It’s in the Bag!

   I’ll admit it. I love bags and pocketbooks. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met one that I don’t like. As a woman, we have so many to choose from. Thank God! There are the hobo bags, the totes, the clutches, the travel bags…I could go on and on. There’s no doubt there are plenty of women out there who share my affection for a good bag. But, these days, guys are also getting into the bag bonanza. In fact, some bags out there for them to choose from are just as nice as the ones we have. Score one for equality!
   While we tend to throw just about everything into our bags, I’ve noticed the guys bags are a little more disciplined, if you know what I mean. They tend to have specific purposes when it comes to their bags. There are document bags, briefcases, work bags, and totes. The list really does go on and on for them too. In case you’re keeping track, that’s score two for equality!
   I really hope guys get on the “bag bandwagon” because they really don’t know what they’re missing! Women have been doing it for so long, now it’s time for guys to find that “perfect bag”.

Time to “Tie” One On!

   As a woman, we have so many accessories to choose from when we get dressed. Of course we have our necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Don’t forget the scarves, hats, and pins, just to name a few. But, what do guys have? Honestly, not much. They put on a pair of pants, a shirt, socks and shoes, and are usually out the door. They don’t have a lot of stuff to help them accessorize. There’s not much there to show your creative side or style. That’s one of the many reasons I’m glad I’m a woman! 
    If you think about it, the tie is really the only thing they can pick out to help spice up a special outfit. I actually like to go tie shopping with my husband because sometimes there really are a lot of different ones to choose from. Of course you have your standards solids and stripes, but there are also some really fun ones out there too. There are even ones to go with the holidays or that special occasion. 
   You’ve probably heard the saying “clothes make the man.” I think the same can be said for a tie. So, maybe it’s one to “tie” one on with your man!

Real Men Carry Wallets

   I remember when I was growing up, wallets were always at the top of the list when I had to buy a gift for my Dad. It was the one gift that was always practical and useful. For some reason it always seemed as though my Dad needed a new wallet every time a holiday rolled around.
   These days, not much has changed. As an adult, I still buy my Dad a new wallet every now and again. But, now I can add my husband to the list too. Besides there being another person to shop for, there is something else that has changed too. Over the past few decades there are so many more wallets to choose from. Just like with everything else, they are also much more stylish than they were back in the day. So, there really is something for everyone. Wallets don’t only have a practical purpose.  It also seems like they’ve become more of an accessoryand fashion piece than just something to put your money and credit cards in.
  But, what if the special guy in your life doesn’t carry a wallet? Hmmm. Some people say you better make sure they have some money!

Men are "Watching" Fashion

 I remember back in the day, I didn’t know a lot of guys who were into fashion or designer duds. These days it seems like some men are more into accessories than some ladies that I know. Maybe it’s a designer revolution or maybe guys are just making themselves priority number one and spending more money on themselves these days than they are on their women. Whatever the case, there are plenty of things to dish out your dough on everything from watches to hats, scarves, and sunglasses. Just like with everything else, there’s something for every kind of guy.

   A lot of these watches are really stylish, but they don’t exactly come cheap! But, you only live once, so I guess it’s a good idea to splurge every now and again. If your man is one of those who won’t splurge on himself, maybe it could be a good gift too (as long as he is reciprocating!). The holidays are coming and sometimes it’s nice to get one really nice gift than a lot of other small ones. At least a watch is something that will get used every day, unlike some other type of expensive gift. So, maybe there’s there’s no “time” like the present to check them out.


Title: Stay-at-Home Mom? Yes!

   What do you do? People ask each other that question all the time. It seems like a simple question that should come with a simple answer. But, sometimes it’s really not so clear cut. I was recently at the doctor’s office and had to fill out one of those patient update forms that ask you every question under the sun except for your blood type. After the name, address, and phone number areas, came the “title” and “place of employment” sections. For years, that was a no brainer. But, for once in my life, I actually stopped and stared down at the piece of paper like it was some kind of impossible S.A.T. question. I toyed with writing “unemployed”. I quickly decided that would be stupid.  I thought for a minute and then remembered a conversation I had while I was at a baby shower about a month ago. Someone had just found out that I no longer work where I did and asked where I worked now. To my surprise, I blurted out “at home.” It was one of those moments where your mouth takes over for your brain and you don’t realize what just happened. It didn’t stop there.

   I went on to say (and proudly) “I’m a stay-at-home mom”. Before my mouth could continue its hostile takeover of my brain, another woman chimed in and told me she was really glad I said that. She went on to talk about how so many people don’t think staying home is a real job. Sure there is no tangible paycheck or 401K plan to rely on, but it is still work. I have to admit I was one of those people who thought SAHM’s (as I learned we can be called) had it easy. After about a year into the gig, I can tell you that’s anything but the truth. If you think we sit around all day and watch TV, you are sadly mistaken. It’s a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. We are the entertainers, the maids, the cooks, the nannies, the drivers, the referees, the receptionists, and if we’re lucky, there’s time to just “be”, if you know what I mean. With all of those “real” titles under your mommy belt, you can sometimes question if you’ve made the right decision, although some may never fess up to the fact. But, then you hear your child tell you how much she loves you or you see your baby’s first step, and you know you got it right this time.

  So, as I was sitting in the doctor’s office having this little flashback, I decided to write “Stay-at-Home Mom” on the title line. I even thought about writing the same phone number in both the “home” and “work” sections, but decided that really didn’t matter. What does matter is that more people should realize that staying at home with your kids 24/7 is truly a job and a real title to be proud of!

Make a Date with a Photo Calendar

   As a Mom, you’re probably the one who keeps everything in your house organized. From doctor’s appointments to play dates to haircuts, it seems like there’s always something going on. I used to be really good at keeping all the dates and times in one of those pocket calendars. But, ever since I became a stay-at-home mom, I have to admit that planner isn’t doing much for me these days. It sees the bottom of the diaper bag more than it sees my pen. So, I’ve been relying more on my regular calendar.
   Sure, there are plenty to choose from in the stores, but some of the themes are just plain old dumb. So, instead of seeing a generic picture of a flower or animal, it would be nicer to see a picture of one of my kids or a great family snapshot. Wouldn’t you agree?  Personalized photo calendars are a cool way to go if you want to change it up a bit. Those photo calendars might even make great birthday gifts for the grandparents. What grandma or grandpa doesn’t gush over pictures of their grandkids? This way they not only get to see pictures of the kids, but also get something they can actually use. Perhaps it’s time to pencil in some time to get that calendar made!

Photo Books

   As a mom, we all love to take pictures of our little ones. If you’re like me, thanks (or no thanks) to technology, you have the pictures on your computer. They sit there for months and months, or maybe even years, but  you just never get around to print them up to share them and truly enjoy them. If you’re not like me and do print them out, I give you major props!

  If you have them all printed, what do you do with them? Do they stay in your closet where no one can enjoy them? I’m guilty of that one! Do you put them in photo books? Again, if you’re like me, probably not! So, what are you waiting for? Why not make them into photo books? It sounds like a cool idea, right? There’s really no pictures too small or too big? It really just depends what you want to do.
All you need to do is have some cute and lovable pictures of your little ones that you want to share. I think we all have plenty of those. I think I have hundreds to choose from myself! So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to check out some cool photo books!

Sleep Training Boot Camp

   My kids are horrible sleepers. Okay, maybe not horrible, but they certainly wouldn’t win any awards. They wouldn’t even get an honorable mention. I’ll admit, my oldest has gotten better, although she sometimes likes to come in Mommy and Daddy’s bed. But, my youngest is a problem. She’s one and I think she’s only slept through the night once during her young life. She wakes up anywhere from two to five times a night. She doesn’t just cry. She screams and wails like there is an exorcism going on. It really doesn’t get much more annoying than that. So being the sucker that I am, I would pick her up and nurse her back to sleep. Yeah, I know, bad idea. But, again, I can be a sucker. The pediatrician has been telling me I need to let her cry it out. I would just nod and smile because that never really seemed to work. That is, until now.

   Last week, we started what I like to call “Sleep Training Boot Camp”. I’ll admit I used to laugh at people who told me they had to train their kids to sleep. I even read some articles online about the different training methods, but they actually put me to sleep. Who would think that some kids need to learn how to be good sleepers? Not me. After a week or so of this stuff, I have to admit it, it actually works. I’ve followed the instructions and instead of putting her to bed asleep, I’m actually putting her down when she’s still kinda awake so she can get comfy herself.

   Fast forward a couple of hours when she wakes up. I hear the wailing through my little monitor. I wait a few minutes. If she doesn’t stop, I go in the room. I know I’m not supposed, but baby steps people. But, I don’t pick her up. I may rub her back as she body slams herself on her mattress out of frustration. But, I let her work it out. I’ll be damned, she actually does! She’s actually getting back to sleep without me doing much to help her! Are you ready for the best part? I’m actually getting some quality sleep! Score! I know we still have a ways to go before we’re not hearing a peep from her. For now, I’ll take it. Now, back to boot camp!

She Bit Her Sister…Now What?

   I’ll admit, being an only child, I’m new to this sibling rivalry game. Sure I saw it play out on “The Brady Bunch” with Marcia and Jan, but I never had a “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” of my own. So, now that I have two little girls, I’m beginning to see what having a sibling is all about. Although they are only three and one, they are already fighting. It’s not only a battle of babble and words, it’s also getting physical.Gone are the days when the little one is strapped in, contently bouncing in her chair. She’s ready to rumble for toys and no one is getting in her way. Forget about pushing and shoving, my little one has a new weapon of choice…her teeth.

   There may only be four of those little suckers, but they are sure sharp and they mean business. Her sister learned that one the hard way. Big Sis was playing with a toy that Little Sis desperately needed to have at that very second in time. There was some yelling and some pushing. Instead of playing referee, I decided to sit on the sidelines. I can only blow the whistle so many times in one day! After a few minutes, little sister decided there was only one thing left to do. Yep, the teeth came out and we had our first bite. But, the funny thing (if you want to call it that) is that that  there were no real teeth marks, just lots of tears and screaming. “She bit me, she bit me”. That’s all that could be heard in my house. Great, just great.

   At first my little one thought they were still playing, but when I started to roar, she knew play time was over. I told her she couldn’t do that anymore. Cue the water works. Great, two crying children, every mother’s dream! After taking the toy away so no one could play with it, some calm was restored, but not for long. It was soon time to move on to the next toy and the next battle.

   I know this is only the beginning, but I am quickly learning sibling rivalry can be fierce, and sometimes dangerous. I can only imagine what’s going to happen once the rest of the little one’s teeth comes in. Until then, it’s game on.