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April 15, 2014 / mommy brain

Keep on keepin’ on

I flew up to Salt Lake City for work yesterday. I needed to be there all day and for dinner, so I had the choice of staying in a hotel and returning the next day, or catching a late flight to arrive home around midnight. I chose the second option so I could have the morning with my kiddos, and to be home overnight in case little miss sometimes-I-sleep-through-the-night-and-sometimes-I’m-not-into-that had a bad night.

When I arrived at the airport, I was psyched to be guided to this new fancy line where they swab your hands when they check your ID but then don’t require you to take off shoes/coat or take anything out of your bags. Woohoo I am all about efficiency, so things were starting off well on this way-too-early of a morning.

I sent my backpack and pump bag through the x-ray machine, and as I waited for them on the other side, I saw the TSA agent point to something on the screen with that look of “tsk tsk tsk!” and I knew he was pointing at my pump bag and my highly dangerous ice packs. He took my bag to be inspected and informed me that he has to make sure the ice packs are FULLY (not just partially) frozen. If they are not totally frozen, he explained, he’d have to take them away. I told him I didn’t understand why that was necessary, and that it’s impossible to keep them frozen all day, and they will obviously thaw at least partially by the end of the day. He advised me that I should just “stick them in the freezer at the hotel!” I thought, “Wow! What a fantastic idea! I’ll just put them in the hotel freezer. I never thought of that before! I’m SO glad we had this chat!” Right. This was a day trip, and after a day full of meetings, I’d be coming back to the airport to fly home, so I can be with my small kids. You know, since I’m a pumping mom of small kids, and that is why I have a pump and ice packs with me? Ugh. Besides the daytrip scenario, there is also the very common scenario of staying in a hotel but not going straight to the airport in the morning, going instead to more meetings and arriving later in the day with partially thawed ice pack weapons of mass destruction.

I’m quite familiar with this rule because I’ve had ice packs taken away from me before. During most of my pump-in-hand travels, the agents didn’t say a thing about the partially thawed packs, but a few have either given me a hard time or taken them away. The first time they took it away, it not only spoiled my day, I had to scramble to find ice to keep the milk from spoiling, and  it also spoiled the following day for me because I no longer had the ice pack that goes in my pump bag to take to work the next day. I obviously got another one, but Amazon is not good enough to make that happen between midnight and 7AM the next day.

It’s all dumb and completely unnecessary. I’m grateful that an exception exists to the liquids rule for breastmilk, but a traveling pumping mom will almost always have with her milk PLUS a frozen, partially frozen or thawed ice pack, so really, it would make the most sense for the exception to apply to both the milk and the ice pack.  They check the milk with the wand at security, so why can’t they also “check” the partially thawed ice packs?? Your guess is as good as mine.

To add to my traveling mommy fun yesterday, my flight from Phoenix to Abq was delayed because of a missing flight attendant, and I landed around 1AM. I pulled into the garage around 1:30AM, and I rushed out of my car into the driveway to see if I could get a glimpse of the “blood moon” lunar eclipse. It took me a while to find it in the sky in my zombie-like exhausted state, but then I saw it, and it was magnificent, and for a few seconds, I marveled at how beautiful the universe truly is and how amazing it is to be a small part of it. Then I walked into the house to find G at that exact moment walking down the stairs, cursing and mumbling something about T peeing in the bed. (T very rarely has accidents and G is very rarely not grumpy in the middle of the night.) I followed him into T’s room, and while G changed the sheets, I picked up a pee soaked T-bear, and just as I thought “eek pee on my dry clean only clothes,” T looked at me and said, “I’m so glad you’re home, mommy.” And at that moment all was right in my pee-soaked yet magnificent universe.

January 22, 2014 / mommy brain

Back again…with many updates!

Hello out there in bloggy land! Im back! I know, you must be so thrilled! Actually you’re thinking, “Oh great, she’s back.. She’ll write two posts, and then she’ll go back to hiding under a rock for like three years.” My blog is like that friend who says, “I totally want to hang out!” but then when you ask her to hang out she’s always way too busy and way too important to actually hang out. Well, the truth is I am very busy and very important I totally let my bloggy self go, but it’s a new year, and I feel like writing a post or two.

So I actually have been pretty busy. Here are some updates:

I had a fairly easy pregnancy –


img_9619 - version 2

Until the very end when it got mildly annoying, and I complained frequently to anyone who would listen.

All that complaining got old real quick to everyone around me, so thankfully, our baby girl finally arrived at the beginning of October. (Not that she was even overdue…I was just totally done being preggo!)

rice family-101

Her name starts with “L,” but on this blog, I will call her “Smushy,” which is what I call her much of the time at home, so it works. We all love her to bits, including T:

rice family-61


Except for her propensity to cluster feed the first few weeks (cluster feeding is a thing; I never heard of it before I had her) and her later hatred of bottles (until recently she was convinced we were trying to poison her with every bottle of breast milk we offered her), she’s been a super easy baby.

Let’s see what else happened between the birth of my second kiddo and now?

We got a ton of snow over Thanksgiving:


Smushy got bigger:


She scratched her face a bunch:


She tried on some leg warmers:


And she became a champion sleeper:


We potty trained T:


And spent Christmas in LA with my parents:




We kicked the New Year off  with a hike:


I went back to work:
(no picture of this big event…)

I started to use PicStitch a lot while pumping at work:



I had a great bday:


And on my bday, I forced G to take a family photo:


There you have it folks! I’m hoping to write a “birth story” about smushy’s arrival some time before she starts college. Stay tuned!

August 16, 2013 / mommy brain

Coral is the new black

I finished up something big at work today, so I’m rewarding myself by writing a fashion-related blog post.

There are many aspects of pregnancy that I’m not thrilled about – being kicked in the ribs by a little alien all day long, going to the bathroom every eleven minutes, getting winded if I run down to the laundry room or talk too fast over the phone – but in general, I don’t mind it, and in some ways, I very much enjoy being pregs. I especially enjoy the cute summer dresses that don’t require me to suck in.

This time around, most of my favorite preggo outfits are coral or pinkish-color or some variation of those colors.


15 weeks, so you know barely preg, but I pulled out the preggo clothes early because you start showing earlier the second time around I’m lazy and don’t want to suck in.

Dress: Old Navy

Shoes: Banana Republic (peep-hole sling back cut off by my masterful photography skills)


23.5 wks here, so slightly more legit time to wear maternity dress

Dress: Target

This dress is very simple but very flattering, and it’s become a favorite. Sadly, I spilled something on it that stained…though will probably continue to wear it hoping stain is hidden in the ruffles…


26wks here

I LOVE this outfit, and I’ve worn it way too many times, but the meetings were with different people, so I don’t think it mattered. I swear it was only wrinkled some of the times I wore it.

Top: Gap

Skirt: Gap

Shoes: Target


29 wks here

I’ve also worn this dress too many times, but you just can’t go wrong with a coral polka dot dress.

Dress: Destination Maternity

Shoes: Target


30.5 wks here and looking large.

Dress: Destination Maternity

Shoes: barefoot and pregnant.

I wore this last weekend during our mini baby moon (made possible by Auntie M). More on that later, but here I am in another coral outfit when we came back from the mini babymoon weekend:


32 weeks here.

Dress: Old Navy

Yellow shoes: Target

And just for fun, here I am in one of the dresses above with my cutest accessory, T-Bear:


July 25, 2013 / mommy brain

Kuddos to Kate Middleton!

How can a world famous, perfectly styled princess in an immaculate designer outfit with gorgeous to-die-for hair make ordinary women around the world feel great about themselves? By stepping out with her post-partum belly in full view! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the royal post-delivery bump:

royal baby

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the photos of Kate and Wills stepping out with their brand new royal bundle of joy. Even if you’re one of those people who “doesn’t care about the royals because more important things are going on,” you may be able to appreciate the bold move Kate took by not hiding her post-delivery bump, a long-time societal taboo and source of self-consciousness for new moms everywhere.

I’m sure you’ve all heard stories of a new mom hearing, “when are you expecting?” from someone at the store because her post-delivery bump was showing even though her newborn baby is in full view in the carseat in her cart? Some people are just dumb with their comments, but it’s still something women are unfortunately ashamed of. Even women with perfect bodies like Kate have a belly right after birth since all that padding that was necessary to keep babies, royal and plebeian babies alike, safe and padded for nine+ months, doesn’t just disintegrate upon the baby’s grand entrance.

The outfit was obviously carefully chosen. It’s a designer dress, perfectly conservative while also perfectly en trend, modern and in season with polka dots that are very much in right now, and it’s a nod to Princess Diana, but Kate could have easily added a gorgeous coat like one of the many amazing coats she wore throughout her pregnancy, or a shawl or simply opted for a looser dress to attempt to hide the bump, but she didn’t. She walked out with bump in full view, and she looked amazing.

I expect Kate to be back to her perfect pre-preggo self in four to six weeks max. This is something we’re used to with celebrities. We see a gorgeous photo of the baby, and then four weeks later, we see the new mom back in perfect shape in a size zero gown. I have never seen a celebrity out with the post-partum belly in full view, and I applaud Kate for this. I don’t mean to imply that celebrities owe this to us; they certainly don’t. I just think it was a nice gesture on the part of a very public figure who many young women around the world look up to.

July 11, 2013 / mommy brain


Hello out there in bloggy land! Did you miss me? I realize nobody is actually reading this any more, but for whatever reason, I feel the need to update the blogosphere on my  life in the land of enchantment. (That’s NM for those of you not up on your State nicknames because you didn’t spend hours studying road atlases during cross-country roadtrips as a child.)

A lot has happened since my last update in April (eek I really did fall off the blog wagon, eh?!) I’ve been very busy lazy and unable to update you because of the following list of fascinating things that have occurred. 

1) We redid our backyard.


This took way more cash and way more meetings with contractors (I began to hide from them for fear of more questions) than first anticipated, but I am in love with the end result.


It was actually a fine backyard before, but I decided that it wasn’t quite kid-friendly enough. We had a rockslide off the end of the patio that T enjoyed climbing and falling on, and lots of pretty but very prickly plants covering most of a sloped yard. So all that went away, and we now have lots of level grass, a much bigger patio with a little wall around it to at least slow down T’s attempts to jump off it, a bigger shade structure, kid-friendly stairs, landscape lighting, AND a wooden playground structure that T loves. We have been spending tons of time in the backyard as a result, so while it busted our budget, I’m very glad we did it.

And on hot days, we do this:


2) As a result of a more kid-friendly yard, we’ve had a lot of T-Ball practice.


3) We made a big announcement!


T’s little sister is due in mid October : D

4) And related to the above announcement, T has been reminding me that, “Mommy is BIG!”


that was around 24 weeks

5) In May, we went to Jamaica for a week with our friends from NY. As is always the case when we get together with these friends, we had an awesome time.





Cutest photo bomb ever:


Two preggos is better than one! 228

6) On the way to and from Jamaica, we got to see Auntie M in Houston : )


7) We also went to CANADA in May. May was a big month.

We flew up to Alberta to celebrate G’s grandmother’s 95th bday with lots of family. T got to spend lots of time with his Grampie and meet lots of cousins, and G’s uncle and aunt were amazing hosts.




We also got to spend some time with G’s bff/T’s godfather.


8) In June, T turned 2!




9) I got to wear my fave preggo dress to an awards dinner.


10) We went to a couple Isotopes games.



11) We went camping with T’s girlfriend and her brothers and parents. After changing our plans three time due to fires across NM and CO, we made it to one of the only campgrounds in the area allowing campfires in designated fire pits. We got to break in our new pimped out tent and handy shade tent and got a great site right along the river , allowing the boys to throw rocks (and themselves) into the water for hours at a time. And as always, camping with great friends made for an awesome weekend!


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12) And I’ll actually try to post more about this at some point, but T had lots of fun diving, jumping and swimming.


Phew! That’s a lot, right? Well, not really, but it’s my excuse for not having time to blog. Hopefully you hear from me again in less than three months. Over and out.

April 23, 2013 / mommy brain

First time skiing at 21 months – brief but awesome

I managed to get T on skis at Beaver Creek last month!


As I’ve mentioned too many times, I’ve been looking forward to skiing with my kiddos since before I had a kiddo of my own. Little kids have no fear and a low center of gravity, which is a key combination for learning to ski and having fun while doing so. One could argue that at 21 months, T was way too little to drag out on a pair of little skis, and that is probably a rational argument, but I decided to give it a go and  strapped some pint sized boot and pint sized skis on T and off we went.

T is quite tall for his age, but his feet are average size for a 21 month old, and the smallest boots at the rental shop were a couple inches too big for his little tootsies. Eh, I didn’t think this was a huge deal.


I pulled and pushed my little shredder, and he had fun for about 15 minutes at which point he was done and more interested in the “choo choo,” a.k.a. the gondola, that he decided we needed to ride immediately. Since we used the equipment for a total of 20 minutes and the rental guy was amused with my antics, I didn’t even have to pay for the rental. It was a brief first experience, but I was pleased because all I wanted was for him to have fun and perhaps associate skiing with a pleasant experience. I think I accomplished that, and hopefully next year, at 2 1/2, we can step it up a notch.

While in Beaver Creek, T enjoyed several other “first experiences.”

Driving a snowcat:



Roasting marshmallows on an open fire:


And eating s’mores:



And eating croissants at the bakery down the street from the condo:


The gondola was a huge hit; we rode it a few about twenty times:




And of course, T had a blast playing with his buddies:


And with his girlfriend:


And T’s mom and dad had a blast, too, thanks to our awesome friends and some fresh powder. Doesn’t get much better than that.


April 1, 2013 / mommy brain

As long as I got my suit and bow-tie

T got dressed up for church and Easter brunch. He took a cue from Justin Timberlake and decided to keep it classy this Easter.


His Auntie got him this bow-tie, and it was a big hit. I have to say sometimes I think it’s pretty fun to dress up little boys.



T had a lot of fun with his Babcia and Dziadek in town for Easter. Spring showed up in full force this weekend, and the weather was gorgeous.

T learned how to skip rocks.




He showed off his drawing skills. He can draw circles helicopters like nobody’s business!


And he mastered the art of egg hunting.





And ate way too much food.



Oh wait, no, it was T’s mom who ate way too much food. Apparently, I’m fattening up for Spring.