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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: Mariola's Organic Spa and Retreat

I've driven by Mariola's Organic Spa and Retreat many times and have always been curious and wanted to try it.  I even looked it up online, but the prices were a little high for my budget.  When I saw a Living Social deal pop up for a hour massage, hour facial, 30 minute reflexology and 20 dollars towards product at Mariola's, I bought it in a heartbeat.  

I made the appointment three weeks ahead of time.  Luckily I wrote the date and time on my calendar because I didn't get a reminder call the day before.  When I arrived, I was greeted by a fantastically relaxing scent and serene atmosphere.  However, there was a bit of chaos as the gentleman at the reception desk helped a customer over the phone and another customer and myself waited to check in.  This resulted in my massage starting 15 minutes late.

Working over a computer, heavy bags and a carrying a 16 month old have made my upper back and neck a mess.  Needless to say, I was looking forward to a relaxing swedish massage.  What I got instead was extreme pain as the masseuse put all of her body weight into her elbow and dug it into my back.  I realize I have a lot of knots and tight muscles in my back, but it felt like I was getting beat up.  The masseuse also talked throughout the entire massage, so there was no way to actually relax.  I'm not a fan of being in pain the day after a massage.

Next up was the facial.  I always get nervous about facials since I have sensitive skin, but the esthitician was fantastic.  She used organic Hungarian mud to draw out toxins.  While the mask was setting, she massaged my hands.  And the best part is that she did it all in silence.  I was in such a deep state of relaxation that I almost fell asleep.  My skin was literally glowing by the time she was finished.  

I was looking forward to capping off the experience with a reflexology foot rub.  However, it turns out that the reflexology was actually supposed to be included in the massage.  I had thought my massage went a bit long to make up for it starting late.  Turns out that the combo massage/reflexology cheated me out of 15 minutes.  

Don't get me wrong.  It was wonderful to have an afternoon at the spa to myself.  But the spa experience wasn't all I had hoped it would be.  Although the spa was beautiful and everyone was very nice, I will probably not go back to Mariola's.   

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wommy Guilt

Piper's daycare number flashed on the called ID in my office phone.  Gulp!  The dreaded 2:30 pm phone call - "Piper has a fever of 102.9."  As I quickly gathered papers, closed out programs and shutdown my computer, I dreaded telling my boss that I would have to leave unexpectedly, again.

This is the third time in the last six weeks that Piper has spiked a fever at daycare.  Sweet P made it through her first year of life without even one earache, but then they started to come in waves.  One more earache within the next month and it will be time for tubes.  

When I told my boss that I'd have to work from home both Thursday and Friday, I could tell she wasn't happy.  It didn't help to have poor Piper screaming in surround sound during a conference call.  

This is where the wommy guilt tears you apart.  I feel guilty for not being in the office and then guilty for not giving Piper the attention she deserves.  My heart breaks as Piper grabs my leg, wanting me to pick her up and cuddle her.  But I can't until I finish the last minute deadlined project that's been dropped in my lap.       

My fellow wommies tell me that the guilt never truly goes away, but that you just learn to manage it better.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to manage the guilt of not being there 100% of the time for Piper.  Fingers crossed that a MegaMillions lottery ticket will come through sooner rather than later.     

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall into Fashion

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year.  I love to see the leaves change color, hot cider, college football, the crisp weather where all you need is a sweater and of course, Halloween.  Oddly enough for the Midwest, it is mid-October and 80 degrees.  Not the norm.  I should be enjoying the gorgeous weather before winter slush and snow bury me.  But I really miss those cool 60 degrees days.

This weekend we took Piper to the pumpkin patch.  There is something just wrong about wearing shorts and a tank top to stroll through the corn least for this Midwest girl.  I am so eager to wear my boots, sweaters and new corduroy pants!

You have to admit that Fall is the best fashion season.  You're not icky and sweating, your make-up doesn't melt off, there is no humidity so good hair days are back in rotation and all you need is a fitted blazer or funky sweater to be comfortable.  Don't even get me started on the fab shoe selection - suede knee high boots, stacked heal penny loafers, booties.

In the Midwest, Fall is over in the blink of an eye, so you have to enjoy it.  That's why I'm not thrilled about our mini heatwave.  Yes, I know I sound ungrateful, especially since the prediction is that we will have an absolutely awful winter.

No doubt that this warm snap be over in a week or so and I'll be eating my words.  In the meantime, I'll take the opportunity to get some more wear out of my open toe shoes and soak up the last of summer.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

8 Crazy Nights

I was at my desk feverishly trying to finish up projects and tie up loose ends before heading out on our vacation to St. Thomas when I got the dreaded call from Piper's daycare.  She had a temp of 102.5 and I needed to go pick her up and take her to the doctor.  Turns out my poor Sweet P had a double ear infection.

As I waited at the pharmacy, holding a sick little munchkin, I panicked even more about leaving her for a week long vacation.  On top of my separation anxiety, I had visions of her being up all night and not having mommy and daddy there to comfort her.  Turns out I had no reason to worry at all.  In fact, Piper had such a great time with Nina and Papa that she barely noticed we were gone.

By the time we left, the antibiotics had kicked in and she was full of energy.  During the eight days we were lounging on the beach and sipping pina coladas, the little nugget napped for two hours every single afternoon and slept for 11-12 hours most nights.  Incredible.  She learned new words, new songs and didn't have a single meltdown.  Ummm - the week before, there were meltdowns in Target, at daycare and at home.  It's true, grandparents have the magic touch.

Before now, we had only left her for one night with my mom and when we returned, she was super mad at us at gave us the cold shoulder.  Oh yes, a toddler with attitude.  We were fearful that upon returning from being gone over a week, Piper would absolutely hate us.  Our flight arrived late Saturday night.  On Sunday morning when we went to get her out of her crib in the morning, she stared at us in confusion.  I guess after a week of Nina and Papa getting her up, she was a bit surprised to see us.  It took her about an hour to fully adjust to the fact that both Nina and Papa and Mommy and Daddy were there.

It was amazing to see how much Piper bonded with Nina and Papa.  They live in Arizona and we skype every Sunday, but having them to herself for an entire week must have been heaven.  When we got home from dropping them off at the airport, Piper immediately ran to her playroom and called out "Papa." She walked around the house wondering where they went.  It will be interesting to see how she reacts when we skype this week.

We learned a couple lessons with this experience.  First, we can leave Piper and take a few days for some R&R, without feeling guilty.  Secondly, grandparents are priceless and we are incredibly blessed that Piper has such great grandparents on both sides.  Talk about a lucky little girl and a lucky Wommy.

Now to plan the next trip... ;-)