Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Everything! (Including baby rolls)

Wishing you a wonderful holiday full of love, peace and joy...

~Team Heintz~

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Eric, I am posting your Christmas Gifts so on the off chance you read this...step away from the blog

Catchy title, eh?

So Eric and I always set very strict price limits to our Christmas gifts to each other. And this year, when we an incredibly pricey 18lbs of chunk to our debt (mwah, Gus), we aren't in a position to do much for each other, let alone others.

So I've had to be crafty--literally and figuratively. Enjoy my list of gifts that are heavy on thought, but light on the wallet:
  • Dolls
  • Clothes
  • Music
I think the list totally screams "Man Gifts", no?

Please, let me break 'er down for you...

Scene: Ali trolls Etsy to find gifts she would love to purchase, but can't afford, so she attempts to create herself. If you are one of my Facebook peeps, you'll have already seen my new obsession with painting wooden peg people, but if not, here is an example of a little family I created for Eric. I mean, I think the likeness isn't too shabby!


I order the little wooden pegs from a wood shop in Maine. And I use non-toxic, made in America acrylic paint from Walmart, which I mix to create my own shades. And then I slap some non-toxic Modge Podge (whatever that is) on top to seal them. I even included our wedding rings and my late grandmother's gold wedding bands on my hands. 

I mean, what guy doesn't want what could essentially be called "dolls" for Christmas? AMIRIGHT? But in all seriousness, I think they speak to Eric's modern sensibilities.

I've also tested the waters with creating all sorts of other peg families, princesses, a nativity set, and super heros. Stay tuned. Post forthcoming...

Somebody the other day asked me if Eric had a beard right now. I literally stood there with my mouth wide open and said: "I have no idea." Sadly, that speaks to how often I have the opportunity to look at his face these days, as well as the back and forth he goes with his facial hair.

In that spirit, I had the boys get him, what else? A SHIRT OF 141 FAMOUS BEARDS. First--let's just acknowledge the tag line to the Chop Shop where I ordered the shirt is "with shirts like these, who needs pants?" Um, that is like our family motto. (Actually, ours is "PANTS OFF DANCE OFF" but perhaps we can do seasonal mottos.)

Image courtesy of: http://chopshopstore.com/index.php/teeshirts/dappermen.html
The image of Darwin alone was worth the price. And of course I scoured for coupon codes (but then also splurged for an extra few bucks to be printed on an American Apparel shirt). 

Finally, I just have to say I am totally pissed at Beyonce for stealing my idea of dropping a record out of the Blue (Blue Ivy reference intended). Sure, she has a high budget video to go along, and millions of adoring fans...

...But can she record a song on her iphone while sitting on her childhood bed with her brother playing a ukelele and sister-in-law layering mad harmonies late one night while in her pajamas? Yeah, so Eric always says he never hears me sing (it was totally a former life for me) unless I've had a few glasses of wine for the liquid courage to pull out my rendition of Chicago's "I Can't Do It Alone." So I forced my siblings to sing a little ditty with me for him:



There you have it. While the Tivoli radio system he drools over or legit Eames furniture will not be under the Christmas tree this year, I am kinda thinking he will be just as happy with these.

'Tis a gift to be simple...

Merry, Merry!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gus's Guide: The Sequel

 

Back when Gus was a month old, and his cheeks hadn't achieved world domination, I did a little guide of the "must haves for a 3rd baby when you are short on cash, short on space, but big on love."

Okay, so I just called it "Gus's Guide," but the above was clearly implied. Now that he is--sniffle--8 months old, budding 2 bottom "teefers", and finally sleeping a solid 12 hours a night in a row (okay, that's a game I call 2 truths and a lie. I'll let you guess which one is a lie--"yawn!"), we've got a new list of simple essentials for this 2nd half of a baby's 1st year of life. (Follow?)

Teefers! Yes, brother finally got some bottom teeth the past week or so. I should have known when he started going all cannibal on me as usually, it's me "Dahmering" his thighs.

He keeps gnawing on my chin like he is trying to be cast in a remake of Alive. While I appreciate the rogue cosmetic procedure (I hate my Jay Leno chin), I wasn't sure his practice takes my insurance. But how could you not trust this mug?

Then there was that whole drool thing. Can someone please make a baby dickie out of some microfiber or Sham Wowsa or whatever miracle fabric that is, charge a king's ransom for it and save my baby's clothes from the massive amounts of drool he produces? Sure, throw a chevron bow tie on it, add another $10 to the MSRP, and then throw it up on Etsy. I'd buy.

Some may call this a bib...but we all know that it's all about reinventing an already developed product, giving it a catchy name, cute logo, and capitalizing off of overly anxious mothers.

Remember my boogie belt idea? It's like a fanny pack/holster with all the toddler essentials for childcare providers. Well, after this season and a few too many episodes of Project Runway, I am renaming it the Provider Peplum. Patent pending (in my mind).

Besides chins, Gus also eats non-human food. I don't mean like cat or dog food, I mean food that is not of the human flesh. I'm talking: cheese, sweet potato, yogurt, chicken, chia, rat-tat-too-ee (too lazy to look up how to spell that), avocado, pear, apple, banana, carrot, etcetera, etcetera. And my plan? He eats when it's convenient for me.
Oh, hey friends. I just ate an entire mango.
Yup. I said it. We are doing baby led weaning, as we did with Felix, and he's doing pretty well. But when it comes to meats, a) we eat meat very rarely in our house, and b) he doesn't do well with masticating meat products, so I opt for one of those organic meat pouches. (Ew. Just the thought of unrefrigerated meat pouches. Good thing they don't use the word "moist" to describe any of the contents.) He is still a nursing machine and drinks 3 5oz bottles at school. He honestly isn't a difficult kid. Eats with his hands, eats with a spoon, eats from a bottle, eats from a breast. I'd be hard pressed to believe he'd reject a farm animal nipple if you placed him under a lactating pig.

But in order to keep him stationary in his high chair, sometimes we have to throw some appetizers to him before a real meal starts. And that's where I like to sing the praises of Plum Organics Little Yums. I break each one in half (long ways) and he is happy as a lark. Nutritionally not dense, and from my perspective, it's an air biscuit with some smidge of dried organic product, it is quite a bit less messy than other food like avocado and I feel slightly more comfortable dividing my attention between getting dinner out (or refereeing a big kid MMA fight in the octagon that our kitchen transforms into), and having him eating at the table by himself.

Speaking of high chair, I would marry Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs if I could. I am in love with them. Seriously. Both the older boys were gifted them and Gus was a thankful recipient as well. I tried to convince Eric to get some for us so we could have a Stokke family--and even tempted him with the new bright orange version, but he declined. Sure, there is not a tray to put food on, but I love that the chair grows with the baby, doesn't take up much real estate, is made well, and a breeze to clean.
Notice Felix's bottom photo bombing?!?

Also, did you know they are great for playing pirate beauty parlor? Worth the price of admission...


Lord knows where research is these days in regards to vitamin D and nursing, I certainly don't have time for much evidence based parenting anymore. Le sigh. Although I can tolerate feeding my child warm meat from a pouch, I cannot stand the smell of vitamin D/iron drops. You know the kind and brand. So, yeah...I rarely if ever gave them to Felix. Maybe that's why he has a hairy back for a 3 year old. I dunno. But my friend told me about the Carlson's vitamin D drops. 1 tiny bottle. 1 drop a day. 1 year. Like 10 bucks. No nasty smell.
image courtesy of vitasoul.com
I put the drop on my nipple before nursing in the beginning, but now I put it on a tiny spoon along with...

Biogaia probiotc drops. Well, now they are called Gerber Soothe drops.

photo courtesy of gerber.com
I really don't like Gerber as a company, so this was a hard transition when I heard about the take over. But I did my research and the product itself hasn't changed. They are called colic drops, but really they are just probiotics. The research is pretty compelling about this particular strain, too. But you know--throw the word "teething" or "colic" on it, and parents FLOCK. I still think people aren't up in probiotic's grill as much as they should be.

Anyway, I've been giving Gus these since birth. Since I haven't not given them to him, I can't say if they aren't working, but I can say that his gut health seems to be stellar. (You know all moms minor in poop). And all that money I am saving with that 1 bottle of vitamin D drops I am making up for in the cost of these drops. I limit myself to 3 instead of the 5 recommended drops, but good gravy they are expensive! That's when I get all coupon crazy at CVS and figure out how to get a good deal.

I am hoping the probiotics are generally helping his tummy for all the non-food substances he will ingest over his lifetime, too. Like cast off hairs in my bristle brush. Who needs chew toys? I'm telling you, a good bristle brush is like turning my 8 month old into a one man band a la dick van dyke in Mary Poppins. It's also fun to play hairdresser with a 3 year old boy who has no idea how to use a round brush, too.
In the morning I sit Gus on the bed with my brush, a random matchbox car "case" (I call it his brief case), a banana teether courtesy of the amazing Kate, and a book called Global Babies. Then I just wait for the concert. He bangs the brush, he double fists the brush and banana and smacks together, he chews on the brush and makes a squeak sound, he rubs it against the book and makes another sound. Carnegie Hall, I got someone for you...

Finally, my love for Stokke can only be challenged by 1 other product Ava Anderson diaper cream.

This is the holy grail of all products. It's so good you can only purchase through a consultant. And don't we all feel special when we make products through consultants? (Okay, it's a direct to market/sort of pyramid dealio, but the company is great and the consultant I use wonderful.) It's like a tub of heaven. It's made with organic oils and herbs, shea butter, minerals, essential fatty acids, unicorns, and umami (whatever that is). But seriously, it's da bomb. I use it on my own skin every day. I use it on the boys for our regular mani/pedi/hot foot towel/massage son spa nights (or as Felix calls it, Mom, can we do Medicare?). But don't worry, I'm not all George Costanza and double dip after applying to Gus's bottom every night. We don't need no fecal facials to add to the spa menu.

Make sure the kid has a fresh diaper (we are battling between Seventh Generation and Nurture by Nature right now. Sorry Nature Baby Care...you can't compete with thunder thighs), clothing that isn't soiled with his saliva, throw him in a laundry basket while cleaning up the house...and he's good to go.

Images courtesy of my phone and instagram feed. If you aren't on it, get out from under your rock and join. All the cool kids are doing it.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things

This past week, Felix has contributed to his "KSTDT" book quite a bit. And good thing, because he's also driven me batty more than once.

"When I grow up, I want to be a talking elephant!"

***

Felix: "Daddy, it smells like cold out here."
Eric: "What does that smell like?"
Felix: "Ice."
Eric: "What does that smell like?"
Felix: "Water."
Eric: "What does that smell like?"
Felix: " Penguins; because they are SO chilly!

***

Ali notices Felix comes home from school in a completely different outfit--that is not his.

Ali: "Felix, what happened?"
Felix: "Mommy, I spilled."
Ali: "Felix, what did you spill? During art?"
Felix: "No, mommy, I spilled from my penis during nap."

***

Ali shows the boys a book that has a picture of a cow's udders

Ali: "What are those called under the cow?"
Felix: "Udders! And some udders swim in the lakes."
Ali: "huh?"
Felix: "udders. They swim and build damns."
Ali: "Oh, OTTERS!"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pssst...

Hey.
 
Yeah.
 
I'm still here. Just kicking arse and taking names at this whole 3 kid, full time job, domestic goddess, dairy cow gig.
 
Okay, by taking names and kicking arse, what I really mean is hunting for babysitter names and wiping bums.
 
Same diff, no?
 
It's been a flurry of activity in our house and I am not sure with the holidays creeping up it will get any better. Blog posts are, unfortunately, last on my list of to dos. And not for a lack of material. I traveled to Boston with just Gus, we've had our first "he's not my friend/he's a bully" incident, and we've also had more moments of kids say the darndest things than normal. Oh, and I met my first ever blog friend.
 
But currently? It's 1am and I'm avoiding disinfecting my pump parts for work tomorrow. And I just realized I didn't eat dinner. #thankgodforbananasandnutella
Where's that dish fairy when you need her? And doesn't she moonlight as a short order cook?
 
Until I get a better grip on the tasks like functioning at my job and keeping my kids alive, I'll leave you with the latest "Felix Funny" from Eric taking him to school:
 
Felix: Daddy, it smells like cold out here.
Daddy: What does that smell like?
Felix: Ice.
Daddy: What does that smell like?
Felix: Water.
Daddy: What does that smell like?
Felix: Penguins, because they are sooooo chilly.
 
Carry on...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rag-tag

It's the first year the littles' childcare is doing school pictures.

And guess whose kids went to school today looking like garbage?

And it's not that I don't have a comb to put to the littles' heads, it's that when triaging "brushes" at 7am the toothbrush comes before the hair brush when rushing out the door.

And it's not that I don't have cute coordinating button down shirts and sweaters for Felix and Gus to rock for the "sibling shot", it's just that there is a mountain of clean laundry doing the very important job of protecting my couch cushions from Annie's cheddar bunnies, dirty bottoms, and my vacuuming.

And it's not that I don't care or that the center didn't send out multiple reminders (including the day before), it's that I downright forgot.

***

Sometimes I have an out of body experience and look on myself and think--"you've become that mom." You know, the one I used to feel no connection to, and shake my head when I saw her with a gaggle of kids in the store who weren't matching or behaving. I mean, I was a professional babysitter for well over a decade and had better luck and control.

Note to self--babysitters and aunts/uncles are very different from parents.

***

I took all 3 kids to Costco this weekend by myself--thankyouverymuch--one was wearing a transformers costume that now has holes all over it from his "transforming", one had size 5T jeans on that were so large, that they would fall straight to his ankles when he was standing so I forced him to sit in the over sized cart the whole adventure, and one was in the ergo with only 1 sock and I am pretty sure had some Plum Organics mango biscuit conditioning his hair.

Oh, and it was 5pm.

I never claimed that motherhood made me more reasonable.

My car has opened bags of pretzels in the car seats and half full organic juice boxes on the floor (it's like the tree/forest question: if a juice box is organic, does it make a mess?), and on some days, I panic that one of those hoarding cable shoes is secretly taping me for their season premiere.

So all you moms who I was all judgey mcjudgerson about not having all of your kids perfectly behaved and dressed and organizing compostable boxes of free range, organic, locally grown, fair trade snack packs from the grocery store.

I'm sorry.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wet Willy

We had to forgo professional family photos this year because, well, we like to live in our house and still needed to pay the mortgage. So I dusted off the old DSLR and attempted to get photos of my kids for holiday cards.

FAIL.

So anyone in receipt of our holiday card will notice the pictures are small. Many from Instagram, and perhaps another year we will get someone else to do the dirty work of making my kids less...cray.

That being said, there were a few gems that made me giggle. Totally not holiday card style, but "this is really what my family is like" photo. But not in the artsy fartsy way.

In a wet willy way.

And with the week I am about to have at work, I am sure when this posts on Friday I'll enjoy laughing over this repeatedly.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Date weekend

Eric and I had the luxury of spending a date weekend enjoying the nuptials of his good friend from growing up, which meant loads of his totally mature high school guy friends descended upon Atlanta and elected to sit around talking about the latest issue of the Economist.

Or, maybe a bunch of his friends played a ruckus game of bocce intensified by an open bar on the night before the wedding.

Same diff.

Either way, I always have a great time with his high school friends, and even better time with their wives. The night before the wedding we all hung out at an outside bar downtown for cocktails and cockeyed grainy iPhone kissing pictures.

I'm ashamed to say my chin upstages his beard. Yikes!
Class act, I tell you. Yeah, they don't let us out often.
The wedding itself was stunning, enhanced by the magnificent Atlanta Botanical Gardens and their current Imaginary Worlds exhibit (plants larger than life). I would have pictures, except I was too busy falling in love with the Hindu officiant (?) and wondering how we could convert. 

We went to the wedding with Eric's best childhood friend (J) and his wife (A) who flew in from Chi-town. They stayed at our house for the weekend, and in addition to a luxurious stay on a trundle bed, we also gave them loads of free birth control (generic brand: Miles and Felix). Gus is still a total ovary stimulator. I give it 9 more months before I look into toddler boarding school.

What is nice is that A leads the Nordstrom's hand bag department (bee tee dubs, do NOT say the "p" word; hand bag it is), and she was a great barometer of "what I should dress like if I didn't have kids and an empty wallet." Not only did she look like a million bucks with perfectly in style clothing, hand bags and shoes, but she also got her husband into some cool kicks for the wedding, which totally upstaged my black wedges from 2003. (DSW, what what?) 
Now, if my chin and J's shoes were next to one another, jury is out on who would get the most attention.
I make up for my fashion shortcomings with stupid faces ruining photos. 

FYI, above our heads is an enormous serpent made out of succulent plants and other greenery. Insane in the membrane.
Better yet, I made up for all of my fashion shortcomings this weekend with a mouth adorned with a cold sore, which let's be honest, is right up there with a rose gold Michael Kors watch in terms of being fashionably forward.
Yeah, my 3 yo refused to kiss me for fear of getting my boo boo. Don't blame him. These suckers are awful and contagious! I blame stress. And the fact that I went to pull out my anti viral prescription in the closet and my refill expired in 2012. Oops.
Happy Couples! And yes, my dress was a $5.95 number from Goodwill.
J and A were troopers staying in our shoe box with a house full of loud boys. J even got to give Gus a bottle in exchange for a beard combing.


The weekend was fun, and somehow we also managed to fit in a birthday party, fall festival, cross country meet, 6 month check up, flu shot, and parenting class. So, yeah, we are exhausted.

(updated from original writing of the post) But nothing helps with that exhaustion like a feverish 3 year old expelling particulate and liquid matter from his mouth and bottom. 

Next up: my best friend from growing up visiting this weekend! I sense less bocce, and more meat. (Paleo joke.)

Ah poo

Okay, so I have regularly scheduled posts, but today we are going rogue.

It's real-time posting, people.

And I'm pumping, eating lunch, and sending texts to and from my husband about Felix while the rhythmic "ah poo" being chanted to me by Medela is almost sending me into a trance.

So, apparently the best time for your washing machine to break is when your son has mucus poo and pukes at school.

Right?

This is going to be a LONG week my friends...

Does Amazon prime sell Nature's Miracle in a vat?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tappin' the tats

Y'all...I thought I would default to a lascivious zinger of a post title to distract you from the egregious grammar error of a previous post.

Sidebar, I love that after a decade of living in the south that I can say y'all and claim street cred. But don't think I am going to go all sweet tea and smocking on you. I err on the side of madras, and like my blogging friend Pam--have deemed this abode a no smocking zone.

Would you believe blogging at 11pm on a Sunday while pumping and eating ice cream simultaneously (cream in...cream out) gives me permission to mix up their and there? It's totally grammar law.

And if Gus didn't keep me up with wanting to have girl talk at night, the shame and horror I felt when I read the error on my feed would have kept me up, anyway.

And all that staying up at night has really started taking its toll, and this morning I totally had a tweetable moment.

And I haven't opened my Twitter app in almost 2 weeks because I am afraid of feeling the obligation to scroll back and catch up on every Tweet I missed--I'm weird like that--so I have resigned to the fact I may no longer giggle over some hilarious Honest Toddler tweet, or stalk the bromance between Zach Braff and Donald Faison.

And I realize that Twitter and I are still so new in our relationship that I don't think I am ready to be vulnerable with him. I mean...with Twitter I can actually see who is following me. With the blog I can pretend no one is following me. #perceptionisreality

And I can rely on the limitless charaters I am allowed to bore the masses before I even get to the point of my post.

AND...okay, on to it.

Scene: 6:45am this morning and I am nursing Gus and hypothetically texting (I mean, if I was one of those bad moms who uses her phone while nursing, which I am not...clearly).

I get ready to burp him, which happens almost instantaneously after he nurses. Brother can let one rip! But strangely, he is totally not burping. I keep tapping and hitting harder and harder (and hypothetically looking at my phone) until I realize...

...Gus is totally lying down on the bed next to me and I am burping my breast.

Now that the Congress's tantrums are being managed and they are back in session, I think I might work toward legislating a "don't text and nurse" law.

Dear dirty diapers...I miss you!


Just a little over 6 months, and we started eating solids. 

Good-bye sour mustard smelling diapers.

Miss ya.

Yeah, you heard me. I'm lamenting the transition of poop in my baby.

Along with the granny netted underwear, lochia, and baby roll cheese factories, they don't tell you that you will hit a point around 4-6 months when your baby is introduced to solid foods and his diapers start smelling like...ess atch eye tee. 

I'm going to say it. Breastmilk poopy diapers don't bother me at all. In fact, there is something about the smell that is kind of sweet and makes me think of my babies. Don't go enter me into the My Strange Addiction series or anything, but I really don't mind breastmilk poop.





But breastmilk poop with chunks of roasted acorn squash?

I'll pass.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkins: 2013

I know, I know...where do I come up with these clever post titles?

It's a gift.

So, on a gorgeous fall morning, we drove with all kids to our favorite pumpkin patch: Kinsey Family Farm. Honestly, it wasn't very fall like and by the end, we were all sweaty and aching for some cold water, but I just couldn't bring myself to dress the boys in short sleeves and shorts when getting pumpkins.

It's like...illegal or something.

And we have one house rule: fashion before function. (riiight.)

We got a few pumpkins, took a tractor ride, and indulged in the requisite hot pretzel for the car ride home.  

My favorite photographer doesn't seem to be doing mini fall sessions, so I was hoping to get a cute picture of all 3 boys for holiday cards. You know, perfectly arranged near pumpkins with an image that reeks of sugar and spice and everything nice.

Yeah, not so much. What's funny is that I struggle so much with smiling in pictures because I always feel like they come off as fake. And low and behold, I think I passed that gene on to my children. My favorite photos? The ones of their backs. Or when they aren't smiling. 

I mean, am I still allowed to be their mother saying that?









Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Insta-greatness

My Insta-Gus has been sharing some of the spotlight with his brothers, and although this blog stays pretty quiet these days, I've been blowing up IG with images of our life. I both love and hate how easily it is to get relatively good photos on a phone.

For the 1/2 of you not hanging with me on IG, here is the latest, with snarky commentary (obvi).
Practicing for the day that glasses becomes a reality. Myopia is in his future.

OINK OINK! Piggy paint and mani pedi night for me and the boys. (And hand/foot massages with my favorite Ava Anderson diaper cream. Yeah, that's right. I slather that stuff all over the body. I dare say I like it more than CA baby.)

I mean...I'm hate to gloat, but this kid has epic lashes.

BEFORE

AFTER

Gus and I hang around with his cheeks before soccer practice.

Miles sings us church hymnals on the ground during soccer.

Felix has the drinking juice boxes down after soccer.

Gus test drives his new Stokke high chair.

They say third babies grow up fast...but this facial hair came a lot sooner than I expected!

Again, lashes. Gus hung with me in the Ergo while I hauled wood chips for almost 4 hours by myself one Saturday morning. And "by myself", I mean along with a fighting 5 and 3 yo.

When Mommy and Daddy say you cannot wear a costume to school, you improvise. He wore this the ENTIRE day.

White after labor day? Puh-lease. As long as it's with madras. 
Fingers, toes...practicing for the real food.
It's as close as we are getting to sitting up these days.
SELFIE WITH MOMMY! 

Hungry hungry hippo. First taste of food.

Mom and Felix's Halloween craft fail.

Brother picture fail.

Gus. Win.

Finally, Selfie with my big boys. Sometimes...you just need a little silly.