Meggans a mom.com - Meggans guide to a brighter life

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Ansel Adams Eat Your Heart Out

Ever the professional, Reilly captures another image

Ever the professional, Reilly captures another image

The beautiful scenery that is Cute Neighbor Jill, as photographed by Reilly

The beautiful scenery that is Cute Neighbor Jill, as photographed by Reilly

Reilly, my 12-year-old stepson, suddenly became quite the shutter bug with the camera the other night when Cute Neighbor Jill came over for a visit.  Who knew he had such an interest in photography?  Ansel Adams found his beautiful mountains and scenery to photograph, and in his own way, young Reilly found his.

No Dumping Allowed

Today it happened.  I heard it would happen, I heard it did happen to others, I just never thought it would happen to me.  LUCAS HAD HIS FIRST MONSTER POOP.  The Mother of all poops, the Grand Poo-Bah of poops, the poops to end all poops.  I could smell it as soon as I got into the room…we weren’t in Kansas anymore.  To make it extra special, Lucas now HATES to have his diaper changed and wriths around, kicks his legs, and tries to sit up and climb off the diaper changing table.  Monster poop Monday was no exception.  As soon as I got the diaper off, the legs and the poop started flying everywhere.  “Holy crap!” I yelped out, hoping for some sort of divine intervention.  There was poop on the wall, the changing table, the lamp, and when Lucas lept off the changing table into my arms there was poop all over me.  It looked like a crap crime scene, weapon of choice - a shit stick!

Not wanting to panic and vomit everywhere I hurriedly got the tub going for both of us while choking back mumbled cries of “mercy Jesus”, “oh Lord” and “Mary, Mother of God, help us.”  I suddenly became very religious (and had a slight Irish accent) when calling for the Lord and handling a slimy poop covered baby.  It was all up to God to help us now, not even Oprah could of gotten us out of this mess. 

We got all cleaned up and as Lucas went down for his nap it was time to reflect.  I admit I was smug about my son’s pristine bowel movements.  Lucas was as regular as clockwork and not so much as a dollup found its way out of the confines of his diaper.  I had nothing to contribute to the Mommy diaper horror stories, until today.  I am now part of the Monster Poop Club and have been initiated.  Funny though, look as I might I could not find anywhere in Lucas’ baby book to document the days blessed event.

Healthy Yummy In My Family’s Tummy

Azna Bakery Vegan Glluten Free Waffle...Super Yum!

Azna Bakery Vegan Gluten Free Waffle...Super Yum!

ATTENTION ALL: Moms with kids with wheat allergies, Moms of kids on a special diet due to conditions like autism, people with Celiac Disease, vegetarians and vegans, Moms who want a smaller ass, health-nut Moms, and Moms who like to serve their families great tasting healthy food. Azna Bakery products ROCK!!

While I try to eat healthy I am by no means a fanatic,  It wasn’t until my husband began struggling with allergies that I began to take notice.  Long story short, my husband has a wheat allergy and should not eat it, same as my stepson Reilly.  A slight wrinkle in the story, my husband is a Swiss pastry chef and LOVES wheat and bread products.  Good food is very important to him.  In his search for great tasting gluten free products Ettore met Dawna Destafeno, owner of Azna Bakery.  Dawna eats gluten free and vegan.  Due to her health conditions, Dawna developed a great tasting bakery line to literally produce food for her and her friends and family to eat.  Dawna got healthy, lost a ton of weight and changed her life.  Her foods took off like crazy and she soon opened her own bakery.

Ettore and I went to meet Dawna and I was dreading the obligatory “taste” of healthy food expecting the usual cardboard.  I have to tell you though, her products are FANTASTIC food allergy or not.   Our house is now stocked with Azna products and ALL of us love them, including Lucas.  Azna products are in Whole Foods, Raley’s, Nugget and select health food stores and expanding all the time.  If you are interested in purchasing the products retail, I would call the stores first, or contact Azna directly before you make the trip.  Not all the stores in a grocery chain carry the line.  The good news is that no matter where in the world you are you can have Azna products shipped to you.  I recommend you try them.

For more information go to www.aznaglutenfree.com, or click on the waffle above to connect to the Azna website.  There you can read all about Dawna’s entire line of products and get more information on her inspirational story.  If you know ANYONE who has special food needs,  I encourage you to pass this information on.  When talking with Dawna, she expressed the frustration Moms have with getting their kids to eat a restricted diet and how frustrated both Moms and kids are.  Also how difficult it is to find great tasting vegan and gluten free products.  It is no fun!   Well Azna products can put the fun back in your family’s mealtime.  I guarntee no one will feel like they are missing out.  Spread the word,  the food is terrific (food restrictions or not) and kids love it.  Tell Dawna, Meggan sent you and let me know what you think.

P.S. The brownies are so good you’ll want to slap yourself and the waffles will change your life!

*I did not receive a product sample or compensation for this post.  The views expressed here are my own.

1-800-GAMBLER

“You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

Kenny Rogers from his famous song “The Gambler”

I just got chewed out by a liquor store owner, while impressing a homeless man.  Just another day on the mommy front lines.   Like always, it all started so innocently.  I had gone to the Goodwill to donate some items and conveniently there was a liquor store right next door.  Fabulous, I thought.  I will just pop in and get the boys some lotto scratchers for their Christmas stockings.  We do it every year for Christmas.  They love it.  So up to the counter I go and start choosing my selections.  A few of this, a little of that.

Enter homeless man with four teeth, looking over my shoulder.  He begins to compliment me on my selections and I am instantly flattered.  (Hey, I take them where I can get them these days).  As I am glowing in the light of the compliments the Liquor Store Owner, also impressed with my varied selection, asks who’s birthday it is.  That’s when I told him, “oh, no birthday, these are for my stepsons for Christmas.”

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTT, kill the music, stop the press, cover the plants.   His eyes slant, face frowns, gaze hardens.

Liquor Store Owner: “You are buying this for children.”

Me:  “Well they are teenagers, we do it every year, they love it.”

LSO:  “You are planting the seeds of evil.”

Me:  “Evil?!”

LSO:  “It is all a slippery slope.  It starts with lotto scratchers.  The homeless man that was behind you is a gambler.  He spends every last dollar on gambling.  Do you want your boys to end up like him, smelling of smoke and a penniless gambler.”

Me:  Softly…”No.”  Side note:  They better not ever have four teeth either.  We are paying a fortune for braces.  FLOSS!

LSO:  “You are teaching them to waste their lives, become alcoholics, drug addicts, to throw away all their money and hope for their future.”

Quick, where was the homeless guy?  I liked it a lot better when he was here.  He was gone.  I was stunned, flabbergasted, defensive, my mind was racing, but no words came out.   I wanted to defend us and tell the Liquor Store Owner how Harrison is a hard worker, how Reilly is a kind boy, how, as a family and through my husband’s bakery business, we are constantly volunteering and donating to churches, schools, homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and animal shelters.  We’ve helped clean the river and built parks.  We give money, time, bikes, clothes, baby toys, musical instruments, food etc.  I wanted to tell the Liquor Store Owner how my boys hold the door at restaurants for elderly people, how my husband donates his time in third world countries such as El Salvador and Albania teaching impoverished people bakery skills in hopes of training them so they can feed their families.  My mind was racing so fast that in spite of us being nice people, raising great boys, and all the amazing things as a family we do all that came out was…

Me: “Yeah, well their Grandparents taught them how to play poker!”

Shit, not good!  Fumble. Not a good come back at all.  The Liquor Store Owner just shook his head in disgust and mumbled something about me being a terrible person.  I should of just left the scratchers and his judgment there, but I needed those scratchers and I still had to get to the mall.

I will admit I got a little teary eyed.  No one wants to hear they are a bad parent.  Was I being a bad parent?  I used to be a blackjack dealer and even though we haven’t played a lot, on rainy days every now and then I teach the boys a little about blackjack.   I even throw in some cautionary real life stories of gambling losses I had seen and we talk about MODERATION. It has actually opened up some nice conversations between us, as I teach them a little blackjack and they teach me some poker their Grandparents taught them.  I decided that it was all in innocent fun and the boys are fine.

It was all worth it on Christmas when the boys dashed immediately for their stockings, screeched in delight at the scratchers, and plowed me over to get a quarter to scratch them.  I watched as Reilly, the 12-year-old, feverishly screamed,  ”I AM ADDICTED TO SCRATCHERS…I LOVE THEM!!”  I beamed with joy as their faces were all light up with the thrill of winning three free $1.00 tickets from $36.00 dollars worth of scratchers.  So boys, don’t do drugs, don’t become an alcoholic, don’t smoke, FLOSS, and if I ever catch you gambling…you had better always double down on a ten when the dealer is showing a six.  To leave you with a parting word from Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler, “if your gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.’

WARNING: Finding a Good Nanny will Make Your Nipples Hard

Heather’s voice was excited.  Her words were a bit hard to follow.  She was nervous and happy at the same time, and she was breathy.  Even though we were talking on the phone I could tell she was smiling.  In between giddy stuttered sentences Heather would let out a gasp,  then a liberated scream of “aahhh”, followed up with an, ”Oh my God about time!” Yes, all the signs were there.  Heather was in love.  In lust, in love, turned on.  Turned on with the potential of the potential of a great new nanny.

Like all great new love affairs, be it man or nanny, the beginning has all the same joys, fears, insecurities, and hopes.  You have to pinch yourself to make is seem real.  You have a skip in your step.  You ask yourself, how could the world ever be gray again?  The world is wonderful when you are about to score yourself a piece of sweet nanny.  As if you were meeting the new man of your dreams, you meet the new nanny of your dreams and you ask yourself the same relationship questions.

Wonder:  Where has this potetnial new nanny been hiding all my child’s life?

Fear:  Will she go back to the former family?

Disbelief:  She is too good to be true, there has to be something wrong with her.

Insecurity:  I hope she likes us.

Jealousy:  She better not like my girlfriend’s family better!

Hope:  She will stay with us forever…right?

Anticipation:  I can’t wait to see her again.  (Unlike the romantic joy of seeing a potential new man you have just met, you can’t wait to see the new nanny again because you really need to get some unromantic laundry done and go to Target.)

Heather is cautious yet optimistic about her new love.  She is not going to give her heart away just yet.  They have to meet first.  Their only converstions have been on the phone.  Still, Heather is floating.  The potential new nanny seems perfect.  A nanny for years with references, loves kids, has a college education, married, soccer coach which is perfect for her young boys, loves the outdoors, flexible schedule, can possibly help with the administration in Heather’s business, can start anytime.  WOW, it takes your breath away. 

As we talk about their pending blind date, I ask Heather what she is going to wear to meet.  I am so excited for my friend I could pee right there on the floor (and since I now struggle with urinary incontinence after my son’s birth, I literally could pee right there on the floor).  I drill her on every bit of the conversation.  ” Tell me everything she said,”  I ask.  “Is her voice friendly?”  “What is her family like.”  “Can she cook, do laundry?” “Does she want kids?”  “Where is she from?”  “Are you going to meet for coffee, or have a full blown lunch?”  “How long were you on the phone for?”  “Who is calling who next?” 

Heather is worried her house is too messy for a home meeting and she is nervous she might seem over excited, she doesn’t want to appear too needy.  We discuss nanny courting strategy and launch a plan to remain casually optimistic.  Heather has been burned before.  She doesn’t want to put too much of herself out there.  Still the excitement is real, the anticipation palpable, and the air is full of energy.  This has the potential to be a beautiful relationship.  As Heather and I go to hang up the phone I leave her with one last piece of advice, when she goes to meet the potential great new nanny, make sure she wears a padded bra.

Flirt Your Way to a Sweet Ass

Click above for more info on the Flirt Jeans by Old Navy

Losing pregnancy weight sucks, as does buying and re-buying different size clothes as you slide up and down the scale.  I don’t know if you are like me or not, but the pregnancy weight just came right off and then some….NO JUST KIDDING!!!  For me it has been a long journey and like any journey worth taking it was not a straight line.  Lots of stops and starts – hills and valleys (and I am not just talking the hills and valleys on the back of my thighs…love you thighs!)  I didn’t want to ”waste money” buying new clothes until I reached “my weight”, but in the meantime I literally was wearing the same thing everyday and looking pretty schlempy.   It wasn’t good.

That is when I decided that I was WORTH some new clothes and did not have to be the PERFECT weight to still look put together.  I was thrilled when I discovered the FLIRT jeans from Old Navy, and I did not have to spend a fortune.    Another reason I liked the Flirt was because they are mid-rise which helps tame the tummy and hold it all back with out going the dreaded “classic cut” route…high waisted, easy rider, “Mom” jeans; whatever you call it high waisted is evil and guarntees your husband will never give you that second baby you want.  The Flirt jeans haven’t gone unnoticed by the fashion mags either, they have been written up in Glamour magazine, and if you love your jeans on the fancy designer side, but don’t have your fancy designer ass yet, the Flirt will bridge the the distance and get you through.  They are 87% cotton so the don’t have as much give as I would like, and their washes tend to fade a bit fast, but at roughly $30.00 retail and between $20.00 and $25.00 online they are worth picking up several pairs.  The Flirt jeans also have several cuts and washes to play around with.  They also have plus, tall, and petite sizes too.  They aren’t the PERFECT jeans I am dreaming of, but they are a nice transition as we transition.  May the force be with you as you journey through the trails of losing your pregnancy weight, or just weight in general.  Love yourself and your ass ladies, no matter the size!  Love M

*I did not receive a product sample or compensation for this post.  The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

Into Every Woman’s Life a Little Heel Must Fall

Dansko Trya Boots

Click above for more info on the Dansko Tyra Boots

“I was completely shocked and devastated, because I was wearing flats.”  – Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham on being pulled over in a car by the police and photographed by the paparazzi…..while wearing flats.

It was time ladies.  Time for me to come to the realization that three inch heels no longer qualified as sensible footwear.  It was time for a “comfort line.”  I know, tears.  It took me awhile to wrap  my head around the concept.  I have ALWAYS been a heels girl.  In fact, I once took a road trip with my good friend Monica from Lake Tahoe to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  The shoes I brought, black leather sandals with a 2 1/2 inch heel.  Those were my camping heels. I bartended and waitressed in 3 inch heels for years.  My feet would cramp so bad that I would swear each shift was the last time time in fashionable footwear.  I was going to become close personal friends with Dr. Scholl’s.  The problem was EVERY time I went to the mall and choked out the words “comfortable shoes”  I felt I died a little inside and more than once I am convinced I threw up a little in my mouth. I just didn’t have the stomach for flats.

Then came two very active step-sons and the birth of my also very active son.  Three boys.  I looked and felt ridiculous “clicking” around after them teetering on heels.  Plus, I am 36 years old and after years of heels, my feet have earned their stripes and we just can’t take it anymore.  The search began for a great looking pair of comfortable shoes.

I love boots and I searched high and low (under 3 inches low) for a fantastic looking pair of comfortable boots.  Fashion and comfort was a marriage I never thought I would see.   That’s when I discovered these new Tyra Dansko boots.  Dansko makes those clogs you see all the nurses and waitresses wearing.  Dansko is originally a company started in Denmark and they are known for their comfortable shoes and are a socially responsible company.  Feel good about your feet and the Earth at the same time.  When I searched at zappos.com and saw the boots I thought we might have a winner.  I ordered a pair and it was love at first zip.  They really are that comfortable, but they are sleek and the heel is not too bulky or square.  Actually this is a 3″ heel so I didn’t have to sacrifice the height to get a comfortable boot.

If, like me, you are a busy Mom, but still like a great pair of leather boots try these out.  They are great all weather boots and come in brown, and if you order through zappos  – free shipping ladies!!  Go and rock your comfortable and sassy self.    Love M

*I did not receive a product sample or compensation for this post.  The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

Over the river and through the woods, to Kaiser Hospital we go…

I had to take Lucas to the Emergency room tonight.  I will tell the outcome now, as to not panic everyone and have to have you jump to the end of the story.  Stomach bug.  Prescription, lots of hugs from Mom, Pedialyte, and Mylicon (THANK GOD FOR PEDIALYTE AND MYLICON…I AM IMMEDIATELY BUYING STOCK IN THE COMPANIES).  Lucas was not feeling well the last couple of days, lots of crankiness, twisting and turning, and plenty Lucas’ most frequently visiting baby ailment – gas.  Or as we say around here; air, motorboat, puffs, or tooties.  Most of the time my step-sons keep the description old school with a battle cry yell of, “LUCAS FARTED!!”  My husband on the otherhand, who is Swiss, and for which English is not his first language will announce rather formerly in his deep voice and Swiss accent, “Meggan, Lucas has some air.”

These last few days Lucas has not only had air, but today he started with spitting up his bottle about one hour after eating.  We retreated home and after his afternoon nap, he woke up screaming.  Not crying, screaming.  He shoved away his toys and was just inconsolable.  I knew right then I had to take him in….to the ER.  It was 6:30p.m. Damn the pediatrician’s offices were closed.  I scooped him up and called my neighbor Jill and off the three of us went.  It wasn’t until half way to the hospital that I remembered that Jill has a fear of hospitals.  I immediately asked her if it was ok, she said it was fine as long as we don’t go to the ER.  I told her that is exactly where we were going.  Big deep breath from Jill and she decided she would be fine.  I amost cried for her when we pulled up to the hospital and there was a man carrying a woman into the ER.  I felt Jill tense up and she let out with a muffled, “OH DEAR.”  “Don’t worry”, I replied, as I diagnosed the woman from 100 feet away in the dark with my non-existant medical background; no blood – “broken foot.”  

So into the ER the three of us go.  Two of us feeling sick to our stomach, Lucas and now Jill.  Jill is very helpful, but not making any sudden moves as her eyes tear up and she sits perfectly still next to me.  Lucas is moaning a bit and squirming all over me.  Finally, they call us into the room where the nurses check you in.  As the nurses are cooing over Lucas, an emergency call comes from a nurse.  A female has passed out in the lobby!!  My first thought is Jill.  I ask the nurse to check on my friend, if she is not the woman laying on the ground unconscious, she is the woman sitting perfectly still not breathing in the cute track suit.  Either way she might need some checking in on.  Turns out it was a diabetic patient and Jill is fine, if you call being terrified and motionless fine.  She was being such a good friend and a wonderful and brave trooper!!!!

Lucas, even sick, charms the nurses.  “I swear he was crying”, I tell the nurses.  “Oh handsome boy”, “cutie pie” and when a sweet older Mexican nurse calls him “mijo”, we both melt.  I let out a sigh of relief, I felt that we were ALL going to be ok with “Nana” here. 

In the small non-descript room, I am holding Lucas, or trying to, as we do the waiting for the doctor dance.  Bounce, bounce, kiss on the cheek.  Bounce, bounce, look in the mirror with Lucas, smile, smile, kiss on check.  Kiss on cheek, give Lucas paper towel, Lucas throws towel on ground, coo in Lucas’ ear, whisper I love you, bounce, bounce.   Sit down on doctor’s stool and ride around the room, coo in Lucas’ ear, bounce, whisper I love you, bounce, bounce.  The dance Moms have done in wating rooms across the world.  No matter how long it takes, doesn’t it always seem to take forever?  We finally opened up the room door for a fresh horizon and scan of the hallway.  Nana came by for a smile, and the broken foot lady was wheeled in.  Not bad on my diagnosis, turns out I was right.

The doctor arrived and after a quick scan, check of the ears (which Lucas held still for) and stethoscope to the tummy the diagnosis was reached.  We quickly packed our things and went to see if Jill was admitted in our absence.  There she was sitting out in the hallway patiently, and very calmly waiting for us.

I gave Lucas the Pedialyte and Mylicon and he seemed to get instantly better.  He is sleeping now and I hope we both get some sleep tonight.  Tomorrow is a rest at home day and we are ready.

Tip for Moms – Mylicon is amazing.  We have tried other remedies for gas and this really worked for Lucas.

Who’s Crazy Now?

Necessity is the mother of invention.  Today Lucas and I went to Target.   It being the holidays and a retail setting I kept Lucas extrrrrra close.  You know what I mean. it can get a little sketchy.  Last time we ventured out into the G.P. (general public) a lady sitting in her walker and wearing a Santa hat got PISSED at me that I wouldn’t let her PINCH Lucas.  That’s exactly what she asked, “hey lady can I pinch your cute baby.”  “NOPE.”  Then out of nowhere two men playing trumpets in the produce section fired up Silent Night.  I had never seen anything like it, right next to the apples.  Was the lady in a walker a  produce trumpet groupie, what was happening?  Right there Lucas started crying and I felt like it.  We came to buy diapers, not crazy. 

That being my last encounter in the GP I was on high alert.  Target was actually uneventful until my nose started to run and run and run.  I was franctic for a Kleenex, but I was in line to pay, no Kleenex, and I was absolutley trapped.  No Kleenex, runny nose, no way out.  I did what any quick thinking Mom would do on her feet.  I reached into Lucas’ diaper bag and grabbed a size 5 Pampers diaper and I blew my nose right there and then.  Oh yeah, I did it…sweet relief.  I was so proud of myself for my quick thinking until I caught a glimpse of the people in the line around me….there were no words needed to express how they felt about what they just witnessed, their horrified faces said enough.  All I could think to do was meekly smile and mumble “it was clean.”  I am sure they are relaying on their blogs about the crazy lady who blew her nose in a diaper, who is the crazy one now….LOL

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