll keep blogging. We met when I was new to this world and she was growing a mixed baby in her belly. We commiserated over what it's going to mean to be a white mom of a mixed baby girl, and what the hell we're going to do about that curly hair. Yes, she is an official mama now, and little baby A is giving her a run for her money. She hasn't had much time to blog, but I'm begging her to come back....
Cheryl from Mommypants is someone that I have looked up to for awhile now, and only partly because she's a recovering sports writer (yes, I'm jealous). She's also damn funny. Recently, she started a weekly feature called Mommypants Moment, where she invites other bloggers to write about their "moments" as mothers. Fun, real, heartbreaking, or just plain hilarious moments in parenting. She's proof that it's cool to be a mom, and a mom that blogs, and to have a blog that honors other moms.
Dana is The Kitchen Witch, one of my favorite food blogs. But she's not all about food. She's a mom, a former teacher, writer, and personal chef. So yeah, she's a lot about food, but she also writes about her family, and she's snarky and funny, and she makes me want to eat and drink. You know, more than I already do.
I discovered Kelly from Naked Girl in a Dress after she discovered me and decided to review papoe on her blog. I knew that she obviously had great taste because she seemed to like me and my blog, but she also is someone that is searching for ways to be happy. Intentionally happy. And while I might not always be warm and fuzzy on the outside, I have a little of it inside, and I look forward to her posts. She's insightful and honest and real. But no, she's not naked.
If you have a moment or two, check out these fabulous ladies. They make me smile even when life makes me want to scream.
Don't forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to support a friend's wish. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.