happy things...

You know those days when you just need to escape? When all you can think about is getting away from the never-ending piles of laundry, the incessant whining, the fighting over whose sandwich is bigger (neither one EVER IS by the way!!), the toys that YOU end up cleaning up day after day and the general chaos of life? I had one of those days yesterday. And as soon as my husband came home I told him that I would be leaving after dinner for some ME time! He leaned over, gave me a kiss and said "OK Dear". It must have been written all over my face.

So escape I did, to the cavernous, anonymous, fabulous confines of West Edmonton Mall. Walking through the mall ALL BY MYSELF is a treat in and of itself and getting to go and browse nonchalantly in my favourite stores almost makes me giddy!

Yesterday I indulged in a few things that really do make me happy and I thought I would share them with you ('cause they may make you happy one day too!)

  • The Benefit Brow Bar at Murale. This concept is genius. No appointment necessary, professional esthetician, super clean environment, and you are in and out in under 20 minutes. And seriously, I don't know what it is, but having nicely shaped and clean eyebrows just feels GOOD.
  • And while at Murale, Jackie (the wonderful esthetician at the WEM location) introduced me to the new Benefit Cosmetics skincare line. I immediately fell in love with ALL of it. The packaging is lovely (yes, this matters!), the product line is free of parabens and sulphates and this refined finish facial polish is something every mama needs to feel all dewy and gorgeous (I used it this morning and am super impressed with how my skin feels and looks!!) The icing on the cake is that this stuff all smells absolutely divine and I ended up getting the toner and moisturizer too!
  • Anthropologie. Really Mamas, need I say more? Okay, I will. I love, love, LOVE this store. I feel like I can buy clothes there that are made to fit real women, do not make me feel like a wannabe pop star and are of a quality that I appreciate. I knew this top was for me the minute I saw it. It is my GREEN and well, green is a happy color for me!

Tuesdays are also happy days for me. My amazing babysitter comes first thing in the morning and I get to go for a grueling great workout with the fabulous Jessica at Infinite Fusion. We are doing a whole lot of Pilates Reformer workouts lately and let me tell you, these are some killer sessions! I highly recommend you try a class or a personal session and see for yourself.

Today was also a happy day for me because I received a shipment for Natural Urban Mamas and I am like a kid on Christmas morning when new product arrives!! In today's box were the wonderful Dolcino Woven Wraps and I am one happy, happy kid today!! I am so glad that I decided to bring in these baby carriers. They are 100% organic cotton, are at a decent price point for a woven wrap and they are the perfect wrap for beginners too, with different colored rails (sides) and tapered ends for easy tying. I rushed home with the box after I picked it up from the post office and immediately wrapped my 30 pound 2-year-old in one! And it is GREEN too!!

One more happy thing for me is a great latte and my all time favourite is the one that the girls make me at Cafe O'Play. This wonderful cafe and play place has become my very own 'Cheers' of motherhood. I am a regular and today I actually told Tava (awesome, sweet, barista extraordinaire) that I would have 'the usual' and by usual I meant the absolutely delicious Yummy Mummy latte. And now you can also have it as a blended latte for summertime. I like it so much, that I will even go to the cafe without the kids just to sit, sip and get a bit of work done too!

So there you have it. My happy places, happy things and my happy color. Please remember to take care of yourselves mamas and find your HAPPY on a regular basis. Remember the mantra....."Happy Mama, no More DRAMA!!"



Be glad there's one place in the world Where everybody knows your name, And they're always glad you came; You want to go where people know, People are all the same; You want to go where everybody knows your name.

~Cheers Theme Song~

Bathroom Stall 1 - Natural Urban Mama 0

Today was one of those days that I spent wishing and praying that I was ANYWHERE else except for where I was!

It started out like any other Thursday, we got up, I showered (OK, right there was a deviation!) and the kids had waffles for breakfast.  My accountant came over for a quick meeting and then the plan was to head to West Edmonton Mall for some shopping. I really wanted to go to GAPKids and get L some new PJs and both kids need new swimsuits (and I had the 30% off Give and Get coupon to use too). And to be honest, I have not been out shopping for about 6 weeks and needed a fix!

All was going to plan. We shopped at GAPKids, the kids were helpful in choosing the items that I bought them and then we went to Gymboree and they watched the little TV in there while I picked out some new swimwear for them.  We then headed over to Jugo Juice for our regular mall lunch fare-a smoothie and a grilled chicken wrap.

As we finished up lunch, L told me she was doing a 'pee-pee dance' and so we hightailed it to the nearest bathroom. We made it, she peed and then we continued on our way and headed to Anthropologie for Mama to get her 'fix'.  Not even 5 minutes in the store, L looks up at me again and says that she had to go back to the bathroom because she now is doing a 'poo-poo dance'.  So, I load her and C back into our sit & stand stroller and we motor over to the bathroom on the upper level of the mall near The Children's Place. It is not a big bathroom and the handicapped stall was taken, so we used the last stall near the wall and I parked C and the stroller just outside the stall door.  I had my purse on me across my body, but needed to take it off in order to move in the stall and get L on the toilet and so I took it off and hung it behind the door. (Yeah, at this point your warning bells should be going off!!!!)

L decided that this was also the point at which she would have a complete FREAK OUT, refuse to 'do' anything and tell me that she wanted to go to the bathroom at home. I am not sure about how anyone else handles these situations, but I get very flustered and frustrated when my kids hit the meltdown point and just want to GET OUT NOW. Which is what we did. We left the bathroom in a rush and headed for the entrance where I parked.

And it was not until C asked me for some coins to throw in the fountain that I realized................I HAD LEFT MY PURSE IN THE FUCKING BATHROOM!!!!!!

And not just ANY purse, my $400 dollar COACH purse that also contained my $600 iPhone 4, my car and house keys, my wallet AND my favourite lip gloss!

My heart sank to my stomach and then felt like it got kicked REALLY hard. I panicked, grabbed C's hand and headed back upstairs to the bathroom, saying every prayer I could think of on the way there. And it was....NOT THERE!

This is the point at which panic truly took over, the tears started flowing and my deodorant started to fail me. I was trying to picture making the call to my husband to tell him what had happened, how I would explain to the kids that we were literally stuck at the mall, how quickly I could get a hold of VISA to cancel my credit cards and how to just handle this overriding feeling of helplessness that was taking over my mind.

We made it down to the Security office of the mall and I picked up the phone and asked in my shaky, teary voice if anyone had returned a blue Coach purse. And the angel on the other end of the line said YES, she thinks that someone did and that it was over at Guest Services.  After figuring out where the hell Guest Services was, I pushed and dragged my poor children for another 5 minutes through the mall to the Admin/Lost and Found office.  I was full of hope...until I spoke to the girl behind the desk who told me that nothing had been handed in all day.

And then I just sunk into the chair and BAWLED. You know the cry, the ugly kind, right in front of my poor confused and exhausted babies and the administration office staff of West Edmonton Mall.  It was not a pretty sight!

I managed to gather myself together enough to ask the receptionist to call over to Security again, because the angel over there had told me that it was found and to come over HERE. She did, and it turns out that I was one door away from the Guest Services desk-the folks who ACTUALLY had my purse. I wiped away my tears, mumbled a thank you and headed 20 feet over to the next desk where a lovely man handed me my lost baby purse! Completely intact and not a thing missing. Of course I was still crying, but the tears where now those of relief.

I took the kids over to one of the nice new seating areas, found some coins in my now recovered wallet and told my son to throw one in for Mama too and wish for a nanny!  We headed back to the entrance after I managed to stop my hands and body from shaking and I have never been so relieved in my life to get out of that place.

I called my husband when I got home and told him what had happened and that we were just now going to all jump in bed for a nap (it was 4:30 PM) and that if he wanted to eat tonight, he had better bring something home for dinner.  I also told him that I am in desperate need a FULL MENTAL HEALTH DAY and that this consists of at least 8 hours at a Spa, away from the world and from my life (and I may have promised him sex for the next five days straight as well, but I can't be sure)!

Lessons learned from today:

  • NEVER take your freakin' purse off of your body (or at least only when a suitable husband is around to hold it)!
  • The 30 minutes of vigorous activity a day that Health Canada recommends for kids should probably not be running after your frantic, bawling mother at the mall. (C was still complaining of his legs hurting "from all that running" as I was putting him to bed tonight!)
  • There are Angels and good souls on this earth who will DO THE RIGHT THING and I am so very thankful for that and to them.
  • I need a vacation!

That is all. I am done for today. Me and my glass of wine are now going to hang out for a bit.