Fab Moms: Heather Gibbs Flett of Rookie Moms

I’m so incredibly excited to introduce you to my next Fab Mom – Heather Gibbs Flett of Rookie Moms. If you’re not familiar with Rookie Moms, please allow me to digress for a moment about how this site has changed my life as a new mom.

If it wasn’t for Heather and her business partner, Whitney, Blake and I would probably still be hiding in our house, too scared to go out and face the real world! Ok, I know, dramatic – but seriously, finding the Rookie Moms 52 weeks of challenges was the best thing I could have stumbled across as a new mom. It gave me small little goals to accomplish with my little one and the gentle push I needed to get out of the house. Without Rookie Moms, I wouldn’t have joined a Mom’s Group, which has led to so many wonderful memories and friendships, and I wouldn’t have planned a mom’s night out, which led to me now writing for the local site, San Diego Mom’s Night Out. Plus, there have been so many other fun moments as Blake and I completed, and continue to complete, exciting adventures together.

If you are a new mom and looking for fun activities to do with (and without) your new bambino – GO CHECK OUT ROOKIEMOMS.COM immediately. It’s a life changer. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, they run 510 Families for all of the Bay Area mamas.

Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, here is Heather’s Fab Moms spotlight:

Heather Flett

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    I have three sons: Holden (9), Milo (7), and Sawyer (2 ½)
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I’m a WAHM as a full-time blogger these days
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    On a school-day, I wake up at 6:00 to shower and get dressed before waking the boys up at 6:30. We all eat breakfast and do our morning jobs before the “shoe time music” goes off at 7:35 to tell us to get out the door. My husband usually walks the older two to elementary school and I drive the littleone off to preschool. I’m home by 8:30 to begin work of writing, social media amplification, and dodging my emails. Around 4:20, I sign off everything to begin my rounds of picking up children. We’re usually back home around 5:45 to watch a show (them, based on a schedule of who gets to pick on which day) and make dinner (me!). Bedtime for the kids is around 7:30, at which time my husband and I collapse in front of the television.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    Lots of deep breaths.
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    Of all the memories that flash through my mind when you ask that question, various medical emergencies all fight for attention. Being responsible for taking care of my oldest son during little and big medical events made me feel very parental like, “OMG, I’m really in charge here.”
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    It can feel very thankless at times.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The snuggles and giggles… and I love looking at them when they are peacefully asleep.
  8. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    I love the morning pile-on when the little ones wake up not-too-early and climb into our bed. The moment right before the kicking and poking gets to be too much is just precious.
  9. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I think the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is fantastic. It works for ages 6 months to 16 years because it is fully adjustable as a chair. I sit in ours sometimes, too.
  10. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    I see all of my anxiety and self-doubt reflected back in my children’s personalities and behavior. It makes me want to be a better person… or at least accept myself for the person I am. Not easy!
  11. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    I run, watch movies, eat dark chocolate, have meals out with friends.
  12. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    I love to visit the children’s museum with a curious toddler. In Berkeley, we have Habitot and Studio Grow. In Sausalito, The Bay Area Discovery Museum is paradise.
  13. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    Picante in Berkeley is terrific. The food is excellent for all ages AND they offer curbside pickup so it is also a busy mom’s saving grace.
  14. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    I love how you say “assuming she is willing to hear it” because I no longer make that assumption! I would suggest that she say, “yes, thank you” to all offers of help!

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com 

Fab Moms: Laura Wifler of Oakland Avenue

It’s Friday so that means I have another fabulous mother to spotlight in my #FabMoms series!

Meet Laura Wifler. Laura and I are fellow Rookie Moms completing the 52 weekly Rookie Moms Challenges. Laura blogs over at Oakland Avenue from Twin Cities, Minnesota and I’m a huge fan of her blog! All of her posts are so relatable and I love her sense of humor and honesty about all things motherhood. You can also follow Laura on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Laura Wifler

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    I’m blessed to have one little bambino, Eli, born in April 2013.
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I typically consider myself a full-time SAHM but have recently realized that I’m more of a part-time WAHM, between my blog and picking up freelance writing projects here and there.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    Definitely tough to summarize my days into “typical,” but mainly, I try to get up a few hours before my son (he wakes at 8 a.m.) to shower, blog and have my coffee. Once he wakes we usually spend the morning at home, playing and catching up house work. After his morning nap, we almost always leave the house. Errands, a lunch date with a friend, or even just a walk to the park, we’re outta the house and hopefully outside. Once we’ve come back, I usually work on freelance writing projects and some additional housework while he naps. When he wakes, we usually take a longer walk before we come back so I can prep dinner. By the time it’s on the table, my husband is home and I’m off the clock. Well, at least I like to tell myself that. We play, maybe take another walk, go out for ice cream, etc. before it’s Eli’s bedtime. Once he’s down, all bets are off for what happens, but usually we’re super exciting  and I read blogs while my husband reads ESPN. We be cray.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    Ha! We all know no one can, but if you’re going to try – my advice includes two things: Lists and coffee. Stay organized and stay awake. Oh, and set your expectations low. Good luck!
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    Oh man, I’ll never forget this moment. Eli was about three weeks old and he was crying. I remember I was in a room with a handful of people and no one could calm him down and they were passing him around and offering tips to each other to try to get him to stop. I was dying to hold him and “just do it,” but I was patient. Finally they gave him back to me and immediately he stopped crying. It was the first time any baby in the world had done that for me and I felt like the queen of the universe. I just couldn’t stop smiling about it – I had to leave the room I looked so goofy!
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    Not feeling like you can meet your baby’s every need. Especially in that first year, so much of being a mom is guess and check, and each time a guess is wrong, you feel terribly! But you keep trying or eventually it seems to get better on it’s own – so you can just blame it on the all-inclusive “teething.”.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    Seeing your baby smile at you and knowing they’re really saying, “I love you.” It’s so cheesy, I know – and I swore up and down I wouldn’t say stuff like this, but it’s true. I love the smiles and snuggles and just knowing how safe Eli feels with me. How he’ll sit on my lap or lay his head on my shoulder. It’s bliss and makes everything entirely worth it.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    Probably getting pooped on in the face. It was a series of unfortunate events where I wiped him “just so” as he was he was pooping (a common occurrence in the newborn stage). It was certainly shocking.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Oh this is hard to choose! But if I have to pick, probably the time my son and husband reunited after being apart for three days. The way both of their faces lit up was priceless, and I just felt so blessed in that moment.
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I really love my Sakura Bloom Ring Sling. It’s super easy to put on and you can use it from newborn to about two or three depending on the size of your child. I also love having a car mirror. It’s so fun to look back at my son and make funny faces (While I’m in the passenger seat of course!) and it’s been super helpful to figure out if he’s fallen asleep!
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    While I may not be a “kid-person,” I can be an “Eli-person.” I was nervous to become a mom because I never grew up babysitting or even really liking kids, but having Eli took all those fears away and I’m shocked at how much I love spending time with him, caring for him and sacrificing for him.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    Read blogs! I love hopping around blog-land checking out what other people are up to and learning.
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    I love visiting farmer’s markets with Eli. It’s so fun to walk around and he loves looking at all the booths and people. Plus, I can use him as an excuse to get some food from a vendor to eat while we walk.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    We actually don’t eat out too much, but when we do, we like to stay close to home. Cafe Ena and George and the Dragon are two places we can walk to from our house in Minneapolis that are kid friendly and have great food. George and the Dragon even gives kiddos blueberries right when they sit down!
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    My advice is actually about fatherhood. During those first few weeks and months of motherhood, it’s easy to feel like you need to do everything, and no one can do it right but you. You’re learning so much as you care for your baby and it can be easy to start to feel alone in parenthood. My advice is to loosen those reigns a little and start to learn about your baby with your husband. Make it a point to let your husband be very involved. I found that my unintentional controlling attitude caused my husband to not be confident in raising our son, so he while he took direction from me, he didn’t really take initiative. By stepping back and choosing to learn how to care for our son together, we quickly found a difference in our attitudes and understanding of one another, and my husband became a lot more confident as a father! I actually wrote an entire post on this topic it’s so important to me, so if you like, check it out here.

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com – 

Fab Moms: Olivia Howell of The Lovely Sisters

I’m SO EXCITED to kick off my new series: #FabMoms! Since I’ve become a mom I’ve built an incredible, supportive network of other moms (both online and offline) who inspire me everyday. I’ve learned something new from almost every mom that I’ve met, and I love hearing their unique stories. So to celebrate these amazing women, I’ll highlight a new mom each week where they’ll answer my 15 questions about their definition of “motherhood”. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, work full or part-time, own your own business, are a brand new mom or have five kids, you are all amazing and deserve the spotlight every now and then!

I’m excited to introduce you to my first guest blogger, Olivia Howell. Olivia and I are fellow Rookie Moms and are both in the midst of completing the 52 weekly challenges. I love following her new mom adventures over at her blog, The Lovely Sisters as well as her Twitter and Instagram.

So, without further ado, here’s Olivia’s spotlight:

FabMoms

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    My son is named Weston, and he’s just about 9 months old!
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I am a middle school Latin and ancient History teacher, as well as a freelance writer and blogger.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    Well, we have two typical days: work days and weekends. Work days begin at 5am, when my husband gets ready for work first, and then takes Weston so I can get ready. I get his bag packed with clean bottles, get all my things ready for school, and then Weston and I head out, around 7am. I drop him at my mom’s house, where my sister, or mother and step-dad will watch him until 3PM, when I get back. After picking him up, we often see friends, or visit my grandmother. Sometimes we don’t get home until 6PM, and I let him crawl around and play, while I throw laundry in, make dinner, wash bottles, and clean up. I give him dinner, my husband gets home, we (sort of) eat, and then it’s bathtime. I’m not the most consistent parent with bedtime, because, well…I miss him during the day and want to spend time with him. Often, he falls asleep in our arms on the couch, as we wind down, or we all get into bed to chill out and relax together. Those days are quite long and tiring! I rarely have time to even shower! Weekends are, obviously, much more relaxing…we wake up late, eat a long breakfast, play a lot, and most of the time, we run errands as a family or go out to lunch. There’s usually an afternoon nap, and a later, more relaxed dinner.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    It’s really, really hard being a working mom. I was the first woman in my family, ever (seriously), to go back to work with an infant. Weston was three months old when I went back. To be honest, I don’t really know how I do it. I would say, just go with your gut, and remember that you are indeed doing the best you can! It’s incredibly hard juggling both lives…!
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    Actually, it was recently. I took a personal day from school and Weston and I had a totally “normal” day. Breakfast, errands, playing…it was wonderful. It was the first time I truly felt like a mom!
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    I think the hardest thing about being a mom is worrying. I worry that I won’t be there for him, or that something will happen to him. I really and truly try to cherish every single moment with him, because life is insane and you never know what could happen.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The most rewarding thing about being a mom is watching their little brains grow right before your eyes! It is astounding watching him learn how to sit, and then crawl, and now stand! I’m so proud of him.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    I think the most shocking thing about becoming a parent, for me, is now thinking about what my own parents went through. I look at every milestone that Weston goes through, and I think, “now I get it!” I get why my parents cared, loved, and protected me so much. It is true what they say: there is no love like the love you have for your child.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Honestly, I think my favorite mental snapshot is the moment he was placed on my chest, directly after birth. He was just SO HIM. A sweet smile, hands ready to grab, eyes wide open. He became my best buddy at that moment.
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I have to say that the best purchase we made was our Jumperoo! We started putting him in at three months, and I really feel like it helped him learn to sit, gain muscle strength in his legs…oh, and it was a great, safe, place to put him while I was doing things around the house! We even have two of them!
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    My whole life I’ve wanted to be a writer…and I never did much with my writing. After I became a mother, it made me have the strength to pursue my passion! Who knew that would happen?! Not me. I learned that I do indeed love to learn, and love to write. I learned that having my son makes me feel strong and incredibly capable of conquering the world.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    When I find a few minutes to relax, I like to catch up on my favorite television shows: Shark Tank, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Modern Family, About a Boy, Growing Up Fisher, and of course: Parenthood!
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    My favorite thing to do with Weston is simply to go walk around our town. He loves people watching, and I browse stores; we often run into people we know. It’s relaxing, fun, and I am so proud to show off my little one.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    We’ve gone to Green Cactus (Mexican food) in Huntington, NY, a lot with Weston! They have wide, open seating, perfect for strollers. It’s clean, open, and often not a ton of people there…and if there are people, it’s mostly families. I never feel self conscious having him there.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    Just to remember that every day is different. Nothing is set in stone. My grandmother reminds me of this all the time! Babies change daily (even half-daily!), so don’t get worried that the one night of no sleep will last forever…take every day as it comes, and just do what you need to do to get through to tomorrow!

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com – we’d love to feature you!

 

Baby Outing: A Colorful Universe

Rookie Mom Challenge #10 : Paint Your Baby’s Feet onto Pottery

I had been wanting to try the Rookie Mom’s Activity #6 (Painting your baby’s feet onto Pottery) for a while now, but I wasn’t sure where to complete this fun activity. While I was driving in San Elijo one day, a storefront sign caught my eye: A Colorful Universe. When I got home I looked it up online and lo and behold, this was just the place to complete this challenge!  I was so impressed with the little shop that I even turned this Rookie Mom outing into a group affair and invited my mommy group members and their babes to join in on the fun.

A Colorful Universe

A Colorful Universe was so accommodating from the start. I would assume that any business that hears “Yes, it will be 15 moms and 15 babies (all under 5 months) in our party” is a little hesitant to take on such a group, but A Colorful Universe couldn’t wait to host us. When you first walk in the little shop, you immediately notice the fun, bright atmosphere and shelves and shelves of pottery options available for your choosing (coffee mugs, piggy banks, plates, tiles, dinosaur figurines and much, much more.) I loved this because they were all different price points, so you could choose something based on your budget.

A Colorful Universe

A Colorful Universe

I chose two coffee cups, one that said, “I love Mom” and the other that said “I love Dad”. My tiny assistant helped me paint the base coat (holding a squirming infant while painting pottery is sort of like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time – extremely difficult – but we managed!)

Baby Activity San Diego

Baby Activity San Diego

By the time we were ready to paint her little foot and place it on the back of the mug, Blake was fast asleep – which actually worked to my advantage and made the foot print step quite easy! One of the store managers, Desirae, was so wonderful and helped each mom with the foot print, making sure it did, in fact, look like a foot print, and not some oval blob.

Baby Activity San Diego

All in all it was a very successful Rookie Mom Challenge and I’m also adding it to my running list of fun things to do with babies in San Diego!

More Details about A Colorful Universe in San Elijo:

  • Studio Fees: $6 (this includes paints and paint supplies, glazing and firing)
  • Pottery Pieces Range from $7 – $40
  • Hours: 10AM – 6PM, 7 days a week
  • Walk Ins Welcome
  • Paints are non-toxic and dishwasher safe (brilliant!)
  • Pieces are usually ready 1 week after you paint them in the studio (after they glaze and fire them)
  • They love hosting parties: kids parties, adult parties or big groups (like my mommy group)
  • They offer fun Kids Camps!
  • They offer Ladies Night Out (bring your own wine and food and get ready to paint!) – yes, please!
  • Address: 1523 San Elijo Rd. Ste. 106, San Marcos, CA 92078
  • Contact: 760.761.0476 or info@acolorfuluniverse.com or visit their website

 

Rookie Mom Challenge #9: Baby Rhyme Time at the Library

Baby Activity: Rhyme/Story Time at Your Local Library

When I saw the email invitation from my Mommy Group to attend the next Baby Rhyme Time at the Carlsbad Library,  I thought to myself, Woohoo – another Rookie Moms Challenge to check off the list and a fun baby activity for Blake and me! 

I’ve always thought that libraries offering story time for children/babies was a great idea, but also such a contradiction. When I think of a library, I think of peace and quiet and an old librarian shushing me into silence. Then I think of a story time with a bunch of babies and toddlers and I imagine complete (and loud) chaos. Nonetheless, I was eager to try it out and see for myself how this combo would work out. If anything, it would be an experience to remember!

Baby Rhyme Time

Of course we were running 5 minutes late (pretty much our M.O. these days) even though the Rookie Mom instructional post clearly told us to be on time – we tried, really we did!

When we first walked through the private doors of the Baby Rhyme Time class (aha! they keep the chaos in its own separate room – it all makes sense now) at the Carlsbad Library, the instructor finished the song she was in the middle of singing and then very warmly welcomed us and asked for Blake’s name. A couple of other moms and babies trickled in behind us and she would ask for each baby’s name as they entered. I had my doubts about her remembering every single baby’s name but lo and behold as we were leaving she said, “Great to meet you Blake” – wow, this woman is good.

Baby Rhyme Time

The room had a big play mat in the middle and all of the moms/dads/babies sat around the play mat facing the instructor and singing along to the nursery rhymes – some old familiar ones and some new fun ones. The babies loved it – including Blake who let out a big loud giggle during the “Popcorn” song (a new one for me).

Baby activity

It was such a fun and welcoming environment and the instructor was so sweet and good with all of the babies. After the 30 minute Rhyme Time class, she brought out a bunch of toys and all of the toddlers and babies played on the big mat for another 15 minutes or so. All in all a very fun, interactive class to attend with your baby.

Carlsbad Library

The Carlsbad Library offers the following class times:

  • Baby Rhyme Time (Birth – 18 months) Tuesdays at 10AM & 11AM
  • Toddler Time (18-36 months) Mondays at 10AM & 11AM
  • Movers & Shakers (18 months and up) Fridays at 10AM
  • Preschool Story time (3 – 5 years) Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10:30AM
  • Saturday Stories (all ages) Saturdays at 11AM

All classes are free!

Learn more here.

10 Signs You Are a First Time Mom

Do you ever catch yourself doing something and think, wow – I’m going to look  back at this moment later down the road and laugh about it. I find myself thinking this a  lot as a first time mom (we are a crazy bunch), so I’ve compiled a list of 10 tell-tale signs that you are truly a first time mom.

 You Know You’re a First Time Mom When…

  1. You stick your finger under your baby’s nose while she’s napping to make sure she’s still breathing…on the regular.
  2. You’re an absolute freak about other people washing their hands before they even think twice about holding your baby. And I’m not talking about a “quick rinse” – I better see soap suds while you sing the alphabet to ensure there is not one single germ left.
  3. You have to download all of your photos (all of the baby) off of your phone and onto your computer at least once per month because you keep exceeding your phone’s storage limit. That moment when the “No more storage” message appears on your iPhone and you freak out because what if your baby does something cute between now and the download process? HOW WILL I CAPTURE THE MEMORIES???
  4. You cry with happiness the first time your baby laughs. OK, maybe this was just me…but it was just so darn cute!
  5. You document the most obscure milestones (i.e. She raised her right eyebrow for the first time on February 2, 2014 at 5:34PM)
  6. You Google every possible symptom your baby has and either feel relieved or even more terrified after reading the experiences from other moms with babies with the same symptoms in the Babcenter forum.
  7. You call the Pediatrician every other day with a new question, “just to be sure”. Nurse on the line: Oh hi, Blake’s mom…nice to talk to you AGAIN!
  8. On a Baby App or in a journal, you record every feeding, poop and pee, religiously!
  9. You celebrate her birthday every month by conducting your own photo shoot and then posting it to Instagram or Facebook where all of your friends and family wish her a “Happy x month birthday”! Thank you to everyone who wishes Blake a happy birthday every.single.month. You all are gems!
  10. You get together with friends (who also have children), and it’s like a study session – comparing notes on the latest baby developments, product must-haves and whose doctor told them what at the last check-up.

What else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below! :)

first time mom

Rookie Mom Challenge #8: Go Out for Just Dessert

Mother Daughter Outing for Dessert

This is the 31st challenge in the list of 52 weekly Rookie Moms Challenges, but I had to skip ahead because – let’s be honest – I was craving a cupcake.

Blake and I had just finished a great workout at The Dailey Method Barre Studio (their baby classes are such a good workout for mom and so entertaining for Blake) and instead of heading straight home and making myself a healthy smoothie – like the angel on my shoulder told me to – I listened to the little devil instead and pulled straight into Elizabethan Desserts.

Elizabethan Desserts is the cutest little dessert parlor in Encinitas.  When you walk through the doors you feel like you just entered into a beautiful doll house – it’s decorated in bright turquoise and crisp white with pops of yellow flowers on each table. I could have sat in that shop all day – sipping tea and eating cupcakes.

Elizabethan Desserts

I was so excited to show Blake the bright colors and the fun cupcakes displayed in the window, but when I went to take her out of her car seat, I realized the little darlin’ was fast asleep (guess she really did get a good workout in at our barre class). At least I got to take this cute picture of her in the over-sized turquoise chair.

Baby Outing

I ordered the coconut cream cupcake for myself and a mini red velvet cupcake for Blake. Don’t worry, I ate hers for her (the things we must do for our children). They were absolutely incredible

Elizabethan Desserts

All in all a very sweet mother daughter outing. And I can’t wait to make this a cute little tradition for Blake and I – mommy/daughter dessert dates at Elizabethan Desserts – sitting in the big turquoise chairs, sharing cupcakes and enjoying the make-believe ambiance. Perfect.

Rookie Moms Challenge #7: Plan a Mom’s Night Out

After 3.5 months of pretty much never leaving my little one (except to get my hair and nails did – the essentials!) I decided it was time to go out and spend some time with friends!  This past week I completed the Rookie Moms Challenge #10: Plan a Mom’s Night Out…and it was amazing.

The Crew

Lucky for me, two of my girlfriends from high school live close by and they are both new moms, too. When I asked if they were interested in doing a “moms night out”, there was a resounding “YES!” I also decided to recruit one of my new “mommy” friends from my Mommy Play Group (see Rookie Mom Challenge #2: Join a Mom’s Group).

With my “crew” locked down, it was time to search for a venue and the criteria was simple. 1.) Must serve wine 2.) See criteria #1. Solterra Winery & Kitchen was just the spot (check out my review of Solterra during a recent Whine and Dine post too).

Heels, Perfume and a Necklace

There are three things I didn’t even realize that I had completely cut out of my every day life until this night while I was getting ready to go out without the baby: Heels, perfume and bulky statement necklaces. Heels got the boot (no pun intended) for obvious reasons – just not practical while carrying a baby 24/7. Perfume is no more because I’m afraid it will irritate Blake while I’m holding her (and let’s be honest – I’m not exactly out and about trying to impress people with my fabulous scent these days), and statement necklaces are too bulky to wear when a baby is constantly resting on your chest. Needless to say, in my excitement for girls night out, I put on my highest heels, a big necklace and spritzed myself with some perfume – boom! I was back.

Wine & Tapas

The night was amazing! The four of us split a couple of bottles of red wine, ordered a bunch of tapas to share and had a blast catching up about LIFE. Life with the kiddos, life with the hubbies, our past life (you know, the glory days). All in all it was a very successful moms night out. It was so nice to be out, having adult conversations in a normal voice (as opposed to my “baby voice” that has become quite the staple these days).

tapas

moms night out, san diego

 

I came home refreshed and relaxed but also extremely happy to see Blake (I missed her like crazy!)

Bonus Points

I’m giving myself bonus points for this challenge because I’ve also been asked to become a reoccurring contributor on San Diego Moms’ Night Out – writing about all of the fun places for mom’s to relax and unwind here in San Diego. You can follow my new mom adventures at San Diego Moms Night Out and on my Instagram.

Cheers! 

Rookie Mom Challenge #6: Buy Some New Jeans

This past week, I decided to complete the 35th Rookie Moms Challenge (in the list of 52 Weekly Challenges) and  buy myself some new jeans. Perhaps the most daunting of all the Rookie Mom Challenges.

Hot Mess

It all began one day when Blake had just gone down for a “nap”. Nap is in quotations because the child does not nap – she merely closes her eyes for a 10 minute stretch and then is wide awake and ready to play again. Still, 10 minutes is a much-needed break and a moment to myself. I sat down on the couch, in the silence and slowly “came to”. It was 3:30PM, I was still in my pajamas…pajamas covered in baby spit up. What’s worse? I hadn’t even brushed my teeth that morning! The words, hot mess came to mind as I sympathized with my grumpy cat mug.

new mom

In an act to try to “save the day” I went into my closet and pulled out some old pre-pregnancy jeans. Big mistake. I got one leg in when I realized, this just wasn’t going to work, and why go through the pain of trying to squeeze a whole other leg in? I contemplated putting on my maternity jeans but then opted for my ol’ reliable, tried and true yoga pants instead (every new mom’s uniform) and vowed to go shopping the next day.

What Do Moms Wear?

I put a lot of thought into what sort of clothes I needed and in the end, decided I needed a new style altogether. Afterall, wasn’t I a new person after having a child? I was now a mom. What do moms wear? I wanted something comfortable, but not too sloppy looking. Chic and trendy but toned down a bit. Baffled by all of these new thoughts, I headed to the mall.

Luckily I was able to find some great items at two of my favorite stores: Express and Zara. After awkwardly telling one of the store’s sales reps that I was “looking for new clothes within the genre, Suburban Mom meets San Diego hipster” (the 22-year-old sales rep looked at me blankly) I bought a couple pairs of jeans and a few shirts. I tried to make my purchases about 50% mom appropriate and comfortable and 50% San Diego trendy – in the end they’re really just 100% me.

A Different Version of Myself

And while I may not be the same person I was a year ago – two sizes smaller wearing skin-tight clothes, going out to fancy restaurants and trendy bars every weekend and complaining when I didn’t get 8 hours of sleep (ha! what a fool) – I’m definitely still a version of myself. Perhaps a little more mature (a newborn baby depending on you for survival will do that I guess), a lot more confident (ya know, because I gave birth to a human being), and a whole lot more complete with Blake in my life.

Funny how a new pair of jeans can put it all into perspective. :)

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Rookie Moms Challenge #5: Practice Yoga Baby Style

This past week Blake and I completed the 7th Rookie Mom’s Challenge: Practice Yoga Baby Style. This was easily my favorite Rookie Moms Challenge to date. I had taken a few prenatal yoga classes at Soul of Yoga in Encinitas while I was prego and I always wanted to come back with the babe to try out the “Mommy and Me” Yoga class. That’s why I was excited to see this challenge on the Rookie Moms list of 52 Weekly Challenges.

On the way to the class, we did start off a little rocky with Blake’s crying protest – Oh, the NERVE of me putting her in her car seat! It crossed my mind to turn around and try this class again the following week, but I figured she was dressed (in her most fitting baby yoga attire nonetheless), fed and changed so there was no stopping us now! The Yoga gods must have shone down on us because the second we walked into that studio she stopped crying. Namaste!

Nursing and Crying and Blowouts, oh my!

The class was full of babies all around Blake’s age. I had even invited some of my mommy play group members to come along and experience the fun (and they did)! You could see the slight fear on all of us baby-yoga-first-timers’ faces – what if our baby started crying during class? What if she needed to eat or be changed? All of these worries were immediately put to ease when the instructor began the class with, “Anything goes here – feel free to breastfeed, change diapers, and do whatever it is you need to do to make this enjoyable for you and your baby.” (I could almost hear the sigh of relief from some of the moms, me included – this was a safe zone)! And boy did we all take her up on that: Poop blowouts, crying babies and breastfeeding were going on all around us at all times. As soon as one baby was content, another one would need to be fed, or changed or rocked – it was glorious!

“Don’t Act Like You’re Not Impressed”

Of course Blake needed a diaper change about half way through, which wasn’t worrisome to me anymore, because, as we all had heard – this was perfectly acceptable right dab in the middle of class! What WAS worrisome, was when I realized that I was down to my last diaper in my bag – a.k.a. my “backup” diaper because it was one from my baby shower game where everyone writes funny sayings on the diapers. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about – check it out here). I laughed to myself because what are the chances that we’d be caught in a “spotlight” change situation (in the middle of a circle with everyone staring) where I have to whip out the diaper that says (in huge sharpie ink), “Don’t Act Like You’re Not Impressed” (Anchorman…anyone?). I paused for a moment, hoped that the other mothers played the same game at their showers and proceeded with the change.

Baby Yoga

The instructor came around the room and banged her little gong in front of each baby’s face, asking each one if they were ready for yoga. Blake’s eyes have never been wider when she saw and heard the gong – oh yea, she was ready! :) The first part of the class was all about “baby yoga” stretching their little arms and legs, singing yoga songs (to the tune of common nursery rhymes) and then giving them soothing massages. It was probably the cutest thing I have EVER seen – and Blake was loving it.

The second part was all about mom – practicing the typical beginner yoga poses while our babies looked up at us from the mats (Blake thought it was hilarious when I did poses dangling over her – funny mommy).

Soul of Yoga

The last part of the class incorporated the babies and moms – swinging the babies around, practicing different poses while holding the babies, etc. This is about when Blake reached her yoga limit and started wailing – just in time for the…breath in, breath out…Namaste! We made it! :) 
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