Monday, December 11, 2017

Decking the Halls

We don't have many Christmas decorations in our halls. While the living room, the kitchen and even the bathroom gets bedazzled with something festive our hallway is a little...bah-humbug. 
Plus if you have a little person under 5 in your home, sticking that Lenox heirloom ornament on your live Christmas tree is just asking for heart"break" (pun intended). 
So what's a Mama to do? 
Say hello to the felt Christmas tree.

We keep this one in our hall, and they can decorate a tree to their hearts content. I usually pull the ornaments off after they go to bed and they are able "decorate" the tree every day.

The trees are super easy to make and cost about $10 +/- depending on what supplies you already have. You can usually find felt on sale at a craft store 4 sheets for $1,  grab some holiday stickers from the Dollar Tree, a glue gun and you are good to go. 
Here are 5 DIY tutorials for more inspiration:

"...But Drama Mama", you say, I'm soooo not the crafty type". Never fear Etsy is here! Here are a few Etsy stores that sell fully created felt tree kits. Yay! I hear you Mama, cuz you have more than enough to do this holiday season.


Happy Crafting!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Drama Mama's December Photo-A-Day

Happy December! Here is my gift to you! A December Photo-A-Day challenge that is sure to be fun! You can follow me on Instagram @itsthedramamama to see my progression or tag your photos #dramamamadecember so I can follow yours.

I created this because I want to be present with my kids this month but it gets so hard with the never ending to-do lists and the stream of events and celebrations. 
Hopefully this list will slow me down so I can capture 
all the little moments...
the good, the great and the priceless!

Background Image:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

29 Weeks: Turn Down For What?

 Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I'm not Irish but I liked to be kissed anyway!!!

St. Patty's day I scarfed down some green cupcakes with my Pre-K babies and then I trekked up to my OBGYN for the 2nd trimester appointment I had been dreading, the Glucose Test. They make you drink this super sugary drink and then wait an hour before testing your blood.

Honestly I must have had a different flavor with my first pregnancy because it wasn't as nasty as I remember. Sitting still for an hour after being doped up on sugar was a challenge but I survived by taking silly pictures and playing Farm Heroes Saga.

So Drama Mama, Where's the Drama?
This week was tough. I was asked to audition for Hamilton the musicals upcoming tour and future replacements on Broadway (If you don't know what that is smack yourself) and while the start dates are months and months away I am now in no position to audition for a musical. During the dance call I would give belly dancing a whole new meaning. So after politely declining with my agency, dumb me I actually started to count the number of auditions I've had to turn down since the pregnancy. Ummm, yeah, not smart. Why do we do things like that to ourselves. I'm pregnant and hormonal I don't need a real reason to cry. I could have pushed and possibly booked something but why kill myself? As some very wise older actors have said, the business will be there, your babies are only small for a short season.

Turn down for what?...Because I'm Pregnant...and that's okay. 

How are you feeling?
So remember last week when I talked about being a gestating goddess....yeah that didn't last long. Enter that demon known as Daylights Savings Time. Poor Pud and I don't know whether to sleep, wake up, or cry about being tired.

Monday, March 28, 2016

28 weeks: Tips for Consignment Shopping

Boom! and just like that I am in my third trimester. I don't consider this the final leg though, I like to say I'm only halfway through my process.

Most people consider pregnancy to be 3 trimesters but I am definitely of the opinion that there are really 4. Each trimester is 12 weeks long and after delivering your baby there are still so many things to go through on the other side of that special day. 12 weeks of hormones regulating themselves, 12 weeks of the body healing from labor and delivery, 12 weeks to get into a good breastfeeding relationship with your baby, and 12 weeks for you to truly start feeling "unpregnant". At the end of that, if you're lucky, your baby might start sleeping 6 hours or longer at a time. I'm hear to say sleep deprivation is also a huge symptom to weather through and affects everything I listed above. So YAY me for getting to the halfway point!!!...sigh!

How Are You Feeling?
Amazingly....great? I've got energy, I've got a game plan for nesting, I'm wrapping up my last session of Yoga, I'm feeling good, Hallelujah! I thought this was going to happen in my 2nd trimester but every pregnancy is different so I'm just going with it.

So Drama Mama Where's the Drama?
I was the music teacher for my PMO's spring break camp. So good thing I had all that energy. Leading 45 kids under age 5 in 20 minutes of singing and dancing took a lot out of me. I wish I had pictures of me doing the "Jesus Hokey Pokey" with my pregnant belly...or maybe I don't.

How's the Toddler?
She is totally 2! Tantrums, triumphs and all. She is learning new words and skills it seems like everyday and with that has come a growth spurt. Within a week it seems that she has grown out of ALL of her 18 month clothing, and the weather has starting getting consistently warm. So there was a little panic, but not to worry spring consignment sales are taking place. I LOVE, kids consignment sales, I always hit up a couple of them in the spring and the fall. This year I tried a new sale:

Tykes, Tots and Teens: B-

I went to the Conyers location. It's in one of the pavilions at the Georgia International Horse Park.

Cons:  SUPER crowded, far drive, smells like horses(duh), dim lighting, bathroom in another building, a little warm inside.

Pros: Happy and helpful staff, HUGE HUGE HUGE selection, very well organized, lots of places to sort your purchases, which is a great thing, almost overwhelming amount of merchandise (no way I could have gotten through it all).

Tips for Consignment Shopping:
1. Take a buddy: forget going by yourself. Between the amount of merchandise to get through, the crowds, the bathroom being in another building, and standing in long lines you'll be happy to have someone with you. Especially if you're pregnant and/or have your littles with you.

2. Go during a slow time: So obviously I picked the wrong time to go. The Friday of 1/2 price day was not a good choice but unfortunately the only time I could go. For this particular sale 1/2 price day started on Thursday. I would venture a guess and say the crowds weren't as bad. Think long lines and lots of other people all trying to shop for the very thing you came in for. If you're like me I like to go slow, meander, consider my purchases and I felt the pressure to get done quickly because I could see the line for check out growing.

3. Bring a bag, cart, or wagon: Some sales issue Ikea bags, laundry baskets or something similiar to hold your purchases but it's always helpful to bring your own. I've seen people with wagons, beach carts, utility carts and of course the good old baby stroller. Of course it depends on how much you plan to purchase but if you have a long list having an extra place to hold your treasures until you are ready to sort is definitely a good idea.

4. Take a snack and water: You'll need one for you and your kids. I got overheated and Pud' definitely needed a snack halfway through (good thing my Buddy was able to see about her while I continued to shop). Staying hydrated will keep you going and focused. You don't want to make a crazy purchase, spend more than you planned, just walk away because you're hot and tired, or worse yet end up on the floor with the paramedics attending to you (THAT WAS AT ANOTHER CONSIGNMENT SALE, though).
Sorting through Pud's clothes. To keep and
what to put back.....THAT is the question.

5. Plan for at least 2.5 hours: On my "to-purchase" list was:

  • a spring-summer wardrobe for my 2 year old
  • shoes 
  • a few maternity tops
  • outdoor toys 
  • and possibly a second carseat. 
That was A LOT to shop for in one outing. I did manage to walk through all sections but I only had the energy to shop for my toddler's clothes and shoes.

Sifting through rows and rows of clothes, sorting and deciding what to keep, then standing on a long line, and we were well into Pud's lunch and naptime when we got done.

It would have been nice to leave my Little at home, or arrange for a sitter but it just didn't happen that day. Going back to this sale I would try and trade off with another mommy buddy next time. One person have playtime and snack outside with the kids for a few hours and then switch off with a friend. So everybody gets to shop in peace.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

27 weeks: Kiss That 2nd Trimester Goodbye

So there it is. The end of my second trimester. That was fast...said no pregnant woman ever.

How Are You Feeling?
I kept waiting for that magical, mystical second trimester energy boost to show up and guess didn't. I feel like I did in my first trimester only less like I'm going to vomit any second. I wake up tired and feel like I'm dragging a huge medicine ball around...and that's because I am. The winter weather broke this week and in addition to being tired I'm now hot ALL the time. 70 degrees in February? Ugh! Okay that is the end of my rant for the week!

So Drama Mama Where's the Drama?
The Phillips Arena gig was a little stressful. I mean anytime I have to wear anything more than leggings or slippers it's stressful.
You can't even tell I'm pregnant in that dress!
We all had technical issues but we carried on and in the end just had fun, plus the Hawks won, what could be better. The Phillips Arena staff, Theatrical outfit staff and the cast were all great. With any gig there can be any number of mishaps but it's the people you go through it with that make all the difference. 

Sidenote: I squealed like a preteen girl when I saw Jeff Teague in the hallway,  so I've lost major cool points. 

I Won, Again!
So on Friday, on the very last day of my 2nd trimester this happened. I won the Aurora Theatre's audience choice award for best lead actress for the 2015/2106 season.

Yahoo, a chance to wear that blue dress again. I was surprised to say the least I just thought it was a fundraising gig not an awards ceremony. I stumbled through my acceptance speech but most importantly I wanted to thank Aurora for hiring me, of course, but also for striving to create a great place to work for all. When you have "relaxed and happy" workers (I may have said that one too many times) it tends to spill over into other areas of their life. Not only am I pregnant, but so is Aurora's company manager and education coordinator. We are weeks apart from each other. I tell everyone I know not to drink the water there! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

26 weeks: Sound Check, Mic 1...Mic 2

It has been a week of shocks and firsts.

6 months ago I looked like this in my finale dress...needless to
say my bump and I weren't squeezing into that.
Drama Mama where's the drama? Yay! I've got a gig. The cast of Memphis has been revived for a day as part of a month long series the National Black Arts Festival is producing for all of February's Atlanta Hawks half time shows. In celebration of Black History Month we were the final installment in the series celebrating African -American's contributions to the arts. We represented theater, and we were asked to sing the finale from Memphis: Steal Your Rock and Roll. 

Blue Dress: Betsy and Adam, Shoes: Coach
These are not maternity dresses but the fabric and style
really worked. 
The Shock: OMG, cover the mirror! shopping while pregnant is dangerous. Why didn't someone warn me? Truly, I should have taken a mild sedative before I went into the dressing room and stripped down in front of a triple angled mirror and very revealing lights. I really want to be one of those women embracing all *ass*pects of my pregnancy curves, my belly skin taut, beautiful and slathered with stretch mark cream. You know, for a split second I thought about snapping a pic in my bra and undies and posting it on one of those Instagram pages #sexypregnantbelly, #sexybump...whatever. But upon closer examination of my off centered linea negra (that line down the middle of your stomach), my swollen boobies with the delightfully green bulging veins and my weird egg-shaped bump and I came to my senses. Let me just say things felt a little more rounded, cute and put together during my first pregnancy.

I ended up choosing the blue dress. Thank goodness it worked because after 20 minutes of changing clothes I was sweating and ready for lunch. Shopping while pregnant is hard work....what am I saying? Everything while pregnant is hard work.

The Firsts: sound checking at Phillips Arena. It was so good to catch up with the cast of Memphis after 6 months. The Phillips Arena staff was also amazing. It was a little nerve wracking learning how to perform by relying on an in-ear monitor to feed me the track and not my own ears. There is a 1.5 second delay in the arena and if I listened to what was coming out of the house speakers I would be behind and in big trouble. With both ears plugged, and only focusing on the music in your ear it feels a lot like you are trying to sing opera underwater and ignore a rock concert that is playing above the water...or pat your head and rub your belly at the same time.

How Are You Feeling? I also had another dizzy headache episode. Mamas pregnant or not often forget to (don't have the chance to) eat sensibly, but it's so important to eat a little something every few hours. Guess who forgot to pack a snack for rehearsal? I was also in in those gorgeous Coach suede platforms (see dressing room pic above) and trying to sing and move the way I had last summer....yeaaahhhhhh, no! I thought I was going to die when the staff suggested we run the number a 3rd time. So I bought myself another afternoon on the couch, re-hydrating and feeding myself, and clutching a bottle of Tylenol. Lesson learned! I will be traveling with nuts, dried fruit, cheese sticks and any other snack that I can quickly eat on the go from now on.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

25 Weeks: Hello's, Goodbyes, and Countdowns

Happy Valentine's Day week everyone! This was a pretty big week for us all around. So here's what's going on:

Big bump and big hair.
Hello big hair! Mama needed a makeover, so presto, change-o, add on hair. It's amazing how much warmer my head feels, going from super short fro to lions mane (chuckle, chuckle).

It has taken me these 6 months to adjust to the timing of this new baby, to accept my growing waste line, and finally, to reach acceptance. Somewhere in all of that I just let my looks go. I feel sorry for my husband, I have been nothing much to look at lately. Most days I forget earrings or deodorant or both, and makeup? PLEASE. 

At my last prenatal appointment, as I lay on the exam table, my OBGYN asked me if their was some significance to my socks not matching . "No" I said, "these were the only two clean ones I could find." Even my poor mother took pity and scheduled a nail appointment for me after getting a glimpse of my crusty, half-pedicured toes. Like I can see my toes anyway...

Goodbye, Baby: I don't know what to say, I've been waiting to have some intense emotion about my first born turning 2. There was a small lump in my throat during our bedtime routine the night before her birthday. I realized that I was putting my 1 year old to bed for the last time, and I couldn't believe we had made it this far. Other than that I've been fine.

Nothing says Happy Birthday like raspberry white chocolate cheesecake.

It's not to say I don't care, I have been changed in so many ways these past 2 years. I am a new creature, I am a mom, a mom-a-saur, a drama mama, but parenting AND pregnancy sometimes makes you incapable of savoring these milestones the way you always dreamed you would. You know, Tears, throw in some tender embraces, some serious reflection as soft music plays and maybe a Facebook posted slide show of all her best 1 year old moments. It hasn't happened

From 1 month old to 1 year old with our beloved Munki.
Although, I do have a special sweet spot when I look back on her infant pictures these days. She was so small and sweet and I ache for that tiny (STATIONARY) baby I was able to cradle in one arm.

Maybe just maybe in the future I will look back on the pictures of her at 1 and only remember sweet little arms clinging my neck, puffy cheeks chomping happily on snacks, her infectious laughter, that tiny, tinkling voice singing "iddy biddy spi-duh" and her amazing leap from crawling to walking, to dancing. So much dancing!

Maybe, just maybe I will choose not to remember her sleep regression, the screaming and tantrums, the flinging food, and my pure exhaustion, loss of freedom and sense of self that has accompanied her 12-24 month stage. Maybe, but I doubt it.

All I keep hearing from more experienced moms, the ones who have regained their careers, their waist lines, or now manage to do their hair and wear something besides pajamas is...."it gets better". The tantrums stop, they potty train, they sleep through the will and it does get better.

Countdowns: My pregnancy app says I have 100 days left of my pregnancy which means I am 25weeks and 5 days. That's only 100 days give or take, 2,400 hours, 144,000 minutes. It's happening people, this is not a drill, we are having another baby. Sirens are going off, the little people in my head are running around screaming because nothing, nothing at all is done. Still none of that is enough to motivate me off this couch.