Weather Mommy

Fake Eyelashes and Baby Food

It’s cold…Oh well!

As a meteorologist, I take the heat for bad weather. I get nasty looks in the store, constant questions about when it’s gonna warm up, etc. It comes with the territory, and I’m cool with that.

Recently, we’ve had stories about parents who are really worried about outdoor recess in cold weather. I get it. I worry about my kids, just like every other mother. That being said, I also highly value the importance of getting outside — the benefits of vitamin D from the sun, fresh air, and exercise.

We take our kids outside in all kinds of weather, but we make sure they’re dressed appropriately!

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My pediatrician shares a similar theory on the importance of kids getting outside, and ‘blowing the stink off’. He says that it’s ok for kids to play outside, in all kinds of weather. The exceptions — way too cold, way too hot and whenever there is thunder and lightning.

So what’s too cold?? It depends on what YOU. What makes you nervous, but, don’t forget to weigh the benefits of being outdoors into the equation! Here’s a guide from the National Weather Service on the temperature/wind chill times that you can be outside before frostbite could be an issue.

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Don’t push it, but let your kids enjoy the outdoors. There’s really no reason to hibernate all winter, as long as you dress for the weather.

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Your kids have built in weather detectors (thanks evolution!). If it’s too hot, or too cold, chances are, they won’t want to stay out for long anyway! Sometimes, even a few minutes of fresh air can make a world of difference in attitude, health, and behavior.

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October Favorites

I’m just getting around to my October favorites list. I’ve got some great stuff to share with you. My faves this month span the gambit from podcasts to mascara to the thing that put my mind at ease on my recent flight to Europe. Without further ado — the things I’ve been loving this past month.

1) No Mascara Mascara
I have tried so many mascaras, I’ve lost count. I’ve tried everything from the super cheap drugstore mascaras to uber expensive ones. My current fave is Perricone’s ‘No Mascara Mascara’. If I’m honest, the mascara looks great, but it doesn’t look that different from many other more expensive brands that I’ve tried. The applicator is a little weird, BUT — this stuff has an eyelash treatment in it, and that stuff works!! My lashes are noticeably longer, thicker and fuller. Even our makeup artist sees the change. It’s good stuff! It isn’t cheap though. No Mascara Mascara runs about 30 bucks.

mascara

2) Hozier
hozier

Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’ is my new jam. It’s not a workout song, but it is such a good one. My kids love it, and even sing along — Willow especially — watch this cute video of her singing!

3) Jo Malone
I LOVE Jo Malone. I’ve got her Orange Blossom perfume, and my new fave, Wood Sage and Sea Salt. I absolutely love perfumes, and Jo Malone’s fragrances are amazing. The range includes lots of different scent “feelings”, so there’s something for everyone. They also make candles and home stuff too. Next on my list is their Incense and Embers candle. Sounds like it’s right up my alley. They’re also really into packaging, so all their items come in pretty little boxes with bows. So great for Christmas gifts!!
candle

4) Clorox Bleach Healthcare Germicidal Wipes
Lance and I just got back from our trip to Belgium. It was SO great, but I was a little stressed about the flight from Belgium, back to the States. Normally, I could care less about germs, I just don’t stress about it. Unfortunately, the whole Ebola fear was ramping out of control right before we left. I also found out that Brussels was the only European city still accepting direct flights from West Africa, AND that there was a flight transfer from the Liberian flight, right on to my United flight home to O’Hare. Not gonna lie, I was just a tad concerned, and I didn’t use the airplane bathroom all the way home. Stupid? Maybe, but I don’t care. I also bought some serious wipes — healthcare grade — known to kill almost all viruses and bacteria within a couple of minutes. These are strong, really bleachy smelling wipes. They do the job. Did you know that most Clorox wipes that you buy in the stores don’t actually contain bleach? These do! They aren’t cheap, but they did give me some (likely misguided) peace of mind.
wipes

5) Medieval Archives Podcast
LOVE me some history, specifically the Middle Ages, and this podcast is AMAZING! The topics are super interensting, and they are usually the perfect length for my drive home from work. Whether or not you like history, or the Dark Ages, these are interesting stories about human nature, and our collective human history. I LOVE them. I also follow Medieval Archives on Twitter…of course.

medieval archive

And there you have it! My favorite things from the past month. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried these products, or it you plan to try them. I’d love to hear from you guys!

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Halloweenie and an Emmy

Rain, snow, sleet, 60mph wind gusts and a temp around 36. Welcome to Halloween in Chicago. My poor kids.

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We dressed up, and powered through, but it was miserable!!

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Willow went as Aurora, or Sleeping Beauty, for those of you not in the know. Leo was owning it as Superman. Lana followed through with her Mount Vesuvius idea. She was SO excited about her volcano costume, and she was definitely the only one we saw!

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We were out for about 15 minutes of hell. The kids were miserable, but we powered through long enough to get them some candy.

This is a brief snapshot …

And in other news, our show won an Emmy for our tornado coverage! So proud of our morning team. Now I get one of these babies of my own!!

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When In Brugge…

Lance and I initiated a “mommy/daddy time” plan last year. We took a vacation, just the two of us. We reconnected, we had meals where we didn’t cut anyone’s food, we missed our kids, we explored, and we gave ourselves a little break in a beautiful place. Last year, we went to Ireland, and had a blast (pics are in a blog post from October ’13).

This year we went to Belgium. We drank beer, explored old churches and castles, and generally had a great time. We spent two nights in Brugge, two nights in Rochefort, and two nights in Brussels. I would highly recommend it!! I feel like Belgium is often overlooked in favor of France, or Germany or The Netherlands. It shouldn’t be! It’s a gorgeous country with wonderful food, nice people, great beer and a long and storied past. Two thumbs up from us. Now — enjoy a few pictures!

Chateau Veves just outside of Celles

Chateau Veves just outside of Celles

13th century castles -- when taking the stairs could kill you

13th century castles — when taking the stairs could kill you

Trappist abbey that brews Rochefort beer (Lance loved it)

Trappist abbey that brews Rochefort beer (Lance loved it)

Belgium Namur

Belgium Leffe

Belgium Ghent2

Belgium Ghent1

Gorgeous Ghent

Gorgeous Ghent

Belgium flag

Dinant

Dinant

Chateau-Sainte-Lavaux

Chateau-Sainte-Lavaux

The small, but gorgeous town of Celles

The small, but gorgeous town of Celles

Belgium Brussels3

Belgium Brussels2

Brussels

Brussels

Belgium Brugge2

Brugge

Brugge

Belgium Brugge Hall

The meeting hall in Brugge

The meeting hall in Brugge

Looking out on the market square from the Belfry high above Brugge

Looking out on the market square from the Belfry high above Brugge

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To Everything There Is A Season

From the beginning of organized social behavior, humans have celebrated, worshipped, bemoaned, and been mystified by the passing of seasons, the spin of the earth, and the effects on our bodies and souls. From Loughcrew to Stonehenge, the Mayans to the Egyptians, and astronomers to astrologers — it is human nature to wants answers, reasons, explanations.

In this day and age, we know what causes the seasons. The words equinox and solstice are not new, and for most, they do little more than mark the passage of time. In our busy, social media enhanced lives, the autumnal equinox is a cue to google ‘best place to get pumpkins’, or to take your 1st day of Fall selfie. It can mean so much more.

As a meteorologist, the seasons impact me more than most. I deal with floods and severe storms in the Spring, heat waves in the Summer, a secondary tornado season and snow in Fall, and blizzards and bitter cold in the Winter. I mark the passage of seasons as part of my job — a time to shift my energies from one natural hazard to the next. A few years ago, I decided to embrace the change of seasons like my Viking ancestors. I have reclaimed the mystery, the soul of the seasons’ spin.

This year, we celebrated the Autumnal Equinox with pumpkins, a bonfire, and a dinner that was mostly harvested from our garden. We put our phones down, we turned the television off, and we spent time together, outside in nature. We partied like it was 700 AD. The kids picked flowers and tried to find colorful leaves. They climbed on a wood pile, and ate late season strawberries right off our plants. Lance and I watched them enjoy nature, watched them explore the changes that fall brings to the Earth.

Humans have forgotten the importance of the seasons because we no longer depend on them for harvest, hunting and shelter. Now we’ve got AC, heat, running water, cars, and grocery stores. That doesn’t mean that we have to let go of our past.

Autumn is a time to reconnect with yourself after the busy summer full of parties and sunshine, pools, and no school. Now it is time to get back into your routines, to focus inwards on what you want, and to buckle down and make it happen. It’s time to revel in sunshine with a cool Autumn breeze, and to revel in what little time we have left before winter moves in with it’s icy fingers.

What do you want? What changes do you want to make. How can you reconnect with the human need, the human desire to understand and celebrate what the Earth has to offer? Prioritize. Remember what’s important to you, and why. Teach your children that even though we live in a modern age, our ancient ancestors were proof that happiness can be found in the simple things.

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Stories To Watch This Week

It’s a big world out there, and there’s a lot of news to sift through. If I’m honest, it doesn’t all interest me. I’m guessing that you feel the same way. Some stories speak to you, and some don’t. This is what I’m following this week.

Scottish Referendum
The Scots have fought for their independence since the dawn of time — usually from England. 700 years ago, Robert the Bruce won the Battle of Bannockburn, beating superior English forces, and grabbing control of Scotland. Back then, they used the sword to determine the victor. In this day and age, it’s a vote for Scottish independence. The Scots will hit the polls on Sept 18. I’m not an economist, or a political strategist, but this could obviously have far reaching global implications.

scotting flag

Hurricane Odile
Hurricane Odile tied for the strongest hurricane to hit Baja California Sur in the satellite era. It made landfall as a Cat 3. In 1967, Hurricane Olivia also hit that area as a major hurricane. Odile has created a swath of damage across the tourist area of Cabo San Lucas, and will now bring heavy rains and flooding to the Southwest. The moisture from Odile may even end up in the Midwest by the weekend!

Odile

Booster Bumping
A new study by Safe Kids Worldwide was released this morning, saying that 90% of parents move their kids from booster seats to seat belts too soon. Your children should be buckled in car seats or boosters until 57″ tall and between 80-100 lbs. I know there’s always a desire to move your kids to the next phase, whether it’s car seats or baby food, but RELAX. Take your time, and make sure your kid is ready for the next step.

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NFL Abuse
I won’t get into the details on this wide-reaching story. You’re either following it, or you’re not. I will say, however, that this is shining a light on domestic abuse and child abuse, and that can’t be a bad thing. It’s a problem that often stays in the dark. People either try to hide it, or their just afraid to have the discussion. It’s a problem for every segment of the population across the whole world, and it’s now in the spotlight.

Deepika Padukone’s Cleavage
If you live in the US, you probably don’t even know who Deepika Padukone is — she’s a Bollywood star, and she’s awesome. The Times of India tweeted a pic of her this weekend, with the caption – “OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show”. Deepika didn’t like it, and she tweeted a series of messages to The Times saying, essentially, “yeah, I’ve got boobs, and if you’re gonna talk about women’s empowerment, try to respect women first”. Amen Deepika.

deepika

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Inspiration From A Guy Born 450 Years Ago

It’s been a LONG week in my little world. Needed a little pump me up, and thought you might too. Shakespeare is the absolute master, but did you realize that his works include some awesome inspiration? Enough for a Friday pump me up.

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

This above all; to thine own self be true.

The wheel is come full circle.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.

How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

And now a quote from me — “It’s Friday!”

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Current Favorites!

Hey guys! I feel like sharing a few of my favorite things with my loyal readers as we approach a big milestone on the blog. Getting close to 100K hits on my little site, and I thank you all for clicking! If there’s anything you’d like to see on the blog, or on my YouTube channel, leave a comment below.

Here are my current or longtime favorites –

BBC World Service
I spend 2 hours in my car every single work day. 1hr in, 1hr out. I get sick of hearing the same songs again and again, so I started listening to the BBC on my way in. Tons of world news and awesome interviews. It keeps me awake on my morning drive. Give it a try!!

Dr. Perricone No Foundation Foundation
This stuff is awesome. I wear it on my days off. It goes on like water, but gives a great coverage with the dewy appearance of not wearing makeup. It’s got their serum ingredients in it too, so you’re helping your skin while you wear it. I’ve also got the No Mascara Mascara and the No Lipstick Lipstick. It rocks!

Lower Humidity
I cry for the end of summer, but I LOVE the lower humidity levels. This is my favorite time of the year. The sun is still strong enough to warm your skin, but cooler temps and those awesome lower humidity levels make it comfortable. Love Live September weather.

Outlander
I was pumped about this show from the start. I like a good romance, and the Outlander series of books definitely falls into that category. They’re doing it right so far…you know…cause the guy they picked is hot. Sam Heughan. Google him. But really though, the storyline is great. Lance is enjoying it too, and he didn’t think that he would.

Kid’s New Shows
They might not actually be new, but they’re new to us, and my kids are loving them! Lance and I are loving them too, because they’re either cute, or cute AND educational. Lana, Willow and Leo are loving Paw Patrol, Dinosaur Train, and Wild Kratts.

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Flying With Babies — 10 Things You Need To Know

Are you dreaming of a trip, but terrified to take your infant, baby, or toddler on a plane? I’ve got the top 10 tips that you NEED to know if you’re flying for the 1st time with your little one.

Our three kids, aged 4, 2 & 2, have averaged about 3 flights a year, since birth. Taking one kid on a plane was daunting, but taking a toddler, and infant twins on a plane — well — that’s the next level of fear. We said ‘oh well’, put our fears aside, and did it anyway. Since our family has ‘been there, done that’, I’ll share what you NEED to know.

1) Cheap Seats
Children fly free until the age of 2 — called lap children. You can always buy a seat if you want to, but you’ll probably end up holding them anyway, so save the cash!

2) Proof
You may not need it, but you should have it. Bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate, or their passport. You will likely be asked for one or the other at the check-in counter or security. The twins don’t have passports yet, but Lana does, and it’s helpful. Just get one. It’s a good thing to have.

3) Pressure Changes
Even as an adult, your ears hurt and pop with pressure changes upon take off and landing. Kids are no different, but they can’t chew gum, and don’t know how to yawn to equalize pressure. Solution — breastfeeding or bottle feeding at takeoff and landing. Swallowing pops their little ears, and will save you from ear piercing shrieks. Giving your toddler a drink helps them as well, as does a pacifier, or gum, if your little one is old enough.

4) What to Check
When our kids were babies, we always took our stroller right to the gate. Airlines will allow you to gate check your stroller. You take it all the way down the ramp to the plane entrance, and leave it right outside the door. It will be waiting for you in the same spot when you land! Make sure to check in with the attendant at the gate to get a tag put on your stroller.

5) Security
Security is a necessary evil, no matter your age. When you have kids, it can be like storming an Anglo-Saxon stronghold in the Middle Ages. FYI – little kids do NOT have to remove their shoes, but you still do. You are allowed to bring formula on the plane, but it will have to be checked with those little wipes that they scan. You’ll fold your stroller if it can fit through the detector. If it’s too big, it will be hand checked. You can NOT keep your child in the stroller to walk through the metal detector. You’ll have to carry or walk your little one through. Good luck, and know that you will annoy every single business traveller within a 10 mile radius.

6) Outfits and Spares
Even if it’s hot outside, it’s often drafty in the airport, and can be chilly on the plane. We always dress our kids in comfy pants, a short sleeved shirt, and bring or wear a little sweater or jacket. That way, they won’t be too hot, or too cold. Make sure to bring a change of clothing. You never know when you might need it. Your baby could have a #2 blowout, your toddler could have an accident, or your little one might just spill a drink. Bring it. You’ll thank me later.

7) Diaper Changing
Don’t change your kid’s poopy diaper in your seat. The people around you won’t like it…believe me! In at least one of the airplane bathrooms, there will be a little hidden diaper changing station. You probably never noticed it before, but it’s there! It’s above the toilet. You pull the tab, pull it down, and unfold it. Voila!

8) Hand Sanitizer
Airports are NOT the cleanest places. You’ll need to disinfect little hands to avoid sharing germs with people from around the world. You may also need to disinfect your hands after airplane diaper changes. It isn’t easy to hold a wiggly little one and try to use that weird airplane sink. I’m just saying…

9) Be PREPARED!!
Toys, books, pacifiers, tons of diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, snacks, snacks, snacks, and your kid’s OWN sippy cup. Whatever you think might occupy your child, BRING IT! I think my kids ate puffs all the way to California and back. It’s all good. It’s all fair in love, war, and flying with kids. BTW – the airline will give you a juice or water in a cup with a lid, but your child will probably spill it. We always put their juice in our own sippy cups. It’s just easier.

10) iPods, iPhones, iPads
Our iPad has saved us time and time again in the air. It keeps our kids busy. Only problem…now we need 3 to avoid fighting. We’ve just got one though, so taking turns can get a little loud. They do have kid sized headphones, and you’ll need those as well.

*BONUS TIP FOR TWIN PARENTS*
You CANNOT have two lap children in one row. If you’ve got twins, you’ll have to divide and conquer. One parent across the aisle with one kid, and you across the way with the other. If you’re travelling alone with 2 lap kids, I’m guessing that you’ll have to buy one of them a seat. The reason isn’t frivolous. There are only 4 oxygen masks per every three seat row.

Good luck to all the Norman conquering, diaper juggling, child bribing parents who are brave enough to fly the friendly skies!

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When to Boost and When to Wait

My oldest weighs about 40lbs at the age of 4, and she isn’t particularly tall.  She is still in her toddler carseat, but just about every other Mommy with kids her age is making the shift.  The shift to the booster.

I’ve got questions though!  How do I know when she, and her little body, are ready to move up to the next level?  There’s so much conflicting information.  Even our ped said, “every seat is different”.  Ok.  That made sense, obviously, but didn’t help much!!

I’ve been looking at the Diono Radian RXT and the Clek Oobr seats, because the seem so much more substantial.  Everybody else has the Evenflo or Graco, and seem extraordinarily happy.

Do I feel like I need the heftier seat because she really isn’t big enough?

What about you guys?  To boost, or not to boost.  When did you do it??

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