Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Momenergy (n.)- mother's (mom) energy, the creation of something out of nothing/sheer exhaustion, a feeling of accomplishment despite the fact that you have not showered in 2 days, incredible ability to "do" in light of the desire to "do not"

I have been known to found my own word every now and then. In fact (and why I am sharing this on the 'interwebs' is unbeknownst to me) but in middle school, I decided that I was going to create a new word for "cool" because, clearly, I was. The word I chose? "Mighty." And mighty it was- a mighty quick way to become uncool. What a fad!

Since then, I have taken care in choosing words to originate...making sure they have a profound purpose and use. Such as Lanierian (see definition on right) or, in the case of today, "momenergy."

As my basement bathroom stares at me ominously, saying with its staunch glare, "Yo, lazy, that green paint ain't going to grace my walls by itself!" I feel myself in need of hearkening some momenergy, stat. Yes, the bathroom needs painting, the laundry needs doing, the house needs tidying, my legs need running, and here I sit, in my momenergy uniform (tee-shirt and sweats, all black, in order to hide any mom-leftovers), blogging.

You see, the secret to momenergy is you have to harness it. And the beauty of momenergy is that it comes with the gig. All moms have it, use it, and do great things with it! We just have to get up and go...which sometimes poses a big problem, especially in light of my whole couch/momenergy uniform situation. We are tired, overwhelmed, crazed, and, well, hungry...yet somehow, inspite of ourselves, we get the job done.

Momenergy...or as others may like to call it, grace.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snow, baby, snow!

This past week we had the luxury of heading up the hill...to ski and play! Here are some snow pics...so fun!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Room with a View...

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 This is what I see as I look out the window while writing this post...not too shabby. Skis, sun, and slopes equal a great way to begin a Tuesday morning. 

Yesterday, while riding the lift, my white and blue skis clanking ever so slightly, I was struck- I am so blessed. My beautiful baby boy is on a snow walk with Grammy around the base, my amazing husband to my right and my incredible father-in-law to my left laughing and regaling each other with stories of the first time Eric skied, and nothing but the big blue Colorado sky and a snow-packed ready-to-be-rocked mountain lay before us. How did I get here??

About once a week a rendidtion of Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads is belted from some lost crevasse in our house..."And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife...and you may ask yourself, how did I get here?"  I do ask that question, I do.

How is it that I, a sinner, so imperfect, and in need of so much refinement can sit here, in this mountain condo, waiting for the steaks to marinade and Cal to wake up? How did I get here? 

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. 
I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 
 ~Luke 12:48-49

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mama pajama, rolled out of bed...and she ran to her Vo-cation

I'm on my way...I don' know where I'm goingggg...but I'm on my way! Taking my time, but I don' know where...

As I sit here, all Mama Pajama-ed out (glad I didn't have to run to to any po-lice stations), I can't help but think: What does excellence in vocation look like?

From Simon and Garfunkel, to philosophical musings...I know, it must be Tuesday.

Recently, I went to confession (and without an iPhone app. to accompany me, how did I manage?). In the confessional, I was discussing my lack of structured prayer and how I felt like my focus has shifted from "All-God" to "All-Mom"...and I was at a loss. Was I doing my best to live out my vocation? Didn't my vocation hinge on the whole God-thing? What was I doing to make time for Him? Between laundry, meals groceries, playing, reading, school, and "Mama, uuuppp!" there was no time for holiness.

Basically, I was sucking at the very thing He was calling me to do. But praise God for His holy counsel!

The priest kindly looked at me and said, "Maybe, just maybe, this is what holiness looks like for you right now- as wife, and as mother."

Huh, what?

The thought had never occurred to me. I could actually go all Therese of Lisieux on this vocation and make vacuuming prayer? Again, huh, what?

We all so desperately need to turn over to our Lord every aspect of every day, offering up our trials and triumphs for His incredible purification. But, that may not mean an hour of reading scripture nightly or even going to daily Masses that are anything but holy due to their falling right at Cal's mealtimes or nap times (lots of whines and screams abound on both of our parts...my mind becomes the eternal clicking countdown to final blessing so we can get our shizzle on home...curses under breath as my whispered "No" is so easily disregarded...you get the idea).

Holiness as mothers and wives may actually look like picking up that toy for the twelfth time today and not thinking "This is going in my 'June-Box', once it's in, it's in until June." Or, it may be chasing your 1-year-old around with clean diaper, as the thought of not peeing all over Mommy's clean floor does not really appeal to him. And maybe it is sanitizing hands for the third time in one day due to playing in diapers, toilets, and the like (not that I'm speaking from experience).

I think my biggest struggle with my move into the Mommy Hood, is that what I used to do to foster my relationship with the Lord is not an option anymore. Mass and holy hours are rare opportunities, gifts. Nightly prayer is often done whilst snoring, and morning prayer gets disrupted by commands of "Mooore!" But, I think what the Lord was/is trying to say is that this is okay....even good. A quick prayer before meals with my son is worth every last prayer on my own so that he may not only see prayer, but do prayer. And the rare daily Mass we get to attend is all the more embraced as a pure act of His grace and mercy.

Holiness takes on so many forms, all of which look vastly different for each individual. This definitely makes sense in the context of how uniquely each of us are created. We must strive to recognize not only what holiness looks like for us individually, but also come to grips with its evolution within our own souls.
My holiness today...after my holiness increased when my darling son threw bath toys in to the toilet.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Calan's Winter ONE-Derland!

On February 3rd, Calan Joseph turned one, and on February 5th, our house turned into a Cal Par-tay full of snowmen, snowflakes, and snowfall.

Here are some pics and our priceless first cake video.

Happy First, baby!

Calan's Actual Birthday with an "Aaaammmlo" [Elmo] Balloon

The Cake
The Spread

For me? Really?!@

Well, thanks.
Cake, you are all right!

Oh Dad, you slay me.

The Aftermath.
Cal's New Fav...Firetruck with a Puppy Driver. Oh yeah, I'd ride.
Mom, Dad, and Birthday Baby!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

3 Months...Belly, Be gone!

On May 7, 2011, our family will be heading south to the land of fairy tale, dreams, and... shorts. For those of you who have forgotten, shorts are those quarter-pant vehicles of shame that collect dust in a drawer somewhere. Those half-assed (nowadays, quite literally) agents of female agony who will not be seen in my house unless I am on Safari...near the Sahara. Even then, pants may be the wiser choice.

So indeed, the family will be vacationing at Disney to celebrate the catastrophic onslaught of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, mother's commemorations, Fridays?, that is also known as the Lanierian Month of Pay (I mean, May).  No joke...May is crazy time, and what better way to crazy? Disney.

Needless to say, I could not be more excited, but in talking with my thighs, they have a differing opinion.  As many of you know,  I have been doing this thing called, "run-ning," which has become more of this thing called, "elipitcal-ing," with my shins being splinty and all. But, I will persist...because as much as I try to illicit legislation making shorts illegal, it doesn't fly.

Hence, I would like to invite you to (da da da...daaaaa): 3monthstoweightloss.blogspot.com

Yes, rather than create upheaval on Life of Laniers, receiving choice hate mail with the subject line: To hell with your cellulite, where's the kid? I have opted to chronicle my 3-month journey to physical fitness blog-style, and yes, maybe even procure some ye old Daisy Dukes (aka: highwater capris in the Lanierian world...as this Daisy still ain't so sure about bearing the Duke). We will explore such topics as: What works? What flops? What sucks? What's for dinner? Whose shoe is it anyway? From drab mama to fab mama. And a weekly trivia game of: how many pounds?

So come and see how much progress I am making...I can do this! Yes, I can...really, I am pretty sure. Well, here's hoping, at least...as it's out there now.

To shorts!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can it be??

It seems impossible that one year ago today, we met our little man (on the outside). Since then, our lives have changed so dramatically for the better. He has truly made all things new, and for each day we have him in our lives, my song of thanks and praise raises to the Heavens. He is truly God's child, and our gift.

Calan, One.

The joy that is you,
A joy that permeates, envelopes.

You shine...you radiate...you make us better.

Greeting us with that huge toothy grin every morning,
A loud, "Hiiiiii!!!" resounds,
Followed by a bounce or two that echo,
"I'm so ready to start this day!"

Curiouser and curiouser,
Nothing flits past those diligent blue-green eyes,
Wider and wider they open,
In excitement about what could be around...
That corner... that wall... those doors...

As you befriend your squeaky alligator,
Or tip your hat to the Snowman sitting on the floor.
Always smiling...

As we turn our heads, and wonder where you've gone,
The music you've selected plays and the head bopping commences,
Or the wheels of your "ride" brush across the floor,
Followed by a smile and applause, for yourself.
Yeah, you're pretty awesome.

We love how every mirror demands a stop,
You giggle at yourself, as if you have never met anyone so funny,
And you stare as if you have never seen anything so awe-inspiring,
We stare too...as we really have never seen anything so awe-inspiring.

As you raise your arms,
And tersely demand, "Uuup!"
We can't help but smile,
As these are precious times,
Times we will only get to cherish now.

Your arm reaches out and stiffens,
And your pointer finger extends,
Pointing to this, then that, oh yes, and the next,
You take it all in, ever present in each moment.

And even in those times,
When oatmeal is more in your hair than in your mouth,
Or all the laundry is unfolded the second it is released,
When cries of frustration at not getting what you want abound,
Yes, even in those times, does our love for you grow.

You are a gift,
The greatest gift we could have ever received,
One, at times, we don't feel worthy of,
Yet, one in which we will never waver in wanting...
You are ours,
And today...you are one.
An amazing year...
The best.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Travelin' Man: Lessons Learned in Baby Travel

The day that Eric and I first learned we were pregnant, we went out to dinner with some friends. We were so joyful, yet overwhelmed, as Calan was certainly a surprise little gift from God (who clearly knew better than we did). That night the conversation focused on the how children change your life. We had not yet shared our news (not that they didn't figure it out by our blatant refusal of drinks) and thus, we were obviously taken aback by the conversation. Not that what was being said was untrue, kids certainly do change things, but more so the focus on travel and the limitations kids bring to flying away.

Eric and I love to travel. Those of you who know us, know this. We fell in love abroad, journeyed abroad, served abroad, and have seen so much together. God has certainly blessed that desire immeasurably, and we have gotten to create the most incredible memories. And we have many a crazy tale to share (wombats, anyone?). So, as the conversation at the dinner table that night focused on travel, and how it becomes obsolete when kids enter the scene...my heart sank.

Was it true? Traveling with kids becomes an impossibility? But there are a lot of babies on planes...right? Was I ready to be that mom who gets the "shut your kid up" look? I suppose I was ready... to give up my love for travel for the higher purpose of vocation...but not without a good cry.

I excused myself from the dinner table, went to the bathroom, and shed a tear. Although Eric and I were entirely open to kids, Cal entered the scene a little sooner than we had thought he would and now I was worried that this joyful surprise would also have some unintended travel consequences. But, I have since learned that all this fretting was for not...in fact, at dinner the other night with some family someone remarked,"Man, I think Cal has traveled more in his short life than I have in my [longer] one." This made my heart soar...just a bit.

It is true, with this last trip to Chicago, Calan has been on 6 trips, 13 planes, and has been coast to coast. Not to mention mountain getaways and home stays. Yes, he is well-versed in the travel world...and although I will not tout that traveling with kids is the easiest thing I have ever done, I will say it is certainly not the hardest and so very doable...even fun!?

Although we are not experts, I wanted to identify the things that we have learned, most of the time the hard way, in hopes of making travel for you parents of young ones a tad easier. Granted, we only have one, so far,...and I am sure it gets more complicated, but here are just a few of our insights:
A sleeping Cal...GOOD!
  • Location, location, location...of your seat
    • Seats on the aisle, in case you need to get up, walk around, change a diaper, etc. are always easiest
    • Look at available seats when you make your reservation...aim for the back of plane, although last off, you are often first on (if they do not have pre-boarding) and it is easier to make an escape to the galley if meltdown is eminent. 
    • Go for aisle seats in the back where the middle seat is unoccupied...it may just stay that way!!
  • Know your plane...777, 767, 747??
    • Many planes are now equip with changing tables...which makes life brand new. However, most are not. Call and ask or scope it out when you get on-board...if not, practice rocking out the lap change.
    • Larger planes often have a wheelchair accessible bathroom...baby in tow? Yes, you are disabled by definition. Use it! It is nice to have this extra space...and makes diaper changes so much easier!
  •  Make sure to add the lap child to the reservation 
    • Seems simple, but TSA is a no-go without their own boarding pass
Before you go/packing:
  • Pack the babe 2-3 days beforehand
    • Inevitably, you will need to add something, repack something, wash something, etc. But packing too close to departure may not give you enough time to get it all done, or will just leave you feeling frazzled (in no way speaking from experience).
  • Carry-on
    • We use a carry-on suitcase for Cal. It is the perfect size and if our luggage gets lost, he will still have what he needs for successful meals, naps, and bedtimes. This makes the tragic thought of our luggage being lost, well, obsolete...cause if Cal ain't happy, ain't no one happy, and Cal=happy when we carry his stuff on.
  • List it out
    • Create a packing list for the kiddo's ENDLESS shiz-nit...Eric uses a physical list that he makes in Google tasks or on his phone and then shares it with me. Whereas, I usually go through a normal day in my head and list out all the things we will need...starting with breakfast and finishing with bedtime, laying out the necessities for that time as I reach them in my head.
  • Lay it out
    • We keep Cal's suitcase open...for all the additions that can only be added day-of and those that should have been added days before, oops!
  • Check-in before arriving to the airport (if possible)...as checking-in first will allow you to check that off your list before you even get stressed about "the list." (If flying Frontier, you must check-in at the airport, as their computers can't access lap children remotely)
    • You can check-in up to 24 hours pre-flight...use those hours, the closer to 24 the more time to have to scramble with the last minute craziness when it is really go-time
En el aeropuerto:
  • Carseats are FREE...
    • Take advantage...to rent them when you get wherever you are going, they are like $10 a day, so check 'em baby! 
  • Milk, bottles, and food...Oh, My!
    • Babies get a pass...on the liquids rule, at least. You can bring as many bottles as you feel necessary, as long as you allow TSA to do a quick test to ensure they are milk/formula. 
    • If breastfeeding, try and bring a bottle of milk with you, even if you plan to nurse. It can be challenging to nurse on the plane, as space is limited. I most definitely ended up nursing in a bathroom on one trip...as there was just no other way it was going to happen. It worked, but the bottle would have been easier. You can always find a quiet place to pump in the airport before you leave or when you land.
    • Given that meals on wings can be difficult, if your little one is eating solids, most restaurants in the airport have high chairs. Even if it is not quite time, try and get a more solid meal into the babe pre-plane. If you are not eating at the restaurant, you can easily bring a high chair into a public area with tables.
  • Look at the size of that...stroller!!
    • Even before Cal could sit, we invested in a nicer fold-up umbrella stroller with a 5-point harness. Although it is nice to have your normal could-take-on-a-mack-truck-and-totally-win stroller with you, truth is, they make travel more cumbersome. 
    • Larger strollers don't fit in the trunks of most rental cars, esp. when you have luggage added into the equation...and if they cannot fold up to go through the X-ray machine, security will have to pull you aside and do a whole big screening.
    • We used our baby carrier pre-Cal-becoming-a-mover for flights.  Strapped him in, and he'd fall right asleep. Oh yeah, and both hands were free...music? TV? Yes, please. Take advantage now, as this will only work for the first few months.
      • Big strollers are doable...but for us, we decided to retire BOB for travel...as he tends to hurt more than help and invest in something a little smaller...which has come in way handy for multiple occasions outside of the airport.
    •  If they're crawling...set them free. Every airport has two things: space and germs. You may have to sacrifice one to get full use out of the other...but its totally worth it. As a germ-a-phobe, the thought of setting my crawler free on the airport floor is nothing short of vulgar, yet, as a traveling mom, the thought of doing everything I possibly can to wear the sucker out far outweighs the alternative. So, stock-up on the Purell, and locate the nearest space with the fewest amount of people, take a deep breath...and set them free.  
  • Security!!!
    • Wear shoes that are easily removed...the 4-inch heeled, zip-up riding boots, pry not the best option. Remember, today you are at your child's beckon call (when are we not?), so make style obsolete and go for ease.
    • Put your ID in your back pocket or jacket/sweater pocket, so you are not fishing for your purse/wallet to grab it while trying to ready baby, baby's things, strollers, husbands (:)) for metal detectors
 Up, up..and Away. On the plane:
  • 99%...when traveling with a small child, clean first their space and then their hands
    • Plane travel is what it is...an efficient and incredible way to move from one place to another while inhaling recycled air and touching surfaces that have their fair share of Bernoullian germ infestations. We always clean the armrests, trays, seat belt fasteners, etc. when we sit down with an antibac. wipe...as germs are a plenty, and it feels nice to knock out a few.
  • Food, glorious food...
    • Snacks are essential. When baby's mouth is full, then they are not trying to attack your seat neighbors (verbally or physically). Be wary of messy foods, as a full meal is really difficult to pull-off, especially when traveling alone, snacks make all the difference. We found freeze dried fruits and yogurt to be big hits (Trader Joe's Mango/ Gerber Bits), as well as disolvable crackers (Mum Mums). 
    • If traveling alone, make sure to look at the drink cart, say a few passing words, and wave good-bye.
  • Stroller- check!
    • You can gate check your stroller, and it will be ready for you upon arrival. And sometimes, they even set it up for you!! I know...exciting, huh?
  •  Be prepared
    •  Get out and get ready anything you may need to easily get to during the flight right as you sit down. Once in the air, rummaging through diaper bags, purses, and the like results in exasperated looks and frustrated seat neighbors. Rest assured, you will inevitably be rummaging, but having some things accessible can help.
  • Buckle Up
    • If traveling alone, first, God bless you...second, you can do this! When you get on the plane, if your little one can sit, you can buckle them into the seat while you get things situated and use the overhead bins. This is a great way to have at least 2 min. hands-free to prepare yourself... 
    So...these a just a few of the things we learned in our short tenure as parents. Any other awesome travel tips you have gleaned???