The Birth of a Playroom

Once upon a time, Pop Culture Dad and I had a formal study. It was a beautiful and rich red, drybrush-painted by yours truly. It was such a fantastic room that it housed many of our family pictures. Actually, that’s pretty much all it did unless we were throwing a party.
Ah… Sigh… So adult…
Two of many family pictures taken in this room
Then one day… I got tired—not of the room, mind you—of picking my kids’ toys up from the living room floor and dragging them upstairs to the playroom. Suddenly, I had an idea: Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a playroom downstairs?? Granted, this wasn’t an earth-shattering idea, but, still, it took me four and a half years to figure that out.
So one day when I was home alone, I moved most of the study furniture upstairs to the play area and moved all the toys downstairs to the former study. But something still wasn’t right… So I decided to give my kids a magnetic chalkboard.
Before
After
They love it!!
But me being me [an ADD mind at rest can be a very dangerous thing], the chalkboard wasn’t enough… So I decided to paint a meadow on the back wall and a beach on the front. 
And that still wasn’t enough, so I decided to… well… see for yourself:
Yes, that’s brick (well, Flexi-Brick). And, yes, I did that ♬♪♩ all by myseeeeelf ♩♪♬ (as is kind of apparent from the workmanship, ha ha)

And somehow, the murals, the magnetic chalkboard, and the awesome brick were just not enough for me. So Pop Culture Dad and I enlisted the help of a couple of my uncles, who do a lot of construction work. We had them add a wall and French doors to the previously open room, along with some molding. Once we had a brand-spanking new wall, I connected the meadow and the beach. We’ve added some furniture (comfortable seating for adults, a thick rug from Home Goods, the train table Super Girl got for her second birthday, and toys, toys, and more toys). 
An earlier stage of “completion”

“Where did that come from??” (Little Diva on the morning of her 2nd birthday)

Now that we have less (okay, NO) adult parties and more (alright, ALL) kiddie-friendly ones, this downstairs room really comes in handy!

partygoers in “Marina’s Makeover Salon” at Little Diva’s Fresh Beat Band-themed 5th birthday party

This transformation took me quite a bit of time. I started in late March and have been slowly making changes whenever I could find the time. I did all of the painting and bricking myself. Most of the decals and stickers (the Disney Fairies, the flowers, the little girls, and the owl) were done by the Pop Culture Girls [and by “done,” I of course mean they fought over them, ripped them, put them in hopelessly illogical places, and then eventually asked me for help putting them somewhere normal].

You’ll also notice that I am readily sharing pictures of a non-tidy playroom. It is a playroom. Yes, the Pop Culture Girls are required to put their toys away (to the best of their two- and five-year old abilities). Yes, the adults come in later and really clean the room (not every day, geez!). But this is the room in its natural and intended state. The whole purpose of this room was to keep these toys out of my living room. While that goal has not been met 100% (and I have the Lego-related foot injuries to prove it), the situation has improved 1000%. Not to mention, this room has become a pretty amazing conversation piece whenever someone enters our house for the first time (or the first time in forever).
Huzzah!!

To recap…

If I Can Pin It, I CAN Do It: Pop Culture Toddler 2’s First Birthday Party

Photo by M Photography Look at that smile!

As of Saturday, September 29th, Pop Culture Baby 2 (AKA Brennan) is a baby no more. My little princess is now one.

I started party planning mode months in advance. At first, I was set on doing a Lil’ Angels theme after finding some of the decorations on clearance at Party City. I polled my gal pals about it. Most thought it was cute, but one thought skulls were a little morbid for a baby’s birthday party. Although I disagree, I could see how some of my family members would have also had that viewpoint. Besides, after looking at and Pinning some of the Lil’ Angel decorations to my Pinterest board for kids’ birthday ideas, another idea was forming in my head.

PCT2 is such a little rock star. Early on, my friends gave her the nickname Super Baby. She was so ahead of everything, and so happy while doing it. She is honestly as close to perfect as a kid can come (minus her lack of sense of self-preservation). A rock star birthday seemed just too perfect for her. And, well, since we are practically the house that Sanrio built, a Hello Kitty rock star theme seemed perfect. I got to websurfing and Pinning.

I found a lot of great ideas online, but wasn’t sure how I was going to pull them off. That led me to starting the decorations two months before PCT2’s birthday, so I would have ample time to start over if I messed up.

The first thing I did were the invitations. I found some pink and black argyle images/digital scrapbook paper on Etsy. As I blogged about previously, I designed the invitations with an app on my iPad. I bought some 5×7 invitation paper to print them out (with gorgeous hot pink envelopes to match). When I had trouble getting the print settings perfect (going from iPad to PC), I got some help from one of my mommy board pals, Sweets4ever at Craftster.

The invitations were my starting point for the rest of the decorations. I found some a Hello Kitty buttons on Etsy also. While they never printed properly as 1″ buttons, they did provide me with great backdrops for my other decorations. One of my favorite Hello Kitty rock star designs (the same one on the invite) served as the base for the lollipop decorations, some of the hanging decorations, the wall posters and the favor boxes.

Photo by M Photography


Hanging and Wall Decorations

The second long-term design project were the aforementioned hanging decorations. Initially I thought about buying those Lil’ Angel hangers in the clearance bin and pasting Hello Kitty over the skulls. I figured out, however, I could do it on my own. I got circular and scalloped punches in varying sizes. At night when everyone was asleep (I work, after all), I would sit up in bed punching out the Hello Kitty’s and various plain black circles with either PCT2’s name or a “1” on them and plain circles or scallops on either the argyle pattern, black, or silver sparkles. Once a had a quart-size Ziplock bag completely full of punched-out paper, I started matching various shapes, sizes and designs until I was happy. I then bough decorating ribbon in black, pink and silver, and spent my nights gluing and taping my designs. The result were hanging ribbon decorations with three circles on each. I saved the remaining paper cut outs for other decorations.

I also bought several balloons to hang. We are in the process of selling our house, so the last thing I wanted to do is have tape and push puns everywhere. However, thanks to the helium shortage, my vision of floating balloon everywhere had to be curtailed. I did manage to procure two tanks, one of which was used almost exclusively on three gigantic mylar balloons shaped like the number one.

Photo by M Photography

I also made signs for the walls, door and window using the Avery Removable Wall and Window Signs. Some of the reviews regarding the actual removability of the stickers were not favorable, and with freshly-painted walls, I was not willing to take a huge chance. If I had to do things over, I would skip these.

Photo by M Photography


Candy Bar

I was desperate to do a candy bar. I always love seeing them at parties, and there were some very cool-looking ideas on Pinterest. However, I didn’t want to spend three-figures making one. I bought some satin pink polka dot fabric on eBay to use as a table cloth and jars from the dollar store. I found pink and black candies on Amazon.com and from various candy wholesalers online. I also found some raspberry M&Ms in varying shades of dark pink and licorice bites from my local Super Target. I decorated the glass jars with ribbons I bought from Michael’s and the punched-out designs I had made previously. For the lollipops, I got some flower decorating foam boards and wrapped them in black tissue paper, putting ribbons around one layer and pink and black argyle duct tape around the other. The personalized stickers on the lollipops were created on Microsoft Word with Avery 1″ round labels. I took my favorite Hello Kitty button design and used Word to personalize the circle around her.

We will reuse the jars and the fabric. I can’t sew to save my life, but my mother is very good at it and plans to make the girls dresses with the fabric.

Photo by M Photography
Photo by M Photography

Mmm.. candy ribbons!

Photo by M Photography



Photo by M Photography

Favor Boxes
I found cheap hot pink and black boxes on Amazon and used the same Hello Kitty design, but on the 2″ Avery stickers to decorate the favor boxes. The favor boxes were all empty for the kids to fill up with cookies (see below) and candy from the candy bar.

Cookies

I bought some Hello Kitty cookie cutters from Sanrio.com and a guitar cookie cutter from Amazon. I already had the star [honestly, I can’t believe we didn’t have a Hello Kitty cookie cutter before now!]. I baked several dozen cookies and frosted them all.

For the packaging, I got Avery Printable Bag Toppers, which also came with the plastic bags. They perfectly fit all of my oversized cookies, except for a couple of the guitars, which had spread when baked. Most of those broke in half as I was trying to get them into the bags, anyway, so it all worked out. I also had some trouble with the black cookie frosting refusing to harden, but over all, the cookies weren’t bad. My mom assumed I had bought them somewhere, so I take that as a compliment.

Some Kitties clearly fared better than others!


Water Bottles

Thank you, Pinterest! I made the water bottles by removing the existing labels from water bottles and putting pink and black argyle duct tape where the labels used to be. They matched the party beautifully, and unlike paper labels you make yourself, these could go in a cooler without being destroyed.

Photo by M Photography



Cake and Smash Cake

I take no credit for the actual birthday cake. After getting custom cake quotes that were way out of budget for a one-year old birthday party, I contacted a coworker of mine, who was the person who made Pop Culture Preschooler’s first birthday cake [a cute princess castle; after the first birthday, we stick to sheet cakes from the grocery store]. I sent her the invitation design and asked what she thought she could do with it. She told me she would try a few things, but had never used fondant before. I set my expectations low. When she arrived with the cake on PCT2’s birthday, I nearly fell over. The cake arrived in four beautiful parts, ready to be assembled. The last two parts of the cake were the Hello Kitty (head and body)—the part of the cake we were both worried wouldn’t work. I had already bought s plush Hello Kitty to use as a cake topper just in case. No need. This Kitty was (is) FABULOUS. She’s also edible (made of Rice Krispie treats on the inside). However, we won’t touch her. She is too beautiful to eat. [okay, okay… We did crack open her body at work. Delish!]

Photo by M Photography

All photos by M Photography

My smash cake did not go as well, though. No matter. Its purpose was to be demolished! I am proud of myself for figuring out how to (kind of) use fondant, though. And PCT2 sure didn’t seem to mind!

Photo by M Photography
Photo by M Photography
Photo by M Photography

Birthday Board

This is one of my proudest Pinterest-inspired creations. I spent weeks playing around with fonts on my computer and drawing things out on my iPad and by hand until I was satisfied with how the board would look. Initially I wanted to do a chalkboard with chalk markers, but I couldn’t find a board with a frame I liked. So I settled instead on a black canvas with paint markers.

Some of my numbers proved wrong at the well-baby checkup the next day (she’s actually 30.25″ long and 19 lbs 12 oz), but it still looks good.

Photo by M Photography
Photo by M Photography

Pictures

Special thanks to my friend Mirna at M Photography for taking pictures. Mirna does all of our family pictures, and she totally rocks! If anyone is in the Houston area, I highly recommend you give her a call!

Pop Culture Preschooler ready to rock out.
Photo by M Photography

Note: any picture that doesn’t say “Photo by M Photography” under it was taken with my iPad (that’s why the quality isn’t as good).

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

On “Meeting” My Friends

For those of you who actually read and pay attention to all or most of my posts, I imagine a few of you may be thinking, “Well, it’s the end of June. Whatever happened to that April meetup with the other Mommy Bloggers? Ooh.. I bet it got cancelled or didn’t go well.” If there’s anyone who thinks this way, I really couldn’t blame you. In fact, I went to a party last week, and someone point blank asked me if this meetup had ever even happened. I didn’t blame him either. After all, it’s sort of weird if something goes well that it wouldn’t be discussed, right? Well, it went well, fabulous in fact. I’ve just been lazy in getting around to actually writing about it [compare this to Brittney’s three posts about it…]. And, honestly, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how to word how I feel.

In a sense, I feel like I should have so much to say, because the weekend was so awesome that I should actually have to edit myself to keep the gushing and word count down. On the other hand, meeting up with two of my closest friends who I had never, prior to April 8th, seen in person, felt so natural and so normal, that it felt like any other day out of my life – only in a vacation setting. Honestly, once we got past the initial “crap, are we going to get along in person?” it was like I was just going on vacation with two of my best friends and their families, nothing more.

Without going into too much detail, we were all nervous about finally meeting even after we had all arrived in Phoenix. Turns out, we had nothing to worry about. Everyone got along pretty well. Of course, every now and then we had to resolve the occasional toddler dispute over toys or had trouble figuring out dinner plans for a group of 11 (well, 10.5), but other than that we had a fantastic time. The first night, we hung out around the hotel and ate pizza. On Saturday, since it was raining, we took the kids to Amazing Jakes, an indoor play place and let them run themselves ragged. Sunday, we went to the zoo and then the pool, before our farewell dinner at Bennihana.

The whole weekend was perfect, and Sunday night, we were all sad to go. Of course, this lead to the discussion of “What were we thinking??” making the trip so short. With two days basically reserved for travel, we only had two full days to spend time together. We decided to rectify the situation as soon as possible. Next summer, we’re planning on taking a trip to the Northeast, going to Kat’s neck of the woods. In November, everyone will come down to Texas, and we’ll all take a trip up to San Antonio to walk the River Walk and take the kids to Sea World [tickets have already been booked!!]. And in a wonderful showing of generosity and friendship (a gesture that makes me tear up every time I think about it), Brittney – who is just as pregnant as I – is throwing me a baby shower in August, and she and Kat will be staying with me for the weekend.

Of course, no matter how many vacations we plan, it seems like it’s never enough. Whenever one of us is having a hard day, the general feeling is usually, “I wish you guys were here.” However, even though we’re not physically near each other, we are always there for each other.

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Lay Off Natalie Portman, "Feminists"

So around the same time I was happily weeping at Natalie Portman’s Oscar speech and her beautiful declaration that motherhood would be her most important role, some self-proclaimed feminists were lambasting her for that same statement. For shame!

First, let me say that I consider myself (among other things) a feminist. I firmly believe women can and should do virtually anything a man can. I support women’s rights and women’s causes. I’m a full-time career woman, and I feel no shame about that fact. That being said, I have a real problem with the turn the feminist movement seems to have taken in the last decade. At the heart of the feminist ideal is that a woman can be anything she wants to be. If a woman wants to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, she should have that right. If a woman wants to be a stay-at-home mom, that too is her right. Women should define for themselves what they want to be; and that role — what each woman considers important for herself — should not be defined by others. After all, what is the difference between a man dictating that a woman cannot have a certain occupation and another woman saying that a woman must have some occupation other than wife/mother or that if she has another occupation, she cannot still consider her role as mother the most important thing she has ever done in her life?

Part of the reason I found Natalie Portman’s speech so beautiful is because she is such an accomplished woman. Seeing a Harvard graduate/activist/accomplished actress receiving an award considered one of the highest in her field state that motherhood would be the most important thing she has ever done absolutely moved me. I found it to be one of the most touching statements regarding motherhood I could imagine.

I graduated at the top of my class in high school, went on to graduate college summa cum laude after only three years, went to an Ivy League law school, and now I work for a large, national law firm. These accomplishments are great, indeed. But my crowning achievement spent part her day sitting at her art table, coloring and watching Dora the Explorer. My boss, too, is a very accomplished woman — certainly moreso than me — and she, too, has published biographies attached to presentations she has given to other professionals listing out every single one of these accomplishments, but stating that her greatest two accomplishments are her children. There is nothing wrong with thinking this way. We decide for ourselves what is important in our lives, and we are two women who prioritize our family, more specifically our children, above everything else.

Some of these so-called feminists who slammed Natalie Portman’s speech argued that you would never see a professional man, let alone a male actor make such a proclamation. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I count my husband as one of many professional men who will answer in a heartbeat that the most important thing he’s ever done is fatherhood. Some of my coworkers — male partners at a major law firm — likewise make the claim that nothing they have ever done rises to the level of being a dad. Many of my friends’ husbands [including BostonsMama, who herself has written with sadness about the ugly turn the feminist movement seems to be taken], have made similar statements. One very famous actor/producer/former-model and rapper (and my secret boyfriend) has claimed that his most important role was being a dad, and if he fails at fatherhood, he “fail[s] at everything.”

Real feminists recognize that there’s more value in celebrating men like Mark Wahlberg and my husband, who relish their roles as father and set good examples for their sons and daughters, than there is in ripping apart women like Natalie Portman and myself. Real feminists recognize that a woman’s hierarchy of what’s important in her life is personal to her and her alone.

For more feminists supporting each woman’s right to be an individual, check out these amazing posts by my gal pals Enyo, Suzanne, [[more to come; come back later to check]]

Total Baby iPhone App Review

Developer: ANDesigned
Price: $4.99
PCM Rating: 5 out of 5

I wish I’d had an iPhone or iPod Touch when I first had Pop Culture Toddler, and if I’d had one, I wish I would have had this app.

The Total Baby app is one part Itz Been™ timer, one part baby book, one part photo album, and one part calendar. It is all parts AWESOME.

For parents of multiple children (including multiples), you can record entries for more than one child. There’s even a side-by-side record option for twins. You can modify the settings to use a different colored background for each child, if you choose. All entries are adaptable by measurement system, so of you’re like everyone in the world outside of the U.S., you can use metric measurements instead of the customary system.

Baby Timers: The Itz Been™-like Component


The baby timers will probably be the most useful feature for new parents. You know you’re supposed to keep track of feeding times, wet and dirty diapers, how long your baby nursed, etc.; but you’re sleep deprived. And where did that notepad go? Okay, now that you’ve found the tablet of notes, why can’t you decipher any of them? Oh. That’s right. You’re sleep deprived.

There are five timers: sleep, feeding, diapers, bathing and wild card. Unlike the Itz Been™ timer, which basically acts like a stop watch and alarm clock, the Total Baby app can be used as either a stop watch or a journal after the fact. Also, every entry is logged for later review; nothing disappears unless you want it to. Every option has sub-options, which makes the information that much more valuable.

The Sleep Timer

The sleep timer allows you to specify where your child slept and take notes.

The Feeding Timer

The feeding timer allows you to specify what type of feeding and gives you additional descriptive options based on the type of feeding selected. If you choose formula feeding, you can say how much was given. If you choose breastfeeding, you can specify whether it was a right or left feeding and run a timer while nursing, so that you know exactly how long. If you choose solid feedings, you can specify the types of solids given – there is a customizable list already available – whether your child liked it, how much s/he ate, and whether there was an allergic reaction.

Certain foods are hidden if your child is below the recommended age for them. You can, however, unhide them at any time.

The Diaper Timer

The diaper timer allows you to specify whether it was wet, solid, both or dry. If solid, you can describe the appearance. You can even add a description, as I did, to specify that your child went in the toilet rather than in his or her diaper.

The Bath Timer

You can use this to keep track of your child’s baths and even where they occurred.

The Wild Card

You can use this for anything really. I used it to record medication [There are even commonly used meds, like Tylenol, Benadryl and Motrin already available for selection.


These days, I’m half-tempted to use it to record temper tantrums and epic meltdowns. That would require far too much usage of the app, however.

The Journal — Baby Book/Photo Album Component


The pictures above are pretty self-explanatory. You can use the Diary and Milestones tabs to record your child’s milestones or any other neat day-to-day events. Each entry allows one photo. The most recent photo added is the one that will appear on your child’s homepage.

Doctor Tab — The Calendar Part


The Doctor tab allows you to record past and future doctor appointments, contact information for the doctors, your child’s growth (length/height, weight, and head circumference — including charts with the percentiles and an option to see changes from the last record), vaccines, and allergies. The vaccine tab even includes a brief summary of what each vaccine does — very useful for someone like me who can’t remember why exactly a Hib shot is important.


—-—-

You might be worried that with all this data, one bad iTunes sync could wipe out your child’s history. No fears! There’s a sync option to prevent this.

I first got this app a little before my daughter’s first birthday. At that point, it wasn’t as important to use the timers on when she last ate or used the restroom, but I used them anyway. It was actually kind of fun.

I found the timers most useful, however, for nursing and sleep. I was able to tell by looking at previous days if my daughter was getting the recommended amount of sleep for her age. It was also useful to remember if our last nursing session was on the left or the right side.

I have also thoroughly enjoyed using the journal and doctor features. Instead of going back through my Outlook calendar to determine when we last saw the allergist, I can go here and see every single time we saw him. I can also keep track of things I would never put on Outlook, like the type of medicine he prescribed.

Being able to add pictures has made recording milestones more memorable. Not to mention, unlike that baby book, which disappeared a year ago, I know where my phone is at all times.

Overall, I can’t think of any cons to the Total Baby app. When I first got this app, there were a couple of functions on my wishlist that weren’t there. I emailed the developer, and POOF, there they were. I’m not saying I added them because of me alone (that’s silly), but I will say the developer is responsive. I got a “thank you for your feedback” e-mail within an hour or two of my suggestion email, and the new features (which I’m guessing were heavily requested) were in the next release.

UPDATE: Total Baby has some very cool new features that have been added since this review was written. You can read my review of the latest updates (as of August 2012) here.

What I’m Looking Forward to Most in 2011

There are a lot of things I look forward to in 2011, but nothing more than my meetup with my two closest friends I’ve never seen (in person).

I know for many, if not most, people, it’s unusual to say that someone’s among your “closest friends” if you’ve never met in person, but this is actually pretty standard for me. I am an internet/social networking geek going way back. In the late-80s/early-90s, I had a little system called a “U.S. Videotel.” It only existed in Houston and Dallas, but was basically one of the earliest chatroom systems around.  Anyone who had a U.S. Videotel terminal (and in later years, a computer disk) could connect. There was an early form of e-mail, chatrooms, graffiti boards, you name it. Heck, I even won front row NKOTB tickets once for chatting online. Back in the day before anyone had even heard of internet dating and chatrooms, I fixed up my mom – who was afraid of meeting people online – with a NASA engineer with a “Who wants to date my cute mom?” graffiti post. The relationship didn’t last, but because of their one date, my mom and I were among the first non-NASA employees to try Virtual Reality. In high school, I had a group of friends I’d met in the Yak chatrooms on Videotel. Some of my friends were in Dallas, some were in Houston. After months of hanging out online, we did a meetup at the Galleria mall. That meetup became an every-other-week thing. I still have a picture of Jessica, Kevin, Rachel and I hanging out in front of the ice skating rink. Good times. And my first friends met online.

I also did online dating before there was an internet. In fact, later in life, I even dated a guy who was one of the pioneers of internet dating – a friend of mine for over a decade who revolutionized the BBS dating system only to be part of the group to first launch their site on the WWW. That same dating site was really my first social network. Instead of just meeting people to date, I made friends – lots of friends. There was a large group of us that went out nearly every week when I was in college. In fact, one of those friends recently posted on Facebook a picture of me at a New Years Eve party 15 years ago – pictures of our whole Matchmaker crew, in fact. All of this happened back in the days of dial-up. Yes, the internet and I go way back, and I can thank her for me meeting Pop Culture Dad [thanks, Match.com!].

Given my long history of online relationships, it is not unusual that at the beginning of my pregnancy, I found myself in pregnancy forums. At the suggestion of a friend, I tried iVillage briefly. It didn’t really work out for me. Soon, however, I found my home on What to Expect.com. And it was there that I met Kat and Brittney – my two closest friends I’ve never met. Heck, two of my closest friends, period.

We were all due at various times in December 2008 [even though two of us ended up giving birth in November]. We all started off active on the forums, and then Brittney sort of disappeared from them. Kat and I remained active on the boards (according to our husbands, maybe too active at times), and forged a friendship. She eventually became the Den Mother of our expecting board and a featured blogger, and somehow talked me into doing both too. It was through the featured blogger program that we reconnected with Brittney. Even though there was no “office,” Kat and Brittney were my coworkers. Most importantly, though, they were my friends. Kat and I were already frequent e-mail chatters, and eventually we roped Brittney in too. Our friendship consists at times of more than 100 e-mails a day – and it’s at the point where we apologize for having real lives and not getting to e-mails sooner.

We have “celebrated” kids’ births and birthdays together, as well as our own birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. We have helped each other through trying times and cheered each other on during triumphs. We have watched our bellies grow together and watched our children grow from itty bitty babies to sassy toddlers. We have shared every major and minor event in our lives (past, present, and plans for the future) together. We have talked politics, religion, music, television, movies – you name it. And sometimes we’re stupid and silly just for the sake of it all. We may have never met in person, but we are a strong set of gal pals.

Really, it’s geography’s fault that we’ve never met. Navigating between Massachusetts, Texas and Arizona isn’t exactly easy – particularly with six adults and five children among us. Last year on New Years Day, my one and only one resolution was that I would finally meet Kat and Brittney in person. They each made reciprocal resolutions. It’s been a really busy year for all of us (particularly with Brittany being pregnant and giving birth to the gorgeous Isla in July), so the meetup never materialized. However, in September, we decided that if we couldn’t complete the meetup by year-end, we would at least book it… And we have!

In four months, I will “meet” my good friends, their hubbies, and their children. Considering our husbands and kids already know more about each other than people we see fairly often, I imagine the meetup will feel more like a family reunion. My daughter already refers to them as aunts and their children as cousins, so I really do feel like I will be seeing family.

Brittney once said she imagines our meetup will look like this:

I imagine, given our personalities, it will look more like this:

Either way, I’m sure we’ll blog about it. Open-mouthed smile

Hard Working Mom But No Claire Huxtable

Claire was boss at home and at work, and she was adored in both habitats. She was firm, yet soft. She was the perfect balance of all we as women strive to be. And her hair and skin always looked perfect.

At work, Claire was the woman with all the answers. And when this hard working mom came home, she was the woman with all the answers there, too. Some days, I have nothing but questions. Every now and then, however, I channel my inner Claire Huxtable, and I’m the hard working mom with all the answers. I like those days.

Mrs. Huxtable had impeccable intuition when it came to her children. She always seemed to know when they weren’t telling the whole story. And she always had a way of coaxing the truth out. I want that skill.

Even though she was a working mom with a busy schedule, Claire Huxtable still found time to do charity work as well as offer pro bono legal services. I need to do more of that.
Claire and Cliff Huxtable had an ideal relationship. They were perfect matched and, even after decades of marriage were very much in love. Cliff definitely had an appreciation for what a hard working mom Claire was. I remember many episodes where Cliff rubbed Claire’s feet after a long day of litigating. And he always seemed to be the one cooking dinner. My husband is absolutely wonderful, but I haven’t had a foot rub since I was pregnant. And, bless his heart, my hubby just isn’t that great of a cook. Maybe he needs to channel his inner Cliff?

One of my favorite things about the Huxtable parents were their one-liners. Even though I was probably eight years old when the episode originally aired, I still remember the one where Vanessa is sobbing to her parents that some kids fought her because they were just too rich. “Let’s get one thing straight, okay?” Cliff corrects her, “Your mother and I are rich. You have nothing!”.  As awesome as that was, Claire’s response was even better. She tells Vanessa that they actually aren’t rich, because rich people are those whose money works for them, whereas Cliff and Claire Huxtable worked hard for their money. Now those are impressive words of wisdom from a hard working mom!

And you’ve love Claire’s classic mommy line of “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.” He he he. You just don’t hear lines like that anymore.
One day, I hope I can be as cool as Claire Huxtable. We shall see.