Set your goals high but not your expectations. ~Dove

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.

Friday, August 13, 2010

If Chatty Kathy had a brother...

My son is almost 21 months.  Usually the week before, I notice a leap in his development.  This week, it's been his speech.  He talks constantly.  Lately he's been spitting out 3 word sentences.  He's grasping at words as if they've been a part of his vocabulary forever. 

It makes me stop and think when did this little guy show up?  Out of nowhere I am seeing the boy around the corner and the baby waving goodbye.  It breaks my heart, yet I am excited to see what our future holds. 

I cannot wait to hear his questions, the 'why' and 'why not'?  I'm no longer a Mama but now am a Mommy.  He knows how to wrap my heart around his little fingers.  He knows me so well, just like I know him.

I cannot wait to hear the stories he'll share.  Stories about school, camp, or about a birthday party with his friends.  Sports, clubs, teams, it will all be here before I know it. 

He speaks 3 word sentences today and he blows me away with his knowledge.  The world to him is sparkly and new, and I'd love to keep it that way for him... for a while at least.  So I'll do my best to paint his world in pretty colors.  I'll gasp and gaze with him when he spots that bird in the sky or that grey bus on the road.  Sharing these moments with him has made my days brighter and stronger.  I can't wait to hear what he'll tell me next.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


It's summer time and my 20 month old son has a new bike.  It has fancy streamers, red handle bars, bright blue seat, and a yellow bucket in the back for toys, rocks, sticks, dirt... you name it. 

He can't quite maneuver the peddles so he finds pushes makes the bike move faster.

He likes hopping on and off the bike, and playing with a bell we added later.  The bell was something his smaller bike had and he enjoys making the 'ding-ding' sound.

He's pretending to make the 'ding-ding' sound.

We haven't spent too much time with the bike.  Usually he plays with it in the house and rides in the kitchen or living room.  So we never really had any issues or thoughts about using a helmet.  But he is fully aware of what a helmet is.

My son loves hats.  He wears one every day, just because it's what we do.  When he was a baby I would have him wear a hat so he wouldn't get a burn on his scalp.  The hat has become a staple when we leave the house.  He has choose to pick from and he's always excited to put a hat on himself.

Recently he's noticed motorcycles and bicycles on the roads and even sees they wear a hat.  I mention their called helmets and that's what people wear when they ride a bike.  He now calls them hehmets and is insisting he needs a hehmet for his new bike.

'Soon' is all I can tell him.  His birthday is in a few months and it would make a fun gift for him.  But a helmet for a 2 year old?  I've never shopped for a kids size helmet.  Where do I even start?  I found a link on the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute and there is more information that I had imagined about helmets.  Who knew there was so much talk about helmets!

But my silly-putty loves hats and what better addition to our collection but to have a hat that is hard... a helmet! 

I'll have to do a bit more research on which helmet to find.  Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to buy a helmet for a toddler?  Is it something I'll need to size his little noggin before purchasing?  I've debating about using a hand-me-down but I've also read the pads in the helmets aren't as supportive after so much usage in hand-me-downs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Healing from the stomach bug

We've encountered another stomach bug this past weekend.  Luckily we weren't hit as hard as before.  Nonetheless, my 20 month old still spent the weekend feeling 'off'. 

It's been a few days and he's getting back on track with eating again, but it's been tough.  He acts like he's hungry but when I offer him food, he turns his nose.  He would love to munch on goldfish all day, everyday.  Some mornings I do give him goldfish for breakfast because I did justify it with the fact that he wasn't feeling well.  And well... any food is better than no food.

So now I'm trying to stick to my guns and make him aware that goldfish are practical snacks, but we can no longer justify making meals out of them.  Toast?  Sure.  Crackers?  Okay, maybe with some peanut butter too.  But still, he tries his best to refuse, and he in the end, will end up not eating a lot. 

We get frustrated and there's a lot of whining going on.  I try not to whine too much... my my son seems to make up for it.  He wants to get down from the table and drink his juice or milk.  There's nothing wrong with that either but now I feel he'd prefer to make his meal out of his drink.

So I pack up his lunch for school.  I make sure he has his usual routine lunch which always includes vegetables.  He does enjoy them, but lately, he's been exposed to bbq junk food.  It'll be a long road to get him back on the veggie train, but I know he'll get there.  Until then, we have small battles over what to eat.

We're not very consistent in our eating habits so maybe that's where he is learning this behavior.  I try to keep a routine going.  Sometimes it works, but most of the time he just snickers at my attempts.  I have to remind myself he just had the stomach bug, even though it was as extreme as it could have been, it will take some time for his appetite to return. 

How do you justify meal times with a 20 month old? Or any kid for that matter? Where do you draw the line? Some days meals are pretzels and yogurt. Other days it's meatballs and toast. Hot dogs with broccoli and cheese? Sure! We've seen it all, including a few peas for breakfast.

I try not to stress about his lack of eating, but some days are harder than others.  How do you cope with recovering from the stomach bug?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Windows: open or closed?

I love sleeping with the windows open, no matter how cool it may get at night during the summer months.  I love the summer air and prefer to leave the windows in our home open all day long.  Even if it's raining, I like them open.  I love the smell of the warm rainy air.

I managed to marry a guy who is the opposite of me.  He prefers to keep the windows closed, all day, all night.  At the first sign of a rain drop, he's running around the house shutting the windows.  The house warms up so quickly and the air feels too stuffy. 

We have an A/C unit in the kitchen wall.  I do not like to use this unless the weather is extremely unbearable.  I love the summer heat that much.  Sometimes I'll agree to turn it on, but only for a few hours which is just long enough to get the humidity out of the house.  It's actually nice not to have my bare feet stick to my tile floors.

There is one concern my husband and I have, and it has to do with the windows in our 20 month old sons room.  He sleeps upstairs from us, and on the other side of the house.  The sun sets on the other side of the house, directly in my sons bedroom.  So when he goes to sleep, the room is shining with light and is quite warm.  If his windows are open, there is a nice breeze.  However, by the time I or my husband go to bed, we are scrambling upstairs to close the windows.  Here in our neighborhood, the temperature can get really cool this time of the year.  I refuse to dress my son in warm pj's at night, so instead he has a little onsie on and I do notice by the time I'm off to bed, his little thighs are chilly.  I try to add an extra blanket since he's usually laying on the one I originally gave him.  That extra layer usually wakes him up.  So instead I lay the blanket next to him and close his window. 

I have constant battles in my head, as well as with my husband.  I fear he'll be too hot, like his Mommy, and wake up in the middle of the night.  Or do I risk the potential drop in temperature and keep his windows open, only to fear he catches a cold while only wearing his onsie?  We can only hope that it doesn't rain, most times the rain comes at an angle and right through his windows.  Lucky him, his room is blessed with experiencing all sorts of weather.

I feel we're really neurotic about our windows.  Do other parents debate over whether to leave the windows open?  Or is the A/C on all summer? 

Friday, August 6, 2010

The lake

We spent 4 nights and 5 days at the lake.  The cottage is set in a cove so there isn't much boat traffic near us, but we see a lot of kayaks and canoe's.  So it was a perfect spot to let him run around.  He hasn't developed the idea he's invisible so he didn't care to go in too deep.  He prefered to go up to his ankles or knees. 

He loved the water, the sand, the fish.  Splashing the water with his hands or swimming on his belly along the sandy beach, he was in his glory.

By 8:30am we were in the water.  We couldn't help it.  The water was staring at us and the sun was so bright.  We had to change from our pj's straight into our bathing suits.  He'd run to the water as if something was meeting him there.  I suppose there was, the water. 

That's the lake, we'd tell him and he was try to repeat us.  However, he's still 20 months old so he babbles a lot and it takes either myself or my husband to interpret what he's saying. 

The lake has so much to offer, from swimming to boating, to digging in the sand, to calling the fishies.  The lake was surely missed the day we left to go home but I know he'll remember some stories for next time.  We'll make sure of it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


4 nights and 5 days were spent outdoors.  Swimming in a lake, riding on a boat, and sleeping in a tent.  And do I dare mention the mischief a 20 month old can get into?  Nah... I'll save those stories. 

My silly putty loved the tent and would giggle and squirm with excitment when it was time for bed or a nap.  Our tent is rather large and is advertised to hold 8-9 people.  But of course there are only three of us, a queen size air mattress, a pack n' play, and all of our gear.  He thought it was a play room but I quickly had to remind him that this was a place where we sleep.  He seemed fine with that answer and went about his day, but always got excited for bed.

One particular morning, while it was still quite chilly, he chose to stay in bed a little longer and read.  It was a moment I couldn't help but capture and add to his scrapbook of memories.

It wasn't until the day we were packing up to head home, that I was able to capture a few more moments of him enjoying our tent. 

Looking for Dada

Trying to clean up

He'll let Mama take a turn but quickly wants to sweep again.

I'm positive he'll love to go camping again but he may need to wait until next year.  Some of these nights are getting really cool, and into the low 40's. 

Just waking up from his nap and not so ready to go home.

Monday, August 2, 2010


My garden is growing!  I took this picture 2 weeks ago and it's even bigger today!  I'm very disappointed in the arugula, they never had a good chance.  And the peas never sprouted... I'm so bummed about that. 

But... my cucumbers are out of control!  I only have two cucumber plants in the back left side of the garden.  They are taking hold of the tomato plants and now stretches across the whole back side of the garden and into the yard.

The tomato plants are doing well too, but the cucumbers are definitely making their presence well known.  I've already picked 2.  I think they're late compared to my neighbors garden, who has been picking from her garden for a few weeks now.  But I'm okay with that.  This is my first garden after all.  I think next year I'll convert this to a raised garden since most of my soil is clay.  The bags of soil I brought in doesn't seem to help the overall growth.  I've had to use a lot of fertilizer for a few weeks straight just to get a jump start. 

So now I have these cucumbers growing so fast I'm sure I'll have too many very soon!  Of course my 20 month old son loves to help me water the garden.  I thought he'd be just as interested in trying the cucumber after picking one but he still turns his nose at them when I offer him a slice.  Maybe I can offer him a cucumber milk shake that might entice him to love these little green spikey treats. (Did you know cucumbers have little spikes on them?  They must dull after time so when you see them in the market they're not so dramatic when you pick them up.) 

How do you enjoy your cukes?  Sliced, diced, chopped, or pureed in a smoothie?


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