Set your goals high but not your expectations. ~Dove

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Shopping

I really do like shopping during the holidays.  But shopping with crazy shoppers?  No thanks.

This year I did most of my holiday shopping online.  Particularly through Amazon.  I tried to buy locally, when possible, and when the price fit my budget.  But unfortunately most of the items that I purchased online were a lot cheaper, and I was able to get free shipping.  How can you pass up free shipping?

With a lot of online shopping, comes a lot of packaging.  I'm trying to re purpose a lot of the boxes we are getting.  Thankfully, some shipments are coming in bags, so I'm not left with huge, over sized boxes. 

There have been a few days where my family would bundle up and trek out to the local stores.  It was nice to be out for the short period, enjoy the festive decorations and also let the kid enjoy shopping too.  He does enjoy it, believe it or not.  Although, I'm beginning to wonder if he enjoys the small treat he gets early in the day: Munchkins =)

Running outside Stonewall Kitchen

So we're officially finished our shopping.  Crazy, I know.  We have a few more presents to wrap, then we can sit back and enjoy the holidays. 

Have you gotten into the Christmas spirit yet?  Or are you dragging your feet with the holidays?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Introducing Santa

My son is just shy of turning 25 months old.  He really doesn't remember what Christmas was like last year.  We didn't go crazy over Christmas last year either.  It was a simple day for us and he had a blast with the wrapping paper and boxes.  This year, it's a little different.

He has learned what presents are and has quickly learned Santa likes to give presents too.  But as we talk more about Santa and his reindeer, my son grows a little skeptical about who Santa really is.  I tell him that Santa will come into the house one night, while we're all sleeping, and he'll leave presents for us.  Would you like that? No, he replies.  He would love to receive presents from Santa, but why at night while we're asleep?  I can see it in his face that there is something weird about a strange man entering our house in the middle of the night.  Why would Mommy & Daddy allow that to happen?  He's not asking this, but I can see these types of questions swirling that 2 year old brain of his.

I'm trying to keep the story simple, he's only 2 years old.  But I can see I'm going to have some tough questions ahead of me.

We attempted visiting Santa in the mall, and my son enjoyed saying HI and giving Santa a high-five.  But that was it.  The picture had to be taken as a family photo, and still, my son was a little weary of the man next to him.  We left the mall with a small present from Santa: a coloring book and crayons.  That was enough to make my sons day, and it turned out being the conversation he had with us.  All day long.

This year, Santa is going to bring lots of gifts for my son, and I'm concerned Santa may have done too much.  But I suppose there is a different magic in the air when you're with a 2 year old, and everything seems new again.

Christmas lights seem brighter, the Christmas tree smells more pine-y, and snow globes look more sparkly.  Maybe Santa has the right idea and spoiling a 2 year old is okay, especially when the idea of Santa seems so special and magical.  How can Santa not overdo the presents for a 2 year old!

How have you introduced Santa to your kid(s)?  What sort of questions did they have for you?

Monday, December 13, 2010

French Vanilla Soap - by Jenness Farm

I'm in the middle of using the French Vanilla soap made by Jenness Farm.  I like this soap, a lot.  However, I don't think this soap is suited for the dryer winter months.  Although, I do not feel the need for lotion, which I like!  But my arms could use the extra moisturizer. 

The bar lathers very quickly and I'm able to suds up quickly.  While rinsing, I am left feeling squeeky clean, yet not feel like my skin is puckering dry.  The fragrance is not as strong as I had imagined.  In fact, I think I've grown immune to the scent and barely smell it now.  So it's nice not to feel overwhelmed with vanilla since I'm not particularly a fan of vanilla.

On a scale of 1 to 5 Bubbles, I'd rate French Vanilla a 4.5.... blub blub blub blub =)

Aubrey Organics - Shampoo & Conditioner

I recently purchased organic shampoo and conditioner by Aubrey Organics.  I have been using Aubrey's moisturizer and serum for my face, and have not been disappointed.  The winter months are approaching and I've noticed I need to change shampoos.  So I decided to splurge and pick up the GPB Shampoo and Conditioner.

As with any new product, I immediately feel the benefits on my hair.  Softer, lighter, smoother.  I'm looking forward to seeing the long term benefits.  As with most organic shampoos, there isn't much 'suds' when washing my hair.  Realistically I don't need to use a lot of shampoo, but I'm finding that because I have a lot of hair, I need to use more shampoo just to cover my head.  However, I'm left with the incredible aloe scent that makes up this Glycogen Protein Balancing Shampoo & Conditioner.  It reminds me of the warm summer days that are 6 months away.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I don't consider myself a light sleeper, however, if I get woken up I have a hard time falling back to sleep. 

My son has been waking up lately, and usually my husband toggles upstairs to unwind the blanket from the kids body and reposition it down.  Within minutes the two of them are back into the respective beds and I'm left there wide awake.

Did you know we are geese in our home?  Or at least just one goose?  That's what I listened to while laying awake at least 3 hours last night.  I was awake from 1:30-4am.  At least the last time I looked at the clock it was 4am. 

I refuse to get out of bed and I try to keep my breathing still.  Slow deep breaths help my mind, and heart, relax.  Sometimes it helps me drift back to sleep.  But other times, that silly goose wakes me again!  Do I dare tell my husband he snores like a goose?  I think about waking him, and instead I try to move the covers away from him.  Just enough to stir him into the other direction.

Nothing seems to be working.  So I quickly float up to our spare room and hunker down into the cool sheets of the empty bed.  Immediately I feel better, but I know it will be a while before I actually fall asleep.

I do fall asleep but I don't remember how long it took me.  I realize my husband will be wondering why my alarm is going off, and I'm not there.  Shortly after I have this thought, I hear footsteps down stairs.  He's looking for me.  I know my alarm has gone off and it'll be a matter of minutes until he realizes I've relocated myself. 

Of course he thinks I'm mad at him for something he must have done.  I'm too tired to give explanations so I just say that I needed to sleep.  He's now really confused and leaves me to take a shower.

Our son hears his Daddy in the bathroom while showering and he sits in his crib in the room next to me.  Daddy... Daddy... Daddy... He's saying it softly in a sleepy voice.  He becomes quieter and eventually he stops.  Figuring he fell back to sleep, I make my way back downstairs to shower and prepare for our day.  I need to somehow find the energy to move forward, when all I want to do is sleep another five minutes.

Maybe I can catch up on some sleep later tonight.  Maybe I can go to bed early?  Unless the kid wakes us up again because he's gotten himself twisted in his blanket... Only one could hope he'll figure it out on his own.

Until then, I collect our lunch, dress my boy in his snow boots, coat, hat, and mittens, and shuffle out the front door.  The cool, 10 degree, December air immediately wakes me up.  Suddenly I have an extra bounce in my step.  I hold my sons mittened hand and we walk down the steps together.  He points to the birds and talks about the sky.  His energy somehow will make me get through my day.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Star

We picked our Christmas tree this year and it wasn't from a field where we had to cut it down ourselves.  I would have preferred that.  Instead, I made the compromise with my husband and agreed to buy a tree pre-cut.  Except we didn't go to the local store to buy one, we ventured to our local greenhouse and picked one there.

I know they were more expensive than what we would have paid if we were to cut our own, but I felt I was helping support our local community.  And they even gave us a 4.5 inch poinsettia plant.  All-right! (raises hand with a whoop)

We loaded the tree into the car and the three of us buckled up and headed home.  We were eager to start decorating, or trimming.  I grew up decorating, while others know it as trimming.  Either way, the job gets done and you can feel the festivities creep into your home.

We let our 2 year old son help decorate the tree by being part of the family train.  My husband would unwrap the ornaments, hand them to our son, then he'd walk them over to me.  He was careful to hold onto the hook or string.  And he was very careful.  Although he was also careful enough to examine each piece.  He grew tired of the decorating because his real excitement was for The Star.  He didn't understand that we waited to put The Star on top of the tree at the end.  He wanted to do it first.  But we wanted him to know that it was just as special as he had wanted it to be and we'd let him put The Star on at the very end. 

The Star eventually made it to the top of our tree.  It made his heart sing.  Afterwards, the three of us took a step back to admire our Christmas tree.  And then we made a family hug together.  My son was living in the moment and kept saying Again... Again... So there we were, giving a group hug repeatedly in our living room in front of our Christmas tree.  I'm sure if there were any neighbors walking their dog outside, they would have wondered what the heck we were doing.  But it was a moment that will last in my mind about our Christmas this year, and it's a reminder about what's important to me.

While The Star makes my sons eyes twinkle, I will remember the warmth from the simplicity while adding a decoration that I have taken for granted.  The holidays can be just another day to some, but not in the eyes of a child.  There is just too much magic in the air, you cannot ignore its purity.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


As the holidays are quickly approaching, I'm finding myself trying to slow down the holiday buzz.  The holidays have crept through the radio with songs, into the tv commercials, onto drive-thru coffee cups, and of course inside the stores. 

Today is the first of December and I am not ready to take off my turkey themed table cloth.  Yet, I wish I had bought my Christmas tree yesterday.  I'm eager to share the holiday cheer with my son but I don't want to overload him with the experience either.  We'll get there, but I'm dragging my feet on decorating the house.

I'm meddling with a few ideas on how to keep traditions alive and would also like to start new traditions.  I'm feeling overwhelmed with the idea of traditions and, really, wish I could do it all.  Maybe that's why I'm hesitant about diving in head first. 

I feel like there's not a lot of time for the holidays.  As fast as they come, they're gone too quickly.  We need to make time to enjoy a hot cup of coco and soak in the holiday cheer.  There's always something to be greatful for and it would make for a great advent calendar to pick one word that describes what we're greatful for, today.

Today is December first, and after visiting my doctor for a physical, I am greatful for my health.

I hear that.

I hear that he says to me.  We are outside and I point out to him that it is a airplane and I hear it too.  He says Airplane and looks up in the sky to find it.  Eventually he points and shows me where it is.

I hear that he says to me.  We are standing in line at a small convenience store.  We hear ding dong, ding dong.  He doesn't know what's making that noise.  I point to the door and explain the door makes that noise every time the door is opened.  He's fascinated with this explanation and watches each time another person opens the door.

I hear that he says to me.  We are in the parking lot walking into the grocery store.  I tell him that sound is a car's horn honking because someone is locking their doors.  Honk Honk.  He gazes around the parking lot looking for the particular car making the noise.

I hear that he says to me.  We are inside our house, sitting in the kitchen eating a snack.  I hear it too and tell him that sound is the heat rattling through the vents and the furnace downstairs.  This seems a little complicated for him but he looks like he's pondering the explanation and doesn't ask anthing again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just like Mommy

We sit on the floor together and have a snack.  I'm sitting on my knees and he's laying on his belly.  He and I are eating crackers with cream cheese & chives.  I tell him they are a new snack and pleased to see he enjoys them.  He's excited to share a snack with his Mommy while playing on the floor.  He decides to sit up and fold his legs under his bottom, just like Mommy.  He sits there and munches on a cracker and smiles at me.  Under his cracker filled lips he mumbles like Mommy.  He melts my heart and I've fallen in love all over again.

We play on the floor with a ball and toss back and forth to each other.  He sits there and inspects my position on the floor, I'm sitting Indian style, and he imitates me.  Just like Mommy he says.  I'm teaching him how to hold out his hands and keep them together.  We sit rather close because he's not a good catcher.  I toss the ball into his arms and he squeals with excitement for the fact that he did it by himself.  We play like this for what seems all afternoon, but really it's more like fifteen minutes.

He finds me in the kitchen while I'm putting food away from dinner.  He doesn't mind playing in the other room alone, he just prefers company with Mommy or Daddy.  He looks up at me while the kitchen light glares in his face.  He smiles a sleepy smirk and hums Mummmmy.  I answer him back and he gently places his head on my leg.  Awwwwww we say together.

I know these moments are rare and I know they won't always be there.  But for now, they're my little treasures and I'm thankful to have them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


My silly putty is two today.

Where has the time gone?  He's grown so much in just two years, I cannot imagine what this next year holds for us, but I'm excited for it. 

Two years ago at 5:24pm my baby was born. 

A cesarean birth was decided around 5:00, due to the fact my unborn son's heart rate was not normal, and I had to lay in a specific direction for him to have a normal heart rate.  I had been in labor for about 8 hours and I could not dilate further than 8cm.  I was also nauseous and exhausted and had opted for the epidural earlier in the day, but by 2pm it had worn off.  The contractions were tolerable, however my nausea was not.  I'd go through hot and cold spells and it was as if I had a fever, but the nurses would continue to check my temperature and I was consistently normal. 

Once the decision was made around 5:00, I was prepped for surgery and I was whisked into the operating room.  I remember trying to haul myself onto the operating table "Can you move yourself over?" they asked me. 

Seriously?  I feel like a whale!  I was just given a dose of meds for surgery and I was numb to my neck.  There was no way I'd be moving anything myself.

Twenty-four minutes later, my silly putty was born.  It wasn't the dramatic scene you'd imagine a labor being because for me, I was more in shock for the quick turn in events. 

My husband left with our new baby and watched him get cleaned and weighed.  7lbs 16oz is what the nurse calculated.  Isn't that 8lbs then? he asked the nurse.  Oh yeah.

My hospital experience wasn't as bad as I had thought, although we do have some not-so-fond memories too.  Now two years later, I'm contemplating what my second birthing experience will be like.  Most likely I'll be having another cesarean but I'm wondering if I should change to a hospital closer to home.

Despite the sort of day I had while in labor with my son, he turned out to be extremely healthy and happy.  I couldn't have asked for a happier baby for my first child.

However, that happiness is fading in his personality as he sinks into his two-dom world.  The lack of communication leads to frustrations and moans and whines and tears.  We try hard to use our words and describe how we're feeling, but some days are harder than others.  And today was one of those days.

I'm sure we'll have many more teary days ahead, and I'm stocking up on my patience pills.  But for now I'll take each day as it comes and hope for more smiles in our future.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just a salad...but it's heavenly!

I made a salad over the weekend, and I wish I had taken a picture of it.  It was a salad I tried recreating from a restaurant I went to recently, but I didn't have all the ingredients.  So I tried to recreate the earthiness of it.

Here's what I used:
Spring greens
Grape tomatoes
Shaved carrots
Pumpkin Seeds
Goat Cheese
Ken's Olive Oil & Vinaigrette dressing

I made enough salad for about 30 guests, and I even have plenty of leftovers so I can enjoy more yummy salad the rest of this week.  I didn't make the greens as the star ingredient either.  Rather, every component was equally used, no favoritism's here!  If I had some extra time I would have enjoy adding hard boiled egg to the mix, but the salad still felt hearty as a side dish.

I've thought about making this mix again and wrapping it in a tortilla.  Maybe adding some more protein to make it more filling.  What do you think?

Dip Dip

I never realized how much food we eat that requires dip dip.  I've experimented on a few different meals to see which type of dip my son prefers.  He doesn't mind ketchup, and will even use salsa.  He won't touch sweet and sour sauce, and he's not the biggest fan of syrup.  He's accepted pumpkin butter, but he loves honey.

Dip dip is exactly what it sounds like, and we've even nicknamed one of our meals: Dip Dip.  All it is, is cheese quesadilla's that we use either marinara sauce or salsa.  I prefer salsa, my husband likes marinara.  For a while my son would use the salsa, I think because he liked saying the word: salsa.  It is quite fun to say, especially when you're learning new words every day. =)

Last night we had our traditional 'dip dip' meal and he asked for honey in a ball.  A ball?? I asked him again.  Yup, he's saying ball, but after a few attempts I realized he meant to say bowl.  Well that sounds a lot more appealing than honey on a ball!

Desert, when we have it, is typically cookies.  I like to buy the mini cookies that are in individual snack size bags.  And of course, dip dip needs to go with our cookies.  So we give our little man a shot glass that is half full with his milk.  Sometimes he likes to dip his cookies in the milk, and sometimes he just shoves them into his mouth.  But the best part is being able to drink the cookie flavored milk afterwards.  Smack the lips and say AHHHH.

My son goes through spurts of appetite.  Most days he just picks, and maybe once or twice a week he has a really good appetite.  So I try my hardest not to stress over how much he eats, and try to make eating fun... with dip dip!  He's working hard at telling me what he wants to eat, or how he wants to eat his food. 

We're still experiencing a battle ground over most of this 'table talk', so I'm curious to know how others are enjoying their meals?  Do you have a favorite dip too?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Is it worth it??

Since becoming a Mom, a lot has changed in my life.  A lot of good things seem to have blossomed in my life.  Since becoming a Mom, I have reflected on who I am, and how I want my son to know his mother.  I want to be a role model for him, and I would like him to have his first memories of me be solid memories about things we did together, or how he remembers my personality.

My first memory in my life is when I turned 2 years old.  I remember playing in my bedroom and my father walking down the hallway to tell me there was a surprise for me in the kitchen.  I remember toddling down the hallway (it was a split entry house) and into the kitchen, I climbed up into my metal high chair.  There was no tray and I could sit right up against the table.  On the table sat a small plate with a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, and two candles.  My mother and father sang Happy Birthday to me and I blew out the candles.  I asked them where their cupcake was, but my mother said they weren't having any.  My mother turned and went back to doing the dishes and my father went back into the living room to watch tv.  I am an only child so there I sat and became very upset with my parents.  I wanted to share my cupcake with them.  It was my birthday after all, right?  But my special day didn't seem so special at that moment. 

That memory is so vivid, it's like it happened last weekend.  This happened over 30 years ago and today, my son is a week from turning 2.  I am struggling with how to portrait his future memory of his special day.  My husband and I have been talking Birthday Party talk all week long and my son is truly excited.  He cannot wait, and realistically, he has no idea what's in store for him.  The one thing that worries me is that part of this party will be a memory he'll keep forever, so I'm so stuck on the fact that I need to make sure I make it a good memory! 

My son has made me his rock, he has learned he can give me a hug anytime he pleases, yet he will clearly tell me No if he doesn't agree with me.  I like that about him and I hope he continues to show his independence. 

Unknown to me, my son has become my rock.  My son has added an extra hop in my step and extra pep in my personality.  He's made me feel stronger about my opinions and more vocal about my decisions.  My son has taught me to make quicker decisions and I've learned how to stop being too passive.  After all, I have a kid who needs someone to have his back, keep him healthy, and support his every move.  He's not yet two, so he really needs me just about 98% of the time.  And I don't mind that.  I enjoy being his rock, he's my soul. 

So when it's time to speak my mind, I do it.  I want to be the mother who is willing to stand up for her kid, any time.  My son deserves that.  He's turning 2 very soon and I feel I need to make a good impression on my son.  Call me crazy, but I am haunted by my own 2 year old memory.  So yes, he's worth it, even if I have to fight for it.

What are your earliest memories?  And do they haunt you too?  Have you made irrational decisions in order to become a better role model for your kids?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I recently received a new pair of glasses.  I've owned glasses for a few years now, but I rarely wore them.  I wasn't blind, and I felt I could make due by squinting.  It really wasn't an issue.  Until I couldn't squint hard enough, my vision remained blurry. 

I find that I don't need my glasses while sitting at my computer while working.  Although I do feel my eyes are feeling strained, I can still see clearly, so I assume that strained feeling is associated with sitting infront of the computer screen for 9 hours a day.  It can create quite the headache.

I like the glasses, although this picture is kind of goofy.  I felt awkward taking a picture of myself while sitting at my desk.  I find myself putting them on throughout the day because I do wonder if I should be wearing them more often than I am.  At least to try and eliminate my headaches.

I find a huge difference while driving lately.  I cannot believe I was driving around without them.  Even though I knew where I was going, I really wasn't seeing where I was going.  Scary.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

He makes me laugh

We're in his bedroom getting ready for bed.  He's had a bath and I'm working on getting his pj's on his chilly little body.  I notice his has a small scab on the back of his calf.  I ask him if he has a boo-boo.  He says yah.

How did you get it?

Big Bear over there.

You got a boo-boo from Big Bear?

No.  The bed.

You were on the bed?

Bumped my head. Taps head.

You were jumping on the bed and you hit your head?

Momma called doctor and doctor said (points finger) NO more monkeys jumping on bed!


How did my conversation about a boo-boo lead into that song?  He was so proud of himself and when I picked him up to finish zipping his pj's he laughs and says: Silly Goose!

Yes, you are a silly goose... You are my silly putty.

Monday, November 8, 2010


We spent the morning at the photographers studio.  The studio is private, it's actually in a condo specifically rented for photography.  She specializes in weddings and newborn photos.  But she takes all sorts of pictures.  I really enjoy her work and I like her patience with my son. 

This was our 2nd visit.  The first one, six months ago, was not so pleasant.  My son didn't want to be there.  He didn't care for the big fancy shmancy camera, or the photographer.  As nice as she was, she spent the whole hour with us trying to convince my son that he would enjoy getting his picture taken.  But that particular day, not so much.

Today was a different story.  I spent most of our weekend discussing the big fancy shmancy camera.  I talked about the silly faces we'd make.  I mentioned the big fancy shmancy camera would also 'click', just like Dora's did. 

We watch Dora, I'm sure like most kids, my son is obsessed with this chick.  I don't know what it is about Dora that he loves, or maybe he just loves Boots.  Two reasons, 1-he's a monkey, and 2-he wears boots!  Well, there is a particular episode where Dora travels through the forest looking for animals.  When she spots an animal everyone says CLICK.  She snaps the picture and enters her photos in a contest.

Since my son loves cameras and picture taking (only by me), I thought this would be a fun episode to watch since we'd be visiting the studio today with the big fancy shmancy camera.  And it would "click".  Just like Dora's does... is what he'd say.  He seemed a little weary, but I was convinced he was ready for a 2nd visit in the studio.  I wanted his 2 year old pictures done, so I was committed to making this work.  He ended up surprising me.

He's a little shy about people knowing his name, especially when he doesn't know the person at all.  So it took a few minutes to warm up to the studio.  But a few minutes is all he needed.  He was running around, and cooperating with the photographer faster than I had imagined.  He sang his ABC's, played peekaboo, jumped on the couch, stood on a chair, roared like a dinosaur, and plopped into the bean bag... and all doing it on queue!  I was stunned.  He really did enjoy the sound of the "click".

Friday, November 5, 2010

Comfort Food

I'm not the typical wife.  I don't necessarily cook, clean, sew, or do laundry regularly.  I am not the sort of person who is regimented on a schedule.  I loathe routines, for myself that is.  I do my best, try to pick up as I go, and make sure everyone is clean, loved, and happy.  I'm a procrastinator at it's finest.  I don't think I've every talked about my procrastination issues.  Maybe someday I'll post something about that.  I'll try not to procrastinate.  =)

I came across a recipe the other day and it was one that I fell in love with.  As soon as I tasted it, I knew I would be making it again.  I don't find too many recipes where I feel this way, so I felt compelled to share it in this post.  Here goes...

Butternut Squash Risotto.  I've never attempted risotto before, never mind how I even learned how to handle a butternut squash.  I opted for fresh because they were on sale at 79 cents a pound.  So I bought one that was just under two pounds.  I will copy the recipe I followed here, but please note I did make some alterations, however the alterations were strictly because I just didn't have enough ingredients.

  • 7 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh sage
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock (Used 4 cups, I didn't have enough)
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2/3 cup caramelized onions (Used 1 large onion)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Used a little less as I ran out)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter. Add 1 Tbs. of the sage and heat until the butter browns. Strain the butter into a small bowl and discard the sage. Cover the bowl to keep the butter warm.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the stock and squash puree. Bring just to a simmer, 8 to 10 minutes; maintain over low heat.

In a large saucepan or risotto pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the caramelized onions and rice and stir until the grains are well coated with the oil and are nearly translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. sage and the rosemary. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.

Add the simmering stock mixture a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding more.

When the rice is tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 30 minutes, stir in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, the cheese, salt and pepper. Add more stock if needed so the rice is thick and creamy. Let stand for 2 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sage butter and serve immediately. Serves 6.

I wish I took a picture of the finished dish.  To be honest, it didn't look all that pretty, but looks were deceiving, and it was delicious!  I've been eating it for 3 days and I still have way too much!  I would definitely cut this recipe in half next time, or make this the way it is for a holiday party.  Wholesome, comfort food is what this is for me.  I would even try substituting the butternut squash for pumpkin and maybe add some nutmeg or all spice seasoning.

Have you attempted a dish you wouldn't dream yourself making?  Did you surprise yourself like I did?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Toy Story

It's quite popular in our home.  We watch Buzz-Woody so frequently, I keep one of the dvds in the dvd player.  My little guy isn't even 2 and he's obsessed with the characters.  I think it's funny to see the types of toys, themes, and characters that hook themselves into my sons heart.  He has a hard time letting go of them.

Dressed up as Buzz-Woody for trick or treating

It's quite funny actually.  I decided to let him play the part of his hero, Buzz.  He ran around the neighborhood for the whole hour and half that we were outside.  There was no stopping him.  He was Buzz of course!

But after 3 parties as Buzz, we decided to let Woody join the crowds.  He had as much fun, if not more.  I actually don't know which character my son enjoyed more.  He loves them both equally, it's hard to pick one.

Woody's ready for the next party!

Do you let your kids decide what to dress up for Halloween?  Or is everyday Halloween in your home?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Nook: Bear Feels Sick

I've been trying to get some reading done, however I've reached a reader's block.  Is that a term people use?  Like saying writer's block? 

Anyways, I figured I would share one of the books my son loves, and well, so do I. 

We received this book about a year ago as a gift.  I'm still learning which books are popular with babies and toddlers.  We have a few personal preferences at home, but I've learned that when I'm shopping for a book for my kid, I really need to see the book in person before I bring it home to share. 

Some books are too wordy.  Some books have illustrations that aren't very colorful.  Some books are bold, while others books may have too many pages.  We like to read in our house, but we're kind of picky as to the book we intend to read.

Bear Feels Sick is such a sweet story.  The illustrations are very colorful and warm.  My son gravitates to this story and even plays along with the sound effects that I make when the bear coughs and sneezes and wheezes and moans. 

It's a cuddly book for us as we snuggle together under a blanket and read about the big Bear and how his friends help him get better. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Decorating

We have a few pumpkins on our front steps, by few I mean four.  I really have no desire to carve them this year.  Okay, maybe I'll carve one, but really... that's it.  I just can't fathom carving four pumpkins.  My husband isn't interested in carving any.  But Halloween is around the corner and really, how can you go through Halloween without having a Jack-O-Lantern by your front door? 

So I decided to let my son decorate his own pumpkin.  He had a blast at the idea of painting.  I never realized how much he enjoyed painting!  He used every color we had and painted in the same spot, over and over again.  I'd suggest painting in a different area, but he insisted on painting in the same spot.  Over and over again.

He's so excited to start painting!

We included some foam stickers shaped like dinosaurs, trucks, cars, planes, trains, and helopcopters.  Then we glued some pom poms... just to add some extra flare =)

He didn't want to stop.  He whined to keep painting and sticking and gluing.  I'm glad he appreciated the quick craft we completed together.  Actually, HE did the crafting while I did the gluing.  He didn't want me to help in any way.  I don't mind though since I was thrilled to see his artistic side.

My crafty kid... he was so proud =)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gender considerations

I have a 23 month old son.  He's been my life since the moment I found out I was pregnant.  I didn't know I was having a boy until I was about 20 weeks pregnant.  My husband and I decided to find out.  It was our first baby and we needed to know.  We clearly didn't care what we were having, boy or girl, we were happy just the same.  So why did we need to know the gender? 

My husband needed to know more than I did.  I was happy with all sorts of gender neutral baby clothes, toys, and decorations.  A baby is a baby, right?  Blue and Pink don't really make the baby, it's the love, home, and warmth that a couple brings to a new persons life. 

But we decided to find out the gender.  We considered this was appropriate because we wanted to be prepared.  We wanted to know the name of our child before he or she was born. 

However, once we found out the news we'd have a boy, nothing changed with the plans of our future.  We still decorated the baby's room with green walls, white furniture, and a silly Muppet theme.  No bears, sports, dolls, or frills.  To me, we decorated a gender neutral baby room.  I decided once our son arrived, we'd make adjustments according to his personality. 

Ironically, we haven't had the need to change much, but we've added more 'fun' to his room.  At 23 months old he does in fact know the characters of the Muppets.  If we had a girl, I'm sure her love for the silly characters would be the same.  (I grew up loving the Muppets, particularly Animal).

The only difference in how we've raised our baby is the fact we have no dollies, no strappy dress shoes, no barretts or pony tail elastics.  I feel our gender neutral home is just that, simple and equal.  And the fact that our son does like the color pink doesn't mean he wears the color, but enjoys drinking out of a pink sippy cup.  It's a color after all, not a life style.  We color in pink and he even enjoys watching Dora the Explorer.  To me, there's nothing wrong with that, but to others, they may raise an eyebrow as to 'why'.

I don't ask Why, but Why Not?  Why Not let my son have an interest in anything and everything?  We can play kick ball or base ball, then color pink hearts and flowers too. 

I'm sure when and if we have baby #2 there will be more changes and more gender considerations.  Will we find out what baby #2 will be?  Or will we decide to wait it out until the baby is born?  It's a real personal decision and I'd like to think people would respect any decision an expecting parent would make.  To justify that someone needs to know because they want to buy clothing or a toy isn't enough of a reason for me. 

Yes, I have a son.  He's my child, my kid.  I hope that by the time he's my age the world will have developed a different outlook on gender.  I can only hope that society will encourage kids to listen to their heart and gut, and not what others say or think.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mummy... socks off!

We've gotten into a habit of taking our shoes off at the front door.  I am trying to teach my son the habit of sitting on the steps inside the house so I can remove his shoes, coat, and hat.  Sometimes he's too excited and flees into the house.  Other times he's pleased with the new routine and doesn't fuss much.  But lately he's taken to the idea of removing the socks as well.

Typically, during the warmer months, I don't care much for socks myself.  In fact, no surprise, but we don't wear socks that much. 

However, our house has hardwood floors and ceramic tile.  We do have a few scatter rugs, but that ceramic tile can be cold.  Apparently my son doesn't mind.  He insists on pulling those itty-biddy socks off his feet, and keep his toes cold. 

He'll tell me he's pulled his socks off.  If I ask him if they were hot, he'll say yes and start blowing on his toes.  Because when our food is hot, we blow on the food to cool it off.  I think he's having a hard time with these differences, because when I do feel his feet to see if they are warm, they're cold. 

He prefers bare feet.  So do I.  But we're working on wearing fun slippers, although he'd rather wear his green froggy boots that are too small for his growing feet. 

We pick our battles and he knows that socks are required with shoes.  However, while spending time in the house, the socks are off.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with a battle similar to this.  In fact, I let my son win these battles because I'm sure there will be other, more important, issues that I'll need to find a hefty compromise with him.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let the Countdown Begin!

I'm having a hard time focusing lately.  I completely forgot about my blog.  How does that even happen?  Sometimes I just read blogs and don't write, but lately, I haven't even been doing that.  Today I realized I've been consumed with our trip: The Gauntlet.

We'll be going soon.  Well, not that soon, but it's certainly soon enough!  I'll be sprinkling fairy dust soon and hopefully experiencing all the magic WDW has to offer.  If you've never been, I'm sorry... SO sorry...

It's a place that isn't for everyone though.  But to never have gone?  I just can't even imagine that's possible.  Everyone should take the time to experience the magic once.

My husband and I are traveling solo.  The kid is staying home.  Not alone of course.  We're not THAT mean.  He won't even realize that he's missing out on a fun time, but he'll have his chance soon.  =)  We're planning a fun, long week with him later next year.

So our January trip is booked.  We have the flights, the resort, and now we're working on the plan.  We usually travel on a whim, with a few ideas in mind of what we'd like to do.  Usually this works well for us and then make all the arrangements when we get to our destination.  But this trip is a little different.  2 nights and 1 day requires some planning ahead.  Which rides are we going to tackle?  Which order of the parks will we visit?  When are the Extra Magic Hours?  Will we eat?  If so, where!?? 

I'd like to have one really nice dinner.  I've been doing some research on where we'll be and what nice restaurants will be nearby.  I've narrowed it down to 2 and now I'm comparing the menus to see what atmosphere would suit us best. 

You may think the planning takes all the fun out of a vacation.  I can honestly say this hasn't happened to me yet.  Actually it never does, because I know once we arrive there will be obstacles.  There usually are when it comes to Disney.  I've had my fair share of burn-out moments, but when I reflect on my memories, it all brings a smile to my face and I can't wait to go back.

So I have my preliminary itinerary, but of course this could change as soon as we arrive.  Honestly, it won't matter how we do it, but it's always good to have a game plan. 

Let the countdown begin!

80 more days =)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Football Beanie

I recently purchased a hat for my son.  He loves hats.  I was looking for something simple, something fun, something different.  I like shopping on Etsy for purposes like that, when you know the local malls won't have what you're looking for, and you know some crafty person has already thought of what you needed.  And it's there, on Etsy, waiting for you.

I found my sons simple, fun, and different hat here.  Since hats are made to order, I'd like to thank angelschest for making this for my son! 

We just received the hat yesterday and I immediately put it on my son.  It fits well and there is still room to grow.  It's a perfect addition to his hat collection!  The hat, by the way, looks professional.  It feels very sturdy and rugged, yet soft enough for my 22 month old son.  He's not quite sure what to do with the ties but I'm sure he'll be used to them in no time.  I can't wait to snap some pictures of him wearing this hat!

Flying Solo

At the end of the day I feel good.  I know my son and I can find the patience for each other and tackle each speed bump together.  He's not quite 2 yet, but he thinks he's a smart cookie.  Well, he is, but I'm biased. 

For the next four weeks, except weekends, my son and I will be doing what we do without his Daddy.  He'll be away for work and it's really the first time since our son was born that he has a commitment like this.  But it's okay.  We'll make it okay. 

My husband does the morning wake-up routine with our son.  This includes getting him up, change diaper, dressing for the day, and coming downstairs to settle him onto the couch and flips on the Disney channel.  After handing some milk to our son, he's set for the time being while I get myself ready and pack lunches. 

Daddy is missed.  Terribly.  Morning 2 had my son asking for Daddy before he could even see clearly after waking up.  I explain that Daddy had to leave early and he gave a smooch while you were sleeping, he loves you.  The comprehension of a 22 month old is limited, but I know he can understand simple facts. 

So it's not often my son and I get to spend so much solo time together.  It almost feels like he knows he is just with me and is not being so two-year-old towards me.  It's nice actually.  I haven't had any breakdown moments with him.  For the most part, he's been very well behaved.  (knock on wood)

Granted, we've only made it through the first week.  My husband drives home today and come Monday we'll be saying bye again.  My son won't understand this schedule, but I'm sure we can manage.  We'll find balance together.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doing the Gauntlet...

It's official.  We're 'doing' the Gauntlet.

What's the Gauntlet you ask?

Good question... =)  It's a term used quite frequently in our house, especially by my mouse-crazed husband.  Don't get me wrong, I love that he is a kid at heart.  But he could talk about Disney World all day.  Every day. 

Sometimes he does.

So we're due to 'do' the Gauntlet in 13 weeks.  Thirteen!  I need to now book the hotel and buy tickets, and oh maybe reserve a place for dinner.  But I hear we're going on the same weekend as Disney's Marathon weekend.  I actually wish I was in shape to run the half marathon that is schedule for that Saturday, but oh well.  I'll have to settle with running through all four parks and riding the rides instead =)

The last time I was at Disney, I was 8 weeks pregnant.  And let me tell you... life was not so welcoming while living in the first trimester.  But I did what I could and we took our time.

But not this time around.  We're going full steam ahead.  The snails are staying behind! 

I'm looking forward to this Gauntlet.  Have I mentioned exactly what our version of the Gauntlet is?  It's simple actually.  Fly down to Disney and just spend 2 nights and 1 full day... at all the parks.  Crazy, right?  I'll admit it, we're nuts.  But that's us.

Oh and the kid will actually have to sit this one out.  Maybe someday he'll run the Gauntlet with us.  But for now, this is our turn.  I'm sure I will need some serious pain medication afterwards, or I'll just chop my feet off.  We'll see. =)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Swim Lessons

I registered my son for swimming lessons.  He's only 22 months old but I've heard it's never too early to start.  I'm not looking for him to reach the Olympics.  I'm hoping he, eventually, will learn life saving skills and techniques while in the water.  I don't want my son afraid of the water or ever feel like he can't go into the deep end of the pool because he doesn't know how to swim.

I'm not the best swimmer.  In fact, I float with some movement.  It's enough to get me by.  It's all about the journey anyways, right?  I don't really have a destination when I swim, but more recreational.  So that's the least I can expect what my son will learn, right?  Or so I hope so.

Our first lesson was on Sunday. 

The water was cold.

He doesn't like cold water.

Out... OUT! he cried for 20 minutes.

We bobbed, we sang, we splashed... he cried.

Then we each received a ducky and a whole knew game started, and my son decided he wanted to play.

Five minutes later the class was over and he clapped and cheered YAY!  He said he had fun and that's all that matters.

I asked Do you want to come back to pool again?

YEAH! he squealed.

After taking a quick warm shower to heat our chilly buns, we dressed and went home to tell Daddy the news.

Swim lessons was fun and we'll do it again. =)

Monday, October 4, 2010

1 to 10

We read many stories that include counting.  We watch cartoons that involve counting.  We even count how many cookies or crackers we plan on eating.  I knew my son understood the words, but did he really understand what they meant?  I'll find him repeating numbers after me; one, two, thfree... and point to the objects as we count along.  He's becoming my little copy cat.

Yesterday I discovered he can count higher. 

Yesterday I discovered he can count all the way to 10.

I was shocked.  I actually thought, did he really just say those words?  Does he know he's counting?  Maybe he thinks of it as a sentence?  Like we say: Open the door please.  He memorizes the sequence of words.  Perhaps these numbers are just words to him.  How much can a 22 month old know, and realize, about numbers?

Either way, I'm excited.  I'm excited to hear all ten of those words come out of his mouth and in the right order.  I like the way he points to an object and acts like he's counting each item: one, two, three, ... all the way to ten.  So he really doesn't understand the two pretzels he has in front of him, are only two and not ten.  But he shows so much excitement when I cheer and applaud at the fact he's counting from 1 to 10.  He's proud of his accomplishment, and he should be. =)


I'm feeling disheveled today and I'm not sure why.  I am hoping my vitamins help me feel balanced.  But I just took those and I'm sure it'll be a while before I feel better.  The vitamins are organic and probiotic, and I'm excited to feel the benefits.  I ordered them online and will post later once I have more to say about those.

I feel like a rag doll.  The clothes I picked to wear today feel old, worn, floppy.  It's just some linen/cotton pants with a sweater.  In fact, I rarely wear these particular clothes.  But now that I'm wearing them, maybe that's why I rarely wear them.  They make me feel ick.

A shopping spree would be nice.  Would be are key words here.  Most of my shopping sprees are saved for groceries and things needed for my 22 month old son.  I don't mind that my priorities fall in that direction, in fact, it's my choice for it to be that way. 

So I never, ever, okay not ever, give clothes away.  Sometimes I do, sometimes.  But mostly, if you were to look through my closet and storage, you will find clothes from 10 years ago.  There are clothes that I haven't worn in 10 years.  So why do I have them?  Because there are moments where I just can't bring myself to doing laundry (pathetic I know) and I find myself looking for pants or a top that I haven't even worn in I don't know how long.  Scary.

But I don't mind.  Nobody knows this.  Unless someone is reading this and may wonder the next time you see me, how old are those clothes?!  :)

I feel it's no different than shopping at a consignment store, or a yard sale.  Granted, I don't buy myself clothes at either of these stores for the simple fact, I have too many clothes already.

So today I will allow myself to feel disheveled.  I parked my car, scrubbed a few swipes of blush on my face (I rarely wear any makeup so this is the extent of what I would wear), rolled some lavender on my wrists and hoped for the best. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Other Parents

Every morning I drop off my 22 month old son at his school.  The school watches kids between the ages of 6 weeks to 5 years old.  So there is a wide range of children scooting, walking, and running around excited to start their day of play.  Of course there is learning going on, but really, it's mostly play. 

Every afternoon I pick up my 22 month old son from his school.  If it's a nice day out, I can find him in the playground, usually covered in dirt.  Somehow the dirt is caked onto his skin.  How does this happen?  However if the weather isn't the best, the kids are inside one of the classrooms playing or exploring.

Each of these mornings and afternoons I usually see the same parents picking up and dropping off.  I assume that they all have jobs to get to, since they're dressed rather nicely.  Some look like they're dressed for the gym, well, maybe that's where they work.  In either case, I leave my son at his school and as I pull out of the parking lot, I reflect on these other parents and the roles they play outside their homes.  Are they business owners, executives, bankers, coaches, or retail associates?  At the point of which we say goodbye to our kiddos, is the point where we place a new hat on our heads and gear up for the day ahead. 

As I pass each parent I either nod or say Hi.  We'll hold doors open for each other or give soothing smiles when our little one isn't ready to say goodbye. 

The commonality of our roles is the same, we're Moms, Dads, or another caregiver to these children.  We put our trust into these schools and daycares to ensure our children get the best care.  We trust these teachers and set our fears aside and buckle up for the workday ahead. 

Even though I don't have a chance to socialize with these other parents, I do think of them often.  I wonder if they had the kind of morning we had and if their kid made it a point to wear his rubber boots instead of his sneakers.  At the end of the day, I hope they're able to put their crazy work day aside once they see their kids and greet them with warm, fresh hugs and kisses.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I'm not sure why. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hello Autumn!

It's Autumn!  Or some of us like to call it Fall.  It's the season of apple and pumpkin picking, scarecrows, mums, pies, hay rides, foliage, maple syrup, apple cider donuts, honey sticks, hot or cold apple cider, and maybe the occasional warm Indian summer sort of day.  As much as I love summer, the fall also holds a particular place in my heart. 

I enjoy seeing the leaves change from green to red, orange, and yellow.  Did you know trees will change a different color from one year to the next?  We have a few mums paired with small pumpkins next to our front steps.  It's refreshing to see the change in seasons.  August can be so humid and thick with pollen, sometimes it's hard to breath in the fresh air.  So when fall comes around, it's all I want to do and sit outside and take a deep breath.

We don't have too many plans this fall, except on the top of my list is apple picking.  It's unfortunate a lot of orchards had to shut down their PYO (pick your own) fields due to the frost we had in the spring.  A lot of the apple blossoms didn't make it through that frost spell.  It's unfortunate and I hope we'll be able to get some picking in soon.

There will be a couple of warm days coming up, just in time for the weekend.  It'll be nice to spend some time outside over the weekend and enjoy the foliage, but with 80's one day and 60's the next, it's no wonder we often have colds before the first snow fall.  The colors will be peaking soon and it would be nice to have everyone feeling their best so we can enjoy the season.

I couldn't imagine being anywhere else in the world right now, but here in NH.  There is nothing better than spending fall in New England with a warm mug of apple cider.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Role Model

Merriam-Webster defines Role Model as: a person whose behavior in a particular role is imitated by others.

Wikipedia says: The term role model generally means any "person who serves as an example, whose behaviour is emulated by others"

Since I have had my son, I've had more time to ponder what type of parent I'd be for him.  Sure, I'll love unconditionally, encourage, and teach him as much as possible.  But there are many things I won't be able to provide, and it's those things that I often think about the role models that are in his life.  What type of person will my son grow fond of and look up to.  Other than his Mom and Dad, there will be many people that will come in and out of his life, but I know there will be a select few that will take hold of his heart, and blend into his soul.

My 22 month old son is still learning to speak, but he has no problems speaking with body language.  I have also learned he is a very cautious person, sometimes shy, but not shy enough where he enjoys joining the crowd of kids to play with toys.  I am convinced that as he grows, so will his desire to reach forward at lifes treasures.

When my son was 5 months old, we had him baptized.  We selected godparents too.  These people are family members that are important to us, as parents, so we hope that they'll be just as important to him. 

I'm committed to nurturing the connection of positive people in our lives.  It's hard, sometimes, to keep connections growing, but sometimes the work is easy.  Sometimes it's easy to lean on others no matter how blustery life can be. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

22 months later

22 months ago my life changed dramatically, for the better.  We've had our ups and downs, but when we have our downs, we're never there very long.  You have brought a new balance to my life.  You have introduce a side of me that I never knew existed, I think only you could have taught me who I am. 

I have learned so much from you in the past 22 months.  22 months!  I am still in shock at how blessed I am to have you in my life.  I sometimes hold my breath and think, this must be a dream.  How could something so unique, so passionate, so real... be all mine, to share with the world.

I cannot wait to introduce you to our world.  To show you life's challenges and triumphs.  You are 22 months old today and I have cherished every moment we've had, and will soak up our future.  You are my son and I love you to the pit of my gut. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

200th Post

I just realized this is my 200th post.  Crazy!  I started this blog at the beginning of the year with intentions of sticking to this blog, my so-called-journal.  I wanted to write about being a mother and talk about what mattered most to me. 

I'm sort of a private person, I don't particularly jump into a conversation about myself.  At least not with someone I don't know very well, or at all.

I've 'met' a lot of different people through their blogs.  There is a lot of inspiring folks out there.  I feel like blogging is still new to me and I have a lot to learn.  But the one thing I have learned about myself since starting this blog is that it's okay, and anything goes.  The intention of this blog is for me and not anyone else. 

Sometimes my focus changes, as do my routines.  Life fluctuates and I suppose there is a natural tendency for change to happen daily.  If you allow that change to happen.

200 posts doesn't seem like a lot, but when I look over the past 9 months, it's almost a lifetime ago when I started this blog.  It's been a fun journey and I am looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Football season

Does someone in your house watch football?  Are you that person who is glued to the game?  I'm particularly not a huge fan of the sport, but I don't have negative thoughts about it either.  It's just not my cup of tea, if you know what I mean.  My husband enjoys the sport and he's excited to teach our son the love too.  So far, he's learned what about the football shirt.  He wore it with his father all day last Sunday.

I should have gotten a picture of the both of them together.  I didn't think about it at the time.  In fact, I think these were taken just after a snack while my husband was downstairs in his man-cave watching the game.  Of course.

So I took these instead.

 I call this his 'lip face'

He's saying "Cool Dude" here.  Duuuude is what I captured.

So even though I'm not a huge fan of the sport, I suppose my love may grow for football just as my son does too. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Green Clover and Aloe by Jenness Farm

I'm really enjoying these goat milk soaps.  Since I just finished the Blackberries & Cream, I decided my next bar is the Green Clover and Aloe.

Today was my first day with this bar and WOW.  It's like the clover oils were extracted and poured into this soap.  It feels so nourishing and healthy, just like smelling a soccer field or football field after it's been mowed.  I guess that sounds like fresh cut grass, but it's really not like that, but the clover flower smell.  OOOOH
Thank you Jenness Farm! :)

Blackberries & Cream by Jenness Farm

I recently finished this bar of soap from Jenness Farm.  This soap smelled delicious!  Blackberries & cream would leave me feeling hungry every morning.

Creamy lather, berry flavor.  Each lather came this rich smooth texture of bubbles and froth.  What more could I ask for?  I was not disappointed.

On a scale of 1 to 5 bubbles, I give Blackberries & Cream a 5!  blub blub blub!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Swim lessons

I've enrolled you in your first activity.  I'm really excited for you and hope you enjoy the swim lessons you'll be taking.  Of course I'll be in the water with you.  You are still too small to take the lessons by yourself.  You love water and you love splashing, especially when you're splashing me.

Our neighbor is going too and I know you two will have fun.  I think seeing the other kids play in the water will help ease any fears you may have with the lessons.  There is always some hesitation when starting something new.  You trust me, but you are still a very cautious person when I introduce you to something new.  I have confidence you will thrive with this new experience.

Three more weeks and we'll begin this new adventure.  I know there will be many like this, sports, clubs, teams, or however your interests guide you.  I will be there to give you that extra nudge and encourage you to do your best. 

I personally feel what you will learn from these swim lessons will help guide you for the rest of your life.  I'm not a great swimmer nor do I have any technical skills to teach you.  I'm sure there will be a time when you will be able to out swim me, and I look forward to that day.  For now, I will be your floatation device and let you cling to my shoulders while we bob in the water.  We'll blow bubbles and kick our feet, and I'm sure you'll laugh with excitment.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


You call them Ats.

You're so silly with your hats.  You like to wear fun hats, sun hats, and ball caps.  When we leave the house to go out and play, or if we just heading to the store, you look for your hat.  It's become your staple to the thing you need before leaving the house.

The helmet you ask to wear is something you'd like to wear inside the house.  You've only had the helmet a short time, but you would enjoy wearing that helmet everywhere.  If I'd let you, but you talk about helmets and who is wearing them, all the time.

Hats are fun to play dress up, or just to keep the sun out of your eyes.  

But who wouldn't enjoy hats... especially when you can dress up like this:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Feeling naked

I forgot my cell phone today.  It's still on the charger at home.  I don't forget it often, so when I do, I feel naked.

There are a few essential things I require when I walk out my front door everyday. 

1) my kid
2) my keys
3) my phone

Any of these things missing makes me feel lost.  Or naked.  I need to know where they are at all times.  Sometimes my 21 month old son likes to play with my keys, lock the car doors, and hide the keys in the house.  Okay, he may not hide them, but drop them next to the toy he saw after he was done playing with the keys.

My phone is another item of mine that my son likes to use.  He pushes the buttons and squeals when he sees his picture on the screen.  Sometimes he calls the last person I had called.  The last time he did that, it was my boss.  OOPS!  Luckily when I asked my boss about it, he wasn't in the office at that time. 

I really don't like feeling tethered to my phone, but it has become an essential part of my human existence.  I don't use it alot, but I need it.  If I don't have it, I fear that will be the moment my car breaks down on an unused side road.  (Why would I be driving down a road like that in the first place??)  It's still my fear.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Kids & Vinyl Tableclothes

I'm not a fan of vinyl tablecloths, but I use them.  I use them because they help create decoration in my kitchen, and a conversation piece for my 21 month old son.  If we're in between seasons or holidays, I use a plain green and yellow bamboo vinyl tablecloth.  However, this week I've changed the theme: Birthday

It's not my sons birthday, since he's only 21 months old.  It will be my husbands birthday soon and I felt like being in the party mood early.  So last week I set the table up with the birthday themed vinyl tablecloth.  This tablecloth has balloons, slices of cake, cupcakes with candles, and presents.  My son enjoys looking at the pictures and will even tell me the candles need to be blown out.  He tries to do it himself.  It's quite funny to watch him blow the fake candles out.

Dirtday Ardy!

That's what he says as he's pointing to the table.  He cannot wait for the real deal with his Daddy.  I practice singing the Birthday song and sometimes he enjoys it, other times he tries to get down from his booster chair and run away.  I think he thinks I'm singing the song to him as I sing happy birthday to you, which really I'm referring to his Daddy.  I tell him that it will be his birthday soon.  He seems excited at the thought, but when the day actually is here, I'm sure he'll be interesting.

My son also likes to pull at our tablecloth or lift it up to see what is hidden underneath.  So there are rules to having a tablecloth, which I didn't intend on having, but it has become essential.  I then realized it may be good to have these rules for when we are out at a restaurant (HA-when and if we go), or to a friend or families house, it's important to understand we do not need to disassemble the kitchen table.  I guess it goes along with my other belief on child-proofing.  Or maybe this is just how things have been working with my son.  When #2 comes around, my theories may change.  What do you think?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beginning to end, and a new beginning

It's been 1.5 months in a new school.  We've met new friends, read new books, and played new games.  It's been fun, and it's come to an end.

I knew this was coming.  I knew it would be hard.  I just never prepared for it.  But looking into the future I see more fun days and silly grins.  I see a kid who will keep on playing.  I suppose I'm the one who has to deal with the emotions of the ending and a new beginning. 

The beginnings will be good.  The beginnings will be fun.  I do know this, and so will he.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Washing Hands

My 21 month old son loves washing his hands.  After he is dressed, he asks to wash his hands.  When he comes inside from playing, he washes his hands.  After a snack or meal, he asks to wash his hands.  He enjoys it, the foamy soap and the water.  What kid wouldn't find that fun?

So it was important to me to find a soap that was safe and chemical free.  I found CleanWell at my local market and have also read online how wonderful this product is.  The price for the bottle didn't break the bank either!

The market only had two scents: Lavender and Ginger Bergamot.  I chose Lavender since this would be soap I would be using in my bathroom.  I'm not sure how my husband will feel about smelling like fresh lavender, but I didn't care.  (He has his own bathroom anyways).

The bottle is reusable.  The label you see on these bottles can easily be removed.  Behind it, printed on the bottle is the CleanWell label and a list of ingredients.

Their website does offer 32 ounce refill bottles for $13.99.  Again, to me, this doesn't break the bank since a little does go a long way, and there are no chemicals and no triclosan.

The Cosmetic Database also rates CleanWell hand soaps and sanitizers with a 1.  Very impressive! 

Flu season is just around the corner and I'm going to jump in line with my son, washing hands is always important, so why not encourage the act even more when he's showing interest.  (Typically I wash his hands with a wash cloth)

So do you have a favorite soap to use with your kids?  Do you use a bar soap or liquid?  Do you splurge and purchase chemically free soap or do you have to limit to what is 99 cents?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Healing Hearts by Kathy Magliato

I was pleasantly surprised with Healing Hearts.  Kathy Magliato's story has such inspiration and passion.  She prooves anything is possible.

Woman, surgeon, mother, Kathy tells her story of how she came to love the heart and why she chose the heart.  She talks about how to juggle a career and family.

Kathy has left me wanting to know more about heart disease as she details facts and relates textbook language to real life stories.  She has also become the president of the American Heart Association. 

Kathy is a true hero and fighter.  If I had my choice, I'd want her to be my heart surgeon any day.

photo credit

Friday, August 20, 2010

No Ga-Ga's!

I was never excited about the idea of pacifiers.  When my son was born, shortly a few days afterwards, I found out the nurses had given him a pacifier.  I wasn't ready for that commitment.  My baby had never known what one was and I wanted to be the one who determines if and when he'd start using a pacifier.  After bringing our son home for the first time I was committed to using the pacifier under strict circumstances.

Long car rides

That was it.  I wasn't about to let my son have his pacifier if he was awake.  So he never did, he never looked for the pacifier.

My husband and I ended up naming our pacifiers Nuk-Nuk, basically because of the brand Nuk.  As my son started babbling and talking, he developed his own name for the Nuk-Nuk, and called it Ga-Ga.  So we went with it.

Ga-Ga's have been everywhere, shoved in pockets at the grocery stores in fear he's sob uncontrollably.  I'd bring it to the doctors knowing he'd be having shots.  On long car rides when we'd need a little peace.  And of course when he's napping and sleeping at night.

In his bed at home we keep multiple Ga-Ga's.  4 to be exact.  One for each corner, although when he goes to bed, he likes holding 3 of them and sucking on 1.  He tucks them in his little hands and under his blanket (ganket).

My son is now 21 months old and the other day his daycare experiemented with him and told him he had his Pooh and that he didn't need his Ga-Ga.  (Pooh has been around since we came home from the hospital.) He appeared to accept that explanation and proceeded to take a nap, no problems, no questions.  Two days in a row he slept great, with no Ga-Ga. 

So last night I attempted our first night without Ga-Ga's.  Things seemed okay.  He looked around his crib for a while.  I told him I'd stay in his room and lay on the spare bed next to him.  He seemed okay with that and enjoyed the extra comfort of my presence in the room.  After a few minutes he did fall asleep without a problem.  But by 12:30 he was awake and looking for me, where did Mommy go?  I ended up sleeping in his room all night.  My husband thinks I should have just given him the Ga-Ga and deal with this another day.  But he wasn't asking for it, how could I give him something he wasn't looking for.  I know he definitely could have used it, but we're trying to go a night without it.  We can do this, I know we can. 

He was up many times but overall, he did great.  No Ga-Ga!  There were lots of high-fives and yelling No Ga-Ga afterwards.  Yes, he even chimed in and repeated after me.  He was weary, but excited.  He enjoyed the success. 

Part of me is sad.  My baby is taking a step and growing up.  Breaking habits is not fun, and I know pacifiers won't be used throughout his life.  But there comes a time when we all need to learn to let go of something.  He may need to rely on something else to replace the missing Ga-Ga.  I hope it's his Pooh bear.  Maybe it will be something else?

How about you?  How have your kids transitioned away from using the pacifier?  How did you cope with the change? 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Warm Summer Breeze

I'm feeling nostalgic.  I try not to think about what is around the corner: cold, fall air.  August has been very generous to us here in NH.  The weekends have been beautiful.  Warm.  Sunny.  Breezy.  Perfect.  We've had so many days like this I feel like I need to hold my breath in fear things will change very quickly.  In New England, weather is very unpredictable.  Yes, I keep mittens and an ice scraper in my car year round.  You just never know (It has snowed in May).

The past few weeks have been heavenly.  I ride in my car with the sunroof open, windows down, and my hair flipping in the breeze.  It seems everyone has the same feeling as I watch convertibles cruise down the highway with their tops down and hair flying around.  As I near my home there are fields on hay being bound and made into bales.  They sit and wait for the local farmers to pick up and (I'm assuming) store for the winter months.  I have grown fond of these images it has made me feel summer is truely here.  The hay bales are starting to be picked up and it reminds me summer won't last for long.

credit- picsdigger

I wish I could capture the moment we've been having lately and seal it tightly inside a glass bottle.  I'd like to be able to view a perfect sunny day whenever I'm feeling blue.  The sun really perks up my soul.  How could it not?

I love the way my skin smells after being in the sun.  I wear my flip flops so much they're starting to develop holes but I refuse to buy another pair.  I have been using the same navy blue flip flops for, maybe, 10 years.  I kid you not.  I love them.  I love giving myself pedicures, although I haven't used nail polish in over a year.  I have come to enjoy the nakedness of my toe nails. 

Summer should never end.  Although as much fun spring, fall, and winter can be, my true favorite is summertime in August.  Dry heat, and although there is some pollen in the air, it doesn't affect me.  However, my poor kid struggles with it and I hope he will develop an immune system to it like me.

Summer in NH won't last forever.  If you blink you may not see the change in the seasons and fall will be here.  We are already seeing Pumpkin head Ale in the grocery stores.  (I was shocked!)  I'll be left wondering where my sunny breezy days are, but I'm sure I'll be posting how beautiful fall can be.


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