2,556 Days

Minutes Old! 

Late in the afternoon, one cold December day, back in 2011, Daddy and I finally got to meet you for the first time.  Up until that day, I could only imagine what you would look like. For months, images of your face circled my mind. Would you be tall? Would you have lots of hair? Would it be dark or blond? What would we name you? Would you like your name, is it cool enough for the awesome kid you’d grow up to be? Up until that point, I had only felt you move–wiggling and hiccuping. I’d also seen your features via a black and white ultrasound photo.  You were just this growing “baby A” and we couldn’t wait to be your parents.

You asked me tonight, as I tucked you in and sang your nighttime songs, for the last time as a 6-year-old, to tell you about the day you were born.  So I did, as I have done many nights and birthdays before. Daddy showed you pictures of your first minutes of life, you asked me if I was scared. As your parent, I sincerely try not to lie to you.  I’d rather be honest and teach you than to be dishonest and come up with a creative tale. So I said, “Yes.” I was scared, and that was the truth.

Truth be told, I am still scared. Everyday. I think that goes with being a parent, being your Mom.

You are insanely smart–like, in a year, you will far surpass my sub-par math skills. Okay, I’m lying–you already have. Jokes, aside, the scared, the worry in me only changes.  You’re about a head shy of being taller than me. How will I still pick you up and carry you when you fall? How will I teach you, when you actually surpass my skill level in math? So, yes, little man I was scared! I was scared, I wouldn’t feed you enough, I was scared I would feed you too much, I was scared you’d get hurt, that you wouldn’t sleep enough, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to help you when you caught a cold. I was scared you’d poop in the bath or puke on me (you’ve saved all those joyous nights for daddy) I was scared I’d miss your “firsts.” I am still scared, 7 years later– every day.

I’m not naive, I know that being scared as a parent kinda comes with the job–and I’m certainly 100% on board for the challenge but can we slow down a little? I went to sleep yesterday with an infant in my arms, you fit between my hand and my elbow. I was able to cradle you against my body with one had. I blinked and life, your life, our lives fast forwarded 2,556 days. You’re 7.

Always, know my little man, that Daddy and I will always be scared–but we’ll learn to adapt as you get bigger.  Continue to embrace and love reading, practice spelling, excel in math–you certainly are smarter than I could have ever imagined you’d be at 7.  Keep working on your stickhandling, hockey positioning and love for skating and playing your favorite game, hockey. Keep running, climbing and testing limits. I love that you and daddy have a mutual love for every sport, video games and ridiculous shows on the history channel.   I love that you still, want to snuggle with me every morning and read and sing together every night. Continue to test what you can do–continue to scare daddy and I. It’s what kids do best and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Birthday, Little Man…You may not be getting a million dollars, a puppy, a cell phone or a computer for your birthday, but Daddy and I will give you everything else in the world that you could ever wish for.



You’re Six!

Dear Caleb,

Today is your birthday. You’re six! HOW?? did that happen? It seems like just yesterday daddy and I were going to the hospital to get ready to meet you.  You were a week overdue and you were perfectly happy staying warm in my tummy. I have to remind myself that day wasn’t yesterday it was six years ago, six years!

You sometimes wake up before me now.  Something that has started to happen more over the last few months. You used to always jump in bed with Daddy and I, do something silly (or annoying) to wake us up.  When you were smaller you needed us to turn on the TV, now you can do that all yourself. How independent you’ve become. Morning snuggles have turned into IPAD arguments to turn off YouTube, and calm quiet mornings have turned into the hustle to get you out the door for Kindergarten. I miss those silly, annoying moments. I miss the morning snuggles.

This morning at breakfast you told me to throw your last official spill-proof sippy cup in the garbage.  You said you’re too big for that now.  I obliged.

I’m not totally and completely sad for you to be six. You look the same as you did yesterday, except today you show your age with an additional finger on a new hand. I think that you are the most awesome kid, I think that you are even more awesome than when you were five or even three.  You can do more now, you can understand more now and you are certainly way more fun now.

You have two adult teeth and a wiggly one, you love to play basketball and are on the brink of mastering dribbling between and around your legs, you’re obsessed with hockey and working so hard to master the art of stopping, you play goalie like a boss.  You can’t get enough of your hot wheels, Magna tiles and play stix, racing and building the most interesting designs.  You are a master artist, reader, and mathematician.  You’re so smart, so silly and like to wiggle your butt every chance you get.  You love your stuffed animals and find comfort in having every animal in your bed.  You chase after your kittens but call them your sisters even if they only let you catch them every once in awhile.  You really are the best thing that daddy and I have ever done. You love us fiercely, your friends and your family too. Everyone that meets you thinks that you are just the best.  

Happy Birthday Baby Boy, My sparky, My Baby, My Shmaleb, My C, May you accomplish everything you want in life, and may you one day follow your dream to invent a shot that doesn’t hurt.     

I love you,


Peanuts, Pilgrims and a Mayflower Ship

Before I embarked on my new journey to self discovery and happiness, I worked full time. When Caleb was little and I was at the start up, I was awake, out of the house and on the train headed to Chicago before he woke up.  Luckily with the help of my husband he was able to tackle mornings.  I treasured my nights with Caleb and it gave me something to look forward to all day.

When he was really little, night time was the bewitching hour.  It wasn’t always easy to get him to bed.  Nonetheless, as Caleb got older bedtime became easier with our nightly routine and this time was always Mama time. If it is a shower night, our nightly routine would start here. If it is not, we tend to play a bit later than we should. We work our way up to his bedroom, sometimes still playing. Usually it takes a race where I lose to get up stairs. He loves music and reading and sometimes before bed we break out into a little dance party, other times it is an extra story.  His mind starts to shut down and that’s when my favorite part of the day comes alive.

Have your kids discovered Peanuts?  Last year we took Caleb to see the new Peanuts movie and he has been obsessed with Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang ever since.  With the holidays upon us, old Peanuts movies have come to life again for us to enjoy with our kids.  Around Thanksgiving, one of the TV stations played,  A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving  and Caleb learned about the Mayflower.  Do you know how hard it is to talk about the English Separatists (Pilgrims) coming to America on the Mayflower Ship to an almost 5 year old?  He learned about this from Charlie Brown.  I am thankful for this because now we have a new interest but geez…I have to pull up Wikipedia to answer his questions.  You know, he still thinks I know everything.  I better enjoy this while I can.  I digress, what does this have to do with bedtime. So the other night he was in the shower and I was trying to multi-task by putting away laundry and all he wanted to do was talk about the Mayflower ship and the people coming to America. “Mama! He would yell, did you know that people got sick on the ship? ” I’d respond. ” Mama! He would yell, did you know that the waves were really big and came on the ship? Why do the waves come on the ship in the ocean? How did they get so big? ” <—-Mind you this has now detoured to a topic about weather and water currents. This lasted almost until he got in bed where he wanted to watch some videos about the Mayflower ship but changed his mind last minute to read a story. (good choice kid.)

Ending 1:

So Bedtime is my favorite time of the day because after the silliness, the stories and the snuggles we tend to get a bit serious.  He and I have great conversations before bed. When his mind is relaxed and open for discussion.  I on the other hand, curse myself for not paying more attention in history class and copying off my best friend in science class.  Tell your kids now to pay attention in school because maybe they won’t need this stuff for a job but they will need it when their kids are preschoolers and their favorite question to ask is WHY?

Ending 2:

So Bedtime is my favorite time because this kid is finally going to be asleep; and man, he is so cute when he is sleeping and still<—- Yep! I think that too. But in all honesty, I love bedtime because it brings out a different side to my kid that I don’t get to see all day because his mind is going 100 miles an hour the other 11 hours he is awake.  My advice, for what is worth, is slow down and take time to listen to your kid(s) thoughts, if you don’t do it already.  It’s pretty amazing the way they see and process the world around them. You too may find a new love for bedtime, just for a different reason.

Signed a Mama who is ready for a WHY free day, (Just Kidding)


How to Guide for a Lego Costume

Halloween: The holiday in which parents have to shuffle their children from door to door to receive candy from neighbors that are unhappy about having to constantly answer their doors. For us parents, it is the holiday in which all diets are started, stopped and restarted in January…after we have eaten all our kids candy and all the holiday food to come.

In my pre-child, adult life, I never cared for Halloween. Now, I don’t mind it. It’s the holiday that parents, like me, want to “save” money on purchasing some crazy expensive costume that will be worn once.  Let’s be honest—purchasing a costume and making a costume probably didn’t save me any money. However, it did allow me some quality time with my son. Researching and planning the costume, shopping for supplies and putting the costume together.  That in itself is worth more than money—and maybe just maybe, he will tell people that he made his own costume with his mama and/or be super excited to wear it to go trick or treating.

Caleb and I spent a lot of time speaking about what he wanted to be for Halloween this year.  After talking about some superhero options, we brainstormed some other ideas based on his major interests. Hot Wheels, Grilled Cheese, building Hot Wheels tracks, coloring, Bananas and Legos.  I’d be crazy to let my kid dress up as a sandwich (all though when I think about it now…it would be really funny) so we took to Pinterest to get some ideas.  Caleb typed L-E-G-O into my IPad. It’s his new word he can spell and probably why the memory on my phone is full because he can download free Lego games without my knowledge.  But I digress, we found a whole page of cool Lego costumes on Pinterest.  Kids in boxes from head-to-toe dressed as little Lego men other kids dressed as Legos.  He really wanted to be a Lego man.  However, I didn’t want him wearing a mask—so he settled on being a Lego.

A few weeks ago, we hit up our local craft store, to shop for supplies.  We had a big discussion on what color Lego he would be and settled on his new favorite color of the week- Orange. My girlfriend donated a diaper box to use which saved us from having to purchase a box. All we needed was spray paint, a hot glue gun and circles to make the “Lego” part of the costume.

My son is 4.5 years old. So If you are making this for an adult or an older kid you will need to change the size for some of your materials.

Materials for the Lego Costume:

  • 1 Box: We used a free diaper box. Other sizes can be picked up at your local hardware or craft store.
  • 2 Cans of Colored Spray Paint: I probably wouldn’t recommend a printed box, because we needed more Spray Paint to cover all the printed words. I was hoping I could get away with 1 can but Hubby suggested purchasing another can.
  • 6 Circles to Make the “Lego”: I purchased small storage containers. They come in a package of 8—I also was interested in the round deli containers which are free (my market has changed what they use for bulk food on the salad bar) or cardboard circles from a craft store if you wanted to spend $3.99 on each circle. I opted for the storage containers.
  • Hot Glue, Knife, Masking Tape

Step 1:  Cut circles for your child’s head and arms.  I took a bowl from my kitchen and saw if it fit over Caleb’s head. When I found one large enough, I just used that for the cut out measurements. I went larger, so it wouldn’t rub his neck or bug his arms. I also used masking tape to cover all the edges that were cut as well as to reinforce the box, interior and exterior.

Step 2:

I measured (eye-balled) out where the “Lego” part should go and marked up the box.

I used a Hot Glue Gun to add the storage containers to the box.

Step 3:

Spray Paint away! I sprayed the box outside.  Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area and cover your surface.  Spray Paint lands where you least expect it.

Lego Project: Orange Box Spray Painted

Lego Project: Orange Box Spray Painted

We completed the project over a few days: cut the box on day 1, glue on day 2, spray paint on day 3 and 4.  If you are short on time, just make sure you leave enough time for all the glue and paint to dry.

I also discovered this online site called Primary. They only sell basics at a very reasonable price.  You can find solid color clothing in every color! So I purchased the Long Sleeve PJ Top and the PJ Pant to wear under the box.  I’ve purchased a few items from here in the past. The clothing has no tags and washes and wears well. I’ve also found it doesn’t shrink in the wash, which is super key to extending the length of time he has to wear the clothing.  For a limited time, I can pick 5 friends to receive free Primary PJs a $24 value) with your first order of $50 or more.  If you are interested in shopping, comment below and I’ll add your email to their distribution.

Be sure to check back after Halloween to see the finished product!!

Happy Halloween,


Updated: 10/31/16


Life, Kids & the Pursuit of Happiness

fb-cover-lkpohLife, Kids & the Pursuit of Happiness


I’ve been working since I was 16 years old.  I’m 34 now. That is many years devoting myself to someone else’s bottom line.  My first job was a party and skate rental girl at a local ice skating rink.  It wasn’t all bad. I met my husband while working there.  Who knew the 17 year old boy who sharpened ice skates and sold hockey equipment would become my soul mate.

When I went to college, my father told me he did not want me to work. “Focus on your studies,” he said.  Little did I know that not working meant lots of time for play and not hitting the books. I needed the structure of work, class and play to manage my day. So I discovered a local teen boutique in my college’s downtown, fell in love with boutique life and spent the next few years of college and a few years post college working for this little shop, envisioning how I could own my own clothing store one day.

I am not going to recount my jobs over the years, but you needed a bit of background so I can fast-forward to my years working at a huge digital startup in Chicago.  I loved my job. I loved the company and the culture. Prospecting new businesses in my market and the hustle of closing the deal. In the early days of this job, work was awesome. I wasn’t the youngest employee; but, I was one of the older members of my team. I was newly married, with thoughts of having a baby, not going out to party.  A few years passed and I did get pregnant.  Work was still awesome, but my focus was beginning to shift.  Thoughts of pregnancy, morning sickness, food aversions, car seats and strollers plagued my mind. Caleb was born in the winter of 2011.  I was thrilled for maternity leave, it took me a good amount of time to decompress. I was content with our decision for me to return to work. It made sense. The money was awesome. I had paid off my twenty-something year old credit card debt that I incurred over the years.  Working and commuting was smart -how bad could it be?  Since my husband, Mike, owned his own mortgage company,  we need the health insurance and my companies benefits were excellent.   So out the door I went before Caleb even was awake.  Mike’s start time was flexible so he thankfully took care of mornings before my mom or nanny arrived. It would be fine,  I’d have the quality time I was longing to have with my baby all day, after work…it would be okay.

Except it wasn’t. I was miserable.  The mood overall shifted at work. Fun turned corporate and the hustle was just exhausting.  I no longer found joy in the commute. Nonetheless, I stayed on-miserable for a long time. We need the health insurance, I told myself.  Be SMART.  I was finding solace in a weekly therapy session. (Not really) Until one day in July when all my late twenty-something colleagues were making big life changes, I just lost it. I made a decision then that I needed to leave my job, to find something close to home or working from home. If my young co-workers could relocate to the coasts, uproot their lives..I could relocate my job closer to home. THIS WAS SMART!

I resigned from my job exactly four years and one day after I began.  I took a few weeks off to clear my head and regroup.  It was then that I made a vow to myself that I was NOT going to let myself be unhappy. I was not going to let insurance benefits and being SAFE rule my life.  My poor husband, family and friends were left with daily bitch sessions from me and who wants to be that person who can’t find happiness and just complains all the time? It’s exhausting.

I was lucky, even as we were exiting the recession I was able to find a new job and I was happy again.  I couldn’t believe how clear my head was.  I became an active participant in my son’s morning routine and made plans in my head for what could be–If dreams were easy to achieve. Aren’t they? If you ask my best friend about my schemes in life she will tell you that there have been quite a few; clothing boutique owner, shoe boutique owner, kids play space owner..the list goes on and the theme does too. I have ALWAYS wanted something for myself. I wanted to own my own business.

After the start up job, I wasn’t yet ready to make those dreams a reality. I needed more information, more knowledge of the digital space. My most recent position was a digital marketing consultant. I learned so much. I learned how sell digital marketing solutions to small business owners and from both the start up job and this most recent, I fell in love with small business owners. After years of selling and hustling I was done. I resigned from my position and I was ready to start achieving my own dreams and not the dreams of someone else. I wanted to affect my own bottom line, build up my own self worth -I wanted to engross myself in social media and help small business owners implement their own digital marketing plans.  I wanted to continue to pave the way for my true happiness.

So without further ado, I invite you on my journey of self discovery and reflection.  The journey of discovering a happy life, and a happy loving relationship with my spouse. All the while trying to navigate a super smart and independent little boy.  Come with me and experience the highs and lows of building an identity, making mom friends and pursing happiness.